Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

What’s Going to Happen with KC9BQA.com?

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

9:45am Sat.

I am not shutting down the website, at least not until sometime in 2015 or 2016.  For now, everything will operate pretty much as it has for the past few years.  I’ll make net announcements, net reports and try to remember to post info about the V/UHF contests.  There will also be periodic updates about new items for sale as I dismantle my VHF/UHF station.  Talking towers, long yagis, feedline, rotors, power supplies, a few spare rigs that need repairs and various accessories.   If you have a sincere interest in these items, contact me.  My email is good at qrz.com but if you can’t get it there, you can also use wi.todd (at sign) yahoo.com.  What I’m trying to avoid is a crush of curiosity-seekers.  I don’t mind talking gear, towers, rotors, etc with those who might be buyers.  Visits can be arranged, too.  Check out the first post I made this morning (8:30am Sat. on 3/15/2014) if you need more details.

WB9LYH and I have emailed several times the past few years about the future of the 144.240 Wed. night net.   Good news — Mark still enjoys calling the net and plans to continue it.  He’s a very busy guy and the net is one way he can relax and enjoy VHF for at least an hour each week.   For at least the rest of 2014, I plan on continuing to support the net via this website and with the weekly emails I send to several hundred VHF’ers in a multi-state area surrounding WI.  I hope others will continue to help spread the word, and try to encourage more on-air activity at all times.

So Why am I Selling?

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

9:30am Sat.

I got on the air in late 2003-early 2004.  I jumped in with both feet because when we moved here in June of 2003, it was the first time I had ever lived somewhere with space and a great view.  I knew if I ever lived at a great radio QTH that I would put up a nice station, just so I could say I tried it.  As a total appliance operator, I needed a lot of help.  I got it and it’s been a lot of fun.  But these days, too many things are breaking down and the endless repairs are really fouling up my attitude.  I can no longer justify $1000 here and $500 there for new rotors, renting a 130′ cherry-picker, paying the good guys who help me when I get in the ditch.
Plus… my wife and I won’t be living at this QTH forever and when we do move, I have a gentleman’s agreement with the local township to take the towers down.   We may not move for several years, but it will happen and I don’t want to spend the last few years worrying about selling off the station in a hurry.   So in 2014 and 2015, I am making it a priority to sell everything and get it into the hands of hams who will use it.
This will be an ongoing process and I’ll make periodic updates to kc9bqa.com.  The first post this morning, dated March 15, 2014 (8:30am) explains it in greater detail.

Next post will be about what this all means for the future of kc9bqa.com (the VHF/UHF promotion aspect)

KC9BQA’s VHF/UHF Gear For Sale

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

 

Update @5pm on Monday, March 31st –
The post below has some outdated info.  You are better off going to an updated post I just made at kc9bqa.com, dated March 31st. 

Update @5pm On Monday, March 17th… The IC-910H is SOLD.  The RF Concepts brick amp for 432 MHz is SOLD. 
I will update as other items are sold.  I’ve gotten a lot of emails; things are happening so don’t delay. 
Update @7pm on Tuesday, March 25th… One of my two TE Systems 2212G Amps for 222 MHz is SOLD.  The other one may be spoken for by an out-of-state ham.  If you are local and want a 2212G for $325, get in touch with me soon. 
Update March 31st — All brick amps are SOLD. 
Also SOLD — The TE Systems 1412G amp. 

There are way more things that will end up for sale than are listed here.  But it will take time, so today I’ll start with these small steps.

RIGS:
Icom IC-910 with optional 1296 MHz module.  Bought new about 10 years ago, and it’s never given me a moment of trouble.  So you get 100w on 144, 75 on 432 and 10 on 1296.  All-mode, of course.  I will include an SM-6 hand mic.  $1150.
EDIT — EDIT  5pm March 17th.  THE 910H is SOLD. 

