Archive for June, 2013

Thursday Night V/U Activity on 2m, 6m and 432 MHz.

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

   8:50am Thursday

   Remember that Thursdays are also active, with many options for you to explore. 
   Go here:  for all the details.

Summer V/UHF Contest Calendar and Central States VHF Conference is July 25-28th

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

   8:45am Thur.
   Want to repost this info and keep it on the “front page”.   The post below was originally made on June 11th.   

   With the ARRL June VHF Contest behind us, here’s the quick rundown of the remaining 2013 summer contests on V/UHF:
   CQ Worldwide VHF  (6m and 2m only) — July 20-21
  ARRL UHF (222 MHz and Up) — August 3-4
  ARRL Sept. VHF (Just like June, all bands 50 MHz and higher)  — Sept 14-15 

   That’s the short story.  Make plans to get on and get some of your ham buddies involved.  Tell your local clubs about the contests.  Just about every ham has either 2m or 6m, or both.  Those are the bread-and-butter bands of VHF.  The contests are more fun if there are more signals on the air. 

   If you’d like expanded detail about these contests, go here:   Also consider going over the posts dated May 27th that have to do with the contests.  The link to my VHF Contesting School Articles is there.   Feel free to use anything here if you think it will help get more hams on the SSB/CW side of VHF bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz (yes, 902/3 and 1296, too). 

    The Central States VHF Society will  hold their annual conference in suburban Chicago again this year.   It will be on July 25-28th, in Elk Grove Village, IL.   I was able to attend the 2009 CSVHFS conference in Elk Grove Village, and it was very well done.   Put this one on your calendar.   Go here for more info.   I am a Central States VHF Society member and this event has a proud tradition, going back at least 45-50 years.  Take some time at the CSVHFS website and decide if it’s for you —
   Many of the guys on the air this weekend were talking about the CSVHFS Conference.  If past experience is any guide, there will be at least several hundred weak-signal ops there for the weekend — from many states and provinces.  There will be technical presentations, a weak-signal vendor area, an antenna range, noise figure testing and a pre-amp workshop, plus rovers who bring their setups along for show-and-tell.  And to quench your thirst, there will be hospitality rooms with refreshments and good company.   Again, visit that 2013conference website link for the full scoop.

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

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

   8:10 Thur. morning

   Lots to type up. 
   WB9LYH had 22 check-ins last night.  That’s a really good night.  Looking thru the check-ins list, I don’t see any big DX, but I sure see nice participation in all directions.  Just think if most nights, you had 10-15 guys in different states calling CQ on their own…

   WB9LYH’s check-ins were:  N4PZ, N9NMS and KC9CLM EN52;  N9OLT EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  WJ8L EN72;  K9GY, N9JBW, KC9RIO and K9CCL EN61;  KB9NPT EN62;  W8SOL and K9PBR EN71;  W9WZJ EM69;  KA9DVX EN51;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  KG1X EN42;  W0HXL EN21;  KG0SJ EN22 and VE3KRP EN58.   The 22nd check-in Mark sent me via email is W8TBW, which says isn’t a valid call.  If someone knows who W8TBW really was, send a comment or email and I’ll get it corrected.  

    Want to welcome at least 4 new calls to the net last night.   N4PZ, K9GY, KB9NPT and K9PBR all checked in with WB9LYH for the 1st time last night.  I like to tease people that I get a buck-two-eighty for every new all-time check-in so last night was a whopper payday for us!!   
    I’m certain K9LQZ wasn’t able to safely operate last night from EM68.  Better luck with the weather next week.  
   As far as I know right now, WB9LYH and K9LQZ will be on 144.240 again, next Wed.   Of course, I’ll update by Tuesday with any new info. 

