Archive for June, 2014

KC9BQA Gear For Sale Update — Towers, Yagis, Coax and Rotors

Friday, June 27th, 2014

   11am Fri.   (June 27, 2014) 

   The first phase of selling my station has been great.  Virtually all my rigs, amps and transverters are gone to good homes.    If you are wondering why I’m selling, see posts at dated March 15th, 2014.

   From my 28-2304 MHz station, all that remains is a single IC-575H, mated to a Heathkit SB-230.   I just may stay on 6m for another season or two, we’ll see.   I also have a few other rigs that need repair so they aren’t ready to sell at this time.  (A pair of Kenwood TS-850’s and an Icom IC-475H).  

   THE SECOND PHASE is primarily towers, yagis for 50 thru 2304 MHz, plenty of feedline, tower accessories, plus rotors and control boxes.    

    I have two towers — one is 100′ and the other is 70′.  ( I suppose HF’ers might be interested in these towers, too)  Both  towers are Rohn SSV and self-supporting.  No guy wires needed.   The 100′ tower has a wide, robust base and the 70’er is more of a straight stick. 
   Antennas on the towers are:
   28 MHz:  5-element HyGain (bought new and installed June 2011)
   50 :  7-element M2 JHV   (bought new and installed June 2011) 
144:  Pair 12 el K1FO design 
 222:  Pair 16 el K1FO 
 432:  Pair 25 el K1FO
  The 144, 222 and 432 yagi pairs were bought new from C3i back in late 2003.  
  There is a very sturdy custom H-frame that holds the 222 and 432 yagis in perfect balance. 

   902:  Pair 33 el K1WHS (
1296:  Pair 45 el K1WHS
2304:  Single 76 el “blowtorch”
  These yagis were bought new and installed in the summer of 2005. 
  There is also a nice H-frame from Directive Systems that holds and balances the 902/1296 yagis. 

  All phasing harnesses, power dividers and H-frames are part of the deal, along with two very stout mastpipes in the 15-20′ range.    
  Besides the towers and yagis, there’s hundreds of feet of coax on those towers.  Rough guess is 400-500′ of 1″ hardline (in 4 separate runs), 250-300′ of 1.5″ hardline (in 4 separate runs) and several hundred feet of 9913.   I also have a spare piece of 1 1/2″ hardline in the shed, guess-timating about 60-70′.   All feedline is also included. 

   The price for both towers, all yagis, all feedlines, phasing harnesses, power dividers, H-frames and 2 very sturdy long mast pipes is $7000.   Someone who can take them down safely would get a credit of $1000.  Someone who bought everything at one time would get another $500 credit.  This means the soup-to-nuts price is $5500.  If I know you to be a dedicated VHF’er, I will gladly knock another $500 off because in a perfect world, this all goes to a good home.  If you are a pleasure to deal with, that’s worth another $500 to me.  🙂  So now we’re down to $4500 for 2 self-supporting towers, good long yagis for 28, 50, 144, 222, 432, 902, 1296 and 2304 MHz (stacked pairs on 144 thru 1296, by the way) and individual feedline for each band — at least 8 separate runs of 1 to 1.5″ hardline.  
   If this sounds like something you want, email me, we can exchange phone #’s and find a time when you can visit and inspect everything for yourself. 

  Here’s more info …
   I should add that there’s no real deadline to the tower takedown.   If it takes a few years, I’m OK.    BUT… if someone has serious interest we should talk.    A guy could have everything this summer or fall, if he’s ready to move. 

   I gratefully acknowledge 5 hams (so far) who have offered to do some tower work in exchange for some of the items up in the air.   The tricky part is figuring out the timing and details.   This may take some time.   How quickly the towers/yagis/rotors and feedline come down will be determined by how motivated a buyer is.  And how well they can streamline the process.   A single buyer (or crew) who can do it all will save the most money. 

      Rotors will be a separate deal, as will the control boxes.  I’m not quite ready to inventory and price those yet.  I will have a pair of Prosistel PST-61D’s, plus a pair of CATS RD 1800’s, and an old Ham IV that I bought in 2002 from W9NAW and never used.  There’s 3 control boxes — a Green Heron RT-21 and a pair of CATS DPU 1800-D’s.  Just found a Yaesu G-800 rotor and a pair of G-800 SDX control boxes in a corner.  Not sure if those Yaesu pieces are working or not.   I retired those about 2006-7 and upgraded. 

   There’s the scoop.  Feel free to spread the word to VHF’ers you know.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

   3pm Thur. 

   Man is it nice to see the sun!  And not just for a few minutes in the evening, but ALL DAY!  Sorry — it’s been a gloomy stretch for days here.  More like April or early May. 

