I will be 45 in May 2009 and married 26 years in Aug. of 2009. My wife and I live with two cats in the countryside, about 40 miles north of Milwaukee, WI. This is in south-central Sheboygan county, grid square EN63ao.
This website is new as of April 2, 2009. It will be a work in progress. I’m not the most computer-savvy or tech-friendly guy in the world. Yet, I’ve come to care very deeply about improving the VHF/UHF activity levels in ham radio. At the current time, I am as committed toward increasing on-air activity and finding new VHF’ers as anyone I know within a few hundred miles.
Serious progress started in the fall of 2008 with weekly 2 meter nets, and it continues as of spring 2009. Our nets are well-publicized so they are active and interesting. We’re still working new stations and grids after 8 months of being out in the shed on Wed. and Thur. nights. There are multiple 2 meter nets across the Midwest and one goal of this website will be to publish all known on-air activity.
I got my tech license in April 2002. It wasn’t until we moved to this new QTH in summer 2003 that radio became a possibility. I fell for VHF/UHF “weak-signal” work right away. I was already attracted to 6 meters by being able to follow along with the old www.dxers.info chat page. That’s now at www.on4kst.com There is absolutely no electronics or radio in my family or background, so I really needed the internet to do more learning.
Kept pursuing internet resources for VHF/UHF. K2DRH’s station pictures made a huge impression on me. By fall 2003, I found a great deal on 150′ of Rohn SSV tower, and that was up before the snow flew. I kept researching rigs, and antennas, and I was on 50, 144, and 432 with beams up 100/110′ in time for the Jan. 2004 contest. I added the 222 band in 2004, and added 902, 1296 and 2304 during 2005/2006. 902, 1296 and 2304 are on a separate tower that is up 70′. Almost all antennas are horizontally polarized for SSB work.
I love VHF/UHF contests more than just about anything. I’m always amazed to find others aren’t interested in being on for 20-25 hours of the 33-hour ARRL contests! I’ve been trying to promote VHF/UHF contesting via email since 2006/2007. That has only worked so-so. What *does* work is having nets; creating on-air activity that is steady and not always tied to contesting. VHF’ers are out there, but you really need to find them. Plus give them a reason to get on the air and keep their interest up. Once you get a certain amount of VHF’ers active, some will gravitate to contesting anyway, if you promote it in advance of contests.
A station like mine doesn’t get on the air without a lot of help. And if you’re an appliance operator like me, then you need a LOT of help. I’d like to publicly acknowledge N9QIP, W9DHI, and W9GA for frequent hands-on help. KV9V for spending many hours helping to build my first sets of yagis properly. They’re still up 6 years later, so well done Greg. ND9Z for spending several hours of his contesting time with me in Sept. 2002, which was all I needed to get motivated. There are many others who have helped, and I know if I start listing them individually, I’ll forget a few. I really want to thank everyone who’s ever given me a contest point, and *especially* the rovers.
The VHF/UHF club I belong to is at www.badgercontesters.org. If you’re within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI , you’re in BC territory and we’d love to have you join. The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress outfit. No dues or long-term commitment. Go to the website for more info.
I’d also like to acknowledge 3 other regional VHF/UHF clubs that have helped me out. NLRS (www.nlrs.org) out of the Twin Cities. SMC (www.w9smc.com) out of Illinois and surrounding areas. Also CVVHF (www.cvvhf.org) out of the Eau Claire, WI area. The Central States VHF Society is also a resource (www.csvhfs.org) In fact, their annual conference is in the Chicago area this year; last weekend of July. See their website for more details. The 2010 CSVHFS conference will be held in Bridgeton, MO — NW side of St. Louis.
Remember that this is a work in progress. There will be frequent updates. To get the most out of this, check back regularly. You will see ideas here that you’ll see nowhere else. If what I do makes VHF/UHF better, then it’s well worth it.
Todd KC9BQA EN63ao 40 N of Milwaukee
50 thru 2304 (bands I have)