Archive for August, 2015

ARRL Sept. VHF Contest is Sept. 12-13 + VHF Contesting School Articles

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

4:30pm  Thur.

The ARRL September VHF Contest is the 2nd weekend of September.  It starts at 1800 UTC time (1pm central) on Sat., Sept. 12th and run 33 hours until 0300 UTC time on Monday (which is 10pm central Sunday night)    All bands from 50 MHz on up into the microwaves are in play.  This will be the last major, multi-band VHF/UHF contest until next January.   Here’s the link to the ARRL rules and info page:

I imagine I will have more info about the contest next week.   What you can do now is start making plans to get on and start talking up the contest to your ham buddies.  Check back in a week or so for the link to the Google spreadsheet where you can view folks contest plans and post your own.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about what a VHF/UHF contest is all about, I humbly refer you to a series of articles I wrote about 5 years back, called VHF Contesting School.

Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.  The whole reason exists is to increase on-air activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.

Because those articles were written back in 2009 or 2010, some of the content may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL website for current info.

Fall VHF Sprints Move to 144 MHz on Monday, Sept. 21

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

4:30pm  Thur.

Back on Aug. 5th, I posted the Fall VHF Sprints schedule.  Here’s a reprint:

I see from a few email resources that the Fall VHF Sprints have snuck up on us.

SPRINT                     Dates
50 MHz                    2300Z  Sat. Aug. 8 to 0300Z Sun. Aug. 9th.  (6-10pm Sat. in central time zone)
144 MHz                   7-11pm local time on Mon. Sept. 21st
220 MHz                  7-11pm local time on Tue. Sept. 29th
432 MHz                  7-11pm local time on Wed. Oct. 7th
(902 MHz and Up)   7am-2pm local time on Sat. Oct. 10th

This info and rules can be found at:

Please spread the word about the 2015 Fall VHF Sprints

EARLY HEADS-UP that the next major, multi-band VHF/UHF contest is on the weekend of Sept. 12-13.  This is the ARRL September VHF Contest.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

4:15pm  Thur.

Last night, WB9LYH reported good propagation to the east and west with the 144.240 net.  The 14 check-ins were:  N8WNA EN82;  KB9PSE EN52;  VE3ZV EN92;  N9YK and W8SOL EN71;  N9JBW EN61;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ, and WB0SWQ EN40;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  W0MTW EN24;  KA8FFM EN56 and WD9BGA EN53.
WB9LYH expects to call the net on Sept. 2nd.  Start time is always 8pm central/9pm eastern.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  WB9LYH is located in EN54cl, which is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Antenna pattern is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over roughly the next 45-60 minutes.

K8TQK was back with the 144.252 net on Monday night.  Bob had 20 check-ins:  N1GC EM95;  K3WAS and KB8GUE EM89;  KA2KQM EM74;  WA4NJP and N4QH EM84;  KI4ROF EM55;  N8GCP EM88;  N8XA, KB9RDS, K9UT, WB8ART, KD8JZR and WB9LNG EM79;  N7CZ EM69;  WB9LYH EN54;  KA9VDU EN52;  VE3YCU FN02;  W8SOL EN71 and KO4YC FM17.   I see multiple new calls (to the net) in that list — great to have more signals on 2m SSB.
K8TQK calls his 144.252 net at 8:30pm eastern Monday.  His location is EM89je, which is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  Like WB9LYH, K8TQK has a very big signal on 2m SSB.  He routinely makes contacts out to 300-400+ miles to stations with medium to long yagis (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW portions of the VHF/UHF bands) up in the clear.   That’s under normal band conditions.

KC9BQA Gear For Sale Update — Towers, Yagis, Coax and Rotors

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

7:50am  Sunday

This is the last of 5 posts today.  Make sure to scroll down thru the other posts dated Aug 23rd and you’ll be caught up.

If you haven’t visited in a very long time, you need to know that I’ve been selling off my first-rate VHF/UHF station.

Click on this link for my current for sale list:   Within that link is 2 towers, multiple long yagis for 50 thru 2304 MHz, separate runs of hardline for each band, plus several rotors and control boxes.  It’s all explained in that link above.   Take some time and read all about it.

Contact me directly if you’re interested.   My email is good at  If you can’t access it that way, you can also use my alternate email address of wi.todd (at) yahoo (dot) com   I don’t check Yahoo as often, but it works.

If you know of someone who would be interested, by all means, forward the info to them.  I will gladly answer questions, or set up a phone call at your convenience.

Q5 Net is on 144.220 Thursdays @ 6:30pm Central

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

7:45am Sunday

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.