Yaesu FT-736R’s.  I have a pair.   Both have 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz — all modes.   I have one MD-1 desk mic and a hand mic for the other.  These rigs will get you on 222 SSB, plus you get all 4 bread-and-butter V/UHF bands with 25w out.  Both rigs have performed flawlessly for me.   The rigs are $1100 each and the  MD-1 is $50.

IC-575H — 100w on 6 Meters.  All-mode.  Rig is used – 6 is my favorite band.  $450 with a hand mic or $500 if you want an SM-6 desk mic as part of the deal.

BRICK AMPS:

TE Systems 1412G.  25w in gets you 150-160w on 2 meters.   I’m the original owner and it works fine.  Includes onboard preamp.  $225.  SOLD 

TE Systems 2212G’s.  25w in gets you 125-130w on 222/223 MHz.   Again, I’m the original owner and they work fine.  I have a pair, and they’re $325 each.  Reason they’re more than the 1412G is that these cost considerably more new. 
One of these is SOLD.  The other will be shipped out-of-state next week unless I hear from a local buyer in the next day or two (as of March 25)  Update March 31st — Both 2212G’s are SOLD. 
RF Concepts RF4-310.  25-30w in gets you 100-120w out on 432/440 MHz.   I bought it used and it looks used.  But these are solid performers and it just keeps on working.  $150.
EDIT — EDIT — 5pm March 17th.  The 432 MHz brick is SOLD. 

That’s what I’m ready to sell today.  Like I said, there’s far more I will have for sale, and I can go into that later.  Trying to keep things simple right now.
Those are cash-and-carry prices.  For the next month or two, I’m only posting this gear for sale via kc9bqa.com and thru 4 Midwest VHF/UHF groups.  I want those VHF’ers to have the first chances.   At this time, I’d prefer face-to-face transactions.   I will also consider driving a few hours for the right buyer.  I’d much prefer that to shipping.

If you like short stories, you’re done.  Thanks for reading.  Check back at kc9bqa.com frequently because I will make more for sale posts as we get later into spring and summer.  There will be rotors, towers, long yagis for 28 thru 2304 MHz,  feedline, power supplies and accessories.  If you have a sincere interest, contact me.   My email is good at qrz.com.  If you can’t access that, then please use wi.todd (at sign) yahoo.com.  I don’t mind emailing or talking, but I am discouraging curiosity-seekers.

Amateur Electronic Supply’s Superfest is ON again this year.  Superfest is from 9am -3pm on Saturday, April 5th.  This draws in hams from WI and surrounding states.  My QTH is 35 minutes north of Superfest and if you want to personally inspect the gear and my shack, this would be a great opportunity.   I will plan on being around my QTH on April 4, 5 and 6th.  If you have interest in inspecting this gear, email me and we’ll figure out a time to get together.  If you cannot make it to Superfest but would still like to see the gear, we can make other times work — just email and we’ll set something up.   I work out of my home and I’m often available during the afternoon and/or early evening.

OK, time to hit the ”publish” button and put this out in cyberspace.  It’s going to look weird, but it’s time.

WB9LYH Net Report + Time Change Effective April 2nd

Friday, March 14th, 2014

   10:15pm Thur. 

   WB9LYH had 12 check-ins to the 144.240 Wed. Net last night.  We’ll get to the list in a bit.

   **THE 144.240 NET WILL SWITCH TO SUMMER HOURS (hah!) STARTING WED, APRIL 2ND.  START TIME WILL BE ONE HOUR LATER — 8PM CENTRAL AND 9PM EASTERN.**  Please help us by spreading the word to everyone you can think of.  
   This time change will stay in effect until at least October.  We switch times seasonally to try and follow the sun.   We noticed years ago that when sunset is later, we get less check-ins.  Plus, starting the net later in summer helps catch better conditions, as the sun sets and the atmosphere “turns over” temperature-wise. 

    Again, effective April 2nd, the 144.240 Wed. net called by WB9LYH EN54 out of Central WI will start @ 8pm central and 9pm eastern.  

