Archive for February, 2010

WB9LYH and KC9BQA are *OFF* next Wed. 2/24

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

    Since Mark and I are unable to take the nets next week, we’ll put out a call for anyone, anywhere who wants to create their own activity.   I’d choose 144.240 first, because that net has clearly had consistent numbers.   Most folks by now are tuned into that freq. starting at 0100Z in the east, 0130 or so to the south, and 0140-0200 to the west and north.  
   Beggars like us can’t be choosers, but it would be great if we had someone to the east for the early part, and someone to the west for the later part.   We can be flexible, details can be nailed down later.   Main thing is it’s a waste to have 15-30 guys tune into a dead frequency, nobody says anything, and then nothing happens.  

    I will update the situation next week, depending on if I hear from anyone who wants to take a shot at keeping the Wed. night activity going.

2/17 144 SSB net reports

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

   WB9LYH told me at 8:25 tonight that he had 24 check-ins, plus surprisingly good conditions to Iowa and Kansas City.    Here’s Mark’s 24 check-ins:
   KC9HBT EN54;  N8WNA EN82;  W0FAY and N0RWR EN42;  W9YZU, KB9WZJ and KD4GSL EM69;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ EN40;  NF9D EN51;  N9NMS EN52;  N9NDP EN62;  WB0YWW EN22;  N0IRS and WB0NQD EM29;  WB9SLI, WV9E, N9ETD and WA9TS EN43;  K9MU and N9KOR EN44;  KC0TRX EN34;  K0SIX EN35;  KC9BQA EN63.  

   I got out to the shed in time to call the 144.250 net and had 6 check-ins.
   K9FI EN53 Brookfield
   WD9ITJ EN53 Sussex
   K9KBZ EN53 North Fond du Lac
   K9KHW EN63  Milwaukee
   I was wrapping up with those fellows by 8:50 and called CQ in a full 360, going clockwise.   I did find WV9E from La Crosse.   Dave was S3 on peaks, then we had deep QSB and said 73.
   EDIT:  10pm — Also bumped into our friend Dan from Algoma.   He’s got a new callsign.   N9JKX is now W9JFM.

144.240 net for Wed. 2/24 Needs Helpers

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

    WB9LYH won’t be available on 2/24 for his 144.240 net, starting at 0100Z.   I won’t be able to pinch-hit for him, either.   We need some other guys to step up and help.    To duplicate WB9LYH’s range, my idea would be to have more than one station (in different areas) each do a part of the net.    Only way I can find out is to put the word out and see which of you readers will help.  
     Do we have anyone who is willing to help?    I never knew WB9LYH was willing to call a net until I asked him… anyone else interested in helping on Feb. 24th? 
    (I will be home in time for the 144.250 net I call at 0230Z — no worries there)

144.240 and 144.250 nets *ON* this Wed.

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

   Both WB9LYH and I will be doing our nets this Wed. night, stirring up activity within 500 miles of Wisconsin.  

   WB9LYH is in EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.   He gets on 144.240, starting at 0100Z, calling CQ  east into MI and beyond.   From there, he gathers checkins, and slowly rotates clockwise, calling CQ frequently.   Those of you who follow this website know he works as far as the Detroit/Cleveland areas, the Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City and Omaha/Lincoln areas.   We also hear from some tough grids up in N MN and ONT.    
    With stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a great QTH, WB9LYH gets out a long ways.   So listen in on Wed. nights and help improve activity levels on 144 SSB.  
    Know that we always encourage our check-ins to slide down and create their own activity on 144.230 or lower, after net control has passed them by.    This is to keep expanding the RF into areas we can’t reach directly.   It is far better to have 10-30 active hams on 144 at one time, creating activity in many directions.  

    My 144.250 net comes up at 0230Z.   I’m located 40 miles north of Milwaukee.   Over time, my net is evolving into more of a S WI/N ILL roundtable net.   However, I do still look a full 360 for check-ins.   I just don’t do it until I’ve given all our “regulars” a chance to say hello.    This is usually after 0300-0330Z.  
    I call CQ to the south at 0230, and pick up whoever hears us.   I usually get a list of 5-15 from S WI and N ILL and we go down the list, giving everyone a chance to say hello.   The pace has relaxed over time, and our regulars seem to appreciate that.   If you want more of the DX-type experience, WB9LYH on 144.240 is your better bet.    He gets out quite a bit further than I do, also.  
    Whenever I’m done with the WI/ILL regulars, I start calling CQ, moving clockwise.   I usually am not done calling CQ until about 0345-0400, when I’m looking into MI and IN.

222 Tuesday is *ON* every Tuesday

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

    Know that 222 Tuesday is *ON* every Tuesday.   It’s a nationwide effort to promote more activity on/near 222.100 SSB/CW and 223.500 FM simplex for the FM-only guys.    Get on, call CQ, swing beams around, spread the word.    Most folks have been getting on between about 0100-0300.    Some use the 222 Propagation Logger.   
    The guys from the Dakotas down thru Texas have really been having fun with 222 Tuesdays, and I know of consistent activity in FLA, the area surrounding MI/OH, and on FM out toward CT.     I hope others are spreading the word in their own area.

