Archive for April, 2016

My Towers, Yagis and Coax are Sold — IC-575H and SB-230 Are Still Available

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

7:30pm Tuesday

Happy to report that I sold my towers, yagis and coax this weekend.  That means my station is about 2/3rds liquidated.   What remains are odds and ends that I’m not ready to catalog at this time.   I will get my act together by next month.   The biggest items will be rotors, but they are still up on the towers so that will take some time, too.  Don’t worry, when I’m ready to sell accessories, I will make a post and publicize things via various email lists.

***One thing that is for sale right now — I have a well-used, but perfectly operational, Icom IC-575H, mated to a Heathkit SB-230 that puts out about 220-230 watts, max.  You can get on 6 and 10 meters just in time for summer E skip season, for the low price of $450.***   Quite honestly, I should charge more, but I don’t mind this going to a good home.   You get a discount because the dial lamp is out — big deal.  I can see the freq. display just fine without the dial lamp.
I am not going to ship this combo.  When I sold most of my rigs and amps and transverters back in the spring of 2014, I was glad to drive up to 100-150 miles to either deliver or meet hams halfway.  If you are interested in this combo, email me.  My everyday email is good at or if you can’t log in there you can also use wi.todd (AT)   If you know of someone who wants to get on The Magic Band with a quality rig and an amp that puts out at least 200 watts, tell them to jump on this deal.

Made Multiple New Posts This Weekend.

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

8am Thur.

If you haven’t visited in a while, be aware that I made many new posts this past weekend.  Scroll down this “front page” and make sure you catch all the headlines.   Several important events that VHF’ers will want to be on top of.

1)   Central States VHF Society has their 50th annual conference from July 28-31 in Rochester, MN.
2)  August UHF Contest is *ON*
3)  Spring VHF and up Sprints start Monday night, April 11th, from 7-11pm in your local time zone.    Spread the word and get on the air for the Spring VHF and up Sprints.
4)  I posted a listing of known VHF/UHF clubs in WI and adjacent states that you can join or follow.

Detailed info about these topics are right down the front page here at  You are free to share the info here with your clubs, ham buddies, etc.

14 Check-Ins to Last Night’s 144.240 Net

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

7:45am  Thur.

WITH THE 144.240 NET last night, net control WB9LYH in EN54cl reported “the band is getting better”.  Glad the band conditions are getting better, because the weather sure isn’t!   This morning I have 33F and a dusting of snow (40 miles N of Milwaukee), with possible shoveling snow tomorrow.  Supposed to warm up about a week from now.  That would be welcome.

Here’s the check-in list from last night:  K9ILU, N9IYV, KD8BGY, KC9RIO, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KY9E EN52;  WB0SWQ EN40;  KC9OVD, N9RXM and NG9K EN41;  KG0SJ EN22 and KA9VDU EN53.

Net control WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, expects to be available every Wed. night in April.

If you like short stories, you’re done.  🙂  If you don’t visit often or want more info, please read on:

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.   Net control is WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.   Antenna pattern from Central WI is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.  All licensed hams are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

WB9LYH has a very big signal and loves pushing the propagation limits.  His typical range on 2m SSB, with normal band conditions is 300-500 miles.  But on nights with band enhancement, contacts beyond 500 miles are possible *IF* the stations are out there, giving it a try.  DX is always welcome to with the 144.240 net.   Help us spread the word in a very wide circle, especially with warmer weather and better propagation just around the corner.
We really appreciate our net check-ins thru the years, but the recipe for a truly healthy band is to have lots of signals on the airwaves on a daily/nightly basis.  Call your own CQ’s in various directions whenever you can.  So many of us fall into the rut of “just listening”.  Well… if dozens of VHF’ers in many grids and states are all “just listening”, then how many signals are heard??  That’s right, zero.  Then everyone says, “the bands are so dead.”  There’s a remedy for this — Call your own CQ’s — start something.

I want VHF’ers to know there are many fine nets and activity nights, all 7 nights of the week, scattered across the Midwest/Great lakes and Plains.  Three posts here at detailing those VHF/UHF nets are dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Use the “archives” at the right and click on “October 2013” and go from there.   Please spread that VHF/UHF net and activity night info to hams everywhere.


