Archive for January, 2015

Big Nets This Week — Both 144.240 and 144.252

Friday, January 30th, 2015

7:15am  Friday

Both the 144.240 and 144.252 nets had well over 20 check-ins this week.  It’s been an active winter — really glad to report this good news.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl.  This is Central WI, near Stevens Point and WI Rapids.  Mark has stacked 17B2’s (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of 2 meters) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Thus, he gets out a very long ways.  On SSB VHF, this means 350+ miles to stations with long yagis up in the clear, decent power and low-loss coax.   Even guys with shorter yagis (again, get them horizontal) and lower power can expect to hear WB9LYH at 100-200 miles.
From Central WI, WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always looked at first.   Beyond that, please be flexible as where/when Mark looks in a certain direction depends on activity levels.  Busier nets usually mean he may not look S, SW and W until 8:20-8:30 or later.
The net is informal; the purpose is to stir up more activity on the SSB side of 2 meters.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you spreading the word.
An additional note — most stations on “weak-signal” VHF/UHF enjoy pushing the propagation limits.  WB9LYH is no different and Mark really enjoys it when the band is open and contacts from 400, 500, 600+ miles come rolling in.  Please helps us spread the word far beyond the normal 200-400 mile range, so that on the occasional night with band enhancement, some real DX can be enjoyed.

WB9LYH had 23 check-ins on Wed. night.  His email net report said:  “A really good net.  Good propagation east.  Check-ins were AC8GC, W8YXT and KC8ZJL EN71;  N8WNA EN82;  W8KX EN72;  WB9YZU, WB9TFH and KA9DVU EN53;  W8BYA EN70;  KC9RIO, K9CCL, N9JBW, KD9BGY and K9ILU EN61;  N9XKH and KC9CLM EN52;  KA0JW EN34;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD EN41;  WB0YWW EN22;  K0SIX EN35 and a new all-time check-in — KD6TWC from EN35.
Mark also reported that N9XKH had a lamb in the shack which was bleating in the background.  He is a farmer and has sheep.  Definitely a first.”

WB9LYH’s schedule looks clear for the near future.  Plan on him calling the 144.240 net every Wed.  If something comes up and he can’t make it, I post it here at

Every Monday at 8:30pm eastern, K8TQK in EM89je, (south-central OH, near Chillicothe) calls another very active and wide-range net.  Bob is also perched on a small mountain with big antennas and power.  When I was on the air, I would hear Bob nearly all the time on a 390-mile path (provided our antennas were pointed at each other).
Because K8TQK was affiliated with us on Wed. nights at one time (our net story/history is here: ) I still publish his net reports.  His antenna pattern from far south-central OH is to look North first, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes (give or take, depending on activity levels).
Bob also had 23 check-ins this past Monday:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  WB8AUK and WM8I EN80;  K8GDT and NF8O EN91;  KC8RRT EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  W4LES, WA4NJP, W4TMD and W4TBN EM84;  K4SAN FM05;  WB4IXU EM86;  N1GC EM95;  WD4NMV EM85;  KY4MRG EM77;  KA2KQM EM74;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  WB8ART EM79;  KB8GUE EM89 and KC9CLM EN52.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

8pm Thur —


As mentioned in the post directly below, N9XKH Dennis in EN52il called the 144.240 net last night.
He had an excellent turnout with 17 check-ins.  Before I get to his list, N9XKH would like me to relay the following:
If you post this (net report) ask for any info on ones I missed. It would be good to know if I am “all mouth” ;/  I had a LOT of DSP and notch on to get around a birdie I had. It would tell me a lot if a bunch say they could hear me but couldn’t get thru to me.
 You can post my email for guys to reply to”
N9XKH’s email is

The 144.240 net report from last night.
N9NDP EN62;  KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71;  KD9BGY, KC9RIO, K9CCL and W9JGV EN61;  KA9DVU and WB9YZU EN53;  KC9CLM EN52;  W9BBP, WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD EN41;  N0IRS EM29;  N4PZ EN52 and K0SIX EN35.

