RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 29th. March 2015.

March 27, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Eclipse Experiment yields data

  • G3TXF wins Cass Award for ZD9XF DXpedition

  • Amateurs run community broadcast radio station

The RSGB’s solar eclipse radio experiments on 20th March were deemed a great success. Radio amateurs took part in a wide range of experiments on many bands, including a QSO party on 160, 80m and 40m. The use of the reverse beacon network and Morse code meant that the received signal to noise ratios of those taking part could be automatically logged. Other stations, including some in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, used WSPR, the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, to test propagation on paths around Europe. All this data is now available for RSGB Members to download and analyse themselves on the RSGB’s Radio Propagation Questions forum on the RSGB website. A lot of analysis can now be done to look at specific paths and times using the data that were collected and Propagation Studies Committee Chair, Steve Nichols, G0KYA, would like to thank everyone who took part in the experiments. A full report will appear in a future edition of RadCom.

The Cass Award encourages DXpedition operating excellence and the 2014 Single-Operator Cass Award has been won by Nigel Cawthorne, G3TXF. Congratulations Nigel. It was awarded for his DXpedition to the island of Tristan da Cunha as ZD9XF in September 2014 where he worked 9314 unique stations during the first 14 days of his one-man DXpedition. The award states that it demonstrated an outstanding effort to log as many DXers as possible and set a new Single-Operator Cass Award record. Club Log founder Michael, G7VJR presented Nigel with his plaque and prize at the CDXC Annual Dinner is on 21st March.

Community broadcast radio station Cambridge 105 is a voluntary organisation with over ten radio amateurs involved. On Good Friday, 3rd April, they are going back to the days of pirate radio and setting up a completely analogue studio on the Riverboat Georgina, moored on the River Cam. The day's music will cover the whole pirate radio era, from the 60s to early 90s when the final stations closed. However they have also teamed up with the DARC team who took over Deutsche Welle's short wave licence on 6070kHz and, for the duration of the broadcast, Cambridge 105 will be relayed across Europe on their 10kW transmitter in southern Germany, near Munich. Dom, M0BLF will be managing QSL cards for any SWLs who hear them on 6070kHz on the day. Anyone wanting to listen can do so on 105MHz FM, online at http://cambridge105.fm or, between 10am and 10pm on Good Friday, on 6070kHz.

Three more RSGB Train the Trainers days will take place in the coming months. Available free to any RSGB Member involved with training, these events are for those with no professional background in teaching. You will learn additional skills for working with a class and find the best way to help individuals understand the material. The next Train the Trainers day is on 9th May in Norwich. In order to book a place, please email David, G7URP via radio@dcpmicro.com. The second is in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June and is now open for bookings. To claim your place at this location, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk. Finally, another RSGB Train the Trainers day event will take place in Merthyr Tydfil, on Saturday 11th July. Please contact Jimmy, MW0EQL, via mw0eql@googlemail.com for bookings and further details.

The 2015 reunion of the Radio Security Service will take place at Bletchley Park on 10th May. Registration will be from 10am and the meeting starts promptly at 10.30am. The venue for the meeting will be in a different building this year, the Teleprinter Hall. Please contact rssreunion@aol.com for further information if you wish to attend.

To celebrate the 90th anniversaries of the International Amateur Radio Union and French national Society as well as the 150th anniversary of the International Telecommunications Union, several special event stations from different French areas or entities will be on the air. The first is TO90IARU that will be on the air from the 4th to the 18th April from Martinique.

Shortwave Radio in World War II is a 59-minute version of the 1944 film Voice of Victory that tells the story of how Hallicrafters developed the WWII SCR299 military shortwave radio from the pre-war HT-4 amateur radio set. You can watch Shortwave Radio in World War II: Voice of Victory 1944 Hallicrafters at www.tinyurl.com/GB2RS-329

The ITU deployed emergency telecommunication equipment to Vanuatu following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 tropical storm that hit the archipelago on 13th March. They dispatched 40 satellite phones, 10 broadband global area network terminals and 35 solar panels to the island nation to support relief coordination efforts. Cyclone Pam slammed into the Vanuatu archipelago. Winds are estimated to have reached 250km/h, with gusts peaking at around 320km/h, causing damage to the infrastructure, impacting services such as electricity. The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all who had been there struggling to recognise damaged landmarks shown on TV news.

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

Today, the 29th, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2,. There will be a Bring & Buy. Details from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com

The Ripon Radio Rally will take place in Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT, 100m west of the High Skellgate traffic lights on the B6265 today, the 29th of March. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as refreshments available. The organisers warn prospective visitors that the Bring & Buy is upstairs, so if you can't carry it, don't bring it! Email rally@ripon.org.uk for further details.

There are no rallies taking place over the Easter weekend, the 3rd to 6th April. The next is the 31st Yeovil QRP Convention, which will take place on 12th April at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There will be talk-in on S22 and the doors open from 9.30am to 3pm. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as a lecture stream. More details from Steve, G7AHP, on 01803 666 407.

Also on 12th April the 52nd Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open from 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

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

Now the special event news

Bushvalley ARC will active as GB8RAF from two locations during the RAF Airfields On The Air activation period of 28th March to 12th April. They will be at RAF Ballykelly today, the 29th. The following two weekends will be split between RAF Eglinton for one day and RAF Ballykelly for one day. More information is on QRZ.com.

West Manchester radio club is holding a special event on Bank Holiday Monday 6th April using the callsign GB2EFD. The event is being hosted by the Tyldesley town partnership at Astley Street Park, Astley Street. Tyldesley, Manchester M29 7BB. All are welcome to this local community event. Starting at 11am they will be working HF, 2m, 70cm and D-Star.

The GM0RAY event organised by Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET Group for 5th April in Gourock has had to be cancelled.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Marc, DU9/ON5SM will visit the Philippines until 25th April operating from Mindanao, IOTA reference OC-130. Using a Kenwood TS480SAT and 300W PA, Signalink DIGImodem into a GB5RV, 6 band Hexbeam and a 10m vertical with CG3000 antenna tuner he plans to be as active as possible. A special QSL card for these contacts can be sent via the bureau to those who wish.

A short operation from the Brazilian island of Trindade, SA-010, will take place from 2nd to 4th April. Trindade is a separate DXCC entity and is normally inhabited by a small detachment of Brazilian naval personnel. The callsign will be PQ0T and they hope to be active on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL manager is PP5BZ.

The Pacific island of Nauru, OC-031, will be on the air until 4th April. A team of 4 operators will sign C21EU and be on 40 – 10m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSLs go via DL2AWG.

A holiday-style activation will be on the air until 2nd April from the Maldive Islands, AS-013, by Ben, DL1RNT, who will sign 8Q7NT. Operation will be mainly CW on 40 – 10m. QSLs go via the home call.

Keith, GM4YXI/GM5X and Chris, GM3WOJ/GM2V will be on the air from Weno Island, OC-011, as V6Z until 9th April. A part time entry in the CQ WW WPX SSB contest in the M/2 category is planned. QSL via N3SL.

Now the contest news

Please note that contest times are given as UTC, which is an hour behind local clock time in the UK now that British Summer Time came in at 1am on the 29th.

The second – and final – major American contest is the SSB leg of CQWW WPX running for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC tonight, the 29th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, on the 5th, the first RoPoCo contest takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz band you send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full postcode. In subsequent QSOs you send the postcode that you received in each of your previous QSOs. Should you receive a postcode that is obviously corrupted, which is not unusual, pass it on as received. This contest is all about logging accuracy and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces the error you won’t lose points. Bear in mind that some Continental postcodes also creep into the proceedings. This is a surprisingly challenging contest, with the same power limit for everyone – 100 watts.

Also on 5th April the first 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The first of this year’s SP DX Contests takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 4-5th, that’s the Easter weekend, from 1500 to 1500UTC. The modes in this one are CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. Only contacts with SP stations count for points. Send a signal report and expect to receive a signal report and single-letter Province code, with 16 to collect. There are lots of sections, mostly for single-op stations.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of March.

Last week’s solar eclipse was a great opportunity to try out some propagation experiments. Many listeners reported the enhanced reception of distant medium wave stations at the time of maximum eclipse as the D layer of the ionosphere became less absorbing. The other data are currently being analysed for a feature in RadCom.

This week has shown how hard it can be to accurately predict solar conditions. NOAA had indicated that it expected the solar flux index to be around 100-110. In fact, at the time of writing, it was edging towards 140, thanks to a host of new sunspots. These, coupled with relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions with the K index often around two, have brought excellent HF conditions with the bands wide open to many parts of the world.

This week, predictions place the solar flux index in the range 130-140, but with continuing unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The K index could reach as high as five on Sunday 29th, due to a particle stream from a recurrent coronal hole, and four towards the end of the week. This suggests that HF conditions could be variable, with auroral-type conditions at times, which could impact signals on polar paths. Maximum usable frequencies are likely to be depressed as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week is starting fairly windy and unsettled, with high pressure to the south of the UK, which is almost good enough, but unfortunately insufficient to develop a robust temperature inversion, and certainly not in the northern half of the UK; so expect initially marginal to flat tropo conditions.

Any hopes of slightly better conditions rest upon a weak ridge developing over southern England in the second half of the week. A recent model predicts a stronger high over Britain by Friday, with some prospect of lift conditions. So don’t give up on this week, and remember there’s always aircraft scatter to give us DX on the higher bands.

The 2015 Es season should be getting underway soon, typically in mid April from the UK on the lower VHF bands, and the 22nd to 23rd April Lyrids meteor shower is only three weeks away.

The Moon reaches apogee on Thursday meaning highest path losses and declination is decreasing giving shorter Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd. March 2015.

March 20, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd March 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB supports ISS work in schools

  • Technical Excellence Award for George Dobbs

  • GB3PY celebrating 40 years of UHF speech repeaters

The Radio Society of Great Britain has announced its participation in a programme designed to enthuse and encourage young people throughout the United Kingdom into Amateur Radio and a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, will launch to the International Space Station in November of this year and will spend six months working and living on board the ISS. Tim has issued a challenge to school pupils to contact him on board the ISS via Amateur Radio through a scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS contact.

The RSGB is delighted to announce that schools, who apply successfully to be part of this exciting programme, will be able to put forward students to represent them by making the radio call to Tim on orbit. These students will have to obtain their Full Amateur Radio Licence to be eligible to operate the radio and one lucky student at each ARISS Amateur Radio contact will be responsible for making contact with the Space Station.

The RSGB will assist schools taking part in this programme by providing training courses to help students obtain their Amateur Radio licence and, in partnership with ARISS, will provide all necessary technical support.

RadCom author and famous QRPer George Dobbs, G3RJV has been awarded the Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award for a lifetime of work for QRP. He has helped many amateur radio operators build their own equipment as well as writing columns in both Practical Wireless and RadCom and books on the subject. Congratulations George. Other winners are Tim Duffy, K3LR who was awarded Amateur of the Year and Thomas Medlin, W5KUB who received the Special Achievement Award.

The UHF repeater GB3PY turns 40 years old in March and to celebrate this anniversary of the first ever UHF voice repeater in the UK being licensed, GB3PY will be using the callsign GB40PY for the rest of the year, with immediate effect. Ofcom have issued an NoV and Cambridgeshire Repeater Group will be running a number of events to commemorate the anniversary of PY's "birth".

Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu last weekend. Recovery is expected to take a very long time. The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all those who have been there in the past struggling to recognise damaged landmarks now being shown on TV news. Like other countries in the region very few local radio amateurs exist, and no communication has been heard from many islands.

The FUNcube team are pleased to announce that the Data Warehouse has received two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world. FUNcube-1 (AO-73) was launched on 21st November, 2013 and since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage.

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

The Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, 22nd March, from the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. It is a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. Details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

Reading & District Amateur Radio Club has one of their twice yearly junk sales on Thursday 26th March. The rules are on their website www.radarc.org

Next Sunday, the 29th, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2,. There will be a Bring & Buy. Details from Roger by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com

The Ripon Radio Rally will take place in Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT, 100m west of the High Skellgate traffic lights on the B6265 on Sunday 29th March. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as refreshments available. The organisers warn prospective visitors that the Bring & Buy is upstairs, so if you can't carry it, don't bring it! E-mail rally@ripon.org.uk for further details

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

Now the special event news

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be activating Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin Mountains on Sunday 22nd March. This field day type event, using the callsign MN0VFW, will allow members the opportunity to work stroke portable from the view point carpark. Those more willing and able will make the short trek to the top at 528m ASL to activate the actual summit. The SOTA reference is GI/SM 007. They plan to be on air between 10am and early afternoon on HF, VHF and UHF.

RAF Air Cadets from No2 Welsh Wing will have two stations operating on this year’s RAFARS Airfields on the Air. GB6RAF will be active on various dates until 29th March from RAF Hawarden in Flintshire using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m and 70cm. Then GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 30th March and 26th April from RAF Rednal in Shropshire using the 10 to 40m bands.

