Archive for May, 2013

Wed. 144.240, Mon. 144.252 and 222 Tues. Net Reports

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

  12:45pm Thursday

  **If you are looking for the posts promoting the ARRL June VHF Contest, plus the other summer V/UHF contests, they’re right here on the “front page”.   Just scroll down a little to the posts dated May 27th.   Thanks for visiting and feel free to share the material with your ham friends.**

  I ended up calling last night’s 144.240 net because WB9LYH had thunderstorms.   I was pleasantly surprised at how low noise levels were and how good a turnout we had.  Thanks everyone for getting on. 
  Our 16 check-ins included:  N9OLT and K9AAW EN64;  KA8FFM EN56;  VE3ZV EN92;  K8GDT EN91;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  W8BYA EN70;  AB8GL EN62;  KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  W9WZJ EM69;  KC9CLM EN52;  W9BBP EN40;  WB9TFH EN53 and K0SIX EN35. 
  K9AAW is a new call to this net.  Welcome, Leon, and thanks for stopping by.  Nice signal from Sturgeon Bay.  
  Expect WB9LYH to be back on with the 144.240 net from EN54cl, near WI Rapids (central WI) next Wed. at 8pm central.   All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is friendly and informal; the purpose is to create more activity on the SSB portion of 2 meters. 

   K8TQK in EM89je (south-central OH) calls another long-range net on 144.252 (yes .252) on Monday nights at 8:30pm eastern.  His antenna pattern is to start N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  If there is one southern OH signal I will always hear, it is K8TQK’s.  Because Bob partnered with us on Wed. nights for several years, I still publish his net reports.  
   This Monday, K8TQK had a light turnout, undoubtedly because of Memorial Day.   His 7 check-ins were:  WD8CHR EN90;  VE3CKO FN02;  WB4IXU EM86;  N4TLL EM87;  WD4NMV EM85;  WA4REE EM65 and KB9RDS EM79. 

   222 Tuesday is the national activity night for the 222 MHz band.  No net control, no single area of focus.  222 ops get on and call their own CQ’s on/near 222.100.  Spin the yagis and see who all is around.  Best time to do this is between 0000-0200UTC.  Known concentrations of 222 activity are in MI and OH, plus TX and LA.  Sometimes the activity extends farther than that.   It depends on how many guys get on and start something.   I’m sure there’s 222 activity in many parts of the USA, I simply report what I can see via the chat archives and the 220 Prop Logger. 
   This Tuesday, K8TQK reported working N8AIA and N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91; WB4IXU EM86 and VE3ZV EN92.   I also saw where KE5JXC in EL39 worked W5AAC and K5LLL EM10, along with N5BA EL29 and W3XO/5 EM00. 

   I hope you will consider being part of 222 Tuesday when you can.  As with anything I post here, please spread the word.

Post Your June VHF Contest Plans Here (Midwest and Great Lakes Stations)

Monday, May 27th, 2013

   7:30am Monday

   W0UC has again created a Google spreadsheet where fixed stations and rovers from areas near MN and WI can post their plans for the ARRL June VHF Contest on June 8th/9th. 
   Before I share the link, a few standard reminders:  

   1)  I know nothing about a Google spreadsheet.  I’m just the messenger.
   2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.  
   3)  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.   Yes, I realize the June contest has 6m activity that spans the entire North American continent, but again, please respect W0UC’s wishes and let’s keep this link a Midwest/Great Lakes resource. 
   4)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states (IL/IN/IA/KS/MO/NE/MN/MI/OH/IN/VE-3) to list your ARRL June VHF Contest plans here:

VHF Contesting School Articles

Monday, May 27th, 2013

   7:20am Monday, May 27th, 2013

   I originally wrote these articles a few years back.  I wrote them to help get any ham feeling comfortable with playing in a VHF/UHF contest.   I *encourage* you to repost or share this info with hams everywhere.  Your ham clubs, buddies, email reflectors, you name it.  With the recent ARRL rule changes creating two new categories of VHF contesters, there’s never been a better time for regular ol’ Joe Q. Ham to give V/UHF contesting a try.  

   Want to know more about V/UHF contesting?   I did, too, when I first got on in the summer of 2003.  It was hard to find this info, so I wrote these articles sharing my experience.  I am constantly amazed that there aren’t hundreds more VHF contesters.  For me, it’s still the single-most exciting time to be on the V/U bands.  
    As I said above, I’ve written a series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  They are thorough.  It may be more than a total newbie will want to read thru.  That’s fine, skim thru the articles, and take what you need.   Don’t worry about every last detail.  You can be a casual contester, and have fun on your terms.   VHF Contesting is much more laid back than on HF.  At least in the Midwest, there’s plenty of room to operate, plus it’s not so much about competition, but more about having fun and enjoying lots of activity.   If you want more contesters on the bands, do what you can to spread the word.   Plus tell those hams with lousy QTH’s to consider becoming rovers or hilltoppers.  
    I firmly believe that if the 700,000 + hams in USA and Canada knew more about what they can *really* do on VHF and UHF, we’d have several thousand new enthusiasts within a year or two.  The key is in spreading the word.   Please remember you are always welcome to share the VHF Contesting School articles with hams everywhere. 

