444.300 Thursday Morning Net Heard From Texas

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KG5IFY, Feb 4, 2016.

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  1. KG5IFY

    KG5IFY XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    I went to the truck during lunch to see if I could catch anyone on the radio, still a big time novice here. I heard a net on the Saltgrass 444.300 repeater, and I wanted to know if anyone could tell me which net that was? I wanted to check-in to my first net, but there was a lot of activity and I had to get back into the office so I wasn't able to.


  2. K5URU

    K5URU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thoroughly enjoy the Saltgrass Link System, but I'm usually not on during the afternoon. I sent an email to try to find out which net you heard and will report back with the response. Maybe I'll catch you on there some day.

    I'm not too far away from you (I'm in Buda), so perhaps we could try some 2M simplex. Just let me know.

    Talk to you soon,
  3. K5URU

    K5URU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What you heard was the Alaska Morning Net. They meet 6 days a week (off Sundays) at noon CST. Keep in mind that Alaska time is one hour earlier than Pacific time. I've enjoyed listening to and participating in that net many times. It's a nice, laid-back, conversational net with participants from all over the US and Canada (and occasionally other countries). Feel free to check in any time; they are very friendly and welcoming to new operators. If you're short on time (as you were while on your lunch break), feel free to check in as "K5JGL, in and out", just to let them know you were listening for a while. When you have more time, you can do a regular check-in and have a quick conversation. Great group of guys and gals.


    Blake K5URU

    P.S. Thanks to Steve N5ZUA, who does a lot of work for Texas amateur radio operators with WinSystem and SaltGrass, among the many other things he does with little recognition. Good work, sir.
  4. KG5IFY

    KG5IFY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great information. Thanks a lot Blake. When I get some free time maybe we can try some 2m simplex, although I don't know if my setup will get me to Buda, what do you think? On my HT I'm running a Comet SMA-24, and at the house I'm running a N9TAX roll-up jole-pole.
  5. K5URU

    K5URU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It will definitely be a challenge, but it would be fun to give it a shot. The N9TAX slim jim is an excellent antenna.

    Any time we get some decent tropospheric ducting, we should have a good chance at contact, since it tends to connect central Texas to south and southeast Texas. Last weekend I was talking over simplex to folks in Brownsville, Port Aransas, and even West Monroe, Louisiana; all across the Gulf Coast. Feel free to send me an email and we'll try to schedule a contact next time the tropo decides to cooperate. blake.ormand@gmail.com

    Talk to you soon.


    Blake Ormand
  6. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you have a winsystem repeater nearby, there's always the Insomniac Net. 11pm west coast time, every night.
    K5URU likes this.
  7. KG5IFY

    KG5IFY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just looked them up and there isn't one close enough to me I don't think.
  8. KG5IFY

    KG5IFY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the offer. I'm still really new to the hobby, can you explain what constitutes good troop ducting? Is it shown on hamqsl?
  9. K5URU

    K5URU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depending on what side of your local hill you're on, you might be able to hit the Austin Win System repeater: 145.110 (-0.600 MHz, Tone 103.5). It has great coverage, as displayed here: http://k5ehx.net/single.php?id=5288
    If not, feel free to connect to my friend Ruben's Echolink node: KK6IMI-R. He's always connected to the Win System.

    As far as tropospheric ducting goes, it usually happens (in Texas) during cold, clear days, for a few hours after sunset and after sunrise. Temperature inversions in the atmosphere (warmer temperatures above lower temperatures) tend to pass VHF radio signals along. Sometimes it simply results in wider coverage; Other times it results in pinpoint "ducting" where your signal might be carried to a certain faraway town, but not anywhere in between. It's really fun to work, because you never know what you're going to get.

    I use three primary tools to work tropospheric ducting in my area.

    1. Weird stuff on the radio. When I start hearing a bunch of (unintentional) interference on the local repeaters and out-of-range simplex contacts on 146.52, that alerts me to check on the other two sources below. Folks coming into your local repeater that aren't really part of the conversation are a good tip-off. When you hear it, you'll know what I mean.

    2. Scientific, Meteorological, Predictively modeled maps: These are usually very accurate, and they have the added bonus of providing forecasts in 3-hour intervals. http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html

    3. Actual, confirmed, long-distance transmissions via APRS. Keep in mind that APRS packets (AX.25) can often travel farther than voice modes, but this is a real-world, real-time map of "who is hearing who from where." In the middle of a tropospheric ducting event, this is a great resource, and lets you know what is happening RIGHT NOW.

    Tropo can be mysterious. It often connects you to distant cities, but cuts you off from everything in between. That's why I enjoy working the tropo events - you never know who you'll meet.

    Have fun!

    -Blake K5URU

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