We have called the 144.240 Wed. net from WI since June 2008 and our history is here:

KC9BQA Towers, Yagis and Feedline For Sale

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

EDIT, EDIT —  8pm Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
I sold my towers, yagis and coax this weekend.    Please consult a post dated 7:30pm April 20th (guess WordPress uses UTC time) if you need more details.  I will have various accessories and rotors to sell in the next month or two, but I’m not ready to catalog them at this time.  Plus the rotors are still up on the towers and I’m not sure when everything will come down.
IF YOU WANT A USED AND WORKING ICOM IC-575H AND SB-230 AMP FOR A GREAT PRICE OF $450, read the post I’m referencing above and then get in touch with me and we’ll get that deal done.  You have to be within several hours of me, I’m not shipping.

11am Sunday

As mentioned before here at, my towers, stacked yagis, along with all phasing lines, harnesses, custom H-frames and feedline are for sale.   It’s not easy for me to put this into print — if you know me personally, you know how passionate I was about V/UHF’ing (especially the contests) from 2004-2012.

If  you are (or know) someone who is looking to get on VHF/UHF in a big way, then I am exactly who you should be talking to.  Feel free to tell your ham friends and steer them to

If you haven’t visited in some time and are wondering why I’m off the air, see posts dated March 15, 2014 at  I have a month-by-month “archives” feature on the right of my homepage.


I have two towers — one is 100′ and the other is 70′.  ( I suppose HF’ers might be interested in these towers, too)  Both  towers are Rohn SSV and self-supporting.  No guy wires needed.   The 100′ tower has a wide, robust base and the 70’er is more of a straight stick.
Antennas on the towers are:
28 MHz:  5-element HyGain (bought new and installed June 2011)
144:  Pair 12 el K1FO design
222:  Pair 16 el K1FO
432:  Pair 25 el K1FO
The 144, 222 and 432 yagi pairs were bought new from C3i back in late 2003.
There is a very sturdy custom H-frame that holds the 222 and 432 yagis in perfect balance.

902:  Pair 33 el K1WHS (
1296:  Pair 45 el K1WHS
2304:  Single 76 el “blowtorch”
These yagis were bought new and installed in the summer of 2005.
There is also a nice H-frame from Directive Systems that holds and balances the 902/1296 yagis.

All phasing harnesses, power dividers and H-frames are part of the deal, along with two very stout mastpipes in the 15-20′ range.
Besides the towers and yagis, there’s hundreds of feet of coax on those towers.  Rough guess is 400-500′ of 1″ hardline (in 4 separate runs), 250-300′ of 1.5″ hardline (in 4 separate runs) and several hundred feet of 9913.   I also have a spare piece of 1 1/2″ hardline in the shed, guess-timating about 60-70′.   All feedline is also included in the prices below.


Because this is the 7th anniversary of, I’m knocking 15% off my previous price.  Plus there are bonuses for those who buy all or most of what’s here.  Selling everything piece-by-piece is a last resort for me.  I’m not a real fan of haggling and I have no interest in dealing with pure tire-kickers.

**If you have a sincere interest in all or most of these items, I will gladly talk with you and we can exchange ideas and thoughts.**

The absolute rock-bottom price for both towers, all yagis, all feedlines, phasing harnesses, power dividers, H-frames and 2 very sturdy long mast pipes is $3000.   The terms for achieving that price are:
1)  You buy everything at once and you haul it away, however you care to.
2)  You safely take it all down.
3)  You are an active V/UHF’er who will put this good stuff ON THE AIR.
4)  You are a pleasure to deal with.

While it’s not my first choice, I will certainly talk with buyers who don’t meet all 4 conditions.  Just realize that you won’t get the absolute rock bottom price.

I know that $3000 for two big self-supporting Rohn SSV towers, stacked long yagis on 144, 222, 432, 902 and 1296 MHz, plus single long yagis for 28 and 2304 MHz is a great value.  Plus you get custom-made mastpipes,  stout H-frames to keep everything in the air in balance, phasing harnesses and power dividers, plus individual runs of (used) hardline for each band.  This is a turnkey solution for putting up an award-winning, multi-band VHF/UHF station.  Don’t know of anyone else who is selling something like this.  I wish when I wanted to get back on the air in 2003, I had found a deal like mine!  It would have saved me so much time and money.