   I don’t think the 144.240 net happened last night.  WB9LYH was off and N9XKH in EN52il was filling in.  But I just replayed weather radar from last night and there were storms in N9XKH’s area at net time.  Plus I don’t have an email net report, nor was anything mentioned on the real-time ham chat.  (Talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) 

   Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 14 check-ins to his 144.252 net called from EM89je, south-central OH (start time is 8:30pm eastern, every Monday)  Bob’s check-ins were:  AC3L/M FN00;  KJ4ZYB FM07;  WB4IXU EM86;  W4IMD, W4LES and WA4NJP EM84;  WB7PMP EM88;  WD4NMV EM85;  N8XA and WB8ART EM79;  WA4REE EM65;  W3IP FM19;  KB8GUE EM89 and K8RYU EM99. 

   *WB9LYH SHOULD BE BACK ON WITH THE 144.240 WED. NET ON JULY 2ND.*  Start time during Daylight Savings is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Look toward EN54cl — right in the middle of WI.   WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. 

    I owe you readers 2 things:  1)  an update on my station liquidation and 2) a full summer contest calendar.   Hopefully I can type those up tomorrow or Saturday. 
   Looks like the CQ WW VHF is up next — that’s 6m and 2m only, and it starts at 1pm central on Sat. July 19th and runs for 33 hours, until 4pm central the next day.

N9XKH in EN52il Will Call 144.240 Wed. Net on June 25th

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

  8:20am Thur.

  AS FOR THE 144.240 WED. NET OUT OF WI… there will be a guest net control next Wed., June 25th.  As promised, N9XKH in EN52il, right on the IL/WI border (SSW of Madison, WI) will be the 144.240 net control next week.  Dennis will be filling in when WB9LYH has other business.  Expect to hear Dennis several times this summer. 

   LET’S GET N9XKH SOME CHECK-INS NEXT WED.   I assume Dennis will follow the pattern of first looking NNE briefly toward Green Bay and the U.P. of MI.  Then start turning clockwise, or NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes or so.  Start time should be 8pm central/9pm eastern — our usual summer start time. 

   Again, on June 25th, look toward the IL/WI border (EN52il) for N9XKH, guest 144.240 net control.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

   8am Thur

   WB9LYH emailed to say he had a good net last night.  The 12 checkins were:  KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71;  N9NDP EN62;  W9EWZ EN52;  KC9OVD and K9FYU EN41;  KC9FRI EN53;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  KG0SJ EN22 and N0IRS and K0RON EM29.  Mark notes that WA9BNZ relayed W9BBP and N0IRS relayed K0RON. 
   I see two new calls to the net here.   KC9FRI and K9FYU are new all-time checkins to the 144.240 net.  Welcome and enjoy 2m SSB.  

   There will be a guest net control next Wed. on 144.240.  More about that in the post above this one. 

  Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 19 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  (yes it is on .252, as Bob has a big fat birdie right on 144.250)
  N8WNA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  WM8I EN80;  WB7PMP EM88;  KD8JQ EN91;  AC3L/M FN00;  N8TWU, KD8DJE, W8PU and KB8GUE EM89;  VA3HD FN14;  W2UAD FN13;  W3IP FM19;  KC8MNR EM98;  N4TLL EM87;  W4LES and W4IMD EM84;  N8XA EM89 and KC9CLM EN52. 

   The K8TQK net is called every Monday night at 8:30pm eastern from EM89je, south-central OH.  This is a net with true 300-500 mile range.  That’s why you see check-ins from FN14 to FM19 to EM94 to EN52.  That’s Ontario to VA to NC to WI.  That’s on 2m SSB, with typical band conditions — no special enhancement. 
   K8TQK starts out looking north from EM89, then goes NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

   9:45am Thur.

   Several posts designed to help increase contest participation are just below this net report. 

   WB9LYH emailed to say he had a good net last night.  Took 11 check-ins, plus a W8 station that came up briefly and then faded out.  Last night with the 144.240 Wed. net from WI (EN54cl), we had:  W0VB EN34;  W8SOL EN71;  N9GUU EN52;  N8WNA EN82;  WM8I EN80;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KC9RIO EN61;  KC9OVC EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  W1JWS EN50 and KG0SJ EN22.  
   Looks like KC9OVC is new to this net.  We’ve had several new ones from the Quad Cities area the past year.  Welcome and thanks for saying hello. 

