Archive for November, 2010

6 check-ins to the FM net, plus a big surprise

Friday, November 5th, 2010

    Conditions are down tonight — cold north winds are no help.   But I do have a funny or amazing story.  
    Local check-ins were:   WD9ITJ Sussex, KM4G Germantown, WB9TFH West Allis and KC9HBO Doug north of Pewaukee Lake.  
    Then I noticed some activity in the on4kst.com chat for 144/432 MHz.    It was W8BYA in EN70, wondering if we could make it over a 238 mile path.   Asked Gedas what he had for a vertical antenna on FM, and he said, “nothing, I want to try it cross-pol with my 800w and long-boom horizontal yagi”   I laughed and typed back to  him, “Well, I’m turning 10 els vertical and 200w toward you now.”   
    Then Gedas came back to me, of all things.   He was not really copyable, except I heard him give my call and his.   He said I was at least Q5 to him, 75% of the time, with a few peaks up to S9.   Well how the heck about that!    Mind you, this was cross-pol on a 238 mile path, on FM.  
    Also heard from N9OLT in Green Bay on the chat and he said he heard me a little bit on FM, but I couldn’t dig him out.  
    We then switched to SSB and all got horizontal, and boy, conditions are several S units worse tonight than they were last night.   Even with poor cx’s, we had some fun.   KA0KYZ came in from EN33, as he likes to do after 9pm, and we all worked each other.   W8BYA in EN70 reports that he always works Terry, no problem, on a 438 mile path.  

    We have to do something about 1) getting more guys on the air + 2) improving their antennas and coax and 3) getting them on on4kst.com chat so they can at least know who’s out there.   There’s a ton of fun to be had, and 200, 300, 400 mile contacts to be made on 2m SSB/CW, basically any old time, if you have a decent station.  Plus the chat really helps because then you know who’s on and where to look.

146.430 FM Net *ON* Thur. Night @8pm central.

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

   I’m ON with the 146.430 FM net as usual Thur. night at 8pm.   I call CQ with a vertical up 90′ and 200w.   Get out 75-100 miles to decent stations and enjoy DX-type check-ins.   If you are “out there” and want me to specifically look your way with a 10 el vertical beam up 75′, I can do that — just email me prior to the net (my email is good on qrz.com) and I’ll know to look for you.  Always looking to find guys out 100-200 miles with that beam, so help me spread the word.

    The past few weeks, we’ve had more check-ins to the FM net, mostly from SE WI.   I sure appreciate you regular check-ins, you know how dead nets can make me sad.   🙁     🙂

Other Nets/ Activity Periods in the Midwest & Great Lakes

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

   In addition to our long-range 2m nets on Wed., there’s plenty of other activity on different bands and nights across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region.   They all need your support to make them work.   I haven’t posted info about them for several weeks and I’m overdue for a thorough update.  Please check back in a day or two, and I’ll run down what all is going on, day-by-day.

41 Total Check-Ins to All 3 Nets; Great Night

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

   If conditions were good anywhere tonight, it’s news to me.   But as usual, if you get enough guys on the air, good things happen.    Waiting for QSB peaks was key tonight, several guys went from S0-S9 in less than a minute. 
   KA0KYZ in EN33 had 8 check-ins to his 144.230 net.   I took 19 check-ins plus a few close calls on my 144.240 net.   K8TQK in EM89 had a breakthrough night with 16 check-ins on 144.250.    Details to follow:

    KA0KYZ is now starting at 7:45pm eastern, looking E into MI and then going clockwise.   He has 144.230 to himself for at least 15 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about missing me or WB9LYH on 144.240.   The good news was that several Detroit stations I spoke with said they heard at least something on his frequency.   Another night with better cx’s and they’ll make some nice long-haul contacts.   Guys in MI, IN and OH, be aware of KA0KYZ in EN33 looking your way from 7:45-8:10pm or so your time, every Wednesday.      
    KA0KYZ had 8 check-ins:   W9CDL EN44;  W8BYA EN70;  K0CQ EN32;  N0DSN EN33;  KG0SJ and WB0YWW EN22;  N9OLT EN64 and W0HXL takes the DX award tonight by checking in from EN21, Omaha, NE. 

    On 144.240, most Weds. nights you’ll have WB9LYH from EN54 (Central WI) with stacked 17B2’s and 500w from a killer QTH.   He’s the easiest EN54 anyone will ever hear.    I’ve heard him make 400-500 mile Q’s with good stations, even with flat bands.   We start our net at 7pm central/8pm eastern, looking north, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and again N at the end of the net about 8:30pm central.    When WB9LYH is unavailable, I take over from EN63 with 200w into a 17 el, long-boom KLM yagi up 70′.   Good QTH here, also.   
    Tonight on 144.240, I had 19 check-ins:   N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA, K8JA and N8IEZ EN82;  N8FQ EN62;  KC8TJB EN72;  W8BYA EN70;  K8TQK EM89;  WA8CXI EM99 (relayed by W8BYA and K8TQK — WA8CXI heard my call on a peak, but I had trouble digging anything out from him)   Either way, it’s great to have a W VA station on board from 497 miles away. 
    Also heard from:  W9YZU EM69;  K9VS and KC9AOV EN52;  an EN40 station who was in briefly and I assume was WA9BNZ;  K0VSC and KC9FNM from EN52;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  W9GA EN53 and W9CDL EN44.    Great to hear from W9CDL — he’s been off the air for some time, I believe.  