    K8TQK called his 144.252 net as usual on Monday night @8:30pm eastern, from EM89, southern OH.  Bob had 14 check-ins:  VE3VII FN03;  WD8CHR EN90;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  AB8EL EN80;  W8WG and KD8DJE EM89;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  KB9RDS and WB8ART EM79;  N4PPG EM76;  KC9CLM and WB9LYH EN52.   
    K8TQK also reported the following activity in conjunction with 222 Tuesday, which is the national activity night on/near 222.100 SSB or 223.500 FM simplex.   N8WNA, N8AIA and K8VFV EN82;  WB4IXU EM86;  KD8KCF and N8DJB EN81; and WA4NJP EM84.  
   You want more info about 222 Tuesday?  You want to help spread the word to your area?  Go right ahead, that’s the whole reason this blog exists, to motivate others to improve weak-signal V/UHF activity levels.  222 Tuesday info is here:

Wed. Eve. 144.240 Net Status Update

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

6:50pm (central) Wed.

Away from home, so I’ll keep this short.
Looks like widespread thunderstorms will keep K9LQZ off the air tonight.   Southern IN radar shows all kinds of storms.   Perhaps there’ll be a small break in the weather, but if you don’t hear anything out of K9LQZ tonight, now you know why.

WB9LYH EN54cl has an area of storms over him right now.  But in Mark’s case, there’s nothing behind it and he should be in the clear when the net starts in an hour.  So I’m optimistic that WB9LYH will be ON as usual.

I will be posting net reports sometime tomorrow.

We are in our 5th year of the Wed. night nets.  This all started back in late June of 2008.  The story is here:

I don’t say this often enough, but I want to publicly thank the 100’s of check-ins thru the years, I want to thank our various net controls over time, and  especially WB9LYH.
Please continue to promote more activity on all weak-signal VHF/UHF ham bands, not just on Wed. nights, but at any time.

WB9LYH EN54 and K9LQZ EM68 ON 144.240 Net Wed. Night

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

   11:30am Tuesday

   Weather/lightning permitting, WB9LYH and K9LQZ will be on the air tomorrow night, as we keep improving in our 5th year of net operations.   (Here’s a link to the Wed. night net history: )

    You folks know the drill:  WB9LYH EN54cl (middle of WI) calls the flagship net at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Mark has stacked 17B2’s, 500 watts and a ridgetop QTH.  Gets out a long ways and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.   If you’re DX, feel free to listen along and see if the band is open.   WB9LYH starts out looking NE into the U.P. of MI, then soon is looking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.   
    WB9LYH is also available via the real-time VHF/UHF ham chat.  If you need more info about this valuable resource, it’s right here:  That chat is free, no BS, and available anytime, day or night.  Nearly 4000 VHF/UHF’ers have signed up from all across the USA and Canada.  Use the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  Other chats for other bands are available (the 6m room is what got me hooked on VHF back in 2002-2003)

    K9LQZ is a half hour northwest of Louisville, KY, in far southern IN.  Lowell also has a strong signal and he’s been helping us expand to areas we can’t normally reach from WI.  K9LQZ gets on 144.240 at 9:20pm eastern on Wed. night and looks to his E, SE, S, SW and W over the next 20 minutes or so.   Areas within reach of K9LQZ on any Wed. are:  W VA, western VA and Carolinas.  All of KY and TN.  Much of GA, AL and MS.  Plenty of MO and AR, along with downstate IN, OH and IL.   **If you can help us spread the word to VHF’ers in those areas, we’d appreciate it**.

   With many areas of the Midwest having daily bouts of thunderstorms, I will make an update here later tomorrow afternoon, to keep everyone up to date with any changes.   If there’s no news, then it’s good news — the nets will be on as scheduled.

It’s About Time for Tropo

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

   1:30pm Thur. 

