Archive for August, 2009

146.43 FM net report — 11 check-ins

Friday, August 28th, 2009

    Had a slow start, with some extra check-ins toward the end of the net, which was nice.   Conditions seemed to be pretty decent — the EN52 beacon (WD9BGA on 144.297) was S9 at the start of the net, which is definitely above average for my QTH.  

    KM4G       Marv     Germantown      20 over S9
    KC9NZR   Rich       West Bend          60 over
    KC9KPV   Randy    Germantown      40 over
    WB9WHO  Tom      Milwaukee         S9
    KC9PQF   Tom      West Allis           10 over
    AB9UA    Mark     Milwaukee           S3
   WB9TFH  Gil         West Allis           S7
   W9GA      Ken       Colgate               S5
   KC9IDE   Steve    Portable from Sheboygan area    S5
   KS8B        Ken       Manistee, MI  EN64    S3     Ken gets the DX check-in award — thanks for stopping by. 
   W8KID   Richard  Whitehall, MI  EN63   S0 — about 50% copy.

    I’m typing this report up at 9:15pm central, and am happy to report multiple QSO’s across the simplex portion of 2m.   146.46, 146.475, 146.55, 146.58, 147.57 and 147.66 are all active.  In fact, I can tell there are 2 separate Q’s on 146.55.

146.43 FM net *ON* 8:30pm tonight 8/27. Plus last night’s 144 SSB net reports

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

     Look forward to a nice FM net tonight.   

     Like I said, last night’s SSB nets put a smile on my face.   I love hearing about activity, DX, and guys improving their stations — looking forward to bigger and better things.  
      So here’s the specifics:
     144.250 at 2330 utc for IN/OH and MI (including the U.P.  Always looking to include the U.P.) 
     K8VFV     Robert   EN82    Davisburg, MI             S5 peaks  
     N8JDO      Ron     EN62     Holland, MI                 S7
     KC8YJB   Bernard  EN91     North Olmsted, OH   S0   
     144.240 at 0015 utc for outstate WI and IL, plus all of MO/IA/MN and U.P. of MI
     K2DRH          Bob      EN41     Albany, IL       20 over S9
     WB0YWW    Bob      EN22    Moreland, IA    S5 peaks
     W0FAY        Bill         EN42    Dubuque, IA     S9
     N0IRS         JD          EM29    K.C., Mo.         S2
     KC0CFB     Billy Joe     EM29    Polo, Mo.        S0      nice job with 12 els — good to hear you. 
     K9JCZ        Gary       EN53     Fond du Lac, WI   S9  
     WV9E     Dave          EN43     La Crosse, WI     S5     Dave was formerly KB9KTD — congrats!
     K9MU        Justin       EN44    Altoona, WI        S3
     W9GA       Ken          EN53    Colgate, WI        S9
     KC9FQD     Dave         EN54    Stevens Point, WI    S9

     144.250 at 0130  for an entire 360 arc, with plenty of Milwaukee/Chicago as a base. 
    WB9MXX     Nick          EN62    Pleasant Prairie, WI    S9
    K9FI            Jerry        EN53     Brookfield, WI           S5
    N9WU         Rick          EN53    Germantown, WI      20 over
    WB9TFH      Gil            EN53    West Allis, WI           20 over
    W9GA          Ken         EN53    Colgate, WI               15 over
    N9NDP         Harvey     EN62     Kenosha, WI             20 over
    KC9AOV      David         EN52    Edgerton, WI            S0
    W9CWD      Joe           EN52    Fitchburg, WI            S5
    KA9AAB      Bob          EN53    Kewaskum, WI           S7
    K0KFC        Jim             EN35    St. Croix Falls, WI      S1
    WB9LYH     Mark          EN54    Rudolph, WI              20 over
    N9JKX         Dan           EN64    Algoma, WI              15 over
    KV8X          Al              EN63   N Muskegon, MI         S9
    KC9KPV      Randy         EN53   Germantown, WI       20 over
    K9KJM        Ken             EN64   Sturgeon Bay, WI     25 over

    I can think of at least 10 stations last night that raved about how great the bands were for the big opening Sunday night into Tuesday early evening (T-storms shut SE WI down by late afternoon)   I can count another 8 stations that have either improved antennas, added bands, or have plans to do both.   Very exciting stuff.

    Also propagation was very good around Lake Michigan.   Several guys were as loud as I’ve heard them.

Nets just got better as the night moved along

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

    Won’t have time for a full net report tonight — we’ll gladly get one posted tomorrow.    Know that the 146.43 FM net will be on tomorrow night, as usual, at 8:30pm.   I’m vertical and omni-directional there.  

