RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 13th April 2014

April 11, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th April 2014

The news headlines:

Better access to interference help Important changes planned on the 13 and 9cm bands Ham radio software used in search for flight MH370

All amateurs seeking advice on interference matters can now access the EMC Matters Forum via the main RSGB website. The forum permits the airing of EMC issues, discussion and suggestions for possible solutions. The EMC committee’s local volunteer advisers can also access the forum and help RSGB Members solve interference cases. In addition the forum will also provide a means for the EMC Committee to gauge the main interference problems affecting amateurs, from which policy can be formulated to address them with the appropriate regulatory or standards bodies. The forum, which is moderated by the Society, can be found at www.forums.thersgb.org/index.php?forums/emcmatters/ You will need to register, following the online instructions, before you can post. Following a consultation last year, Ofcom has decided it will remove from the Amateur Radio Licence all frequencies in the 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands that overlap with those planned for award for new civil uses. Specifically, this means 2350 to 2390 and 3410 to 3475MHz. Ofcom will give amateurs at least twelve months’ notice of this intention, but will also put in place a procedure to remove amateur access to adjacent frequencies if necessary in future. Amateur users of the 2310 to 2350MHz band are requested to register their use with Ofcom and provide contact details. Ofcom has been required by the MoD to ensure their systems are adequately protected from interference from amateur uses in both the release and adjacent bands and the statement contains guidance from Ofcom with which amateur users must comply, with immediate effect. Full details can be found on the Ofcom website. [Note to Newsreaders: if you are asked, the URL for the Ofcom document is http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/public-sector-spectrum-release/statement?utm_source=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pssr-statement-apr14] US Navy personnel helping to look for missing Malaysia Air Flight MH370 are using the signal processing and analysis package Spectrum Laboratory by Wolf Buescher, DL4YHF, to analyse recently detected 37.5kHz ‘pings’ that may be from the missing plane’s flight recorder. The US Navy personnel are guests aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield. The software is the same package amateur radio experimenters used recently to detect transatlantic signals on 29kHz. The British Amateur Radio Teledata Group is pleased to announce that major changes have been put in place for all future BARTG contests. With the help of Mike, G0GJV and Pete, G4CLA, a Robot system of log submission is now in place. Simone, M0BOX has volunteered to become the BARTG Contest Manager. It is extremely important that all entrants to BARTG contests use the Robot for log submissions as no other method will be accepted. To upload your log, go to http://bartg.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/hfenter.pl, where you can also find information such as the BARTG contest calendar. NoV holders for the 5MHz band will know that these frequencies are a Secondary allocation, on the basis of non-interferences to other services. During the coming days there may be temporary increased usage of these frequencies by the Primary User. Amateurs must take particular care to ensure a frequency is not in use before calling CQ, and vacate any frequency if requested by the Primary User. Camb-Hams will be operating GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Lewis, which is IOTA reference EU-010, from 26 April to 3 May. Thirteen operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m as well as 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for EME. The HF bands will be covered by five simultaneous stations, while the 6m and 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the rest of the UK and Europe from the island’s northern tip in IO68 square. 2m and 23cm EME will be available with a portable low-ERP Yagi system, mainly focussed on JT modes. 2m and 70cm will be available for portable satellite operations. The group will be active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip. You can check on progress or interact with the operators via their blog at dx.camb-hams.com. Following a 48 hour test last weekend, the FUNcube-CubeSat team have concluded that although the battery temperature does reduce slightly during full time transponder operation, it remains within specification. It has been decided that in future the satellite's transponder should be activated at weekends. The plan is to activate the transponder between 1930-2230UTC on Friday evenings and deactivate it between 1930-2230UTC on Sundays. During the rest of the week the transponder will only be available when the satellite is in eclipse (darkness). This schedule is totally reliant on the availability of command stations, who will do their very best to ensure it is maintained. Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, was the guest of honour to reopen the restored 25 metre Dwingeloo radio telescope in the Netherlands. The dish will see some amateur radio use on 23cm. With the renovation complete, the radio telescope will be used by radio amateurs, amateur astronomers and by budding researchers. It has been used for several years by Dutch radio amateurs for EME work, including during the ARRL EME Contest. The American time station WWV is now conducting experimental broadcasts on 25MHz, a frequency they haven't used since 1977. Details can be obtained from http://wp.me/pn3uc-2oM Radio amateurs in Vietnam can now enjoy a wealth of new bands. Use of the 40m band has been extended up to 7200kHz and they also now have access to the 30m band. They have been permitted to use new frequencies on 80m up to 3900kHz and 160m from 1.8 to 2MHz. Finally, permission has been granted for the new 600m band, from 472kHz to 479kHz. And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week The Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place today, 13 April, at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and more information can be obtained from Lucy on 01270 623 353. The West London Radio & Electronics Show will be held at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ today, 13 April. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. The event also has a Bring & Buy as well as the usual trade stands. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351. Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to be held today, 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers. The RADARS rally and surplus sale will take place on 20 April in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2TP. Doors open at 10am and there will be a talk in station. Stall holders can have access to the hall from 7.30am. Admission will be £2. Details from rally@ripon.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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk. Now for the news of special events GB0STG will be on the air on 23 April to celebrate St George's Day from the church of St George and St Mary at Church Gresley, Derbyshire. Activities include Morris Dancers, a village quiz, a photographic exhibition and a display by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group, plus many other activities in and around the church. GB0STG will be operating on the 40m band from around 10am to 7.30pm, plus 2m and other HF bands if conditions permit. For more information please visit www.M0PHX.org.uk or GB0STG on QRZ.com. GB2SOH will be operated from the Isle of Scalpay, EU010, on the Outer Hebrides from 27 April to 5 May by Elaine, 2E1BVS, Val, G6MML, John, G3WFK &, Glenn G6HFF. Operation will be on various HF bands, using SSB and PSK31, subject to band conditions. It is hoped that some portable SOTA and WAB will also take place during the two weeks of activation under their own callsigns, weather permitting. And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources LW9EOC will be active as 5JZ0T from San Andres Island, IOTA NA-033, between 18 and 25 April. His operations will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign. Wolfgang, OE1MWW will be on holiday at AF-024 until 25 April and will operate holiday style as S79WK with a KX3 and simple antennas. He will be maritime mobile until 19 April when he arrives as Mahe Island. QSL via OE1MWW either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World or eQSL. JA2NQG will operate as JD1AAI from Chichijima Island, AS-031, until 17 April. QSL via JA2NQG direct or through the bureau to JD1AAI. E20HHK/P will be on the air from Nu Island, AS-145, from 18 to 20 April. Budi, YF1AR, will be active as YF1AR/0 from Payung Besar Island and lighthouse on OC-177 between 18 and 20 April. Activity will be mainly 40m at night time and 20m during the daytime. He plans to operate with a 43ft vertical antenna on top of the lighthouse. QSL via N2OO. Now the contest news Today, Sunday 13 April has several contests taking place. The First 50MHz contests rums from 0900 to 1200UTC using all modes on the band. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode. On the same day from 1000 to 1600UTC the UK Microwave group contest runs on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. The Worked All Britain datamodes contest also takes place today, 13 April, from 1200 to 2200UTC. This is a new contest and there are separate categories for RTTY and PKS31. The exchange is signal report (RSQ), serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 4 May 2014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.co.uk. The first OK-OM DX SSB Contest ends today at 1200UTC, having been going for 24 hours. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Czech and Slovak stations also sending their 3 letter county code. Full details at http://okomdx.crk.cz/ Tuesday sees the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest take place between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. On the 18th, it’s the turn of the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number. April 19 sees the EU Spring Sprint take place from 1600 to 2000UTC on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands. In each Sprint you’ll have to engage in some band hopping, to make the most of changing conditions. Using SSB only, the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name. The IRTS 2m Counties contest take place on Easter Monday from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations giving their county too. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, it has not been possible to include a solar report with this edition of GB2RS. The information will be put on the RSGB website at the earliest opportunity. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 6th April 2014

April 4, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th April 2014

The news headlines:

  • Extended opening for National Radio Centre

  • Keep emergency frequencies clear for Chile

  • New spectrum released for Short Range Devices

The RSGB National Radio Centre, at Bletchley Park is now open 5 days per week from Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am until 4.30pm as well as bank holiday Mondays throughout the year. The volunteers look forward to meeting interested amateurs as well as members of the public. If you wish to operate the state of the art GB3RS station, please take your licence with you when you visit. For more information, please go to www.nationalradiocentre.com.

The Radio Club de Chile has been called to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile on 1 April. As we completed this news script, nets are operating on 7.055, 14.25, and 21.315MHz depending on propagation and time of day. The net controls are asking other radio amateurs to please keep these frequencies clear until further notice.

Ofcom has published a statement on the release of spectrum in the 870 to 876MHz and 915 to 921MHz bands for Short Range Devices, which can be used for machine to machine communications. The UK will be among the first countries in Europe to make this spectrum available. Read the statement at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/short-range-devices/statement/

International Amateur Radio Day is celebrated each year on 18 April to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the IARU in Paris in 1925. This year the theme is Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication. It is an opportunity for amateurs to show their expertise in digital and wireless communications to those in the community who have wireless communication interests, but haven’t looked into amateur radio yet.

This weekend, the FUNcube team are planning to command FUNcube-1 into full time transponder mode. It will be commanded into transponder mode on a suitable pass over the UK on the evening of 4 April. If all goes as planned, it will be left in transponder mode until the evening of 6 April.

Current beacon and repeater insurance arranged through the RSGB expires on 30 April. The contact point for all enquiries is repeater.insurance@rsgb.org.uk.

The rules for the UK radio exams are set out in the RCF booklet entitled Conduct of Amateur Radio Examinations, which is also referred to as EX500. It has come to our attention that a number of the RCF booklets in circulation are outdated and this has led to some confusion at Exam Centres. All Exam Secretaries are requested to check their copies and destroy any 2006 or 2012 versions. The current version was published in 2013 and is available to download from the RCF website, www.commsfoundation.org, or requested from Carol Meredith at RSGB Headquarters.

International Museums Weekend 2014 will take place on the two weekends of 14/15th and 21/22nd June 2014. Radio amateurs of clubs are encouraged to work with their local museums to put stations on the air. More details about the event and a registration form can be found at the events new website at www.radio-amateur-events.org/.

The British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association, BYLARA, is celebrating its 35th anniversary on 29 April. The callsign GB35BYL will be on the air from Chapmanslade Village Hall, High Street, Chapmanslade, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 4AP. Operation will be on 40m around 7.175MHz. The organisers hope to work as many people as possible from 9am and welcome visitors to the village hall.

DXers will be interested to know that the recently completed 3C0BYP operation from Annobon has been approved for DXCC credit. That DXpedition ran from 26 February to 6 March.  

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

Today, 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition takes place in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool from 10.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also today, the Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH, by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally for 6 April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place from 10am at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Greenisland Electronics Amateur Radio Society will hold an auction on 12 April from 12 noon at Knockagh Lodge, 236 Upper Road, Greenisland, Carrickfergus BT38 8RP. Contact David, GI4FUM, on 0771 3633 225.

The Hack Green Bunker Rally is from 10am on 13 April at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Items will include amateur gear, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Contact Lucy on 01270 623 353.

The West London Radio and Electronics Show will be held from 10am on 13 April at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. There is free car parking, a Bring and Buy and the usual trade stands. Contact Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Now for the news of special events

Riviera ARC is planning a station for Airfields on the Air on 6 April from the site of Little Haldon, outside Teignmouth, Devon. Look out for the station on the HF bands from 10 to 40m as well as 2m.

Dengie Hundred Amateur Radio Society will be active for Airfields on the Air on 6 April from Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex, using the callsign GB0SMA.

GB6RAF will be on the air from Rednal Airfield near Oswestry on 6 April, operated by RAF Air Cadets. The main band will be 7MHz, with other stations on 14 and 21MHz as time allows. Many Cadets on the air will be new to amateur radio and it is hoped that this event will spark interest in the hobby.

Bletchley Park was the central site of the UK Government Code and Cypher School that, during the Second World War, broke the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. A special event station will be on the air on 12 April to commemorate the first real-time breaking of Enigma messages. N7E will be using as many bands as possible and has skeds with GB3RS, the National Radio Centre station at Bletchley Park.

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

GM4YXI and GM3WOJ will be operational as A35X and A35V respectively from Tongatapu Island, Tonga, IOTA OC-049, until 18 April. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB, with some RTTY. QSL via N3SL.

Pete, F4GPK is on the air as 6W/F4GPK from La Somone in Senegal until 15 April. QSL to his home callsign.

ZS1LL will be on the air as A22LL from his farm in Lobatse, Botswana until 30 April. Activity will be on 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Pedro, ON7WP will be on the air as C5WP from Buntu in The Gambia from 8 to 12 April. Activity will be on the 6 to 80m bands using SSB and PSK. QSL to his home callsign.

Victor, CE1WFN will be on the air as CE0Y/CE1WFN from Rapa Nui, Isla de Pascua, IOTA SA-001, until April 17. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the contest news

The SP DX Contest ends at 1500UTC today, 6 April, having run for 24 hours. In it there are numerous entry categories, mainly for single ops. The exchange is signal report and serial number; SP stations give their single letter Province code.

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

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

On Saturday from 1600 to 2000UTC, the EU Spring Sprint takes place. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Sunday 13 April has several contests taking place. The First 50MHz contests rums from 0900 to 1200UTC using all modes on the band. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On the same day from 1000 to 1600UTC the UK Microwave group contest runs on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain datamode contest takes place next Sunday, 13 April, from 1200 to 2200UTC. This is a new contest and there are separate categories for RTTY and PKS31.The exchange is signal report (RSQ), serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 4 May 2014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.co.uk.

The first OK-OM DX SSB Contest takes place from 1200UTC on 12 April to 1200UTC on 13 April. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Czech and Slovak stations also sending their 3 letter county code. Full details at http://okomdx.crk.cz/.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 28th of March to Thursday the 3rd of April, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 4th of April.

New sunspot regions appeared every day, some of which produced solar flares of varying strengths. Solar activity was low on most days but increased to high on the 29th when a X1 class flare took place and again on the 2nd when an M6 class solar flare occurred. In total 58 C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels increased from 143 units on the 29th to 155 by the 2nd; the average was 150 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 3rd remained at the same level as last week at 159 units. X-ray flux levels increased from B5 units on the 28th to B9.1 by the 31st before declining slightly by the end of the period. The average was B6.9 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day. The most disturbed day was the 31st, with an Ap index of 8 units. The average was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 490 kilometres per second on the 29th to 350 by the 1st. Particle densities were low every day except for the 29th and the 30th, which increased to 14 particles per cubic centimetre on both days. Bz never varied more than minus and plus 6 nanoTeslas during the period.

Finally, 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 a small chance of activity increasing to moderate levels with a M class solar flare taking place. Solar flux levels are expected to decline to the 130s. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet with no coronal hole disturbances expected and a low chance of a coronal mass ejection heading our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz or slightly higher. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 36MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1600 hours UTC.

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

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 30th March 2014

March 28, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th March 2014

The news headlines:

  • Summary of RSGB-Ofcom meeting published

  • 1MHz more amateur spectrum likely at 2m

  • D-Star repeater replaced by MotoRTBO in Dundee

RSGB Officers met with representatives of Ofcom on 15 March as part of a regular series of discussions. Among the principal items on the agenda were the review of amateur radio licence, the revalidation of licences, VHF spectrum release proposals, amateur radio on the ISS and the public sector spectrum release. For more details of the discussions you can go to the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org and click on the Ofcom-RSGB Forum link on the right hand side under the Latest News heading. The next meeting is scheduled for 12 June.

Ofcom have published a consultation paper that makes proposals for the release of VHF spectrum, including 146 to 147MHz for amateur radio use on a temporary non-protected and non-interference basis. Details of how the RSGB will formulate its response will follow. The consultation is open until 26 May and can be viewed at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/vhf-143-169mhz/.

On 4 March the GB7DD D-Star repeater in Dundee was shut down due to lack of use and has been replaced by a Motorola MotoTRBO DMR TDMA digital voice repeater provided by Martin, MM0DUN. GB7DD is the first DMR repeater on the air in Scotland and is a colour code 1 UHF repeater on 439.6625MHz with a -9MHz split. See www.gb7dd.co.uk for more information.

The RSGB has launched its 2014 Construction Competition, intended to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any RSGB Member is eligible to enter and there will be prizes in each category. The overall winner will be awarded the new Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy. Full details are online at www.rsgb.org/constructioncompetition/.

In the news broadcast of 23 March we incorrectly stated that GB4IMD would be active from Poldhu for International Marconi Day. GB4IMD is the callsign of the Cornish Amateur Radio Club, who will be active from Stithians Field on that Day. The Poldhu Amateur Radio Club will be operating from the Marconi site at Poldhu for International Marconi Day using their callsign GB2GM. We apologise for this confusion. All stations planning to participate are urged to register in advance. Full details are at www.gb4imd.com. 

The European CW group is launching a new on-air game called Snakes and Ladders from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. It is designed to promote activity on all bands and to encourage friendly contacts. Everyone taking part will be acknowledged and any station submitting six or more logs during the twelve months from April to March next year can receive a certificate of participation. Full rules are available in English and many other European languages from the Snakes and Ladders web page at www.eucw.org/sl.html.

The BAA Radio Astronomy Group will be holding its 2014 General Meeting on 17 May at the National Space Centre, Leicester, LE4 5NS. This year there are two keynote speakers. Professor Paul Cannon will address the issue of solar storms, their origin and consequences and Dr Klaas Wiersema will describe how new radio telescope technologies enable the exploration of the 'transient' radio universe, from the mysterious millisecond duration fast radio bursts to the energetic afterglows of gamma-ray bursts that are sometimes visible for years. Other presentations include an ultra-low cost Hydrogen Line radio telescope; the design of an Arduino-based magnetometer and experiments with a small SDR radio telescope. Tickets are £12 for BAA members, £15 for non-members, including free parking. Details at www.britastro.org/radio/.

Amateur radio will have its own geostationary transponders on-orbit by the end of 2016. This is thanks to the approval of a concept from by the Qatar Amateur Radio Society to include a pair Phase 4 amateur transponders part of the Qatar Satellite Company’s new communications satellite. It will carry a 250kHz wide linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations such as CW and SSB. Also on board will be an 8MHz wide transponder to be used for experimental digital modulation schemes and digital amateur television. Precise operating frequencies remain to be finalised. Both of the transponders will be feeding broad beam antennas to provide coverage over about a third of the Earth’s surface. This equates to Europe, Africa, along with parts of South America and Asia.

Icom has published a firmware update for the IC-7700 that is free to download. It follows a similar upgrade made to the IC-7800 last year and is aimed at providing sharpened performance and a greater user experience for operators. It can be downloaded from www.icom.co.jp/world/support/download/firm.

Richard, G3CWI completed his 16th talk since last June at the Bolton Wireless Club this week. If your club meets within a 2 hour drive of Macclesfield, he would be happy to come along to speak. His talks draw on his experience of portable operating from Antarctica to the Andes and from Patagonia to Pacific islands. Details of how to book are online at www.sotabeams.co.uk/book-a-club-talk/.

Radio amateurs in Thailand with a basic class licence have gained an extension to the 2m band to 146.500MHz and now have access to 28 to 29.7MHz as well. They were previously restricted to 2m FM. The PDF of the Thai regulators announcement can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/pmc3s9p.

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

On 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open at 10.30am, or 15 minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on 6 April, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH, by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally, for 6 April the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 7am for traders and 10am for visitors, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to be held on 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally, combined with potential bad weather causing site problems. A decision will taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Worcester Radio Amateur Association will put GB1PER on the air today, 30 March, for the annual Airfields on the Air operation. This will take place in the grounds of the former Royal Air Force base at Perdiswell, from where the Kings Flight was based during the Second World War. GB1PER will be on the HF bands only. The club's 60 foot tower will be in evidence on Bilford Road, putting Perdiswell alongside more famous participating RAF stations such as Scampton, Tangmere and Leeming. More details are on QRZ.com.

GB1BST, marking the start of British Summer Time, will be on the air today, 30 March, from Mount St Bernard Abbey in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire (SK41). The abbey is home to a community of Cistercian monks who have kindly given permission for the Special Event to operate from the abbey lawn. The station will be operated by the Phoenix Radio Group on the 40m, 20m and 2m bands plus others if conditions allow.

Riviera ARC are planning to run a club station in support of RAFARS Airfields on the Air event on 5 and 6 April. The intention is run from the site of Little Haldon, outside Teignmouth, Devon, which was a WW2 airfield, using the HF bands from 10 to 40m as well as 2m.

Dengie Hundred Amateur Radio Society will be active from Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex, using the call sign GB0SMA, for Airfields on the Air next weekend. Stow Maries Aerodrome is one of the best preserved World War One aerodromes in the UK, with 20 of the original buildings still intact.

II1SWL will be on the air from 5 to 13 April using the HF, VHF and UHF bands with SSB, CW and digital signals. It is to encourage those new to amateur radio as either operators or listeners to take part in the hobby. A special QSL card is available, either via the bureau or direct to IW1EHL.

GB6RAF will be on the air from Rednal Air Field near Oswestry in Shropshire on 5 and 6 April. It will be operated by RAF Air Cadets from 2364 sqn (Welshpool), 2416 sqn (Newtown) and 1165 sqn (Oswestry), along with cadets from a number of other squadrons from around the region. The main operating band will be 7MHz with another stations working on 14 & 21MHz as time allows. Many Cadets on air will be new to amateur radio and it is hoped that this event will spark interest in the hobby.

To commemorate the centenary of the 1914/1918 war, a special activation will take place throughout 2014 in various departments of France. Activity runs from 1 March 2014 until 31 December 2014. Certificates are available for contacting the various stations. Stations involved will have a TM callsign, such as TM02REF and TM8FDA. More detail can be seen on QRZ.com under TM02REF.

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

N7QT, AB1UH, W4VAB and N7UN will be operational as 5J0X from San Andres Island, NA-033, between 2 and 14 April. Their activity will be primarily holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and PSK. QSL direct to N7QT.

A large group of operators will be active as DA0HEL from Helgoland Island, EU-127, between 3 and 12 April. They plan to have 3 to 4 stations on the air but no bands nor operating times have been announced. If you make contact, QSL to DF6QC via the bureau.

Guy, F5MNW will be active as FR/F5MNW from Reunion Island, AF-016, until 8 April. He will operate CW only. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of CQWW WPX ends at 2359 today, the 30th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands between 1.8 and 28MHz to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged.

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

Next Sunday, 6 April, the first 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday the 1st RoPoCo takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. It’s the SSB leg and the exchange is the signal report and the full postcode received.

The SP DX Contest runs for 24 hours next weekend from 1500UTC on the 5th to 1500UTC on the 6th. In it there are numerous entry categories, mainly for single ops. Multipliers in this one are the sixteen Polish provinces that are given a single letter of the alphabet for the purpose of this contest. The exchange is signal report and serial number with SP station giving the single letter Province code.

Now the solar report for the period from Friday 21st March to Thursday 26th March, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday 27th March.

Solar activity was low throughout the week. C-class solar flares were reported every day, but there was only one smallish M-class flare. The solar flux began the period at 153 units, rose slightly, and then returned to 145, averaging 153. The 90-day average on the 27th stood at 159 – two points up on the week. A coronal mass ejection occurred on the 23rd, with the effects reaching Earth on the 25th, but it struck only the lightest of glancing blows, scarcely showed up on the daily Ap figures, and had a negligible effect on propagation. Indeed the daily index reached double figures on just one day – the 21st, when it was 10. For the week as a whole the average was only a modest 6.5 units. The X-ray flux showed little variation day-to-day, averaging B6.2 – a slight decline. Solar wind speeds reported by the ACE spacecraft ranged between 289km/sec on the 21st and 524km/sec on the 25th. Particle densities were generally low, apart for a spike to 10 particles per cubic centimetre on the 21st. Bz ranged between plus 7 and minus 5 nanoTeslas. Overall, low geomagnetic activity and relatively high solar flux levels made for consistently good conditions on the HF bands.

Finally, the forecast for the week ahead. Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate, with C-class flares on most days and the occasional M-class flare. A major X-class flare looks unlikely, as does any great increase in geomagnetic activity – though, as usual, the possibility of an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection cannot be dismissed. However, solar flux levels are expected to rise, possibly reaching the 170s. Aided by seasonal factors, MUFs at equal latitudes should again exceed 30MHz. Darkness lows are expected to be about 11MHz. Paths to India should have an MUF – that’s a 50 per cent chance of a contact – of 34MHz. The optimum working frequency, at which there should be a 90 percent chance of success, will be 28MHz. The path should be best between 0900 and 1400UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd March 2014

March 21, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd March 2014

The news headlines:

  • YOTA UK July 2014

  • French amateurs gain 472kHz band

  • New RSGB Membership System

Having got the RSGB Youngsters on the Air Team lined up for their trip to Finland, a UK YOTA event has been given the go-ahead. This is planned to take place on the weekend of the 19 and 20 July. Other than having a date and knowing that a central place for young members to meet will be needed, the event is pretty much a blank page so please let the TEC Chairman know what kind of thing should be part of a YOTA UK event. Ideas to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk as soon as possible please. The RSGB would also like to have some of the older young Members involved in the organising, particularly those that have experience of leadership from Cadets, Scouts and/or Guides. If you are 'young', willing and able to help or know anyone that fits the bill, please get them to contact the RSGB via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk. News will follow in due course on something very special for a Club-based activity for IARU YOTA month in December.

In changes to their licence conditions, French radio amateurs in both mainland France and the overseas territories in ITU Region 2 are now allowed to use the 472 to 479kHz band with 1 watt EIRP.

A new computerised membership system is being commissioned at the RSGB this weekend and will go live on Monday 24 March. This should have no impact on people using the website or shop, but please note that HQ staff will be familiarising themselves with the new system during the first few days of operation. This may lead to a short delay in actioning requests and orders.

SOS Radio Week in January saw many stations on the air raising money for the RNLI. If you worked one of the stations, don't forget to apply for the Worked SOS Radio Week award. Full details can be found on the website, www.sosradioweek.org.uk. Over £16,000 has been raised to date and the RNLI have asked whether the amateur radio community may be able to help with a forthcoming event they are running. Over the first bank holiday weekend in May, the RNLI will be running Mayday, four days of fun-filled activities to raise money and awareness for the RNLI. With this in mind, the SOS Radio Week Management Team has come with the idea of RNLI on the Air weekend. Anyone interested in taking part in ROAR should contact the event co-ordinator, Derek Hughes, G7LFC, via derek@g7lfc.co.uk.

Denby Dale ARS will once again be co-ordinating the annual Mills On The Air event over the weekend of 10 and 11 May. Full details of how to register, the stations taking part and how to claim a certificate are shown on DDARS website, www.g4cdd.net. If you would like to take part by running a station at a wind- or watermill or even an ancient steam driven mill, ask if they are taking part and would they like to have an amateur radio station as part of their event to promote awareness of the mill.

Stations around the world will be on the air for International Marconi Day on Saturday 26 April. It is not a contest; instead, it is an opportunity to make contact with historic Marconi locations around the world. Over 20 have confirmed to date, including GB4IMD at Poldhu and VO1AA in Newfoundland. Certificates are available for those who work the requisite number of sites. All stations planning to participate are urged to register in advance, and full details are at www.gb4imd.com.

Due to the falling membership, the Leicestershire Repeater Group has taken the decision to limit the hours of operation of the repeaters GB3CF, GB3GV, GB3LE and GB3UM to conserve funds. As a result, the repeaters are now switched off overnight between 10pm and 5am. The beacons GB3LEX and GB3LES continue to operate 24 hours a day. For further information or to join or donate to the group, see the website at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk

Rotherham has two radio nodes run by Bert, G4NJI. The first is an IRLP node on 145.2875MHz with a CTCSS tone of 71.9 and node number of 5200, Echolink number 135909. He also runs an Allstar node on 431.125MHz with a CTCSS tone of 71.9. The Allstar node number is 29368. Both modes are attracting an interesting number of contacts.

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

There are no rallies taking place over the weekend of 29 or 30 March. But the following weekend has several in the diary.

On 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open at 10.30am, or 15 minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on 6 April, the Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally for 6 April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 7am for traders and 10am for visitors, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally, originally to be held on 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates. A decision will taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Worcester Radio Amateur Association will put GB1PER on the air on 29 and 30 March for the annual Airfields on the Air operation. This will take place on the grounds of the former Royal Air Force base at Perdiswell where the Kings Flight was based during the Second World War. GB1PER will be on the HF bands only. More details are on QRZ.com.

GB1BST, marking the start of British Summer Time, will be on the air on 30 March from Mount St Bernard Abbey in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire (SK41). The abbey is home to a community of Cistercian monks who have kindly given permission for the special event station to operate from the abbey lawn. The station will be operated by the Phoenix Radio Group on the 40m, 20m and 2m bands plus others if conditions allow.

The ARRL Centennial W1AW Worked All States operations that are taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states has moved location to Tennessee, W1AW/4, New Mexico, W1AW/5, and Guam, W1AW/KH2. During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state at least twice and most US territories and awards are available for working the station, see the ARRL website for details.

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

N5JC and N5JR will be active stroke HH2 from Haiti, NA-096, between 25 March and 1 April. Activity will be on the 6 to 160m bands with a focus on CW, RTTY and the 30, 17 and 12m bands. QSL both callsigns via N5JR direct, via the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Tynemouth ARC will activate the Isle of Arran, EU-123, as GB5DX from 26 March to 2 April. They will be on most of the HF bands and full details are on QRZ.com.

The West African country of Burkina Faso will be on the air until 26 March. Calls to look for are XT2AEF, XT2IVU and XT2VWT and they will be found on all bands from 10 to 80m.

The Andaman Islands, AS-001 will see a one-man expedition on the air from 23 – 30 March. The operator will be Krishna, W4VKU who will sign VU4K from Port Blair. Activity will be on 10 to 40m using SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the contest news

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands and all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The SSB leg of CQWW WPX take place from 0000 on the 29th to 2359 on the 30th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands between 1.8 and 28MHz to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 14th to Thursday the 20th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 21st of March.

Despite a large number of sunspot groups visible, up to nine on some days, solar activity was only at low levels with numerous C class solar flares taking place every day. On the 20th the only M class solar flare took place; this occurred from a new sunspot group that had just rotated into view. Solar flux levels increased from 136 units to 151 by the 20th. The average was 142. The 90 day solar flux average on the 20th was 157, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined at first but then increased to end the period at B8.2 units. The average was B6.7 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day. The most disturbed day was the 18th, with an Ap index of only 5 units. The average was Ap 3 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 590 kilometres per second on the 14th to 270 by the 19th. Particle densities were low at first but then increased to 50 particles per cubic centimetre on the 20th. Bz showed only modest fluctuations due to a quiet magnetic field and varied no more than minus 8 and plus 6 nanoTeslas.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. The active side of the Sun will be looking our way. Due to two active sunspot regions rotating back into view during the second half of the week, solar activity could increase to moderate levels. Also, solar flux levels should increase and be around the 160s by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels every day, provided no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections head our way. Right at the end of the period a small coronal hole disturbance is expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be well above 30MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be around 11MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 38MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between midday and 1700 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 16th March 2014

March 16, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th March 2014

The news headlines:

  • Licence Revalidation

  • IARU Contest Calendar

  • Renewal of Beacon and Repeater NoVs

Although the current amateur radio licence is known as a “licence for life”, all radio amateurs are required to revalidate their licence at least every five years. The process to do this requires every licence holder to contact Ofcom to confirm or update the details on the licence database. This process has been underway for some time and to date some 60% of licences have been successfully revalidated.

The quickest way to revalidate is to do so online via the Ofcom website, www.ofcom.org.uk, or by email to amateur.validations@ofcom.org.uk. This can be done at any time. If you need assistance in the process, Ofcom staff are available to help, but please be patient during times of heavy workload.

During the last IARU Region 1 C5 Interim Meeting in Vienna it was decided to try to get the organisers to align times and dates of their contest. An IARU Contest Calendar and has been compiled by Alex IV3KKW and can be found via the IARU Region 1 website at www.iaru-r1.org/. Corrections and updates should be e-mailed to iv3kkw@ari.it.

Ofcom has issued a web notice and written to the keepers of Beacons and Repeaters inviting them to renew their current NoVs, which are due to expire at the end of March. The exercise involves approximately 400 repeaters and 100 beacons. Applications for renewals can be made using the RSGB-ETCC online facilities, which can be found under the Operating heading of the main RSGB website. The system is currently open for repeater keepers and will be live for beacon keepers by the end of the weekend.

If you are a Keeper, your attention is drawn Ofcom’s request that you must ensure that your personal licence is also valid and that your list of closedown operators must be updated. Please note that ALL Repeater and Beacon NoVs are in scope for renewal, including those recently issued.

The resolutions to be considered at this year’s RSGB AGM have now been published in RadCom and on the RSGB website and voting is open. The ballot is being conducted by the Electoral Reform Society and all RSGB Members are encouraged to participate by casting their vote before 10th April. For those not attending the AGM, electronic voting is the preferred method and Members should go to www.votebyinternet.com/RSGB14 to cast their vote. Details on how to vote are available on the RSGB website and have been published in the April 2014 edition of RadCom.

A four meter port has been added to the 70cm repeater EI7MLR. The repeater, which is on RU76, 430.950MHz +7.6MHz, is licensed to the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and located at Mount Leinster, County Carlow. This port allows access to the repeater from the 4m band, on 70.400 MHz and a tone of 67Hz is required to access it. The output power is 10 watts into a folded dipole antenna. Reports, by e-mail, to sirnrepeaters@gmail.com.

The vanishing of the Malaysian Airline jetliner with 239 passengers on board is a mystery that nine nations are trying to solve. When flight MH370 disappeared from the air traffic control radar, the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society was asked to provide a communications link between the airport and the hotel where relatives were staying. MARTS provided a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary interference from the public services. An HF link was later added. During the call-out there were 11 volunteers at the Emergency Management Centre at Kuala Lumpur airport and 23 volunteers at the hotel, on a shift roster for the link.

The RSGB was saddened to hear of the death of the Politician Tony Benn on Friday 14 March 2014. In March 1965, Tony Benn was the Postmaster General when George Wallace MP asked a parliamentary question on reciprocal licensing for radio amateurs. In his reply, Tony Benn said, “Subject to certain conditions being met, I shall in future grant licences to engage in amateur transmissions in this country to licensed radio amateurs who are nationals of countries which are prepared to grant reciprocal facilities to UK licensed radio amateurs.” Initially permission was granted to visiting US amateurs, but this was the start of the arrangement to allow UK amateurs to operate their station during visits to other countries. Our thoughts are with Tony Benn’s family and friends at this time.

The data mode ROS weekend takes place on the HF bands from 0001UTC on 22 March until 2359 on 23 March and an award certificate is available. The call is CQ, CQ, ROS WEEKEND. The award requires 30 contacts logged or heard with only 1 QSO per band per day being allowed. You can download the latest version of the ROS data mode software from http://rosmodem.wordpress.com/ as well as view the full rules for the ROS weekend and award.

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

The Dover Radio Rally will be held today, 16 March, in the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Rd, Whitfield, Dover, Kent CT16 3LY. Doors open 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Tables cost £10. Details from Ian Keyser at ian.g3roo@googlemail.com.

The 2nd Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on 22 March at the Millenium Memorial Hall, Laugharne, SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 2pm. Entry is free as are the tables. More information from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

West Tyrone ARC is taking part in the St Patrick Day celebrations on Monday 17 March running GB1SPD. They will be situated on the top floor of the Strule Arts Centre in the town centre operating on HF, VHF/UHF, Echo Link and digital modes between 11am & 5pm. Visitors are welcome.

Grey Point Fort will be running a special event station for St Patrick’s Day from 0001 to 2359UTC on 17 March. The Fort is situated on the shores of Belfast Lough, whose waters it once guarded, within Crawfordsburn Country Park. It will be operating as a fixed award station, part of the new St Patrick’s Day award scheme. You can find out more about the awards available at http://stpatrickaward.webs.com.

Russian special event station UE80HS will be on the air throughout March. This operation is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Russia’s first astronaut Yuri Gagarin who was born on 9 March 1934. Gagarin was the first human to journey into space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of he Earth on 12 April 1961. If you work UE80HS, please QSL via RW6HS.

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

JF1CCH will be active as 8Q7TS from Hulhumale Island in the Maldives from 20 to 31 March. Operations will be on 10 through 40 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. There’s also a chance he may show up on 160 and 80m as well. QSL via his home callsign.

John, VK6HZ, will once again be active as VK6ARI from Rottnest Island, OC-164, between 23 and 30 March. Activity will be holiday style on 10 to 40 meters using SSB, PSK and RTTY, possibly CW. The antenna will be a Buddipole and activity will be around the usual IOTA frequencies. QSL via VK6HZ, direct or by the Bureau. Log will be uploaded to Club Log and Logbook of The World.

Two stations will be active from Chatham Island in the coming weeks. ZL7/OE2SNL will operate mainly RTTY and some CW. He will be there until 20 March. The second group of ZS1FJ, VE7NY and ZL1GMB will be joined by OE2SNL and will use the callsign ZL7AAA from 20 March to 1 April. This group will be on HF using SSB, CW and RTTY.

Gert, ZS6AYU will sign C91GR from Mozambique from 16 to 19 March. QSL to his home callsign.

Krish, W4VKU, will be active as VU4K from Port Blair between 23 to 30 March. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and RTTY. He will have a 2 element SteppIR + 30/40m, Acom 1000 and maybe a Butternut Vertical antenna. QSL via W4VKU and OQRS will be open in early April 2014. Realtime logs will be available via Club Log

Now the contest news

You will need to be up very early if you want to catch the start of the BARTG HF RTTY Contest: 2am, to be exact. It runs for 48 hours on the 15th to the 17th. Exchange signal report, a serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest ends at 1200UTC today, the 16th. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. An interesting twist is that it is permitted for a single-op station to make two single-band entries. Usually this would be to take advantage of bands that aren’t open at the same time. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations sending their Oblast code too.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place today, Sunday 16th March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 6 April 014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.co.uk or from the contest manager G3XKT by email aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

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

On Thursday the SSB leg of the 80m club championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 7th to Thursday the 13th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 14th of March.

 

Two large active sunspot regions between them produced in total 12 M class solar flares and numerous C class solar flares. The largest solar flare of the period was a M9 which occurred late on the 12th. However, solar activity was low on the 7th when only C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels finished the period where they started at 148 units and showed little variation day to day except for the 11th which increased to 165 units. The average was 150 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 13th was 158, that's two units down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B5.4 units on the 7th to C1.4 by the 10th and the 11th before declining back to B7.3 units by the 13th. The average was B8.4 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for a small disturbance that took place on the 13th. The most disturbed day was the 13th with an Ap index of 11 units. The average was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 420 on the 7th to a very slow 250 kilometres per second by the 12th. Speeds then increased and ended the period at 520 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase to 14 particles per cubic centimetre late on the 12th and 20 the next day. Bz varied between minus 2 and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 8 and plus 9 nanoTeslas on the 13th.

 

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be at moderate levels on most days with the return of a couple of active regions. Solar flux levels could decline to the 140 later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet everyday, however, if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection heads our way then activity would increase. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be slightly above 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 11MHz. Paths this week to Australia 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 24MHz. 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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 9th March 2014

March 7, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th March 2014

The news headlines:

  • Sub-30kHz amateur signal crosses Atlantic

  • ISS Ham Video transmissions start

  • Radio club featured on BBC TV

In what’s believed to be a first, a very low frequency signal from Bob, W2ZM in New York was heard across the Atlantic by Paul Nicholson and later by Mike Dennison, G3XDV. Bob was transmitting on 29.499kHz under a US Part 5 Experimental licence using the callsign WH2XBA/1. His very slow-speed CW signal was initially detected in the UK just before 0000UTC on 3 March. Paul also copied a 29.501kHz transmission from Dex, W4DEX, in North Carolina, who was operating as WH2XBA/4. Congratulations to all concerned.

The Ham Video transmitter in the Columbus module of the International Space Station was commissioned on Thursday 6 March and is making its first transmissions this weekend. Pictures were planned for Saturday at approximately 13.27 UTC and from today, for a week, "blank video" emissions are expected. Three or more receiving sites will be streaming live video via the British Amateur TV Club website, www.batc.tv, and full details can be found at www.amsat-uk.org.

In a Gaelic programme on the BBC called Trusadh, meaning The Wave Messengers, ex radio officer Hamish Taylor of Harris talks about the role of radio operators at sea. Stirling and District Radio Club also took part in a 10 minute section where they described CW on the amateur bands. There was also a segment about the Sandford Mill radio museum in Chelmsford. The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer and is sub-titled.

The largest ever launch of micro-satellites operating in the 437MHz band is planned for 16 March when 200 tiny Sprite satellites will be taken into space. A Sprite is a miniature, 3.5 by 3.5cm, single-board spacecraft that includes a microcontroller, radio and solar cells, and is capable of carrying single-chip sensors. The 200 Sprites will be carried in a CubeSat called KickSat. On reaching orbit KickSat will perform a de-tumble manoeuvre and establish communication with Cornell University’s ground station. After a command signal from the ground station the Sprites will be released as free-flying spacecraft. These micro birds will be placed into a 325 by 315km 51.5 degree inclination orbit. All of the 200 Sprites operate on a single frequency, 437.240MHz, and use Code Division Multiple Access. Due to the low orbit Sprites will have a short lifetime before they re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. In the best-case scenario the orbital lifetime could be six weeks but realistically it may be considerably shorter, depending on atmospheric conditions.

The RSGB QSL Bureau is seeking a replacement volunteer with time to handle approximately 15 to 20 thousand cards per year for the G3M to G3P group of callsigns. If you are interested, have time, space, commitment and some basic spreadsheet skills, please contact the bureau by e-mail to qsl@rsgb.org.uk. Please head your message G3M-P sub manager.

The Chairman of the Brigg and District Amateur Radio Club, David Ogg, M0OGY, has become the United Kingdom’s representative to the European Citizen's Band Federation. That body is a member of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, mandated by the European Commission. Details about the work of the ECBF can be found at www.ecbf.eu.

The 70cm repeater GB3OH, in Scotland, has been returned to service on new frequencies. The repeater transmit frequency is 430.950MHz and it receives on 438.550MHz. The CTCSS tone access remains unchanged at 94.8Hz.

A new St Patricks Day award has been designed for both participating special event stations and those working these stations. Go to http://stpatrickaward.webs.com for full details.

The International Amateur Radio Union has advised that Timothy S Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpstead, LA2RR, have been nominated for president and vice-president, respectively, for 2014-2019. They are currently serving a five year term in those positions. An international consultation produced no additional nominations for these positions. The new term begins on 9 May.

The Southampton University Wireless Society web-based software defined radio has been used to receive signals from the new amateur radio LitSat-1 satellite, which was deployed from the ISS on 28 February. The builders of the satellite have been able to use the WebSDR to receive the satellite when it is out of the range of Lithuania. The WebSDR currently supports parts of the 10GHz, 1296MHz, 432MHz and 144MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. The web address is http://websdr.suws.org.uk/.

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

The Wythall Radio Club Annual Radio Rally takes place today, 9 March, at the Woodrush Sports Centre, Shawhurst Lane, Hollywood, near Birmingham B47 5JW. This is on the A435, 2 miles from junction 3 of the M42. Doors open at 10am and there will be a talk-in station on the air. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands as well as catering inside. Details from Chris, G0EYO on 07710 412 819.

The 39th Dutch National Radio Flea Market will take place on 15 March at Autotron in Rosmalen, just off A59 motorway. Check out the website for full details, www.radiovlooienmarkt.nl.

The Dover Radio Rally will be held on 16 March in the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Rd, Whitfield, Dover, Kent CT16 3LY. Doors open 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Tables cost £10. Details from Ian Keyser at ian.g3roo@googlemail.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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

West Tyrone ARC is taking part in the St Patrick’s Day celebrations on Monday 17 March, running GB1SPD. They will be situated on the top floor of the Strule Arts Centre in the town centre, operating on HF, VHF/UHF, Echolink and digital modes, between 11am and 5pm. Visitors are welcome.

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

John, GM0KTO is travelling with his wife Rosemary to The Gambia from 12 to 26 March. He has renewed his Gambian visitor's amateur radio licence and will be operating from Bijilo as C5/G0KTO, using an Icom IC-706 Mk II and a selection of wire antennas for HF.

9J2T will be on the air from Zambia until 17 March. QSL via I2YSB, either direct, on OQRS or Logbook of the World.

DD5ZZ is now active as 8P9BZ from Dover Beach, Barbados until 13 March. His activity is holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using mainly the digital modes. QSL to DD5ZZ either direct or via the DARC QSL bureau.

DL7DF will lead a team of operators to activate Sri Lanka until 23 March. Activity will be on 6 to 160m using several stations operating on CW and SSB. One station will be exclusively dedicated to RTTY, PSK31 and SSTV. They will upload the full logs of the DXpedition to Logbook of the World within 6 months after the DXpedition. QSL via DL7DF, direct or by the bureau.

A team of operators from Mexico will activate XF1T on Isla Cocina, Jalisco, Mexico, IOTA NA-189, on HF, 6m and satellites between 14 and 17 March.

Peter, EI7CC makes a return trip to Lesotho this month. He will reactivate his 7P8PB call from 14 March to 3 April.

Now the contest news

The Commonwealth contest ends 1000UTC today, 9 March. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and serial number, with HQ stations also sending the letters HQ.

The 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place today, 9 March, from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Tesla Memorial Contest ends at 0800UTC today, 9 March. It is CW only on the 80m band and points are given for distance between stations. For full details on rules, terms and conditions please look at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/

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

The CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place on Wednesday 12 March from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

You will need to be up very early if you want to catch the start of the BARTG HF RTTY Contest: 2am, to be exact. It runs for 48 hours on the 15th to the 17th. Exchange signal report, a serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest is on the 15-16th. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. An interesting twist is that it is permitted for a single-op station to make two single-band entries. Usually this would be to take advantage of bands that aren’t open at the same time. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code too.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 16th March from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 6th April 014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website, http://wab.intermip.net, or from the contest manager, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 28th of February to the 6th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 7th of March.

Thirteen sunspot groups were visible on the 28th but this had declined to nine by the 6th. Some of these groups were complex enough to produce the occasional M class solar flares, except on the 4th and the 6th when solar activity was low with only C class solar flares taking place. Solar flux levels declined from 171 units on the 28th to 149 by the 5th and the 6th. The average was 159 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 6th was 160, that's two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined slightly from C1 units on the 3rd to B5.5 by the 6th, the average was B8.7 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day and the average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 500 kilometres per second on the 28th to 330 by the 3rd. Particle densities were elevated on the 28th with 22 particles per cubic centimetre and 18 on the 3rd and the 4th. Bz varied between minus 10 and plus 9 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day. The HF bands were in good shape with 28MHz open to all continents during the period, also, 50MHz saw openings to South Africa on the 4th and Mauritius on the 6th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be at mostly low levels but a chance of a larger solar flare taking place is still possible. Solar flux levels should decline and be around the 130s during the second half of the week. Geomagnetic activity should be unsettled today and tomorrow due to a coronal hole disturbance. Activity should then decline to quiet levels for the rest of the week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 10MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East 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 1500 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 2nd March 2014

February 28, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd March 2014

The news headlines:


  • Commonwealth Contest next weekend

  • Last chance to comment on RSGB IARU Conference subjects

  • PLT battle continues in Germany


There will be activity from a number of Commonwealth countries during the annual Commonwealth Contest next weekend on 8 and 9 March. Look out for 5H3EE, 5X1XA, 9J2BO, 9X0NH and ZS1EL and other ZSs from Africa, J34G, VP2Mxx and ZF2XF from the Caribbean, most of the Canadian prefixes including VO, VY2, a number of VU stations and many VK and ZL stations. All these will be looking to work UK stations. Look for latest news on the Commonwealth Contest webpages, www.beru.org.uk. And don't forget the RSGB have donated a Millennium Paddle for the prize draw.

Brief outlines of all the issues the RSGB plan to raise at the IARU Region 1 Conference in September are online on the consultation forums on the RSGB website. In addition, several full draft papers are also available to download (provided you register and are logged in), with more to follow over the coming days. This is your last chance to comment and contributions from all amateurs are welcome.  Full details and links are on the RSGB Consultation web pages accessible from the front page of the RSGB website.

Germany’s national amateur radio society, DARC, continues to battle the issue of PLT. DARC recently raised questions regarding the measurement protocol that federal authorities used to test devices used for power line telecommunication. Their Scientific Research Associate, Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, said it appears the Federal Network Agency conducted some of its PLT emission measurements while the devices were in standby mode, with no data being transferred. This may give the misleading impression the equipment meets the emission standards.

ARRL Centennial W1AW WAS operations are taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states. The stations relocated on 26 February from Michigan and Florida to Washington, W1AW/7 and Kansas, W1AW/0. During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from each state at least twice and also from most US territories.

World Amateur Radio Day is celebrated each year on 18 April in recognition of the anniversary of the founding of the IARU in Paris in 1925. The primary purpose of World Amateur Radio Day is to focus a public spotlight on amateur radio and its benefits to countries and communities. This year the IARU and its more than 150 member societies will celebrate the organisation’s 89th anniversary. The theme chosen for this year is Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication. Despite being a weekday, several IARU member societies and associated clubs are expected to field special event stations to mark the occasion.

The ARTSAT1:INVADER CubeSat team have announced that QSL cards will be available for reception reports of the amateur radio satellite. INVADER launched from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex on 27 February. The CW beacon is on 437.325MHz ±10kHz Doppler shift. You can submit your report of ARTSAT1:INVADER reception online at http://api.artsat.jp/report/. The CubeSat also carries a low resolution camera, 1200 bps FM AX.25 Packet Radio and a FM Digitalker. These operate on a downlink frequency of 437.200MHz.

Icom has announced a firmware upgrade for the IC-7700 HF/50MHz base station transceiver. The upgrade will provide the same additional features as made available to its big brother transceiver, the IC-7800. The new firmware will be available for download from the Icom website during March.

On 3 August 2014 the nation will commemorate the beginning of World War 1, often known as The Great War. To commemorate this event, many special event stations will be activated around the world. If your club is preparing an event, such as GB100GW and GB100CMM, please send the information to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. All information will be added to the website.

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

Today, Sunday 2 March, sees the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally take place at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.15am for disabled visitors and 10.30 for others, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 07714 198 374.

The Wythall Radio Club Annual Radio Rally takes place on 9 March at the Woodrush Sports Centre, Shawhurst Lane, Hollywood, nr Birmingham B47 5JW. This is on the A435, 2 miles from J3 of the M42. Doors open at 10am and there will be a talk-in station on the air. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands as well as catering inside. Details from Chris, G0EYO on 07710 412 819.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally that was to held on 13th April. This is due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally, combined with potential bad weather causing site problems. A decision will be taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Two stations will be operating today, 2 March: GB2MS for Multiple Sclerosis in Macclesfield and GB2GED from Croydon, celebrating Croydon Airfield’s old callsign.

Mark, G1PIE and Jack, G0FQN with Pam, 2E1HQY logging will be running GB4WVR from 7 March into 2015. They will be transmitting from Oakworth Station for the very first time on the Worth Valley Railway. The station and the surrounding area was used during the EMI 1970 film The Railway Children. Next year is the 45th anniversary, and actors from the film will be in attendance at various times. The trio will be mainly on 40m and there is more information on QRZ.com.

Russian special event station UE80HS will be on the air throughout March. This operation is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Russia’s first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, who was born on 9 March 1934. Gagarin was the first human to journey into space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961. If you work UE80HS, please QSL via RW6HS.

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

WA2NHA will be active from 2 to 17 March as stroke P4 from Aruba, SA-036. His operating will be on the 10 to 80m bands mainly using CW. QSL via his home callsign.

Alan, G3XAQ has returned to Uganda until 16 March. He will reactivate his 5X1XA callsign. QSLs go via G3SWH.

John, KF0RQ will be in Cambodia and will sign XU7ACQ until 20 March. QSL to his home call.

The Italian DXpedition Team will start their next operation on 28 February in Zambia using the callsign 9J2T. They will be there until 17 March on all bands and modes. QSLs go via I2YSB.

Robert, DK2RO, will be active as DK2RO/p from Spiekeroog Island, EU-047, between 2 and 7 March. Activity will be holiday style on all HF bands, propagation permitting, main mode CW. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

Now the contest news

The 144/432MHz contest finishes at 1400UTC today, 2 March. It has 6- and 24-hour categories and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest ends at midnight tonight, 2 March having run for 48 hours. Work US stations in the contiguous 48 States, plus Canadians. Send a signal report and your transmit output power (there are sections for QRP/low/high power). US stations send a signal report and 2-letter State abbreviation, while Canadian stations send a signal report and 3-letter Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five Low Band contests organised by UKuG takes place today, Sunday 2nd. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number,

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

The Commonwealth contest takes place on 8 and 9 March from 1000 to 1000UTC, Invariably there are DXpeditions to some countries that you don’t hear on the bands every day, so for most of us – even if we are not making a serious entry – there are some new ones to work. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and serial number, with HQ stations also sending the letters HQ.

The 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place on 9 March from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Tesla Memorial Contest will be held on 8 and 9 March from 1800 to 0800UTC. It is CW on the 80m band only and points are given for distance between stations. For full details on rules, terms and conditions please look at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 21st to Thursday the 27th of February, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 28th of February.

Solar activity increased from low to moderate on the 23rd when one M class solar flare took place and again on the 24th when two took place. Activity increased further to high levels on the 25th when an X4 class flare occurred. The sunspot group responsible for the majority of these flares rotated into view on the 24th. Solar flux levels increased from 157 units on the 21st to 178 by the 26th, the average was 170 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 27th was 158, that's three units up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased slightly to peak at C1 units in the 25th. The average was B9.3 units. Geomagnetic activity started the period at slightly unsettled levels with an Ap index of 13 units on the 22nd and 17 the following day. Quiet conditions returned till the afternoon of the 27th when a coronal mass ejection arrived in association with the X4 class solar flare. The Ap index on the 27th was 24 units and the average for the period was Ap 11 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 570 kilometres per second on the 21st to 330 during the morning of the 27th. Speeds increased to 520 kilometres per second with the arrival of the coronal mass ejection. Particle densities were low except for an increase to 28 particles per cubic centimetre on the 23rd and to 82 during the afternoon of the 27th. Bz varied between minus and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quiet days and between minus 18 and plus 14 nanoTeslas at the height of the disturbance during the afternoon of the 27th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to continue at moderate levels on some days but for activity to increase to high is unlikely. Solar flux levels are expected to be around the 170's for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day. However, an Earth directed coronal mass ejection is possible, which would increase activity on its arrival. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be around 30MHz or slightly higher. 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 31MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate of about 25MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1400 and 1900 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd February 2014

February 21, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd February 2014

The news headlines:


  • ISS CubeSat deployments to resume

  • W1AW goes to Guantanamo Bay

  • RSGB Convention news


The deployment of the second batch of CubeSats from the International Space Station will commence at 1700GMT on 25 February. CubeSats deployments are streamed live at http://m.ustream.tv/channel/live-iss-stream. The deployment will start with 12 commercial CubeSats from Planet Labs and it is expected that the four amateur radio CubeSats, along with the 915MHz SkyCube, will be deployed on 28 February. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/.

As part of ARRL's Centennial QSO Party, Ed Williams, KN4KL, and Bill Verebely, W4WV, will activate W1AW/KG4 from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from 26 February to 4 March. This may be the first time the US Navy has authorised the use of a portable callsign from Guantanamo Bay. QSL via ARRL headquarters or Logbook of The World.

