Archive for July, 2016

N9XKH EN52il Will Call 144.240 Net on 7/27/16 @9pm Eastern/8pm Central

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

5:15pm Friday

Next Wed. the 144.240 net from WI will have a guest net control.   N9XKH Dennis on the WI/IL border (grid square EN52il) will fill in for WB9LYH.  Dennis has filled in before when Mark needs relief and everyone appreciates it.  N9XKH has a nice signal, but he doesn’t have a lot of time to play radio so when Dennis is able to call a net, he really appreciates all the check-ins he can work.  Like everyone, he wants to know how well his signal is getting out.
One other special request next Wed. — N9XKH emailed to say that he’s having trouble with his hands and would everyone please be patient while he tries to log check-ins, perhaps type a few notes, etc.

Again, 144.240 net for Wed., July 27th will be called by N9XKH in EN52il, right on the WI/IL border a little SSW of Madison, WI.  Regular start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Antenna pattern with the net is to always look into the eastern time zone first.  For N9XKH in EN52, that means he’ll probably look NNE into the U.P. and northern part of Lower MI first.  Then edge northeast into central MI, then east into southern WI, southern MI and VE-3, then southeast into IN and OH, then south down thru IL and into MO.  Then start turning southwest into MO, KS and IA, then west into IA, NE and at the end northwest into MN and perhaps the Dakotas??  Always nice when we scare up the occasional check-in from the Dakotas.
All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to get more signals on 2 meter SSB.  We always appreciate you spreading the word.

Regular net control WB9LYH in EN54cl (central WI, near WI Rapids) expects to be back on for the Wed., Aug. 3rd net.

144.240 Net Reports From 7/13 and 7/20

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

5pm Friday

Let’s get these overdue net reports posted!

Back on 7/13, net control WB9LYH reported storms to the south and most station to the southeast were off.  Still was a nice turnout of 11 stations, including a new all-time check in from EM59, central IL.
The 11 check-ins were:  KD8DEG EN72;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9RXM, NG9K and KC9OVD EN41;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB0SWQ EN40;  K0NY EN44 and KG0SJ EN22.   Hello to KB9MIV, about an hour northeast of St. Louis.  Glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.  We get a lot of loyal check-ins from EN40 and EN41, year-round, in any kind of band conditions.  But we don’t get much activity from the St. Louis region.  I know it’s a doable path, so if you are able, please help spread the word to MO and downstate IL.

On 7/20, net control WB9LYH reported good propagation (yep, it was hot and humid).  The list included a new all-timer, from a tough grid to find on 2m SSB.  Read on for the details…
The 16 check-ins were:  KG9QT, K9ILU, KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  KR8T EN72;  WB8LNG EM79 — really appreciate the consistent signal from SW Ohio ;  N9NMS and KC9CLM EN52;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD, NG9K, N9RXM and KD0JNQ EN41.  Also had KA0EIV from EN30, between Ottumwa and Fairfield, IA.  Welcome to the net and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.  When I was on the air, I enjoyed the contests the most and I played hard in those contests.  Called CQ in all directions for hours and hours and loved it when I scared up a rare grid or worked a new station (especially the weaker ones I had to dig out)  Well, EN30 was nearly impossible to get.  So even though I realize many hams won’t do contests, I’m glad EN30 is in the net log.  If you read this blog, tell your friends in IA and MO they can work into EN54, Central WI on Wed. nights with the 144.240 net.
More good news to report — K8TQK EM89 checked into the net and I’m told Bob is now able to rotate his long yagis again.
Remember to look toward EM89 (south-central OH) on Monday night at 8:30pm eastern.  I bet K8TQK is back on 144.252 with his net (yes, 144.252, that’s not a typo, Bob has a fat, loud birdie right on 144.250).  Bob has a whopping signal and easily gets out 300-400+ miles.  He runs a casual, friendly net and all licensed amateurs are welcome.  If nothing has changed, his antenna pattern from EM89 is to start out looking N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW at the end.

*The 144.240 net will have a guest net control on Wed., July 27th.  More about that in a separate post that will be right on top of this one.*

CQ WW VHF Contest is July 16-17 + Post Your Contest Plans + Link to VHF Contesting School Articles

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

8:30am Thur.

