Archive for February, 2013

WB9LYH Has 19 Check-Ins Last Night

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

   7:45am Thursday

   WB9LYH has emailed his 144.240 net report.  In it, Mark says that the snow storm caused excellent propagation to the southeast.  His 19 check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  K9LQZ EM68;  WB8AUK EN80;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  N9NDP EN62;  KR8T EN72;  K8GDT EN91;  WB9TFH EN53;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KG0SJ EN22;  N8MD EN44;  K0SIK and N0KFB EN35 and W8BYA EN70. 
   Good to hear K9LQZ make the trip from southern IN.  We’re always trying to push propagation limits and we don’ t hear from enough stations in downstate MO/IL/IN, plus KY.  Want to welcome N0KFB who heard WB9LYH on his vertical.  Always good to hear new signals on the weak-signal portions of VHF/UHF. 
    I want amateurs who try the SSB/CW portions of V/UHF bands to realize that to have the best range, to work the most DX, horizontal antennas (preferably higher-gain yagis) are a must.  The reason I often harp on the antennas is that so many times, hams give 2m SSB a brief try.  They usually have compromise antennas (at best) and get discouraged and give up.  If they have decent yagis, at least 50-100w output power, and they know where and when to find on-air activity, there might be a happier ending.  

   Expect WB9LYH to call the 144.240 net on March 6th and 13th.  7pm central start time and Mark’s QTH is EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.

WB9LYH 144.240 Net ON Tonight @ 7pm Central + K8TQK 144.252 Net on Monday Had 27 Check-Ins

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

  6am Wed. 

  We’ve had quite the surprise snowstorm here.  Looks like we’re up to about 8″ here, with several more expected today.  The wind has calmed way down, but it was very gusty yesterday.   I had a 2m beam snap in half, well before the snow even started.  That was a surprise, considering the gusts were only in the 30-35 mph range.   That beam (the old 16-element KLM, about a 26′ long boom) had been up for 7+ years, with no problems in far worse weather.  Imagine it was just getting old and tired and decided yesterday was the day to break.   

   WB9LYH plans on calling the 144.240 long-range net tonight from his Central WI QTH, near WI Rapids, grid square EN54cl.  Mark will get on at 7pm central, start out by looking NE and then go E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.   Because he has stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH, he gets out a very long ways.  All licensed hams are welcome, and we especially appreciate DX in that 300-500+ mile range giving a listen and trying to push the propagation limits.  Help us spread the word. 

   WB9LYH also plans on calling the 144.240 net March 6th and 13th. 

   HERE’s K8TQK’S 144.252 NET REPORT FROM MONDAY NIGHT.  (Remember that Bob switched to Monday nights 2 months ago, start time is still 8:30pm eastern)
   W8SOL EN71;  N8AIA, N8WNA and K8JA EN82;  W9SR, K9MRI, K9SLQ and W8BYA EN70;  WD8CHR EN90;  K8GDT EN91;  VE3VII and VA3ELE FN03;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  WA4NJP and W4ZST EM84;  KD7YZ EM88;  AA4DD EM86;  N4TLL EM87;  N4PPG EM76;  WA4REE EM65, KI4ROF EM55;  W8PU EM89;  WB8ART and KB9RDS EM79;  WB9LYH EN54 and WB8AUK EN80. 
    Yep, I count 27 check-ins.  That’s impressive.  See several calls in there that look new to the net, and perhaps to 2m SSB.  Glad to see the word continues to spread.

WB9LYH 144.240 Net Report — 18 Check-Ins

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

   6:45am Thursday

   WB9LYH reported that propagation last night was rapid up and down, but we had some success. 
   I see a strong turnout from MN, including two new check-ins. 
   N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT and KC8YJB EN91;  W8SOL and N9YK EN71;  EN71;  K9CCL and KC9AZ EN61;  W8BYA EN70;  W0ANH EN47;  WB9TFH EN53;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  K0SIX EN35;  W0GTS and W0KWZ EN34;  N9KOR EN44 and N0UJJ EN36.    
    Want to thank W0GTS and W0KWZ for finding us and saying hello to the net.  Welcome. 

    Expect WB9LYH to be net control next Wed., Feb. 27th.  It also looks like Mark will be taking the net on March 6th and 13th.  I may be taking a net or two in later March.  It pays to check because I make a post confirming the net control every Wednesday.

WB9LYH 144.240 Net ON Tonight + K8TQK’s 144.252 Monday Net Report

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

   8:40am Wed. —
  Bit too busy this morning to type up a clear report, but want to get the word out that WB9LYH is ON 144.240 tonight, from EN54cl, at 7pm central.   All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you spreading the word in a multi-state circle surrounding WI.  WB9LYH is in EN54cl, middle of WI.  Mark starts out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.  Very big signal and loves to push the propagation limits. 
   Please refer to this post if you need more info about the 144.240 long-range net every Wed. from WI. 

