Archive for November, 2009

This Week’s Nets/Activities are *ON*

Monday, November 30th, 2009

     Our Wed. 144.240 (0100-0230Z) and 144.250 (0230-0330Z) nets are *ON*.   
     Thur. 146.43 FM simplex net is *ON*, starting at 0200Z.  
     222 Tuesday is *ON* tomorrow night.   This is a general activity night for anyone with 222/223 MHz gear.   Use 222.100 (slide up/down a little if it’s busy) SSB/CW or 223.500 FM and see who’s out there.   Call CQ, swing beams, get something started.  

      In  my first Nov. 23rd post just down the page, I gave details about Monday night activity.   You have N0PB’s wide-range net on 144.250 SSB, starting at 0145Z with omnis and switching to yagis from 0200-0300Z.   N0PB is in EM39, north-central Missouri.   He has a 300+ mile signal.  
      If you want 432 activity, then look toward EN52gb (just a little WSW of Rockford, IL) for N4PZ on 432.100 SSB at 0200.   I hear he’s been getting 10 – 20 check-ins.   That’s great to hear.

     Later in the week, you have another net option on Thursdays.    N9JBW has been calling the Q5 net on 144.220 SSB for some years now.   John is in EN61, south side of Chicago and has a good group.   John invites new ones to say hello.   This net is at 0100Z every Thur.  

     Sunday evenings have plenty of activity, too.   K9TMS in the far northern suburbs of Chicago started up a new net this summer on 144.250, at 0100Z.   An active V/UHF club out of Minnesota ( has nets on multiple bands on Sunday nights.   Go to    The 432/222 info should be good, but I’m never around on Sunday nights.   Can anyone confirm that the 432/222 NLRS info is good?    
     I can confirm the NLRS 6m and 2m net info.   K0SIX is on 50.175 at 0230 from EN35.   Vince has a nice signal and gets out a long way.    KA0PQW Matt in EN33 runs the 144.260 net at 0300.    I know both Vince and Matt and they enjoy new check-ins.   Give them a call if you’re playing radio on Sunday night.  
    Michigan is also on Sun. nights… K8NFT, from EN62, SW Lower MI calls a net on 144.155, starting at 0230. 

    If you’re brand new to V/UHF, be aware that all these SSB nets use horizontally-polarized antennas.    Any SSB operations on 6m, 2m, 1.25m, 70cm use horizontally-polarized antennas.   If you only have vertical capability, you may hear something if you’re close enough to net control.    But two SSB stations should be able to work each other in the 100-300 mile range, if the antennas have a decent horizon and you have at least 50-100 watts.

Have fun on 144 Wed. night without net controls.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

    There will be no formal net controls Wed. night on 144.240 or on 144.250.    Both WB9LYH and I will be away.   It’s possible LYH will be back after 0200Z, but no guarantees.  
    Every week we’ve had 40 or more VHF’ers checking in.   Don’t let the bands go quiet just because two guys are missing.    If it’s convenient for you, make some noise tomorrow night.  

    Get on 144 Wed. night and call CQ.   Swing your beams around.   Use that chat if you want to.   Since this isn’t a net, you might slide down near the call freq. of 144.200.    If you’re new, please don’t monopolize the 144.200 call freq.    You might go to 144.240/144.250 every now and again to let folks know the nets are off.    Some don’t check the website or read email.  

    W9NHE is supposed to be at his deer camp very close to the EN55/56 border in far N WI Wed. night.   He’ll have a dipole and 100w.   If you want a tough grid, look his way on 144.240, starting at 7pm.   Or someone tell W9NHE the nets are off and everyone’s doing their own thing.

     The 146.43 FM net on Thur. is *OFF*.    Everything should  be back on next week.  

     Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.   I’m very grateful that hundreds of you have helped make the bands livelier the past year and a half.    We’ll have a lot more fun in 2010.   

     Save the weekend of January 23-24th, as that’s the ARRL VHF Sweepstakes.    I realize some hams don’t do contests, but for those who are curious, I’m happy to help.   I enjoy the contests very much and the VHF contests aren’t nearly as crowded or as  competitive as what you hear on HF.    So keep an open mind and give VHF contesting a try.   We’ll talk more about it as time permits.   If you want to get up to speed sooner, let me know directly.
     The VHF contests are (to me) the single most exciting time on our bands.   There’s plenty of activity on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz.   If you have gear for 900 or 1296 MHz, you can find guys to make Q’s with.   Some guys enjoy the point-n-shoot nature of 10 gigahertz communications.   Hams who are antenna-restricted equip their vehicles with antennas and rigs and go roving.   If you want to be a friend to VHF contesters, go roving and activate different grid squares.   Rovers are excellent. 
     Don’t think you have to be a big gun to enjoy a V/UHF contest.   If only big guns got on, it would be boring working the same 10-15 guys over and over each year.  We’ve found a lot of new contesters in and near WI the past year.

