Archive for October, 2009

Going Thru the All-Time Net Logs — 251 unique check-ins from July 2008-March 2009. More to follow…

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

    I’ve been wanting to start this for months, but today’s the day.   It’s ugly, 39 degrees, overcast and windy.    Good day for indoor projects.   

   My net logs are hand-written in a big spiral notebook.   I started them back in late June of 2008.   The first one was the 144.250 SSB Badger Contesters net on Wed’s.   (  All are welcome to join, no dues or obligations.   Follow the instructions on the main page, and after that, if you need help, contact me.)   That net has remained unchanged — 8:30pm start.   

   I soon added a 146.49 FM net, which QSY’d to 146.43 a few months later.   That one started at 8:30pm until about a month ago, and now it’s at 8:00pm.    About the same time I added the 146 FM net, I also started a separate Wed. net on 144.240 SSB, only for areas to my SW, W, NW and N.     I do multiple nets because I want as many check-ins as possible.   The only way I’ll keep my interest up is if we keep finding new ones, and covering more and more territory.    Many VHF’ers will improve their stations and their range if they know it’s worth it.   More than a few of the FM’ers have added gear and horizontal antennas for SSB operations.  

    Today, I’ve been trying to figure out just how many unique callsigns have checked in to the nets.    Combined SSB and FM.   I’ll break them down separately later.   
    From June 2008 to April 2009, I have 251 unique check-ins to all nets.    I’ll dig further tonight, and try to finish up the April-October 2009 logs.    The numbers are higher now because I added another net to cover IND/OH/MI back about August.    Numbers will also continue to grow because now we’ve added WB9LYH as a net control, and the combination of him being new, plus being so strong adds interest for those who may have grown tired of hearing me.   We probably have 350-400 check-ins by now.   

    I started these nets mostly out of frustration, to be honest.    I saw local activity go downhill in 2007 and early 2008, based on local contest results.   I still love the V/UHF contests first and foremost.   I also was growing tired of hearing so many veteran VHF’ers say how much the bands have gone downhill.   (Remember that I first got on in late 2003, so I don’t know about “The Good ol’ Days”)  
    I then thought about how I really only got on the air for contests and big band openings.   I saw how many of the contest stations I worked were like me.    I decided to be a better VHF/UHF citizen by promoting activity on a weekly basis, regardless of propagation.   Am I glad I made that move!    Another benefit has been vastly improved activity in contests.   So many new rovers and fixed stations the past 12 months.   I did my first VHF contest in Sept. 2003, and had to figure out 80-90% of it on my own.   If you’ve been with this website for some time, you know I try very hard to take the mystery out of V/UHF contesting.   If you are contest curious, ask me for help.   We have until January to get you comfortable.   A V/UHF contest is still the single-most exciting time to be on the air, in my opinion.  

    I honestly didn’t know how well the nets would work.   Strongly suspected that if I relied on word of mouth, we wouldn’t get that much variety.   So I started emailing reminders, right off the bat.   As time has gone by, I’ve emailed more and more, to different groups in different areas.    Without the email, I doubt we’d have 1/3 the check-ins.    If a few dozen motivated guys across a wide area made sure that every general-purpose ham club received weekly info about weak-signal V/UHF, we would have dozens of new guys on, within a year.    A few hours per month of promotion goes a long, long ways!  

    The main benefit I get from doing  emailing and the nets is this:   I can look anyone in the eye and assure them that there are MANY V/UHF’ers still out there.    Way more than I would have ever thought.    Knowing that keeps me going.    If I had found out the news was bad, I would have given up by now.  
    I’ve even run into a few guys who assure me that nobody is on weak-signal (SSB) VHF.   I respond that you need to know when/where to look.    We also need to do a way better job of networking.   We’re so isolated, and it doesn’t have to be that way.   It would be great if the bands were very busy every night and weekend.   If that were the case, I wouldn’t do nets — it wouldn’t be necessary.   I still hope we can get the bands that busy, but we’re nowhere near that goal.    So we all do what we can, when possible.    With 222 Tuesdays, with the 144 nets on Wednesdays, and with the FM simplex net on Thursdays.    Also with getting guys into that  144-432 MHz chat, so you can see with your own eyes who all gets on during an activity night.    If/when we get 50-100 guys in multiple grids and states into the chat, activity will take off because you’ll be able to directly ask a guy “hey, let’s try making a contact.”    Instead of wasting a few hours of your precious time calling CQ blindly into a mostly dead band.  

