144 MHz SSB nets *ON* Wed. night + ARRL VHF Contest Jan 23-24
- Enjoyed checking into the 144.222 net tonight with WJ8L. Signals were OK for a bit, then took a fade. K8BKB said he wouldn't mind me talking up all the Tuesday nets on my website, so I have. That post is on the main page. I know that those nets may be considered a "Kalamzoo thing" but with V/UHF'ing, to get maximum fun, you want to think beyond your immediate club circle.
Here's the weekly reminder about our wide-area activity nets. WB9LYH has a big signal from EN54, middle of WI. Works multiple stations across MI and IN. He starts out on 144.240 at 0100Z, looking east into MI. He then moves clockwise, calling CQ frequently. We're always looking for activity in your area, so please spread the word.
If you can't hear anything from WB9LYH, know that we urge net check-ins to slide down to 144.230 and look around and call CQ in all directions. Far better to have a variety of guys calling CQ, than have everyone waiting all night to work one net control. You may hear activity on 144.230, or perhaps on 144.200 (the call freq.) The long-term goal is to stir up many callers in a wide area on Wed. nights. This to increase the overall health of V/UHF.
I get on 144.250 at 0230Z, and gab with some Milwaukee/Chicago locals for 15-30 mins. After that, I go clockwise, calling CQ, so I don't get back to MI until at least 0315-0330. Unless you're a night owl, WB9LYH is probably the better choice. I am 40 miles north of Milwaukee. Both us net controls are horizontally polarized, which is the norm with SSB ops on V/UHF.
Here's an early heads-up that the ARRL Jan VHF Sweepstakes is Jan 23-24th. http://www.arrl.org/contests/rules/2010/jan-vhf-ss.html
I am a firm believer that many hams would enjoy a V/UHF contest if they gave it a try. Toward that goal, I have encouraged newer guys in WI to Get On With Whatever They Have. Since 60-80% of the contest Q's take place on "common" bands like 6 and 2m (70cm, too) many of you are able to participate.
Even if you only have FM stations, you have a numbers advantage if you spread the word in your region. Consider talking up the contest in your area and see what you can do. We've had good success around S WI getting some FM'ers to call "CQ Contest" and some have gone on to improve their station, and add bands, or SSB capability.
In the Jan QST, on Pg. 79, there's a great article about FM simplex being a good training ground for VHF contesters. Check it out and see if it motivates you. A small plaque or certificates go a long way toward getting guys/gals on. 146.55 and 146.58 FM simplex is customarily used in contests. 52.525 on 6m FM, 223.500 on 1.25m FM and 446.000 on 70cm FM. It also helps if you agree on a 1-3 hour window to focus the activity. Only addicts like me will play 20-30 hours out of the 33 available. :) The idea is to get the word out to many hams, and that way at least some will play. Dead contests are no fun, so talk it up.
If you want to know more about how to "do" a VHF contest, I've got a ton of info on my website. I'll be updating it this week, but if you want immediate results, go to posts dated June 7th on my blog. It's not a 5-10 minute course, but it is thorough.
Todd KC9BQA EN63ao 40 N of Milwaukee
http://www.kc9bqa.com For Frequent VHF/UHF Updates