Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

New PSK-31 Net From MI Every Sat. Morning on 144.150 MHz

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

2:15pm  Monday

W8IO Roger in EN63vc (Spring Lake, MI, near the Lake MI shoreline) would like everyone in the Great Lakes and Midwest to know that he has started a PSK-31 net on 144.150, every Sat. morning at 9am eastern/8am central.   Please help spread the word.  Get involved now as they are looking for enough activity to justify continuing this net beyond March.  Also monitor the ON4KST.com ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz).
Here’s more detail in W8IO’s own words:
” I am going to try something different — a PSK-31 net on 144 MHz.  Look for W8IO on 144.150 PSK-31 Sat. mornings at 9am EST.  I will start with the beam north, then NE, E, SE, until I reach NW from Spring Lake, MI (EN63vc).  I’ll be running about 100 watts into a 15 element horizontally polarized yagi.  I will also announce where I am pointing in the ON4KST chat room room.  If it works and there is enough interest, I will continue.  Also thinking that 144.150 may not be a good frequency for a net, so this may change later. ”
W8IO went on to say, “Beam direction from W8IO (EN63vc) will generally follow the minute hand of the clock, unless we get more activity than I hoped for.  So we will be looking across the lake for Wisconsin stations around 8:40-8:50 central time. ”  (KC9BQA adds that stations in MN and IA ((plus anywhere else)) are encouraged to listen along and check in if they hear net control.)

Remember 432.110 MHz Activity 7 Nights a Week

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

2pm Monday

While we’re on the topic of recurring activity you can count on, let me relay email from N4PZ, who has been stirring up more 432MHz activity for several years now.  The pace has really picked up in the last year or so, as they’ve gone to nets every night.   Plus N4PZ has a full legal limit amp and 4 long yagis on 432, so he can get out 400-500 miles to well-equipped stations under flat band conditions.  Use CW if you care or need to, N4PZ is a big fan of CW and CW really helps when making those distant contacts.
Final tip — this group uses the ON4KST.com ham chat every night.  Great way to let others know you are out there.  Talking specifically about the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.”  If you have no idea what this free, no-BS chat is all about, visit this post:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072   By now, nearly 5,000 USA and Canadian VHF/UHF’ers are registered for the chat.  There is normally good activity in the mornings and evenings.  Joining does not obligate you to yak up a storm — most guys simply log in and observe.


Hi Gents

Remember the 432.110 net Monday night at 8 PM CST / 9 PM EST.

As usual We will begin looking SE from EN52gb 100 miles west of Chicago.
Then east, NE N, NW etc .Anyone we miss to the east will be picked up after we complete the 360 degree sweep.

We’re asking that everyone help dig out the small stations I cannot hear.

Thanks all & happy hunting.

We need a big tropo opening to the gulf coast.

73

SteveN4PZ
EN52gb

Do Everything You Can to Support 222 Tuesdays

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

11:50am  Monday

I haven’t made a specific post about 222 Tuesday in quite a while.

Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.on4kst.com, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing.  Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.

If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain.   If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3  paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem.   I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands.  Plus 222 is quieter.  So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB.  You basically have 2 paths:  1)  step up to a transverter.  I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator.  But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint.  Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google.  The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed.   Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s.  You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.

On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night.  It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing.  It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes.  BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions.  Also consider following along at the ON4KST.com ham chat.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up.  If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.

FOR THE FM’ERS…
I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up.  No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes.  It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.

Resolve in 2015 to get more signals on 222 MHz.  Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies.  Encourage them to use this fine band.

Renewed This Domain for 2 More Years This Morning. I Use www.qth.com

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

11:35 am Monday

I renewed kc9bqa.com for two more years this morning.  Even though I’m no longer on the air (visit posts dated March 15, 2014 for full details of my decision), I still feel as though I’m helping overall activity levels on weak-signal VHF/UHF bands.  And even if I burn out at some point and stop posting for a while, this blog (and the archives) will be available until at least spring of 2017.

