Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

Post Your Contest Plans (Sep. 13-14) Here

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

   9:15am Wed. 

   See the post below for WB9LYH’s 144.240 net plans tonight.  

   This post pertains to the ARRL Sept. VHF Contest, which is Sept 13-14.   http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf 

   A full post about the Sept. VHF is dated Aug. 27, 3 posts below this one.  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7947 
That link also includes my series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  Get this info to hams everywhere.  You have my permission to rebroadcast. 

   ON TO THE TOPIC AT HAND:
   Like he has for years now, W0UC Paul in EN44 has created a Google spreadsheet where those of us in the Midwest/Great Lakes can post our VHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.  
    1)  I know nothing about a Google spreadsheet.  I’m just the messenger.
   2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.  
   3)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.  
   4)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL August UHF Contest plans here:   http://www.tinyurl.com/SeptVHF2014

WB9LYH is ON With the 144.240 Net Tomorrow Night

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

   10:30am Tuesday

   Want to confirm what I posted in the Aug. 27th net reports — that WB9LYH EN54cl, Central WI, will call the 144.240 net tomorrow night.  Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Antenna pattern from EN54cl is first NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. 
   All licensed hams are welcome, the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB. 

   WB9LYH has a big signal and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Mark’s typical range with flat band conditions is east to beyond the Cleveland area, south to southern and central IL, southwest to KS, west to the Dakotas and north to Ontario.  Please help us spread the word to all 2m SSB operators in a multi-state (and Canadian province) area.

New 2-Meter and 222 MHz Beacons

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

9:15pm Tuesday

This will be the last post for tonight.

I’ve gotten email about 3 new beacons.  Let me summarize…

1)  On 144.295, K8MM has a beacon from EN83fa, near Flint, MI.  Beacon is up at 90′, with 10w going to the antenna, which is a horizontally polarized omnidirectional loop.  The cw message is “V V V de K8MM/B EN83FA FLINT MI”, repeating about every 10 seconds.
K8MM has plans in the future to put up beacons for 50, 222 and 432 MHz.   If I hear of anything concrete, I will post it here.

2)  I’ve been hearing that there’s a new beacon around 144.290.  This is the W9MUP beacon.  In fact, when I look at W9MUP’s page at www.qrz.com, I see he has posted the following:  “Have beacons @ 28.295.8 50.075.5,144.290, 432.315.5 , 1296.072.5 , 2304.041.5″  (I assume they are located at his EN52eo QTH, which is on basically on the WI/ILL border, SW of Madison, WI.)

3)  A new 222 MHz beacon is on the air.  Here’s the complete info, via a post to the Badger Contesters group by W9JJ:
” Gang,
Listen up for a new 222 Beacon…
Frequency – 222.058 MHz CW
Call sign – N9HF
Message – 30 second carrier followed by “de N9HF/BCN EN 52 Clinton, Wis”
Location – EN52nn – just North of I-43 in Clinton WI
Height – Antenna is at 120′ AGL (about 1000′ AMSL)
Rig – converted Midland 13-509
Power – 3.5 watts (at transmitter) into 120′ of 7/8ths Heliax
Antenna – Single horizontally-polarized Halo antenna on the mast at
the top the tower, on the South side of the mast.
Reception reports invited to “n9hfontheair@gmail.com
Beacon went on the air at sundown today – 0001 GMT 8/23/14…

73 Bart W9JJ”

ALSO…

4)  A nice listing of Midwest VHF/UHF beacons is here:  http://www.nlrs.org/home/beacons
To that listing, I would also add that a beacon is on 432.300 – the W8GVK/B from EN63vb, Grand Haven, in western MI.   

Two good listings of beacons are here:   http://www.newsvhf.com/beacons2.html  covers 144 MHz and higher
and…  http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/50.htm  covers exclusively 50 MHz  (6 meters)
Save those to your VHF/UHF favorites folder.   Don’t rely on kc9bqa.com for your only source of beacon info.   Also, don’t be surprised if a listed beacon is no longer on the air or if you hear a beacon that isn’t listed.

