RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. December 2014.

December 19, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Christmas and New Year arrangements

  • Youngsters on the Air news

  • Island DXpedition to Iran announced for January

This is the penultimate GB2RS broadcast of 2014 and the RSGB sends its seasonal greetings to all listeners. There will be no news readings on 4 January. The RSGB HQ will close for the Christmas and New Year holiday at noon on 24 December. It will re-open on 5 January. The National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be open until the end of the day on the 22nd; it will re-open on 2nd January. We would like to thank those volunteers who continue to give their time to keep the NRC open and on the air.

December is Youngsters on the Air month and 37 stations will be operating all around Europe, Africa and the Middle East getting young people involved in amateur radio. There are even two stations from Asia and the Caribbean that are part of this event. In the UK, the callsign G14YOTA is moving around the country throughout December. Today, the 21st, Wirral & District ARS will operate the callsign and on the 27th and 28th it will be Wolverhampton ARS. If you hear young people on the air at these stations, please take the time to speak to them.

The Rockall DX Group are planning a new challenge for January – activating Kish Island, Iran, which is IOTA AS-166 and number 33 on ClubLog’s DXCC Most Wanted list. EP6T should be on the air from 16th January, operating from 160m to 10m. Emphasis will be on 160m, and the operation is expected to continue until 26 January. According to the ARRL, of Iran’s 80 million citizens only 13 are licenced amateurs, although 60 students have recently passed their exams and should be able to receive an EP callsign in the near future. Details of the EP6T DXpedition can be found at www.rockall.be

The RSGB Board is delighted to announce the co-option of Barrie Palin, G4AHK, to the vacant Nominated Director vacancy. Barrie is the chairman of the Bromsgrove and District Amateur Radio Club in the West Midlands and is active on the HF and VHF bands. He will initially take the lead role on the Board for the implementation of the Promotional Plan that is currently being finalised.

Scottish Memories is a monthly nostalgia magazine and in an upcoming issue they are planning to publish a wartime special feature focusing on World War Two. As part of this they are hoping to write a feature about the huge impact of radio on ordinary families during the war. Deputy Editor, Rachel Bellerby, would like to hear from amateurs who were involved in radio during the war years or whose family were. Please e-mail her via rachelb@warnersgroup.co.uk

There is a small group of RSGB Members in Poland who are trying to form a group so they can keep in touch and generally form a virtual radio club based around their common interest as Members of the RSGB. Anyone in Poland, any Polish radio amateurs living in the UK, or anyone who has a connection with Poland is invited to e-mail radcom@rsgb.org.uk, marking the e-mail RSGB-PL for SQ8PDP. All e-mails will be forwarded.

2015 will see a new IRTS award available, the Worked all Ireland Counties Award. It is designed to encourage activity and is based on working or hearing a combination of squares and counties in Ireland. The detailed rules are available atwww.irts.ie/wai15

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

The first rallies of the New Year are on 18th January when the Hatherleigh Rally will open in Devon at 10am and the Red Rose Winter Rally will open at 11am in Manchester. More details will be in 2015.

As a prelude to the move to larger premises in the New Year, ML&S will start a post-Christmas sale from 27 to 31 December. As well as the usual fare, there will be older kit that he doesn’t want to take with him, which sounds like a club junk sale night.

The latest list of rallies is on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/ukevents and if your rally isn’t there, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

WW1USA will be on the air on 27th and 28th December to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914. Details are on QRZ.com.

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

Special callsigns in the format E50x have been issued to the seven resident amateurs in the Cook Islands, OC-194, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Self Governance. They may be used at the operator's discretion between 1st January and 31st December 2015.

RV3ARY is planning to operate from Mount Vinson in Antarctica between 24th December and 3rd January. He will use battery power and take Windom and Yagi antennas for 20 metres. Listen out or him on 7.045, 14.260 and 21.260MHz.

F2VX and F9IE will be active stroke FM from Martinique, NA-107, until 8th January. Operations will be on all HF bands using CW and SSB from FM5WD’s station. QSL via their home callsigns.

Bruce, 3W3B will be in Laos operating as XW4XR until 2nd January. He operates CW and RTTY and his QSL manager is E21EIC.

Nobuaki, JA0JHQ will sign JA0JHQ/VK9N from Norfolk Island, OC-055 until 22nd December. He expects to be mainly active on 17 and 15m SSB. QSLs go via the home call.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st and continues for two months. The Winter Marathon isn’t a contest in the traditional sense; it’s basically a way of promoting activity on 6m during the winter. There are no points for individual QSOs; just for working as many Locator squares as possible. You can claim the squares worked in any 6m contest over the period, as well as non-contest QSOs. The exchange is simply signal report and locator.

For anyone wanting a good excuse to disappear into the shack on Boxing Day – and the three following days – the Christmas Cumulatives run for 2 hours on the 26th to the 29th. 6m, 4m, 2m & 70cm are in use each day, so band hopping is essential if you want to do well. Operations take place from 1400 to 1600UTC each day and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The DARC Christmas Contest runs for 2½ hours on Boxing Day morning. There isn’t likely to be much propagation between the UK and Germany on 80m at this time of day, so 40m will carry most of the traffic for participating UK stations. Starting at 0830UTC the exchange is signal report and serial number, with DL stations sending DOK or NM.

Finally, the RAC Canada Winter Contest is on Saturday 27th from 0000 to 2359UTC. There are numerous entry categories and everyone can work everyone, but concentrate on working Canada because Canadian Provinces and Territories are where the multipliers are. Certificates are on offer to the winner of each category in each DXCC entity. You can use the 1.8 to 144MHz bands, either CW or phone. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with VE stations also sending their Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 19th of December

The sun remains peppered with a large number of spots. This has kept the solar flux index up in the 160s, even peaking at 192 on the 18th. This has also brought a lot of M and C class solar flare activity with associated short-term blackouts, although there have been no mammoth X-class events.

Continuing high solar wind speeds has kept the K index at 2 or 3, which has not helped HF conditions. But despite this there has been much DX to be worked, with 12m and 10m being wide open during daylight hours.

Christmas Eve sees a rare opportunity to hear the Swedish Grimeton SAQ VLF station, which will be transmitting a Christmas message in CW on 17.2kHz from 0800UTC. The massive 200kW Andersson alternator will be tuned up on air from 0740. The special event station SK6SAQ will also be on air from the site, with CW and SSB transmissions on 80m, 40m and 20m. All of these may be suitable for reception in the UK.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Season’s greetings to all the VHF/UHF DXers from meteorologist Jim Bacon, G3YLA, who reports that, like last week, the weather is still not playing ball.

Low pressure will be nearby for the whole week and we’re unlikely to see much scope for high pressure driven lifts, but there are some hints that the south of the country may get onto the northern flank of a ridge over France, Biscay and Iberia later.

So in the south – look south, and perhaps in the north, looking north could work if the sun produces any significant auroral activity.

Last week’s Geminids meteor shower was a good one and not long to wait until the Quadrantids, which run from January 1st to 5th. It peaks on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th.

In the UK, it’s a daytime Moon, reaching its lowest declination today, but it will be at perigee – that’s the closest point – on Wednesday, meaning lowest path losses, but increasing moon time this week.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th. December 2014.

December 12, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Amateur Radio Licence review forum launched

  • New record for Logbook of the World

  • Watch SSTV from the ISS this week

Ofcom has now published the revised Amateur Radio Licence and has advised that there will be guidance to accompany the licence. The RSGB has opened a forum to provide the opportunity to discuss what information would be helpful in that document. There may also be questions about implementation that forum members wish to be clarified. The forum is open for your posts via the main section of the RSGB website.

The ARRL’s Logbook of The World online card-less contact-confirmation service has recorded a new milestone of 100 million QSL records out of some 630 million uploaded contacts. That’s an increase of more than 18 million QSL records since the end of last year. WJ1B from the ARRL commented that if placed end to end, that many QSLs would reach more than 17,000 miles — not quite all the way around the world, but enough to qualify as a ‘long-path’ QSO.

The Russian ARISS team members plan to activate SSTV from the International Space Station on the 18th and 20th of December. The expected SSTV mode will be PD180 on 145.800MHz FM with 3 minute off periods between transmissions. A total of 12 different photos will be sent during the operational period. Start time will be around 1420UTC on the 18th and 1240UTC on the 20th. The transmissions should terminate around 2130UTC each day.

December is Youngsters on the Air month and 37 stations will be operating all around Europe, Africa and the Middle East getting young people involved in amateur radio. There are even two stations from Asia and the Caribbean that are part of this event. In the UK, the callsign G14YOTA is moving around the country throughout December. Today, the 14th, Wakefield & District Radio Society will be operating the station, with Castle Rushden High School Radio Club taking over operation on the 17th, 18th and 19th. Then, next weekend, the 20th and 21st, Wirral & District ARS will be getting young people on the air. If you hear young people on the air at these stations, please take the time to speak to them.

On 8th December, a group of Polish amateurs reported receiving ARTSAT2 DESPATCH from deep space at a distance of 2,316,759km. The previous day, the same group of radio amateurs also received the 437.385MHz amateur radio signal from the Shin'en2 spacecraft at a distance of 1,511,246km.

Sad news now, we regret to announce that John Dunnington, G3LZQ became a Silent Key on 8th December, passing away peacefully in his sleep. John generously served amateur radio and the Society in many ways, including DXpedition Fund Manager and Awards Manager.

Also ex GB2RS newsreader, Bill Carpenter, G4KQJ passed away at the end of November. He retired from his position as a West Yorkshire GB2RS newsreader in the first half 2014, having served in that position for ten years. Our thoughts are with both families and their friends at this difficult time.

The next Bath Buildathon is to be held on 10th January. The aim of the event is to encourage newcomers to have a go at homebrewing radio equipment under the watchful eye of some experienced radio constructors. The chosen kit is the Rode receiver from Walford Electronics, which can be used on any one band, 80, 40 or 20m. The Buildathon is planned to run from 9am to 5pm. All soldering and test equipment will be made available on the day. The cost of the day will be £55 to include the kit, room hire, use of tools, tea, coffee and biscuits etc. You just need to bring yourself and a packed lunch. Places will be limited to ensure that everyone gets good mentoring. For further details, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

Chris, M0KPW is looking for people who have information on the history of amateur radio in the Furness area, South Cumbria, between around 1950 to 1970. He's looking for information on activities in the areas around that time, old photographs, facts, anecdotes etc to help him put together a talk about the history of radio in the area. If you used to live in the area, or have visited the area over the years, and have any information please contact Chris by email to furnessamateurradio@outlook.com or visit m0kpw.com

And now for the details of forthcoming rallies and events

The first rallies of the New Year are on 18th January when the Hatherleigh Rally will open in Devon at 10am and the Red Rose Winter Rally will open at 11am in Manchester. More details will be in the New Year GB2RS news.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

WW1USA will be on the air on 27th and 28th December to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914. Details are on QRZ.com

Members of the GTM Radio Club in Belgium will be on the air using ON70BUTS until 14th January to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge. QSL via ON4CFB.

Special event station R100DA is on the air until the end of December to commemorate the long-distance flights by the Russian Air force that began 100 years ago. Russian stations QSL via RV3YR and the rest of the world via GM0WRR.

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

Felix, DL5XL is on the air as DP1POL on Neumayer III, IOTA AN-016, until the end of February 2015. Activity is on the HF bands using mainly CW, but also some SSB and RTTY. QSL via DL1ZBO.

Harald, DF2WO is QRV as D44TWO from Santiago Island, IOTA AF-005, until 8th January. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO.

Armin, DK9PY will be signing 6Y6N from Jamaica, NA-097, until 17th December. Look for him on all bands from 10 to 80m using CW. QSLs go via his home call.

Gough Island in the Southern Atlantic will be on the air as ZD9A soon. The operator will be David, ZS1BCE, who will be working at the weather station there for several months.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st and continues for two months. The Winter Marathon isn’t a contest in the traditional sense; it’s basically a way of promoting activity on 6m during the winter. There are no points for individual QSOs; just for working as many Locator squares as possible. You can claim the squares worked in any 6m contest over the period, as well as non-contest QSOs. The exchange is simply signal report and locator.

The ARRL 10m Contest ends its 48 hours at 2359UTC today, the 14th. In this event everyone can work everyone. It is phone and CW on the 28MHz bands with the exchange being signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations send their State or Province code. It has too many sections to list here, so please visit the ARRL web site to see them all.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday the 12th of December.

NOAA and the US Air Force had predicted that last week’s solar flux index would be in the range 160 to 180, which turned out to be slightly over optimistic. Geomagnetic conditions were also predicted to be unsettled towards the end of last week due to a recurrent coronal hole, but reality was a little better. This just goes to show how hard it can be to accurately predict solar conditions and events.

This week the sun looks like it will continue in a similar vein, with the solar flux index predicted to remain in the 170s. We run the risk of continuing C and M-class solar flares, which could cause HF blackout problems at times.

With the winter solstice just around the corner on 21st December, now is the time to concentrate on the lower bands, 160m, 80m and 40m. The long hours of darkness offer plenty of opportunity for DX, with much reduced D layer absorption during the day on paths in the Northern Hemisphere as well.

If you really fancy a challenge, listen out for US medium wave broadcast stations during the night and around UK sunrise. WBBR on 1130kHz in New York City is one of the louder ones, but you may need a decent antenna and quiet geomagnetic conditions to snag it.

The lead up to Christmas looks like a continuation of the unsettled pattern with the main Atlantic jet stream in the upper atmosphere still driving areas of low pressure across northwest Europe. This means more wet and windy weather with very little chance of significant temperature inversions developing. It’s likely to be a quiet time again on VHF/UHF during the coming week. The nearest area of high pressure is located over the Azores, with the hint of a weak ridge into Biscay and Spain. This is unlikely to be very productive for radio paths from the UK.

As a long shot, this is the time of the year when the relatively rare winter Sporadic-E events can occur, so check the jet stream positions and the 10m and 6m beacons and you could put some out of season Sporadic-E contacts in the log.

The Geminids meteor shower is past its peak now, but the Quadrantids are less than a month away, so it’s back to early morning random meteors for MS enthusiasts.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 7th. December 2014.

December 5, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom announces Licence Review Decision

  • This week’s Youngsters on the Air stations

  • Tromelin Island FT4A slide show available online

On Friday morning Ofcom published a decision to update the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence, following a consultation published in September. These include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences. The RSGB is pleased that Ofcom have taken into account the views expressed by the Society and the many amateurs who responded to the consultation, and will open a discussion forum on the RSGB website on Monday about the new draft licence. The document can be downloaded from http://ofcom.cmail1.com/t/i-l-sididl-qhdjytih-h/

December is Youngsters on the Air month and 37 stations will be operating all around Europe, Africa and the Middle East, getting young people involved in amateur radio. There are even two stations from Asia and the Caribbean that are part of this event. In the UK, the callsign G14YOTA is moving around the country throughout December. Today, the 7th, Leicester Radio Society will be on the air, followed by St Georges Academy Radio Club on the 8th and Pentland Firth Radio Hams on the 10th. Silcoates School goes on the air on the 11th and 12th, followed by the RSGB Region 8 team on the 13th. Finally for this week, Wakefield & District Radio Society will be on the air next Sunday, the 14th. If you hear young people on the air at these stations, please take the time to speak to them.

F5CWU reports that a slide show covering the 2014 Tromelin Island FT4TA operation is now available for viewing on the web. The show is made up from the selected photos out of the thousands that were taken, beginning with the approach by air to the island. You can see them with either French or English captioning at tinyurl.com/tromelin-2014-photos. A video of the expedition is being edited and will hopefully be available in early 2015.

Ofcom has published a call for inputs as part of its strategic review of the 420-470MHz band. This will help Ofcom to understand whether its current approach to managing the band is able to meet the needs of current and future users. Users include business radio, the emergency services and utilities and demand is increasing. This call for inputs closes on 19 February 2015. You find the consultation and response instructions on the Ofcom website.

The IOTA Committee has been made aware that Dino Island no longer meets the requirements laid down for qualification for IOTA and have decided that it should be withdrawn from EU-144 with effect from 1 January 2015. The distance separating the island from the mainland has reduced as the beach area gradually encroached into the channel and is now significantly less than the required 200 metres. Credit will continue to be given for contacts with Dino made before 1 January 2015. See the IOTA website www.rsgbiota.org for full details.

A GB2RS news reading will take place over the Christmas and New Year break, with a script planned for 28th December. The deadline for this script is 10am on Tuesday 23rd December. Please send news items to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. There will be no script for 4th January. The first GB2RS news script for 2015 will be for reading on the 11th January and the deadline for news is 10am on Thursday 8th January.

The December/January edition of the New Starter’s Newsletter is now available to RSGB Members. You will need to log into the RSGB Membership Services to read the articles. Amongst the subjects in this issue are using beacons to gauge HF propagation, getting the most from your 2m handheld and how to build a simple multiband vertical for HF.

The RSGB Youth Committee met in late November and the minutes are now on the RSGB website at http://rsgb.org/main/blog/youth-committee-meeting-minutes/2014/12/01/yc-meeting-minutes-261114/.

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

The final rally of the year is today, 7th December, when the Bishop Auckland RAC Rally will take place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 30 minutes earlier. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics and Bring & Buy stalls as well as catering and bar facilities. Admission is £2, with under 14s accompanied by an adult free of charge. More from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

VP8RAF/100 will be on the air to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the World War One Battle of the Falklands that took place on 8th December 1914. The station should be active from the 4th to 12th December. Other Falkland Island stations will be active until 15th December 2014 as part of the commemorations. Check out QRZ.com for the full details. The December predictions indicate that conditions should be fairly reliable on 40m from around 2200 to 0600UTC.

WW1USA will be on the air on 27th and 28th December to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914. Details are on QRZ.com.

K9C will be on the air on 13 December from 1600 to 2200UTC from Rudolph in Wisconsin, USA. There is a special Rudolph QSL and certificate available. See www.QRZ.com/db/kc9pg

Pentland Firth Radio Hams will be running GM14YOTA from Thurso Sea Cadet Corps, Thurso, on Wednesday 10th December from 7pm. Operations will be primarily on the 40m band, depending on conditions, and operating frequencies will be sent to the DX Cluster. For further info contact Denny Morrison on 0711 682 756.

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

IK1PMR and PA3LEO will be on the air signing portable EA8 from Tenerife, AF-004, until 8th January 2015. Activity will be on the 6 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via HB9FKK or each operator’s home callsign, direct or via the bureau. Electronic QSLs go via Logbook of the World or direct email.

Robert, N7XR will be active from Diego Garcia, AF-006, in the Chagos Archipelago for about three weeks. While there he will use the callsign VQ9XR or possibly VQ92X. He will be on all bands from 10 to 160m. QSLs go direct to N7XR.

Freddy, F4HEC will be QRV as JD1BOX from Ogasawara, AS-031, from until 12th December. Ogasawara, which is about 1000km south of Tokyo, counts as a separate entity for the DXCC award. QSL to his home callsign.

Felix, DL5XL will be operating as DP1POL from the German Neumayer Antarctic Base until February 2015. Activity will be mainly on CW, and QSLs go via DL1ZBO.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and continues for two months. The Winter Marathon isn’t a contest in the traditional sense; it’s basically a way of promoting activity on 6m during the winter. There are no points for individual QSOs, just for working as many Locator squares as possible. You can claim the squares worked in any 6m contest over the period, as well as non-contest QSOs. The exchange is simply signal report and locator.

The 144MHz AFS Contest is on from 1000UTC to 1600UTC today, the 7th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 9th it is the 432MHz UK Activity Contest that runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL 10m Contest runs for 48 hours on the 13 to 14th, from 0000 to 2359UTC. In this event everyone can work everyone. It is phone and CW on the 28MHz bands, with the exchange being signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations send their State or Province code. It has too many sections to list here, so please visit the ARRL web site www.arrl.org to see them all.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 5th of December.