For a much more complete discussion of nets on different VHF/UHF bands, all 7 nights of the week, take some time to read thru posts at dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Use the archives feature on the right to get there.

Help Support 222 MHz Tuesdays

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

7:40am Sunday

This post was originally made on Feb. 23, 2015

Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing.  Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.

If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain.   If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3  paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem.   I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands.  Plus 222 is quieter.  So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB.  You basically have 2 paths:  1)  step up to a transverter.  I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator.  But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint.  Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google.  The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed.   Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s.  You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.

On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night.  It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing.  It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes.  BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions.  Also consider following along at the ham chat.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up.  If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.

I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up.  No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes.  It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.

Resolve in 2015 to get more signals on 222 MHz.  Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies.  Encourage them to use this fine band.

K8TQK EM89je Calls the 144.252 Net Mondays @8:30pm Eastern

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

7:30am  Sunday

The 144.252 net is called every Monday (weather and equipment permitting) at 8:30pm eastern by K8TQK, Bob in EM89je, which is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.   K8TQK has a very big signal and his normal range is 400+ miles.    His antenna pattern is N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW at the end.   Reason why I still post K8TQK’s net reports is at one time, Bob partnered with us on Wed. nights and we were able to cover a good chunk of the country.  (Our Wed. night net history is here:  if you’re interested)

PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER that there’s plenty of scheduled activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  For instance, you have the 432.110 group on 7 nights a week at 8pm central, led by N4PZ in EN52gb, a good hour west of Chicago, and joined by 15-20 stations in a multi-state area.  They use the ham chat extensively, so watch what’s going on and check in when you are ready.  (Talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz)
To see all your options, 7 nights a week, consult posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at  I discuss multiple nets and activity nights there.  Feel free to pass any of this info along to hams everywhere.  The whole reason exists is to spread the word about on-air activity on the SSB/CW portions of VHF/UHF bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.

144.240 Net Report for Aug. 19, 2015

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

7:15am  Sunday

WB9LYH in EN54cl had 14 check-ins to the Wed. 144.240 net (8pm central/9pm eastern start time).  Mark reported good signals, but nothing on the map.  He’s referring to the APRS VHF propagation map which is here:

The 14 check-ins were:  KB9PSE, N9LAZ and KD9BGY EN52;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  W9NHE, N9WQ and KA9VDU EN53;  N9YK EN71;  K8TQK EM89;  W9BBP EN40 and WB0YWW EN22.

WB9LYH expects to call the net again this Wed., Aug. 26th, at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Antenna pattern from EN54cl (which is central WI, near WI Rapids) is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

Net control WB9LYH also added that KC9RIO mentioned the 144.240 net on the 3.850 MHz group, thank you Bart.   Since I was never on HF, not sure who, what or when the 3.850 group is, but perhaps some of you may want to investigate.

K8TQK was not able to call his 144.252 net last Monday.  He was out of town, according to the chat transcripts at the ham chat.   I bet Bob will be on this week, lightning permitting.


144.240 Net Reports for Aug. 5 and Aug 12, 2015

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

7:45am  Thur.

Back on 8/5, WB9LYH had 11 check-ins to the Wed. 144.240 net:  K9CCL, KC9RIO, N9JBW, W9DZ and K9ILU EN61;  N9YK and KC8ZJL EN71;  WD9CPY EN54;  KB9PSE EN52;  WA9BNZ EN40 and KG0SJ EN22.

Last night, Mark had 13 check-ins:  VE3ZV EN92;  KC9WIK EN54;  W8SOL EN71;  K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  K8TQK EM89;  KB9PSE EN52;  W9BBP EN40;  KA9DVX EN51;  W9HQ EN43 and WA9BNZ EN40.
I see that KC9WIK is a new all-time check-in from Appleton, WI.  Thanks for getting on 2m SSB and saying hello to the net.

WB9LYH would like everyone to know that he plans on calling the net both Aug. 19th and 26th, at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Mark’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.   Mark also says he will need to do antenna maintenance when he has a little time.  Mark hopes that won’t interfere with a net night.  Depends on the weather and his (busy) schedule.

This is the time of year where my wife and I tend to get away.  I doubt I will be making website updates next week.

WB9LYH Calls 144.240 Net Tomorrow Night

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

9:45am Tues.

WB9LYH would like everyone to check in with the 144.240 net tomorrow night at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  WB9LYH is in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Mark has a big signal and loves to hear from DX.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first, antenna pattern from EN54cl is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes, depending on how many check-ins there are.

I owe you guys a 144.240 net report from last Wed.  Unfortunately, I don’t have time now.

It appears that K8TQK did not call his 144.252 net last night.  I couldn’t find anything about it in the chat transcripts at the ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz)