GB2RS

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RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 9th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Watch an ISS contact on Friday

  • Turkey gets 60m and 6m

  • RSGB responds to CEPT Wireless Power report

An amateur radio contact with the International Space Station, facilitated by ARISS, is planned for Friday the 14th of December. The contact with Kenilworth school is scheduled for 1255UTC and will be streamed from around noon at https://live.ariss.org

Turkey’s telecom regulator, BTK, in a government gazette notice on the 29th of November, released two new amateur radio allocations. They are the new WRC-15 60m band, at 15W, plus an all mode 6m allocation of 50 to 52MHz, with a power limit of 75W.

The RSGB has made a submission to a CEPT regarding its Draft Report on Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles. This is the latest step as part of ongoing work by RSGB and IARU that is preparing for WRC-19 next autumn. A copy of the submission can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yavpsnx6

There will be no GB2RS Script for Sunday the 30th of December. The last news reading for 2018 will take place on Sunday the 23rd of December, with normal service resuming on Sunday the 6th of January. Individual Newsreaders may choose to run a net instead of the news during their slot on the 30th, though this must be under their own callsign, not GB2RS.

CWops is accepting nominations for the Advancing the Art of CW award for 2019. The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals, groups, or organisations that have made the greatest contribution toward advancing the art or practice of radio communications by Morse code. Nominations may be made by anybody, not limited to CWops members. Email nominations to awards@cwops.org with a copy to secretary@cwops.org. Nominations must be received by the 1st of March 2019. Details are under the About tab at https://cwops.org

Youngsters on the Air month, or YOTA, runs throughout December. The next clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be Southampton University Wireless Society on the 12th, Durham & District ARS on the 14th, then the RSGB’s National Radio Centre will be operating the station on the 15th and 16th. Young people are welcome at the NRC where they will have the opportunity to experience amateur radio using the state of the at GB3RS station at the NRC. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The RSGB is still taking bookings for the Introduction to Amateur Radio workshops running in association with Bletchley Park on the 15th and 16th of December. These workshops will give an introductory insight into the world of amateur radio, as well as a chance to see the RSGB’s National Radio Centre. So spread the word to any friends, family members, colleagues who might be interested in finding out more about our amazing hobby. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

The GB3LEX 10GHz beacon was switched off at 1450UTC on the 29th of November. This is to enable investigations to identify the cause of a fault reported by a local user. Details of its switch on will be announced when more is known of the fault.

The RSGB has released a video of the YOTA 2018 event held between the 8th and 15th of August in South Africa. The event welcomed 74 young radio amateurs from all over the world, including participants from seven African countries. This video, filmed and edited by Peter Barnes, M0SWN, shows the highlights of the event, and accompanies the official blog at https://rsgb.org/yota2018

Worked all Postcodes is an award scheme announced by radio dealer Moonraker. Participants need to work as many postcodes as possible using a maximum of 10W, any mode, on the 70, 144, 430 and 1296MHz bands. Wednesday will be activity night and awards will be available for different numbers of postcodes. This all starts on the 2nd of January 2019 so keep an eye on the Moonraker blog for more information.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet and Auction today, the 9th of December, at Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. More details of BVWS membership can be found at www.bvws.org.uk

We have no rallies in the diary for the weekend of the 15th and 16th of December.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Cezar, VE3LYC and Adrian, KO8SCA are scheduled to operate as TX0M from the new IOTA, Morane Atoll, OC-297, until the 10th of December. They will then change to TX0A from Maria Est Atoll, OC-113, from the 12th to the 16th of December.

Tom, N9EAW will be active holiday style as HQ9T from Roatan Island, NA-057, in Honduras, until the 18th of December. He will operate SSB and slow CW on the HF bands. QSL direct to N9EAW.

Ben, DL6RAI is on the air as P4/DL6RAI until the 27th of December. Activity is holiday style on the low bands, with some activity in various contests. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

4O18YOTA is on the air from Montenegro during December for Youngsters On The Air. QSL via OQRS.

E71YOTA is also operating during December as part of YOTA from Bosnia-Herzegovina. QSL via OQRS.

ES9YOTA, in Estonia, is another station that will get young people on the amateur bands. QSL via OQRS.

Members of the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society are QRV as ET3YOTA during December as part of YOTA. QSL via N2OO.

Special event station C4XMAS is on the air from Cyprus during the festive season. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IZ4AMS.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

The ARRL 10m Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2nd MGM Contest on the 6 and 2m bands takes place next weekend, the 15th and 16th of December, starting at 1400UTC and running for 24 hours. This is the second in the series of this brand new concept contest dedicated to MGM modes. The first leg in April was well received all over Europe. The now-popular FT8, MSK144, FSK441 and other MGM modes are all allowed in this contest, with the emphasis on DX and with multipliers for each new 4 character locator square. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator. Visit www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/ for more information.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 7th December.

We had a new sunspot group, Region 2729, appear this week, although it is a member of the weakening Solar Cycle 24. The region formed fairly quickly in the sun’s southwest quadrant and at the time of writing was producing only very minor B-Class solar flares. It is unlikely to do too much for the solar flux index though, which was at 70 on Friday morning.

The Independent reported that the Northern Lights might be seen in the UK on Wednesday the fifth, but this proved to be over-optimistic. Meanwhile, the Daily Express said the Earth could be “plunged into darkness, with the solar wind having the power to affect satellites, knocking out GPS navigation, mobile phone signals and satellite TV”. The reality is that the large solar coronal hole MAY cause the K index to rise, but the effects were more likely to be felt late on Friday the 7th and the weekend. Next week, NOAA has the K index at two, thanks to a lack of coronal holes, and the solar flux index at 68.

We’d like to reiterate that this is a good season for low-band propagation though, with 160 and 80 metres coming into their own. Even 40m can be open to longer distances, even before sunset, so do keep an eye on the lower bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The Es’Hail 2 satellite launch went well and the bird is slowly moving to its final geostationary slot at 26 degrees East. Stations are already reporting reception of the commercial beacons with amateur equipment so check social media and the AMSAT site for details.

The night of Thursday the 13th and morning of Friday the 14th of December sees one of the largest meteor showers of the year, the Geminids. With a zenith hourly rate of around 120 the shower can give excellent meteor scatter reflections on the low VHF bands up to 144MHz, and for EME-class stations even on 432MHz. 144MHz stations with a small Yagi and a quiet site should be able to work plenty of stations using the MSK144 digimode.

The weekend starting this period off will have windy and unsettled weather, so there may be no Tropo around. Active systems like these may provide a few heavy showers to add rain scatter to the propagation on offer. The glimmer of hope with the next week is likely to be the appearance of a weak ridge of high pressure until mid-week. The second half appears to be a slide back into low-pressure weather, especially in the northwest of Britain, although high pressure remains just to the east. This may allow paths across the North Sea for a few more days, but none of these indicative weather types look to be really stand-out affairs.

Meanwhile, the Moon is at minimum declination today and reaches apogee this Wednesday, so concentrate on meteor scatter rather than the short Moon windows and high losses that will characterise this week on EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 2nd 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Listen for YOTA stations

  • Intro to Amateur Radio workshops at Bletchley

  • High Altitude Balloon news

YOTA month has just started. The first club to activate the GB18YOTA callsign was Aberkenfig Radio Club in Bridgend on the 1st of December. Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, with help from Verulam ARC, will activate it on Monday the 3rd. On the 5th, it’s the turn of Swansea Radio Club, then Silcoates School on the 6th and Hilderstone Radio Club on the 8th. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The RSGB is still taking bookings for the Introduction to Amateur Radio workshops running in association with Bletchley Park on the 15th and 16th of December. These workshops will give an introductory insight into the world of amateur radio, as well as a chance to see the RSGB’s National Radio Centre. So spread the word to any friends, family members, colleagues who might be interested in finding out more about our amazing hobby. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

On the 6th of December, a team from Hi-impact on the Wirral will launch another high altitude balloon, in conjunction with pupils from St Bridget's Primary School in West Kirby. Once again they will launch from Welshpool. They are hoping as many local amateurs and SWLs as possible will assist in feeding the data into HABHUB, using the DL-FLDIGI software. They will be launching at around 10.45am using a licence-exempt transmitter with the callsign STBRIDGET on 434.650MHz USB and RTTY, 50Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 bits, no parity, 2 stop bits.

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention lecture videos are available on the Members’ section of the RSGB website. Don Greenbaum, N1DG talks about the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition and Bo Hansen, OZ2M lectures on P14, the digital mode for beacons, and why it is a success. To view the videos go to www.rsgb.org/videos

SpaceX has announced that the SSO-A, SmallSat Express mission carrying AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff is now scheduled to launch today, the 2nd of December, at 1831:47UTC. It was previously scheduled to launch on the 28th of November but was been postponed due to extreme high-altitude winds at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition to Fox-1Cliff, the SSO-A mission will carry several other amateur radio satellites, including FUNcube on ESEO, JY1-SAT, K2SAT, and ExseedSat. The launch window extends for approximately 30 minutes. Fox-1Cliff has uplinks at UHF and L-band, and downlinks on VHF.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet & Auction on the 9th of December at Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. More details of BVWS membership at www.bvws.org.uk

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Steff, HB9FXL will be in Cambodia until the 14th of December. Look for him with the callsign XU7AKB on SSB on all bands from 40 to 10m. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alain, F8FUA will be active as XT2BR from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso between the 2nd and 11th of December. He plans to operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via F8FUA either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World.

Several Russian operators will sign H7/homecall from Big Corn Island in Nicaragua until the 7th of December. Also look for YN4RRC from the same location. The IOTA reference is NA-013. QSLs for the H7 Russian operation go via RZ3FW.

Remo, HB9SHD is active as H44SHD from Uepi, in the Solomon Islands, OC-149, until mid-December. He operates FT8 and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Martin, PT2ZDX will be active PS6I from Itaparica Island, SA-023, until the 7th of December. QSL direct to F4BHW.

Now the special event news

SX60RAAG will be active until the 31st of December to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Radio Amateur Association of Greece. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or Club Log's OQRS. Logsearch and downloadable awards can be found at http://sx60raag.hamlogs.net/

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m contest ends its 40 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 2nd of December. It uses CW only. The exchange is just the signal report, although American and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Also today, the 144MHz Affiliated Societies contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL 10m Contest that runs from 0000UTC on the 8th to 12359UTC on the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 30th November.

The CQ Worldwide CW contest last weekend showed that you can work DX with zero sunspots. Reports show that stations as far west as Arizona and California, plus the Caribbean, were workable from the UK on 20 metres, plus there were reports of some limited F2-layer openings on 10 metres. Chris, G0DWV even reported an afternoon greyline opening to Japan on 80m using a four-square antenna array for the band.

The sun remained spotless last week and geomagnetic conditions were very settled, which no doubt helped the HF DX. The Kp index never rose above two and was often at zero for long periods. However, at the time this report was being prepared there was still an alert out for potentially-unsettled conditions on Friday 30th and across the weekend due to ongoing coronal hole activity.

NOAA predicts that next week will see the solar flux index pegged at 68 again. Conditions should be a little more settled geomagnetically with a maximum K index of three for most of the week. Conditions may be a little worse on Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole that will become Earth-facing again.

This is a good time to start to think about the lower bands. Eighty and 160 metres are starting to come into their own with the longer nights. If you have never worked the USA on 80m then it might be worth looking around UK sunrise. There is often transatlantic SSB activity around the top of the band, especially 3790-3800kHz, in the early morning.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is a distinctly unsettled look to the charts again for the next week. This means that Tropo will not be a big player and the only weather-related DX option is probably limited to some occasional rain scatter on the microwave bands. During the winter months, rain scatter is most likely around the coasts than inland. Last Tuesday’s SHF UK Activity Contest saw the west of the UK missing out as the rain moved east just before the contest started, leaving a disturbed troposphere in its wake. This highlights the fact that good propagation rarely waits for you if you only operate during contests. Rain scatter paths from East Anglia to the North remained good throughout.

Other options might include some aurora on VHF if we are lucky. ‘Space Weather Woman’ Doctor Tamitha Skov tweeted last week that we might reach solar storm levels at the beginning of December due to the coming fast solar wind. So be on the lookout for that.

There are three small meteor showers this week – use Google to find the Make More Miles on VHF website for details. And remember that the big Geminids shower is only two weeks away now.

Moon declination goes negative today, so Moon windows will be shorter and of lower elevation as the week progresses. Note that the Sun will be very close to the Moon on Friday.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 25th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd November 2018

The news headlines:

  • Share your love of radio

  • Black Friday book sale ends Monday

  • UKFM Group seeks opinions

Do you have friends or family members who are interested in getting into our amazing and varied hobby? Why not encourage them to book onto one of the RSGB’s brand-new workshops, An Introduction to Amateur Radio? Running in association with Bletchley Park, the workshops will take place at the RSGB’s National Radio Centre on the weekend of 15 and 16 December. They are open to anyone aged 17 and upwards. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

The RSGB Shop is having a Black Friday sale between now and the end of Monday, the 26th of November. Members, and non- Members alike, will find great bargains on a large number of books. Check out www.rsgbshop.org for full details.

The UKFM Group (Western) repeater group is conducting an online survey about the Stoke-on-Trent 2m repeater, GB3VT, and its mode, which changed to D-Star from FM some years ago. The results of the survey will provide insight into whether changing the repeater’s mode should be considered. The survey is open until the end of New Year’s Eve. Please visit www.ukfmgw.co.uk for more information and a link to the survey.

Reg, G8VHI is still looking for a second reader for the GB2RS news reading at 8.30pm on Sundays. He starts a new work shift system in mid January and will not be able to broadcast every week. Please email radcom@rsgb.org and we will forward the details to Reg.

YOTA month is almost upon us. The first two clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be Aberkenfig Radio Club in Bridgend on the first of December and Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, with help from Verulam ARC, on the 3rd. If you hear this station and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

Most of the 2017 RSGB Convention videos, which were on the Members’ area of the RSGB website, have now been released onto YouTube. Go to https://tinyurl.com/ybwm7fu6 to view all the videos available.

RSGB Members who have signed up to receive RSGB Membership communications should have received a free RSGB book shop discount voucher this week. If you would like to sign up for this and similar emails from the RSGB, go to www.rsgb.org/rsgbmailing

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

Today, the 25th, the Bishop Auckland ARC rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6DB. This venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. Doors open at 10.30am, 10.15am for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, accompanied under-14s free. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics and bring and buy stalls as well as catering and bar facilities. Talk-in is on S22. Contact John, G4LRG, on 01388 606 396.

Next Saturday, the 1st of December, is the annual ML&S Hog Roast & Open Day at ML&S Ltd, Wessex House, Drake Ave, Staines TW18 2AP. Sponsored by Yaesu, Icom & Kenwood, the store will have its usual low prices, lecture streams and manufacturers on site. There will be bacon butties for the early birds and a succulent pig in a bun for lunch. Doors open 8am and close at 4pm. For details, see hamradio.co.uk/hogroast

Also on the 1st of December is the South Lancashire ARC Winter Rally at Bickershaw Village Community Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Attractions include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, car parking, disabled facilities, catering and a licensed bar. Admission is £2.50 and the doors open at 9am. More from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Norman Stewart will be active in Colombia from the 30th of November to the 31st of December. Operation will be on the 80 to 10m bands as time and band conditions allow. He will use the callsign HK3/MM0BMG. Note that the numeric part of the HK3 callsign may vary depending on the region of operation within Colombia. QSL via eQSL or MM0BMG.

Cezar, VE3LYC and Adrian, KO8SCA will be active as TX0A from Maria Est Atoll, IOTA reference OC-113, and as TX0M from Morane Atoll, a new IOTA, OC-297, during the first half of December. DXCC wise, both these atolls count for French Polynesia. The tentative schedule is to operate from Morane on the 6th to the 10th of December and from Maria Est on the 12th to the 16th of December. Plans are to operate SSB and CW with two stations on the 40 to 10m bands. The logs will be uploaded to Club Log when the operators return home. QSL via Clublog’s OQRS or via VE3LYC direct or via the bureau.

DK7TF and DH6ICE will be active as 4S7DLG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, until the 6th of December. They will operate mainly SSB and FT8. QSL via Logbook of the World or via DK8ZZ, either direct or via the bureau.

Look for 4W/HL1AHS and 4W/DS3EXX from Timor Leste, OC-148, between the 26th of November and the 3rd of December. They will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of the World or direct to their home callsigns.

KN4EEI and AA7JV will be active as C6AGU from Water Cay in the Bahamas, NA-001, until the 3rd of December. They will operate CW and FT8 mainly on the 160, 80 and 40m bands. They plan to operate during the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest and the ARRL 160m contests.

Santa’s Radio Club will be active as OH9S between the 1st and the 8th December from Finnish Lapland, some 200km above the Arctic Circle. Activity will be mainly on the 80m to 6m bands on all modes, FT8 included. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau and Logbook of the World; direct cards via ClubLog’s OQRS are preferred, or via OH9MM.

Now the special event news

The Radio Club de Nice will be active as TM8AB between the 24th of November and the 12th of December to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first trans-Atlantic amateur two-way contact between Leon Deloy, F8AB and Fred Schnell, 1MO, on the 28th of November 1923.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The big contest this month, CQ Worldwide DX CW, ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 25th. Using all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Tuesday the 27th, the SHF UK Activity contest runs from 1930 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the Autumn Series of contest runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Starting on Friday at 2200UTC and ending on Sunday at 1600UTC, the ARRL 160m contest uses CW only. The exchange is just the signal report, although American and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Next Sunday, the 2nd of December, the 144MHz Affiliated Societies contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon begins on Saturday the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of November.

Last week saw relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions, thanks to a reduction in coronal hole activity. The Kp index never got higher than three, and was usually between zero and two for most of the week. We had a solar flux index high of 72 and a low of 69, which is in keeping with this point in the solar cycle. Speaking of which, a new sunspot with a reversed magnetic signature was spotted on 17th November. As it was at a high solar latitude we can probably associate it with the upcoming Solar Cycle 25. Unfortunately it quickly faded, but the spot marked the second such region in the Sun’s northern hemisphere in as many weeks, suggesting we could be in the early throes of the new solar cycle. Don’t get too excited though, as sunspot minimum is still predicted as being somewhere between September 2019 and early 2020.

Other news was the appearance of Sporadic-E on 10 metres. This gave many UK amateurs some relatively short skip contacts into southern Europe on November the 10th. On the 19th we also saw a short-lived F2-layer opening on 10 metres around lunchtime, which just goes to show it pays to watch the bands, and/or the near real-time graphs at Propquest.co.uk

Next week NOAA has the solar flux index around 68 with generally quiet geomagnetic conditions until Saturday the first, when the K index is predicted to rise to four or more. Therefore conditions for this weekend’s CQ Worldwide CW contest could be quite reasonable, at least on the bands up to and including 20 metres, with occasional higher band openings.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking a bit like a flat week for most VHF propagation modes, with high pressure parked to the north of Shetland. This leaves just a hint of Tropo, but confined to the far north across to Scandinavia. The rest of the country is under an easterly flow with a bit too much wind to allow any significant temperature inversions to develop.

The next changes will come as a large area of low pressure moves in from the Atlantic by mid-week, which will bring unsettled weather and remove any chance of Tropo, although it may introduce a possibility of some rain scatter on the microwave bands. Other options might include some aurora if we’re lucky and perhaps even some out-of-season Sporadic-E, like we saw on 10 metres on November the 10th with an opening to Corsica and southern France.

There is no meteor shower activity this week, but the December Geminids shower is not too far away!

With maximum declination today, the Moon is up for nearly 12 hours early this week, and with Monday’s perigee, path losses are at their lowest meaning it is a good week for EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 18th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th November 2018

The news headlines:

  • First geostationary amateur satellite success

  • New RSGB Convention videos on YouTube

  • Lithuania and Montenegro get 60m

On Thursday the 15th of November, a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle lifted off flawlessly at 2046UTC from Cape Canaveral. It was carrying the first amateur radio payload destined for geostationary orbit. About 32 minutes after launch, SpaceX reports the spacecraft was successfully deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit. Positioned at 25.5°E, the satellite will carry an amateur radio S-band and X-band payload capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand. The recent subject of an AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentation, Es’hail-2 carries two Phase 4 non-inverting amateur radio transponders operating in a 2.4GHz up and 10.45GHz down configuration. This offers a 250kHz bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations, plus an 8MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. You can see the talk at www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention talks are now on YouTube. Using drones to measure antenna radiation patterns by Jenny Bailey, G0VQH looks at how antenna radiation patterns are difficult to measure because antennas are typically high above the ground. A practical method of measuring the radiation field around an antenna could be with a drone. This video deals with the CAA restrictions, drone selection, payload and operation as well as measurement antenna design and plotting the results. The second video is An Introduction to SDRs and GNU Radio by Heather Lomond, M0HMO. She gives an overview of what is in an software defined radio, the types of tasks they can do for us and how to get started with them, as well as an introduction to some digital signal processing techniques such as IQ Modulation, Filters, DDS and FFT demodulation. Go to rsgb.org/videos, click on the RSGB Convention lectures section and then the RSGB 2018 Convention icon to view these videos.

A new WSJT-X release candidate, version 2.0.0-rc4, now is available, and the version 2.0 Quick Start Guide has been revised and extended. The developers urge anyone upgrading to the new version to read the release notes thoroughly. The upgrade requires users to change operator settings, so the software may not work straight out of the box when upgrading from previous versions. The latest version of WSJT-X also removes compatibility with earlier versions of the software in certain circumstances. Full information is at https://sourceforge.net/p/wsjt/mailman/message/36465968/

It is vital that we contribute to the debate around spectrum use. Former RSGB President Graham Murchie, G4FSG recently made a presentation on behalf of all UK radio amateurs to the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, a body that advises the government. He also led the subsequent discussion, supported by RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB and RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB. Topics included the shortage of practical skills in the radio arena, the social and economic aspects of spectrum use, and examples of where the RSGB is encouraging development of scarce skills and using them to good effect. You can see the presentations at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1811A

Lithuania and Montenegro are the latest countries active on 60m. Lithuania’s telecomms regulator has enabled the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz at 15W EIRP in its 2018 update to the country’s Frequency Allocation Table. The latest update to the Montenegro National Frequency Plan lists a new band at 5MHz, namely the WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP, which has been confirmed by national society, the Montenegro Amateur Radio Pool.