As predicted, HF conditions were very good for the CQ Worldwide contest last weekend, although NOAA were wrong with their predicted solar flux index. Instead of 135 it was actually 177. There were no major flares or coronal mass ejections to upset the ionosphere with the result that all of the HF bands were very active, with 10m giving CW contacts from the UK into the far west of the USA, including California, W6 and Washington State, W7.

This week the sun looks like it may be less active, but there are a couple of spots that will rotate into view. As a result NOAA/USAF predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 160 to 180.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be unsettled due to a recurrent coronal hole with the Kp hitting four at middle latitudes towards the end of the week. This could result in poor conditions on HF on Thursday and or Friday with potential auroral openings on VHF.

NOAA in the USA has said that it looks like solar maximum occurred in April, although it was modest compared with the previous cycle. This can only be only be confirmed in hindsight as we see what the coming months bring in terms of solar activity.

And now the VHF and up propagation news by G3YLA

Sadly, the slight improvement in VHF/UHF fortunes of last week are rapidly fading as the next series of strong lows move across the Atlantic towards the British Isles. With little prospect of high pressure systems, it seems likely that conditions will be flat for much of the coming week as wet and windy weather destroys any chance of significant inversions forming.

To leave it on a slight upbeat, some of the models do suggest a weak ridge towards the very end of the week, but a lot can change between now and then.

There is plenty to keep the VHFer busy though, as the Geminids meteor shower reaches its peak next Friday and Saturday. All this coming week we should see evidence of the shower with improved meteor scatter conditions on the lower VHF bands.

For EME operators, the Moon reaches its highest declination today, Sunday, declining next week, so still plenty of Moon time, at the cost of high losses as the Moon reaches apogee, its furthest point from earth, on Friday.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 30th. November 2014.

November 28, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters on the Air month starts

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • Details of next Bath Buildathon

December is Youngsters on the Air month and stations will be operating all around Europe getting young people involved in amateur radio. The callsign G14YOTA is moving around the UK throughout December. On the 1st it will be operated by the Wessex Contest Group, on the 3rd by Aberystwyth University, the 4th it is on the air from Priory Academy in Lincoln, 1st Blaina Scout Group take over for the 6th and Leicester Radio Society on the 7th. If you hear young people on the air at these stations, please take the time to speak to them.

On 3rd December, it is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Several countries will be active with special event stations. Listen out for 9K2WDD from Kuwait, 6Z2RL from Liberia, SU0ERA from Egypt, E71AVW from the Radio Club of Tuzla and PI4CGR from the Dutch Society VERON.

The next Bath Buildathon is to be held on 10th January 2015. The aim of the event is to encourage newcomers to have a go at homebrewing radio equipment under the watchful eye of some experienced radio constructors. The kit chosen for is the Rode receiver from Walford Electronics, which can be used on any one band, 80, 40 or 20m. The Buildathon is planned to run from 9am to 5pm. All soldering and test equipment will be made available on the day. The cost of the day will be £55 to include the the kit, room hire, use of tools, tea, coffee, biscuits, etc. You just need to bring yourself and a packed lunch. Places will be limited to ensure that everyone gets good mentoring. For further details, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by e-mail at G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available. The Autumn 2014 edition features a number of stories, including Dominica on 5MHz, several items on WRC15, South African beacon changes and NVIS observations, Ofcom's UK Amateur Licence Consultation, Is it getting noisier on 5MHz?, new webSDRs covering the band and GB2RS on 5MHz. It is a free download from http://tinyurl.com/jvjrtn6

Chelmsford Calling is a light entertainment programme that promotes radio technology past, present & future. Produced by Jim Salmon, 2E0RMI and colleagues from the Chelmsford Calling Network, it is broadcast monthly and is also available online. More information, including frequencies and schedules, is at www.chelmsfordcalling.com 

As part of the Youngster on the Air month, Southport & District Amateur Radio Club is holding a Technojam on 6 December at St Anne’s Catholic Primary School, Ormskirk. It is principally aimed at getting youngsters interested in amateur radio but is not just about radio. There will be a Minecraft hacking workshop as well as an area devoted to the Raspberry Pi. Other activities will include radio direction finding, learning Morse code, the FUNcube satellite and getting on the air. More information is online at http://technojam.uk/

NASA has announced a mini-satellite or CubeSat design contest that will see participants competing for $5 million in prize money and a chance to have their winning satellite flown to the moon by the space agency. Called the Cube Quest Challenge, the objective of the competition is to design, build and deliver to NASA a flight-qualified small satellite, or CubeSat capable of advanced research in the vicinity of our moon and beyond. Full information about the completion including entry requirements are at tinyurl.com/nasa-cubesat-challenge 

The Five Bridges Cluster of clubs gave a presentation at the RSGB Convention Training Forum. They made a number of recommendations for changes to national exam administration policy and the RSGB Training & Education Committee will consult the 'user' community on the proposals. Every Exam Secretary will be receiving a copy of the Five Bridges Report, a Consultation Document from the RSGB TEC and gain access to an online survey. The survey will close on 4th January. Exam Secretaries are asked to consult with their training teams, Registered Assessors and Invigilators before responding to the survey. All Exam Centres are strongly encouraged to let us know their views. If your Exam Secretary has not received a copy of the consultation pack by 8th December, please contact exams@rsgb.org.uk. Any other questions should be addressed to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

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

The final rallies of the year are on 6th and 7th December. The South Lancs Winter Rally will take place on 6 December at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Doors open at 9am for visitors, with traders having access from 7.30am. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Jason on 01942 735 828.

On 7th December the Bishop Auckland RAC Rally will take place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. More from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

From the 5th to 9th December, the RAF Amateur Radio Society will be operating VP8RAF/100 and VP8FIR/100 from Falkland Islands to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Falklands in WW1. Details can be found at www.rafars.org

In the UK the Royal Navy ARS are also putting on an special event station on 8th December from their shack at HMS Collingwood.

To commemorate two naval battles that took place in World War One, stations in the Falkland Islands may affix /100 to their callsigns until 15 December. Stations heard to date are Bob, VP8LP/100 and his XYL Janet, VP8AIB/100. John, G3VPW is visiting the Falklands on holiday until 12 December and hopes to be active as VP8KF/100.

GX0MWT will be active for RNLI SOS Radio Weekend, the 24th and 25th January operated by Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society. Any other stations planning to operate should e-mail radcom@rsgb.org.uk for inclusion in news scripts in January.

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

W8GEX and W8CAA will be active as C6ADX and C6AYL respectively, from the Island of Exuma, NA-001, until 3rd December. Listen out for them on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB and RTTY. QSL to their home callsigns.

K9EL will once again be operational stroke FS from St Martin, NA-105, until 2nd December. Activity will be on the 8 to 160m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Rob, DL7VOA will be in Grenada, NA-024, until 6 December. QSLs go via the home call.

Tim, LW9EOC will be on the air as 5K0A from San Andres Island until 4th December. This one counts as NA-033 for the Islands on the Air Award as well as for DXCC.

KL7SB will be operational as E51RAT from Rarotonga, OC-013, until 6th December. Activity will be limited as time permits, but look for him on the 10 to 80m bands, primarily on CW with some SSB, RTTY and some digital modes. QSL via NI5DX.

Now the contest news

One of the last big contests of the year, the CW World Wide DX contest, ends at 2359 today, the 30th, after running for 48 hours. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. Some rarely activated countries will be on the air. The exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon begins on the 1st and continues for two months. The Winter Marathon isn’t a contest in the traditional sense; it’s basically a way of promoting activity on 6m during the winter. There are no points for individual QSOs; just for working as many locator squares as possible. You can claim the squares worked in any 6m contest over the period, as well as non-contest QSOs. The exchange is simply signal report and locator.

Starting at 2200 on Friday 5th, the ARRL 160m Contest runs for 42 hours. Work the USA, US Territories and Canada only. Being a 160m contest, it will need to be dark at both ends of the QSO for there to be transatlantic propagation. The first North American stations should be heard in Britain from about 2200UTC, propagation extending westwards as the sun sets across North America. Expect the Americans and Canadians to fade out at about sunrise time in the UK. The exchange is just the signal report, with W and VE stations also giving their ARRL or RAC section number.

The 144MHz AFS Contest is on from 1000UTC to 1600UTC on the 7th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday the 28th of November.

The sun remained peppered with smaller sunspots this week, driving the solar flux index to a peak of 169. This kept the ham bands humming, with the maximum useable frequency easily above 28MHz on many paths during the daytime. Night-time highs reached 10MHz at times on longer paths, but 7MHz and 3.5MHz have both been better on shorter distances.

The latest NOAA/USAF forecast predicts the solar flux index will be 155 on Monday, reducing to 135 by the end of the week. This should be good enough for some reasonable 10 metre openings during the day. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be reasonably settled with the Ap index staying below 20 all week.

As we head into December you should be using 68 as the smoothed sunspot number for VOACAP-based propagation prediction programs, such as ACE HF and VOAProp.

Seven Megahertz, 40m, may be the band of choice throughout the night, with long-distance paths being possible during the hours of darkness.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

There are better prospects for VHF/UHF propagation during the coming week as high pressure will make a welcome return to the charts. The resulting temperature inversions will trap cool, moist and sometimes foggy weather near the surface, overlain by warm dry air above the inversion, and this will produce contrasts in the refractive index of the air which will lead to improved ducting prospects.

High pressure will not be as strong in the far north, where it will also be rather breezy at times, so the better conditions are more likely in the southern and central areas of the UK. Occasional weak fronts may temporarily disrupt the ‘lift’, but high pressure should return afterwards.

Meteor scatter operators should be checking their systems as the Geminids shower peak is less than two weeks away. From the 7th of December we should start to see evidence of the shower to add to the regular morning and early evening random meteor peaks.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is increasing, meaning longer moon availability, but as the moon is moving out towards apogee, losses will increase.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd. November 2014

November 21, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd November 2014

The news headlines:

  • New Youth Committee Chairman

  • Happy Birthday FUNcube-1!

  • Question Writing Workshop Postponed

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Michael Jones, 2E0MLJ has been appointed to be the first chair of the new Youth Committee. He is 17 and. received his amateur radio training at Callington Community College with Callington ARS by Keith Harris, G1FMU.He is now studying Forensic Science and Criminal Psychology at City College Plymouth. As chair of the Youth Committee, Michael said that he, and the rest of the team, will do their best to show the young people of the UK the endless possibilities this hobby has to offer, most importantly to inspire, innovate and achieve. Congratulations to Michael on his appointment and look out for lots of youth activities next month

FUNcube-1, otherwise known as AO73, has celebrated its first birthday. It was launched at 0710UTC on 21 Nov 2013.. The satellite has been performing very satisfactorily with the battery voltage keeping above 8 volts and is fully charged within about 7 to 10 minutes after re-entering sunlight from eclipse. AMSAT-UK would like to thank all those who download telemetry and forwarding it to the warehouse and who use the transponder. This telemetry data is invaluable, both as an educational resource and to see how the spacecraft systems are performing and surviving. So far almost 400MB of unique data via stations from all around the world has been collected.

Sadly, only two expressions of interest were received for the Exam Item Question Writing Workshop planned for December. This means the event has been cancelled. Organisers are disappointed that more amateurs are not willing or able to get involved in this important job as there remain gaps in the question bank. Recently appointed Chair of the Training & Education Committee, Philip, M0PHI, has said he will try to rally support to run the event in 2015.

Did you visit the National Hamfest in September? Perhaps you were unable to attend and wondered what it was like. TX Factor have announced that Episode 6 about the National Hamfest is now available to view online at www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/txf006.shtml

The RSGB is delighted to announce plans to launch an exciting new electronic supplement, RadCom Plus. Aimed at extending the range of technical information available to Members as part of their existing subscription, it will complement and expand the existing range of publications. It will be published quarterly and articles will cover a wide range of topics to provide the technical background that everyone needs for ‘self-training’ beyond the UK licence exams. See the RSGB website for more details.

Anyone who enjoyed the 3-D printer article on page 44 of the latest RadCom may be interested in the Model Engineering Exhibition at Sandown Park on the 12th to 14th December. There will be a section devoted to these devices. Details at www.modelengineershow.co.uk

The new Radio Arcala My DX Summit website went live at 1000UTC on 21st November. The new site design, which incorporates a number of features including a handy propagation tool, has been undergoing some beta testing and last-minute tweaking over the past few weeks. Go to www.dxsummit.fi/

Two Japanese amateur radio satellites, will be heading into deep space this month. The satellites will hitch a ride with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency asteroid mission, which is scheduled to launch on 29th November. One satellite will have an F1D digital store-and-forward transponder, a CW beacon on 437.505MHz and WSJT telemetry on 437.385MHz. The second satellite will have a CW beacon at 437.325MHz.

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

Today, the 23rd, the CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be in the 1st Coulsdon Scout HQ, at the rear of the Council Car Park, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Surrey. Doors are open from 10am to 1pm and there will be a Bring & Buy. Anyone proposing to attend this year's CATS Bazaar is advised to check the CATS website at www.catsradio.org before setting out as the site is planned for redevelopment and there may therefore be last-minute changes to access or parking arrangements.

Also today, the 23rd, is the Plymouth Radio Club Rally at Harewood House, The Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. Doors opens at 10am and admission is £2. Details from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 07815 542 477.

Martin Lynch & Sons will be moving to new, larger premises early in 2015 and are holding a Farewell to Chertsey Hog Roast on 29th November. The new premises are located in nearby Staines on Thames. On the 29th there will be the usual refreshments from 8am to 4pm.

The final rallies of the year are on 6th and 7th December. The South Lancs Winter Rally is at Wigan on the 6th and the Bishop Auckland RAC rally is in County Durham on the 7th. More details next week.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Allen, G4PF and Janet, M0GWW will be celebrating Lancashire Day on the 27th of November. They plan to be active from 2m to Top Band, conditions permitting.

Prefix hunters have the opportunity of a few new prefixes between now and the end of December when the callsigns 7V60R, 7V7V, 7W9A and 7Y9A will be on the air. These stations celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Algerian Revolution.,

Celebrating the annual arrival of Sinterklaas, a forefather to Santa Claus, special event station PD6SINT will be active until 14th December. QSL via the Dutch bureau.

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

Tim, LW9EOC will be active as 5K0A from San Andres Island, which is IOTA reference NA-033, from 26th November to 4th December. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via LW9EOC, Logbook of The World and logsearch on Club Log.

A group of operators will be QRV from the Andaman Islands as VU4KV until 30 November. They hope to have 5 stations on the air on all bands from 6 to 160m.

UT5UGR will be active as FM stroke KL7WA from Martinique between 24th November and 1st December. Activity will likely be on all HF bands except 30, 17 and 12 meters and the digital modes. QSL via UT5UGR.

DL6KVA will be active as 4K0CW from Azerbaijan between 26th November and 2nd December.  Operations will be CW only on all HF bands using 100 watts into a long wire. QSL via DL6KVA via the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World. 

KM0O will be operational as 3W3O from Vietnam between 25th November and 24th December. His main activity will be the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest but expect him to be on 160 and 80m before and after the contest. QSL to KM0O direct, via the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Now the contest news

Today, the 23rd, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest runs from from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the 50MHz UK activity Contests runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also at the same time on Tuesday, the SHF UK Activity Contest is on the air, Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest is on 80m from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only the exchange is your 4 character locator square. This contest is one hour long and you only have one hour after the contest finishes to upload your log.

Another one hour contest is on Thursday when the 80m Club Sprint take to the air from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only the exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend the 29th and 30th is one of the last big contests of the year, the CW World Wide DX contest. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, which will be busy all weekend for this 48 hour contest. Some rarely activated countries will be on the air. The exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of November.

As we predicted last week, sunspot region 2209 has been active, emitting a number of M- and C-class solar flares, although it is nowhere near as violent as it was on its last rotation. The solar flux index remained relatively high during the week, peaking at 170. The latest NOAA/USAF forecast predicts the solar flux index will be 170 on Monday 24 November and will then tail off towards 120 by the end of the week.

Geomagnetic conditions look to be reasonably quiet, especially after Tuesday, with the Ap index predicted to be a very low 2-4. This should bode well for reasonable HF conditions during next weekend’s CQ World Wide CW contest on the 29th and 30th.

As we head towards the winter solstice we are starting to see long path 40m openings to the west coast of the USA in the afternoon, just before sunset. VU4KV on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has also been spotted on 40m around the same time. We are also starting to see 80m openings to the east coast of the USA before sunrise. Both bands are worth a second look at this time of year.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist, Jim, G3YLA, says weather-related propagation factors are a bit thin on the ground once again. Thankfully, this week does offer an initial temporary period when a weak ridge of high pressure may provide a slight enhancement of VHF/UHF tropo conditions. This is just at the beginning of the week, but with low pressure nearby, it represents only a marginal, and certainly temporary, improvement. Towards the end of the week it seems likely that returning low pressure will put us right back to November’s typical flat conditions.

The more settled sun and low Ap index means little chance of auroras this week.

Last week’s Leonids meteor shower turned out to be much poorer than expected, and the Geminids are still three weeks away, but it’s still worth trying for random meteor activity in the early mornings especially on 50 and 70MHz.

For EME operators, the Moon gets to its lowest declination on Monday, meaning shortest moon availability, but is at perigee (the closest point) on Friday, meaning losses are lowest.

Despite the poor outlook on the VHF and microwave bands this week, there is always propagation by aircraft reflection and random meteors to experiment with.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 16th. November 2014

November 14, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • Last chance for British Science Week grants

  • Film producers thank amateur community

  • New Propagation Questions forum on RSGB website

British Science Week 2015 will take place from the 13th to 22nd of March 2015 but the deadline for most grant applications is later this month at 9am on the 26th of November. There are a range of grants available to eligible schools and organisations, so if you’re planning to run a public event or are linking with a local school, take a look at the grants page on the British Science Week website. Over the coming weeks we’ll tell you more about the RSGB’s involvement in this programme and how we can support your event.

Last Autumn we asked if anyone had HRO or AR88 receivers that they could lend to a company making a film about the life of Alan Turing. That film, The Imitation Game, has now been made and it goes on public release on the 28th of November. The producers have sent the RSGB a message of thanks to be passed to all those who helped by offering to lend equipment.

A Radio Propagation Questions forum has now been set up on the RSGB website. The forum sets out to help RSGB Members understand radio propagation matters. It will be monitored by members of the Propagation Studies Committee, which covers everything from LF to light waves. Members can post questions, which will then be answered by the appropriate PSC member. So if you want to know why you were able to hear the Pacific on 40m, why distant 2m repeaters suddenly appeared one morning, or the best time to attempt an EME contact, just post your question and PSC will try to answer it. The forum can be found on the Forums section of the RSGB website.

The Mid Cornwall beacon, GB3MCB, on 432.970MHz, was switched off on the 8th of November in order to comply with the latest NoV issued by Ofcom. The new GB3MCB beacon frequency will be 432.470MHz. Because of the lead times for some specialist parts, the beacon is expected to be out of service for about 10 weeks. The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group will try to improve on this lead time and thank everyone for their patience whilst the changes are made.

The International Space Station is currently without a resident licenced amateur following the return to earth this week of Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO and Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT. The next licensed amateur on the station will be Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, who heads to the ISS on the 23rd of November. Next year will see a number of amateurs visit the station, including Gennady Padalka, RN3DT and Mikhail Kornienko, RN3BF, who arrive in March. Kjell Lindgren, KO5MOS and Kimiya Yui, KG5BPH will head to the ISS next May. Tim Kopra, KE5UDN, and Tim Peake, KG5BVI, will be there a year from now. Tim Peake, who is from the UK, may use the callsign GB1SS.

