Archive for December, 2012

144.240 Net Plans for Wed., Jan 2, 2013 + 144.252 Net Changes Coming Up.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

   11am Monday —
   Wish I had more time today but I don’t.   If you haven’t visited in some time, I refer you to a Nov. 30th post that has all the topics I’ve been wanting to cover for several weeks now.   You can get caught up there. 
   Actually not too much point in talking about Monday night nets when it’s New Year’s Eve.  Hard to say which nets might be on, and which ones might be off on New Year’s Eve.  

   What I CAN tell you is that on Wed. night, a combination of N9OLT and WB9LYH will be taking the 144.240 net from WI.  WB9LYH might not be home in time for the 7pm central start and if that happens, N9OLT will start the net, no problem.   So tune in Wed. night and see who you get.   Remember that N9OLT is in EN64am, Green Bay.  WB9LYH is in EN54cl, about 70 miles west of Green Bay. 

    When I have the net schedule for the rest of January, I will post it here.  

     The 144.252 net from OH is *OFF* this Wed.  I haven’t heard that K8TQK’s rotor has been fixed.   When K8TQK is back up and rotating on 144 MHz, his net will be moving to Monday nights.  This should be a permanent change.   Same start time of 8:30pm, but now on Monday nights.    Refer to that Nov. 30th post if you want more details.  

     Nothing is changing with the 144.240 net.  The 144.240 net from WI will stay on Wed. nights, 7pm central/8pm eastern.

Link to a Comprehensive List of MI Nets

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

  11am Sunday —
  This will probably be the last update for today.  

   This link will help those who are looking for more VHF activity out of MI.  
   You will notice many different nets on different nights. 

   Several caveats:
   1)  I have no way of knowing when this listing was last updated. 
   2)  I haven’t  personally listened to any of these nets so I’m just passing along info I found via a Google search. 
   3)  Some of these nets might be for a more local audience.  No idea if they’re actively looking for check-ins from outside their territory.   I would simply listen along, see if I can hear something and get a feel for what’s going on. 
   4)  A few readers will notice there are some FM nets listed in that link.  Please don’t start sending me appeals to include your local club’s weekly FM nets here at   The emphasis here is on increasing activity on the weak-signal (meaning SSB/CW) portions of VHF/UHF bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.   Using the bands and modes and antennas that provide reliable communications out to 100, 200, 300 miles or more.  

    If there are two nets in this bunch that are looking for a regional audience, I’d assume it’s the 144.155 one on Sunday nights that I just spoke about below.   Plus the Sat. night net on 50.170.  I believe this is still called by our friend KD8IME from EN71, far NW OH.  Bob has a good signal on 6m and I know he likes plenty of check-ins.  The start time says 8pm eastern, but I would check and see if they are on the air as early as 7pm.  I thought I heard someone say a while back that they may have changed their start time.   Whatever — check at 7pm and 8pm eastern and see what you hear.  And yes, let us know first-hand by using the “comment” feature at the bottom of this post.

Sunday Night Activity out of MI and MN

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

  10:30am Sunday Dec. 30th, 2012  —
  I am aware of 3 SSB VHF nets on Sunday nights (within a few hundred miles of WI) 

  1)  K8NFT calls the Sidewinders Around Michigan net on 144.155 at 9:30pm eastern Sundays from EN62xt, far W MI, near Grand Rapids.  Bob starts out looking N, then goes clockwise, or E, S and W as the net progresses.   I was reminded of this net by KD8LDX, who listened to it himself a few weeks ago and confirmed this net is alive and well.   

  2)  K0SIX calls a net on 50.175 at 8:30pm central Sundays from EN35dj, or an hour north of the Twin Cities.  Vince has a very big signal and can work out to 300-400+ miles via normal “groundwave” on 6m (to stations with horizontal yagis pointed at him).   Not sure about the antenna pattern K0SIX uses for the net, but I know that he’ll be on the chat (IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz, or try the 50 MHz chat, as well.  I’m sure you can have more than one chat open at a time.) 

  3)  KA0PQW calls a net on 144.260 at 9pm central Sundays from EN33iu, far south-central MN.  Matt also has a nice signal — I can usually work him on a 265 mile path when we’re pointed at each other.   I’m also not sure of the antenna pattern KA0PQW uses, so just point toward the middle of the MN/IA state line and wait for his signal to peak up.    EDIT — March 1, 2013 — I think KA0KYZ (also in EN33) may be net control on 144.260 now.  Terry has a big signal, too. 
   EDIT — EDIT — 3:30pm Monday, April 15th. 
   KA0KYZ emailed to give us the straight scoop with the NLRS Sunday night 144.260 net (9pm central).   Terry says that KA0PQW is generally running the Sunday night .260 net (KA0PQW is also in EN33) and that if Matt is unavailable, then K0SIX usually takes it, with KA0KYZ being an occasional 3rd string backup.

