Archive for March, 2011

Wed. Long-Range Nets Full Strength for March 30th

Monday, March 28th, 2011

   Our long-range net controls plan to be ON this Wed. evening.  
   WB9LYH is on 144.240 from EN54cl at 0000Z or 7pm central/8pm eastern.    
    K8TQK is on 144.250 from EM89je at 0030Z or 7:30pm central/8:30pm eastern. 
    KA0KYZ is on 144.230 from EN33qw at 0200Z or 9pm central/10pm eastern.

    If you desire more info about these nets, click here:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4275

Overdue Net Reports From Wed., March 23rd

Monday, March 28th, 2011

   Thanks to both K8TQK and KA0KYZ for sending me your net reports via email. 
   WB9LYH and I couldn’t take the 144.240 net due to snow/ice complications.  Since the storm last Tuesday/Wed., our part of the world has turned sunny, but remained cold.  Every night is about 14-16F, and the days are about 29-30F.  This is about 15 degrees below normal for late March.  At my QTH, about 40 miles north of Milwaukee, I have a 2-4″ snowcover but you don’t have to go very far north to get into deep snowcover.     It’s been a loooonnnnng winter. 

    Last Wed. K8TQK was on 144.250 from south-central OH, grid square EM89je, starting at 0030Z, or 8:30pm eastern.  Bob raised:  WB8AUK EN80;  VE3LPY and N8WNA EN82;  KD8OEK, KD8NDU, KD8KZG, WT8E, W8WG, N8TJC and WA8FFT all EM89;  KC8YGB and K8GDT EN91 and AA8WI EM88.  That’s 13 check-ins — a healthy turn-out considering much of that area was raked by thunderstorms earlier. 
   
    KA0KYZ has now been starting at 0200Z, or 9pm central for some weeks.  This is a permanent time change, and it will make for some interesting results once the weather warms, the humidity returns and propagation improves.   So many nights you see conditions improve as darkness sets in, but nobody is on the air to take advantage of it.   If you have night owl in you, be aware of the 144.230 net that KA0KYZ calls from EN33qw or near Rochester, MN.   Help spread the word.  I look forward to the nights where guys are checking in with Terry from OK, AR, TX, Dakotas, OH, PA, KY, TN and so forth.     There is also a good net at 9pm central every Wednesday out of the Dallas, TX area.  It’s on 144.250, from EM13gh.  W5FKN Bob is net control, and he starts out looking south and then goes counter-clockwise from there.   My point is that Wednesday nights will be a lot of fun on 2m SSB with two strong nets after sunset. 
      Last Wed. Terry worked:  KD0KSE EN34;  K0NY EN44;  KD0FEI EM29;  WB0YWW, KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22;  K0SIX EN35.    KD0KSE looks like a new call to me — welcome to the SSB side of 2 meter operations.

WEAU TV/WAXX FM 2000′ Tower Collapses in EN44

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

5:50am Wednesday —
My email overnight has several different folks posting info about this big tower collapse.    http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/WEAU_13_tower_collapses_in_Fairchild.html

A ham from that area says that yesterday, they “had heavy rain/sleet all day Tuesday and the winds are howling out of the east at 20-30mph continuous.  About the time the tower fell (roughly 8:30pm central Tuesday), the transition to heavy wet snow was underway.”

Wed. March 16th Net Reports — WB9LYH Had 24 check-ins; K8TQK 10 and KA0KYZ 13

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

   Thanks to Mark, Bob and Terry for promoting activity on Wednesdays.   Extra thanks for taking the time to email your net reports. 
   WB9LYH gets on 144.240 at 0000Z from EN54cl.  Mark reported better propagation, especially to his southwest.  He heard from:  N9OLT EN64;  N9NYA EN43;  K9KHW EN63;  N8WNA and VE3LPY EN82;  KF8MY EN84 (tough grid);  W0FAY EN42;  KR8T EN72;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  K0NY EN44;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  N0IRS who was /P, presumably from the Kansas City area;  KD0FEI EM29;  W0HXL EN21;  VE3KRP EN58 (north shore of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, ONT);  K0SIX EN35;  KA0KYZ EN33;  K0JRD EM38;  KC0PDX EN41 and W0ANH EN47. 
    Great turnout in all directions.  