The Al Slater, G3FXB Memorial Award is in memory of G3FXB who became a silent key in 1992 and was a member of the First Class Operator’s Club. The award is presented once a year to an individual, group or society that has, in the judgement of the Committee, made an outstanding contribution to the hobby that reflects the attitudes and approach of Al Slater. This year the FOC Committee received three excellent nominations but has unanimously decided to present the award to Michael Wells, G7VJR and the Club Log team for their valuable contribution to the world of HF operating.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off during the day for maintenance work on the 18th and 19th of November between 0900UTC to 1600UTC. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 16th and 17th of November. The next rallies we know about are on the 22nd and 23rd of November.

On the 22nd, the Rochdale & District ARS Traditional Radio Rally takes place in St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, off Edenfield Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 6BU. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier and entry is £2.50 with some concessions. Details from Dave, G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

On the 23rd the CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be in the 1st Coulsdon Scout HQ, at the rear of the Council Car Park, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Surrey. Doors are open from 10am to 1pm and there will be a Bring & Buy. Anyone proposing to attend this year's CATS Bazaar is advised to check the CATS website at www.catsradio.org before setting out as the site is planned for redevelopment and there may therefore be last-minute changes to access or parking arrangements.

Also on the 23rd is the Plymouth Radio Club Rally at Harewood House, The Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. Doors opens at 10am and admission is £2. Details from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 07815 542 477.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Allen, G4PF and Janet, M0GWW will be celebrating Lancashire Day on the 27th of November. They plan to be active from 2m to Top Band, conditions permitting.

Special event station KC9HYY/WSL3 will operational from the 21st to 24th in remembrance of the 98th anniversary of the sinking of HMHS Britannic on the morning of the 21st November 1916. The Britannic was the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line, launched just before the start of the World War One and soon converted to use as a hospital ship. More information, including QSL routing, is on QRZ.com under the callsign listing for KC9HYY.

The south-central Cuba region celebrates the 500th anniversary of two World Heritage cities founded in 1514. A group of operators in the province are getting together to run the special station CO0SS that will be active from the 21st to the 23rd of November. The frequencies and modes can be found on QRZ.com under CO0SS.

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

CE0Z/CE5WQO will operate from Juan Fernández Island, SA005, from the 23rd of November 23 until the 2nd of December. Details are on QRZ.com.

K9EL will once again be operational stroke FS from St Martin, NA-105, between the 20th of November and the 2nd of December. Activity will be on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

JA0JHQ will be active stroke FK from New Caledonia between the 21st and 24th of November. Operations will be limited to the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

PG5M will be operational as CE0Y stroke PG5M from Easter Island, SA-001, between the 23rd and 28th of November. This will be a holiday-style operation. QSL via his home callsign direct, or via the bureau.

Ron Flick, K6REF, is in Antarctica and will be camped out on the Ross Ice Shelf until the 5th of December, operating as KC4/K6REF. Ron is an oceanographer with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways, and colleagues are conducting ice vibration studies on the Ross Ice Shelf for Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Now the contest news

The South African Radio League National Field Day and VHF/UHF Contest come to the end of their 24-hour run at 1000 today. Field Day stations are active on 160 to 10m on phone, CW and digital modes, and the exchange is RST, number of transceivers, Field Day class and provincial abbreviation. VHF operations, on 6 metres and up, can use all modes including FM and the exchange is RST, callsigns and six-digit Maidenhead locator. Details are at www.SARL.org.za.

The Russian Worldwide multimode Contest ends at 1159UTC today, the 16th, after 24 hours of operation. Using BPSK63, CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange for non UA stations is signal report, and serial number. See www.rdrclub.ru/ for rules.

Today, the 16th, the HF Contest ARS runs until 2359UTC. Using SSB and digital modes the call is CQ CQ CONTEST ARS and in CW the call will be CQ CQ ARS. All modes are allowed. See www.arsitalia.it for the rules.

On Tuesday the 18th the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 23rd, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 14th of November.

The sun has remained active this week, with the solar flux index remaining in the range 132 to 142. There have been continued M-class solar flares from sunspot group 2205. Becoming more Earth-facing this week are regions 2207 and 2208. Region 2208 has increased in area and complexity and shows a risk of solar flares, which could cause fade-outs on the lower HF bands at times.

Old region 2192, which gave a number of X-class flares last month, is due to return. This was the largest visible sunspot in more than 20 years. According to data from the STEREO A satellite, which is able to see around the edge of the sun, 2192 is still active. It could generate further flares and coronal mass ejections, which could disturb the HF bands.

For the current solar conditions and indices see solarham.net.

Ten metres, or 28MHz, continues to be open every day, with good afternoon propagation to the eastern seaboard of the USA. The KQ2H repeater in New York State on 29.620MHz has been peaking S9 + 20dB in the UK. It is perfectly possible to hear 5W beacons from the US on 10m as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Meteorologist Jim Bacon, G3YLA says we are set for another unsettled week in Britain, with a predominantly low pressure pattern over the UK. This will mean wet and windy weather at times with little or no chance of any significant ducting potential for VHF and UHF DXing. This may be a testing time for antenna installations towards the end of the week, when some strong winds are possible.

On the upside, we are still at a time of the year when sea temperatures around the coasts are high enough to generate large cumulonimbus shower clouds, giving rain-scatter opportunities on the upper GHz bands.

For lower VHF band operators, we see the return of the Leonids, the largest meteor shower of the year. The shower has a Zenithal Hourly Rate of up to 300 and started on the 15th. It should reach its peak on the 16th and 17th, so watch out for DX opportunities on 50, 70 and 144MHz all this coming week. Even stations with small beams and modest power can make QSOs with the Leonids, especially if JT digital modes are used.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 9th. November 2014

November 7, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • New microwave NoV available

  • Youth on the Air preparations continue

  • Eight days of solar flares on NASA video

Following last week’s release of 146 to 147MHz, Ofcom has now made available another Notice of Variation. Microwave enthusiasts who have a Full licence can now apply for a 3-year NoV to access 2300-2302MHz using up to 400W from a fixed location in the UK. This new frequency range was negotiated by the Radio Society of Great Britain to partly offset the spectrum changes affecting other parts of the 2.3GHz band. The NoV can be applied for online from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/novs

Preparations for Youth on the Air month are going well and those involved are looking forward to a high volume of contacts with the special callsign G14YOTA. It is no longer possible to host any additional events as Ofcom required two months’ notice of operations, but there is still time to plan to work the special stations during December. More information about the specific days and times for the UK stations are available on the RSGB website, and the European dates will be published later this month.

NASA has released a video showing eight days of solar flares produced by the largest sunspot in the past two dozen years. Known as AR 2192, the video is a time lapse that shows its X-class flares in both visible and ultraviolet light using images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory Atmospheric Imaging Assembly Instrument. The massive sunspot, which has now rotated away from Earth, produced the most powerful X-class flares between the 19th and 27th of October, plus many more medium-class flares during that same period. The video is online in several places including YouTube at tinyurl.com/sunspot-AR2192.

The Bath-based Distance Learning team have opened enrolment for their January to June 2015 course. For most people, Distance Learning is not as good as face-to-face training but these courses are ideal for anyone who cannot make it to traditional classroom events. In short, weekly work packages are sent out to students who complete the studying at home and submit answers to revision questions and exercises via the internet. Some video tutorials and demonstrations are included in the course material and links to other useful resources are also provided. The courses have been running for four years now with a pass rate for those that finish the course of 90%. Revision support is provided for those that don’t make it through first time. Enrolment for the next course closes mid-January, ready for a start on January the 25th. Contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via e-mail to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The FM Radio Data System website reports that some countries appear to be planning to extend the FM broadcast band downward. According to a web post, Brazilian telecommunications regulator ANATEL confirmed the planned extension of the FM band down to 76MHz. The entire story is online at tinyurl.com/brazil-band-extension.

On 29th October, the Digital Mobile Radio system added its 10,000th user ID. There are now over 800 DMR repeaters in 33 countries, allowing amateurs using DMR radios to talk to each other globally using the internet. You can find further information on this online at www.va3xpr.net/

Belgian stations have been given permission to use the prefix OP instead of the usual ON during November each year until 2018. This is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War.

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

Today, 9th November, the West London Radio & Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors having access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 15th and 16th November. The next rallies are on the 22nd November when the Rochdale & District ARS Rally takes place in Rochdale, and on Sunday the 23rd of November, which sees the Coulsdon Rally and Plymouth Radio Rally.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Worksop Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB0CIN promoting BBC Children in Need. The event will be running from 8am Friday 14th November, non-stop for 36 hours through to 8pm on Saturday 15th November. On the Friday evening there will be a variety of fundraising events being held at the clubhouse, 59/61 West Street, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 1JP. Visitors are most welcome. Operation will be on HF, 6m, 4m, 2m & 70cm using voice, CW and data, with operating frequencies and modes being posted on www.facebook.com/g3rcw

Keep an ear open for special event station IY1IEY that be on the air until 31st December to commemorate the experiments conducted by Marconi from his yacht Elettra between 1919 and 1936. Operations will be on all of the HF bands including 30, 17 and 12 metres. QSL IK1QBT direct. 

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

DL7DF will be on holiday in Senegal until 13th November, operating slash 6W. Operations are on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SBB, RTTY, PSK31 and SSTV. QSL via DL7DF, direct or by the DARC Bureau.

RV3MA will be operational from Morocco as CN2MA until 1st December. QSL via UA2FM.

K5KUA be on the air stroke 5 from Galveston Island, NA-143, between 14th and 16th of November. Activity will be on CW only, as time permits. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the bureau. An online log search will be available on Club Log.

Keep an ear open for members of the FG4KI Radio Club, who are currently operating special event station TO4R from Guadeloupe, NA-102. This in celebration of the 10th Sailing Transatlantic Race that takes place between Saint Malo, France, and Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe. Stations are operational on the 6 to 160m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and a number of digital modes. The station will shut down on November 16th. QSL via F4AVX. 

Another special callsign, TO10RR, will be on the air from Guadeloupe until 16th November, again for the yacht race. QSL manager is FG8NY.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY ends at 2359 today, 9th November, after being on the air for 48 hours. It’s the last of this year’s WAE series. Everyone can work everyone. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Tuesday the 11th sees the 432MHz UK Activity Contest running from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Sprint from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend from 2100 on the 15th to 0100UTC on the 16th, the 2nd 1.8MHz contest take place. Using CW only the exchange is signal report, serial number and district code.

The Russian Worldwide multimode Contest runs from 1200UTC on the 15th until 1159UTC on the 16th. Using BPSK63, CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange for non UA stations is signal report and serial number. See www.rdrclub.ru/ for the rules.

On the 16th November the Italian HF Contest ARS runs from 0000UTC until 2359UTC. Using SSB and digital modes the call is CQ CQ CONTEST ARS and in CW the call will be CQ CQ ARS. All modes are allowed. See www.arsitalia.it for the contest rules.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 7th of November

The sun remains peppered with sunspots, although they are all relatively small. A larger group, number 2205, appeared around the limb last Wednesday and will be Earth-facing this week. This could be the source of more solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Solar wind stream enhancements contributed to elevated geomagnetic activity at high latitudes last week, with the Kp index reaching four. Look for enhanced auroral activity if this continues.

Solar Flux Index levels this past week have been in the range 120 to 135 and the trend is expected to continue.

The FT4TA Tromelin Island DXpedition in the Indian Ocean, AF-031, continues until Monday 10 November, so you have one last chance to catch them. They have been very audible on 10m, which has offered the greatest probability of a contact at 90% during the day.

12m, or 24MHz, and 15m, or 21MHz, are also good bands to try during daylight hours. 20m, or 14MHz, offers the best chance in the early and mid evening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Meteorologist Jim Bacon, G3YLA reports that the present period of unsettled weather is likely to continue, with low pressure dominating over the UK next week. This will mean that enhanced tropospheric DX propagation is unlikely for stations in the British Isles due to lack of suitable temperature inversions associated with areas of high pressure.

However, later this week, in eastern Europe a large high over Russia could provide DX between the Balkans and Scandinavia around the western flank of the high, although even here there may be too much breeze for this to last long.

The showery nature of the weather over Britain may again offer some rain scatter opportunities on the upper GHz bands, especially in coastal regions from thundery showers over the nearby warmer seas.

The Taurids meteor shower peaks next Tuesday and Wednesday, albeit with a low Zenith Hourly Rate of around five.

With the higher solar disturbances, northern stations may experience auroral VHF propagation on the lower VHF bands. The Moon’s declination reaches maximum on Monday, with 15 hours moon visibility for EME operators through the early hours. Free space losses will increase as the moon moves away from last week’s perigee.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 2nd. November 2014

October 31, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd November 2014

The news headlines:

  • Extra 1MHz on 2m now active for experimenters

  • Confusion over Cornish K prefix

  • New 70cm beacon in Northern Ireland

Friday October 31st marked the start of the 146 to 147MHz experiment in the UK. The band is only available to UK Full licensees, via a Notice of Variation. You can apply for your NoV via the RSGB website under the Operating tab, look for Licensing and NoVs. The additional spectrum has been made available on a temporary basis to encourage amateurs to experiment and test new communications schemes and systems, rather than to provide for ‘more of the same’. An initial band plan and further information is available on the RSGB website.

The RSGB has received a significant number of enquiries expressing confusion and concern about the unexpected allocation of the secondary prefix “K” for Cornwall. As a result, the Board has written to Ofcom asking them to review their decision and consult on the changes that they are proposing.

GB3NGI, the first of the new UK 70cm beacons, is now operational on its IARU-aligned frequency of 432.482MHz. GB3NGI is located on an excellent hilltop site in Northern Ireland at IO65VB and is licensed for 250W erp on a 125 degree bearing. It transmits both CW and JT65B. Early reports already indicate 500km coverage across parts of the UK and Ireland. Further information is at www.qsl.net/gb3ngi/ and reception reports and map are on www.beaconspot.eu/

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operation from American Samoa is expected to be underway from November 2 and continue for about 12 days. W1AW/KH8 operations are expected to take place from two locations — from the station of Uti Gandy, KS6FO and the late AH8LG, and from the Maliu Mai Beach Resort on the beach on the southwestern part of the island, which has hosted other KH8 operations. The international team will begin W1AW/KH8 operations from the two sites once all the antennas have been put up and/or repaired. Plans call for three or four stations on all bands from 1.8 to 28MHz.

Have you ever thought that radio exam questions could be better written? Would you like to help strengthen the RCF question bank? An exam questions workshop will take place in Bath on Saturday 6th December. The aim of the workshop is to enable issues to be discussed openly so that attendees gain confidence in writing new questions on their own. There will be a couple of short presentations on what makes a good question and some examples of things that can go wrong. Attendees will be asked to bring some draft questions with them and share them with the group for peer review. Having gained some practice it is hoped attendees will submit further questions afterwards. RSGB Book tokens are available for a number of accepted questions. Attendance is free for RSGB members. Anyone interested in attending should contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW via g0fuw@rsgb.org.uk

To celebrate the 7 November release of the film Interstellar, Warner Bros Pictures have teamed up with the Slooh Community Space Observatory for a 2-hour journey into space using your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It all starts at 7pm today, 2 November. For full details go to www.mediapromos.co.uk/interstellar/

The RadCom Editor has provided material from the RSGB archives for the Science Museum video about early radio technology. Part of the new Information Age exhibit, the film is about the London radio transmitter 2LO that changed our world and marked the birth of British broadcasting. You can watch the video and find out more by going to www.sciencemuseum.org.uk, search on Information Age and click on ‘broadcast’.

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

The Chelmsford Ideas Festival runs until 2 November. Amongst the highlights is a talk by Professor Marconi, the grandson of Marconi. Jim, 2E0RMI and Pete, M0PSX gave presentations in the Ideas Hub on The World of Amateur Radio from 10am to 4pm on Friday 31 October.

There are no rallies taking place this weekend in the diary, but on 9th November the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at the Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors having access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Look out for OL90OK from 1st to 15th November to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first amateur radio contact in Czech Republic, which took place on 8th November 1924.

Also keep an ear open for special event station IY1IEY that will be on the air between 1st November and 31st December to commemorate the experiments conducted by Marconi from his yacht Elettra between 1919 and 1936. Operations will be on all of the HF bands including 30, 17 and 12 metres. QSL IK1QBT direct. 

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

9M2SE will be on the air from Pangkor Island, IOTA reference AS-072, on 8 and 9 November, operating SSB and CW on the 10 to 40m bands. They will be using two 100 watt transceivers, two 3-element Yagis for 10 and 15m, a vertical for 20m and a junior G5RV for the 10 and 40m bands.

K2HVN will be active stroke VO9 from Bermuda, NA-005, from 3rd to 10th November. He plans to operate 17 and 20 metres using CW and SSB and 30 metres on CW only. QSL via his home address. 

A team of experienced French operators will be activating Tromelin Island, AF-031, as FT4TA until 10th November. They plan to have 4 stations on the air for 10 days on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL via F1NGP. Tromelin is at No 10 in the most wanted DXCC lists.

UA3IPL will be active as stroke JW from Spitsbergen Island, EU-026, for 4 months starting 30th October. His operation will be on the HF bands using slow speed Morse, SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. QSL via RW6HS direct.

Joel, F3CJ, is on a trekking holiday in the Nepal until 4th November and will be signing 9N7CJ.

Toshi, JA8BMK will be in Nepal until 20th November. He will operate holiday style on all bands using the callsign 9N7BM. QSLs go via his home call.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 8th the Club Calls contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club code.

The WAE DX RTTY contest takes place for 48 hours next weekend, the 8th and 9th. It’s the last of this year’s WAE series. Everyone can work everyone. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 31st of October.

Giant sunspot region 2192 has now disappeared around the back of the sun and luckily it didn't produce any major coronal mass ejections to upset HF conditions while it was visible. The region was, however, the source of numerous solar flares over the past two weeks, which caused a number of sudden ionospheric disturbances or fadeouts. When these occur it is still worth checking the higher HF bands, like 28MHz, since absorption is less at higher frequencies.

Solar Flux Index levels this past week have been in the wide range of 217 to 150. The SFI is now lower, but conditions will remain good, as long as the K index remains low.

The smoothed sunspot number for November, for use in HF prediction programs like VOACAP, is currently 69.

For HF contacts around the UK, 7MHz remains the best option during the day, with the critical frequency falling after dark. 80m may be a better option in the evening.

For paths to the East Coast of North America, the optimum working frequency should be 18 or 21MHz in the afternoon with a reliability of around 80%. Contacts on 28MHz should also be possible with a reliability of about 75%.

And now the VHF and up propagation news. The weather in the coming week will be very unsettled with a large area of slow-moving low pressure near northwest Scotland, followed by a second major low late in the week. These will produce strong winds at times and generally preclude enhanced tropospheric propagation. However, intense convection of cold air over warm seas will produce large cumulonimbus cloud and heavy showers, which may give some rain scatter opportunities on the upper GHz bands, chiefly near western coasts.

A weak ridge of high pressure may transit the country midweek and could develop temporary temperature inversions, which would marginally improve tropo prospects, although these are likely to be very minor. Lower solar disturbance means a low probability of VHF auroral propagation.

We will begin to see the onset of the Taurids meteor showers, which peak on the 11 and 12th November, albeit with a low zenithal hourly rate of around five. Remember that the best time for random, non-shower, meteor scatter contacts is around dawn.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 26th. October 2014

October 24, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th October 2014

The news headlines:

  • Last GB2RS for propagation stalwart

  • Ofcom amateur licence review closes

  • Falkland Islands WW1 commemoration

This week, the RSGB says thank you and farewell to one of the stalwart members of the GB2RS team. Neil, G0CAS has been preparing the solar report for the weekly GB2RS scripts for 20 years and this week is his final report. The RSGB would like to thank Neil, and Martin, G3USF who fills in if Neil is unavailable, for his many years of service to the amateur radio community. He has prepared something like 1000 solar reports during that time, which have been appreciated by amateurs around the world. The Propagation Studies Committee will be taking over the role from next week’s script.

