Archive for September, 2013

WB9LYH Has 20 Check-Ins to Last Night’s 144.240 Net

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

   9:45am Thur.

   Got email from WB9LYH with his list of check-ins last night. 
   Mark reports that propagation was “great”.   Propagation has been good for long stretches of both August and September.  This is no surprise; late summer into fall is usually the best time of year for long-haul tropo on bands like 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  Microwaves, too. 
   Want to know how good propagation is?  I saw on the chat that W9RM in EN52 made over 110 contacts in the 2m sprint Monday night, including 55 grids.  That’s a big night on 2m, and that’s what can happen when the band is open and a lot of stations are on the air.  
  The chat was very active Monday night, maybe the most active I’ve ever seen it.  It would have taken me a half hour or more to properly go thru it.   If you’re newer here and have no idea what I’m talking about, click on this link:  That post will explain about the free and no-BS amateur chat rooms that so many of us now use. 

    Back to the net report…
    WB9LYH’s 20 check-ins last night were: 
   N9OLT and KA9BXG EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  N8PUM EN66;  K9CCL, N9JBW and WA9HIR EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  N9GUU, KC9CLM and W9EWZ EN52;  K8TQK, W8PU and KB8GUE EM89;  WA9BNZ EN40;  W0WOI and KG0SJ EN22;  W0ANH EN47 and WB0ULX EN04.   

     **Please note that N9OLT EN64 will be the 144.240 net control on Wed., Oct 2nd and Wed., Oct 9th.  Look toward EN64, Green Bay, WI, at the 8pm central start time.   N9OLT’s antenna pattern is also N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next hour or so.**

     K8TQK did call his 144.252 net from EM89, south-central OH on Monday night at 8:30pm eastern.  But Bob didn’t type his check-ins to the chat so I don’t have the list.  I bet with the sprint also going on, K8TQK was busier than busy.

WB9LYH Calls 144.240 Net from EN54 @8pm Central Tonight

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

   7:45am Wed. 

   Expect WB9LYH to put his big signal out there tonight, at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Mark is located in EN54cl, which is the middle of WI, about an hour and a half north of Madison.   From Central WI, WB9LYH first looks northeast, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and the nets are informal.  Purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB. 
   We can only do so much to increase activity.  We encourage all “weak-signal” V/UHF ops to get on the air and do their own CQ’ing.  Been singing this tune for over 5 years now, and it’s good advice.  If you have a band where 20 hams are all “just listening” how much activity will anyone hear?  That’s right — nothing.  So the way to improve the health of quiet bands is to call CQ.   

   Will conditions be enhanced tonight?  Could very well be.  The overall stagnant weather pattern is conducive to enhancement. 
   Back on Monday night, the 144 MHz Fall Sprint had many reports of long-haul tropo across a wide area of the Midwest, Mid-South and Mid-Atlantic.  Lot of fun was had by those who got on and called CQ Sprint.  

   K9LQZ has also been getting on 144.240 on Wed. nights, from his EM68 QTH, a half hour NW of Louisville, KY.   Lowell has a big signal and he’s been helping us find activity from areas we can’t normally reach from WI.  If you live a long ways southeast, south or southwest of WI, look toward K9LQZ in southern IN starting about 0120Z/9:20pm eastern.

Wed. 144.240 and Mon. 144.252 Net Reports

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

   2:15pm Saturday 
   N9OLT called the 144.240 net this past Wed.   John’s in EN64, Green Bay, WI and as luck would have it, thunderstorms developed just to his northeast during the net.  He was fighting a lot of QRN during the net and John regrets not hearing several calls clearly. 
   Here’s who N9OLT did check-in:  KR8T EN72;  W9EWZ and KC9CLM EN52;  KA9BXG EN64;  W9CFM EN53 and W0WOI EN22

   Back on Monday, K8TQK had very good conditions with his 144.252 net (0130Z/8:30pm eastern start, look toward EM89je, south-central OH)  Bob had 19 check-ins and enjoyed working some good DX to his northwest after the net was done.  
   N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  NF8O and K8GDT EN91;  WD8CHR EN90;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  W4IMD EM84;  N4PPG EM76;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  K4LY EM85;  N4TLL EM87;  KA2KQM EM74;  KY4MRG EM77;  WB9LYH EN54;  KC9CLM and W9EWZ EN52;  KD8GUE EM89.  