    K8TQK is on 144.250, starting at 0030Z from EM89je.  Bob’s check-ins were:  N8WNA and VE3LPY EN82;  KD8OEK, KD8NDU, N8TJC and WA8FFT EM89;  K8WW EN81;  K8GDT EN91;  W2KV takes the DX award from FN20;  and W8ULC EM79

    KA0KYZ is on 144.230 and remember he now starts at 0200Z, or 9pm central.  Terry’s comments echoed Mark’s, in that his best directions were south and southwest.  His 13 check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  N9NYA and WV9E EN43;  K0NY EN44;  K9KHW EN63;  W8BYA EN70;  KA0PQW EN33;  KC0MIA EM28;  KD0FEI EM29;  W0HXL EN21;  KG0SJ EN22;  K0SIX EN35 and W0ANH EN47.

Tonight’s Net Times Clarified

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

   I know it fouls up a lot of people when we get the twice-annual time changes.   The only thing that has changed with the net start times is the GMT, or “Z” (for Zulu) time.   If you use your home clock, nothing has changed with our net start times.   In your local time, they are the same start times as last week. 

   WB9LYH is on 144.240 from EN54cl at 0000Z or 7pm central/8pm eastern.   If he can’t go tonight, I’m supposed to pinch-hit.   I hope Mark can go, because I don’t feel well. 
    K8TQK is on 144.250 from EM89je at 0030Z or 7:30pm central/8:30pm eastern. 
    KA0KYZ is on 144.230 from EN33qw at 0200Z or 9pm central/10pm eastern.

144 Long-Range 2m SSB Nets for Wed. Same as Last Week, 3 Options — Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

   Want to get the word out about the long-range 2m nets for tomorrow night.  

   We have the same exact lineup as last week.   WB9LYH EN54cl 7pm central 144.240, K8TQK EM89je 8:30pm eastern 144.250 and KA0KYZ EN33qw 9pm central 144.230.  
    Conditions tomorrow night should be decent to possibly enhanced.   If you haven’t been on for some weeks, it’s probably time to get motivated.  If you’re part of the loyal regulars who have been making this so much fun all winter — THANKS!  
     If you want more info about these nets, click on this post:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4275  It’s the announcement from last week, and that info works for this week.   (except that the “Z” times need to be moved back an hour due to daylight savings).

Saying What’s on my Mind About 222 Tuesday

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

   6:30pm Tuesday —

    Markets were crazy today and I totally forgot about sending out the 222 Tuesday promotional emails until about an hour ago.   Then I thought about it for a bit, and what went thru my head was, “nobody else is getting on for 222 Tuesday, why do I even care?”   
     So my weekly email reminders today had a different tone to them.  Basically, if I don’t see 222 Tuesday perk up across different parts of the country in the next month, I’m going to stop promoting it.   This isn’t a threat, it’s a Vince Lombardi-like kick in the rear.   If you have 222 and want to hear activity outside of a contest or band opening, then you need to get your mic in hand and call CQ any Tuesday you are available.   A half hour or so would be wonderful.  If you have 222 and don’t care about regular activity, then keep doing the same thing — nothing.    

     222 is a great band.  Watt-for-watt, decibel-for-decibel, it gets out about 20% better (rough guess on my part) than 2m does.  Problem with 222 is there are far fewer guys with 222 SSB/CW-capable gear.  So finding regular activity is tough.  Finding 222 gear is tough.   You either get a transverter, or a Yaesu FT-726 or FT-736 with the 222 band module, or you find a rare and super-expensive Icom IC-375.   222 is not fast food hamming, no way.  