   True summer weather is moving in and it should stick around for a while.   Accordingly, the evenings, overnights and  mornings may see periods of enhancement on 2m and higher bands.   (Tropo can be strong enough that the band is enhanced during midday, too, but it’s not as likely)  Hope lots of us are able to get on the air, call CQ and look in different directions.   Great conditions don’t mean anything if there aren’t plenty of signals on the air. 
   If you’re brand new, remember that your rigs have a VFO, or tuning dial.  Don’t get stuck on 144.200, 222.100 and 432.100.  It’s fine to put out calls there, but take longer QSO’s off the call freqs. and remember to tune around, to make sure you’re not missing anything.  It’s far better to have multiple signals spread out across the dial, than to have 5, 10, 15 guys all clumped right on the call freq.  You wouldn’t stand in one long line in the grocery store, when several check-out lines are open, would you? 
   Remember these two resources for checking band conditions.  Please don’t use these as a total substitute for getting on the air, calling CQ and discovering what conditions are like for yourself.  There are times where the bands are plenty good, and the only way you discover it is by — yep, being on the air. 
   You have the real-time APRS map at: 
   And the forecast tropo conditions at:  
   For a more complete description of these websites, refer to this post:

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

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

     12:45pm Thursday

      Last night I had 15 check-ins with the 144.240 net.  Conditions were OK, to slightly better in some directions.  It seemed like things were improving as the nght went along.  Check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  WD8LDL and WJ8L EN72;  KB8U and W8SOL EN71;  N9JBW, K9CCL, N9LAZ and KC9RIO EN61;  KC9CLM EN52;  KE0MS EN41;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  N9NYA and WV9E EN43.  
   Actually we had a 16th check-in… WA4REE and KI4ROF were monitoring via the VHF/UHF chat room from western TN.  They said they were hearing pings on me while I was pointing at Chicago.  I heard one clear “R-E-E”  during a break, and that’s good enough for me.  Not for a contest or a grid-chasing QSO, but enough to say that WA4REE  checked into our friendly net. 
   We also had a new all-time check-in last night.  N9LAZ made the trip from the Schaumburg, IL area.  Welcome to the net, glad you’re using 2 meter SSB. 

   Back on Monday night, K8TQK called his 144.252 net from EM89je, south-central OH.  Start time of 8:30pm eastern.  Antenna pattern is N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW. 
   Bob had 19 check-ins:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  W8SOL EN71;  KC8YJB and K8GDT EN91;  VA3VEC FN14;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  WD8CHR EN90;  KD8DJE and W8WG EM89;  WB4IXU EM86;  WD4NMV EM85;  N4PPG EM76;  KI4ROF EM55;  WA4REE EM65;  KB9RDS and WB8ART EM79 and KC9CLM EN52. 

   Every Tuesday is 222 Tuesday.  This is the national activity night on the 1.25 m band.  Get on/near 222.100 about 0000-0100Z, call CQ, spin your beams, see who all is out there.   I take a few minutes to go thru the chat archives and the 220 Prop Logger.  Here’s what I saw reported:  K8TQK EM89 worked WB4IXU EM86; N8AIA EN82;  VE3CRU FN04;  and W9ZIH EN51. 
   At the 220 Prop Logger, I see that KE5JXC EL39 worked W5AAC EM10 and W3XO/5 EM00.

KC9BQA Is 144.240 Net Control Tonight @8pm Central/9pm Eastern

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

  5:30am Wed. 

  As mentioned in the middle of the post below, I will call the 144.240 net tonight from EN63ao, 40 miles north of Milwaukee.    My antenna pattern is to start by looking N, then I’m soon looking NE, E, SE into MI, VE-3, OH and IN.   Then I start looking S into Milwaukee/Chicago by about 8:15-8:30 (central), and I then edge SW and W into outstate IL, MO, IA, and W WI by about 8:25-8:45.  Finish up by looking NW and NNW about 8:45-9:00pm.  If a net is a busy one, sometimes I’m a few minutes late. 
   Our nets are friendly and informal.  The purpose is to increase activity on the SSB side of 2m.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and if conditions allow, DX is always welcome.  

    K9LQZ in EM68 is NOT available tonight.  Lowell always has another committment on the 3rd Wed. of every month. 

