Sunday 26th October 2014
The news headlines:
Last GB2RS for propagation stalwart
Ofcom amateur licence review closes
Falkland Islands WW1 commemoration
This week, the RSGB says thank you and farewell to one of the stalwart members of the GB2RS team. Neil, G0CAS has been preparing the solar report for the weekly GB2RS scripts for 20 years and this week is his final report. The RSGB would like to thank Neil, and Martin, G3USF who fills in if Neil is unavailable, for his many years of service to the amateur radio community. He has prepared something like 1000 solar reports during that time, which have been appreciated by amateurs around the world. The Propagation Studies Committee will be taking over the role from next week’s script.
Ofcom’s consultation on proposed changes to the amateur radio licence concluded last Monday, 20th October. Many thanks to the 2000 plus people who responded. Ofcom will be publishing the responses in due course, and a statement about the changes to be introduced is expected at the end of November. The response submitted by the RSGB is available from the website www.rsgb.org/licencereview
The RAF Amateur Radio Society, G8FC, is sending an Expedition to the Falkland Islands and will be operating from the Joint Services Welfare Facility Amateur Radio Station using the SES callsigns VP8RAF/100 and VP8FIR/100. This is to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Falklands’ in WW1 on the 8th December. The station should be active from 5th to 9th December and other VP8 stations should also be active during this period including VP8LP/100. All VP8 stations will be able to use the suffix /100 between 1st November and 15th December 2014.
Exam secretaries and invigilators can now download checklists to help ensure consistency of exam provision between Exam Centres, which help to ensure that essential requirements don’t get forgotten or overlooked. They are available from the Exam Forms Section of the RSGB website and all print on a single side of A4 paper. The Training and Education Committee welcomes feedback on the checklists and/or suggestions for similar aids for any other aspects of the training and examination system via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manfred Memorial Moon Mission was launched into space on 23rd October, carrying an amateur radio payload with a WSJT JT65B 145.980MHz beacon. The first telemetry from the JT65B beacon was received at 1918UTC on that day. Radio amateurs are encouraged to receive and report the signals. Details on how to hear the beacon can be found at http://moon.luxspace.lu/receiving-4m/
The Radio Communications Foundation is pleased to announce two new volunteer appointments that will fulfil its quality management requirements. Dave Wilson, M0OBW, is appointed RCE Quality Assurance Manager and Ian Shepherd, G4EVK, is appointed RCE Standards Manager. The full terms of reference of these new posts, which replace the former Quality Manager role, can be found on the RCF website. The RCF would like to congratulate Dave Wilson and Ian Shepherd on their appointments to these important roles. The development and assurance of robust and clear procedures are critical for the harmonious running and probity of the RCE.
Ofcom has confirmed that the callsign GB1SS will be made available for issue to UK astronauts who wish to operate from the ISS. After a gap of 24 years it looks as though two more UK astronauts may be flying to the International Space Station in 2015. In September 2015 Sarah Brightman hopes to become the second UK astronaut, flying on a 10 day mission, and Tim Peake hopes to go to the ISS in November 2015.
There’s still time to apply for a place on the RSGB’s Youth Committee. Details are on the Committees section of the RSGB website. Applicants must be under 26 years old and be Members of the Society, which includes Junior and Student Members. Applications should be sent to the General Manager via email@example.com no later than 31 October.
The ARRL has announced that the operation of E30FB from Eritrea sponsored by the Foundation for Global Children that took place from 17 to 22 September has been approved for DXCC credit.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The 24th Great Northern Hamfest takes place today, 26th October, in Barnsley Premier Leisure Complex, Queens Road, Barnsley S71 1AN or follow the brown Metrodome signs. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and special interest groups in attendance. More from Ernie, G4LUE on 07984 191 873.
The North Wales Rally will also take place today, the 26th, in Abergele Leisure Centre, Faenol Avenue, Abergele, Conwy, LL22 7HT. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Gordon, MW0GBR by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chelmsford Ideas Festival runs until 2 November. Amongst the highlights is a talk by Professor Marconi, the grandson of Marconi. Jim, 2E0RMI and Pete, M0PSX will be giving presentations in the Ideas Hub on The World of Amateur Radio from 10am-4pm on Friday 31 October.
There are no rallies taking place next weekend, the 1st and 2nd. The next rally in the calendar is on 9th November when the West London Radio and Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to email@example.com.
