Archive for June, 2010

222 Tuesday *ON* Every Tuesday Evening

Monday, June 21st, 2010

    Newer visitors to this website might not know about 222 Tuesdays.   Regular visitors tell me they appreciate reminders like this one.     222 Tuesday is a Nationwide night for 222 ops everywhere to get on and enjoy activity on this wonderful band.   No net control, no single area of focus.  
    How many random signals do you find on 222?   Outside of a contest or whopper band opening, I don’t find any.   Hence the need for 222 Tuesdays.   Don’t you prefer activity to white noise?  
   On a quiet band like 222, “just listening” or “monitoring” is next to useless.   If everyone just “listens” then nobody will hear anything.   Instead, spend a little time calling CQ on or near 222.100.   Swing your beams; get a buddy to do the same in opposite directions.   Please help spread the word because 222 Tuesday needs all the help it can get.   
    More 222 Tuesday info is at:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=2668

2m and 6m Activity out of Kalamazoo MI Every Tuesday

Monday, June 21st, 2010

   Besides Nationwide 222 Tuesdays, there’s activity on 2m and 6m out of the Kalamazoo, MI area every Tuesday.   Kalamazoo is in the SW corner of Lower MI, and the SW corner of grid square EN72.    Here’s the link to the Kalamazoo activity.   Note that two of these activities run in AM mode.   So if AM is your thing, here’s your chance.  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=2427

144.155 Breakfast Roundtable — Daily @1230Z

Monday, June 21st, 2010

     I admit I’m not on the radios much in the morning during the week.   But there’s regular activity you can enjoy.     
 
    “Breakfast roundtable”, Mornings at 7:30 a.m. (Central Time) on 144.155 MHz USB
    The daily 144.155 breakfast roundtable is hosted by N9NDP Harvey.   Harvey has a good signal out of Kenosha, WI, EN62.   He’s in extreme SE WI.  

    Now that we have warmer weather, the propagation is usually very good in the morning hours.   You might be pleasantly surprised with the signals on 144.155.

Every Monday Night — 144.250 and 432.100 Activity

Monday, June 21st, 2010

    I suspect a lot of folks don’t know about N4PZ’s 432.100 activity night, every Monday at 0100Z/8pm central, from EN52gb, or a half hour WSW of Rockford, IL.    Print this info out and save it near your rigs, so when you want to play 432 MHz SSB, you know where reliable activity is.   Every Monday, there’s also a very popular SWOT 2m net (www.swotrc.net) called from N MO, by N0PB Phil.   Big signal out of both these net controls, so listen along and say hello when they peak up on you.   
  More detail about Monday night activity is at:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=2520

   Please spread the word about both these nets and guys with 432SSB — within 400-500 miles of Rockford, IL — get on and say hello to the group with N4PZ.   He gets out a very long ways, and always wants more activity.

   EDIT — 8pm Monday — Never fails… t-storms all across the Midwest.   N0PB announced he’s off tonight on the 144 prop logger, and I can’t imagine N4PZ is on, either, with a storm right on top of him.   So here’s hoping for next Monday.

Messed Up SMIRK Contest End Time

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

    Read the rules on the www.smirk.org website incorrectly.   The contest ends 7pm Sunday, not tonight.   So it’s an all-weekend contest, sri for any confusion.   
    6 has been good again today.   At 9pm, it’s been open to the SW and W for some time, but I have S7 noise in that direction.   Imagine some guys around here are working a lot of DM/CM/CN/DN stuff.  
    Fair amount of SMIRK activity, too.   Good to see.  
    6 was apparently crazy-open basically all night, last night.   Word to the wise.   Some unusual and fun things going on.