    Expect WB9LYH and K9LQZ back on 144.240 next Wed.  Warmth and humidity is expected to increase over much of the central US by this weekend and into next week.  I’m hoping this will start the tropo season and we’ll reap the benefits of trying to cover a 15-25 state area with our pair of net controls.

Wed. 144.240, Mon. 144.252 and 222 Tuesday Reports

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

   11:30am Thursday
  There were plenty of storms to deal with last night across parts of WI, MN, IA, IL, MI and IN.  I’m pleased and amazed that WB9LYH had 12 check-ins.  Nice job, guys, showing up and keeping the airwaves alive. 
   Mark’s list included:  N9OLT EN64;  KS8B EN64;  N8WNA EN82;  KC8YJB EN91 (relayed with N9OLT’s help);  K9CCL and KC9RIO EN61;  W0HXL EN21;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  K9WKW EN43;  N0IRS EM29 and KC9CLM EN52.  
   Turns out K9LQZ wasn’t able to get on the air last night from EM68. 

   *I call the 144.240 net next Wed., June 19th.  K9LQZ will not be on as he has another obligation every 3rd Wed. of the month.  So I’m the only game in town next Wed. 
    On June 26th, expect both WB9LYH and K9LQZ to be back on at their usual times*

    222 Tuesday is the national activity night on the 222 band.  222 MHz ops are encouraged to call CQ on/near 222.100 starting around 0000Z until 0100 or 0200.  This is not a directed net and there’s no single area of focus.  Rather, create your own activity.  Again, call CQ, swing the beams around, see who all is out there. 
    One known area of activity for years now is the MI/OH region.   K8TQK EM89 is often on 222.100 starting around 0000Z, and so are K8GDT EN91 and N8WNA/K8JA/N8AIA in EN82.  
    On Tuesday, K8TQK typed in his contacts to the chat page.  They were:  VE3CRU FN04;  WB4IXU EM86;  N8AIA, K8JA and N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  W9ZIH EN51 and VE3ZV EN92.

WB9LYH EN54 & K9LQZ EM68 — 144.240 Net Wed. Night

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

   1pm Tuesday

   Got good news last week from K9LQZ in EM68, a half hour northwest of Louisville.  K9LQZ has completed his station improvements and will be ON Wed. night.  Specifically, Lowell will be on 144.240 from 0120-0140, looking to his E, SE, S, SW and W.  He will be looking those directions to try and expand our net activity to areas we can’t normally reach from WI.  
   If you draw a 300-500 mile semicircle to the east, south and west from EM68xn, we’re talking about W VA, western portions of PA, MD, VA, NC and SC.  All of KY, TN.  Downstate IN, IL and OH.  Northern parts of GA, AL and MS.  Much of AR and MO.   Those are the areas K9LQZ can reach on Wed. nights and we want VHF’ers in those areas to get on the air and give Lowell a signal report on his improved station.  If you are outside those areas and we have a night with enhanced conditions, by all means, jump on in and say hello.  We love DX surprises. 
   Please help us spread the word that K9LQZ in far south-central IN is part of the 144.240 net on Wed. nights.   We started these Wed. nets in June of 2008, and we’ve always looked to find signals in every direction.   What we all need is greater awareness of our on-air options.   That happens when VHF’ers take an active role in ”spreading the word.” 

   Unless this is your first or second visit to, you know the drill with our mainstay net control — WB9LYH.  Mark is located in EN54cl, middle of WI.  Big signal and loves DX, so even if you’re 400, 500, 600 miles away, give a listen and see if you can work him.  Of course, we appreciate our local and regular check-ins as well.  :)   
   WB9LYH gets on 144.240 at 0100Z, or 8pm central/9pm eastern.  His antenna pattern is to start out NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so. 

   On June 19th, I will call the net and K9LQZ will be OFF, as he has another obligation the 3rd Wed. of each month. 
   On June 26th, I imagine both WB9LYH and K9LQZ will be back ON.