    As with any of these nets, they may miss a week every now and again.  Especially at this holiday time of the year.  But I can confirm that all 3 nets have been active recently, so add them to your list of Sunday possibilities.

Getting a LOT of New Visitors — Not Sure Why, but I’m Glad for It. Will You Sign the Guestbook?

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

   8:45am Sunday —
   We’ve had another 4″ of fluffy snow over the past 48 hours.  Now the sun’s trying to poke out, but it’s still flurrying and 12 degrees F.  With a 14-16″ snowcover, it’s beyond beautiful outside.  Too bad today’s Packer game isn’t at Lambeau, where football is meant to be played — outdoors. 

   I haven’t checked my website statistics in several weeks.  Very surprised to see that this month has already set new records for number of visits and for number of page views.    Not sure what the source of new visitors is, and yes, I’d like to know.  
   Back on October 15th, I introduced a “Guestbook” feature.  You can find it via the monthly archives on the right or easier yet, scroll down on the right to a small section called “Essential Posts”.  You can click on the link entitled “ Guestbook”.  
   For whatever reason, only 8 visitors to have ever said “hello” via the Guestbook.  This is odd, considering I have over 2500 unique visitors every month.  
   I’m kindly requesting that visitors “say hello” via the Guestbook.  I don’t need (or want) a life story.  But it does help me to know where you VHF’ers are located, why you come back more than once or twice, what it is you want to see here, what bands you are on, that sort of thing.   Please consider posting a comment to the Guestbook thread.  That way I know this website isn’t being visited by hordes of cyber-robots or worse.   🙂  

   Expect more posts today.   Want to explain about a few of your options for on-air activity on Sundays and Mondays.  

   Also want to direct your attention to a post I made back on Nov. 30th.  It would now be on the top of the 2nd page.   In that Nov. 30th post was a disjointed outline of everything I need to address to get this website current.  

   The ARRL Jan. VHF Contest is Jan 19-20th, 2013.   Only 3 weekends away.   Hope you have plans to get on and make a lot of contacts.

Beacon Update — Includes Several New Ones

Friday, December 28th, 2012

    Noon Friday — 

   I don’t mention beacons all that often at because the goal here is to increase on-air activity — meaning voices and CW keys that are attached to live humans.   
  But beacons are very important and with some new ones on the air, it’s time for an update.  
  I am not trying to list every beacon within tropo range of EN63.  If you have one I’m not aware of, please use the “comment” feature and share your beacon discoveries.  Bands I’ll cover are 50, 144, 222, 432, 902/3 and 1296 MHz.   Try to keep the territory within 200-300 miles of WI.  
   If you want a much longer list of beacons, here’s two good links:  covers 144 MHz and higher   and…  covers exclusively 50 MHz  (6 meters) 
   Save those to your VHF/UHF favorites folder.   Don’t rely on for your only source of beacon info. 
   Sharp-eyed readers of the 144 and higher beacon list may notice a 144.290 beacon out of EN43, LaCrosse WI.  That one went off the air at least 1-2 years ago, and as far as I know, has not come back on the air. 

   The one beacon you will hear the most often in WI is on 144.298.  It’s the WD9BGA beacon from EN53ba, in the SW corner of the grid, about 40 miles WSW of Madison, WI.   This beacon is up very high and gets out a long ways with its 10 watts.   VHF’ers  from hundreds of miles away listen for this beacon, to gauge whether the band is open beyond the normal 200-400 mile range. 
   Another beacon I always hear is the WR9L/B, on 144.283, located in EN61bd, an hour S of Chicago – runs 10 watts.  

  On 432 MHz, a very reliable beacon is on 432.300 – the W2UHI/B from EN63vb, Grand Haven, in western MI.   Runs 10w, also. 

  If you’re looking for a 222 MHz beacon, I suggest W0ZQ’s 222.062 beacon from EN34it, Bloomington, MN (Twin Cities).  Jon’s running 10w into a Big Wheel at 60′.   I see a 222.051/B listed in EN82ln, Detroit area and a 222.055/B listed in EN93vd, Waterford, ONT.  Unsure if either of those are currently operating.  Actual reports are welcome — again — use the “comment” feature at the bottom of every post. 

