144.240 Net Reports for Mar. 15 & 22


Before I get to the net reports, it is Wednesday and that means the 144.240 net is ON tonight at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Most of you know all the details by now, but for anyone new, here’s what you need to know.

WB9LYH expects to be around in April and he will call the 144.240 Wed. net at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is targeted first.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Mark has a big signal and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always let stations in DX territory know that EN54 is on the air on Wed. nights.
The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  We always ask that you help spread the word about this net or anything that’s happening on VHF and UHF.
Net control’s antenna pattern from EN54cl is to start out looking E, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  During nets, WB9LYH is also available at the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you need more info about how to register for this free, no-obligation and no-BS chat, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072


On March 15, WB9LYH had 13 check-ins to the 144.240 net.  Mark reported signals were up and down, same as the rest of the winter.   Mark added, “Signal strength on average has been less than previous years.  Perhaps sunspots, or lack thereof, have something to do with this, even at VHF?”
The 13 check-ins were:  WA9JML EN51;  W8SOL EN71;  KD9BGY, K9CCL, N9KKF, W9SUS and K9ILU EN61;  W9UIJ EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40 and WB9TFH EN53.
Last Wed., March 22, WB9LYH reported that propagation was better.  The 12 check-ins were:  WB8LNG EM79;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  KD9BGY, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  N9EM and KC9ZVZ EN53;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and N9RXM EN41.
Pleased to report that KC9ZVZ is a new all-time check-in.  Thanks for stopping by and glad you are on 2 meter SSB.

Q5 Net in Chicago is on 144.220 Thur. at 6:30pm Central

9:45am Thur.

Since it is Thursday, want to give a plug for a good net that’s on tonight and every Thursday.

For many years now, N9JBW in EN61, south side of Chicago has been calling a friendly net on Thursdays on 144.220MHz.  It’s called the Q5 net and they get out a long ways.  Under flat conditions, they can get check-ins from IL, IA, (eastern) MN, WI, MI, IN, OH, VE-3, MO and at least far eastern KS.  Probably KY and TN, too, if anyone down there looks north.

Many of the Q5 net regulars also check-in to our 144.240 Wed. net.  We appreciate this and wish their net well.

The Q5 net on 144.220 has earlybird check-ins at 6:30pm every Thursday and the regular net starts at 7pm.   As net control N9JBW John likes to say, “Check it out!”


144.240 Net Reports for the last 3 Weeks

9:15am Thur.

I’m amazed there was any net at all last night, on account of the high winds.  I know it was quieting down a little by evening, but SE WI had widespread gusts to 50-60mph in the late morning and afternoon.   When I was still on the air, I had multiple long yagis up 110′ in a big box configuration and once the winds got over 30mph, the rotors really didn’t work very well.  So I think 11 check-ins last night is very impressive.
I’m behind again, so let’s get caught up.
Back on February 15, N9XKH on the WI/ILL state line (EN52il) filled in as net control.  I heard Dennis had 12 or 13 check-ins and he was very happy with the turnout.  Thanks Dennis for keeping the net going.
On Feb. 22nd, regular net control WB9LYH was back and Mark reported “the usual up and down propagation”  There were 15 check-ins:  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  KC9RAP EN63;  AB9QH EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  W9CL and W9UIJ EN52;  W8SOL EN71;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and W1JWS EN50.
On March 1st, WB9LYH had 13 check-ins:   AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9IYV, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  WJ8L EN72;  W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41 and KG0SJ EN22.
Last night, as mentioned above, WB9LYH had 11 check-ins.  Mark said, “Well the antennas are still there.  We had an abbreviated net.  The winds were still blowing.  Propagation has been rapidly up and down all winter and shorter to the east than a few years ago.”  (KC9BQA adds that we’ve had less check-ins from MI and OH, if anyone can help spread the word in that direction — Indiana too — we’d be grateful)
The check-ins last night were:  KC9RAP EN63;  N9YK EN71;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, KD9BGY, N9KKF and N9JBW EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40 and KB9MIV EM59.