You know, I never mention much about the details of this website, mostly because I know next to nothing about websites and I deliberately chose a very simple solution (WordPress).   I know kc9bqa.com would be more entertaining and eye-catching if I knew how to do things like insert images, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, LOL.

What I DO want to mention is that I have had www.qth.com do my website hosting (think that’s the right term) ever since I started this blog on April 1, 2009.  Reason I mention qth.com is that fellow ham KA9FOX is the boss and Scott does a great job.  I strongly recommend him for web hosting.  He helped me so much when I was confused and trying to get this up and running.
PLUS… if you go to www.qth.com and scroll down just a bit, look toward the middle-left and you will see ham radio classified ads.   Keep up to date with those ads, if you are looking for rigs, accessories, antennas, whatever.

2015 Spring VHF and Up Sprint Schedule

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

11:30am  Monday (2/23/15)

Even though the Spring VHF and Up Sprints don’t start until April 13th, it can’t hurt to make this initial post.  I will repost this as we get closer to the end of March.
The info below comes from WB8BZK Mike, who’s part of the organizing committee for the 2015 Spring Sprints.  Feel free to distribute this far and wide.  The sprints and contests always need more signals on the air.

The Central States VHF Society is proud to sponsor and announce the dates and times for the 2015 run of the VHF and up Spring Sprints!

 144 MHz: Monday, 4/13/15 from 7 – 11 PM local

 222 MHz: Tuesday, 4/21/15 from 7 – 11 PM local

 432 MHz: Wednesday, 4/29/15 from 7 – 11 PM local

 Microwave, 902 MHz and up: Saturday, 5/2/15 from 8 AM – 1 PM local

 50 MHz: Saturday, 5/9/15 from 2300Z until 0300Z Sunday, 5/10/15

 More information and rules will be posted at:  https://sites.google.com/site/springvhfupsprints/home

 73

Kent O’Dell KA2KQM & Mike Metroka WB8BZK
Central States VHF Society Spring Sprint Organizing Committee

 

WB9LYH Has 14 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Net

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

11:45am Thur.

As WB9LYH put it in his email to me, “From Detroit to St. Louis to KC to Sioux Falls — not bad for this weather”.   I’d agree, considering it was -9F at Mark’s QTH (EN54cl, central WI) at net time.
WB9LYH’s check-ins last night were:  KD9BGY EN61;  N8WNA EN82;  KF8MY EN84;  N9RXM, KC9OVD and KD0JNQ EN41;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  KB9KLD EM58;  KA9DVX EN51;  N9XKH EN52;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22 and N0IRS EM29.
KD0JNQ is a new all-time check-in to the Wednesday 144.240 net.   Welcome.

The 144.240 net is on every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI near WI Rapids is net control.  Mark has stacked 17B2′s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.   All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  We appreciate you spreading the word to any hams with 144 MHz SSB capability.
WB9LYH’s antenna pattern from Central WI is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Mark also loves pushing propagation limits so help us get the word out to VHF’ers in that 400, 500, 600-mile range.

Mark says his schedule looks good and he expects to be on regularly into March.  If a conflict ever pops up, I will announce it here at kc9bqa.com.

As for the 144.252 net called by K8TQK every Monday at 8:30pm eastern, Bob has had rotor troubles for several weeks, due to the extreme cold.  When the weather eases he will be back on.

**THERE ARE MANY NET OPTIONS, all 7 nights of the week, on multiple bands**
Take some time and visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013 at kc9bqa.com (use the monthly archives on the right) for details.

WB9LYH Has 17 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Net

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Noon Saturday –

I like to have these net reports posted sooner, but didn’t have time until now.

Very glad to report this winter’s nets are so active.  The whole reason I started the 144.240 net back in June 2008, the reason I started kc9bqa.com in April 2009, the reason I emailed (at one time) to 10-15 different ham groups and email lists in a wide area of the Midwest every week was to help increase activity on the SSB/CW portions of VHF/UHF ham bands, plus to point hams where and when this activity takes place.
So when I see strong numbers of check-ins, plus new callsigns, it’s very gratifying.  Congrats to net control WB9LYH, all our check-ins, plus all the other net control operators, check-ins and the hams who enjoy weak-signal VHF/UHF in their own way.   Keep getting on the air, calling CQ at any old time, doing whatever you can to make it more active and enjoyable.

WB9LYH’s 17 check-ins on Wed. night were:  KU8Y and K9CCL EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71;  KB9PSE/P (I’m assuming EN52);  W9YZU EM69;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RXM EN41;  KB9KLD EM58;  N0IRS EM29;  N9XKH EN52;  KA9VDU EN53 and KC9PEG EN45.
A new all-time check-in to this net is N9RXM.  I thought KB9KLD in EM58 was new, too, but when I searched his callsign at kc9bqa.com, I see he checked in with me back in February of 2010.  Welcome back, Jeff, and help us spread the word in downstate IL and MO.

My understanding is that WB9LYH expects to be around for at least the next few Wednesdays.  The 144.240 net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed. and the antenna pattern from EN54cl – Central WI —  is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and DX is encouraged to give it a try.  The purpose of the net is to increase activity on 2m SSB.   We always appreciate you spreading the word.

**K8TQK’s rotor is still frozen and Bob couldn’t call the 144.252 net this past Monday.**  Best way to find out whether his net will run on a given Monday is to be at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.ON4KST.com in the early evening.  If K8TQK can’t call the net, he will mention it in that chat.

WB9LYH Has 15 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Wed. Net

Friday, February 6th, 2015

7:15am  Friday

On Wed. night, WB9LYH reported unusually good conditions to Central OH.   The 144.240 net called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern had 15 check-ins:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  WM8I EN80;  K8CKW and KD8PA EN72;  W8YXT EN71;  N9XKH EN52;  K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  KA9VDU EN53;  KC9OVD EN41;  WB0SWQ EN40 and KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22.

All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on the SSB side of 2 meters.   WB9LYH’s antenna pattern from Central WI (near Stevens Point and WI Rapids) is to start out looking NE/E and SE into MI, VE-3, OH and IN.  Then to look S, SW, W, NW and N.  This can take anywhere from 40-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.

K8TQK’s rotor was frozen last week and he couldn’t call the 144.252 net from EM89je, south-central OH, which is normally at 8:30pm eastern every Monday.

**THERE ARE MANY NET OPTIONS, all 7 nights of the week, on multiple bands**
Take some time and visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013 at kc9bqa.com (use the monthly archives on the right) for details.

Big Nets This Week — Both 144.240 and 144.252

Friday, January 30th, 2015

7:15am  Friday

Both the 144.240 and 144.252 nets had well over 20 check-ins this week.  It’s been an active winter — really glad to report this good news.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl.  This is Central WI, near Stevens Point and WI Rapids.  Mark has stacked 17B2′s (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of 2 meters) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Thus, he gets out a very long ways.  On SSB VHF, this means 350+ miles to stations with long yagis up in the clear, decent power and low-loss coax.   Even guys with shorter yagis (again, get them horizontal) and lower power can expect to hear WB9LYH at 100-200 miles.
From Central WI, WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always looked at first.   Beyond that, please be flexible as where/when Mark looks in a certain direction depends on activity levels.  Busier nets usually mean he may not look S, SW and W until 8:20-8:30 or later.
The net is informal; the purpose is to stir up more activity on the SSB side of 2 meters.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you spreading the word.
An additional note – most stations on “weak-signal” VHF/UHF enjoy pushing the propagation limits.  WB9LYH is no different and Mark really enjoys it when the band is open and contacts from 400, 500, 600+ miles come rolling in.  Please helps us spread the word far beyond the normal 200-400 mile range, so that on the occasional night with band enhancement, some real DX can be enjoyed.

