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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • New Ofcom website portal

  • Turkish amateur radio status

  • Prepare for IOTA next weekend

Ofcom have informed us that their new Online Licensing portal is expected to go live for their own staff usage on Sunday 24th July, with public access expected to follow on Wednesday the 27th or Thursday the 28th of July. The new system will enable the management of personal information and amateur radio licences, including club licences, in a more effective way. Visit http://tinyurl.com/gb2rs-2472 for further information.

There has been conflicting reports over the state of amateur radio licenses in Turkey. Early reports indicated that the airwaves had gone silent after Turkish President had revoked 3,213 amateur licenses along with those of more than 20 TV and radio broadcasters. Then it was reported that restrictions against radio and TV operations had not yet affected that nation’s amateur licensees. Tevfik ,TA1HZ, reported to us in an email on the 21st that, as of then, there was no curfew imposed on amateur radio in Turkey. The country is now under extraordinary circumstances law but the Communications Authority has not released any announcement about amateur radio restrictions.

The flagship RSGB HF event of the month is the IOTA Contest, which takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 30th to 31st July. Everyone who lives anywhere in the British Isles lives on an island, so everyone will be in demand that weekend. Exchange a signal report, serial number and your IOTA reference. Mainland Britain is EU-005, mainland Ireland is EU-115, while smaller islands have differing references. A full list of islands can be found at www.rsgbiota.org and details of the contest itself are at www.rsgbcc.org/hf/iotahelp.shtml. For those interested in finding out which islands are going to be activated by DXpeditions, a visit to NG3K’s website at www.ng3k.com/misc/iota2016.html will put you in the picture.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. This year, delegates can learn more about aurora with Paul Whiting, G4YQC. Not only is the aurora a magnificent sight and a strange propagation mode it is also a major RF radiator. Paul will talk about what this phenomenon is, its causes and how to look and listen out for it. For more information on this year’s Convention, go to www.rsgb.org/convention

The keynote lectures and presentations from Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016 are available from the Documentary Archive Radio Communications. Go to www.dokufunk.org and click on the Lecture Room icon.

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford will hear presentations from Peter, DB2OS and Achim, DH2VA on the new geostationary amateur radio satellite transponders due to launch in 2017. The two transponders will provide CW, SSB and digital amateur TV communications between 5 continents. The event on the weekend of 30-31 July is open to all. Thanks to volunteers from the BATC the presentations will also be streamed live. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

A new radio club has been formed in Poland, located in one of the schools in Rzeszow. It has all been made possible by a number of radio amateurs from nearby clubs. The club call is SQ8POP, which is held by Piotr, SP8MRD, so keep your ears open for this call – the school looks forward to working you.

The August RadCom contains details of a new propagation prediction tool from the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee. The first stage can be seen working at www.rsgb.org/iturhfprop/ and the PSC is keen to develop it further. Unfortunately, the initial developer can no longer devote any more time to the project. Consequently, the RSGB PSC is looking for an experienced programmer with Python skills, plus a good working knowledge of Linux and web servers, to develop the next phase of the online HF propagation prediction software on a voluntary basis. If you can help please contact Gwyn, G4FKH via email to g4fkh@sky.com.

The first meteor scatter QSO from OE2YOTA, the Youngster on the Air station in Austria has been made and confirmed. RSGB VHF Manager John, G4SWX made the contact on the 16th of July at 1217UTC on 144.360MHz. The youngsters from other countries in IARU Region 1 as well as one team from the US will be on their way home by the time of this news broadcast and we look forward to hearing more about their week.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The Finningley ARS Annual Rally will be held today, the 24th of July, at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There will be a talk in station and doors open at 10.30am, with admittance £3. The venue is all on one level. Car parking is free. There is a large indoor and outdoor trader’s area with major traders, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There will be a flea market. Hot food and drinks will be available all day. More information from Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

The Horncastle Summer Rally takes place on the 31st of July at Horncastle Youth Centre, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. The venue is all on one level. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be refreshments available, including hot bacon butties. Details from Tony Nightingale, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

A group of operators will put DR0F on the air from the island of Neuwerk, EU-127 from the 28th of July to the 1st of August, which includes the IOTA Contest. QSL via the bureau to DM4DL.

A large group of operators will be active from Yijiangshan Island, IOTA AS-141, from the 26th of July to the 1st of August. They will sign B5/homecall and plan to operate SSB, CW and digi modes with two stations on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via home callsigns. The group will participate in the IOTA Contest as B5C, QSL via BA4TB.

The Chilean DXpedition Team will be active as XR1T from Santa Maria Island, SA-069, from the 28th of July to the 1st of August, IOTA Contest included. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on all bands. QSL via CE3OP, direct or bureau using OQRS.

Janez, S53V will be on the air as 9A8CV from Krk Island, IOTA EU-136, from the 24th of July to the 3rd of August. This includes an entry in the RSGB IOTA contest. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Take, JG8NQJ is on the air as JG8NQJ/JD1 from Marcus Island for a couple of months while there to service the weather station. Activity is in his spare time on 20, 15, 10 and 6 metres using CW and RTTY. QSL direct to JA8CJY.

Now the special event news

GB2SW will be on the air for Skiffie Worlds, the World Rowing Championships, between the 24th and the 30th of July. They will be operating from Delamont Country Park, Downpatrick Rd, Killyleagh, Co Down BT30 9TZ. The station will be on air using multiple modes and bands, operated by a number of amateurs from across the UK.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, Roker, Sunderland today, the 24th of July, for the Sunderland International Air Show. Operations will be on HF, VHF and UHF using the call sign GB4SAS and all are welcome.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX for Airfields on the Air on the 31st of July from 10am to 4pm from RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW.

Several special event stations are poised to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Poland. His Holiness will be in Poland from the 27th to the 31st of July. Special event call signs will include HF0F in Kraków, as well as HF31WYD, HF2SDM, and HF7SDM.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on all bands 2.3GHz and up, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 31st the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to 1800. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, seral number and locator.

Next weekend is the big IOTA Contest, running from 1200UTC on the 30th to 1200UTC on the 31st. It’s CW and SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 22nd July.

There was plenty of solar action this week. The solar flux index climbed to 108 on Thursday thanks to a slew of sunspots. Plus we had incoming plasma from a coronal mass ejection that sent the K index up to five for nine hours in the early hours of Wednesday 20th. There have also been some M- and C-class solar flares to keep us on our toes.

Unfortunately, due to the time of year the increased solar flux didn’t really create enhanced HF propagation, with maximum useable frequencies still languishing around the 15MHz mark.

There has, however, been widespread Sporadic-E over the UK, which has helped short-skip contacts, even on forty metres, at a time when the F layer critical frequency was only around 5MHz.

NOAA is predicting that the solar flux index will decline from around 90 at the start of next week to 70 by the end. This is presuming that new sunspots don’t appear.

Geomagnetic conditions will remain slightly unsettled with a K index of two or three.

Our tip for best propagation this week is to wait until mid to late evening. By this time the harsh summer D layer absorption will be declining, leaving the 20m and possibly 17m bands open to DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking like a week of high pressure nearby in the south, but it will be fairly weak and likely to weaken further after midweek.

Any Tropo is more likely early in the week, especially down to the south across Biscay towards Spain and Portugal and on towards the Canaries.

The North is likely to be under the influence of low pressure, with showery weather likely to bring some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands and probably in the south later in the week as the high declines.

Sporadic-E is still prevalent well into August, so plenty of time to check out activity on 10m, 6m, 4m and 2m for those fleeting QSOs with stations in Europe, or beyond.

However, Sporadic-E does fare better when there are active jet streams over Europe, and the next week is not quite so well blessed, with most of the activity being over Britain and Scandinavia; perhaps a bit too close for maximum benefit.

Moon declination goes positive again on Sunday so lengthening moon windows added to perigee and lowest path loss on Wednesday means a good week for EME.

The 28th and 29th of July brings the Delta Aquarids meteor shower, which lacks a sharp peak and favours the Southern Hemisphere and tropical latitudes in the North. Look for some meteor rate enhancements an hour or two before dawn.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Latest Convention news

  • National Hamfest attractions

  • New CISPR/H committee chair

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. One of the talks from last year is now available for Members to view via the RSGB website It’s called what makes the pings go ping? – a deeper understanding of meteor scatter by John Worsnop, G4BAO, who looks at the principles behind meteor scatter. He covers everything from the formation and types of meteor trails to the effect of operating frequency and of path geometry, including the antenna and its environment as well as receiver performance. To view this very interesting talk, go to www.rsgb.org/ping-talk and for more information on this year’s Convention, go to www.rsgb.org/convention

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on the 30th of September and 1st of October. This year the flea market has been redesigned providing low cost table space for selling your personal excess equipment and junk. If you do not wish to sell items yourself then the large Bring & Buy stand will look after the sale for a small commission. It will be open from 0930 each day, located in the marquee immediately outside the George Stephenson Hall. For fast track entrance tickets or flea market bookings, please visit www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The German national Society, DARC, has reported that Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE has been elected as Chair of the CISPR/H committee. CISPR is International Special Committee on Radio Interference.

The RSGB is looking for a new Company Secretary. This is a key role in the Society’s governance regime and provides important support in the running of Board meetings and Annual General Meetings. The main duties of the post are set out in the Society’s Articles of Association, and detailed Terms of Reference are available from the General Manager by email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk Applications should be in by the 31st of August.

The RSGB Board Chair, Steve Hartley, G0FUW, will address the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford on the 31st of July. He will give an insight into the RSGB support given to the schools involved in the Principia ARISS contacts and how the Society plans to build on those successes. He will also outline the Schools Link project, which aims to show schools how they can use amateur radio to deliver ‘core’ science in a practical way to enrich the learning experience, and in the process hopefully generate some new radio amateurs, and maybe radio communication engineers. Further information is available at http://amsat-uk.org/

Youngsters on the Air 2016 is taking place in Austria all next week. Over 100 youngsters from 30 IARU member societies, including a team from the USA, will be having a lot of fun with amateur radio. There will be many workshops, optimising their skills in electronics and contesting and well as making new international friends. On Monday at 1025UTC there will even be a telebridge ARISS contact with astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. OE2YOTA will be on air on most bands in several modes, so give these young people a call.

The organisers of the Weston Super Mare Rally on the 18th of September would like to ask all those traders and clubs who had planned to attend the rally, including those with bookings already to please contact Dave, G4CXQ on 07871 034 206 or by e mail to g4cxq@btinternet.com The original organiser has been taken ill abroad and the relevant files are unavailable at this time.

The construction of the Codebreakers' Wall surrounding Hut 8 at Bletchley Park has been finished. The wall is a re-creation of the original wartime blast wall. You can sponsor a brick to be engraved with the name of a Veteran, with your name or in memory of a loved one. The Codebreakers' Wall will be a memorial that will last for generations at Bletchley Park and the money raised will help to complete the transformation of this historic place. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ and click on ‘support us’

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 17th of July, the McMichael Radio Rally takes place at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane B4446, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. The venue has free car parking and a talk-in station will be on air. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar are available on site. A raffle will take place on the day. Details from Min Standen, on 0771 577 1665.

The Cambridge & District Surplus Sale takes place at Coleridge Community College, Radegund Road, Cambridge CB1 3RJ from 7.30pm on the 22nd of July. All are welcome to buy or sell amateur radio related equipment. Contact Ian, M0HTA, on 0744 304 6045.

The Finningley ARS Annual Rally will be held on the 24th of July at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There will be a talk in station and doors open at 10.30am, with admittance £3. The venue is all on one level. Car parking is free. There is a large indoor and outdoor trader’s area with major traders, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There will be a flea market. Hot food and drinks will be available all day. More information from Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Martinez, HK3Y will sign 5J0Y from San Andres Island from 18th to 23rd July. This one counts as NA-033 for the Islands on the Air Award.

Braam, 3DA0AY has been active recently from Piggs Peak, Swaziland. It is expected he will remain there until the 25th of July. QSLs go via his home call ZS6AYE.

Stu, VK4SDD will be active as 9A/VK4SDD from Pasman Island, EU-170 until the 22nd of July. QSL via home call, direct only.

Clemente, HK3Y will be active as 5J0Y from San Andres Island, NA-033, from the 18th to the 23rd of July. QSL to HK3Y at the address given on qrz.com

Tom, KC0W will be on the air from Tuvalu between the 21st of July to the 18th of August. He operates CW only on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL direct only to KC0W and logsearch on Club Log. He does not use Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

Today, the 17th, Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is operating GB100NWA for North Weald Airfield Community Day, celebrating the airfield’s 100th anniversary.

Also on the 17th, Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB1AVR from the Ackworth Steam Spectacular & Vintage vehicles event.

A special event station will be on the air for Skiffie Worlds, the World Rowing Championships between the 24th and the 30th of July. They will be operating from Delamont Country park, Downpatrick Rd, Killyleagh, Co Down BT30 9TZ.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, Roker, Sunderland on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July for the Sunderland International Air Show. Operations will be on HF VHF and UHF using the call sign GB4SAS and all are welcome.

Now the contest news

This weekend, there are several contests taking place.

Today, the 17th, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC, using CW on the 3.5 to 7MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

The UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC using all bands from 24 to 248GHz. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the 17th, the 70MHz trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on 4m the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Tuesday the UHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. This is the data leg and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 15th July.

We got the HF prediction half right last week. We forecast the unsettled geomagnetic conditions that struck us on Tuesday, but NOAA got the week’s solar flux index prediction totally wrong. Prior to last Friday the sun had been almost completely spotless, but a new crop of sunspots broke out, pumping the SFI from the mid 70s to the high 90s. This was enough to wake up the higher HF bands, with DX being workable at times on 15 and 10 metres during the IARU HF World Championship last weekend.

Looking forward, sunspot 2565 looks well established and should help keep the SFI higher. The US Air Force predicts the SFI will start the week at about 92 and tail off to 77 by Friday. If that is the case HF DX might be more easily workable this weekend and earlier in the week.

Solar flare activity from sunspot 2565 may be possible and could lead to relatively short-lived HF disruptions at times.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be reasonably settled early in the week, with perhaps more unsettled conditions some time between Tuesday to Thursday due to solar coronal hole activity.

Sporadic E activity could also bring short-skip conditions from 20 to 10 metres at times, but more of that later.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

July is still in the midst of the Sporadic E season so that’s probably the best exotic mode to seek out again during the coming week. Look during late morning and early evening to save wasted effort, while checking beacons and clusters for a heads-up on what’s happening.

The RSGB forum propagation section contains a daily blog on the location of jet streams, which might be instrumental in forming Sporadic E. This can give an early indication of prospects and which direction might be best. There's still a little time before the season ends to get a few more locator squares in the log.

The prospects for tropospheric propagation are a little above average at first with high pressure nearby over southern Britain this weekend, but expect it to decline early in the week. Tropo paths in summer tend to favour sea paths and any paths over land are best overnight until just after dawn, when heating will break down any inversion. Once the high breaks down, the more unsettled weather pattern will give options for some rain scatter on the GHz bands from mid-week onwards.

The moon is at its lowest declination today and losses are high all week, so the Moon will be low in the sky and only visible for a few hours.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Support GR2HQ in IARU contest

  • QRZ founder visits UK

  • New 47GHz record set

This weekend, station GR2HQ will be active in the IARU HF Championship from 1200UTC on the 9th until 1200UTC on the 10th, providing the RSGB HQ multiplier for the UK. This will probably be last time Ofcom issues the GR prefix so they hope to work as many stations as possible. The GR2HQ team are located up and down the UK, with awards available. A tip to find the other slots is to locate the 80m SSB station and ask them the frequencies of the other bands and modes. More details about the organisation and setup is available in the July 2016 edition of RadCom. If you are interested in getting involved in 2017 contact Mike, G7TWC.

Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ, President and Founder of QRZ.com is visiting London on the 15th of July. He will be the guest speaker at Havering & District ARC held at The Spring House Club, Springhouse Road, Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope SS17 7QT. The talk will begin at 7.30pm sharp so please arrive early. For more details contact g4hrc@haveringradioclub.co.uk or look at the club’s website www.haveringradioclub.co.uk

A new distance record was set on 47GHz between Whiteface Mountain in New York at FN34bi and on Mont Tremblant in Quebec at FN26rf. The distance was calculated at 215km, that’s 133.3 miles, a new US-Canada record on the band. Congratulations to N1JEZ, KT1J, VE2UG and VE3FN.

The number of instances of interference from VDSL has increased over the last couple of years in the UK. To help amateurs to detect interference from VDSL the RSGB has drawn up a leaflet, the 15th in a series of EMC leaflets that the RSGB EMC Committee has produced. The leaflet has been uploaded to www.iaru-r1.org/ by G4JKS and is freely available to all. Just search that site for VDSL.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Two of the very different talks you can expect are Restoring Old Radio Sets by Philip Lawson, G4FCL and Making the Tim Peake Contacts A Reality with Graham Shirville & Noel Matthews. Philip will give a taster as to what is involved in restoring an old radio set from electrical and mechanical repairs through to testing and restoring the cabinet. Graham and Noel will explain the organisation required to provide the VHF ground station equipment needed at each of the ten schools and how it was only part of the challenge. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

The annual Night of Nights event starts at 0001UTC on the 13th of July. In this event, historic maritime CW stations such as KPH, WLO and Coast Guard stations such as NMC return from the dead for a few hours. It’s sponsored by the Maritime Radio Historical Society based in the USA. Two amateur stations, K6KPH and W4WLO will also be on the air using CW. QSLs will be available for working various stations. For more details put Maritime Radio Historical Society in to your favourite search engine.

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on the 30th of September and 1st of October. This year there will be several international attendees including LUSO Towers, Mastrant guying ropes, Powertech Computers and Tecadi with his pole and rope solutions. Several of the UK exhibitors have even increased their stand sizes to accommodate their increasing product lines. For advance entrance tickets that give you fast track entry to the event, or flea market bookings and club stand requests, please visit www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

In an Andorran government resolution dated the 16th of June, Andorra returns to 60m with the allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. CW and USB is permitted, with a maximum bandwidth of 5kHz. There is also a new 4m allocation of 70.0 to 70.2MHz, on a non-interference basis, with a maximum power of 10W. All modes are permitted and users must abide by the IARU Region 1 band plan. Finally, a power increase has been granted on 6m, now up to a maximum of 600W.

Churches and Chapels on the Air will take place on Saturday the 10th of September. If you or your club intend to put a station on please register that station with John, G3XYF, by email, to g3xyf@btconnect.com. A full list of registered participants can be found at www.wacral.org/CHOTA.htm

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 10th of July, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place from 10.30am to 5pm, with admittance costing £2. The venue is Penair School, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TN. There is plenty of car parking and the venue also has disabled facilities. There will be a bring-and-buy sale, an RSGB bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Details from Ken Tarry, G0FIC on 01209 821073.

The McMichael Radio Rally takes place on the 17th of July at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane B4446, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. The venue has free car parking and a talk-in station will be on air. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar are available on site. A raffle will take place on the day. Details from Min Standen, on 0771 577 1665.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Antonio, EA5RM will be active as CP1XRM from Bolivia until early August. He will be on the HF bands running 100W to a vertical and using solar power. QSL to his home call.

Anna, W6NN and Rich, KE1B will be on the air as 8P6NN and 8P6MM from Barbados, respectively, until the 21st of July. Barbados is IOTA reference NA-021. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL both calls via KE1B.

OZ1DJJ will operate as OX3LX from Greenland until the 15th of July. Initially he will be on the air from Tasiilaq Island, NA-151. This is not a DXpedition and he will be on the air when possible outside his working hours. His QSL manager is OZ1PIF.

Yan, RZ3FW and Sergey, R4WAA will be on the air as JT5FW from the 11th to the 19th of July from Mongolia. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via RZ3FW.

Mikhail, RA1ALA will be on the air as RA1ALA/0 from Kuril Island, IOTA AS-025, until the 18th of July. Activity will be on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. QSL to his home call.

Now the special event news

Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is operating GB0IS for Theydon Bois Donkey Derby today. Next Sunday they will be working as GB100NWA for North Weald Airfield Community Day, celebrating the airfield’s 100th anniversary.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is putting GB4BLC on the air on Tuesday for Bramcote Open Day at Gamecock Barracks.

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB1AVR from the Ackworth Steam Spectacular & Vintage vehicles event on the 16th and 17th of July.

Now the contest news

This weekend, the IARU HF championships ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 10th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which for the UK is 27. The UK has an HQ team entering, GR2HQ, and you can help by working them on as many bands as possible. You can ask any of the GR2HQ stations for the frequencies of the other stations, as they can all see on their logging software where the other stations are transmitting.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

There are several contests taking place next weekend on the 17th. The Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC, using CW on the 3.5 to 7MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power. The UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC using all bands from 24 to 248GHz. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Finally, the 70MHz trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on 4m the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 8th July.

We got the forecast for last weekend about right. Plasma from a coronal hole hit the Earth late on Saturday, pushing the K index to four. The solar flux index, however, has remained doggedly in the 70s. DX has been possible on HF though. After a request for information last week Peter, M0RYB said he was pleased to work TR3SA in Gabon on 20 metres on Saturday at 1824Z. He also worked a station in Brazil on 20m.

