Sunday 28th September 2014
The news headlines:
IARU Region 1 Conference
The Future of IOTA
Lord Howe Island Dxpedition
Last week saw the 23rd International Amateur Radio Union General Conference held in Bulgaria. National societies, including the RSGB, from 45 countries covering Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Africa sent representatives to agree and coordinate activity to secure the future of amateur radio. Real progress was made at the meeting on a number of topics that are of key concern to UK radio amateurs including the need to protect our spectrum and to address the declining numbers of active radio amateurs. A full report of the proceedings of the final Plenary will be published in due course on the IARU Region 1 website at (www.iarur1.org).
The RSGB would like to congratulate Don Beattie, G3BJ who was elected IARU Region 1 President for the next three years. Don is an RSGB past president and well-known volunteer for the RSGB. Several other RSGB Members were elected into various committee positions and full details are on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org.uk
The RSGB’s Islands on the Air programme celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2014. The last fifty years has seen the programme grow to 2,500 active island chasers and approximately 15,000 more casual participants. Those close to it have been anxious to ensure the sustainability of the IOTA programme and have spent some time reviewing the challenges and opportunities it faces. As a result, a small international group of IOTA enthusiasts will be invited to bring forward proposals to ensure the future of the programme for the next 50 years and beyond. This approach has the full support of the IOTA team and has been welcomed by the wider IOTA community both at home and abroad. Search “iota future” on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org.uk for the full information.
Christian, DL1MGB reports that, in less than four weeks, VK9DLX will be QRV from Lord Howe Island. The main team will arrive on 12th October but some members are scheduled to arrive earlier so don't be surprised if you hear VK9DLX some days earlier than expected. The main focus of this advance operation will be RTTY. Further information is at www.lordhowe2014.org
The Austrian national amateur radio society is involved in the negotiations with the government telecommunications ministry, to create a new Amateur Radio Act. The negotiations will revolve around modernising that nation’s rules. This is to make it more contemporary, bring relief in the application process and also enable such concepts as remote operation. The society notes that recent experiments with remote operation proceeded without any disturbances or incidents.
The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free download from the RSGB 5MHz webpage or from http://tinyurl.com/pjhd943. It features the latest 5MHz news, plus a report on Midsummer's Day on 5MHz and BeaconSpot looks at the new Swiss 5MHz Beacon.
The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Eric Swartz, WA6HHQ from Elecraft will be joining delegates over the internet for a talk looking at the insides of the K3 and the KX3 SDR transceivers on Saturday 11th. Packages are still available from www.rsgbevents.org to book your place or you can buy day tickets on the door at the event.
Responses to the recent Ofcom consultation on WRC-15 preparation by RSGB and affiliated groups including AMSAT-UK are now available on the WRC-15 Special Focus section of the RSGB website. In addition to supporting Agenda Item 1.4 for a 5MHz allocation, the detailed responses cover amateur radio interests across several VHF and Microwave allocations. This includes amateur bands affected by other agenda items, ITU procedures for nano- and pico-satellites, and preferences for future agenda items that may be proposed for WRC-1
A public beta release of the weak signal data modes software WSJT-X, version 1.4, is planned for 1st October. In all, there are nine specific changes and improvements to the WSJT-X software in this latest release. To find out what they are send your web browser tinyurl.com/njabe49 to read the latest WSJT-X manual.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, 28th September, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held in Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £5 on a first come first served basis. Sellers have access from 8.30am and buyers from 9.30am. Entrance is £2. More information from Gerry Day on 01656 860 761.
The 5TH West Tyrone ARC Conference will be held on 4 October at the Village Inn, Killyclogher, Old Mountfield Rd, Omagh, County Tyrone BT79 7LT. There is a full lecture stream as well as trade stands and a Bring and Buy. More details from Ian, MI1CCU by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 5th October sees the Blackwood and District ARS Rally at Rougemont School, Llantarnum Hall, Malpas Rd, Newport, NP20 6QB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2 with trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Andy, MW0MWZ on01495 220 687.
Also next Sunday, the 5th, the North Wakefield Club Winter Rally takes place at Middleton Active Centre, Middleton Ring Road, LS10 4AX. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Tony on 07740 003 159.
The Fog on the Tyne Rally appears in October RadCom with the incorrect date. The rally is being held on 25 October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920 or on www.anarc.net. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.