Beacon Info — 144.297 WD9BGA/B back on.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

   The strong EN53 beacon just SW of Madison, WI is back on.   It had been off for about a week or 10 days.   I always hear this beacon on about a 100 mile path.   Sometimes it’s S0-S1, sometimes it’s as good as S7-S9.    Thanks Vince N9NFB for using the “comment” feature to let us know.   (Back on my Nov. 19th post) 
   I also regularly hear a beacon in EN43, La Crosse, WI.   This is on 144.290 — WA9HCZ/B.  
   I would enjoy knowing what beacons you actually can hear.   Use the comment feature and you’ll be helping others in different areas.   

   Here’s a beacon list:   That’s for 144 and higher.  
   For 6 meters, use:

   In fact, that is a good link for V/UHF in general.   Lots of info in there.

This Week’s Activity on the Bands. Welcome Mat out for Some New Visitors.

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

    Had a pleasant weekend, capped off by the Packers hanging on for the win.   
    This was also a pleasant weekend because we’ve found interested hams from the St. Louis area.   I’ve emailed with fellows who are spreading the word down there.    If you are new to the site, welcome and thanks for the visit.   Think of this as a V/UHF newspaper.   If you read the paper a few times each week, you’re all caught up with what’s going on.    You fellows near MO also need to know that the 2010 Central States VHF Society’s conference is in Bridgeton, MO this July.   That’s on the NW side of St. Louis.   Visit the CSVHFS website at   
    This year’s CSVHFS get-together was in Elk Grove Village, IL, near O’Hare and about 200 of us got together for a wide variety of activities.    Technical programs galore, a V/UHF swapfest, great Sat. night banquet with prizes, and plenty of socializing every night in hospitality suites.  

    Tonight (every Monday) you have N0PB Phil’s SWOT (Side Winders on Two) net.   144.250 from 7:45-9:00pm or 0145-0300Z.   N0PB is in EM39, Holliday MO.   Big station — I hear him almost all the time in SE WI (when he’s pointing this way).     Phil’s procedure is to use omni Big Wheels from 7:45-8:00pm.   Then he switches to a beam at 8pm, looking south, then east, then north, then west, and back to south by about 9pm.  
If you want more info about SWOT, here’s their website:

    Also tonight — there’s a 432 net called by N4PZ Steve from EN52gb, or just west of Rockford, IL.   He comes on 432.100 every Monday at 8pm/0200Z.   Beams are awfully pointy on 432, but N4PZ has a huge 432 signal.   When he peaks up on you, you should hear a BIG difference.   He’s been getting 10-20 check-ins across a wide area, so if you want to play radio on 70cm, Monday’s your night.  

    If you’re brand new to SSB operation on V/UHF, know that horizontally-polarized antennas are the norm.  
   Come to think of it, if you’re brand new, you’re probably wondering what all this “EM39” or “EN52” is all about.   Those are grid squares, which is the way that V/UHF guys keep track of location and where they’ve worked, like HF guys keep track of countries or regions.   Google “Maidenhead Grid Squares” to learn more.   In the meantime, if you want a grid square map you can look at, here’s a link.  is a colorful one.

    Beyond tonight, it gets murkier for me.   I may be traveling Tues/Wed. nights.   I’ll post more when I know for sure. 

   I know that WB9LYH will be busy for most of Wed. night.   He thinks he may get on 144.240 about 8pm, but that’s not a guarantee.    It would be a relief to know that you Wed. night net guys will take up the slack and make your own noise.   Be prepared to do your own thing this Wednesday on 144.240 and 144.250.   Stay tuned here for later updates.  
    I can say that 146.43 FM on Thanksgiving Night is *OFF*.    Neither KC9KPV or I will be around.   If you want to call CQ at 8:30pm and see who’s around, please do.    Anyone can create activity.  

    Even if I’m not around on Tuesday night, it shouldn’t matter one bit for 222 Tuesday.    222 Tuesday is for everyone, everywhere, so spread the word and enjoy.    Get on/near 222.100 SSB/CW or 223.500 FM during the evening hours.   Call CQ, swing your beams, make noise.    Spread the word to your friends and get this great band going.    Consider using the real-time V/UHF chat at for better coordination.   It’s free, no BS, and the Europeans who enjoy it so much are mostly asleep during our evenings.   They don’t mind us there, either.   I’ve had a few nice keyboard ragchews with several of the fellows there.    7 simple steps to get signed up to that chat are at

Light 146.43 FM Net Tonight — 5 check-ins

Friday, November 20th, 2009

    Just wrapped up the net at 8:40pm.   Tonight we heard from:

   KC9NZR      West Bend
                 KC9KPV     Germantown
                WB9WHO   Milwaukee
                KM4G        Germantown   
                K9KHW      Milwaukee

    Had some time to ragchew.   Have a few items of interest for the website.