  
    Here’s WB9LYH’s net report from last night:  Propagation was iffy, with few stations on.  Checkins were N8WNA EN82;  WB0DGF EN63;  KA9DVX EN51;  K9CCL EN61;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  WB9SLI and N9NYA EN43;  KD0UHN EN41;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22 and KC9CLM EN53. 
    Looks like KD0UHN is a new call to the net.  Welcome, Scott and glad you made the trip from Bettendorf, IA. 
    This net is always looking for new check-ins and more participation.  DX is encouraged, too. 

   
     GUYS — I’m going to make a long-overdue post this weekend, hopefully by Saturday.  It’s time to sell my rigs and gear.   Rigs for 144 thru 2304 MHz, rotators, control boxes, power supplies, brick amps, and eventually antennas for 28 thru 2304 MHz, plenty of feedline runs and even towers.  Talking a 100′ stick of Rohn SSV, plus a separate 70′ stick.  All self-supporting.  Been putting this off too long and it’s time to get started.

WB9LYH 144.240 Long-Range Net is ON This Wed., March 12th

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

   12:20pm Sunday

   I forgot to specifically mention that WB9LYH will be ON with the 144.240 net this Wed.   Winter start time is 7pm central/8pm eastern. 

   We had a nice turnout next week and with hints of spring showing up, here’s hoping even better nets and band conditions are right around the corner. 

    WB9LYH is located in Central WI, grid EN54cl, near WI Rapids.  His antenna pattern starts out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to stir up more activity on the SSB side of 2m.   
   WB9LYH has stacked 17B2′s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and he loves pushing the propagation limits.  We are always looking for DX targets in that 300-600+ mile range, so help us spread the word. 
   We really appreciate our regulars and reliable, strong signals, too.

   One more post to follow — the Spring VHF/UHF Sprints are only a month away.

Many V/UHF Options on Monday Nights

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

   12:20pm Sunday 

   This post originally appeared on Jan. 27, 2014 at kc9bqa.com.

   Want readers to know that I list many different nets on all 7 nights of the week at kc9bqa.com posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.   Go back in the October 2013 archives and take what you need.  Tell your ham buddies who probably are wondering where all the signals are on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  
   
   Mondays are always a great night across a wide part of the Midwest and Mid-South.  Visit this post http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7438  to see your Monday options on 144 and 432.100 MHz.  I originally made that post on 10/13/13 and as far as I know, all the nets I mention are alive and well.

Your Sunday Night Options on VHF

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

   12:15pm Sunday
  
   If you want to know about your options on the SSB side of VHF and UHF, I have detailed info regarding all 7 nights of the week.  That info is in posts dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.  

   For example, since this is Sunday, here are 3 options I know of in the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region:

   1)  K8NFT calls the Sidewinders Around Michigan net on 144.155 at 9:30pm eastern Sundays from EN62xt, far W MI, near Grand Rapids.  Bob starts out looking N, then goes clockwise, or E, S and W as the net progresses.  

    2)  K0SIX calls a net on 50.175 at 8:30pm central Sundays from EN35dj, or an hour north of the Twin Cities.  Vince has a very big signal and can work out to 300+ miles via normal “groundwave” on 6m (to stations with horizontal yagis pointed at him).   Not sure about the antenna pattern K0SIX uses for the net, but I know that he’ll be on the ON4KST.com chat (IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz, or try the 50 MHz chat, as well.  I’m sure you can have more than one chat open at a time.) 

   3)   KA0PQW calls a net on 144.260 at 9pm central Sundays from EN33iu, far south-central MN.  Matt also has a nice signal — I can usually work him on a 265 mile path when we’re pointed at each other.   I’m not sure of the antenna pattern KA0PQW uses, so just point toward the middle of the MN/IA state line and wait for his signal to peak up.   
   If KA0PQW needs a night off, then K0SIX (EN35) or KA0KYZ (EN33) pitches in on 144.260.

  

    If any of this info is outdated or needs revising, let me know. 

