Hawaiian Islands Grid Madness


The 8th Annual Hawaiian Islands Grid Madness VHF/UHF Simplex Event is coming Sunday, 19 September 2021, 1300-1700 HST.

Views expressed in this Amateur Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 17 September 2021, 1950 UTC.

Content provided by the Aulani Hui Amateur Repeater Club and Stan Froseth (AH6KO).


According to Stan (AH6KO), this year’s event will have some special features and new challenges.

Here are some of the new ideas you can use in this year’s VHF/UHF Simplex Event:


“Why do Grid Madness?

  • Test your radio and antenna – where can you reach using simplex?
  • Practice using your radio.
  • Practice emergency communication procedures.
  • Meet your radio neighbors.

Things to try for Grid Madness

  • Talk to your radio friends ahead of time and arrange to meet on one of the suggested channels.
  • Try something new — how about 220 MHz or 50 MHz?
  • Promote the event in your club and try for the Club Award (to the club with highest designated total). Just have club members and friends designate your club on their entry form.
  • If you are new to ham radio: On Grid Madness Sunday, get on the air and make some new friends. Ask them about local nets that you can join.
  • Simplex is a short-distance method. But – during Grid Madness, listen for signals coming over the ridge or across the ocean from another island! For Big Distance, set up on a pu’u, or on the coast, perhaps with a directional antenna, and post your plans in Comments (tab above).
  • With a mobile radio or HT, try roving: Go to a high point that overlooks a populated area. Call “Grid Madness” + your call sign and see how many contacts you can make. Then move to a new grid square. The idea is to find a grid that probably has no other hams that will activate it, has road access, and a “radio view” to an area where there are hams to contact.
  • Use another communications channel to “spot” your contacts. During the event, you can use repeaters (be courteous to other users), Internet, telephone, or HF radio to arrange an actual simplex contact. Better yet, try Konabob’s Grid Madness Assistant.
  • Before (and during) the event, you can post on Comments (above).
  • You will need to know your grid location. Here are some easy methods. On a computer, check out:
  • With a mobile phone or  tablet, many apps can track your grid location in real time. Some examples:

AndroiTS GPS Test (Android) by Alessandro Bonetti
GPS Test (Android) by Chartcross
Maidenhead Grid Locator (Android) by LSTools
Ham Square (iPhone) by Kram

  • Try a new antenna at your home QTH, or on the road.
  • Add 146.52 to your radio scan list before Grid Madness. Put your call out now and then, monitor, and make some contacts. Ask them to come on for Grid Madness at 1300 HST on Sunday.
  • Arrange with your friends, club, and local net to meet on the air for Grid Madness!

Techniques for Simplex

  • For some contacts, you will need higher power. Know how to adjust the power on your radio.
  • To hear weak stations, you will need to adjust your squelch or open it all the way.
  • Use your biggest, highest antenna.
  • For most FM voice work, your antenna should use vertical polarization.”

For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please check the blog sidebar, links, and twitter posts.

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

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