GB2RS

This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 25th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • New RSGB ETCC Chair appointed

  • Bodleian talk on What is Wireless

  • NRC to open 6 days a week

 

The RSGB is delighted to announce that Andrew Barrett, G8DOR has been appointed as the new Chair of the Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, or ETCC, for an initial period of three years. Andrew is the current Vice-Chair. The ETCC functions to develop and enhance the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications networks and to promote the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. They receive, vet and advise on all proposals in respect of analogue or digital voice repeaters, TV repeaters and data communications systems, passing the finalised documents to Ofcom for issue. The RSGB would like to thank John McCullagh, GI4BWM for the enormous level of work that he has put into the role of ETCC Chair for over 12 years, particularly in his work with Ofcom.

A forthcoming lecture at the Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford may be interesting to radio amateurs. Jacob Ward, a Bodleian Libraries Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellow will be speaking on What is Wireless and will explores what happened to ‘wireless’, from after World War II to the birth of the ‘new’ wireless in the 1980s and 1990s, by exploring the imagination and imagery associated with wireless communications by its biggest proponents: the Marconi Companies. The talk takes place on the 6th of March from 5.30 to 6.30pm and is a free public event. All are welcome. Tickets can be reserved via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0225-A

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the National Radio Centre, located at Bletchley Park, will now also be open on Mondays. Starting from Easter Monday, the 2nd of April, the NRC will now be open six days a week, closing only on Tuesdays. NRC opening times run in accordance to the Bletchley Park museum, 9.30am to 4pm in winter and to 5pm in summer. Bletchley Park admission details are at www.bletchleypark.org.uk. RSGB Members can gain free access to Bletchley Park, including the National Radio Centre, by downloading a voucher from the Membership Services area of the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org/bletchley-park-voucher

An international amateur radio team that postponed a December 2017 DXpedition to the disputed Spratly Islands now plans to be on the air in early March from Layang Layang Island, also known as Swallow Reef, under Malaysian call sign 9M0W. The IOTA reference is AS-051. The operation will be on the air on 160 to 6m using CW, SSB and digital modes. While the Royal Malaysian Navy maintains a presence on the reef, ownership of the Spratlys has also been asserted by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines in addition to Malaysia. The Spratlys are Number 56 on Club Log’s DXCC Most-Wanted List.

Another RSGB 2017 Convention presentation has been added to the video portal for RSGB Members to view. The talk is by Ian White, GM3SEK, and called VHF-UHF DX – the Game of Decibels. In a talk aimed at all technical levels, Ian explains that decibels are the ‘currency’ in which we measure our station's performance. We can count our gains and losses, save our decibels or throw them away, and eventually find our own answers to the age-old question, “what is one decibel really worth?” Ian explains why we use decibels; why 1dB can be worth more to VHF-UHF DXers than almost anyone else; and how ‘counting the decibels’ can point us to the next station improvement. Take a look at www.rsgb.org/videos for this and many other talks.

Richard Lamont, G4DYA has been appointed to the joint role of Amateur Radio Observation Service and Intruder Watch Coordinator. Richard has been a broadcast engineer with the BBC, an editor of radio magazines and a company director. He also knows his way around the ITU Regulations. The RSGB welcome him to his new role. Richard succeeds Mark Jones, G0MGX who we thank for putting a great deal of time and energy into these activities over the last five years.

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

Today, the 25th, the BRATS Medway Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. Admittance is £2.50. There is free parking and talk in on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Details from Hugh, G0BRC, on 0782 583 8877.

Also on the 25th, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 8am for sellers and 10am for buyers. Entry is £2. Tables are £10 each on a first come first served basis. Refreshments are available on site. To book, contact Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Next Saturday, the 3rd of March, the Lagan Valley ARS Rally will be held in the Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough BT26 6AR. Doors open from 11am to 3pm, with admittance £3. Everyone is most welcome to attend. There will be lots of radio equipment, both new and second hand. Tea, coffees and sandwiches will be available. There will be a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and Special Interest Groups. More details from Andrew Mulholland, MI0BPB on 07802 824 615.

Next Sunday, the 4th, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally will be at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XQ. There is car parking on site and talk-in will be available. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB book stall. Contact Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 for more information.