As from this Sunday, the 18th, at 1830UTC, Eddie, G0VVT will be reading GB2RS News on GB7ST slot 2 talk group 9, the DMR repeater in Stoke on Trent. At the same time, he will read the news on 433.525MHz and GB3SX, the 6m repeater in Stoke on Trent. Thanks go to Eddie and all the other news readers who give freely of their time to serve their fellow radio amateurs.

The RSGB has appointed Sara McGarvey, 2I0SSW into the new role of Youth Committee Champion. The role will include managing the UK attendance at the YOTA camp each year and YOTA Month every December.

The next Advanced Distance Learning course to be run by the Bath-based team is due to start on the first of February 2019, aiming for an exam in July or August. Course places are limited; the last four were completely filled well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact the Course Leader Steve, G0FUW, without delay, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

Now a date for next year’s diary. The RSGB AGM will be held on 27 April 2019 at Jurys Inn, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HQ. The Society’s accounts and reports for 2018 will appear in the April 2019 RadCom.

Three of ITU-R Study Group 5 Working Groups meet in Geneva between the 5th and the 16th of November. Working Party 5A deals with the Land mobile service above 30MHz, wireless access in the fixed service and the amateur and amateur-satellite services. Working Group 5A1, responsible for amateur matters is chaired by Dale, VK1DSH. The main topic is to develop a technical report to support the work for World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 Agenda Item 1.1, considering an allocation of the frequency band 50 to 54MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The Working Group consists of a mix of radio amateurs from all three IARU Regions, administrations from all over the world and other interested parties like meteorologists and military.

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

The Nevada Radio and Waters & Stanton Open Day takes place today, the 18th. It is at Nevada Radio, 1 Fitzherbert Spur, Portsmouth PO6 1TT, and doors are open from 10am to 4.30pm. Major manufacturers will be in attendance to demonstrate their latest radios. There’s a free burger and coffee, between 11am and 2pm, for every attendee. The main warehouse will be opened to customers to wander around and pick up many one-off deals on the day, or pick through a large selection of vintage and used radio equipment. See www.nevadaradio.co.uk for more details.

Also today, the 18th, the 41st CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar is at Oasis Academy, Homefield Road, Coulsdon CR5 1ES. There is free car parking; doors open at 10am, with admission being £1.50. You’ll find trade stands, special interest groups, refreshments and more. Contact Andy, G0KZT, on 0772 986 6600.

The Plymouth Radio Rally takes place today, the 18th, at Harewood House, Church Road, Plympton PL7 1NH. Doors open at 10.30am and there’s a £2 entrance fee. For details, email d.beck123@outlook.com.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the Bishop Auckland ARC rally will take place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6DB. This venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. Doors open at 10.30am, 10.15am for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, accompanied under-14s free. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics and bring and buy stalls as well as catering and bar facilities. Talk-in on S22. Contact John, G4LRG, 01388 606 396.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Nick, VE3EY will be active as 9Y4/VE3EY from Trinidad, IOTA reference SA-011, between the 19th and 26th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via VE3EY, Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Uwe, DL8UD will be active as HC5M from Cuenca in Ecuador between the 21st and 28th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. Outside the contest he will operate SSB and CW on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via DL8UD, direct or via the bureau.

A team will be active as J8NY from St Vincent, NA-109, between the 21st and 28th of November. They will operate all modes including FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands, and will participate in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via VE7NY and Logbook of the World.

Alex, K2BB and Pavel, UU0JR will be active as 5R8UM from Nosy Be, AF-057, Madagascar, between the 19th and 26th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. Plans are to use the 160 to 6m bands on CW, SSB, FT8 and JT65A. They will also give 6m EME a try. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Pierre, HB9AMO will be active as 5U9AMO from Niamey, Niger from the 20th of November to the 3rd of December. He will operate CW on the 160 to 10m bands, including participation in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via M0URX’s OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Rich, N0HJZ will be active as C6ARW from Grand Bahama, NA-080, between the 20th and the 28th of November. He will be competing in the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest; operation outside the contest will be on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL via Logbook of the World or direct to N0HJZ.

Audie, DU1ZDR and Gazelle, DU1ZDQ will be active as DZ1A/DU2 from Basco, Batan Island, OC-093, on the 19th and 20th of November. Main frequencies will be and 7055 and 14260kHz.

Now the special event news

We have no news of special events this week. Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 18th, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday the Autumn Series contest runs from 2000UTC to 2130UTC. This is the SSB leg and is on the 80m band. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The big contest this month is the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest over the 24th and 25th. Conditions are unlikely to be good, but at least CW is a narrowband mode so really weak signals should be more copyable than on other modes. It starts at 0000UTC on the 24th and runs until 2359UTC on the 25th. Using all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 16th of November.

The predicted bad geomagnetic conditions forecast for last weekend didn’t turn out to be quite so bad after all. The Kp index only rose to four on the tenth and then conditions settled again, despite a large coronal hole on the Sun’s surface. However, reports did come in of poor conditions on 80 metres on Monday evening during the RSGB 80m Autumn Series contest. A good guide to conditions for inter-G, or near vertical incidence skywave propagation, is always the ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk. The site showed that the critical frequency, which is the maximum frequency at which signals launched vertically into the ionosphere are returned, dropped as low as 3.16MHz on Monday evening. This so-called critical frequency, or FoF2, meant the ionosphere couldn’t support close-in 80 metre signals – they basically carried on out into space rather than being returned to Earth. This may be a trend we see in the evenings throughout the winter, especially with a solar flux index as low as 67 as we have been seeing. The only answer is to move to Top Band or make do with VHF and UHF.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with an SFI of around 68-70. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be more settled though with a maximum Kp index of two. This means daytime maximum useable frequencies are likely to be around 18 or 19MHz over a 3,000km path. There have been the occasional openings during the day up to 21 and even 28MHz, but these are likely to be fleeting and generally unreliable.

Night-time MUFs over a 3,000km path may struggle to reach 9-12MHz at times, with 40, or more likely 80 metres, being the highest reliable band for DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like a good Tropo spell coming up, especially over the eastern side of the country with some good paths across the North Sea to northern Europe and Scandinavia. This is due to a strong temperature inversion set up by a large area of high pressure over Scandinavia. As this high drifts away towards Iceland, the Tropo will decline and low pressure will take over for southern areas by mid-week. This could introduce some coastal showers, especially along the English Channel and over the southern North Sea, which may bring some chance of rain scatter for the microwave bands.

Today we should still be in the tail end of last night’s Leonid meteor shower so look for enhanced meteor scatter paths.

Moon declination goes positive tomorrow so the week will see increasingly long Moon windows and path losses will fall as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 11th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th November 2018

The news headlines:

  • India gets 60, 630 and 6000m

  • Join the Legacy Committee

  • Register for next Bath Distance Learning course

The Indian Government’s Telecommunications regulator has published a 2018 Update to the Indian National Frequency Plan, effective from the 25th of October. It lists new amateur bands at 5MHz, 472 and 136kHz. In more detail that means 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz as Secondary users with 15W EIRP. 472 to 479kHz is also as a Secondary user, this time with 1W EIRP. Finally, there’s 135.7 to 137.8kHz, again as a Secondary user with 1W EIRP. The regulations follows current ITU criteria for these bands.

The RSGB Legacy Committee considers applications to the Legacy Fund for project funding and makes recommendations to the Board. One of the current members is coming towards the end of his term of office and the RSGB is looking for a new Member to take his place. Most applications for funding are discussed via email exchanges and three meetings are arranged each year; these are generally carried out via Skype. Full information on the volunteer role can be found at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1111A

The next Advanced Distance Learning course to be run by the Bath-based team is due to start on the first of February 2019, aiming for an exam in July or August. The team will then look at the new syllabus and so there will be no Bath Distance Learning courses for 6 to 12 months. The course is free but students must provide their own textbook, calculator and arrange their own exam when the time comes. Guidance is provided by the course team. A £40 deposit is required to secure a place on the course, but this is refunded to those who complete the training. Deposits from students who did not complete the course, and generous donations from students who did, have so far raised over fourteen thousand pounds for charities like the RCF, British Wireless for the Blind and RAIB. Course places are limited; the last four were completely filled well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact the Course Leader Steve, G0FUW, without delay, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

At the IARU R1 interim meeting in Vienna 2016 it was agreed to reorganise the VHF Handbook to make it more readable for all interested users. IARU Region 1 has now made version 8.12 of the VHF Handbook available as a free PDF download. You can now download it from https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1111B

Starting on Monday the 12th and running until Sunday the 18th, the Essex CW Activity Week is a friendly, non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. Whilst the object is to work as many radio amateurs as possible in a week, it is hoped that QSOs will go beyond just an exchange of RST and become a CW chat for as long as you wish. Listen out for the club callsign GX1FCW, which will also be on the air during the activity week. The exchange is signal report and name for non members of the group. Members add their membership number. For full details, just search for Essex CW ARC.

More videos from the AMSAT-UK Colloquium part of the RSGB Convention, held at Milton Keynes on the 13th and 14th of October, are now available on the AMSAT-UK YouTube Channel. Among the presentations is one by Graham Shirville, G3VZV and Dave Crump, G8GKQ about the amateur radio transponders on the satellite Es’hail-2, which is expected to be launched into a geostationary orbit soon. To see what’s available, go to www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

December is Youngsters on the Air month around the world and details of stations in the UK who will be operating GB18YOTA will be announced soon. The idea for this event is to show the amateur radio hobby to young people and to encourage youngsters to be active on the amateur bands. As part of YOTA month, Bob W9XY and Ken K4ZW will travel to Ethiopia to team up with the ET3AA club at the Addis Ababa University's Institute of Technology. You can let them know what bands and modes you need ET on by taking a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/982K53W

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend of the 10th to 11th of November.

On Saturday the 17th the RADARS Traditional Radio Rally will be at St Vincent de Paul’s, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Road (A680), Norden, Rochdale, OL12 7QR. Doors open to the public at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50 with those under 12 years free. There is a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders and amateur radio sellers. Refreshments will be available, including bacon and sausage butties. Details from Robert, M0NVQ on 0777 811 3333.

The Nevada Radio & Waters & Stanton Open Day will take place on the 18th November. It is at Nevada Radio, 1 Fitzherbert Spur, Portsmouth PO6 1TT, and doors are open from 10am to 4.30pm. Major manufacturers will be in attendance to demonstrate their latest radios. There’s a free burger and coffee, between 11am to 2pm, for every attendee. The main warehouse will be opened to customers to wander around and pick up many one-off deals on the day, or pick through a large selection of vintage and used radio equipment. www.nevadaradio.co.uk has more details.

Next Sunday, the 18th, the 41st CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held at Oasis Academy, Homefield Road, Coulsdon CR5 1ES. There is free car parking; doors open at 10am, with admission being £1.50. You’ll find trade stands, special interest groups, refreshments and more. For more information contact Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

The Plymouth Radio Rally takes place on the 18th at Harewood House, Church Rd, Plympton PL7 1NH. Doors open at 10.30am and there’s a £2 entrance fee. David has all the details via email to d.beck123@outlook.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Ronald, PA3EWP, Martin PA4WM and Tom, GM4FDM will be on Tonga, IOTA reference OC-049, between the 13th and 27th of November. Operating as A35EU, they plan to operate three stations and use vertical antennas including VDAs using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct using OQRS Clublog, Logbook of The World or to Tom, GM4FDM via the bureau.

Dom, M0BLF, Rob, M0VFC and Dan, M0WUT will be active as VP2MUW from Montserrat, NA-103, from the 17th to the 23rd of November. They will operate SSB and CW on the 80 to 10m bands with three stations. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, direct or via the bureau.

Braco, E77DX will be active on the 160 to 10m bands as 8Q7DX from the Maldives, AS-013, until the 25th of November. QSL via Logbook of The World or OE1EMS.

A team will operate ZY6V from Santa Barbara Island in the Abrolhos Archipelago, SA-019, between the 14th and 19th of November. They will operate SSB, CW and FT8 in Fox & Hound mode on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World or direct to PY6HD.

Now the special event news

Many special event stations will be on the air to commemorate Armistice Day, today, the 11th of November. Listen out for GB1FB operated by members of the Museum of Communication Burntisland ARC and assisted by members of Glenrothes & District ARC. Poldhu ARC will be operating GB100MPD. Grey Point Fort ARS will operate GB1WWC and GB0GPF. The Radio Officers’ Amateur Radio Society will operate GB100WWI. The HMS Belfast Radio Group will operate GB100ARM. Chippenham & District ARC will be active with GB1WWI and Coventry ARS will be operating GB1BNS. Details are usually available on QRZ.com.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a UK special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 24 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 11th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday the Autumn Series contest runs from 2000 to 2130UTC using data only on the 80m band. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday is the IRTS Evening Counties contest from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Stations in EI and GI also send their county.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 17th the Second 1.8MHz contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

Next Sunday, the 18th, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and Locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 9th of November.

The large geomagnetic disturbance that we predicted last week actually hit the Earth on Sunday evening and Monday morning, as the plasma cloud was moving slower than experts predicted. Nevertheless, its effects were dramatic, pushing the Kp index to six and sparking widespread visible aurora, even from parts of the UK.

The geomagnetic storm hit HF conditions on Monday with Propquest.co.uk showing maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 12 to 13MHz in the morning. Things did improve as the week went on, but conditions remained unsettled with the Kp index still hitting four on Thursday the 8th.

It would be good to be able to give you better news for next week, but another very large Earth-facing coronal hole on the Sun on Thursday means we can probably expect more unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th. NOAA agrees and predicts the Kp index could reach at least four, with the threat of suppressed maximum useable frequencies on HF. The better news is that conditions may then improve and we may see better HF propagation from Wednesday onwards.

There have been some HF highlights, however. Ron, G3SVW reports working Brian, 9J2BO in Zambia on 15 metres last Sunday, and Andy, M0NKR reports Andy, 5R8UP in Madagascar being active on 80m, which is a long haul from the UK for early November.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend we are still under the influence of the large area of low pressure just to the northwest of Britain. This means a mild and rather breezy pattern of southwesterly winds and scattered showers, some likely to be heavy and perhaps thundery. Rain scatter will therefore be a possibility for stations on the microwave bands.

High pressure remains to the east of the UK and therefore Tropo will be only an occasional presence for the eastern side of the country, across the North Sea for example. This leaves us with the possibility of aurora due to disturbed geomagnetic conditions; the tip here is to follow the Kp index, which is a measure of how disturbed the Earth’s magnetic field is and thus indicates the prospects for aurora. Values greater than five or six should start to attract your interest.

As well as the smaller Northern Taurids meteor shower on Monday, the Leonids reach their peak next Saturday, and with a zenithal hourly rate, or ZHR, of 15 it’s one of the largest showers of the year. The Leonids occasionally produce a meteor storm with a ZHR of more than 1,000. The last one was 2001, but that’s not predicted this year. Look for enhanced reflections from today on the lower VHF bands.

The Moon is at minimum declination today and apogee on Wednesday so a poor week for EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 4th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th November 2018

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting reports available

  • ARRL opposing possible charger QRM

  • Italians gain 60m allocation

The reports, presentations and minutes from the recent RSGB Spectrum Forum annual meeting are now available. The material provides a unique overview, as a wide range of topics from EMC, HF to VHF and microwaves is covered from both the Society and Nationally Affiliated Groups. This year there was a particular focus on the latest state of preparations for the 2019 World Radio Conference and developments in new digital modes. The reports are online at www.rsgb.org/sfmeeting2018

The RSGB, in common with the whole of the International Amateur Radio Union, IARU, has serious concerns about wireless power transmission. Studies of its impact in the residential environment suggest that there are likely to be harmful levels of harmonic interference to existing radio services such as amateur and broadcast. RSGB EMC Chair Dr Martin Sach, G8KDF joined the IARU team at the recent CISPR standards organisation meeting in Korea to represent our concerns. Work is also underway in CEPT and ITU, where IARU is representing the concerns of the amateur service. As yet there is no reconciliation of the positions of the wireless power transfer device manufacturers and the radio services likely to be affected. Many of the issues are set out in a consultation document from CEPT that can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0411A

The Italian Minister of Economic Development has approved a Decree updating Italy’s national frequency plan to allocate the 60m band to amateurs. The range 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz will be available, with a maximum EIRP not to exceed 15W. The new rules should be in effect from the 3rd of November 2018.

GB2RAF, the permanent special event station based at the RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum will be off the air from the 10th of November 2018 to March 2019 due to the Museum’s winter closure.

The VP6D Ducie Island DXpedition was obliged to cease operations a day earlier than planned due to an expected worsening in landing conditions. Their final contact count was 121,136, with some 67,686 on CW. There were 28,736 on SSB and 24,714 on digital modes.

The Bank of Lithuania has released a commemorative gold €5 coin featuring the country’s LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSAT-1 amateur radio satellites. The two CubeSats were launched to the International Space Station in January 2014, and deployed on the 28th of February. LituanicaSAT-1 carried a FM transponder and a camera, while LitSat-1 had a linear SSB/CW transponder developed by William, PE1RAH. The face of the gold coin features the Lithuanian coat of arms as a star constellation, with LituanicaSAT-1 and LitSAT-1 on the obverse.

Still on the subject of satellite operation, the Yasme Foundation has announced a significant grant to Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, ARISS, in support of the effort to upgrade amateur radio equipment and systems on the space station. ARISS mounted a fund-raising campaign earlier this year to cover the costs of its next generation Interoperable Radio System, which will replace the aging and intermittent ISS amateur radio gear now in space. The Yasme Excellence Award is presented to individuals and groups who, through their own service, creativity, effort and dedication, have made a significant contribution to amateur radio.

The national society of Belgium, UBA, reports radio amateurs in Belgium can use the OP prefix during November as part of the 100th anniversary of WWI commemorations. The addition of the letter P is for Poppies. So those who hold a Belgian licence can use the prefix OP instead of the standard prefix ON. This does not apply to those holding short callsigns, or affect licenses issued by other countries.

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

The Bushvalley Amateur Radio Club annual radio rally takes place today, the 4th of November, at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry BT49 9DF. Doors open from 11am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10.50am. Admittance is £3. There will be an auction, trade stands, a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and Special Interest Groups. A talk-in station will be on the air. Catering is available on site. Contact Jason Smyth, MI3UIW, 07793 314 313 for more details.

There are no rallies in the diary for the weekend of the 10th to 11th of November.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

In international team will be active as 8P9AE from Barbados, IOTA reference NA-021, on the 6th to the 20th of November. They will operate three stations on CW, SSB and digital modes on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL within 6 months via DL7DF, direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World.

Col, MM0NDX, Eric, EL2EF and Jonathan, MM0OKG plan to be active as EL2EL/4 from southern Liberia between the 5th and 9th of November. They plan to reach Telengbe Island, AF-111, which is a new IOTA, before sunset on the 5th. Main activity will be on the 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15m bands SSB, with some CW and possibly FT8. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World or via M0SDV.

Andy, OE7AJH will be active holiday-style, mainly during his morning and evening hours, as 5R8UP from the main island of Madagascar, AF-013, until the 13th of November. He will operate CW and SSB on the 40 to 10m bands, and on 80m depending on the antenna he has. QSL via OE7AJH, either direct or via the bureau.

Special event station IY1EY will be active until the 31st of December from Loano to commemorate the experiments conducted by Marconi from his yacht Elettra in the Ligurian Sea between 1919 and 1936. Expect activity on all bands CW and SSB. A special QSL card is available via IK1QBT.

VI100PEACE, as well as State and Territory special event callsigns VI#PEACE and VI#LWF, for Lest We Forget, will be active until the 11th of November to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice agreement that ended the hostilities in World War I. QSLs will be online only, see www.silvertrain.com.au/

Now the special event news

Leading up to next week’s Armistice Day commemorations, many special event stations will be on the air.

North Queensferry Heritage Trust, with assistance from GM3MDX, is to operate on 40m and 20m on various days from the 4th of November to the 1st of December from the fisherman’s hut next to the North Queensferry Light Tower. This new facility aimed at attracting a younger audience who will be able to participate in WW1 themed code breaking and signal flag puzzles. The operation will be undertaken by members of the Museum of Communication Burntisland ARC, assisted by members of Glenrothes & District ARC.

The Royals Signals Museum based at Blandford will operate GB100RSM on the 6th and 7th of November.

Poldhu ARC will be operating GB100MPD. MPD was the callsign used at the Poldhu Radio station during the First World War. At the outbreak of war, the station sent a message to all merchant ships informing them that hostilities then existed with Germany. On Armistice Day, 11th November 1918, Poldhu again sent coded messages to merchant ships using the call sign MPD to advise them that hostilities had ceased. The station will be on air from the 9th to the 13th of November.

Grey Point Fort ARS will operate GB1WWC from Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus on the 9th of November. In addition to this, Grey Point Fort ARS members will also be operating from their station address at Grey Point Fort using GB0GPF. More information can be obtained on QRZ.com.

The Radio Officers’ Amateur Radio Society will operate GB100WWI to remember the thousands of seafarers who sacrificed their lives during this conflict, including the hundreds of Wireless Operators who were lost at sea. The station will be operated by a team of ex-Marine and Coast Station Radio Officers from the 10th to the 12th of November, using CW only, on all amateur bands. QSLs via eQSL and Logbook of The World only.

The HMS Belfast Radio Group will operate GB100ARM to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918. The callsign will be active until the 28th of November. QSL details are available on QRZ.com

During the month of November, Chippenham & District ARC will be active with GB1WWI to commemorate the ending of World War 1. Activity will take place from the Chippenham & District ARC’s new QTH at Kington Langley Village Hall.

TM5PAX will be active on all bands and modes until the 11th of November for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. QSL via F5JSQ, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Over the weekend of the 11th of November, Coventry ARS will be operating GB1BNS to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day from Bedworth Ex Servicemen's Club. Bedworth has continuously held its Armistice Day parade on the 11th of November since 1921.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a UK special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The Marconi CW Contest on 2m ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 4th. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character Locator square.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 1.8MHz AFS Club Calls contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC using CW and SSB. The exchange is signal report, serial number and your club information.

Next weekend, from 0000UTC on the 10th to 2359UTC on the 11th, the WAE DX RTTY contest takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 2nd of November.

Quieter geomagnetic conditions and a better autumn ionosphere meant HF conditions were quite good this week. GB2RS listeners reported plenty of DX activity during CQ Worldwide last weekend, including openings on 21 and 28MHz at times. While HF propagation was never going to be as good as it is at sunspot maximum, it does show that the higher bands can and do open with no sunspots, albeit sometimes briefly.

For the next week the sun is predicted to remain pretty spotless, with a solar flux index of around 68-70. Once again it will be the absence or presence of the effects of solar coronal holes that will drive HF propagation.

As you read or hear this report, the Earth is due to be subject to a geomagnetic storm, thanks to fast-moving solar particles from a large coronal hole that became Earth-facing on Thursday. This is predicted to send the Kp index to five on or by Saturday the 3rd. After an initial potential positive phase, where HF conditions may get better for a short time, the negative main phase will likely see maximum useable frequencies decline and auroral-type conditions predominate. The good news is that geomagnetic conditions should improve by Wednesday or Thursday. Beyond that, it is more difficult to predict.

Do make the most of the better autumn HF conditions when you can. Steve, G0KYA reports that his 20m 5W WSPR signal was received from as far away as Japan, Australia, Reunion Island, Antarctica, Alaska, San Francisco and Brazil this week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

With low pressure to the west of Britain, it will be a relatively mild southerly flow of air across the British Isles during the next week. Tropo does not appear to be a major feature, since we are nearer to low pressure than high pressure. The better chances are more likely over the eastern side of the country and down into France or across the southern North Sea. The southerly weather pattern may have some areas of heavy rain moving north at times, so there is a possibility of some rain scatter on the microwave bands.

There are a few standard weather rules for getting the most out of your shack time; such as conditions are usually more favourable for Tropo overnight or during the morning, especially on occasions when fog is slow to clear. Heavy rain showers are most likely around the coast, so look for the brighter echoes on rain radar displays for rain scatter possibilities. Lastly, there is always a chance of aurora and meteor scatter to liven the VHF bands, so watch the band reports and clusters to stay ahead of the game.

The Moon’s declination goes negative again on Monday and its distance from the Earth is increasing, so EME path losses will rise and Moon windows will shorten as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 28th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th October 2018

The news headlines:

  • NRC opening 7 days a week

  • Register for GB18YOTA

  • Contesting consultation ends

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will now be open seven days a week, starting from this week. Thanks to all the volunteers that make this possible. RSGB Members can download a free admission voucher to Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

Last call for applications to host GB18YOTA during YOTA Month this December has been extended to Sunday the 4th of November. Clubs, groups and individuals from all over the country are invited to set up stations and host the callsign over the 31 days of December. Please see www.rsgb.org/yota-month for further information and application details.

The RSGB VHF Contesting Consultation closes at midnight tonight, the 29th of October. Go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VHFCC2018 to take part in the survey.

International delegates were pleased to learn that an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station plan is under consideration by NASA’s Deep Space Gateway program. NASA Gateway Utilization Manager informed those attending the annual ARISS International in-person meeting that ARISS is the only non-commercial entity whose ideas are under study by the program. The ARISS plan focuses on amateur radio communication, including optical communication channels, as well as equipment development, team cooperation, education and public outreach.

Mexico’s IARU member-society is asking radio amateurs to avoid 7.060, 7.130 and 14.120MHz, where hurricane emergency nets are operating in Spanish. Mexico’s National Emergency Net activated the nets earlier this week. Also, storm Yutu is said to be the strongest storm on record to hit the Northern Mariana Islands, home to about 55,000 people. Four ARRL HF/VHF Ham Aid kits in Guam are available for use in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Another seven kits are positioned in Hawaii. Radio amateurs in Guam and Hawaii are attempting to get in touch with amateurs who can assist on Saipan. Amateur radio teams that had planned to operate in the CQ World Wide DX SSB Contest from Saipan this weekend have cancelled their trips.

UKube-1, the UK Space Agency’s first CubeSat, was launched into space in July 2014. It completed its successful nominal mission fourteen months later in September 2015. Since that date, the FUNcube-based payload has continued to provide a transponder for use by radio amateurs and, additionally, 30+ channels of real time telemetry for STEM outreach and for use by schools and colleges. These downlinks have operated continuously on the 145MHz band and more than 450 stations have supported this ongoing activity. They have uplinked the telemetry data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse, where it is stored and available for research. Just before midnight on Thursday the 18th of October, the Warehouse received a data frame from KB6LTY in California. This is the last record of signals being received from the spacecraft and since that date, careful observations have failed to detect any signals from either of the transmitters carried by the spacecraft. An early analysis of the last telemetry received has not shown any obvious anomalies, but this work continues. Although it is obviously sad for both the amateur and educational worlds to lose such a valuable resource, both AO73-FUNcube 1 and EO88-Nayif 1 continue to operate nominally and JY1SAT and ESEO are expected to launch before the end of 2018.

Two lectures from the RSGB’s 2018 Convention are now available for RSGB Members to view on the RSGB website. Neil Smith, G4DBN speaks on FT8 Performance Secrets and William Eustace, M0WJE on Microwave Engineering – From Death Rays to Dinner. These join a wide selection of videos on the RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/videos and then select RSGB Convention Lectures.

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

On the 3rd of November, the VERON Ham Radio Convention takes place in The Netherlands. Open from 9.30am to 5pm, entry is €9 and on-site car parking is €5. Full details, in English, can be found at https://dvdra.veron.nl/english/visitors/

The West London Radio & Electronics Show, otherwise known as the Kempton Rally, that was scheduled for the 4th of November has been cancelled.

The Bushvalley Amateur Radio Club annual radio rally takes place on the 4th of November at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry BT49 9DF. Doors open from 11am to 4pm with disabled visitors gaining access at 10.50am. Admittance is £3. There will be an auction, trade stands, a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and Special Interest Groups. A talk-in station will be on the air. Catering is available on site. Contact Jason Smyth, MI3UIW, 07793 314 313 for more details.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Janusz, SP9FIH will be active again as E44WE from Palestine until the 11th of November, including a single-band entry on 20m in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. He will operate SSB, some RTTY and FT8 on the 20, 17 and 15m bands, and possibly on 160m. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or via his home callsign.

Lee, DS4NMJ is active as DT8A from the King Sejong Station on King George Island, South Shetlands, IOTA reference AN-010, until the 18th of December. He operates FT8, CW and SSB on the 40, 20, 17, 15 and 12m bands. QSL via HL2FDW and Logbook of the World.

Peter, DC0KK will be active as 4S7KKG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, from the 1st of November to the 1st of April 2019. He operates mainly CW and digital modes. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World; OQRS on Club Log.

Madhu, VU3NPI and others will be active AT4DK from Pamban Island, AS-173, on the 3rd and 4th of November. The team plans to operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via the operator’s instructions.

Now the special event news

The HMS Belfast Radio Group has obtained the special callsign GB100ARM to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended fighting in World War I on the 11th of November 1918. The callsign will be active from the 1st to the 28th of November 2018 from the Bridge Wireless Office onboard HMS Belfast. QSL details are available on QRZ.com or via the group’s QSL manager, Marc Litchman, G0TOC, via email to g0toc@gb2rn.org.uk

During the month of November, Chippenham & District ARC will be active with the special callsign GB1WWI to commemorate the ending of World War 1. Activity will take place from the Chippenham & District ARC’s new QTH at Kington Langley Village Hall.

Special callsign TM5PAX will be active on all bands and modes until the 11th of November for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. QSL via F5JSQ, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the battle that marked the end of World War I on the Italian Front, II3BVV will be on the air until the 4th of November. Main activity will be on the 80, 40 and 20m bands, using SSB, CW and digital modes. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau and eQSL.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a UK special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

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

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m event runs from 2000 to 2100UTC using CW only. The exchange is your 4 character Locator, for example IO85.

Next weekend it’s the Marconi CW Contest on 2m from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 26th of October.

We were blessed with quieter geomagnetic conditions this week. And despite the solar flux index only being around 70, a more settled ionosphere meant there was DX to be had. The 6G’s VK9XG DXpedition to Christmas Island off the north-west of Australia has been worked on many bands from the UK, including 160 and 80m. As well as RTTY, SSB and CW, it is also running FT8 as the primary data mode in ‘fox and hound’ configuration, so there is a chance of a contact for lesser-equipped stations too. VP6D on Ducie Island, east of Pitcairn Island, is also active and it too is using FT8 as well as other modes. So generally, HF conditions have been better this week, helped too by the more advantageous Autumnal conditions.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be pegged at 68. Geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled on Monday the 29th due to a small coronal hole, but the rest of the week should be better with a maximum K index of 2.

Make the most of the better conditions as the prediction is that we are in for a geomagnetic disturbance across the weekend of the 3rd of November, and into the beginning of the following week, due to recurrent coronal hole activity on the Sun. This is likely to be due to the return of a coronal hole that pushed the K index up to five on the 7th of October, and which has taken around 27 days to rotate back into view.

And don’t forget that this weekend is the SSB leg of the CQ Worldwide contest, when there will be many high-powered and well-equipped stations on the band.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some very good tropo for those in the south and west of the UK last week, the weather is changing. British Summer Time has ended and we see a cold northerly airstream flooding down across the country. This is also a signal that the high-pressure system and its tropo of last week are gone, now replaced by windy, showery-type weather. In terms of propagation weather, there could be some useful rain scatter on the microwave bands as heavy showers develop in some coastal regions. Some models do suggest that there may be a hint of high pressure later in the week, but it’s not looking like a very strong contender. Tropo chances could improve though, as the week progresses.

While it will be a quiet week for weather-related propagation, there’s always aircraft scatter on the microwave bands to keep the DX interesting. The digimode JT9F Fast seems to be the best for these bands if fast CW or repetitively chanting callsigns and reports on SSB is not your thing.

The Moon reaches maximum declination on Monday and perigee on Wednesday with lowest path losses meaning a good week for EME.

There are no meteor showers this week, so look for the usual enhancement around local dawn for the best meteor scatter contacts as our side of the Earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 21st 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st October 2018

The news headlines:

  • Call for IARU R1 input

  • RSGB Convention Construction Competition winners

  • First of six new IOTA groups announced

The RSGB has opened a call for inputs as part of its preparation and consultation process for the 2019 IARU Region 1 Interim Meeting that will be held next April. Topics on HF, VHF/Microwave and EMC matters will be considered. Whilst suggestions are welcome at this stage, full Draft papers are required by December, ahead of the mid-January submission deadline. The RSGB IARU Forum has threads available for both this 2019 event and broader WRC-19 matters at http://forums.thersgb.org/ Further background is also available under Consultations in the Publications & Archives tab on the main RSGB website, www.rsgb.org 

Congratulations to all the category winners in the RSGB Convention Construction Competition 2018, sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons. Antony Watts, M0IFA won the Innovation section for a series of tools to help people learn to code and understand radio. Andrew Vare, G4XZL was awarded a Technical Merit for his approach to measuring noise. The Camb Hams G3PYE team was awarded the Judges’ Merit for building their Flossie 2 communications vehicle and for using it to serve the community. The Construction section and overall winner of the Pat Hawker G3VA trophy was Dean Brice, G0UIL, from the RAIBC, for his SDR transceiver. The entries were judged by Bo, OZ2M, Sam, G4DDK and Stewart, G3YSX.

Islands on the Air has announced the first of six new IOTA groups. The new groups cover a Swedish/Finnish joint sovereignty island and groups in North America, Asia, and Oceania. All new groups have provisional numbers. This means they will need to be confirmed by a thousand-plus QSO operation that takes place after the 14th of October 2018, as well as meeting the other normal validation requirements. Only after confirmation of the number will credit for past operations be considered. The provisional new groups are Kataja Island, EU-192P; Morane Atoll in the Tuamotu Islands, OC-297P; Puerto Rico Coastal Islands, NA-249P; Yakutat County Group, NA-250P; Bering Sea Coast East group AS-205P and Kuril’skiye Islands North, AS-204P. See www.iota-world.org for more information.

We were saddened to learn that John Crabbe, G3WFM, became a Silent Key in the early hours of Thursday the 18th. He volunteered for many years as Curator of the RSGB Museum and Library at Potters Bar, and was also the RSGB Shack Manager. A longer tribute can be found on the RSGB website via www.rsgb.org/sk

The RSGB Contest Committee’s VHF Contesting Consultation closes at midnight on Sunday the 29th of October. Go to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VHFCC2018 to help set the rules for 2019.

Last weekend’s RSGB Convention 2018 was a great success, with over 600 visitors. Put the dates for next year in your diary: the Convention will run from the 11th to the 13th of October 2019. We video many of the lectures and then release them throughout the year, first to Members via our website, then publicly on YouTube after a while to help advertise the Convention and to generate wider interest in amateur radio. We have started with two important videos today, straight to YouTube. In the video of Tim Duffy, K3LR, giving his keynote speech The K3LR Super Station, he talks about his famous contest station but also, as he puts it, focused on ‘keeping ham radio fun and alive’. In the second video, the President of IARU Region 1, Don Beattie, G3BJ asks So what has the IARU ever done for us? In his talk, he describes what IARU is doing, how the challenges of representing amateur radio globally are changing, and what the world would be like without IARU. You will find all of our videos at www.rsgb.org/videos/ Follow the links to RSGB Convention lectures and then 2018 for the latest ones, with more to follow.

November’s RadCom, which should be with most Members by now, leads with an article about VDSL2 radiation and EMC analysis software tools. Supported by the RSGB Legacy Fund, Dr Martin Sach, G8KDF has developed EMC analysis software tools for the RSGB EMC Committee to use when supporting Members. The software, Lelantos, has been developed to identify and measure the relative strengths and spectrum of VDSL2 RFI and desired signals. The development of this software reflects the RSGB’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing radio amateurs’ ability to use the radio spectrum, as outlined in our Strategy 2022. The EMC Committee will now experiment with Lelantos, which is effectively still in its infancy, in order to refine it and realise its full potential. The Committee will then consider how the software may best be deployed in the wider community.

This year the RSGB has secured the callsign GB18YOTA for the December YOTA month event. Clubs, groups and individuals from all over the country are invited to set up stations and host the callsign over the 31 days of December. Please see www.rsgb.org/yota-month for further information and application details. For any questions, email yota.month@rsgb.org.uk. The deadline for applications is Monday the 29th of October.

The UK Six Metre Group is holding its 2018 AGM today, the 21st, at 4pm. The meeting is held by web conference and all members are invited to take part. You can join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone by going to https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/956522885

Owing to security concerns, the 4V7R DXpedition to Haiti that was to take place between the 19th and the 29th of October has been cancelled.

The ARRL Contest Branch has announced that participants in the 2019 ARRL RTTY Roundup will be permitted to use the new FT8 protocol, which is part of the WSJT-X software suite. Read the full ARRL story at www.arrl.org/news

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

Today, the 21st, the Galashiels Radio Rally takes place at Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD13JX. Doors open at 11.15am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 11am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy, and refreshments available on site. Admission is £2.50.

British Railways ARS is holding its AGM at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Tuesday. BRARS members are invited from 11am for an informal meet and greet and chat. The formal AGM commences at 1.15pm. For details, go to www.BRARS.info and follow the link from the front page.

The Essex CW ARC CW Boot Camp will be held next Saturday, the 27th, at the 3rd Witham Scout & Guide HQ, Rear of Spring Lodge Community Centre, Powers Hall End, Witham, Essex CM8 2HE. Doors open at 8.30am for registration and the event runs from 9am to 4.30pm. Parking is free. Entry is £10, with free sausage rolls, drinks and cakes. Contact Andy, G0IBN, on 0745 342 6087 or email g0ibn1@yahoo.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Bertrand, DF3FS will operate CW and SSB as TU5MH from Cote d’Ivoire from the 20th to the 29th of October. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of the World or via DF3FS.

Ed, N2HX will be active as PJ7PL from Sint Maarten, IOTA reference NA-105, from the 20th of October to the 4th of November, including an entry in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. Before and after the contest he will operate SSB, RTTY and possibly FT8. QSL via N2HX.

A Slovenian team will be active as XT2SZZ from Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso from the 22nd to the 30th of October. Activity will be on various HF bands and 6 metres. They will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. QSL via S59ZZ.

Steve, WB2IQU will be active as 5W2IQ from Apia, Samoa, OC-097, until the 25th of October. He will be on the 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands. QSL direct to his home call.

Don, K6ZO will be active as 7Q6M from Malawi from the 23rd to the 29th of October, including participation in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. QSL via K6ZO.

Thierry, F6CUK will be active holiday style as FJ/F6CUJ from Saint Barthelemy, NA-146, from the 21st of October to the 1st of November. He will operate CW and SSB on various bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World, eQSL or via his home call either direct or via the bureau.

Now the special event news

Look for a large number of special event stations on the air this weekend for Jamboree on the Air, an annual event in which half a million Scouts and Guides all over the world make contact with each other by means of amateur radio.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Germany contest runs for the 24 hours ending at 1500UTC today, the 21st. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with German stations sending DOK as well.

Today, the 21st, the 50MHz AFS takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group’s 24 to 76GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC today. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The RSGB’s Second RoLo contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC today. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the rolling locator.

On Tuesday the SJF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the 80m Autumn Series takes place between 1900 and 2030UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend it’s the big CQ WorldWide DX SSB contest. It runs from 0000UTC on the 27th to 2359UTC on the 28th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and your Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 19th October.

The sun remained pretty well spotless in the latter half of this week, with a solar flux index of 70 at the time this report was being prepared. But after an e-mail from a GB2RS listener it is probably a good idea to recap how sunspot numbers are calculated. We count each sunspot as one, but each group as 10. So a single sunspot in what is obviously one group is 11, and two in two different groups becomes 22. So while the leap from zero to 11 may sound like a big jump, it may mean that only a single, solitary, and probably tiny, sunspot has appeared. This is precisely what happened earlier in the week, although the spot probably had little real effect on HF propagation. The best guide is the smoothed, or averaged sunspot number, which is what prediction programs like VOACAP use.

Geomagnetic conditions were more settled on Tuesday and Wednesday after last weekend, but we did have a planetary K index of five on the 13th thanks to our old friend a solar coronal hole. This may have generated a pre-auroral positive phase on Saturday, when the HF station at the RSGB Convention managed to work the USA and South America, although a beam did help. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain around 70 and geomagnetic conditions will be reasonably settled, with a maximum Kp index of three.

Fingers crossed that better HF conditions continue for next weekend’s CQ Worldwide DX SSB contest.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The coming week will be dominated by high pressure and indeed looks like being in control over most of the country. This is a typical pattern for autumn with misty nights and early morning fog indicating a sharp temperature inversion. This can occur at the Earth’s surface and is often joined by a second inversion at a height of 1km to 3km. These temperature inversions set up sharp changes in the refractive index of the air over short vertical distances and can form important ducts for the propagation of VHF, UHF and microwave signals. These effects often last for extended periods and cover long distances, similar in scale to the dimensions of the high pressure system itself. So don’t just sit on the repeaters and complain about co-channel interference, get onto the simplex channels or down into the CW, SSB or data mode segments and spread out a bit. You’d be amazed what these modes can bring you with only a modest directional antenna.

The Moon’s declination rises all this week, going positive on Tuesday, so combined with falling path losses, it’s time to start looking for EME contacts again.

Meteor showers to look for this week are the Orionids, peaking today, plus the smaller Leonis Minorids on Wednesday.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 14th. 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th October 2018

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Past President GI3KYP SK

  • VHF Contest Consultation Now On

  • Do you want to activate GB18YOTA?

RSGB Past President Alexander Davidson Patterson OBE, FIEE, GI3KYP, died on October 10, 2018, peacefully, at home, surrounded by his family. Better known as Barney, he was RSGB President in 1967. Barney travelled widely during his Presidency and, among many other achievements, oversaw the purchase of 28 Little Russel Street, London, as the then-new RSGB HQ. Also holding the callsign EI4BC, he served as President of the Irish Radio Transmitters Society in 1971 and 1972, the only person ever to have held both posts. His funeral is on Monday at 1pm in Roselawn Crematorium. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

The RSGB Contest Committee has opened the 2018 edition of the RSGB VHF Contesting Consultation for comments at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VHFCC2018 to help set the rules for 2019. They are specifically looking for your views around the AFS contests, FM Activity Contests, possible new MGM contests, Christmas Cumulatives, 432MHz Low Power, and the SHF UK Activity Contests, but are also really open to hearing your broader views about what’s right, and where you think things could be different. The survey closes at midnight on Sunday the 29th of October.

This year the RSGB has secured the callsign GB18YOTA for the December YOTA month event. Clubs, groups, and individuals from all over the country are needed to set up stations and host the callsign over the 31 days of December. The RSGB is particularly looking for stations with a passion for running events aimed at engaging youngsters in the hobby. So, if you think your club or group is up for the exciting challenge of hosting young people and operating a Special Event Station, please see www.rsgb.org/yota-month for further information and application details. For any questions, email yota.month@rsgb.org.uk. The deadline for applications is Monday the 29th of October.

This year’s Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet take place from the 19th to the 21st of October. About 1.8 million Scouts will be participating from around the world. Some 20,000 licensed amateur radio operators put 12,000 radio stations on the air. Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of October, Hartlepool ARC will be among many station joining in. Using GB0TVS from the Hartlepool Scout Centre, Stockton Road, Hartlepool, they plan to be active on HF SSB and CW, plus VHF/UHF FM. A full programme of activities run jointly with Leaders from Tees Valley Scouts will enable local Cub Scouts to obtain the Cub Communications Activity badge. The 3rd Limerick Scout Group will also participate using the callsign EI1K. For full details of the event, see www.jotajoti.info

The national association of Icelandic Radio Amateurs has announced that access to the 70MHz band in Iceland has been extended to 70.250MHz. Also, applicants are now are granted a two year licence. This new frequency extension means that Icelandic radio amateurs can now make full use of the international calling frequency 70.200MHz. Access is still granted on secondary basis with a maximum bandwidth of 16kHz and a power limit of 100W.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned between Alexander, KF5ONO and a school in Belgium. The event is scheduled for Tuesday the 16th of October at approximately 1204UTC. The conversation will be conducted in English and German. The contact will be a direct operated by ON4NOK and downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.800MHz FM. However, plans may be disrupted by last Thursday’s failed Soyuz launch.