Again, the $3000 price above is my absolute rock bottom number for selling *everything at once*  If I start parting stuff out, then the prices will be higher.  Not crazy high, but higher.  I may not end up selling everything to one buyer, but that’s how you get the lowest overall price.  Also, if it turns out I have to use “my guy” to take everything down, which is an option, then I add $1500 to the bottom line price, because it will cost me at least that much for takedown.
If you are interested or have sincere questions, email me, we can exchange phone #’s and possibly find a time when you can visit and inspect everything for yourself.   My everyday email is good at  I also use wi.todd (at), but I don’t think to check it very often.

**As of April 3, 2016, I have only posted this info to the Badger Contesters email reflector.  Of course, it would be easier for the buyer to be local or semi-local.  Later this week, I will be posting to other Midwest VHF email lists and then I will also make a push to the Central States VHF Society members.  Then after that, I may advertise nationally.  In other words, don’t mess around because someone else may jump in here quickly.**

Two Email Lists VHF/UHF’ers Should Know About

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

7:30am Sunday

Grateful for the opportunity to make some useful posts the past few days.
When I got the info about the 2016 UHF Contest still being ON, I received it via the VHF email list.
For more info about the VHF email reflector, go here:

There’s another email list VHF/UHF’ers need to know about.  It’s the VHF Contesting list and this link explains how to get started and how to view the list archives.
There are several lively discussions at this email list lately.  Visit the archives if you want to know more about many topics related to VHF contesting.  It can be very educational.

The August UHF Contest is ON for 2016

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

7:30am Sunday

Back on March 23rd, I received some great news in my email, via the VHF email reflector.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, it’s important you help spread this news to everyone you know who is on 222, 432, 902, 1296 MHz and higher.   Those are some great bands, and the UHF contest is the best time to find activity.

The announcement below is posted in its entirety.

Please save August 6-7 for the 2016 August UHF Contest.

It will be held as scheduled this year, but under new sponsorship

After ARRL announced that it would not sponsor the UHF Contest in 2016, a group of radio amateurs from coast to coast came together to make sure that the contest does occur in 2016.

The sponsoring group includes the leaders of several large VHF-oriented clubs, two volunteers who write contest results articles for QST, the editor of the “World Above 50 MHz” column in QST, two people with extensive computer log-checking expertise, and others who are concerned about the future of contesting on the amateur bands above 222 MHz.

This will be the 39th annual August UHF Contest. We believe continuity is important.  Even a one-year hiatus is not a good idea for a contest that has shown an upswing in logs submitted for several years in a row.

The new sponsors will try very hard to make the 2016 UHF Contest a good one. There will be gavels awarded to the top-scoring clubs plus certificates for all division leaders.  We will try to publish the results promptly and prominently online and in print.  In addition, the Northern Lights Radio Society will again sponsor “Rovermania” and the limited (three-band) rover award–both fixtures of the August contest.

We already have a website to promote the UHF Contest. It includes a history of the UHF Contest and a photo gallery of rovers in five different time zones.     OR  (either domain name will get you there)

See you on the bands above 222 MHz on August 6-7, 2016 (1800z Saturday until 1800z Sunday).

73, Wayne Overbeck, N6NB

KC9BQA adds:  There’s another great email list VHF/UHF’ers need to know about.  It’s the VHF Contesting list and this link explains how to get started and how to view the list archives.
There are several lively discussions at this email list lately.  Visit the archives if you want to know more about many topics related to VHF contesting


Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

7:15am Sunday

As of June 2015, I know of 5 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  When I say “VHF/UHF Club”, I’m talking about clubs where the emphasis is on SSB/CW/Digital modes on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz, clear on up to microwave bands like 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, and even into 5 and 10 Gig and beyond.
If you are even a casual VHF’er, but would like your contest scores to go toward a club total, consider joining any of these clubs.  All the info you need to get started is below.

1)  My club is the Badger Contesters.  Their website is at  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress, no-dues club.  If you want more info, go to the website or contact me.