The 2014 RSGB Convention will be held at a new venue, Kents Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The event will run from 10 to 12 October. The new location has much more space for lectures, more bedrooms, a larger dining area and various other positive attributes. The RSGB is delighted to confirm that Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, has agreed to attend. Brian is known to many people as he is active from VLF right through into the millimetre wave frequencies where he holds a number of distance records. Bookings are now open at www.rsgbevents.co.uk.

The Italian National Society has a new Award to celebrate the sites declared World Heritage status by UNESCO, who are the main sponsors. World Heritage Sites are located in 160 countries all over the world. The information and rules of this Award are at www.whsa.info.

Over the years, RSGB members have been prominent players in the IARU Contest, operating stations for the RSGB in the HQ section of the contest. For 2014 we are looking to expand the stations and operators forming part of the GR2HQ team. If you have an interest in helping out, please let us know on which single band you regard your station as internationally competitive. To be part of the contest, you could either operate as a ‘spotter’ station on your chosen band, host one or two other operators to form a team for a band / mode station from your QTH, or volunteer as an operator at one of the stations nearby to you. If you would like to join the UK team, please let Don Beattie, G3BJ know via e-mail to don.beattie@rsgb.org.uk as quickly as possible, or contact him if you would like additional information about what is involved.

The UK's first TV show dedicated entirely to amateur radio launched just after midnight on Friday 21 February. The half-hour show is produced by broadcast professionals who are themselves radio amateurs and will explore all aspects of the diverse and fascinating hobby. The programme is free to view via http://www.txfactor.co.uk/ and will stream to a smart TV, PC, tablet or phone. If the broadband is fast enough, you can watch in full HD.

The 50th anniversary of Islands on the Air will be celebrated at the RSGB IOTA Convention in July. Plans are well advanced for the programme of international speakers. The event will be the largest gathering of island-chasers – and island-activators – for many years. Details can be found online at www.rsgb.org/iota50/.

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

The BRATS Rainham Radio Rally will be held today, 23 February, at Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 9.30am for disabled guests and 10am for other visitors. There will be trade stands and special interest groups. More information from C Darley on 07982 244 788.

On Saturday 1 March, Lagen Valley ARS Annual Rally will be held at the Village Centre, Ballynahinch Street, Hillsborough. Doors opens at 11.30am and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups in attendance. Details from GI0DVU on 02892 662 270.

Sunday 2 March sees the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally take place at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.15am for disabled visitors and 10.30 for others, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 07714 198 374.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to held on 13th April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally, combined with potential bad weather causing site problems. A decision will be taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

On 1 March, GB0BVL will be on the air for Blind Veterans in Llandudno. Two stations will be operating on 2 March: GB2MS for Multiple Sclerosis in Macclesfield and GB2GED from Corydon, celebrating Croydon Airfield’s old callsign.

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

John Power, GM0KTO is travelling with his wife Rosemary to The Gambia during March 2014. He has renewed his Gambian visitor's amateur radio licence and will be operating from Bijilo as C5/G0KTO using an Icom IC-706 Mk II and a selection of wire antennas for HF.

Babs, DL7AFS and Lot, DJ7ZG will be in Antigua, NA-100, for four weeks starting 26 February. They will concentrate on the higher bands and PSK, RTTY & SSB. They also plan to do some SSTV. QSL via DL7AFS.

Michael, G7VJR will operate from Bermuda, NA-005, until 27 February. He will use the callsign VP9/G7VJR. QSLs go via M0OXO.

Brian, K1LI will be on the Caribbean island of Dominica, NA-101, until 10 March. He will be QRV as J7Y. He will mainly take part in the ARRL DX Contest but will focus on the low bands outside the contest. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Another Caribbean station to be active until 25 March is John, V47JA from the island of St Kitts, IOTA NA-104. QSLs go direct to W5JON and he will upload his logs to Logbook of the World.

Toshi, JA8BMK will be active from Vietnam as XV7BM from Nha Trang until 28 March. QSL via JA8BMK.

Alan, G3XAQ will operate CW only as 5X1XA from Uganda from 25 February to 16 March, including an entry in the RSGB Commonwealth Contest on 8 and 9 March. QSL via G3SWH.

Now the contest news

The CQWW 160m DX Contest ends at 2159 today, 23 February, having run for 48 hours. This is the SSB leg of the event. Work everyone and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with American stations sending their state and Canadians their Province.

The SSB leg of the French REF Contest ends at 1800UTC today, the 23rd, having started 36 hours earlier. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department number or overseas prefix.

Today, Sunday 23rd, is the first 70MHz Cumulative contest, running from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 6m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest will take place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the bands from 2.3 to 10GHz, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On VHF, the weekend of 1st and 2nd March sees the 144/432MHz contest. It has 6- and 24-hour categories and is one of the earliest contests of the year in which hardy souls or groups are likely to brave the elements and operate portable for 24 hours. Running from 1400 to 1400UTC, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest runs for the full 48 hours of the weekend of the 1st and 2nd. Work US stations in the contiguous 48 States, plus Canadians. Send a signal report and your transmit output power, as there are sections for QRP, low and high power. US stations send a signal report and 2-letter State abbreviation, while Canadian stations send a signal report and 3-letter Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five Low Band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place on Sunday 2nd. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

And now the solar data from the 14th to the 20th of February, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on 21 February

Solar activity increased to moderate levels on the 14th when four M class solar flares took place and again on the 16th and the 20th when a single M class flare took place. Solar activity on the remaining days was low when numerous C class flares occurred. Solar flux levels declined from 167 units on the 14th to 151 by the 18th. The average was 157 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 20th was 155 units. X-ray flux levels declined slightly and ended the period at B7.5 units. The average was B8.5 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels with an Ap index of only 2 units on the 14th before increasing on the 16th to an Ap of 18 units, due to a coronal hole. The second disturbance on the 19th and the 20th was much stronger when the Ap increased to 42 and 40 units respectively, this was due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the sun on the 16th. The average was Ap 17 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 300 to 540 kilometres per second. Particle densities were high most days with 62 particles per cubic centimetre recorded on the 15th. Bz varied between minus and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 18 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the 19th and the 20th.

And finally, the solar forecast. Two returning active sunspot regions should have just rotated into view. Therefore, solar activity is expected to increase to moderate levels on some days. There is a small chance that activity could increase to high on the occasional day. Certainly, solar flux levels are expected to increase to around the 170s, or maybe slightly higher. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet but a recurring coronal hole disturbance is expected on the 25th. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 9MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 26MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per success rate will be about 20MHz. The best time to try this path will be around 0800 hours.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th February 2014

February 14, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th February 2014

The news headlines:

  • FT5ZM DXpedition ends

  • Bulgarian amateurs get new bands

  • UK amateur hears Jade Rabbit on the Moon

The on-the-air portion of the FT5ZM DXpedition has come to an end, although the trip home remains. That news may be welcome to non-DXers who have been contending with the huge and chaotic pileups that, on occasion, occupied substantial segments of spectrum, but depressing for operators who were unsuccessful in snagging this rare one. The Amsterdam Island DXpedition team logged on the order of 165,000 contacts on SSB, CW and RTTY. Amsterdam Island is the seventh most-wanted DXCC entity, according to the ClubLog DXCC Most Wanted List.

New amateur bands have been allowed in Bulgaria. In the future, LZ amateurs will be able to use bands 472-479kHz, 5250-5450kHz and 70.0-70.5MHz. In addition, the 1.8MHz band has been extended up to 2MHz. All those bands have to be used on secondary basis.

Beijing’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover had been thought to be dead but its radio signal on 8.4GHz was received by radio amateur Paul Marsh, M0EYT on 12 February. This is a remarkable achievement as the relatively low-power transmitter was never intended to be received by amateurs on Earth. News outlets including CNN have reported on Paul's feat. Pictures and the full story can be found via the AMSAT UK website, http://amsat-uk.org/.

The RSGB Centenary Challenge finished at the end of 2013. Downloadable certificates are now available, free of charge, for all amateurs in the British Isles who worked at least 16 Regions and or Bands as recorded on the online leaderboard. Go to www.rsgb.org/leaderboardcert to claim your certificate.

We recently reported on an event in the USA where amateurs were assisting communications in a husky race. Much closer to home is the first ever British Sleddog Sports Federation IFSS World Cup event that will take place on 22nd and 23rd February in the Kings Forest, Thetford in Norfolk. Forest Heath RAYNET has attended many small husky events in previous years, but this year will be a first at a World Cup event.

Thinking Day on the Air is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. The 2014 event, taking place this weekend, the 15th and 16th, is very special as it celebrates the Brownies’ Centenary. Ofcom has agreed to allow TDOTA stations to apply for the suffix of GB100 followed by the usual two or three letters. Keep an ear open next weekend for these stations as many young people take to the air, perhaps for the first time.

Don’t forget that the first episode of a new streamed TV show, TX Factor, goes live on Friday 21 February. The show aims to explore all aspects of our diverse and fascinating hobby. The free to view programme can be seen via www.txfactor.co.uk and should be compatible with phones, tablets and smart TVs.

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

The Radio-Active Rally takes place today, 16 February, in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. More details from Tim on 01948 519 249.

The Brats Rainham Radio Rally will be held on Sunday 23 February at Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 9.30am for disabled guests and 10am for other visitors. There will be trade stands and special interest groups. More information from C Darley on 07982 244 788.

Regrettably the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to held on 13th April. This is due to an unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally, combined with potential bad weather causing site problems. A decision will be taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the rally organisers. 

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

This weekend there will be stations operating for Thinking Day on the Air using special GB100 callsigns celebrating 100 years of the Brownies. Amongst those operating will be GB100EDG for Easingwold District Guides, GB100LB for Llandovery Brownies, GB100WB with Wingerworth Brownies and GB100SWD for Scarborough West Division Brownies. Keep a listen out for these stations and make contact with the young people trying amateur radio for the first time.

The ARRL Centennial W1AW operations that are taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states has moved from Georgia and Hawaii to California, W1AW/6, and Wisconsin, W1AW/9. There are various awards associated with the ARRL’s Centennial operations. For details see the ARRL website at www.arrl.org.

The Extreme DX and Contest Group will use special callsign II3CV from 15 February to 4 March to celebrate the Carnival of Venice. QSL via IK3HHX, direct or via the bureau. Information an award can be found at www.extremegroup.org.

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

A team will be activating the Azores until 3 March including the ARRL DX Contest, both CW and SSB, and the CQ 160m SSB Contest. A variety of callsigns will be used such as CR2A and CR2X in contests, and CU2KG and CU2KH otherwise.

W5JON, who also holds the call V47JA, will be on the air between 19 February and 25 March from his holiday home in Calypso Bay on St Kitts, which is IOTA reference NA-104. His operation will be on the 6 to 160m bands using SSB. His wife, W5HAM will occasionally operate as V47HAM. All QSLs go to W5JON direct or via Logbook of The World. No bureau QSLs please.

Craig, MM0SSG is in Angola and will be active as D2SG in his spare time until December. QSL via GM4FDM and Logbook of The World.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX Contest ends at 2359 tonight, 16 January having run for a full 48 hours. Work the USA contiguous 48 States and Canada only, giving a signal report and your transmit power. US/Canadian stations give a signal report and their State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the event.

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

Thursday the 20th is the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships, running from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CQWW 160m DX Contest runs for 48 hours from 2200 on Friday 21st. This is the SSB leg of the event. Work everyone and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone with American stations sending their state and Canadians their Province.

The SSB leg of the French REF Contest takes place for 36 hours starting 0600 on the 22nd. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with French stations sending their Department number or overseas prefix.

Sunday 23rd is the first 70MHz Cumulative contest running from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar report for the period from Friday 7 February to Thursday 13 February, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday 14th February.

Solar activity was moderate to high, with multiple M-class flares an almost daily occurrence, in addition to numerous C-class flares. However, although a number of coronal mass ejections were reported none of them proved to have a substantial Earth-directed component. As predicted, the solar flux declined, from 178 on the 7th to 167 on the 13th. The average for the week was 169 – a drop of 16 units. However, the 90-day average was an unchanged 155. The X-ray flux stayed high, averaging a healthy C1.3. Geomagnetic levels were a bit higher than in the last week or so, with the Ap index reaching 23 on the 8th, 18 on the 9th and a slightly unsettled 12 on the 10th. This was enough to depress MUFs on the HF bands and allow Scandinavian operators to report aurora at VHF – but insufficient for UK operators to make auroral contacts. The Ap index was at quiet or slightly unsettled level during the remainder of the period. Wind speeds reported by the ACE spacecraft ranged between 283km/sec on the 7th and 565km/sec on the 11th.

Finally, the forecast for the coming week. The active region that played a major role during the past week will be moving away from a geoeffective position and succeeding regions have yet to show signs of bringing increased activity. C-class and M-class flares may occur but there is only an outside chance of a major X-class flare. Solar activity may be low on some days. Solar flux looks likely to continue the decline of recent days, possibly to as low as 140. The geomagnetic field may be unsettled over the next couple of days as a result of coronal hole activity, but should be quiet or slightly unsettled for the rest of the period. Aided by seasonal factors, MUFs at equal latitudes should reach 32MHz on the better days, while darkness lows are expected to be about 9MHz. Paths to eastern North America should have an MUF – that’s a 50 percent chance of a contact – of 32MHz. The optimum working frequency, at which there should be a 90 percent chance of success, will be 25MHz. The path should be best between 1400 and 1700UTC. West Coast contacts will be more difficult but may be possible on good days around 1600UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 9th February 2014

February 7, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th February 2014

The news headlines:

  • RSGB invites information on solar installations

  • Drainage work closes NRC this weekend

  • Thinking Day on the Air next weekend


The RSGB is trying to build a clearer picture of the circumstances in which photovoltaic solar panel installations cause a significant rise in the noise levels on the amateur bands. If you, or a neighbour, have installed Solar PV, please let us know whether you have noticed an increase in noise level. It is also valuable to know if noise levels are unchanged. The RSGB website has details of the information the Society would like to know, which includes things like power rating, equipment make, model and date of installations.

Urgent remedial drainage work is taking place at Bletchley Park. It is taking longer than anticipated and regrettably the National Radio Centre will remain closed this weekend. It will re-open for visitors next Thursday, the 13th of February.

Thinking Day On The Air is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. The 2014 event, taking place next weekend, is very special as it celebrates the Brownies’ Centenary. Ofcom has agreed to allow TDOTA stations to apply for the suffix of GB100 followed by the usual two or three letters. Keep an ear open next weekend for these stations as many young people take to the air, perhaps for the first time.

Ahead of the September 2014 IARU Region 1 Conference, the RSGB has opened a new set of Discussion Boards so that UK amateurs can suggest topics, on matters such as operating procedures, technical standards and band plans. The initial phase is an open call and will be followed by further opportunities as UK papers are developed, or subsequently when all Conference papers are available. There are separate boards covering HF and VHF/Microwave matters, as well as more generic topics. Current topics under discussion include QSLing and poor operating. Full details and links are on the RSGB website and all amateurs and short wave listeners are invited to participate.

Two radio amateurs with close IARU ties are among the winners of Dayton Hamvention 2014 awards. Named as Amateur of the Year is Larry E Price, W4RA, President Emeritus of the ARRL and of the International Amateur Radio Union. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, will receive the Special Achievement Award.

Two new bands are available to Polish radio amateurs from 18 February. The 472-479kHz band may be used with up to 1W EIRP and the 122.25-123.00GHz band may also be used. Both are allocated to the Polish amateur service on a secondary basis.

The RSGB Board has announced plans to sponsor a team of four young people to visit the IARU Youngsters on the Air event in July, hosted this year by the Finnish Radio Amateur League. All RSGB members between 15 and 25 years old have been sent a personal invitation to apply for an expenses-paid place on the UK team and there’s still time to apply. RSGB Membership is free to people under 21 and to students under 25 in full-time education. The RSGB is also looking for a suitable person to lead the team. They may be over 25, and will preferably be a young teacher or other type of experienced youth leader. Applications for this position must be sent to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk to reach the chairman of the Training and Education Committee Chair by 14th of February.

The winter 2013-14 edition of the 5MHz Newsletter is now available, As well as the latest news, there's also an article on the supremacy of 5MHz as a communication bridge, the new South African ZS6KTS Beacon plus items on Digital Voice and the latest update of the worldwide 5MHz amateur allocations chart – now with a total of 31 countries. You can find the 5MHz Newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/o26huzb.

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

Today sees the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Talk in is on S22 and there is free car parking. The opening time is 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, a licensed bar, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379, or online at www.g3pia.org.uk.

Next Friday, 14th February, the Ballymena ARC annual Bring and Buy will be held at the Ahoghill New Community Centre. Doors open at 7pm and tables are free to sellers. E-mail HKernoham@aol.com for details.

The Radio-Active Rally will take place on 16 February in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. More details from Tim on 01948 519 249.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Next weekend there will be stations operating for Thinking Day on the Air using special GB100 callsigns celebrating 100 years of the Brownies. Amongst those operating will be GB100EDG for Easingwold District Guides, GB100LB for Llandovery Brownies, GB100WB with Wingerworth Brownies and GB100SWD for Scarborough West Division Brownies. Keep a listen out for these stations and make contact with the young people trying amateur radio for the first time.

Limerick Radio Club will be operating EI14LCC to celebrate Limerick being named as Ireland’s first National City of Culture. To mark the event, members of Limerick Radio Club will air the callsign from their own QTH and from various locations within Limerick throughout the year. All details are on qrz.com.

This is the year of ‘Homecoming’ in Scotland. Licensed amateurs with a main station address in Scotland will be permitted to use the special prefix A, such as GA, MA, 2A, instead of the usual M until 30 November, which is St Andrew's Day. The A stands for Alba, the Gaelic name for Scotland. An award is being sponsored by the GMDX Group; see www.gmdx.org.uk for the details.

The Extreme DX and Contest Group will use II3CV from 15 February to 4 March to celebrate the Carnival of Venice. QSL via IK3HHX, direct or via the bureau. Information on the relevant award can be found at www.extremegroup.org.

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

K1ZE, W1EQ and W1UJ will be on the air stroke KP2 from the rental Mountain Breeze Villa on St Croix, IOTA reference NA-106, between 10 and 17 February. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via their home callsigns.

Four Italian operators will be active as S9TF from Principe Island, AF-044, until 12 February. They are on all bands from 80 to 10m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs go via IK5CRH.

A group of Italian and Swiss operators will be active from Zanzibar Island, AF-032, until 13 February. Their callsign is 5I0DX and they can be found on all bands from 80 to 10m. The QSL Manager is IS0AGY.

The F6KOP Team will be operating from Reunion Island, AF-016, until 17 February. Listen out for TO7CC.

Eric, OE4AAC will be visiting Rodrigues Island, AF-017, until 18 February and will operate holiday-style as 3B9/OE4AAC on the 40 to 10m bands using CW. QSL via his home callsign either direst or via the bureau.