   WB9LYH also said he expects to be on next Wed. at the usual (summer) time of 8pm central.  All licensed hams are welcome, the net is informal, purpose is to stir up more activity on 2m SSB.   Antenna pattern from EN54cl (Central WI) is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  

   K8TQK had 21 check-ins Monday night to his 144.252 net.  This net starts at 8:30pm eastern and is called from EM89je, or south-central OH.  Antenna pattern is also N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes. 
   K8TQK’s check-ins Monday night were:  W8SOL EN71;  N8WNA and N8IEZ EN82;  KB3CXQ FM09;  W2UAD FN13;  W8UJM and W8WG EM89;  AC3L/M FN00;  W3IP FM19;  WB4IXU EM86;  N4TLL EM87;  N4PPG EM76;  K4LY EM85;  W4ZST, KA2KQM and W4IMD EM84;  W9SR EN70;  WB9LYH EN54;  KC9CLM EN52;  N8XA EM79 and WB7TMT EM88.   

    I list check-ins from WB9LYH and K8TQK because ‘TQK helped us out on Wed. nights for several years.   In fact, here’s a post about our Wed. night net history:   

   THERE ARE MANY other fine nets out there.   I’ve been promoting them for 5-6 years now.   I promote nets because I know first-hand how many hams give weak-signal (SSB/CW/Digi) VHF/UHF a try, hear little or nothing, then lose interest and give up.   My solution is to steer hams to where and when the signals are.  Far better chances of keeping someone interested if they actually hear signals come out of their radio. 
   If you want a detailed listing of nets and activity periods (with a Midwest/Great Lakes emphasis) on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz, visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013 at   You are free to share that info with licensed hams everywhere.  If you notice I have outdated info, please email me (I’m good at  

   You are always encouraged to start your own activity.  Way too many hams are “just listening”.  If 50 guys in several states are all “just listening”, how many signals will be heard?  Exactly  —  zero.  
   Take some initiative and call your own CQ’s any time your around the rigs.  Turn the beams, call in different directions, see what you can do on your own.  If we had enough CQ’ers, we wouldn’t need nets to ensure activity.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in and near WI

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

   9:30am Wed. 

   Haven’t made this post in a while.  With the summer V/U contest season starting this weekend, it’s time to broadcast this info again.

   I know of 4 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  If you are even a casual VHF’er, but would like your contest scores to go toward a club total, consider joining any of these clubs.  All the info you need to get started is below.  

   EDIT, EDIT (November 13, 2014) … Michigan now has an active VHF/UHF Club.  The Michigan VHF-UHF Society was activated late this summer.  You can find their website at  Spread the word. 

   1)  My club is the Badger Contesters.  Their website is at  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress, no-dues club.  If you want more info, go to the website or contact me.  
   2)  NLRS stands for Northern Lights Radio Society, which covers MN, and probably adjacent parts of W and NW WI and N IA.  Their website is at
   3)  SMC stands for Society of Midwest Contesters, based in IL and parts of adjacent states.  SMC is a very active HF club, with a decent number of V/UHF contesters, too.  Their website is at   SMC has done some amazing things, getting their HF contesters to try 6 meters in the June ARRL contest (when sporadic E skip usually opens up 6m across the country) 
   4)  CVVHF stands for Chippewa Valley VHF and they are pretty much centered on EN44.  I’m sure their territory covers most of NW WI and plenty of the U.P. of MI.  CVVHF’s website is at

   If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, these clubs would like very much for you to join and then submit your contest scores as part of the club’s  aggregate score. 

  I am not aware of any active V/UHF clubs in MI, IN, OH or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.

Post Your June VHF Contest Plans Here (Midwest & Great Lakes)

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

  6:40am Saturday (June 7, 2014) 

  W0UC has again created a Google spreadsheet where fixed stations and rovers from areas near MN and WI can post their plans for the ARRL June VHF Contest on June 14/15. 
   Before I share the link, a few standard reminders:  

   1)  I know nothing about a Google spreadsheet.  I’m just the messenger.
   2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.  
   3)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.   Yes, I realize the June contest has 6m activity that spans the entire North American continent, but again, please respect W0UC’s wishes and let’s keep this link a Midwest/Great Lakes resource. 
   4)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states (IL/IN/IA/KS/MO/NE/MN/SD/ND/MI/OH/IN/VE-3 and VE-4) to list your ARRL June VHF Contest plans here:

   As for my own (KC9BQA) contest plans this June, I am now limited to 6 meters only.  I’ve sold 80% of my rigs, but I still have a 6 meter station.  I have posts dated March 15, 2014 at that explain about selling the station.  I also need to make an update to my for sale list, but that will have to wait until next week.   The next phase will be about towers, yagis, rotators and feedline.

VHF Contesting School Articles

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

   6:30am Sat. (June 7, 2014) 

   At the bottom of this post, there are links to 8 different articles I call VHF Contesting School. 

   I originally wrote these articles a few years back.  I wrote them to help get any ham feeling comfortable with playing in a VHF/UHF contest.   I *encourage* you to repost or share this info with hams everywhere.  Your ham clubs, buddies, email reflectors, you name it.  