    K8TQK in EM89, southern Ohio is on 144.250 every Wed., starting at 8:30pm eastern time.   He starts out looking north, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW by about 9:30pm eastern time.   He has a big, big signal and gets out 400-500 miles.   We saw that tonight, as he worked into both NJ (FN20) and NW AL (EM54).  
    K8TQK’s 16 check-ins were:   N8YOH/M EN80;  N8WNA and K8JA EN82;  WA8CXI EM99;  W2KV and W2ZKE FN20 — those were 460 mile contacts, and W2KV said (in the on4kst.com chat) that K8TQK’s signal was S8 on a QSB peak.   He also worked W8WG, KD8DJE, KD8KZG in EM89;  WA3TTS EN90;  K3FZN FN10;  W8BYA EN70;  K4EQH EM54 on a 400 mile path;  N9UNC and W9YZU EM69 and finally K9KHW in EN63 Milwaukee on a 365 mile path.  

    Very excited by tonight’s nets.   Across the 3 nets, we had activity as far west as Omaha, as far north as Green Bay, as far east as PA and NJ, and south to AL.   A lot of you readers must be spreading the word, and we appreciate it.   IF the word keep spreading we can have activity from 20 or more states, and over 40 grids, easily.   We’re helping make Wednesday a “can’t miss” night for VHF’ers.

Wed. 144.230, 144.240 and 144.250 Long-Range Net Plans

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

    EDIT — 9am Wednesday morning —
    We have a small change that guys in MI/OH/IN and VE-3 will want to be aware of.   This only concerns KA0KYZ in EN33, Southeast Minnesota, who will now be starting 15 minutes earlier every Wednesday.  
    KA0KYZ will be starting at 2345Z or 7:45pm eastern tonight and for the near future.   We’ve discussed this and we want Terry to have his own clear air for a while, as he looks east into MI/OH/IN.   So if you guys out east want a shot at EN33, Southeast Minnesota, then be on at 7:45pm eastern.    KA0KYZ has a nice station from a great QTH, and gets out a long ways.   He has worked into EN81 and EN70 over the past few months, with flat conditions.    
     Again, between 7:45pm and 8:00pm eastern time, the only signal on will be KA0KYZ on 144.230.   He will be looking east and southeast into MI, IN and OH during that time.   After 8pm eastern, I will come up on 144.240, as usual, starting first looking at the UP of MI and then swinging clockwise on my regular rotation, or NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and then N again about the time I wrap up (0115-0130Z). 
    After KA0KYZ looks east from 2345-0000Z, he continues to look a full 360, just like he has for months now.   So he’ll be looking into WI, IL, MO, IA, KS, NE, Dakotas, MN and up toward Thunder Bay, ONT — EN58.    

   This week you will have KA0KYZ in EN33 (Southeast Minnesota) on 144.230, starting at 0000Z.   (EDIT — again, KA0KYZ’s new start time is 2345Z.   He tends to look E first, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N.   He will gladly look around more than once.   Best way to find any of our net controls and know where they are pointing is to get on the real-time VHF chat at www.on4kst.com.   Use the IARU Region 2 Room for 144/432 MHz.  
    This week you have me (not WB9LYH — he’s unavailable) on 144.240, starting at 0000Z.   I look N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and finally N again about 0115-45Z, depending on how busy I am.    Look toward EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee for me. 
   On 144.250, we will have K8TQK Bob in EM89, or Southern Ohio.   He will start up at 0030Z, and now look to his N or NE, then go clockwise, or E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and again, north.   So K8TQK’s doing a full 360 now.    He has reach into MI, IN, OH, VE-3, NY, PA, MD, W VA, VA, NC, TN, KY, plus parts of SC, GA, AL and MS, MO, IL and WI.   Do whatever you can to get the word out in those directions.   I look forward to hearing about the first night where K8TQK works 20 grids or more and 10-15 different states.  

     Wednesday night is really the night to fire up on 2m SSB.   There are 5 solid options.   Also remember that the SWOT group (SideWinders on Two, see www.swotrc.net) has nets from EL99 (Daytona Beach, FL) and EM12 (Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX) every Wed. night on 144.250.    At least 75% of the USA (east of the Rockies) is within range of one or more of these nets.

    Finally, remember we encourage all our check-ins (or anyone who loves 2m SSB/CW) to go and call their own CQ’s after net control has passed them by.   Do this on 144.220 and lower.   When  net controls get things stirred up, it’s a good thing.   When several dozen guys in multiple states are on, calling CQ in different directions, then you have a great thing.

222 Tuesday is ON Every Tuesday

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

   222 Tuesday is ON every Tuesday.   General USA/VE Activity Night for the 222/223 MHz band.   No single focus of activity, and no net control.   222 Tuesdays are as good as you make it.   Most guys have been getting on toward dark.   Swing your beams, call CQ, see who’s out there.   Be conscious of not hogging 222.100.   Spread out a little and/or give others a chance to call on .200.   If you’re FM-only, see who you can raise on or near 223.500.   Please remember to spread the word, because activity has been down for some weeks now.  

    If you want more info about 222 Tuesday, visit http://kc9bqa.com/?p=3339   Some helpful hints there.

    If you want to see the first post I made on this website about 222 Tuesday, it’s here:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=950   That post was made on Sept. 15, 2009.    It gives you historical perspective and properly credits N8WNA EN82 and KC8QAE (who’s now K8GDT) EN91, who actually re-started the 222 activity a year ago.

   Glad to report that K9LQZ from EM68 has put up a first rate 222 station.   Look toward Southern IN and see if you can work Lowell.   HOWEVER, he is not available on Tuesday nights.   He’s happy to make skeds for other times.    Look up his email at qrz.com and contact him that way.