OK, caught up on net reports.  WB9LYH expects to be around in March and he will call the 144.240 Wed. net at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is targeted first.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  He has a big signal and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always let stations in DX territory know that EN54 is on the air on Wed. nights.
Mark’s antenna pattern from EN54cl is to start out looking E, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  During nets, he is also available at the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you need more info about how to register for this free, no-obligation and no-BS chat, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

N9XKH EN52il Calls 144.240 Net Tomorrow at 9pm Eastern/8 Central

10:45am Tuesday

Tomorrow night the 144.240 net from WI will have a guest net control.   N9XKH Dennis on the WI/IL border (grid square EN52il) will fill in for WB9LYH.  Dennis has filled in before when Mark needs relief and we are grateful.  N9XKH has a nice signal, but he doesn’t have a lot of time to play radio so when Dennis is able to call a net, he really enjoys all the check-ins he can work.  Like everyone, he wants to know how well his signal is getting out.

Again, 144.240 net for tomorrow (Wed., Feb. 15th) will be called by N9XKH in EN52il, right on the WI/IL border a little SSW of Madison, WI.  Regular start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Antenna pattern with the net is to always look into the eastern time zone first.  For N9XKH in EN52, that means he’ll probably look NNE into the U.P. and northern part of Lower MI first.  Then edge northeast into central MI, then east into southern WI, southern MI and VE-3, then southeast into IN and OH, then south down thru IL and into MO.  Then start turning southwest into MO, KS and IA, then west into IA, NE and at the end northwest into MN and perhaps the Dakotas??  Always nice when we scare up the occasional check-in from the Dakotas.
All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to get more signals on 2 meter SSB.  We always appreciate you spreading the word.

Regular net control WB9LYH in EN54cl (central WI, near WI Rapids) expects to call the net on Wed., Feb. 22 at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

Last 4 Net Reports for the 144.240 Wed. Net

6:30pm Sunday

I apologize for letting these slide.  Net control WB9LYH emails them to me every week so the delay is all on my end.
Here are the last 4 net reports:
On January 18th, WB9LYH (EN54cl, central WI) had 17 check-ins and one near miss from DX.  The list included WA9JML EN51;  W8SOL EN71;  K9CCL, KD9BGY, N9JBW, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  WB9TFH EN53;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  W9UIJ EN52;  N9RXM EN41 and W9UUM EN43.  KJ4MCZ was tracking along on the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat and he reported hearing bits and pieces of net control from FM06 (south-central VA) but Mark could not hear the VA station.
Also happy to report that W9UUM is a new all-time check-in to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Thanks for tuning in and for being on 2 meter SSB.

On Jan. 25th, WB9LYH had wet snow, high noise and fewer stations on in the aftermath of a contest weekend.  Still, there were 10 check-ins:  WB8LNG EM79;  KD9BGY, K9CCL, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  WB9TFH EN53;  N9RXM EN41;  W9UIJ EN52 and W9BBP EN40.

On Feb. 1st, there was highly variable propagation and 12 check-ins:  WA9JML EN51;  KD9BGY, K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  KC9VHD EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9UIJ EN52;  W1JWS EN50 and WA9BNZ EN40

Last Wed., Feb. 8th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported very tough propagation, with lots of variation again.  The 13 check-ins were:  K9ILU, N9KKF and K9CCL EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9UIJ EN52;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM EN41;  WB9TFH EN53 and WD8CBO EN35.
WD8CBO is a new check-in to the net.  Always good to have more signals from MN and hope you’re enjoying 2 meter SSB.


15 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Net

9pm Fri.

The ARRL January VHF Contest is next Sat. and Sun., the 21st and 22nd.  Full details about the contest are contained in a few posts directly below this one at kc9bqa.com.  Make plans now to get on and keep the airwaves warm.

