Archive for June, 2015

Help Support 222 (MHz) Tuesdays

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

7am Tuesday
This post was originally made on Feb. 23, 2015

I haven’t made a specific post about 222 Tuesday in quite a while.

Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing.  Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.

If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain.   If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3  paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem.   I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands.  Plus 222 is quieter.  So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB.  You basically have 2 paths:  1)  step up to a transverter.  I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator.  But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint.  Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google.  The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed.   Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s.  You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.

On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night.  It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing.  It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes.  BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions.  Also consider following along at the ham chat.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up.  If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.

I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up.  No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes.  It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.

Resolve in 2015 to get more signals on 222 MHz.  Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies.  Encourage them to use this fine band.

Last Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

6:30am  Tuesday

The 144.240 Wed. night net is called @8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl, which is Central WI, near WI Rapids.  This July will mark our 7th year of operation.   The net has evolved over time, but WB9LYH has been a consistent and strong net control for over 5 years now.  If you want our net control history, it’s here:

WB9LYH reported variable propagation last Wed. night.  Mark also said he’s waiting for long propagation on a net night.  Always remember that WB9LYH has stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and he gets out a very long way.  Plus he enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always appreciate guys from 500+ miles away listening along, just in case the band is enhanced.

The net had 14 check-ins last Wed.:  KA8FFM EN56;  VE3ZV EN92;  KD9BGY, K9ILU, K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  WJ8L EN72;  KC8ZJL EN71;  W9BBP EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RSM EN41;  WV9E EN43;  KG0SJ EN22 and KC9PEG EN45.   Nice group from all corners of the compass.

WB9LYH expects to be around tomorrow night as usual.  If you want more detail about our nets or other nets, please read thru the 2 posts directly below this one.

Back on Monday, June 22nd, K8TQK had 10 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  I continue to type up net reports because for a few years, K8TQK was affiliated with us on Wed. nights.
Bob’s list for June 22nd had:  WB8AUK EN80;  WD4NMV EM85;  W4IMD and WA4NJP EM84;  WB7PMP EM88;  KY4MRG EM77;  KB9RDS and WB8LMG EM79;  KC9CLM EN52 and WB9LYH EN54.

More info about K8TQK’s Monday net is available in the June 16 post, 2 posts below this one at

I also want to give a plug for 222 Tuesday, look for a separate post about that shortly.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

11am  Thur.

In his emailed net report, WB9LYH reported more folks on the band last night.  Might have had something to do with the contest this past weekend, might have had something to do with an Eskip opening that apparently got all the way up into 144 MHz yesterday late morning/early afternoon.   I would check out the chat archives at  (talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) if you want to read more about what happened.   If you have no idea what the free ham chats are all about, go here:  To access the chat archives, use the dropdown menu on the upper left.  Ton of options available there.

Back to the net reports…  WB9LYH had 15 check-ins last night:  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  K9CCL, KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  K8TQK EM89;  KD8PA EN72;  N9RXM and K9FYU EN41;  KA9EEM, W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9VHD EN62;  W9HQ and WV9E EN43.   That’s a really nice list, with several new calls and a few old friends stopping by from EN43, La Crosse WI area.
Want to welcome KA9EEM and KC9VHD to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Thanks for stopping by and glad that you’re on 2m SSB.
**Also — WB9LYH expects to be around the next few Weds.  If there’s ever a time where Mark can’t make it, I mention it here at**

Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 13 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  WM8I EN80;  W2UAD FN13;  KC4AAW EM85;  WA4NJP, WD4NMV, W4VAS and W4IMD EM84;  KB9RDS, WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  KB8GUE EM89;  N9RXM EN41 and WB9LYH EN54.

I have complete info about both the 144.240 Wed. and 144.252 Mon. nets in the post directly below this one.   Plus, if you want a much more complete listing of nets and activity periods on multiple bands on different nights, visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at   You are free to distribute this info to hams everywhere.  The whole reason exists is to get more signals on the SSB/CW side of the VHF/UHF bands.

Last Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

9:45am Tuesday

Sorry that I didn’t post these sooner.

Last Wed., WB9LYH in EN54cl (central WI, near WI Rapids) had 11 check-ins to the 144.240 net, which is called at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed.  Mark reported decent propagation, but storms to the south and not many guys on.  His list — N9JBW, K9ILU and KD9BGY EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  KC8ZJL EN71;  WJ8L EN72;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and KC9WOI EN40.

WB9LYH expects to be on both this Wed. and next Wed. at the usual time.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  WB9LYH has a big signal  from a great QTH and he loves pushing the propagation limits.  DX is always welcome to give it a try.  Please help us spread the word in a very wide circle extending hundreds of miles from WI.   Mark’s antenna pattern from EN54cl is NE at first, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.