Several members of The Buddies in the Caribbean DXpedition Group will get on the air from Bequida, IOTA NA-025, until 18 February. They will be operating using CW and QSLs should go to the home callsigns of the operators, so listen on air for instructions.

Now the contest news

The RTTY leg of the CQ WW WPX contest finishes at midnight on the 9th, having run for 48 hours. It will undoubtedly keep the datamodes portions of the bands busy for the full 48 hours of the weekend. The exchange is RST and serial number.

The PACC (Dutch) Contest is a CW and SSB event and finishes its 24 hour session at 1200UTC today, 9th February. For non-Dutch stations there are numerous single-op categories. Work everyone, but concentrate on working the Netherlands because multipliers are awarded for the twelve Dutch provinces. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Dutch operators sending their Province too.

The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Tuesday from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The data leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place on Wednesday from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The ARRL International DX Contest takes place for the full 48 hours of the 15th-16th. Work the USA contiguous 48 States and Canada only, giving a signal report and your transmit power. US/Canadian stations give a signal report and their State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the event.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 31st of January to Thursday the 6th of February, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 7th of February.

Two large sunspot regions produced numerous C class solar flares every day and solar activity increased to high on the 2nd and the 4th due to the fact that more than five M class solar flares took place during the same day. In fact seven occurred on the 2nd and in total 16 M-class flares took place during the period. Solar flux levels increased slightly more than forecast from 166 units on the 31st to 194 by the 5th. The average was 185 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 6th was 155 units, that's three units up on last week. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day. The most disturbed day was the 6th with an Ap index of 7 units. The average was Ap 3 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 300 kilometres per second on the 1st to 460 by the 5th. Particle densities were low every day except for a brief increase to 13 particles per cubic centimetre on the 4th. With the quiet magnetic field the magnetic component of the solar wind, the Bz, showed only minor variations of no more than minus 7 and plus 10 nanoTeslas during the period.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. Presently, two large sunspot regions dominate the solar disc, however these will rotate out of view in the next day or two. Until then solar activity could be at moderate levels but then activity is expected to decline to low levels. Solar flux levels are expected to decline to around the 130's or the 140's. Geomagnetic activity could be unsettled today and tomorrow but then decline to quiet levels for the remainder of the period. However, there is a slight chance that a coronal mass ejection could head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 32MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 9MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should see both the maximum usable frequency and the optimum working frequency above 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1700 hours UTC.

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


Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 2nd February 2014

January 31, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd February 2014

The news headlines:


  • New TX-Factor online TV show announced

  • Amateur DXing at 500 million miles

  • Temporary Top Band permits for Portuguese amateurs



Bob McCreadie, G0FGX, Mike Marsh, G1IAR and Nick Bennett, 2E0FGQ will be hosting a new streamed TV show, TX Factor, which goes live on Friday 21 February. The show aims to explore all aspects of our diverse and fascinating hobby. The free to view programme can be seen via www.txfactor.co.uk and should be compatible with phones, tablets and smart TVs.

Two amateurs have successfully heard signals from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-seeking probe. The first was James Miller, G3RUH. He reports reception of Rosetta when it was at a distance of some 500 million miles from Earth. James accomplished this feat using the 20m dish at the Bochum observatory in Germany at 0934UTC on 21 January. The frequency was 8421.7869MHz at the spacecraft. Also successful in hearing Rosetta was Bertrand Pinel, F5PL, in France, using a 3.5m dish.

The Portuguese telecommunications regulator has granted Portuguese amateurs the temporary use of the 1.850 to 2MHz band. According to Portugal’s national amateur radio society, this will permit Portuguese radio amateurs the ability to participate in more radio sports competitions during 2014. 

The AMSAT FUNcube Team has announced that the latest version of the Dashboard Software, Version 820, can now be downloaded. They have also made a few changes to the way Fitter Messages are handled or displayed on the Data Warehouse. Check out the changes at http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/.

Users of 70MHz will be interested to know that the WG2XPN beacon on 70.005MHz is active all year round and not just the summer. Sadly there have been no reports from IARU Region 1 since the New Year. The beacon transmits in CW, running 3kW ERP beamed at 60 degrees towards Europe. It uses a three element Yagi at 15 metres above ground on the peak of Apple Orchard Mountain along the Blue Ridge mountain range of Virginia state, in Maidenhead grid square FM07fm.

The current TE6U operation from Afghanistan has been approved for DXCC credit. That operation will continue until 3 May. Also approved is the 7Z1ES operation from Saudi Arabia.

Former Enfield Southgate MP, Michael Portillo, was shown how to send Morse code on BBC TV by Chelmsford radio amateur Peter, M0BHY in the programme Great British Railway Journeys. Although originally broadcast on 28 January, you can now watch it at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xgqxy. If you scroll through to 22 minutes 30 seconds in the show you’ll arrive at the Morse demonstration.

The final results for the 41st Marconi Memorial Contest 144MHz CW Contest, organised by ARI Bologna, are available on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org. It appears the highest placed UK station was G4DHF in IO92UU. Congratulations to all the winners.

Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, a regular lecturer on Top Band matters at the RSGB Convention, has been named the winner of the Bill Orr, W6SAI, Technical Writing Award for 2013. The ARRL Foundation selected Carl for his article The Sun and the Ionosphere that appeared in the March 2013 issue of QST.

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

The 29th Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally takes place today at The Paddocks, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA, at the southern end of the A130. Opening at 10.30, there’s free car parking, the usual range of trade stands, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 01702 308 562, or online at www.southessex-ars.co.uk.

Also today is the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale, which takes place at Pencoed RFC, Felindre Rd, Pencoed CF33 5PB. Visitors should come off the M4 at junction 35. Opening at 9:30am, admission is £2, and there is onsite catering. Details from Gerry Day, on 01656 860 761.

Sunday 9 February sees the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Talk in is on S22 and there is free car parking. The opening time is 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12's free. There will be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, a licensed bar, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379, or online at www.g3pia.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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

The Brazilian Amateur Radio League says that it will be celebrating its 80th anniversary throughout the month of February by conducting a special on the air operation. During this period, Brazilian Amateur Radio League stations operating in various states will use special ZZ 80 prefix callsigns. The operation will be on all of the HF bands using various modes. All QSOs will be confirmed by commemorative QSL card from the Brazilian Amateur Radio League.

From 8 February to 7 March, PA0FAW will be using the special callsign PA400SM to help celebrate the 400 years of friendship between The Netherlands and Sweden. Most of this operation will be on CW, with some SSB and digital modes when a suitable location is available. QSLs and SWL reports go via PA0FAW at his information on QRZ.com.

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

WS5K will be operational as PJ4F from the island of Bonaire, IOTA reference SA-006, between 7 February and 9 March. QSL via direct to WS5K or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Seven operators will be active as 5I0DX as well as 5I0AM, 5I0WL and 5H3AN from Zanzibar Island, IOTA AF-032, from 2 to 13 February. 5I0DX is expected to participate in the CQ WW WPX RTTY Contest next weekend. QSLs to IS0AGY, direct or bureau, Logbook of The World and logsearch on Club Log.

Tony, N3ME will be active as V47AJ from St Kitts, NA-104, until 17 February. He will operate on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and especially RTTY, including an entry in the CQ WPX RTTY Contest. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World.

IOTA chasers will have the opportunity to work four different island groups off the coast of Tanzania until 18 February. IOTA references are AF-032, AF-054, AF-074 and AF-087. Sam, F6AML will be active as 5H1Z on all bands from 40 –10m on CW and SSB. Sean, EI2CR will be visiting Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands from 5 to 8 February and plans to operate ‘holiday style’ as KH0 / EI2CR. There is also possible operation from Guam on 3 and 4 February as
KH2 / EI2CR.

Now the contest news

The European Phase Shift Club’s WorldWide DX Contest ends at noon today, 2 February, having run for 24 hours. All activity is on PSK63 and the exchange is RST and serial number.

Today, 2 February, sees the 432MHz AFS contest from 9am to 1pm. Using all modes on 70cm, the exchange is RS(T), serial number and locator. This is a Super League event.

On Monday, the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Next weekend, 8 and 9 February, is a busy one for contesters. The 1st 1.8MHz HF Championship Event Contest runs from 2100 to 0100UTC. Using CW and SSB the exchange is signal report, serial number and District.

The first CQ WW WPX contest – RTTY – takes place this month. It will undoubtedly keep the datamodes portions of the bands busy for the full 48 hours of the weekend of 8th-9th.

Also on the same weekend, but running for 24 hours from midday Saturday, the PACC (Dutch) Contest is a CW and SSB event. For non-Dutch stations there are numerous single-op categories. Work everyone, but concentrate on working the Netherlands because multipliers are awarded for the twelve Dutch provinces.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 24th to Thursday the 30th of January, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 31st of January.

On the 27th a large sunspot region rotated into view over the south east limb and with it solar activity increased from low levels to moderate levels when M class solar flares took place from this new region. Activity increased to high on the 28th when seven M class flares took place and again on the 30th when a M6 class solar flare occurred. In total, 13 M class and 43 C class flares took place during the period. Solar flux levels increased from 133 units on the 25th to 161 by the 30th. The average was 146 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 30th was 152 units, that's down the same level as the previous week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.8 units on the 24th to C1.4 by the 28th, the average was B9.4 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day and the average was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between a slow 290 kilometres per second and 530. Particle densities were low everyday. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus and plus 7 nanoTeslas on the remaining days.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week, with the active side of the Sun facing our way, solar activity is expected to be at moderate levels on most days with a small chance that activity could increase to high on the occasional day. Solar flux levels are expected to increase into the 170s. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels but activity should increase slightly towards next weekend. However, there is a slight chance that if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection took place then activity would increase. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 36MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 9MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 35MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 29MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800and 1300 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 26th. January 2014

January 24, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th January 2014

The news headlines:


  • Canadians get 5MHz without NoV

  • International trip for young persons

  • Mixing amateurs with huskies



Industry Canada announced this week that it is opening access to the 5MHz band, dropping the special VX9 series 60m developmental licence arrangements. Canadian amateurs will have access to the same five 2.8kHz channels as the USA, with a maximum power of 100W PEP. The frequencies are 5332, 5348, 5358.5, 5373 and 5405kHz. Licensees in other countries are reminded that they can only reply on frequencies allocated by their own regulator, which may not coincide with the Canadian frequencies. The Industry Canada 5MHz Decision document can be found at www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10623.html.

The RSGB Board has announced plans to sponsor a team of four young people to visit the IARU Youngsters on the Air event in July, hosted this year by the Finnish Radio Amateur League. All RSGB members between 15 and 25 years old have been sent a personal invitation to apply for an expenses-paid place on the UK team. RSGB Membership is free to people under 21 and to students under 25 in full-time education. The RSGB is also looking for a suitable person to lead the team. They may be over 25, and will preferably be a young teacher or other type of experienced youth leader. Applications for this position must be sent to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk to reach the chairman of the Training and Education Committee Chair by 14th of February.

The Eagle Cap Extreme Dog Sled race is an annual event that takes place from 22nd to 25th January in the Wallowa Mountains in Northeastern Oregon, USA. Essential communications are provided by amateurs using a remote base and a pair of linked VHF repeaters. Some of the more remote checkpoints are linked by HF. This year the race communications can be heard worldwide on the DAWGGONE Echolink Conference Server, courtesy of the DoDropIn node, and via the Joseph Oregon Repeater web page at www.josephoregonweather.com. More information on the race is at www.eaglecapextreme.com.

Whilst the Centenary station has completed its year of being operated around the UK, you are reminded to submit your claim for the Centenary Award. As well as individual certificates for the HF and VHF/UHF Awards, special Commemorative Plaques will be awarded to the holders of a UK Full, Intermediate and Foundation amateur licence, leading SWL and leading overseas station, who has the highest overall score submitted by 23:59 UTC on 31st January 2014. Full details on claiming these awards can be found on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/centenaryclaim.

Over 40 people supported the first Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society Amateur Radio Skills Workshop at Danbury on Monday 20th January. Attendees had the chance to try out some hands-on demos of Echolink, APRS and the new logging program uLog by Charlie, M0PZT, which was launched at the event. Pictures and a video of the first event can be found at www.essexham.co.uk/skills-jan14 and you can find out about future events at www.hamskills.co.uk.

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

The Horncastle Winter Rally takes place today at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. There is free car parking. Opening at 10am / 10.30, admission is £1.50. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

The next rallies on our list are on at Canvey Island and Pencoed. More details on these 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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

SOS Radio Week started at midnight and ends at 23:50 on the 2nd of February. Many sponsored stations are on the air, ranging from individuals at home through to groups operating from club HQs, lifeboat stations and other public venues. All are raising money for the RNLI. Details of registered stations and their operating schedules can be found online at www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

19th century pirate Jose Gaspar is being celebrated by special event station W4G in Tampa, Florida this weekend. Operation is on 40 to 10m SSB and CW and Sunday’s operating hours are planned to be 1400-2100GMT.

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

Masa, JH5RXS is active from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam as XV2E and expects to be on the air until 27th January. Activity is on 160-10m and QSLs go via JH5RXS.

David, BA4DW will be active holiday-style on all HF bands E51CDW from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, OC-013, until the 27th January. QSL via BA4DW.

Bjorn, SM0MDG will be active as 8Q7BM holiday-style from Raa Atoll, Maldives, AS-013, for two weeks from approximately 23rd January. Operation will be on 160-10m, QSL via M0URX.

Leo, PP1CZ is active as PY0F/PP1CZ from Fernando de Noronha, IOTA SA-003, until 29th January. His focus is on the CQWW 160m CW Contest, but will try 160-10m, CW, RTTY and some SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Lembeh, OC-236 will be activated by TB8RW and others as YB8RW/P from until 1 February.

Now the contest news

The 24 hour BARTG RTTY Sprint HF contest comes to an end at noon today. Single band entries aren’t allowed and the contest exchange is serial number only.

Also today, the 48 hour CQ WW 160m DX Contest comes to a close at 10pm tonight. Work the contiguous 48 States plus Canada only, giving a signal report and CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK, not 4 as mistakenly broadcast last week.

On Tuesday the RSGB 50MHz UKAC and SHF UKAC take place. Operating from 8 until 10.40pm on all modes on 6m and 2.3GHz to 10GHz respectively, the exchange is RS(T), serial number and locator.

The European Phase Shift Club’s WorldWide DX Contest takes place for 24 hours from noon to noon on the 1st to 2nd February. All activity is on PSK63 and the exchange is RST and serial number.

Next Sunday sees the 432MHz AFS contest from 9am to 1pm. Using all modes on 70cm, the exchange is RS(T), serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 13th to Thursday the 23rd of January, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday the 24th of January.

For the fifth successive week solar activity was low or very low. Each day brought a scattering of C-class flares, but there were none of greater magnitude. These had little effect on propagation. However, solar flux levels recovered some of the ground lost in the previous week, starting the period at 125 units and reaching 136 units on the 23rd. The average over the week was 134. The 90 day flux average dropped to B3.6 on th 23rd. The average was B3.9. Geomagnetic activity was mostly low or very low, with the Ap index in single figures every day. The highest reading was a slightly unsettled 9 units on the 22nd. Solar wind speeds ranged between a low of 270km/sec on the 19th and 584km/sec on the 22nd, when Earth was buffeted by a high speed coronal stream. Particle densities were low every day except for the 21st, when they increased to 29 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied, at most, between minus 8 and plus 9 nanoTeslas, during the period. The combination of substantial solar flux levels and low geomagnetic activity made for good HF conditions, with all continents workable up to 28MHz on a daily basis.

Finally, 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 initially low, but there is a fair chance it will increase to moderate at times. Solar flux levels should improve, possibly reaching 160 in the second half of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to start at quiet levels but then increase somewhat around midweek due to a recurring coronal hole. And, as is so often the case, there is an outside chance of an upset arising from an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum useable frequency with a 50 percent success rate of around 235MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 percent success rate will be around 28MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1700UTC.

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



Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 19th. January 2014

January 17, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th January 2014

The news headlines:


  • ARRL centenary celebrations

  • Special callsigns for Homecoming Scotland

  • IOTA 50th Anniversary Conference



The RSGB would like to extend fraternal congratulations to the American Radio Relay League on its centenary year. Celebrations include special station W1AW/x, which will be moving around the United States over the course of the year for a Worked All States programme. The /x suffix number changes to denote the location. The ARRL Centennial QSO Party, which commenced on the 1st of January, is a year-long operating event where participants can accumulate points and win awards. Extra points are awarded for working W1AW/x. More details of the ARRL celebrations are on their website, www.arrl.org.

Homecoming Scotland is a programme of events and activities throughout 2014 to showcase all that’s great about Scotland. Ofcom has announced that it will allow radio amateurs based in Scotland to apply for a special Regional Secondary Locator to help them take part in the Homecoming. The Notice of Variation will allow the inclusion of A for Alba in their callsigns instead of M. Amateur radio licensees whose main station address is in Scotland may apply for a NoV by visiting is www.rsgb.org/homescotland. The NoV is valid from Burns Night, 25th January, to St Andrews Day, 30th November 2014.

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Islands On The Air programme. To commemorate the half-century, a special 50th Anniversary Convention will be held on Saturday 5th July. The event takes place in Old Windsor, Berkshire, and details can be found online at www.rsgb.org/iota50.

The RSGB has published new band plans for all UK amateur allocations from 136kHz to 250GHz. Full information is printed in the February edition of RadCom. Copies of the band plan pages can also be freely downloaded from the Operating section of the RSGB website. RSGB membership is not required to access these files.

The VK6WIA Amateur Radio News Team has been producing news since 1931. Last weekend, they interviewed members of the Amsterdam Island FT5ZM DXpedition team. The discussions covered a wide range of DXpedition topics from planning and fundraising to shack layout and handling pileups. The interviews can be found at tinyurl.com/aidx-ft5zm and more details of the DXpedition are at www.amsterdamdx.org.

Since the recent introduction of the Spanish 5MHz allocation, a number of UK stations have been making contacts with a dial frequency of 5380.5. Unfortunately this makes their USB transmission partially outside the UK allocation, which only extends as high as 5382.0. The RSGB Amateur Radio Observation Service is monitoring the situation and reminds all amateurs to operate only within their specific sub-bands.

Ahead of the September 2014 IARU Region 1 Conference, the RSGB has opened a new set of Discussion Boards so that UK amateurs can suggest topics, on matters such as operating procedures, technical standards and band plans. The initial phase is an open call and will be followed by further opportunities as UK papers are developed, or subsequently when all Conference papers are available. There are separate boards covering HF and VHF/Microwave matters, as well as more generic topics. They replace two UK Yahoo groups that had previously been used. Full details and links are on the RSGB Consultation web pages and in the January edition of RadCom.

