How the 144.240 and 144.250 nets operate

   Get new folks here all the time, so I like to repost this info periodically.

  Also know that tonight may have a variety of new stations checking in.  I’ve heard from EN65, EN70, EN75 and EM48 that they are interested in giving it a try tonight.  Should be fun.   If you need a grid square map, here’s a link:
http://gatorradio.org/Operating_Training_Aides/Ham_US_Grids%202005.pdf

   2M SSB net night is every Wednesday.  I always announce nets both here and to hundreds of hams via various email lists.  If you don’t hear anything, it’s possible we have a weather problem.  Check www.kc9bqa.com for the latest update. 
   I’m located 40 miles north of Milwaukee, in EN63ao.  I have two antenna options on 144, and now that my main rotor is working, I’ll be using a pair of 12-el K1FO beams, up 105/110′.  

   The early net is 144.240, starts at 0015 UTC, or 7:15pm central time.  The 144.240 net targets outstate WI and ILL, and also MO/IA/MN and the U.P. of MI.  If propagation allows, we’ll certainly listen hard for any AR/KS/NE/Dakotas stations.  Always  looking for DX treats with my nets.   (The Milwaukee and Chicago areas traditionally use the 144.250 net at 0130 UTC, or 8:30pm.  More about the 144.250 net below) 

   At 0015 UTC on 144.240,  I start out looking SSW, toward Rockford, Peoria and St. Louis.  I call “CQ Activity Net” 2-3 times in a given direction, and wait for any check-ins.  From there, I slowly edge the beams clockwise.  Talking only 10-15 degrees at a time.  Don’t want to miss anyone.   Depending on how many hams say hello, my schedule varies.  But I do keep moving along, and typically end up looking due north by 0100-0110, or 8-8:10pm.   I do not look east with the 144.240 net.   I may be starting a new net especially for the 2 M guys/gals off to the NE/E/SE and if I do, it will be on Monday nights at 2330 UTC or 7:30pm eastern time.  Of course, I’ll announce that here.  It may be as soon as next Monday. 

   I encourage the use of http://dxworld.com/vhfqso.html to better coordinate with check-ins.  Or to raise your  hand if you want me to look extra hard.  I also try to post who has checked in to that chat, so that everyone will know what I’m hearing.   Sometimes, if it’s quiet, I have time to look around a 2nd time.  But don’t count on that, especially as it gets busier during summer. 
   Another advantage of using that website I posted is that check-ins can be aware of who’s all on board, and they can use that page to try and work other stations.  I want to say hello to everyone on the net, but even more importantly, I want the net to help create activity on 144 across a wide area.  Consider sliding down to 144.230, 144.225, 144.220, to try and work other stations.  It’s far better to have activity spread out among many stations on 144 SSB, than to have 10-15 stations all tied to the main net frequency.   Coordinate that additional activity among yourselves, and I hope you have an enjoyable time working all sorts of VHF’ers. 

   I kindly ask that you do not QSY to 144.250, as it will only cause QRM when I do the next net at 0130 UTC, or 8:30pm central time. 

   The 144.250 net is the old Badger Contesters net.  (www.badgercontesters.org)  It tailed off a few years ago, and I decided one night last July to start the BC net up again. 

   At 0130/8:30pm, I call “CQ Badger Contesters net”, on 144.250, and I start out looking south.  This is because the bulk of our check-ins are from the Milwaukee/Chicago region.  Once I get the “locals” settled in, I then swing the beams a full 360, going clockwise.  I look SW about 8:35-8:40, W about 8:40-45, N about 8:45-50, and E about 8:50-55.  If I’m especially busy, I may fall behind a little, so be patient. 
    Once I have swung a full 360 and gotten all the check-ins (local and DX) I then go back to the south, and give everyone a chance to say hello to the net.   I will swing beams back toward the DX check-ins so they can say hello with the 144.250 net.  You do not have to be a BC’er to enjoy the net; all are welcome. 

   (If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, EN54 we’d love to have you join the Badger Contesters.  It’s a low-key club with no dues or requirements.  But we’d all appreciate you saying hello to the email reflector, and especially enjoy you submitting your ARRL VHF/UHF Contest scores toward the BC effort in the Club Competition.  Here’s a graphic showing the BC Circle:  http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html)

   There is often ragchewing after the 144.250 Badger net, so feel free to stick around and say hello.  You don’t have to check into the net to enjoy the ragchewing.  The only purpose of these nets is to create activity on less-used portions of 2 meters.

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