The Isle of Wight Radio Society will be active at the Noel Turner Physics Festival on the 18th of October at Cowes Enterprise College on the Isle of Wight. The club will be explaining about the use of satellites by radio amateurs and schools supporting young people to learn about science, technology, engineering and maths, and the important part amateur radio can play in this. The club has also arranged for the FUNcube satellite, AO73, to beam a greetings message saying "Greetings to all at the Noel Turner Physics Festival Cowes Isle of Wight”. The event is open to the public from 4 to 6pm on the 18th.

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

Today, the 14th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will take place in The Floral Hall, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy run by the Hornsea ARC and an RSGB book stall. Hot and cold food is available in the café. More from Les, 2E0LBJ on 01377 252 393.

The Holsworthy Radio Rally takes place today, at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering. Doors open at 10am. More information from Howard, M0MYB, by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com

The Carrickfergus ARC rally will take place next Saturday, the 20th of October, at Downshire Secondary School, Downshire Road Carrickfergus. The doors open at 11am and all are welcome. More details from Liz, MI6GHA by email to elizabethforde64@yahoo.com

On the 21st, the Galashiels Radio Rally will take place at Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD13JX. Doors open at 11.15am with disabled visitors gaining access at 11am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy, and refreshments available on site. Admission is £2.50.

The British Railways ARS is holding its AGM at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Tuesday the 23rd of October. BRARS members are invited from 11am for an informal meet and greet and chat. The formal AGM commences at 1.15pm. For details, go to www.BRARS.info and follow the link from the front page.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Look for P4/NN5E and P4/NT5V to be active from Aruba, IOTA reference SA-036, until the 19th of October. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 10 to 80m bands. QSLs via Logbook of The World, or their home calls.

Philippe, F1DUZ will be active as FG4KH from Guadeloupe, NA-102, from the 16th of October to the 7th of November. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the HF bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL, or to F1DUZ either direct or via the bureau.

Shige, JH1GNU, Kaz, JH1HRJ and Tack, JE1SCJ will be active as ZL7X from the Chatham Islands, OC-038, from the 16th to 22nd of October. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands. More information on www.QRZ.com, search on ZL7X. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL; traditional cards via JA0VSH, direct or bureau, or Logsearch on Club Log.

Haru, JA1XGI will be active as EA9/W1XGI from Melilla between the 16th and the 22nd of October. He will operate mainly CW and FT8 on various HF bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via JA1XGI.

EA1ACP, EA1DVY, EA7FTR, EB7DX, HH2JR and HH2MK will be active as 4V7R from Haiti, NA-096, between the 19th and 29th of October. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via EB7DX.

Tony, G2NF, Nigel, G3TXF, Chris, G3SVL, David, G3WGN and Mike, G3WPH will be active as VK9XG from Christmas Island, OC-002, between the 17th and 30th of October. They will operate CW, SSB, FT8 DXpedition mode and perhaps RTTY on the 160 to 10m bands with four stations. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or via G3TXF.

Now the special event news

Scarborough ARS will be operating GB2YMR at Pickering War Weekend today, the 14th of October, from the North Yorks Moors Railway Station in Pickering. Operations will include some modern and military radios. A warm welcome is extended to all visitors and those they contact on the air.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX CW contest ends its 24 hour run at 0800UTC today, the 14th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 14th, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1400UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 7MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their County.

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

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTX. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the Worked All Germany contest runs from 1500UTC on the 20th to 1500UTC on the 21st. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with German stations sending DOK as well.

On Sunday the 21st the 50MHz AFS takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group’s 24 to 76GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 21st of October. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The RSGB’s Second RoLo contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on Sunday the 21st. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the rolling locator.

Now the radio propagation report by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 11th of October.

Last week was not very good for HF propagation, with the effects of an enormous solar coronal hole, and its associated high-speed solar wind, sending the K index soaring. There were, however, some upsides. The initial positive phase of a geomagnetic storm saw maximum useable frequencies rise to more than 21MHz during the afternoon and early evening of Sunday the 7th of October. These positive phases are very hard to predict, but it is always worth checking, as a rise in the solar wind speed and pressure, coupled with a southward facing Bz or interplanetary magnetic field, can be signals that something is about to happen, often before the three-hourly K index changes. The propagation charts at g0kya.blogspot.com include near real-time output from the ACE spacecraft, which can show these effects, or go to solarham.com where you’ll also find information.

HF conditions this weekend may be unsettled again. Another large equatorial coronal hole is moving across as the Sun rotates and became Earth-facing on Thursday. This means we may expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions from perhaps Saturday the 13th. According to NOAA, conditions may again become unsettled on Thursday the 18th through to Saturday the 20th.

Barring any surprises, we will likely see no sunspots this week, with the solar flux index hovering around 69. Unfortunately, this will probably remain the pattern for the next few months, although now we are into October we are seeing more DX available when conditions allow. Kenneth, TT8KO in Chad has been a strong CW signal on 15 metres at times, although the E6Y DXpedition on Niue in the South Pacific has proved a little more elusive for many.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This is going to be a much more autumnal week, with the best of the recent Tropo having declined by now. That leaves us with predominantly low pressure near or just to the north of the British Isles and, at times, rather windy weather, especially in the north of the country.

Tropo will not be so likely next week, but there may be options for rain scatter perhaps, but we are not very convinced that this would be a major outcome.

I guess it's a good time to check the antennas before the winter gales become the norm, and perhaps try your luck on the VHF/UHF frequencies in case of any short Tropo or rain-scatter events. Or why not make a winter resolution to learn Morse for the UHF and microwave bands, or perhaps set up your station for digital modes, where such QSOs can make use of bands that may be dead or marginal to voice modes.

The Moon is at minimum declination tomorrow and at apogee on Wednesday so it’s a poor week for EME, with short, low-elevation passes and high losses.

October continues to produce meteor showers, with the Eta Geminids, a small one, peaking on Thursday followed by the Orionids a week today. But neither are much to get excited about due to low meteor rates.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 7th October 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th October 2018

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Club of the Year winners announced

  • Jamboree on the Air looms large

  • Renew your 146 to 147MHz NoV

At the National Hamfest on the 29th of September the winners in the RSGB’s National Club of the Year 2017 competition were presented with their prizes. Once again, we thank Waters and Stanton for sponsoring this year’s event. There are two categories, Large clubs with 25 members or over, and Small clubs with under 25 members. The 3rd placed Large club was Stockport Radio Society in Region 3 and the Small club was Greenisland Electronics & ARS in Region 8. The 2nd placed Large club was Wythall Radio Club in Region 5 and the Small club was South Bristol ARC in Region 11. The 1st place large club was Essex Ham in Region 12 and the Small club was South Kesteven ARS in Region 13. Congratulations to all the winners for the excellent job they do at the grass roots of amateur radio, and also to all the other clubs who took part in earlier stages of the competition.

Two million young people from around the world are expected to take part in this year’s Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet. These take place from the 19th to the 21st of October and are the world’s biggest Scouting event. Some 20,000 licensed amateur radio operators put 12,000 radio stations on the air. This offers an excellent opportunity for radio amateurs both young and old, to inspire Scouts with the charms of radio techniques. During JOTA-JOTI, Scouts and Guides will encounter numerous different languages and cultures in a worldwide learning experience that lasts all day and well into the night.

All current 146-147MHz band Notices of Variation expire on Tuesday the 31st of October. Ofcom has agreed that the band will be made available for another year. To continue to use the frequencies you must obtain a new NoV via www.rsgb.org/nov

On Friday the 12th of October, the RSGB’s National Radio Centre is inviting RSGB members to visit in the afternoon as part of the Convention weekend. Entry will be via the main Bletchley Park site. RSGB Members should download their free entry voucher from www.rsgb.org/bpvoucher At 3pm there will be a private Bletchley Park tour just for RSGB visitors. At 4pm there will be a practical introduction to making an FT8 QSO for anyone interested to learn about this new, popular mode. Licenced amateurs are reminded to bring a copy of their licence and, if there is time, they will have the opportunity to operate the NRC station GB3RS.

IARU volunteers have been working for three years to progress World Radio Conference 2019 Agenda Item 1.1, which seeks a Region 1 allocation at around 50MHz for the Amateur Service in the Radio Regulations Table of Frequency Allocations, to align with the allocations in Regions 2 and 3. After many weeks of planning and meetings in both regional and global forums post the WRC in 2015, the next step on the route to WRC19 took place last week. The Amateur Service has met strong opposition from a few nation states who argue that the 50MHz band is already allocated to other services in their countries, following the closure of many broadcasting stations in recent years which operated in this band, and believe that sharing the band presents problems. At this meeting two options were prepared. You can find out the full details of the meeting and proposals at www.iaru-r1.org

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. This year there will be a Partners’ room, which also includes space for those who bring non-radio projects. Also the deadline has been extended until midnight tonight, the 7th, for those wishing to join others at the Convention Buildathon. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme, and apply for a Buildathon place, at www.rsgb.org/convention

For the second time this year, during the weekend of the 13th and 14th of October, the Cadet Forces will be operating on the UK 5MHz band using the allocated frequencies for the purpose of Exercise Blue Ham 100. All their usual live logging and map plotting will be taking place. Upon conclusion of the exercise, amateurs who have met the requirement for the number of contacts can submit their log sheet to the Blue Ham Ex Co-Originator via blueham@alphacharlie.org.uk for your certificate to be issued. Please note that once again the exercise has different QSL exchange information. Also, PSK31 will be in use on 5.363MHz. You can find all the details via https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

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

Today, the 7th of October, the 45th Welsh Radio Rally will take place at Rougemont School, Malpas Road, Newport, South Wales NP20 6QB. Doors open 10am and admittance is £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, catering, lectures/seminars, talk-in, RSGB bookstall, trade stands, special interest groups, and a prize draw/raffle. There will be talks by Eric Edwards, GW8LJJ on Free Digital Voice on HF and by Andrew Rushton, GW0UZK on Aerial Basics. Contact Michael Rackham, GW4JKV, on 01495 226 149.

Today, the 7th of October, the Hack Green Bunker Rally will be held at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Hack Green, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. This will be a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio items and vehicle spares. Doors open 10am, and there will be refreshments available onsite. Contact 01270 623 353 for further information.

Next weekend, from the 11th to the 14th of October, Microwave Update 2018 will take place at the Holiday Inn Dayton, Fairborn, Ohio, USA. It is an international conference dedicated to microwave equipment design, construction and operation. It’s hosted by The Midwest VHF/UHF Society. Go to www.microwaveupdate.org/ for more information.

From the 12th to the 14th of October, the RSGB Convention takes place at Kent’s Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kent’s Hill Park, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 6BZ. The RSGB would like to thank the principal sponsor Martin Lynch & Sons for their continued support of the event. The Convention programme of lectures for all interests is available on the website, www.rsgb.org/convention

On the 14th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will take place in The Floral Hall, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy run by the Hornsea ARC and an RSGB book stall. Hot and cold food is available in the café. More from Les, 2E0LBJ on 01377 252 393.

The Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 14th of October at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering. Doors open at 10am. More information from Howard, M0MYB, by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

John, W5JON will be active as V47JA from St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-104, from the 10th of October to the 6th of November. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via W5JON, direct only, and Logbook of The World.

Ken, LA7GIA will be active as TT8KO from N’Djamena in Chad from the 9th to the 21st of October. He will operate CW and maybe some SSB on the 160 to 10m bands.

Volker, DL1WH will be active as DL1WH/p from Rugen Island, EU-057, from the 6th to the 20th of October. He will operate mainly CW with some SSB on the HF bands. QSL via his home call, direct or via the bureau.

Scout station 3E1JT from Panama will be active throughout October, and particularly during the Jamboree on the Air from the 19th to the 21st. QSL via HP1ALX.

WA7WJR will be active as XV9WJR from Vietnam until the 27th of October. He will operate CW, some PSK31 and SSB on the 40, 20 and 15m bands from the city of Vung Tau, with side trips to Con Son Island, AS-130, and Phu Quoc Island, AS-128. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL, or via WA7WJR.

Now the special event news

The RNIB, now known as the Royal National Institute of Blind People, was founded on 16 October 1868. As part of their 150th anniversary, Terry, GM3WUX will run GR150NIB throughout October. Special QSLs will be available. A log search is at www.g3swh.org.uk/gr150nib.html

Scarborough ARS will be operating GB2YMR at Pickering War Weekend from the 12th to the 14th of October from the North Yorks Moors Railway Station in Pickering. Operations will include some modern and military radios. A warm welcome is extended to all visitors and those they contact on the air.

The Wireless in Wales Amateur Radio Club will operate GB0WIW on the 8th of October to celebrate the Museum's 10th anniversary. Museum tours, talks and refreshments will be available 10am to 3pm. Visitors are welcome.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The CQWW DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 30th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RST and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

The Oceania DX SSB contest ends its 24 hour run at 0800UTC today, the 7th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 7th. Using all modes on 70cm and above, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 7th, the DX Contest takes place from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The Worked All Britain DX contest takes place today, the 7th of October, from 0500 to 2300UTC. The exchange will be RS plus serial number plus WAB square using the 80, 50, 20, 15 and 10m bands, SSB only. This is a new contest and replaces their HF contest that was discontinued. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 28th of October. www.worked-all-britain.org.uk is your source for details of the rules and log sheets.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the Oceania DX CW contest runs from 0800UTC on the 13th to 0800UTC on the 14th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On the 14th, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1400UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 7MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their County.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 5th October 2018.

There are signs that ionospheric conditions are improving as we head into autumn. This isn’t unexpected; as the ionosphere cools there is a chemical shift towards more monatomic species that are easier to ionise.

The 4U1UN New York, VE8AT Nunavut and ZS6DN Pretoria beacons on 14.100MHz were all audible at the same time on Wednesday, and we can expect transatlantic conditions to get better as the month progresses. Robert, G4TUK even reported working Mayotte in the Indian Ocean on 10 metres. So do make sure you make the most of the autumn DX openings if and when they occur.

Next week the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 68-70, so 14 and 18MHz are likely to be the main daylight DX bands, with the possibility of occasional openings on higher bands. However, the effects of a solar coronal hole may once again disrupt the ionosphere with Sunday the seventh and Monday the eighth predicted to see a raised Kp index of up to six.

Look for pre-auroral enhancements before or just after the solar matter hits the earth. One way to do this is monitor the real-time solar wind at solarham.com. An increasing wind speed, increasing particle density and a south-facing interplanetary magnetic field or Bz are all indicators of an impending geomagnetic disturbance.

Wednesday the 10th and Thursday the 11th may also be disturbed, before we see a little respite later in the week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking a bit mixed for the next week with high pressure nearby over southern areas, while we have occasional periods of low pressure to the north and west of Scotland. The high pressure in the south will mean that Tropo will be a feature again this week. This is typical autumn fare, and there should be some good paths into the continent and across the southern North Sea to the Baltic. It will also be worthwhile checking paths to the south across Biscay to Spain and the Canaries.

The northwest of the British Isles will probably miss out on these Tropo conditions since it will also be rather breezy with occasional rain or showers. A few options may present themselves for some rain scatter on the microwave bands.

Moon declination is positive until Monday night, so EME windows will shorten and losses will climb as the week progresses.

October is a busy month for meteor showers. Next Tuesday sees the peak of the Draconids, which favours temperate and far-northern latitudes. Look for increased activity from tonight.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 30th. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Renew your 146MHz NoV NOW

  • DXCC card checking at Convention

  • Enigma Reloaded at National Radio Centre

All current 146-147MHz band Notices of Variation (NoV) expire on Tuesday the 31st of October. Ofcom has agreed that the band will be made available for another year. However, to continue to use the frequencies you must obtain a new NoV. These are available free from the RSGB website via www.rsgb.org/nov Currently, 548 NoVs have been issued for this band.

DXCC card checking will be available on Saturday the 13th in the special interest display area at the RSGB Convention near Milton Keynes. Before the Convention please use the ARRL’s online DXCC application form at www.arrl.org/online-dxcc-application to complete and pay for your application, then print out the PDF document to bring with your cards. Hand completed paper forms are no longer accepted.

The fifth Enigma Reloaded event will take place in two stages. Until the 5th of October, Italian and other amateur radio stations registered as Activator Stations will be on the air to allow participants to obtain the points required for the Enigma Award. On the 6th of October, the final day, the Activator Stations will exchange predefined CW messages previously enciphered by a real or emulated Enigma machine. The RSGB’s National Radio Centre, located at Bletchley Park, will be the only UK organisation participating. A team of CW operators using the NRC’s amateur radio station, GB3RS, will take down the encoded message and pass it to an Enigma operator for decoding into plain text. The original WWII Enigma machine, and an operator, will be provided by Bletchley Park. Don’t forget, RSGB Members can gain access to the NRC by downloading a free entry voucher from the RSGB website. All details and rules are available on the official website in English at https://tinyurl.com/y7qgxfb4

The RSGB Youth Committee provides a focus for the young Members of the RSGB and represents the UK at several national and international events. The RSGB would like to appoint an individual to champion the Youth Committee in all that they do including managing the UK attendance at the YOTA camp each year and YOTA month every December. Full details of the role are on the RSGB website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0930A

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention Visitors will be pleased to know that Neil Smith, G4DBN will investigate what really matters when you are aiming for the ultimate performance with FT8 and other digital modes. Antenna radiation patterns are difficult to measure because antennas are typically high above the ground, and the peak gain tends to be horizontal or above. Jenny Bailey, G0VQH will describe a practical method of measuring the radiation field around an antenna using a drone. She will cover CAA restrictions, drone selection, payload, operation, measurement of antenna design and plotting results.

Although the current UK amateur radio licence is known as a ‘licence for life’, all radio amateurs are required to revalidate their licence at least every five years. This means every licence holder must contact Ofcom to confirm or update the details on the licence database. The quickest way to revalidate is simply to access the licensing system and confirm or re-confirm your details online via the Ofcom website, or by email to spectrum.licensing@ofcom.org.uk. Links to the Ofcom website as well as a helpful article about the Licensing Portal, Registration and Revalidation can be found on the RSGB website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0930A

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Mike Bruce, M0ITI has been co-opted to the RSGB Board, with immediate effect. Mike will provide focus and expertise to ensure that the Board is fully equipped to support the major changes within the Examinations Systems. Mike was recently appointed Examination Systems Review Manager, has been a member of the Examination Group for some years. Other Board changes of responsibility will be announced in due course.

The next RSGB Train the Trainers event will take place on Saturday the 3rd of November in Wimborne, Dorset. The course runs from 9am to 4.30pm at Flight Refuelling ARS, Cobham Sports and Social Club, off Merley Park Road, Broadstone, Wimborne BH21 3DA. To book a place please contact Sue Macdonald via email to frars.training@gmail.com It is over two years since a course was held in the South West, so it would be useful for new trainers and those who attended previously as a refresher. The course continues to develop, improve and change, so those attending again will not be bored! There are significant opportunities to network and exchange ideas and good practice throughout the day.

The final of our series of lectures from the RSGB 2017 Convention entitled Reflections on the History of Radar by Hugh Griffiths, G4CNV is now available online for RSGB Members. Go to the Video section after you have logged into your RSGB account.

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

Today, the 30th, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale takes place at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £10 each, on a first come first served basis. Doors open 8am for sellers, 9.30 for buyers. Admission is £2. Hot and cold drinks are available, with hot food available in the morning and at lunchtime. More from Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Next Sunday, the 7th of October, the 45th Welsh Radio Rally will take place at Rougemont School, Malpas Road, Newport, South Wales NP20 6QB. Doors open 10am and admittance is £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, catering, lectures/seminars, talk-in, RSGB bookstall, trade stands, special interest groups, and a prize draw/raffle. Lectures from Eric Edwards, GW8LJJ on Free Digital Voice on HF and Andrew Rushton, GW0UZK on Aerial Basics. Contact Michael Rackham, GW4JKV, on 01495 226 149

Next Sunday, the 7th of October, the Hack Green Bunker Rally will be held at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Hack Green, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. This will be a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio items and vehicle spares. Doors open 10am, and there will be refreshments available onsite. Contact 01270 623 353 for further information.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

A large team of operators from Albania, Austria and Slovenia will be active as ZA5V from Lake Shkodra, JN92RD, on the 1st to the 12th of October. They will be using 6 and 2m EME as well activity on the 80 to 10m bands using all modes. QSL via OE6FNG.

Fabien, F4GYM will operate as F4GYM/p from Sein Island, part of the Finistere South West group, IOTA reference EU-068, between the 2nd and the 5th of October. Operating on the 80m to 10m bands using SSB and digital, QSL via F4GYM, either direct or via the bureau.

Klaus, DL8DZL will be visiting Trassenheide on Usedom Island, EU-129, until the 6th of October. He will operate as DL8DZL/p on all HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via DL8DZL, either direct or via the bureau.

Four operators will be on the air from Christmas Island, OC-002, as VK9XT until the 6th of October. Planned activities will take place on the 160m to 10m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL direct via N4GNR, Logbook of The World or eQSL.

Ulrich, DL2AH will operate as WH8/DL2AH from Ofu Island, OC-077, between the 2nd and the 29th of October using SSB, FT8 and RTTY in holiday style. He plans to take part in the CQWW DX SSB contest. QSL direct via DL2AH.

Now the special event news

The RNIB, now known as the Royal National Institute of Blind People, was founded on 16 October 1868. As part of the celebration of their 150th anniversary, Terry Robinson, GM3WUX will run a special event callsign GR150NIB from 1 to 28 October. Activity is planned on SSB and CW across all HF bands except 60m, plus some possibly limited activity on 4m and 6m. Special QSLs will be available. There will be a log search at www.g3swh.org.uk/gr150nib.html where all QSL requests should be made via OQRS only.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The CQWW DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 30th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RST and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Today, the 30th, the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK & EI Contest Club 80m event runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your four-character locator.

Next Saturday, the 6th, the 1.2GHz trophy takes place from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes on the 1.2 and 2.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Oceania DX SSB contest runs from 0800UTC on the 6th to 0800UTC on the 7th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs from 1400UTC on the 6th to 1400UTC on the 7th. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 245GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs from 1400UTC on the 6th to 1400UTC on the 7th. Using all modes on 70cm and above, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 7th, the DX Contest takes place from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The Worked All Britain DX contest takes place next Sunday, the 7th of October from 0500 to 2300UTC. The exchange will be RS plus serial number plus WAB square using the 80, 50, 20, 15 and 10m bands, SSB only. This is a new contest and replaces their HF contest that was discontinued. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 28th of October. www.worked-all-britain.org.uk is your source for details of the rules and log sheets

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 28th September 2018.