     I’d estimate that within 300-400 miles of me, there are probably 150-200 guys that are 222-capable (again, meaning on SSB/CW, using horizontal-polarization. )  I know in a good contest, I will make 40-60 contacts on 222.   So the guys are out there.   But as far as motivating even 10 of them to get on for a weekly activity night, forget about it.    I email over 70 guys with 222, plus the 4 known VHF contest groups in the Great Lakes, with the reminders.   And for months now, less than 5 guys have gotten on.   There’s hardly any posts on the 222 Prop Logger, and no chit-chat about 222 on the ON4KST.com chat.   At one time, 222 Tuesday was doing very well, but that was a long time ago. 

     There may be a solution out there for perking this up.  If you have one, share it here via the comment feature or email it to me.   We need some brainstormers and motivators.   I’m about out of energy for 222 Tuesdays.  Tired of trying to make this happen, especially when the 2m nets are going so well.  
     Perhaps 222 Tuesday could benefit from…
     1)  Rovers or hilltoppers going out and activating tough grids PLUS announcing their intentions ahead of time so everyone can benefit from the activity.
     2)  Scaling it back to once a month.   Say the 2nd Tuesday (get it?)  Which leads to…
     3)  Perhaps making 222 Tuesday some sort of sprint or distance-based deal.   Attach a bit of competition or scorekeeping to it.   Something along those lines.  90% of the 222 guys I work only get on for contests.  
     4)  Perhaps making 222 Tuesday a net.   Lord knows the 2m nets are going GREAT.  We get dozens of check-ins, plus new ops nearly every week.     (Don’t ask me to do a 222 net, I’m already too VHF-busy, LOL) 

     We’ll see if anything comes of this post.  I’m not holding my breath.

N0PB’s 144.250 Net Plans for Tonight — March 14th + N4PZ (EN52gb) Hosts 432.100 Activity Mondays at 8pm Central

Monday, March 14th, 2011

    Here’s a short email from N0PB
   “My beam antennas are still un-useable.   Until the weather permits me to do repair, I will change the net.  The net will be the same except, the regular net will run from 8:00 to 8:30PM.   Net meets every Monday evening.   Early checkins on bigwheels at 7:45 PM CST 144.250 USB.   Regular net at 8:00 PM CST .
   73,
   Phil N0PB  (EM39, North-Central MO) 

   If you haven’t visited this website in a few weeks, Phil took wind damage in a t-storm 2 Sundays ago.   Tonight he’s back on with his Big Wheels up high.   With warmer weather trying to establish itself, it looks like propagation will be better this week.  

   Also remember that N4PZ (EN52gb) hosts activity on 432.100 every Monday evening, starting at 8pm central time, by looking SW and then going counter-clockwise from there.   He has 4 long yagis and a kilowatt on 432, so if you are within 300-500 miles of Rockford, IL (Mount Morris, to be exact) you want to listen for N4PZ.

2011 Spring VHF and Up Sprints are ON Starting April 11th

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

   EDIT ON APRIL 3rd:    If you originally got this info before April 3rd, you might have the wrong dates for the 222 and 432 sprints.   The days of the week are correct, but I typed the wrong dates.   The 222 Sprint is on Tues.,  April **19th**.   The 432 Sprint is on Wed., April **27th**.   Sorry for the confusion. 

   Spring VHF/UHF Sprints sponsor K9JK has set the 2011 Sprint schedule.  
   The dates and times have already been announced in the April QST (World Above 50 MHz — W3ZZ’s column) and with N0AX’s Contest Corral at ARRL. 
   Dates for the 2011 Spring VHF and Up Sprints will be:
   2 Meters — Monday, April 11th from 7-11pm your local time.
   222 MHz — Tuesday, April 19th from 7-11pm your local time.
   70cm — Wednesday, April 27th from 7-11pm your local time.
   Microwaves (902 MHz and higher) — Saturday, May 7th from 6am-1pm your local time. 
   6 Meters — From 2300Z Sat., May 14th until 0300Z Sun., May 15th    
  (The reason that the 6m sprint uses GMT is to account fo the DX potential across different time zones.  By mid-May, there’s a good chance that 6m will have sporadic E skip and contacts could be made all across the USA.   So everyone uses GMT and is all on at the same time.)
   Each sprint is an independent deal.  You may operate in as many or as few as you like. 