Again, thanks to N9XKH for volunteering to help.  Great net.
Expect WB9LYH in EN54cl to be back next Wed. at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

Also have K8TQK’s 144.252 net report from Monday night.  K8TQK is on Mondays at 8:30pm eastern from EM89je, south-central OH.  Bob has a powerful signal and all licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along and check-in when they can.   From EM89, K8TQK starts out looking N, then goes NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.
Bob had 22 check-ins on Monday night.  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  K8KGM and KB8GUE EM89;  VE3YCU FN02;  VE3ZV EN92;  KC8RRT EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  KB3TNZ FN11;  W3IP FM19;  K4SAN FM05;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  KE4CIJ EM96;  N4TLL EM87,  KI4ROF EM55;  WA4REE EM65;  KB9RDS EM79;  WB0SWQ EN40 and K9MRI EN70.

N9XKH EN52il Will Call 144.240 Net This Wed. — Jan. 21

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

2pm  Tues.

Turns out there will be a 144.240 net this week after all.

I just got email from N9XKH Dennis, and he’s offered to pick up the net tomorrow night.

N9XKH is located about 130 miles south of WB9LYH.  The exact QTH is EN52il, which is right on the ILL/WI state line, a little bit WNW of Rockford, IL.
Dennis has a long yagi up high in the clear and he now has a 400w amp he wants to test out.  He’s glad to help out tomorrow night and we all know how it is when we have a new toy — we want to see how it works.

Please look toward EN52il on the ILL/WI state line tomorrow night at 8pm central for alternate 144.240 net control N9XKH.   Help spread the word to anyone you can think of, so they know where to look.

I’ve asked Dennis to follow the same antenna pattern as WB9LYH.  Look toward MI/VE-3/OH and IN first, and then rotate S, SW, W, NW and N for the final 30-40 minutes or so (give or take, depending on activity levels)

Post Your ARRL VHF Contest Plans Here (Jan 24-25) Plus, Link to KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School Articles at the Bottom

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

3:45pm  Thur

This is the last of 3 posts I’ve made today.

Want everyone to remember that the ARRL Jan VHF Contest is on the weekend of Jan. 24-25th, 2015.  All bands from 50 MHz on up thru the microwaves will be in play.   Visit here:  for all the details.   Help get the word out to other VHF’ers.  Make plans to get on for the ARRL January VHF Contest, on Jan. 24-25th.

There’s a Google spreadsheet where you can post your contest plans.  W0UC has been doing these for years now and it’s a good way to get activity jumpstarted.  Visit the spreadsheet here:

Please read these friendly suggestions:
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.

Enjoy the contest!

NO IDEA WHAT A VHF CONTEST IS ALL ABOUT?  No problem.  I was in the same boat back in 2002-2003.
Several years back, I wrote a series of articles that I hope will educate and motivate.
Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles


The 144.205 Morning Group is Alive and Well

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

3:15pm Thur.

When I visit the ham chat and spend some time using the “chat review” from the dropdown menu, I can see the chat is doing great.  (Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz).  A big boost to morning activity is the rebirth of the 144.205 Morning Group, with KA1ZE in FN01 putting his huge station and technical skills to good use, promoting daily 2m activity across a wide part of the Eastern Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Yes, I am located in WI.  Yes, this is primarily a Midwest/Great Lakes VHF/UHF blog.  But the 144.205 Morning Group is always looking to expand and my hope is guys in MI/IL/IN/WI will get on the stick and start looking east and make themselves heard.  THERE IS NO REASON THE 144.205 MORNING GROUP COULDN’T BECOME A NATIONWIDE DEAL, IF ENOUGH GUYS GET ON AND GET INVOLVED.   Same with the 432.110 UHF activity that N4PZ in EN52gb (100 miles west of Chicago) spearheads every evening at 8pm.

The best way to start monitoring what’s happening on the bands every single morning and evening is to 1)  Turn on your radio and make contacts and 2) register for the free ham chat rooms.  Both the 144.205 and 432.110 groups put this real-time chat to use, helping to coordinate and motivate hams in many different states and grids.  If you have no idea what the ham chats are, visit this link:   Over 4,600 USA/VE VHF’ers are registered for the chat.  There’s no pressure to type if you don’t want to.  Most folks there simply observe in the background.  So take your time and get comfortable.