At the risk of sounding very “samey”, the solar flux index remained at around 67-68 with zero sunspots this week, and just a few points off what we can expect at absolute solar minimum.

As predicted, geomagnetic conditions were relatively poor at the beginning of the week, but did improve slightly later on, although the K index remained at three at times. This was due to ongoing coronal hole activity on the Sun. But as we are now moving to better autumnal ionospheric conditions the daytime maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path did exceed 18MHz at times according to the Chilton ionosonde. There are signs that if geomagnetic conditions can remain quiet for a few days this may even reach the dizzy heights of 21MHz. It is worth monitoring the higher bands, and if you don’t hear much activity, check out the FT8 frequencies on 18 or 21MHz or head for the International Beacon Network frequencies at 18.100MHz or 21.150MHz. If all else fails, call CQ!

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 68-70, but we may have unsettled geomagnetic conditions around the 1st and 2nd of October. The best HF conditions may occur later in the week as the ionosphere becomes more settled.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

At 21:47hrs on Tuesday the 25th of September, the Region 1, 144MHz tropo record was broken again, this time from England. G3SMT worked D4Z on the Cape Verde Islands via the marine duct caused by the Azores High system. At 4,431km, it broke the previous record of 4270km set just one minute earlier by GW0KZG!

Next week has plenty of high pressure around, so get down to the bottom of the bands on CW, SSB and FT8. The high pressure will again be centred initially just to the west of the UK making linkage in to the Azores system still a possibility. Eventually part of this will drift east across the country to end the week over the continent, while a weak front crosses the British Isles. Tropo will be present to some degree for much of the week over southern parts, but more fleeting in the north, where it will be rather breezy at times.

If you’re not well placed for Tropo, EME conditions will be at their best this coming week with peak declination on Tuesday and perigee next Saturday. Note that these two occurrences are starting to drift apart in time again, but don’t worry they won’t be fully out of phase until July 2022!

There are no significant meteor showers this week so around dawn on the lower VHF bands will be the best time for QSOs via random meteors.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 23rd September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Railways on the Air this weekend

  • Planning Permission guide update for RSGB Members

  • RSGB Operating Advisory Service pages online

This weekend is Railways on the Air and many clubs will be operating special event stations from railway related sites around the country. It celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway that took place on the 27th of September 1825 – the first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Darlington to Stockton. Bishop Auckland ARC coordinates this event. You can find a list of the participating callsigns at https://rota.barac.org.uk/

The RSGB’s Planning Advisory Committee will be launching its latest Planning Guide for Members at the National Hamfest on Friday the 28th of September. Now in its 9th edition and edited by PAC Chairman John Mattocks, G4TEQ, this popular guide draws on John’s many years as a professional Planning Inspector and the work of the RSGB Planning Advisory Committee. The guide has been updated to reflect recent changes in the planning system and includes advice on making planning applications, enforcement notices and also appeals for amateur radio aerials and masts. A limited number of printed copies of the new RSGB Planning Guide will be available from the RSGB Planning booth at the National Hamfest. It will be available as a downloadable pdf for RSGB Members from the 28th September on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.rg/pac

The Operating Advisory Service, OAS, is an RSGB volunteer-run service that provides guidance to licensed radio amateurs in the UK and Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It helps promote good practice, and advises on you how to manage problematic behaviour and poor operating practice on the amateur bands. The initial OAS pages are now on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/oas

Reg Woolley, G8VHI is looking for an additional newsreader to help when he is unavailable due to his work shift pattern. His newsreading covers the Midlands area and he uses both 2m and 70cm. If you are interested, please drop an email to gb2rs@rsgb.org.uk

The National Hamfest takes place in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY. On Saturday the 29th, the National Club of the Year trophies 2017 will be presented, with thanks to Waters & Stanton for their sponsorship of this competition. Details and tickets from www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The RSGB Board has decided to make changes to the way in which Nominated Board Directors are appointed. The RSGB Board is made up of 8 Directors – one is the elected President and four are directly nominated and elected by Membership ballot. A further three Directors are nominated by the RSGB Nominations Committee for endorsement by the Membership at the AGM. The role of the committee is to identify areas where the knowledge and skills of the Board members may need further support and to find suitable candidates; primarily they are looking for business skills and not those directly associated with amateur radio. Full details are on page 10 of the October RadCom. If you feel you have skills that could be of benefit to the RSGB Board, please get in touch by email to company.secretary@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention Visitors will be pleased to know that Jim Bacon, G3YLA will be speaking with a lecture entitled Sporadic-E revisited – is it any clearer? Sporadic-E is a complex propagation mode so Jim will start with a review of where we are with current understanding of Sporadic-E, ideal for the many newcomers to amateur radio. VHF Baluns – Fact and Fancy by Ian White, GM3SEK shows how our ideas about HF baluns have changed dramatically in recent years. Now Ian extends those ideas into the VHF-UHF spectrum, taking a critical look at some long-established methods for feeding Yagi antennas and identifying a new list of Do’s and Don’ts for modern conditions.

Keith Haynes, G3WRO has recently decided for personal reasons to step down as an RSGB Board Director. Keith was co-opted to the Board following his proposal by the Nominations Committee, and took on the liaison responsibilities for the RSGB Awards and Regional Team. We wish Keith well for the future and thank him for his contribution to the RSGB in the many roles he has undertaken.

Those attending the RSGB Convention Gala dinner on Saturday the 13th can reserve tables for groups. Please email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with the names and callsigns, if appropriate, of those wishing to share a table, and the organisers will take care of the details.

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

On the 28th & 29th of September the National Hamfest is at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. The venue has free car parking and has disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and a huge RSGB bookstall. There will also be representatives from the RSGB Services and committees. Morse proficiency test will be available. The venue has catering outlets and a seating area. Details are at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

On Sunday the 30th of September the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale takes place at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £10 each, on a first come first served basis. Doors open 8am for sellers, 9.30 for buyers. Admission is £2. Hot and cold drinks are available, with hot food available in the morning and at lunchtime. More from Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Also on the 30th, the Belgium Amateur Radio & Computer Rally takes place at Louvexpo, in La Louvière. There is direct access from the motorway and it is 50km south of Brussels. Open from 9am, there is talk-in on local FM repeaters on 145.600MHz. There is 4000m² exhibition space, trade stands from UK, Holland, Germany & France and a flea market. Details at www.on6ll.be

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Chris, VE6CMV will be active in the CQWW RTTY contest on the 28th and 29th September as VO2VC, which CQ Zone 2, Labrador. He will be operating in the low power, single op, on 20m only using a delta loop antenna and 100W. Outside of the contest he will be active from the 27th of September to the 4th of October on 80 to 6m SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL to his home call VE6CMV as per QRZ.com

Victor, WB0TEV and Scott, K5PS will be active as V31VP and V31CQ respectively from Blackman Eddy in central Belize from the 27th of September to the 2nd of October. They will operate SSB and RTTY and will participate in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest. QSL V31VP via Club Log’s OQRS, or via WB0TEV direct or via the bureau; QSL V31CQ via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or via K5PS direct or via the bureau.

Stu, K4MIL will be active as KG4SS from Guantanamo Bay from the 25th September to the 9th of October. He will operate RTTY including in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest, FT8 in Fox & Hound mode and CW. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to K4MIL.

The NB-DX Team will be active as HB0/ON4ANN from Liechtenstein from the 24th to the 28th of September. QSL via M0URX’s OQRS.

Now the special event news

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF, GB100RAF will be operating from the Air Defence Radar Museum at RAF Neatshead in Norfolk today, the 23rd. QSL cards require an SAE only to RAFARS, RAF Cosford, WV7 3EX.

North Bristol ARC has been invited by Avon Valley Railway to set up a two stations on the 23rd, one station from within an operational train. The main HF station will be using GB0AVR on the 20, 40 and 80m bands. A portable station will operate from the train using QRP on 20 and 17m as well as via GB3BS and GB7BS.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Over this weekend the UK and EI Contest Club Contest DX ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and district code.

Today, the 23rd, the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UJK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2230UTC using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK and EI Contest Club contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

On Thursday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 29th to 2359UTC on the 30th the CQWW DX RTTY contest takes place using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is RST and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On the 30th the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of September 2018.

First, the sunspot reported a few weeks ago as possibly being from the new sunspot cycle 25 was in fact from cycle 24. Although it had a reverse magnetic polarity signature than other cycle 24 spots, scientists now say that its low solar latitude means it was not from the new cycle. Scientists are also now predicting that sunspot minimum may be in September 2019, so we can expect poor conditions to last for some time yet.

Over this last week the solar flux index was pegged pretty much at 68. Geomagnetic conditions were mainly settled in the latter half of the week with the K index zero at times. Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 68-69. Geomagnetic conditions are forecast to be poor on Sunday the 23rd and Monday the 24th due to a small coronal hole that will contribute to the high speed solar wind. Expect the K index to reach at least four, with conditions improving as the week progresses.

We are now moving into the autumnal propagation season so we can expect to see modest rises in maximum usable frequencies, perhaps passing 18 and even 21MHz at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend looks to be in the grip of unsettled weather with more strong winds possible. One model puts a deep low over southern England today with the potential for very strong winds in the south. Another model doesn’t develop this strong feature, so check the forecasts regularly and make sure your antennas are secure.

There is better news for the coming week as high pressure is expected to return to bring more settled conditions, giving a chance for Tropo to develop. The overnight and early morning autumn mists are a good weather clue for Tropo conditions since they indicate cool moist air near the surface, overlain by warmer drier air above. It’s this contrast of moisture which is the major contribution to changes in the refractive index of the air and hence ducting or Tropo.

The moon is past apogee now and declination goes positive on Tuesday meaning increasingly longer moon windows and decreasing EME path losses as the week progresses.

There’s a light meteor shower peaking next Saturday. The daytime Sextantids is not well known to visual observers as its radiant lies close to the sun, meaning trails are only visible during the last couple of hours before dawn. Meteor rates are very low so nothing to get excited about from a meteor scatter point of view.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 16th. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs prepare for Hurricane Florence

  • IARU plan for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference

  • Details on more RSGB Convention lectures

CNN reports the American Radio Relay League has sent seven amateur radio kits to South Carolina to assist with emergency communication ahead of Hurricane Florence. The group used the same kits in Puerto Rico last September when Hurricane Maria knocked out power to most of the island. Short wave radio was key to communicating in Puerto Rico. The ARRL 2018-Hurricanes page provides information and news summarising the preparations and response by amateur radio volunteers who are supporting emergency communications at www.arrl.org/2018-Hurricanes

The Administrative Council of the International Amateur Radio Union held its annual in-person meeting on the 8th and 9th of September in Seoul, Republic of Korea. With the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference of the ITU now little more than a year away, the efforts of two dozen IARU volunteers to defend amateur radio’s frequency allocations against commercial pressures and to seek worldwide harmonisation of the 50 to 54MHz band are reaching a critical stage. With these challenges in mind the Council reviewed its strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations and approved the action plan for implementation during the remainder of 2018 and 2019. Full information on the meting at www.iaru-r1.org

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. Saturday and Sunday is packed with a diverse range of lectures for all levels of expertise and interest. Magnetic Loop Antennas offer the amateur radio enthusiast a compelling option for chasing DX and having access to all the HF band's when restricted by size and height of antenna system at your QTH says Rael Paster, M0RTP. He will give construction tips, tricks and traps and how to automatically tune a magnetic loop along with a look at FT8 and WSPR performance achieved with Magnetic Loop antennas in the last year. Dick Harms, PA2DW will describe the enormous restoration project of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope and the subsequent amateur radio activities. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System reports that two long-time broadcast intruders on the 40m band are gone. Radio Hargeisa in the Republic of Somaliland on 7.120MHz, and Radio Ethiopia on 7.140MHz, departed the band during the last week of August.

The RSGB has placed the video of the 2017 Convention lecture ZL7G DXpedition: Planning, Logistics, Operating and Beer by Chris Duckling, G3SLV on the Members-only section of the RSGB website. Go to http://rsgb.org/zl7g

Icom Inc will be holding a D-Star QSO party between 0000UTC on the 22nd of September to 2359UTC on the 24th. The format of the party will be the same as in previous years with the goal of encouraging D-Star operators to communicate with as many other operators across the world via D-Star repeaters. The prizes on offer this year have not been announced yet, so keep an eye out for the latest updates on the D-Star QSO Party 2018 website at www.icom.co.jp/world/dqp

The International Amateur Radio Union has announced that the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, which takes place on the 18th of April. It will be ‘Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society’.

A Buildathon is taking place at the National Hamfest in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. Details and tickets from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

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

Today, the 16th, is the second day of the British Amateur Television Club Convention at the Midlands Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Rowley Rd, Baginton CV3 4FR. Details at ww.batc.org.uk

Weston super Mare Radio Society is holding its annual rally on Sunday the 16th of September at the Campus Community Centre in Worle, near Junction 22 of the M5. There are 58 tables with many of the well-known traders in attendance. It is open from 10am until 3pm and tickets are £3 with accompanied under 16s free.

Advance notice now for the Galashields Radio Rally due to take place on the 21st of October. Held in the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD13JX, doors open at 11.15am with disabled visitors gaining access at 11am. There will be traders a Bring & Buy and refreshments available on site. Admission is £2.50. Our apologies for missing this information in RadCom.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Alex, IW5ELA will operate mainly CW as 7Q7ELA from the 17th to the 26th September. It will be a ‘suitcase operation’ while touring Malawi. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau. Logsearch on Club Log.

Tina, HB0/DL5YL and Fred, HB0/DL5YM will be active from Masescha, Liechtenstein from the 20th of September to the 6th of October. They will operate CW, some SSB and RTTY during the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest. QSL via their home calls, either direct or via the bureau.

Torsten, DL4APJ and Peter, DJ2AX will be active as JW/DL4APJ and JW/DJ2AX from the JW5E club station in Longyearbyen, Svalbard EU-026, from the 20th to the 25th of September. QSL via their home calls.

Gabor, HA3JB will be active as 8Q7IP the Maldives, AS-013, from the 19th to the 30th of September. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8 on the 6 ti 80m bands and will participate in the CQ WW RTTY Contest. QSL via HA3JB.

Steve, G4EDG will be active as ZD9CW from Tristan da Cunha, AF-029, from the 20th of September to the 22nd of October. He will operate CW and RTTY with some SSB on the 15 to 40m bands and possibly 80m. QSL via Logbook of The World or via LZ1JZ.

Now the special event news

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF, GB100RAF will be operating from the Air Defence Radar Museum at RAF Neatshead in Norfolk on the 22nd and 23rd. QSL cards require an SAE only to RAFARS, RAF Cosford, WV7 3EX. If you are taking part in the GB100RAF award scheme, GB100RAF will be worth 25 points.

North Bristol ARC has been invited by Avon Valley Railway to set up a two stations on the 22nd and 23rd, one station from within an operational train. The antenna for the moving train will be challenging due to a maximum vertical clearance from carriage to a bridge being only 12 inches and the horizontal clearance is only 24 inches due to two way traffic on the line. The main HF station will be using GB0AVR on the 20, 40 and 80m bands. A portable station will operate from the train using QRP on 20 and 17m bands as well as via GB3BS and GB7BS.

Loughton & Epping Forest ARS will be activating GB2RGM for Railways on the Air operating on the 22nd of September.

Celebrating the 88th Saudi Arabia National Day on the 23rd of September, the Saudi Amateur Radio Society will be active as HZ88ND, 7Z88ND and 8Z88ND from the 16th to the 30th of September. QSL via HZ1BF.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One of the requirements for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The 2018 Africa All Mode International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 16th,. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24-hour period. There are no mandated breaks in operating time required.

Today, the 16th, the Second 70MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 16th, the UK Microwave Group’s contest takes place from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC today, the 16th. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just your serial number. On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using CW on the 80m band the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd, the UK EI Counties Contest DX runs from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and district code

Next Sunday, the 23rd, the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 14th of September.

Last week started with stable solar conditions, but very low activity.

After 14 days without sunspots, two small, new spots turned up. Sunspot number 2721 existed for Sunday and Monday, then disappeared by Tuesday. Sunspot number 2722 popped up on Wednesday and Thursday, and was gone by Friday. Neither of these spots has disappeared altogether. They can hide below the visible disc of the Sun and may reappear before they rotate to the far side.

Warnings of increased geomagnetic activity were announced by the Space Weather Centre and indeed the A-index and the K-index rose significantly, to 35 and 6 respectively. These index figures were the result of a major geomagnetic storm that peaked at 2135UTC on Tuesday evening.

Solar wind picked up and reached a maximum of 624 kilometres per second at 0438UTC on Wednesday. The magnetic field carried by the solar wind disrupted that of the Earth and disturbed propagation conditions.

Maximum useable frequencies for long-skip distances generally varied between 15 and 18MHz, with a short burst when it reached 21MHz at 1900UTC on Monday.

Workable DX paths were open, as confirmed by reception of some of the International Beacon Project transmitters on 14.1MHz. Found on the frequency were beacons in the Far East, South Africa, Venezuela and USA. The strongest of the beacons, but admittedly not big DX, was CS3B in Madeira, whose carrier level was still audible down at the QRP 100 milliwatt level.

An interesting propagation event to look forward to next weekend is the equinox on the 23rd of September. This is the time, plus or minus a few days, for operators to take advantage of greyline propagation on the low HF bands of 1.8 and 3.5 MHz between the ultimate DX path – United Kingdom to New Zealand. There isn’t time here to explain greyline working, but many propagation books cover this interesting topic. Good luck with the DXing.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather patterns this coming week look distinctly autumnal with some unsettled weather on the charts and some quite strong winds at times. There are some fleeting periods of high pressure in the south with the attendant chance of Tropo giving some lift conditions, especially in the foggy early mornings.

The windier spells may test your antenna guy ropes, with one model suggesting a small low crossing the country just before mid-week. Obviously it's too far ahead to be certain which model has called this correctly, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s turning unsettled as we move towards the second half of the month.

With the moon at maximum negative declination early this week, and Apogee on Wednesday, the Moon will only get low on the Horizon for a few hours a day and EME path losses will be at their highest.

With the windy conditions predicted, and no major meteor showers it’s probably a week for catching up with some indoor system improvements.

There’s always the artificial satellites to keep VHFers interested so update the prediction software and have a go.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 9th. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Brazil gets 60m and other new bands soon

  • South Africans’ YOTA report

  • Exciting Buildathon opportunity

ANATEL, the Brazilian telecoms regulator, has produced an updated band plan, effective in a couple of months, which releases 60m to their amateurs. This is the WRC-15 Secondary allocation 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 25W EIRP for Class A operators. In addition they have been granted another two new bands, 135kHz with 1 watt EIRP and 472kHz with 5 watts EIRP. The 160m band in Brazil will be expanded from 1850kHz, making it now 1.8 to 2MHz, and the 80m band will become 3.5 to 4MHz. The new frequencies are expected to come into operation in the week beginning the 26th of November.

The September 2018 issue of the South African national society amateur radio magazine, Radio ZS, reports on the Youngsters on the Air event, usually known as YOTA, that was recently held in South Africa. You can read all about the proceedings by downloading the newsletter from the front page of the SARL website, www.sarl.org.za The RSGB YOTA 2018 Team posted its experiences of each day at www.rsgb.org/yota2018

A Buildathon is taking place at the National Hamfest in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. As a bonus, the Hamfest organisers are offering free entry to those who book for the Buildathon, so the £5 covers entry to the Hamfest too. The project is a Poldhu Kits ‘Redruth’ receiver. Help, technical expertise and all necessary equipment will be provided on the day. Many thanks to Poldhu Kits for their help in providing the kits. Buildathon tickets can be purchased from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

A small team is representing the UK in South Korea for the ARDF World Championships. We’re pleased to report that John Marriott, M0OJM came in third in the M70 Foxoring event.

The RSGB National Radio Centre is an amazing resource for amateur radio. Last year it showed our hobby to 26,000 people. We have been raising the profile of the NRC via social media, events, presentations, extra equipment, Bletchley Park signage, RadCom articles and extra opening days. As a result, visitor numbers are growing beyond all expectations. In August, volunteers showcased amateur radio to an incredible 10,713 visitors, smashing all previous records. The RSGB is very grateful for all the hard work, time and enthusiasm of the entire volunteer team to make this possible, and of course NRC Co-ordinator, Martyn Baker, G0GMB.

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Saturday and Sunday is packed with a diverse range of lectures for all levels of expertise and interest. Dan McGraw, M0WUT will take a look at the design process of converting a HF WSPR transceiver personal project into an open-source electronics kit. Don, N1DG, was one of the team leaders of the Baker Island DXpedition in July. He’ll describe the planning process, setbacks and solutions of activating this tiny uninhabited atoll, 2000 miles south-west of Hawaii. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 8th and 16th of September. A free series of Awards will be available for those who support the event. All information and registration details are at www.radio-amateur-events.org/IAW/Registration.htm

The RSGB Board would like to thanks Chris Burbanks, G3SJJ for the sterling work he has done in revitalising the RSGB Awards scheme. A vacancy has now arisen for a volunteer to manage the Society’s award programmes. To carry out this role you will need good administration and computer skills. Most of the communications will be by email. The workload is not usually high and can be flexibly managed. If you are an RSGB Member and interested in applying, or would like to find out more, contact the Board Liaison Member for Awards, Keith Haynes, G3WRO, via email to g3wro@rsgb.org.uk

The 22nd of September marks the 100th anniversary of the first wireless transmission between Australia and the United Kingdom. The Wireless Institute of Australia will hold an on-air event that will run throughout September. Complete information can be found on www.wia.org.au/newsevents/marconi100/about/

The deadline to nominate someone for the RSGB G5RP Trophy is fast approaching. This annual award is open to anyone who has recently started and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone, you have until the 14th of September. Please send your nomination to RSGB HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, via email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk The award will be presented this year during the RSGB Convention on the 12th to the 14th of October.

