Archive for April, 2018

Two Websites That Help Show Band Conditions

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

9:30am Sunday
WB9LYH referenced a large red area over Texas in his net report from 4/18/18.  He must have been looking at the real-time APRS band conditions map.

I haven’t posted this info in a while so with spring here, it’s time.
Here are two websites that can help you stay on top of potential band enhancement:
1)  http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/  It’s not a perfect indicator. It sometimes has false openings, and it’s even more important to remember that 2m SSB/CW has a standard range of 200-400+ miles under flat band conditions. So even if you’re seeing little or no color in your area, you can still make good contacts. The point is to not fall into the habit of only trying when that map looks good. You will miss little mini-openings that pop up under the radar, so to speak. But when there is a major band opening, it will be reflected by brighter colors, usually over a wider area.

2)  http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html  This site attempts to predict band openings for days in advance. Like weather forecasters, the forecasts here are not always accurate. But I still feel the Hepburn site has value. It’s very seldom that a major, widespread tropo event doesn’t show up here, a few days in advance. Plus, I’m a lifelong weather geek, so I like “keeping up with the forecasts”. This site updates in the early afternoon.

I should note that I haven’t been on the air since 2014.  I still update kc9bqa.com but I may have fallen behind on the latest and greatest resources.  I did check to make sure that both of these websites are still alive and well.

144.240 Net Reports From 4/4, 4/11 and 4/18

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

9am Sunday

Remember that the 432 Spring Sprint is Wed. night — see the post dated March 30th (directly below this one) at kc9bqa.com for the Spring Sprints announcement.

On to the 144.240 net reports.

Back on April 4th, net control WB9LYH (EN54cl, central WI) said, “Good signals tonight.  Checkins were W9LYX and WA9TT EN54;  N9IYV, K9CCL, W9SUS and N9JBW EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WA6TMJ EN52;  WA9JML EN51;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42;  KC9TNK and KA9OMY EN44.  W9YZU (Indy area — EM69) got thru the noise but no copy at his end.  ‘YZU, tnx for trying.”
Mark also added, “Lots of snow again, its Wisconsin.”
KC9BQA adds (with the benefit of hindsight on April 22nd)  Little did Mark know this would be just the start of his snowiest April ever…

On April 11th, WB9LYH reported, “Tough propagation, lots of up and down.  Checkins were WA9TT EN54;  WA9JML EN51;  K9ILU, K9CCL, W9SUS, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  WA6TMJ EN52;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9EM EN53 and KC9TNK EN44.”

Last Wed., Apr. 18th, WB9LYH noted, “A large red area over TX this AM, hope it spreads as the season advances.”  (KC9BQA will make a post that explains how you too can see large red areas, right after I’m done with the net reports)  Mark continued… “Signals strong with fading tonite, weather was a factor with a storm over southern WI.  Checkins were KC9TNK and AA9JL EN44;  WB8LNG and W9YZU EM79;  W9SUS, K9CC9, N9JBW, WA9HIR and N9KKF EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  K8TQK EM89;  WA9JML EN51;  KG9AP EM59;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N0RWR EN42;  and WB9TFH EN53.”
KC9BQA adds:   AA9JL is a new all-time checkin to the 144.240 net.  Thanks for stopping by.
KG9AP is the new call of KB9MIV, who checks in occasionally from the St. Louis area.  We are always looking for more stations from MO and Downstate IL.  Kansas City area, too.

IF YOU ARE NEW TO KC9BQA.COM, here’s the particulars about the 144.240 Wed. night net.

The Wed. 144.240 net is called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI, near Wi. Rapids. Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern. All licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or say hello when they can. The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB. Please help by spreading the word about our net and the other nets and activity nights I detail here at kc9bqa.com.
Do your own part for the bands and call CQ at any old time. Don’t fall into the habit of “just listening”. If a few dozen guys are at the radio and they’re all “just listening” how many signals are heard??

WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH. The yagis are horizontally polarized, which is the custom on the SSB/CW/Digi sides of VHF/UHF bands. Mark can routinely work stations out to 300-450 miles if they have good, higher-gain antennas up in the clear pointed at him. This is under flat band conditions; distances can increase if there’s enhanced propagation.
WB9LYH loves to push the propagation limits, so please help us spread the word that he’s out there on 144.240 on Wed. nights, looking to find DX. Of course, we appreciate all check-ins, and we have loyal ones going back many years. But sometimes you get a night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.
WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start out looking ENE from EN54, then steadily move clockwise over the next 30-45 minutes. Talking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and he wraps things up looking north.