Archive for May, 2010

146.430 Simplex Net Report — I Now Have 10 el FM Beam up 75′ and Rotatable a Full 360.

Friday, May 21st, 2010

   Had 2 check-ins tonight.   KC9ISU from Newburg and KC9KPV from Germantown.   Good signals as expected because they’re local.   I was ready to unleash my pleasant surprise tonight, but had no DX-type check-ins to work with.  
   What I’m talking about is yesterday, we got a 10 el vertical beam up at the 75′ level where it will now rotate a full 360 degrees.    I know it gets out pretty well plus I know it has some front to back because I was playing around with it this morning, seeing what it can do.  
   Had a strong 145.29 machine from Antioch, IL on the omni, then when I started rotating the new vertical beam away from that strong signal, I was able to copy another repeater on 145.29 in MI.   That was nifty.   It was also good to hear a Lansing, MI repeater on 145.39, at the S7 level.   That’s a good haul, so I expect I’ll get out 100+ miles to decent home stations *IF* they get on, and play radio on Thur. nights 
   This beam will also be nice for working new counties with the WIVUCH program.   (WI VHF/UHF County Hunters Award — see www.wivuch.com for details).   Let’s face it — there’s more guys on FM simplex than there are on SSB, overall.   Yes, I get out way farther on SSB, but outside of contests and band openings, the activity is sparse. 

   It’s 8:45pm and I’m pointed west toward WV9E’s 146.460 net.   I’ve heard a signal or two just start breaking thru the noise, but nothing copyable.
   Also sounds like 6m is trying to open up a little bit.   Heard N9LB near Madison work someone in DM64, New Mexico.  

   Anyone who has ideas for how to proceed with Thursday nights now that I have this beam, plus anyone who’s DX and would like to check in, use the comment feature here or email me.    We’ve gotta get things perked up — nets have really tailed off the past 4-6 weeks.

146.430 FM Simplex Net *ON* Thur. — 8pm

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

    We’ll be up with the FM net at the regular time tomorrow night.   I will have a pleasant surprise to share with our check-ins.    🙂   Spread the word.   Still looking for check-ins outside of our regular SE WI area.   All are welcome, and we try hard to dig out the light signals.  

    Looking forward to it.   73 Todd

Keep Up to Date with Hepburn Tropo Forecast Map

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

    Looks like we might bag our first extended period of enhanced band conditions since mid-January.   The Hepburn Forecast Tropo Maps look very nice for Saturday thru Tuesday.   http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html
    Those maps update every day about 1800Z/1pm central.   Pays to compare the forecast trends over time.  Those maps are mostly concerned with prop on 144 MHz and up.   But yes, sometimes 6m can be enhanced via tropo, as well.  
    Now that we’re into mid-late May, you want to be monitoring 6m, because E skip season is starting up.     Google “sporadic E skip” and learn for yourself.   But E skip isn’t really weather dependent — it takes place in the ionosphere, above where our weather happens.    Peak season is late May to early August, especially June and July.   There can also be a secondary peak in Dec/Jan.

Nets Are Now *OFF* Tonight, be back at it May 26th

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

  7:55pm central —  Sorry to say the tower work ended up going overtime.  
  Lots of good improvements have been made, but I need to help these guys get down, get things cleaned up, etc.   Too many distractions to call a net tonight.  
   Hope some of you create your own activity on 144.240, let others know about the new start time next week and all summer — 0100Z.

144.240 and .250 nets are *ON* Tonight — 0100Z start

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

    3:45pm central — Have the go-ahead from the tower guy — 144 is ready to go.
    WB9LYH is unavailable tonight, so I take the net instead.    I’m located 40 miles north of Milwaukee.

    We now have a new start time for summer — 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern.  
    I start out by looking ENE into N Lower MI and then slowly edge clockwise, going E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and ending up looking north toward 0210-0220 or so.    All are welcome — as always spread the word.   The idea is to make Wed. night a can’t-miss deal across a very wide area on 144 SSB. 

    We use the on4kst.com real-time chat for IARU Region 2 144-432 MHz.   We use this to encourage everyone to look around on their own and hook up with others as net control moves along.    This way, we have a few dozen guys livening up 2m SSB, instead of everybody solely focused on net control.    Using the chat is not necessary, but it means you are able to see who all is in the room, from various states, ready to enjoy a busy band.  

