HAM Radio Mini-net Get together?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

How about a mini-net meeting to test our radio commo? I can cover all bands except 160m. 80m might work for an evening chat but I've also noticed that 20m is open as well right now. Anybody interested? Suggestions for a frequency? Time?

-- Freelancer (mercenary2000@yahoo.com), July 30, 1999


That is an absolutely great idea!

Don't have any suggestions, other than maybe a Friday or Sat. night, will leave frequency to the more experienced.

Please post this again if you don't hear from enough people the first time.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), July 30, 1999.

Freelancer, I don't yet have transmitting equipment, but I do have a Sony 2010 receiver with a long-wire (70ft.) antenna.

May I make a request. The standard long-wire antenna sold by Radio Shack is 90 feet or so. I didn't have that much room, so I put up 70. Some people may have less room.

Could you choose a frequency that resonates on 50-70 ft. or some other easily grabbed frequency? That way those of us with receivers only can at least hear what's going on. You can then know that your transmissions will have some "broadcast" effect. I will be glad to give you reception reports from Raleigh, NC.

-- Puddintame (achillesg@hotmail.com), July 30, 1999.

Freelancer -- altho I don't yet have ability to participate, I could send this idea round to the 140 people or so on my chat list and ask them to contact you. What do you think? Great idea.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), July 30, 1999.

Great idea! Suggest Sat. nite. Maybe 10 meters? I'm only a tech, otherwise, lurkin'. Good propagation at nite. Thanks

-- hamster (swabbieD@aol.com), July 30, 1999.


Great idea! I'm planning on starting a Y2K Net on 10m (so we can get the TechPlus ops.) But I'm covered up with work right now -- so I don't think my deal will happen till early Sept -- haven't even got an antenna up yet. Steve Heller's also interested in a Net. So go for it now, even if it's mostly a 'broadcast' bec there'll be more SWL's in on it at this early stage in the game (There are quite a few who are studying for their 5wpm ticket at present from the email I get.)


1. Pick a START time on Fri nite, say 9:30 CT (That gets Right Coast at 10:30, Mtn at 8:30, Left Coast at 7:30.) Keep the QSO going for at least 30 min, then extend it if it stays 'alive.'

2. If the atmospherics are real bad, try Sat nite, as an alternative.

3. Pick your partner in the same region using ground wave propation, so that more people can hear both sides of the QSO. You should be on the same freq of course.

4. Hopefully you live in central USA for good coverage.

5. Don't use a beam -- you don't want directional radiation.

6. A horizontal loop would be your best bet. Else an array of two dipoles: one northwest, one southwest (or another pair of orientations, if you live in one corner or other of the continent.) BTW, can you reveal your callsign/QTH at this time -- I can tell you want the security, but if you go on the air you'll have to raise your profile anyway -- so maybe you ought to do it now for the benefit of the thread readers?

7. 20 meters should be good at this time of summer, but I wonder about skip causing a problem for some outlying listeners. As I said earlier 10m would get more ops in the act, but I think it's too early in the game to try to get a bunch of people QSO'ing --- things will get too chaotic. Better you should control it by being able to set up your rough protocol AHEAD OF TIME with a ham buddy you've worked with quite a bit in the past, and who hopefully is also Y2K aware (statistically a challenge I know.)

8. 80m would be a better bet in some ways -- lack of skip -- I mostly worry about the QRN tho, also maybe the range (depending on your QTH.)

9. Again I think your best initial thrust will be to consider yourself a 'broadcaster'while you're QSO'ing to your buddy --- your biggest audience will be SWL'ers out there.

10. Accordingly you don't have to make this whole affair a polished product --- just give an opportunity to SWL'ers and newbie hams to get the feel of what a ham radio net will be all about.

11. Also, it would be best to refrain from using ham acronyms (like I'm guilty of in this post!): 'location' would be better than 'QTH', 'conversation' would be better than 'QSO', 'readability & signal' better than 'RS', etc.


13. The best prep for this test QSO would be for you to publish your fone number so people could ck in for confirmation of the details. However you'd have to have a hole-in-your-head to fall into that trap: raises your profile way too much, and would fill up your days sitting by the ring-a-ding. Don't even THINK about doing that.

Many tnx again for your volunteering,

Bill, KG4DHJ

-- William J. Schenker, MD (wjs@linkfast.net), July 30, 1999.


I forgot the most obvious suggestion:

1. Is your email addr for real?

2. If so, have people email you with their prefs for day, time, and freq (if any.) That may give you a feel for your final decision and for how large your 'audience' will be. You might also ask them to give their technical background. IOW, are they familiar with the "Q" code, standard alpha phonetics abbreviations, etc.

