Archive for March, 2010

Great Link About the Long-Range 144.240 net every Wed.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010  

    If you are unsure of how the 144.240 net called by WB9LYH in EN54cl works, that link explains everything.   It has times, directions, tips, and also the links for getting signed up to the chat that we use to help everyone make more contacts on 144 SSB.  
    Even if a net doesn’t interest you in the least, you are more than welcome to use the chat any time.   The chat is for everyone — some are content to just talk VHF with guys they wouldn’t otherwise meet.  
    We will have several dozen in there tonight, and the hope is that in time, we’ll have dozens more, from all parts of the USA.

222 Tuesday, 144.240 SSB Wed., 146.430 FM Thur. all *ON* This Week.

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

     So there’s your weekly lineup.   Tonight is 222 Tuesday.   This is a general nationwide activity night.   No single focus or net control.   Get on/near 222.100 SSB/CW, call CQ, swing beams, see who’s out there.   If you’re FM-only, do the same on/near 223.500.   As always, spread the word.   Goal is to have everyone with 1.25/1.35m gear to know about 222 Tuesdays.   
     Last week, I got email from a few fellows in the NE part of the country, saying that guys need to be aware of sliding off 222.100, to reduce congestion, and give others a shot at using the call freq.   This is good policy on any weak-signal band.   If you find yourself getting in a longer Q on any call frequency, please QSY.

I Speak to Yellow Thunder ARC (Baraboo) on April 6th

Monday, March 29th, 2010

    There has been some weak-signal VHF/UHF interest from the Portage/Baraboo area.   So I’ll speak at Yellow Thunder’s meeting on Tuesday evening, April 6th, at 7:30pm.    All are welcome.   If you know of someone who is VHF/UHF-curious, let them know about next Tuesday. 
    I will talk about what bands and frequencies we use to work 100-400 miles every day on bands like 6m, 2m and 70cm.    We’ll talk about why antennas are so important, and share a link to homebrew yagis that actually work.    We’ll outline all the different nets and weekly activities that keep your radio happy.    We’ll discuss VHF/UHF contesting — the where/when/how of it.    We will talk about what grid squares are, and hand out grid square maps to those who want them.   There will be some helpful links to other websites and to classifieds where you can look for VHF/UHF rigs and antennas.  

     Here’s the time and directions from YTARC’s website:   The Yellow Thunder Amateur Radio Club meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm sharp.   We meet in room C128 (EMBS Meeting Room) in the Sauk County Courthouse located at 510 Broadway in Baraboo.   Use the Broadway (main) entrance.   Doors open at 7pm.

146.43 FM net report — 5 check-ins

Friday, March 26th, 2010

   Cold, blustery day and night.   Hopefully this will be the last daytime high below 32F.  
   Tonight we had:
   KM4G   Marv  Germantown;  WD9ITJ  Bill Sussex;  KC9QNN/M  Mike  Grafton;  WB9TFH  Gil  West Allis;  W9GA  Ken Colgate.  
   Had fun ragchewing afterward.   WB9TFH was reporting all kinds of DX on 20, 17, 15 and 12m.   Guess 10m opened up this afternoon to 9-land, as well.   Might be time to check out the high HF bands, if you’re into that.

Thursday 146.430 and 146.460 FM Simplex nets

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

   I’m *ON* with the 146.430 FM simplex net Thur. starting at 8pm central.  
   Now for the past month, we have another FM net option, with WV9E Dave just N of La Crosse on 146.460 at 8:30pm.   
   It’s going to be miserable tomorrow night — cold, and strong N winds.   So stay warm inside and give either one of us a shout.

Thursday SSB activity — 222 and 144

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

    Every Thursday, N ILL is a hotspot.      

   You have a long-running 144.220 SSB net hosted by N9JBW John from EN61, South side of Chicago.   He calls it the Q5 net, and it starts at 7pm central/0000Z.    Nice active net, very friendly and N9JBW is always looking for new check-ins.      I’m told he starts out looking E, then goes CCW, or N, then W, then S. 

   If you want to play 222 SSB on Thursday nights, you now have a newer net hosted by NT9E, Dave in EN52vi, McHenry, IL.    Dave gets on 222.100, and calls CQ, starting out S, and goes CCW, calling every 15 degrees.     Because this is a 222 net, not many will know about it unless you — yep, here goes KC9BQA again –  spread the word.