Ofcom’s consultation on proposed changes to the amateur radio licence concluded last Monday, 20th October. Many thanks to the 2000 plus people who responded. Ofcom will be publishing the responses in due course, and a statement about the changes to be introduced is expected at the end of November. The response submitted by the RSGB is available from the website www.rsgb.org/licencereview

The RAF Amateur Radio Society, G8FC, is sending an Expedition to the Falkland Islands and will be operating from the Joint Services Welfare Facility Amateur Radio Station using the SES callsigns VP8RAF/100 and VP8FIR/100. This is to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Falklands’ in WW1 on the 8th December. The station should be active from 5th to 9th December and other VP8 stations should also be active during this period including VP8LP/100. All VP8 stations will be able to use the suffix /100 between 1st November and 15th December 2014.

Exam secretaries and invigilators can now download checklists to help ensure consistency of exam provision between Exam Centres, which help to ensure that essential requirements don’t get forgotten or overlooked. They are available from the Exam Forms Section of the RSGB website and all print on a single side of A4 paper. The Training and Education Committee welcomes feedback on the checklists and/or suggestions for similar aids for any other aspects of the training and examination system via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

The Manfred Memorial Moon Mission was launched into space on 23rd October, carrying an amateur radio payload with a WSJT JT65B 145.980MHz beacon. The first telemetry from the JT65B beacon was received at 1918UTC on that day. Radio amateurs are encouraged to receive and report the signals. Details on how to hear the beacon can be found at http://moon.luxspace.lu/receiving-4m/

The Radio Communications Foundation is pleased to announce two new volunteer appointments that will fulfil its quality management requirements. Dave Wilson, M0OBW, is appointed RCE Quality Assurance Manager and Ian Shepherd, G4EVK, is appointed RCE Standards Manager. The full terms of reference of these new posts, which replace the former Quality Manager role, can be found on the RCF website. The RCF would like to congratulate Dave Wilson and Ian Shepherd on their appointments to these important roles. The development and assurance of robust and clear procedures are critical for the harmonious running and probity of the RCE.

Ofcom has confirmed that the callsign GB1SS will be made available for issue to UK astronauts who wish to operate from the ISS. After a gap of 24 years it looks as though two more UK astronauts may be flying to the International Space Station in 2015. In September 2015 Sarah Brightman hopes to become the second UK astronaut, flying on a 10 day mission, and Tim Peake hopes to go to the ISS in November 2015.

There’s still time to apply for a place on the RSGB’s Youth Committee. Details are on the Committees section of the RSGB website. Applicants must be under 26 years old and be Members of the Society, which includes Junior and Student Members. Applications should be sent to the General Manager via gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk no later than 31 October.

The ARRL has announced that the operation of E30FB from Eritrea sponsored by the Foundation for Global Children that took place from 17 to 22 September has been approved for DXCC credit.

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

The 24th Great Northern Hamfest takes place today, 26th October, in Barnsley Premier Leisure Complex, Queens Road, Barnsley S71 1AN or follow the brown Metrodome signs. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and special interest groups in attendance. More from Ernie, G4LUE on 07984 191 873.

The North Wales Rally will also take place today, the 26th, in Abergele Leisure Centre, Faenol Avenue, Abergele, Conwy, LL22 7HT. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Gordon, MW0GBR by e-mail to mw0gbr@ymail.com.

The Chelmsford Ideas Festival runs until 2 November. Amongst the highlights is a talk by Professor Marconi, the grandson of Marconi. Jim, 2E0RMI and Pete, M0PSX will be giving presentations in the Ideas Hub on The World of Amateur Radio from 10am-4pm on Friday 31 October.

There are no rallies taking place next weekend, the 1st and 2nd. The next rally in the calendar is on 9th November when the West London Radio and Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB0GMT will be on the air today, the 26th, to commemorate the start of GMT. Transmitting from Mount St Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicestershire the station will be mainly operating on 40m SSB, around 71.760MHz, and 20m.

Listen out on 1st November for K6S that will be operating from the North Bay Science Day in Santa Rosa, California. K6S plans to operate from 1700 to 2300UTC. QSL as directed on the air.

Look out for OL90OK from 1st to 15th November to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first amateur radio contact in Czech Republic, which took place on 8th November 1924.

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

A team of operators from Poland will be active as VK9XSP from Christmas Island, IOTA reference OC-001, until 31st October. Operation will be on the 6 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with two to three stations on the air 24 hours a day. QSLs go via SP6EQZ.

DG1BH is operating stroke 5B from Cyprus, AS-004 and will be there until 9th November. Activity will be QRP holiday style using a FT-817 on 20m using PSK and some SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

Olof, G0CKV will be active holiday style as 3B8HA from Mauritius Island, AF-049, until the 12th or 13th November.

5R8M will operate from Nosy Be, Madagascar, AF-057, until 3rd November. They will operate RTTY, SSB and CW on all bands with four stations around the clock, and will be active in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest as 5R8C. QSL via IK2VUC, direct or via bureau and LoTW.

George, GM0IIO will be active as 8Q7OO from the Maldives, AS-013, from 29th October to 11th November. He will operate CW and SSB on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via GM0IIO, direct only.

KG4WV and KG4DY will be active from Guantanamo Bay, NA-015, until 30th October. They will operate mainly SSB with some RTTY and PSK on all bands.

Now the contest news

The CQ Worldwide SSB contest ends its 48 hour run on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands at 2359UTC today, the 26th. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

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

Also on Tuesday, at the same time, the SHF UK activity Contest also takes place. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz band and all modes, the exchange is also signal report, serial number and locator.

The International Police Association Radio Club Contest runs from 0600 to 1000UTC and 1400 to 1800UTC on 1st November for the CW leg and 2nd November for the SSB leg. Full rules at www.iparc.de.

The 42nd Marconi Memorial VHF Contest takes place on 1st and 2nd November from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using CW only on the 2m band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 17th to Thursday the 23th of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 24th of October.

As forecast, a large complex sunspot group rotated into view at the start of the period. This is the largest sunspot group since 1989. It had produced large solar flares several days before it had rotated into view. Solar activity increased to moderate levels on most days and high on the 19th, 20th and the 22nd. In total, 11 M class and two X class solar flares took place that produced sudden ionospheric disturbances on the daylight side of the Earth and some were associated with coronal mass ejections but none, as yet, were Earth directed. Solar flux levels increased much higher than expected and increased from 146 units on the 17th to 227 by the 23rd. The 90 day solar flux average on the 23rd was 138 units, that's seven units up on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged C1 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but the increased on the 20th due to a recurring coronal hole. This disturbance lasted till late on the 22nd. The most disturbed day was the 20th with an Ap index of 26 units and the average was Ap 13 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 400 to 680 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for an increase to 23 particles per cubic centimetre on the 18th. Bz varied between minus 10 and plus 8 nanoTeslas during the disturbance. Aurora and auroral-E took place for some UK operators on the evening of 20th and there was somewhat unseasonal 6m Sporadic-E to south-east Europe on the morning of 22nd. Also, the French Guyana 6m beacon was reported into SW England on the 23rd.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. A very large complex sunspot region is expected to remain in view till next weekend. This week solar activity is expected to be moderate to high, M class solar flares are possible on some days with a slight chance of an X class flare taking place. Solar flux levels should be around the 230's at first but then decline as the sunspot group rotates out of view. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels, however a warning, with the large sunspot group having rotated into the western solar hemisphere any coronal mass ejections stands a much better chance of heading towards Earth. If that happens then activity would increase.

It is exactly 20 years ago that Neil, G0CAS first started compiling the solar report for GB2RS and this will be his last report. He would like to thank everybody for their support during this time, the staff at RSGB HQ and the GB2RS newsreaders, Martin, G3USF for standing in while he was not available and finally to all the listeners who it is hoped found the reports interesting and informative. Neil says, “Whatever bands you work, I wish you the best of DX and best 73s.”

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 19th. October 2014

October 17, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th October 2014

The news headlines:

  • Last call for Ofcom Consultation

  • NoVs available for extension to 2m band

  • New Secondary Prefix for Cornwall

All radio amateurs are reminded that the closing date for responses to the Ofcom consultation paper Updating the Amateur Radio Licence is tomorrow, 20th October 2014. It is vital that anyone with an opinion on the proposals takes the time to put their views online. The RSGB has published detailed guidance about the key questions on the website should radio amateurs require any further information. Please note the RSGB’s opinion counts as one vote, just like yours, so please go online and register your opinion before the deadline. See www.rsgb.org/licencereview/ for full details.

Ofcom will be releasing 1MHz of additional spectrum to radio amateurs on the 2m band on a temporary basis. The frequencies, from 146 to 147MHz, will be available via a Notice of Variation to Full licence holders only from 31st October. Applications for Notices of Variations can be made via the RSGB website.

Ofcom have advised the RSGB that they have agreed in principle to the use of the secondary locator K for Cornwall, but that details of how this will be implemented have yet to be determined. We expect further information after Ofcom have considered the responses to the current licence review consultation.

The Dominica National Telecommunications Regulator has permitted amateur operation on five 3kHz-wide channels in the 5MHz band for General and Advanced licensees only. These are 5330.5, 5346.5, 5355.5, 5371.5 and 5403.5 kHz at 50W pep SSB. Please note that the Dominica, J7, 5MHz allocation should not be confused with the Dominican Republic, HI, which also has a 5MHz allocation.

The RAYNET Convention and Network AGM takes place at the SkillZone Centre, Tuffley Road, Gloucester GL4 0AS on 25th October. The Convention and AGM website, containing details of the day, is at http://agm.raynet-uk.net/ Members of all RAYNET affiliations are most welcome to attend. A booking form to indicate attendance, as places are limited, is on the site.

The RSGB have been made aware that some amateurs appear to be using personal digital hotspots to pass third party traffic. Everyone is reminded that in order to use a hotspot or Internet gateway for anything other than your own use then you must be the holder of a Notice of Variation or NoV to your licence. You may apply for an NoV via the ETCC website at www.ukrepeater.net

The RSGB has appointed Philip Willis, M0PHI as the new Chair of the RSGB Training & Education Committee to succeed Steve Hartley, G0FUW. Philip was already a member of the Committee and Steve will be handing over Committee tasks in the coming days and weeks, so you can expect a little parallel running for a short time.

There’s still time to apply for a place on the RSGB’s Youth Committee. Details have been posted on the RSGB website under Committees. Applicants must be under 26 years of age and be Members of the Society, which includes Junior and Student Members. Applications should be sent to the General Manager no later than 31 October at gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk

In the UK the clocks go back 1 hour at 2am on 26 October. When the clocks go back, the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a Russian high power “Over the Horizon” radar system centered around 21MHz recently which affected the entire band. Added to this, a Russian voice scrambler nicknamed Yakhta has been transmitting daily on 21.0MHz on USB using voice encryption that also contains a Frequency Shift Keyed synchro signal with a 100 baud rate and 150Hz shift. Meantime, a spurious emission from Voice of Iran is also causing interference on 21.249MHz. An in depth report including charts compiled by DK2OM can be found at tinyurl.com/k3nskk8 

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

The Chippenham & District ARC mini indoor rally will be held today, 19th October, at Neston Village Hall, Pool Green, Neston, Corsham, Wilts SN13 9SN. Sellers have access from 9am, buyers from 10am. Details on the day from 07584 054 924.

Also on the 19th the Galashields & District ARS rally will be held in the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels, TD1 3JX. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £2. There is a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands. More from Jim, GM7LUN on 01896 850 245.

The Holsworthy Amateur Radio Rally takes place today, 19th October, at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy EX22 6JD. Details from Howard, M0MYB, m0omc@yahoo.co.uk.

The Fog on the Tyne Rally is being held on 25 October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920.

The GQRP Club Convention takes place on 25th October at Rishworth School, Ripponden, West Yorkshire, not far from Junction 22 of the M62 Motorway. A growing feature is the Bring-a-Book-Buy-a-Book-event. Visitors are invited to bring with them at least one book for re-sale and to, perhaps, buy another to take away. Last year this raised several hundred pounds for the BBC Children in Need Appeal thanks to the donation of some rare and many quality books.

Poole Radio Society Table Sale will be held on 25th October in the Old Chapel Hall, Cabot Lane, Creekmoor, Poole, Dorset BH17 7BX. Doors open from 9.30am to 1pm and entry is 50p. More information from Bill Coombes, G4ERV on 01202 246515.

The 24th Great Northern Hamfest takes place on 26th October in Barnsley Premier Leisure Complex, Queens Road, Barnsley S71 1AN or follow the brown Metrodome signs. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and special interest groups in attendance. More from Ernie, G4LUE on 07984 191 873

The North Wales Rally will be held on 26 October in Abergele Leisure Centre, Faenol Avenue, Abergele, Conwy, LL22 7HT. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Gordon, MW0GBR by e-mail to mw0gbr@ymail.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

2nd Herrington Scouts are on the air for Jamboree on the air today, the 19th, with GB2SHG. They will be on all HF bands as well as 2m and 70cm and PSK31 from their Scout headquarters Crow Lane, Herrington, Sunderland, SR33TE. Details are on QRZ.COM or contact Ian G7MFN on 07581 0608 065 or via email G7MFN@HOTMAIL.CO.UK.

On 19th October, GB1GLO will be in operation over the JOTA weekend for Gloucester District Scouts to be on the air, run by members of Gloucestershire RAYNET from the Murray Hall, Tuffley Lane, Gloucester. 

 

Scouts in the Forest of Dean will be using GB1ALS and GB0FOD, operating from Lydney on 19th October.

GB0GMT will be on the air on the 25th and 26th October to commemorate the start of GMT. Transmitting from Mount St Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicestershire the station will be mainly operating on 40m SSB, around 71.760MHz, and 20m.

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

KD6XH will be operational from Samoa as 5W0XH between 23rd to 28th October. Activity will take place before, during and after the CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. QSL via his home callsign.

M5RI and G8DX will be operational as GJ8DX from Jersey between 29th October and 4th November. Activity will be on all bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with a focus on the 30, 17 and 12m bands. QSL using Logbook to the World, Club Log Oh-QRS or direct to G8DX. Cards sent to the bureau will not be answered.

Now the contest news

Sunday the 19th sees the 50MHz AFS contest taking place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The first SSB leg of the UK and EI Contest Club’s 80m Contest takes place on Wednesday 22nd. It lasts one hour and at the end of it you have just one hour to submit your entry. The exchange is the 4 character location, for example IO63.

On Thursday it’s the 80m Club Sprint, SSB leg running from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend, from 0000 on the 25th to 2359UTC on the 26th, the CQ Worldwide SSB contests takes place on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is the signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 10th to Thursday the 16th of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 17th of October.

Sunspot groups decayed and disappeared or rotated out of view and by the 12th only two groups remained visible. Since then new groups appeared but there are two sunspot groups about to rotate into view that are already producing M class solar flares. Solar activity was at very low levels on the 11th and the 13th but increased to moderate levels during the evening of the 14th when an impulsive M1 class solar flare took place but within three hours a long duration M2 class flare occurred. A further impulsive M4 class flare took place on the 16th. Solar flux levels declined from 121 units on the 10th to 111 by the 12th but then increased to 139 units by the 16th. The average was 120 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 16th was 131 units, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B2.9 units on the 12th to C1.3 by the 15th. The average was B5.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for the 14th which increased in response to a weak coronal hole disturbance to 17 units. The average was Ap 8 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 300 kilometres per second on the 10th to 590 early on the 15th. Particle densities were moderate on some days but on the 12th increased to 80 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 9 and plus 12 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity could be moderate or even higher on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to increase into the 160s. Geomagnetic activity is expected to start at quiet levels but is expected to increase from midweek onwards. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be about 34MHz. Darkness hour lows should be around 10MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 31MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 25MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1200 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 12th. October 2014

October 10, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th October 2014

The news headlines:

  • Full licensees to get bigger 2m band via NoV soon

  • JOTA founder passes away

  • Ofcom licence consultation deadline soon

We start with a Stop Press item. On Friday morning Ofcom published a Statement that included an intention to release 1MHz of additional spectrum to radio amateurs on the 2m band on a temporary basis. The frequencies, from 146 to 147MHz, will be available via a Notice of Variation to Full licence holders only. Applications for NoVs can be made via the RSGB website from the end of October, and more information will be published on the website as soon as it becomes available.

With JOTA 2014 a little more than a week away comes the news that its founding father, Les Mitchell, G3BHK, died on 6th October. Les started JOTA in 1958, after launching the idea a year earlier at the World Scout Jamboree. That was the first year the Jamboree had an amateur radio station on site, and is has had one every year since. Scouting's 2014 Jamboree on the Air is set for the 18th and 19th October. The annual event links Scouts and Guides around the world via amateur radio; if you hear them on the air, please give them a shout.

All radio amateurs are reminded that the closing date for responses to the Ofcom consultation paper Updating the Amateur Radio Licence is 20 October 2014. It is vital that anyone with an opinion on the proposals takes the time to put their views in writing, either by filling in the online response form or by letter. The RSGB has put together a brief commentary to help illustrate some of the more significant changes proposed and this should be read in conjunction with the consultation document. Early this week the RSGB will publish its response to Ofcom on the website should radio amateurs require any further information. See www.rsgb.org/licencereview/ for full details.

The RSGB would like to extend their congratulations to Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, who has been awarded the IARU Region 1 Roy Stevens, G2BVN Memorial Trophy for his meritorious service to amateur radio over many years. Gaston was the chairman of the Eurocom Working Group and then the chairman of the Amateur Radio Space Exploration Working Group. Gaston, aged 87, has decided to step down as chairman.

On 18th October 1924, two-way communication was established between Frank Bell, 4AA in New Zealand and Cecil Goyder, 2SZ, operating from Mill Hill School in North London. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact, radio amateurs at stations in Mill Hill School and New Zealand will recreate the first Goyder/Bell contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to that used in 1924. The callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11th to 18th October from Mill Hill School. Pupils will be able to visit the radio station, speak to the operators, and even speak over the air. Whilst the station won’t be open to the public, on 18th October there will be a live webcam at the School covering the communications and celebrations. In New Zealand, a special station, using the callsign ZL4AA, will be operating from Shag Valley in South Island during the same week.

The Chelmsford Ideas Festival runs from 20th October until 2nd November and celebrates the creativity of Chelmsford’s people, past and present. Amongst the highlights is a talk by Professor Marconi, the grandson of Guglielmo Marconi. This will be complemented by an account of the extraordinary space technology that the company e2v produces today. Amateur radio features on two days. Members of the Chelmsford ARS will be giving presentations in the Ideas Hub on The World of Amateur Radio from 10am-4pm on Friday 31st October and Sunday 2nd November.

There is still time to get involved with the new RSGB Youth Committee, which will provide a focus for the Society’s younger members and help promote amateur radio to younger sections of the community. Applicants must be under 26 years of age and be Full, Junior or Student Members of the RSGB. For more information and details of how to join, go to the RSGB website, click on About Us and scroll down to Volunteers.

Following extensive work by a number of Training & Education Committee members, the Train the Trainers course has been redesigned and a date and venue has been set for a pilot course. The course is intended to increase the confidence of new tutors and those without any formal teaching qualifications, helping them deliver fun but effective amateur licence training. It has been designed by David, G0EVA, Derek, G7LFC and Paul, G4DCV who between them have over 50 years professional teaching experience, and they want to share many of the tricks, tips and secrets that they use daily. Following feedback from the pilot, the new course will be rolled out across the UK, with the aim of running three or four courses a year. There will be no charge for the course. The one-day event will take place on Saturday 31st of January in Tamworth. Anyone interested in attending should contact the chairman of the Training & Education Committee, via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

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

The Mayo Radio Rally takes place today, 12th October, at Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Doors open at 11am and admission is €5. Details at www.ei7mre.org

The 2014 Annual General Meeting of the UK Six Metre Group takes place today, 12th October, at 12.30pm at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ during the RSGB Convention.

The final day of the two-day programme at the RSGB Convention takes place today, the 12th, at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Principal sponsor is Martin Lynch & Sons.

Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, 12th October, at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open at 10am. More information from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

The Hornsea Amateur Radio Club Rally is at the Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Yorks HU18 1NQ today, 12th October. Doors open at 10am. Details from Rick, M0CZR on 01964 533 712.

The Carrickfergus Amateur Radio Group rally takes place on Saturday 18th October at Downshire Community School, Carrickfergus, BT38 7DA. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstand. Details from Tim, MI0TBL, carg@hotmail.co.uk.

The Chippenham & District ARC mini indoor rally will be held on Sunday 19th October at Neston Village Hall, Pool Green, Neston, Corsham, Wilts SN13 9SN. Sellers have access from 9am, buyers from 10am. Details from g0iue@btinternet.com, or 07584 054 924 on the day.

Also on the 19th the Galashiels & District ARS rally will be held in the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels, TD1 3JX. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands. More from Jim, GM7LUN on 01896 850 245.

The Holsworthy Amateur Radio Rally takes place on Sunday 19th October at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy EX22 6JD. Details from Howard, M0MYB, m0omc@yahoo.co.uk.

The Fog on the Tyne Rally appears in October RadCom with the wrong date. The rally is being held on 25th October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920 or on www.anarc.net. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today, 12th October, from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition stand. It will feature how to get started in amateur radio and the support offered by Cray Valley in providing licence training courses and guidance for newcomers. As the open day theme is local history the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia from KW Electronics, K-B and Burndept/Vidor, companies all located only a few miles from the museum site.

2nd Herrington Scouts are on the with GB2SHG air for Jamboree on the air on the 18th and 19th October. They will be on all HF bands as well as 2m and 70cm and PSK31 from their Scout headquarters at Crow Lane, Herrington, Sunderland, SR33TE. Details are on QRZ.com or contact Ian, G7MFN on 07581 0608 065.

This year is the 33rd time that the Special Event Station commemorating the liberation of Knokke by Canadian troops in 1944 will be in operation. This year the club are using the special prefix OO for the station, so OO4CLM will be on the air from 16 October to 15 November. More information on the station and how to obtain an award is at www.oo4clm.be

On 18th & 19th October, GB1GLO will be in operation over the JOTA weekend for Gloucester District Scouts, run by members of Gloucestershire RAYNET from the Murray Hall, Tuffley Lane, Gloucester. 

Scouts in the Forest of Dean will be using GB1ALS and GB0FOD, operating from Lydney on 18th & 19th October.

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

Members of the Radio Club Argentino will activate AY4E from Martin Garcia Island, SA-055, in Uruguayan waters between 16th and 19th October. Operations will be on 160 meters through to 70cm using CW, SSB and the some digital modes. QSL to LU4QQ direct or LU4AA via the bureau.

A major German DXpedition will be active as T30D from Western Kiribati, OC-017, until 15 October. Four stations are planned to be operational around the clock on all bands from 160 to 6m on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL Manager is DL4SVA.

Markus, DJ4EL will be QRV as 5Z4/DJ4EL from Lamu Island, AF-040, off the coast of Kenya until 19 October. Operation will be on all bands from 10 to 40m SSB.

From the 13th to 17th Diego will operate from Rodrigues Island, AF-017, as 3B9/F4HAU. QSL via F4HAU either direct or via the bureau.

JG8NQJ plans to operate portable JD1 from Marcus Island, NA-052, from mid-October until mid-December. Activity will be limited to his spare time, concentrating on 17 metres, but he does plan to also use 15, 10 and 12 metres as well. All of his airtime will be CW only. QSL via JA8CJY direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX CW contest ends at 0800 on the 12th after 24 hours. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Tuesday from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Sunday the 19th sees the 50MHz AFS contest taking place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 3rd to Thursday the 9th of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 10th of October.

Solar activity was low every day with only C class solar flares taking place until the 9th when early in the morning two M1 class solar flares took place within 15 minutes of each other. Another M1 class flare occurred several hours later. These flares had very little effect on propagation. Solar flux levels declined from 137 units on the 3rd to 119 by the 9th, The average was 126 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 9th was 130, that's five units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from C1.1 units on the 3rd to B3.5 by the 8th; the average was B5.3 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, except for the 9th which increased to an Ap index of 14 units. The average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds between 320 and 460 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase during the morning of the 8th to above 80 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the 9th, which was the most disturbed day, and between minus and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest days.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. For the first half of the week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way but later in the week the active side of the Sun should start to rotate into view. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but could increase towards next weekend. Solar flux levels are expected to be slightly above the 100 mark at first but then increase later in the week to around the 130's. Geomagnetic activity should be quiet for the next few days but then increase after midweek due to a recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 34MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 11MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 32MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate of around 26MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1400 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 5th. October 2014

October 5, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th October 2014

The news headlines:

  • Prestigious IARU award to G3USF

  • Ofcom amateur consultation closes soon

  • Could you write exam questions?

The RSGB extends its congratulations to Martin Harrison, G3USF who has been awarded the prestigious IARU Region 1 Medal for services to Region 1. Martin has been Region 1 Beacon Coordinator for many years and has done much to encourage development of the effectiveness of beacons in order to assist day-to-day band usage as well as propagation study.

All radio amateurs are reminded that the closing date for responses to the Ofcom consultation paper Updating the Amateur Radio Licence is 20th October 2014. It is vital that anyone with an opinion on the proposals takes the time to put their views in writing, either by filling in the online response form or by letter. The RSGB has put together a brief commentary to help illustrate some of the more significant changes proposed and this should be read in conjunction with the consultation document. See www.rsgb.org/licencereview/ for full details.

Have you ever thought that radio exam questions could be better written? Would you like to help strengthen the RCF question bank? The RSGB Training & Education Committee is committed to helping the RCF Exam Committee to build and improve the exam question bank. A question writing workshop will take place in Bath on Saturday the 6th of December. The aim of the workshop is to enable issues to be discussed openly so that attendees gain confidence in writing new questions on their own. There will be a couple of short presentations on what makes a good question and some examples of things that can go wrong. Attendees will be asked to bring some draft questions with them and share them with the group for peer review. Attendance is free for RSGB members. Anyone interested in attending should contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

Just a few days to go to the RSGB Convention at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes on the 10th to the 12th of this month. The final programme is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. The principal sponsor is Martin Lynch & Sons. American exams will be available on Sunday the 12th at 1pm. Ideally candidates should e-mail Martin, G3ZAY via g3zay@btinternet.com in advance, so enough papers can be prepared, although you can decide on the day. Candidates will need to bring photo ID and have a US mailing address for the FCC forms, as well as the exam fee, but G3ZAY can advise on those matters. Day tickets for the Convention are available on the door at the event for one day or both the Saturday and Sunday.

On 18th October 1924, two-way communication was established between Frank Bell, 4AA in New Zealand and Cecil Goyder, 2SZ, operating from Mill Hill School in North London. To commemorate the 90th anniversary of this historic contact, radio amateurs at stations in Mill Hill School and New Zealand will recreate the first Goyder/Bell contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to that used in 1924. The callsign 2SZ will be aired from 11 to 18 October from Mill Hill School. Pupils will be able to visit the radio station, speak to the operators, and even speak over the air. Whilst the station won’t be open to the public, on 18 October there will be a live webcam at the School covering the communications and celebrations. In New Zealand, a special station, using the callsign ZL4AA, will be operating from Shag Valley in South Island during the same week.

At a recent meeting with their regulator, the South African Radio League reached an agreement to exchange their 5MHz channel at 5250kHz, which is used for propagation experiments, for the more common beacon channel of 5290kHz. ZS6KTS and the other stations in the South African 5MHz WSPR Cluster changed frequency on 4 October. Their other channel at 5260kHz remains in use as normal for general contacts.

The RAYNET Convention and Network AGM takes place at the SkillZone Centre, Tuffley Road, Gloucester GL4 0AS on 25th October. Members of all RAYNET affiliations are most welcome to attend the event, which will include several lectures. A booking form to indicate attendance, book for lunch and make choices for the evening meal is available online at http://agm.raynet-uk.net/ and the deadline for submission of booking forms is Monday 13th October.

Idle Motion Theatre Company is on tour with That is All You Need to Know. Set at Bletchley Park, this piece of devised theatre tells the story of the remarkable men and women who cracked the Enigma code including Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. Dates remaining are 7th October in Tonbridge, 8th to 11th at Jacksons Lane, London, 14th October in Bedford, 15th October in High Wycombe, Hereford on the 16th, Barnsley on the 17th, Farnham on the 21st, Salisbury on the 22nd and Havant on the 23rd. Tickets were still available as this bulletin was being prepared.

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

Today, the 5th, sees the Blackwood and District ARS Rally at Rougemont School, Llantarnum Hall, Malpas Road, Newport, NP20 6QB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2 with trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Andy, MW0MWZ on 01495 220 687.

Also on the 5th, the North Wakefield Club Winter Rally takes place at Middleton Active Centre, Middleton Ring Road, LS10 4AX. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Tony on 07740 003 159.

The Mayo Radio Rally takes place on 12th October at Welcome Inn Hotel, Castlebar, Co Mayo. Doors open at 11am and admission is €5. The usual traders will be in attendance alongside a Bring & Buy and IRTS for QSL cards. Details at www.ei7mre.org

The 2014 Annual General Meeting of the UK Six Metre Group will take place on Sunday 12th October at 12.30pm at the Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ during the RSGB Convention. All committee positions are open for re-election and any nominations and items for the agenda may be sent to secretary@uksmg.org

Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place on 12th October at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares will all be available. Doors open at 10am. More from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

Hornsea Amateur Radio Club Rally will be held at the Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Yorks HU18 1NQ on 12th October. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Rick, M0CZR on 01964 533 712.

The Fog on the Tyne Rally appears in the October RadCom with the incorrect date. The rally is being held on 25 October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920 or on www.anarc.net. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

On the 11th and 12th, for 48 hours, Hucknall Rolls-Royce Amateur Radio Club is running a special event station celebrating the centenary of the Eagle aero engine, which entered service in the Great War 1914-1918. Up to four stations will be on the air, comprising two HF stations, one HF data station and a VHF station.

On 12th October from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition stand. It will feature how to get started in amateur radio and the support offered by Cray Valley in providing licence training courses and guidance for newcomers. As the open day theme is local history, the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia from KW Electronics, K-B and Burndept-Vidor, companies all located only a few miles from the museum site.

II4CDN will be on the air until 31st December from time to time, with different operators, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the radio telescope Croce Del Nord. QSL via the bureau or direct to the QSL manager IZ4FUE.

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

G3ZEM will be operating stroke 4W from a water's edge location of Timor Leste, OC-148, between 8th and 20th October. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands, primarily on CW. QSL via M0URX.

Stan, LZ1GC will be on the air as C21GC from the island of Nauru, OC-031, until 14 October. He is active on all bands from 6 to 160m on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Two German stations will be active from Reunion Island, AF-016, in the coming weeks. Sven, DJ2CW will sign FR/DJ2CW until 9th October. Look for him around 14.240MHz at 1900UTC. Willi, DJ7RJ will sign FR/DJ7RJ until 29th October. He will operate all bands from 10 to 160m using CW and SSB.

Karl, DK2WV returns to Malawi until 21st October where he will reactivate his 7Q7VW callsign. He plans to be active on all bands from 6 to 160m.

Georg, DK7LX and Phil, G3SWH will be active as VP5/G3SWH until 9th October on Grand Turk Island, NA-003, in the Turks and Caicos Islands. They plan to operate CW only on 10 to 80m bands. QSL Manager is G3SWH.

The Chilean DXpedition Team will be active as XR2T from Damas Island, SA-086, between 8th and 12th October. Operations will be on the 10 to 40m bands using mainly SSB, CW and the digital modes. QSL via CE3OP, direct or by the bureau.

Now the contest news

The 432MHz to 248GHz contest finishes its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 5th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 5th, the 21/28MHz contest runs from 0700 to 1900UTC. The modes are CW and SSB and the exchange is signal report, serial number and district.

The IARU 432MHz-248GHz Contest also ends at 1400UTC today, the 5th, after 24 hours. An entry into the IARU contest will be made for you by the RSGB Contest Committee if you enter one or both of the RSGB UHF/microwave events that take place this weekend, unless you specify otherwise. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 248GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain HF Phone contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC on the 5th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square or DXCC Entity for stations outside the UK.

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

On Wednesday the 80m Club Sprint CW leg takes place from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend the Oceania DX CW contest runs from 0800 on the 11th to 0800 on the 12th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Saturday the 11th the EU Sprint CW contest runs from 1600 to 2000UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 26th of September to Thursday the 2nd of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 3rd of October.

Yet another week with large and threatening sunspot regions that failed to produce a number of large solar flare. Saying that, five M class solar flares took place. The largest solar flare was a M7 that occurred on the 2nd as a large sunspot group was rotating off the solar disc. Numerous C class solar flares took place every day. Solar flux levels increased from 170 units to peak at 181 units on the 27th and the 28th before declining to 149 by the 2nd. The average was 168 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 2nd was 135 units, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged C1.1 units. Geomagnetic activity was unsettled on the 26th and the 27th and again on the 30th and the 1st. A coronal hole was responsible for both events. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 350 and 490 kilometres per second every day. Particle densities were low every day and Bz varied between minus 7 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be mostly at low levels with only C class solar flares taking place, however there is a chance of a stronger flare on the occasional day. Solar flux levels are expected to decline slightly and be in the 130s for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels every day. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be about 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be around 11MHz. Paths this week to the east coast of North America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 27MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1600 and 1900 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 28th. September 2014

September 26, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th September 2014

The news headlines:

  • IARU Region 1 Conference

  • The Future of IOTA

  • Lord Howe Island Dxpedition

Last week saw the 23rd International Amateur Radio Union General Conference held in Bulgaria. National societies, including the RSGB, from 45 countries covering Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Africa sent representatives to agree and coordinate activity to secure the future of amateur radio. Real progress was made at the meeting on a number of topics that are of key concern to UK radio amateurs including the need to protect our spectrum and to address the declining numbers of active radio amateurs. A full report of the proceedings of the final Plenary will be published in due course on the IARU Region 1 website at (www.iarur1.org).

The RSGB would like to congratulate Don Beattie, G3BJ who was elected IARU Region 1 President for the next three years. Don is an RSGB past president and well-known volunteer for the RSGB. Several other RSGB Members were elected into various committee positions and full details are on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s Islands on the Air programme celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2014. The last fifty years has seen the programme grow to 2,500 active island chasers and approximately 15,000 more casual participants. Those close to it have been anxious to ensure the sustainability of the IOTA programme and have spent some time reviewing the challenges and opportunities it faces. As a result, a small international group of IOTA enthusiasts will be invited to bring forward proposals to ensure the future of the programme for the next 50 years and beyond. This approach has the full support of the IOTA team and has been welcomed by the wider IOTA community both at home and abroad. Search “iota future” on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org.uk for the full information.

Christian, DL1MGB reports that, in less than four weeks, VK9DLX will be QRV from Lord Howe Island. The main team will arrive on 12th October but some members are scheduled to arrive earlier so don't be surprised if you hear VK9DLX some days earlier than expected. The main focus of this advance operation will be RTTY. Further information is at www.lordhowe2014.org

The Austrian national amateur radio society is involved in the negotiations with the government telecommunications ministry, to create a new Amateur Radio Act. The negotiations will revolve around modernising that nation’s rules. This is to make it more contemporary, bring relief in the application process and also enable such concepts as remote operation. The society notes that recent experiments with remote operation proceeded without any disturbances or incidents.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free download from the RSGB 5MHz webpage or from http://tinyurl.com/pjhd943. It features the latest 5MHz news, plus a report on Midsummer's Day on 5MHz and BeaconSpot looks at the new Swiss 5MHz Beacon.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Eric Swartz, WA6HHQ from Elecraft will be joining delegates over the internet for a talk looking at the insides of the K3 and the KX3 SDR transceivers on Saturday 11th. Packages are still available from www.rsgbevents.org to book your place or you can buy day tickets on the door at the event.

Responses to the recent Ofcom consultation on WRC-15 preparation by RSGB and affiliated groups including AMSAT-UK are now available on the WRC-15 Special Focus section of the RSGB website. In addition to supporting Agenda Item 1.4 for a 5MHz allocation, the detailed responses cover amateur radio interests across several VHF and Microwave allocations. This includes amateur bands affected by other agenda items, ITU procedures for nano- and pico-satellites, and preferences for future agenda items that may be proposed for WRC-1

At the G-QRP Convention in Ripponden on 25 October the traditional “Bring a Book - Buy a Book” stall will be operating in aid of Children in Need. Last year over £600 was donated to the appeal. The book exchange has provided some fantastic opportunities to share books around and obtain rare and treasured books from others at very reasonable cost, whilst supporting a very worthy cause. Richard, G4UGF says that he has empty tables ready to accept books from those turning out their book shelves. If you are not attending the convention then Richard is QTHR.

A public beta release of the weak signal data modes software WSJT-X, version 1.4, is planned for 1st October. In all, there are nine specific changes and improvements to the WSJT-X software in this latest release. To find out what they are send your web browser tinyurl.com/njabe49 to read the latest WSJT-X manual. 

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

Today, 28th September, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held in Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £5 on a first come first served basis. Sellers have access from 8.30am and buyers from 9.30am. Entrance is £2. More information from Gerry Day on 01656 860 761.

The 5TH West Tyrone ARC Conference will be held on 4 October at the Village Inn, Killyclogher, Old Mountfield Rd, Omagh, County Tyrone BT79 7LT. There is a full lecture stream as well as trade stands and a Bring and Buy. More details from Ian, MI1CCU by e-mail to mi1ccu@mail.com

Sunday 5th October sees the Blackwood and District ARS Rally at Rougemont School, Llantarnum Hall, Malpas Rd, Newport, NP20 6QB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2 with trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Andy, MW0MWZ on01495 220 687.

Also next Sunday, the 5th, the North Wakefield Club Winter Rally takes place at Middleton Active Centre, Middleton Ring Road, LS10 4AX. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Tony on 07740 003 159.

The Fog on the Tyne Rally appears in October RadCom with the incorrect date. The rally is being held on 25 October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920 or on www.anarc.net. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Derby & District ARS will be GB2WS on the air as part of the Railways on the Air from Swanwick near Ripley, in West Shed, the home of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust over this weekend.

GB0GCR will be on the air for Railways on the Air and a Pirates and Princess weekend run at the Old Railway Station in Rothley this weekend.

GB1PCA will be on the air from 27th September for 28 days from the Swiss Valley Community Centre in South Wales to promote the awareness of Prostate Cancer in men, in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK. Activity will be mainly on 40m phone. Full QSL information on www.qrz.com

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

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

DJ7RJ and DJ2CW will be operating stroke as FR from Reunion Island starting 30th September. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB with two operators on the air until October 8th but with single handed operation thereafter until 30th October. QSL via each operator’s home callsign.

PY2WAS will be operating as C6AAS from Cable Beach in the Bahamas from 4th to 8th October.  This will be a holiday style operation concentrating nighttime on the 10 to 30m bands using CW and SSB.  QSL via PY2WAS either direct or via the bureau.

The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo until 3rd October.  Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest. QSLs go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the OQRS on ClubLog. 

IZ1MHY will be operational as 5H1MD from Zanzibar Island between 28th September and 10th October.  Activity will be on the 6 to 20m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home call, the bureau or direct.  See his listing on QRZ.com for more details.

DK5AD will be active from Nepal as 9N7AD until 4th October. His operation is holiday style on the HF bands using an Elecraft KX3 and a vertical antenna. QSL via his home callsign. For updates keep an eye on QRZ.com under DK5AD or 9N7AD

Now the contest news

There are three contests on the final weekend of the month. First is the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which runs

for 48 hours ending at 2359 today, the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone. The zone for the UK is 14.

The UK Microwave Group Cumulatives take place on today, the 28th, from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 24GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, the Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest that takes place today, the 28th, has Low Power (10 watts) and Open sections. Running from 1200 to 1600UTC, scoring is 1 point per contact, multiplied by the number of Locator squares worked. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC, using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 1.2/2.3GHz trophy contest runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting at 1400UTC on the 4th and running for 24 hours, the 432MHz to 248GHz contest has an exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

The EU Sprint SSB contest runs from 1600 to 2000UTC on the 4th. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On Sunday the 5th the 21/28MHz contest runs from 0700 to 1900UTC. The modes are CW and SSB and the exchange is the signal report, serial number and district.

In the Oceania DX SSB contest there are sections for single-op and multi-op stations. UK stations work Oceania, that’s VK, ZL and Pacific islands, only. To encourage LF activity the points for QSOs are different on each band. Running from 0800UTC on the 4th to 0800UTC on the 5th and using the 1.8 to 29MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU 432MHz-248GHz Contest starts at 1400UTC on the 4th and runs for 24 hours. An entry into the IARU contest will be made for you by the RSGB Contest Committee if you enter one or both of the RSGB UHF/microwave events that take place this weekend, unless you specify otherwise. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain HF Phone contest takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October from 1200 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square or DXCC Entity for stations outside the UK. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 26th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley G3XKT by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 19th to Thursday the 25th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 26th of September.

Numerous sunspot regions were visible everyday, some were large and complex, but for what ever reason failed to produce any significant solar flares. Saying that, a M2 class solar flare took place on the 23rd, otherwise solar activity was at low levels with only a small number of C class solar flares taking place everyday. Solar flux levels increased from 119 units on the 20th to 158 by the 25th, the average was 134 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 25th was 134 units, that's three units up on last week. X-ray flux levels averaged B5.3 units and increased during the period to C1 by the 25th. Geomagnetic activity started at active levels due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier, the Ap index on the 19th was 22 units. Activity declined to quiet levels till the 24th when a coronal hole disturbance arrived and the Ap on the 24th was 25 units. The average was Ap 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 660 kilometres per second on the 21st to 380 by the 23rd and the 24th. Particle densities were low except for the 19th that increased to 40 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 13 and plus 16 nanoTeslas on the 19th.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be low but could increase to moderate levels on any day. Solar flux levels are expected to increase to around the 160's. At the start of the forecast period geomagnetic activity is expected to be at 'active' levels due to a series of positive polarity, equatorial recurring coronal holes, by midweek activity should have declined to quiet levels. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 32MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 11MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. September 2014

September 19, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st September 2014

The news headlines

  • Updating the Amateur Radio Licence

  • International Air Ambulance Week

  • RSGB Legacy Fund

The discussion forum on the RSGB website is now open to allow all amateurs to read, and comment on, the Ofcom consultation document. Ofcom will be at the National Hamfest next weekend, 26th and 27th September to answer questions and at the RSGB Convention on Sunday 12th October. The consultation closes on 20th October 2014 and all amateurs are encouraged to let Ofcom know their views.

International Air Ambulance Week will be on the air from 27th September to 5th October. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5, 10 and 15 stations worked and/or heard.

The RSGB Legacy Fund exists due to the generosity of donors. The Legacy Sub-Committee works with the Board to consider proposals for its use. The scope for proposals is deliberately wide and the RSGB is looking for projects that help to develop and grow amateur radio. If you have a project you would like to be considered, you are very welcome to discuss it informally with one of the sub-committee trustees. Nick, G3RWF is Chairman and also the corresponding member from whom you can get a proposal form, via email to nhenwood77@gmail.com. More details are on the RSGB website.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The latest lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Visitors should note that tickets for the Technical Dinner on Saturday evening are now sold out but Gala Dinner tickets for the same evening are still available. Weekend packages and Pick and Mix options should be booked on the RSGB website, see www.rsgbevents.org. Day tickets with no other bookings will only be available on the door.

K1IED who is the QSL Manager for United States Antarctic stations KC4AAA, KC4AAC and KC4USV says that all three are now using Logbook of the World. K1IED notes that logs from the past two years, as well some that are older have already been uploaded. There is the possibility that some other older logs could be uploaded in the future as well.  

The RSGB Amateur Radio Direction Finding Team has arrived back from the 2014 World Championships which were held in Kazakhstan. They brought with them a record haul of four medals, all of them silver.

The most notable achievement was the silver medal won by team manager David Williams M3WDD in the 2 metre Classic race. His M50 category (that is men aged between 50 and 59) is one of the most competitive categories and the performances at the top are often breathtakingly good. This is the first time an RSGB member has 'broken through' into the top flight of one of these age categories. The remaining medals came in the slightly less competitive M70 category. The major team competition here came from the Swedes and from the Germans. In the 2m Classic race we were beaten by the Swedes and in the 80m Classic race it was the Germans who were on the top of the podium. Despite this Robert Vickers G3ORI snatched a silver medal in the 2m Classic race and thereby underpinned the team’s silver medal won in that race.

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in Colorado, New Hampshire and Texas. W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week so far during 2014 and, by the year’s end, W1AW will have been on the air from every state at least twice, as well as from most US territories.

The triennial General Conference of IARU Region 1 is being held in Albena, Bulgaria from 21st to 27th September 2014 and a small delegation from the RSGB will be in attendance. There are nearly 70 proposals under consideration that will help to improve the coordination of amateur radio within our Region over the next three years. From 18th to 26th September 2014, the special call sign LZ14IARU to commemorate the event will be active from the Grand Flamingo Hotel in Albena. QSL via the bureau.

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

We have no details for rallies this weekend and the next in the diary is the National Hamfest. This takes place on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th. The two day show is brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club, to whom the RSGB offer its thanks for the work involved. Taking place at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY doors open for the main hall at 10am and 9.30am for the outside and car boot area. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, a large RSGB bookstall, RSGB committees and special interest groups. Details at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.

On 28th September the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held in Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £5 on a first come first served basis. Sellers have access from 8.30am and buyers from 9.30am. Entrance is £2. More information from Gerry Day on 01656 860 761.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Derby & District ARS will be GB2WS on the air as part of the Railways on the Air from Swanwick near Ripley, in West Shed, the home of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust over the weekend of 27th and 28th September.

GB0GCR will be on the air for Railways on the Air and a Pirates and Princess weekend run at the Old Railway Station in Rothley on 27th and 28th September.

PA70KP will be on the air on 23rd September to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the destruction of the Resistance safehouse, Lidwina. More information is available at http://www.huizelidwina.nl/ in English and Dutch. There is a special memorial QSL card for contacts and SWL reports.

GB1PCA will be on the air from 27th September for 28 days from the Swiss Valley Community Centre in South Wales to promote the awareness of Prostate Cancer in men, in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK. Activity will be mainly on 40m phone. Full QSL information on www.qrz.com

The Enigma event will take place on 26th September and will involve a message exchange encoded by an Enigma machine. To comply with regulations, the text of the demonstrative message to be transmitted, the algorithm used to code/decode, the Enigma machine settings and the web sites where is possible to download Enigma emulators will be published on multiple websites including www.arilaspezia.it An award is available for contacting stations in the clear in the preceding weeks see www.arilaspezia.it

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

The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo between 25th September and 3rd October. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest on 27th and 28th September. QSLs go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the OQRS on Club Log.

JI3DST will be active stroke 5 from Shodo Island, AS-200, in the Kagawa Prefecture until 22nd September. Operations will be on the 6 to 40m bands using CW, SSB, FM and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign direct or via the bureau.

LU5BE, LU8EFF and LU3AAL will be active stroke T from Purmamarca in the Jujuy region in Argentina from 24th to 30th September. Operations will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB, PSK31 and SSTV. They will also try to have a beacon on 6 meters. QSL via LU8EFF.

Depending on transportation, G4DBW should be active as ZD8RH from Ascension Island, SA-043, between the 22nd and 30th September. Operations will be mainly on CW. QSL direct via G4DBW or via RSGB Bureau.

JA7LU and JA2VWG will be active as 4W6LU and 4W6DD, respectively, on Timor Leste, OC-232, between 22nd and 29th September. Their operation will be on the 6 to 40m bands using SSB and RTTY. QSL each operator direct only via their home callsign. 

Dindo (DV1UD) will be active on CW as DX8DX next week 25th and 26th September from Pangutaran Island IOTA OC-188 (Pangutaran Group) and Tongkil (Tongquil) Island IOTA OC-119 (Jolo Group). QSL via M0OXO.

Andrea, IZ1MHY will be active as 5H1MD from Zanzibar (AF-032), from 28th September to 10th October. He will operate SSB, CW, and digital modes on the HF bands. QSL via home call.

Now the contest news

Today, the 21st, the second 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 21st, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just the serial number. Note all contacts are 75 baud.

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

Running at the same time on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity contests are on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is also signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday 24th September, the first of a series of eight, 1-hour 80m contests organised by the UK and Ireland Contest Club (UKEICC) takes place from 2000-2100 GMT. This first event is on CW, followed by SSB in October. These short contests use distance scoring similar to the Stew Perry event and entries have to be submitted within 1 hour of the end of the contest, with the results published online after a further 30 minutes approximately. Entries are welcomed from non-members of the UKEICC - the full Rules are on the website www.ukeicc.com

Thursday, the 25th, sees the CW leg of the popular 80 Club Sprint contest. Running from 1900 to 2000UTC the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

There are three contests on the final weekend of the month. First is the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which runs for the whole 48 hours of 27th and 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone. The zone for the UK is 14.

The UK Microwave Group Cumulatives take place on the 28th from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 24GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, the Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest on Sunday 28th has Low Power (10 watts) and Open sections. Running from 1200 to 1600UTC, scoring is 1 point per contact, multiplied by the number of Locator squares worked. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 12th to Thursday the 18th of September, compiled by G0KYA on Friday the 19th of September.

Solar activity was high at the beginning of the week, but more settled towards the end. There were numerous M class flares during the week. Conditions rose to moderate levels as sunspot region 2157 produced an M class flare on the 14th. The 90 day solar flux average on the 18th was 131, that’s up one on last week.

Geomagnetic activity was generally setted everyday, except for the 12th, which was the most disturbed day with an Ap index of 44 units. The cause of this disturbance was a solar flare and associated coronal mass ejection stemming from an M4.5 eruption on September 9th. The average was Ap 14 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds peak at around 600 to 800 kilometres per second, although the rest of week was more settled with speeds dropping to 400 to 600 kilometres per second. Once again, the Bz was most volatile around the 13th with large fluctuations. It was mainly neutral for the rest of the week.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week two active sunspot regions, which have already rotated into view, will become more earth facing. Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate on most days. Solar flux levels are expected to remain at similar levels, with a solar flux index in the 130-150 range. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet most days, with continuing risks of M-class solar flares. An Earth-directed coronal mass ejection at some stage in the next week cannot be ruled out. We are now at the autumnal equinox and can expect conditions on the upper HF bands to continue to improve. This time of year favours north-south paths, such as UK to South Africa or South America. The Optimum Working Frequency during daylight hours on these paths is expected to be 24 or 28MHz. The best time to try the path to South Africa is between noon and 1800 hours UTC. The South American path has a peak around noon and then again at about 1700-1800 hours UTC. Darkness hour lows on these paths will be either 10MHz or 14MHz.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th. September 2014

September 12, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th September 2014

The news headlines:

  • Updating the Amateur Radio Licence

  • Learn how to Solder Surface Mount Devices

  • Looking ahead to the National Hamfest

The current form of the amateur licence has been around for several years and Ofcom is keen to ensure that it continues to meet its regulatory needs. A consultation paper entitled Updating the Amateur Radio Licence has now been issued, and all amateurs are encouraged to read it carefully and respond to Ofcom by 20th October. It is a 35-page, 264KB PDF. The RSGB has put together a brief commentary to help illustrate some of the more significant changes proposed and, additionally, we have opened a discussion forum in which any amateur can participate. The RSGB will use contributions to the forum to inform its response to Ofcom. Go to http://rsgb.org/licencereview

If you are interested in learning how to solder surface mount devices then the sessions taking place at the RSGB Convention on Saturday 11 October may be of interest. Run by Dave Powis, G4HUP there will be practical workshops all day, at which you can put into practice the tips and ideas discussed in his presentation at the start of the day. Opportunities for hand placement and soldering of SMDs will be provided, as well as the equipment for solder paste dispensing and reflow soldering, under expert guidance. Each session is around 45 minutes and can be pre-booked by contacting Dave via www.g4hup.com/SMD2014.htm

National Hamfest takes place on 26 and 27 September at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground. This year several traders are bring new products that will be shown for the first time. Details of many of these new products are in the September and October issues of RadCom. There is also a large car boot area as well as the inside trade hall. Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions of several RSGB committees and Ofcom will also be there. See www.nationalhamfest.org.uk for details.

Slow Scan Television appears to be once again operational from the International Space Station. On 6th September the ISS Slow Scan Television experiment was activated from the Russian Service Module on 145.800MHz FM. This followed an unsuccessful test back on 27th August when only the carrier was detected but no SSTV audio tones were heard.

Clubs and Groups are reminded that they need to send in their bids to host the G14YOTA callsign during December, which has been designated IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month. Applications have been received from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and the Isle of Man with a number of Clubs, schools and universities aiming to put youngsters on the air. Full details on how the month will work and how to apply to use the special callsign are on the RSGB website, just search for 'YOTA month' and you will find all you need. Closing date for bids is 22nd September, just a week away, so get working on those applications!

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The latest lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Visitors should note that tickets for the Technical Dinner on Saturday evening are now sold out. Gala Dinner tickets for the same evening are still available. Weekend packages and Pick and Mix options should be booked on the RSGB website, see www.rsgbevents.org. Day tickets with no other bookings will only be available on the door.

Ofcom have advised that there are expected to be LTE test transmissions over the next few months in the 2.3GHz band. LTE transmissions are the wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones. The tests will be in the central London area and will be up to 38dBW ERP. If licensed radio amateurs should become aware of unusual transmissions, they are asked to bear this in mind.

A report on 2012 trials in the United Kingdom that used 3.613MHz for 24kHz bandwidth high-speed data and video transmissions is now available to the public. It notes that by using modern modulation techniques an SSB channel can support a raw data rate of 12,800 bits per second and wider transmissions can support proportionally faster data rates. More information on this experimentation can be found in a very fascinating article with the long title of Wide Band High Frequency Communications 2012 UK Trials Summary prepared by James Alexander of Rockwell Collins Corporation. You can find it at tinyurl.com/hf-video-testing 

The 2014 D-Star QSO Party will run from 000UTC on 19th September to 2359UTC on the 21st. The goal of the Party is to communicate through as many D-Star repeaters as possible around the world during the period. All operators who submit an approved log will be eligible for the prize drawing with 10 lucky winners randomly selected to each win a prize. Full details of this event is on the web at http://www.d-staruk.co.uk/

Sochi hosts the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from the 10th to 12th October and a series of 11 special event stations will be active from tomorrow, the 15th until 15th October on all bands and modes. All the callsigns begin with UE16.

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

The TARS 50th annual Communications Fair takes place today, 14th September, at Newton Abbot Race Course, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 10am and admissions is £2. Details from Mike Dixon on 01803 557 941.

The West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9XB today, 14th September. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB Bookstall. Contact Dave, G4OTV, by e-mail to rally@wkars.org.uk for more information.

The Five Bridges Cluster and the Angel club are jointly hosting a Workshop for Examination Invigilators at 7.30pm on Monday 15th September. All current and potential exam invigilators are welcome to discuss best practice. The meeting will be held at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR on 07990 760920.

We have no details for rallies next weekend, the 20th and 21st, the next in the diary is the National Hamfest. This takes place on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th. The two day show is brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club, to whom the RSGB offer its thanks for the work involved. Taking place at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY doors open for the main hall at 10am and 9.30am for the outside and car boot area. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, large RSGB bookstall, RSGB committees and special interest groups. Details at www.nationalhamfest.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent today, 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

PA70OMG will be on the air until 21st September to commemorate Operation Market Garden by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division on 17th September 1944.

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

Nigel, G3TXF and Paul, ZS1S will be on Gough Island, AF-030, until 3rd October. Nigel will operate as ZD9XF on CW and Paul will sign ZD9ZS on SSB.

Four Australian operators will sign VK9NT from Norfolk Island, OC-005, until 21st September. Look for them on all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB and CW.

EA5IDQ will be on the air signing 9H3JA from Malta, EU-023 between 18th and 25th September. Activity will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

Five operators will be on the air as BO0D from Tungyin Island, AS-113, until 20th September. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via the BV Bureau.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of the Worked All Europe Contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 14th, after 48 hours on the air. The contest is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number and EU stations work non EU stations only.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone contest takes place today, 14th September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT by e-mail to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

On Tuesday, the 16th, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday 21st, the second 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Sunday 21st, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just the serial number. Note all contacts are 75 baud.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 5th to Thursday the 11th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 12th of September.

On the 4th two large sunspot regions rotated into view and between them they produced numerous C class solar flares everyday and one M class solar flares on the 6th and the 9th and two on the 11th. On the 10th activity increased to high when a X1 class flare occurred, the first since the 11th of June. Solar flux levels increased from 144 units on the 5th to 164 by the 8th, the average was 155 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 11th was 129 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B9.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for the 11th, which increased possibly due to the arrival of a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun on the 9th. The Ap index on the 11th was 13 units. The quietest day was the 8th with an Ap of 5 units. The average was Ap 8 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds 330 and 490 kilometres per second. Particle densities increased to around 40 particles per cubic centimetre on the 6th, 10th and the 11th, the remaining days densities were low. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. At least for the first half of the week the two active sunspot regions will still be visible before rotating out of view. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but there is a good chance that activity could increase at least till midweek. Solar flux levels should be around the 150's for most of the week but could start to decline by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be low, however, if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection takes place this would increase activity. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 25MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 12MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 27MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1200 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 7th. September 2014

September 5, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7 September 2014

The news headlines:

  • Encouraging Youth

  • Churches and Chapels on the Air

  • UK and US Licence Examinations

The RSGB Board has approved the formation of a new committee to provide a focus for its young members and to help promote amateur radio amongst the younger sections of society. The new committee will be known as the Youth Committee. Members of the Youth Committee must be under 26 years of age and be members of the Society (which includes Junior and Student members) and applications for membership of the committee are now invited. Details of how to apply are on the RSGB website, click on About Us and scroll down to Volunteers.

Churches and Chapels on the Air takes place on Saturday 13th September, between 10am and 4pm. There is still time to take part and send details to John, G3XYF via email to g3xyf@btconnect.com. A list of the participating station can be found on the CHOTA tab at www.wacral.org.

As has become a tradition, both UK and USA exams will be available at the RSGB Convention in October. The UK exams will be hosted by the RSGB Training & Education Committee and Paul Steed, G0VEP, will be hosting the USA exams. UK Foundation and Intermediate will be held on Saturday 11 October and the Advanced on Sunday 12 October. Candidates intending to sit the Foundation and/or Intermediate exams must have completed the relevant Practical Assessments before the exam. It is not intended to provide the Practical Assessments at the Convention but some help may be available in the run up. Bulk buy discounts will apply to anyone sitting more than one exam at the Convention. Anyone wishing to book their place should contact Carol Meredith at the RSGB HQ Exam Department by 19th September. Candidates wishing to sit the American exams need to have a mailing address in the USA and the appropriate fees. Anyone wishing to sit these exams should contact Paul via Paul.Steed@ntlworld.com If anyone has any general questions about the exams at the convention, or needs help arranging practical assessments, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

Asteroid mission Hayabusa 2, with a planned launch this December, will also carry the amateur radio satellite Shin’en 2. It will be among the first amateur radio satellite go into orbit outside the influence of the Earth’s gravity. The relatively small satellite will be put into an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to an orbit between Venus and Mars. It was built in Japan by students and carries a Mode J linear transponder for amateur radio communications along with CW and WSJT beacons. The satellite will operate on 437.505MHz for its CW beacon and 437.385MHz for the WSJT telemetry. The inverting CW and SSB transponder will uplink on 2m from 145.940 to 145.960MHz using Lower Sideband. The downlink will use 435.280 to 435.260MHz on upper sideband.