    Next Wed.  WB9LYH will be ON with the 144.240 net @8pm central.   Look toward EN54cl, central WI.

2 Meter Fall Sprint is This Monday, Sept. 23rd From 7-11pm

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

   7:15am Saturday

   Friendly reminder that the Fall V/U Sprints are upon us. 
   The 6m sprint was actually back in mid-Aug, but now the sprints resume on the  schedule we’re familiar with.  Meaning 2m on a Monday night (Sept. 23rd), 222 MHz on a Tuesday night (Oct 1st), 432 on a Wed. night (Oct 9th) and Microwave sprint (all bands 900 MHz and higher) on a Sat. morning (Oct 12th).   
   The 144, 222 and 432 MHz sprints run from 7-11pm in your local time zone.  
   The microwave sprint runs from 7am-1pm in your local time zone. 

   Go here for full info about the Fall VHF/UHF Sprints:

   Please spread the word this weekend that the 2m Fall Sprint is Monday night, Sept. 23rd.  

    I hope to get the net reports up later today.  Look for a separate post toward afternoon or evening.

N9OLT EN64 Calls 144.240 Net Tonight @8pm Central

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

    9am Wed. 

    As mentioned in bold print in last week’s net report, N9OLT in EN64 (Green Bay, WI) will be calling the 144.240 net this evening at 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern.   N9OLT pinch-hits on occasion and we’re very grateful to have John on board. 
   N9OLT will follow the same antenna pattern as WB9LYH.  Start out looking into the U.P. of MI, then soon swinging into Lower MI, VE-3, OH, IN, WI/IL, IA, MN.  In other words, starting out N, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW over the next hour or so.  
   There’s a small chance for t-storms tonight so if 144.240 ends up quiet, you know why. 

   K9LQZ has also been getting on 144.240 from his EM68 QTH in southern IN, a half hour NW of Louisville.  Lowell gets on to expand activity to areas we can’t normally reach from WI.  He tends to get from about 0120-0140.  

   All licensed amateurs are welcome to our Wed. night nets.  The nets are informal; the purpose is to increase activity on the SSB side of 2m. 
   You can really help out the “weak-signal” side of V/UHF by doing some CQ’ing of your own.  The last thing we want is a situation where 20-40 hams tune into net control, say hi briefly and then turn their rigs off until the next net.  We have always encouraged more activity, anytime, anywhere.   Hopefully others will get on, call CQ, swing their beams, spread out across the band a little, and expand the activity.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, September 13th, 2013

   7:45am Friday —

   *REMEMBER ARRL Sept. VHF Contest is This Weekend* 
   Scroll down this front page for more contest info.   Still time to spread the word and get more signals on the air.  

   I’m *off* for this contest.  I’m still troubleshooting my failed main rotor and the latest guidance says that my control box is flaky/intermittent.  Going to have to send it back to Green Heron for troubleshooting.  At least it doesn’t appear to be the rotor, which I’m grateful for.  But I continue to be off the air. 
    I prefer to talk about actual activity here, so let’s get to this week’s net reports.

    On Wed. night, WB9LYH calls the 144.240 long-range net @0100Z from EN54cl, central WI.   The net is informal and all licensed amateurs are welcome to drop by, say hello and see how the band sounds. 
   This Wed. Mark had 13 check-ins:  W9EWZ, KC9CLM and W9UIJ EN52;  WD9CPY EN54;  N9OLT EN64;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  WB9TFH EN53;  K9LQZ EM68;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  K9AKS EN41 and KG0SJ EN22.  

    **144.240 net control for Sept. 18th will be N9OLT EN64**  

          On Monday nights, K8TQK calls the 144.252 activity net @0030Z from EM89je, south-central OH.  This past Monday, Bob had 20 check-ins:   N8AIA EN82;  W2UAD FN13;  WD8CHR EN90;  K4LY EM85;  W4IMD, WA4NJP and W4LES EM84;  KA2KQM EM74;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  KY4MRG EM77;  N9EGT, KB8TDA, WB9KQO, KC9NHU, WB9RTO and K9SLQ EN70;  KC9CLM and W9EWZ EN52 and KB8GUE EM89.

Nearly Every Ham Has 6m and/or 2m. So Try a VHF Contest!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

   8:15pm Monday 

   One last post about the ARRL VHF Contest this weekend. 

   Need to remind VHF’ers everywhere that the September ARRL VHF Contest is this weekend.  

   In the central time zone, it starts at 1pm Saturday, Sept. 14th and runs until 10pm Sunday, Sept. 15th.  All bands 50 MHz and up are in play.  Remember that much of the contest activity takes place on the 2 most-popular VHF bands — 50 and 144 MHz.  Even if you’re just a casual VHF’er, you want to be on board for the contests because so many signals will be on the air.    In the contests, you will hear many stations you may not hear at any other time.  You do not “have to be in the contest” to enjoy the activity.  Everyone is welcome.  

   Don’t know much about VHF Contesting?  I can help.  I have a series of articles I wrote a few years back called VHF Contesting School.  I wrote these with the goal of getting any ham comfortable with calling “CQ Contest”.  The link to all the articles is here:    

   I’d appreciate it if you’d share this info with hams everywhere.   The VHF contests can always use more activity.

W9FZ Announces MidwestMania for This Weekend’s VHF/UHF Contest

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

    8pm Monday — 

    I want to highlight info W9FZ is sending far and wide.  Bruce types:

“I’ll (W9FZ) be roving out in Oklahoma mostly this year. I’ll be on the 98th Meridian starting at the TX/OK border just east of Wichita Falls. (EM03/13/14/04) Then I’ll track northward to catch EM05/15 just west of OKC on Sun morn. And then Sun afternoon and eve I’ll be at the KS/OK border area for EM06/16/17/07.

These will be all new grids for me as I pursue CSVHFS Reverse VUCC/r endorsements.

Yes, I ginned up “Midwest Mania!!” again for the 5th year. I make updates to the website every night as I get inputs. I must admit I’m not hearing back from folks like I expected. Puzzled by that.

Thanks for your promotion efforts!
Hope 6m opens–that would be a good skip range for us.
Bruce Richardson W9FZ/R

KC9BQA continues: 
Don’t know how many readers I have in the Plains, but keep spreading the word about the contest this weekend and make a special effort to get on the air.  Not just for a little bit at the start and the finish, but as much as you can, throughout the weekend.

September ARRL VHF Contest is This Weekend (Sept. 14-15th)

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

  8pm Monday — 

  Back on August 28th, I posted well ahead of time about the ARRL VHF Contest coming up.  I want to refresh VHF’ers memories and make the post again.  
   For as well as nets have been going in the past 3-5 years, the contests have really gone downhill.  I’d estimate participation in the Midwest/Great Lakes is about 60-70% of what it used to be.  That’s probably being a bit generous, actually.  The last years I recall being truly busy in a non-June contest were 2008 and 2009.  The slide started in 2010 and every year since then has been quieter.   The only exception is the June contests, where the 6m guys really perk things up.  Where are all the guys with stations for 50, 144, 222, and 432 MHz? 
   Check out the Google spreadsheet where Midwest/Great Lakes stations are invited to post their plans.  That spreadsheet is here:   Please respect W0UC’s wishes (he creates these spreadsheets, I’m just the messenger) and only post your plans if you are within about 300 miles of WI.  More info is available at the Aug 28th post about halfway down this front page at  

    My point is that here we are, the contest 5 days away and less than 15 stations have posted plans to be on.    So if you care to contest this weekend, take 2 minutes and type your call and bands into the spreadsheet.  Rovers, please post your plans as well.  (The spreadsheet has separate tabs at the bottom for fixed stations and rovers.)  Then tell all the VHF’ers you know to get on this weekend.  Hopefully the bands will have some periods of enhancement, like they have for much of the past few weeks. 

   Stay tuned for one more contest post from a veteran who is doing something to stir up more activity.

144.252 Mon. and 144.240 Wed. Nets are ON This Week

Monday, September 9th, 2013

   6:15pm Monday —

   As mentioned below, K8TQK will be starting with his 144.252 net from EM89je, south-central OH at 0030Z/8:30pm eastern tonight.        K8TQK’s antenna pattern is first north, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next hour or so. 

    The 144.240 net will be on this Wed. called again by WB9LYH in EN54cl.  Start time is 0100Z or 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Mark’s antenna pattern is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N. 

   Apparently K9LQZ has also been getting on Wed. nights, looking for activity we can’t normally reach from WI.   We appreciate his efforts.  K9LQZ looks E, SE, S, SW and W from his EM68 QTH, a half hour northwest of Louisville, KY.  He does this on 144.240, from about 0120-0140.  If anyone knows of a way to get K9LQZ’s check-ins to me, I’ll be happy to type them up here.