    I’ll be making two more posts very shortly.

WB9LYH Has 16 Check-ins Last Night

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

   10:30am Thur

   Nice turnout for the 144.240 Wed. net.  WB9LYH emailed me with the particulars –    Mark reported some propagation to Cleveland, and good signals from Detroit, also.  Loudest stations were from IN.  
   Check-ins were:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  WM8I EN80;  WB0DGF EN63;  W8SOL EN71;  K8GDT EN91;  AB9QH EN62; KG9QT EN61;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9NYA and WB9SLI EN43;  W1JWS EN50;  N0IRS EM29 and KG0SJ EN22.  KC8QDQ in EM89 also checked in, and was relayed by WM8I.  

   
   Checked the ON4KST.com chat archives and see that K8TQK’s Monday 144.252 net was off again this Monday.   This blankety-blank winter has his rotor frozen and as soon as Bob can get repairs done, I’m sure he’ll be back on @8:30pm eastern every Monday night.

WB9LYH Has 8 Check-Ins Last Night

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

   8am Thur

  WB9LYH reported a few strong signals last night, but that poor propagation to the east likely prevented contacts with some of the guys out there.  Mark’s 8 check-ins were:  KG9QT and K9CCL EN61;  N8AIA EN82;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  WB9SLI EN43;  KC9GMF EN52 and WB0YWW EN22. 

   *WB9LYH expects to call the 144.240 net again next Wed., March 5, at the usual winter start time of 7pm central/8pm eastern.* 

    K8TQK remains off with his 144.252 Monday net, due to rotor problems and persistent frigid weather.  When the weather eases, Bob will have a helper get a working rotor up and running.   Judging from the extended forecasts (and just the overall firmly-entrenched pattern this winter) that may be a few weeks away.   I know K8TQK looks forward to calling his net again, as soon as he safely can. 

   There are *many* other options on Monday nights.  Just off the top of my head, I can think of activity out of EN52 on 432.100, plus 2m nets in NY, ONT, GA and OK.   Details about all the Monday activity on V/UHF  are at this post:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7438  

    Remember that I have posts listing V/UHF activity for all 7 nights of the week, in a wide area surrounding the Midwest and Great Lakes.  The posts you want to go thru are dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.  Take a few minutes to look over those options and make sure to tell hams in your area about them.  So many guys have rigs with 50, 144 and 432 MHz.  They just need to know where and when to find some reliable signals, so they can keep their interest up.

WB9LYH Net Report from Wednesday

Friday, February 21st, 2014

   9am Friday

   Glad to see everything still up on the tower this morning.  We had multiple wind gusts to 40 mph overnight with a high of 48 mph.  The actual forecast was for gusts to 55, though, so I guess we got off a little easy. 

    On Wed. night WB9LYH called the 144.240 net and had 16 check-ins.  Mark reported some propagation to the east and he was glad to talk to the Cleveland area for a while.  Check-ins were:  WB8AUK and WM8I EN80;  N9YK EN71;  WB0DGF EN63 (MI side);  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  N9NDP EN62;  KC9CLM EN52;  K9CCL EN61;  WB9SLI EN43;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22.  Mark also reported that it sounded like KA9DVX trying to check in, but he couldn’t get the entire call before John faded out. 

    **WB9LYH plans on calling the 144.240 net again next Wed., Feb. 26th.**
     Winter start time is 7pm central/8pm eastern.  Look toward EN54cl, the middle of WI, near Wis Rapids.   All licensed hams are welcome; net is informal and the goal is to stir up more activity on 2m SSB.  We appreciate you helping to spread the word in all directions.  WB9LYH’s antenna pattern from central WI is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.

    I did not see any chat at www.on4kst.com from K8TQK this Monday so I’m assuming Bob’s rotor remains out of service due to this lovely winter weather that just won’t quit.   If I hear anything, I’ll pass it on.   This concerns the 144.252 net that K8TQK in EM89je calls every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  Antenna pattern from south-central OH is N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW.