Archive for April, 2009

YOUR input requested for VHF/UHF talk W9GA and I will be giving.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

   Ken W9GA and I are a definite go for doing a presentation on VHF/UHF contesting at the ORC Swapfest on May 2nd, at Circle B in Grafton.  My understanding is we will be doing this about 9am, but I’ll let everyone know exactly when.  
     I hope to see many of the VHF/UHF enthusiasts there, just like we did down at AES Superfest a few weekends ago. 

    My question for each of you is this:  What questions or topics would you like to see addressed with a presentation like ours? 
   Your input will help us, so take a few minutes to think about it. 
    Don’t feel that your question may be too simple or basic.  A lot of my efforts toward increasing VHF/UHF activity are focused toward beginners. 
    Prime contesting and DX’ing season is right around the corner with VHF/UHF.  There are big contests in June, July, August and September.    Also going to be promoting more VHF/UHF activity in conjunction with Field Day. 
    Thanks for your time, 73,
    Todd  KC9BQA 

432/440 sprint last night. 9 hard-earned contacts

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

    As mentioned before, I am stuck with a dead rotor on 50, 222 and 432 Mhz.  It’s pointed at the Madison, Dubuque, Des Moines corridor.  Nothing can be done until we get a day or two of calm, to near-calm weather, so we’ll just keep our fingers crossed.  Long-range computer models show the pattern may calm down toward the 7-10 day time frame.  (Weather’s a big passion of mine) 

     Anyway, I had 7 Q’s on 432 SSB, and found 2 guys willing to give me a point on 446.00FM — W9MQD and N9LOO 

     The two best Q’s were whisper-quiet.  If I had had any band noise at all, I’d have never heard them. 
     I worked WB0YWW in EN22 right after he checked into the 144.240 net.  My stacked 25 el K1FO’s for 432 were at least 15-20 degrees off of him, but we heard enough to exchange rogers.  About an hour and a half later, I heard N0PB in EM39 (NC/NE Missouri) and Phil was so quiet I almost thought I was tired and hallucinating.  After a few minutes, we made the contact. 

     Ken W9GA is local, so he got in the log, along with N9WU, KC9KPV and AA9GC.  Ken was giving it a good effort and he reported at least 20Q’s, with another hour or so to go.  But with my being so limited, I really have no idea if it was a busy sprint or not. 


     For those of you who are into the microwave bands, there’s a sprint on Sat. May 2nd, from 6am-1pm your local time.  While I do have 902/903, 1296 and 2304, I will not be around that morning. 

     Here’s the link again to the full sprint rules:

144.250 Badger net report via KC9KPV Randy — 13 check-ins

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

   KC9KPV Randy was alternate net control last night and he got 13 check-ins.  I am very glad to know someone who will occasionally call the nets, in case I have a conflict, or need a week off.  The best part is Randy thinks it’s some sort of honor to call a net, which is exactly the right idea.  But if he really knew how hard it is to find anyone willing to be a net control…    Seriously, Randy’s got a very decent station on 144, and his 13 check-ins last night reflect that. 

    KA9OFA     Pancho     EN63
    KC9AOD     Jim             EN54
    WB9LYH    Mark          EN54
    KC9BQA      Todd         EN63
    W9CWD       Joe            EN52
    WB9TFH     Gil              EN53
     WB9TVY    Jim            EN63
I believe Jim’s is a new call to the nets.  Welcome Jim; hope to hear you again. 
     AA9GC       Herb          EN63
     KA9AAB    Bob            EN53
     KF8QL        Dave          EN72
     N9WU         Rick           EN53
     W9GA          Ken            EN53

     Thanks Randy, for freeing me up to try the 432 sprint.  Thanks to the check-ins.  We’ll be back at it next week.

144.240 net report for Wed. 4/22/09

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

    We ended up with 9 check-ins last night, and heard from a few new voices, which is always good. 

     My radio was as quiet as its been in a few months, but propagation was still down.   WB0YWW and I must have some extra-special path.  That Bob out in EN22, just SW of Fort Dodge, IA, is always at least S3-S7 in here.  We even bagged a very light-copy contact for the 432 sprint, which also made my night.  I’ll talk about the sprint in a separate post. 

     Our check-ins last night were:
     W0FAY      Bill      EN42      S3
     W9CWD      Joe     EN53       S1    
Joe’s got the rig running again and gives us coverage into the Madison area. 
He reported using  4 elements only up 20′ and an armstrong rotor.  Over an 
83 mile path, I got 90% of what he had to say. 
     WB0YWW  Bob    EN22      S7 on peaks
     KB9KTD     Dave   EN43      S2
     KF8QL        Dave   EN72      S7  
Sharp-eyed readers may notice that a Michigan check-in to this 144.240 net is unusual. 
Dave’s a friend and rover in VHF/UHF contests, and he wanted to say hello.  He heard 
me while I was pointed at La Crosse and I was happy to swing around and get caught up
with him for a little while.  It was odd not asking KF8QL to “run the bands” (like we would 
in a contest) 
     KC0CF      Mike      EN32      S7
Mike’s first time checking in from 60 miles N of Des Moines.     Plenty strong with his M2
18xxx up 90′ and a kilowatt. 
     WB9LYH  Mark     EN54     S9
     KC9AOD   Jim        EN54    20 over
Good to hear from Jim.  Been a while, but now he’s got a new FT-897 to ham it up with. 
     K9STN     Stan        EN54     S2
Stan was new to 144.250 last week, and was a little louder this week.  It’s very nice to get
a few new signals on from the central part of WI. 

     There’s the report.  Thanks to our check-ins and thanks to WB9LYH for calling CQ to his
north, just in case he could relay anyone from the EN37/36/47 area.  Nothing heard that way.

