Archive for April, 2017

Spring VHF and Up Sprints Schedule

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11:30 am Friday

The first Spring VHF Sprint (2 meter band) is 10 days away.  Time to repost this info on the top of the “front page” here at  Feel free to share this info in all directions; get more signals on the air.

144 MHz:  Monday, 4/17/17 from 7-11pm in your local time zone.
222:            Tuesday, 4/25/17 from 7-11pm — again local time
432:           Wednesday, 5/3/17 from 7-11pm   local time
Microwave (902MHz and Up)  Saturday, 5/6/17  from 8am-2pm in your local time zone
50 MHz :   Saturday, 5/14/17 from 2300Z Sat. evening until 0300Z Sunday 5/14/17.   (In the central time zone, this would be from 6pm-10pm Sat. evening)

The reason the 50 MHz sprint uses UTC time is because there could be sporadic Eskip openings, meaning DX potential where 6 meters would be open across multiple time zones, so it’s best to have everyone on the same UTC time.

Here is the link to the Spring Sprints Website:

Make plans now to get on for the Spring VHF and Up Sprints.

Two Websites That Help Show Band Conditions

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11:20am Friday

I haven’t posted this info in a while so with spring here, it’s time.

Here are two websites that can help you stay on top of potential band enhancement:

1st would be this:  It’s not a perfect indicator.  It sometimes has false openings, and it’s even more important to remember that 2m SSB/CW has a standard range of 200-400+ miles under flat band conditions.  So even if you’re seeing little or no color in your area, you can still make good contacts.  The point is to not fall into the habit of only trying when that map looks good.  You will miss little mini-openings that pop up under the radar, so to speak.   But when there is a major band opening, it will be reflected by brighter colors.

2nd would be this:   This site attempts to predict band openings for days in advance.  Like weather forecasters, the forecasts here are not always accurate.  But I still feel the Hepburn site has value.  It’s very seldom that a major, widespread tropo event doesn’t show up here,  a few days in advance.  Plus, I’m a lifelong weather geek, so I like “keeping up with the forecasts”.  This site  updates in the early afternoon.

144.240 Net Reports for Mar. 29 & Apr. 5

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11am Friday

Back on March 29th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported “Better propagation tonite, lots of variation, even what sounded like Aurora buzz on one of the signals.”  Mark had a great turnout with 17 check-ins.  KC9WIK EN54;  VA3SGM EN82;  KC9ZVZ EN53;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KD9BGY and N9KKF EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WJ8L EN72;  KB8GUE EM89;  W9UIJ EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  W1JWS EN50 and WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40.
VA3SGM is a new all-time check-in to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Welcome and glad you’re enjoying 2 meter SSB.  I’m glad the net is still getting out to the Detroit/Windsor, ONT area.  At one time, we had several active check-ins from that EN82 region.  These things go in cycles.

On April 5th, the 144.240 net had 14 check-ins.  WB9LYH reported “Varying signals with lots of weather to the southeast.”  The list was:  WB8AHT EN72 (who has an interesting and detailed write-up about his results with various kinds of horizontal (for SSB/CW) 2 meter antennas at his page).  KC9WIK EN54;  KC9ZVZ EN53;  N9IYV, K9ILU, K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM and KD9FCV EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40 and W9UIJ EN52.
Want to welcome KD9FCV to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Thanks for helping keep 2 meter SSB active.

Here’s hoping that warmer weather will bring improved band conditions.  Remember to get on the air and call your own CQ’s.  Too many times, VHF’ers are “just listening”.  Well… if 20 guys in several states are all “just listening”, how many contacts will be made??  Yep — zero.  Pick up the mic, call CQ, swing the yagi in different directions and see who all is out there.   All things equal, band conditions tend to be better in the early to mid-morning hours and again, about sunset and into the night.

The 144.240 net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed. night.  Net control is WB9LYH Mark, located in EN54cl, or pretty much the exact middle of WI.   If you need more info, just scroll down to the March 29th post below this one.