Huge 2m E skip Today — Just Not Much Here

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

    Can’t begin to describe what an intense, long-lived Es opening we had on 2m across much of the US/VE/XE today.    I’ve never been able to monitor Es somewhere in the US for 10-11 hours straight.   (Going back to when I started in 2004)  Problem is, very little of it was workable here in SE WI.   All that’s in my log is EM41, EM50, EL49 and several semi-local guys who said hello just to be sociable.      Heard and missed EM60, EM55, EL86 and EM93, plus several TX stations who were clearly hearing stronger callers.    Most signals were just S3-S9 for a minute, maybe two, and then they went poof.   K5YG EM50 was an exception.   Heard him off and on for probably the better part of an hour around 8pm.  
    The main paths today have been NW/SE or SW/NE across the middle part of the country.   The center of the MUF blob was always within a few hundred miles TX/OK/AR border, it seemed.   Then this evening, the center migrated to just east of the Mississippi River, from IL to TN.    There were also some spikes in KS and MO, which told me the band should be open from here to say W KS, OK, N or W TX, perhaps NM or AZ.   Called and called that way, but no joy.  

    EDIT:   10:15pm.   Probably the best way to read what all happened today is to go to this link:
    http://dxworld.com/144proplookback.php    That’s a bit time-sensitive, but the gist of the opening will probably stay on that page for several days to a few weeks, unless 2m opens up big-time again.  

    Been monitoring on4kst.com 144-432 MHz chat all day.   As well as the MUF map at http://www.vhfdx.net/spots/map.phpLan=E&Frec=MUF&ML=M&Map=NA   That sucker had MUF’s up in the 130-180 MHz range for *hours*.    It started backing off quite a bit about 9pm.  

     This morning, N3LL and a few other FL guys got things started about 9:30am, with a fairly stable path to TX and at times, XE-land.   The MUF peak was right near New Orleans.  Sometime in the afternoon, the MUF area intensified and expanded and then large parts of the country got in on it.   ILL stations were working some DX in between their t-storms.  
    Toward 7:30pm, a few stations snuck in to S WI from FL and the immediate Gulf coast.   If we could have worked the oil slick, we’d have been in business.   The best paths were just offshore.    Guys up in N WI, MN and the U.P. worked more than we did, judging from the cluster spots.     
     FL has been a hot spot all day.   As the path shifted north, they were working everything in the Plains and Rocky Mountain areas.   TX and Southern Plains were working into 2 and 3-land.   This continued for at least 2-4 hours, probably longer.    Now it’s just past 9pm and it seems to be winding down and my ears are about to fall off anyway.   (Insult to injury, some sort of rain static aloft is spiking up to 20 over on my rigs for the 3rd, 4th time today.)  
     Will this happen again tomorrow?   No way to forecast it, but I’d sure keep my ears open.   You can go a whole summer with only a few short-lived 144 Es openings.   Today’s was a whopper.  

     I also have to say that guys did a great job of spreading out around 144.200 today.   During 6-8pm, prolly heard at least 10 different callers within 100-200 miles and .200 was never monopolized.   Had guys on .215, .210, .208, .205, .195, .190 etc.   Now it is true that most of the time when we did hear DX, they were on or very close to .200, so you want to monitor there, for sure.   Just don’t CQ endlessly there.  
   
    I’m sure 6 was nuts today, too.   If I had known this day would be mostly a tease on 2m, I’d have just concentrated on 6, but oh well.   Anyone with stories/comments is encouraged to use the comment feature here. 

    Man, this day had potential for us.  All day long, it felt like it was going to be pileup-city.   But it sure was fun to see what other parts of the country were doing.

144 Es Earlier Tonight + FM Net Report

Friday, June 18th, 2010

    Interesting night.   I got out to the shed too late and missed a bit of Es on 144 MHz.   Contacts were being made out to the east coast.   I could tell something was up because I heard multiple guys from different areas (SE MN, U.P. of MI, VE3-land) calling CQ quite a bit.      

   I called the FM net off due to the Es and then felt foolish 5-10 minutes later, when 144 SSB went quiet and the MUF (Maximum Usable Frequency — shown at http://www.vhfdx.net/spots/map.php?Lan=E&Frec=MUF&ML=M&Map=NA   So I restarted things and did get a few check-ins, plus some nice DX to Sterling, IL, in the NW part of IL.  
   We had:  KM4G, KC9ISU, K9FI all EN53.   Also heard from KB9VXJ in Sturgeon Bay and W9JFM in Algoma.   They were about S2-5, with some fading.   Then KB9BJH said hello from Randolph, far W Dodge Co.   Finally heard N9FQC  who is Larry, in Sterling, IL (about 60 miles SW of Rockford)   N9FQC was good copy, S3-5 avg over a 150 mile path.