    I can now assure new guys to weak-signal VHF that if you have at least a modest beam, up 30-60′, fed with decent coax, and you’re running 50-100 watts, you will work out to 150-200 miles with average conditions.    I’m actually being conservative there.    I make comments in my net logs, and I see multiple instances of guys with 7-12 el yagis, with 5, 6 el quads, who are working me on 200-300 mile paths, just about any time they check in.    These guys are not usually S7 or S9, no.    Often, they’re S1 or S2.   Headphones are necessary for me to really hear 30-40% of them.   But they are out there, and they’re getting more involved every week.    That’s a great feeling.   ( I need to add that if you absolutely cannot put up a beam, then at least get a horizontal loop up, preferably stack 2 of them for an additional 3db of gain.   I worked a ton of guys in my first contest ever, with just stacked loops up 30-40′ and 100 watts on 6 and 2 meters.   Here’s my writeup, if you don’t believe me — read it

     Do I still have new goals and ideas?   Oh yeah.  🙂     I’ll share those more now that we’re heading into winter.    I’ll also talk about many of the good things that are already happening.    If we want to keep moving forward, we’re going to need some guys to step up and help.   Guys that are willing to use their stations to swing away from the nets and call for relays in all directions would make a huge difference, as we go thru winter.   If you’re that guy, let me know, and we’ll discuss it.   
     Keep spreading the word.   Tell hams about 222.100 SSB/CW and 223.5 FM Tuesdays, the 144 SSB Wednesdays, and the 146 FM on Thursdays.    Do your own part to increase participation.   Encourage a buddy or two to get on.    Tell your club about what you’re doing.   Let hams know about this website.    Start your own net.   It can be anything you want.   We need nets on different nights, or weekends, in different regions.    I’m talking to all VHF’ers in a 600-mile radius with that comment.   Don’t think all I care about is WI/ILL/MI/IN/MN/IA.   Those areas I can reach already.   It’s time to look beyond my 200-400 mile radius.   Dream a little bit.   

    Our nets here may honestly get so busy that it’ll be hard to work 40, 50, 60 guys in a few hours.   The solution?   Spread out.    Go off the net freq. and call CQ.   Swing your beams around and look in unusual places.   There’s enough guys getting on now that this is feasible.   You’ve heard me say this before.   Enough said.   Back to going thru the net logs.

Can’t resist sharing this email about last night’s tropo opening

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    The following email came to me this afternoon via the VHF email list.   (    Anyone can sign up for this list, and you probably should.   It’s not a high-volume list, but seems like most VHF guys read it.   The list rules and info are at   

    If you are looking for last night’s SSB net reports or tonight’s 146.43 FM net info, scroll down the page a bit.  

    Here’s N1LF Les’ email about last night’s big opening:  It is shared with his permission.

Forgive my excitement—because I’m sure that this week’s tropo openings in the Southeast and Midwest are not exactly the stuff of legends to most VHF men.   But to a newcomer like me, it seems like the opening of a lifetime.  Despite having only limited time to spend at the radio, I got all treats and no tricks!

On Wednesday night, I managed to work five new grids and dozens of stations that had previously only been worked via WSJT meteor scatter.  The band was literally filled with signals, as I tuned across the band hearing QSO’s in
progress from 144.170 all the way up to 144.220.  It was hard for me to believe!

I’m sure that this has something to do with the veil between ourselves and the spirit world being thinnest at this time of year, and all that.  But be in voodoo, hoodoo, or just that Old Black Magic, I’ll certainly take some of this

I worked stations from Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Arkansas, all in one magical evening!   (KC9BQA notes that Minnesota and N and W Wisconsin also got in on this opening)    

You may say that these conditions were caused by atmospheric conditions, related to a pressure boundary, and all that scientific mumbo-jumbo, but you guys can’t kid me.  This was black magic! How else can you explain someone
over 900 miles away telling a station with a 6 element indoor beam that his signal was “So loud, literally booming in!” Or reports from three states away of  “S-9+, you’re the loudest signal on the band!”

Nah, I was married on Halloween, 27 years ago—so I know a thing or two about this darkest of holidays.  You can try to feed someone else your lies about this tropo stuff.  You guys should just come clean and admit that you’ve made
a deal with the devil.