WB9LYH 144.240 — 20 check-ins and KC9BQA 144.250 — 12 check-ins

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

   WB9LYH reported flaky conditions tonight + he had local noise at times.   Still had 20 check-ins, plus a few other close calls.   On 144.240, from 0000-0130Z  I heard Mark work:
   KC8TJB EN72;  N8WNA EN82;  KB9RDS EM79;  W9YZU EM69;  KC9BQA EN63;  W9RWS, KC9CUK and N9TZL EN52;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N0IRS EM29;  KG0SJ EN22;  N0PB EM39;  W0FAY and N0RWR EN42;  KA0KYZ EN33;  WV9E EN43;   K0SIX EN35;  N9KOR EN44 and KC0TRX EN34 
   He had a close call with W1MRK EN52, and I also think W1JWS in EN50.   Somehow the W1JWS deal led to confusion with the callsign W1WJS who’s in EN90, Wheeling W VA.    Never one to turn down a good DX challenge, WB9LYH spun SE and called W1WJS several times, with no luck.   I looked up WJS on and seeing as they’ve only had 33 lookups, I seriously doubt they’re strong VHF’ers.   So anyway… we do look forward to working W VA some night, with the right conditions.   WB9LYH already has worked a bit east of Cleveland with flat conditions, so it’s just a matter of time + having the right stations looking our way.    (spread the word — you knew I was going to say that, right?) 

   I had 12 check-ins on 144.250, starting at 0130Z.
   N9TZL and KC9CUK EN52;  K9FI, W9FA, WD9ITJ and WB9TFH EN53;  KB5ZJU EN63;  WB9MXX EN62;  KB9WZJ EM69;  N9XUX EN61;  K0SIX EN35 and WV9E EN43.     Pretty sure it was N9XUX’s first time to the net, so welcome to Mike.   Wish we’d had more stable conditions.    QSB was something else tonight. 
   Picked up K0SIX and WV9E after 0200Z, when they pinged me via the chat room.      That chat room is still being put to good use tonight, at 0245Z.   Multiple guys in 5 states are making Q’s, testing amps, and whatnot.    
   Also good to hear 144.240 still being used by several locals, having a good ragchew about DX on HF they’ve worked lately.

222 Tuesday, 144.240 Wed., 146.430 FM Thur. all *ON* this week

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

     Short on time, but for now, at least you know all the nets/activities are *ON*.  
    Please spread the word about any/all of this to hams you know are interested.    So many V/UHF’ers give up because of a lack of activity.   There is far more activity the past two years, but you still need to know where/when to look for it.

6 Meters May Open Up This Weekend

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

    I’m getting email this morning (9-10am central) from a few SC and KY Television (broadcast band) DX’ers who are already getting E skip from Cuba, up to Channel 5.  

    Wouldn’t be surprised if 6 opens up soon or later on.   Heads up.

     6m band plan at       Go to  Make sure to read the text below the band plan.   Good stuff there.  

     Note that 50.125 is the call freq. on 6m SSB.   Definitely call short CQ’s there — if nobody called CQ the band would never be open!   But please move your QSO up above 50.125.   Also, there is nothing wrong with calling CQ up the band.   Don’t get in the habit of being a 50.125 crystal-bound station.     In a good band opening, 6m can be busy above 50.200, which is a blast.     
     Notice that 50.100-50.125 DX Window?   Many new guys to 6m figure that DX means something out of state.   Nope —  DX means out of the USA.    Unless you hear someone from the Caribbean, Mexico, or Europe (Alaska and Hawaii are DX, too) between 50.100-50.125, stay out of there.   Don’t work USA/USA or USA/VE in the DX window.   That’s how the pros roll, and I want you to be another smart 6m operator.

146.43 FM Simplex Net Report — 7 check-ins

Friday, March 19th, 2010

    Beautiful night in the 50’s, felt great out in the shed.   Prop seemed average.
   Heard from:
   KC9ISU  Tom  Newburg;  KM4G  Marv  Germantown;  KC9PQF Tom  West Allis;  KC9CUK  Erich  Marengo, IL;  WB9TFH Gil  West Allis;  WD9ITJ Bill  Sussex;  K9FI Jerry  Brookfield.  
   Nice to hear from far N ILL tonight.   KC9CUK has an antenna at the 120′ level and he was averaging S2-3 without a preamp.    Ragchewing continues at 9:15pm.