    The early IN/OH/MI net was slow.   I hope that one gets legs as summer turns to fall.   I suspect the word just has to be passed around better (hint/hint).  

    The 144.240 net for outstate WI and ILL, plus all of MO/IA/MN had good activity.   10 check-ins, plus a few guys QSY’ed up to 144.260 to ragchew and get caught up with each other.  

    The 144.250 Badger net had 15 check-ins and signals around Lake Michigan were very strong.  

    I really was glad to hear from so many tonight who worked all kinds of new grid squares and states during the band opening that started Sunday night and peaked Monday night and into most of Tuesday.   Newer guys and experienced vets had a lot of excitement on 2m and some of the higher bands.     N9NDP Harvey in Kenosha worked a Vermont station on 2m and Harvey had a 5-el quad up 30′, with 150w.    Hardly a superstation, but great results! 

    I was also glad to hear of so many guys who have either made, or are planning on antenna upgrades.    Our friend KB9KTD Dave out in La Crosse is now using his new call, WV9E.    Congrats on the upgrade.  Better yet, he’s gotten a Yaesu FT736R so he’s now going to be on 222, and also using a 100w brick so he can be heard a ways.  

    It was just a really good net night.  It’s great to be back home and hear first-hand that good stuff keeps happening on V/UHF.    Guys already getting fired up for the ARRL Sept. VHF QSO Party on Sept. 12-13.   

    If you can think of VHF-curious hams who need to know about these nets, the contests, or my website, please get them up to speed.   This referral business is working; but we can always use more activity.    For those of you who have already helped, thanks so much.

All three 144 nets *ON* tonight — Wed. 8/26. Details below

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

    I suppose many of you might be a bit burned out on radio, given the amazing tropo opening that has been around most of the time since Sunday night.   I’ve read hundreds of posts at that tell the story.    This may have been the best opening in quite a few years.  

    So if you’ve got anything left in your radio tank, let’s get together tonight and talk about how this opening worked for you.   I’m ready for some good stories.  

   Here’s how each net works, in case you’re unfamiliar:

    144.250 early net starts at 2330 utc or 7:30pm eastern.  It looks toward IN/OH/MI and beyond (if good conditions exist).    I start out looking SSE thru the length of Indiana at 2330, and slowly rotate counter-clockwise from there.   I stop when I get to due north, looking into the U.P. of MI.    I don’t look SW, W or NW with this net.  

    144.240 net starts at 0015 utc or 7:15pm central.   I’m looking for all of WI and ILL (except Milwaukee/Chicago areas), plus all of MO/IA/MN and U.P. of MI.   The MKE/CHI check-ins are encouraged to use the 144.250 Badger Contesters net at 0130 utc.  
    With the 144.240 net, I start out at 0015 utc, looking SSW thru most of IL and into E MO.   I slowly edge the beam clockwise, taking check-ins along the way.   I stop when I get to north, looking into U.P. of MI.   I don’t look SE, E or NE with this net.  

    The 3rd and last net every Wed. is the 144.250 Badger Contesters net.   This starts at 0130 or 8:30pm central.   With this net, I start out looking south toward the busier Milwaukee and Chicago areas.   I then go clockwise, and call for check-ins in a full 360.  

     Any net I run has a few principles worth remembering.  
     1)   Only purpose is to stir up more activity on less-used portions of 2 meters.
     2)   All are welcome, no strict agenda or procedure.   Listen along or say hello when you’re ready.  
     3)   Everyone is always welcome to slide off  the net freq. and work other stations.   Far better to have multiple QSO’s spread out across the band, than to have everyone all crowded on the net freq. all evening.  
     4)   I can’t stress #3 enough.   My whole long-term goal is to significantly increase activity on VHF, all the time.   Not just for net nights, not just for big band openings, but all the time.
     5)   Do your part by helping to spread the word.   Get others involved.   Let them know about the nets, and this website.

Back from vacation — Big Tropo Opening in Progress. All 144 Nets *ON* This Wed. and Thur.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

     Sandy and I got back from St. Louis celebrating our 26th anniversary.    It’s just past 10pm Monday.   Just fired up the computer and see a huge red blob on the APRS map I’ve shared with you readers many times.   In case you’re new, here’s the link:    When you see that link that red, you know you’re in business.    I hope those of you who follow regularly are cleaning up; working 400-1000 miles out on ordinary 144 SSB or CW.  
      You should also notice how active this page is:    I’ve mentioned this link countless times and while it’s often fairly dead, on nights like tonight, the real-time DX spots are rolling in.  