Regardless, as they say in Texas Hold ‘Em…I’m all in!  Now at 70 grids worked on 2 Meters with my indoor antennas, I’ll gladly make a bargain with Lucifer for the next 30 grids!

Happy Halloween, indeed!


Les Rayburn, N1LF

44 combined check-ins to 144.240 and .250 SSB nets last night.

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    Here is last night’s Net Report.    It was amazing.    It wasn’t that my conditions were enhanced, it was just the sheer number of VHF’ers that were on.   We had at least 10-12 new all-time check-ins.   Very healthy for the 2 meter band.  

    If you’re looking for tonight’s 146.43 FM net announcement, it’s right below this post.

    I took 144.240 last night at 7:15pm central, for WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.    I heard:
   W0FAY and KA0OKM EN42;   N9UV and KD8PA EN72 off the side;  KB9WLM EN40;  W9SUS EN61;  KB0WLT and N0WC in EM48;   N9SVE EN63;  N9LOH EN52;  K9TF EN63;  WB0YWW EN22;  KA9AAB EN53;  WV9E EN43;  K9MU and N9KOR EN44;  K9STN EN54;  WB0DBQ EN46;  KC8TJB EN72;  K8VFV EN82;  N9YK and K9EA EN71;  KB9RDS EM79 and K9XV EM69.  
    That spans the area from Ft. Dodge IA to the W, Duluth MN to the NW, Detroit to the E,  Indy to the SE and St. Louis to the S.   
    Many check-ins were new to me — thanks for jumping in.   New ones were N9UV, KD8PA, KB0LWT, N0WC, K9TF, N9KOR, WB0DBQ, KB9RDS and K9XV.   

    On 144.250 at 8:30pm central I heard:
    NT9E EN52;  K0TPP EM48;  W9SUS EN61;  K9TF EN63;  N8FQ EN62;  W9GA and K9VS EN53;  W9EWZ EN61;  N9SVE EN63;  KA9AAB and KC9NZR EN53;  KD8PA EN72;  W9LIO EN61;  N9IXX EN63;  N0RWR and W0FAY EN42;  W9JN EN54;  K0SIX EN35;  WV9E EN43 and VE3TFU EN92, who was S2 on peaks over a 380 mile path.  
    It was nice to hear new voices  K9TF, W9EWZ, KD8PA, W9LIO, and N9IXX.   
    I always joke that I get a nickel for every check in, and a quarter for new ones.   I made out like a bandit last night.  🙂 

    If anyone from the Dakotas, Kansas or Nebraska is reading this post, thanks for the visit.   Here’s what little I know about the 144.240 Looking West program we tried from 8-8:30pm.   I know WB0YWW Bob in EN22 did look west and he found WD0T in DN94, South Dakota.    I also know that N0IRS EM29 was not available.   Nobody has emailed me with any further info, so that’s all I know.   
    I will keep trying to find ways to have stations to my west, look even further west and find stations in the Dakotas south into KS/NE/OK on Wed. nights.   It may be that for those areas, calling on 144.200 might be better.     As always, we’re a work in progress.   If anyone reading this has thoughts, I’m all ears.   I like brainstorming.   You can leave a comment here on the website or email me directly.   My email is good on  

    Many check-ins were monitoring the chat.   I wish everyone did, but I am a dreamer.   It really helps when I can tell interested hams where I’m pointing and who I’m hearing in real-time.   And see their messages to me, instantly.    If all VHF’ers gathered together in a real-time chat room, activity would explode because they could communicate where they are looking, on what freq.     For instance, if I had various Dakotas, KS/NE stations in chat, I could have told them in real-time what was going to happen, and they could have told me what they heard.  
    The 144 Propagation Logger at was very busy last night.   That’s because there was a whopper of a tropo opening.   Guys were working a lot of DX.    I received a great email about the opening from a newer guy in Alabama, and I’m posting it next.    (With his permission)  
    This email will help new guys see why I’m always banging the drum for more V/UHF activity.

KC9KPV Randy just NW of Milwaukee *ON* 146.43 FM at 8pm central tonight. He will look toward MI, IN and IL with his vertical beam between 7:30-8:00pm central.

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

     I’m taking a night off so our other net control Randy KC9KPV is *ON* the 146.43 FM net tonight.   Please get on and say hello to Randy in Germantown, EN53.     Good station and big signal out of Randy; you should hear him.     On FM, he will be vertically polarized.   He will call for check-ins at 8pm by county.    Everyone is welcome; spread the word. 