144.240 net control WB9LYH reported “variable propagation but good results” about the net on Wed.  The 15 check-ins were:  KD9BGY, K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9LQZ EM68;  N9ARB and W9UIJ EN52;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM EN41 and KG0SJ EN22.
Nice turnout on a frigid winter night.  Glad to see 3 check-ins from EM-land.  I know WB9LYH can get way down into IL, MO and IN.  And I know WB9LYH loves pushing the propagation limits, so please remember that DX is always encouraged to give it a try.

Far as I know, WB9LYH has no conflicts on his calendar and you can expect the 144.240 net to be on every Wed at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  More details about the net just below.  From time to time, (perhaps 4-5 times a year) WB9LYH has a conflict and whenever possible, he finds an alternate net control and we publish any changes here at kc9bqa.com.

The 144.240 net has been called continuously since June 2008.   If you care for history, our net story is here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363

If you’re a regular visitor, you know what follows.  I repost the net details frequently for the benefit of newcomers.  If you are a newcomer to kc9bqa.com, thank you for visiting.  I suggest you take 5-10 minutes to scroll thru a few months worth of headlines here.  Then take a few more minutes to go thru the posts that are of interest.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl.  EN54cl is central WI, near WI Rapids.  All licensed amateurs are welcome; the net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.   We appreciate you helping to spread the word and newcomers are welcome.
The 144.240 Wed. net always starts out by looking NE, E and SE into eastern time zone.  Then WB9LYH turns S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 30-45 minutes or so, give or take.
WB9LYH — Mark — has a big signal.  500 watts into a pair of 17B2’s up on ridge.  Mark works stations with horizontal yagis aimed accurately out to 300, 400 and sometimes 500 miles.  That’s with ordinary band conditions.   As mentioned above, DX is always welcome to listen along and give it a try.  Never know when there might be a little bump in propagation and contacts beyond 500-600 miles could be possible.   We also value local and semi-local check-ins.  The net appreciates the dozens and dozens of regulars over the past 8+ years.

Post Your January VHF Contest Plans Here

10am Monday

As mentioned below in other Jan. 9th posts here at kc9bqa.com, the ARRL January VHF Contest is on Jan. 21-22.  Rules link is here:  http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf   Make plans now to get on and tell all your ham friends and clubs.

Like he has for years now, W0UC Paul in EN44 has created a Google spreadsheet where those of us in the Midwest/Great Lakes can post our January VHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.
1)  I (KC9BQA) know little about Google spreadsheets.  I’m just the messenger.
2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.
3)  Even if you’re part-time or you don’t know exactly when you can be on, post your general intentions anyway.  This is fun, not a legally binding contract.  :)
4)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.
5)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL June VHF Contest plans here:   http://tinyurl.com/VHFss2017
6)  Because this is an interactive spreadsheet, remember to check back from time-to-time and view updated plans from both fixed stations and rovers.

ARRL January VHF Contest is Jan. 21-22

9:45am Monday

The ARRL January VHF Contest is in 2 weekends.  It starts at 1900 UTC time (1pm central) on Sat., January 21st and runs 33 hours until 0359 UTC time on Monday (which is 9:59pm central Sunday night, January 22nd)    All bands from 50 MHz on up into the microwaves are in play.
Other big VHF contests are in June, July, August and September.

The link to the ARRL January VHF Rules page is here:  http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf
If you prefer short stories, you are done.  For those who like a little more details, read on…

Here’s a few paragraphs of promotional material from ARRL:  http://www.arrl.org/news/warm-up-with-the-january-vhf-contest-january-21-23

“The January VHF Contest offers Single-Operator and Multioperator categories. What’s really cool about this contest are the three Single-Operator categories, inviting to newcomers and seasoned VHFers alike: FM-only, 3-Band (50 MHz, 144 MHz, and 440 MHz), and Portable.