       I also want to let everyone know that the Wed. 144 SSB and Thur. 146.43 FM simplex nets are *ON* this week.   Here’s hoping for great propagation and a good turnout.

Guest net controls tonight at 0015 and 0130.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

    I’m not able to do the nets tonight, but 2 of the 3 nets will have alternate net controls.    So give the alternate net controls some business and have fun on 144 SSB tonight.   Here’s the details….

   First  — the new, early 144.250 net for IN/OH/MI is *OFF* tonight.   If someone out to the east wants to create some activity on 144.250 at 2330 utc or 7:30pm eastern time, that would be great.   Anyone can (and ought to) create activity on the air.   

   Second — the 144.240 net for outstate WI and ILL, plus all of MO/IA/MN/U.P. of MI is *ON* tonight at 0015 utc or 7:15pm central time.   Your net control will be WB9LYH Mark, who is in the SW corner of EN54, smack in the middle of Wisconsin.   Mark gets out very well and should be able to work easily into all of IA/MN if weather allows.  

   Third — the 144.250 Badger Contesters net is *ON* tonight at 0130 utc or 8:30pm central time.   Your net control will be KC9KPV Randy, who is about 15 miles NW of Milwaukee, in far eastern EN53.   Randy also gets out well, so look his way.

Next contest ARRL Sep. VHF QSO Party — Sep. 12/13

Monday, August 17th, 2009

   We’ve got one last ARRL contest coming up this summer.   Here’s the link to the rules:  All bands from 6 and 2 meters on up. 

   This contest runs from 1pm or 1800 utc on Sat. Sept. 12th until 10pm or 0300 utc on Sun/Mon. Sept. 13/14th.   Operate as much or as little as you care to.  

   This ‘test gets very good activity levels.   It’s one you want to make some time for.   If you’re considering going roving, please do.   Post your plans here or with regional reflectors associated with V/UHF clubs like Badger Contesters (, Northern Lights Radio Society  ( or Society of Midwest Contesters (

    One thing to be aware of — this has to do with the first week of NFL games impacting the contest.   I’ve definitely noticed that when the Packers, Bears, Lions or Vikings are playing, activity dries up.   If you’re making rover plans, I would definitely take into account that the Packers and Bears play each other on national TV —  Sept. 13th, at 7pm.   To me, this means the last few hours (which are typically very active) may not be nearly as active this year.   Or I could be wrong — I realize plenty of hams don’t care much for sports.   But I’ve always noticed a big drop-off in activity when the local NFL teams are playing.

146.43 FM net report from last night

Friday, August 14th, 2009

   Randy KC9KPV was net control last night.   Thanks Randy for helping. 


   KA9AAB       Bob       Kewaskum      EN53
   KC9NZR       Rich      West Bend      EN53
   KA9OFA      Pancho  Milwaukee       EN63
   KC9PQF      Tom     West Allis         EN53
   KB5ZJU       Phil     Sheboygan Falls EN63
   KD9TZ         Mike   Ada (Sheb. Co.) EN53
   K9RZZ         John   Greenfield         EN62
   WB9WHO    Tom    Milwaukee        EN53

Need to edit the CQ Crew posts

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

     The “Promote VHF/UHF” switch in my brain flipped on with a passion yesterday.   I used the website as a memo pad, and ended up with way too much text and detail.   Printed it all out this morning and it filled 7 pages, which was a real shock to me.  

    Sooo… I need to do some serious editing.   The CQ Crew is a great concept, but I need to package it better.   I will find a way and update soon with a more concise post.  

    I get good readership on the website and appreciate that most folks are very busy.   Thing is, though, to improve any aspect of ham radio, it takes time, persistence and motivation.   The whole idea behind the CQ Crew is to increase activity on our bands every day and evening.   If dozens of hams share the load by calling CQ a few hours a month, the payoff will be amazing.   Stay tuned to this website and watch VHF improve, week after week.   

    I want to thank those of you who send me email, check into the nets, find new VHF’ers (and motivate those who had given up).   2009 has been a great year around WI and surrounding areas.   We’ve got a great start, so keep at it, spread the word and continue having fun.

146.43 FM net *ON* tonight 0130 utc/8:30 central/9:30 eastern. Guest net control KC9KPV Randy EN53 15 miles NW of Milwaukee

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

      I won’t be around at the start of tonight’s 146.43 FM net so get on the air and keep our buddy KC9KPV busy.   Randy has both omni and vertical beam capability on 146 FM, so make some noise and he’ll be glad to peak up on you.   I hope we hear from some guys around Lake Michigan — conditions should be decent and improve as the night goes on.   There is frequently ragchewing afterward, so stop by when you’re able.