146.43 FM simplex net *ON* tonight — 8:30pm

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

   With the FM net, I call for check-ins by county.  I’m only omni-directional on FM, but if you have a vertical beam, point it at southern Sheboygan county.   My omni is up 90′, and I run about 100 watts, so I expect to get out very well.  As with all my nets, a big goal is the ability to work stations far away.  So it really makes my night if I hear a check-in or two from more than 50, 60 miles away.

    Warmer weather and better propagation is coming.  I can’t wait for a night where we have 15, 20, 25 check-ins. 
    Please help out 2 meters by spreading the word of this net to anyone you can think of that occasionally likes to get on 2 meter SSB or 2 meter Simplex.

146.43 FM net *ON* Thur nite 8:30pm. 144.240/144.250 net reports from tonight and 432/440 sprint report

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

    Just so everyone knows, the 146.43 FM net is *ON* for tomorrow night, at 8:30pm.   If you have a vertical beam, point it toward me in southern Sheboygan county. 

    We had 9 check-ins to the 144.240 net tonight, including a few new ones, which is always good.

    Randy KC9KPV said he had a good number of check-ins to the 144.250 net.   Edit — I just got an email from him, and he reports 13 check-ins.   I see he had a few new ones, as well.  What a good night! 

    I was handicapped in the 432/440 sprint, but still got 9 Q’s, including a few on 446.00 FM. 

    Full details up sometime tomorrow morning…
    73, Todd  KC9BQA

432/440 Spring Sprint plans for tonight

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

   I will be on for the sprint tonight, but mostly after 8pm.  My 432 beams (25 el over 25 el K1FO yagis up 105/110′) aren’t rotating, so it’s a compromise situation tonight.  On SSB, I expect to hear some locals, and also anyone who is in the fixed direction of my beams, which is through Madison and Dubuque.  I’ll be looking for those folks between 8 and 9pm.   Make sure to point at me as accurately as you can, to help compensate for my stuck beams. 

   If you’re new to 432, jump on in and call CQ.  It’s not a big deal and the sprints are a low-key way to give it a try.  The call freq. is 432.100, and most folks will be within 10-20kc of there.  You are free to call on 432.100, but don’t stay there for too long at any one time.  This becomes especially important in bigger ARRL VHF/UHF contests. 

   I’ll keep a separate rig hooked up to 446.00FM.  My Diamond dual-band vertical for 146 and 440 is now at the 90′ level, so I’ll be curious to see if I can work anyone on FM.  Feel free to spread the word about tonight’s sprint to anyone who has either 432 SSB or 446 FM.  It’s not much fun when it’s dead.

144.250 Badger net *ON* tonight, 8:30pm — guest NCS is KC9KPV Randy from just NW of Milwaukee

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

    The 144.250 Badger net is on at 8:30pm tonight, per usual.  So I can take some time to play in the 70cm sprint, we’ll have an alternate net control tonight.  Randy, KC9KPV is out of EN53 Germantown, about 20 minutes NW of Milwaukee.  He’s got a good station with plenty of reach, so he looks forward to lots of you checking in tonight. 

    Randy helped out with the nets for two weeks in February, so he’s familiar with how everything goes.  I am also very grateful to him for being there when I need a hand or a week off. 

    KC9KPV worked EN42, EM39 and EN40 two Wednesdays ago, so don’t worry that he won’t hear you.

144.240 SSB net *ON* tonight, 7:15-8:15pm

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

     We will have the 144.240 SSB net tonight as usual.  Feel free to use for any real-time coordination or messaging.  It’s not mandatory; just something that may help all of us.

     The 144.240 net is where I start out looking to my SSW at 7:15pm.  For me, that’s toward Rockford/DeKalb, Peoria and St. Louis.  From there, I slowly edge the beam clockwise, calling “CQ Activity Net” frequently.  I continue doing this until I’m pointing due north toward Green Bay and the U.P. of MI.  I only look SSW thru N with this net.  The target area is all of WI and ILL, (except Milwaukee/Chicago areas.  They are encouraged to use the 144.250 Badger Contesters net at 8:30pm)  Besides outstate WI and ILL, I’m also looking for all of MO, IA, MN and UP of MI with the 144.240 net.

Readers — you tell me. 2 meter nets or 432/440 sprint tomorrow night? Or both?

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

    We have two radio options tomorrow night.  I can do the regular 2 meter SSB nets (144.240 at 7:15, and 144.250 at 8:30 — all times central) or I can let the nets go for a night so folks can devote themselves to the 432/440 Spring Sprint.   The 70cm sprint runs from 7-11pm your local time tomorrow night.  No matter what, I encourage you to get on 432 and call CQ.  Spin the beams around and see who’s out there. 

    I can go either way on this, really.  My rotor for 432 won’t be fixed, so I’m limited to local work (or else those in the Madison, Dubuque corridor who can point right at me).  The 222 sprint was a drag with no rotor, so the 432 isn’t that high a priority for me this year. 

    I CAN rotate on 2 meters, but if it’s going to be as dead as it was for the 144.240 net last week, I’ll pass, and we’ll get back at it on April 29th.

    The 144.250 Badger net at 8:30pm would probably be on, either way.  Randy KC9KPV out of EN53 Germantown enjoys being net control, and he has a good station. 

    This website could use some comments so feel free to leave your vote here.  Know that the first time you leave a comment, I need to “approve” it.  Then you are free to leave future comments without the pre-approval deal.  If you’re not comfortable leaving a comment, please email me.   I’d like to know some folks still are paying attention, so to speak. 

    I’ll let you know what the consensus was by early tomorrow afternoon.  Also know that I always announce nets at so you can check there.

    JUST so there’s no confusion, I’m talking about the SSB 2 meter nets for Wed. night — 4/22/09.  The Thursday 146.43FM nets are unaffected by this.