Also next Sunday, the 4th, the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy, and catering is available on site. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled guests and those booking in to the Bring & Buy having access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A group will be operating from Rotuma Island, IOTA reference OC-060, from around the 23rd of February until the 16th of March. The callsign will be 3D2EU. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 10m using CW, SSB and digital. Rotuma is located about 650km north of Fiji and counts as a separate entity for DXCC purposes.

Gerhard, OE3GEA is making progress on his trip around islands in the Pacific. He will be operating as FO/OE3GEA from French Polynesia from the 25th of February to the 10th of March, using the 30 to 10m bands. QSL via OE3GEA, direct or via the bureau.

Two South Korean amateurs will be operating from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam as XV9HL. They will be on the air from the 26th of February until the 6th of March. Look for them using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSLs go via HL1AHS.

Bernhard, DK7TF and Jurgen, DH6ICE will be active as XV9DLH from Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, AS-128, starting on the 24th of February. QSL via DK8ZZ.

Jim, WB2REM and Mark, WY1G will be in Nicaragua from the 26th of February until the 6th of March. They will use the callsign H7DX on CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Now the special event news

March 2018 sees the 80th anniversary of the launch of HMS Belfast and, to mark the event, the RNARS (Affiliated) London (HMS Belfast) Group have been granted the unusual callsign of GB80GGCN. Golf Golf Charlie November was the marine callsign of HMS Belfast. The special event call will last from March through to May. Visitors to HMS Belfast are able to see the operators using the call in the Bridge Wireless Office. Listen for them across the bands. A special QSL card will be available, and full details are on QRZ.com.

Special callsign II2RR is active until the 31st of December to mark the 70th anniversary of the first issue of RadioRivista, the Italian Society’s monthly journal. QSL via IK2VU.

Now the contest news

The CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 25th. It’s SSB only; the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations also sending their State and Canadians their Province.

The French REF Contest ends its 36 hour run at 1800UTC today, the 25th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their département number or overseas prefix.

Today, the 25th, the first 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties 80m Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

Next weekend the 144/432MHz contest runs from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on 2m and 70cm, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX Contest runs for 48 hours next weekend from 0000UTC on the 3rd to 2359UTC on the 4th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. US stations also send their state and Canadians their Province,

On Sunday the 4th the UK Microwave Group First Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 2.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Despite warnings in the popular press that a massive solar flare was likely to cause chaos on Earth, we managed to survive! In the event, a coronal mass ejection, which was linked to the solar flare, caused the K index to rise to five on Monday 19th, but conditions became more settled from Tuesday onwards. There was DX to be had if you looked for it. For example, ET3AA in Ethiopia has been very audible on 18MHz around lunchtime. Otherwise, the Sun has been more settled, with no visible sunspots and a solar flux index of 68 on Thursday – that’s just two points above what we can expect at absolute solar minimum.

As this report was being prepared a large coronal hole was visible, stretching from one solar pole to the equator. This might suggest we could have unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Earth from around Sunday 25th, although the NOAA figures don’t support this. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70, so we can expect maximum usable frequencies to remain similar, with daytime band openings up to 17m and occasionally 15m. With night-time critical frequencies remaining around 3MHz, bands much above 40m remain mostly closed to DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s a cold, high-pressure story this week, and although technically this is a very strong high, the air underneath the temperature inversion that these highs produce is cold and dry. This is not particularly good at changing the refractive index of the air across the inversion and implies that this is not really the best option for Tropo. It is better than flat conditions, and could possibly help out early in the mornings. A night of surface cooling gives a very low-level temperature inversion near the ground that could lead to a temporary improvement in Tropo.

In the second half of the week it is likely that low pressure tracking westwards across southern Britain will bring the prospect of snowfall and perhaps icing on antenna wires and beam elements. It is always worth checking the tensions are good and shake off any ice build-up in this sort of weather.

We are still a month or so away from the return of Northern hemisphere Sporadic-E, so the best opportunity for DX on the lower bands still lies in early morning random meteor scatter contacts.