On Mon., June 8th, K8TQK in EM89je (south-central OH, near Chillicothe) had 13 check-ins to his 144.252 net, which is called at 8:30pm eastern every Monday.  Parts of Bob’s territory also must have been affected by storms on June 8th.  His list — N8WNA EN82;  W9BN and WA4NJP EM84;  K3WHC FM10;  W3IP FM19;  WA9M, KB9RDS, N8XA and WB8ART EM79;  WB7PMP EM88;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KD8JQ EN91 and VE3ZV EN92.
Like WB9LYH, K8TQK has a big signal from a hilltop.  All licensed amateurs are welcome to this friendly and informal net.  Bob’s antenna pattern from EM89je is N first, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.

K8TQK has a live audio stream of his station.  I have no idea how these things work, I’m just the messenger.  Go to this post for instructions on how to listen along when K8TQK is on the air.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Noon Sat.

As of June 2015, I know of 5 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  When I say “VHF/UHF Club”, I’m talking about clubs where the emphasis is on SSB/CW/Digital modes on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz, clear on up to microwave bands like 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, and even into 5 and 10 Gig and beyond.
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.

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

5)  As of late summer, 2014, Michigan is now represented here.  Several motivated guys got together and have created the Michigan VHF-UHF Society or MIVUS.  Their website is at  Check them out.

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 IN or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.

Link to my VHF Contesting School Articles

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Noon, Sat. June 6th, 2015

NO IDEA WHAT A VHF CONTEST IS ALL ABOUT?  No problem.  I was in the same boat back in 2002-2003.  Even though I am now off the air, I would still tell anyone the contests were by far the most fun I had in hamming.   (see March 15, 2014 posts at if you didn’t catch the details about my moving on and selling my station.)
Several years back, I wrote a series of articles that I hope will educate and motivate hams to get on the air for the friendly and laid-back VHF Contests.

Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.

As of June, 2015, some of the info I’m sharing in those articles may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL website for current info.


Post Your ARRL June VHF Contest Plans Here

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

11:45am Saturday

Next weekend is the first major VHF/UHF contest of the season.  Talking ARRL June VHF Contest.  Starts at 1pm central time on Sat. June 13th and runs 33 hours until 10pm Sun. June 14th.  All bands from 50 MHz on up thru the microwaves are in play.   The ARRL Rules and Info link —

There’s a Google spreadsheet where you can post your contest plans.  W0UC in EN44 has been doing these for years now and it’s a good way to get activity jumpstarted.  Visit the spreadsheet here:
Please read these friendly suggestions:
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, consider 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.

Enjoy the contest!

PS:  If you’re looking for a Summer 2015 VHF/UHF Contest Calendar, consult my post dated May 28th at  Here’s the specific link:

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

11:30am  Thur.

Last night WB9LYH had 13 check-ins to the 144.240 net.  Mark was pleased to make contact with VE3ZV in EN92 — they’ve been working on that for a while.  The check-in list:  VE3ZV EN92;  N9JBW and KC9RIO EN62;  W8SOL EN71;  K8TQK EM89;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  KC9CLM EN52;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22.
Want to also add that KJ4MCZ in FM06 Virginia was listening along and while net control “heard something” off to the SE, no contact was made.  But we appreciate KJ4MCZ giving it a try.  DX is always encouraged with this net.   WB9LYH has stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and with a little help from propagation, it’s a real thrill to make contacts beyond the normal 300-450 mile range.

As mentioned in prior posts, the 144.240 net is on Wed. nights at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control is WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is right in the middle of WI, near WI Rapids.   Mark’s antenna pattern from EN54 is first NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  We appreciate you helping us spread the word in a very wide circle.

WB9LYH says his schedule looks good for the rest of June.  Plan on Mark being around for the next 3 Wednesdays.  If anything changes, as always, I will post the details here.

Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 23 check-ins to his 144.252 net  (yes 144.252, Bob can’t use 144.250 because he has a birdie there).  K8TQK’s check-ins Monday night were:  N8AIA EN82;  VA3HD FN14;  K8GDT EN91;  W2UAD FN13;  KJ4ZYB FM07;  N8XA EM79;  W3IP FM19;  N4PPG EM76;  WA4NJP, N4QH, W4LES, W9BN, W4VAS and W4IMD all EM84;  W4YZJ EM64;  KY4MRG EM77;  KI4ROF EM55;  KA2KQM EM74;  N9RXM EN41;  KB8GUE EM89;  K9ILU EN61;  WB9LYH EN54 and KA9VDU EN53.
Look at a grid square map and appreciate the huge territory covered.  You’ve got southern Canada, to MD, NC, AL and SW TN and up into NW IL and central WI.  All on 2m SSB, using long horizontally-polarized yagis.  Just everyday terrestrial communications on 144 MHz.  This is the story that needs to be told to every ham.

K8TQK’s 144.252 net is every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  Bob’s QTH is EM89je, which is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  Bob also has good power and antennas from a hilltop QTH.  But this isn’t a requirement.  Even guys with shorter yagis, at least 50-100 watts out, and fairly decent horizons can get out 100-300 miles on 2m SSB.

K8TQK has a live audio stream of his station.  I have no idea how these things work, I’m just the messenger.  Go to this post for instructions on how to listen along when K8TQK is on the air.