Finally, a reminder to respond to the important Ofcom consultation that concludes this week. Our responses may shape Ofcom’s preparations for the next World Radio Conference, WRC-19, on subjects including the future of 6m and the microwave bands. The deadline is 5pm on Thursday. RSGB guidance and further information is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-A

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

Over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of September the British Amateur Television Club holds its Convention at the Midlands Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Rowley Rd, Baginton CV3 4FR. Details at ww.batc.org.uk

The Fog On The Tyne rally will take place on the 15th of September at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham NE8 4LH. There is a car park entrance on Whitehall Road. The nearest metro station is Gateshead, or use Go-Ahead routes 53 or 54. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2, including a raffle ticket. There will be traders, an RSGB bookstand and a junk stall. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR, on 0799 076 0920.

Weston super Mare Radio Society is holding its annual rally on Sunday the 16th of September at the Campus Community Centre in Worle, near Junction 22 of the M5. There are 55 tables with many of the well-known traders in attendance. It is open from 10am until 3pm and tickets are £3 with accompanied under 16s free.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Oliver, DK7TX will be active as SV8/DK7TX between the 9th and 15th of September from the islands of Paxoi, Vido and Kerkyra/Corfu, which all count for IOTA group EU-052. QSL via his home call.

Harry, JG7PSJ will be active as WH0RU from Saipan, OC-086, between the 12th and the 18th of September. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 40 to 10m. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to JG7PSJ.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as 3W9JK from Cham Island, AS-162, from the 15th to the 22nd of September, and then as 3W9JK/p from Hoi An in mainland Vietnam between the 22nd and 27th. He will operate SSB on the 20 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log OQRS, or via SP5APW.

Christian, OE3DEC will be active as 8Q7EC from the Maldives, AS-013, between the 14th and the 23rd of September. QSL via Club Log OQRS, or via his home call either direct or via the bureau.

Manfred, DL5FAB will be active as FY/DL5FAB from French Guiana until the 18th of September. He will operate CW and FT8 from the Radio Amateur Club de Kourou. QSL via the bureau to DL5FAB, or via eQSL.

Now the special event news

Bury Radio Society will be holding a special event station from a moving train carriage being pulled by the Flying Scotsman on the 15th of September this year. Look out for further info here and on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts or see www.buryradiosociety.org.uk/

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can only do so if you tell us what you’re doing, in advance! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. The lead time for RadCom is about three months; it’s much less for GB2RS. One of the requirements for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The WA DX SSB contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EU stations work non-EU only.

Today, the 9th, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Please note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

That 2m Counties contest is followed immediately by the IRTS 70cm Counties contest, from 1300 to 1500UTC. Again using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also give their county.

On Monday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2018 Africa All Mode International DX Contest takes place next weekend. The objective of this all-mode contest is to stimulate contesting from Africa. It runs from 1200UTC on the 15th to 1200UTC on the 16th of September. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24-hour period. There are no mandated breaks in operating time required. Full details are at www.sarl.org.za/#Contest

Next Sunday, the 16th, the Second 70MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday, the UK Microwave Group’s contest takes place from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC next Sunday. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just your serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 7th of September.

The Sun was spotless for most of last week and no spots are expected to rotate into view over the next few days. This will keep flux levels low, and working frequencies will remain depressed. Maximum useable frequencies may struggle to include the 18MHz band. Warnings of a rising Kp index have been issued, and geomagnetic disturbance may increase as next week progresses. This would bring difficult conditions to the bands. It is also expected that the unsettled period will continue over this weekend due to the persistence of a negative polarity coronal hole.

It’s worth monitoring the International Beacon Project frequencies, even though solar activity and flux is low. The Venezuelan beacon YV5B was heard on 14.100MHz at 2230UTC. Other DX beacons heard in daytime on that frequency included RR9O in Siberia and VR2B in Hong Kong. Another way to assess propagation conditions is to make routine listening checks of stations operating a continuous service. The mid- to lower-end of the HF spectrum is well served by the Russian RWM time service stations. These operate close to 5 and 10MHz. Their signal strength and fade characteristics are indicative of propagation conditions.

In spite of the doom and gloom regarding the state of the solar cycle and propagation conditions, there are instances of fair to medium DX to be found. These include XV1 in Vietnam and 3B9 Rodriguez Island on 14MHz around 1400UTC, and A5 Bhutan on 7MHz at 2330UTC. Optimism regarding the start of the next cycle may be slightly premature, but everyone is eagerly looking now for definite signs of the beginning.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

As the autumn season arrives and early morning mist and fog become part of the daily weather fare, then it's the season for Tropo. The coming week will offer some regions of high pressure, in the south initially, but perhaps more generally by the end of the week, so add Tropo to your operating list and get some activity going in the multimode end of the VHF/UHF bands. There will also be some heavy rain showers, particularly over northern Britain this weekend, so there is a chance of some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The disturbed geomagnetic conditions that are expected this weekend will make it worth checking the K index and 6m to 2m bands for signs of auroral propagation.

The moon was at perigee yesterday, its closest approach and declination is still positive until Tuesday, so the early part of the week should be best for EME. Today though, after about 1130 until moonset, the Sun and Moon are very close, meaning lots of sun noise in the antenna beamwidth.

The September Epsilon Perseids meteor shower takes place today within the boundaries of the constellation of Perseus. It occurs between the 5th to 21st of September with the small peak occurring today.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 2nd. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Annual Reunion of Code Breakers

  • Respond now to Ofcom consultation

  • New Exams Standards appointment

Today, Sunday the 2nd of September, it’s the Annual Reunion of Code Breakers at Bletchley Park, including those who were Voluntary Interceptors. This event is organised by Bletchley Park and more can be seen at www.bletchleypark.org.uk

Preparations for the next World Radio Conference, WRC-19, are increasing. An important Ofcom consultation is nearing its conclusion, which includes key items on the future of 50MHz, wireless power and microwave bands. UK amateurs are encouraged to respond to Ofcom, highlighting the importance of current and potential innovations. The submission deadline is Thursday 13th of September. The RSGB has background on these topics on our WRC-19 Focus pages, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-A

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Mike Bruce, M0ITI, has been appointed to the RSGB Examinations Standards Committee with the role of Examinations Systems Review Manager. The responsibilities of this new role within ESC will be to manage the syllabus review and future updates; manage the question bank and interaction with exam system providers; and keep the RSGB exam web pages up to date with the changes. Mike obtained his full licence in 2013 and he has served on the RSGB Examinations Group since June 2016.

Following the recent announcement in RadCom, a collection of over 50 historic amateur licensing documents is now online. It is hoped that it is both illuminating and of interest. Some documents, such as the original 50MHz permits, are quite topical as we approach WRC-19. The current selection stretches back to 1946. Please feel free to contact he organisers if you have further historic material, as they attempt to fill in the gaps. To view the documents, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-B

The Yasme Foundation has announced the election of Marty Woll, N6VI as the newest Foundation Director. The Board of Directors now includes President, N0AX, Vice President, K4ZW, Treasurer, W6OAT, PB2T, OH2BH, K3ZO, W6RGG and N6VI. The Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organised to support scientific and educational projects related to amateur radio, including DXing and the introduction and promotion of amateur radio in developing countries. See www.yasme.org for more information on their work.

Saturday the 8th of September is the annual Churches and Chapels on the Air event. Activity will be mainly on 40m from 10am to 4pm using SSB. There is a list of stations taking part at www.wacral.org and to get your event on the list, send details to wacralweb@gmx.com

A new Buildathon has been announced for this year's National Hamfest. Aimed at the younger person and those who are newly or non-licensed, this activity is being sponsored by the RSGB Legacy fund. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. As a bonus, the Hamfest organisers are offering free entry to those who book for the Buildathon so the £5 covers entry to the Hamfest too. The project is a Poldhu Kits ‘Redruth’ receiver. Help, technical expertise and all necessary equipment will be provided on the day. Many thanks to Poldhu Kits for their help in providing the kits. If you would like to attend or bring someone along to participate, Buildathon tickets can be purchased from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

During the summer the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has been open seven days a week. It will revert to being closed on Tuesdays throughout September and the early part of October to enable essential maintenance work to be completed. The intention is to open on Tuesdays again in time for the school half term holiday in October. Meantime, the NRC will be open each day, apart from a Tuesday, from 9.30am to 5pm, which is in line with the Bletchley Park museum opening times.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-C This edition includes 5MHz news from 8 countries, features the World of 5MHz, the Wikipedia 60m band page, CEPT, a section on whether you monitor the UK 5MHz beacons, useful propagation sites for 5MHz and reader’s feedback from G4DWV.

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 8th and 16th of September with the focus on supporting and generating donations for flying medical services around the world. Whilst amateur radio operators are encouraged to promote the donation causes, it is requested that any donations generated go to the station's chosen local or national cause. Registration is mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a registration number that will be listed on the event website. A free series of Awards will be available for those who support the event. All information and registration details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-D

The 22nd of September marks the 100th anniversary of the first wireless transmission between Australia and the United Kingdom. Messages were transmitted from the Marconi station at Waunfawr in Wales and were received by Ernest Fisk at Wahroonga near Sydney. As part of the Centenary celebrations, the Wireless Institute of Australia will hold an on-air event that will run throughout September. State and Territory special callsigns VI#MARCONI will be active on a roster basis. In addition, the Hornsby & District ARC will be active as VK100MARCONI. Complete information can be found via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-E

The AO73/FUNcube-1 satellite has been in space for almost five years and the original sun synchronous orbit has now changed slightly such that the spacecraft will no longer be in eclipse for 35 minutes every orbit. The eclipse period has already reduced and will again become zero on the 8th. This means the usual autonomous switching between transponder in eclipse and high-power telemetry when in sunlight will no longer be effective. It has been decided to have AO73/FUNcube-1 initially operate for alternate periods of one week in either Safe or Educational modes. Full details at www.amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2018, please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention on the 12th to the 14th of October.

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

Today, the 2nd, the annual Telford HamFest takes place at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DQ. Numerous trader and exhibitor stands are booked and there will be a variety of presentations from guest speakers in the Darby Boardroom. There will be an RSGB Bookstand. Doors open 10am, admission is £4.50, with accompanied under 16’s free. On-site catering will be available and car parking facilities have been improved. Details from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255416.

The UKFM Group Western repeater group will be holding its AGM on the 3rd of September at 7.30pm in the North Cheshire Radio Club, Morley Green Social Club, Morley Green, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5NT.

The AGM and Get-Together of the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Association will be held at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Wednesday the 5th of September. It is RAOTA’s diamond jubilee year. The Get-Together will open at 11am and the AGM will commence at 1.15pm. All RAOTA members are welcome to attend and it will greatly assist or planning if members book places well in advance. Contact Ian Brothwell, G4EAN via GenSec@RAOTA.org

On the 8th of September Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally will take place at Tan Lane, Caister on Sea NR30 5DJ. Talk-in will be on S22 and doors open at 9am, with sellers gaining access at 8am. There is also a raffle and onsite café. The event has disabled access. Contact Zane on 0771 121 4790.

GB5SH will operate from St Hilda’s Church in Hartlepool as part of Churches and Chapels on the Air on the 8th and as part of Heritage Open Days on the 9th. It is expected that the station will be active mostly on the 40, 80 and 2m bands

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Hans, PA3HGT will be active as 3B8/PA3HGT from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049, between the 4th and 24th of September. He will operate SSB and possibly some digital modes on the 40, 20 and 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Claudio, HB9OAU will be on the air as SV5/HB9OAU from Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands, EU-001, between the 8th and 20th of September. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL; logsearch on Club Log.

The 19th annual Route 66 On The Air special event celebrates the historic US Highway 66. Twenty-one amateur radio stations using 1x1 callsigns from W6A through W6U will operate from cities along the route between the 8th and 16th of September. See http://w6jbt.org/ for information.

Richard, VE2DX will be on the air as TF/VE2DX from the 2nd to the 15th of September from Reykjavik on HF using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via VE2STN either direct or via the bureau.

Now the special event news

Today, 2nd of September, the Radio Club of Binche will operate as ON44WAR to commemorate the Belgian Resistance during WW II. Activity will be from 0700 to 1100UTC. CW transmissions on 7MHz from a Paraset will take place on the hour for 30 minutes, followed by SSB. QSL via ON7RY, direct, bureau or eQSL.

Today, the 2nd, Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2MFM, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW2. Activity will be from WW2 pillbox in Wat Tyler Country Park, near Basildon.

The RSGB Region 8 Team will host GB100RAF in the STEM Village, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, today, the 2nd of September at the 2018 Portrush Airshow, AirWaves. Mid Ulster ARC will provide their display trailer for the weekend and RAF ARS members will facilitate the GB100RAF callsign. QSL information for GB100RAF is via G8FC, the club call sign of HQ RAF ARS.

2018 sees Christ Church, Coventry, celebrate its 60th anniversary. Opened to replace the city-centre building bombed out during the war, the Festival of Britain design exhibits many unique architectural features. To coincide with both Churches on the Air and Heritage Open Day Quantum Amateur Radio & Technology Society will be running a VHF phone and HF FT8 special event station using the callsign GB6CCC. Visitors are welcome to not only visit the special event station but have a look around this magnificent building and climb the tower to see the vistas of Coventry. Further details are at www.g7lfc.radio.

XR208A, XR208B, XR208C and XR208D are the special callsigns for the Discolo DX Group to celebrate the 208th anniversary of the First Government Junta on the 18th of September 1810. It proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. They will operate SSB, PSK31 and FT8 on the HF bands throughout September. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau.

Philippe, F5PTA will be active as TM70ONU from Lyon in France from the 1st of September to the 27th of December, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. QSL via eQSL only.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but only if you tell us what you’re doing! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. Three months in advance is about right for RadCom. One of the requirements for special event callsigns is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 2nd of September, the RSGB’s SSB Field Day ends its 24 hours run at 1300UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also ending its 24 hour run today, this time at 1400UTC, is the 144MHz Trophy. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day ends its 24 hour runs at 1300UTC today, the 2nd. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU 144MHz contest also ends it 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 2nd. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest ends its run at 2359UTC on the 2nd. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, with ladies able to send 00.

Today, the 2nd, the 5th 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on 2m only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on today, the 2nd, the Worked All Britain 2m QRO Phone contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest takes place on 80m between 2000 and 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

The WA DX SSB contest takes place from 0000UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 9th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note EU stations work non-EU only.

Next Sunday, the 9th, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Please note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

It is followed immediately by the IRTS 70cm Counties contest from 1300 to 1500UTC. Again using SSB and FM the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 31st of August.

Just after we filed the Propagation Report last Friday we heard that a new large sunspot had just appeared. This pushed the solar flux index to 72, but more interesting was the fact that it appeared to have a reverse magnetic polarity to the rest of the spots in solar cycle 24. This means it may be the second spot seen of the new solar cycle 25. Time will tell, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that the new cycle is about to burst into life. We may still be at sunspot minimum for another 12 months or so.

Also last Sunday saw the Kp index rocket to seven due to the effects of an incoming high-speed solar wind stream. This was unexpected and caught space weather watchers unawares. It has now been linked to a coronal mass ejection that occurred earlier in the week that scientists didn’t think would impact the Earth. This just goes to show how hard it is to predict what the Sun is going to do one week in advance! The CME knocked the bands for six last weekend with a virtual total lack of signals across HF most of Sunday. With this information we are cautious about predicting what will happen over the next seven days!

What we can say is that the Sun is likely to remain fairly spotless, so the risk of solar flares is minimal. Sunspot number 2720, which did spark a number of flares on Friday 24th, has now rotated out of view, leaving a fairly blank canvas. Maximum usable frequencies are therefore due to return to seasonal averages, with 20 and perhaps occasionally 17 metres providing the most HF DX.

We are now moving towards the autumnal equinox so north-south paths may also start to improve, but we may have to wait another month or so for an improvement in east-west paths, such as UK to North America.

And now the VHF propagation news

Last Sunday’s 10GHz contest saw some excellent rain scatter propagation over the UK, with QSOs well up to the 400km mark. But the next spell of weather is looking much more settled with high pressure on the charts for much of next week. This could bring Tropo back on the agenda for most areas of the country at times. That makes it a good week to get down to the multimode ends of the bands on VHF and UHF. Remember, Tropo is a relatively long-lasting mode, so there is plenty of time to make the QSOs, unlike Sporadic-E, which can be very transient indeed. Also unlike Sporadic-E, Tropo tends to get better on higher frequency bands, so 23cm is better than 70cm, which is better than 2m. The Sporadic-E season is just about over for this year and, although there can be openings into early September, they are hard to find and usually short-lasting.

Our most predictable propagation source, the Moon, is at positive declination all week and reaches perigee early on Saturday morning so it’s a good week for EME tests, with long availability and low losses. The Moon follows a 28-day cycle, where the plane of its orbit moves from South of the equator or negative declination, to North and back. Its distance from the Earth changes from closest or perigee to furthest, apogee.

Currently maximum declination and perigee almost coincide, favouring stations in the Northern hemisphere, but this difference drifts slowly. By 2022 this situation will have reversed and Southern hemisphere stations will get this coincidence.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th August 2018

The news headlines:

  • FT8 in UK and EU contests

  • Petition launched to save WWV

  • GB3RS and GB7BP service interruption

Recently, the RSGB Contest Committee has seen some FT8 QSOs being claimed within contest logs. At present it is difficult to complete a full contest exchange using FT8, although an EU contest compatible version is under development. A, machine generated modes, or MGM-specific contest ran in April this year, with a set of rules structured to support all MGM modes with varying and limited exchanges. The initial reaction to this contest was positive and a second event will take place in December. At this time, FT8 and similar fast MGM modes will be kept inside a separate, more experimental, contest framework. However, the Contest Committee proposes increasing the number of these MGM contests during 2019. Consequently, from the first of September onwards, the allowed modes for RSGB VHF contests, except for the dedicated MGM events, will be SSB, CW, FM, AM, JT6M, ISCAT and FSK441.

US National Institute of Standards and Technology station WWV and sister transmitting stations are among the oldest radio stations in the United States, having been in continuous operation since May 1920. WWV has transmitted the official US Time for nearly 100 years. The US government are planning to close the NIST Radio Stations WWV, WWVB, and WWVH in 2019. An online petition has been set up at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0824-A to change that decision, though at the time of writing only about 7% of the necessary signatures to require a response from the White House had been gathered.

The GB3RS radio shack at the RSGB National Radio Centre will be off the air from Wednesday the 29th to Friday the 31st of August. During this time access to the demonstration radio room area will be limited. The reason is that significant maintenance work is being carried out on the tower that supports the station’s aerials. The D-Star repeater, GB7BP, will be off the air for the same period of time as it shares the same mast. The work is weather dependant but if there are any changes the RSGB will post details on its website. Separately, the NRC will be hosting a visit by a group of visually impaired students from Spain on Tuesday the 28th. Of August. Volunteers will be running a number of Morse activities for these visitors. On Sunday the 2nd of September, it is the Annual Reunion of Code Breakers at Bletchley Park, including the Voluntary Interceptors. This event is organised by Bletchley Park and more can be read at www.bletchleypark.org.uk

The next RSGB Train the Trainers session will be held on Saturday the 1st of September, from 9.30am to 5pm. It will take place at Wolverhampton Electricity Sports and Social Club, St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton WV3 0QH. This venue is the HQ of Wolverhampton Amateur Radio Soceity. For more information, or to book a place, please contact Ron Wellsted via email at ron@wellsted.org.uk

The Bath Radio Classes team will be running a Foundation course from the 12th of September. This will be their last using the current syllabus. Classes will be on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9pm at the Scout HQ in the centre of Bath. Cost will be about £60 including textbook, exam and room hire costs. An Intermediate course will follow in October. Full details from Steve, G0FUW via e-mail to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB Convention will take place at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ, from the 12th to the 14th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and a provisional programme is posted at www.rsgb.org/convention. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your packages for this flagship event at the lower price. Don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

The RSGB has released another presentation from its 2017 Convention on the Members’ Area video portal, which is to be found at www.rsgb.org/video. In his talk on HF Propagation at the Sunspot Minimum, RSGB Propagation Studies Committee Chair Steve Nichols G0KYA asks, and answers, the questions ‘When is it?’, ‘What can we expect?’, and ‘How can we make the most of the HF bands as we approach and pass sunspot minimum?’. Take a look at the video and, if it inspires you to go to the 2018 Convention, you can book online at www.rsgb.org/convention.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned for Astronaut Ricky Arnold, KE5DAU with a school in India, scheduled for Monday the 27th of August at approximately 08:06 UTC. The conversation will be conducted in English. The contact will be via a telebridge operated by ON4ISS in Belgium. The downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.8MHz FM.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This 10th anniversary event takes place on the 28th and 29th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like the big RSGB bookstall, traders stands, flea market and the Bring and Buy, the winners of the National Club of the Year 2017, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

Shefford and District Amateur Radio Society, which celebrates its 70th birthday in October, would like to hear from all current and past members to help mark the anniversary. Please contact the club via its website, www.sadars.co.uk

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

This weekend, the 25th and 26th of August, the Montrose Amateur Radio & Aviation Rally takes place at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, DD10 9BD. Doors open from 10am on both days and entry is free. If you want a table, which costs £5, contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933 as soon as possible. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, will run a Buildathon on the Sunday, funded by the RSGB Legacy Committee. Spaces are limited, so please email your interest to David, MM0HQD, via info@cqscotland.com

Today, the 26th, the Torbay ARS Annual Communications Fair takes place at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. It’s an indoor event with free parking and disabled facilities, and is accessible by public transport. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, RSGB Book Stall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike, G1TUU on 01803 557 941.