This week should see the solar flux index remain in the mid 70s as the only visible sunspot on the solar surface rotates away to the south east. A small coronal hole on the sun's equator is rotating into a geo-effective position about now, which may mean a geomagnetic storm could hit early next week, perhaps Monday or Tuesday. This may see the K index rise to four with the corresponding noisy bands, lower maximum usable frequencies and poor polar paths.

Sporadic-E continues to give some respite on the higher HF bands. But outside of this the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path is struggling to hit 18MHz, with 14MHz being more reliable. The Chilton Digisonde suggests 20m may remain open through the night at times, but 10MHz may be a better option.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like another week with low pressure, rather than high pressure, on the charts. This will again suggest that there could be some rain scatter options for the GHz bands. The latter part of the week does hint that at a ridge of high pressure temporarily close to southern Britain could offer a small chance of some weak Tropo into northern France.

There should still be some Sporadic-E to liven things up and, since we are seeing such unsettled weather continuing, it suggests that jet stream activity will be on offer again. This is good since these are the sources of the gravity waves or turbulence that can propagate upwards to the E region to help form Sporadic-E. Most of the time the main jet stream zone will be across the Atlantic into the UK and northern Europe, which favours paths to the Baltic, Poland or Scandinavia, with a later in the day option to North America.

The Moon’s declination goes negative today, with consequent shorter moon windows from early afternoon to late evening. Losses are high, with apogee occurring on Tuesday.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Rupert Thorogood, G3KKT, SK

  • New RSGB Microwave Manager

  • Schools Link project starts

We start with the unexpected and sad news that Rupert Thorogood, G3KKT, became a Silent Key last weekend. Among many other achievements he was Company Secretary of the RSGB from 2006 until his death. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. There is the opportunity to sit the Foundation and Intermediate exams on Saturday the 8th, and the Advanced exam on Sunday the 9th. To enrol as a candidate, please contact the RSGB exams department via email to exams@rsgb.org.uk or phone 01234 832 717. Those sitting the Foundation or Intermediate exam will need to have completed the Practical Assessment before the Convention. Amongst the wide range of activities over the Convention weekend, Dave, G4HUP will be presenting a new SMD project aimed at beginners in this technology. The presentation will introduce and explain the project, as well as the techniques and tools needed to construct it. This will be followed during the day by a number of workshop sessions with full construction support. Registration details for the workshop sessions will be provided closer to the event, online at www.rsgb.org/convention

The RSGB Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Barry Lewis, G4SJH to the position of Microwave Manager. Barry brings considerable experience to the role from homebrew and contesting to regulatory affairs. He succeeds the Murray Niman, G6JYB, who had been covering the role since his appointment to Chair of the Spectrum Forum. The RSGB Board would like to thank him for his efforts on behalf of radio amateurs.

Now that the Tim Peake school contacts have finished, you might be thinking that it is all over. As far as the RSGB is concerned, this is just the beginning of another big project. The RSGB has set up the Schools Link Project to work initially with the ten ARISS contact schools to develop wireless-related science and its technologies into activities for use in everyday teaching. Ian, G3YNU is leading the project. Some schools have already set up amateur radio clubs as a result of pupils getting their Foundation Licence to lead the ARISS contacts. Others are being very active with their local clubs and are looking for ways in which to include amateur radio activities into their busy schedules, or are running Foundation courses for other pupils. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Ian via email to schools.link@rsgb.org.uk

As we announced last week, GB2RS newsreader Peter Robinson, G8MSQ passed away last week. His funeral will take place on the 5th of July at Kingswood Chapel, Worthing Crematorium, Horsham Road, Findon, Worthing, BN14 0RG at 12.20pm. If you plan to attend please email g4gnx@theatreorgans.co.uk

Chris Smith is a cub leader in Dronfield, Derbyshire at the 5th Dronfield Hilltop Troop. He is trying to find out if there is a local radio amateur who might be interested in setting up and running a JOTA station over the weekend of the 14th to the 16th of October. If you are interested, please contact Region 13 Manager Jim Stevenson, G0EJQ, via email to rm13@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Board has agreed to co-opt a new Regional Manager for South Wales, Region 7. Glyn Jones, GW0ANA has been appointed as Regional Manager for Region 7 and the Board would like to thank him for stepping forward. The post will become due for election at the 2017 RSGB AGM.

This year’s AMSAT-UK Colloquium takes place at the Holiday Inn in Guildford on the 29th to the 31st of July. A full programme of presentations, covering all aspects of the amateur satellite world has been developed for the Saturday and Sunday and a Beginners Session is scheduled for the Friday afternoon. There will be a session on how to develop software receivers using GNU radio, reviews of the Tim Peake ARISS contacts and the educational results achieved, information about a new 76GHz satellite project, a review of how to operate in the field and lots more. Libby Jackson, from the UK Space Agency, with whom the ARISS UK team worked closely during the Tim Peake mission, will be speaking during the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening. More details online at https://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

Radio amateurs in the south of England are asked to look out for schools and youth groups taking part in the Boscombe Down Balloon Challenge and to provide any help and encouragement that they can. The Challenge invites teams of budding engineers and scientists to compete for three £1000 prizes. Entrants will launch their own high-altitude balloon that will carry a radio telemetry payload operating in the licence-free portion of the 434MHz band. This is a great opportunity to promote Science Technology Engineering and Maths, but many would-be competitors will lack the radio communications know-how that most licensed amateurs take for granted. Any offers of help in this area are likely to be most welcome. This is also a very good opportunity to show off amateur radio to young people. Full details of the Balloon Challenge can be found at www.bdballoonchallenge.org/ and Competition flights can take place at any time up to and including 31 December 2016.

The ARRL reports the US Geological Survey has posted a presentation entitled Challenges and Lessons Learned during Gorkha Earthquake of 2015, which focuses on amateur radio’s role in the 2015 Nepal earthquake response. You can view the presentation at tinyurl.com/usgs-nepal

Two long-serving volunteers in IARU Region 1 were recognised for their work for IARU at the Friedrichshafen HamRadio event last week. Christian Verholt, OZ8CY, former Chair of the EMC Working Group and former EMC Advisor to the IARU International Secretariat, was awarded the IARU President's Diamond Award by Tim Ellam, VE6SH, IARU President, and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, IARU Vice-President. The award is a new reward to recognise exceptional volunteer contribution over many years. Christian was also awarded the Region 1 Medal by Region 1 President Don Beattie in recognition of his work on EMC matters in the Region for more than 20 years. Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM, was awarded the Region 1 Medal by IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, to recognise his ongoing exceptional leadership of the successful IARU monitoring system. Congratulations to both for their commitment to the work of IARU.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 3rd of July, the 20th Red Rose QRP Festival will take place at its new venue, The Rose Centre, Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. The venue has easy access from all directions via the M6, M61, M60 or A580. There is free car parking and the spacious halls are at ground level, with disabled facilities. Doors are open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, clubs stands and special interest groups as well as an RSGB bookstall. There will also be a Bring & Buy. A licensed bar and refreshments are available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

Today, the 3rd, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally takes place at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. It opens at 9am with talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, bring and buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2, with under 16s free.

The Stockport Radio Society Rally takes place on Saturday the 9th of July at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6QS. There will be a talk-in station on the air for help with directions. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Highlights will include trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site and a raffle will take place during the day. Other information available from Nigel Roscoe, G0RXA on 0745 090 4422.

On the 10th of July, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place from 10.30am to 5pm, with admittance costing £2. The venue is Penair School, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TN. There is plenty of car parking and the venue also has disabled facilities. There will be a bring-and-buy sale, an RSGB bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Details from Ken Tarry, G0FIC on 01209 821073.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Dan, HR2DMR will be active from Swan Island for several weeks as HQ8S. This counts as NA-035 for IOTA.

Rafael, NN3RP will operate holiday style from Nicaragua until the 22nd of July. He is using the callsign YN2RP and is active on the 10 to 40m bands. QSLs go via NN3RP, and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Bruce, 3W3B will make a return visit to Laos until the 12th of July. He will operate on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and RTTY with the callsign XW4XR. QSLs go via E21EIC.

A group of six operators from the United Arab Emirates will sign S79V from Mahe, AF-024, in the Seychelles until the 10th of July. They will operate on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB, CW and PSK. The QSL Manager is IZ8CLM.

Bill, ON5JE is on the air as 4O1/ON5JE until the 20th of July from Montenegro. Activity is on 40 and 20 meters. QSL to his home callsign.

Antonio, EA5RM is QRV as CP1XRM from Bolivia until the 3rd of August while working on a project there. Activity is on the HF bands in his spare time. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

GB0APS will be on the air today, the 3rd, from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active today for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Grey Point Fort Military Vehicle Rally Somme Centenary Commemorations take place today, the 3rd, from 10am to 5pm at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helens Bay, Crawfordsburn BT19 1LD. The two Naval guns will be fired at 1pm. There will be military vehicles and displays on site with stations GN0URN and GB0GPF on air.

Now the contest news

VHD NFD ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 3rd, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championship takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, on the 9th and 10th, the IARU HF championships takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which for the UK is 27. The UK has an HQ team entering, GR2HQ, and you can help by working them on as many bands as possible. You can ask any of the GR2HQ stations for the frequencies of the other stations, as they can all see on the logging software where the other stations are transmitting.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 1st July.

The Sun has had another virtually spotless week with the solar flux index keeping stubbornly below 80. As we said last week, this is getting close to the kind of figures we expect to see at sunspot minimum, such as when the SFI touched 64 in June 2007. Geomagnetically, things were a little more settled than previous weeks with the K index generally being two or three.

On Thursday a large coronal hole had rotated into a central position on the Sun, suggesting its plasma output could become geo-effective. If correct we could expect the K index to soar this weekend, with the chance of visible aurora.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 80-82 over the next seven days. Other than the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend, the rest of the week looks like it could be better.

The Chilton Digisonde plots show the noon critical frequency as just below 5MHz on Wednesday, giving a predicted maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 17.8MHz. If you want to work DX via the F2 layer you may need to stay on 14MHz/20 metres during daytime. However, Sporadic-E should still give strong short-skip conditions at times on the HF bands from 20 metres upwards. Meanwhile, if you do work any decent DX on HF please tell Steve, G0KYA via email to G0KYA@QSL.net.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The first hour of the GHz Bands UKAC last Monday brought some rain scatter propagation and the unsettled weather this coming week means more showers will be around again. This is likely to give more rain scatter for the GHz bands.

However, the main DX mode, Tropo, needs areas of high pressure to succeed and the next week does seem dominated by low pressure for much of the time. Only at the very end of the week may we see a ridge from the Azores high move across southern Britain. This could give some limited Tropo paths in the south and down across Biscay towards northern Spain.

The DX mode of choice at this time of year is still Sporadic-E, and recent events have confirmed the season is still in full progress. With recent openings to Spain on 2m, all the traditional VHF bands are in play from 10m up to 2m. The position of the jet streams are again likely to favour paths to southeast Europe round to Spain. If your shack time is limited, a good choice for Sporadic-E activity is late morning and early evening.

The Moon declination is positive, but the moon’s orbit is taking it further out, meaning losses will rise towards the end of the week.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RSNEWS

Sunday26th June 2016

Thenews headlines:

  • Training and Assessment Guide on website

  • ISS amateurs return to Earth

  • Listen on 17.2kHz for SAQ

The amateur radio Training and Assessment Guide is now available on the RSGB website. This series of documents describes the procedures that are to be followed for the provision of training and assessment as part of the RSGB scheme for people to become eligible for a UK Amateur Radio Licence.

Three radio amateurs who had been on board the International Space Station for a little more than six months have landed safely back on Earth, touching down in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz transporter. Tim Kopra, KE5UDN; Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS, and Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, undocked from the space station early on the 18th of June after spending 186 days in space since arriving at the ISS in December. Kopra has now logged 244 days in space on two flights, while Peake,on his first mission, spent 186 days outside the atmosphere. Wrappingup his sixth mission, Malenchenko has now spent a cumulative total of 828 days in space, making him second on the all-time list behind Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, RN3DT.

The annual transmission on Alexanderson Day with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2kHz with the callsign SAQ will take place Sunday the 3rd of July at 0900UTC. Tuning up will start after 0830UTC. The process will be repeated at 1200UTC, with tuning up starting after 1130UTC. An amateur radio station with the callsign SK6SAQ will be active on 7.035MHz, 14.035MHz or 21.035MHz CW or 3.755MHz SSB. Two stations will be on the air most of the time. QSL reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ can be sent via email to info@alexander.n.se

American amateurs will have to continue renewing their licenses on a regular basis, after a petition for ‘lifetime’ licenses was denied. Last November Mark Krotz, N7MK, requested a change of the rules and the decision was announced on the 21st of June.

The VP8STI DXpedition video has been uploaded to the Intrepid DX Group's Vimeo.com page, see https://vimeo.com/intrepiddxgroup. Mike McGirr, K9AJ was an operator and the team doctor on the DXpedition to SouthGeorgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year and he will be speaking about the DXpedition at this year’s RSGB Convention in October. See www.rsgb.org/convention for more details.

Andnow for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 26th of June, sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

Next Saturday, the 2nd of July, the Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society Rally will be held at Donaghadee Community Centre, Manor Street, Donaghadee, County Down BT21 0HB. The venue is just 100 metres from the harbour, and car parking is available. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There is a talk on Practical Outdoor Weatherproofing by Ian White, GM3SEK as well as trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Special interest groups will be in attendance. A raffle will be held on the day. Details from Harry on 0289 142 2762.

On Sunday the 3rd of July, the 20th Red Rose QRP Festival will takeplace at The Rose Centre, Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. The venue has easy access from all directions via the M6, M61, M60 or A580. There is free car parking and the spacious halls are at ground level with disabled facilities. Doors are open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, clubs stands and special interest groups as well as an RSGB bookstall. There will also be a Bring & Buy. A licensed bar and refreshments are available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

Also on the 3rd, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. It opens at 9am with Talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, bring and buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2 with under 16s free.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Dave, FJ/W9DR and Tom, FJ/W9AEB will be operating from Saint Barthelemy Island, NA-146, until the 29th of June. Dave is on 6 metres only, doing CW/SSB with a 6m Beacon, and Tom is working on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as D44TWO from Sao Tiago, AF-005, in the Cape Verde Islands. He is expected to be there until the 13th of July. He will operate SSB, CW and digital modes on the 6 to 40m bands. His QSL manager is M0OXO.

Steve, NY3B will be active holiday style as J6/NY3B from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 4th of July. He will operate CW and SSB mostly on 40, 20 and 15 metres. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Naoki, JS3LSQ will be active as T88WJ from Koror, Palau, OC-009, until the 29th of June. He will operate mainly RTTY. QSL via JS3LSQ, direct or bureau.

Now the special event news

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road,Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Bush valley ARC will be on the air from Ballymoney Show Grounds from the 27th ofJune until the 2nd of July to commemorate the battle of the Somme. The club will use GB100BOS. Club members from other clubs are welcome to join Bush valley in this memorable occasion.

Now the contest news

Today, the 26th, the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also today is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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 the SHF UK Activity Contest runs form1900 to 2130UTC. Using All modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, for 24 hours over the 2nd and 3rd of July, VHD NFD takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 3rd, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 24th June.

Once again the sun looks pretty spotless, apart from one tiny smudge. As a result, this week saw the solar flux index drop below 80. We're beginning to sound like a stuck record, but ongoing coronal hole activity pushed the K index to five on Wednesday 22nd. No isyelectrical storms across most of Northern Europe didn’t help the bands either.

Next week the USAF predicts the solar flux index will be in the range70-80, with the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of July. As the solar flux index at sunspot minimum doesn’t fall below about 66, this gives you some idea of the current state of the sun.

As it is mid-summer we can’t expect fantastic HF conditions either, with lower maximum usable frequencies during the day, compared with the autumn and winter, but higher MUFs at night.

If you want a challenge, try listening for the Alexanderson alternator at station SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden on 17.2kHz CW at 0900 and 1200UTC on Sunday 3rd July. The Twente SDR on the web can cover 17.2kHz, or you can hook an antenna up to your sound card and use some specialist software. Amateur station SK6SAQ will also be active on 80m SSB and 40, 20 and 15m CW during the day.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E may be poorer next week as the main Atlantic jet stream activity has already migrated north, leaving much of central Europe under a much slacker pattern. The absence of active jet streams over Europe probably means that one of the main Sporadic-E triggers, gravity waves, may be missing or reduced. These waves propagate up from the turbulence of the jet stream at 12km height to the E region at 120km.

This absence will make Sporadic-E hard to come by except perhaps for the more northern paths across to Scandinavia where the jet stream may be slightly more active.

Next week we will find a big high with a very large east-west extent just north of the Azores and covering much of the Atlantic. This could give some interesting Tropo paths down the western side of Europe from the UK to Spain and Portugal and onwards to the Canaries or Cape Verde.

It may also be a tempting week for those seeking the more unlikely options of trans-Atlantic Tropo. This is very much a long shot, since there are fronts involved which can easily break any ducts.

Moon declination goes positive on Monday and losses are falling with perigee on Friday, so EME conditions will improve as the week progresses.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • GB3UHF now live

  • US Field Day MW & LW

  • National Women in Engineering day

New 70cm beacon GB3UHF went on the air on Wednesday the 15th of June. It is located at the same site as its sister beacon, GB3VHF, at BT Fairseat in Kent, JO01EH. It uses the same type of 3 element Yagi antennas pointing in the same directions as those used on GB3VHF and radiates a similar ERP. It will be very useful to determine the propagation characteristics of VHF and UHF simultaneously. The keying format follows closely to that used by GB3VHF. The support from BT for scientific and VHF /UHF propagation research in this field is very much appreciated. Full details of the new GB3UHF beacon, which operates on 432.430MHz, can be found online at www.gb3vhf.co.uk and reports to the Keeper, G0FDZ, will be most welcome.

Next weekend several amateurs with special permits will be operating on medium and long wave throughout the ARRL’s Field Day, on the 25th and 26th. Operation will be on 185.3kHz and several spot frequencies in the 472kHz band. Details of the participating stations can be found at tinyurl.com/gb2rs-us-mw

This Thursday is National Women in Engineering Day. Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club will be visiting Wellesley House School that day, where some 60 girls will be attending from around six schools. The day will include amateur radio, design and computer technology, and electronic science activities for the girls.

In the Queen’s Birthday honours Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at the University of Manchester, was awarded an MBE for services to Engineering through Public Engagement. Quoted in the Guardian, she highlighted amateur radio enthusiasts as an inspiration to the next generation of tinkerers.

Also in the Birthday Honours, astronaut Tim Peake, GB1SS, was awarded a CMG for services to space research and scientific education. The award was offered, and accepted, whilst Tim was on the International Space Station. It was thus the first in history to be offered to a person whilst they were not physically on Planet Earth.

Ofcom is changing its online licencing system that supports amateur radio. The change is part of a wider initiative to upgrade its licencing system. New facilities will include the ability for clubs to apply for the first time online. The changes will be phased in, with further features added over time. More information is at http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk

Worthing Radio Events group is running a portable HF station from the grounds of Gratwick House care home in Littlehampton, West Sussex. The station is active today, the 19th, from 1 to 5pm BST, so that ninety one year old Peter Craw, G3CCX, can get on the air for the day. Peter expects to concentrate activity on 18MHz. All contacts are very much welcome.

According to DX-World and The Daily DX, Polish DXer Dom Grzyb, 3Z9DX has received confirmation that North Korea will authorise a 5-day operation. Permission is expected to come at short notice and it is unlikely that there will be any advance publicity. He will only operate SSB and on one band, either 20, 15 or 10m. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the number one most-wanted DXCC entity and Dom managed a brief activation last December, the first for many years.

Sad news now that DXer and DXpeditioner Milt Jensen, N5IA, died on the 9th of June after falling from an amateur radio mast. He was 73. He took part in the XZ1N and XZ0A DXpeditions to Myanmar, and was part of the Ducie Island VP6DX DXpedition team.

The 2015 Best Communication Award from DxCoffee and the DXUniversity has been assigned to K1N, the DXpedition to Navassa, which took place in February 2015. The DXpedition took place after many years’ attempts and the website, www.navassadx.com, got many people involved in the details. The team also made good use of Facebook for news and pictures, and sent some tweets. Team member Glenn Johnson, W0GJ spoke about the DXpedition at the 2015 RSGB Convention and RSGB Members can watch a video of his talk online in the video archive.

