VHF/UHF Bands Have Been Open This Morning, Perhaps All Weekend?

10:45am central, Sat.

My wife just realized today is 12/13/14.  That looks cool in print.  Just had to toss that nugget into this post.   🙂

Actually I’m going to make a few posts this morning.  Stay tuned.

 

This post is about band conditions.  W8IO in western MI reported that earlier this morning, the 2 meter band was open from MI down into GA, TN and KY.  So turn on the rig and make noise.
As long as we’re in the milder weather, there’s a good chance for enhancement.  This could continue into tonight, tomorrow morning, maybe even into Monday.  But none of it means a thing unless guys get on the air and call CQ.  Swing the beams around, look around, see who’s out there.  Get something started.  If 50 guys in different states and grids are all at their rigs, but “just listening”, how many contacts get made?

Once you’re in a QSO, please take it off the calling frequency (144.200) and let others have a chance.  It’s good to have an active call freq., for sure.  You just don’t want to monopolize it.  Common sense.   If you were at a grocery store and 4 check-out lines were open, but 7 people were all standing in the same line, would you stand behind the others like sheep or go to an open lane?  There’s all kinds of bandwidth between 144.150 and 144.260.  Use your VFO.

If you’re newer and don’t know about a few websites that can help you stay on top of potential openings, here you go:
1st would be this:  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.  Don’t 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.
2nd would be this:  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.  Make sure you update this site every day in the early afternoon, when Mr. Hepburn updates his forecasts.
3rd is fading in importance but is still alive, at least:  http://dxworld.com/144prop.html   By now, most VHF’ers are getting way more out of the real-time ham chats at ON4KST.com.  (More about that next) but this old 144 MHz Propagation Logger has been around a long time and is still up and running.

I promote the www.on4kst.com ham chat websites often.  They are part of my “permalinks” (called “essential posts”) at kc9bqa.com.  (Look toward the middle right of my website).  All the info you need is at that permalink.  But if you can’t find it that way, here’s the link that explains what the ON4KST.com ham chats are all about.  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072
I imagine there’s been plenty of live chatter this morning about any band opening.  Specifically, at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  Over 4,000 USA and Canadian VHF’ers are registered for this free and no-BS ham chat.  Visit the link directly above if you want more info.

Now on to the next post… WB9LYH will be back with the 144.240 net on Wed., Dec. 17th, usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Look toward EN54cl, Central WI.

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