Next weekend is the CQ WW VHF Contest, which concentrates on the 6 meter and 2 meter bands.  These are the bread-and-butter bands of VHF’ing and even the most casual VHF’er has either 2 meters or 6 meters.
This is a great contest for newer VHF’ers to dip their toes into, and veterans would sure enjoy hearing some new calls.  CQ WW VHF is a lot of fun, especially if 6 meters opens up with sporadic E skip.  The ARRL June VHF contest had a fantastic band opening on 6.  Not only across North America, but also to the Caribbean and even to Spain, if memory serves.   That’s why 6 meters (50 MHz) is also called “The Magic Band”.

The CQ WW VHF contest runs 27 hours.  Starts at 1800Z on Sat., July 16th and ends at 2100Z on Sun. the 17th.  Link to rules —

W0UC in EN44 has once again created a Google spreadsheet where you can post your contest plans.  Your plans don’t have to be etched in stone; just an indication that you will be on is fine.  Also note that there’s a separate tab on the bottom for rovers.
I know nothing about Google spreadsheets, I’m just the messenger.  Also W0UC kindly asks that the emphasis remain on areas within 300-400 miles of EN44.  This is NOT a nationwide resource.  It would be great if other parts of the country developed their own contest “sign-up” sheets.
The link to the CQ WW VHF 2016 Google spreadsheet is

1)  If you (or a ham buddy you know) isn’t sure about VHF/UHF contesting,  I can help.   Several years ago, I wrote a series of articles that I hope will educate and motivate hams to get on the air for the friendly and laid-back VHF Contests.    Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.

As of July, 2016, some of the info I’m sharing in those articles may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL or CQ websites for current info.

The August UHF Contest is ON in 2016

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

8:15am Thur., July 7, 2016
I originally made this post back on April 3rd.  With the UHF Contest coming up on August 6-7th, it’s time to get the word out.  Since ARRL dropped the UHF contest for 2016, many casual UHF’ers will (mistakenly) assume there’s no contest this year.  Help spread the word that the UHF contest is still ON for 2016.  Get lots of signals on the air and help ARRL realize they need to reconsider.
Read below and feel free to share this info with your ham buddies, or VHF group, etc.

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 by N6NB Wayne Overbeck 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”

10 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Net Last Night

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

8am Thur.

Last night’s check-ins to the Wed. 144.240 net were:    K9ILU, N9JBW and N9IYV EN61;  KC9RAP EN63;  KC9VHD EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41 and WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40.

Net control WB9LYH says he expects to be on next week.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH.  Mark is in EN54cl, central WI, about an hour and a half west of Green Bay.  Mark has a pair of 17B2’s (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and he routinely gets out 400+ miles to other well-equipped stations.
WB9LYH appreciates all check-ins, local and DX.  He does enjoy pushing the propagation limits.  Please let VHF’ers in a very wide radius know that we’re on the air on Wed. nights.  With warm summer nights comes potential band enhancement.  Let stations in that 500-1000 mile range know about us.

From central WI, WB9LYH starts out looking NE, E and SE.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first with the 144.240 Wed. net.  From there, Mark starts edging S, then SW, W, NW and N to finish.  All licensed amateurs are welcome; the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  We have had 100’s of unique calls to the net over the past 7+ years.  We appreciate you helping to spread the word and doing your part to make the SSB/CW portions of the VHF/UHF bands more active.

19 Check-Ins to 144.240 Net Last Wednesday

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

1pm Tuesday

Hope everyone had a nice July 4th holiday.

Last week, WB9LYH emailed a very robust net report.  Mark reported, “Lots of enthusiasm tonight and no thunderstorms.”  Check-ins were KR8T EN72;  K9IKE EN63;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  N9IYV, N9JBW, KD9BGY, K9ILU and KC9RIO EN61;  KC9KCR EN52;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC8ZJL EN71;  N9RXM, KC9OVD, NG9K/M and KC9RJI EN41;  WA9BNZ, WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40.
Mark said propagation was good to Rock Island so N9RXM went to his car and called from there and that worked too.
I’m glad the weather was finally storm-free on a Wed. night and that so many showed up to enjoy VHF in the summertime.  Thanks everyone for checking in.  Also want to welcome KC9KCR to the net.  Glad you’re on 2m SSB and thanks for stopping by to say hello.

Weather permitting, WB9LYH plans on calling the 144.240 Wed. net again tomorrow night (as he does every Wed.) at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.   All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the purpose is to create more activity on the bands.  We appreciate you helping spread the word.

If you need more details about this net, scroll down to the front page here at the bottom 2 paragraphs of the June 17th post.