    K9JK would like VHF’ers to know that it may be a few weeks until he has a more formal announcement up at his Spring Sprints website.   The website for the Spring Sprints is at http://sites.google.com/site/springvhfupsprints and right now, there’s a short announcement in the upper left.   
    Spread the word across USA/VE that the Spring VHF and Up Sprints are ON.   Save the dates.
    I will certainly repost this info in a few weeks.   You are free to rebroadcast it in your area. 

    Fixed stations — get motivated and rovers, we especially appreciate it when you go out and put a few grids on the air.  For VHF’ers who have poor QTH’s or are antenna-restricted, roving is a great way to turn the tables in your favor.   Visit the bottom half of this Feb. 28th post for complete info about roving.   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=4233

Badger Contesters Pizza and Beer Party Friday, April 1st.

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

   This information comes from my VHF elmer W9GA.   If you are not already a Badger Contester, visit the website (www.badgercontesters.org) and click on the left where it says “membership”.  The BC’ers are a dues-free, low-key group.   I am a BC’er and they are the club I submit my VHF/UHF contest scores with.   The BC club circle includes the SE 3/4 of WI, plus parts of N IL, W MI and NE IA.   All are welcome; spread the word.   If you want a visual of the BC club circle, here’s a nifty link:  http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html    I can help you with any questions you may have about becoming a BC’er. 
    The pizza get-together usually has 15-25 guys over the course of the evening.   It’s a friendly bunch, and if you’re inclined to go, don’t hesitate.  Here’s the details in W9GA’s words:

    “Hi All;
    It’s time again for Superfest at AES, and our group pizza and beer get together!!

    Be sure to pencil in the evening of Friday, April 1, 2011, for the annual Badger Contester VHF group pizza party.  This gathering has been running for at least the last 16 years, and in the same place. I have reserved the pool suite #124 at the Radisson Milwaukee North Shore at 7065 North Port Washington road.  This fun event is a chance to get together with many of the voices that you hear on the VHF bands, on the nets, and during the contests.  The Radisson is still in the same spot, just east of I43 in Glendale, north/east side of Milwaukee, and just south of Good Hope road.  Thanks to Ray K9KHW, who gets us a reduced room rate for the venue.

   We kick off the gathering around 7 PM, and pass the hat ($10 suggested) for donations to buy pizza and help pay for the room.  Bring some goodies or beverages to share, and also your show and tell items, rigs, QSL’s etc, etc.

   Let me know if you are thinking of attending, I don’t have a head count yet, but several have mentioned coming, including several from out of town (K9JK, WB8BZK, W9FZ, W9JN + grandson, and K4AMK Austin) who are coming in to share in the fun and games.  Bring some drinks to share, and any snack that you have for the gang.  We also encourage you to bring your latest VHF related project, antenna, 10 gig dish, neat QSLs, ect.

   To summarize;  The Radisson on Port Washington Road, just south of Good Hope Road, Friday the 1st, at 7 PM, pool suite 124, see you there, and please RSVP.  I also plan on being at Amateur Electronics Superfest earlier in the day for a few hours, and again on Saturday, where I will join W9XT for a presentation on 144 MHz QRP EME.

   Ken W9GA”

   If you need to RSVP, try doing it thru the Badger Contesters email list.   Info about the email reflector is on the right hand side of the BC’ers home page.  Or email W9GA (whoops, his email isn’t on qrz.com) or I can pass a message to Ken, too.