Also today, the Milton Keynes ARS is holding its 60th anniversary rally at the Irish Centre, Manor Field, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HZ. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Hot & cold food will be available. Contact Francis Hennigan, 2E0FMK, via email to rally@mkars.org.uk

On the 27th, Bank Holiday Monday, the Huntingdonshire ARS annual rally will take place at the Ernulf Academy, Barford Rd, St Neots PE19 2SH. Talk-in via GX0HSR will be on 145.550MHz. There’s free parking and admission is £3. Doors open at 9am, or 7am for traders. There will be an RSGB Book Stall as well as a Bring & Buy Hot meals and drinks are available on site as well as an ice cream van. Contact M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

On September the 1st, the evening before the Telford Hamfest, Steve, G0FUW is leading a Bath-style Buildathon in Telford at the Park Inn Hotel, TF3 4NA. This year features a design by Heather, M0HMO described as a HF Swiss Army Knife. It’s a small, digital, very portable device that will measure VSWR, RF power, DC voltage, resistance, continuity and HF frequency. It includes a GPS for latitude and longitude, Maidenhead locator and OS Grid reference for around £20. The Buildathon venue opens from 7pm and Heather recommends pre-booking for the project by calling her on 0780 254 8938 or via email to heather@myorangedragon.net . Bookings for an overnight stay can be made directly to the Park Inn Hotel on 01952 429 988, as soon as possible please; mention the GQRP Radio event for a concessionary rate. Further information is at www.telfordhamfest.org.uk

The following day, the 2nd, the annual Telford HamFest takes place at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire TF8 7DQ. Numerous trader and exhibitor stands are booked and there will be a variety of presentations from guest speakers in the Darby Boardroom. There will be an RSGB Bookstand. Admission is £4.50 with accompanied under 16's free from 10am. On-site catering will be available and car parking facilities have been improved. Details from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255416.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Nobu, JA0JHQ will be active as T88PB from Koror, Palau, IOTA reference OC-009, from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September. Main activity will be during the All Asian DX SSB Contest on the 1st and 2nd of September with some CW, especially on 30m, and possibly FT8 outside the contest. QSL via Logbook of The World, (preferred), or directly to JA0JHQ.

Jacques, F6HMJ will be active as SV8/F6HMJ from Ios (pronounced i-os) Island, EU-067, from the 27th of August to the 6th of September. He will operate CW and some SSB on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Laci, HA0NAR will be active from Guadeloupe as FG/HG0R between the 27th of August to the 7th of September on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log.

Now the special event news

The British Inland Waterways on the Air event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Paul, MI1AIB and Sharon, 2I0SHZ will be active with GB8BRM from Ballyronan Marina on the shores of Lough Neagh. This is Worked All Britain square H98. Activity will mostly be holiday style. QSL via MI1AIB. For more details of other stations taking part in the event, go to www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

In 1918 a group of amateur radio enthusiasts formed the Guildford Wireless Alliance. There has been at least one amateur radio society in Guildford ever since. Guildford & District Radio Society, Wey Valley Amateur Radio Group and the Guildford Repeater Group are jointly marking 100 years of amateur radio in Guildford. A special event station will be on the air until the 27th of August on HF, VHF and digital modes from the Guildford Model Engineers HQ, London Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1TU.

On the 1st and 2nd of September, the Radio Club of Binche will operate as ON44WAR to commemorate the Belgian Resistance during WW II, especially those of the Refuge B 40 in Waudrez, Belgium. Activity will be from 0700 to 1600UTC on the 1st and 0700 to 1100UTC on the 2nd. CW transmissions on 7MHz from a “Paraset” will take place on the hour for 30 minutes, followed by SSB. QSL via ON7RY, direct, via bureau or eQSL.

Over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of September, Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2MFM, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW2. Activity will be from a World War 2 pillbox in Wat Tyler Country Park, near Basildon.

The RSGB Region 8 Team have been given the opportunity to showcase amateur radio by hosting GB100RAF in the STEM Village, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, on the 1st and 2nd of September at the 2018 Portrush Airshow, “AirWaves”. Mid Ulster ARC will provide their display trailer for the weekend and RAF ARS members will facilitate the GB100RAF callsign. QSL information for GB100RAF is via G8FC, the club call sign of HQ RAF Amateur Radio Soceity.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but only if you tell us what you’re doing! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. Three months in advance is about right for RadCom. One of the requirements for special event callsigns is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now on to the contest news

Today, the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 28th, the SHF UK Activity contest runs from 1830 to 2230UTC using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, the 1st and 2nd of September, it’s the RSGB’s SSB Field Day contest. It runs for 24 hours from 1300UTC Saturday to 1300UTC Sunday. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. This event includes a fixed station section and all sections have a maximum output power of 100W. Station inspections are possible, so portable stations need to register to qualify for an award. New for this year is a “Renewable Energy Portable” 6-hour section.

Also on the 1st and 2nd it’s the 144MHz Trophy, which runs from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day and 144MHz contests coincide with RSGB events, but due to new data protection regulations you now have to submit your own entry to the IARU contests. It cannot be done for you.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day runs from 1300UTC Saturday to 1300UTC Sunday, using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number. The IARU 144MHz contest runs from 1400UTC Saturday to 1400UTC Sunday. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 1st of September the CWops CW Open Contest runs from 0000 to 2359UTC in three 4-hour sessions. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is a serial number and your name.

The All Asian DX contest takes place from 0000UTC on the 1st to 2359UTC on the 2nd. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, with ladies able to send 00.

On the 2nd of September, the 5th 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on 2 metres only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 2nd, the Worked All Britain 2 metre QRO Phone contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

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

This past week was characterised by low sunspot numbers and unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The K index hit three and four during the week due to yet another large elongated coronal hole on the Sun’s surface. But it wasn’t all bad news as there was DX to be had if you employed the right equipment. Roger, G3LDI reported working Hank, W6SX near the Yosemite region of California, USA, on 20 metres during a CWops contest in the early afternoon on Wednesday. Hank was using a basic wire antenna while Roger was using a SteppIR beam at height. Both were using their respective full legal power limits.

The TX5T DXpedition to the Austral Islands in the South Pacific proved to be a trickier one to work, but a number of G stations did manage to make the trip, with 40 and 80m contacts surprisingly making a show.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 66, which is about as low as it can get in any solar cycle. The better news is that there appears to be a lack of solar coronal holes for the time being, so geomagnetic conditions may be more settled, with a maximum K index of two.

Expect maximum usable frequencies to be in the 14 to 18MHz range, with the potential for occasional Sporadic-E openings on the higher bands, although we are now well past the summer peak.

It is perhaps still a little too early in the season to see the expected autumn upturn in F-layer HF conditions, but there is still DX to be had if you search for it. This may be a good time to attend to your HF antennas before the autumn, ready to make the most of potentially better DX conditions in a month or so.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It’s a much more unsettled flavour to the weather this week, with low pressure close to northern Britain. What's left of the high pressure will have moved into the continent and retreated back to the Azores. This will probably limit the Tropo activity compared with recent events although, as often is the case, it will be the south of the country mainly that might see any temporary Tropo at times. What that leaves us with is the prospect of some occasional microwave band rain scatter in the unsettled phase of our weather.

There remains the prospect of the dying embers of this year’s Sporadic-E season. It is always worth a check on the clusters and HF/VHF bands from 10 metres up to 4 metres but it is perhaps a bit late in the season to expect much on 2 metres. The unsettled weather will bring some jet streams into play over northwest Europe and that can be a good thing for turbulence and Sporadic-E.

Moon declination is still negative and path losses are high today, but by the time we get to next Saturday and Sunday’s GB6GHY EME activity from the 32-metre Dish at Goonhilly in Cornwall it will be positive and losses will be lower. The team plan to be active on 1st and 2nd September, concentrating on 3.4GHz on the 1st and 5.7GHz on the 2nd. Look for them on the HB9Q EME logger between about 0800 and 1200UTC, earlier if possible, and if you can elevate your dish to the Moon, take a listen. Their CW should be receivable on a 1m dish with a decent preamp.

And that’s all from the propagation team for this week and that's all from me until next week.

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Norway gets 1kW on 6m and other bands

  • Train the Trainers in Wolverhampton

  • Share your VHF NFD experiences

On the 8th of August, Norway got an updated amateur licence, allowing all Norwegian amateurs access to 50 to 52MHz with a power of 1kW. Other new privileges include permission for non-amateurs to operate an amateur station, under supervision of a licenced amateur, for training and educational purposes. On higher bands, amateurs received permission to use 1kW for EME and meteor scatter on 69.9 to 70.5MHz, 144 to 146MHz, 432 to 438MHz and 1240 to 1300MHz, all without any additional regulatory application.

The next RSGB Train the Trainers will be held on Saturday the first of September, from 9.30am to 5pm. It takes place at Wolverhampton Electricity Sports and Social Club, St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton WV3 0QH. This venue is the HQ of Wolverhampton ARS. For more information, or to book a place, please contact Ron Wellsted by email to ron@wellsted.org.uk

RSGB VHF National Field Day weekend took place on the 7th and 8th of July, and a feature is planned in the next edition of RadCom. If your club participated in the event then it’s still not too late to send your contribution for the article. It’s a great way to promote your club’s activity. Please email your words, remembering that succinct is always good, plus some publishable pictures – the higher resolution the better – to radcom@rsgb.org.uk The deadline for the article is this Thursday, the 23rd of August. For information on sending suitable photos for publication, please see tinyurl.com/RadComPix

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ, from the 12th to the 14th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and demos, and the chance to rub shoulders with the giants of amateur radio. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your packages for this flagship event at a lower price. Details, including a provisional Programme, are at www.rsgb.org/convention – and don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

The YOTA 2018 UK team have been very busy at this year’s international youth event in South Africa. They are sharing their amateur radio activities on social media and on the RSGB website. Take a look at their blog at www.rsgb.org/yota2018 and follow them via @theRSGByouth on Twitter. They’re working on a video summary that the RSGB will release when they are back, and there will also be a feature in a forthcoming RadCom.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This 10th anniversary event takes place on the 28th and 29th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like a big RSGB bookstall, traders, flea market and Bring and Buy, the winners of the National Club of the Year 2017, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

Due to essential maintenance work on the aerial mast at the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, D-Star repeater GB7BP will likely be off air from Tuesday the 28th to Thursday the 30th of August. The maintenance work is weather dependant, so there may be a change to the date. If there is a change we will try to publicise it via the RSGB website and other online means. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned for Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO with a school in Germany on Wednesday the 22nd of August at approximately 0915UTC. The conversation will be conducted in German and will be direct, operated by DC1RSN. The downlink signals will be audible in many parts of Europe.

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

Today, the 19th, the Rugby Amateur Radio Society Rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and at 8.30am for sellers. Admission is £3. There is a car boot sale and catering is available on site. Contact Steve, G8LYB, on 0795 685 5816.

Next weekend, on the 25th and 26th, the Montrose Amateur Radio & Aviation Rally will take place at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, DD10 9BD. Doors are open from 10am on both days and entry is free. If you want a table, which cost £5, contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933 as soon as possible. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, will run a Buildathon on the Sunday. Spaces are limited, so please email your interest to David, MM0HQD, via info@cqscotland.com

On Sunday the 26th the Torbay ARS Annual Communications Fair will be held The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. It’s an indoor event with free parking and disabled facilities, and is accessible by public transport. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, RSGB Book Stall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike, G1TUU on 01803 557 941.

Also on the 26th, Milton Keynes ARS is holding its 60th anniversary rally at the Irish Centre, Manor Field, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HZ. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Hot & cold food will be available. Contact Francis Hennigan, 2E0FMK, via email to rally@mkars.org.uk

On the 27th, Bank Holiday Monday, the Huntingdonshire ARS annual rally will take place at the Ernulf Academy, Barford Rd, St Neots PE19 2SH. Talk-in with GX0HSR will be on 145.550MHz. There’s free parking and admission is £3. Doors open 9am, or 7am for traders. There will be an RSGB Book Stall as well as a Bring & Buy, Hot meals and drinks are available on site and there will be an ice cream van. Contact M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Four operators will be active as C4II from Agios, Georgios Island, IOTA reference AS-120, on the 25th to the 27th of August. They plan to operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands, and possibly on 6m.

Duby, 9A6DR is on the air as 9A6DR/P from Kolocep Island, EU-016, until around the 20th of October. In his spare time he is on the 40, 20, 10 and 6 metre bands. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

A large multinational team of YL operators will be active as TM64YL from Noirmoutier Island, EU-064, from the 25th to the 31st of August. They will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8. QSL via F4GDI, direct or bureau.

Jacques, F6HMJ will be active as SV8/F6HMJ from Ios Island, EU-067, from the 27th of August to the 6th of September. He will operate CW and some SSB on the 40 to 10 metre bands. QSL via his home call.

Wey, K8EAB will be on the air as K4G from St George Island, NA-085, from the 20th to the 25th of August. QSL via Club Log for electronic IOTA credit (preferred), or direct to K8EAB.

Now the special event news

The International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend ends today, the 19th. More than 400 lighthouse and lightship activations in 40 countries will take part in this 25th anniversary of the event. The very first Northern Lighthouse Weekend was organised in 1993 by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group, with activity from 10 lighthouses in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club were one of the original 10 clubs involved and are back at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse with their original callsign of GB2LG. Colchester Radio Amateurs are taking to the air from The Naze Car Park, Old Hall Lane, Walton CO14 8LE. Bushvalley ARC will be participating from Rathlin East, West and Rue Point Lighthouses. Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be on the air as GB0TBW for Trinity Buoy Wharf. Carrickfergus ARG will be operating from the car park at Larne Leisure Centre. Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group will be taking part from inside the Harwich High Light using the callsign GB4HLH. For a full list of stations go to www.illw.net

GB100RAF is operating from Saturday the 18th to Friday the 24th of August from RAF Syerston, as part of the RAF Air Cadets Aerospace Camp, RAFAC, and in conjunction with the RAF 100 celebrations. Cadets will be mainly on 40m around 7.155MHz, ±QRM. All QSLs via G8FC please.

Pontefract & District ARS the club will be operating GB250CC to mark Captain Cook's First Voyage in Endeavour, starting on the 23rd of August. The big day will be the 25th, the actual day Cook sailed. This station will continue until September, although not every day.

GB4RNF will be on the air on the Friday the 24th of August from Boston Central Park, Lincolnshire.

The British Inland Waterways on the Air event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the 25th to 27th. Paul, MI1AIB and Sharon, 2I0SHZ will be active with GB8BRM from Ballyronan Marina on the shores of Lough Neagh. This is WAB square H98. Activity will mostly be holiday style. QSL via MI1AIB. For more details of other stations go to www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

Spalding ARS is putting on a Special Event Station on the 24th of August for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman. Operating from Boston Central Park, there will be other events taking place as well as the amateur station.

In 1918 a group of enthusiasts interested in the new hobby of amateur radio formed a group in Guildford and named it the Guildford Wireless Alliance and there has been at least one amateur radio society in Guildford ever since. Now, 100 years later, Guildford & District Radio Society, Wey Valley Amateur Radio Group and the Guildford Repeater Group are pleased to celebrate 100 years of Amateur Radio in Guildford. A special event station will be on the air from the 25th to the 27th of August on HF, VHF and digital modes. The venue is the Guildford Model Engineers HQ, London Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1TU.  Further details from Timothy Dabbs, G7JYQ, by email to sec.gdrs@virginmedia.com.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB HF contests in the month of August.

On Tuesday at 1900 to 2130UTC the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place with the exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Matter from a solar coronal hole sent the K index to four on two occasions last week. This adversely affected the ionosphere and on Thursday morning the maximum usable frequency over 3,000 kilometres was struggling to get much above 10MHz. Earlier in the week conditions had been much better. In fact, there were signs we are now moving towards more equinox-like HF conditions and away from the summer doldrums. Chris, G0DWV reports working a number of Japanese stations on 17 metres last week, while Andy, M0NKR worked as far west as Montana in the USA. Checking the bands before retiring on Wednesday evening, Steve, G0KYA was surprised to hear a loud XQ3SK in Chile at the bottom end of 20 metres at 2230UTC. This does bode well for HF over the coming weeks, as long as geomagnetic conditions can remain quiet.

There was one tiny visible sunspot group last week, which pushed the sunspot number to 12, but there are no signs of any others coming around the sun’s limb. Consequently, next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 68-70 again, with minimal or zero sunspots. It also predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 20th and 21st due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. Conditions should be more settled after that, so we may expect better HF conditions from Thursday onwards.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend a weak low over the country may lead to some short sharp scattered showers, setting up conditions for rain scatter on the microwave bands. The many weather radars available online will allow you to follow these large highly-reflective cumulonimbus clouds to set up those longer-range microwave paths.

Subsequently, southern Britain will have a ridge of high pressure pushing in from the Azores high and this will re-introduce the prospects of some Tropo, especially to the south into the continent and across Biscay to Spain or even beyond, as we’ve seen this last week. There will, however, be a tendency for lower pressure to the north of Scotland, keeping winds stronger and curtailing the chance of Tropo.

Lastly, Sporadic-E has been looking a bit thin recently, although a few openings were seen at the end of last week. Unfortunately, any favourable placements of jet streams this weekend will soon be displaced and the next week is showing only limited potential with a very weak upper air flow over Europe for much of this week.

The Moon is at minimum declination on Wednesday and is at its apogee of 405,700km on Thursday. This means the worst EME conditions of the lunar month this week, with highest path losses and very short, low-elevation moon visibility windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • More Newcomers on 5MHz – Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Early Bird deadline for the RSGB Convention approaching

  • ARISS contact for German school

The Ecuadorian telecoms regulator, ARCOTEL, has authorised operation on 5MHz under the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 25W EIRP. Bosnia & Herzegovina have also been authorised by their regulator, for 5MHz operation under the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 15W EIRP.

The end of the Early Bird discount for bookings at the RSGB Convention is fast approaching. The deadline is the 18th of August and the event takes place on the 12th to the 14th of October. The provisional programme is now available on the website, so visit www.rsgb.org/convention for all the latest information. The RSGB Convention is generously sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons.

An ARISS contact is planned for a school in Germany with Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO on Tuesday the 14th of August at approximately 1256UTC. The exchange will be a direct contact operated by DN2DLR and be conducted in German. The downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.800 MHz FM.

The Perseids meteor shower will peak between the night of Sunday the 12th of August and the early morning hours of the 13th. You may be able to see around 60 meteors an hour during the peak. You can also catch glimpses of the Perseid meteors until the last week of August. See the Propagation Forecast to find out more about meteor shower activity on the VHF bands.

The 2018 UK High Altitude Society annual conference and general High Altitude Balloon get-together will be held at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire on Saturday the 18th of August. There will be usual broad spectrum of High Altitude Balloon talks from beginner to advanced. For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2018 Tickets cost £30, with a concession for students.

EARTH EX 2018 is an international cross-sector exercise sponsored by the Electric Infrastructure Security Council. This year’s EARTH EX event on the 22nd of August is a virtual international exercise opportunity. It supports the amateur radio capabilities of communities as, in the event of a grid emergency, radio communications may be the only form of communications able to assist in the restoration of critical lifeline infrastructures and provide support for mass care operations. To Register go to https://eiscouncil.org/EarthEx.aspx and select the Private Sector on the right and then select the Radio Communications lane. You will receive a confirmation e-mail that will be used to access the exercise anytime on the 22nd of August.

Please note that the new RSGB amateur radio exams syllabus will be released during the week commencing the 13th of August. Watch for the September RadCom that will give a fuller understanding of the milestones of the changeover. A companion document for tutors will be released at the same time. You can read the full announcement at https://tinyurl.com/newrsgbsyllabus

 

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. Any established HF DXer may make a nomination. The nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented at the RSGB Convention on the 12th-14th October. Please send nominations to HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September.

Advance notice now for the British Railways Amateur Radio Society AGM will be held at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Tuesday the 23rd of October starting at 1.15pm. For more information about the AGM please go to www.BRARS.info and follow the link from the front page.

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

Today, the 12th, it’s the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest. This large event takes place at the Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk-in will be on S22. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4, which includes parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and a lecture stream during the day. More information from Tony Baker, G3PFM, on 0774 347 5018.

Next Sunday, the 19th, the Rugby Amaeur Radio Society Rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and at 8.30am for sellers. Admission is £3. There is a car boot sale and catering is available on site. Contact Steve, G8LYB on 0795 685 5816.

Advance notice now. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, and funded by the RSGB Legacy Committee, will be at the Montrose Rally to be held on Sunday the 26th of August. A buildathon is planned for those new to electronics and amateur radio. Please consider bringing along family, neighbours and friends and help them solder up a fun free electronic project kit. Spaces must be limited, so please email your interest now to David, MM0HQD at info@cqscotland.com or visit www.CQScotland.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

TA1HZ will be travelling to Prishtina on the 17th of August and will be on the air as Z68HZ. He will be working mainly SSB and FT8. He will be back home on the 27th of August. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Roly, ZL1BQD will be active as A35RR from Togatapu, Tonga, OC-049, until the 17th of August. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or direct to ZL1BQD.

D73G ill be on the air from Hachiuja Island, AS-084, between the 15th and 18th of August. Plans are to be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes, including FT8 in DXpedition mode. QSL via 6L0NJ via the bureau.

A team of seven will be active as LR5D from Isla Martin Garcia, SA-055, between the 16th and 20th of August. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via LU4AA, direct or via the bureau.

Brandon, W0GPR will be active as OX/W0GPR during a scientific campaign to western Greenland until the 27th of August. When time allows he will operate SSB, FT8 and other digital modes on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to his home callsign.

Bo, OZ1DJJ will be active as OX3LX from Uummannaq Island, NA-134, from the 15th to the 29th of August. Bo is on the air in his spare time, typically around lunch and after dinner. QSL via OZ0J, Club Log's OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

The Deep Space Exploration Society will be operating a special event station until the 13th of August from the site of its 60 foot dish observatory in Colorado, USA. Calling as K0PRT and coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower, operation will be from 1400UTC to 2359UTC on 7.238, 14.253 and 50.160MHz. A special QSL is available. Details at http://dses.science/

Fareham & DARC will be operating GB0PKF for the Portsmouth Kite Festival on the 11th and 12th of August.

GB100RAF will be operating from Saturday the 18th to Friday the 24th of August at RAF Syerston, as part of the Aerospace camp of RAFAC (Air Cadets) and in conjunction with the RAF 100 celebrations. Cadets will be mainly on 40m around 7.155MHz ±QRM. All QSLs via G8FC.

The International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend takes place on the 18th and 19th of August. Entries are rolling in daily including 55 from Germany, 46 from Australia and 40 from the USA; not forgetting Namibia with 2, Mexico with 1, Latvia 2 and Iceland and Gibraltar with 1 each. Colchester Radio Amateurs are taking to the air from The Naze Car Park, Old Hall Lane, Walton CO14 8LE operating across the bands on phone, FT8, CW and PSK, from early Saturday morning through to, provisionally, Sunday afternoon at 4pm. Bushvalley ARC will be participating from Rathlin East, West and Rue Point Lighthouses on VHF/UHF and HF Bands. Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be on the air as GB0TBW for Trinity Buoy Wharf. Carrickfergus ARG will be operating from the carpark at Larne Leisure Centre everyone is welcome to come along and join in the craic. There will be a barbecue on the Saturday. Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group will be taking part from inside the Harwich High Light using the callsign GB4HLH. Activity will be from 8am until around 4pm on HF SSB and CW as well as 2m FM. For a full list of stations go to www.illw.net

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB HF contests in the month of August.