Former lightship Planet, home to the special callsign GB2LBL, was the last manned lightship in the UK. Now permanently moored in Liverpool, the owner, Alan Roberts, together with the Marine Radio Museum Society, reports she is in financial distress. They have set up an information page, which also solicits donations, at www.chuffed/project/savetheplanetliverpool

Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon aspires to establish an amateur radio station on the site, similar to GB2IWM at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airfield. Rather than a radio club, its primary mission will be the collection, restoration, exhibition and display to the public of historic radio communication equipment, in support of the Imperial War Museum. As there is no nearby amateur radio club, Devon DRM Martin Sables, G7NTY is co-ordinating volunteers and would be pleased to hear from anyone who might be able to help. Please contact him via email to drm112@rsgb.org.uk

Finally, we would like to apologise for an incorrect story that crept into last week’s news, caused by an extraordinary mix-up of dates. We apologise to Milton Keynes ARS and anyone else who was affected.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 19th of June, the Newbury Radio Rally takes place at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@nadars.org.uk.

Friday to Sunday sees the Hamtronic Show at Friedrichshafen, Germany. There will be a large number of trade stands plus a huge flea market. Many IARU Member Societies have stands in the main hall. Lectures take place each day, some in English. There will be a large RSGB book stall. Details are online at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de

Sunday the 26th of June sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

3B8/M0RCX is active from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049, in a family type DXpedition. He will be on the air until the 14th of July. QSL via EB7DX or EQSL.

The Lofoten Islands, EU-076 are on the air courtesy of LA/DL5RMH with a holiday-style operation out of a camper van until the 25th. QSL to home callsign or via the bureau.

RC1M, RV1CC and UA1QV are on the air as RV1CC/P and RC1MP/P from the island of Kashin, EU-102, until the 23rd. Activity is on 40 to 15m. QSL direct or via the bureau.

Steve, NY3B will be active from Saint Lucia Island, IOTA NA-108 from 22 June to 4 July as J6/NY3B. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m SSB and CW. QSL via LOTW.

Howard, WB4WXE will be active again from Dominica Island, IOTA NA-101, as J79XE from 22 June to 11 July. He will operate on 40 to 6m with priority given to 6m. QSL via home call.

Wolfgang, DK1HW will be active from Safari, also known as Mushimasgali Island, Mushimas Migili Reef, in the Maldives, AS-013, from 20 to 28 June. His callsign will be 8Q7HW and activity is on the HF bands in CW, SSB, and PSK31. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

From Friday to Sunday members of the South Tyneside Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB2SJ at Souter Lighthouse for the second part of museums weekend. SJ were the original Trinity House call letters for the lighthouse. All visitors are welcome.

Cambridge & District ARS will be operating special event station GB1CMT at the Cambridge Museum of Technology from 11am to 5pm next Saturday.

Next Saturday Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society will put GB4FMG on the air for Gloucester Folk Museum in Gloucester. 

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz trophy finishes its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest concludes its 48 hour run today. It is CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, with the exchange being signal report and your age, for which YL operators send 00.

Today, the Worked All Britain 6m Contest runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC. It is phone only and the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

The UKuG High Band Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 80m Club Championship SSB leg takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC next Sunday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 17th June

This week saw some fantastic six metre propagation, with the band behaving more like 20m. Multi-hop Sporadic-E contacts were made across the Atlantic, as far west as Arizona and south to Texas.

Six metres is a band that can exhibit both VHF and HF qualities, although we'll leave any further Sporadic-E discussion to the VHF section of this report.

As for the rest of HF, the scene has been dominated yet again by unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s extreme ultraviolet image on Thursday showed extensive coronal hole activity and the K index was pushed to six late on Tuesday June 14th and the early hours of Wednesday 15th. This activity had been predicted for last weekend, but the solar plasma arrived a couple of days later.

The solar flux index declined to 87 on Thursday. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be the range 85-95, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions possible on Friday and next weekend.

Noon-time F2 layer maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are hitting 18.2MHz at times, while twenty metres is remaining open during the night according to the Chilton Digisonde. But the real thrills are the continued Sporadic-E events on the upper HF bands, so make the most them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The second half of last week produced some great openings as Sporadic-E developed along a major summer jet stream. With core speeds above 100 knots it affected much of the usual favoured locations for Sporadic-E over the continent. The southwesterly jet was disturbed as it crossed the Pyrenees and Alps, to give options around the compass for many stations.

There were also some notable trans-Atlantic paths using the waving jet stream flow to the west to give the necessary stopping off points for multi-hop paths to the USA and Caribbean. There will still be some jet stream activity over Europe this week, but the flow will be weaker and therefore any Sporadic-E produced may be more fleeting; so not such a good week.

The prospects for Tropo are marginal, with a weak ridge of high pressure to the west and a slack flow over the country. These patterns normally produce some limited Tropo overnight and around dawn, but these are often short-lived, since in the summer, the temperature inversion soon breaks down once the sun gets up. Keep an eye for GHz bands rain scatter if showers break out.

With the Moon at lowest declination on Tuesday and losses still high, EME will be poor this week with short moon windows, so maybe it’s time to look at some satellite operation.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Legacy Fund

  • Exercise Blue Ham

  • Yorkshire 6m newsreaders needed


The RSGB Legacy Fund exists due to the generosity of donors and the Legacy Sub-Committee works with the Board to consider and recommend proposals for its use. The Fund currently stands at about £170,000 and it provides an excellent opportunity to support innovation and development. Its scope for proposals is deliberately wide with the highest priority given to proposals focused on taking our hobby forward. There are currently four trustees and the RSGB would like to make one further appointment. The term of office for trustees is three years with a two term maximum. Most work is conducted by email and Skype. The RSGB would like to hear from Members who would be interested in serving. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is currently Chairman of the sub-committee and would welcome informal discussion, initially via email to president@rsgb.org.uk Applications by CV should arrive with the General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm@rsgb.org.uk by the 31st of August 2016.

On the 18th and 19th of June the Air Cadet Organisation will be organising and running a military style national radio exercise named ‘Exercise Blue Ham’. This will be one of the many events the organisation is holding during 2016 and 2717 to mark the 75th Anniversary of its formation. Amateur radio operators are invited to take part with the cadets. The exercise will take place on the MOD 5MHz, or 60m band, and a significant part of the exercise will be on the section of the band that amateurs are authorised to use. The Cadet stations will operate from noon on the 17th until noon on the 18th on specific frequencies within the band. These frequencies will be published live on the internet as the exercise is in progress and amateurs are welcome to check the exercise website and call in, but only on the amateur band frequencies they are authorised to use. Details are at www.alphacharlie.org.uk/blueham.

Additional GB2RS readers for the 50MHz service in Yorkshire are urgently needed. Any RSGB Member considering this role must be able to access GB3WY. If you think this is a voluntary role you would be interested in, please contact the GB2RS Manager, Ken, G3VBA, by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

Jim Bacon, G3YLA gave an interview to the Paul Hudson Weather Show regarding tropospheric propagation. It will be broadcast over the weekend and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards. Broadcasts today, the 12th, are at 12 noon on Radio York and Radio Leeds and 1pm on Radio Sheffield. Then, on Monday, the show is at 6pm on Radio Lincolnshire.

Milton Keynes ARS will celebrate 100 years since Alan Turing's birth with a series of special events using the GB2AMT, standing for Alan Mathison Turing. On the 16th and 17th of June, they will be receiving multiple Enigma transmissions using CW from GCHQ's tent at the Cheltenham Science Festival. A special NoV has been issued by Ofcom for this occasion, allowing the encrypted transmission to take place. GCHQ will be transmitting using the callsign GB5AMT and MKARS will be receiving this particular transmission using the GB2BP callsign. They will be using at least 2 or 3 receiving stations, in order to more closely imitate reception conditions as they were during the war. The messages received by each station will then be compared and collated at a central point and then fed into the Bombe machine in Block B at Bletchley Park. This part of the event will be transmitted by video link to Cheltenham, and the decoded message will then be sent back to Cheltenham using Twitter.

Misko, YT7MPB will give a tutorial lecture on amateur radio communications, related software & hardware, and computer networks in education during the International Science Conference Computer Networks on the 14th to 17th of June in Poland.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 12th of June, the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also today, the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

South Lancs Summer Rally will take place on the 18th of June at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. The venue has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors open at 9am with traders entering from 7.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. There is a licensed bar and catering on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

The 29th Newbury Radio Rally will take place on the 19th of June at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@nadars.org.uk.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

John, W5JON/V47JA will be active from Calypso Bay, St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-104, as V47JA from the 14th of June to the 15th of July. He will work the 160 to 6m bands, including 60m, using SSB. Send QSL cards to W5JON direct or via Logbook of the World. He is not accepting bureau QSLs.

Kurt, DL9FBF will be active holiday-style from Style in the Inner Hebrides, EU-008, until the 24th as MM/DL9FBF on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB, running 100W. QSL via DL9FBF either direct or via the bureau.

Bengt, SM7EQL will be operating from Crete, EU-015, until the 16th, signing SV9/homecall on the 30 to 10m bands. QSL via SM6JSM either direct or via the bureau

The North Eastern Contest Gang will be activating Saaremaa Island, which is IOTA reference EU-034, until the 17th. They will be using the callsign ES0UG, mainly on 6m, 4m, and 2m, but also a bit on HF. Following this, they are going to participate in the IARU 6m Contest on the 18th and 19th as LY2AAM from KO23. QSL for LY2AAM via DL3BQA.

Fred, PA1FJ is on the air as SV8/PA1FJ/p until the 24th from Samos, EU-049, with a QRP rig on HF using CW and SSB. QSL via PA1FJ via the bureau.

Giovanni, IU2HDO is currently active from Favigana Island, which is IOTA reference EU-054, until the 1st of July as IF9/IU2HDO.

Now the special event news

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands until the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER today, the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR today, the 12th, to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BM from The Bay Museum, Western Esplanade, Canvey Island, SS8 0AY on the 19th of June.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB2DD from Stifford Pumping Station on the 18th of June.

GB2CM will be on the air on the 19th from Thames Water STW, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ. Operating from 10.30am to 4pm, admittance to the museum is £8.

On the 18th and 19th, Stockton and District ARC will be taking part in Museums on the Air from Hartlepool Heugh Gun Battery, operating GB0HGB using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m.

During June Mid Sussex ARS will celebrate its 50th anniversary using the ex-President’s callsign, G5RV, on the 17th of June from 7.30pm at the Jack and Jill Windmills.

Now the contest news

The French DDFM 6m contest finishes its 24 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 12th. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

The second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC today, the 12th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. The 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest ends its 30 hour run at 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 50MHz trophy runs from 1400UTC on the 18th to 1400UTC on the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours on the 18th and 19th. Its CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands with the exchange being signal report and your age, YL operators send 00.

On the 19th there are two events of note. The first is the Worked All Britain 6m Contest, which runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC, phone only. The exchange for that one is signal report, serial number and WAB square. The second is the UKuG High Band Contest that runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 10th June.

This week saw mixed HF propagation conditions. We were right to predict a geomagnetic disturbance for last weekend, although the plasma hit the Earth right at the end of National Field Day. This led to widespread aurora as the K index hit five and then six.

Propagation during field day was lacklustre due to a lack of sunspots and the seasonal doldrums. But there has been some decent propagation and excellent DX this week. Andy, M0NKR reports working 9Y4D in Trinidad on 6m, possibly via multi-hop Sporadic E, and XR0YS Easter Island on 10m, which, after careful examination, was most likely F layer propagation.

This week the solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 85-95, although on Thursday there was only one sunspot group visible.

Geomagnetic disturbances due to coronal hole activity are predicted to remain an issue this weekend, with the K index possibly increasing to four. Next week may also remain unsettled, with the K index predicted to hit five on Friday the 17th.

We are now entering the period for six metre summer solstice short path propagation when signals from Asia may be heard in Europe from over the North Pole. Stations equipped with six metres are encouraged to get on the band as this, plus multi-hop Sporadic E, can bring some surprises.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Propagation folk lore has the first week in June high on the list of Sporadic-E activity. Last week, we had some fine Sporadic-E, some excellent Tropo to the North and GHz-band rain scatter to the near continent. The northerly Tropo coupled signals into the aurora giving some remarkable mixed mode DX for the lucky few.

Next week, we may struggle to achieve any Tropo of note, as low pressure is due to move into the British Isles. This will bring showery weather ending the Tropo spell over the North Sea.

A new high to the southwest late in the week may allow paths to the south across Biscay and down past Portugal to the west coast of North Africa.

There should be plenty of opportunities for Sporadic-E during next week when weather elements are favourable. The principal elements are jet streams, and it is likely that these will be located over the near continent as the weather turns unsettled.

This could bring propagation towards the Balkans and round through Italy to Iberia. Remember that there are usually two main periods of activity, late morning and early evening, but very active events can last for much of the day.

Daily jet stream forecast charts and Sporadic-E blog are uploaded daily on the RSGB website Forums.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • Band plans updated

  • Hi-Impact balloon going up

  • RSGB Convention news

Amateurs are advised that updates to a number of band plans are now in effect in the UK and across IARU Region 1 as of the 1st of June. The changes to 80m, 30m and VHF provide for greater flexibility for narrow band digital modes. The new version also includes some editorial updates in other bands. Full details can be found on the RSGB website at http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/

On the 9th of June, a team from Hi-Impact, including DRM61, Mark, MW1MDH, will be launching a High Altitude Balloon from a site in Welshpool. It will carry a HABduino as part of a project with schools in the area. Mark is asking all amateurs and SWLs, if they would help track this flight and feed the data back into Habitat, the web based HAB tracker, http://tracker.habhub.org. The launch will take place around 11.30am and the HABduino will be transmitting on the 434.650MHz, RTTY, 50 Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 data bits, no parity, 2 stop bits. The callsign to look for is BARNABY.

If you weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of the lectures were recorded and are being made available to Members via the RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming John Rogers, M0JAV who will speak about Diagnosing and Reporting RFI problems. He will outline the new EMC assisted diagnosis / reporting process and will explain what is needed for Ofcom to consider investigating RFI cases. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

A 2m signal from the UK was heard across the Atlantic on the 2nd of May. It had been reflected off the structure of the International Space Station. Following two weeks of preparation, Tim, G4LOH, in Cornwall and Roger, VE1SKY, in Nova Scotia attempted a FSK441 contact. With a mutual window of less than 1 minute, VE1SKY was able to copy G4LOH at a distance of 4441km. This was the first signal received via ISS-bounce from Europe to North America, and the first intentional signal heard via ISS reflection in any direction across the North or South Atlantic.

Thanks to the Brazilian Amateur Radio League (LABRE) radio amateurs who will visit Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be able to get on the air easily. During August and September any foreign amateur will be able to operate in Brazil, regardless of whether there is a reciprocal agreement. No IARP or CEPT licence is necessary and no fees are required. You just need to send a scan of your passport identification pages and licence, a list of the cities you intend to operate in and when, plus an email address, to executiva@labre.org.br.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 9th of June from 10am to 2pm. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety. More details are online at www.npl.co.uk/time

Registration is open for the 3rd International Air Ambulance activity, a 9-day special event. The 2016 dates are the 19th to the 27th of September. To register your station, go to tinyurl.com/2016-iaw

The marine buoy ZL1SIX with its low powered transmission on the 30m band is now floating around the Pacific Ocean. Bob, ZL1RS reports that the solar powered buoy is transmitting the weak signal WSPR and JT9 modes on the 30m band. The yacht Windflower launched the buoy in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean with its last location being south of Fiji and Tonga. Data sent hourly shows the buoy travelling at about 1.8km per hour in a north-nor-east direction. More details, including tracking progress being mapped, are online at www.qsl.net/zl1rs/oceanfloater.html

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

This weekend, the 4th and 5th of June, the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takes place at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as camping and caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation as well as a special event station. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free. There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. There is a room for talks and demonstrations. More information from Dave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Today, the 5th, the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Convention takes place in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. There will be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also take place. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Also on the 5th, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be in the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincs PE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area. Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBR on 0794 630 2815.

On the 11th of June Martin Lynch is celebrating his 60th birthday at ML&S, Wessex House, Drake Avenue, Staines, Middlesex TW18 2AP. Customers old and new are invited, with the event co-hosted by Yaesu, Icom & Kenwood. There will be plenty of refreshments with hot & cold drinks.

On the 12th of June the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also on the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

On the air until the 15th of June, Kevin, K6TOP will be in the British Virgin Islands, IOTA reference NA-023, with the callsign VP2V/K6TOP. Find him on the 10 to 40m bands working CW in his spare time. Send QSLs via Logbook of the World.

John, 2M0JMN, is in the Cayman Islands, NA-016, operating as ZF2MN until the 17th of June. He will be operating holiday-style on the HF bands. Send QSL cards via M0OXO.

Waldi, SP7IDX, is active from Vannoya Island, EU-046, as LA/SP7IDX until the 10th of June. Send QSLs to his home callsign, via the Bureau, direct, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

Gerard, F6CKD is on the air from French Guiana until the 15th of June 1th as FY/F6CKD. He is mainly on 20 and 17 metres. Send QSLs via F6CKD.

Jonathan, KK7PW is on the air as 5X1O from Uganda until the 8th of July. Activity is on 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using 5 watts. QSL via EA5GL.

Hans, DF5UG is on the air as 9M2QQ from Segamat in West Malaysia until the 15th of June. Activity is mainly on 20 metres using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Jeff, K5WE is on the air as XR0YS from Easter Island, SA-001, until the 8th of June. Activity is on 80 to 6 metres using mostly CW and some RTTY. He may be active on 160 metres depending on local conditions. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Radio amateurs of the ARI Fidenza group will operate a radio station located close to the keel of the yacht Elettra, Marconi’s floating laboratory. Using the callsign IY4EC, the station will be on the air today, the 5th, as part of the Museum Ships event.

Chertsey Radio Club has the extended use of GB9LIZ until the end of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The club has been operating most weekends on HF from Laleham Park and during the week using DMR modes.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB90QEB on the 8th of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday Tea Party being held at Tilbury Riverside Project from 2 to 4pm.

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands from the 9th to the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER over the weekend of the 10th to the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR on the 12th of June to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

Now the contest news

The CW National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 5th, on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia NETwork Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 5th. The SEANET area encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is a triangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North East and Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer Es Contest ends its 24 hours at 1300UTC today, the 5th. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG to participate or enter. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membership number if you have one.

The UK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and 9cm today, the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships data leg will take place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, from 1600UTC on the 11th to 1600UTC on the 12th, the French DDFM 6m contest takes place. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

On the 12th the second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. That 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest takes place on from 1200UTC on the 11th to 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 3rd June.

The solar flux index declined further this week to the mid 80s. A quick look at an image of the sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory on solarham.net shows why. On Thursday two sunspot groups were rotating out of sight on the sun’s limb, leaving a pretty blank disk. As a result NOAA predicts the solar flux index will diminish to 75-80 for the whole of next week.

This week has been quieter geomagnetically, with a maximum K index of three and a low of one. As we mentioned in the last report, this week may start off very unsettled with a K index up to five this weekend due to a geo-effective recurring coronal hole on the sun's surface. After a respite mid week, next weekend may also become unsettled.

The highlight this week has been prolonged Sporadic-E openings on the upper HF bands. These have brought lengthy short-skip openings on 20m and up and hopefully may continue. Rare, but relatively local, DX has included both Monaco and San Marino on 10 metres.

If you are fairly new to the hobby look around 28.500MHz for signals around mid-morning, mid to late afternoon and early evening. Also look for FM signals around 29.600MHz. Beacon hunters should look between 28.125 and 28.325MHz.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather pattern is fairly slow moving and although we start with high pressure, this will get displaced to the east. This could still provide some Tropo from northern Britain across to southern Scandinavia. Low pressure approaching from the Atlantic will introduce some showery weather with warmer and more humid southerly winds. If these showers are heavy and thundery they could produce good rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

As we said earlier, we’ve had a good start to this year for Sporadic-E with many days of European Sporadic-E on 50MHz upwards to 144MHz. Tea time on the 30th produced strong 144MHz signals from YU1EV and others, copied from East Anglia right over to West Wales and the Isle of Man.

Disturbed weather patterns with strong jet streams are what is required for Sporadic-E, but the next week is looking quieter as the jet stream migrates to the northern parts of Europe. This could mean paths to Scandinavia more often than southern Europe as in recent weeks. If you do one thing, check the VHF bands for Sporadic-E around tea time, before eating, and you’ll catch most of what develops.

With high declination, the Moon is favourably placed for EME, with low losses early in the week.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th May 2016

Thenews headlines:

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Transatlantic VHF digital beacon

  • Repeater insurance renewals

Ifyou weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of thelectures were recorded and are being made available to Members viathe RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward towelcoming Jeff, VY2ZM/K1ZM, who lives with his wife, Miriam on PrinceEdward Island. He is both a well-known contester and a lowband DXerwith a special interest in 160m. He participates in most of the majorcontests each season. He will be speaking on Contesting from VY2ZM inthe Canadian Maritimes. Booking information can be found atwww.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo tobook.

Onthe 19th of May, antennas were erected and the VHF SDR turned on toinaugurate the VO1FN/b Transatlantic VHF Digital Beacon ReceiverSite. This is a joint project sponsored in part by the Society ofNewfoundland Radio Amateurs, Baccalieu Amateur Radio Club and theUpper Trinity Amateur Radio Club. The VHF Digital Receive site is nowoperational and ready for experimentation by beacon operators andwell-equipped VHF stations in Europe. The antennas, two InnovAntenna5 element LFA Q High Gain VHF Yagis, can be rotated to point tostations that are located in southern regions of Europe.