   On to K8TQK’s 144.252 net report from Monday night.  Bob now calls this net at 8:30pm eastern, every Monday from EM89je, south-central OH.  His antenna pattern is to start out looking N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  Very big signal; makes all kinds of contacts in the 300-400+ mile range.   His check-ins below are proof. 
   K8TQK had 21 check-ins on Monday night — N8WNA, N8AIA and K8JA EN82;  WB8AUK and WM8I EN80;  W8SOL EN71;  VA3WV EN93;  K8GDT EN91;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  W8BYA and W9SR EN70;  WD8CHR EN90;  WD5NMV EM85;  AA4DD EM86;  KA2KQM EM74;  KI4ROF EM55;  KY4MRG EM77;  WA4REE EM65;  W8TLC EM79;  KD8DJE EM89.

Link to a Great Rover Report from the Jan. Contest + Join the Badger Contesters

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

   8:15am Saturday —
  Have a treat for you this weekend. 
  W9FZ and KA9VVQ roved 7 grids in the ARRL Jan VHF Contest.  This week, W9FZ took the time to type up a nice report, complete with plenty of pictures.  Go here  for his multi-page writeup.   Both W9FZ and KA9VVQ have given permission for me to share their rover report here. 

   Hope this will motivate some of you to try roving.  Nobody does more to help improve contests than rovers.  If you have a poor QTH for radio, if you are antenna-restricted, if you enjoy finding high spots where you can be the DX that others are looking for, you should be a rover.   We used to have as many as 6-10 rovers who were within 100-150 miles of SE WI.  Nowadays, we might get 3-4. 
   If you have any interest in roving, start planning now, while it’s winter and there’s time.   Opportunities to rove will start in April, with the Spring VHF/UHF Sprints, and will continue with the ARRL June VHF Contest, the CQ WW VHF Contest in late July, the ARRL UHF Contest in early August and the ARRL Sept. VHF Contest (Weekend after Labor Day).  Visit the ARRL and CQ websites to become familiar with the dates, times and rules.  
   I would expect the 144 MHz Spring Sprint to be on Monday, April 8th, from 7-11pm local time.  I will promote it harder when I know the date has been announced for sure. 

   W9FZ has been very valuable to me in the 9 years I’ve been on the air.   Bruce is one of the nicest guys I know in ham radio, and he has been roving for way longer than I’ve been around.  He also knows how to put a big signal on the air, and how to manage those times when a lot of stations are calling in different directions.   If you have questions about roving, I know Bruce would be willing to help.  
   If you’re in the mood to read more this weekend, remember I have two articles discussing roving.  They are and    I’m sure using Google to look up certain phrases would give you plenty of fresh material, too.  

   The way I understand it, W9FZ actually started the  Badger Contesters, which is Wisconsin’s VHF/UHF Club.  In fact, BC territory extends into parts of N IL, W MI, the U.P. of MI, and far Eastern IA and SE MN.  You can view the BC club circle here:  (a 175-mile circle centered on Oshkosh, WI) 
    Dozens and dozens of us are BC’ers.  The Badger Contesters are a dues-free, low-stress club.  There is also an email reflector that comes alive at times, primarily around VHF/UHF contests.  If you enjoy weak-signal V/UHF and do some contesting, we invite you to join.  The main BC webpage is at  From there, click on membership and follow the directions at the top of the page. 
    I did make a separate post about the BC’ers back on Jan 19th.   Click here: if you want more info.

WB9LYH 144.240 Net Report for 2/13/13 — 16 Check-Ins

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

7:15pm central Wed. —
Tonight is a good night for me to be out in the shed with the rigs, listening along as WB9LYH calls the 144.240 long-range net from EN54cl, middle of WI.
Mark’s check-ins are:  N9OLT EN64;  WA8YLZ EN63;  N8WNA EN82;  KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71, KR8T EN72, K9CCL EN61, KC9BQA EN63, KC9CLM along with his grandson from EN52;  KB9RDS EM79;  N8DJB EN81,  KD0KUK EN35;  W9BBP EN40;  KG0SJ and WB0YWW EN22 and KA0KYZ EN33.
WB9LYH called NW and N to end the net.  Nobody was on in those directions and he wrapped things up by 7:50pm.
Conditions tonight were variable.  Plenty of QSB.  Some directions were OK, others were below average.

WB9LYH plans on calling the net on both Wed. Feb 20th and 27th.  7pm central/8pm eastern start time.

WB9LYH 144.240 Net Tonight from EN54 — 7pm Central. Plus K8TQK 144.252 Net Report from Monday Night.

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

   7:45am central Wednesday — 

   Plan on WB9LYH calling the long-range net from WI tonight on 144.240 at 7pm central/8pm eastern.  Talking stacked 17B2’s and 500 W from a ridgetop QTH.  Mark gets out a long ways and DX is encouraged to give it a try.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.   He starts the net by looking NE into the U.P. of MI, then shifts clockwise a full 360 over the next hour or so.  Talking NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW and N to end the net.  
   WB9LYH will be net control on Feb. 20th and 27th, as well. 