   Want to know more about V/UHF contesting?   I did, too, when I first got on in the summer of 2003.  It was hard to find this info, so I wrote these articles sharing my experience.  I am constantly amazed that there aren’t hundreds more VHF contesters.  For me, it’s the single-most exciting time to be on the V/U bands.  
    As I said above, I’ve written a series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  They are thorough.  It may be more than a total newbie will want to read thru.  That’s fine, skim thru the articles, and take what you need.   Don’t worry about every last detail.  You can be a casual contester, and have fun on your terms.   VHF Contesting is much more laid back than on HF.  At least in the Midwest, there’s plenty of room to operate, plus it’s not so much about competition, but more about having fun and enjoying lots of activity.   If you want more contesters on the bands, do what you can to spread the word.   Plus tell those hams with lousy QTH’s to consider becoming rovers or hilltoppers.  
    I firmly believe that if the 700,000 + hams in USA and Canada knew more about what they can *really* do on VHF and UHF, we’d have several thousand new enthusiasts within a year or two.  The key is in spreading the word.   Please remember you are always welcome to share the VHF Contesting School articles with hams everywhere. 

    These links are in order from a basic introduction, to antennas, to what bands and frequencies to use, and so on.   VHF Contesting School — Introduction.    Antennas – The Most Important Part of Your V/UHF Station.    What Bands and Frequencies to Use.     How to Log a V/UHF Contest.    Helpful Hints — Being a Smarter Operator.    Go Roving!   Put the Antennas and Rigs in the Mobile.    More Detailed Rover Info.    Rules and Scoring.

ARRL June VHF Contest is June 14-15

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

   6:20am Sat.  

   Want to get the Contest info front and center this morning.   

  *You are free to take any/all of this info at and share it with your ham clubs, and ham buddies.* 

   The ARRL June VHF Contest starts at 1pm central time on Sat., June 14th and runs 33 hours until 10pm on Sun., June 15th.     This contest has evolved into easily the most active and well-attended V/UHF contest.  The reason is that 6m is often open to many parts of the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean in May, June and July. 
   Also remember that all VHF/UHF bands are in play.  This is not just a 6 meter contest (although some years 6 is so hot that it seems like it).  Get on all your V/UHF bands — 50, 144, 222, 432, 902, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5 gig, 10 gig, etc on up into laser.  Or just get on with what you have and have fun.  🙂
   Here’s the link to the ARRL Rules:
   If you don’t know much about V/UHF contesting, don’t worry.  I was in the same boat 10 years ago.  What I can offer is my 8-part series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  I will make a separate post about those articles very shortly.   The direct link to the VHF Contesting School articles is  You have my full permission to share those articles with hams everywhere. has always been about increasing activity on the SSB/CW portions of VHF/UHF bands.  This works best when many VHF’ers are helping spread the word in all directions.

EN48 Active on 6 and 2m June 12-16 By the WOW Team

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

   6:15am Sat. 
   Here is an announcement from the WOW Special Event Station:

“Hello all,

We had so much fun last year we’ve decided to do it again!  With a recent pole result of 21% of the top FFMA Award chasing leaders still needing EN48 confirmed on 6 meters we have decided to make the trip once again. 
We had great results last year but hoping for some better “E’s” this time out.

Hope to work you all.
Please feel free to forward this to others that may have interest.  Thanks, Vince (K0SIX)

Announcement : Special event station W0W

See full details at

Vince (K0SIX), Maria (K0MPP), John (WA0VPJ), Brad (KB0HNN) and Dave (NI0W) will activate EN48 from June 12th through June 16th 2014. We will be operating from a cabin located on Gunflint Lake and only a stone’s throw away from Canada. Our operation will run with the 2014 ARRL June VHF Contest.

We will utilize a 7-element (6M7JHV) yagi on 6m and a 17-element (2M5WL) on 2m, both mounted on 20-foot temporary masts. We will be running Elecraft K3’s and amplifiers which should provide at least 500w of power on 6m and 250w on 2m. We will have a station on 6m and 2m continuously.

Tentative frequencies on 6m are 50.148 SSB/CW and 50.248 FSK441. On 2m, 144.208 SSB/CW and 144.148 FSK441. We will be sending on the 1st period (0-30 seconds) during FSK441 runs. Please spot us when heard.

We will not have access to the internet or cellular phone service.

Please schedule yourself for meteor skeds on the public Google spreadsheet:

We will print a copy before departing on June 12th.

You can also email your sched request.

Brad’s (KB0HNN) vehicle will have APRS and chirping KB0HNN-12 during our trip north. You can follow us at

Thanks for your time and remember to keep your antennas north!

73 de the W0W crew!