There are many good chat rooms for ham radio at on4kst.com. The one I refer to here is the “144-432 MHz IARU Region 2 chat” This USA/VE/XE chat was created by ON4KST himself on March 10, 2011. Very glad that Alain did this for us, free of charge. What a wonderful service he is providing to hams across the globe. If you’re ever inclined to send him a free-will donation to help with servers and bandwidth, please do so.
Looking at the chat this morning, I noticed we’ve now passed the 2000 registered users mark. That’s a nice way to celebrate the recent 1-year anniversary of the USA VHF room.
If you have a computer near your SSB/CW VHF gear, get in the habit of logging into this chat, and posting 1) what you’re hearing on the bands and 2) what freq. and direction(s) you are currently CQ’ing on. By doing this, you will increase the number of contacts made on our bands.
Of course, the first priority with improving activity is to actually be on the air. Gabbing in a computer chat room is secondary. I look at the VHF chat as a tool, not a destination. Of course, we need to call CQ on 144.200, swing our yagis, look around and stir up activity. That’s the #1 priority if you want healthy bands.
BUT… so many times, weak-signal VHF’ers comment there’s not enough activity on the bands. It might be hard to find a local club or repeater guys to talk with about horizontally-polarized yagis, omni loops or Big Wheels, high-quality coax, low-noise preamps and other VHF topics. So a chat dedicated for VHF and UHF’ers can really help.
Do everything you can to spread the word about on4kst.com real-time ham chat to your VHF/UHF friends. Get in the habit of logging in when you’re near the rigs. Tell the chat what you’re hearing and who you are working. When we get to the point where guys in many states and grids are doing this regularly, you will see (hear, I mean) a big increase in signals you can work.
The simple steps for signing up and logging in are at this post: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=3765