   FIRST — No 146.43 FM net next week — Thanksgiving.   Both myself and KC9KPV will be with family and away from the rigs.   If anyone else wants to start something next Thursday, you are more than welcome to call CQ and see who wants to play radio.    Anyone can create activity.  
  2nd —   WB9WHO was curious if anyone on the net has experience with the Bilal ISOTRON antenna.   It’s a smaller jobbie for HF.   If you have any comments for Tom, share them here, using the “comment” feature or send me an email and I’ll pass it along to WB9WHO.  
  3rd —  K9KHW wanted us to know to look for a portable station next Wed. with the 144.240 net.   W9NHE will have a 2m dipole and 100 watt rig up at his deer camp, near Land O’ Lakes/Phelps WI, on the WI/Upper MI border.   He’ll try to check in with that setup.  It will be a chance to get either EN55 or EN56 in your log.  

   KC9KPV called toward MI, IN and IL with his vertical beam from 7:30-8pm central time and heard from KC9JET who is on the SW side of Milwaukee.   We’ll keep exploring ways to find some guys farther away with interest in working 75-150 miles on simplex.   If anyone has any suggestions about finding those guys in MI, IN and IL, pass them along.

146.43 FM net *ON* tonight

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

   THE 146.43 FM NET IS ON TOMORROW NIGHT… in stages.   KC9KPV Randy just NW of Milwaukee calls with his 10 el vertical beam toward MI/IN and ILL from 0130-0200 or 8:30-9:00pm eastern.   He looks toward MI at 0130, toward IN about 0140 and toward IL about 0150.   If you’d like to flex your muscles a little on FM simplex, point toward Randy and give him a shout.  
   I call the omni portion of the net at 0200, with a vertical up 90?.   We get a good group of local guys, and we listen hard for the weak ones just beyond SE WI.   All are welcome to listen along or say hello.   If you’re DX and you know you’re going to try checking in, it never hurts to drop me an email before the net.   I’m good in 

   Spread the word, have you and a buddy both trying checking in.   Be creative.   We’re getting more activity lately from the area north of Madison.   We’re also always open to the option of stronger stations farther away stirring up activity in their area, in conjunction with this net.   A longer-term goal is to have simplex activity spread out a few hundred miles, with helpers.  Many ways this can be accomplished.  Email me if you’re interested.   Or we can discuss it on the air.

144 Net Reports — 25 check-ins with WB9LYH and 12 for KC9BQA

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

    Let’s see if I can crank out a full net report right here.  

    Remember that WB9LYH is now starting on 144.240 at 0100Z, looking east at MI, then swinging SE, S, SW, W, NW and ending up pointing north when he pulls the plug at 0230Z.   This is a permanent change.    
   The Detroit, Indianapolis, and Lincoln/Omaha areas were on heavily tonight.   Iowa had 4 check-ins, and we had a few scattered in WI and Twin Cities.  Bands sure sounded flat to me, in fact WB9LYH was down several S units compared to previous weeks.   No matter, he took 25 check-ins.  
   N8XPQ EN62;  KD8PA EN72;  WD9DSN EN71;  N8WNA, K8VFV and K8NWD EN82;  WA9NGO EN61;  W9YZU and N9FEB EM69;  KB9RDS EM79;  W9GA EN53;  N0RWR and KA0OKM EN42;  WB0YWW and KD0SJ EN22;  WV9E EN43;  KC0TRX EN34;  K0SIX EN35;  K9MU EN44;  N0WJY and WD0BGZ EN10;  N0WF and W0HXL EN21;  W0DDC EM29 and KC9BQA EN63.  

    I start up at 0230 on 144.250 and call the Badger Contesters net.   All are welcome.   I start out looking south, where the bulk of our check-ins are often from Milwaukee/Chicago areas.   After I get caught up with them, I then swing my beam clockwise, calling CQ frequently to the SW, W, NW, N, NE, E and SE.   I may not get over to MI until 10:15-30pm their time, so unless you’re a night owl, WB9LYH is your better bet.  
   I worked:
   N9NFB, KC9KPV, KC9NZR, KA9AAB, W9GA all EN53.   KB5ZJU EN63;  KA0OKM and N0RWR EN42;  W9CWD EN52;  N9JKX EN64;  WV9E EN43;  WB9TFH Gil said hello later from EN53 and several of us ragchewed until about 0430.  
Signals dropped as the night passed.   WV9E was fairly loud earlier with WB9LYH and by 9:30, he was very light copy.   I couldn’t hear K0SIX in EN35, which is unusual.