TX Factor, the television show for radio amateurs, is now available in a version especially for French speakers. Episode 1 is now available with French subtitles thanks to the work of F6FVY, F8BXI and F8GQH. That team plans to do the same with the rest of the show’s episodes. To view the TX Factor with or without the French sub titles go to www.txfactor.co.uk. 

International Air Ambulance Week will be on the air from 27th September to 5th October. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5, 10 and 15 stations worked/ heard.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. This year is a truly international event with Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, Bob Allphin, K4UEE and Carl, K9LA, travelling from the States, Paul O'Kane, EI5DI, Alex Artieda, HB9DRI, Verner Topse, OZ5TG from Europe and Eric Swartz WA6HHQ of Elecraft fame and Harold Kramer, WJ1B from the ARRL via the internet. These speakers will provide a wide range of topics from transatlantic 2m beacon and weak signal communications to the moving story of amateur radio at the 2013 Boston marathon. Weekend packages are still on offer, see www.rsgbevents.org and day tickets will be available on the door.

Durham and District ARS has received reports of deteriorating signal strength and reduced coverage of GB7PB. In response they have resited and replaced the repeater’s antenna with a commercial aerial and replaced the coaxial cable with a superior grade of coax. Signal reports would be most gratefully received in order to establish if signals and coverage have been improved. Send your report, by e-mail, to GB7PB@OUTLOOK.COM and please include your callsign, location or locator and signal report.

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

The British Amateur Television Club Convention takes place this weekend at the Everest Academy, Basingstoke. There will be lectures, demonstrations and surplus ATV equipment for sale. The BATC bi-Annual General Meeting is on Sunday afternoon. For more information see www.batc.org.uk

The Halton & District Radio Amateurs Rally that would have taken place on 14 September was cancelled due to lack of support from traders. The organisers would like to ensure that visitors don’t make an unnecessary journey

The TARS 50th annual Communications Fair takes place on 14th September at Newton Abbot Race Course, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 10am and admissions is £2. Details from Mike Dixon on 01803 557 941.

The West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9XB on 14th September. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB Bookstall. Contact Dave, G4OTV, by e-mail to rally@wkars.org.uk for more information.

The Five Bridges Cluster and the Angel club are jointly hosting a Workshop for Examination Invigilators at 7.30pm on Monday 15th September. All current and potential exam invigilators are welcome to discuss best practice. The meeting will be held at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR on 07990 760920.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Northampton Radio Club are hosting GB0TRN today, the 7th, at Delapre Park from 11am today to late afternoon on 7MHz, 14MHz, 18MHz and 21MHz depending upon conditions. SSB and Morse will be used. The event is to promote the use of amateur radio in conjunction with a public opening of The Northampton Society of Model Engineers club premises and their Model Railway Tracks. Members of the public will be able to take passenger rides.

WW1USA will be on the air today, 7th September, to commemorate the Battle of the Marne. More information is available at www.WW1USA.org or on QRZ.com.

1940s themed event GB0BIB, for Baston in the Blitz, will be operating on 7th September from Baston in Lincolnshire. It will be operational on 80, 40 and 2 metres.

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Leicester Radio Society will be running GB0APS from the Abbey Pumping Station for their Seaside Special Steam Day on Sunday 7th September.

Orkney Wireless Museum will put GB2OWM on the air from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall until 10th September. Look for them on weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm, operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent from the 12th to 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

PA70OMG will be on the air from 12th to 21st September to commemorate Operation Market Garden by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division on 17th September 1944.

On 13th September Dorking and District Radio Society will be active during the Heritage Open Day at National Trust, Polesden Lacey near Leatherhead in Surrey. There will be an exhibition entitled Communications in the Trenches with displays of the equipment that would have been used. In contrast, visitors will be able to see modern communications equipment being used at the special event station, GB0NT; activity will be on the HF bands as well as 2m. Skeds with other participating stations would be particularly welcome, please contact Garth at G3NPC@swansons.org.uk.

Many stations will be on the air on 13th September for Churches and Chapels on the Air. Amongst them is Martin G7MRV who will be operating GB0SML for St. Marys Lead from the tiny church of St Mary’s near Towton, North Yorkshire, Activity will be mostly HF, particularly 40m SSB, with a 10m WSPR beacon also running. Derby & Districts ARS will operate GB1SOC from St Osmund’s Church, Derby. Pentland Firth Radio Hams will be running GB0 SBC from Scarfskerry Baptist Church, which is the most northern church on the British mainland. Activity will be mainly on 20m and 40m. GB2HTl will be on the air from Holy Trinity Church, Lamorbey, Sidcup run by Cray Valley Radio Society.

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

Today, the 7th, the newly formed UK Island group will be signing M0UKI/P from the rare Farne Islands, EU-109. The team members will be on the air with two stations. QSL via M0OXO.

PA3EWP, PA1AW, PA9JO and PB5X will be active stroke LX from Luxembourg from 10th to 17th September. Operations will be on 10 to 80m with four stations using all modes. QSL via PA1AW.

DF1YP will be active stroke F O from Moorea Island, OC-046, in French Polynesia between 12th September and 8th October. His operation will be holiday style, mainly on 20m on SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the bureau.

HA0HW will be on the air from Thassos Island, EU-174, as SW8WW between 12th and 22nd September. He will operate mainly CW, with some SSB and RTTY on the HF bands and on the 6m band. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the HA Bureau.

YO2MSB will be active stroke 3A from Monte Carlo, Monaco until 12th September. QSL via his home callsign direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz Trophy Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1400UTC today, the 7th. There are five sections to choose between, depending on how much time you can devote, whether you’re at home or away, and single- or multi-op. The last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy coincides with the first three hours of the fifth and final 144MHz Backpackers’ Contest, which continues for one hour afterwards, 1100 to 1500UTC.

In the Backpackers’ there are 10 watt Hilltopper and 3 watt Backpacker sections. Those who operate from or use power from a vehicle can only enter the Hilltopper section. For those unfamiliar with backpacker contesting, there are antenna and height restrictions in both sections. Both contests use all modes on the band and the exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 144MHz Contest takes place at exactly the same time as the RSGB 144MHz Trophy, ending at 1400UTC on the 7th after 24 hours. The exchange in these are the same, signal report, serial number and locator, and stations that submit a log for the RSGB event will be automatically entered for the IARU event, unless they specify otherwise.

Probably the biggest and most popular event in September is SSB Field Day that runs until 1300UTC today, the 7th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the Field Day exchange is signal report and serial number.

The All Asian DX SSB that takes place for 48 hours ends at 2359 today, the 7th,using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange in this event is signal report and age, although ladies can give 00 as an answer.

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

Wednesday the 10th is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Sprint Contest. Running from 1900 to 2000UTC the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On the 13th and 14th, is the SSB leg of the Worked All Europe Contest. Running from 000UTC on the 13th to 2359UTC on the 14th the contest is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number and EU stations work non EU stations only.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 14th September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT by e-mail to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 29th of August to Thursday the 4th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 5th of September.

Solar activity was low with numerous C class solar flares taking place everyday, these got stronger as a couple of sunspot regions rotated into view. Solar activity increased to moderate levels on the 3rd and the 4th once these regions rotated fully into view. The largest solar flare was a M2 class which occurred on the 3rd. Solar flux levels increased from 120 units on the 29th to 138 by the 3rd. The average was 129 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 4th was 130, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.5 units on the 29th to C1.2 by the 2nd. The average was B7.2 units. Geomagnetic activity was unsettled everyday, except for the 4th, which was quiet, the most disturbed day was the 29th with an Ap index of 20 units. The cause of this prolonged disturbance was a very slow moving coronal mass ejection and in the latter days of the period possibly a weak coronal hole disturbance. The average was Ap 13 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 350 and 490 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low everyday. Bz varied between minus 9 and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 5 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week at least two active sunspot regions will have already rotated into view. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to increase and be in the 140's for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet most days, there is a slight chance though that an Earth directed coronal mass ejection could head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 10MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 31MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1600 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 31st. August 2014

August 29, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 31st August 2014

The news headlines:

  • ARDF World Championships 2014

  • DXCC approves new operations

  • Churches and Chapels on the Air soon

The 17th ARDF World Championships are being held in Kazakhstan next week. The RSGB team of nine, all of whom are self-funded, flies out next Friday next to take part. The age categories are generally 10 years in duration and the number quoted is the age that a person enters the age group. This year our team has no ladies. We have one runner in M21, three in M40, two in M50, one in M60 and two in M70 as well as teams in the M40, M50 and M70 competitions. There are two classic races, that is five transmitters spaced well apart in forested terrain. These are followed by the fast and furious Sprint event in which ten transmitters are deployed and the winning times are likely to be around 20 minutes. The older age groups do not have to find all the transmitters that are set out. The final competition is Fox-o-Ring that uses extremely low power transmitters placed either inside or close to a circle printed on the map. The first race is on Monday the 8th September with the remaining three races between the 10th and 12th. To follow the action, check out the website at www.ardf2014.kz

The ARRL DXCC desk has approved the following operations for DX Century Club credit: A52JR, 4W/HB9FLX, 4W/N1YC, and 4W/PE7T. If a request for DXCC credit for any of these operations has been rejected in a prior application, contact the ARRL DXCC Desk to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

Churches and Chapels on the Air takes place on Saturday the 13th, between 10am and 4pm. There is still time to take part and send details to John, G3XYF via email to g3xyf@btconnect.com and a list of the participating station can be found on the CHOTA tab on the WACRAL website, see www.wacral.org

The next stage of proposed changes to microwave spectrum in Australia has now started with a draft direction from the Canberra government to licence spectrum overlapping the 3.4GHz amateur band for mobile broadband. This follows a previous consultation and other proposed changes in the 2.3GHz band in which the Wireless Institute of Australia been actively involved. The latest changes pose a particularly serious threat on the harmonised use of 3400-3410 by the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite Service as one of the proposed new commercial bands is 3400-3425MHz.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 reports that Moldova has signed the pan-European CEPT Novice and Class 1 amateur radio licence agreement. The prefix to be used is ER.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. On Saturday from 9am until 1pm, G3VKW, GM3WOJ and G4BWP will have a number of vintage transceivers on display from the 1960s to 1980s. These will be connected to a receive antenna, so visitors can try listening on one of these radios. In the full lecture programme, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, also know by his overseas callsigns of 5X1NH and 9X0NH, has made over 120,000 QSOs using lightweight antennas, hand-carried on each trip. He will talk about his experiences and experiments in Uganda and Rwanda. Useful information for travellers, but also for UK operators trying to put out a good signal with a quite simple antenna. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still just time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

The annual RSGB Construction Competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any Member of the RSGB is eligible to enter and, with many clubs having held their own Construction Competitions throughout the year, it could be a well-contested event. The closing date for entries is 30 September and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention. This year the competition is being sponsored Martin Lynch & Sons with prizes of £50 of vouchers for each category winner and £100 for the winner of prestigious Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy, which will be awarded to the best overall entry. The RSGB website has full details of the rules and conditions, which also appeared in the August edition of RadCom.

The BBC World War One At Home Live Events reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands-on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on the 6th and 7th September at Air Waves in Portrush, Co Antrim.

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

The Telford Hamfest takes place today, 31 August, at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. For more details contact Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

The Scottish branch of Waters and Stanton will be having their annual Open Day on 6 September at Woodside Way, Glenrothes, Fife. Doors open at 10am and there are lectures between 12 to 2.30pm. Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom will be exhibiting and have contributed raffle prizes.

On Saturday 6 September, Friskney & East Lincolnshire Communications Club Rally will be held at Friskney Village Hall, Church Road, Friskney PE22 8RD. Doors open 7am for traders and 8.45am for the public. There will be a Bring & Buy stand. Details on 07534 624 559.

The British Amateur Television Club Convention takes place on 6 and 7 September at the Everest Academy, Basingstoke. There will be lectures, demonstrations and surplus ATV equipment for sale. The BATC bi-Annual General Meeting is on Sunday afternoon. For more information see www.batc.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Today, the 31st, from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition about amateur radio. As the open day theme is local history, the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia.

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Bromsgrove & DARC will be running GB2WWT from the 29th August to the 7th September to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two They plan to use the 10 to 80m bands with PSK, SSB, CW and RTTY as well as 2m FM. Details are on their website, www.radioclubs.net/bdarc

Orkney Wireless Museum plans to put GB2OWM on the air from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall between the 4th and 10th September during the 24th Orkney International Science Festival. Probable operating periods will be weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm and Saturday morning between 10am and 12.30pm. Operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

1940s themed event GB0BIB, for Baston in the Blitz, will be operating on the 6th and 7th September from Baston in Lincolnshire. It will be operational on 80, 40 and 2 metres.

Leicester Radio Society will be running GB0APS from the Abbey Pumping Station for their Seaside Special Steam Day on Sunday 7th September.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent from the 12th to 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

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

Joe, OZ0J will be operating a T88 callsign between the 2nd and 9th September. He plans to operate CW and digital modes between 3.5 and 50MHz. All QSOs will be uploaded to www.clublog.org once a day, depending on the internet connection. QSL via OZ0J direct or via the bureau. Please use OQRS on www.clublog.org if possible.

ZL2MF/G3ZXD will be travelling to Niue Island, OC-040 between the 2nd and 9th September on holiday with some radio gear. Plans are to operate on 20m and possibly some other bands. The equipment is an IC-706MkII plus LDG tuner, 20m dipole, multiband mobile whip and 6m loop. QSL via ZL Bureau or direct.

VE3LYC and KD1CT will attempt to operate from Matthew Island, OC-218 from the 4th to the 7th September. They will maintain one station on the air around the clock, operating on all bands from 10 to 40m using CW and SSB. QSL via VE3LYC, direct or by the bureau.

JH3LSS will be operational as A52LSS from different areas in Bhutan between the 4th and 10th September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign or electronically using Logbook to the World.

YO2MSB will be active stroke 3A from Monte Carlo, Monaco between the 5th and 12th September. QSL via his home callsign direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL.

G0VJG, EI9FBB, G7GLW & M0OXO will be on the air from the Farne Islands, EU-109, on the 6th and 7th September. This short operation may also include participation in the SSB Field Day contest. The team are aiming for Longstone Island, dependant on weather. They will be using multi-band dipoles and vertical antennas and hope to give this IOTA to as many chasers as possible in the short time frame. QSL will be via M0OXO OQRS direct or via the bureau.'

Murray, WA4DAN has received permission from Parks Canada for a one-day DXpedition to Sable Island, planned for the 8th of September. A second operator will be Randy, N0TG. WA4DAN will operate the SSB station while N0TG will be on CW. Antennas are expected to be 17 and 20m Yagis with at least one of the two stations operating high power.

Now the contest news

Today, the 31st, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The 144MHz Trophy Contest runs for 24 hours over the 6th to 7th. There are five sections to choose between, depending on how much time you can devote, whether you’re at home or away, and single- or multi-op. The last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy coincides with the first three hours of the fifth and final 144MHz Backpackers’ Contest, which continues for one hour afterwards, 1100 to 1500UTC. In the Backpackers’ there are 10 watt Hilltopper and 3 watt Backpacker sections. Those who operate from or use power from a vehicle can only enter the Hilltopper section. For those unfamiliar with backpacker contesting, there are antenna and height restrictions in both sections. Both contests use all modes on the band and the exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Probably the biggest and most popular event in September is SSB Field Day that runs from 1300UTC on the 6th to 1300UTC on the 7th. With Open and Restricted sections, participants will find it useful to have a suitable number ready to give Asian stations that are taking part in the All Asian DX Contest, who give their age rather than a serial number as part of the exchange. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the Field Day exchange is signal report and serial number.

As we move into the autumn there are lots of international contests, the first being the All Asian DX SSB that takes place for the entire 48 hours of the 6th and 7th using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange in this event is signal report and age, although ladies can give 00 as an answer.

Next, two more coinciding contests. The IARU 144MHz Contest takes place at exactly the same time as the RSGB 144MHz Trophy, 1400UTC on the 6th to 1400UTC on the 7th. The exchange in these are the same, signal report, serial number and locator, and stations that submit a log for the RSGB event will be automatically entered for the IARU event, unless they specify otherwise.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 22nd to Thursday the 28th of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 29th of August.

Solar activity increased to moderate levels on the 22nd and the 25th when low strength M class solar flares took place and to high levels on the 24th when a M5 class flare occurred. On the remaining days solar activity was low, with a total of 44 C class flares taking place. Since the 25th the sunspot groups responsible for these flares decayed and simplified magnetically. Solar flux levels peaked at 141 units on the 24th but then declined to 119 by the 28th. The average was 129 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 28th was 128 units, that's two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased to B5.9 units on the 24th before declining to B3.5 units by the 28th. The average was B4.8 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day until the 27th and the 28th when a coronal mass ejection arrived that had departed the Sun from an event that took place on the 22nd. The Ap index for the 27th and the 28th was 21 and 25 units respectively. The average was Ap 10 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline to a very slow 240 kilometres per second on the 26th but then increased 390 by the 28th. Particle densities were low except for the 27th, which increased to 20 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 15 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the 27th, which was the most disturbed day. The magnetic disturbance resulted in auroral propagation from around midday on the 27th on 50, 70 and 144MHz through to the evening of 28th. However, this was a weak disturbance so only a handful of UK operators reported contacts.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity should be at low levels with only C class solar flares expected. Solar flux levels are expected to decline and be in the 110s for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels for the next couple of days due to a recurring coronal hole. Activity should then decline to quiet levels only to increase again next weekend. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 24MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 12MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 23MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 17MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1700 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 24th August 2014

August 22, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • Electromagnetic Field Camp 2014 next weekend

  • New 5MHz allocation chart issued

  • Chasqui-1 amateur radio satellite deployed

The Electromagnetic Field or EMF 2014 event is taking place from the 29th to 31st August at Bletchley near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. It is described as a camping festival for anyone interested in radio, electronics, space, homebrewing, robotics, 3D printing, the internet culture and pretty much anything else you can think of. Attendees are invited to set up their own village or camps within the camp. That’s where like-minded people can gather and put on their own activities. The EMF team of volunteers will supply power and internet to each tent. GB2EMF will be on the air from the Amateur Radio Village. More details, and ticket information, are at www.emfcamp.org

A new and updated 5MHz allocation chart has been issued and it has been several months since the last update. Due to the increasing number of 5MHz allocations it has been reconfigured as a Microsoft Excel file instead. The current updated Worldwide Amateur 5MHz Allocations Chart can be found at http://tinyurl.com/oofmemh

The Chasqui-1 amateur radio satellite has been successfully deployed from the International Space Station during a spacewalk by two Russian Cosmonauts. It is a research satellite designed to standard CubeSat dimension by the Peruvian National University of Engineering in collaboration with the Southwestern State University in Kursk. Experiments onboard include cameras that work by visible and infrared light. It carries a beacon on 437.025MHz that can transmit either 1200 bit per second audio frequency shift keying using AX.25 protocol or 9600 bits per second Gaussian minimum shift keying, better known as GMSK.

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Ofcom staff will be among those giving presentations, with other highlights such as James Coxon, M6JCX speaking about high altitude balloons and a software developers’ workshop run by Michael Wells, G7VJR. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month and the RSGB has arranged for Clubs/Groups to use the special callsign G14YOTA, with regional variations, on a rota basis. An application form is available on the RSGB website. The main requirement is to use the callsign to put youngsters on the air, and, for this purpose, anyone under the age of 26 is considered to be a youngster. Applicants are encouraged to think about making the most out of the activation by including other activities, such as Morse demonstrations, ARDF hunts, WSPR beacon displays, listening to remote SDRs, use of Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and so on. Applications must be received by 22 September.