ARRL September VHF Contest is Sept. 13-14, 2014 + Link to VHF Contesting School Articles

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

   9pm Tuesday

   The last all-band VHF/UHF contest of the season is drawing closer.  Talking about the ARRL Sept. VHF, all bands 50 MHz and up.  It’s on the weekend of Sept. 13-14, 2014.  In the central time zone, it starts at 1pm Sat. and runs until 10pm Sun.   (The next ARRL multi-band contest will be on either the 3rd of 4th weekend of Jan., 2015) 
   Here’s the link to the rules:  http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf  
   In a week or so, I should have an additional post about this contest, with a link to that Google spreadsheet that W0UC in EN44 has been creating for years now.  In that interactive spreadsheet, Midwest and Great Lakes VHF contesters are encouraged to post their plans and get some pre-contest excitement going. 

    IF YOU ARE NEW TO VHF CONTESTING, I WOULD LIKE TO HELP.  I have a series of articles I wrote several years back.  I call them VHF Contesting School.  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5931 is the main link.   Everything you need is there. 

    If you would rather have things broken down into bite-sized pieces, you can also go to these links:  
    These links are in order from a basic introduction, to antennas, to what bands and frequencies to use, and so on.  
   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1677   VHF Contesting School — Introduction.
   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1689    Antennas – The Most Important Part of Your V/UHF Station.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1700    What Bands and Frequencies to Use.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1717     How to Log a V/UHF Contest.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1727    Helpful Hints — Being a Smarter Operator.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1737    Go Roving!   Put the Antennas and Rigs in the Mobile.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1740    More Detailed Rover Info.
  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1750    Rules and Scoring.  

    You are free to share this info with hams everywhere.  We need more VHF/UHF Contesters! 
    Reason I wrote these articles was to get more hams comfortable sitting down at the mic and calling, “CQ Contest”.  VHF/UHF contests (at least in the Midwest and Great Lakes) can *always* use more operators.
    THESE ARTICLES ARE NOW SEVERAL YEARS OLD.  I would definitely check the latest ARRL contest rules against what I have written in the last article entitled, “Rules and Scoring”.   The majority of the other articles still have advice that’s applicable today.

144.252 Net Reports from 8/18 and 8/25/14

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

8:45pm Tuesday

I actually made 3 posts tonight.
Want to remind everyone about the ARRL Sept. VHF Contest, which is on Sept. 13-14.  All bands from 50 MHz on up thru the microwaves are in play.  http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf
Another post will share details about 3 new VHF beacons in WI and MI.

Before I get to K8TQK’s net reports, remember that the 144.240 Wed. net called by WB9LYH in EN54 is OFF for Aug. 27th.  Mark plans on being back on the air Wed., Sept. 3rd, at the usual summer start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

K8TQK in EM89je, south-central OH, calls a great net every Monday on 144.252 MHz at 8:30pm eastern.  Bob has a great QTH and big signal.  He routinely gets out 300-500 miles under normal conditions to stations with a decent yagi up in the clear.  (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF)  K8TQK is always looking for more check-ins, so give a listen his way on Monday evenings on 144.252.   The net is informal, all licensed hams are welcome to listen along or say hello.
K8TQK’s antenna pattern from EM89 is first North, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  You can also follow along at the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat.  Specifically talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you have no idea what this chat is about, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072  The chat is active every morning and evening.  You are free to simply observe quietly or join in when you’re ready.

On Aug. 18th, K8TQK had 23 check-ins:  N8WNA EN82;  KC8RRT EN81;  KF6A EN73;  VA3HD FN14;  K8ZES FN02;  W2UAD FN13;  W9KXI FN12;  KB3TNZ FN11;  KC8QDQ and KB8GUE EM89;  AC3L/M FN00;  KB3CXQ FM09;  W3IP FM19;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  N4TLL EM87;  WB0SWQ EN40;  WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  K9MRI EN70 and KC9WSS EN61.