    These links are in order from a basic introduction, to antennas, to what bands and frequencies to use, and so on.   VHF Contesting School — Introduction.    Antennas – The Most Important Part of Your V/UHF Station.    What Bands and Frequencies to Use.     How to Log a V/UHF Contest.    Helpful Hints — Being a Smarter Operator.    Go Roving!   Put the Antennas and Rigs in the Mobile.    More Detailed Rover Info.    Rules and Scoring.

ARRL June VHF Contest is June 8-9th + Links to Other VHF/UHF Contest Posts

Monday, May 27th, 2013

   7:15am Monday

   Again, Happy Memorial Day. 

   Want to get the Contest info front and center this morning.    *You are free to take any/all of this info and share it with your ham clubs, and ham buddies.* 
   The ARRL June VHF Contest starts at 1pm central time on Sat., June 8th and runs 33 hours until 10pm on Sun., June 9th.    This contest has evolved into easily the most active and well-attended V/UHF contest.  The reason is that 6m is often open to many parts of the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean in May, June and July. 

   I made a number of contester-friendly posts several weeks ago.  Let’s recap. 

   **The VHF/UHF summer contest calendar is here: ** 
   Everything you need is there, plus some of my personal observations about the ins and outs of each contest.   Take that summer V/U contest calendar, print it out and set aside some time for you and your ham buddies to have fun on the weak-signal portions of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.   There is guaranteed activity on contest weekends, and we always need new signals.  

   Why get on for the V/UHF contests?  Here’s two posts that explain why.  
   1)  Talks about exciting new categories that ARRL has created in V/UHF contests.  These are user-friendly categories that every ham should know about.  Do yourself, and your ham friends a favor.  Tell them about the new 3-band and FM-only categories.   Spreading the word to Joe Q. Hams everywhere about these new categories will attract a lot of new signals to VHF/UHF contests. 
   2)   Talks about how we need more V/UHF contesters in general, and especially why we need more rovers (rovers are stations that operate mobile, traveling in different grid squares, making themselves a desirable target for fixed stations and other rovers in the V/U contests.)  Often times, rovers have poor home QTH’s, or antenna restrictions.  So they take their radio show on the road, where they can go where they choose and operate how they want.  
   If you know very little about V/UHF contesting, don’t worry.  I was in the same boat 10 years ago.  What I can offer is my 8-part series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  I will make a separate post about those articles very shortly.   The direct link to the VHF Contesting School articles is

6 Nets Every Monday on 144 MHz SSB + 432.100 Activity

Monday, May 27th, 2013

   7am Monday

   Happy Memorial Day, 2013. 

   Want readers to know that Monday is a big night for 2m SSB activity across much of the USA.   With today being a holiday, not sure if everyone will be on tonight, but tune in and see what you hear. 

   1)  K8TQK is on 144.252 at 8:30pm eastern time, from EM89je, south-central OH.  Giant signal that covers many states and VE-3.  Bob’s antenna pattern is to first look N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.
   These other nets are farther away from WI, but with summer coming, there will be nights with enhancement, so it’s good to know all your options.  I’m sure there are other Monday nets, but I’m trying to stick within a Midwest/Great Lakes/Plains territory. 

   2)  W4TMW calls the North GA net from EM84ni on 144.210 at 8pm eastern.   His antenna pattern is to look *south* first, then SW, W, NW, N, NE, E, and SE over the next 30-60 minutes or so.   I’ve seen net reports of W4TMW’s and they include plenty of signals beyond 100-200 miles so this is a popular net with good range. 

   3)  W5VHF Net at 8pm central on 144.190.  Net control is KD5ZVE in EM26, OK.  K5SW Sam is the backup if Jimmy can’t go.  Not sure which directions they rotate in.   I’ve seen net reports where they have 30-35 check-ins, so again, this is an active, popular net with good reach. 

   4)  Rochester, NY net at 9pm eastern on 144.260.  Don’t know much at all about this one.  You could Google Rochester VHF Group and learn more that way. 

   5)  Guelph, ONT net at 9pm eastern on 144.245.  Net control is VE3XTM in EN93.    Because VE3XTM runs multiple nets on different bands and nights, there’s a post specifically about his nets.   Click here:

   6)  Rocky Mountain VHF runs a nice slate of nets on various bands and nights.  Visit for the full scoop.  Their 144.220 net is on Monday nights at 8pm mountain time, from the Denver area.