Also what are their plans for getting a ticket -- when are they thinking of taking their exam & will it include the 5wpm code test? We need some demographics at this stage, Freelancer. It will help us later this summer/early Fall when we may be able to get the Net going in high gear. When people realize that Y2K may well (Ha, you know I mean 'will without a doubt') be the end of Internet/email conversations -- they will go stark raving -- THEN they'll wish they had a ham rig with the experience of how to use it.

'73, Bill

-- William J. Schenker, MD (wjs@linkfast.net), July 30, 1999.


A great idea! I'm a TechPlus and have had my license since '82 but I haven't been on the air waves for years. My rig is still set up and I've been waiting for an opportunity to check the system out. Count me in!


-- Carolyn Grace (grace17@pacbell.net), July 30, 1999.

OK folks we'll get our collective heads together and figure out how to get everybody burning up the ionosphere!! :) I'm on the Pacific Coast, so 80m might work. I will check out the bands over the next few evenings and see what's open and not filled up with noise. I will check with some of my "local" HAM's and see how the signal from my location is getting out. Now if 10m is open in the evening that would be great for all the Tech Plus folks!

For those with listening capability only, i.e. SWL receivers, if it will tune into the 21mhz, 28mhz or 3.9mhz band you will be able to listen in. So check out your rigs and see if they cover these frequencies, I suspect they do.

My e-mail address is real so we will use it to coordinate this little shindig. I will get back to the forum when I have some better info. on where we can get together. I'm on vacation this week so I'm out playing and fishing but I will get to work on this idea.

(Me and my bright ideas and big mouth!! :)


-- Freelancer (mercenary2000@yahoo.com), July 30, 1999.

Count me in. My rig can also cover all the HF bands except 160, and I have an Advanced license, so I have privileges on almost all the frequencies on the other bands. Just let me know when and on what frequency you want to do it.

-- Steve Heller (stheller@koyote.com), July 30, 1999.

I have an Advanced license and can work all except 160m. Someone please email me when things are decided. I need an excuse to take a break from all my homestead activities!

-- embedhead (embedhead@usa.net), July 31, 1999.

Wow!!!!!! You gents speaking english ???? I bought a Baygen wind-up solar powered s/w radio. Would that suice in recieving your re. ??????? Let me know here or my address. Would love to know .


-- Richard (kingrz@webtv.net), August 02, 1999.

A y2k ham radio net is a good idea. Here in the midwest (South Dakota) it would be better to use 20 meters for a net. 10 is usually not any good around here. Or 15 meters in the afternoon. But we need to be active in December at least so we can be ready for any disruption to our country on 1-1-2000. I am setting up a ham radio station at the American Red Cross building so the Red Cross can be ready if they need to set up shelters. The station will be on 75 to 10 and 2 meters. Perhaps others should contact their Red Cross about setting up ham gear also. Since hams use SSB, the Baygen and many other SW receivers won't work as they receive only AM, unless we decide at some point to switch from SSB to AM modulation. On 10 meters we could use FM so some scanners could hear us around the country if skip is in our favor. I also agree that it is a good idea to use our calls and not try to hide behind a fictious name. Let's not be paranoid but try to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Thank you for reading this message. Fred WAXPBL Sioux Falls, SD

-- Fred Lehmann (wa0pbl@arrl.net), August 04, 1999.

The time when Y2K will hit us will be at 0:00 hours UTC (GMT). This is because an engineer at Northern States Power (www.nspco.com) told me the electrical grid uses UTC time. So if there are power outages, they could happen at 4 PM PST, 5 PM MST, 6 PM CST and 7 PM EST. This converts to 0:00 hours UTC. So we should keep this in mind when talking about any Y2K problems. This UTC time is confirmed in an article I read in the Houston Chronical online. However, the UTC (GMT) time has not been covered by any other media AFAIK. Much has been said to watch New Zealand and other countries near the International Date Line to see the 17 hour or so lead time the U.S. has before Y2k hits here. This is a bad idea as we could see trouble in the early evening on Dec 31, 1999.

-- Fred Lehmann (wa0pbl@arrl.net), December 04, 1999.

Fred's post about the time factor reminds me to remind y'all to get windup clocks and sundials, so you can know your local time accurately -- otherwise you can miss our transmissions at the top of the hour (Go check the "Older Messages" category, click on the "Communications" category, then the "Y2K Net Starting Up -- II" thread; go to near the end of that thread & read the later posts by Fred, others, and me.)


-- William J. Schenker, MD (wjs@linkfast.net), December 05, 1999.

Hi, I'm Michele's son, I'm a tech plus. Just wondering if we could set up a net on 28.320.00 (10 M) Friday night (12-10-99). email me for comments or suggestions. Kcobvp

-- Michele Farnese (michele@habitatinc.com), December 06, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