The Worked All Europe DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of this weekend. Europe works non-Europe only. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. You can significantly boost your score by exchanging reports of previously held QSOs, but not everybody chooses to do this. A web search for DARC WAE should find the rules, explaining how this works.

Today, the 12th, sees the fifth 70MHz Cumulative. Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, all modes can be used on the 4m band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to1900UTC, using FM only. It is followed by the 432MHz UK Activity Contest will all modes from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator for both events.

Thursday sees the 70MHz FM Activity Contest from 1800 to1900UTC, using FM only. It is followed by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest will all modes from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator for both events.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 10th August 2018.

The Sun remained spotless this week as the solar flux index stuck resolutely around the 70 mark. The tiny sunspot that made an appearance on the first of August didn’t come to much and had vanished by the third.

This underlines that we must be getting closer to sunspot minimum, although don’t expect to see any massive upturn until 2019.

Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled last week, although the effects of a coronal hole did send the K index to three on Tuesday the 7th.

Another equatorial-located coronal hole was rotating into position as this report was being written, so prepare for potentially unsettled conditions this weekend, the 11th and 12th.

Looking further ahead NOAA predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions around the 17th and again on the 20th and 21st due to coronal hole activity. The solar flux will remain around the 70 mark.

HF wise, conditions have been a little lacklustre with large parts of the bands devoid of signals, apart from the FT8 watering holes.

The 40, 30 and 20m bands still provide the most activity during daylight hours, with occasional openings on 17m metres. 80m and 40m are the “go to” bands after sunset, which of course is now getting earlier each day.

However, the ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk show there have been some consistent post-sunset HF openings up to 18MHz occurring around 2100UTC, so don’t write-off HF after dark.

And finally, don’t forget it is International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on the 18th and 19th of August.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last Sunday EI3KD worked D4Z on the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa on 144 MHz, at 4163km. This CW contact sets a new Region One Tropo record.

After all the tropo excitement, meteor scatter gets only secondary billing in the VHF news this week. The Perseids meteor shower’s broad peak hits maximum today so the VHF meteor scatter frequencies should be buzzing with meteor pings. Check out the ON4KST.info 50/70 and 144 MHz chats to see where the activity is and look upwards for shooting stars if you have dark skies

The next week looks likely to change our world of constant Tropo into a more unsettled weather type with low pressure systems and fronts moving towards the country. This will mean that rain scatter will come to the fore on the GHz bands. There could still be a little Tropo around, especially over sea paths in the south, but not very reliable ones.

Looking at Sporadic-E propagation, last week we continued to get evening digimode openings to the US. We will have a return to the unsettled weather, which implies the return of a jet stream pattern, mainly across northern Europe.

This will favour paths across to Scandinavia, whereas to the south we may have to rely upon either weaker jet streams or upper ridge patterns to come to our rescue.

August is still part of the Sporadic-E season, but it is not as widespread as earlier and perhaps harder to work.

Moon declination is high but goes negative on Wednesday so there are still plenty of EME opportunities available, with increasing losses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • New Exams Syllabus soon

  • YOTA 2018 gets under way

  • 71MHz activity thriving

The RSGB is pleased to announce that, following its formal approval by RSGB Board in July, the new syllabus will be released during the week commencing 13 August. This will link with the publication of the first set of project communications in RadCom to give a fuller understanding of the milestones of the changeover. The Society will also release a comparison document at the same time, enabling tutors to see at a glance what changes have been made between the old and new syllabuses.

This week sees the start of the 2018 Youth on the Air international event in South Africa, organised by the South African Amateur Radio League. The seven-day programme runs from the 8th to the 15th of August and involves around 80 young amateurs from around the world, including an RSGB-sponsored team of four from the UK. Activities will include building radio kits, a high-altitude balloon launch and even the chance to sit South African amateur radio exams. For more information see www.ham-yota.com

UK amateurs continue to make remarkable progress with innovative technology in the experimental 71MHz band. The BATC Forum reports contacts of reduced bandwidth digital amateur TV of between 59 and 87km, using the latest high efficiency video coding. This follows the initial short range contacts when simplified NoV access to 70.5-71.5MHz was introduced by Ofcom and the RSGB in June. See www.rsgb.org/nov for info.

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. Any established HF DXer may make a nomination. The nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year and has some real achievements to show, for example, a good total of new countries worked or some serious HF DXpedition activity. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented at the RSGB Convention on the 12th-14th October. Please send nominations to HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September.

A key RSGB web server will be offline one night this week for essential third-party maintenance. Many RSGB services will be unavailable from 9pm on Tuesday until about 8.30am on Wednesday the 8th. If you are an RSGB Member planning to visit Bletchley Park on Wednesday the 8th of August, please make sure you download your free admission voucher before 9pm on Tuesday.

A field-day style International Convention of CW Operators is taking place on the 24th to the 27th of August near Moscow, Russia. All radio amateur CW operators are invited. Participation is free but attendees must provide their own outdoor sleeping gear. Detailed information on this event, in Russian, is available at https://clck.ru/DoNR2 or you can contact the event’s ‘international liaison officer’ Ed, NT2X by email to red@escape.com 

Paraguay has joined the ever-growing list of countries that have released the 60m Secondary allocation agreed at WARC-15. The band 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz has been authorised at 25W EIRP. The original announcement, in Spanish, is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0308-B

The Nursing Times has run a feature on GB1NHS, the special event station to promote the 70th anniversary of the NHS and other national initiatives. The station was launched at the RSGB National Radio Centre on 8 May this year. You can see the Nursing Times article at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0308-C

Loughton & Epping Forest Radio Society will be running another of its highly successful Foundation courses on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of September. The course takes place at All Saints House in Chigwell Row, Essex, and concludes with the Foundation exam. There is parking available, and the venue is a short distance away from Hainault Tube Station on the central line. For more information contact Marc Litchman, M0TOC, via email to marc@lefars.org.uk or on 0748 480 4135.

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

Today, the 5th, the King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4DZ. There will be talk-in on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. Doors open at 9am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as tables inside. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701.

Also today, the Lorn Radio Rally takes place at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, for which tables are free but a raffle prize is appreciated, as well as a Bring & Buy. The raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from mm0elf@blueyonder.co.uk.

Friday the 10th sees the 25th Cockenzie & Port Seton Mini Rally Night, which takes place at the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton. Bring along your own junk and sell it yourself. Tables are on a first come first served basis. Entry is £2 and doors open at 6pm.

Next Sunday, the 12th, it’s the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest. This large event takes place at the Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk in will be on S22. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4, which includes parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and a lecture stream during the day. More information from Tony Baker, G3PFM, on 0774 347 5018 or see www.frars.org.uk.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Dariusz, SP9DLM will be active as 4S7DMG from Kalkudah, Sri Lanka, IOTA reference AS-003, from the 6th to the 14th of August. He will be on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. QSL via home call.

Alfredo Caviedes, will be active as HC1HC/8 from Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, IOTA SA-004 from the 7th to the 10th of August. Using an Elecraft KX3 transceiver and Buddipole antenna, he will operate QRP, mainly WSJT-X DXpedition mode, on WARC-79 bands and possibly 6m. QSL via NE8Z direct.

Hardy, DL7JLL will operate as A35JLL from the Kingdom of Tonga during August and September, mainly on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. From the 8th to the 15th of August he will be at Nuku Alofa. QSL via DL7JLL direct or by the bureau.

Roly, ZL1BQD, will be active as A35RR from Togatapu, IOTA OC-049, and possibly Vava’u, OC-063 between the 8th and 17th of August. Activity will be on 160 to 10m using mostly FT8 and JT65, with some CW possible depending on conditions. QSL via ZL1BQD.

Now the special event news

Today and Monday, Martello Tower Group continues operating GB5RC, celebrating five decades of offshore broadcasting. Operating from MV Ross Revenge, the home of Radio Caroline since 1983, activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 10m, SSB and various datamodes. Contact Keith, G6NHU, via email to g6nhu@me.com.

Deep Space Exploration Society will be operating a special event station from the 11th to the 13th of August from the site of its 60 foot dish observatory in Colorado, USA. Calling as K0PRT and coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower, operation will be from 1400UTC to 2359UQC on 7.238, 14.253 and 50.160MHz. A special QSL is available. Details at http://dses.science/

Welland Valley ARS will be operating another in its series of special event calls marking the end of the First World War. This month’s callsign is GB5FWW.

GB5RC will be on the air from Thursday the 3rd to Monday the 7th at Bradwell Marina as the Martello Tower group celebrate five decades of offshore broadcasting.

Fareham & DARC will be operating GB0PKF for Portsmouth Kite Festival on the 11th and 12th of August.

Advance notice now about International Lighthouse lightship Weekend, which takes place on the 18th and 19th of August. Following on from a very successful Maidens Island Lighthouse activation, Bushvalley ARC will be operational on Rathlin East, West and Rue point Lighthouses on HF, VHF and UHF. Details will be posted on the MN0GKL QRZ.com page and full information on the ILLW weekend is at https://illw.net

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB contests in the month of August.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon ends today, and participants have until Monday the 13th to upload logs.

The 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800UTC to 1200UTC today, the 8th. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FMAC and UKAC take place. Use FM only on the FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, then you can use all modes in the 144MHz UKAC until 2130UTC. Signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange for both.

On Thursday the 6m FMAC and UKAC take place. The FM-only 50MHz FMAC runs from 1800UTC to 1900UTC. It is followed immediately by the all-mode 50MHz UKAC, which runs until 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Europe DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of next weekend. Europe works non-Europe only. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. You can significantly boost your score by exchanging reports of previously held QSOs, but not everybody chooses to do this. A web search for DARC WAE should find the rules, explaining how this works.

Finally for next weekend, next Sunday sees the 70MHz Cumulative #5. Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, all modes can be used on the 4m band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 3rd August 2018

The solar flux index stayed around the 70 mark last week, although a new tiny sunspot did become visible on Tuesday. Unfortunately this had little real effect on the SFI, although it did push the sunspot number to 11. This can be misleading due to the way sunspot numbers are calculated. You score 10 for each group and one for each sunspot, so the leap from zero to 11 only means one spot has appeared.

We got the geomagnetic forecast correct last week, as conditions were quite settled. As many amateurs found in the IOTA contest, HF conditions were largely average, with a predominance of European signals. However, there were reports of some intercontinental DX, especially for better-equipped stations.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be pegged at 68, although we think it could rise a little above this due to the sun’s active region. The other news is another active region is heading around the sun and its effects may impact us in around a week’s time.

Geomagnetic conditions this week will be largely settled, but with the possibility of a slightly raised K index this weekend due to an equatorial coronal hole. Expect HF conditions to continue pretty much as they did in July, with daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 14MHz at times.

In Doctor Tamitha Skov’s weekly solar forecast on YouTube she said the new sunspot region could push conditions to the “top end of poor”, which sums up solar minimum! You can find out more about her work at www.spaceweatherwoman.com

The IOTA contest showed that there is still Sporadic-E activity around on 14-28 MHz, but it sometimes takes a contest to get people to take advantage of it.

Finally, as we are now into August you should be using the new smoothed sunspot number of five with your VOACAP-based prediction programs.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

There is a distinctly Tropo look about the weather charts this week as high pressure remains the dominant feature across the British Isles and nearby continent. This type of pattern can produce some long-lasting openings across the length of the high on the charts, preferably along one side rather than directly across the centre of the high, since this is where the inversion sinks very low and the duct can easily be cut short by high ground.

There will be a slight hiccup around mid-week in the south as a weak area of low pressure disrupts the high, bringing a risk of thundery showers to southern parts of the UK. It could mean a chance of rain scatter on the microwave bands though.

Sporadic-E isn’t over yet, but the position of jet streams do not look favourable. There is almost a total absence of Sporadic-E-producing jet streams within mainland Europe, except in a fairly limited band across northern Britain and the north Atlantic, so check the beacons and the clusters to find out which paths are open.

We are approaching the peak of the Perseids meteor shower around the 12th August so meteor scatter paths will be good either side as it is a broad peak.

This is a good week for EME as the moon is heading back towards its closest point to Earth, perigee, on August 10th. It also reaches maximum northerly declination on August 8th. Note that the sun and Moon are close on Saturday morning, meaning high sun noise.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • WRTC 2022 venue announced
  • Lighthouse 300 registered
  • Kraftwerk jams with astronaut on ISS

 

After the recent successful World Radiosport Team Championship in Germany it has been announced that the 2022 event will be hosted by Bologna in Italy. The invitation-only event pits the world’s greatest DXers against each other in over sixty teams. They compete with each other using similar stations in similar terrain to level the playing field. As far as possible, this means it comes down to a fair test of the operators’ sheer skill. The official website of the 2022 event is at http://wrtc2022.it/

The International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend takes place over the weekend of the 18th to the 19th of August. The event’s organisers have just announced the 300th lighthouse registration. It’s still a little short of the 2014 record, which was 544 lighthouses and lightships. However, there is still time and if you’d like to take part – either as an activator or a chaser – you will find the details at www.illw.net

Pioneering 1970s electronic music band Kraftwerk performed an extremely unusual duet last week, playing live on stage in conjunction with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the International Space Station. The event took place as part of Stuttgart’s Jazz Open Festival on the 20th of July. After introductions, they played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander Gerst had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesisers. You can find full details on Gerst’s blog via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2907A

As a result of work by the RSGB Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, in July Ofcom cleared two 23cm ATV repeaters for operation. GB3EY in Hull and GB3FT in Blackpool have received their NoVs. These are the first 23cm units to be cleared for several years. Separately, 23cm TV repeater GB3YT, or Yorkshire Television, is now back on the air following an extensive update of equipment. It has inputs on 70cm digital plus 23cm digital and analogue. You can find details of these – and all other UK repeaters – on the ETCC website at www.ukrepeater.net

The RSGB presently has several important volunteer vacancies. Candidates must be an RSGB member, be willing to agree to observe the Society's Code of Conduct and Ethos and support the Society's strategies. We can only give brief details of each vacancy in this broadcast but there are more details on the RSGB website or on request, and full details will appear in the September RadCom.

The RSGB has over 30 affiliated national clubs and societies and we have recognised the need for an Honorary Officer to act as a champion for these groups, and to develop a closer relationship to support them and the amateurs they represent. This position is offered for an initial period of up to three years. For more details please see www.rsgb.org/volunteers or contact Len Paget, GM0ONX, on 01563 534 383 or via email to gm0onx@rsgb.org.uk.

The Operating Advisory Service, OAS, is the RSGB’s new advisory and reporting service. It replaces the Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS. RSGB needs an Honorary Officer, who will be known as the Operating Advisory Service Coordinator. They will coordinate this service, including recruiting and training a team of volunteer Regional Operating Advisers. The role requires patience and tact, good communication skills and a willingness to help create and continue to improve this new service.

In support of the Operating Advisory Service Coordinator the RSGB is also seeking Operating Advisory Service Regional Operating Advisers from around the country. There will be notionally one per RSGB Region, and they will be the first point of contact to provide advice for the Regional Team. They will be proactive in disseminating advice through clubs, repeater groups and events where radio amateurs may be found. The Regional Operating Advisers will be supported by, among other things, an email group to help develop best practice and common presentation materials. To find out more about either of the OAS roles, please see www.rsgb.org/volunteers or contact RSGB Board Director Philip Willis, M0PHI, via email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk

British Inland Waterways on the Air takes place over the 25th to the 27th of August, the Bank Holiday weekend. It is open to all amateurs that use tow paths, rivers, lakes or reservoirs that are used for recreation. For more details see www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

Finally, the RSGB offers its congratulations to Radio Communications Foundation scholar Luke Andrews, who is now M0LLX. Luke passed all three exams since being selected as an Arkwright Scholar, and gaining sponsorship from the RCF. The RCF Trustees are grateful to Martin Atherton, G3ZAY, and the Cambridge University Wireless Society for their support.

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

Today, the 29th, the Chippenham & DARC rally, electronics fair & car boot sale takes place at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. Doors open at 9am, or 8.30 for disabled visitors. Admission is £2. There will be a car boot sale, catering, flea market, special interest groups, talk-in and trade stands. Sellers pay £10 per pitch, or the same per indoor table, and can set up from 7am. Details form Brian Tanner, G6HUI, on 0772 224 2741.

Also today, the Horncastle amateur radio rally takes place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6DZ. It’s all on one level, making it suitable for people with mobility problems. Hot food & drinks are available and there is room for traders outside. Entry remains £2. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

Next Sunday, the King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4DZ. There will be talk-in on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. Doors open at 9am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as tables inside. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701.

Also next Sunday, the Lorn Radio Rally takes place at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, for which tables are free but a raffle prize is appreciated, as well as a Bring & Buy. The raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from mm0elf@blueyonder.co.uk.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

With the IOTA Contest reaching its end today you’re sure to find the bands still busy with lots of exotic DX from rare locations.

Dave, G4BUO will be active as E51BUO from Rarotonga Island, IOTA reference OC-013, from the 30th of July to the 6th of August. He will operate on HF CW, using 100W and wire antennas. QSL via home call.

From the 5th to the 12th of August SP7IDX will be on the air from Vlore, Albania as ZA/SP7IDX. Activity will be on 40 to 10m, SSB and digital. QSL via LotW or direct to homecall.

Next weekend you can expect to find lots of activity from unusual places on VHF as there are three contests happening at the same time. More details of those later in this broadcast.

Finally, note that the planned CY9C DXpedition to St Paul’s Island, Nova Scotia, has been cancelled. It was due to run from the 1st to the 9th of August.

Now the special event news

Continuing the year-long Eleven Cities Marathon in Holland, PF2018HAR will be on the air throughout August from Harlingen in the Netherlands. You can email info@hamecc2018.eu to set up a sked.

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society and other clubs are running GB4SAS this weekend for the Sunderland Air Show. Operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, SR6 0PW, all bands from HF to 70cm will be in use from 10am on both days. Visitors are welcome.

ZM50MAUQ will be on the air throughout August to commemorate the 1968 fire aboard the SS Gothic, which resulted in the deaths of four passengers and three crew. Activity will be on 80, 40 and 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via ClubLog. There is a gripping account of the accident at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2907B

Celebrating five decades of offshore broadcasting, the Martello Tower group will operate GB5RC from the Radio Caroline ship the MV Ross Revenge from the 3rd to the 5th of August. Operation will be from three stations on 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m and 10m, running SSB and various datamodes. QSL direct to G6NHU or via the bureau to GB5RC. More details are at http://martellotowergroup.com

Members of the Carpathian Society of Transylvania will be active as YP27EKE during their hosting of the 27th Roaming Camp from the 30th of July to the 5th of August. Activity will be on the HF bands. They may also activate WWFF sites YOFF-0177 and YO/MC-031. QSL via YO6PIB

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing!

Now the contest news

The RSGB IOTA Contest draws to a close at 1200UTC today, Saturday. Using CW or SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain.

Also today, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the regular Straight Key Sprint Europe contest, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. At this time of year it runs from 1900UTC to 2100UTC. You’ll find the rules on the www.skccgroup.com website but, in brief, it’s CW-only, using only a manual key, sideswiper or bug. All the contest bands can be used from 160 to 6m, and the website has some suggested centre frequencies. The exchange is a true signal report, a QTH code which you can find on the website, operator name and either your SKCC membership number or ‘none’.

Next Saturday is going to be very busy on 2m, with no fewer than three events taking place more or less simultaneously. The Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power Phone contest runs from 1400UTC to 1800UTC. Using all phone modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

Also next Saturday, the 144MHz Backpacker #4 runs from 1300UTC to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, signal report, serial number, locator and postcode forms the exchange.

Overlapping with that is the 144MHz Low Power contest, which takes place from 1400UTC to 2000UTC on Saturday. Conveniently, the exchange is the same – signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Next Sunday morning the 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800UTC to 1200UTC. Again, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of July.

The solar flux index hit 66 on Thursday 26th, which is probably the lowest it will go this sunspot minimum. At the time of writing the visible solar disk has been devoid of sunspots since June 27th, apart from the tiniest fleck that sent the sunspot number to 11 for one day on 12th July. We can probably expect more of the same through 2018 as we make our way through this low part of the current solar cycle.

Geomagnetic conditions were a little unsettled this week due to coronal hole activity, with the K index hitting four at times. Next week NOAA has the solar flux index pegged at 68 with reasonably-settled geomagnetic conditions.

This weekend is the RSGB Islands on the Air Contest, which may actually be over by the time you hear this. But for those of you who read GB2RS online or catch it on Saturday, expect 40m and 20m to be the money bands, with 7MHz coming into its own after dark. Fifteen metres and ten metres may struggle to open, other than through Sporadic-E openings, which are now becoming less prevalent as we move towards August.

Started in 1993, IOTA is now a major international event, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world. Radio amateurs will be travelling to islands around the globe, and putting them on the air, so it is an ideal opportunity to make some contacts.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather is breaking with some heavy thundery showers in attendance this weekend, so there’s the prospect of some rain scatter for the microwave bands. This will only be temporary as fine weather returns from Tuesday. That also means that although we are having a pause from the almost daily Tropo weather due to the recent high pressure, it will return from mid-week to give the prospect of some VHF DX paths across the North Sea to the Baltic and Scandinavia, or to the south across Biscay to Spain and western France. Sea paths are often the best under these summer Tropo conditions.

The Sporadic-E conditions have been a bit variable recently, but don’t worry about the change of month, as Sporadic-E can go right through to early September in a good year. However, we do really need a more changeable pattern of weather to bring us the useful jet streams, which can be good for Sporadic-E. There are some jet streams about, so you maximise the potential for openings by listening for the beacons and looking at the clusters. The peak times are typically late morning and late afternoon and early evening.

It is only two weeks to go until the Perseids meteor shower, the biggest of the year, so check out your equipment and be ready for some – literal – fireworks on the 12th.

The moon is past apogee again and declination goes positive on Thursday so EME conditions will pick up as the week progresses.

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

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