Our pride and joy here is the Wed. long-range 2m nets. Even during cold, lousy weather, we’ve been getting big numbers of check-ins, from a multi-state area. Many guys are enjoying the 200-500 mile range on 2m SSB, using horizontally-polarized antennas.
Most weeks, we have at least 2 options. We feel having more options improves the overall activity level. We hope we’ll get K8TQK from EM89 Southern Ohio back in the mix soon. He has an amazing signal and gives us reach into areas we can’t work from MN and WI.
This Wednesday, you have two options. KA0KYZ is Terry in EN33, far SE MN. He’s on 144.230, starting at 0045Z or 6:45pm central/7:45pm eastern time. He starts out calling CQ to his east, and then goes clockwise from there, pausing every 20-30 degrees and calling CQ as he nudges his yagis thru the compass.
I’m on 144.240, starting at 0100Z, or 7pm central/8pm eastern. I’m located in EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee, in SE WI. I start out looking north into the U.P. of MI and then rotate clockwise slowly over the next 90 minutes. I always call twice on a given heading before I move the yagis another 20-30 degrees, so don’t worry that I’ll miss you. I end up looking north again at the end of the net, and we get some good activity up that way. Scroll back thru the archives and read the various “net reports” I post — you’ll see who our check-ins are, plus their grid squares.
The only purpose of these nets is to stir up more activity on less-used portions of 2 meters. There’s no traffic or formal procedure. We’re just rotating around, looking to say hello to anyone who’s out there, and see what shape the band is in. All are welcome.
You are free to enjoy the activity however you care to. But we do ask all VHF’ers to consider doing just a little bit more to help improve activity levels.
1) Whether you actually enjoy a net or not know that on Wed. nights, we have dozens of guys monitoring 2m SSB across a 800-1000 mile wide territory. Take the opportunity to make your own contacts, by sliding off the net freqs. and calling CQ in various directions. As net controls, we really appreciate your check-ins. It’s good when we hear from dozens of you. BUT… BUT… when dozens of VHF’ers are on the bands, calling their own CQ’s, and making their own contacts, that’s how we really improve activity. Net control is only looking at you for a short time, so when we’ve moved off in another direction, slide down to 144.220 or lower (or use the 144.200 call freq. — do this anytime) and see who else is out there. We know multiple guys who are making lots of contacts on Wed. night.
2) Many guys are using a newer tool to help make more contacts, and to follow along with our nets in real-time. This is the on4kst.com chat. It’s free, no BS, and available for all USA/VE/XE hams, any day or night. We use the IARU Region 2 chat for 144/432 MHz. 7 simple steps to get signed up for this chat are at: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=3765 Tell your friends and visit the chat.
3) Even after 2.5 years of banging the drum, we’re still getting all kinds of new check-ins. This is exactly what we want – more and more hams finding out about the DX potential on “weak-signal” VHF/UHF. Please help by continuing to spread the word, and by doing your part to keep the airwaves active. Get involved with the other nets, get on and call your own CQ’s anytime, enjoy the activity that contests bring. If you feel your area is too quiet, then pick a time and start your own net or activity hour.