Repeaterkeepers are reminded that their repeater insurance is due. Those whohave yet to renew should do so via the RSGB website. Renewals havebeen reduced to £10 per repeater callsign.

AnInternational Space Station radio contact has been planned for Jeff,KD5TVQ with participants at a school in Ontario, Canada. The event isscheduled for Monday the 30th of May at approximately 1901UTC. Thecontact will be a telebridge contact operated by IK1SLD in northernItaly. The downlink signals should be audible over parts of Europe.Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800MHz narrowbandFM.

TheDayton Hamvention is over for another year. Around 25,000 visitorswere at the show, including the RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF.He was interviewed along with Chip Margelli, K7JA; A71EZ of the QatarAmateur Radio Society and Vicki Mate, K8VGM of the 3905 Century Clubfor the Amateur Radio Newsline report.

Nigel,G3TXF will be at the helm of the Kosovo Amateur Radio Associationstation Z60A during the CQ WPX CW contest this weekend. TheAssociation is the newest International Amateur Radio Union membersociety. The operation will be in preparation for their debut as anofficial headquarters station for the IARU HF Championship on the 9thand 10th of July when Z60A will operate from multiple stations aroundthe country.

Aradio relic from the Second World War has just come out of theshadows. It’s a wireless station just outside Norwich that operatedin obscurity, its access hidden behind a fake bookcase. The stationalso had a nearby escape tunnel. Civilian volunteers were dispatchedthere to transmit and receive messages for the Army, tradinginformation to help ward off an invasion. The station, which finallycame to public light in 2012, was recently granted HeritageProtection by Historic England. It is known as the Pinebanks stationand is located at Thorpe St Andrews near Norwich, one of threeunderground wireless stations similarly protected.

MidlandARS will be celebrating the 85th anniversary of the society in June.They are inviting ex members and anyone else who is interested to theshack for an exhibition of the club’s history and a buffet on the8th of June. If any ex members have any memorabilia that could beborrowed for the exhibition, please contact Norman, G8BHE on 0780 8078003.

Affiliatedamateur radio clubs need to be getting information together for thenext RSGB Yearbook and should recently have received a letter to thiseffect. Information such as contact details, meeting places andexamination information is being collected. The deadline forsubmitting information on the club is 6 June.

GB3WWand GB3WG have recently been repaired and upgraded. These areco-located at 370m ASL on a 180ft mast above Port Talbot. GB3WG haschanged frequency to RU70, wide split, on 430.875 and 434.475MHz with94.8Hz CTCSS. The repeater keeper, John, GW4FOI would appreciatereports from any and all areas.

IARURegion 1 has produced an updated VHF Managers’ Handbook. Allrelevant decisions of the IARU R1 Conference 2014 in Varna Bulgariahave been taken into account as well as recommendations proposed inthe Vienna meeting 2016. A completely new version of the VHF handbookwill be published after the 2017 Conference in Munich. To downloadyour copy, go to www.iaru-r1.org

Andnow for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Wehave no details of any rallies taking place today, the 29th.

Onthe 4th and 5th of June the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takesplace at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, EastSussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as campingand caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-instation will be in operation as well as a special event station.Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free.There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. Therewill be a room for talks and demonstrations. More information fromDave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Onthe 5th of June the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Conventionwill be held in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise,Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and thevenue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabledvisitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. Therewill be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGBbookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also takeplace. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Alsoon the 5th of June, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be inthe Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, LincsPE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doorsopen at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area.Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBRon 0794 630 2815.

Ifyou have any rally or event information you’d like to appear infuture editions of GB2RS News, in RadComand on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Andnow the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Kevin,K6TOP is on the air as VP2V/K6TOP from Tortola, IOTA referenceNA-023, in the British Virgin Islands. He will be active until the15th of June while on holiday. Operation is on the 40, 20, 15 and 10mbands using mostly CW. QSL via NR6M.

Stefan,DF8HS will be active from Fehmarn Island, EU-128, from the 6th ofJune until the 4th of July. QSL via the bureau.

Gil,F4FET will be active as F4FET/p from Fort Brescou, EU-148, on the 3rdto the 5th of June. He will operate SSB on the 40 to 6m bands. QSLvia his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

John,K9EL will be active as FS/K9E from St Martin, NA-105, from the 5th tothe 23rd of June. He will be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB andRTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau, OQRS onClub Log, LoTW and eQSL.

Iain,MM0TFU will be active holiday style as MM0TFU/p from Blackwaterfoot,Isle of Arran, EU-123, from the 1st to the 14th of June. QSL via LoTWor direct to his home callsign.

Nowthe contest news

Today,Sunday the 29th, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serialnumber and locator.

TheCW World Wide WPX CW contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359 tonight onthe 29th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal reportand serial number.

OnTuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC.Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

TheCW National Field Day takes place over the weekend the 4th and 5th ofJune. Running from 1500 to 1500UTC on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

Alsoover the weekend of the 4th and 5th, the South East Asia NETworkContest takes place for 24 hours from 1200 to 1200UTC. The SEANETarea encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is atriangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North Eastand Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

TheUK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer E’s Contest takes place for 24hours on the same weekend, which was chosen to coincide with the peakof the Sporadic-E season. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG toparticipate or enter. Running from 1300 to 1300 on the 5th, theexchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membershipnumber if you have one.

TheUK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and9cm on the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

Nowthe radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO onFriday 27th May.

Thispast week was more settled, geomagnetically, with the K indexgenerally staying around zero or one. This was thanks to a lack ofsolar coronal hole activity and the associated high-speed solar windstreams. The solar flux index declined from the high to mid 90s aslarge sunspot 2546 rotated out of view. This has left a rathersparse-looking solar disk with only one sunspot group visible. As aresult the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90 in thecoming week. NOAA predicts the geomagnetic K index rising again to anunsettled four on Monday and Tuesday.

Lookingfurther ahead it doesn't look good for next weekend’s HF CWNational Field Day as plasma from a recurring solar coronal holecould push the K index up to five. This could see the HF bands becomenoisy and maximum usable frequencies fall away.

Apartfrom occasional short-skip Sporadic-E openings on 10 and 15m, thehighest ‘money’ band for Field Day is predicted to be 20m, with15m perhaps struggling to open to DX. Forty metres may giveconsistent openings around Europe, with DX being workable at night.Eighty metres may give good openings around Europe after dark, but isunlikely to yield much DX.

Andnow the VHF and up propagation news.

Nextweek sees high pressure between Iceland and Scotland with lowpressure over the near continent. This will mean a north-easterlyflow of air from the North Sea. In the summer months, this can leadto extensive mist and sea fog along eastern coasts and give some goodTropo conditions from East Anglia to Aberdeen and Lerwick.

Thistype of Tropo depends upon warm moist air blowing off the continentand out across the cool North Sea to give longer DX paths to Denmark,for example. However, with a north-easterly wind it usually means drycool air gets folded into the mix, and I suspect we may be limited topaths up and down the east coast.

Lastweek saw some excellent Sporadic-E openings on 6 and 4 metres.Conditions on Wednesday extended from Scandinavia round to theBalkans and central Mediterranean.

Fornext week it's not a good sign that there seem to be fewsuitably-placed jet streams, often involved with Sporadic-Eformation. They are mostly located over Spain and the Mediterraneanand so a bit too far away.

EMEconditions will improve next week with increasing declination and themoon at perigee on Friday.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd May 2016

The news headlines:

  • G3KMA in CQ DX Hall of Fame

  • Distance Learning course news

  • Navassa DXpedition video online

The RSGB is delighted that Roger Balister, G3KMA is one of the 2016 inductees in the CQ DX Hall of Fame. As manager of the Islands on the Air programme since 1985, Roger has seen IOTA grow from a few hundred early participants to more than 10,000 today, making it one of the most popular award programmes in amateur radio. The CQ DX and Contest Halls of Fame honours those amateurs who not only excel in personal performance in these major areas of amateur radio but who also ‘give back’ to the hobby in outstanding ways.

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning team are now enrolling for their next course that will run from early July to December. The course has weekly work packages to guide students through the RSGB textbook with regular revision questions to check on progress. There are no fees to pay but students pay a deposit of £30 that is refunded to active students in time to pay for the exam. Exams can be arranged at any RSGB registered centre. The course has been running for nearly five years and has had almost 500 passes so far. Full details can be obtained from Steve, G0FUW, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

Glenn Johnson, W0GJ was a member of the K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island, which was voted DXpedition of the Year 2015. It was a once-in-32-year DXpedition and the number one Most Wanted Entity in Europe. In October 2015, he was the keynote speaker at the RSGB Convention. If you weren’t able to visit the Convention to hear the lecture, RSGB Members can go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming Mike, K9AJ from the Intrepid DX Group DXpedition to the remote British territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year. He will describe the challenges, hardships and problems they faced and the experience of operating round-the-clock from some of the wildest parts of the planet in order to make around 140,000 contacts. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

Amateurs are advised that updates to a small number of band plans will occur on the 1st of June. This follows approval of proposals agreed at the recent IARU Region 1 Interim meeting. The updates to 80m, 30m and VHF will provide greater flexibility for narrowband modes. The RSGB website and RadCom will be updated to carry details in due course.

A team of five Australian radio amateurs will activate Norfolk Island, IOTA reference OC-005, until the 31st of May to coincide with the Wireless Institute of Australia 2016 Annual General Meeting and Conference, also being held on Norfolk Island. The VK9NT crew plans to operate on the 160 to 10m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. Activity on RTTY will be confined to just a couple of bands to maximise all-time new ones. The WIA Commemorative Station, VI9ANZAC, also will be active from Norfolk Island over the AGM weekend.

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced another of its stunning portraits of Mars. The red planet and Earth are nearing what is called opposition, when their orbits line them up with the Sun and put them very close to each other. This occurs every 780 days or so. The actual moment of opposition is today, the 22nd at 1110UTC; the two planets' closest approach follows just a few days later on the 30th. There will be just 75 million kilometres between the two planets on that day. Astronomers with smaller telescopes than Hubble will be grabbing the chance to view Mars in the week ahead. The planetary alignment means the Red Planet's disc, as well as being larger in the sky than usual, is also fully illuminated. The images can be found on the www.nasa.gov website.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 22nd, the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.org.

Next weekend, on the 28th, it’s the Waters and Stanton Open Day at 22 Main Road, Hockley SS5 4QS. Doors will be open from 10am to 4pm with free refreshments for visitors. Reps from the major manufacturers will be in attendance as well as local clubs. The presentation of the Region 12 Club of the Year plaque will take place during the day. There will be several talks including Nigel Booth, M0CVO on antennas and Murray Niman, on 5G Future Telecoms and amateur radio. A charity raffle with good prizes in aid of the British Wireless for the Blind Association will also be held.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Merv, N6NO is using the callsign VK9OL while working from Lord Howe Island, OC-004. He will be there until the 29th. He is using mainly CW and focusing on the WARC bands. QSL direct to N6NO.

John, AI6Y will be on the air as E51XYZ from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, from the 23rd to the 28th of May. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via operator’s instructions. Frank, VK3ADT is also on the air as E51ADT from Rarotonga until the 27th. QSL to his home callsign.

Olli, OH0XX will be on the air as PZ50X in Surinam until the 1st of June. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using mainly CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Laci, HA0HW will be on the air as SW8WW from Thassos Island, IOTA EU-174, from the 26th of May to the 6th of June. Activity will be on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op All Band entry. QSL to his home callsign.

Randy, WW6RG will be transmitting as VQ9RA from Diego Garcia, IOTA AF-006, from the 25th to 30th of May. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

The Radio Club of Haïti is activating the special callsign 4V1G until the 30th of August to commemorate the three generals of their independence.

On the 28th and 29th of May, members of the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club will put GB2MAC on the air from the Marble Arch Caves Geopark in County Fermanagh. This is part of European Geoparks Week. They will be operating SSB on all the HF bands. Send QSL cards via LoTW, eQSL and Bureau.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 22nd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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 the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 29th the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, running for 48 hours, is the CW World Wide WPX CW contest. It starts at 0000UTC on the 28th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 20th May.

This week the solar flux index managed to remain mostly above 100, thanks in part to large sunspot number 2546. The region appears to be quite stable and not a likely threat for any significant solar flares. Geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled with the K index hitting four at times and often hovering between two and three. This was due to ongoing coronal hole activity and the associated high speed solar wind streams. This is likely to continue as a coronal hole positioned near the solar equator was threatening to send the K index higher on Friday the 20th.

As we head towards mid summer, heating in the northern hemisphere, coupled with a change in the ionospheric chemistry, will see daytime critical frequencies reduce from their spring highs. We can see this by looking at the noon-time critical frequencies as measured by the Chilton ionosonde near Harwell. In mid April the critical frequency was exceeding 7MHz on good days. This month it is struggling to get past 6MHz. However, night time critical frequencies are remaining higher, which is a signature of summer HF propagation. By June we may see 20 metres remaining open all night.

Contacts via Sporadic-E on 10m should be abundant, but keep an eye on 20m at night as it might throw up a few surprises after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There are conflicting views of the weather story for the next week. However, one common theme in the model outputs is that for brief period we will find a weak ridge of high pressure nearby during the first part of the week. This may produce limited Tropo, especially overnight and in the early mornings. From about mid-week, the high weakens and a slack pressure pattern remains. This will mean a more showery weather type with options for rain scatter on the GHz bands from any heavy thundery showers.

Sporadic-E is always a viable option any day during the summer months from May to August, so it’s worth checking first on 10m for short skip conditions within Europe and then moving up to higher bands as any opening develops. Quite often, the greater ranges are found as each band opens. This is because over time, the Sporadic-E patch will usually slowly descend within the E region, shortening the path length.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is at its lowest on Tuesday so there will be short windows, but losses are decreasing all week as the Moon’s orbit brings it closer to the earth.

Remember that as well as our natural satellite there is always VHF DX potential using the many operational man-made satellites. Look on the AMSAT-UK website for details.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th May 2016

The news headlines:

  • Celebrate the ITU’s founding

  • Monday sees new satellite

  • RSGB thanks for Peake contacts

The International Telecommunication Union will mark the anniversary of its founding on the 17th of May. The ITU was established on that day in 1865. The theme of the 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day will be Information and Communication Technology entrepreneurship for social impact. In conjunction with World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, radio amateurs in Australia will be permitted to use the prefix AX on the 17th.

The Slow Scan Television CubeSat STMSat-1 is planned to deploy from the International Space station on the 16th of May between 1400 and 1500UTC. It is thought to be the first amateur satellite to be built by Elementary school students, who are aged between 5 and 10 years old. It is expected to transmit using the Robot36 SSTV mode on 437.800MHz. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

The final ARISS school contact of the Principia Mission took place on the 9th of May. It was between King’s School, GB1OSM, in Ottery St Mary, Devon and Tim Peake, GB1SS, on the ISS. The RSGB would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to plan and support all of the ten contacts that have taken place since January.

An initial meeting for all those interested in Broadband-Hamnet, a system of digital communications on the amateur microwave bands, will be held on the 22nd of May at Crawley Amateur Radio Club. The organisers hope to attract attendees from across the country. There will be presentations, demonstrations and open discussions. Please contact Ted, G4ELM, via email to BBHN.Event.2016@gmail.com to receive a copy of the agenda and to let him know if you plan to attend.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from tinyurl.com/zh65rb9 This edition features news on the latest 5MHz allocations, a provisional band plan from IARU Region 1 and a cartoon that might bring back a few memories.

The booklet Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur by John, ON4UN and Mark, ON4WW describes the best standards of operating on the amateur bands. Over the last eight years it has been translated into most major languages. The booklet can be found www.hamradio-operating-ethics.org/ and also on the RSGB website. The IARU has now become the custodian of the booklet and will adapt and update it to ensure it remains relevant and current.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 15th, LAMFEST takes place at Elescar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open for traders at 7am. Public access is at 10am and admission is £2. All monies raised will be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Further details from Ian, M0IOD on 0191 604 0255.

The Dayton Hamvention takes place between the 20th and 22nd of May at the Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio, USA. See www.hamvention.org for more information.

On the 21st of May the Rochdale and District ARS Summer Flea Market Indoor Sale will take place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 11am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10.45. The rally finishes around 3pm. Entry is £2.50, with those under 12 free. Further details from Dave, G3RIK on 01706 633 400.

On the 22nd the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.org.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

A group of Australian operators will operate from Norfolk Island, OC-005, using the callsign VK9NT, from the 20th to the 31st of May. They plan to be active on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL manager is VK2CA.

Aaron, VA1AXC will remain on the air from Sable Island, NA-063, as CY0/VA1AXC. Find him on 20m SSB. His QSL info is direct to JE1LET.

Janio, PY4NY is operating from to Fernando de Noronha, SA-003, until the 23rd of May using his PY0NY callsign on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and PSK. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Roly, ZL1BQD is on the air as H44RR from Honiara, IOTA OC-047, and then Munda, IOTA OC-149, until the 25th of May. Activity is on the HF bands using JT65, and possibly including 160 metres using CW as well. QSL direct to home call.

Gerd, DL7VOG is on the air as J68GU from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 22nd of May. Activity is on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, RTTY and PSK. QSL to his home callsign.

The European Collins Collector Association put the station TM5CR on air every Thursdays on 14.263MHz at 3pm and on 7.165MHz on Saturdays at 11am, both local time in Paris. Visitors are welcome to join in the nets.

Now the special event news

Today, the 15th, Coventry ARS will operate GB8OMB from The Old Mill at Baginton near Coventry for Mills on the Air.

Cambridge & District ARC will operate GB0CMW from 10.30am to 4pm today, the 15th, from Cattell's Windmill, Mill Road, Willingham CB24 5UU.

Cray Valley Radio Society will put GB6MW on the air from Meopham Windmill, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA from 10am to 4.30pm today.

Leicester Radio Society will operate GB2WWM from 10am to 6pm today, the 15th, from Wymondham Windmill, Butt Lane, Wymondham LE14 2BU.

To celebrate the World Telecommunication Day on the 17th of May, the special event station 8J1ITU will be on the air from Honshu Island, Japan. Activity continues until the 31st.

Now the contest news

The first of this year’s VHF CW Championship events takes place today, the 15th. The 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 15th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 5th of June. Full details from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend on the 21st and 22nd the 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 13th May.

The solar flux index hovered teasingly just below 90 this week, trying to make us believe that we are not heading towards the next sunspot minimum.

There were no significant solar flares, but we did have geomagnetic disturbances, particularly at the beginning of the week. This was due to an ongoing high-speed solar wind stream moving past our planet. The solar wind speed was elevated above 600 kilometres per second with a south-pointing Bz component – meaning it more easily coupled with the Earth's magnetic field. The Kp index hit five on occasions, sparking visible aurora in Northern latitudes.

These are not generally good conditions for long-distance HF contacts, although auroral contacts on the higher HF bands may be possible.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to be in the 90-95 region. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions may continue with this Sunday, the 15th, and next weekend looking the worst.

But enough of the doom and gloom, mid-May should be a good opportunity for Sporadic-E on the upper HF bands, from 20m up.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There was some useful Sporadic-E and Auroral propagation around last week with some Southern and Western British Isles stations working Benin (TY2) via 50MHz multi-hop Sporadic-E, and quite a few Auroral contacts noted on bands up to 144MHz. Next week looks quieter at first with just weak jet streams, but perhaps a stronger and potentially more useful northwesterly jet stream propagating across Scotland into central Europe from midweek to lift hopes later.

With high pressure showing on the charts after the weekend, we could be distracted by Tropo for a while. By the start of this weekend, high pressure will be building across western Britain from Iceland, but being a ‘cold’ high means that any Tropo will be marginal since the low level air below the inversions will be dry and not provide much of a contrast to the dry air above.

The main change during the week is that a ‘warm' high near the Azores will push a ridge towards southern Britain and this time may have moister air associated with it, so offers a chance of better Tropo, especially to the south across Biscay to Spain.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is declining and losses are increasing, so early next week will be the last chance to work the D44TVD GHz Bands EME DXpedition.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th May 2016

The news headlines:

  • G0FUW appointed RSGB Chairman

  • Final ARISS contact on Monday

  • Exams Standards Committee report released

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Steve Hartley, G0FUW, has been appointed as Chairman of the Board for the coming year. Steve has been an active volunteer for over twenty five years, predominantly in training, and has served on the Board for two and a half years. He has led the introduction of the Youth Committee and the UK's participation in the IARU YOTA activities. Steve is a keen radio constructor and QRP operator.

The final ARISS Schools contact between Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon and Tim Peake on the International Space Station has now been confirmed for Monday the 9th of May at 0926UTC, which is 1026BST. It will be a direct contact using callsign GB1OSM operated by The ARISS UK Operations team. The downlink should be audible over Western Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800MHz, narrowband FM.