On Aug. 25th, K8TQK had 25 check-ins:  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  KC8YJB and KD8JQ EN91;  AC3L/M FN00;  KB3TNZ FN11;  KB3CXQ FM09 (hint:  this ham is in WV, a tough state to get on VHF);  W8WG and KB8GUE EM89;  W3IP FM19;  N1GC EM95;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  KY4MRG EM77;  WM8I EN80;  KA2KQM EM74;  NR8OI, WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  KC8RRT EN81;  KA1ZE FN01;  VE3MLM FN04;  NG4C FM16 and VE3XTM EN93

144.240 Net is OFF Tonight and Aug. 27th

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

   9am Tues.

   WB9LYH has emailed to say that he couldn’t find an alternate net control.  Mark won’t be around the next two Wednesdays, so the 144.240 net is OFF for tonight and for Aug. 27th. 

   Of course, anyone is free to pick up the mic and start something.  Hope someone does. 

   Remember that I’ve been selling off my station so I’m no longer an option.  March 15th posts at kc9bqa.com explain my reasons for selling off and this post from June 27th http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7852 provides the latest update on what still is for sale (towers/yagis/feedline).

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, August 15th, 2014

   12:30pm Fri. 

   Before I get to the net reports, please note that WB9LYH will NOT be around the next two Weds. to call the 144.240 net from EN54 Central WI.  STAY TUNED, though — WB9LYH is working on getting a fill-in net control and when we know who that will be, I will announce it here at kc9bqa.com.  

   On Wed. night, WB9LYH had a light turnout.  His 8 check-ins to the 144.240 net (start time 8pm central, 9pm eastern, look toward EN54cl, Central WI) were:  N8WNA EN82;  K8TQK and KB8GUE EM89;  K9CCL EN61;  WA9BNZ EN40;  AC0RA EN41;  WB0YWW EN22 and KA8FFM EN56.   Mark was pleased to get KB8GUE in the net log with some help from K8TQK and it’s also good to hear from the U.P. of MI with KA8FFM.  

    On Mon. night, K8TQK called his 144.252 net from EM89je, start time of 8:30pm eastern.  Bob had 22 check-ins:  W8SOL EN71;  KD8JQ EN91;  W2UAD FN13;  W9KXI FN12;  AC3L/M FN00;  W3IP FM19;  VA3HD FN14;  KB3TNZ FN11;  KJ4ZYB FM07;  WB4IXU EM86;  WA4NJP, W4IMD and W4LES EM84;  WD4NMV EM85;  AJ4EN EM94;  WA4REE EM65;  WB7PMP EM88;  WB0SWQ EN40;  KB8GUE EM89;  WB8ART EM79;  WM8I EN80 and W8IO EN63. 

    AGAIN, stay tuned with the 144.240 net control schedule for the rest of August.  I will post details here when I get them.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

   6:45am Thur.

   WB9LYH called the 144.240 net last night (Wed.) from EN54cl, central WI.   Mark reported a good net last night.  His 14 check-ins were:  KS8B EN64;  K8TQK EM89;  KD8DRH EN91;  KC9RIO, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  KA9DVX EN51;  WA9BNZ EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  WB9TFH EN53;  W8SOL EN71;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22 and W0ANH EN47. 

   *WB9LYH EXPECTS TO CALL THE NET ON WED., AUG 13TH, USUAL SUMMER START TIME OF 8PM CENTRAL/9PM EASTERN*  Antenna pattern from EN54 Central WI is NE, 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 2m SSB. 
    WB9LYH enjoys pushing the propagation limits and with stacked 17B2′s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH, he is certainly capable.  Please help us by spreading the word to DX stations (beyond say 300-500 miles).  
    We are coming into the best time of year for widespread band openings.  Late summer and fall often have stagnant high pressure systems and conditions can become enhanced, especially from evening thru the overnight and into the morning hours.   The best openings can stick around for several days or more.  I know WI hams are already noticing distant repeaters coming in as of late last night, and with no change in sight weather-wise, the band enhancement should continue. 