Woody's Top Youth Hostel in Lincolnshire will be the venue for the 2015 GB1BST Special Event Station, celebrating the start of British Summer Time. Operating from the 27th to 29th March the site is on the Greenwich Meridian between Louth and Horncastle. Radio operations are scheduled to start late on the 27th with test transmissions on the 40m, 20m, 17m and 2m bands, which will be used during the weekend event. GB1BST has been organised by the Youth Hostels Amateur Radio Group and the Phoenix Radio Group with help from several clubs in the region. Local radio hams are invited to visit the station, and to help run it over the weekend.

Riviera ARC will take part in Airfields on the Air on 28th and 29th March from the ex RAF airfield at Haldon just outside of Teignmouth using the callsign GB4AOA. The station will comprise a Kenwood TS-590S and an offset Carolina Windom. The station will concentrate mainly on 40m SSB and 2m FM. Special QSLs are available and contacts with GB4AOA count towards the RAFARS awards for this event.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Joe, LA5UF will operate from Easter Island, SA-001, as CE0Y/LA5UF until the 31st March. He hopes to be on the 10 to 40m bands using CW. QSLs should go directly to his home address.

Guy, F5MNW, returns to Reunion Island, AF-016, as FR/F5MNW until 14th April. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

Joe, LU1FM, will be active as 5J0B from San Andres Island, NA-033, until 4th April. Using the 6 to 160m bands on SSB and digital modes he will also be on during the WPX contest. QSL via LU1FM using ClubLog OQRS.

Hannes, OE1SGU, will be active as DU1/OE1SGU from Luzon Island, OC-042, between 24th March and 21st April. Operation will be holiday-style on the 6 to 40m bands using CW and digital modes. QSL via OE1SGU using Logbook of the World and OQRS.

Now the contest news

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its 48 hour run at 0200UTC on Monday 23rd. It is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Exchange a signal report, serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1200UTC on today, the 22nd. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. Running on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations adding the Oblast code.

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

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

The UK EI Contest Club 80m contest series continues on Wednesday 25th. This month it’s a CW session. These monthly one hour contests are different. They are timed to coincide with the hours of darkness over most of the UK, Ireland and Europe. They are open to all stations anywhere to enter, and the scoring is distance based. Taking place from 2000 to 2100UTC the exchange is just your 4-character locator.

The second – and final – major American contest is the SSB leg of CQWW WPX on 28th and 29th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged. Running from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359 on the 29th the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week we warned you of more potential solar flares and coronal mass ejections hitting the Earth and it looks like we were right. On Tuesday 17th a major geomagnetic storm took place, pushing the Kp index to eight.

The immediate reaction was an increase in signal levels on 10m with many Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian stations workable, albeit with QSB, as the maximum useable frequency headed towards 29MHz. Scotland was audible in southern UK on 10m too. Signals then turned auroral with characteristic Dalek-sounding USB signals and hissing CW on both 2, 6 and 10m. This was one of the best auroral openings on VHF for some time.

The following day the K index was still at five and MUFs were very depressed.

The other highlight of the week was the eclipse on Friday 20th. There were lots of radio activities planned, but at the time of writing it was too early to say what the outcomes were.

This week the solar flux index should remain in the range 100-110. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions will continue, with K indices of four forecast for Monday. Next weekend could be just as bad, so look out for pre-auroral enhancements on HF, followed by auroral conditions on 6m and 10m, perhaps even 2m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Watch out for further auroral conditions on VHF if the sun is still active.

We start the week with an area of high pressure over the south of the country declining, along with any lift conditions, as a cold front crosses from the west today. A new high will build from the west across northern Britain by midweek, but this may only produce a temporary lift as it sinks south and into the continent. Indeed other models are less enthusiastic about this second high. So some chances for lift conditions, but not a 'dead cert'.

The good news is that it’s not long to wait now for the new Es season to get under way, possibly from mid to late April, and definitely from May onwards, from the UK on 10m and 6m.

No meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings. The Moon’s declination continues to increase this week giving longer Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week with losses starting low but reaching maximum next weekend.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th. March 2015.

March 13, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio Licence published

  • Eclipse radio plans refined

  • RSGB Youth Committee news

Following the recent notification sent to licensees of the proposal to vary the Amateur Radio Licence, Ofcom has now published a Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio licence. The new licence document, which will have effect from 7th April 2015 has also been published on the Ofcom website. Licensees who received a notification dated 30th January are not covered by this. Their licences will be the subject of a separate Notice, which Ofcom will publish in the course of the next couple of weeks. The RSGB is informed that Ofcom will send new licences to all the above licensees in the week of 23rd March. Where Ofcom have an e-mail address (about 60,000 licensees) the licence will go by e-mail. In other cases, licences will be posted. If new licenses have not been received by 14th April please contact Ofcom via ARL2015@ofcom.org.uk or via the online licensing system. For more information please go to the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/novlicence

With the solar eclipse now less than a week away, we should start with an apology. When we last mentioned the various experiments we said that the UK would experience up to 89% totality. Of course, in Shetland, they will experience 97% totality. Our apologies to all those living there, we really hope that they have a cloudless day for their visual observations. The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is keen to make sure that everyone is aware of the activities taking place on the morning of Friday 20th March. The partial eclipse starts in the Midlands at about 0825UTC on the 20th and ends at 1041UTC. Maximum eclipse will be at about 0930UTC. This is a great opportunity to try some experiments to see how the sun’s ultraviolet output affects our ionosphere and how some radio waves are propagated. A wide range of experiments are planned and details can be found at http://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1515. There will be an RSGB QSO Party on 160, 80 and 40m, using CW and PSK63, as well as experiments using CW skimmers and WSPR. Other experiments will involve Opera transmissions on 477kHz and beacons. All radio enthusiasts are encouraged to take part.

Three young people have been chosen by the Youth Committee to represent the RSGB at the Italian YOTA event in July. They are Dan, M0WUT, Cristos, M0WCK and Ricky, MW6GWR. Sadly, the leader for the event has had to pull out and so the RSGB is looking for a replacement. You should ideally be a teacher or someone with experience in working with young people. E-mail youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk for further details.

A team of amateur radio astronomers from around the world have been making observations of hydrogen spectra using the G4NNS EME system near Andover as an L band radio telescope. By studying hydrogen spectra it is possible to gain insights into the shape and motion of our Galaxy. It is the unexpected motion of the galaxy that gave rise to the discovery of dark matter. As part of British Science Week, between the 13th and 22nd March, the observatory will be open twice daily for live observations and a presentation of how the galaxy's shape and motion can be revealed using radio astronomy. This event is free but as space in the shack is limited, it must be booked in advance by e-mail or phone . Contact brian-coleman@tiscali.co.uk or 01264 773342.

While World War 1 centenary activities began in 2014, the focus by the Australian community has always been on ANZAC Day, celebrated on the 25th April each year. ANZAC Day initially honoured the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, or ANZAC, soldiers who took part in WWI, and has since been extended to commemoratively reflect on all conflicts involving Australian and New Zealand forces. The Wireless Institute of Australia, WIA is supporting the many community events being held in Australia and the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, with its own ANZAC Centenary Award, special callsigns and other activities. The ANZAC 100 program coordinator is Fred Swainston, VK3DAC, who can be contacted via vk3dac@wia.org.au and further programme details are on the WIA website at www.wia.org.au

Lambda-Sat, the first Greek CubeSat, was released from the International Space Station on 4th March and its developers have invited radio amateurs around the world to listen for its signal and to file reports. The 1U CubeSat transmits AX.25-protocol UI packets at 1200bps AFSK on 437.462MHz. The 1W transmitter identifies as KK6DFZ. Lambda-Sat was constructed entirely by young volunteers from Greece, who travelled to Silicon Valley to participate in this project. More details are online at www.cyhams.org

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

The Dover Radio Rally will take place today, 15th March in Whitfield Village hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3LY. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at 12.30pm. The rally ends at 1pm. Entrance price for visitors is £2. Details are online at www.darc.org.uk.

The 40th Dutch National Radio Flea market takes place on 21st March at Rosmalen, just off the A59 motorway in Holland. Talk-in is available on PI4SHB, 145.500MHz, and the doors open at 9am. See www.radiovlooienmarkt.nl for details.

The Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on 21st March in the Millenium Memorial Hall, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. More from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

The Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place on 22nd March from the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. It is a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. Details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

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

Now the special event news

Farnborough and District Radio Society is celebrating half a century of support and promotion of amateur radio. G50FRS will be operating until 30th November this year. They run club nets every Monday on 1995kHz and Friday on 144.675MHz both at 8pm and welcome anyone to join in. 

GB0SGS will be on air on the 16th and 17th March from St. Georges School, Wrotham Kent as part of British Science Week. The station will be run by Kevin, G0PEK along with 9 year old Lauren, M6HLR. The two days will be split into two sessions of two hours each and have a theme of ‘how far can we instantly send a message?’ They plan to use PMR446 around the school field before moving on to 145MHz, 7 and 14MHz. Lauren will be keeping a diary of the event and reporting back to her own school who have also expressed an interest in running a similar project in the near future.

MX0YHA will be used by Kevin, M0XLT between the 15th and 30th March at Gargrave near Skipton, which is approximately 6 miles from the YHA youth hostels at Malham and Earby in the Yorkshire Dales.

RAF Air Cadets from No2 Welsh Wing will have two stations operating on this year’s RAFARS Airfields on the Air. GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 20th and 29th March from RAF Hawarden in Flintshire using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m and 70cm. Then GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 30th March and 26th April from RAF Rednal in Shropshire using the 10 to 40m bands.

West Tyrone ARC will be running a special event station on 17th March to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. They will be located on the 3rd floor of the Strule Arts Centre, Townhall Square, Omagh, BT78 1BL. Operating from 10am until 5pm, the callsign for the day is GB1SPD.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Lukas, HB9EBT will be active as D44TEG from Sao Tiago, IOTA reference AF-005, from the 15th to 27th March. He will operate CW on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Marc, ON5SM will be active as DU9/ON5SM from Mindanao in the Philippines, OC-130, from 16th March to 25th April. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Bob, G3PJT, is in Grenada, NA-024, as J34G from the 12th to the 25th March using the 10 to 80m bands, mostly on CW. QSL via G3PJT, or Logbook of the World.

Watch out for Rob, N7QT, operating from Montserrat Island, NA-103, until the 25th March. He will be using the 10 to 80m bands on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7QT wither direct or via the bureau and Logbook of the World.

Chas, NK8O is on Bonaire Island, SA-006, from the 17th March until 13th April. He will be on the air as PJ4/NK8O with a QRP rig on 20-10m on CW, maybe also on 40m. QSL via Logbook of the World, eQSL.

Now the contest news

The Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hours run at 10am today, the 15th. As ever there are DXpeditions to some countries that you don’t hear on the bands every day, so for most of us – even if we are not making a serious entry – there are some new or rare ones to work. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, although HQ stations will also send HQ.

Today, the 15th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Africa All Mode International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 15th. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24 hour period. Using the 10 to 160m bands with CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules are at www.africadxcontest.org/

The 2nd Tesla Memorial HF Contest ends at 0800UTC today, the 15th. Everyone works everyone on the 80m band only using CW. Points are based on distance between stations. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Details at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place today, the 15th March, from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th April 2015. Details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs the SSB leg from 2000 to 2130UTC. The report is the usual signal report and serial number.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest starts at 0200UTC on Saturday 21st. It runs for 48 hours on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Exchange a signal report, serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest runs for 24 hours starting 1200UTC on Saturday 21st. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. Running on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations adding the Oblast code.

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

Last week we said that the sun's surface was looking a little bare, but that was before sunspot region 2297 erupted. This new area has helped keep the solar flux index around 120-130, but has spawned a number of solar flares. This region has so far produced an X2.2 flare, along with four moderate M-class flares.

These had the effect of severely affecting the ionosphere on the sunlit side of the earth, causing massive absorption, especially on the lower HF bands. The Colorado Digisonde shows the X-class flare event on Wednesday 11th wiped its plots completely up to around 10MHz for about 30 minutes. At the time of writing no associated coronal mass ejection had hit the earth. Region 2297 will be with us for a while yet, so expect more flare activity and possible CMEs, which can have the effect of reducing maximum usable frequencies.

Looking ahead to next week, the solar flux index should remain around the 120 mark according to NOAA, with increasing risk of geomagnetic disturbances.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week, the somewhat enhanced VHF/UHF conditions are likely to continue, especially at first, with a seasonally typical large high over Scandinavia extending a ridge across the British Isles and giving some lift conditions in most areas.

The Scandinavian high will slowly decline and propagation will become flatter again over the UK as a more unsettled weather type takes over from midweek; probably with an early ‘April showers’ flavour so there may be some daytime rain scatter options available from afternoon cumulonimbus clouds.

Some models do keep the tropo hope alive by rebuilding a new high from the south-west temporarily. The (TEP) openings from Southern Europe on 50MHz continue in the early evening so stations in the extreme south-west of the UK should keep alert for any brief extensions northward.

Again, no meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings. The Moon is at minimum declination today, so there will be short but increasing Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week with losses at a minimum Wednesday through Friday.

Overall, it’s a week of opportunity for the VHF/UHF/Microwave bands. And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th. March 2015.