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

Today, Sunday 19th January, the Chippenham & District ARC mini indoor rally will be held in the Neston Village Hall, Pool Green, Neston, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9SN. Doors open at 10m and admission is £1.50. Tables for sellers are £5 pre-booked. E-mail g0iue@btinternet.com for full details.

The Horncastle Winter Rally takes place on Sunday 26 January at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. There is free car parking. Opening at 10am / 10.30, admission is £1.50. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

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

Now for the news of special events

SOS Radio Week starts at midnight on the 25th of January and ends at 23:50 on the 2nd of February. There will be more than 35 sponsored stations on the air during the event, all raising money for the RNLI. Some of the stations will be individuals operating from home, whilst others will be groups operating from club HQs, lifeboat stations and other public venues. Details of registered stations and their operating schedules can be found online at www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

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

ON6DX will be operating as TY1TT from Grand Popo, Benin, from 26th January until 5th February.  He plans to operate on the highest possible bands.  For updates and other information please visit his website, www.dxpedition.be/Benin.html.

W2DEN, K1CGI and W9SMR plan to activate Lido, IOTA reference NA-035, on Wednesday 22nd January. Using the callsign W4DEN/4, operation will be on SSB and digital modes. QSL to W2DEN, LoTW or eqsl.

Now the contest news

The 24 hour HA-DX contest concludes today at 1159 GMT. Operation is on contest bands from 160m to 10m on CW and SSB. The exchange is RST plus serial number from 001, and HA stations will send their county abbreviations.

The RSGB 1.3GHz UKAC takes place on Tuesday 21 January from 2000-2230. Working all modes on 23cm, the exchange is RS(T) plus serial number and locator.

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest takes place for 48 hours starting at 10pm on Friday 24th. Work the contiguous 48 States plus Canada only, giving a signal report and CQ Zone, which is 4 for the UK. USA stations will send a signal report and their 2-letter State code, while Canadian stations will send a signal report and their 3-letter Province code.

The Worked All Britain 1.8MHz Phone contest takes place on Saturday 25th January from 1900 to 2300 GMT. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 15th February. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.co.uk.

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

A large active sunspot region dominated the solar disc until it rotated out of view on the 14th and with it solar activity declined from moderate levels to very low. Only one M class solar flare took place but by the 15th solar activity was very low with no C class solar flares taking place. Solar flux levels declined rather dramatically from 175 units on the 10th to 121 by the 16th. The average was 146 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 16th was 153, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B7.2 units on the 11th to B4.5 by the 16th. The average was B6.4 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, saying that, a weak coronal disturbance took place on the 14th but the Ap index only reached 8 units. Paradoxically, the solar wind speed peaked at 920 kilometres per second, which is the highest speed in a long time. Anyway, the remaining days’ activity was quiet and the average for the period was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 370 kilometres per second on the 11th to 920 by the 13th. Speeds then declined back to 370 by the 16th. Particle densities were low every day except for the 10th, which increased to 35 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz never varied more that minus 7 and plus 8 nanoTeslas during the period.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be low most days but could increase to moderate levels on some days. Solar flux levels should be at their lowest for this solar rotation and be around the 110's but should start to increase again later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to start the period at quiet levels but then increase after midweek due to a recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 29MHz. 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 0900 and 1200 hours.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 12th. January 2014

January 10, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th January 2014

The news headlines:


  • Happy New Year from GB2RS

  • Centenary Award plaque deadline looms

  • Register now for Advanced Distance Learning course



The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind listeners that the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week, to gb2rs@rsgb.org.uk. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons.

Award chasers are reminded to submit their applications for the RSGB Centenary Award. Although there is no deadline for applying for your Centenary Award certificate, you are reminded that Special Commemorative Plaques will be awarded to the leading Full UK, Intermediate or Foundation amateur licence holders, leading SWL and leading overseas station, who have the highest overall scores, submitted by 2359UTC on 31st January 2014. Further information, including the application form and check sheet downloads, can be found at www.rsgb.org/centenaryclaim.

The Bath-based Advanced Distance Learning team start their next course on the 23rd of January. There are still places available for anyone looking to sit the Advanced exam in July. Weekly work packages are emailed to students to guide them through the Advanced textbook and remote tutor support is provided in small groups. The team have an average pass rate of 90% and they have had nearly 200 passes in the last three years. If you would like further details on how to join the course, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via email to g0fuw@ tiscali.co.uk.

The FUNcube-1 or AO-73 amateur radio satellite has been in orbit for more than six weeks and things are going well. There is now a way to view the latest AO-73 high resolution data that has been uploaded to the FUNcube Data Warehouse. A link can be found in the Navigation Bar on the warehouse. Clicking on this link will make the high resolution data available to download as .csv files, go to tinyurl.com/funcube-telemetry-dashboard. The telemetry downlink frequency is 145.935MHz and data is transmitted in BPSK format. FUNcube also carries a CW and SSB inverting transponder. The uplink pass band is from 435.150 to 435.130MHz LSB, with a downlink from 145.950 to 145.970MHz on USB. 

The Spanish PTT has authorised the use of several frequencies in the 5MHz band from 1st January to 30th June 2014. The authorised frequencies are 5268, 5295, 5313, 5382, 5430 and 5439kHz, with a power of 100W PEP. Unfortunately none of these frequencies coincide with the UK 5MHz frequency allocations. The first 4 channels are very close to our allocation; the last 2 are well above. The frequencies announced are channel centres, so USB dial frequency will be 1.5kHz lower. Please note that if UK operators respond to calls on these frequencies, they will be operating out of band.

A limited number of Czech radio amateurs will be returning to the 5MHz band and the permits will be valid until the end of 2014. Those Czech amateurs issued with one of these special permits will be allowed to use six channels that are common to many other nations. These are 5288.5, 5330.5, 5366.5, 5371.5, 5398.5 and 5403.5kHz. Transmissions are limited to upper sideband and CW only at a power level of 100 watts effective radiated power.

SOS Radio Week organisers have had some difficulty with the registration page on their website for the event that runs from 19 to 25 January. To date 27 registrations have been successfully received, but it seems there may be more. If you have attempted to register and you have not received any login details, please contact the organisers. All details on the event can be found at www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

Members of the UK CubeSat community have established a forum for UK nanosatellite or CubeSat stakeholders. The UK Space Agency and two radio amateurs sit on the organising committee. The UK Space Agency's first CubeSat, UKube-1, will carry an amateur radio transponder and is expected to launch this year. You can follow the work of the forum and respond to requests for views at www.cubesatforum.org.uk/.

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

Today, 12th January 2014, the red Rose Winter Rally takes place in the George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, M41 7FJ. The venue is easily accessible from M60 junction 9. Doors open at 11am and there will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details can be obtained from John on 07840 389 427.

On 19th January, the Chippenham & District ARC mini indoor rally will be held in the Neston Village Hall, Pool Green, Neston, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9SN. Doors open at 10m and admission is £1.50. Tables for sellers are £5 pre-booked. Email g0iue@btinternet.com for full details.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please
email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

For those interested in football, Portuguese radio amateurs will be operating the special event callsign CS2EUSEBIO around the country in memory of the footballer Eusebio. QSLing is via the bureau.

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

AF1G is now living and working on Andros Island, which is IOTA reference NA-011, signing /C6A. He will be there until 20th November and is expected to be on the 6 to 80m bands using SSB. QSL via Logbook of the World or direct to Tim Hardy, PSC 1012 Box 593, FPO AA 34058-9998, USA.

JA3ARJ and JA1CJA will be active as TO3JA from Martinique, NA-017, between 12th and 19th January. QSL via JA3AVO, direct, by the bureau or Logbook of the World.

Joe Musachia, W5FJG, has been assigned to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and will be operating from KC4AAA, the amateur radio station there. He will operate SSB only on weekdays and some weekends, through the winter season until November 2014. Almost all activity is currently on 20 meters on or near 14.243MHz. QSL to Larry Skilton, K1IED.

Francis, F6BLP will be active again as 6W7SK from Senegal until 31st January. He will operate mainly CW on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of the World and eQSL. See more at www.f6blp.org.

Now the contest news

The CW AFS takes place on Sunday 12th from 1400 to 1800UTC with the SSB event six days later on Saturday 18th at the same time. Because twilight occurs about half way through them, propagation at the end can be expected to be nothing like it is at the start. At the start signals from around the UK should be strong and Continentals relatively weak, but by the end it is not unusual for inter-UK propagation to be difficult and for Continentals to be much stronger. Using the 80m band, the exchanges for both events is signal report and serial number.

On 14th January the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 14th of December to Thursday the 9th of January, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 10th of January.

Solar activity for the last three weeks was low on most days, moderate on some days and high on the occasional day. Solar activity was high on the 1st and the 7th of January. An X1 class solar flare took place on the 7th, this was the first X class flare since the 19th of November last year. Solar flux levels initially declined slight lower than forecast, reaching 116 units on Boxing Day and then climbed higher than forecast to peak at 237 units, that's the highest daily figure for this sunspot cycle and also since August 2002. By the 9th levels had declined to 184. The 90 day solar flux average on the 9th was 152 units, which is also the highest for this cycle. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.5 units at the end of the year to C1.8 units by the 5th of January. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 1st and 2nd of January which increased to an Ap index of 15 and 18 respectively. That was the only coronal hole disturbance to take place.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. While the large sunspot region is still in view that rotated into view on the 1st solar activity could be at moderate to high levels, however, as the region rotates out of view towards next weekend solar activity is expected to decline to low levels. Solar flux levels should decline to around 130 units. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at low levels unless an Earth directed coronal mass ejection increases activity. No coronal hole disturbances are expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around or slightly above 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East 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 25MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1500 hours UTC.

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



Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd. December 2013

December 20, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd December 2013

The news headlines:


  • Last GB2RS of 2013

  • RSGB Past President becomes SK

  • Special prefix announced for Scottish stations


This is the last GB2RS broadcast of 2013. There will be no news readings on 29 December or 5 January. We will be back on Sunday 12 January, bringing you the all the latest amateur radio news. We would like to take this opportunity to send warm season's greetings to all our listeners and wish everyone a prosperous New Year. The RSGB HQ will close for the Christmas and New Year holiday at noon on 24 December. It will re-open on 2 January. You will be pleased to know that the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will continue to be open Thursday to Sunday throughout December and January, whenever Bletchley Park is open. Please check the website before travelling. We would like to thank those volunteers who continue to give their time to keep the NRC open and on the air.

The RSGB is saddened to hear that RSGB Past President Tim Hughes, G3GVV is now a Silent Key. Tim served on the RSGB Council in the late 1960s. He became President in 1972 and worked tirelessly in international affairs for the RSGB, attending a number of IARU and ITU conferences. He later became Secretary of IARU Region 1, taking over when John Allaway, G3FKM became unable to continue through ill health in 1998. He remained active and on the air until the last few months of his life and passed away peacefully at home on 13 December at the age of 95. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

Ofcom has advised that licensed amateurs with a main station address in Scotland will be allowed to use the special prefix A instead of the usual M for the period from Burns Night to St Andrews Day during 2014. Further details will be published on the Ofcom and RSGB websites as they become available, and a Notice of Variation will be available for download from the RSGB website in the New Year.

The KW Radios Yahoo group is dedicated to restoring and using equipment made by KW Electronics. It is planning its first KW Weekend on 4 and 5 January. This offers a chance to bring some of those shack and barn finds back into use, keep the shack warm and have a little fun on the first winter weekend of 2014. Weekend centres of activity will be plus or minus 10kHz of 7.1 and 14.3MHz for phone and FISTS activity centres for CW. Owners are encouraged to use all bands, and to share KW serial numbers to help the group build up a better picture of KW ownership in the 21st century.

The RSGB Board has appointed Ken Hatton, G3VBA as GB2RS Manager with effect from 1 January. Ken first became interested in amateur radio as a schoolboy and has been licensed 47 years. He told GB2RS that he is proud to become GB3RS manager following on from Gordon, G3LEQ, whose contribution to the news service has been immense.

The special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary will be operated today by MI0MSR Ballymoney using PSK 31 and RTTY on the 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. On Monday and Tuesday, Hilltop Radio Group will operate from Castlederg using the 10 to 40m bands with SSB and PSK signals. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day it’s the turn of MI0WJC in Coleraine using SSB, FM and PSK on the 40m, 20m & 2m bands. Friday and Saturday sees Grey Point Fort ARS operating from Helens Bay using CW, SSB, FM and PSK on the 10 to 160m bands as well as 2 m and 70cm. The penultimate day of operation is by the Castles & Stately Homes on the Air team from Milltown using CW, SSB and PSK on the 15, 20, 40 and 80m bands. Finally for this Centenary year, on 31 December, GI0AZB will operate from Dungiven using SSB and FM on 10 to 40m as well as 2m and 70cm. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station. The RSGB would like to thank every operator who has taken part in the Centenary Year, making it better than was ever hoped.

Brian Justin, WA1ZMS/4 is an active participant in the ARRL’s WD2XSH 600 meter experimental project and will transmit voice and music on 486kHz as WG2XFQ on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and again on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Transmissions will begin at 0001UTC and end at 2359UTC. Justin will use an AM audio loop modulating his vintage-style, homebrew transmitter to honour Reginald Fessenden’s Christmas Eve 1906 AM voice transmission.

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

The Bath Buildathon takes place on 4 January. Booking is essential and the project is the 20m PSK RSGB Centenary Receiver. Intermediate practical assessments will also be available on the day. Contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.

Now for the news of special events

3 January 2014 is the official opening of Bedworth Lions Awareness Month and GB4BLC will be on the air from 11am. Further information for this event can be obtained from G8GMU QTHR or 07801 862 686.

SOS Radio Week 2014 will take place between 25 January and 2 February. Stations wishing to take part in the event should visit www.sosradioweek.org.uk and register using the online registration form.

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

Alan Doyle, G0FAU will be in Accra, Ghana using the callsign 9G5AD from 9 January 2014 for an initial period of 3 weeks. He will be operating a 100W Kenwood TS-570S with a Pro Whip antenna or a Carolina Windom for 20 metres.

Felix, DL5XL will be working at the German Antarctic station Neumayer III until 8 February. He will operate mainly CW as DP1POL in his spare time. QSL via DL1ZBO, direct or bureau, and LoTW. Logsearch on Club Log. Holger, DH1HB will be located at the same research station until February 2015, and will be QRV as DP0GVN. QSL via DL5EBE.

Sigi, DK9FN will be active again as H40FN, mainly on CW, from Temotu Province from 21 December to 10 January. This year he will operate from Lomlom Island, IOTA OC-065. QSL via DK9FN, which is a new route, direct or bureau.

Alex, DL1NX/PY2SEX will be active as JW/PY2SEX from Spitsbergen, EU-026, Svalbard, on 24-25 December. He plans to operate mainly CW and SSB on 40-10 metres. QSL via DL1NX.

Nao, JN1RVS will be active as PJ5/K6NAO from St Eustatius, NA-145, on 22-29 December. He will operate CW and RTTY/PSK on 40-10 metres. QSL via JA1HGY; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

Raimundo, PT7CG will be active as ZX8DX from Ilha Grande de Santa Isabel, SA-025, on 26-30 December. QSL via his home call.

Dietmar, DL3DXX will be active as V5/DL3DXX from Namibia from 24 December to 8 January. He will operate CW only on 160-10 metres. QSL via home call.

Steve, VE3OC, to be active holiday style as VP5/VE3OC from Providenciales, Caicos Islands, NA-002, on 18-27 December. QSL via home call, direct only, and eQSL.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues over the Christmas period, ending on 31 January 2014. It’s a 100% locator square chase, with no points for individual QSOs, but as well as normal QSOs you can claim the squares worked in other 6m contests over the period. The exchange is signal report and locator.

The Christmas Cumulatives take place for two hours on Thursday to Sunday the 26 to 29th. Activity is on all bands from 6m to 70cm and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

The DARC Christmas Contest runs for 2½ hours on Boxing Day morning. Operating on CW and SSB, the exchange is RST plus serial number. DLs also send DOK or NM.

The RAC Canada Winter Contest takes place for the full 24 hours of Saturday the 28th. There are numerous entry categories and everyone can work everyone. Concentrate on working Canadians because Canadian Provinces and Territories are where the multipliers are. Use all contest bands from 160m to 2m on CW and phone; the exchange is RST plus serial number, with VEs also sending their Province code. This event has a festive Wallpaper Alert, because from the UK in 2012 only six entries from England were submitted and there were no logs from GW, GM, GI etc.

The IRTS 80m Counties contest takes place on the afternoon of New Year’s Day. Work anyone, but EI/GI/2I/MI stations are worth more points, and collect counties for multipliers. Use CW or phone on 80m only; the exchange is RST and serial number, plus County for stations on the island.

The ARRL RTTY Roundup takes place on the weekend of the 4th to 5th, but operate for no more than 24 of the 30 hours. Work everyone, sending a signal report and serial number. US and Canadian stations will also send their State or Province code. On the same weekend the European Association’s CW 160m QSO Party takes place. There are two sessions, the first on Saturday evening and the second in the early hours of Sunday morning. You can work the same stations in each session. The exchange depends on whether you are a member of an affiliated club. In the UK that means FOC, FISTS, G-QRP and the Essex CW Club. If you are, send RST + name + club + membership number; if not, send RST + name + NM for non member.

Tuesday the 7th sees the 144MHz UKAC from 2000 to 2230. Using all modes, the exchange is serial number and locator.

The CW AFS contest is on Sunday 12 January from 1400-1800. Using CW on 80m, exchange RST and serial number.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 613th to Thursday the 19th of December, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 20th of December.

During the period several new sunspot regions appeared but none were capable of producing anything stronger than small C class solar flares, which had no effect on propagation. However, with less than an hour to go before the end of the period an impulsive M3 class solar flare took place from a region that is just starting to rotate into view. Solar flux levels declined slightly from 163 units on the 13th to 153 by the 19th. The average was 158 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 19th was 140 units, which is five units up on the previous week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B7.1 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 14th, which increased slightly due to a small recurring coronal hole. The Ap index was 12 units and the average was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from a slow 270 kilometres per second on the 13th to 610 by the next day. Speeds then gradually declined to 340 by the 18th. Particle densities were low most days but increased to 108 particles per cubic centimetre on the 13th. On the quiet days the Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 3 nanoTeslas and between minus 12 and plus 14 nanoTeslas on the 14th which was the most disturbed day.

Finally, the solar forecast. For the next two weeks solar activity is expected to be mostly at low levels but there is a chance that activity could increase, mostly to moderate levels on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to be around the 160s for most of the period but could increase slightly during the second week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet, however, two coronal hole disturbances are expected to increase activity, the first on the 26th and the 27th of December and again on the 3rd and the 4th of January. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz or slightly higher. Darkness hour lows should be about 7MHz. Paths for the next two weeks to the east coast of North America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 34MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 28MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1200 and 1700 UTC. A short but reliable sporadic E season takes place during the Christmas and New Year period, with openings up to 50MHz. Good DX for 2014 to everybody.

