2M Simplex Net

July 31st: – Check ins:

  • KG7KWG / Andy – Playing with 991 and hamfest finds (Meter, hamsticks, etc)
  • AC7FF / Dave – Signed up for the straight key century club.  Wanting to get proficient with a straight key as another skill
  • W9JRF / Rick – Planning the foundation dig for the Titan DX
  • K7TJK / Troy – Packed up the FT-817 to take on travel to Shreveport and will call CQ from the south
  • N1RWY / Jay – Went through coffee can bin from Hamfest (assorted connectors, etc) – pretty much a great score!
  • KF7RYX / Dennis – Stopped by to check in and exercise his new 991a with Heil audio settings – sounded great
  • KE0WPF / Bill – Was at hamfest in pinetop
  • KF7E / Jim –  Stopped by to Elmer some of our CW practice, but wasnt able to stay long

Tonight’s CW practice


July 17th:  

  • Agenda:
    • Check-ins:  This week we had Andy/KG7KWG, Rick/W9JRF, Troy/K7TJK, Christi/KG7NAD, and Jay/N1RWY, Dave/AC7FF (no one new)
    • AnnouncementsNAQCC – NA CW Sprint contestSummer QRP Fox Hunt
      • What’s new – What’s been going on this week with you and the hobby (throw in anything you’ve been doing with CW):
        • Andy – Practicing CW…  Playing with MFJ practice key and some audio files as well as an iPhone app (MorseZapp)
        • Rick – Getting station set up, playing with some CW files
        • Troy – Listening to CW samples from AARL and then sending the samples
        • Christi – Working on grounding the shack, and working on CW listening (vs too much sending)
        • Jay – been working on his 6m amplifier (will do 10watts in and 1100watts out)
        • Dave – Been working on the gathering communications mostly
      • Continue our CW practice!

July 3rd:  This week we had Andy/KG7KWG, Rick/W9JRF, Troy/K7TJK, Christi/KG7NAD, and Jay/N1RWY.

  • Cross-band Repeat – Troy was able to get the cross-band repeat function up and running, though there are some bugs to work out regarding the time out timer and nuances that Troy has to deal with to both run the cross band and participate in the net.  Rick was able to cross band, but in the end he sounded better just going direct simplex to the 2m frequency.
  • What was new with folks in the hobby this week:
    • Rick is up and running in his casa (not his radio gear yet) but for some odd reason has type N connectors on his LMR400 which have to be ditched for SO239’ers.  I guess some Brits did the wiring for Rick?
    • Troy has been playing down the rabbit hole of crossbanding his Kenwood and ICOM…
    • Andy has been learning split on his FT-450 and learning FT-8 features such as hound mode
    • Christi is up and running with the famous pink headset and is off and running looking for manufactured homes today for her retirement plot
    • Jay has been chasing DX/Baker Island.  and chasing.  and chasing.
  • 13 Colonies Independence Day week contest:
    • Most of us have been noodling with this contest and have made a few contacts.  Bands have not been great.  We still have a few more days to get some more stations.

June 26th:  We had the usual band of thieves on the net, and also picked up Jim/KF7E Tuesday night.  Communications were as they have been, and even though Troy joined mobile he had a good signal (at least at my QTH) and we had no real issues either hearing him or relaying to others.

  • Recap if Field Day
    • The team did a brief re-cap of field day, which some of us operated as W7P, a 4D station from Jay’s house.  A good time was had despite the poor bands.  Most notable was how Vicky, Jay’s wife took care of us with 3 squares a day as if we were her own.  5 Gold Stars for Jay and Vicky!
  • Operating your Radio’s noise filters
    • Jay and Jim had lots of tips on what elements of your rig you can use to be more effective.  One tip I slotted in an a free memory bank was the use of the RF GAIN nob to reduce the incessant white noise hiss to reduce ear fatigue.  I’ve been playing with that since Jay mentioned it on Tuesday.  I also gained some great insights into use of Noise Blanker only being useful to reduce pulsing QRN (man made noises) and that it pretty much wont do anything if none present.  We have an open invitation to drop by Jim’s place if we ever want to experience terrible QRN :).
    • We could have much more discussion on this topic… and probably will.

Following the net, Troy decided he is going to set up a cross-band repeat capability on his radio so we can see if we can tie in a few weak station/HT operators who might want to join the net.  More to come next week on how this goes…

June 12th:  KG7KWG/Andy, N1RWY/Jay, KG7NAD/Christi, and W9JRF/Rick, and K7TJK/Troy joined the net.  Dave is still outta town, and we didn’t hear any of the other Hams tonight.

  • Recap the June VHF Contest:
    • Jay worked around the clock and scored very well with around 30k points.  Nice work Jay!  Andy operated for probably 8 hours total (on and off over the weekend) and scored around 850 points.  Rick, Troy and Christi participated in the contest on and off.  Their scores are TBD at this point.  Lots of learnings from several folks on what it will take to score better next time.
  • Ham Radio Projects
    • Jay has a TON of projects in the works.  Most notable are getting his amplifiers online so he can put out more power – particularly on 6m.
    • Andy has been working mostly on cable mangement in the shack as well as getting a multiple monitor solution in place so he can have more screen real estate for the contesting software tools and websites.
    • Christi has been working on her multiple screens as well and has also been working on her shack ergonomics so she can pull the all night’er contesting like Jay does.  Note – Jay has a nice setup with a custom shelf unit on his shack desk that puts all his radio gear and nobs and switches in easy reach.
    • Rick has been gearing up for his move and will be doing most projects once he lands in the new place in a few weeks.  Note – his 2 runs of high end LMR400 cable is in place and ready for radiation
    • Troy has been working on his shack backup power.  He has the (or its on the way) all the equipment he needs to get the power in place.