March 6, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • Places still available on Youth Dxpedition

  • Eclipse QSO Party announced

  • Commonwealth Contest prompts DXpeditioners

5 places remain on the DXpedition to Wales from the 23rd to 30th July, organised by the RSGB Youth Committee. If you are under 26 and an RSGB Member why not join the group and take part in a week of radio? It only costs £50 for the whole week and the RSGB will cover travel costs. To apply, or to find out more, please e-mail the youth coordinator, Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk by the 10th of March.

Recently, the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee announced the Eclipse Propagation Experiment for the morning of 20th March. The UK will experience up to 89% totality on that day, which is likely to reduce the effect of the D layer of the ionosphere above the UK. This could mean that stations may be heard on the lower HF bands that would otherwise be inaudible during the day. As part of the experiment, an Eclipse QSO Party is being organised for the 1.8, 3.5 and 7MHz bands. This is not a contest, but some of the RSGB Contest Committee software and web facilities will be used to collect and display activity reports. Any radio amateurs who are available are invited to take part – more details will be published over the next two weeks. Current information is at www.g0kya.blogspot.com

A number of RSGB members are heading off on trips for the Commonwealth Contest next weekend. Look out for G3LET as VY2GQ from Prince Edward Island, IOTA NA-029, G3VYI/VP9 from Bermuda, NA-005, G4CWI as ZF2CA from Cayman, NA-016, G3RWF as 5Z4LS from Kenya, G3XAQ as 5X1XA from Uganda and G3PJT as J34G from Grenada, NA-024. The contest is on the 14th and 15th of March.

Starting today, the 8th of March, the GB2RS transmission at 1000 on 40m from Germany will move to a new frequency of 7.127MHz. This change is being made to accommodate contest activity that competes for spectrum on the band. Our thanks go to G3SIB/DJ0OK and M0DXM/DJ2XB for their continued support of the GB2RS news service. The 1030 reading of the news from Stornaway by GM3JIJ will continue on 7.150MHz as normal.

The Chiltern DX Club holds its annual dinner on the 21st March at the Calcot Hotel, Reading, Berkshire. The event starts at 2pm with a session on remote operation. This will include talks and demonstrations on the reasons for setting up a remote station or operating your home station remotely. There is no charge for the afternoon event but numbers are limited so booking is essential. A three course dinner follows at 7:30pm with the after dinner talk being Nick, G3RWF with Tales of an Amateur Amateur. Again, booking is essential. All of the details are on the CDXC website at www.cdxc.org.uk

Spanish amateur radio society URE has told us that all Spanish licence holders have been granted a special prefix celebrating the 90th anniversary of IARU during April 2015. EA stations will use the AM prefix. EB stations will use the AN prefix. EC stations will use the AO prefix. ‘90’ will be added after the call area number. URE club stations in the mainland will share, not simultaneously, the call EG90IARU. URE club stations outside the mainland (6, 8 and 9 call areas) will share, not simultaneously, the call EH90IARU.

An interview is now available with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, co-team leader of the K1N Navassa DXpedition, made at the end of the DXpedition. Glenn spoke to DokuFunk on the experience of operating from one of the world’s rarest DX spots. The audio file is at www.dokufunk.org/navassa-e

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

Today, the 8th, the 30th Wythall Radio Club Rally will be held. It is at a new venue this year, the Wythall Radio Club HQ at Wythall Park, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 10am, or 9.30 for disabled visitors. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, catering and a licensed bar. Contact John on 07428 055 931 for more details.

A Science Week Convention will be held on 14th March from 2 to 6pm at St John the Baptist Church, Grainger Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Organised by The Five Bridges Cluster, the theme of the event is Amateur Radio in the Era of Social Media and Instant Communication. Speakers include RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760 920, or e-mail nancybone2001@yahoo.co.uk.

The Dover Radio Rally will take place on 15th March in Whitfield Village hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3LY. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at 12.30pm. The rally ends at 1pm. Entrance price for visitors is £2. Details on the website www.darc.org.uk.

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

Now the special event news

Listen out for Science Week special event stations, usually working within schools or other educational establishments. If you hear these young people on the air, please give them a call.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Seven members of the Portable Operating Group, based in Stafford, will be operating from a base camp North Anglesey from the 7th to 14th of March. Using the club callsign MC0POG they will be operating all modes and some of the more energetic will be operating SOTA from various locations around the island.

Toshi, JA8BMK will be on the air as XV7BM in Vietnam until the end of March. QSL to his home callsign.

Nick, G3RWF will be active as 5Z4LS from Nairobi until 18th March. The preferred QSL route is via Club Log OQRS.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as 3W2JK from Con Son Island, AS-130 from the 11th to 17th March. He will operate SSB, PSK31 and RTTY on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Alan, G3XAQ will be active as 5X1XA from Uganda from the 11th to 18th March. He will operate CW mostly on the high bands and especially in the new SARL Africa DX Contest on 14th and 15th. QSL via G3SWH.

A team will be active as 9K2F from Faylakah Island, AS-118, from the 11th to 16th March. QSL via 9K2HN using OQRS on Club Log.

Now the contest news

This weekend the 144/432MHz contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes in both bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest ends it 48 hours of operation at 2359UTC today, the 8th. It is an SSB contest using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and transmitted power, with American and Canadian stations sending their State or Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five low band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place today, Sunday the 8th, from 1000 to 1600UTC, Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday the 11th the 80m Club Championships is on the CW leg. Running from 2000 to 2130UTC, the exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The Commonwealth Contest runs for 24 hours from 10am on Saturday 14th. Last year the sunspot cycle was around its peak, conditions were good and the event enjoyed a record entry of 309 stations. As ever there are DXpeditions to some countries that you don’t hear on the bands every day, so for most of us – even if we are not making a serious entry – there are some new or rare ones to work. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number although HQ stations will also send HQ.

Next Sunday, the 15th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Africa All Mode International DX Contest runs from 1200UTC on the 14th to 1200UTC on the 15th. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24 hour period. Using the 10 to 160m bands with CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules at www.africadxcontest.org/

The 2nd Tesla Memorial HF Contest will be held on 14th and 15th March, from 1800UTC to 0800UTC. Everyone works everyone on the 80m band only using CW. Points are based on distance between stations. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Details at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, the 15th March from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th April 2015. Details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

Last week saw the solar flux index remain in the range 123-130. The beginning of the week saw rather unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the planetary A index up to 23 at middle latitudes. Solar wind speeds remained elevated above 500km/s due to a geomagnetic storm that brought widespread aurora around the arctic circle.

The solar disk now looks quite bare compared with last week, and NOAA predicts the solar flux will decline to around 115 at the beginning of the week, rising to perhaps 130 at the end. In fact, the long-range forecast predicts these kind of numbers right through to mid April.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain fairly settled, with the Ap index lower in the second half of the week with a maximum of around five. This should bring reasonable HF conditions.

The Chilton Ionosonde at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford has been showing critical frequencies, where signals fired straight up are still just reflected back to earth, reaching highs of around 8-9.5MHz around lunchtime. This means that 7MHz remains useful for inter-G contacts during the day with maximum usable frequencies on a 3,000km path reaching 25MHz, and more than 28MHz on geomagnetically quiet days.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

With high pressure on the charts continuing to play a role throughout the next week, albeit with a few exceptions, the conditions for VHF/UHF tropo propagation look fairly good and certainly worth checking the bands from time to time. The exceptions are mainly due to a small low crossing the country on Monday and a weakening cold front on Thursday. Outside these two events, the pressure remains high and capable of producing lift conditions, especially in the southern half of Britain and into the continent.

Stations in southern Europe are enjoying almost daily 50MHz Trans-Equatorial propagation (TEP) openings in the early evening so stations in the extreme south west of the UK should keep alert for any brief extensions northward.

We are still in the January to April lull in meteor showers, so keep looking for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands.

The Moon’s declination continues to fall all next week so UK EME operators will get increasingly shorter moon windows with reducing path losses.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st. March 2015.

February 27, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st March 2015

The news headlines:

  • GB2RS broadcast from Germany to QSY

  • Train the Trainers days in May and June

  • RSGB response to Ofcom UHF consultation

Starting next Sunday, the 8th of March, the GB2RS transmission at 1000 on 40m from Germany will change frequency. Currently on 7.150MHz, the new frequency will be 7.127MHz. This change is being made to accommodate contest activity that competes for spectrum on the band. Our thanks go to G3SIB/DJ0OK and M0DXM/DJ2XB for their continued support of the GB2RS news service. The 1030 reading of the news from Stornaway by GM3JIJ will continue on 7.150 as normal.

RSGB Train the Trainers days are for you if you are delivering training for the amateur examinations and do not already have a professional educational background. The purpose is to give you some insights in how to prepare and deliver your material, to improve the learning skills of your class and hopefully inject some fun into the experience for everyone. Train the Trainers days are available to RSGB members and there is no charge. Places at each venue are limited so apply soon if you are interested. The next Train the Trainers day is on May 9th, in Norwich. In order to book a place, please email David, G7URP at radio@dcpmicro.com. A further Train the Trainers day will be held in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June. To book for that location, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk

The RSGB has prepared a response to Ofcom’s call for input on a strategic review of the UHF spectrum at 420-470MHz. You can read the response, in full, in the News section of the RSGB website.

On the 26th February, GB2RAF at RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum made contact with GB8ORE, a station commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the radar located at the Birth of Radar Memorial Stone in Northamptonshire. This contact on 40m SSB at 1504UTC was rather special as the Museum Curator exchanged a greetings message to and from Eddie Izzard, who was a special guest at the Memorial Stone. The contact was made possible by Terry, G4PSH and Brian, G8GMU. The event was reported on the local news.

IARU Region 1 has released issue 65 of the VHF-UHF-microwave Newsletter. It covers WRC-15, which could affect a number of amateur radio bands such as the 5MHz, 5GHz, 10GHz, 24GHz and 77GHz bands. You can read the newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/IARU-R1-VHF-65

Radio amateurs from Poland have created a diploma commemorating the SSTV activity from the International Space Station that celebrated the 80th anniversary of Gagarin's birthday. For more information contact the coordinator via email to koordynator.ariss@gmail.com. As a subject please mention SSTV3ISS, your callsign and locator.

A group of German radio amateurs have taken over a former broadcast transmitter and have been granted a commercial licence for 10kW on 6070kHz. As part of their programming, they will be broadcasting GB2RS News. For more detail please go to their website at www.channel292.de.

During March, April and May, the Union of Radio Amateurs from Andorra, URA, will be arranging a series of events to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the organisation. For further information, visit www.ura.ad and click on 35th anniversary. There is an English version of the website.

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group tell us that 70cm beacon GB3MCB on is back on the air on its new frequency of 432.470MHz. It is using an 8 element Yagi at 1050 feet ASL beaming north east towards the centre of the UK from IO70OJ. Reports are welcome at www.gb3nc.org.uk or at www.beaconspot.eu

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

Today, 1st March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will be held in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Entry is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198 374.

Also on 1st March the British Vintage Wireless Society is holding a Swapmeet and Auction at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD. Doors open at 9.30am, with tickets on sale from 9am. The event is for members only so contact Mike Barker on 01380 860 787 for more information.

Next weekend, on the 8th, the 30th Wythall Radio Club Rally will be held. It is at a new venue this year, the Wythall Radio Club HQ at Wythall Park, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, catering and a licensed bar. Contact John on 07428 055 931 for more details

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

Now the special event news

This weekend, listen out for GB0PAS on air for the Pontefract Astronomy Society.

GB100BVU will be on the air from Llandudno celebrating 100 Years of St Dunstan's from the 6th to the 14th March.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The DXpedition to Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA reference SA-005, in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago is scheduled to run until 4th March. The multi-national team comprises of 23 operators from 7 countries using the callsign 3G0ZC.

ZD8D will be on the air from Ascension Island, AF-003, until 6th March. The three operators will focus on the LF bands.

FP/KV1J will be active until 10th March from Miquelon Island, NA-032, and QSLs go via his home callsign.

Michael PA5M will be signing 3XY5M from Guinea in West Africa until around 10th April.

Marcel, PD5MVH will use the special callsign PD38EU from Ameland Island, EU-038, from until 14th March, including the ARRL DX SSB Contest. QSLs go via PD5MVH wither direct or via the bureau.

Howard, WA2NHA will be on the air from Aruba, SA-036, from 1st to 15th march with a CW only station using the callsign P4/WA2NHA. QSL via WA2NHA.

Now the contest news

This weekend is the CQ WW 160m DX contest. It started at 2200UTC on Friday 27th and ends its 48 hour run today, the 1st. It’s SSB only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

On Tuesday, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 144/432MHz contest runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 7th. Using all modes in both bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next weekend is the ARRL International DX contest running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 7th. It is an SSB contest using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and transmitted power, with American and Canadian stations sending their State or Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five low band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place on Sunday 8th from 1000 to 1600UTC, 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 and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of February.

We are now into March with the spring equinox just a few weeks away. With equal illumination on both hemispheres, this is traditionally a good time for north-south contacts on HF, such as UK to South Africa and South America. A detailed analysis using VOACAP Online shows a few more factors to consider when planning what bands to use.

In February, a path from the UK to the eastern seaboard of the US had a twelve per cent maximum chance of success on 10m. But in March you may need to drop down to 12m to make the contact. It is a similar story on paths to the west coast of the US.

In other words, 10m propagation to the United States is now on the wane as we head towards summer. But on paths to South America, 10m should be open with an 80-85% probability of success, pretty much as it was in February.

If you are using a VOACAP-based prediction program don't forget to change the smoothed sunspot number to 62, down slightly from last month.

Finally, we are not in the summer HF doldrums just yet so there is still plenty of DX to be worked. And don’t forget the Commonwealth Contest on 14th and 15th March.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This next week the windy and generally unsettled theme continues, but there are some quite positive signals for a large high to develop over Ireland from midweek and slowly drift eastwards to be over the country by next weekend.

These winter cold highs are not such strong providers of tropo initially, since the air near the surface is also very dry at first. However, as the high edges away to the east and declines slightly, there is a good chance of some moisture getting trapped under the temperature inversion, especially over western Britain as the weekend approaches.

This may give another period of tropo to get March off to a good VHF/UHF start. As March goes on, the chance of early Sporadic-E events increases, as do the very rare North-South propagation on 50MHz from the extreme South West of the UK.

We are still in the January to April lull in meteor showers, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands.

The Moon’s declination is falling all next week so UK EME operators will get increasingly shorter moon windows and losses will reach a maximum on Thursday and Friday.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. December 2014.

February 25, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Christmas and New Year arrangements

  • Youngsters on the Air news

  • Island DXpedition to Iran announced for January

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd. February 2015.

February 20, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd February 2015

The news headlines:

    Opportunities for enthusiastic young amateurs

    New SSTV transmissions from ISS

    More news on eclipse experiment

Applications for the IARU YOTA event in Italy this year close on 1st March. The RSGB is seeking four people to take part. Three participants must be under 26, plus a leader who can be over that age. The team will represent the RSGB at the IARU event, which will host 75 participants from all over IARU Region 1. There is a separate opportunity for a group of young people to take part in a DXpedition to the Brecon Beacons from the 23rd to 30th July. The cost to participants will be just £50 for the whole week. To apply, or to find out more about either of these events, please e-mail the youth coordinator, Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

A continuous SSTV transmission is planned from the International Space Station from 1030UTC on the 21st to 2130UTC on the 23rd. It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent on 145.800MHz FM, using the SSTV mode PD180, with 3-minute off periods between transmissions. One of the photos will show the commemorative diploma created by PZK, the national Polish Amateur Radio society, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module.

In last week's news, the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee announced the Eclipse Propagation Experiment for the morning of 20th March. The UK will experience up to 89% totality, which is likely to reduce the effect of the D layer of the ionosphere above the UK. This could mean that stations may be heard on the lower HF bands that would otherwise be inaudible during the day. As part of the experiment, an Eclipse QSO Party is being organised for the 1.8MHz, 3.5MHz and 7MHz bands. This is not a contest, but some of the RSGB Contest Committee software and web facilities will be used to collect and display activity reports. Any radio amateurs who are available are invited to take part and more details will be published over the next two weeks. Current information is at www.g0kya.blogspot.com

VLF enthusiasts are planning some experiments during the solar eclipse on March 20. A number of VLF observers will be paying particular attention to received signal strengths during this period and comparing results afterwards, with the aim of compiling reports. Of particular interest will be the NRK signal on 37.5kHz from Grindavik, Iceland. They are also interested in any results from other VLF (and LF) stations. Measurements should be prepared in a .CSV format and with accurate time stamps. The exact arrangements are still to be agreed but will probably involve measurements for the same period the day before and the day after the eclipse. For more information, or if you would like to participate in this study, please contact Paul Hyde, G4CSD via g4csd@yahoo.co.uk

The last major phase of the RSGB Events Planner project is now live on the RSGB website. It allows affiliated clubs to edit their existing events and, if necessary, remove them. If you want full information, type Manage Club Events into the search bar on the RSGB website.

Malta has allocated 70-70.5MHz to radio amateurs on a secondary basis and included it in the National Frequency Plan. There are quite a few local stations interested in being active on 4m.

The RSGB Training and Education Committee has organised another Train the Trainers event following on from the pilot course in Tamworth. The next event will be in Norwich on 9th May. In order to book a place, please email David via radio@dcpmicro.com. The RSGB subsidises the day so it is free to Members. It is aimed at those who help with training people for the exams but who are not themselves professional teachers or otherwise well-versed in teaching methods.

Bletchley Park is developing an exhibition of WWI Signals Intelligence that is due to open this summer and are trying to locate a WWI-era Marconi wireless set. If you knew of anyone or any collections that might have any Marconi equipment dating to this period, please e-mail radcom@rsgb.org.uk

The March edition of RadCom is now available online to Members. You will need your RSGB Membership Services login. Go to www.rsgb.org.uk, click on Publications then RadCom and follow the instructions.

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

Hull and District ARS is holding a Bring and Buy Auction today, the 22nd, in the Maurice Rawlings Centre, 41 Bean Street, Hull HU3 2PU. Doors open from 10.30am and the Bring and Buy starts at 12 noon. The auction starts at 1pm. There is talk-in on 145.400MHz.

Also today, the 22nd, the BRATS Rainham Radio Rally will be held in Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.30am. There will be trade stands and special interest groups in the hall. More from David, 2E0DCN by e-mail to dfilby191@yahoo.com.

Pencoed ARC is holding a table top sale today, the 22nd, at Pencoed RFC, The Verlands, Felindre Rd, Pencoed CF33 5PB, off the M4 at junction 35. Tables are £5 and sellers can gain access from 8.30am. Doors open for buyers at 9.30am and admission is £2. Refreshments will be available. More details from Madeline on 01639 885 126.

Next weekend, on 1st March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will be held in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Entry is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Peter, G3ZVI on 07714 198 374.

Also on 1st March the British Vintage Wireless Society is holding a Swapmeet and Auction at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD. Doors open at 9.30am, with tickets on sale from 9am. The event is for members only so contact Mike Barker on 01380 860 787 for more information.

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

Now the special event news

Australia and New Zealand are commemorating 100 years since the landing of troops at Gallipoli in WWI. This is a significant commemorative event and amateurs in Australia will have special event callsigns in operation for most of 2015. The next ANZAC event will continue until 3rd March, which is the Darwin Amateur Radio Club using VI8ANZAC.

World Cultural Heritage site Himeji Castle, in Japan, has undergone large scale repair works for more than four years. It will be re-opened for public access on 27 March. The Himeji Amateur Radio Club will run a special event station to commemorate this event. 8N3HC or 8N3HC/3 will be on the air from 1 March to 31 May using the 160m to 70cm bands with CW, phone or digital signals. QSLs should not be sent for this station.

GB8ORE, standing for Original Radar Experiment, will be operated on 26th February from the Birth of British Radar Memorial, Northampton Road, Litchborough. There is no postal address although the nearest postcode is NN7 4SE and the map reference is NGR SP650 557. Brian, G8GMU intends to operate mainly on 40m SSB with some 2m FM operation. You can contact Brian on 07801 862 686.

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

CV5A will be on the air from Flores Island, IOTA reference OC-151, between 21st and 23rd February. Activity will be on all high frequency bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

Two German amateurs will be on the air from Kenya as 5Z4/DF3FS and 5Z4/DL9OLI until 8th March. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and CW. QSLs go via DF3FS.

JH1NBN will operate as C21BN from the Pacific island of Nauru, OC-031, until 28th February. He will use SSB and QSL info is via his home callsign.

ZD8D will be on the air from Ascension Island, AF-003, between 24th February and 10th March. They will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, RTTY and SSB, with a focus on the low bands. QSL via DL9HO either direct or via the bureau.

F6HMQ and F6GWV will be on the air from Guadeloupe Island, NA-102, until 8th March, transmitting as FG/homecalls and as TO66R during the ARRL contest. QSL TO66R via F6HMQ and the others via home callsigns either direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The first in the 2014 series of 4m Cumulatives takes place this morning, the 22nd, from 1000UTC to 1200UTC. Between February and August there will be five sessions. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 48 hour ARRL International DX Contest ends at 2359 today, the 22nd. This is the CW leg, with the SSB leg next month. Work Ws and VEs only, exchanging a signal report and your transmit power. US and Canadian stations send State/Province code, instead of power.

The 36 hour REF French contest also takes place on SSB ending at 1800UTC today, the 22nd. Work France and French overseas territories only. Send a signal report and serial number. French stations send a 2-digit Department code instead of serial number.

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

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

Next weekend is the CQ WW 160m DX starting at 2200UTC on Friday 27th and running for 48 hours. It’s SSB only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

While the solar flux index declined to the 120s this week, geomagnetic conditions became quite unsettled. The Kp index reached five around 18th February, spawning an aurora that was visible from northern parts of the UK. This didn’t help HF conditions, which had been sparkling recently due to a long period of quiet conditions.

For the next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 125-135. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled with the Kp index predicted to reach four at times.

This last week had seen excellent conditions on 12m, even way after sunset. Paths have been open to many western US states in the late afternoon, including New Mexico and Utah. If geomagnetic conditions manage to remain settled it may worth checking 12m again. Ten metres has also remained very lively despite the solar flux index declining from its earlier highs.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather in the week ahead is likely to be driven by deep low pressure systems from the Atlantic passing by the north of Scotland. It will often be windy and unsettled with blustery showers giving gusty winds at times, particularly in the north.

There are small signs for a weak ridge of high pressure over southern areas at the end of the week, but in all probability not a tropo-producing event.

So this may be time to look for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands without the distractions from VHF/UHF tropo openings. There is still a low probability of Sporadic-E openings this week and no meteor showers.

Thursday and Friday this week sees the moon at its highest declination, so UK EME operators will get long moon windows starting at lunchtime and extending into the early hours of the following day. This will be coupled with losses increasing, reaching a peak a week today, Sunday the 22nd.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th. February 2015.

February 13, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th February 2015

The news headlines:

  • Respond now to Ofcom interference consultation

  • Special callsigns for Cook Islands residents

  • Amateur experiments planned for solar eclipse

Ofcom’s consultation on updating interference regulations closes on Monday 16th February and all amateurs are encouraged to respond. The RSGB has prepared a response for your guidance. In general, the RSGB supports and welcomes the Ofcom proposals as the Regulations are a prime means of tackling interference to authorised radio communication services from non-radio apparatus. However, there are some difficulties with both the concept and the implementation and these are detailed in the full response. That document can be found at www.rsgb.org/interference-response.

Amateurs resident in the Cook Islands have been issued E50x callsigns instead of the usual E51XX to celebrate 50 years of Self Governance. The Cook Islands are IOTA reference OC-013. The seven residents may opt to use them for all or part of 2015 in place of their regular E51xx call signs. Visitors to the Cooks will be issued the standard visitor E51XXX callsigns. Dispatch of specially designed QSL cards won’t start until late March at the earliest.

On Friday 20th March 2015 a partial solar eclipse will be visible from the UK. The path of totality will pass north of the UK, but up to 89% of totality may be experienced, depending on where you live. As part of British Science Week, the RSGB has prepared a simple experiment using a portable medium wave radio and we’re encouraging schools and others to get involved. If you are a radio amateur, short wave listener or have more advanced equipment, there are other ways in which you could take the experiment further. You’ll find more information and a pdf outline of the experiment on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/eclipse-2015. The results will be shared with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and will also be published in RadCom.

If you have enjoyed chasing a contact with the K1N Navassa DXpedition you may be interested to hear a sat-phone interview with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, co-team leader of the DXpedition. It was made on 9th February and he sums up the team’s experience so far. The audio file is online at www.dokufunk.org/navassa-e

Episode Seven of TX Factor is available from Friday 13th February. In this episode Nick, 2E0FGQ interviews a long-time radio amateur, Bob, G0FGX talks to a young amateur, there’s a report from the IOTA 50th anniversary convention and G0FGX tests a 3 element Yagi. To find out more about this episode, go to www.txfactor.co.uk

The International Amateur Radio Club of ITU will put 4U0ITU on the air as part of the World Radio Day celebrations. IARC will be using the callsign 4U0ITU for the rest of 2015, until the World Radio Conference, WRC-15, that runs from the 2nd to the 27th November. All QSOs will be confirmed. QSL information can be found on QRZ.com.

Slow scan TV should be transmitted from the International Space Station continuously from 1000UTC on Saturday 21st February until 2130UTC on Monday 23rd February. The transmissions, using the call sign RS0ISS, will take place on 145.800MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD180, with a 3 minute off time between transmissions. Further information is on the AMSAT-UK website at http://amsat-uk.org/

The Irish Radio Transmitting Society has been issued with the callsign EI150ITU to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 1865. The callsign will be used by a number of Irish amateurs throughout the year from each of the 26 counties. See QRZ.com for more details.