     There is a chance for T-storms tonight, so if it’s sparking near Randy at 8pm, then someone else say hello and see if you can start your own radio fun.    Anyone can create activity.   

      I also want VHF’ers in MI/IN and IL to know that KC9KPV looks your way with a vertical beam up high, on 146.43, trying to get more DX-type check-ins.   This is separate from the 8pm net.  
      KC9KPV calls CQ toward MI on 146.43 right at 8:30pm eastern.   He then goes clockwise, looking toward IN a bit after 8:30pm eastern/7:30pm central.   He finally looks into N ILL about 7:40-50pm central time.    The purpose of this is to expand our range, and encourage new check-ins with stronger stations.  If you’re reading this from MI/IN/IL, please spread the word to your FM buddies.

146.43 FM net will be gametime decision due to weather

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

       The 146.43 FM net would start at 8pm, as it does every Thursday, but we do have lightning concerns tonight.    The SE WI forecast is 90% chance of rain and possible T-storms.   I could use a night off anyway, so if the weather looks shaky, I’m leaning toward not doing the net.  
       I will try to call KC9KPV Randy and see how he feels.   He takes the net if I’m unavailable, and gets out very well.   

       Check back here for a final verdict toward late afternoon.

44 check-ins to both nets combined tonight, whew! Band opening at 10pm to AL/GA/TN

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    We did not have DX with the nets tonight.   We had wonderful participation.    Probably the busiest night without any tropo that I’ve seen in 16 months of running these nets.  

     Now guys at 10pm are reporting DX paths to AL/GA/TN.   Guys earlier were reporting openings, too.   I know WB0YWW in EN22 worked some long-haul tropo about 7pm.    It’s over my head, but EN35 and EN44 are working a variety of stations.   I’m watching them on chat.    I just heard a bit of W4ZRZ EM63 on 144.215, but very light.   I imagine tomorrow morning will be very active, so there’s your heads-up.  
     EDIT — 11pm —  Still seeing all sorts of spots with Deep South working IA/IL/MN/KS and N WI on 144, 222, 432.   It’s honestly over my head.   Listening and calling on 144, 222 and 432 and nothing.     This is a really good opening. 

     Look for a full net report sometime tomorrow.

144.240 and 144.250 nets are *ON* tonight — Wed.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

    OK, here’s the scoop.   WB9LYH EN54cl is unavailable tomorrow night.   I will call both these nets from EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee,  with good antennas up high and about 140W out.   I have 300 mile range to decent stations and work a few guys in the 400 mile range.   We’ll see how prop is tomorrow night.   It should be at least average, which is pretty good for late October.  
    On 144.240, I start out looking south at 7:15pm central/0015Z.   I then slowly edge SW, W, NW, N, NE, E, SE, calling frequently and announcing where I’m pointing.    Where I point and when is subject to how busy I am.   I try to update where I’m pointing at the   144/432 MHz chat.   It really pays to check into that room and watch what’s happening in real-time.  
     You can also find other stations to work by being in that real-time chat.   That’s the whole purpose of using that room; to increase activity in all directions, on various frequencies.   I want to work lots of check-ins, but I’d rather see 20-30 guys spread out and create their own activity.   In the chat room, you can see who all is logged in and ready to play radio.    I am done with the 144.240 net by 8:30pm central/0130Z. 

    The 144.250 net starts at 8:30pm and I follow the same procedure as above.   Start out looking S, and then swing clockwise, going SW, W, NW, N, NE, E and SE.    As with any net I run, all are welcome.  

     The new wrinkle we’re going to try tomorrow night is with the 144.240 net.   We’re going to (knock wood) have a relay station in EM29, KC Mo. and another one in EN22, N Central IA looking SW, W and NW between 8:00-8:30pm.    We ask stations in N OK, all of KS, all of NE and the Dakotas to spread the word, and to look east between 8-8:30pm tomorrow night on 144.240.    Long-term, we’re looking for ways to involve stations in a very wide range.   Anyone who can help email me and we’ll discuss it.  If this plan for tomorrow night changes, we’ll advise on the website later today.  It’s always a good idea to check this website prior to any net, just in case something came up.

