Hello to the list,
Happy New Year,
I'm still actively promoting "weak-signal" VHF/UHF to hams in a multi-state area. Both via email lists I've developed and via my website, kc9bqa.com.
If you want weekly reminders about VHF activity, email me and I'll get you on a list. I've greatly reduced how many lists I mail to save a few hours per week. You may not hear from me via this list for a month or more. Your best option is to visit kc9bqa.com once or twice a week.
I'm not sure I ever defined "weak-signal" VHF/UHF for this list. My definition is making contacts far beyond the line-of-sight limit that is incorrectly put on V/UHF. Every day, hams with horizontally-polarized, high-gain yagis up in the clear, using at least 50-100w output power, are making contacts of 100, 200, 300 miles and more, using USB and CW modes, along with an ever-growing suite of digital modes. This is standard practice on the 50 and 144 MHz bands. Under enhanced conditions, the range occasionally expands to 500 miles or more.
My goal is to make sure every ham within range of my keyboard knows that this is possible. What you do with the info is up to you. If you have DX'er in you, you may eventually love the SSB/CW/digital side of V/UHF.
Our bands often don't have enough activity. My other goal is to direct hams to where and when the activity will be. Who is going to enjoy a new mode of operating if there's no signals to hear?
If you follow kc9bqa.com, you know exactly where and when to look. We still have our long-range SSB nets on Wed. nights. I just made this week's announcement on the website, visit kc9bqa.com if you're curious. I update kc9bqa.com frequently, just like I have for the last 2+ years.
We also have the first VHF/UHF contest of 2012 coming up. This is the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, on the weekend of Jan 21-22. All bands from 50 MHz and 144 MHz, right on up thru 222 and 432 MHz, and into the microwave bands are in play. Here's a link to the rules: http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf-sweepstakes
Because so many hams have 6m and/or 2m, and because most contest activity takes place on those bread-and-butter bands, there's potentially hundreds of VHF contesters out there. Problem is, a lot of hams think contesting is a high-stress, cut-throat deal for big guns only. On VHF at least, that just isn't true. We can always use more ops, and we need more signals to work. In the Midwest, we have decent activity levels, but there's always room on the bands for you to get your feet wet. I invite you to tune in and participate.
When I was brand new to ham radio in 2002-03, I had a hard time finding solid info about how to play in a VHF contest. I have put together a series of articles called VHF Contesting School. They cover the whole 9 yards, and break topics down into bite-sized pieces. The articles are available here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5609
Skim thru those articles and see if they motivate you.
I realize many of you will gloss over this post and I understand. But if you know a ham who is VHF-curious, steer them toward kc9bqa.com where they can find what they're looking for.
Todd KC9BQA EN63ao (my grid square -- visit the website for a new post about what grid squares are all about)
For Frequent VHF/UHF Updates
WI VHF/UHF County Hunters Award