2)  NLRS stands for Northern Lights Radio Society, which covers MN, and probably adjacent parts of W and NW WI and N IA.  Their website is at

3)  SMC stands for Society of Midwest Contesters, based in IL and parts of adjacent states.  SMC is a very active HF club, with a decent number of V/UHF contesters, too.  Their website is at   SMC has done some amazing things, getting their HF contesters to try 6 meters in the June ARRL contest (when sporadic E skip usually opens up 6m across the country)

4)  CVVHF stands for Chippewa Valley VHF and they are pretty much centered on EN44.  I’m sure their territory covers most of NW WI and plenty of the U.P. of MI.  CVVHF’s website is at

5)  As of late summer, 2014, Michigan is now represented here.  Several motivated guys got together and have created the Michigan VHF-UHF Society or MIVUS.  Their website is at  Check them out.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, these clubs would like very much for you to join and then submit your contest scores as part of the club’s  aggregate score.

I am not aware of any active V/UHF clubs in IN or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.

Happy 7th Anniversary to

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

9:30pm Saturday

I made my first posts ever at on April 2nd, 2009.   Back when I started promoting VHF/UHF regionally in 2007 via email, I realized a website would be a good idea, but I dragged my feet for a long time before learning about WordPress.

I still want to post updates about the 2016 UHF Contest being *ON* for the first weekend of August, and post the current status of my FOR SALE list.  But it’s been a long couple of days.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have time to get those posts made.

If you haven’t scrolled down the front page, please do so.  I made 3 new posts yesterday morning.

2016 Central States VHF Society Conference is July 28-31 in Rochester, MN

Friday, April 1st, 2016

8:15am Friday

Just realized it’s April 1st, but all the posts I’ve made today are legit — I’m not much of an April Fool’s prankster, and especially not with this website.  There will be another post tomorrow and perhaps a few others this weekend.  I want to get caught up with several things.

I received email on March 23rd from the NLRS (Northern Lights Radio Society out of MN see  NLRS is hosting the 50th annual Central States VHF Society Conference in 2016.
I am reposting the announcement from WA2VOI — CSVHF’s 2016 President — in its entirety.  Please spread the word about the Central States VHF Society and consider joining, if you are not already a member.

2016 CSVHFS Conference Announcement from WA2VOI to follow:

The Central States VHF Society is excited to announce its Golden Anniversary Conference, to be held in the rolling hills farm country of Rochester, MN Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31, 2016. Rochester is home to one of the largest Amish communities west of the Mississippi and to the world renowned Mayo Clinic.  We invite you to come to Rochester to help celebrate this very special 50th Anniversary Conference!

The conference will feature many exciting activities, including state-of-the-art technical programs, noise figure measurement, antenna range, “Rover Row”, “Dish Bowl”, “VHF 101” presentations for newcomers to weak signal operation, luncheons, evening socials/hospitality suites, and, of course, the ever-popular grand finale banquet. Also, as this is the 50th anniversary of the CSVHFS and conference, we will have “Gear of Yesteryear” presentations and demonstrations to reflect on where we’ve been and just how far we’ve come!

Bring the whole family! The Conference hotel includes an indoor water park suitable for all ages. It is also near beautiful downtown Rochester, where shopping and other entertainment abounds. We will also be offering a choice of side trips designed to entertain the entire family.

Additional details are available on the Central States VHF Society web site, <>. Online conference registration will be available by April 15th,

2016 under the “Annual Conference” heading, or at <> directly.

The CSVHFS 50th Anniversary Conference is an ARRL-sanctioned Operating Specialty Event.


CONFERENCE DATES: Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31, 2016.


Deadlines for Registration:

For online or early registration: Sunday, June 26, 2016 For hotel reservations at the Conference rate: Monday, June 27, 2016 For late registration and banquet/luncheon reservations: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 For walk-in registrations: Any time Wednesday, July 20, 2016 and later. No banquet/luncheon is available.


