144.240 and 144.250 SSB nets *ON* tonight, 7:15 and 8:30pm

   Cool east winds off Lake Michigan are (as usual) delaying the onset of any precipitation.  We’ll have no weather troubles with the weekly SSB nets tonight. 

   Because we get new readers from time to time, I’ll explain in detail how both nets work.   Note that all times listed are Central.   I am located in EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  I use a 27′ long-boom KLM yagi up 70′ for 2 meter SSB, and I get out 200-400 miles, depending on how strong your station is.  In fact, N0IRS from EM29, KC, Mo., is a regular check-in, at 430 miles. 

   144.240 net is designed to find stations out in the sticks in ILL/MO/IA/MN/U.P. of MI.  I discourage Chicago and Milwaukee check-ins because they are plentiful on the 144.250 net at 8:30pm.  Also, I look a full 360 with the 144.250 Badger Contesters net, so anyone off to my east or southeast is fair game there. 

   On 144.240, I start out at 7:15pm looking to my SSW thru the Rockford/DeKalb IL areas and past there to Peoria and St. Louis areas.  Anyone in W and C IL, as well as E MO wants to be ready at 7:15pm.  I call “CQ Activity Net” and also say where I’m pointing.  I do this at least twice before changing a beam heading. 

   Even when I do move the beams more SW, then W, then NW, I do so very gradually.  Talking 10-15 degrees, and then I stop and repeat the process.  Call CQ Activity Net again, and take any check-ins.  I take a minute or two to chat with check-ins, and I also mention who else has checked in, so they know where to look if they want to do their own “hunting” later.   I call CQ until I am pointed due north toward Green Bay and the UP of MI.  This is typically about 8pm.  If it’s a busy night, it may be later.  If it’s a slow night, I may go back and call CQ again toward known hot spots, just to see if I catch anyone else. 

   My biggest hope with any net is that not only do I get folks to check-in with me, but that they also continue to enjoy the activity on 2 meter SSB after I’m done looking in their area.  I urge hams to QSY down 5, 10, 15 kc to enjoy the activity.  Don’t do any additional hunting on 144.240 because it can QRM the net check-ins. 

   To me, it’s far better to have several QSO’s spread out across the band, rather than have everyone hanging endlessly on the 144.240 net frequency.   The odds of random VHF’ers catching the activity we create are greater if more frequencies are in use by more stations. 

    To help keep track of where I’m looking, and to help coordinate potential activity after the net, consider using this link:  http://dxworld.com/vhfqso.html   You don’t have to use this to be part of the net — all are welcome.  But it can help when things get busy, or if you’re too far to hear most check-ins.   Don’t hesitate to post to that web page, and let me or others know you’re around and looking for some calls.  That’s exactly what that page is for.

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