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2015 Summer VHF/UHF Contest Calendar

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

2:45pm  Thur.

Before I share the actual contest dates, I want to post an important rules change for all V/U contests from ARRL.  The following is from the ARRL Contest Update email that went out on May 20, 2015:

SELF-SPOTTING is now ALLOWED in ARRL VHF/UHF Contests, starting with the June (2015) ARRL VHF Contest.  These changes were made to encourage greater participation and band utilization.  For more information on these rule changes, see the Jan. 22nd 2015 ARRL Letter and the General Rules for ARRL Contests Above 50 MHz (specifically item 1.16) at this link  http://www.arrl.org/general-rules-for-arrl-contests-above-50-mhz
Note that self-spotting… “Announcements shall be limited to call sign, location, band or frequency, mode and — if applicable — transmitting sequence and listening direction… (and) may also be used to coordinate antenna peaking prior to initiation of the contact and to explain contest rules, such as the exchange required…”

2015 Summer VHF/UHF Contest Calendar
June 13-14   ARRL June VHF Contest.  In the central time zone, this starts at 1pm central on Sat. June 13th and runs 33 hours until 10pm Sun. June 14th.  See http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf  for full info.
All bands from 50 MHz on up thru the microwaves are in play here.

July 18-19   CQ WW VHF Contest.  In the central time zone, this starts at 1pm central on Sat. July 18 and runs 27 hours until 4pm Sun. July 19.  See http://www.cqww-vhf.com/index.htm  for more info but please note that as of today (May 28, 2015) the link to the rules PDF shows the 2014 info.
This contest uses 50 and 144 MHz only.  Bread-and-butter bands of VHF’ing.

August 1-2  ARRL UHF Contest.  In the central time zone, this starts at 1pm central on Sat. Aug. 1 and runs 24 hours until Sun. Aug. 2.  See http://www.arrl.org/august-uhf for full info.
The UHF contest starts at 222 MHz, and goes up thru 432, 902, 1296 MHz and beyond, clear up into the 10Gig and laser spectrum.  50 and 144 MHz are NOT in play in the UHF contest.

Sept 12-13  ARRL September VHF Contest.  This contest follows the same format as the ARRL June and January VHF Contests.  In the central time zone, it starts at 1pm on Sat. Sept. 12 and runs 33 hours until 10 pm on Sun. Sept. 13.  All bands from 50MHz on up are in play.  This includes 144, 432, 902/3, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, 5 and 10 GHz and clear on up to laser.

There’s your Summer 2015 VHF/UHF Contest Calendar.  The June contest is barely 2 weeks away.  Start spreading the word and getting your station ready to play.  Feel free to rebroadcast this info to hams everywhere.

Central States VHF Society Conference is in Denver July 23-26

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

2:30pm Thur.

Want to share an email I received last month, regarding the 2015 Central States VHF Society Conference.  This is directly from N0POH Wayne:

Just a reminder, the Central States VHF Society Annual Conference for 2015 is being held in the Denver Colorado Metro area between Thursday July 23rd and Sunday July 26th. Our local sponsor this year is Rocky Mountain Ham Radio. Our convention site is the Denver Marriott Westminster; the venue is available for booking at our special conference rate of $109 per night. Please plan on booking your vacation around the conference as the special room rate is available from Monday July 20th through Wednesday July 29th.

The conference will feature the traditional activities, Banquet, Luncheons and hospitality suites, technical programs, noise figure measurement, antenna range, Rover vehicle show and tell. Our Saturday evening banquet is Rick Roderick K5UR First Vice President of ARRL and an avid VHFer. We have a wide variety of activities available along the Front Range of Colorado and will be offering a choice of side trips designed to entertain the entire family.  Operating opportunities under consideration include operating from the Rocky Mountain Ham Radio remote base station in Pueblo, microwave operating from local mountain tops and the chance to score a microwave VUCC in a weekend! Just bring your own equipment! We will have introductory programs geared to newcomers to weak signal operation on the VHF+ bands that will be promoted locally and designed to encourage younger hams to get involved in DX’ing and contesting.