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
Derby & District ARS will be GB2WS on the air as part of the Railways on the Air from Swanwick near Ripley, in West Shed, the home of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust over this weekend.
GB0GCR will be on the air for Railways on the Air and a Pirates and Princess weekend run at the Old Railway Station in Rothley this weekend.
GB1PCA will be on the air from 27th September for 28 days from the Swiss Valley Community Centre in South Wales to promote the awareness of Prostate Cancer in men, in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK. Activity will be mainly on 40m phone. Full QSL information on www.qrz.com
Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
DJ7RJ and DJ2CW will be operating stroke as FR from Reunion Island starting 30th September. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB with two operators on the air until October 8th but with single handed operation thereafter until 30th October. QSL via each operator’s home callsign.
PY2WAS will be operating as C6AAS from Cable Beach in the Bahamas from 4th to 8th October. This will be a holiday style operation concentrating nighttime on the 10 to 30m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via PY2WAS either direct or via the bureau.
The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo until 3rd October. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest. QSLs go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the OQRS on ClubLog.
IZ1MHY will be operational as 5H1MD from Zanzibar Island between 28th September and 10th October. Activity will be on the 6 to 20m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home call, the bureau or direct. See his listing on QRZ.com for more details.
DK5AD will be active from Nepal as 9N7AD until 4th October. His operation is holiday style on the HF bands using an Elecraft KX3 and a vertical antenna. QSL via his home callsign. For updates keep an eye on QRZ.com under DK5AD or 9N7AD
Now the contest news
There are three contests on the final weekend of the month. First is the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which runs
for 48 hours ending at 2359 today, the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone. The zone for the UK is 14.
The UK Microwave Group Cumulatives take place on today, the 28th, from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 24GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Finally, the Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest that takes place today, the 28th, has Low Power (10 watts) and Open sections. Running from 1200 to 1600UTC, scoring is 1 point per contact, multiplied by the number of Locator squares worked. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC, using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Saturday the 1.2/2.3GHz trophy contest runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Starting at 1400UTC on the 4th and running for 24 hours, the 432MHz to 248GHz contest has an exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.
The EU Sprint SSB contest runs from 1600 to 2000UTC on the 4th. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.
On Sunday the 5th the 21/28MHz contest runs from 0700 to 1900UTC. The modes are CW and SSB and the exchange is the signal report, serial number and district.
In the Oceania DX SSB contest there are sections for single-op and multi-op stations. UK stations work Oceania, that’s VK, ZL and Pacific islands, only. To encourage LF activity the points for QSOs are different on each band. Running from 0800UTC on the 4th to 0800UTC on the 5th and using the 1.8 to 29MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.
The IARU 432MHz-248GHz Contest starts at 1400UTC on the 4th and runs for 24 hours. An entry into the IARU contest will be made for you by the RSGB Contest Committee if you enter one or both of the RSGB UHF/microwave events that take place this weekend, unless you specify otherwise. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The Worked All Britain HF Phone contest takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October from 1200 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square or DXCC Entity for stations outside the UK. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 26th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley G3XKT by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 19th to Thursday the 25th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 26th of September.
Numerous sunspot regions were visible everyday, some were large and complex, but for what ever reason failed to produce any significant solar flares. Saying that, a M2 class solar flare took place on the 23rd, otherwise solar activity was at low levels with only a small number of C class solar flares taking place everyday. Solar flux levels increased from 119 units on the 20th to 158 by the 25th, the average was 134 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 25th was 134 units, that's three units up on last week. X-ray flux levels averaged B5.3 units and increased during the period to C1 by the 25th. Geomagnetic activity started at active levels due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier, the Ap index on the 19th was 22 units. Activity declined to quiet levels till the 24th when a coronal hole disturbance arrived and the Ap on the 24th was 25 units. The average was Ap 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 660 kilometres per second on the 21st to 380 by the 23rd and the 24th. Particle densities were low except for the 19th that increased to 40 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 13 and plus 16 nanoTeslas on the 19th.
Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be low but could increase to moderate levels on any day. Solar flux levels are expected to increase to around the 160's. At the start of the forecast period geomagnetic activity is expected to be at 'active' levels due to a series of positive polarity, equatorial recurring coronal holes, by midweek activity should have declined to quiet levels. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 32MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 11MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.
And that’s all from the propagation team for another week.