222 Activity Very Good Tonight — 14 Q’s SSB and 3 FM

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

   Not only was my personal activity good, but we had quite a few in the chat, and there were others on from different parts of the USA.    Guys in KY, PA, GA, LA, AL, OK, and KS were all on looking for Q’s.   This was in addition to the guys in OH/VE-3 land/MI/IN/IL/WI/MN that I worked.   
   Conditions were average, at least.    It wasn’t that prop was that great, but the participation was excellent.   That’s what it takes.   You ever notice how prop seems better when more stations get on??  

   Here’s who I worked:
   K9EA  EN71;  N9LAD and WB9WKJ EN62;  N0IRS EM29;  KA0PQW EN33;  K9MRI EN70;  WD8USA EN73;  K8JA EN82;  VE3TFU EN92;  KC8QAE EN91;  K0KFC and K0SIX EN35;  KX8XX EN74, and WV9E EN43.     I got on just after 0000Z and pulled the plug about 0330.  
   Here’s who I saw was on, via prop logger and chat:    WK4R EM95;  K5SW EM25;   K3TUF FN10;  WA4QYK EM86;   WB4NKM EM87;  K4ESA EM74;  W4ZRZ EM63 and N5OMG EL49.   If I missed someone, I apologize. 
    That’s a darn good start.   Keep spreading the word, everyone.
    In case anyone new is reading this, 222 Tuesdays are for everyone with 1.25m, everywhere.   You get on and call CQ, swing the beams in all directions.    On/near 222.100 SSB/CW and 223.500 FM.   If it gets busy, spread out a little bit.    Suggested times are roughly from 0000-0300Z.
    EDIT– (Wed. morning)   Want to add that I heard multiple CW signals last night, which is great.   What is not great is that I’m garbage at copying them.    So you CW folks, keep doing your thing and you hams like me, never throw in the towel on CW.    Somehow, someway, I’ll make the time to improve.   That’s a promise.   The CW goes so much farther than SSB — it’s just crazy that someone like me isn’t already at 10 wpm.   (Most V/UHF guys will gladly slow down for you; they’re pretty casual that way)  
     I could even see forming some sort of CW support group (or better yet, having someone else take responsibility.  I’d love to see more and more input and help from readers here).    I used to think I was the only dunce in class that didn’t know CW very well, but I’m finding there are lots of us out there.

This Week’s VHF/UHF Activities

Monday, October 26th, 2009

    The Fall Sprints ended on Sat. night with  6m.    The next contest is the ARRL JAN VHF Sweepstakes.    The early weather forecast for Jan 23-25th is 34 degrees and sunny, so make your plans now!       

    TONIGHT  —   Great 144.250 net run by N0PB Phil from EM39, N Mo.    Very long range.  
N0PB starts out at 7:45pm/0045 with omni Big Wheels (horizontally polarized) up high.   Then at 8pm, he switches to the horizontal beams and looks S first, then E, then N and W, before going back to south about 9pm.    Phil’s been doing this net a long time and it’s very popular.   Give him a listen or say hello, any Monday.

      222 TUESDAY tomorrow night.   Use 222.100 SSB or 223.500 FM.   A few key points:
      1)   This is not a net.   I’m the promoter; but the focus is *everyone* with 222/223 MHz. 
      2)   Get on the air, call CQ, swing your beams any Tuesday that you are able.   Between about 0000-0300Z is fine.  
      3)   Talk this up and spread the word to anyone you know, or any clubs, groups, newsletters.    Send this website post to friends with 222.   I’m fine with anyone using my material, if it’s to promote on-air activity.  
      4)   We’re looking to make 222 Tuesdays a nationwide thing, so again spread the word. 
      5)   Consider using the 144/432 MHz chat room at   This chat is free and simple to register for.    7 simple steps for registering are at    
      You are not required to use the chat.   Using your rigs to work others is the objective.   But the chat room shows who all is logged in, what grid they are in, and who’s working who.   It’s light years ahead of the 144, 222, UHF Prop Loggers that we now have.    You can actually have a little fun in there, too, if you care to.   It’s nice talking to guys in other areas and finding out what they’re hearing, what their station’s like, etc.   
      WEDNESDAY —   144 SSB nets are *ON*.   I am net control for both 144.240 and 144.250 nets.   WB9LYH will not be available this week.      Look toward KC9BQA in EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee. 
      If you want to read how the nets work, please skip halfway down thru yesterday’s Oct. 25th post.    New wrinkle is we’re going to try to find more activity in IA/MN/Dakotas/NE/KS.   I’ll have more about that tomorrow or Wednesday.     N0IRS in EM29 and WB0YWW in EN22 are going to turn SW, W and NW at some point with the 144.240 nets, and see if they can find stations I cannot.  
        If you’re in W IA, W MN, all of the Dakotas, plus all of NE and KS, *please* let anyone you can think of know to get on 144.240 Wed. night, about 8-8:15pm central, or 0100-0115.   We’re going to try and make this a long-term commitment, to involve VHF’ers from 400-800 miles SW, W and NW from Wisconsin.    If we can ever get consistent participation from the U.P. of MI, they could also expand our range north into Canada several hundred miles.     
      The idea is to keep expanding the circle, and giving more VHF’ers a reason to play radio.      Heck, if we can end up expanding the circle to the south and southeast, that’s fine, too.   We just don’t seem to get many check-ins beyond Chicago, so it’s up to downstate ILL or IND to get motivated.    St. Louis area is perking up recently.  