We are currently soliciting papers, presentations, and Poster displays for the 49th Annual CSVHFS Conference. Our deadline for receiving papers and getting them to ARRL for publishing is Rapidly Approaching! It is April 22, 2015 so now is the time to prepare your submission!  We hope you will have something to share with your fellow VHF enthusiasts. Questions concerning papers, presentations and Poster displays can be directed to our Program Chairman John Maxwell W0VG (w0vg@arrl.net)

Conference registration, as well as a link to the conference venue for bookings, is now available at http://2015.csvhfs.org/  Please visit the site if you need any other additional information

73 Doug K2AD President, Jeff K0RM Vice President and Facility Chairman, John W0VG Vice President and Program Chairman & Wayne N0POH Treasurer

 

Getting Caught up with Net Reports

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

2pm Thur.

Last night WB9LYH had 9 check-ins to the 144.240 net.  It always get slower in late spring and summer when 6 meters starts to open up.    Check-ins were:  N9NDP EN62;  K9CCL, KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  KB9KLD EM58;  KC9OVD EN41;  WB0SWQ EN40 and WB0YWW EN22.  WA3EOQ in FM09 reported via the ON4KST.com chat that he heard something on 144.240, but net control didn’t hear any CW from western Maryland.  As WB9LYH really enjoys pushing the propagation envelope, want to thank WA3EOQ for listening along and giving it a try.

WB9LYH has 2 things to share:  1)  Want to thank N9XKH Dennis for filling in as net control last Wed. (May 20th).  2)  WB9LYH says that right now, his schedule looks good for June.  Unless you read otherwise here at kc9bqa.com, expect WB9LYH to call the 144.240 net as usual, every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, which is central WI, near WI Rapids.  His antenna pattern is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on the SSB side of 2 meters.  We always appreciate you spreading the word to hams everywhere.

REMEMBER THAT IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE 144.240 WED. NET — I say this frequently and I mean it.  There are many great nets on various frequencies nearly every night of the week.  IF… IF… you know where and when to look for them.
For instance, every Thursday you have a popular net out of Chicago on 144.220.  I see the start time has now been changed to 6:30pm (used to be 7pm).  I’m talking about the Q5 net called by N9JBW John from EN61 on the south side of Chicago.  It’s a friendly bunch that’s always looking for more signals.  They have a nice website — go here:  http://www.n9abf.com/q5net/  for more details.

For a much more complete discussion of nets on different VHF/UHF bands, all 7 nights of the week, take some time to read thru posts at kc9bqa.com dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Use the archives feature on the right to get there.
ON TO THE 144.252 NET REPORTS
On May 18th, K8TQK had 16 check-ins to the 144.252 net.  N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  AC3L/M FN00;  KB9RDS and N8XA EM79;  KB8GUE EM89;  K4SAN and W0LD FM05;  W4IMD EM84;  KI4ROF EM55;  WB7PMP EM88;  N9RXM EN41;  KD9BGY EN61;  KC9VHD EN62;  VA3HD FN14 and VE3ZV EN92.
On May 25th, K8TQK had 12 check-ins:  WA3EOQ FM09;  W2UAD FN13;  WD4NMV EM85;  WB4IXU EM86;  WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  KB9RDS and N8XA EM79;  KB8GUE EM89;  N3EVW FN21 and KA9VDU EN53.
The 144.252 net is called every Monday at 8:30pm eastern by K8TQK.  Bob is in grid square EM89je, which is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  Antenna pattern is N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so.

 

144.240 Net Called Wed., May 20th by N9XKH in EN52il (WI/IL State Line)

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

4:25pm Sat.

The 144.240 Wed. net from WI will have an alternate net control this Wed. (May 20th).