WB9LYH had 23 check-ins on Wed. night.  His email net report said:  “A really good net.  Good propagation east.  Check-ins were AC8GC, W8YXT and KC8ZJL EN71;  N8WNA EN82;  W8KX EN72;  WB9YZU, WB9TFH and KA9DVU EN53;  W8BYA EN70;  KC9RIO, K9CCL, N9JBW, KD9BGY and K9ILU EN61;  N9XKH and KC9CLM EN52;  KA0JW EN34;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD EN41;  WB0YWW EN22;  K0SIX EN35 and a new all-time check-in — KD6TWC from EN35.
Mark also reported that N9XKH had a lamb in the shack which was bleating in the background.  He is a farmer and has sheep.  Definitely a first.”

WB9LYH’s schedule looks clear for the near future.  Plan on him calling the 144.240 net every Wed.  If something comes up and he can’t make it, I post it here at kc9bqa.com.

ON TO THE 144.252 NET REPORT
Every Monday at 8:30pm eastern, K8TQK in EM89je, (south-central OH, near Chillicothe) calls another very active and wide-range net.  Bob is also perched on a small mountain with big antennas and power.  When I was on the air, I would hear Bob nearly all the time on a 390-mile path (provided our antennas were pointed at each other).
Because K8TQK was affiliated with us on Wed. nights at one time (our net story/history is here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363 ) I still publish his net reports.  His antenna pattern from far south-central OH is to look North first, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes (give or take, depending on activity levels).
Bob also had 23 check-ins this past Monday:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  WB8AUK and WM8I EN80;  K8GDT and NF8O EN91;  KC8RRT EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  W4LES, WA4NJP, W4TMD and W4TBN EM84;  K4SAN FM05;  WB4IXU EM86;  N1GC EM95;  WD4NMV EM85;  KY4MRG EM77;  KA2KQM EM74;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  WB8ART EM79;  KB8GUE EM89 and KC9CLM EN52.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

8pm Thur –

ARRL JANUARY VHF CONTEST IS THIS WEEKEND.  SCROLL DOWN A FEW POSTS FOR FULL INFO.

As mentioned in the post directly below, N9XKH Dennis in EN52il called the 144.240 net last night.
He had an excellent turnout with 17 check-ins.  Before I get to his list, N9XKH would like me to relay the following:
If you post this (net report) ask for any info on ones I missed. It would be good to know if I am ”all mouth” ;/  I had a LOT of DSP and notch on to get around a birdie I had. It would tell me a lot if a bunch say they could hear me but couldn’t get thru to me.
 You can post my email for guys to reply to”
Thanks,
Dennis
N9XKH’s email is exfarmer2010@hotmail.com

The 144.240 net report from last night.
N9NDP EN62;  KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71;  KD9BGY, KC9RIO, K9CCL and W9JGV EN61;  KA9DVU and WB9YZU EN53;  KC9CLM EN52;  W9BBP, WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD EN41;  N0IRS EM29;  N4PZ EN52 and K0SIX EN35.

Again, thanks to N9XKH for volunteering to help.  Great net.
Expect WB9LYH in EN54cl to be back next Wed. at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

Also have K8TQK’s 144.252 net report from Monday night.  K8TQK is on Mondays at 8:30pm eastern from EM89je, south-central OH.  Bob has a powerful signal and all licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along and check-in when they can.   From EM89, K8TQK starts out looking N, then goes NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.
Bob had 22 check-ins on Monday night.  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  K8KGM and KB8GUE EM89;  VE3YCU FN02;  VE3ZV EN92;  KC8RRT EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  KB3TNZ FN11;  W3IP FM19;  K4SAN FM05;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  KE4CIJ EM96;  N4TLL EM87,  KI4ROF EM55;  WA4REE EM65;  KB9RDS EM79;  WB0SWQ EN40 and K9MRI EN70.