“We’ve seen some very strong numbers of participants and healthy scores recently in the FM-only category,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ. “The number of Portable and Rover stations — and their accomplishments — has been amazing, even in the January event.”

Propagation can be a surprise in January, with winter E-skip, aurora, tropo, and temperature inversions. Jahnke said, “Even diehard meteor scatter and EME (moonbounce) folks will be trying some of the latest in digital processing software, including MSK441 (meteor scatter) and WSJT-X (EME), looking for newcomers as well as the seasoned crowd to get them in their logs.”

Getting on the VHF/UHF bands is not hard. Technician licensees have access to all amateur bands above 50 MHz. Antennas for VHF/UHF frequencies are available new or used, and you can even roll your own. Kent Britain, WA5VJB, offers useful information on his website on how to make your own “cheap Yagis.” Another approach is the Quagi antenna. Wayne Overbeck, N6NB, provides an overview on his website. For UHF+, loop Yagis are relatively simple to build, and designs are readily available. Even some HF antennas will work on 6 meters, and most modern transceivers offer 6-meter capability. A modest number of HF+50/144/432 MHz transceivers also are available, and transverters are available for all VHF and UHF bands.”

Links to KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School Articles

9:30am Monday

Start spreading the word everywhere about the ARRL  January VHF Contest, which is January 21-22, 2017.   Other posts dated January 9, 2017 at kc9bqa.com promote the contest itself, and give publicity to the 5 known VHF/UHF contest clubs in and near Wisconsin.

If you want to know more about what a VHF/UHF contest is all about, I humbly refer you to a series of articles I wrote about 6-7 years back, called VHF Contesting School.   The goal of these articles are to get even casual VHF’ers, and hams in general, more confident about playing in a VHF contest.

Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5931   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.  The whole reason KC9BQA.com exists is to increase on-air activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.

Please don’t think that only the big guns get on for VHF/UHF contests.  The contests are a lot more fun if even the guys with just a few bands, or limited time, stop by and call some CQ’s, let others know they are out there, and make the airwaves more active.

Because those articles were written back in 2009 or 2010, some of the content may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL website for current info.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

9:30am Monday

This is the first of several posts today.  I periodically repost this info when a VHF/UHF contest is near.

With the 2017 VHF contest season nearby (ARRL January VHF on Jan 21-22), this is a good time for readers to join one of the regional VHF/UHF contest clubs, if you haven’t already done so.

As of late 2016, I know of 5 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  When I say “VHF/UHF Club”, I’m talking about clubs where the emphasis is on SSB/CW/Digital modes on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz, clear on up to microwave bands like 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, and even into 5 and 10 Gig and beyond.
If you are even a casual VHF’er, but would like your contest scores to go toward a club total, consider joining any of these clubs.  All the info you need to get started is below.

1)  My club is the Badger Contesters.  Their website is at www.badgercontesters.org.  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress, no-dues club.

2)  NLRS stands for Northern Lights Radio Society, which covers MN, and probably adjacent parts of W and NW WI and N IA.  Their website is at www.nlrs.org.

3)  SMC stands for Society of Midwest Contesters, based in IL and parts of adjacent states.  SMC is a very active HF club, with a decent number of V/UHF contesters, too.  Their website is at www.w9smc.com   SMC has done some amazing things, getting their HF contesters to try 6 meters in the June ARRL contest (when sporadic E skip usually opens up 6m across the country)

4)  CVVHF stands for Chippewa Valley VHF and they are pretty much centered on EN44.  I’m sure their territory covers most of NW WI and plenty of the U.P. of MI.  CVVHF’s website is at www.k9cvc.org.

5)  As of late summer, 2014, Michigan is now represented here.  Several motivated guys got together and have created the Michigan VHF-UHF Society or MIVUS.  Their website is at http://mivus.org/  Check them out.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, these clubs would like very much for you to join and then submit your contest scores as part of the club’s  aggregate score.

I am not aware of any active V/UHF clubs in IN or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.