   7)  N4PZ in EN52gb (a little SW of Rockford, IL) calls for activity on 432.100 every Monday at 8pm central.  He has a box of yagis and QRO, so his 432 signal gets out a very long ways.  I’m told Steve starts out looking east, and I’m unsure what happens after that.  I would point my 432 yagi at EN52gb and simply wait to hear something.  I am also told that this 432.100 activity repeats on Thursday nights, too.  Same start time of 8pm. 

   I will be making other posts very shortly.  It’s time to ramp up the contest promotion — ARRL June VHF is less than 2 weeks away.

Wed. 144.240, Mon. 144.252 and 222 Tuesday Net Reports

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

   6:30am Thursday

   Back to early spring here.  It’s 46F this morning, with a good north wind.  We’ve had 1.2″ of rain since yesterday morning, with another batch moving in.  

   Not surprising that WB9LYH reported tough conditions last night with the 144.240 net from WI.  Mark also reported some rapid flutter that he had never heard before.  Despite this, there was a nice gathering of 13 check-ins — W8SOL EN71;  N9JBW EN61; KB9YSL (which looks like a busted call, grid unknown);  WA9BNZ EN40;  W9BBP via relay from WA9BNZ;  KC9CLM and N9NMS EN52;  WB9TFH EN53;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  KG1X EN42;  K0SIX EN35 and W0ANH EN47. 

   On Monday night, K8TQK in EM89 reported 14 check-ins with his 144.252 net at 8:30pm eastern time:  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  K8JA EN82;  VA3VEC FN14;  VA3VW EN93;  W2UAD FN13;  WD8CHR EN90;  WB8ART EM79;  KY4MRG EM77;  KC9CLM EN52;  WB4IXU EM86;  N8XA/M and WB8CJW EN80 and KD8JQ EN91. 

   222 Tuesday activity that I saw reported to either the chat (use the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) or the 220 Prop Logger was:  K8TQK EM89 working N8AIA and K8JA EN82;  WA4NJP EM84 and K8GDT EN91.  Plus WA4NJP worked N4QH, also EM84.    
222 Tuesday is the national activity night, from about 0000-0200Z.  No net control, or single area of focus.  Get on/near 222.100 and call CQ, spin the beams, see who all is out there. 

   *Thursday Night Activity* 
   If you look two posts below this one, dated May 16th, you will see a link to known activity on Thursday nights.  I also want to add the following option:  WB9TFH reports that N4PZ is now calling 432.100 activity on Thursday nights, in addition to his regular Monday gig.   Both the Monday and Thursday 432.100 activity are at 8pm central and N4PZ is located in EN52gb, a little bit SW of Rockford, IL, in the far north-central part of IL.

WB9LYH in EN54 Calls the 144.240 Long-Range Net Wed. Night

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

   11:30am Tuesday 

   I can give you an accurate net plan for tomorrow night.  

   WB9LYH will be the only game in town (at least on 144.240).  Mark starts at 8pm central, from EN54cl, middle of WI.  Very big station and gets out a long ways.  WB9LYH also enjoys pushing the propagation envelope so those of you in that 400-600 mile range, tune in and see if you can make contact. 
   WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start NE, with a quick look into the U.P. of MI.  Then he’s looking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so. 
   Our nets are friendly and informal.  Main purpose is to stir up regular activity on the SSB portion of 2 meters.  Please say hello any Wed. that is convenient.   We appreciate you spreading the word to hams everywhere.  

    Neither W0WFH EM48 or K9LQZ EM68 will be on tomorrow night.  K9LQZ is having tower work done and hopes to be back next Wed., May 29th.  As always, we will advise here on either Tuesday or Wed. 

    W0WFH will not be continuing with the 144.240 net.   He’s having some health challenges and can’t be sure if he’ll be feeling well on a given Wednesday.   Both WB9LYH and I appreciate Bill helping us extend our range these past few months and we wish him well.  
   * WB9LYH and I would like VHF’ers in MO, KS, KY, TN, southern IL and IN to know that we are always looking for you, every Wed. evening, just like we have been since June 2008.   We know we can work into  Kansas City and Omaha, and with summer conditions, we look forward to Wed. evenings where tropo brings us tasty treats.*  The 144.240 net tends to look south and southwest about 8:20-8:30pm central, give or take a few minutes.   

   On Thursday, I should be able to crank out a 3-part net report, just like I’ve been doing the past several weeks.  This will include K8TQK’s check-ins to his 144.252 net at 8:30pm eastern every Monday, and the 222 Tuesday activity.  Plus the 144.240 Wed. net, as usual.

Thursday Night Activity on 144.220, 144.250, 50.135 (SSB) and 146.460 (FM) MHz

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

   12:45pm Thursday  

   Click here:  for your Thursday night options on VHF.    Please note that post has updated info as of May 23, 2013, about N4PZ in EN52gb now calling 432.100 activity on Thur. night at 8pm, in addition to Monday nights at 8pm.