   Want to mention several newer beacons…
1)  W9WZJ/B on 144.289 from EM69jr, just west of Indianapolis.  1 watt to a pair of M2 omni-loops up 30’.  (Horizontally-polarized because that’s the custom on 144 MHz)   Darin would appreciate reception reports to 
      EDIT — EDIT  Jan. 10, 2013.  W9WZJ just emailed to say that his beacon is now OFF the air.  The rig has been loaned to a ham who needs a 2m SSB rig right now.  If this beacon comes back on the air, I will update 
     EDIT — EDIT  April 2013.  As mentioned in this newer post from April 13th, the W9WZJ/B in EM69jr is back on the air, and the power is up to 10w. 
2)  N4PZ has powerful beacons on 432 MHz and 1.2 GHz.  They are located in EN52gb, a good hour west of Chicago.   The 432.280 beacon runs 50w and the 1296.274 beacon is 10 watts split to a pair of yagis.  One is pointed at the Twin Cities and the other at Kansas City.  Both beacons are active  from 6-9am and again from 6pm-midnight, central time.   N4PZ would appreciate reception reports.  Remember that N4PZ also calls 432.100 activity every Monday evening at 8pm central from his EN52gb QTH.   He’s got a box of yagis and big QRO, when he peaks up on you, you know it. 
3)  WI8Z/B is on 144.282 from EN84ca, or 40-45 miles north of Saginaw, MI.  Power and height unknown at this time.   
4)  WB2LHP/B is on 144.285 from EN74gq, on a TV tower just outside of Traverse City, MI.   The beacon runs 1w and unfortunately, has a vertical antenna.  I say unfortunately because that’s the wrong polarization if you want the SSB/CW guys on 144 MHz to hear this beacon.  It’ll work great for the FM/repeater community, but I doubt that’s the intended audience.   Hopefully in time, this beacon will transmit via a horizontally-polarized antenna, because it sounds like a great location.  Either way, appreciate any ham who goes to the trouble to put up a beacon.  

    Speaking of MI beacons, want to mention N8PUM in the Upper Peninsula.  For years, Brandon has had various beacons.  Some of them (144 and 222, I believe) use yagis pointed north, to help hams know when the bands come alive with auroral propagation.   As of July 2012, N8PUM’s writeup says only his 6m beacon is currently active.   But lately, I’ve seen a beacon talked about on 432.311 from EN57vi, Mt. Horace, Greeley, MI – on the Keweenaw Peninsula, the part that juts out into Lake Superior.   The new info says the 432.311 N8PUM/B runs 3w into a turnstile antenna.

Nice Net Tonight — I Hear From 18 Check-Ins

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

   9:20pm Thursday —
   Plenty of VHF’ers on tonight, including two who were new to the SSB side of 2m.   Always pleased to hear new signals.
   Conditions were OK, nothing special.  One exception was to the NW, where K0SIX in EN35 was 3-4 S units louder than usual.   I did have some noise in most directions, and if I missed anyone, I apologize.
   Had plenty of check-ins to the east and southeast, where a winter storm has been occuring today.   Thanks for the effort.
   Tonight’s net went about 75 minutes, which isn’t unusual with me if there’s enough check-ins.

   Here’s the list:   N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL and WD9DSN EN71;  WJ8L EN72;  K9SQU EN62;  W8BYA EN70;  K9CCL, N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  W9WZJ EM69;  KC9CLM/M EN52;   KC9SGL EN53;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  N9KOR EN44 and K0SIX EN35.   Heard from WM8I in EN80, who checked in off the back as I was wrapping things up.  You sure have good ears, Roger.
   Want to acknowledge K9SQU and KC9SGL who are new to the net and to 2m SSB.  Welcome.   K9SQU was plenty loud with the M2 9-element antenna, horizontally-polarized.  Assuming he has a fairly clear horizon, he should be able to get out 150-300 miles, under normal conditions, with that yagi.   (That’s a friendly hint to those who use compromise antennas, get discouraged and then give up on weak-signal V/UHF)

   Next Wed’s net will be called by either WB9LYH in EN54cl, near WI Rapids, or by N9OLT in EN64am, Green Bay.

   I hope to make several updates over the next few days.   Check back toward Friday or Saturday.

I Will Call The 144.240 Net at 7pm Central Tonight

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

   10:15am Wed. 

   Happy Holidays,

   As mentioned in Dec. 19 and 20th posts here, I have the 144.240 long-range net tonight.   My QTH is EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  Like our other net controls, I start out looking N into the U.P. of MI, then steadily swing the yagi clockwise, or NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and back to N at the end.  The entire rotation usually takes me anywhere from 50-70 minutes, depending on how busy things are.  

   I have not heard anything from K8TQK, so his 144 rotor must still be on the fritz.  Bob will let us know when things are fixed.  So the 144.252 net tonight from EM89je is *OFF*.   Besides that, much of IN and OH are being hit by a winter storm today, so even if Bob’s rotor was working, a net would have been doubtful tonight.  

    The Jan. 2nd 144.240 net will be called by either WB9LYH in EN54cl or N9OLT in EN64am.

WB9LYH Has 16 Check-Ins Last Night

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

    6:30am Thur —

    WB9LYH reports variable propagation last night, due to the weather coming in.  At net time, the winter storm was underway in IA and NE.  Appreciate W0HXL, KG0SJ and WB0YWW checking in from those areas.  