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th. December 2013

December 13, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th December 2013

The news headlines:

  • GB2RS and RSGB Christmas Schedule

  • Ofcom issues statement on amateur licence progression

  • FUNcube-1 Whole Orbit Data now available

 

There will be no GB2RS news readings on 29 December or 5 January. Normal service will be resumed on Sunday 12 January. RSGB HQ will close for the Christmas and New Year holiday at noon on Tuesday 24 December and re-open at 8.30am on Thursday 2 January.

During the wide debate about the forthcoming amateur radio licence review to be carried out by Ofcom, several amateurs have been in touch with the RSGB to express concern that they will either be required to progress to become Full licensees or to surrender their Foundation or Intermediate licence and give up the hobby. In response Ofcom have provided the following statement. “It is not Ofcom’s intention to discourage people from the hobby but we want to set up a framework that encourages those interested in pursuing the technical hobby to stretch their knowledge and operating skill. In our analysis we will be consulting on any changes to the licensing arrangements but we will be taking into account the accessibility and diverse interests provided by the hobby and we won’t be designing a regime that leaves or pushes people out.”

You can now download FUNcube-1, AO-73, Whole Orbit Data as a .csv file from the Data Warehouse. The file is produced at 23:59 every day and contains data for the preceding 24 hours. It contains all the channels shown on the Whole Orbit Data graph, which shows the latest orbit data captured. The Whole Orbit Data page is at https://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html.

Signals from WG2XRS, one of the USA special transmitting licences for the 75kHz band, crossed the Atlantic in early December using the newly added OP65 mode. 17 Opera monitor stations spread across the USA and western Europe listened for the transmissions, which started at 2200UTC. The first transmission period produced substantial automated signal reports from stations on the east side of the USA. Only Wolf in Germany, in JO52HP, decoded the signal. He is well known to those who experiment on the LF bands for providing reports on test transmissions. He decoded the 75kHz signal at 0225UTC, a distance of 6,246km. Tests are continuing.

A 60m beacon is transmitting PSK31 from South Africa on 5.250MHz at 5 minute intervals. Should you hear this beacon please send a signal report to beacon@zs6kts.co.za and a copy to propresearch@sarl.org.za. Include your locator number with the report. Operated by the Kempton Park Amateur Radio Technical Society, it is hoped to add CW and WSPR in the near future.

Thousands of amateur radio operators around the world were able to say "Hi" to NASA's Juno spacecraft in October as it went past Earth on its way to Jupiter. The "say Hi" project was made possible by the fact that Juno passed within 350 miles of the Earth's surface on 9 October in a manoeuvre to gain momentum for its July 2016 encounter with Jupiter. Juno did not return the greeting or even directly decode the messages but the Juno team evaluated the Waves instrument data containing the messages when the spacecraft was still over 37,000 kilometres from the Earth.

A European windstorm named Oskari has brought down the famed 330 foot high Radio Arcala 160 and 80 metre tower and antenna at Finland’s OH8X station. The mammoth structure collapsed peacefully, not hitting any of the other six towers, not hurting people or damaging buildings. Inspectors are trying to evaluate the cause of the failure. Listen for OF9X on 20m from Radio Arcala over the holiday season.

The special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary will be operated today and tomorrow by Greenisland Electronics ARS operating from Carrickfergus on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and data. On Monday and Tuesday the callsign passes to Lagen Valley ARS in Lisburn, running 10 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. Wednesday sees the Marconi Radio Group operating from Ballycastle on all bands. Friday, Lagen Valley ARS are back in action running 10 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. Finally for this week, Saturday and Sunday sees MI0MSR operating the callsign from Ballymoney using the 10, 15, 17 and 20m bands with PSK31 and RTTY. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.

Ofcom has published a statement confirming its plans to amend current regulations to allow the use of a wider range of transmission standards for 11m Citizens Band Radio in the UK. These will include AM, DSB and SSB, which will bring the UK in line with other European countries. Implementation is expected around the middle of 2014.

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

We have no details of rallies taking place during the rest of December. The next event in the diary is Bath Buildathon on 4 January. Booking is essential and the project is the 20m PSK Centenary Receiver. Intermediate Practical Assessments will also be available on the day. Contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

ZS9MADIBA is a special event station to celebrate Nelson Mandela's legacy. It will be operated around South Africa. QSLing is via the bureau or by sending your QSL to SARL, PO Box 1721, Strubensvallei 1735, South Africa. You may also use Logbook of the World.

A special callsign, 3A60ARM, will be in use until the end of this month in Monaco to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the local radio association. QSLs should be sent via the 3A2 bureau and a special QSL card will be available in early 2014.

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

Ivo, 9A3A is now active as 9L1A from Sierra Leone for more than three months. 9L1A is a reissued callsign; QSL for the current operation is via 9A2AA, direct or via the bureau.

Jim, F5MCC will be active as FM/F5MCC from Martinique, NA-107, until 21 December. He will operate CW and SSB on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign, bureau preferred.

Erik, LA2US will be active as JW2US from Bear Island, EU-027 for six months, starting in December until May 2014. He will operate mainly CW in his spare time. QSL via LA2US, direct or via the bureau, plus Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Now the contest news

To promote activity on 6m during the winter, the UK Six Metre Group has introduced a new event to complement their Summer E’s Contest. Called the Winter Marathon, it will be held over a two-month period, commencing on 1 December 2013 and ending on 31 January 2014. It’s a 100% Locator square chase, with no points for individual QSOs, but as well as normal QSOs you can claim the squares worked in other 6m contests over the period. The exchange is signal report and locator.

The ARRL 10m Contest ends at 2359 today, 15 December, having been running for 48 hours. In this event everyone can work everyone. Please visit the ARRL.org website to see all the categories. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Ws, VEs and XEs sending their State or Province code.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UKAC takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 6th to Thursday the 12th of December, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 13th of December.

The number of sunspot groups increased from 5 on the 7th and the 8th to 10 by the 10th. Most were small and simple but a couple were much larger. However, solar activity was only at low levels except for the 7th which increased to moderate levels when the only M class solar flare took place. Solar flux levels increased from 151 units on the 6th to 175 by the 9th. The average was 165 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 12th was 135 units, that's seven units up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from C1 units on the 6th to B7.3 units by the 11th. The average was B8.7 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 8th when activity increased due to a coronal hole disturbance. The disturbance was strong but short lived. The Ap index on the 8th was 17 units and the average for the period was 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 320 kilometres per second on the 6th to 690 by the 8th. Speeds then declined once the disturbance was over to 270 kilometres per second by the 12th. Particle densities were low except for the 7th and the 8th, which increased to 34 and 30 particles per cubic centimetre respectively. On the quiet days Bz varied between minus 2 and plus 1 nanoTeslas and between minus 24 and plus 20 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day. HF band conditions were very good most days. Another high pressure system produced excellent propagation on the VHF and UHF bands up to 10GHz. All in all a good week.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be mostly low but there is a good chance that activity could increase to moderate levels on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to be around the 160s at first but may decline during the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day provided no coronal mass ejections head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 33MHz, maybe slightly lower for the north. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 26MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 20MHz. The best time to try this path will be around 0800 hours. A small but reliable winter Sporadic-E season takes place during the second half of December and lasts into the first half of January.

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


Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th. December 2013

December 6, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th December 2013

The news headlines:


  • Register for SOS Radio Week

  • Canadian club experiments on 600m

  • FCC authorises ARRL Centenary callsign

 

SOS Radio Week will take place between 25 January and 2 February. The event is now in its sixth official year and in that time amateur radio enthusiasts have raised over £15,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If you are fortunate enough to live near the coast, why not forge a relationship with your local RNLI station? Most are happy to open their station to you and enable you to operate there. Stations wishing to take part in the event should visit www.sosradioweek.org.uk and register using the online registration form.

Industry Canada has issued a 600m experimental radio licence to the Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland. VX9MRC will be on the air on 14 and 15 December on 472-479kHz to call attention to the potential new amateur radio band there and to the role amateur radio plays in emergency communication.

The FCC has authorised the Maxim Memorial Station W1AW to also use the call sign W100AW during 2014, the ARRL’s centennial year. Contacts made from the Maxim Memorial Station in Newington, from regional Centennial conventions and during the IARU HF Championship will use W100AW, with portable designators as appropriate. Bulletins and Morse practice transmissions during 2014 will still use W1AW. Contacts with W100AW will be worth 100 points in the ARRL Centennial QSO Party. To help kick off the ARRL Centennial, W100AW activity will begin at 0500UTC on 1 January 2014 (midnight in Newington) and will include participation in ARRL’s Straight Key Night; one CW station will use Hiram Percy Maxim’s straight key. Activity will continue throughout New Year’s Day.

The final RSGB Centenary event, at Imperial College, London, took place on 5 December. Both lectures were well received and the proceedings were streamed live over the web by the BATC. If you missed it live, you can watch recordings of the lectures on the BATC website, www.batc.tv. Our thanks to BATC for making this possible.

Patrick Kirkden, M0ZPK from Thanet Radio and Electronics Club helped the developers of the WREN SSTV satellite when it was thought to have stopped working. He was able to find the satellite and record some of its telemetry, giving the WREN team updated location information, which they have now released for other amateurs to use. This includes new commands, decode software and a video describing how to do it. See http://amsat-uk.org for more details.

The special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary will be operated today by the Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club operating on 10, 15, 20 and 40m as well as 2m. They will be using SSB, FM and PSK. On Monday the City of Belfast Radio Amateurs Club will run 6 to 80m as well as 2m using CW, SSB and FM. Tuesday and Wednesday sees the callsign move to West Tyrone ARC with Foyle and District ARC taking over on Thursday and Friday running from 10 to 80m using SSB. On Saturday and Sunday it’s with Greenisland Electronics ARC at Carrickfergus with stations on 10 to 80m using CW and SSB. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.

The International Museums Weekend Admin Team has announced that the 2014 event will take place on the two weekends of 14/15th and 21/22nd June 2014. You, your club along with your local museum are invited to join in, on either or both of the weekends. More details about the event and a registration form can be found at http://www.ukradioamateur.co.uk/imw/.

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

We have no details of rallies taking place during December. The next event in the diary is Bath Buildathon on 4 January. Booking is essential and the project is the 20m PSK Centenary Receiver. Intermediate Practical Assessments will also be available on the day. More details are in the forthcoming January RadCom or you can contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB4FCV will be on the air on the 20, 30, 40 and 80m bands using CW only until 13 December. It is to commemorate Sir Francis Chichester’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1967.

Special callsign 3A60ARM will be in use throughout December to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Monaco Society.

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

The Buddies in the Caribbean group plan another trip to St Lucia, NA-108, until 9 December. As usual they will be using Buddipole antennas on the 10 to 80m bands. Calls will be J6/homecall.

Haru, JA1XGI will be active as V63XG from Chuuk Island in Micronesia, OC-011, until 12 December. He will operate all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. In particular he will be looking for contacts with Europe on 160 and 80m. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Alan, VK4WR and Graeme, VK4FI will operate from Niue Island, OC-040, with the callsign E6RQ until 17 December. QSL Manager is VK4FI.

Freddy, FK8RO will be active as FK8RO/P from Ouvea Island, OC-033, until 13 December. He plans to be QRV on 10 to 40m metres using CW with wire antennas. QSL via QSL via F5IRO, direct or bureau.

Once again Erik, LA2US will be active as JW2US from Bear Island, EU-027, for six months starting in December, until May 2014. He will operate mainly CW in his spare time. QSL via LA2US, direct or via bureau, plus LoTW and eQSL.

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m Contest runs for 42 hours finishing at 1600UTC today, the 8th. This is a CW-only event in which you work the USA, US Territories and Canada only. The wording of the rules suggests that good frequencies to work on are 1830-1835kHz, but you are not limited to this 5kHz window. The exchange is signal report, and Ws and VEs also send their ARRL/RAC section.

Sunday 8th sees the 144MHz AFS take place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on 10 December 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 14 and 15 December. In this event everyone can work everyone. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Ws, VEs and XEs sending the State/Province code too.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 29th of November to Thursday the 5th of December, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 6th of December.

The largest sunspot group visible during the period remained very quiet and produced no significant solar flare activity. However, some smaller groups produced a couple of C class solar flares every day when solar activity was at low levels. Solar flux levels increased from 129 units on the 29th to 150 by the 5th. The average was 136 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 5th was 130 units, that's two unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.5 units on the 29th to C1 units by the 5th, the average was B5.3 units. The geomagnetic field was quiet every day, the most disturbed day was the 1st with an Ap index of 8 units. The average was Ap 5 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 260 kilometres per second on the 29th to 460 by the 2nd. Particle densities decreased from 34 particles per cubic centimetre on the 29th to below 10 particles per cubic centimetre for the remainder of the period. Bz varied between minus and plus 9 nanoTeslas on the 1st which was the most disturbed day to between minus and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day. For most of the period a high pressure system brought extended tropo conditions at VHF and UHF, with a particular focus on Germany.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days. Solar flux levels should be around the 150's for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity could be unsettled today and tomorrow due a small recurring coronal hole, also, activity would increase if a coronal mass ejection heads our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around or slightly higher than 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 36MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 29MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1600 hours UTC.

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



Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st. December 2013

November 29, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st December 2013

The news headlines:


  • Book your place at the final Centenary event

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Tuesday

  • Could you write software for IOTA?



There is still time to book your free place at the final, national, RSGB Centenary event on the RSGB website. A meeting will be held at Imperial College, London, in the Huxley Building, between 6.30pm and 9pm on 5 December. The meeting is open to all and attendance is free, including refreshments. The meeting will comprise two lectures on amateur radio technology. If you are unable to attend the meeting, the proceedings are being streamed live on the internet thanks to the BATC. No registration is required to watch the video, go to www.batc.tv/streams/rsgbiet. Our thanks to BATC for making this possible.

On 3 December, the World will be observing the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and this year’s theme is ‘Break barriers, open doors: for an inclusive society for all’. IARU Region 1 suggests that 3 December is used to promote amateur radio among disabled persons by demonstrating how anyone with disabilities can become an amateur. Several special event stations are likely to be on the air around Region 1 of the IARU.

IOTA urgently needs developers to work on coding for the IOTA website. Volunteers should be reasonably familiar with MySQL, PHP and Javascript. The code is version controlled using Github so familiarity with this would also be useful. IOTA operates on a tiny budget so the role is primarily for volunteers. Please contact iota.online@rsgb.org.uk if you think you may be able to help.

Ham Emergency Radio Operations stations activated by the Philippine Amateur Radio Association remain in demand after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines on 8 November. Mobile radio services are available in some places, but they are patchy and unreliable. Relief trucks are transporting aid supplies and personnel from multinational and local groups. The station staffed by DV6ILA and DV6WAV in Roxas City got a surprise visit this week from the bureau chief of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Fernando Arroyo, EA4BB. After visiting the HERO station nearly every day, he appointed DV6WAV to head his convoy team to meet international aid volunteers at the airport. More than 29 foreign agencies have so far arrived to carry out relief and recovery aid.

The first SOTA Mighty Mite weekend will be held on 7 and 8 December. The aim is simply to get on the air and make SOTA contacts using Rock Mites or Rock Mite clones. Chasers and activators are equally welcome. SOTAbeams will provide a trophy for the person who publishes the most interesting account of their activities over the weekend on SOTAwatch at www.sotawatch.org.

The special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary changes from GM100RSGB to GI100RSGB this week. It will be operated today and tomorrow by the 1st Ayr Amateur Radio Group who will operate GM100RSGB on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. On Tuesday it becomes GI100RSGB when Orchard County DX Group take over for two days from Loughall, operating on the 10 to 20m bands as well as 2m using SSB and FM. On Thursday Ballymena ARC will operate on the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80m bands using SSB, then on Friday to Sunday Mid Ulster ARC take over the callsign from Portadown with operation on the 10 15, 20 and 40m bands as well as 2m. They will be using SSB, FM and PSK. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.

AMSAT-UK’s Graham Shirville, G3VZV reports that FUNcube-1 has completed its first week in space and all systems are operating normally. A beacon transmits on 144.935MHz in daylight passes, while the transponder is available during passes in local darkness. More information is at www.funcube.org.uk. Further to our report last week, our short video from the FUNcube-1 launch day is now online. Search YouTube for ‘AMSAT FUNcube-1 RSGB’ or see the GB2RS YouTube channel.

[Not intended for reading aloud: the direct link to the video is http://youtu.be/AhCj1D2Sg78]

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

The Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club Rally will take place today in the Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. Talk in will be on S22 and the doors open at 10.30am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy as well as refreshments. More from Mark, G0GFG on 01388 747 497.

Next Sunday the South Lancs Winter Rally will take place at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy and special interest groups in attendance. Details from Jason on 01942 735 828.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB4FCV will be on the air on the 20, 30, 40 and 80m bands using CW only until 13 December. It is to commemorate Sir Francis Chichester’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1967.

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

Look for R9OOO/0, RA1ZZ/0, RA3AV/0 and UA9KW/0 to be active from a village in the rarest Russian District, YA-38, until 3 December. They will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW and SSB. All of the QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau.

Jose, PU5IKE, will be active as ZW5AAA from Remedios Island, SA-027, on 7 and 8 December. Activity will be on 10m SSB. QSL via PU5IKE, Logbook of The World, direct with a sase, eQSL or via the Bureau. QSLs from SWLs are welcome.

Fabio, PP5BZ will be active as ZW5W from Santana de Fora Island, SA-088, from 6 to 9 December. He will operate CW and SSB on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via PP5BZ.

Mats, SM6LRR will be active as XV2LRR from Vietnam from until 14 December. He will operate holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. Logsearch on Club Log and QSL via Logbook of The World only.

Georg, DK7LX will be active as FJ/DK7LX from St Barthelemy, NA-146, until 6 December. He will operate mainly CW and RTTY on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Tim, NL8F will be active as T32TM from East Kiribati, OC-024, until 4 December. He will then be joined by other members of the Russian Robinson Club and the club call of T32RC will be used until 11 December. Activity will be on all bands from 10 to 160m on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL Manager is N7RO.

West Kiribati will also available until 4 December. Here the operators JF1CCH and JA1FUF will sign T30TS and T30KN respectively. They will run 100W to a dipole on all bands from 10 to 40m. QSLs go via their home callsigns.

Rob DL7VOA will operate as 6V7D in Senegal until 7 December. He plans to be QRV from the beach during the evening and night hours. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Now the contest news

All currently issued Special Contest Callsigns, both individual and club, expire on 31 December 2013. All holders need to re-apply if they wish to continue using their currently assigned callsigns after the expiry date. The qualification standard to obtain a SCC will be the same as it is currently. A new application form has been published on the Ofcom website. To find it easily, type ofw286.pdf into a search engine. All new Special Contest Callsigns will expire on 31 December 2016.