WB9LYH had 26 check-ins tonight on 144.240

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

    Got in here at 20 after 8 (central) and WB9LYH was in full swing.   Signals sounded very strong tonight, I could hear many of ‘LYH’s check-ins off the side, some fairly loud.   I’d say conditions were the best I’ve heard in a few months.

    I may update this later, or certainly tomorrow.   Always put out a full net report.
    12:45 pm Thur–
    WB9LYH heard from:
    N8PUM EN66;  N8FQ, AB8GL and K8TB EN62;  K8VFV and N8WNA EN82;  KC9LCW EN61;  KB9VUP, W9GA and WD9ITJ EN53;  N9PTZ/M;  NT9E EN52;  KC9BQA EN63;  W0FAY EN42;  N0IRS EM29;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KG0SJ and WB0YWW EN22;  KA0KYZ and KA0PQW EN33;  WV9E EN43;  W0ANH EN47, K0SIX EN35; N0WJY EN10, N0PB EM39 and N9FRY EN52 at the end. 
    Many calls by net control to stir up more activity on 144.230 were made.   I know WB0YWW looked toward the Dakotas on 144.240, as he’s far enough away from WB9LYH to not cause QRM off the back.   ‘YWW heard nothing to his west.   
   We are looking for more guys who are willing to look away from WI for a time, to expand the area covered by our activity.   A fellow in MI/OH or IN who looks east or southeast, one in IL or MO who looks south, one in IA/NE who looks west or southwest and one in MN who looks west and northwest would be optimum.    Once this is achieved, guys 600-700 miles from WI can have fun Wed. nights on/near 144.240.    Let me know via email, or during the net if you’re willing to do this at least part of the time.   No regular commitment would be expected; do it to have fun and to help out 2 meters.  

    Remember that N9PTZ/M has a loop on his semi, and he monitors 144 every night as he travels either from St. Cloud, MN to Chicago, or vice versa, depending on which day it is.   N9PTZ is Dan and he enjoys hearing activity on 144 SSB.  
    N9FRY was a new check-in, and Scott’s in Rock Co. WI, Janesville area.   He mentioned his interest in WIVUCH (WI V/UHF County Hunters — see the June 15th posts about WIVUCH)

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

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

   Last week’s FM nets (you also have WV9E on 146.460 from La Crosse area every Thursday at 8:30pm) were a lot of fun.   In fact, by calling CQ afterward, I found my first-ever Monroe Co. contact with KC9PXZ Jimmy.   Also had strong signals from Wood Co. and a fellow in SW Lower MI.  
   Spread the word about these simplex nets and guys in northern WI, consider starting something similar.   There’s a lot of us “down south” who are interested in finding more DX-type stations to work, both on SSB/CW and on FM Simplex.  
   If you’re outside of SE WI, and want me to look your way with a 10 element vertical beam up 75′, plus 150w, please email or leave a comment here on the website.   I’ll be happy to call in your direction, if I know you’re out there.

SMIRK Contest This Fri.-Sat. — 6m Only.

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

   Some of you here may know about SMIRK (Six Meter International Radio Klub).    Their website is at www.smirk.org   There’s plenty of solid tips on how to operate 6m SSB/CW there; spend some time at the website and become a smarter 6m operator.  
   The annual SMIRK 6m contest is from 0000Z June 19th — 2400Z June 20th.   In other words, from 7pm Friday night until 7pm Saturday night, central time.   I did join SMIRK (dues are $6.00, get it?) some years back and forgot about them until a reader in Iowa reminded me yesterday.   
   Had to look up my SMIRK #, which is 6629.    If I forget it again, I can look it up here.  🙂 

   You do not have to be a SMIRK member to enjoy the contest this weekend.   We want to work anyone on 6m, SMIRK or otherwise.   Full details are on their website.   Direct link to the rules:   http://www.smirk.org/rules.htm

    I’ll be out here some during the contest, hoping for activity and Es on 6.   Spread the word and get contacts in your log.  For you newer guys, this is good practice for the July 17-18 CQ WW VHF Contest — 6 and 2m only.