The RSGB is pleased to announce a new feature on the Society’s website. The Services Map provides an overview of every service the RSGB offers on a single page. You can find out more about each service by hovering your mouse over its name. So if you ever wondered about Notice of Variation Administration or the Club of the Year competition, the Services Map can be found at www.rsgb.org/service-map

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

Today, the 15th, the Radio Active Rally will take place in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. More information from Jayne on 07926 078 232.

Hull and District ARS is holding a Bring and Buy Auction on 22nd February in the Maurice Rawlings Centre, 41 Bean Street, Hull HU3 2PU. Doors open from 10.30am and the Bring and Buy starts at 12 noon. The auction starts at 1pm. There is talk-in on 145.400MHz.

Also on 22nd February, the BRATS Rainham Radio Rally will be held in Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.30am. There will be trade stands and special interest groups in the hall. More from David, 2E0DCN by e-mail to dfilby191@yahoo.com.

Pencoed ARC is holding a Table Top Sale on the 22nd at Pencoed RFC, The Verlands, Felindre Rd, Pencoed CF33 5PB, off the M4 at junction 35. Tables are £5 and sellers can gain access from 8.30am. Doors open for buyers at 9:30am buyers and admission is £2. Refreshments will be available. More details from Madeline on 01639 885 126.

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

Now the special event news

GB8ORE, standing for Original Radar Experiment, will be operated on 26th February from the Birth of British Radar Memorial, Northampton Road, Litchborough. There is no postal address but the nearest postcode is NN7 4SE. The station will be operating on mainly 40m SSB and some 2m FM. For further information Contact Brian, G8GMU on 07801 86 26 86.

Special event station 9K54NLD is on the air from Kuwait until 28th February 28 to mark the country's 54th National Liberation Day. QSL via 9K2MY.

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

CV5A will be on the air from Flores Island, SA-030, between the 21st and 23rd February. Activity will be on all HF bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

Three German operators will be active as ZD8D until 6th March from Ascension Island, AF-003. They will be on all bands from 40 to 160m SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via DL9HO and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Prefix hunters may be interested to work TM60TAAF, which is on the air to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. The station is located at the shack of Francois, F8DVD and is due to be on the air until the 17th, then 19th to 22nd and 27th and 28th of February. QSLs go via F8DVD.

Paul, G8AFC is on the air as 3B8/G8AFC from Mauritius, AF-049, until 2nd March. Activity is on the HF bands and 6 metres, primarily using CW. QSL via the operator's instructions.

IV3FSG and IK6CAC will be on the air as 5H1ES and 5H1OC, respectively, from Zanzibar Island, IOTA AF-032, from 18th February to 11th March. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to home calls.

Now the contest news

The first WPX contest of the year is the RTTY leg, which will end at 2359UTC tonight, the 15th, having been running for 48 hours. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

If RTTY isn’t your thing, the Dutch PACC Contest is held for 24 hours, ending at 1200UTC today, the 15th. Work Dutch stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. Dutch stations send a 2-letter Province code instead of a serial number. There are twelve Provinces, which act as multipliers to the score.

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

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

The first in the 2014 series of 4m Cumulatives takes place on the morning of Sunday 22nd from 1000UTC to 1200UTC. Between February and August there will be five sessions. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

For the whole weekend of 21st-22nd the ARRL International DX Contest will be keeping the HF bands busy from 0000UTC to 2359UTC, 48 hours later. This is the CW leg, with the SSB leg next month. Work Ws and VEs only, exchanging a signal report and your transmit power. US and Canadian stations send State/Province code, instead of power.

For 36 hours over the same weekend the REF French Contest also takes place on SSB, running from 0600 to 1800UTC. Work France and French overseas territories only. Send a signal report and serial number. French stations send a 2-digit Department code instead of serial number.

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

This week the solar flux index declined slightly to be in the 130s, pretty much as predicted by NOAA. The observed sunspot number for the week also declined, being 76 on Thursday 12 February. Geomagnetic conditions were largely settled, with the A index keeping below 15 all week.

For next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with the solar flux index being in the range 145-155. Geomagnetic conditions may also be reasonably settled, with the A index predicted to remain below 15 again.

This week expect to see maximum usable frequencies pass 28MHz on paths to the US eastern seaboard and Midwest states, with a reliability of about 20-30%. On paths to the West Coast, including California, you may be better dropping to 21MHz or even 18MHz.

Finally, this week NASA launched the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite. This will succeed NASA's ACE satellite and provide solar wind alerts and warnings from its L1 orbital position – the neutral gravity point between the Earth and Sun, approximately one million miles from us. The satellite will typically be able to provide the Earth with a 15 to 60 minute warning time of a surge of particles known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME, which are associated with geomagnetic storms.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The next week will not provide quite the success of last, when stations used the tropo conditions brought by the large area of high pressure to work across northern Europe and into Sweden. That particular high has long gone now and our next opportunity comes from another high moving in from the Atlantic after midweek.

This does not look quite as widespread and will probably be more for southern areas of the UK, since there will be windier weather and weak fronts crossing Scotland later in the week.

Nonetheless, it’s still worth checking the VHF/UHF bands in the second half of the week for lift conditions, especially into Europe since, although one model retains the high pressure into the weekend, there are other solutions which bring strong lows across the country and any lift will be short-lived.

The moon is at its lowest declination today so EME operators will get short but increasing moon windows next week coupled with lowest losses on Thursday.

Still little chance of Sporadic-E openings this week and no meteor showers, so look for early morning random meteor scatter contacts on the lower VHF bands.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th. February 2015.

February 6, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th February 2015

The news headlines:

  • Investigating interference from VDSL

  • Work Navassa before it’s too late

  • New Yahoo UK 6m group

The EMC Committee is carrying out an investigation of the significance of interference to amateur radio from VDSL broadband. Where emissions occur from a normally working VDSL system the noise is continuous 24/7 and sounds like white noise. Occasionally, when the VDSL system is faulty or disturbed by large external signals, different emissions may be observed as the system attempts to re-connect and re-train. A request for information has been posted on the RSGB EMC Forum under Investigations New Technology. Please visit the forum and post observations there or alternatively send any information by email to emc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk – the intention of the investigation is to get a general picture of how often emissions occur, so please report emissions even if they don’t affect your particular amateur activity. Interference can occur whether or not you have VDSL broadband in your own home.

Time is running out to try and work Navassa Island, K1N, a small, uninhabited and disputed island in the Caribbean Sea. If you miss it this time it is likely to be at least 10 years before a further DXpedition is allowed. Please see their website for all information and day to day updates, which can be found at www.navassadx.com/

The UK 6m Group has a new Yahoo Group that it is encouraging 6m enthusiasts to join. It will keep participants up to date with the latest happenings on 6m. Further details are online at tinyurl.com/UK6MG-YG

World Radio Day marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, when it first transmitted "This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world." World Radio Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of broadcast radio. It will be marked at the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva on 13th February. The event will be broadcast live around the world from 1700 to 2000. This is part of a day full of events, particularly involving young people. For full details of the event, go to tinyurl.com/ITU-WRD

World Heritage Grimeton Radio in Sweden, callsign SAQ, will have a transmission with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF, 17.2kHz, to celebrate World Radio Day on 13th February. Tuning up from 1430UTC, a message will be sent at 1500UTC. No QSL-cards will be given this time and no List of Reports will be constructed but they will accept short Listener Reports by e-mail to info@alexander.n.se

The associated amateur radio station, SK6SAQ, will be active with a special callsign for the day. 7S6WRD will be on 7.035 and 14.035MHz using CW and 3.744MHz on SSB. QSL to 7S6WRD via the SM bureau.

Brian, WA1ZMS, licensee of the 3kW ERP 70.005 MHz WG2XPN beacon, reports the experimental licence has been renewed until 1st May 2017. The one-way only beacon operates on 70.005MHz with 3kW ERP from FM07fm. Brian suggests that European amateurs remember to point the beams West during the E-skip season and give a long listen on 70.005MHz.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off the air for maintenance work from 2nd to 19th March between 0800UTC and 1800UTC. The service will be back on air overnight and at weekends.

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

Today, the 8th, the British Vintage Wireless Society Audio Jumble will take place in the Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission is £5, with early admission available from 9.30am for £10. Enquiries to 01892 540 022 between 8pm and 9pm only please.

Also today, the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Admission is £3, with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups as well as refreshments available. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379.

Next weekend, on the 15th, the Radio Active Rally will take place in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. More information from Jayne on 07926 078 232.

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

Now the special event news

An unusual callsign on the air for the past number of months is 4U20B. This station is located in Brindisi, Italy and commemorates the 20th anniversary of the UN Logistics Base there. The call will be used until July and the QSL manager is 9A2AA.

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

From the 13th to 16th February a team will be active as PC2D from Ameland Island, EU-038. They will be on all bands from 160 to 10m using SSB and CW. During their stay on Ameland Island they will participate in the Dutch PACC contest on the 14th and 15th with callsign PC2D. Outside the contest the individual callsigns are used. For more information about this DXpedition see the QRZ.com page of Frank, PC2D. Contest QSOs made with PC2D will be confirmed via Logbook of The World and via the bureau. QSOs with individual callsigns will be answered according to the QSL information detailed on QRZ.com.

It is the last week of operations from Guatemala by VE7BV/TG9, as operations finish on the 17th of February. It is a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Hrane, YT1AD has been visiting several Pacific islands. Look for him as 5W7A in Samoa, OC-097 from the 8th to 11th February, KH8/N9YU in American Samoa, OC-045 on the 11th and 12th and KH6/N9YU in Hawaii, OC-019 on the 13th and 14th. He will be operating all bands SSB and CW.

Four US operators will be active from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, NA-015, until 13th February. Calls to watch out for are KG4AS, KG4HI, KG4RQ and KG4YL. Activity will be on all bands 160m to 6m using SSB, CW and Digital.

Operators N4BP, N4UM and K4RUM will be on the air as C6AKQ, C6ARU and C6AUM, respectively, from Grand Bahama Island, IOTA NA-080, from the 9th to 24th February. Activity will be on the HF bands. This includes entries in the upcoming CQ WPX RTTY and ARRL DX CW contests. QSL to home calls.

Bernhard, DL2GAC is on the air as H44MS from the Solomon Islands, IOTA OC-047, until 30th April. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 6 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

Now the contest news

Today, Sunday the 8th, the 432MHz Affiliated Societies contest takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes in the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This is one of the qualifying events for the Super League.

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

On Wednesday it’s the data leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The First 1.8MHz Contest is on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th running from 2100 to 0100UTC. There are CW-only, SSB-only and mixed mode sections for UK and non-UK stations. Please remember that on CW below 1850kHz UK Full licensees are allowed to run 400 watts and Intermediates 50 watts, whereas on SSB above 1850kHz Full and Intermediate licensees are limited to 32 watts. The exchange is signal report, serial number and district.

The first WPX contest of the year is the RTTY leg, which will be held over the entire 48 hours of the 14 and 15th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

If RTTY isn’t your thing, the Dutch PACC Contest is held for 24 hours over the same weekend on CW and SSB running from 1200UTC to 1200UTC. Work Dutch stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. Dutch stations send a 2-letter Province code, instead of a serial number. There are twelve Provinces, which act as multipliers to the score.

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

As reported last week, the 2015 K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island in the Caribbean is now under way. If you would like to revisit the HF propagation predictions for the DXpedition, refer to last week’s GB2RS propagation entry on the RSGB website. K1N has been audible on most bands and possibly loudest on 12m in the afternoon.

And now to the sun. The solar flux index has remained reasonably high, staying firmly in the 140s, although unsettled geomagnetic conditions saw the K index rise to 4 earlier last week. This was due to an elevated solar wind stream from a coronal hole, which brought widespread aurora to northern latitudes and had a detrimental effect on HF polar paths.

For the next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the range 120-130, with the possibility of unsettled geomagnetic conditions next Sunday, the 15th of February. It should therefore be a good week for HF until then.

Paths to South Africa should have a 90-95% probability of success on 12m, that’s 24MHz, this week around noon, dropping slightly to 91% if you are on 10m, or 28MHz.

If you are using a VOACAP-based propagation prediction program you should now be using a smoothed sunspot number of 63 for February.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This coming week should be a good one for getting some quality VHF/UHF DXing done.

For the first time since this service started, we have a large high pressure system over the country. It’s going to remain with us for the whole of the week and should bring improved VHF/UHF conditions to most areas of the country and into Europe. The high will probably generate at least two significant temperature inversions, which can trap a layer of cool, moist air underneath warm, dry air just above the inversion.

This changes the refractive index of the air and bends the radio signals as they pass through the interface. The main elevated subsidence inversion due to the high pressure will vary in height from about 2500m down to near the surface in the centre of the high.

The quality of this inversion will probably improve through the week and could provide extended elevated ducts, usually around the periphery of the high, rather than directly across the centre where the path may be ducted into the ground due to the lower inversion height.

The secondary inversion will be a night surface cooling inversion, very near the surface and may prove useful for shorter distances overnight and early morning inter-G working, but may decay or weaken as the temperature rises during the daytime.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st. February 2015.

