Sunday 29th November 2015
The news headlines:
WRC-15 final news
K Regional Identifier for Cornwall
G15YOTA to tour the country
The 2015 ITU World Radio Conference in Geneva has concluded. Following earlier success at 5MHz, the conference has agreed to include a future agenda item for the next conference, in 2019, which will consider harmonising the 50MHz band in Region 1. Several other agenda items that might have affected the amateur services have also concluded largely favourably. The Society would like to thank Colin Thomas, G3PSM, Ian Greenshields, G4FSU and the many other volunteers for their efforts over the years in advancing the amateur cause at ITU in often very challenging circumstances. Attention now immediately turns to preparations for the 2019 ITU World Radio Conference.
Ofcom has agreed that the special Regional Secondary Locator, K, may be used between the 1st of January and 31st of December 2016 inclusive by the holder of any amateur radio licence with a main station address in Cornwall, subject to the licensee obtaining a valid Notice of Variation. It may only be used when the radio equipment is located in Cornwall. Use of this NoV is optional, and can be obtained from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/k-for-cornwall from the 1st of December, but may not be used until the 1st of January. Cornish Clubs have set up The Kernow Award, details of which are http://tinyurl.com/ofrt7a9. There will be a special activity day on St Piran's Day, the Patron Saint of Cornwall, on 5 March.
During December, 14 groups from schools, universities and local clubs will activate callsign G15YOTA and its regional variations. Many of the operators will be experiencing amateur radio for the first time, a fantastic opportunity for licensed youngsters get on the air. If you hear the station, please give them a call. Durham and District Amateur Radio Society will operate the station on the 2nd then the following day it’s the No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets. On Friday the 4th is the turn of the 2364 Sqn Welshpool RAF Air Cadets. The call moves over to Northern Ireland with Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club on 5th. On the 6th it’s the turn of Stirling & DARS in Scotland.
Rebecca Hughes, M6BUB, has organised a Youth Night net hosted on the North Wales 2m repeater GB3MP. Sixteen year old Rebecca is a member of the RSGB's Youth Committee and sees this initiative as a way of bringing the young amateurs of the English North West and North Wales together on a weekly basis. The Youth Net will be starting on Wednesday the 2nd of December at 7pm and Rebecca, M6BUB will be the net controller. Several of the Southport and District ARC committee, Rebecca’s local club, have volunteered to keep an ear out to ensure that licence conditions are complied with and that the youngsters are kept safe. For further information visit www.sadarc.org.uk
APRS Cave-Link uses the amateur radio’s Automatic Packet Reporting System, or APRS, inside caves to get their position data and other messages out of the caves it has been reported on hackaday.com. Digipeaters and battery packs are dropped, in Hänsel and Gretel fashion, as the cavers work their way through the cave. The trick is to make sure to place one repeater before they’ve entirely lost the radio signal from the previous one. But a test of the APRS Cave-Link project got a full mile’s worth of transmission in Mammoth Cave without using wires at all.
ANZAC commemorations are closing with VI4ANZAC, commemorating the work of the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train. The station will be on the air from the 12th to the 20th of December. The Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train served as engineers, and often as wireless operators, at Kangaroo Beach, Suvla Bay, with the British Army from August to December 1915. They were in fact the last Australians off of the Gallipoli Peninsula. All the details, frequencies and times of VI4ANZAC operations, plus the story of the RANBT, is on QRZ.com.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
There are no rallies taking place today, the 29th. The final rallies of the year are due to take place on the 5th and 6th of December.
The South Lancs Winter Rally is on Saturday the 5th at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw WN2 5TE. Doors open for the public at 9am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups as well as catering on site. Details from Jason on 01942 735 828.
On Sunday the 6th the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club Rally will be held at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, Co Durham DL16 6DB. Talk in will be on the air on S22. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2 with free admission for under 14s. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and catering on site. More information 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 email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now the special event news
Raymond Smit, PD7DX is operating special event station PD15XMAS from the 5th of December to the 1st of January, in the spirit of the holiday. He will be active on 7, 14 and 28MHz on HF as well as 2m and 440MHz.