   I want to post K8TQK’s check-ins from Monday night.  K8TQK calls a net on 144.252 from EM89je at 8:30pm eastern every Monday.  Bob has an outstanding signal, too and swings his antennas in the same pattern — N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW.  
   From reviewing the chat transcripts at the ham chat site (use the IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz), I see Bob had 15 check-ins:  WB8AUK EN80;  W2UAD FN13;  WD4NMV EM85;  AA4DD EM86;  WA4REE EM65;  KY4MRG EM77;  KI4ROF EM55;  KB9RDS EM79;  W9SR and KB8TDA EN70;  KC9CLM EN52;  WD8LDL EN72;  N8AIA EN82;  VA3WU FN03 AND AC3L/M FN00. 
    What a great turnout in all directions.  Reached into ONT and W NY to the north, down into the southern Appalachians, far SW TN, and up into southern WI.  This is what can be done on 2m SSB at any time, with high-gain horizontal yagis and respectable power (at least 50-100w, and preferably more)
    OH YES… you need one more thing to make these 300, 400 mile contacts on 2 meters.  Stations to work.  That’s why I do this blog.  To steer hams to where and when the activity is.

REMINDER — MRAC FM Simplex Contest is This Sunday, Feb 10th

Friday, February 8th, 2013

   4:15pm Friday —

   As mentioned in a pair of posts dated Jan 22nd, the MRAC (Milwaukee Radio Amateurs Club) has their FM Simplex Contest this Sunday, Feb. 10th.  This contest has been around for at least 10-12 years and it has good participation.  If you’re within 50-100 miles of Milwaukee, I’d give a listen.   Better yet, call CQ and make some contacts. 
   Here’s the times and bands:
    2    m  (1:00 PM – 2:00 PM)
    70   cm  (2:00 PM – 2:30 PM)
    6    m  (2:30 PM – 3:00 PM)
    1.25 m  (3:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

      Here are direct links to two posts I made on Jan 22nd, promoting this contest  and another post promoting FM contesting in general  Both have additional links and useful info.

Tonight’s Net Report — 19 Check-ins on 144.240

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

  9pm central, Wed. — 

  Had an enjoyable net tonight.  The heater out in the shed recently had a tune up and is working well.   Conditions were above average and noise levels were lower than they’ve been in quite some time.   Plenty of VHF’ers were out there.  
  I worked —  N9OLT EN64;  N8DJB EN81;  K8GDT EN91;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  WD8LDL and KR8T EN72;  W8BYA EN70;  N9JBW and WB9WOZ EN61;  W9WZJ EM69;  WB9TFH and KY9E EN53;  KC9CLM/M EN52;  WB0YWW, KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22;  K0SIX EN35 and W0ANH EN47.   I think there were at least two others who tried to check in, but faded away when I asked for repeats. 
   Tonight’s surprise happened when I was sorting thru 3-4 callers from Michiana.  I was lining them up when I heard someone else, a familiar voice.  It was W0ANH up in EN47, completely off the back.  I suppose Connie heard me and wanted to let me know he was there.  I quickly urged him and others to slide down to .230 and try for some direct contacts, while I continued with the net on .240.  I hope that some of the guys from MI/IN/OH worked EN47. 
    WB9WOZ in EN61 was particularly loud.  Sounded like a late summer night when Lake Michigan turns over at night and signals come up several S-units all around the lake.  W9WZJ was S7 at times, but with deep QSB.  All the EN22 guys were up a few S-units.  K0SIX in EN35 said I was as loud as he’s heard me in quite some time.   Called multiple times into the Twin Cities/Eau Claire/Duluth/EN37/47/58 but I couldn’t get up that way until 8:05-8:15pm.  It’s been a long time since I was done before 8pm.  

     Expect WB9LYH to take the 144.240 net from WI the next 3 Wednesdays.  Check the website later Tuesday or Wednesday, just to confirm.

K8TQK 144.252 Net Report From Monday Night

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

   Noon Wednesday — 

   I call the 144.240 net tonight from EN63ao, 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  7pm central/8pm eastern start time.   All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you spreading the word.  
  WB9LYH in EN54cl is scheduled to be the 144.240 net control on Feb. 13, 20 and 27th.   

   K8TQK had a frozen rotor pointing south Monday night.  He rounded up some helpers and they managed to cover all points of the compass with Bob’s 144.252 net, which has moved to Monday nights at 8:30pm eastern. 
   With K8GDT, W9WZJ, WB8AUK and KY4MRG helping, here’s their combined list: 
    KI4ROF EM55;  WA4REE EM65;  KA2KQM EM74;  KY4MRG EM77;  WB8AUK, WM8I and WD8AML EN80;  K8GDT and KD8JQ EN91;  W9SR, W8SOL and K9MRI EN70;  N8IDS EM79;  W9WZJ EM69;   N1GC EM95;  WA4NJP EM84; KC9CLM EN52; WB9LYH EN54, N8WNA, K8JA and N8AIA EN82. 
    Looks like 21 check-ins to me.  If I missed someone, my apologies for the oversight.