    The 144.240 net is the primary one, for guys out 100-400 miles.    WB9LYH has every intention of doing it weekly, so concentrate on that long-range net.  
    The 144.250 net has become less important and I’ll be easing out of it in a week or two.   But for tonight, I’m on 144.250, starting at 0230Z/9:30pm central, looking to catch a few local Milwaukee/Chicago check-ins, and see if they want to keep it going thru the summer.

Tower Work Underway — Fingers Crossed

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

    Still optimistic I’ll be able to call the net tonight at 0100Z/8pm central.   WB9LYH is unavailable tonight.   
    The big stick lift got here a little late, but it’s working FB now and we’re diagnosing my 144 stack at 100/110′.   So far, it looks like it’s a bad connector at the 100′ level.   Guy’s up there now with his Wiltron analyzer, and he’s putting a new connector on.    Also have 1296 and 2304 work to be done, but that 144 problem is Priority #1.  
    Weather’s perfect, praise the Lord.   No wind at all.   Stay tuned; I’ll update as I learn more.

    EDIT:  More problems with 144 (it’s now 12:30pm).   They got one yagi taken apart, and something about a problem perhaps with the power divider.   I shouted up, “Is it fatal?”   They shouted back, “Nope, we can fix it.”   Good.

144.240 Wed. Night Net Info

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

    Here’s what I know about the Wed. long-range 144.240 net, as of 11am today:
    1)   WB9LYH will be out of town on business so he cannot take the net.
    2)   I’m having antenna work done tomorrow.   Fingers crossed big-time that some problems can be taken care of and KC9BQA will be back up to par.    Then I would take the net tomorrow night.
    3)   I won’t know until probably tomorrow afternoon how the work is going.   Once I know I’m A-OK, we’ll get the word up here on this website, and get the emails sent out so everyone knows what’s going on.  

    I want to take the net tomorrow night, but won’t know until later tomorrow.  
    Remember if we do have the net, that the new start time is 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern.

222 Tuesday is *ON* every Tuesday

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

    Just got thru sending out email in many directions announcing 222 Tuesday.  
    I won’t BS anyone  — this 222 Tuesday has really died off the past few months.   I hope I’m not supposed to be the sole focus, because I’m frequently unavailable Tuesday nights.   I know there are at least a few guys who have been diligent almost every Tuesday and I appreciate them.   But honestly, without several dozen guys on in a multi-state area, it’s not much fun.   If anyone has suggestions about how to perk up 222 Tuesdays, I’m all ears.     
    The good news is consistently warmer weather with more humidity is on the way.   We should start seeing improved conditions, which may get more guys on the air.

6m and 144 and Up Beacon Listings

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

   Don’t think I’ve posted these links in a while, but save them.
   http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/50.htm  is 6m beacons, worldwide.   The USA ones are from 50.060-50.080 and many times, you’ll hear those beacons as the band is opening, before anyone is actually calling CQ.   Also stay aware of the various VE beacons below 50.060.   Many VE locations are workable in good 6m openings, if you look their way.    Of course, you have the very active 6m chat at www.on4kst.com.   (IARU Region 2 50MHz room)
   Beacons for 144, 222, 432 MHz and up are at:    http://www.newsvhf.com/beacons2.html
   Sorry to say the WD9BGA beacon on 144.297 just WSW of Madison has been down for several months.   Too bad, that was a great beacon.   The WA9HCZ one in La Crosse on 144.290 is still on, heard it lightly this morning.  
   If guys will send a comment to the website with beacons they are hearing, I’d appreciate it.

146.430 FM Simplex Net — 8 check-ins

Friday, May 14th, 2010

   Had a nice group tonight, with 2 solid Sauk Co. check-ins.    It’s 8:45pm and N9TRY from Portage is trying to find out if anyone is on from the La Crosse area on 146.460.  
   146.430 check-ins at 8pm were:   KC9ISU Newburg;  N9LAD Oak Creek;  KG9FC Milwaukee;  WB9TFH West Allis;  K9FI Brookfield;  N9UDO Baraboo;  N9TRY Portage;  WD9ITJ Sussex.
   Conditions were a bit unstable tonight.   Almost sounded like the band was trying to open up a bit.   Both ‘UDO and ‘TRY were S3-S5 from Sauk Co.