I had a chance to talk with WB9LYH tonight about starting the 144.240 net later for summer. Mark and I both agree there are benefits to starting it one hour later. Mainly that a lot of guys are outdoors doing things during the longer days, and that propagation improves as darkness falls during the warmer months.
So starting May 12th, the 144.240 SSB long-range net will be called at 0100Z, or 8pm central/9pm eastern. You just read the short story, please spread the word. WB9LYH will be announcing it during the net next week (May 5th) and I’ll be reinforcing the message with emails to all the groups. Oh yes, of course this time change also means that the 144.250 net I call on Wed. will start at 0230Z, or 9:30pm central — again, effective May 12th.
If you want more reasoning, read on. I feel better having the dozens of guys that check in from multiple states understand our motivation or purpose for what we’re doing.
WB9LYH and I both agree that the primary benefit of our nets is trying to stretch out activity as far as possible. The more guys that get on the air at a given time, the more the propagation seems to improve. More guys on the air = more fun.
I noticed a drop-off in check-ins last summer, and wondered if it was because a lot of hams are doing other things at 7, 8pm on a nice summer evening. We’ve already had fewer check-ins the past 3-4 weeks. So that’s one reason behind the time change. The other reason is that often during warmer weather, the band really improves toward sunset and into the night. Since we promote the DX angle with SSB mode, we want the best prop possible.
Another benefit of having later nets on 2m is that often in the summer, 6m is alive with sporadic Eskip propagation, where contacts are being made all across the country. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be working DX on 6, than calling a net on 2m. Often times, Eskip openings on 6 die out as you go later into the evening. So by having our nets later on 144, you have more time to enjoy 6.
Mark and I both look forward to net nights where the band is open beyond the normal 300-400 mile range. We fully expect several evenings where he’ll be working into PA or NY. KY, TN, S MO, AR, W KS, NE and the Dakotas. We want to give those guys a reason to be on Wed. nights, and most of all we want all interested VHF’ers to be able to take advantage of that activity on 144.230 and lower. Continue to enjoy the net in any way you care to. But know that over time, we encourage more guys to do their own CQ’ing in various directions, expanding the circle. 20-40 guys working one net control is nice. 20-40 guys calling CQ from different areas, on multiple frequencies is what VHF/UHF really needs.
We have the USA/VE chat room now at on4kst.com. We have a great net control in WB9LYH who can really take advantage of openings. We have well over 300 unique check-ins to the SSB side these past two years. We have me who enjoys emailing several thousand VHF’ers every week to remind them of their opportunities. All the pieces are in place so let’s stay motivated and enjoy the ride.
Also remember there are many other great 2m SSB nets — N0PB EM39 Mondays on 144.250; N9JBW Chicago Thursdays on 144.220; NLRS from the Twin Cities on various bands Sundays. There are others; I list them here from time to time. 222 Tuesdays are nationwide activity nights. N4PZ in EN52gb hosts good 432.100 activity every Monday. You get the picture. There’s never been a better time (since I’ve been on, starting in 2004) to get involved with weak-signal VHF/UHF. The active summer contest season is just around the corner, and in/near WI, contest activity has improved at least 30-50%. I know, because I love the contests and I can hear the difference.
Please spread the word that both the 144.240 and 144.250 SSB nets from WI will be starting one hour later, effective May 12. Oh yes, WB9LYH is unavailable on May 12th, so I will be taking both nets that night.
Of course, I’ll repeat this info later. Any questions or comments, please email.