Hope everyone had a fun, relaxing holiday. Warmest holiday wishes to everyone who visits this VHF/UHF blog. Without readers and participation, I would have closed up shop long ago. I don’t mind the work, as long as it leads to verifiable results.
We now know the net control schedule thru Wed., Jan 11th. I (KC9BQA) will call the 144.240 net on Dec. 28th, Jan 4th and Jan 11th. K8TQK will do the same. WB9LYH is fine, but has a few conflicts coming up on Wednesdays. Expect Mark back in mid-January. It is still our intention to have WB9LYH be the 144.240 net control a majority of the time. I imagine I will pitch in when he needs a little time off or I want to stir up the airwaves a little bit. K8TQK is also a big part of our plan for 2012, of course. Between the WI and OH net controls, we can reach a very large part of the Eastern 1/3 of the USA + southern Canada. Plus there are other known active 2 meter SSB nets on Wed. night from Daytona Beach, FL; near Cleveland, OH and near Ft. Worth, TX. For a detailed listing of other known nets surrounding WI and the Midwest/Great Lakes, click here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5017
The purpose of our nets is to create more activity on less-used portions of 2 meters. All are welcome; there’s no formal procedure or script. Feel free to listen along and say hello when it’s convenient. Because 2m SSB/CW operations typically use higher-gain antennas that are horizontally polarized, we welcome DX check-ins. Please help us spread the word in distant states and grid squares.
IF there’s one thing on my VHF wish list for 2012, it is getting way more signals on the air at any time. We surely appreciate those who say hello and check into the nets. But we encourage all VHF’ers to pick up the mic and call CQ in multiple directions when they are near their radios. Please try to do more than only check into a net in 2012. There’s all kinds of dead air between 144.150 and 144.260 most of the time. I also know there are dozens and dozens of guys near radios who are “just listening”. If 50 guys are all “just listening” and nobody calls CQ, how many contacts get made?
This is a correctable situation. On dead ham bands, you want to be a CQ’er. You are not allowed to complain and whine about how quiet the bands have grown if you are not doing something yourself to improve the situation. Period. “Just listening” does NOTHING to help a quiet band.
After doing these nets for over 3 years now, I know that we have way more VHF-capable stations than I ever would have imagined. The problem is that very few of them are on the air regularly (plus we all can do a better job of encouraging more hams to try this aspect of the hobby). If we could get the hundreds of weak-signal stations to call CQ in all directions for at least 15-30 minutes a month, you’d be amazed at how busy the bands would be.
On Wed. nights, realize that each net control really only points your way for 5, maybe 15-20 minutes. When we swing our beams in a different direction, consider sliding down the band, and calling your own CQ’s. If you want to get more contacts in your own log, use the mic and call CQ down closer to the 144.200 call frequency. Your antenna probably rotates. Well use that rotor and point in all directions of the compass. I would hope that if we could no longer do these nets, we still would have enough proactive VHF’ers that Wed. night (or any night or weekend) would have lots of signals on the air.