The first annual report of the RSGB Examination Standards committee has been released. It includes details such as committee membership, results statistics and reports from officers. The report can be found on RSGB website in the Examination Standards Committee pages under Minutes, Papers and Reports.

For those with an interest in World War II history, an auction of a D-Day Museum’s storage is due to take place on the 21st and 22nd of May at the Auction House in Caen, France. Around 800 lots are in the catalogue with items from British troops to French resistance as well as US and German troops. Lots 1 to 418 will be auctioned from 2pm on the 21st, the remaining lots on the 22nd. Public viewing is from the 16th. You’ll find a copy of the catalogue online at tinyurl.com/hdwwgd2

The International Museums Weekends are the 18th and 19th and the 25th and 26th of June. Registration is now open at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Sad news now that long-time newsreader George, GM7GMC became silent key recently. He has been involved with GB2RS news reading for over 25 years, 16 of which he was the sole newsreaders for the Caithness and Orkney area. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

The QTT hour idea has the aim of increasing contacts and friendships between former professional CW operators as well as between the many CW clubs all over the world. The actual QTT Hour is easily remembered and determined by the date in UTC. On the 1st of the month it’s at 0100Z, on the second at 0200Z and so on. The centre of activity frequency will be the same number of kHz from lower band edge. So, on the 17th of the month activity is at 1700Z on 1817, 3517, 7017 and 10117kHz. Full details are at www.vkcw.net/qtt-hour

Today, the 8th of May, there will be no 7127kHz news broadcast from Germany, as both readers are unavailable. News broadcasts will be back to normal on the 15th.

Radio amateurs have been asked to listen out for the SamSat-218D CubeSat in a post on the Hackaday website. The satellite was launched on the 28th of April. SamSat-218D has a Morse beacon on 145.870MHz, which transmits ‘SamSat-218D’. Full details are online at tinyurl.com/hhl9lw8, which also includes details of where to send any reception reports.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider went into standby mode after an electrical transformer suffered a short circuit at the end of April. A small wild animal, believed to be a weasel, had been gnawing on a power cable. Sadly, the weasel did not survive the event, but the LHC should be back online soon. The power outage came just as the LHC was preparing to resume collecting data.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The 35th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place today, the 8th of May, at the SHARE Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland BT92 0EQ. Doors open from 11.15am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A licensed bar and catering will be available on site. Lectures will form part of the day’s activities and there will be a prize draw during the day. Camping is available. More information from Michael, MI5MTC on 0286 862 1436.

Next Sunday, the 15th, LAMFEST takes place at Elescar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open for traders at 7am. Public access is at 10am and admission is £2. All monies raised will be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Further details from Ian, M0IOD on 0191 604 0255.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

A group of three German operators will be on the air from Jericho in Palestine from the 8th to the 15th of May. They will use the callsign E44QX and be on the 10 to 80m bands, mainly on CW, but also some SSB and RTTY. QSLs will be handled by DF8DX.

Gerd, DL7VOG will be active as FM/DL7VOG on the island of Martinique, NA-107, until the 6th of June. He will make a side trip St Lucia, NA-108, from the 12th to the 22nd, where he has applied for the callsign J68GU. Operation from both locations will be mainly CW and RTTY on all bands from 6 to 80m. QSLs can be applied for via Club Log OQRS.

Uli, DJ9XB will operate holiday style as SV9/DJ9XB from the island of Crete, EU-105, from the 10th to the 20th of May. He will be on all bands 40m to 6m with the focus on 6m. QSL to the home call.

Guenter, DL3NBI is on the air as IA5/DL3NBI from Isola del Giglio, IOTA EU-028, until the 13th of May. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL direct to home call.

TG9IIN is on the air as YN3/TG9IIN from Leon in Nicaragua until the end of July. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB, RTTY, PSK and JT65. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

Coventry ARS will operate GB8OMB from The Old Mill at Baginton near Coventry on the 14th and 15th of May for Mills on the Air.

Cambridge & District ARC will operate GB0CMW from 10.30am to 4pm on the 14th and 14th from Cattell's Windmill, Mill Road, Willingham CB24 5UU. The Mill has external seating and tea room, the radio operating location is within the Mill, which is accessed via steps.

Cray Valley Radio Society will put GB6MW on the air from Meopham Windmill, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA from 10am to 4.30pm on the 15th.

Leicester Radio Society will operate GB2WWM from 10am to 6pm on the 14th and 15th from Wymondham Windmill, Butt Lane, Wymondham LE14 2BU. There is a tea room serving snacks and main meals plus assortment of small shops.

GB1MAC will be on the air on various dates between the 13th of May and the 9th of June with Merseyside Air Cadets for the 75th anniversary. The station will be operated by licensed cadets and staff of Merseyside Wing, Air Training Corps.

Now the contest news

The 432MHz-248GHz Trophy ends its 24 hour run at 1400 today, the 8th. Using the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest ends its 24 hours at midday today, the 8th. There are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. Italians send a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, while non-Italians send a signal report plus serial number. Check the rules for scoring.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands today, the 8th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 8th, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB only, exchange a signal report and serial number. EIs and GIs also give their county.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the data leg of the 80m Club Championship, which takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal repot and serial number.

The first of this year’s VHF CW Championship events takes place next Sunday, the 15th. The 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 15th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 5th of June. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of May.

The solar flux index held steadfast at 90 for most of the week, but geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled with the K index hitting five on Bank Holiday Monday. The latter half of the week was a little more settled, bringing better HF conditions with only a few minor C-class solar flares.

At the time of writing, a new large sunspot, number 2542, was just rotating around the sun's limb. This will join the much smaller sunspot groups that are already visible on the solar disk. As a result, NOAA is predicting the solar flux index could rise to 110 on Sunday, before declining to 95 towards the end of the week.

Geomagnetic conditions will remain unsettled, with the K index forecast to peak at five on Wednesday 11th.

The Propagation Studies Committee is pleased to announce the next phase of its experimental HF online prediction system is now available for testing. Codenamed Proppy, it can now provide point-to-point predictions as well as area coverage maps. The system uses the new ITURHFProp engine and users can find a link to Proppy at the bottom of the www.predtest.uk website. The site and software is experimental and the ultimate goal is to move the system onto the RSGB website.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week’s weather will be driven by low pressure to the south of Britain and a high over Scandinavia and later near the Faroes. This could mean a little Tropo from the east coast to Denmark and southern Sweden, but the rest of the country will be influenced more by low pressure and hence a rather showery type of weather is expected, with the chance of some rain scatter on the GHz bands. Later in the week the low pressure will probably drift east allowing a new high to build from Greenland towards the Faroes.

As a general rule, as we approach summer, rain scatter tends to improve due to more intense rain cells at a more helpful height for propagation.

There have been several separate Sporadic-E openings up to 6m within Europe recently, with some reachable from the UK. We are hoping for more this week, but the jet stream pattern is less favourable. More likely areas for the Sporadic-E are well south over Iberia and the Mediterranean plus to the north over the Faroes towards Iceland.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination reaches maximum on Monday and losses are low, so it’s another good week with long afternoon and evening moon windows.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st May 2016

The news headlines:

  • Next Tim Peake contact confirmed

  • Advanced exams now ‘on demand’

  • IARU Interim Meeting minutes released

The ARISS UK Operations team is delighted to announce that the ARISS Schools contact between Ashfield Primary School in Otley, West Yorkshire and Tim Peake on the International Space Station has now been confirmed for Thursday the 5th of May at 0908BST. It will be a direct contact operated by GB1APS. The contact should be audible over Western Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800 MHz narrowband FM.

The Examinations Standards Committee has agreed to offer the Advanced examination ‘on demand’. This means that Advanced exams can be booked in the same way as the Foundation and Intermediate, with the important exception that one calendar month’s notice must be given. On-demand bookings will commence on the 1st of May, so Advanced exams can be booked after then for any date after the 1st of June 2016.

The minutes from the Interim Meeting of IARU Region 1 are now available on the RSGB Spectrum Forum website. Over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of April, delegates from Member Societies discussed numerous papers and proposals on HF, VHF/Microwave and EMC matters. The resulting recommendations for band plan and other changes will be considered for approval by the Region 1 Executive when they meet on the 7th and 8th of May 7. Details at http://tinyurl.com/gkw2w6h

At a recent RSGB Board meeting, the application of the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 in respect of amateur radio activities was discussed. Board Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW will be preparing an article for RadCom giving guidance to clubs and individual Members on how this legislation applies to them.

Due to the increase in D Star activity with many new users of the mode, UKFM Group Western, who maintain D-Star repeaters throughout the North west, has produced a guide to D-Star etiquette. The web page outlines some common practices and hints on use of repeater linking and radio settings, which will be helpful in maintaining the best use out of the system. The page can be found at www.ukfmgw.co.uk under D-Star etiquette.

The RSGB-provided repeater and beacon insurance premium for the period from the 30th of April 2016 to the 29th of April 2017 will be £10 per repeater. If you are a Keeper and have not already received an email about this, you may renew online at the RSGB shop. A certificate will be sent by e-mail once payment has been received, but please allow a couple of days for applications to be processed.

On the 8th of May there will be no 7127kHz news broadcast from Germany, as both readers are unavailable. News broadcasts will be back to normal on the 15th.

The RSGB Examination Standards Committee wishes to appoint an Examination Standards Manager for the Radio Communications Exams. Reporting to the Examinations Standards Committee, the post is responsible for developing and documenting the internal and external procedures that govern the running of the RCE. Candidates should ideally be located in a central part of the UK and be prepared to travel around the UK. They should have a UK Full amateur radio licence and will ideally have experience in a senior position in industry or mainstream education, with responsibility for leading a team and quality management. Those interested in applying should contact Simon Watts, G3XXH, via email to esc.chair@rsgb.org.uk, providing a brief CV and a covering letter outlining how they meet the requirements of this role.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The Dambusters Hamfest takes place today, the 1st of May, at Thorpe Camp Museum, Tattershall Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PE.The venue is all on one level and doors open at 10am. Admission is £3 and includes entry into the museum. Hot food will be available in addition to the NAFFI. This is mainly an outdoor rally but some limited space is available indoors, with a small charge for tables. More information by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk.

Dartmoor Radio Club Rally will take place on the 2nd of May at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8DD. The venue has free car parking as well as disabled facilities but please note there is no talk-in station. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH, on 01822 840 723.

The 35th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place on the 8th of May at the SHARE Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland BT92 0EQ. Doors open from 11.15am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A licensed bar and catering will be available on site. Lectures will form part of the day’s activities and there will be a prize draw during the day. Camping is available. More information from Michael, MI5MTC on 0286 862 1436.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Koji, JI1LET, is operating as JD1BOI from Chichijima Island in the Ogasawara Archipelago, IOTA reference AS-031, until the 6th of May. Ogasawara is about 1000km south of Tokyo and counts as a separate entity for the DXCC Award. Koji is working all bands from 80 to 6m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign.

A DXpedition to Lundy Island, EU-120, will take place from the 2nd to the 7th of May by three members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club from Kent. Mark, G0GQT, Keith, M0KJA and Nigel, G0GDA will be using MX0VRC/P. The island has no grid electricity and uses locally generated power between 6am and midnight, the generators being switched off during the night. Three stations will be using a variety of aerials and running SSB, data and CW on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL is by eQSL. See QRZ.com for more details.

Chris, HB9LCA will be active as YJ0CS from Vanuatu, OC-035, from the 1st to the 27th of May. He will be mainly on CW and will be working holiday style. QSL to his home callsign.

Martin, LU9EFO will be QRV as CE0Y/LU9EFO from the 6th to the 16th of May from Easter Island, SA-001. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL direct via F4BHW.

A group of operators will be QRV as MJ/ON4RSX from St Brelade, Jersey from the 5th to the 8th of May. Jersey is IOTA reference EU-013. Activity will be on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct via ON8VP.

Now the special event news

Ballymena ARG will be operating a station at the Shanes Castle Steam Traction Rally on the 1st and 2nd of May. This will be a station in the Castles and Stately Homes on the Air award scheme. The Traction rally takes place at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 028 2587 1481.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC on Monday. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz-248GHz Trophy starts at 1400 on the 7th and runs for 24 hours. Using the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting at the same start time, but running for eight hours, the 432MHz Trophy and 10GHz Trophy contests are ideal if you are not equipped for all the UHF and microwave bands. Using all modes on the respective two bands, the exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting on the 7th, the UK Six Metre Group’s Marathon is a contest without fixed operating times. The object of the exercise is to work as many Locator squares as possible across three months of the Sporadic-E season. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is you 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest runs for 24 hours from midday on the 7th. There are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. Italians send a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, while non-Italians send a signal report plus serial number. Check the rules for scoring.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest is on the 8th. It coincides with the RSGB events taking place the same weekend. Running from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 8th, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB only exchange a signal report and serial number, EIs and GIs also give their county.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 29th of April.

It's been another mixed week. with coronal holes dominating once again. The K index, a measure of the disturbance to the earth's magnetic field due to incoming solar plasma, fluctuated all week, being as low as one and as high as four.

The solar flux index started the week at 82, but rose steadily to reach 94 by Friday. By then there were actually six sunspot regions visible on the sun, although some were so small they looked like dust on the lens.

Two small, but almost geo-effective, coronal holes could be seen in the Solar Dynamics Observatory's extreme ultra-violet image on Thursday, which suggest we may have unsettled conditions as you hear or read this report. NOAA predicts the solar flux index could rise to 95 by the 3rd of May, although unsettled geomagnetic conditions will continue to affect propagation, especially on the first and fourth.

As we are now in May, Sporadic-E will become prevalent on the higher HF bands, notably ten metres, but more about that later.

Otherwise, a look at an HF propagation coverage map from VOACAP Online shows May generally sees the start of the summer doldrums when maximum usable frequencies are generally lower during daylight hours, but remain higher at night.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We may start this weekend with a weak ridge of high pressure over southern Britain, which is potentially useful for some limited Tropo, especially down to the south towards western France and northern Spain. Unfortunately, almost as soon as it happens, it will be gone and low pressure will be in control, so it's more likely to be rain scatter on the GHz bands from large shower clouds that gives any enhancement locally.

On a more positive note, the Sporadic-E season is now under way and current weather patterns are producing good jet streams in the right places over Europe. These are known to be helpful for Sporadic-E and the Sporadic-E maximum usable frequency has already reached more than 100MHz in the past week over the northern Balkans, and allowed UK stations to have 6 metre QSOs with Greece.

Sporadic-E is not an everyday thing, so check the beacons and clusters to follow any openings as it intensifies. Openings usually start as short skip on 10m, then up through 6m to 4m and perhaps even 2m. There are two main periods of activity from the UK, usually late morning and again late afternoon into early evening.

Moon declination is climbing this week and losses are falling as the moon comes in to perigee on Thursday. So this is a good week for EME with a daytime moon.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • Tim Peake contact on Monday

  • Operating at the Olympics

  • Club Calendar error in RadCom

The next planned school contact with Tim Peake on the ISS is tomorrow, Monday 25 April from The Derby High School in Bury at 1202UTC. This contact will be webcast on the ARISS Principia website and Tim’s transmissions will be audible over most of Western Europe on the usual downlink frequency, 145.800MHz.

Thanks to the Brazilian Amateur Radio League, LABRE, radio amateurs who will visit Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be able to get on the air easily. During August and September any foreign amateur will be able to operate in Brazil, regardless of whether there is a reciprocal agreement. No IARP or CEPT licence is necessary and no fees are required. You just need to send a scan of your passport identification pages and licence, a list of the cities you intend to operate in and when, plus an email address, to executiva@labre.org.br 

We’d like to make you aware that the Club Events Calendar printed in the May edition of RadCom is incorrect. Due to a clerical error, the February information was repeated. A revised version of the Affiliated Clubs Newsletter for May 2016 has been sent out to clubs, and the electronic versions of RadCom on the RSGB website will be issued with errata bearing the correct information. The RadCom editorial team apologises for any inconvenience this error may cause, and has taken steps to reduce the chances of the same thing happening again.

Following agreement with the RSGB Board, management of the Islands on the Air program has transitioned to Islands Radio Awards Ltd, a new, not-for-profit company. This entity will assume full responsibility for all aspects of the program, which it will run in partnership with the Society. The company has been registered in the names of its current directors, Roger Balister, G3KMA, and Stan Lee, G4XXI, and a full Board of Directors will established. The new company is fully committed to completing the paperless QSLing project that will allow electronic confirmation of contacts and no significant policy changes are anticipated.

On Monday, the 25th, ANZAC Day remembers those who died in 1915 in the fighting at Gallipoli. To commemorate this, amateurs in New Zealand and Australia will be on the bands using the same older modes once employed by radio operators in the military. This AM & CW event has become a popular annual ANZAC Day activity with those participating using older, crystal-locked transceivers or former military radios.

Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 426, The Wireless Telegraphy (Control of Interference from Apparatus) Regulations 2016 are now in effect. There is a brief summary in the May RadCom and in June there will be a longer article from the EMC committee. The legislation can be read at www.legislation.gov.uk/2016/426

The RSGB Board is embarking on a review of the Society’s strategic vision and goals and a Member with group facilitation skills is sought to work with the Board and others during the process. Please contact the General Manager via gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk if you are able to assist.

The QSL bureau is pleased to welcome Andy Hood, GM7GDE, as the new volunteer for GM4-8 series cards. Our thanks go to Tom Wylie, GM4FDM the retiring manager and for his help, in ensuring a smooth transition. For details, see the RSGB website.

Twenty five used ex BBC local radio cars are being sold on behalf of the BBC by Cambridge Broadcast. These have a professional technical installation of a pneumatic mast. The vehicles are all Peugeot based on either 806 or 807 models and ages range from 2001 to 2006. Most have technical battery fit-outs with split charging from engine, and external mains inputs, with 19” equipment racks, and audio monitoring. Details are on the cambridgebroadcast.com website

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The Ripon & District ARS Rally takes place today, the 24th, in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am, with entry costing £2. Details are online at www.ripon.org.uk

Today, the 24th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge CB22 6RN. Car parking is free at the venue, which also has disabled facilities. The doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £2. A talk-in station will be on air to assist visitors. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering will be available on site and this year sees new caterers booked. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM, on 0794 197 2724.

The Dambusters Hamfest takes place on the 1st of May at Thorpe Camp Museum, Tattershall Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PE.The venue is all on one level and doors open at 10am. Admission is £3 and includes entry into the museum. Hot food will be available in addition to the NAFFI. This is mainly an outdoor rally but some limited space is available indoors, with a small charge for tables. More information by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk

Dartmoor Radio Club Rally will take place on the 2nd of May at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8DD. The venue has free car parking as well as disabled facilities but please note there is no talk-in station. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on 01822 840 723.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Doug, VK4ADX will operate holiday style from Norfolk Island from the 23rd of April to the 2nd of May. While there he will use the callsign VK9NU and be on SSB only. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Elvira, IV3FSG will be active from the Democratic Republic of Congo for one month. She will operate SSB, RTTY and PSK31 on 80 to 10 metres. Her callsign will be 9Q0HQ/1 from the 22nd to 30th of April and 9Q0HQ from the 1st to the 22nd of May. QSL via IK3GES. Logsearch on Club Log.

Koji, JI1LET, will be active as JD1BOI from Chichijima, AS-031, Ogasawara from 26 April to 6 May. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 80 to 6 metres. QSL via JI1LET, direct or bureau.

Andre, DL1AS, Martin, DM4IM and Erwin, DK4BX will be active from Belize as V31DL, V31IM and V31BX respectively from the 20th of April to the 20th of May. QSL V3V via V31BZ, others via home calls and LoTW.

Mike, VO1OK will also be active from Belize as V31OK.. He will start on 25 April from Belize City, and then will move to Ambergris Caye, NA-073, from the 28th of April to the 3rd of May. QSL via home call.

GS0NWM will be operated by Bob, M0KLO, Glenn, G0SBN, and Chris, GM3WOJ from the Isle of Barra, EU-010between April 24 and 30. The locator is IO67ga, which is WAB NF71. They will be active on 80 to 10m, CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via M0URX, OQRS.

Andy, M1LOL and Ray, M1REK will be operating as MM1LOL from the Isle of Muck, EU-008, from the 1st to the 7th of May. Look for them on 80 to 10m, SSB and data.

Now the special event news

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX today, the 24th, from 10am to 4pm at RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW for Airfields on the Air. Admission to the museum is £3, accompanied children are free.

Ballymena ARG will be operating a station at the Shanes Castle Steam Traction Rally on the 1st and 2nd of May. This will be a station in the Castles and Stateley Homes on the Air award scheme. the Traction rally takes place at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 028 2587 1481.

Now the contest news

The SP DX RTTY contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 24th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with SP stations sending their Province code too.

Today, the 24th, the BARTG Sprint 75 runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest takes place on the 2.3GHz bands and up. Running from 1900 to 2130UTC and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC takes place for an hour between 2000 and 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator only.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of April.

It has been week of mixed HF propagation, good at times and lousy at others. The solar flux index declined from 102 on Sunday to 83 on Thursday, as only one lonely little sunspot remained visible.