January 30, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st February 2015

The news headlines:

  • SSTV transmissions planned from ISS today

  • Rare DXpedition to Navassa due imminently

  • New propagation film available to clubs

The Russian ARISS team plan to activate SSTV from the International Space Station today, Sunday 1st February. The expected SSTV mode will be PD180 on 145.800MHz with 3 minute off periods between transmissions. A total of 12 different photos will be sent during the operational period. This is the second series of pictures to be transmitted. The start time will be around 0900UTC and finish around 2130UTC.

Coming up in the next few weeks will be a DXpedition to the island of Navassa, IOTA NA-098. Navassa has not been on the air for 22 years and the authorities have said it will be at least another 10 years before a further licence is issued. This all suggests that there will be a huge demand for contacts with K1N when it comes on the air. Indications are that the DXpedition will take place during the first two weeks of February. Up–to-date information can be found on www.navassadx.com. A detailed propagation forecast for those wishing to work Navassa follows later in this bulletin.

Steve Nichols, G0KYA, chairman of the RSGB’s Propagation Studies Committee, has produced a 40 minute movie presentation for clubs entitled ‘Understanding HF Propagation’. This has been produced in response to requests for propagation talks, but where the distances needed to deliver the talk have proved a stumbling block. The presentation looks at the sun, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and their effects on HF. It also looks at propagation prediction programs and where amateurs can get solar information. Steve says that the plan is for clubs to show the presentation, which includes movies and audio, with the option of a 20-30 minute Q&A session with Steve conducted via Skype. The presentation is available as an M4V file, either downloaded or sent on CD-ROM, or as a DVD. Any club interested can contact Steve via psc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s new Facebook Page is proving popular. Please do Like our Page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/theRSGB – over 1200 people have done so in the first week. You can get up-to-date news as well as information about events and Member offers in your newsfeeds as well as have the chance to comment on posts and ask questions. Photo Friday, where you can help us identify photos in the archives, has resulted in some new information coming to light, thank you. Two more photos went online on the 30th.

The RSGB has launched a new way to find out about, and post, amateur radio events in your area. It’s called UK Events Planner and displays upcoming radio events as markers on a map of the UK. You can search by postcode or place, and you can set distances from five miles to 100 miles. The UK Events Planner can be accessed by everyone. Go to www.rsgb.org/eventsplanner to try it out. If you are an RSGB affiliated amateur radio club you can post events directly on to the UK Events Planner.

On 27th January, the East Yorkshire Repeater Group took delivery of a Yaesu Fusion DR-1XE repeater kindly sponsored by LAM Communications. This will be used to upgrade GB3HS on 145.65MHz. The recent change of site and antennas for GB3HS now allows access using just a 5W handheld in the centre of Hull and in Grimsby.

Ron Huntsman, G3KBR from Cambridge is one of the last surviving members of the production team who televised the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the Nazi architects of the Holocaust. Ron set up hidden TV cameras in the court room and fed the cables across the street suspended by a catenary wire to a rather rapidly-built TV recording studio in a nearby building. The trial and G3KBR’s technical role were featured in the 90-minute drama, ‘The Eichmann Show’, screened recently on BBC 2. It can be seen on BBC iPlayer with an accompanying 30-minute Learning Zone documentary until 19 February. More details are on the RSGB Facebook page.

A summary of matters discussed at the Ofcom-RSGB Forum meeting held on 13 January is now available on the RSGB website. Go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-374 for more details.

The RSGB Contest Committee has issued a rule change concerning the use of machine generated modes in the UK Activity Contest that comes into force from today, 1st February. The use of machine generated transmission modes, or MGM, are permitted in the AX section of all UK Activity Contests and in all sections of the 23cm UKAC and the SHF UKAC.

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

Today, the 1st, the 30th Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. More detail from Vic Rogers, G6BHE on 01702 308 562.

Next Sunday, the 8th, the British Vintage Wireless Society Audio Jumble will take place in the Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission is £5, with early admission available from 9.30am for £10. Enquiries to 01892 540 022 between 8pm and 9pm only please.

Also on the 8th, the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Admission is £3 with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups as well as refreshments available. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379.

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

Now for the news of special events

WW1USA, the Amateur Radio Club of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, will be on the air on the 7th and 8th February. This is in commemoration if the Beginning of War from the Air. Go to http://ww1usa.org and look for the link to the background article regarding this event.

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

A group of mainly Polish operators will be activating several islands in the Caribbean. Until 3rd February they will sign J6/home callsign from St Lucia, NA-108; from 4th to 5th February they will sign J8/home callsign from St Vincent, NA-109; from 6th to 9th February they will sign J3/home callsign from Grenada, NA-024 and finally Martinique, NA-107 for 13th to 14th February. This is a sailing holiday so the operators will enjoy the travelling between the various locations.

There are two DXpeditions to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba coming up. VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 until 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on the 20, 17 and 15m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World. Then from the 6th to 13th February KG4RQ will be operating on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK63. See his QRZ.com page for details.

Karl, DK2WV returns to Malawi until 6th February where he will reactivate his 7Q7VW callsign. Operation will be all bands from 160 to 6m using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via the home callsign.

Sean, EI2CR will be on the air from 4th to 7th February from Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, OC-086. Sean will operate using callsign KH0/EI2CR. Operation will be holiday style.

Now the contest news

On Monday, the 2nd, the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place between 2000 and 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

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

Next weekend, on Sunday the 8th, the 432MHz Affiliated Societies contest takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes in the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This is one of the qualifying events for the Super League.

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

The 2015 K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island in the Caribbean is due to start shortly. Navassa is just west of Haiti and is a 4,600 mile sea path from the UK, beaming 270 degrees. Let’s look at the propagation.

On 160m, that’s 1.8MHz, and 80m, 3.5MHz, you will need a mutual dark path between you and Navassa, from around 2300 to 0725UTC. Look for a dawn or grey line enhancement at or around sunrise, from about 07:00 onwards.

On 40m, 7MHz, the time available to work K1N extends a little more, so you may hear them a bit earlier in the evening and some time after UK sunrise, perhaps even up to 0930 to 1000UTC.

On 30m, 10MHz, signals may be there for all 24 hours, although they will get stronger from about 2130 to 2200UTC and remain so throughout the night. Signals also get weaker from mid morning.

On 20m, 14MHz, the loudest signals may be around noon and from 2030 to 2230UTC. D layer absorption will make signals worse in the mid afternoon.

The time slots then get shorter as we head further up the HF bands. On 17m, that’s 18MHz, the best time is around noon to 1400UTC. On 15m, 21MHz, 12m, 24MHz and 10m, 28MHz, the best times are mid to late afternoon.

Steve, G0KYA takes a more detailed look at UK propagation to Navassa online at g0kya.blogspot.com

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The first part of this week is controlled by a winter low over the North Sea and some strong northwesterly winds over the British Isles. This is not a good omen for tropo enhancements on VHF and UHF.

The good news is that, although it remains cold, the second half of the week will see a trend towards transient ridges of high pressure and the tempting prospect of some lift conditions. This will mean some colder nights and there may be both surface temperature inversions overnight and morning, and longer lasting elevated inversions due to the high pressure. Paths to the south across Biscay and western France to Spain will be worth checking out.

For EME operators, next week the moon reaches apogee – its furthest point away – so we will see losses reaching their highest. Moon declination is falling and goes negative at the end of the week, giving increasingly shorter Moon windows.

We are still in the regular January to April gap between meteor showers, so look for the usual random meteor contacts in the early morning on 50 through to 144MHz. Sporadic-E openings are still very unlikely and there were no significant southern mainland European trans-equatorial QSOs reported to DXmaps.com.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 25th. January 2015.

January 23, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th January 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB launches corporate Facebook page

  • Thinking Day on the Air

  • RSGB publishes guidance on Ofcom interference consultation

The RSGB is delighted to announce the launch of its new Facebook Page. Please do Like our Page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/theRSGB. You can get up-to-date news as well as information about events and Member offers in your newsfeeds. You’ll also be able to see photos and videos and receive updates about special event stations, contests and much more. We know many people have been looking forward to this Page, which will provide an additional way to communicate with the Society. We’ll be starting the weekend, every week, with Photo Friday. We’ll take a look at two old photos and ask if you know who, what, when, where and why! See if you can help with the details and share some memories with others.

Stations planning to participate in Thinking Day on the Air on 21st & 22nd February are asked to send in a report, no matter how short, to Liz, M0ACL, via lizowl@gmail.com. Report forms will be available from the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk. It is hoped that this year there will be a station operating from the World Association on Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centre in London, and some stations on air from Brazil. If you are operating a station, please also send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk by 12th February for inclusion the Sunday 15th February GB2RS news script.

Further to our news story two weeks ago, the RSGB has now published its guidance to the Ofcom consultation on interference. More information on the consultation, and the work that the RSGB is doing to respond to it, can be found on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/conresponse. All amateurs are encouraged to respond to the consultation and details of how to do so are on the same RSGB webpage. The Ofcom consultation closes on Monday 16th February.

GB7SC is now operational from the south coast at Bognor Regis. It is on 439.4750 Rx and 430.475 colour code 3. GB7SC is the first digital repeater on the south coast connected to the world wide MARC network where two QSOs can go through the repeater system at a time. The repeater is also connected to the London and southern roaming group talk group 8, slot 2, where continuous coverage is obtained by the repeaters giving out a beacon signal and radios will lock onto the strongest beacon signal enhancing coverage. Coverage reports to the repeater keeper would be appreciated on talk group 9 slot 2.

In 2015, Romania has been a member of the IARU for 77 years and it is also the 90th anniversary of the IARU. Romania will be active with YO90IARU, YP90IARU, YQ90IARU and YR90IARU from 1st February to 31st December. Contact with these stations can count towards the IARU-90 diploma, details of which can be found at www.iaru-r1.org/

The websites for International Museums Weekends and International Air Ambulance Week are open for registration. Dates for the diary are 20th and 21st and 27th and 28th June for the Museums event and 19th to 27th September for Air Ambulance. More details about the events can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/

QRZ Logbook now recognises contact confirmations from ARRL’s Logbook of The World and users now can download their contacts from Logbook of The World directly into their QRZ Logbook. QRZ.com has posted an LoTW Dowload Quick Start Guide. The QRZ.com User Support Center can provide help with any problems or answer questions.

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

Today, the 25th, the Horncastle Winter Rally will take place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be free car parking and refreshments. More information from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

The GB3JS repeater group will be holding a table top and junk sale on 30th January at the Star Hotel, Great Yarmouth NR30 1HG, starting at 7pm. It’s free entry for buyers; tables cost £5 for traders and £2.50 for individuals. The junk sale starts at 8.30pm. Refreshments will be available and the bar and restaurant will be open. Talk in is via GB3JS. For further information, or to book a place, please visit www.gb3js.co.uk

The 30th Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will take place on 1st February at The Paddocks, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. More detail from Vic Rogers, G6BHE on 01702 308 562.

And now a correction. The Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on Saturday 21st March and not Sunday 22nd as found in the latest edition of RadCom. Apologies to the organisers for the error.

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

Now for the news of special events

Today, the 25th, Chelmsford ARS will be on its second day operating GX0MWT in support of the RNLI SOS Radio Weekend. The stations should be on the air on HF and 144MHz using SSB, data and CW from 10.30am to 5pm from the Marconi Sailing club at Steeple in Essex on the river Blackwater.

Riviera ARC in Torquay will be running GB4TLB in support of SOS Radio Week. Plans are to be mainly active on 40m and 2m and depending on band conditions, they may also use 17m and 15m.

Edmund Spicer, M0MNG is taking part in the SOS Radio Week, active mainly on weekday evenings on 40m SSB, with some activity also on 2m SSB and FM in Southern England. More details can be found on his QRZ.com page.

Farnborough and District Radio Society is celebrating half a century of support and promotion of amateur radio. G50FRS will be operating until 30th November including the nets every Monday on 1995kHz at 8pm and Friday on 144.675MHz at 8pm. All are welcome to call and join in. For more information visit www.farnboroughradio.org.uk/

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society will be operating on 31st January from Marine Walk SR6 0PP for SOS weekend under the callsign GB2SLB. Operation will be on HF only.

The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be continuing their support of SOS Radio Week for the RNLI by activating the Club callsign today, 25th January. MN0VFW will be on air from before sunrise to late afternoon on most bands as propagation allows. All local amateurs are encouraged to call in on 145.500 and say hello or to get directions to arrange a visit to the shack.

OU0POLIO will be on the air until 31st December 2016 using all band and all modes in celebration of the 110th anniversary of Rotary International. The activities will be from various QTHs and in various contests. QSL and other information is on QRZ.com

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

The Rockall DX Group are in Iran to put Kish Island, EP6T, on the air until 31st January. This is IOTA reference AS-166. They will have five high-powered stations on the air. QSLs go via M0URX.

VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 from Guatemala until 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

TC100GLB is to be operational until 30th April to commemorate the Battle of Gallipoli 100 years ago. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via TA1CM.

KC0W will be in Haiti operating stroke HH5 until 3rd February. This is a CW-only expedition on 160, 80 and 40m. QSLs go directly to his home callsign.

Jon, W5JON will be visiting his home at Calypso Bay on St Kitts, NA-104, until 1st March. QSLs go to his W5JON Texas address.