      THURSDAY — I call the 146.43 FM net at 8pm, as usual.   Checkins here are normally from S and E WI, but we do encourage anyone to try and hear us.    Always listening for weak ones. 
      KC9KPV in EN53 just NW of Milwaukee has been looking into MI/IN/IL with his vertical beam on 146.43 from 7:30-8:00pm.   If you have an interest in FM simplex and you’re in MI/IN/IL, please look his way between 0030-0100 on Thur. nights on 146.43 FM.

6 Meter Sprint Report + Early Info About This Week’s 144 SSB Nets on Wed.

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

     Worked 33 Q’s in 14 grids in the 6m sprint last night.    Activity was decent.   Not as busy as the 2m sprint back on Sept. 21, but that night had very good prop.    Last night, prop was down and the band was a little noisy.    It was very nice to run into a few new calls on 6.    Sounds like the word continues to spread about getting more guys on V/UHF. 

      I’m not one to study meteor showers much, but there must have been some rocks leftover from the Orionids that were supposed to peak on Wed.   I noticed a lot of pings, but no long burns.    WD0T in DN94 from Pierre SD was very proactive about trying to work to his east and I believe a few got him via rocks.   

      I heard no Eskip.   W9RM Jay in EN52 IL worked 2 stations in FN41 about 0015.     

      Aurora made a 10 minute appearance here from 0030-0040.    The chirp on CW signals was unmistakable as I pointed north.   You new guys, if you don’t know about Aurora, I’d search YouTube for a video/audio clip of it.   You have to hear it to believe it.    Try searches like “6 Meter Aurora” or “50 MHz Aurora” or similar.   You could do the same on Google for more information.  

      For anyone who’s looking ahead to the Wed. 144 SSB nets (using horizontally polarized antennas) here’s some early info:    I am calling BOTH 144 nets this Wed.    WB9LYH will not be available, so I’ll call them both.   Please spread the word.     It’ll be funny to watch me call CQ, and update everyone about our progress in real-time on the chat.    I’m up to it, no worries  🙂 

     Net #1 is 144.240 from 7:15-8:30, or 0015-0130 utc.   I start out looking south from 40 miles north of Milwaukee, and then swing clockwise, going SW, W, NW, N, NE, E, SE — a full 360.     When I look your way depends on how many check-ins we get.   It really works smoothly if you follow along with me at the chat.     I always announce where I am pointing on the air.   Finally, I always call CQ twice in a given direction before moving the beams 10-15 degrees at a time.   That’s my pattern.    
     Net #2 is on 144.250 from 8:30-9:30/10pm, or 0130 on…  Same procedure; start out looking south and swing clockwise a full 360.    
    Remember that we encourage net check-ins to QSY down and work each other.   Far better to have multiple Q’s going on across the band than to have 20-30 guys all camped out on one freq. mostly listening to me.   Consider me a party starter.   I want to say hello to lots of check-ins, then I want you to feel free to spread out and mingle with the other guests.   Using the 144/432 MHz chat is the best way I know to coordinate Q’s with other guys on different frequencies. 
     The more guys start spreading out, the healthier 144 gets.   We’re on our way to making Wed. nights very active across a wide portion of the Plains/Midwest/Great Lakes.    That’s the long-term goal here.