Registration Rates:

Early (Received before June 27, 2016)………..$40

NOTE: June 27 is the cut-off date to add room reservations for hotel

Late (Received before July 20, 2016)………….$50

NOTE: July 20 is last date for banquet/lunch sign-up

Walk-in (July 20 and later)……………………….$50

NOTE: No banquet/lunch available

Student (16-24 yrs):

15 & under:…………………………….Free with any regular registration

Proceedings are NOT included with registration, but are a separate purchase for $20



The 50th Anniversary Conference will be held at the Kahler Apache Hotel and Water Park in Rochester, MN, 1517 16th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902 (507) 289-8866.  The hotel is located in the south-west corner of Rochester at the junction of US52 and US14 Eastbound.  General hotel information may be found at <>.  The CSVHFS 50th Anniversary rate for the Conference is $109/night (plus taxes) for rooms away from the pool/water park, $131/night (plus taxes) for rooms pool-side or with pool-view.You can reserve a room online or by calling the hotel directly. To reserve a room online, you MUST use the URL/link:


to get the Conference rate! Telephone reservations may be made by calling (507) 289-8866 and asking for the “Central States Conference,” or “CSVHFS,” rates.

The last date the hotel will accept reservations at the Conference rate is Monday, June 27, 2016. Reservations after that date are on an “as available” basis and at their standard room rates.



Rochester, MN is located approximately 90 miles SE of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, along US Highway US52 and just north of Interstate I-90.

Rochester International Airport (RST) is served by both Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Many visitors prefer to fly into Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and either obtain a rental car or take one of the numerous shuttle services to Rochester.  These services offer nearly 24-hour service between MSP and Rochester, typically running every hour or so for the approximately 90-minute trip to or from the airport.

For the Central States VHF Society 50th Anniversary Conference, the GO Rochester Direct shuttle company has added the Kahler Apache hotel to its route of drop-offs and pick-ups to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Rates are about $60 per person, round trip, with discounts for seniors (60+) and children 14 and under.
Reservations are necessary to ensure your seat on the shuttle. Online reservations may be made at: <>.  Telephone reservations may be made by calling Go Rochester Direct at (800) 280-9270.

If you choose to use the shuttle service, please remember to add the shuttle travel time to your plans, especially for the return trip on your way home. It would be good to allow at least two hours for the shuttle trip.



When making online reservations with Go Rochester Direct, make sure you reserve for the Kahler Apache hotel. There are three “Kahler” Hotels in Rochester.  Two are in the downtown area, near to the Mayo Clinic, but we are at the Kahler Apache hotel, which is approximately 2 miles away.

I look forward to seeing you at the Conference!


Donn Baker, WA2VOI
2016 CSVHFS President

2016 Spring VHF and up Sprints Start Mon., April 11th

Friday, April 1st, 2016

7:45am Friday

Also got email from WB8BZK Mike, who’s been active on V/UHF for a long time.  WB8BZK and KA2KQM are the organizing committee of the 2016 Spring VHF and up Sprints.  Central States VHF Society is sponsoring the Spring Sprints and CSVHFS is celebrating their 50th annual conference in 2016.  This year’s CSVHFS conference is close-by, too.  It’s in Rochester MN, from July 28-31st.  There is a separate post about that directly above this one, here at

Help spread the word about the Spring VHF Sprints.  Let your ham buddies know.  Consider going out roving or hilltopping.  Sometimes VHF’ers don’t have a good horizon, or they are antenna-restricted.  Increase the fun factor by going mobile and operating from locations where you know you will be heard better.

Here’s the announcement:

The Central States VHF Society is proud to sponsor and announce the dates and times for the 2016 run of the VHF and up Spring Sprints!

144 MHz: Monday, 4/11/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

222 MHz: Tuesday, 4/19/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

432 MHz: Wednesday, 4/27/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

Microwave, 902 MHz and up: Saturday, 5/7/16 from 8 AM – 2 PM local, Exchange: 6 char grid

50 MHz: Saturday, 5/14/16 from 2300Z until 0300Z Sunday, 5/10/15, Exchange: 4 char grid

More information and rules are posted at:

Kent O’Dell KA2KQM & Mike Metroka WB8BZK
Central States VHF Society Spring Sprint Organizing Committee

KC9BQA adds that by May, DX can occur on 6 meters, due to the seasonal rise of sporadic E-skip openings.  Google that term if you are unfamiliar with it.  Sporadic Es are a blast.  Often in the late spring and summer, 6 meters (or 50 MHz) comes alive with dozens of signals from different states and grids.  Plus, when sporadic Es are strong and widespread, you don’t need a big antenna up high to take advantage of it.  Again, do some Googling and get yourself educated now, so you’re ready to have some big fun when 6 meters (aka The Magic Band) comes alive.