The 4th annual World Digital ATV QSO Party will be held on 29 and 30 August. The event will have anchors in England, the United States and Australia. This will be a show and tell format that uses a combination of direct inputs for those within range of interconnected ATV repeaters and other contributions via Skype. The entire session will be streamed by the British Amateur Television Club.

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

Today, the 24th, Milton Keynes ARS Rally will be held at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. Visitors can combine a visit to the rally with one to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well. There is a car park and doors open at 10am with entry costing £3. More details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

August Bank Holiday Monday, the 25th, sees the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally take place at St Neots Community College, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There is talk in on S22 with a Bring & Buy and car boot area as well as trade stands. More from Clive, G3NKQ on 01480 810 473.

The Telford Hamfest takes place on 31 August at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. For more details contact Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4PIA at the Party in the park on 25th August at the Miners Welfare Park, Coventry Road, Bedworth.

Wakefield & District Radio Society will be operating portable for the entire weekend from the Calder Drift Scout Camp, just south of Wakefield. They hope to be active on all bands from 80 metres to 2 metres using the callsigns GX3WRS, GX1WRS and/or GX3ESP. More information from the events and publicity manager, Stu M0TNG by e-mail to m0tng@wdrs.org.uk.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be on the air on Monday 25th from 7 to 9.30pm operating HF, VHF and UHF. If you are interested in amateur radio and want to know more about the exam system pop along for a chat, cuppa and some pie and cake. All welcome. The address is on QRZ.com under G0BNK or use the Find a Club function on the RSGB website. 

On Sunday 31st August from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition about amateur radio. Cray Valley members and registered trainers will be on hand to explain more about the training courses on offer and sign up those interested in the next Foundation or Intermediate course. As the open day theme is local history, the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia.

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

PA0FAW will activate special event station PA44AH between the 1st and 28th September to commemorate the World War 2 Battle of Arnhem. The operation will primarily use CW and digital modes but there is the possibly some SSB. QSL via PA0AW and SWL reports are also very welcome.

WB6OJB and K5LBU will be on the air as C81AK and C81CF, respectively, from Tenda Tora Lodge in Bilene between the 25th August and 2nd of September. WB6JOB will be operating on SSB and CW, while K5LBU will be on PSK and possibly RTTY. QSLs go to each operator’s home address or via Logbook to the World.

AC8W, KC8CO, KN8R and N8LJ, will be in Fiji, OC-016, from the 26th August to the 2nd of September operating as 3D2 followed by AC, 3CO, LJ and TR. They will be taking three K2s and one TS-590 along with two KPA-500s and one ALS-500. Antennas will be verticals on the beach. Activity is expected to be on 1.8 to 28MHz on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via K8AQM.

Murray Adams, WA4DAN, has received permission from Parks Canada for a one-day DXpedition to Sable Island, now planned for the 8th September. A second operator will be Randy Rowe, N0TG. The two-man team will be using the Sable Island Amateur Radio Station that WA4DAN and the CY0P team left behind after their venture to Sable in October 2013. If things go as anticipated, WA4DAN will operate the SSB station while N0TG will be on CW. Antennas are expected to be 17 and 20m Yagis with at least one of the two stations will operating high power.

Now the contest news

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest takes place today, the 24th, between 1300 to 1500UTC, with awards for the leading non-EI station in each of the six sections of this 2-hour event. These awards often go to stations in GI, but if you have a good takeoff across the sea to Ireland it’s definitely worth a try. Also worth remembering is that if you’re a VHF ‘square basher’ and have missing squares in Ireland, this could be a good afternoon to work some of them. The 32 Irish counties are used as multipliers and you can find a list of them on EI8IC’s website. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday, two contests take place, both running from 1900 to 2130UTC. The first is the 50MHz UK Activity contest where the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator using all modes. The second is the SHF UK Activity Contest for the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, again using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the SSB leg of the 80m Club Contest, running from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is the usual one of both callsigns, serial number and name.

On the 31st August the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800 on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 15th to Thursday the 21st of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 22nd of August.

Several small sunspot regions were visible every day, however, on the 21st a new active sunspot region rotated into view. Until then solar activity was low with only a small number of C class solar flares taking place each day, but on the 21st an impulsive M3 solar flare took place increasing activity to moderate levels. Solar flux levels took a small dip to 111 units on the 18th and the 19th but started to increase with the approaching new sunspot region and ended the period at 128 units. The average was 115 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 21st was 126 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B2.6 units to B5.8 by the 21st and the average was B3.6 units. Geomagnetic activity was at quiet levels except for the 19th which increased to Ap 15 units and 12 on the 21st. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 380 to 260 kilometres per second by the 16th but then increased to 450 kilometres per second on the 19th. Particle densities were low but increased to 30 particles per cubic centimetre on the 19th. Bz varied between minus 5 and plus 2 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 18 and plus 12 on the 19th that was the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun will rotate into view, solar flare activity is expected to increase to moderate levels, on some days. There will be a slight chance of a major solar flare taking place. Solar flux levels should increase and be around the 150s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity should be quiet at first but around midweek a small recurring disturbance is expected. Activity should then decline but increase again later at the weekend. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 30MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 23MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1400 and 1800 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 17th August 2014

August 15, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Plans for Youngsters On The Air month

  • BBC World War 1 At Home radio day

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Dave Powis, G4HUP is doing an SMD presentation on the Saturday, followed by workshops during the day. Visitors can book their places in the workshop, which takes up to an hour with only 6 individuals per session. During the session they will learn solder dispensing and component placement of surface mount components and they will have access to a reflow oven. Also on Saturday, from 9am until 1pm, Keith, G3VKW, Chris, GM3WOJ and Fred, G4BWP will have a number of vintage transceivers on display, dating from the 1960s. These will be connected to a receive antenna, so older visitors can relive the experience of listening on one of these radios that they may have owned in the past, while younger visitors can also share that experience. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month and the RSGB has arranged for Clubs/Groups to use the special callsign G14YOTA, with Regional variations, on a rota basis. An application form is available on the RSGB website. As there are only 31 allocations, applicants are asked to give three choices of date in an attempt to resolve diary conflicts. There are some conditions attached to using the G14YOTA callsign and these are included on the application form and on the website. The main one is the requirement to use the callsign to put youngsters on the air, and, for this purpose, anyone under the age of 26 is considered to be a youngster. Applicants are encouraged to think about making the most out of the activation by including other activities, such as Morse demonstrations, ARDF hunts, WSPR beacon displays, listening to remote SDRs, use of Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and so on. The RSGB will provide some promotional material, stickers, badges, etc. Applications must be submitted by 22nd September and a panel made up from the YOTA teams will then allocate the callsign, with every Region having some activations. For further details see the RSGB website, Operating section.

The BBC Radio Solent WW1 At Home display will be at the Weymouth Pavilion on Carnival day, 20th August. Members of the South Dorset Radio Society will be assisting the Royal Signals Museum with a demonstration of how Morse Code was used during WW1. Rob, G0RYL, Carol, 2E1RBH, Rob, G3MYM and Geoff, G0EVW expect to be located in the Ocean Room at the back of Weymouth Pavilion. The event runs from 10am to 4pm, is open to the public and entry is free. The South Dorset Radio Society team will be very pleased to see any radio amateurs who are able to visit, although this is a Morse demonstration not a special event station.

There’s still time to get involved with Churches and Chapels on the Air, which takes place on the 13th September between 10am and 4pm. Activity is mainly on 40 and 80m and over 20 stations in the UK are already planned. Contact John, G3XYF by email to g3xyf@btconnect.com if you are planning to take part.

The RSGB is involved with a special event station, 2SZ, that will be on the air from North London from 11th to 18th October. This to celebrate the first two way radio communication between the UK and New Zealand on 18th October 1924 between 2SZ at Mill Hill School and 4AA in New Zealand. The contact attracted the attention of the national press and was reported in the Daily Mail newspaper on 21st October 1924. To commemorate the 90th anniversary, stations will recreate the first contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to the one that was used in 1924. This is believed to be only the second time that Ofcom has permitted radio amateurs to use three character callsigns to commemorate a special event. More details are on the RSGB website.

Kerry Amateur Radio Group has been issued with an additional callsign, EI1K. The club intends to use the callsign for contest operating, while the other callsign, EI1KARG, will continue to be used for club field day operations and special event stations. The group have a qrz.com page for EI1K where photographs of our various activities and details of the club can be found.

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

The Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society Annual Radio Rally will take place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX today, 17th August. More details from Stephen, G8LYB on 01788 578 940.

Also today, the 17th, the 2nd South Manchester Radio Club Summer Radio Car Boot Sale will be held at Trafford Metrovicks Rugby and Cricket Club, Finnybank Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6LR. Tables are £10 and admission is £1, with the gates opening at 9.30am. More information from John, M6JII, on 07892 890 902.

On 24th August, Milton Keynes ARS Rally will be held at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. Visitors can combine a visit to the rally with one to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well. There is a car park and doors open at 10am with entry costing £3. More details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

August Bank Holiday Monday, the 25th, sees the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally take place at St Neots Community College, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There is talk in on S22 with a Bring & Buy and car boot area as well as trade stands. More from Clive, G3NKQ on 01480 810 473,

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4PIA at the Party in the park event that has changed its date. Organisers have moved the event to the August bank holiday on 25th August. It remains at the Miners Welfare Park, Coventry Road, Bedworth.

Halifax and District ARS will be operating from two churches in the Halifax area as part of Churches on the air on 13th September. GB4ASC will be operated from All Souls Church at Haley Hill, Halifa, and GB4BMC will be operated from Bethesda Methodist Church at Elland. Frequencies will be the HF bands.

The Radio Society of Sri Lanka will activate the Point Pedro Lighthouse, the Northern most point of the island, on 17th August for the International Light House event. The team use HF bands both on CW and SSB. QSL requests to PO Box 907, Colombo. SWL reports are also welcome.

This weekend, during the International Lighthouse & Lightships Weekend, TC1LHW will be active from Istanbul Terkos Karaburun Lighthouse and TC6LHW will be active from Samsun Bafra Lighthouse. Details are on qrz.com

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

A group of English operators will be active from Rathlin Island, EU-122, until 20th August. They will use the callsign GN0GRC and plan to operate from three lighthouses while there. QSLs go via G0RCI.

G3ZVW will be active as ZD8N from Georgetown on Ascension Island, SA-043, between the 21st and 29th August. Operation will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

LZ3FN will be operating stroke SV9 from Crete between 24th August and 7th September. Activity will be on all bands, mainly CW. QSL via LZ1PM.

JH1UVV will be on the air as T88UN from the West Plaza by the Sea Hotel rental shack on Koror Island, OC-009, between the 28th and 31st August. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL cards go via his home callsign only. No electronic QSLs will be available for this one.

VK3VTH will be active stroke 7 from King Island, OC-233, between the 14th and 17th August. His operation will be on 40 and 20m using SSB only. QSL via VK3VTH either direct or via the bureau.

VK3ATX will be operational stroke P from Gabo Island, OC-196, on 16th and 17th August. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct only. 

Now the contest news

On Tuesday, the 19th, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest takes place on Sunday 24th between 1300 to 1500UTC, with awards for the leading non-EI station in each of the six sections of this 2-hour event. These awards often go to stations in GI, but if you have a good takeoff across the sea to Ireland it’s definitely worth a try. Also worth remembering is that if you’re a VHF ‘square basher’ and have missing squares in Ireland, this could be a good afternoon to work some of them. The 32 Irish counties are used as multipliers and you can find a list of them on EI8IC’s website. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 8th to Thursday the 14th of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 15th of August.

All visible sunspot groups were small and not very flare productive. Only eight small C class solar flares took place up to the 11th, since then solar activity declined to very low levels with no C class solar flares taking place. Solar flux levels declined from 123 units on the 8th to 103 by the 13th and the 14th. The average was 108 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 14th was 127 units, that's three units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B4.8 units on the 8th to B2.5 by the 14th and the average was B3.4 units for the period. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 12th, which increased to Ap 10 units. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 360 kilometres per second on the 8th to 560 by the 12th. Particle densities were low every day except for the 11th, which increased to 22 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 10 and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the 12th, which was the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be at low levels, however, an M class solar flare is slightly possible on any day. Solar flux levels are expected to be around the 100 mark but could increase slightly after midweek. Geomagnetic activity should be mostly quiet but could increase slightly towards next weekend due to a small recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate should be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 10th August 2014

August 8, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • First 6m transatlantic Opera decode achieved

  • FUNcube-2 beacon goes live

  • G14YOTA granted for Youngsters on the Air in December

At 1427 on 21 July, WD4KPD decoded the first 6m band transatlantic Opera beacon transmission from Graham, G0NBD, at a range of 3664 miles. The transmitting station used Opera mode OP1 with the 60 second transmit time pre-set for the 6m band. The aerial was a home-made 2 element Quad located in the roof space of the house.

The FUNcube-2 telemetry beacon aboard the UKube-1 satellite has been switched on. Transmissions are on 145.915MHz, plus or minus Doppler shift. If you have a station that will receive the FUNcube-1 telemetry transmissions then it should also be able to hear FUNcube-2. The FUNcube-1 Dashboard application for home computers does not yet properly display data from FUNcube-2 but it does correctly upload information to the corresponding Data Warehouse. A revised version of the Dashboard software is being prepared by the team and the latest information can be found at www.amsat-uk.org

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air Month. This year Ofcom has granted RSGB permission to use special callsign G14YOTA in a similar way to the successful G100RSGB call. We are therefore looking for 31 clubs and groups to host the YOTA callsign for one day each during December. The only stipulation is that it must put youngsters on the air, either Club members operating the Club station, or local youth groups passing greeting messages and learning about radio. Booking details are still being ironed out, but start thinking now about how your club can get involved. Bookings are likely to be taken from around the end of September. More information will be published later on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, and you can follow YOTA on Twitter via @yota_uk

The Wireless Institute of Australia has been facing a series of spectrum losses in the 70cm, 2.3GHz and most recently 3.4GHz bands. Their most recent submission to their regulator is now online at www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2014/20140731-1/index.php

The annual UK High Altitude Society meeting will take place on 16 August at the University of Greenwich. Some of the topics in the programme are WebSDR, Advanced superpressure balloon technology and Predictor. The conference attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434MHz signals. For full details see http://ukhas.org.uk

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO is to take up the position of Chair of Surrey Space Centre. The Centre has been steadily expanding its staff and activities and the new role as Chair will enable him to better help with the strategic research planning and external relations, as well as mentoring staff and students. It was also announced that Professor Aglietti will take on the role of Director of the Centre.

Following the advertisement in RadCom for someone to lead the Club Relay event next year, Dan Trudgian, M0TGN, has been appointed. Dan is a great enthusiast for amateur radio and has relevant experience of getting events off the ground and getting people enthused. The Club Relay builds on the success of the RSGB Centenary Station, G100RSGB, and will be touring the country throughout the year, hosted by local clubs. The RSGB plans to go live with bookings for the callsign around October.

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10 and 12 October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until 1 September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place. The programme is almost finished and will be on the RSGB website soon. One of the highlights will be the talk by Bob Allphin, K4UEE who was a member of the successful 2014 FT5ZM Amsterdam Island DXpedition, the sixth most-wanted DXCC. Their story is a very interesting one and many UK station got a 'new one' from their DXpedition. The cost of this DXpedition was almost half a million dollars, the sea trip across the South Atlantic was dire and participants put in a lot of their own money. Also confirmed is Mike Richards, G4WNC who asks is your Raspberry Pi collecting dust? Mike will show you how to get it doing something useful in the shack and starting working datamodes amongst other things. Free fact sheets will be available at the end of the talk.

Thanks to the volunteers from the British Amateur Television Club, videos of the presentations given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium held in Guildford on 26 and 27 July are now available to view online or download. Links to the presentation videos, slides and the schedule are at tinyurl.com/2014-coloq-video

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

Today, Sunday the 10th, the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Gates open at 10am and talk-in will be on S22. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and refreshments. Details from Tony, G3PFM on 07773 157356 after 6pm.

The Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society Annual Radio Rally will take place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX on 17 August. More details from Stephen, G8LYB on 01788 578 940.

Also on 17 August, the 2nd South Manchester Radio Club Summer Radio Car Boot Sale will be held at Trafford Metrovicks Rugby and Cricket Club, Finnybank Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6LR. Tables are £10 and admission is £1, with the gates opening at 9.30am. More information from John, M6JII on 07892 890 902.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

The Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4STG in the CHOTA event from St.Georges Church Brede. HF bands depending on conditions. Operation will commence at 8am, taking a half hour break at 9am whilst the morning worship takes place. Activity will then resume until 5:30pm.

A special callsign, CF3NAVY, will be on the air for the month of August to celebrate 100 years of the submarine service of the Royal Canadian Navy. QSL Manager is VE3RCN.

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

KB5FLA will be on the air stroke PJ7 from Sint Maarten, NA-105, until 12 August. Activity is holiday style on 40 and 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign direct or electronically via Logbook to the World or eQSL.

DJ8NK, signing as GJ0VNK, and F6EXV, signing as MJ0EXV will be operational from Jersey, EU-013, until 12 August. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 6m using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. There is the possibility that the duo could turn up on 60 meters as well. Logs will be uploaded to Club Log and Logbook to the World. QSL via their home callsigns, direct or via the bureau.

ON4BR will be active as D44TLO from the Windward Islands, OC-046, between16 and 23 August. Operations will be on 40 to 10 metres using CW only. QSL via his home callsign

Ian, MM0IMC is planning to activate the Ardrossan Lighthouse, ILLW ref UK0089, on 16 and 17 August for a few hours each day as part of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. This will be a QRP station on 40m, weather and band conditions permitting.

F5OZF and F5RXL will operate as TK50O (Tango Kilo fifty Oscar) from Corsica, EU-014, until 15 August. QSLs go via F5RXL and logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Now the contest news

For the whole 48 hours of the weekend of 9-10 August the first of this year’s Worked All Europe DX Contests, the CW leg, will be filling the HF bands with signals. Europeans work non-Europeans only. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 5th 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place on Sunday the 10th from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on 12 August from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

The following day, the 13th, it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Sprint from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Now the solar report for the 1st to the 7th of August, compiled on August 8th by Martin Harrison, G3USF

Solar activity was slightly higher this week. C-Class flares were reported daily and a couple of M-class flares occurred on the 1st. However, there were no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections. The solar flux started the week at 168 and ended at 137, averaging 144, compared with134 the previous week. The 90-day average was stable at 130. The X-ray flux increased from B4.3 to B6.3, with little daily variation. Geomagnetic activity was also higher, with unsettled periods on several days. The high point was the 4th, when the Ap index rose to 12. The daily average was 7.6, compared with 6.3 the previous week. Solar wind speeds recorded by the ACE spacecraft were above average for much of the week, thanks to a high-speed coronal stream. They were initially 285km/sec but climbed to 463km/sec on the 4th, remaining above average for the remainder of the period. The increase in geomagnetic levels had little impact on HF propagation but led to periods of radio aurora at VHF at high latitudes on several days. Bz varied between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas during quiet periods and plus or minus 9 nanoTeslas at more unsettled times. Particle densities were low.

Now the solar forecast. There are currently no signs of change in the broad pattern of recent weeks, though, as ever, an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection could just surprise us. No great variation is expected in solar flux levels. Flare activity will mainly be low, but isolated M-class flares are possible. Geomagnetic levels should stay low, with the Ap index mainly in single figures. MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to reach about 24MHz. Darkness lows will be in the vicinity of 14MHz. Paths to southern Africa should have a maximum usable frequency, with a 50% chance of success, of 32MHz. The optimum working frequency, with a 90 per cent prospect of a contact, will be about 24MHz. The path should be in good shape between 0800 and 1800UTC.

Finally, a reminder that one of the year’s major meteor showers, the Perseids, which have been with us since 26 July, are scheduled to peak between now and 13 August.

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

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