I am told by WB9LYH that N9XKH will kick things off at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.   N9XKH’s QTH is EN52il, which is on the WI/IL state line between Madison, WI and Rockford, IL.   I assume Dennis will follow the usual pattern of looking NE and E into MI first, then start sliding east/southeast into OH and IN before turning south and southwest to pick up IL/MO and then KS/IA and then northwest and north to pick up anyone in MN and northern WI or the U.P. of MI.

Please get on 144.240 Wed. night and give N9XKH signal reports.

K8TQK Has a Live Audio Stream

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

4:15pm Sat.

I always snag K8TQK’s check-in list via the chat archives (use the dropdown menu) at the ON4KST.com ham chat pages.  (In our case, I’m referring to the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz)
(To learn how to register for this free and no-BS service, visit this post at kc9bqa.com:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072  That will get you pointed in the right direction.)

Anyway, I was poking around Monday’s chat archives and I had forgotten that K8TQK has a live stream of his audio.  The web address is:  http://bobmathews.myq-see.com:88/broadwave.mp3    All I use is Windows Media Player and that address works for me.  I am far from a tech-savvy guy, so if you experience difficulties, I regret I can’t help you.  Also, I’m not sure what times K8TQK’s audio stream is actually on.  If I were you, I would tune in during early mornings, evenings and of course, Monday night at 8:30pm eastern, because that’s when K8TQK is calling his 144.252 net.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

4pm Sat.

WB9LYH said there were very strong signals from the south with the 144.240 net called on Wed. night.  Mark had 14 check-ins:  N8WNA EN82;  KD9BGY, N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  WB0YWW EN22;  W8SOL EN71;  NF9U EN53;  KB9KLD EM58;  W9BBP, WB0SWQ, KC9WOI, WA9BNZ and KD0TIN EN40;  and N9RXM EN41.   West-central IL has become a real hotbed of activity; been meaning to say that for months now.  Plus want to welcome another new callsign to the net.  Welcome to NF9U and glad you’re on 2m SSB.

The 144.240 net is called at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed.   Net control is WB9LYH in EN54cl, which is Central WI, near WI Rapids.  Antenna pattern is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.  All licensed amateurs are welcome; the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  Always worth adding that WB9LYH has a big station on a ridgetop QTH.  He loves pushing the propagation limits, so please help spread the word far beyond the typical 300-400 mile range on 2m SSB.

Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 16 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  Bob’s 16 check-ins were:  AG4KJ EM88;  N8WNA EN82;  W4IMD, WA4NJP and W4LES EM84;  W4YZJ EM64;  KI4ROF EM55;  W3IP FM19;  KB9RDS EM79;  KB8GUE EM89;  N1GC EM95;  W9EWZ EN52;  WB9LYH EN54;  WB8AUK and WM8I EN80 and K4LY EM85.
The 144.252 net is called every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  Net control is K8TQK in EM89je, south-central OH,  near Chillicothe.  Bob’s signal also gets out forever, his antenna pattern is N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so.

 

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

9:30am  Thur

WB9LYH reported improving propagation last night with the 144.240 net.  Mark’s 9 check-ins were:  W9EWZ EN52;  VE3ZV EN92;  KD9BGY EN61;  N9RXM EN41;  KD0TIN and KC9WOI EN40; KA0PQW EN33;  K0SIX EN35 and KB0HNN EN25.  Nice to have multiple check-ins from MN.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control is WB9LYH EN54cl, which is Central WI, near WI Rapids.  Antenna pattern from EN54cl is to start looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes or so, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH expects to be on next Wed., May 13th, so make plans to get on and enjoy the activity.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the purpose is to promote more signals on 2m SSB.   Remember that WB9LYH has stacked long yagis (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  He easily gets out 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations, and enjoys pushing the propagation limits, so help us get the word out in a very wide circle.

Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 22 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  (Yes, 144.252, because Bob has a fat birdie right on 144.250).  Check-ins were:  WB7PMP and AK4KJ EM88;  W2UAD FN13;  K8GDT EN91;  VE3ZV EN92;  AC3L/M FN00;  VA3YCU FN02;  WA3EOQ FM09;  K4SAN and W0LD FM05;  W3IP FM19;  N4TLL EM87;  WB4IXO EM86;  WA4NJP, W4VAS and W4IMD EM84;  W4YZJ EM64;  KI4ROF EM55;  K9LQZ EM68;  WA9M and N8XA EM79;  WB9SJA EN60 and KB8GUE EM89.
The 144.252 net is called Mondays at 8:30pm eastern by K8TQK in EM89je, which is far south-central OH, near Chillicothe.   Like WB9LYH, Bob has a whopping signal from a hilltop.   K8TQK’s antenna pattern is to start out looking N, then go NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, May 1st, 2015

6:30am Friday

WB9LYH reported tough conditions and limited participation on Wed. night.  With the 432 MHz Spring Sprint going on, that’s to be expected.
The 10 check-ins to the 144.240 net (called by WB9LYH EN54cl, at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed.) were:  KD9BGY and K9CCL EN61;  KC8ZJL EN71;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ, KD0TIN, KC9WOI and WB0SWQ EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RXM EN41.  W0HXL out in the Omaha area also gave a signal report via the ON4KST.com ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) but a 2-way on air contact didn’t quite happen.
WB9LYH expects to be around the next few Wed. nights, so plan on the 144.240 net as usual.

Back on Monday night, K8TQK in EM89je, south-central OH had 18 check-ins to his 144.252 net (8:30pm eastern start time).  W2UAD FN13;  N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  KB3TNZ FN11;  W3IP FM19;  WA4NJP, W4IMD and W4VAS EM84;  K9LQZ EM68;  W4YZJ EN64;  KY4MRG EM77;  KI4ROF EM55;  WB7PMP EM88;  WB8ART EM79;  W9CWG and KD9BGY EN61;  WM8I EM80 and VE3ZV EN92.

Good Advice I Repeat From Time to Time

Friday, April 24th, 2015

8am  Friday

Many times, hams don’t know where or when to find signals on bands like 144, 222 or 432 MHz.  They get discouraged and give up.  This is a correctable situation.  Spread the word to hams about what is possible on the SSB/CW portions of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.   For more info about many nets and activity nights in a wide area surrounding WI and the Great Lakes, visit posts dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17th, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.

IT’S ALSO WORTH MENTIONING that the best recipe for healthy bands is to call random CQ’s at any old time.  Create your own activity.  It’s so easy to fall into the rut of “just listening”.  If 20 guys are all near their rigs “just listening” and nobody calls CQ, then everyone thinks the band is dead.   CALL CQ, CALL CQ.  Swing the yagis around, call in different directions.  Get something started.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, April 24th, 2015

7:45am Friday

WB9LYH was back at the mic Wed. night for the 144.240 net.  Mark reported “tough conditions”.  His 9 check-ins were:  K8GDT EN91;  K9CCL, KC9RIO, KA8TBW and KD9BGY EN61;  WD9DCW EN52;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41.

WB9LYH expects to be on with the Wed. 144.240 net for April 29th, May 6th and May 13th.  Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.   Mark’s QTH is Central WI, near WI Rapids or grid square EN54cl.  Mark’s antenna pattern is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes or so.  Depends on how many check-ins there are, so be a little flexible.

On to K8TQK’s Monday night 144.252 net report.  Bob’s in EM89je, which is far south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  K8TQK calls the 144.252 net every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  Antenna pattern is N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over about the next 45 minutes.  If Bob has a particularly big net, it might run closer to an hour.  Just depends on how each night goes.
K8TQK had 19 check-ins Monday night.  KU8Y EN61;  K8GDT EN91;  W3IP FM19;  NG4C FM16;  VE3ZV EN92;  WD4NMV EM85;  W4VAS, W4LES, W9BN and W4IMD EM84;  W4YZJ EM64;  KA2KQM EM74;  KI4ROF EM55;  N9RXM EN41;  WB0SWQ EN40;  WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  KB8GUE EM89 and KC8VHD EN62.