Solar Flux increasing — 10m was wide open yesterday

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

    One of the first things I did years ago on the internet was subscribe to some TV/FM broadcast-band DX’ing lists.   I enjoy hearing about band openings from these dedicated fellows.  
    This email yesterday caught my eye.  

—– Original Message —–
To: <>
Subject: [Tvfmdx] Cycle 24 Shows Signs of Life on 10 meters (28 MHz)

> Finally…
> Real, honest F2 on 10 meters.  STRONG signals in from the West Coast
> (fish-in-a-barrel stuff) and some Caribbean.  I have missed this!
> SFI is at 94 today.  I was thinking we would need 100, or so.
> Fun.

***If you have a minute to pop over to DX Sherlock and see the 10 meter
activity that Peter is referring to, be sure to click on the ES MUF tab and
you will see how widespread it is.

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     What this email tells me is that with SFI increasing and 10m openings already happening,  eventually 6m may come alive with some very tasty stuff.   I still haven’t been on the air for worldwide F2 propagation on 6m.   I got on board in late 2003, just as the last cycle was past its peak.  
     Veterans tell me that with a good sunspot peak, well-equipped stations will work DX on 6m, like you can on 10 or 20m.    For instance, W9GA has been on 6 for at least 30-40 years and I believe he has 120-140 DXCC countries on 6 meters alone.  
Strictly HF guys are always amazed to hear statistics like that.

Plenty of Sunday/Monday night VHF/UHF Activity

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

    This is a repost of a Jan. 10 entry.    

    Every Sunday and Monday night, there’s activity from IL, MN, MI and MO.    

    Starting at 7pm local Sunday/0100Z  on 144.250, you have the K9TMS SWOT net ( out of EN52wi, far NE ILL.    I’ve checked into this net and it’s open to everyone.   It’s good that Chicago has 2 options.   The other being N9JBW’s successful Q5 net on 144.220 every Thursday at 7pm central/0100Z.    Look toward EN61, South side of Chicago.   

    NLRS ( has active SSB nets on at least 6 and 2 meters Sunday nights.   Both net controls have good stations and enjoy hearing from everybody.   K0SIX Vince is on 50.175 at 0230Z, from EN35, about an hour north of the Twin Cities.   KA0PQW Matt is on 144.260 at 0300Z, from EN33, far southern Minnesota.   If NLRS’s 222 and 432 nets are still active, can someone send me the times and freq’s?  
     K8NFT Bob calls a 144.155 net from EN62, SW Lower MI, and this one starts at 9:30pm eastern/0230Z. 
     In addition, I have seen info that there is a 6 meter SSB net from Lower MI on Sundays.   Says it’s hosted by N8QEM from EN72au on 50.150 at 0200Z.   Does anyone have info on this net?

     On Mondays, you have N0PB Phil from EM39, North-central MO with a big signal on 144.250.   He calls CQ with omni big wheels from 0145-0200 and then switches to a yagi pointing S at 0200; E at 0215; N at 0230; W at 0245 and back to S at 0300.  
     Monday night also has the only regularly-scheduled 432 activity I’m aware of in the Upper Midwest.   N4PZ fires up a big 432 station from EN52gb, a bit west of Rockford, IL.   I’m not sure what directions he points at what times, but I do know 5-15 of them get on 432.100 at 0200Z, and he works guys 400 miles away, when they’re pointing right at each other.   I need to get in there some night and say hello.   I also know some guys QSY to 432.110 to work each other.   Check the 432 Prop Logger.

146.43 FM Simplex Net is *OFF* tonight

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

     I don’t feel that great so I’m calling tonight’s net off.   Staying in the house, staying warm and getting to sleep nice and early.   We’ll resume everything next week.   
     I always say this, and it’s true.   Anyone can create activity on the air.   I can guarantee you 5-15 guys will tune into 146.43 between 8-8:30pm tonight.   I hope at least one keys up the mic and gets the ball rolling.

144.240 Net Report via WB9LYH

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

    WB9LYH reports that he had 23 check-ins last night with typical wintertime conditions.    He’s a man of few words (in email, at least) so I have no idea who all checked in.   23 is a great turnout, though.  
    I was off on 144.250 at 0230Z and I haven’t gotten any email indicating whether anyone else called CQ and started some activity.  So I can’t report anything about 144.250.

144.240/WB9LYH net *ON* Wed. night — 144.250/KC9BQA net *OFF*

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

    Here’s the story.    I’ve emailed with WB9LYH in EN54 and he will be *ON* Wed. night, starting at 0100Z, looking east into MI and slowly swinging clockwise from there.   

    I am taking tomorrow night off, so if someone wants to start something on 144.250, please do so.   Don’t worry about any formal procedure — just grab the mic, say hello at 0230Z and chances are, others will say hello too.    The 144.250 net is becoming more and more a S WI/N ILL roundtable anyway, so just do what you guys usually do.   Have fun with it.   

    If you know of someone who doesn’t read the website, consider letting them know about Wed. night.