The 144.205 Morning Group was on hiatus for a year or so, but seems to have come alive again, as of summer or fall 2014.  Again, KA1ZE in FN01 has been the driving force, but it takes dozens of 2m SSB guys everywhere to really make it work.  Click this link for full details and help spread the word.

144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

3pm Thur.

WB9LYH had another great night with the 144.240 Wed. net from EN54cl (central WI) — start time 8pm central/9pm eastern.  His antenna pattern from the middle of WI is to start out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and finally N at the end.  A net can take from 40-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.  The net is informal and all licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or say hello when they are ready.  Purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

In Mark’s emailed net report, he said “propagation was unusually good for January.”  He also said “two of the guys were on VHF SSB for the first time and were excited.  Several of the guys remarked that they could hear lots of the others which is unusual given the distance of the contacts.”

The 144.240 Wed. net from WI had 21 check-ins last night:  KA0JW EN34;  K8GDT EN91;  N8WNA EN82;  N9YK and W8SOL EN71;  KD9BGY, K9CCL and KU8Y EN61;  KC9VHG EN62;  WB9TFH and AI0M EN53;  W9BBP, WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9DG and KC9CLM EN52;  WB0YWW EN22;  N0IRS EM29;  K0SIX EN35;  KA8FFM EN56 and KC9PEG EN45.
There were actually 3 new all-time check-ins to this net last night, which is pretty amazing, considering we’ve been around since June of 2008.  Welcome to KD9BGY, KC9VHG and AI0M.

WB9LYH expects to be on the rest of January and into February.  If Mark has a conflict and can’t call the net, we will do our best to announce it here at

The 144.252 net has been off the past two Mondays.  Net control K8TQK in EM89je, south-central OH, had the flu on Jan. 5th and his rotor was frozen this past Monday.
The 144.252 net is on Monday nights at 8:30pm eastern time.  All are welcome.  Antenna pattern from south-central OH is N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so, depending on activity levels.

I have two more posts I’m going to try and finish this afternoon.  First is about the 144.205 Morning Group, which is alive and well again and the second is about the ARRL January VHF Contest next weekend — Jan. 24-25th.

VHF/UHF SSB Options on Thursdays (and other nights)

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


I say it all the time, but it bears repeating.  This blog is not just about the 144.240 Wed. net from WI and the 144.252 Mon. net from OH.
For instance, every Thursday you have a popular net out of Chicago on 144.220.  I see the start time has now been changed to 6:30pm (used to be 7pm).  I’m talking about the Q5 net called by N9JBW John from EN61 on the south side of Chicago.  It’s a friendly bunch that’s always looking for more signals.  They have a nice website — go here:  for more details.

EDIT — EDIT  2/11/15
Per N4PZ, the nightly 432.105 activity has moved up 5 kc to 432.110.  Sounds like everything else remains the same, but the freq. will now be 432.110.  Again, the best place to get dialed in with this is by following along at the chat I mention below.   Help spread the word to others that a lot of activity takes place on 432.110 every evening, in a very wide area surrounding the Midwest and Great Lakes.

Another deal that has taken the UHF world by storm is N4PZ’s net/activity period on 432.110 (432.110 is new freq. as of 2/14/15) every single evening at 8pm central time.  (Pretty sure they have a presence on/near 432.110 in the mornings, too).  This has been going on for several years now and it just keeps getting more active.  N4PZ is located in EN52gb, which is 100 miles west of Chicago.  Steve runs a full legal limit amp and a box of 4 long yagis, so he gets out forever.
The best way to get dialed into what’s happening on 432.110 every morning and evening is to visit the ham chat room.  They are active in the chat.  (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz — go here:  if you need more info about the ham chat rooms)

WB9LYH 144.240 Net Has 18 Check-Ins to Start 2015

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

7:50am  Thur.

After a Christmas and New Year’s break,  WB9LYH is back with the 144.240 Wed. net from EN54cl, central WI.  Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern and Mark’s antenna pattern is to start out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we want stations 300, 400, 500+ miles away to give it a try.  WB9LYH has a pair of 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridge-top QTH and he loves pushing the propagation limits.  Please help us spread the word.