May 29th:  The consensus from most this week was that life was getting pretty busy for all just keeping the wheels on the bus -> but it was great folks still made time to get on the net and share their comings and goings in the hobby this week.

  • Check-ins – We had KG7KWG(Andy),KF7RYX(Dennis), KG7NAd(Christi), KI7YIS(Ken), and AC7FF(Dave) participate in the net.  Welcome to the net Ken.  Its great to hear you out there and have you participate in this week’s round table.
  • Discussion points:
    • Dennis brought up the use of inexpensive “pelican” boxes from Harbor Freight for toting around our Ham equipment.  They are a great value at <$30 and provide a nice secure case for sensitive equipment (and firearms, etc)
    • Christi shared about placing ferrite cores on various cables in the shake to quite down electronic interference. She had great success silencing a noisy laptop power block this way.  She was also working on her Titan antenna and also introduced us to a weekly 30min HF contest called the phone fray.  Several of us joined the yahoo group right after the net and plan on jumping in to check it out as it sounded like a great way to keep contesting in front of us on a weekly basis (with minimal time commitment)
    • Ken shared that he is a new General and that he is getting various gear in order to be up and running on multiple bands.  Looking forward to more from Ken in the coming weeks!
    • Dave and Andy hit the road on travels this week.  Dave on a road trip to Ohio and Andy on a flight to Alaska.  You could tell they had their heads occupied with the various to’dos gearing up for their trips.  Andy shared that he ordered a QRP OCF dipole on ebay to play with.  Once it makes its way to the US via the slow-boat from China he’ll bring it out the park for some play.
    • Jay wasn’t on the net, however all should take note of the VHF context the weekend of June 6th.  Be ready to jump on 2m, 440, 6m to work Jay.  if you can operate in higher up bands, then I’m sure Jay would invite that as well.

May 22nd:  Tonight Andy (KG7KWG),Jay (N1RWY), Rick (W9JRF), Christi (KG7NAD), Troy (K7TJK) and Matt (K7BMP – who is a new ham) were on the net.  Christi did the relaying for Matt who was too tough a copy on his HT for anyone else.  Welcome Matt!

  • Main topic: Portable Antenna accessories/ mast / deployment systems
    • Jackite poles – best of the poles really for the money and ease of use
    • Buddipole options – tripod clamp mast.  Works well but be aware that the collar clamps can break if the antenna falls down.  Not too difficult or expensive to replace
    • Painter pole is also nice to have in your bag of tricks.  (for example to use on a PVC mount on the RV ladder)
    • non-penetrating roof mounts (example) are a great solution for flat roofs
  • Random topic:  Where have you been spending $$ the Ham dollars lately?
    • Andy bought the jackite pole and also picked up the MFJ-939y automatic antenna tuner for his FT-450d
    • Jay bought several components to get on 1.3ghz, such as a many element antenna, a transceiver and an amp.  Jay’s gonna be up and running on 1.3ghz in no time!
    • Christie bought a bunch of ferrite beads/cores to keep spurrious RF at bay.  She’ll be bringing some to the next Gathering at the park

May 15th:  Tonight we had 6 check-ins and a nice discussion primarily about the magic 6 meter band.  We deferred discussions on the AZ QSO party to a future net since the 6m discussion was timely with the band showing openings

  • Non standard phonetics and using headphones is key to contesting!
  • Rick’s 3 element buddipole yagi performed pretty well, but it was also quite windy.  The wind kept rotating his beam away from desired contacts
  • Lots of questions for Jay/N1RWY on operating on 6 meters
    • Links and resources for 6m – see Jay’s website.  http://www.n1rwy.org and see his last post about 6 meter prop tools
    • Leave your radio on 50.125 and set the squelch so it is sensitive to break when the band opens
    • See http://dxmaps.com and see the spotting tool for the band your interested in
    • Also, see Six Meters International Radio Club (SMIRC), http://smirk.org
    • VHF is very direction sensitive.  Definitely nice to have a rotor system or at least the armstrong method.  Rotor systems such as tail-twister.  But don’t overload it with a bunch of antennas.  A lightweight and less expensive rotor will work if you keep it simple
    • Spuratic E – single hop and double hop scenarios.
    • Meteor Scatter – occurs on 2m and 6m.  You can work meteor scatter on 6m every day around 5-7am (see software by WSJT-X software from the princeton.edu site (K1JT) in mode msk144 or FT-8 (two of the modes that can be used).  Can actually see and hear the pings of the meteors on your meter on calling channel for meteor scatter.

May 8th:  We had core folks from EVQRP embrace the idea around this net, and with the exception of Jay/N1RWY who was out of town on business, the rest of the crew showed up on the net.  Dave/AC7FF, Troy/K7TJK, Christi/KG7NAD, Rick/W9JRF and Joe/N2QOJ also joined.

Here are the learnings from this first shot at the net:

  • We can all hear each other quite well on 2m FM (will test out other bands as we move along with this net)
  • Tony will likely have a 6m yagi option to consider (I will likely mod my 2 element to be a 3 element if Tonys parts are cheap)
  • Rick sounded great, but he has to launch and tear down his antenna each time due to HOA
  • Rick and I are both going to experiment with a rotator for the yagis (will be strongarm method for now)
  • Troy had some great FT8 learnings with DX contacts on 20m well after the band usually closes (I need to learn more about FT8)
  • Christi is learning about gray line propogation (which I need to learn about)
  • Joe has been playing with websdr and solved my problem with not being able to receive HF on my SDR dongle due to the need for me to put it in direct sampling mode
  • Joe created a mobile app (which I need to go check out)
  • I need to hurry up receive my 6m yagi parts in time to build it for the 50mhz sprint on 5/12 (cutting it close on time)


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