Net Reports from Wed. and Mon., Plus 222 Tuesday Report

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

  12:30pm  Thursday

   I called the 144.240 net from WI last night.  Looks like 6m was open in multiple directions, so I’m sure that kept the 2m activity down a little bit.  Band conditions on 2m were no bargain, either.  Only direction that seemed even close to normal was south into Chicago. 
   I had 11 check-ins between 0100-0200Z.  N9OLT EN64;  W8SOL, KC8ZJL, N9YK and KB8U EN71;  KC9RIO, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  KC9CLM/M EN52;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22. 
   I don’t think W0WFH was able to get on 144.240 last night.   K9LQZ was not available; Lowell has a meeting every 3rd Wed. of the month.  
   We should be at full strength next week with WB9LYH calling the flagship net, from 0100-0200 and K9LQZ EM68 and W0WFH EM48 also calling around to their E, SE, S, SW and W, in directions we can’t normally reach from WI.  They do this from about 0115-0130/40, depending on how much activity they find.   We are looking for 2 meter SSB signals from W VA, western portions of PA, VA and the Carolinas.  All of KY, TN, MO, KS, OK, AR.  Plus parts of GA, AL, MS, LA and far downstate IL, IN and OH.  Please help us spread the word to those areas. 

   On Monday night, K8TQK had 9 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  (Called from EM89je, south-central OH, with an 8:30pm eastern start time)  Bob got tied up and started about 15-20 minutes late but his check-ins were:  KI4ROF EM44;  KB9RDS and WB8ART EM79;  WB9LYH EN54;  W8SOL EN71;  WB8CJW EN80;  WD8CHR EN90;  KB3TNZ FN10 and K8RYU EM99.  

   The 222 Tuesday summary only includes reports I can find online, via the chat archives or the 220 Prop Logger.  I’m sure there are pockets of other 222 activity that I’m not accounting for and that’s OK, as this is not a nationwide V/U blog.   The main thing is to let VHF’ers everywhere know that 222 Tuesday is the nationwide activity night on 1.25 meters.   No net control, no single area of focus.  Guys get on/near 222.100 anywhere from 0000-0200Z, and call CQ in different directions and create their own activity. 
    Here’s what I can report from this Tuesday:  K8TQK EM89 worked W9ZIH EN51; K8JA, N8WNA and N8AIA EN82 and N8DJB EN81. 
   K5SW got on from EM25 and worked:  N5NET EM26;  W5LUA EM13;  KF0M EM17;  and W0RT EM27. 
   On the 220 Prop Logger, KE5JXC in EL39 reported working W5AAC EM10 and W5LUA EM13. 
   Want to give an “attaboy” to K5PHF who is trying to find activity from DM61, El Paso.

144.240 Net Wed. Called by KC9BQA EN63 This Week. Look for W0WFH EM48, Too.

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

 8:40am Tuesday  (Please remember every Tuesday is 222 Tuesday.  It’s the national activity night for the 222 band.  Get on/near 222.100 MHz anywhere around 0000-0200Z, and call CQ in various directions.  See who all is on.  More 222 Tuesday info is here: )

  I will call the 144.240 long-range net tomorrow night, from EN63ao.  I’m 40 miles north of Milwaukee.   WB9LYH normally calls the net, but I fill in, if needed, and N9OLT is also an option.   I imagine WB9LYH will be back next Wednesday. 

  I will be on 144.240 starting at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  I start out looking north, then soon am looking NE, E, SE into MI, VE-3, OH and IN.  Always looking farther, if propagation allows.  Then by 8:20-8:30pm, I’m looking SE to S, sliding toward the Milwaukee/Chicago heading.  By 8:30-8:45, I’m either looking S or SW, into the length of IL, along with MO, IA, KS and NE.  By 8:45-9pm I tend to be looking west, then NW and N, as I wind things up.  This is the time for W and N WI, N IA, MN, plus the U.P. of MI and Thunder Bay, ONT, if VE3KRP is on from EN58.  Sometimes there’s a lot of activity and a net can run a little past 9pm, which is fine.  Our net is friendly and informal, we try to go with the flow.  

   If weather and life cooperate, W0WFH will be ON 144.240 tomorrow night, from EM48ck, in the middle of MO.  Bill gets on about 0115Z/8:15pm central, and looks to his SE, S, SW and W.  He’s primarily looking for stations we can’t normally reach from WI.  Talking anywhere from far downstate IL/IN, to all of KY, TN, MO, AR, OK, KS, plus parts of LA, MS, and AL. 

   I know that K9LQZ in EM68 will be OFF.  Lowell has another commitment on the 3rd Wed. of every month.  Look for K9LQZ on 144.240 at roughly 0120-0140 Z on May 23rd.