     Here’s the list of Mark’s 16 check-ins to the 144.240 net last night:   N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  KC9RIO, K9CCL, N9JBW and KC9AZ EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  WB8AUK EN80;  KC9CLM EN52;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  W0HXL EN21;  K0SIX EN35 and WA9BNZ from EN40, who also relayed in W9BBP. 

     I plan on taking the 144.240 net on Dec. 26th at 7pm central.  
     Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

KC9BQA Calls 144.240 Long-Range Net at 7pm Central Tonight

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

   10:00am Wed.  
   (Note to myself @10:30am on Dec. 28th — WB9LYH ended up taking this net; Mark got home in time) 

    A blizzard is due in here by late tonight and thru tomorrow.  If you know me, that means I’m excited. 

    But before that starts, I should be able to call the net tonight.   Hope to stir up plenty of activity tonight. 
    I will be on 144.240 at 7pm central, from 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  I start out looking N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW.   Usually takes me about an hour to make the full circuit, depending on activity levels.   I realize conditions tonight might not be very good off to the west and southwest, where the snowstorm will already be underway. 

    I haven’t heard from K8TQK, which means his 144 rotor is still broken.   No 144.252 net from EM89 Ohio tonight.  I will advise here when I get good news from Bob.  

    Plan on me taking the 144.240 net on Dec. 26th, also.   When we start getting a January schedule firmed up, you know I’ll post it here. 

    IF YOU HAVEN’T VISITED THE WEBSITE IN A FEW WEEKS… scroll down this front page to a post I made back on Nov. 30th.   I have a list of updates at that post. 
    Remember the ARRL VHF Contest is Jan 19-20th, 2013.

WB9LYH Has 18 Check-Ins + Several Over 400 Miles

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

    11am Thursday — 
    WB9LYH had a very enjoyable net last night.   Before we get to the net report, here’s a heads-up that there will be some net control changes for the next few weeks at the bottom of this post. 

    WB9LYH’s emailed net report said he had both a good turnout and good propagation.  When you see the territory covered, I think you’ll agree.  Mark’s 18 check-ins to the 144.240 net from EN54cl, central WI were:  N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  KR8T EN72;  (Mark reports that KR8T’s dog also checked in and was 5 x 5.  :))  KD8IME, W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  KC9RIO and K9CCL EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  W9KUF EM58;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9CLM EN52;  W0SRB EM48;  W0HXL EN21;  KG0SJ EN22;  W0ANH EN47;  K0SIX EN35 and WB0ULX EN04.   
     Look at the territory last night’s net covered — OH to the east, deep into IL and MO to the south, NE and SD to the west and N MN to the north.   All on 2m SSB, on a early winter night.   In fact, I’d have to call this one of WB9LYH’s best nets ever.   Just a great turnout in all directions. 

     W9KUF EM58 and W0SRB EM48 are new to the net.  We’re always trying to get more activity from downstate IL and MO.  Hope this will get the ball rolling.   Good to get out to the Omaha area with W0HXL.  Great to hear from WB0ULX in EN04, Huron, SD.  There just aren’t many guys on weak-signal VHF/UHF from the Dakotas, so we appreciate Lloyd stopping by and proving that the EN04/EN54 path is workable. 

     I checked the chat archives from last night and N9OLT typed that a VE4 station in EN19 was either hearing or was heard by WB9LYH.  Not sure what the exact story is there, but I’m told there’s activity in the EN19 area on Wed. nights, and if they can get their VHF neighbors in NW and N MN to look toward EN54 when WB9LYH has the net, it will lead to some good contacts.  

    Here’s the net control schedule as far as we know it, right now.

   144.240 from WI, 7pm central                          144.252 from OH, 8:30pm eastern
   Dec. 19th —  KC9BQA  EN63ao                           K8TQK EM89je is doubtful, bad rotor. 
   Dec. 26th — KC9BQA hour north of MKE       Will advise here when K8TQK is back on 144.

    A word about my station on 2m… there aren’t many who get out as far as WB9LYH.  I’ve got a good station, but I know from years of experience that ‘LYH hears farther and gets out better than I do.  I run 200w into a 16 el KLM yagi up at 70’.   I get out plenty well, just not quite as far as WB9LYH.   Plus, my band isn’t as quiet as it was 4-5 years ago. 
    Like Mark, I enjoy DX check-ins.  I listen carefully for the weak ones.   Hope to hear some 300-500 mile contacts the next few Wednesdays.   Oh yes, I also follow the same antenna pattern as WB9LYH.   I get on at 7pm central, look north, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW over the next 60-75 minutes.   If I’m out in the shed playing radio, then I’m using the ham chat (IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz)