Archive for October, 2013

MN and MI Have 2m and 6m Activity on Sunday Nights

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

   7:45am Sunday

   Time to start updating the list of all the regular activity on the SSB side of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  I’ve mentioned these nets many times before, but it’s a good time for an update.  If you have ham buddies who are curious about the SSB side of VHF, steer them toward this info.  I post this info so hams will realize all the options they have for seeing how far they can hear, and starting to learn about band conditions on various nights.  

    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.  

    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+ 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 ON4KST.com 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 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.   
   If KA0PQW needs a night off, then K0SIX (EN35) or KA0KYZ (EN33) pitches in on 144.260.

   I should be able to update the Monday schedule sometime later this morning.  Check back before noon.  Monday has traditionally been the national 2m activity night and it’s chock full of great nets in multiple states.

144.240 Wed. Net Plans (Includes a Time Change Effective Nov. 6th)

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

   10:15am Sat.

   WB9LYH would like everyone to know that he will be back calling the 144.240 long-range net from WI on Wed. nights. 
   His schedule looks good for the rest of October and into November.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  
   The 144.240 net start time remains at 8pm central until November 6th.  

   Effective November 6th, the 144.240 Wed. net from WI will change to winter hours.  This will mean a 7pm central/8pm eastern start time until at least next April.  Please help spread the word.  

   This only pertains to the 144.240 long-range net from WI on Wed. nights.   If you like short stories, you’re done.  If you want more details, read on…

   Our net story is here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363  if you want to know how we started and how things have evolved over time. 

    The Wed. 144.240 long-range net is open to all licensed amateurs.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on the SSB portions of 2 meters.  Listen along and say hello when it’s convenient. 

    Many times, hams want to give that 144 MHz portion of their rigs a try.  But they don’t know where/when to find activity.   They get discouraged and give up, without ever finding out how amazing it can be to work guys 100, 200, 400+ miles away on good ol’ 2 meters.   (It also helps to realize that the SSB’ers use horizontally-polarized antennas ((usually yagis with good forward gain)) so your basic rooftop vertical is going to be a compromise from a DX-standpoint, due to the 20db loss with cross-polarization.  But even a vertical will hear local and some semi-local signals.  Just realize that to get the 100-300 mile range on 2m SSB/CW, you want a 9, 11, 13 element or longer yagi, up in the clear, fed with good low-loss coax.  A horizontal loop, halo or squalo is also better than a vertical, or stack 2 of them for an extra 3db of gain.) 

   The purpose of this blog is to point out to hams where/when they can find activity on the SSB portions of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.   Toward that goal, I will try this weekend to make a series of posts outlining various nets on different nights and different bands, within a several hundred mile radius of WI.   It’s not just about us on Wed. nights.  There is activity on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.   Friday and Saturday nights, too, now that I think about it.  There’s probably nets and activity nights I’m not even aware of.  As always, if you know of something I haven’t mentioned, send a comment and let everyone know. 
   
    I will also gently remind readers that it’s a good idea to CQ into quiet bands.  Don’t fall into the rut of only turning on your rig for net night or big band openings.   So many times, hams will say, “The band is dead, nobody’s on.”  Oh yeah?  Really?  Well did you call CQ? 
   If a few dozen hams are all listening to 144.200 and nobody calls CQ, how many signals will they hear?   That’s right — zero.   Take matters into your own hands.  Take a little time to call CQ.  Rotate the yagi and call in different directions.  That’s the only way the bands will truly become active, is when the 100’s of VHF’ers stop “just listening” and start calling CQ a few times a week.

Wed. 144.240 and Mon. 144.252 Net Reports

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

  6:15am Saturday

  **Microwave Fall Sprint is starting at 7am in your local time zone this morning.  Runs until 1pm.**   This is all bands 900 MHz and higher.  Many use 144.260 to help coordinate contacts on the higher bands, where the yagis are very pointy. 
    Full sprint info has been here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7396  since Sept. 21st.   

   I have sent my rotor control box back to Green Heron and I’ll be curious to hear if Jeff finds anything wrong inside it. 

    On to the net reports from last week…
   N9OLT had a quiet night last Wed.  John has filled in for WB9LYH the last two weeks, and we sure appreciate his help.  Wish he had more check-ins, but last Wed. also had the 432 sprints. 
   John’s 4 check-ins last Wed. to the 144.240 Wed. net out of WI were:  W8MIL EN74;  N9GUU and WB9TFH EN52 and W0ANH EN47. 

   K8TQK had another big 144.252 net last Monday.  His list of 25 included:  K8CIT EN75;  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  VE3CRU/M FN04;  VA3VEC FN14;  NF8O and K8GDT EN91;  K8ZES FN02;  W2UAD FN13;  KA3CFA FN00;  WD8CHR EN90;  N1GC EM95;  WD4NMV EM85;  W4IMD, WA4NJP and W4TMW EM84;  N4PPG EM76;  KI4ROF and WB4LHD EM55;  WA4REE EM65;  KY4MRG EM77;  KB9RDS EM79;  W8PU and KB8GUE EM89. 

   
    I hope to make another post today discussing the 144.240 net control for the rest of Oct. and into early Nov.  I think we will have WB9LYH back, but I want to confirm with Mark first.  Plus I need to get the word out about our seasonal time change, where we start the 144.240  Wed. net an hour earlier (at 7pm central/8pm eastern) until next spring.   Look for that post later this morning…

144.240 (Wed.) and 144.252 (Mon.) Net Reports

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

   1:45pm Thursday

   N9OLT is helping us out by pinch-hitting for WB9LYH with the 144.240 net from WI.  John called the net from EN64, Green Bay last night and will be at the mic again next Wed., at the usual start time of 8pm central. 
   N9OLT had 9 check-ins last night to the Wed. 144.240 net:  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  AB9QH EN62;  KB8GUE EM89;  KC9CLM and W9EWZ EN52;  K9LQZ EM68;  WB9TFH EN53 and W0ANH EN47.  
 
   For those of you a little too far east or south of WI to reliably hear us, we do offer a satellite or helper net control station.  K9LQZ is in far southern IN, grid EM68, a half hour NW of Louisville, KY.  Most Weds., K9LQZ gets on 144.240 about 9:20pm eastern and calls to his east, southeast, south and southwest for a little while, to try and find activity we can’t normally hear from WI.  I’d be happy to post Lowell’s check-ins here, but I don’t think he’s much for emailing.  If anyone else wants to get those check-ins to me, I’d be grateful. 

   
   K8TQK calls a net on 144.252 every Monday at 8:30pm eastern, from EM89je, south-central OH.  Bob has a pair of long yagis up on a hilltop and gets out a very long ways.  Looks like K8TQK had 25 check-ins:   K9LQZ EM68;  KB8GUE, W8WG and N8EEG EM89;  N8AIA and N8WNA EN82;  K8CIT EN85;  KD8FHY, NF8O and K8GDT EN91;  VA3VEC FN14;  AC3L/M FN00;  WD8CHR EN90;  WD4NFV and K4LY EM85;  W4LES, WD4NJP, W4VAS and W4IMD EM84;  KI4ROF EM55;  KB9RDS, NR8O and WB8ART EM79;  N9EGT EN70 and VA3ELE FN03. 

    Again, want to thank N9OLT for helping with the 144.240 net when WB9LYH is unavailable.  Thanks, John. 
   Look for N9OLT again next Wed at 8pm on 144.240.  Look toward EN64, Green Bay, WI. 

   
   Remember the Fall V/U Sprints are in session.  Next one is the 432 MHz sprint on Wed., Oct 9th, from 7-11pm in your local time zone.  I’ve had the sprint info posted here at kc9bqa.com for a few weeks now.  Scroll down this front page a little ways, or go directly to this post for more info about the Fall VHF/UHF Sprints:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7396