To promote activity on 6m during the winter, the UK Six Metre Group has just introduced a new event to complement their Summer Es Contest. Called the Winter Marathon, it will be held over a two-month period, commencing on 1 December 2013 and ending on 31 January 2014. It’s a 100% Locator square chase, with no points for individual QSOs, but as well as normal QSOs you can claim the squares worked in other 6m contests over the period. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL 160m Contest runs for 42 hours, starting at 10pm on Friday 6th. This is a CW-only event in which you work the USA, US Territories and Canada only. The wording of the rules suggests that good frequencies to work on are 1830-1835kHz, but you are not limited to this 5kHz window. Finishing at 1600UTC on the 8th, the exchange is signal report and Ws and VEs also send ARRL/RAC section.

Next Sunday sees the 144MHz AFS take place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator,

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

Solar activity was low every day except for the 23rd when activity increased to moderate levels as two M class solar flares took place. Numerous C class solar flares took place at first but this dropped to just a couple a day later in the period. Solar flux levels declined from 143 units on the 22nd to 116 by the 26th but then recovered to 133 units by the 28th. The average was 129 units. The 90 solar flux average on the 28th was 128 units, that's two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined slightly from B5.3 units on the 22nd to B4.5 on the 26th. The average was B4.9 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, in fact, an Ap index on the last four days was only one unit. The average was Ap 2 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 380 to a very slow 260 kilometres per second by the 26th. Particle densities were low and remained below 10 particles per cubic centimetre throughout. Bz showed only minor variations every day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun will rotate into view and several large complex sunspot regions are expected to be seen. Solar activity is expected to increase and be around the 160s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet at first but after midweek but due to a recurring coronal hole activity is expected to increase. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz or slightly higher. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to India 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 will be about 26MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1200 UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 24th. November 2013

November 22, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th November 2013

The news headlines:

  • FUNcube-1 successfully launched

  • Philippines hams provide disaster communications

  • Join the Bath Buildathon on 4 January


An estimated 37 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads have deployed this week. FUNcube-1, built by AMSAT-UK, launched on Thursday 21 November from Yasny in Russia. A huge cheer went up in the control room set up at the National Radio Centre when the first signals were received, by ZS1LS in South Africa, just ten minutes after deployment. By the time of the first useful pass over the UK, data had been received in 12 countries. The first command to the satellite, sent from the National Radio Centre, was an immediate success, increasing the output power to a level that can be heard on a handheld. Details of the project are online at www.funcube.org.uk. On Friday morning the BBC’s John Maguire interviewed AMSAT-UK’s Graham Shirville, G3VZV at the National Radio Centre, and the FUNcube-1 team were filmed making a contact via the linear transponder for a piece that should be screened on the BBC1 Breakfast show on Monday 25 November.

Nearly two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Central Philippines in one of the worst natural disasters in modern history, survivors are slowly getting food, water, medical attention and supplies, along with shelter, communication, and electrical power. Now, the Philippine Amateur Radio Association is hoping that requests for emergency communication gear will provide the means for their Ham Emergency Radio Operations network – known as HERO – to enhance its presence and efforts, especially in less-populated and harder-to-reach areas. Hams in the Philippines are using 7.095, 7.119 and 7.151MHz for emergency operations, and it is hoped that contesters and other amateurs will avoid these frequencies in deference to emergency traffic.

The next Bath Buildathon is to be held on Saturday 4 January 2014. 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 project is the 20m PSK Centenary Receiver that was developed for the RSGB Centenary Day and featured in the September RadCom. Running from 9am to 5pm, you can be confident that you will go home with a working 20m PSK receiver. Places will be limited so book early. There will be two free places available for young amateurs who are still in full-time education. Intermediate Practical Assessments will also be available on the day. For further details, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by e-mail to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.

The RSGB Commonwealth Contest organising group would like to thank Paul, EI5DI for his sponsorship and assistance since 2008. Team entrants in particular have appreciated his very kind provision of the BERU Team Competition Prizes since 2008, during which time nearly 250 awards have been made. The Silver Britannia coin is a typical example. Paul is bowing out from 2014, in order to provide an opportunity for another sponsor, but will continue to fully support the Commonwealth Contest and all RSGB contests with his free Contest Logger SD.

SOS Radio Week 2014 will take place between 25 January and 2 February next year. The event is now in its sixth official year and in that time amateur radio operators from throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland have raised over £15,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This is not a contest, rather an opportunity to get sponsored and enjoy some quality time on the air raising the profile of the RNLI amongst home operators, the public and those further afield around the world. Stations wishing to take part in the event should visit www.sosradioweek.org.uk and register using the online registration form.

GM100RSGB, the special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary, will be operated today by Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club working on the 3cm to 160m bands using SSB, CW & Data. On Monday and again on Thursday, the RSGB R1 Team take over and will operate on the 6 to 160m bands using SSB and data. Tuesday and Wednesday is the turn of Lomond Radio Club operating on the 10, 15, 17, 20 and 40m bands using SSB & Data. On Friday and Saturday, Kilmarnock and Loudoun ARC will be operating on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB, CW & Data. And finally for this week, next Sunday, the 1st, Ayr Amateur Radio Group will operate on the 10 to 8-m bands using SSB, CW & RTTY. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the current 2013 through to May 2014 operations of ZS8C and ZS8Z, which is Prince Edward and Marion Islands, for DX Century Club credit.

The RSGB has placed the minutes of the recent Spectrum Forum minutes as well as the individual reports on the website, www.rsgb.org.uk. Type Spectrum Forum Minutes into the search engine and select the 2013 minutes.

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

The CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held in the 1st Coulsdon Scout HQ, r/o Council Car Park, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Surrey today, 24 November. Doors open at 10am and admission is £1. There will be a B&B as well as catering facilities. Details by e-mail from Glenn, G4FVL at chairman@catsradio.org.

Today, 24 November, the Plymouth Radio Club Rally will be held in Harewood House, The Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. Details, by e-mail, to pippa117@hotmail.co.uk.

The 18th Rochdale & District ARS Rally will take place on 30 November at St Vincent’s Church Hall, Cutgate, Rochdale OL12 7QL. Doors open at 10.15am and admission is £2.50 with concessions for under 12s and seniors. There will be a Bring & Buy. More details from Dave, G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

On Saturday 30 November there is an open day at Martin Lynch & Sons in Chertsey. Doors open at 8am with bacon butties for early arrivers, free tea and coffee and a hog roast. Details at www.mlands.co.uk

The Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club Rally will take place on 1 December in the Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. Talk in will be on S22 and the doors open at 10.30am with admission £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as refreshments. More from Mark, G0GFG on 01388 747 497.

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

Now for the news of special events

Phoenix Radio Group and Mansfield and District ARS are putting GB2OIL on the air today, 24 November, to commemorate the opening of the first commercial deep well oilfield in the UK at Dukes Wood, Eakring in Nottinghamshire in 1943. Operation is planned for 7.165MHz throughout the event and on 14.265MHz or 18.165MHz if conditions permit.

Allen, G4PF and Janet, M0GWW, will be running a station to celebrate Lancashire Day on 27 November using the callsign GB0LD. More information can be found on QRZ.com.

Wednesday 27 November, Chorley & District ARS will be running a special event station marking Lancashire Day using the club call MX0ISN. Operation will be during the day on 40 metres and into the evening from the club. More information is on qrz.com.

From 30 November, for two weeks, GB4FCV will be on the air to mark the achievements of Sir Francis Chichester who sailed Gipsy Moth IV and circumnavigated the globe in 1967. Using the 20, 30, 40, 80 and 160m bands, contacts will be CW only.

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

JF1CCH and JA1FUF will be on the air from West Kiribati, OC-017, between 28 November and 4 December. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK. Their callsigns and QSL info will be announced nearer the event.

A number of European amateurs will travel to the Ivory Coast and sign TU5AX, TU5XV and TU5NK until 30 November. Look for them on the 6 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY.

The VU7AG expedition to Agatti Island, AS-011, in the Laccadive Islands, went on the air on 20 November. It is planned to have 3 stations running a minimum of 400W on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs will go via W4VKU.

Serge, UU5WW will be active holiday style as 3B8/UU5WW from Mauritius Island, AF-049, until 30 November. He will operate mainly CW on the 10 to 80m bands running low power into simple antennas. All of the QSOs will be confirmed via the bureau and Logbook of the World. Direct cards should be sent to K2PF via OQRS on Club Log.

Georg, DK7LX be active as FJ/DK7LX from St Barthelemy, NA-146, until 6 December. He will operate mainly CW and RTTY on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Look for VP2V/N3DXX to be active from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NA-023, until 29 November. QSL via NR6M.

Now the contest news

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

The CQ World Wide DX CW contest ends at 2359 today, 24 November, having run for 48 hours. It invariably keeps the CW portions of the HF bands really busy. In this contest there are always a number of DXpeditions to rarely activated countries, so even if you are not making a serious entry into the contest it’s a good event to be active in if you are working towards DXCC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC using all modes on the band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC, Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 80m Club Sprint takes place on Thursday the 28th from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is serial number and name.

To promote activity on 6m during the winter, the UK Six Metre Group has just introduced a new event to compliment their Summer E’s Contest. Called the Winter Marathon, it will be held over a two-month period, commencing on 1 December 2013 and ending on 31 January 2014. It’s a 100% Locator square chase, with no points for individual QSOs, but as well as normal QSOs you can claim the squares worked in other 6m contests over the period. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report and locator.

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

Several large and active sunspot regions were visible but through the week one by one they rotated off the solar disc and out of view. Only two new sunspot regions were numbered during the period. Solar activity reached high levels on the 19th due to the only X class solar flare to take place. M class solar flares occurred on four days when activity was moderate. They were all rated at the M1 level. The remaining days solar activity was low with a total of 75 C class solar flares taking place. Solar flux levels declined from 178 units on the 15th to 141 by the 21st. The average was 162 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 21st was 126 units, that's two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from C1 units on the 16th and the 17th to B6 by the 21st. The average was B8.4 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, however, on the 16th the daily Ap figure did reach 10 units, possible due to a very small coronal hole. The average was Ap 5 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 580 kilometres per second on the 16th to 340 by the 21st. Particle densities started the period at 23 particles per cubic centimetre but then declined to below 10 particles per cubic centimetre for the remainder of the period. Bz varied between minus 10 and plus 12 nanoTeslas on the 16th and on the quiet days between minus 2 and plus 3 nanoTeslas.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but a stronger solar flare could take place on some days. Solar flux levels should decline to the 120's around midweek but then start to rise again. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day provided that no coronal mass ejections head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz or slightly higher. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 36MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate of about 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1600 hours UTC.

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

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 17th. November 2013

November 15, 2013

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th November 2013


The news headlines:


  • Satellite comms to aid Philippines rescuers

  • RN3FI and KF5KDP back from ISS

  • Book now for final Centenary event

The International Telecommunication Union announced this week that it has deployed satellite communication equipment to the Philippines, to help re-establish communications vital for search and rescue in areas severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Amateur radio volunteers throughout the Philippine archipelago have been a primary communication link since the storm struck on 8 November, and their efforts continue. 7.095MHz is being used for post typhoon emergency relief and amateurs worldwide are being asked to keep that frequency clear for the time being. A number of amateurs have asked if they can provide direct help to the relief effort. According to Ramon J Anquilan, DU1UGZ of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association, financial donations, equipment and operators are all needed. Details and contact information are on the PARA website, www.para.org.ph.

The International Space Station Expedition 37 crew has returned safely to Earth, bringing with it the Olympic torch that flew to the ISS with the Expedition 38 crew. Amongst those returning with the torch were RN3FI and KF5KDP. The torch will be used to light the Olympic flame when the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia.

You can book your free place at the final, national, RSGB Centenary event on the RSGB website. A meeting will be held at Imperial College, London, in the Huxley Building, between 6.30pm and 9pm on 5 December. The meeting is open to all and attendance is free, including refreshments. The meeting will comprise two lectures on amateur radio technology. The Huxley Building is very close to several well-known London museums and could make a very enjoyable day out.

Amateur radio was featured on the front page of the BBC News website this week. Video journalist Neil Meads joined Chorley and District Amateur Radio Society for Castles and Stately Homes on the Air at Astley Hall, Lancashire. The report paints amateur radio in a very positive light and even mentions RAYNET and how amateurs are contributing to the international relief effort in the Philippines.

Steve Hartley, G0FUW and Martin Wheeler, G5FM have produced a new online resource, the Training and Assessment Guide, which can be found at www.rsgb.org/taguide. The guides describe the procedures that are to be followed for the provision of training and assessment as part of the RCF/RSGB scheme for people to become eligible for a UK amateur radio licence.

Graham Shirville, G3VZV was interviewed about the FUNcube-1 CubeSat on BBC Three Counties Radio this week. FUNcube is an educational spacecraft project with the goal of enthusing and educating young people about radio, space, physics and electronics. The launch is planned for 21 November at 0710UTC.

GM100RSGB, the special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary, will be operated today by Cockenzie and Port Seton ARC running SSB on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and10 metre bands. Monday to Wednesday sees Lothians RS operating SSB, CW and data on the 10 to 160m bands. On Thursday and Friday, Livingston and District ARS take over on 20 to 80m as well as 2m using SSB, CW and FM. Next weekend, Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club will be running HF, VHF and UHF using SSB, CW and data. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.

The First Class CW Operators Club awarded the Al Slater, G3FXB, Memorial Award to Bob Whelan, G3PJT, the President of the RSGB. The award is presented annually to an individual, group or society that has made an outstanding contribution to amateur radio. In particular the recipient will have shown exemplary and considerate operating standards together with a high level of encouragement, friendship and support to other radio amateurs.

The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter is now available. As well as the latest 5MHz news, there are also features on a variety of 5MHz topics. It's downloadable free from http://tinyurl.com/ouaalv6.

The K9W Wake Atoll Commemorative DXpedition has been approved for DXCC credit. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record.

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

Mayo Radio Rally takes place today, 17 November at the Welcome Inn in Castlebar, County Mayo. Doors open at 11am and admission is 5 euros. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy.

Fareham Radio Club is holding a grand junk sale on 20 November at Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club, Lower Quay PO16 0RA. Auctioning starts at 8pm and all items start at only 10 pence.

Radio Society of Harrow is holding a surplus equipment sale at the RAFA Windsock Club on 22 November at 8pm. More information from Linda, G7RJL on 020 8386 8586.

The CATS Radio and Electronics Bazaar will be held in the 1st Coulsdon Scout HQ, rear of the council car park, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Surrey on 24 November. Doors open at 10am and admission is £1. There will be a bring and buy plus catering facilities. Details by e-mail from Glenn, G4FVL, via chairman@catsradio.org.

On 24 November the Plymouth Radio Club Rally will be held in Harewood House, The Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. Details, by email, to pippa117@hotmail.co.uk.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Phoenix Radio Group and Mansfield and District ARS are putting GB2OIL on the air on 24 November to commemorate the opening of the first commercial deep well oilfield in the UK at Dukes Wood, Eakring in Nottinghamshire in 1943. Operation is planned for 7.165MHz throughout the event and on 14.265MHz or 18.165MHz if conditions permit.

From 18 to 20 November, Lothians Radio Society will be operating GM100RSGB from a location near Armadale in West Lothian. Operation will be on the HF bands with a QRO station and a 3 element beam at 20 metres high. Operation will be based upon propagation and operator availability. For details, contact Alan Masson GM3PSP on 0131 623 4580.

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

The Swaziland 3DA0ET DXpedition is scheduled to run from 18 to 27 November. A multi-national team of 12 operators will run 4 stations, covering all the HF bands and, possibly, 6m on CW, SSB and RTTY with a dedicated RTTY only station with two British operators. Chris, G8OPB and John, GW4SKA will be looking for the UK especially.

Armin, DK9PY is operating as FR/DK9PY from Reunion Island, AF-016, until 22 November. This is a holiday style operation using CW on the 10 to 40m bands. QSLs go via his home call.

Permission has just been granted by India’s Ministry of Telecommunications for a nine member team to activate the Laccadive Islands between 20 November and 10 December. The group plans to operate from Agatti Island, AS-011, using the callsign VU7AG with three high power stations running CW, SSB and RTTY.

Nick, G3RWF will spend about 10 days in Rwanda as 9X0NH from 19 November. He will be joined by Alan, G3XAQ who will sign 9X0XA. They intend to take part in the CQ WW CW Contest. QSLs for 5X1NH and 9X0NH go via G3RWF. QSLs for 9X0XA go via G3SWH.

Eric, F6ICX plans to activate Sainte-Marie, AF-090, until 15 December as 5R8IC. Operation will be holiday-style mainly on CW with some SSB, RTTY, and PSK. QSL via Logbook of The World and F6ICX either direct or via the bureau.

Dimitry, UT5UGR, pays a visit to Martinique, NA-107, from 18 to 26 November and plans to operate as FM/KL7WA and as TO7A during the CQ WW contest. QSL via UT5UGR via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230 on 19 November. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CQ World Wide DX CW contest takes place for the full 48 hours of the weekend of 23rd-24th and invariably keeps the CW portions of the HF bands really busy. In this contest there are always a number of DXpeditions to rarely activated countries, so even if you are not making a serious entry into the contest it’s a good event to be active in if you are working towards DXCC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

The number of sunspot groups increased from 4 to 9 visible groups by the end of the period. Several were produced large solar flares. Solar activity continued to reach high levels again this week. Two X class solar flares took place, one on the 8th and the other on the 10th. The number of M class flares was down on the previous week, along with the number of C class solar flares. Solar flux levels increased from 146 units on the 8th to 176 by the 14th. The average was 161 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 14th was 124 units, that's four units up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B6 units to C1 by the 14th and the average was B8.8 units. A coronal hole disturbance arrived on the 9th and lasted into the 11th with an Ap index of 22 units on the 9th and 18 on the 11th. The remaining days were quiet and the average was Ap 9 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 370 kilometres per second on the 8th to 660 on the 9th. Speeds then gradually declined to 340 kilometres per second by the end of the period. Particle densities were low every day. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 9 nanoTeslas during the disturbance and between minus and plus 3 on the quietest day. The HF bands remained in good shape though the effects of decreasing day length in the northern hemisphere are becoming more evident.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to continue at moderate levels on most days. There is also a small chance that activity could increase occasionally to high. Solar flux levels though are expected to decline slightly and be around the 130 units by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity could be unsettled today but the remainder of the week should be quiet provided no coronal mass ejections head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be above 30MHz with the darkness hour lows are expected to be around 9MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success of about 33MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 27MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0700 and 1200 with a peak around 0900 hours UTC.

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

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