Now for the news of special events
GB0GMT will be on the air today, the 26th, to commemorate the start of GMT. Transmitting from Mount St Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicestershire the station will be mainly operating on 40m SSB, around 71.760MHz, and 20m.
Listen out on 1st November for K6S that will be operating from the North Bay Science Day in Santa Rosa, California. K6S plans to operate from 1700 to 2300UTC. QSL as directed on the air.
Look out for OL90OK from 1st to 15th November to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first amateur radio contact in Czech Republic, which took place on 8th November 1924.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
A team of operators from Poland will be active as VK9XSP from Christmas Island, IOTA reference OC-001, until 31st October. Operation will be on the 6 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with two to three stations on the air 24 hours a day. QSLs go via SP6EQZ.
DG1BH is operating stroke 5B from Cyprus, AS-004 and will be there until 9th November. Activity will be QRP holiday style using a FT-817 on 20m using PSK and some SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.
Olof, G0CKV will be active holiday style as 3B8HA from Mauritius Island, AF-049, until the 12th or 13th November.
5R8M will operate from Nosy Be, Madagascar, AF-057, until 3rd November. They will operate RTTY, SSB and CW on all bands with four stations around the clock, and will be active in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest as 5R8C. QSL via IK2VUC, direct or via bureau and LoTW.
George, GM0IIO will be active as 8Q7OO from the Maldives, AS-013, from 29th October to 11th November. He will operate CW and SSB on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via GM0IIO, direct only.
KG4WV and KG4DY will be active from Guantanamo Bay, NA-015, until 30th October. They will operate mainly SSB with some RTTY and PSK on all bands.
Now the contest news
The CQ Worldwide SSB contest ends its 48 hour run on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands at 2359UTC today, the 26th. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.
On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also on Tuesday, at the same time, the SHF UK activity Contest also takes place. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz band and all modes, the exchange is also signal report, serial number and locator.
The International Police Association Radio Club Contest runs from 0600 to 1000UTC and 1400 to 1800UTC on 1st November for the CW leg and 2nd November for the SSB leg. Full rules at www.iparc.de.
The 42nd Marconi Memorial VHF Contest takes place on 1st and 2nd November from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using CW only on the 2m band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 17th to Thursday the 23th of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 24th of October.
As forecast, a large complex sunspot group rotated into view at the start of the period. This is the largest sunspot group since 1989. It had produced large solar flares several days before it had rotated into view. Solar activity increased to moderate levels on most days and high on the 19th, 20th and the 22nd. In total, 11 M class and two X class solar flares took place that produced sudden ionospheric disturbances on the daylight side of the Earth and some were associated with coronal mass ejections but none, as yet, were Earth directed. Solar flux levels increased much higher than expected and increased from 146 units on the 17th to 227 by the 23rd. The 90 day solar flux average on the 23rd was 138 units, that's seven units up on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged C1 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but the increased on the 20th due to a recurring coronal hole. This disturbance lasted till late on the 22nd. The most disturbed day was the 20th with an Ap index of 26 units and the average was Ap 13 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 400 to 680 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for an increase to 23 particles per cubic centimetre on the 18th. Bz varied between minus 10 and plus 8 nanoTeslas during the disturbance. Aurora and auroral-E took place for some UK operators on the evening of 20th and there was somewhat unseasonal 6m Sporadic-E to south-east Europe on the morning of 22nd. Also, the French Guyana 6m beacon was reported into SW England on the 23rd.
Now the solar forecast for the coming week. A very large complex sunspot region is expected to remain in view till next weekend. This week solar activity is expected to be moderate to high, M class solar flares are possible on some days with a slight chance of an X class flare taking place. Solar flux levels should be around the 230's at first but then decline as the sunspot group rotates out of view. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels, however a warning, with the large sunspot group having rotated into the western solar hemisphere any coronal mass ejections stands a much better chance of heading towards Earth. If that happens then activity would increase.
It is exactly 20 years ago that Neil, G0CAS first started compiling the solar report for GB2RS and this will be his last report. He would like to thank everybody for their support during this time, the staff at RSGB HQ and the GB2RS newsreaders, Martin, G3USF for standing in while he was not available and finally to all the listeners who it is hoped found the reports interesting and informative. Neil says, “Whatever bands you work, I wish you the best of DX and best 73s.”
And that's all for this week from the propagation team. .