The K index, which is the three-hourly measure of geomagnetic disturbance due to incoming plasma from the Sun, has also risen and fallen, starting off at four last Sunday, and declining to one at times during the week.

Looking ahead, the solar flux index is predicted to be between 85-98, according to the US Air Force, rising as sunspot 2533 comes into play over the next few days.

It is bad news on the geomagnetic disturbance front. The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s extreme ultraviolet image showed a massive coronal hole looking straight at us on Thursday. The associated high-speed solar wind stream from this may hit the earth on Saturday, just in time for International Marconi Day. NOAA predicts the K index could rise to four in the early hours of Saturday morning, tailing off to two by late afternoon. This may not bode well for HF propagation.

Unsettled conditions are expected to continue until 26 April with isolated active periods likely. Mostly quiet conditions are expected from 27 to 28 April.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some high pressure during last week produced a little bit of Tropo for stations in the North of England, we are returning to low pressure over the North Sea. This may eventually drift across southern England later in the week. The result is a return of a cool northerly wind and means that April showers will continue to be a theme this week, and hence give options for rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

Last week, Sporadic-E was reported on 10 metres and 6 metres and, with the continued presence of a jet stream blowing down across the UK into southern Europe, there is plenty of scope for further Sporadic-E events this coming week.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower has passed its peak so it is back to random meteor scatter contacts in the early mornings.

Over the next few years, the Moon is entering a phase when high declination is combined with the moon being at perigee or closest to the earth. This means long, high-elevation moon windows will occur when path loss is at its lowest, improving EME conditions. This week, lowest declination occurs on Wednesday so expect short Moon passes in the early hours of the morning.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

Next, the Local News:

Please note that details of all RSGB-affiliated clubs and societies
can be found on the RSGB website, including email addresses
and website links where known.

[Note to Newsreaders: Please read the local news items appropriate to the service area of your transmission.]

NEWS FOR THE MIDLANDS

Now for news from clubs that have several events this week. Leicester Radio Society concludes its CQ LRS weekend of activity today. On Monday there’s a table top sale. Details from Alex, G8FCQ, on 07531 201 640.

Wythall Radio Club has its club net from 8pm on 145.225MHz or GB3WL tonight and next Sunday. Monday sees a curry night at the Monsoon. On Tuesday there’s a Morse class plus a club night and a talk. The regular nibbles night in the shack is on Friday. Details from Chris, G0EYO, on 07710 412 819.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society has an open net on Monday and Thursday from 8pm on 145.375MHz FM and/or 7.16MHz ± QRM. On Friday there’s a skittles evening at Brandon Social Club. Contact John, G8SEQ, on 07958 777 363.

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is having an informal and general operating evening on Monday. Wednesday and Thursday see club nets, starting at 7.30pm on 145.550MHz. Contact Anne, 2E1GKY, on 01242 699 595, daytime.

South Birmingham Radio Society is planning for outside events on Monday. The regular coffee morning in the shack is on Tuesday from 11am. Thursday sees training classes with Dave Murphy, G8OWL. On Friday there’s an open meeting and ragchew. Contact Gemma Gordon, M6GKG, via email to gemmagordon.m6gkg@gmail.com.

On Monday Sutton Coldfield Amateur Radio Society has a club meeting. Tuesday sees a DMR open net on GB7FW slot/local2 from 7.30pm. More information from Robert Bird, by email to spirit.guide@hotmail.co.uk.

Lincoln Short-Wave Club is taking part in the UK Club Contests on Tuesday. On Wednesday there’s a used equipment sale in Aisthorpe Village Hall, LN1 2SJ. The club net is on Thursday from 8pm on 145.325MHz. Saturday sees shack activities plus G5FZ on the air. For more information contact Pam Rose, G4STO, on 01427 788 356.

On Tuesday Salop Amateur Radio Society Club has its CW net from 4.30pm on 144.070MHz. Wednesday sees the club voice net on GB3LH from 8.30pm. On Thursday there’s a natter night. For details, email salopamateurradio@gmail.com.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Monday RAF Waddington Amateur Radio Club has its net on 145.325MHz from 8pm. Details from Bob, G3VCA, on 07971 166 250.

On Tuesday Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association has a slow CW net on 3540-3550kHz from 8pm. More information from Derek Thom, G3NKS, on 01242 241 099.

On Tuesday Derby & District Amateur Radio Society is on the air. Contact Richard Buckby, by email to radio@dadars.org.uk.

On Tuesday Loughborough & District Amateur Radio Club is having a practical evening. More information from Chris, G1ETZ, on 01509 504 319.

On Tuesday Mid-Warwickshire Amateur Radio Society is having a technical topics and homebrew evening. Details from Don, G4CYG, on 01926 424 465.

On Wednesday Malvern Hills RAC is having an informal evening. Contact Dave, G4IDF, on 01905 351 568.

On Wednesday Midland Amateur Radio Society is having a general meeting, along with the shack on the air and training classes. Details from Norman, G8BHE, on 07808 078 003.

On Wednesday South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society has its net on 145.525MHz at 8pm. More information from Andrew, M0NRD, on 07969 062 859.

On Wednesday Telford & District Amateur Radio Society is looking at power supplies, including QRM from them. Contact John Humphreys, M0JZH, on 07824 737 716.

On Saturday Central Radio Amateur Circle has a shed work evening and group meeting. Details from Martin Hallard, G1TYV, on 07948 027 994.

NEWS FOR THE NORTH OF ENGLAND

South Manchester Radio and Computer Club is holding a technical forum on Monday. On Thursday there’s a talk on the science of surfing by Bob Marsh. Details from Ron, G3SVW, on 01619 693 999.

On Tuesday Chester & District Radio Society is having a visit by Paul Darlington of Kanga Products. Wednesday sees an inter club quiz with Wirral & District Radio Society at Irby Cricket Club. Contact Bruce Sutherland, M0CVP, on 01244 343 825.

Halifax & District Amateur Radio Society has its net on Wednesday on 145.400MHz. Thursday sees a net in association with the West Yorkshire branch of RAFARS on 145.350MHz from 7pm. Details from Martin, M0GQB, on 01422 341 317.

On Monday Angel of the North Amateur Radio Club is on the air. Contact Nancy Bone, G7UUR, on 01914 770 036.

On Monday Bolton Wireless Club is having a social evening at Tavern Fayre. For details, send an email to boltonwireless@gmail.com.

On Monday Macclesfield & District Radio Society is watching the WWFF 44 film. For details, email info@gx4mws.com.

On Monday Sheffield Amateur Radio Club is having a shack night operating M0RCU. Contact David, G6DCT, via email to littlewood20@btinternet.com.

On Monday Thornton Cleveleys Amateur Radio Society is having a video night. Details form John E Rodway, G4FRK, on 01253 862 810.

On Tuesday Stockport Radio Society has a skills night. More information from Heather Stanley, M6HNS, on 07506 904 422.

On Wednesday Denby Dale Radio Club is having a night on the air. Details from Darran, G0BWB, on 07974 423 227.

On Wednesday Mid-Cheshire Amateur Radio Society is testing the HF contest equipment. Contact Peter Paul Fox, G8HAV, on 01606 553 401.

On Wednesday Sheffield & District Wireless Society is having a social night. Contact Krystyna, 2E0KSH, on 07884 065 375.

On Thursday Bishop Auckland Radio Amateur Club is having a normal club night with training classes. Contact Mark, G0GFG, on 01388 747 497.

On Thursday Ripon & District Amateur Radio Society is holding a club night. More information from David Cutter, G3UNA, on 01423 860 778.

On Friday East Cleveland Amateur Radio Club is on the air. For more information contact Alistair, G4OLK, on 01642 475 671.

NEWS FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

On Tuesday Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club is erecting the new Antennae A4, with the first call to be carried out by club chairman Jimmy, GI0OND. Details from Dave, via email to muarc.secretary@yahoo.co.uk.

Next Sunday and Monday Ballymena Amateur Radio Group is running a Castles and Stately Homes on the Air station at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. The special event station is part of the steam traction rally at Shanes Castle. There will be catering, family attractions, disabled facilities, car parking and access by public transport. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 02825 871 481.

NEWS FOR SCOTLAND

Stirling and District Amateur Radio Society has training, construction and projects from 10.30am till 2pm today and next Sunday. Thursday sees operating, training and presentations from 7 until 9pm. Contact Myles Williamson, MM0MYL, on 07890 477 516.

Livingston and District Amateur Radio Society is having an operating and training evening on Monday. Thursday sees an operating evening. For more information contact Cathie, 2M0DIB, on 01506 433 846.

On Wednesday Glenrothes & DRC is holding a club night. More information from Tam, MM0TGB, on 0775 3526 498.

On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society has a club night at Braid Hills Hotel. Contact Mike Burgess, MM0MLB, via email to secretary@lothiansradiosociety.com.

On Thursday Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society is having a construction and on the air evening. More information from Fred Gordon, GM3ALZ, on 01975 651 365.

On Friday West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has its regular club night from 8pm at Garnethill Multicultural Centre. For details, email info@wosars.org.uk.

NEWS FOR THE SOUTH EAST and EAST ANGLIA

We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. Cambridge & District Amateur Radio Club has nets today and next Sunday from 8.30am on 144.180MHz USB, from 10.30am on 7.0875MHz or 3.620MHz LSB, and from 11.30am on 145.550MHz FM. Thursday sees a club net from 8pm on 145.550MHz FM. More information from Ian, M0HTA, via email to publicity@cdarc.co.uk.

Surrey Radio Contact Club has a net today and next Sunday on 1905kHz from 9.30am. On Thursday there’s a net from 8pm on 70.300MHz and Friday sees a net on 145.350MHz, also from 8pm. Details from John, G8IYS, on 020 8657 0454.

Fareham & District Amateur Radio Club has a Top Band net from 7.30pm on 1967kHz LSB on Monday. The 2m net is on Tuesday on 145.475MHz. On Wednesday there’s a video night, and Thursday sees a Top Band net from 7.30pm on 1967kHz. For more information contact Steve Ellis, G7HEP, on 01329 663 673.

Southdown Amateur Radio Society has its regular schedule of multiple nets and meet-ups on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday on various bands. For details contact Andy, M6GND, on 01323 486 924.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Monday Eastbourne Electronics & Radio Club is having a talk. Contact Peter, via email to g4urt@btinternet.com.

On Monday New Forest Amateur Radio Society is having a presentation by Richard, M0RBF on mobile installation and operation. More information from Richard, M0RBF, on 01425 612 612.

On Tuesday Dorking & District Radio Society is having a talk on digital amateur radio by Denis Stanton, G0OLX. Contact David Browning, M6DJB, via email to djb.abraxas@btinternet.com.

On Tuesday Leiston Amateur Radio Club has its 2m and 70cm contest. Details by email to m0iah2008@gmail.com.

On Wednesday Bracknell Amateur Radio Club has its net from 8pm on 145.375MHz. Contact Andy, M0HAK, via email to andy@m0hak.co.uk.

On Wednesday Bromley & District Amateur Radio Society has its net, commencing on 145.500MHz at 9pm. Contact Andy, G4WGZ, on 01689 878 089.

On Wednesday Crawley Amateur Radio Club is having a surplus equipment sale. More information from John, G3VLH, on 01342 714 402.

On Wednesday Darenth Valley Radio Society is holding its AGM. Contact Mike, G8AXA, on 01689 856 935.

On Wednesday Norfolk Amateur Radio Club is having an informal and Bright Sparks evening. Details from Chris Danby, G0DWV, on 01603 898 308.

On Thursday Echelford Amateur Radio Society is holding its AGM and watching the Saba Island - Dutch Caribbean PJ6A DXpedition video. Contact John, G4GSC, on 01784 451 898.

On Thursday Edgware & District Radio Society is discussing G3ASR/P operations for 2016, led by Bill, G0STR. More information from Mike, G4RNW, on 02089 500 658.

On Thursday Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club is having a talk on DMR by Matt, M1CMN. Contact Ian, 2E0DUE, via email to hilderstoneclub@gmail.com.

On Thursday Horsham Amateur Radio Club is having a social evening at The Bax Castle, Two Mile Ash. More information from Alistair, G3ZBU, on 07855 268 666.

On Thursday Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society has its net on 144.725MHz from 8pm. The Field Weekend at The Rainbow and Dove Public House, Hastingwood also commences on Thursday. For more information contact Marc Litchman, G0TOC, on 0774 345 6058.

On Thursday Newbury & District Amateur Radio Society is having a talk by David, 2E0GBG about World Scout Jamboree 2015 in Japan. Contact Rob, G4LMW, on 01635 862 737.

On Thursday Norfolk Coast Amateur Radio Society is having a talk on restoring the CR100. Details from Steve, G3PND, via email to info@norfolkcoastamateurs.co.uk.

On Thursday Reading & District Amateur Radio Club is having a talk on the Chilton Ionosonde by Dr Ruth Bamford of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Details from Pete, G8FRC, on 01189 695 697.

On Thursday Thames Amateur Radio Group has its net on GB3DA. For more information email targradio@outlook.com.

On Thursday Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club has an open net on 2m FM simplex from 7.30pm. Details from Gordon, 2E0ELI, via email to acorns@taarc.co.uk.

On Friday Fort Purbrook Amateur Radio Club is having a presentation on transmission lines. Details from Graham Yoxall, M0CYX, on 0785 040 0108.

On Friday Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club has a net on 145.525MHz from 8pm. More information from Quintin Gee, M1ENU, on 023 8078 7799.

On Friday Mid-Sussex Amateur Radio Society is having a quiz and cakes night. More information from Stella Rogers, M6ZRJ, on 01273 844 511.

On Sunday Worthing & District Amateur Radio Club has its regular net on 3.172MHz from 7.30am, followed by the regular breakfast meeting at 9am. Details from Al, M0OAL, via email to information@wadarc.org.uk.

NEWS FOR THE SOUTH WEST

We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. Today and next Sunday North Bristol Amateur Radio Club is holding an open net on GB3BS from 7pm. On Friday there’s a relax and chat evening plus operating and training classes. Details from Mat, G7FBD, via email to g7fbd@gb3bs.com.

The SouthWest Cluster is holding further experimental nets on the DMR Network, Slot 2, Talk Group 950, from 6pm tonight and next Sunday.

Exeter Amateur Radio Society is having an SDR dongles workshop on Monday. Tuesday sees the club net on 145.575MHz from 7.45pm. Contact Nick, M0NRJ, on 01363 775 756.

Thornbury & South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club is on the air on Wednesday. The club net is on Friday. Saturday sees the start of the weekend field event. For details, email night tsgarc@gmail.com.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. Tonight, Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society has its Spring auction sale, open to all who enjoy bargains. Details from John, G4POF, via email to g4pof@hotmail.com.

On Monday Bristol RSGB Group is having a talk by Roger Dixon, G4BVY on complex impedance matching. Details from Robin Thompson, G3TKF, via email to robin@g3tkf.co.uk.

On Monday Weston Super Mare Radio Society is having a construction, operating and natter night. Contact Paul, G3SDH, via email to g3sdh@btinternet.com.

On Thursday South Bristol Amateur Radio Club is having an open house and on the air night. Details from Andrew Jenner, G7KNA, on 07838 695 471.

On Thursday Yeovil Amateur Radio Club has the club station on the air. Details from Rodney Edwards, M0RGE, on 01935 825 791.

On Friday Torbay Amateur Radio Society has its auction and 90/10 sale. For more information contact Dave, G6FSP, by email to g6fsp@tars.org.uk.

NEWS FOR WALES

On Monday Llanelli Amateur Radio Society has a junk sale. Contact Craig, MW0MXT, on 01269 845 773.

On Thursday Aberystwyth & District Amateur Radio Society has its net on 145.500 then 145.550MHz. More information from Ray, GW7AGG, on 01970 611 853.

On Thursday North Wales Radio Society is having a natter night. Details from Ceri Jones, 2W0LJC, via email to 2w0ljc@mail.com.

On Friday Blackwood and District Amateur Radio Society is having a teaching session on D-Star by Andy, MW0MWZ. Details are online at www.gw6gw.co.uk.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB launches new amateur radio video

  • International Marconi Day activities

  • Listen for Tim Peake contact

Amateur radio is a hobby with so many aspects it can be hard to describe and difficult to know what to try first. The RSGB’s new video gives you a taster of just some of the many exciting, challenging and fun things you can do. You can see the video on the RSGB website via www.rsgb.org/main or via the RSGB’s YouTube channel. The Society will take a look at other parts of the hobby in the future, so let us know if you have any particular aspect you’d like to see covered.

Marconi was born on the 25th of April 1874 and amateur radio operators around the world are again taking part in International Marconi Day on Saturday, the 23rd of April. The 24-hour-long event has drawn participation by as many as 60 stations from around the world. GB4IMD will be operating from the Stithians Showground in Cornwall. For a list of confirmed stations visit http://gx4crc.com/imd-stations/

The next amateur radio contact with Tim Peake on the International Space Station is scheduled for the 18th of April at approximately 1456 UTC, that’s 1556 BST. Pupils at St Richards Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea will use the callsign GB4SRC to make contact with Tim, who should be audible over most of Western Europe. Interested parties should listen in on 145.800MHz narrowband FM.

ANZAC Day on the 25th of April remembers those who died in 1915 in the fighting at Gallipoli. To commemorate, amateurs in New Zealand and Australia will be on the bands using the same older modes once employed by radio operators in the military. The AM & CW event has become a popular annual ANZAC Day activity with those participating using older, crystal-locked transceivers or former military radios.

The RSGB is pleased to announce that two members of staff have successfully passed their Foundation licence exam. Membership Secretary Clare Davies is now licensed as M6GSV, and RSGB Sales Secretary Louise Routh, is M6TZH. This now means that 11 of the 15 RSGB HQ staff are licensed, with a mixture of Full, Intermediate and Foundations levels.

Voting closes this week, on the 21st, for the 89th RSGB AGM that will be held in Glasgow on Saturday the 23rd of April, commencing at 12 noon. For details, go to www.rsgb.org/AGM2016.

World Amateur Radio Day takes place on the 18th of April. It marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925. Radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate amateur radio’s contribution to society.

The International Amateur Radio Union has announced that Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, has been appointed to serve as IARU Satellite Adviser. He replaces ZS6AKV, who has served as Satellite Advisor since 1994 and to whom the IARU is grateful for his excellent work. Hans has also been nominated as the CEPT coordinator for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, which will consider a formal 50MHz amateur allocation in Region 1.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 17th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Other attractions include trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and lectures. A raffle will also be held. Catering is available on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

The Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale will be held today, the 17th, at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, Car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering is available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY on 0777 573 8200.

The Martin Lynch Training Academy is hosting RSGB Train the Trainers in Staines on Thames on Saturday 23 April. The course will run from 09.30 until 17.00 and is free for RSGB members. Details are online at www.hamradio.co.uk/training.php

The Ripon & District ARS Rally takes place on the 24th of April in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am, with entry costing £2. Details at www.ripon.org.uk

On the 24th of April the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge CB22 6RN. Car parking is free at the venue, which also has disabled facilities. The doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £2. A talk-in station will be on air to assist visitors. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering will be available on site and this year sees new caterers booked. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM on 0794 197 2724.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Svein, LA9JKA, is operating on Jan Mayen Island, EU-022, on all HF bands, until early October. He is using the callsign JX9JKA. Send QSLs to his home callsign.

Tom, KC0W will be active for several months as KH8/KC0W from American Samoa, using CW only. Send cards to his home QTH in the United States.

Members of the Palos Verdes ARC will be working as K6PV/6 from Santa Catalina Island, NA-066, from the 28th of April to the 1st of May. Look for them operating SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK31 on the 10 to 80m bands. Send QSL cards via K6PV.

Doug, VK4ADC is working holiday style as VK9NU from Norfolk Island, OC-005, from the 23rd of April until the 2nd of May. He will only be working SSB. Look for him on the 80 to 6m bands. Send QSL cards via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau. You may also use eQSL and Logbook of the World.

Alex, W1CDC is on the bands as 8R1A from Guyana until the 24th of April, holiday style. Listen for him on the 80 to 10m bands, mainly working CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Kerry Amateur Radio Group will participate as an Award Station in this year's International Marconi Day event on the 23rd of April. The station will be set up the site of the former Marconi Station at Ballybunnion. Members of the Expeditionary Radio Team will operate from 0000 to 2359UTC on the 23rd. Two HF stations are planned, using EI6YXQ to commemorate the original callsign, YXQ, used for the first transatlantic voice radio transmission in March 1919.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX on the 24th of April from 10am-4pm at RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW for Airfields on the Air. Admission to the museum is £3, accompanied children are free.

North-West ARC will take part in World Amateur Radio Day on the 18th from 12 noon to 4pm at The Brooklyn Hotel, Green Lane, Bolton BL3 2EF.

GB1STG will be on the air for St George’s Day, the 23rd, from 10am to 6pm from Galleywood Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8TS. Operation will be on 40m and 2m.

OE16M will be on the air from the 22nd to 24th of April as part of the Marconi Day celebrations. This is also an official International Marconi Day station and contacts on the 23rd count for awards. QSL via the bureau to OE1WHC.

GB0STG will celebrate St George's Day on the 23rd of April from the Harby Allotments in the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire. The location will be supporting Sheds, Allotments and Green Houses on the Air.

From the 18th to the 28th of April IQ4FE will be on the air to commemorate the World War II battle that occurred near Parma. Details are on QRZ.com.

Pontefract & District ARS will put GB1AVR on the air on the 22nd and 23rd of April for the Ackworth Vintage Rally, a gathering of Scammell and other vintage vehicles.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Britain Datamodes Contest takes place today, the 17th of April. Using the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. There are two separate contests, one for RTTY and one for PSK, and you will need a separate set of entry sheets for each. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600UTC and again from 2000 to 2200UTC. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400UTC and again from 1800 to 2000UTC. Both are split into two periods to allow for good propagation on 40 and 20m in the afternoon and on 80 and 40m in the evening. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 8th of May. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the data leg of the 80m Club Championships take place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using RTTY and PSK the exchange is signal report and serial number

On the 23rd and 24th, the SP DX RTTY contest runs from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with SP stations sending their Province code too.

On the 24th the BARTG Sprint 75 runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 15th April.

No sooner did we say that it was beginning to look like the start of a solar minimum than an enormous sunspot appeared around the sun's limb. Sunspot 2529 has produced a number of B and C-class solar flares. And despite NOAA predicting a solar flux index of around 80 last week, it rocketed to 111.

Geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled all week thanks to coronal hole activity and associated high-speed solar wind streams. The K index hit five on Wednesday and Friday, and hovered around three and four all week. Next week the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90-100. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be more settled, with perhaps Tuesday the 19th and Saturday the 23rd more unsettled.

Speaking of which, Saturday the 23rd is International Marconi Day, when more than 60 special event stations around the world join in on HF to celebrate the inventor's birthday. You can get a nice certificate by working 15 of these stations and Steve G0KYA has a set of propagation conditions for UK stations on his Blogspot page – just Google G0KYA.

Eighty and forty metres will be best for working the UK stations, while 20m may be optimum for the Europeans. The East Coast of the USA is more problematic, with 20 or 17m likely to be the best bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend we still have the leftovers of the low pressure and April showers in south-eastern Britain, but high pressure is building in from the west to affect much of the country early next week. This could bring some slightly-enhanced Tropo conditions, but only briefly since unsettled showery weather will return after midweek. We therefore have some chance of Tropo, mostly West-East paths into northern Europe during the first half of the week, and either side. April showers could give some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

There have been a few Sporadic-E openings on 10m. One on Wednesday 13th April, from Austria to Scotland was crossed by a jet stream over the mountains of southern Germany. It is worth checking the RSGB propagation forum for the daily jet stream forecast charts to see which direction the Sporadic-E might appear from. Look for jet streams crossing mountain ranges like the Alps or Pyrenees.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the 21st and 22nd of April so by now we should be seeing a noticeable increase in meteor rates. For EME operators, the Moon is up in the evening and overnight this coming week, but losses are highest as we approach apogee on Thursday.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • New RSGB General Manager appointed

  • Ofcom revises Licence Guidance

  • New DXpedition Fund trustees

Steve Thomas, M1ACB has been appointed as the new General Manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain. He will join the staff on Monday the 11th of April. Steve has been an active volunteer with the RSGB for many years, and is presently the Regional Manager for Region 12. Graham Coomber, G0NBI will remain in place until the 30th of April, to ensure a smooth handover.

Ofcom have revised their Guidance notes relating to the UK Amateur Radio Licence. The document should be read in conjunction with the Licence, and is intended to help licensees understand and comply with the Licence terms and conditions. It can be downloaded from the Ofcom website, or via the shortcut tinyurl.com/ofcom-ar-2016

The RSGB sponsors HF DXpeditions to the rarer countries through a fund that is supported each year from proceeds of a raffle held at the annual RSGB Convention, as well income from legacies and donations. The Society wishes to put on record its thanks to Colin Thomas, G3PSM who is stepping down as a Trustee of the fund after 19 years, and to welcome two new trustees, Martin Atherton, G3ZAY and Gordon Rolland, G3USR. Details of the fund are on the RSGB website under the Operating tab.

The 89th RSGB AGM will be held in Glasgow on Saturday the 23rd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. For details, go to www.rsgb.org/AGM2016. Please note that online voting closes at 12 noon on the 21st of April. Whilst the Society encourages Members to vote electronically via the website wherever possible, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Lunch will be provided for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website.

The April/May edition of the online RadCom Basics is now available to RSGB Members and was emailed to subscribers last week. It contains features on receiving transmissions from the International Space Station, part two of the feature on making homemade coaxial trap antennas, getting your first HF award with International Marconi Day, plus a look at JT65. RadCom Basics is aimed at new amateurs and those who may want to find out more about aspects of the hobby they may have never considered. You can find out more about RadCom Basics and subscribe in the publications section of the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.

The Martin Lynch Training Academy is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers session in Staines on Thames on Saturday the 23rd of April. The course will run from 9.30am until 5pm and is free for RSGB Members. Train the Trainers is designed to encourage and support anyone delivering Foundation, Intermediate and/or Advanced licence classes who is not already a professional teacher. It's a fun day delivered by 3 enthusiastic professional teachers and keen radio amateurs, who between them have over 50 years’ experience in the classroom. To book a place please email steve@hamradio.co.uk

World Amateur Radio Day, observed every year on the 18th of April, marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925. Radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate amateur radio’s contribution to society. The IARU has provided a World Amateur Radio Day poster that can be downloaded from www.iaru.org under the ‘operating’ tab. Amateurs are encouraged to promote their activity on social media by using the hashtag #WARD2016.

The surprise visit to North Korea by Dom, 3Z9DX last December where he gave a demonstration of amateur radio to local officials has been given approval for DXCC credit. The callsign used was P5/3Z9DX. He made in the region of 785 QSOs and it is hoped that further visits may be possible in the future.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 10th of April, the NARSA exhibition will take place at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and Morse proficiency tests are also available. Highlights include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstand. There is a licensed bar and catering facilities. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also today, the 10th, is the 32nd Yeovil QRP Convention held at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stalls, plus a programme of talks. Contact Bob Harris, by email to wjh069@gmail.com.

Next Sunday, the 17th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Other attractions include trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and lectures. A raffle will also be held. Catering is available on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

The Andover Radio And Computer Boot Sale will be held on the 17th of April at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, Car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering will be available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY on 0777 573 8200.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

A team of operators will be on the air as EP2A from the Gilan Province in Iran between the 16th and 25th of April. They will be using the 160 to 6m bands, except 60m, using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will have four stations on the air. QSL via YL2GM or Club Log OQRS, either direct or bureau.

Brian, GW4DVB will be active as J88PI from Palm Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, NA-025, from the 12th to the 22nd of April. Using an Elecraft KX3 and KXPA100 with a 10m vertical and M0CVO multiband dipole, he plans to operate on the 6 to 40m bands SSB only. QSL via his home address, see QRZ.com.

Listen for Bill, K2HVN, working as 9Y/K2HVN on the Island of Tobago, SA-009, from the 4th to the 26th of April. He will work 40 to 10m holiday style. He will be operating SSB and CW. QSL via his home callsign only; he will not accept LoTW. See QRZ.com for information.

Operators Helen, RC5A and Yuri, RM0F are going to Maldive Islands, AS-013, where they will be active as 8Q7CA and 8Q7FU, respectively, between the 17th and 30th of April. They will work the 160 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns, direct, by the Bureau or the OQRS on ClubLog.

Alex, W1CDC will be active as 8R1A from Guyana from 11th to 24th April. This will be a holiday-style activation of 80m to 10m, mainly on CW. QSL to the home call.

Jacek, SP5APW will visit Koh Rong Sanloem Island in Cambodia from 12th to 18th April. His callsign will be XU7AKC and the IOTA reference is AS-133. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Now the special event news

We have no reports of special event stations taking place this week.

Now the contest news

Today, the 10th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today, the 10th, the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest takes place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the turn of the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships, which runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange s signal report and serial number.

On Saturday, the 16th, the International Sprint SSB contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

The Worked All Britain Datamodes Contest takes place next Sunday, the 17th of April 2016. Using the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. There are two separate contests, one for RTTY and one for PSK, and you will need a separate set of entry sheets for each. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600UTC and again from 2000 to 2200UTC. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400UTC and again from 1800 to 2000UTC. Both are split into two periods to allow for good propagation on 20 and 40m in the afternoon and on 40 and 80m in the evening. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 8th of May. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday 8th April.

It is beginning to look like we’re getting an early taste of the upcoming solar minimum. The sun currently only has one small sunspot group and, at the time of writing, there were no new spots coming up behind it. The solar flux index hovered in the low to mid eighties this week, giving a noon-time critical frequency of 5.9MHz on Tuesday and 5.2MHz on Wednesday, as measured at Chilton, near Harwell. These figures suggest that the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path struggled to get up to 15m, although FT4JA on Juan de Nova has been audible on 12 metres at times. Forty metres was only open to Europe and beyond, after losing its valuable inter-G capabilities.

The earth was hit by yet more plasma from the solar wind in the early hours of Friday, sending the K index up to five.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline further to around 80. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions are predicted for the 11th to the 14th, thanks to recurring coronal holes on the solar surface and high speed solar wind streams. We suggest you get your HF DXing in on Sunday, before the onslaught from the solar wind.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It will be another unsettled week, with low pressure being the main driving force behind the weather, and we are therefore very unlikely to see any enhanced conditions on VHF or UHF due to Tropo. There is, however, still a very good chance of further heavy showers, some thundery, and these big clouds can produce good rain scatter paths on the gigahertz bands.

We mentioned last week that April is the time to start looking on 10m for Sporadic-E openings. There were indeed some fleeting European 10m Sporadic-E paths logged on the various cluster sites last week. Admittedly, some of these have been beacons and skimmers, but it is worth putting in a human presence on 10m just in case any early season paths are accessible from Britain.

As the moon moves away from perigee, degradation on the EME path will increase throughout the week. The increase will be approximately 1.9dB by next weekend. The early part of this week will be favoured by small EME stations.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the 21st and 22nd of April. A noticeable increase in meteor rates can be expected from about the 16th of April.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd April 2016

The news headlines:

  • YOTA 2017 UK Summer Camp

  • Ofcom pausing revalidations

  • KH5K off DXCC List

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the Youngsters on the Air 2017 summer camp will be held in the UK. The Society looks forward to welcoming teams of young amateurs from some 15 countries in IARU Region 1 to the UK in August 2017. The RSGB Youth Committee and RSGB HQ will be working hard over the coming weeks and months to deliver a great YOTA event.

Representatives of the Society met with Ofcom last month. Further details are on the Notices section of the RSGB website. Subjects discussed included how the Society and Ofcom could work more effectively to tackle reports of EMC, implementation of the WRC-15 agreement to harmonise the spectrum allocation at 5MHz and progress with licence re-validation. Ofcom reported that, due to the commissioning of a new IT system, there would be a pause in the revalidation process until later in the Spring.

The ARRL Awards Committee has voted to delete Kingman Reef, KH5K, from the DXCC List, effective from the 29th of March 2016. Honor Roll status will now be attainable after confirming 330 entities on the DXCC List and the total number of entities on the List will drop from 340 to 339.

The findings of the Amateur Radio Survey that was undertaken at the end of last year have now been analysed. An initial summary will appear in the June edition of RadCom and a presentation of the key findings will be made available to affiliated clubs later in the year.

Sad news now. Northern newsreader Hugh Morgan Jones, M1NTO has become a silent key after a long illness. Hugh was a very capable news reader and always reliable. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends. His funeral will be held at Tyldesley Methodist Church on Monday the 11th of April at 10am.

The Leicestershire UHF Beacon, GB3LEU, was switched off on the 24th of February to investigate spurious emissions that were being produced by the transmitter’s synthesiser stage. The design is based on the LMX2541 IC. It is not known how long it will be out of service. If anyone has experience of this particular chip, the repeater group would appreciate a call. Please contact Geoff Dover, G4AFJ on 01455 823 344.

RSGB Members are reminded that voting is still open for the resolutions at the forthcoming AGM. Full information, and details of how to vote, were contained in the April edition of RadCom.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, the 3rd of April, at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and catering is available on site. Further details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

On the 10th of April, the NARSA exhibition will take place at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and Morse proficiency tests are also available. Highlights include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstand. There is a licensed bar and catering facilities. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on the 10th is the 32nd Yeovil QRP Convention held at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stalls, plus a programme of talks. Contact Bob Harris, by email to wjh069@gmail.com.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Four German operators are active as 5V7D from Kpeme in Togo until the 11th of April. They are working all bands 10m to 80m using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL manager is DL9MBI.

Dick, G3RWL returns to Barbados, NA-021, until the 22nd of April where he will reactivate his 8P9DR callsign. He will operate on CW and RTTY. QSLs go via ClubLog OQRS.

In addition to the ongoing Heard Island DXpedition, VK0EK, there will be another rare DXCC entity on the air this week. Until the 11th of April, look out for FT4JA from Juan de Nova Island, AF-012. The island is located in the Mozambique Channel and has a small garrison of French troops and a weather station. QSLs will be available via ClubLog OQRS.

In April, Svein, LA9JKA returns to Jan Mayen, EU-022, for another 6 months on the island. On the air during his spare time as JX9JKA on HF using SSB and digital modes, he will focus on 160, 80, 40 and 30m. QSL direct via LA9JKA.

Akira, JH0CKF will be operating as T88MZ from Koror Island, OC-009, between the 5th and 8th of April. QSL via JH0CKF either direct or via the bureau, LoTW or eQSL.

Now the special event news

Today, the 3rd, GB1HPT will be on the air celebrating RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire. See the entry on QRZ.com for more information.

Now the contest news

The CW/SSB leg of the SPDX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 3rd. Work Polish stations only, giving them a signal report and serial number. Expect a signal report and one of sixteen single-letter Province codes in return. There are a large number of categories, and certificates are on offer for the category winners in each DXCC entity.

The SSB leg of new contest, RoLo 1, which replaces RoPoCo, runs for 90 minutes this evening, the 3rd, starting at 1900UTC. The power limit for all entrants is 100W. Send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full Locator. In subsequent QSOs you send the Locator you received in each of your previous QSOs. Even if you receive a Locator that is obviously corrupted, pass it on exactly as received. This contest is a qualifying event for the HF Championship. It is all about logging accuracy, and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces an error, you won’t lose points.

Also today, the First 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes in the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the UK EI 80m CC, which runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is your 4 character locator.

On Saturday the 9th, the International Sprint CW contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On Sunday the 10th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also on the 10th, the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest takes place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday 1st April.

This past week saw continued low to medium geomagnetic disturbances thanks to ongoing solar coronal holes. A geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for the 2nd of April due to a disturbed interplanetary magnetic field, coupled with elevated solar wind speeds from a coronal hole high speed stream. This could see the K index climb again to five or six. Periods of further, but less potent, geomagnetic storming are forecast for the rest of next week.

At the time of writing there was just one solitary sunspot, which is stable and non-threatening. The overall trend of declining sunspot and flare activity will gradually continue as we slowly make our way towards the next solar minimum around the end of the decade.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 80s. As we are now in April you should be using a smoothed sunspot number of 39 for VOACAP-based prediction programs.

April remains a good month for north-south paths, such as UK to South Africa. We also have the continuing DXpeditions of VK0EK on Heard Island and FT4JA on Juan de Nova Island near Madagascar. The optimum bands to work FT4JA are likely to be 17 or 15m, with occasional openings up to 10m if the K index remains low.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It seems that we are stuck in this slightly unsettled April showers story for another week, with any high pressure displaced to the east and well away to the south-west of the British Isles.

So what does that leave for VHF/UHF operators? From a Tropo perspective, not a lot really, but we could again see some rain scatter options on the microwave bands from the large April shower cumulonimbus clouds. Lastly, it is worth another ‘heads up’ for the 2016 Sporadic-E season, which should be showing its hand on 10m during late April. Dust down those frequency lists, check the beacon portion of the band and give it a try. The 28MHz beacons are listed from page 135 to 140 of the 2016 RSGB Yearbook and, with more than 100 beacons per page, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There is also the prospect of some trans-equatorial propagation activity at this time of the year, making 10m a band well worth keeping an eye on during April.

There are no major meteor showers this week. In the run up to the Lyrids, from the 16th to the 22nd of April, there may be a small increase in random meteors towards the end of the week.

The moon will be close to the sun in the sky on the 7th, so EME degradation will be high due to sun noise. Additional path losses due to the moon’s perigee will be low for a few days either side of this.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • Welcome to BST

  • 10MHz for Internet of Things

  • K1JT is Amateur of the Year

Don’t forget that the clocks changed at 1am today, the 27th of March, for the start of British Summer Time. This means that all times given as UTC in this bulletin are one hour earlier than local time.

Ofcom has announced measures to help ensure adequate spectrum is available for the so-called Internet of Things, and to encourage investment and innovation in this developing technology. The Internet of Things is set to enable large numbers of previously-unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another, a process known as machine-to-machine communications. Ofcom is allocating a total of 10MHz of VHF spectrum including 70.5-71.5MHz that, in 2015, Ofcom agreed could be used by radio amateurs for digital experimentation using a Special Research Permit. Section 4.30 of Ofcom's statement says "Radio Amateurs will continue to be permitted temporary access to the 70.5–71.5MHz band".

Joe Taylor, K1JT has been named as the 2016 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993 for the discovery of the first orbiting pulsar, leading to observations that established the existence of gravitational waves. Joe was first licensed in 1954 as KN2ITP. Since his retirement, he has been developing and enhancing digital protocols for weak-signal amateur radio communication, including JT65 and WSPR.

In the April issue of RadCom, reference was made to GB2RS news reading in Northern Ireland within the GB2RS report. It suggested that there were no news readers there or in the Isle of Man. The GB2RS Manager, G3VBA, would like to apologise for the error as there are a number of excellent news readers in Northern Ireland, some of whom have been reading the news for many years. There are, however, no news readers yet on the Isle of Man. Apologies to all those news readers in Northern Ireland, and our grateful thanks for their service to the amateur radio community.

A new video has been released by the European Space Agency showing a summary of astronaut Tim Peake's Principia mission so far. It can be viewed at https://youtu.be/5PHpF4xnvKQ

On the 21st of March the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, completed its circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere. During the flight, at an altitude of about 11.5km, the balloon transmitted telemetry data at 4 minute intervals using Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600MHz USB, with an output power of just 3mW. Each telemetry packet was preceded by 10 seconds of 1Hz pips for manual alignment and a RSID tone for automatic alignment with suitable software. Additionally the payload had the capability for 144MHz APRS.

An initial meeting for all those interested in Broad Band HamNet, a system of digital communications on the amateur microwave bands, will be held on the 22nd of May at the HQ of Crawley Amateur Radio Club. The organisers hope to attract attendees from across the country. There will be presentations, demonstrations and open discussions. Please contact Ted, G4ELM, via email to BBHN.Event.2016@gmail.com to receive a copy of the agenda and to let him know if you plan to attend.

Two important consultations close at the end of March. These concern the future of the three UK 5MHz beacons, GB3RAL, GB3WES and GB3ORK, and input to the papers for the April IARU Region 1 interim meeting. Comments from all UK amateurs are invited via the RSGB consultations forum, which includes guidance and links to the papers. Please go to the section entitled Forums on the main RSGB website page.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

There are no rallies in the diary for this Easter weekend. The next is the Hack Green Bunker Rally on the 3rd of April at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and catering is available on site. Further details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

The big DXpedition event this week will be VK0EK operating from Heard Island. They plan to be on the air until the 10th of April. This is a multi-national effort is led by the experienced DXer Bob, KK6EK. Up to date info is available on http://vk0ek.org/

Mike, VK8MA is involved with a climate project that will be operating on Ascension Island, AF-003, over the next 20 months or so. He has obtained the callsign ZD8MA and will take an FT-897 with 100W and a Buddipole. He will operate on the 10 to 40m bands as work allows.

Paul, G8AFC will continue to be operational as 3B8/G8AFC from Mauritius on 10m, usually around 28.480MHz ±QRM until early April. 50MHz operation is available if conditions allow. He is running 100W to a Moxon Rectangle and is located right on the north coast. The island has the IOTA reference of AF-049.

Richard, G3RWL is working as 8P6DR from Barbados, NA-021, from the 29th of March until the 22nd of April. He will be on the air holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands using CW and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau using ClubLog OQRS.

Eric, KV1J will be on the air as FP/KV1J from Miquelon Island, NA-032, until the 29th of March. Miquelon Island is part of the DXCC entity of the St Pierre & Miquelon Islands, located off the coast of Canada. Activity is on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign and Logbook of The World.