Some of the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Member Societies will be marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday the 3rd of December. Listen out for special event callsigns.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
Mats, SM6LRR is operating holiday style in Vietnam as XV2D until the 6th of December and is participating in the CQWW CW Contest this weekend. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.
Donald, KD4UDU will be working as EL2DW from Monrovia, Liberia until the 17th of December. Look for him on 20m, 15m and 10m on SSB. Send QSL cards to his home callsign.
A team of 5 US operators will operate from Tuvalu and Fiji over the coming weeks. Initially they will be active as T2TT in Tuvalu until the 2nd of December. Then they travel to Fiji where they will sign 3D2RJ from the 3rd to the 10th of December. In both locations they will operate SSB and CW. The QSL via Club Log OQRS.
Francois, F8DVD will be on the air with special event callsign TM21COP from the 29th of November to the 13th of December during the 21st session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using SSB. QSL via operator's instructions.
Livio, IZ3BUR is transmitting as J52HF from the Cumura Hospital in Guinea-Bissau until the 10th of December. Activity is in his spare time, mainly on 20, 15, 10 and 6 metres, using SSB and PSK31. QSL via I3LDP.
Take, JA1UII is QRV as JD1BON from Chichi-Jima Island, IOTA AS-031, until December the 5th. Activity is on 80 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. He will be active in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to his home call.
Now the contest news
The biggest contest is the CW World Wide DX CW contest, which ends its 48 hour run today, the 29th at 2359UTC. Using the bands 1.8 to 28MHz the exchange is your signal report and CQ Zone. For the UK the Zone is 14.
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 first UKEI DX contest runs next weekend for 24 hours from 12 noon on Saturday the 5th of December. What’s new is that EI and UK entrants will compete on equal terms against DX entrants. It is SSB-only, on the five contest bands from 80 to 10 metres. There are multi-op and single-op categories and the exchange is a serial number and your district code. You’ll need to know your own district code, and these are listed in the rules at www.ukeicc.com.
Next weekend, the ARRL 160m contest runs from 2200UTC on the 4th to 1600UTC on the 6th. It is CW only and the exchange is your signal report. US and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section details.
On Sunday the 6th the 144MHz AFS contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon contest runs from the beginning of December until the end of January. Information and rules can be found on the UKSMG website. Any station can enter, you don’t have to be a member of the group.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday the 27th of November.
This week has been geomagnetically quiet with the K index hovering around zero or one. This is in contrast to the extremely unsettled conditions we have been having on and off over the past few months. Coupled with a solar flux index of around 110 to 120 this has brought reasonably settled conditions on HF and good conditions on MF too.
Medium wave enthusiasts have heard radio station WBBR in New York on 1130 kilohertz with ease during the night, which bodes well for Top Band propagation. The lower HF bands have also been lively with John, HR5/G4IRN in Honduras being worked by Jack, G8DX on 80, 40 and 30 metres. With the increasing periods of darkness, now is the time to make the most of the lower bands.
Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 110-115, but with unsettled geomagnetic conditions next weekend – the fifth and the sixth. Meanwhile, Morse enthusiasts can hopefully make the most of the settled conditions during this weekend's CQ Worldwide contest. There should be plenty of DX to work and the bands are predicted to be reasonable with reliable openings up to 21MHz, and even 28MHz, virtually guaranteed.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
It looks like another difficult week for tropospheric propagation. There are low pressure systems passing to the north of Britain and high pressure displaced well to the south over Iberia and the Mediterranean.
This means that conditions on the VHF/UHF bands will probably be flat much of the time with no significant openings due to weather events. That said, the F5LEN forecast pages suggest a minor tropospheric enhancement late Tuesday, early Wednesday.
For meteor scatter enthusiasts, there’s just two weeks to go to the major Geminids shower on December 13th, so sharpen up your operating skills with early morning random QSOs until then. For EME operators, path losses are beginning to rise again and windows shortening as the moon heads out towards apogee from today and declination goes negative again. In all then, this is probably a good week to try some VHF satellite operation to keep the QSO count up. Pete, 2E0SQL tells us that AO85, SO50, NO84, AO73-Funcube, FO29, XW-2F and AO7 are all in good health.
And that’s all from the propagation team for this week.