    BACK on MONDAY NIGHT, K8TQK also had 14 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  K8TQK is in EM89je, south-central OH and his 144.252 net starts at 8:30pm eastern.  Bob’s antenna pattern is N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  He also has a huge signal and easily gets out 300-400+ miles to stations with horizontal yagis in the clear. 
   K8TQK’s 14 check-ins this week were:  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  VA3HD FN14;  W3IP FM19;  N1GC EM95;  W0LD FM05;  WA4NJP and W4LES EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  W9CWG EN61;  WA4REE EM65 and KI4ROF EM55.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

   6am Thur.
  **ARRL UHF CONTEST IS THIS WEEKEND.  DETAILS ARE IN THE JULY 24TH POST RIGHT BELOW**

   Every Wed. the 144.240 net is on from EN54cl, Central WI.  WB9LYH is net control and the start time in spring and summer is 8pm central and toward about Halloween, he shifts to a 7pm central start for the shorter days of winter.   This Wed. net has been around since June 2008 and our history is here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363 

   WB9LYH emailed me the net report from last night.  Mark said it was a good net, with good conditions, but not many stations on.  His 12 check-ins were:  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  W9WZJ EM69;  KA9VDU EN53;  N9NDP EN62;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KA9DVX EN51;  W1JWS EN50;  KC9OVD EN41 and WB0YWW EN22. 
  
    *WB9LYH ALSO SAYS HE EXPECTS TO BE ON NEXT WEEK (Wed., Aug. 6th)*  Again, start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  All licensed hams are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to create more activity on 2m SSB.  From Central WI, Mark’s antenna pattern is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. 
     WB9LYH has a very big signal and really enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  We appreciate you helping us spread the word in a multi-state (and Canadian province) circle. 

     K8TQK has been calling the 144.252 net each Monday @8:30pm eastern for several years now.  Bob also has a huge signal from EM89je, south-central OH.  He can easily work 300-400+ miles to stations with a decent *horizontally-polarized* yagi up in the clear. 
     K8TQK’s 16 check-ins on Monday night were:  W8SOL EN71;  N8AIA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  WD8CHR EN90;  WT83 and KD8DJE EM89;  KJ4YZB FM07;  W4LES EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  N4TLL EM87;  N8XA EM79;  KF6A EN73;  W9DZ EN61;  WB9LYH EN54;  KB8JNE EN70 and WB7PMP EM88.  

     There is SSB activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz every night of the week, if you know when and where to look.  I summarized this info in posts at www.kc9bqa.com dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Visit those posts and learn about your options.  Then help out activity levels by getting that info to your ham buddies.
     Better yet, create your own activity by calling CQ at any time.  That’s what call freqs. like 144.200, 222.100 and 432.100 are for.  Don’t wait for someone else to start something.  Get out of the habit of “just listening”.  I’ve been saying it here for 5+ years… If everyone is at their radio and everyone is “just listening”  how many signals will be heard?

ARRL UHF Contest is Aug. 2-3 Link for Posting Contest Plans is Here.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

   12:30pm Thur. 

   Next Saturday at 1pm central is the start time for the ARRL UHF Contest.  It runs 24 hours until 1pm Sun.  (UTC times are 1800Z Sat. to 1800Z Sun).  All bands from 222 MHz on up are in play.  Talking 222, 432, 902, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5 gig, 10 gig and beyond, if you are into the whole laser deal.   You still have 9 days to get ready, please help spread the word.  
    Here’s the link to the ARRL rules and info page:  http://www.arrl.org/august-uhf

     Like he has for years now, W0UC Paul in EN44 has created a Google spreadsheet where those of us in the Midwest/Great Lakes can post our UHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.  
    1)  I know nothing about a Google spreadsheet.  I’m just the messenger.
   2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.  
   3)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.  
   4)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL August UHF Contest plans here:   http://tinyurl.com/UHF2014