Last night was a very pleasant surprise.  Despite temperatures below zero all across the Midwest and Great Lakes, there were 18 check-ins from a 7-state region.  Great job, everyone and thanks for helping to keep 2m SSB alive.

Check-ins were:  WD9CPY EN54;  N8WNA EN82;  N9YK, W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  WB8AUK EN80;  KD9BHY EM69;  KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  WB9YZU EN53;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  KC9OVD EN41;  N9XKH and KC9CLM EN52;  KG0SJ EN22 and K0SIX EN35.

WB9LYH would like everyone to know that his schedule looks good for the remainder of January.  Weather permitting, expect the 144.240 net from WI to be ON every Wed. in January.  Again, start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern and the antenna pattern is NE and E to start, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N.

K8TQK 144.252 Net Reports for the Last Month

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

7:15am  Thur.

In this post, I want to get caught up with K8TQK’s 144.252 net reports.  The 144.252 net is on Monday nights at 8:30pm eastern.  Net control K8TQK has a giant signal from EM89je, or south-central OH.  Bob gets out 400+ miles and when I was on the air, I would hear him 95% of the time with flat band conditions (my path from EN63ao to EM89je was 391 miles).

From EM89je, K8TQK’s antenna pattern is to start out looking N, then go NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.

I still post Bob’s check-ins because he helped us out with the Wed. nets for several years  (The Wed. 144.240 net history goes back to June 2008 and the story is here:

I get K8TQK’s net reports by checking the ham chat archives.  Talking specifically the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you don’t know about the free ham chat rooms, full info is here:  The 144-432 MHz chat has been around for several years and it’s really doing well.  Every evening there is lots of traffic about actual on-air activity.  Check it out.

So let’s get caught up with the 144.252 net reports:
On Nov. 17th, it looks like there was no net.
I missed the Nov. 24th net details.
On Dec. 1st, there was no net.
On Dec. 8th, K8TQK had 19 check-ins.  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  WB8VNO and KC8RRT EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  W3IP FM19;  KB3CXQ FM09;  K4SAM FM05;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  WB4IXU EM86;  KY4MRG and WC4D(question mark) EM77;  VE3ZV EN92;  WB8ART EM79;  WB0SWQ EN40;  W9CWG EN61 and WM8I EN80.   Talk about a wide-area net — activity was from as far Ontario and New York, to the Carolinas, to the IA/ILL border.  This is all on 2m SSB, under flat band conditions, using high-gain horizontal yagis (in most cases)

On Dec. 15th, K8TQK had 21 check-ins to the 144.252 Monday net.  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  K8CRD EN73;  KC8RRT EN71;  KD8JQ EN91;  AC3L/M FN00;  W2UAD FN13;  W3IP FM19;  N4TLL EM87;  WB4IXU EM86;  W4LES, WA4NJP and W4IMD EM84;  KY4MRG EM77;  KA2KQM EM74;  N4PPG EM76;  KI4ROF EM55;  WB7PMP EM88;  N8XA and WB8ART EM79 and VE3ZV EN92

On Dec. 22nd, K8TQK had 19 check-ins.  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  K8KGM EM89;  KC8RRT EN81;  WB8AUK EN80;  VE3ZV EN92;  AC3L/M FN00;  WB4IXU EM86;  W4LES, WA4NJP, W4IMD and WD4NMV EM84;  KB9RDS and N8XA EM79;  KC9RT EN60;  N9AWP EM69;  KY4MRG EM77;  KC8ZJL EN71 and W9CWG EN61.

On Dec. 29th, K8TQK had 19 check-ins again.  W8SOL EN71;  N8WNA EN82;  VE3ZV EN92;  KC8RRT EN81;  KB3TNZ FN11;  AC3L/M FN00;  W3IP FM19;  WB4IXU EM86;  WA4NJP, W4LES and W4IMD EM84;  N1GC EM95;  KI4ROF EM55;  KB9RDS and N8XA EM79;  WB9RTO and N9EGT EN70;  K9LQZ EM68 and WM8I EN80.

This Monday, Jan. 5th, 2015, there was no 144.252 net from OH.  Apparently K8TQK was under the weather.  Get well soon, Bob.