Joerg, DL3LUM is going to travel to Curacao, SA-099, from the 26th to 31st of March. Using the callsign PJ2/DL3LUM on HF, mostly CW, he will be using a KX3 and a vertical antenna. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau, OQRS, Logbook of the World or eQSL.

Now the special event news

Next weekend, on the 2nd and 3rd, GB1HPT will be on the air celebrating RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire. See the entry on QRZ.com for more information.

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be running a special event callsign to coincide with the club’s 50 year birthday during April. For further information contact the secretary, Dave, by email, to muarc.secretary@yahoo.co.uk

Between the 26th of March and the 22nd of April, Harlow and District Amateur Radio Society will be activating GB0HAF from Hunsdon Airfield for RAFARS Airfields on the Air. Operation will be on HF and 2m throughout the period. More details available on QRZ.com

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB4SL until early April to mark the visit of Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.

Now the contest news

The CQ WorldWide Worked All Prefix SSB Contest is on this weekend from 0000UTC on the 26th to 2359 on the 27th. In addition to all the common prefixes, expect to hear plenty of interesting and obscure ones too. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest will run from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

The CW/SSB leg of the SPDX Contest runs for 24 hours from 1500 on the 2nd. Work Polish stations only, giving them a signal report and serial number. Expect a signal report and one of sixteen single-letter Province codes in return. For single-op stations there are High, Low and QRP categories for single- and multi-band, CW/SSB/mixed, but there’s also an uncommon mixed mode category called Single-Op Three Bands. Certificates are on offer for the category winners in each DXCC entity,

The SSB leg of new contest, RoLo 1, which replaces RoPoCo, runs for 90 minutes on the evening of the 3rd, starting at 1900UTC. The power limit for all entrants is 100W. Send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full Locator. In subsequent QSOs you send the Locator you received in each of your previous QSOs. Even if you receive a Locator that is obviously corrupted, pass it on exactly as received. This contest is a qualifying event for the HF Championship. It is all about logging accuracy, and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces an error, you won’t lose points.

Also on the 3rd, the First 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes in the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society has had to cancel the Oman High Speed Telegraphy Championship that had been planned for the 21st to 25th of September. The IARU Region 1 High Speed Telegraphy Working Group is reviewing the available alternatives.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Thursday 24th March.

This week has seen more settled geomagnetic conditions with the K index hovering around two, although Wednesday saw it spike up to four due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. Sunspot wise, the solar surface was a little lacklustre, with just one sunspot group visible. This pushed the solar flux index to the high eighties.

The current image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft shows extensive coronal holes on both hemispheres. These don’t bode well for settled geomagnetic conditions over the next week.

The solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90. And although both NOAA and the US Air Force are predicting settled geomagnetic conditions, the SDO extreme ultraviolet image suggests otherwise. With a geo-effective coronal hole rotating into position on the sun we could get a geomagnetic storm before the end of the Easter weekend, with subsequent negative effects on the HF bands.

The goods news is that the VK0EK Heard Island DXpedition is under way. The best band and times to work them from the UK appear to be 15m from 0600 to 1400UTC, with potential 17 and 12m openings around the same time. There will be shorter openings on most of the bands at various times of day and night, so see the VK0EK website for more details.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week was poor for tropo despite some forecasts saying otherwise. And it looks like another poor week with low-pressure dominating, especially over the north and east of the country. This means April showers-type weather is the most likely. Since these can often bring large towering cumulonimbus clouds with heavy rain, this provides some prospect of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

On the lower VHF bands, it’s not too long to wait now for the Sporadic-E season. There was one report last week on four metres, with the focus centred over the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. This was probably due to a jet stream being disturbed over the mountains.

Keep a lookout on 10 metres for the characteristic ‘short skip’ conditions as your early season indicators. The RSGB propagation forum will have a map of the jet stream locations each day to guide you where to look.

A week for EME system repairs is coming up as Moon declination is at its lowest on Wednesday, meaning only short, low-elevation windows. The moon is coming back towards us next week, but path losses are still high.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • VK0EK team en route to Heard Island

  • Register for Mills on theAir

  • Roy, G8CKN retires after 37 years of GB2RS

The VK0EK team are almost at the end of their 10 day journey to Heard Island at the time of writing. The operators are currently active as ZL/ZS9HI/MM from Braveheart. Activity has been mainly on CW on 30, 15 and10 meters. See their website at http://vk0ek.org for more information on the DXpedition.

Denby Dale ARS invite registrations for this year’s Mills On The Air weekend that takes place over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of May. Please visit www.g4cdd.net and follow the links.

Roy, G8CKN has decided to retire from presenting the GB2RS news and the RSGB would like to thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the amateur radio community. He started broadcasting at the beginning of the 2m FM service 37 years ago, adding simultaneous 70cm FM and 23cm ATV transmissions for the last 21 years. He then added world-wide internet video streaming some 15 years ago. A replacement or replacements are required to take over the current transmissions on 2m FM, 70cm FM via GB3BN, 23cm Analogue or 70cm Digital ATV via GB3HV and Internet Streaming via batc.tv. Assistance will be given to set up these transmissions and some equipment may also be available. If anyone would like to take over as a GB2RS news reader in Hampshire/central southern England please contact the GB2RS News Manager, Ken Hatton, G3VBA, via email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk.

Following the transfer of responsibility of amateur licence examinations to the RSGB, the Examinations Group is looking for volunteers to join them. Ideally volunteers will have a Full licence and experience in radio communications technology in some professional, educational or employment capacity. Full details are on the RSGB website, just put volunteering in the search box.

Voting has now opened in the RSGB’s 2016 election. Members have one of three options for registering your vote on each Resolution. You can attend the AGM in person on the 23rd of April at Glasgow City Hotel, 36 Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN, starting at 12 noon. You can vote by the internet on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/votersgb16 or you can vote by post by contacting the RSGB HQ by writing to the General Manager, by email from gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk or by telephone 01234 832 702. Full details are in the April RadCom. The closing date for internet or postal voting is 12 noon on 21 April 2016.

A number of teams will be working the CQWW WPX SSB Contest on the 26th and 27th of March. They include members of the CT3 Team, active as CQ9T from Funchal, AF-014, working as a Multi-Single/ Low-Power entry. QSL via CT3KN. Also listen for members of Amateur Radio Taipei, active from Taiwan as BP0P as a Multi-2 entry. QSL via BP0P, see qrz.com. During the contest, listen out for Laurent, FM5BH, who will be active as TO972M from Martinique Island, NA-107, as a Single- Op/All-Band/High-Power entry. QSL via FM5BH direct. The bands will be very busy and you should get the opportunity to work many more DX stations.

If you are looking for something to entertain the younger members of the family over Easter, take a look at the activities available at Bletchley Park. Children will enjoy the Nifty Number trail and the code breaking session available over the Easter long weekend. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk for full details. Don’t forget to visit the National Radio Centre whilst you are there. Remember to take a copy of your licence if you wish to operate GB3RS.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 20th the 31st Wythall RC Rally will take place at the Wythall Radio Club HQ, Wythall Park, Silver St, Wythall B47 6LZ. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30/10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands as well as a licensed bar and catering facilities. Details from Mike on 07976 744 479.

Today, the 20th the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held at Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. More information from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com. 

Today, the 20th, the Causeway Coast Glens AC Radio Rally will be held at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland BT57 8QG. The venue has disabled access and suitable car parking on site. Doors open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Catering facilities are available on site and there will be a raffle taking place during the day. More details from MN0CCG on 0754 492 3956.

There are no rallies in the diary for Easter weekend. The next is the Hack Green Bunker Rally on the 3rd of April at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Herbert, DK2BR is operating holiday style from Con Son Island, Vietnam, until the 26th of March with the callsign 3W2BR. This is IOTA reference AS-130. He will be on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK31. Send QSL cards direct to his home callsign.

Hiro, JA6WFM, will be active in Tonga as A31MM during the CQWW WPX SSB Contest, taking place on the 26th and 27th of March. He will work a Single-Op/All-Band/Low-Power entry. QSL via EA5GL or Logbook of The World.

A group of four Norwegians will sign VK9CK from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, OC-003, until the 26th of March. Operation will be on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY.

Bogdan, SP2FUD and Zenek, SP2GCJ will be on the air as C5FUD and C5GCJ, respectively, from Brufut in the Gambia until the 1st of April. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes a possible entry in the upcoming CQ WPX SSB contest. QSL to their home callsigns.

Bill, K1CN is on the air as C6AMM from Harbour Island in the Bahamas, IOTA NA-001, until the 3rd of April. Activity is holiday style on the 6 to 40m bands using mostly SSB with some CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Between the 26th of March and the 22nd of April, Harlow and District Amateur Radio Society will be activating GB0HAF from Hunsdon Airfield for RAFARS Airfields on the Air. Operation will be on HF and 2m and on various days. More details available on qrz.com or from Colin, by email to g0mgu@hotmail.co.uk

Special event stations in Russia will be on the air until the 16th of June as part of the international scientific-educational radio marathon called Inventors of Telecommunications, established by the Russian Geographical Society and supported by radio clubs and individual operators. There will be awards and certificates. Each RT73-prefix station represents a historical figure in the area of telecommunications or electronics. For example, RT73BA represents Alexander Graham Bell, RT73EA represents Edwin Howard Armstrong and RT73NT represents Nikola Tesla.

Now the contest news

The 24 hours of the Russian DX Contest ends at 1200UTC today, the 20th. There are numerous entry categories, for single- and multi-band, single- and multi-mode, multi-op, various power levels, clubs, and so on. An interesting aspect of this event is the possibility of submitting two single-band entries, for example 15m and 80m. Work everyone and send a signal report and serial number, but expect Russian stations to send you a signal report and a 2-letter Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY contest ends at 0200UTC on the 21st. Operating on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest is taking place at the same time. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it’s the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships taking place between 2000 and 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CQ WorldWide Worked All Prefix SSB Contest is on next weekend from 0000UTC on the 26th to 2359 on the 27th. In addition to all the common prefixes, expect to hear plenty of interesting and obscure ones too. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday 18th March.

This week has seen continued geomagnetic storms, thanks to a high-speed solar wind stream flowing from a geo-effective coronal hole on the sun's surface. As we predicted, last weekend was reasonably settled, but then it all went pear shaped. The K index hit five on Tuesday night, and five again on Wednesday night, this time remaining at five for up to nine hours. High K indices are usually a sign of bad conditions, although there can be highlights.

During the initial phase of a geomagnetic storm you can often get enhanced conditions, but they tend not to last and you can be left with noisy bands and fluttery or no HF signals, especially if they go near the poles.

The noon critical frequency as measured by the RAL Digisonde on Tuesday was 7.2MHz, but just 5.4MHz on Wednesday. Quite a few of the IBP beacons on 14.100 MHz could be heard on Tuesday, but by Thursday morning none were audible.

Next week the solar flux index is predicted to be around 85-95 all week. With no geo-effective coronal holes rotating into view on the sun's surface the K index is predicted to remain around two. This means we may have more settled HF conditions next week. We suggest you keep your fingers crossed!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week’s high pressure gave some modest Tropo openings on the VHF bands, but as hinted at in the last bulletin, it was often handicapped by dry air at the surface, below the inversion. This has the effect of lessening the quality of the ducts formed and makes any Tropo weaker and more marginal. It looks like a similar story through the coming week, with the occasional improved spells when the surface layer of air becomes more moist. You’ll know this by the drizzle and misty low cloud.

As always check the bands and look for areas of fog and misty low cloud on the satellite pictures to see which directions might produce the better quality lifts.

Around the March Equinox, is “Fireball season” A fireball is just an especially bright meteor and they seem to appear in greater numbers than usual around this time. In fact, one was reported last week over the UK. Sadly fireballs are no help to meteor scatter operators as they are so few and are short lived.

Conditions were perfect for the Dubus CW EME event last weekend, with the moon at high declination and just beyond perigee.

Next week, losses will increase to maximum as the moon reaches apogee on Friday and windows will shorten, the declination going negative on Wednesday.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • Belgium gets WRC15 5 MHz allocation and 4m extension

  • Convention video available

  • Kenwood award for 2 and 6m

The Belgian telecoms regulator, IBPT, has issued a decision permitting access to the new WRC15 60m allocation for all Belgian Class A amateur licensees. The allocation is from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. All modes are permitted. Belgian amateurs also now have wider access to 4m. The band 70.1125 to 70.4125MHz has now been made available with a maximum power from the transmitter output of 50W. Secondary status with all modes is available for all Belgian Class A licensees.

Several of the presentations at the RSGB Convention in 2015 were videoed and they are being made available via the RSGB website. The first talk is on Engineering the Gemini range of VHF UHF power amplifiers by Chris Bartam, GW4DGU. Go to the video archives section on the RSGB website.

Kenwood UK has launched a VHF Challenge. The aim is to work as many large locator squares during 2016 on 2m and 6m as possible. For example, one point for a QSO with JO01 and one point for IO91 and so on. All modes are allowed but not the use of repeaters, satellites or other relaying. Provide a simple list of your QSOs with station worked, band, time and locator squares in either a Word, Text or Spreadsheet file to Mark Haynes, M0DXR by email to mark.haynes@uk.jvckenwood.com by the 14th of January 2017. There will be a trophy and prize for the winner.

The MB6IRH wires-x simplex gateway located in Northwich, Cheshire is now live. Located at IO83SG on 431.150MHz simplex, more details can be found by email to g0sph@g0sph.tv

The Arfon Repeater Group has announced an upgrade to their 70cm repeater, GB3AN. It is located on the north east coast of Anglesey near the town of Amlwch. The repeater has a change of operation with the recent installation of a Yaesu DR-1X Fusion repeater system, and following an NoV, it became operational in dual mode. Digital voice mode of C4FM together with normal FM is now available. The operating channel is RB08, an output frequency of 433.2000MHzRX and receive frequency of 434.8000MHz with a CTCSS access tone of 110.9Hz. Report on the coverage would be very welcomed via the website at www.arfon.info .

Stephen Purser, G4SHF has indicated that he wishes to stand down as Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee and the RSGB is looking for his successor. The successful applicant will have experience of the planning process, preferably in a professional capacity, and will head up a small team of advisers. The post will not involve the preparing planning applications for members, only advising members on their preparation. If you are interested in applying for this post, please contact Len, GM0ONXat gm0onx@rsgb.org.uk.

Coming up at the end of March is an opportunity to work the 6th most-wanted DXCC entity according to the Club Log DXCC Most Wanted List. Juan de Nova is a small island located between Mozambique and Madagascar with the IOTA reference AF-012. It was last activated in 2003 but FT4JA should be on the air starting on the 29th of March. Leading up to the DXpedition, two of its operators, F2DX and F6BEE, will head to Mayotte Island, AF-027, which is northeast of Juan de Nova, and be active as FH/ using their home callsigns from the 18th to 24th of March, when they will focus on the 6 to 40m bands. The other eight FT4JA operators will join them later.

The first UK amateur radio contact on the 241 GHz band took place on the 19th of February at 1500UTC between Roger, G8CUB and Chris, G0FDZ. The distance was 30 metres and the CW signals were 559 and 589. The transmit power at each end was in the order of one microwatt and the antennas used were 250mm and 300mm dishes. This contact has been made on the highest frequency allocation available to amateurs in the UK.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The Dover Radio Rally takes place today, the 13th, at the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT163LY. There will be a talk-in station. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors having access from 9.30am. Admission is £2. Highlights include trade stands, an auction, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There is catering available. Information from Peter Love, G0KOK on 07850 464 026.

Also today, the 13th, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at Earlesfield Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XW. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands and a flea market as well as a Bring & Buy stall. Specialist interest groups will be in attendance and there will be an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will be held on the day. More information on 0751 0271 577.

Next Saturday, the 19th, Laugharne Radio Rally will take place in the Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton St, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is free. Disabled visitors can gain access at 9.30am. There will be a raffle and light refreshments on the day. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

Also on the 19th, the 41st Dutch National Radio Flea Market will be held at Autotron, Rosmalen (Den Bosch), in The Netherlands. The Autotron has its own exit with signs on the A59 motorway. Doors open from 9am to 3.30pm. There are more than 330 stands booked at the event.

Next Sunday, the 20th the 31st Wythall RC Rally will take place at the Wythall Radio Club HQ, Wythall Park, Silver St, Wythall B47 6LZ. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30/10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands as well as a licensed bar and catering facilities. Details from Mike on 07976 744 479.

On Sunday the 20th the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held on Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. More information from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com. 

Finally for next weekend, the Causeway Coast Glens AC Radio Rally will be held on the 20th at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland BT57 8QG. The venue has disabled access and suitable car parking on site. Doors open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Catering facilities are on site and there will be a raffle taking place during the day. More details from MN0CCG on 0754 492 3956.

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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

A Polish Team of operators, working as 5J0P from San Luis, San Andres Island, will be operating until the 21st of March, using CW, SSB and RTTY on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via the Club Log's OQRS tools for Bureau and direct requests. No QSL cards please. The QSL Manager is SP6IXF.

Bob, G3PJT will be back in Grenada as J34G until the 24th of March. This will be a holiday style operation with activity mainly on CW on 80m to 10m.

A group of 10 German operators will be in Sri Lanka until the 18th of March. Callsigns to look for are 4S7GWG and 4S7RTG. They will operate on the 6 to 40m bands and QSLs are via Club Log OQRS.

Noel, F6BGC will be operating holiday style on Thulhagiri Island until the 22nd. The IOTA reference is AS-013. Using the callsign 8Q7NC, he will operate SSB, CW and RTTY on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via F6BGC either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

John, GW4SKA plans to operate as GD4SKA from the Isle of Man, EU-116, from IO74QB from the 15th to the 23rd. He will be on the 10 to 80m bands using RTTY and PSK, including an entry in the BARTG RTTY Contest using the callsign GD0A. Logs will be put to Club Log daily, QSL via M0OXO.

Bert/DK2BR will be active holiday-style until the 26th from Con Son Island, AS-130. Operating as 3W2BR on the 10 to 40m bands he will be using SSB, RTTY, and PSK31 running 100W and verticals. QSL via DK2BR direct.

Now the special event news

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB4SL on the 12th of March for 28 days to mark the visit of Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan to Pontefract.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the 15th and 16th, Mid-Somerset Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station GB4BSC for British Science Week at the Blue School in Wells, Somerset. Operation will mainly be on 40m from around 9am to 5pm each day. If you hear them please give them a call as the students will be taking part in greetings messages. A special QSL card will be available and QSLs should be via the QSL manager Brian, G0FZI.

Orchard County DX Club will be operating a station, MN0OCG, for St Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March from 1am to 11.59pm. It is an official station for the St Patrick Day Award. Contact Alex Simpson, MI0MVP, on 0283 898 7505.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Britain 3.5 MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 13th, from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 3rd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets are on the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Sunday the 13th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hours runs at 1000UTC today, the 13th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

For 24 hours over the weekend of the 19th and 20th the Russian DX Contest takes place. There are numerous entry categories, for single- and multi-band, single- and multi-mode, multi-op, various power levels, clubs, and so on. An interesting aspect of this event is the possibility of submitting two single-band entries, for example 15m and 80m. Work everyone and send a signal report and serial number, but expect Russian stations to send you a signal report and a 2-letter Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY contest runs from 0200 on the 19th to 0200UTC on the 21st. Operating on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday 11th March.

Last week we said that a geo-effective solar coronal hole looked like it might threaten the Earth, and we were right. Its open magnetic field allowed plasma to escape, impacting the earth on Monday and sending the K index up to six. This also sparked visible aurora, which were seen in southern UK.

This didn't bode well for the HF bands, which continued to suffer all week as the K index struggled to recover. Having said that, DX was workable at times. The TX7EU DXpedition in French Polynesia, for example, has been worked from the UK by some better-equipped stations.

This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 90-95. Geomagnetic conditions may be quieter at the beginning of the week, but storm conditions may return with a vengeance from Wednesday onwards.

Make the most of the slightly more settled conditions this weekend when the CW-only Commonwealth Contest should give you a great opportunity to work some rare DX entities with little competition from the rest of the world.

The K index is predicted to hit four again on Wednesday and five for the rest of the week. So we can expect noisy band conditions, with lower maximum usable frequencies plus visible and radio aurora.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This may be a good week to look for DX on the multimode part of the bands. At last, we have the prospect of some longer lived Tropo as high pressure over Scandinavia links up across the UK with the high near the Azores.

Throughout the week, high pressure will always be nearby, ending up over the North Sea or Scandinavia.

High pressure areas tend to develop temperature inversions in the lower atmosphere with the effect of changing the refractive index of the air over a short vertical distance.

In the right conditions, this can form a duct whereby VHF/UHF signals can travel over much longer distances than normal. These Spring systems are not usually as good as the Autumn ones, since the air below the inversion is often cold and dry, reducing the refractive index change.

The western side of Britain may have low pressure to deal with by the end of the week, but eastern areas across to Scandinavia and northern Europe should yield some results through to the following weekend.

This is another quiet week for meteor activity, and for EME operators the Moon reaches maximum declination on Wednesday. This gives long moon windows, albeit with increasing losses as the moon heads out to Apogee.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

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