Richard, AD7AF will be active from East Kiribati as T32RL until 9th February. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest ends its 48 hours of operation today, the 25th, at 2200UTC. Work everyone. Non-US/VE stations send RST+ CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK, while US/VE stations send RST + State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the contest and the SSB leg takes place next month.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contests runs from 2000 to 2230UTC on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. Please note 13cm activity starts 30 minutes later than all the other bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This year the M5 multiplier rule is being replaced by M7. The difference will be that Locator squares containing UK stations will be worth two multipliers, whereas Locator squares containing non-UK stations will be worth one multiplier. Don’t worry if your logging program doesn’t score the contest correctly, because the entry robot on the RSGBCC web site will rescore it for you.

On 28th January the UK-EI Contest Club 80m event runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the band the exchange is your 4 character locator.

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

Solar conditions were largely settled this week with the A index remaining firmly in single figures. NOAA’s prediction that the solar flux index would be around 130 last week appears to have been fairly spot on, with the SFI at 124 as this report was being prepared.

The prediction this week is for more of the same, although there are signs of a large new sunspot coming around the solar rim. This, sunspot region 2268, may provide some surprises as it appears to be quite large.

Now on to HF propagation. The short path to Japan could reach 28MHz around 8am this week, although the probability of success is only around three to five per cent. A better band at that time might be 15 metres, that’s 21MHz. Or you could look for JA on 17 metres, 18MHz, between 1500 and 1800UTC, with a maximum probability of around 60%.

Next week, we will take a closer look a propagation predictions for the much-awaited K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island near Haiti, which is due to start shortly.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist Jim, G3YLA reports that we did get a little tropo encouragement from a weak ridge of high pressure last week, but all of that is in the past and the next week is back to very breezy changeable weather, so largely flat VHF/UHF tropo conditions.

There is an occasional opportunity for a weak ridge in the south, in between lows, but these rarely deliver any substantial lift conditions.

There have been Southern Europe to South Africa 50MHz Trans Equatorial contacts in the last week so look out for propagation from the extreme Southwest of the UK.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination continues to increase throughout the coming week, giving longer Moon windows and after last week’s loss minimum, next week we’ll see a daily increase in loss.

Again, there are no significant meteor showers predicted and Sporadic-E openings are still very unlikely. So it looks like a good week to try aircraft scatter on the higher bands and random meteor scatter on 50 through 144MHz.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 18th. January 2015.

January 16, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th January 2015

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom confirms E error on website

  • Youth Team Leader needed for Tuscany trip

  • VK to G link on 477kHz

As many listeners will be aware, Ofcom is required to give all licensed radio amateurs notice that it intends to vary licences in line with its decisions following last year’s consultation. That process is underway and letters are being sent out in batches, although they were all printed at the same time. It has been brought to the RSGB’s attention that some amateurs have received a letter suggesting that their callsign now includes the Regional Secondary Locator, “E”. Ofcom have confirmed to the RSGB and on their website that this is due to a system error and not a change in policy or callsign.

The RSGB Youth Committee is seeking a highly motivated person to take on the role of a Team Leader for a youth event in Tuscany, Italy, to be held in July. It brings together 75 young radio amateurs from 15 member societies and previous events have included workshops on antenna building, satellites, ARDF, and robots as well as some on-air sessions and cultural visits. The team leader would be expected to contribute towards costs and would have to have their own travel insurance. The Society is looking for someone to lead the UK team, preferably a young teacher or other type of experienced youth leader. Contact Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk.

Using the new OPERA Dynamic MF/LF beacon mode, VK5CV transmitted at 1630UTC on 15 January using 477kHz and was spotted by G8HUH, receiving at -37dB. Data recovered from the PSK-Map database shows the capture to fit exactly with the OPERA Dynamic time signature. Opera Dynamic provides an additional 5 or 6dB gain over the conventional Opera Beacon and is automatically engaged should the decoder fail. The facility is linked to the OP8 477kHz and OP32 136kHz modes only. VK5CV reported using 50 watts carrier power to 160m inverted L with a base loaded variometer. Those involved say that this may have been one of the ‘Flash’ propagation events linked to the MF band; to date UK/EU to VK has yet to be achieved.

Following last year’s 5MHz amateur operation in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe, the Czech telecommunications regulator, together with the Czech Ministry of Defence, have agreed to changes in 5MHz permits for Czech radio amateurs. The number of 5MHz channels available under the new 2015 permit has been increased from 6 to 12 and a substantial number of these have been aligned internationally, primarily with the UK and also the US allocations.

Thinking Day on the Air takes place on 21st and 22nd February when Guides around the world will get on the air to contact one another as well as amateur stations worldwide. Liz Gaskell, G0RJX, may hold the honour of the longest continuous UK Thinking Day operation. Liz, a Girlguiding leader in Oxford, has been responsible for operating many different callsigns for Thinking Day and this year will be her 25th year. We would be very interested to hear from other 'veteran' operators. Contact radcom@rsgb.org.uk

A new repeater, GB3TS, was commissioned in December located at Warden Law, Sunderland. The frequencies are 433.175 and 434.775MHz with a CTCSS tone of 118.8Hz. Full details are on QRZ.com under the call sign GB3TS. Reports to the repeater keeper please, Ian G7MFN, via email to g7mfn@hotmail.co.uk

The ARRL Library is now online. This online library is a repository of educational presentations and oral histories. It will initially consist of three major areas. These will include PowerPoint presentations that may be used at club meetings, outreach efforts to the general public or other public presentations; PDFs of general educational material about amateur radio, and oral histories of radio amateurs describing their personal experiences with amateur radio. Visit www.arrl.org/library

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

Today, the 18th, the Hatherleigh Radio Rally will be held in the Hatherleigh Community Centre, Bowling Green Lane, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Devon EX20 3HB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. More information from Roger, 2E0RPH on 01822 852 871.

Also today, the 18th, the Red Rose Winter Rally is in The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, M41 7FJ. It is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. Doors open at 11am and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from John on 07840 389 427.

Next weekend, on Sunday the 25th, the Horncastle Winter Rally will take place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be free car parking and refreshments. More information from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

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

Now for the news of special events

On 24th and 25th January, Chelmsford ARS will be operating GX0MWT in support of the RNLI SOS Radio Weekend. The stations should be on the air on HF and 144MHz using SSB, data and CW from 10.30to 5pm each day from the Marconi Sailing club at Steeple in Essex on the river Blackwater.

Riviera ARC in Torquay will be running a GB4TLB in support of SOS Radio Week. Plans are to be mainly active on 40m and 2m and depending on band conditions, they may also use 17m and 15m.

Edmund Spicer, M0MNG is taking part in the SOS Radio Week for the first time as a solo operator at his home QTH. He will be active mainly on weekday evenings on 40m SSB, with some activity also on 2m SSB and FM in Southern England. Working his station will count towards the SOS Radio Week award scheme. More details are on his QRZ.com page.

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

VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 from Guatemala between 22nd January and 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

The Rockall DX Group travelled to Iran to put Kish Island, IOTA AS-166, on the air until 31st January. The callsign will be EP6T and they will have 5 high powered stations on the air. QSLs go via M0URX.

Tom, KC0W will be in Haiti signing HH5/KC0W until 3rd February. This is a CW-only expedition on 160, 80 and 40m. QSLs go directly to his home callsign.

Patrice, F5RBB and Mireille, F4FRL will be on the air from Monaco as 3A/F5RBB and 3A/F4FRL, respectively, from the 18th to 24th January. Activity will be on 20 and 15 metres using RTTY and PSK31. QSL via operators' instructions.

Now the contest news

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

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest takes place for 48 hours, starting 2200 on Friday 23rd. Single operator stations can operate up to 30 hours, while multi-op stations can operate up to 40 hours. Work everyone. Non-US/VE stations send RST+ CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK. US/VE stations send RST + State/Province code. The SSB leg takes place next month.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest takes place for 24 hours, starting 1200UTC on Saturday 24th. The exchange is serial number only and operation is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Last year there were nearly 900 entrants to this event, which surely means the organisers have hit upon the right formula.

The Worked All Britain 1.8MHz Phone contest takes place next Saturday, 24th January, from 1900 to 2300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 14th February. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

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

This week the solar flux index has been down a little compared with the pre-Christmas period. As the report was being prepared it stood at 142, with NOAA predicting it will decrease to 130 by the end of the week.

There are currently no new visible sunspots rotating into view on the sun’s surface, which explains the predicted reduction in solar flux. Geomagnetic conditions have been a little quieter too, with the Ap index keeping well below 20. This may continue next week as the current crop of sunspots appears quite stable.

Together this means we may be in for reasonably-settled HF conditions over the next seven days.

Paths to the eastern seaboard of the United States will have an 80% probability of success in the afternoon on 15m, that’s 21MHz. The more difficult trans-polar short path route to California will offer around 30% probability on 17m, that’s 18MHz, around 1600-1700hrs.

January remains a good month for DX on 160, 80 and 40 metres, although the higher solar flux indices and more unsettled geomagnetic conditions have meant that the lower bands have been suffering, compared with sunspot minimum.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist Jim, G3YLA reports that the weather for the next week is dominated by a true winter pattern with frost and snow likely. On some of the calm, frosty nights with clear skies there is likely to be a strong surface temperature inversion developing that may give rise to some slight enhancements in VHF/UHF tropo performance.

Otherwise, it will be too windy generally, although there is a possible ridge of high pressure next weekend over north western Scotland and western Ireland and if that builds south eastwards we may benefit in the following week.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination increases throughout the coming week, giving longer Moon windows, with losses reaching a minimum midweek. The moon is close to the sun on Tuesday, making Thursday and Friday the best days.

There are no significant meteor showers this week and Sporadic-E openings are very unlikely, but there’s still amateur satellites to use. A moderate station can make QSOs via FUNcube, so there’s always something to try at VHF and up.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 11th. January 2015.

January 9, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th January 2015

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year

  • Extra E in callsign letters are an error

  • Radio amateur awarded OBE

The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind listeners that the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons ahead of its 4.30pm official publication time.

As many listeners will be aware, Ofcom is required to give all licensed radio amateurs notice that it intends to vary licences in line with its decisions following last year’s consultation. That process has now begun and letters are being sent out. It has been brought to the RSGB’s attention that some Foundation and Full amateurs have received a letter suggesting that their callsign now includes the Regional Secondary Locator letter E. Ofcom have confirmed that this is an error and not a change in policy. Further details will be published on the Ofcom website.

The RSGB would like to congratulate Charles Brookson, G4GBA on being awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honour List. He is Chairman of the Network and Information Security Steering Group and received the honour for his services to telecommunications security.

On 5th January Ofcom published a consultation document on updating the Interference Regulations under the Wireless Telegraphy Act. The aim is cover any interference from modern electronic technology. The Society broadly welcomes Ofcom’s proposals although exactly how they will be put into practice and how they will benefit the amateur radio community remains to be clarified. The Society itself will respond to the consultation and is encouraging members to respond as well. The consultation closes on 16th February. The consultation documents can be found on the Ofcom website and can be reached via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-undue. The RSGB will be publishing guidance very shortly to help Members understand the background and implications of the proposed Regulations. This will be published on the RSGB website.  

DX World has announced the winners of DXpedition of the Year for 2014 and the RSGB was delighted to learn that the single-handed effort by Nigel, G3TXF operating as ZD9XF from Tristan da Cuhna was placed 5th. Top slot and outright winner was the large, professional DXpedition FT5ZM from Amsterdam Island.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union, Polish Amateur Radio operators will be using six special event callsigns until 30th April. Listen out for 3Z90IARU, HF90IARU, SN90IARU, SO90IARU, SP90IARU and SQ90IARU. Details of available awards are on the PZK website. A special German callsign, DJ90IARU, will also be on the air throughout 2015 to mark the 90th anniversary.

Limited testing of the FUNcube-2 435/145MHz linear transponder on the UKube-1 spacecraft has been undertaken during the recent holiday period. This testing has shown that the transponder is able to work effectively and that it is capable of a similar performance to the transponder already operating on FUNcube-1. AMSAT-UK and the FUNcube team have now submitted a detailed report on the testing to the UK Space Agency, who are the owners and prime operators of the UKube-1 spacecraft. It is expected that a meeting will be held with them late January / early February to plan possible future testing and operations.

LAMCO have announced that they are to sponsor the installation of a Yaesu Digital Fusion Repeater that will be used to replace the equipment currently in use by GB3HS at High Hunsley. This will not affect users of the GB3HS analogue service and the repeater will perform much as it does now. It will allow those users with Yaesu Fusion equipment to use a digital repeater. It will also support cross mode contacts. There will not be an internet connection, as that functionality is still in development.

Icom UK has recently re-developed its D-Star dedicated microsite. Among the recent changes is a new support section that includes links to data files of UK D-Star repeaters and reflectors for Icom models. The page also features a link to its D-Star YouTube Channel where you will find tips and tricks for some of Icom’s latest D-Star radios. Go to www.d-staruk.co.uk/support for more information.

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

The first rallies of the New Year are both on 18th January.