144.240 and 144.250 nets *ON* Wed. night

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

    As usual, a lot of RF goes out from WI on 2m tomorrow (Wed.) night.  
   WB9LYH in EN54cl (middle of WI) will start up on 144.240 at 7pm cent./8pm east./0100 utc.   HE NOW STARTS OUT LOOKING ENE INTO N LOWER MI, AND THEN MOVES CLOCKWISE FROM THERE, GOING A FULL 360.    He has an hour and a half to play radio, and as you know by now, he gets out a long ways.    It gets busy and even if you can’t work WB9LYH directly, look toward WI and see if you hear anyone calling for relays on 144.240.   Or you may hear net check-ins slide down to 144.230 or lower, looking to work others.    

    I am up on 144.250 at 8:30pm central/0230 utc.   I call to my south first, and work the Milwaukee/Chicago (and downstate ILL, too, if they’re on) check-ins.   Then I swing a full 360, going clockwise, looking for anyone/anywhere.  
    Get signed up for the real-time chat if you want a clearer picture of what’s going on with the nets and the spin-off activity.    I update during WB9LYH’s net and let folks know where he’s looking and who he’s working.  Everyone is welcome to use the chat, and coordinate contacts you might not make otherwise.

222 Tuesday report — we keep trying.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

    Bands tonight were not in good shape, but we did have some activity, especially to the east.   In fact, it’s 9:35 central/0335 utc and I’m hearing W3KWH in PA signing with N8WNA in EN82.     When KWH gets on (believe it’s a club station out of Pittsburgh) they get out a long way.   I’ve worked them before on a few bands in contests.  

    In no particular order, here’s who got on tonight, or was posting to either 144/432 chat or using the 222 Prop Logger.    N8WNA, N8IEZ (also EN82), N9LAD EN62, N8PVT EN64, KX8XX EN74, VE3TFU EN92 (he has a 2 watt beacon from EN93vd on 222.055, and I actually heard it briefly)   Also saw WV9E EN43, WO9S EN61, WB4NKM EM87 and N8KXG EN91 being posted.    K5SW Sam in EM25 posted that he worked  W0RT in EM27.   
   WP4O Ed in EL87 Tampa was nice enough to email and say that the word was being spread in FLA.  

    I called several times on 223.5FM (I’m limited there) and only worked N9LAD EN62.   Later, I did hear W9IIX come up from the Chicago area, but he was very light and in Q with someone else.    N9LAD has let the Chicago guys on their 224 machines know we’re looking for 223.5 simplex activity on Tuesdays.  

   This is no 144.240 net, but we’re holding steady.   Glad the word is spreading. 

   One idea to spark more activity — it would be great if some guys would go rover or portable for these 222 Tuesdays.   Or for the 144 nets/activity on Wed’s.   Before the weather goes to full-blown winter.   This would really work if they posted their plans ahead of time, so lots of guys would know to get on and look for them.    Anyone/anywhere could do this.   Put a rarish grid or grid corner on the air, and say, “Come and get me”

This Week’s VHF/UHF Activities

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

     This week we have 222/223 Tuesday.    We have a pair of long-range 144 SSB nets on Wednesday.   We’ll have the 146.43 FM net on Thursday.    

      Get on/near 222.100 SSB/CW and 223.500 FM any Tuesday night.   Try to focus on the 7-10pm timeframe, or 0100-0400z time.   (Remember that with us turning the clocks back, Z time is now 6 hours ahead of central time)    
      Get on 222/223 and call CQ.   Swing your beams in various directions — create activity.    Don’t wait for someone else to take charge.   Spread the word to anyone you know with 222.    We’re making good progress, so keep getting the word out. 
      Use that chat.   1000’s are using it already for 6m and for 160m.    Time to put it to use for 144-432 MHz.    7 simple steps to sign up are at:   I am using that chat now during every 222 Tuesday and the 144 nets on Wednesday.  

       Wednesday we’ll have the 144.240 and 144.250 nets as usual.   This week, we have WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl calling the 144.240 net at 7pm central/8pm eastern/0100 utc.   He starts out looking east into MI, calling CQ and listening for check-ins.   He then swings his stacked 17B2’s clockwise, looking into S MI, OH, IN, and then moving thru WI, IL, to MO, IA, MN.    Because he gets so many check-ins, this can take a while.     If you want to know where he’s pointing and who he’s hearing, then join the chat because I post updates there.      

      I call the 144.250 Badger Contesters net at 8:30pm central or 0230 utc.      I start out looking S thru Milwaukee/Chicago, and then swing clockwise, a full 360.  

     All are welcome to listen along or say hello to either net.    The only purpose is to create more activity on 144 SSB.   Both WB9LYH and I are eager to see the RF ripples spread out hundreds of miles in all directions.   We encourage net check-ins to slide down to 144.230 or lower and look around for others to work.    We encourage guys that are several states away to look toward WI because some of the guys we can work may turn around and try to work in your direction.  The chat room keeps everyone from all points of the compass connected.   I am in there anytime I’m playing V/UHF.