The Hatherleigh Radio Rally will be held in the Hatherleigh Community Centre, Bowling Green Lane, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Devon EX20 3HB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. More information from Roger, 2E0RPH on 01822 852 871.

The Red Rose Winter Rally in The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, M41 7FJ is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. Doors open at 11am and there will be trade stands, a bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from John on 07840 389 427.

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

Now for the news of special events

GB1FZR will be on the air on 18th and 19th January to commemorate the first Zeppelin raid on the UK in 1915. It will be operated by Nigel, G0DGA with more details on qrz.com under GB1FZR.

HE200GE commemorates the 200th anniversary of Geneva's entrance into the Swiss Confederation. The beginnings of modern Switzerland go back to the year 1291, when the three German language Alpine forest areas signed the Federal Charter. Over the centuries more cantons allied themselves to the original three and among the last was the Republic of Geneva on 19th May 1815. HE200GE will be active on all amateur bands throughout 2015 and contacts will be valid for the Diploma of Genève. QSL via HB9AOF.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the South African Radio League, ZS90SARL will be on the air until the end of April.

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

From 14th to 28th January, John, GM0KTO and his XYL Rosemary will be visiting The Gambia. John intends to operate using his Gambian visitor's callsign of C5/G0KTO and should be on the HF bands using mainly SSB and occasionally CW.

OE4AAC will be operational as S79AC from Mahe and Praslin Islands in the Seychelles Island group AF-024 between 17th January and 10th February. Activity will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands on CW only. QSLs to OE4AAC, direct, by the bureau or Club Log's OQRS.

The C5X DXpedition to the Gambia will run from the 15th to 26th January. The team of four English operators G3VMW, G3XAQ, G3XTT and M0PCB will be operating from the Bungalow Beach Hotel at Kotu, in the Serrakunda district of Gambia on a North-West facing site, close to the Atlantic Ocean. With two high-power stations, equipped with Elecraft K3 transceivers and KPA-500 amplifers, the team will be on all bands from 10 to 160m on CW, SSB, RTTY and a little PSK31/63. Antennas include two Spiderbeams on the five HF bands and dipoles at good height for the lower bands. The QSL manager is for this operation will be M0OXO.

KC9W, will be active stroke HH5 from Haiti between 11th January and 3rd February on the 160, 80 and 40m bands using CW only. QSL direct via KC0W. KC0W will be there between 12th January and 3rd February. QSL direct to his home callsign.

A group of Japanese operators will activate the callsign XR0YJ on Easter Island, SA-001, until 16th January. They will be active on the 80 to 6m bands and QSLs will be handled by OQRS.

Francis, F6BLP will be QRV as 6W7SK from Senegal until 5th February. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using mainly CW and RTTY. QSL to the home callsigns.

Now the contest news

Today, the 11th, it is the 80m CW AFS contest. This runs from 1400 to 1800UTC and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday, the 13th, the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On 17th January the SSB AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC using SSB only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number. The contest is very different this year because 40m has been added, making it a 2-band contest. Propagation is likely to be good within the UK on both bands at the start, but challenging on at least one of them by the end, especially for close-in working. For the leading stations the name of the game will be to operate on the right band at the right time. Both the AFS contests are qualifying events in the Affiliated Societies Super League series.

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

As is usual this time of year we start with a retrospective look at 2014, and it looks like we passed the peak of Sunspot Cycle 24 in the spring. The peak solar flux index (SFI) for the cycle occurred on 23rd October 2014 with 227, although there were plenty of other times when it bettered 200, including January and December.

On an annual basis, 2014 had the highest average daily sunspot numbers of any year since 2002, according to the ARRL, although the peak solar flux indices were higher in 2002, hitting 261 on 29th January that year.

What has been very apparent is the recent general increase in solar flares and coronal mass ejections, CMEs: this week the geomagnetic Kp index even hit eight at high latitudes. This has led to disturbed geomagnetic and radio conditions and is typical of the downward trail away from a sunspot maximum.

Over the next quarter we can expect to see overall sunspot numbers decline slightly, with solar flare and CME activity remaining high. Expect to see SFI numbers in the range 120-180, still good enough to provide good openings to DX on the higher bands.

We may well see the cycle rise again at times before it finally tails off over the next few years.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather pattern is likely to continue in to the New Year in unsettled form after a couple of brief enhancements at the start of the month. There will be a series of low-pressure areas passing close to Britain this week bringing very windy weather at times and as a result mainly flat, VHF/UHF weather-driven propagation.

After last week’s Quadrantids meteor shower, we are now entering the seasonal lull in activity with no major showers until the April Lyrids, so there’ll be just random meteor scatter and the odd chance of aurora to provide any DX opportunities.

We are just a week away from the moon’s lowest declination and also from perigee so we’ll see shorter moon windows, with reducing losses as the week progresses.

For VHFers needing a challenge, some EME-equipped stations have recently made QSOs via reflection from the ISS, and aircraft reflection is easy with a moderate terrestrial system. Failing that there’s still amateur satellites to use, and just a moderate station can make QSOs via FUNcube, so there’s always something to try at VHF and up.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 28th. December 2014.

December 27, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Last GB2RS of 2014

  • Youngsters on the Air news

  • Bath’s 250 passes and going strong

This is the last GB2RS broadcast of 2014 and the RSGB would like to wish all newsreaders and listeners a Happy New Year. There will be no news readings on 4th January. The RSGB HQ will re-open on 5th January and the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will re-open on 2nd January. We would like to thank those volunteers who continue to give their time to keep the NRC open and on the air.

December Youngsters on the Air month is coming to a close and today, the 28th, GB14YOTA will be operated by Wolverhampton ARS. If you hear young people on the air at the station, please take the time to speak to them.

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning classes celebrated their 250th pass after the December exam. In just four years the team have helped over 265 candidates gain the coveted UK Full licence. The next course starts on the 25th January, heading for the June exam, and there is still time to register. There is no charge for the training but the team take a £30 deposit that is refunded to students who remain active throughout the course. Any unclaimed deposits are donated to a radio charity at the end of the course. Anyone interested in joining the next course should contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via g0fuw@tiscail.co.uk before Friday 16th of January, when enrolment will close.

Following the success of KW Days earlier in the year, it’s back again. The first weekend of January, the 3rd and 4th, marks the anniversary of Britain’s most successful amateur radio manufacturing company in 1956. Collectors, ex-employees, clubs and friends of KW will be active on AM on the VMARS channels and SSB throughout the weekend around 1.977, 3.77, 7.177 and 14.277MHz. More information on this and all things KW can be found by searching the internet for the KW Yahoo Group.

World Thinking Day on the Air on 21-22 February encourages Guides to make friendships with members of other units, using amateur radio as the means of communication. An increasing number of Guides, Guiders and Rangers go on to gain amateur radio licenses as a result. If you are planning to take part please let us know. If you’d like to get involved and want to find out more, visit the RSGB website or www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Building the International Space Station took over 40 missions between 1998 and 2011, with one more piece planned for delivery in 2015. Now you can watch the whole thing come together in just a few minutes thanks to a recently released time lapse video. Go to tinyurl.com/building-the-iss, turn the music up and enjoy this short video on how the International Space Station was put together on orbit through the cooperation of nations worldwide.

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

The Santa Claus stations, OH9SCL for Santa Claus Land and OF9X for Old Father Nine Xmas are on the air. Principal radio activity will be over the weekends after Christmas around 25kHz from the band edges and the SSB pole position is at 14.225MHz. The My DX Summit website will feature OH9SCL and OF9X on its Santa menu selection. Occasionally Santa will be available on video, mostly when on 20m SSB. Tap the Video and Audio button on the OF9X page and you may not only see Santa but hear how your own signal sounds in the Land of Christmas.

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

Bredhurst Receiving and Transmitting Society is running a special event station, GB8HMC, commemorating 800 years of the Magna Carta from 1st January to 5th January inclusive. They will be using data and SSB on 80m through to 10m plus 2m. QSL details are on QRZ.com.

TC5OCK will be on the air between the 1st and 10th of January to commemorate liberation day of Adana city on 5th January 1922. See QRZ.com for details.

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

KK6BT will be activating Raivavae Island, OC-114, in the Austral Islands group. He plans to be on the air from the 5th to the 11th January operating exclusively SSB, using the 10 to 40m bands, including WARC bands.

K4KGG will be active stroke VP9 from Hamilton Parish, Bermuda, NA-005, between 31st December and 5th January. Operations will be on the HF bands only. All contacts will be uploaded to Logbook of the World and ClubLog. QSL via W3HNK, direct or by the Bureau.

Several stations will be on the air from Ogasawara, AS-031 during the coming weeks. JG7PSJ will be signing JD1BMH until the 10th of January. He will be on the 10 to 40m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. Then until 2nd January JI1LET and JA1UII will operate as JD1BOI and JD1BON respectively on the 6 to 80m bands CW, SSB and RTTY.

Kei, KG2A will activate V25A from Antigua, NA-100, until 30th December. QSL via his home call.

Michael, G7VJR, well-known as the creator of ClubLog, will be in Norfolk Island, OC-005 until 1st January. While there he will sign VK9N/G7VJR. As usual, his QSLs will be looked after by M0OXO.

Now the contest news

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

The IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place on New Year’s Day, 1st January, from 1400 to 1700UTC. Modes are SSB only or SSB and CW, there are fixed and portable sections and a section for listeners. See the website at www.irts.ie/contests for the contest rules, and note in particular the rule about permitted frequencies for this contest.

The ARRL RTTY Roundup takes place for the full 48 hours of 3rd and 4th January. The exchange is a signal report and serial number, but US stations also give their State code and Canadians their Province code.

Next come the two sessions of the European 160m CW Party. The first is on the evening of Saturday 3rd between 2000 and 2300UTC and the second is in the early hours of Sunday 4th between 0400 and 0700UTC. What you send your QSO partners depends on whether you are a member of a club that’s affiliated to the Association and in the UK that means FOC, FISTS, G-QRP and the Essex CW Club. If you are, send RST + name + club + membership number; otherwise send RST + name + ‘NM’ for non member. You can work the same station in each session.

Tuesday 6th January is the 144MHz UK Activity Contest, running between 2000 and 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 11th, it is the CW AFS contest. This runs from 1400 to 1800UTC and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Tuesday the 23rd of December.

Due to the festive break this week’s HF forecast is being prepared earlier than normal, which makes it harder to predict solar conditions. What we can say is that the sun is likely to remain very active, with a high probability of solar flares and attendant coronal mass ejections. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline, being around 175 at the beginning of the week and tailing off to 150 by Friday.

Mid winter remains the time when the low bands, 160m, 80m and 40m, come into their own. While solar maximum is not the best time for low band propagation there will still be plenty of DX to be worked, with 40m opening up to DX well before sunset, and 80m and 160m providing choice contacts for night owls.

Daytime should see plenty of DX on 20m and above. If the solar flux index remains higher than 120 or so as predicted, good DX should be possible during daylight hours on 10 metres too. A brief spell of Sporadic-E can sometimes occur in the New Year, resulting in very strong, but short-lived propagation as well.

Staying with 10m, openings to India and Japan have been observed in the mornings, with California and other western US states being workable in the afternoon.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist, G3YLA tells us that it’s not unusual for the evolution of weather systems to be handled differently by different atmospheric models. At longer timescales, and this was written six days ago, these differences can be significant, but it is interesting to see the alternative outcomes nonetheless.

They predict different beginnings for this week; one model showing a ridge of high pressure, good for VHF, the other a small low, bad for VHF. The interest lies in the fact that both models come together and produce a tendency for ridging, ie high pressure, especially in the south, as the week progresses. So let’s look forward to a Happy New Year lift!

The sun has been active recently, producing Northern auroras and there are still plenty of active sunspot regions on the sun’s far side, so we might expect more auroral activity over the next week or so as they rotate in to view.

The Quadrantids meteor shower starts this week and will peak this coming Saturday night and Sunday morning the 3rd and 4th of January. The peak is much shorter than the Geminids and ends abruptly so don’t be late!

And that's all this week from the propagation team and we wish you a happy new year.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th. December 2014.

December 12, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Amateur Radio Licence review forum launched

  • New record for Logbook of the World

  • Watch SSTV from the ISS this week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now for the details of forthcoming rallies and events

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 7th. December 2014.

December 5, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom announces Licence Review Decision

  • This week’s Youngsters on the Air stations

  • Tromelin Island FT4A slide show available online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news by G3YLA

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 30th. November 2014.

November 28, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters on the Air month starts

  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • Details of next Bath Buildathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd. November 2014

November 21, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd November 2014

The news headlines:

  • New Youth Committee Chairman

  • Happy Birthday FUNcube-1!

  • Question Writing Workshop Postponed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 16th. November 2014

November 14, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • Last chance for British Science Week grants

  • Film producers thank amateur community

  • New Propagation Questions forum on RSGB website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news

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

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

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

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 9th. November 2014

November 7, 2014
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th November 2014

The news headlines:

  • New microwave NoV available

  • Youth on the Air preparations continue

  • Eight days of solar flares on NASA video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the news of special events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the contest news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now the VHF and up propagation news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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