The Moon is at maximum declination today so, combined with low path losses with perigee this Tuesday, it is a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 18th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • International DMR Talkgroup for Universities

  • Amateur becomes Havard President

  • QSL Bureau volunteers wanted

Paul Thieme, President of the Purdue University Amateur Radio Club, W9YB in the United States wants to hear from UK university amateur radio clubs that have linked DMR repeaters. Recently, his club has been working with Brandmeister worldwide officials to create a DMR talkgroup specifically for university amateur radio operators. In the States they have about half-a-dozen universities so far on this system and they would like to encourage universities from other countries that have DMR repeaters to join as well. Please contact Paul if you’d like to link up with this group, via email to thiemep@purdue.edu

A radio amateur, Lawrence Bacow, KA1FZQ has been selected to become the 29th president of Harvard University. He was selected from among a field of some 700 candidates and will take office on the 1st of July.

The RSGB QSL Bureau is seeking to appoint a new volunteer for the MW and 2W sub group, due to the retirement of the current sub manager. This is an active and growing QSL group, involving around 15-20,000 QSL cards, delivered in 3 to 4 batches for sorting and distribution each year. Prospective volunteers will need to have some time, a little space for storage and basic spreadsheet skills. As part of re-organisation, some M0 groups are being consolidated. All calls in the M0A to M0F will shortly become one QSL sub group under a new sub manager, yet to be appointed. If you are interested in taking on the new M0A-F sub group, or the MW-2W group please register your interest by emailing qsl@rsgb.org.uk

As the 3Y0Z Bouvet DXpedition was sadly cancelled due to bad weather and engine trouble on the transport vessel, another DXpedition has re-started their plans to visit the island. According to the web page, operators Dominik, 3Z9DX, Stanislaw, SQ8X, Leszek, SP3DOI, Branko, YU4DX and Frans, J69DS have a landing permit issued by the Norwegian Polar Institute. No dates of activity are mentioned, but the permit is valid until February 2019. See https://bouvetoya.org/ for more details as the plans progress.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog. The list contains 340 entities and the top 10 entities seem to have changed with the addition of Kosovo. The top spot still goes to North Korea, followed by Bouvet Island, Crozet Island and the Republic of Kosovo. The complete DXCC Most Wanted entities list is available at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php Club Log author Michael Wells, G7VJR, says that he has completed the Great Hardware Shuffle for the online service. The free, web-based tool can produce DXCC league tables, expedition tools, log-search services, and most-wanted lists, see www.clublog.org

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a North West African military Thales-3000 system on 13,998.4kHz was causing interference in the amateur radio 20m band and that in the amateur radio 40m band Radio Myanmar has been heard on 7200kHz and Radio Hargeisa from the Republic of Somaliland on 7120kHz. You can read more at www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2018/news1801.pdf

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

The Radioactive Rally will take place today, the 18th of February, at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and an RSGB book stall. A raffle ticket is included with the entrance programme, and additional tickets can be purchased. Catering is available on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the BRATS Medway Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. Admittance is £2.50. There is free parking and talk in on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Details from Hugh, G0BRC, on 0782 583 8877.

Also next Sunday, the 25th, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 8am for sellers and 10am for buyers, entry is £2. Tables are £10 each on a first come first served basis. Refreshments are available on site. To book contact Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Members of Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, led by Headmaster Alan, G4DJX are in The Gambia operating as C5DX, with the visit ending on the 18th. Students have run a couple of pile ups at the time of writing and are doing well. QSLs go to G4DJX and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Scott, NE9U will be on the air as PJ4/NE9U from the island of Bonaire, IOTA reference SA-006, until the 24th of February. QSLs go to his home callsign.

Arnaud, JG1XMV plans to operate holiday-style from various islands as FK/JG1XMV. From the 17th of February to the 3rd of March he will spend three or four days each on Grande Terre, IOTA OC-032, plus Lifou and Mare, both IOTA OC-033. Check his QRZ.com entry for schedule updates. Arnaud will be accompanied by Yves, FK4RD. QSL via JK1XMV either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

George, K5KG will operate as VP2MKG from Montserrat, NA-103, until the 27th of February. QSL via his home callsign.

Michael, DF8AN will be on the air on Easter Island, SA-001, as CE0Y/DF8AN from the 21st to the 28th of February. Activity will be on the HF bands, concentrating mainly on RTTY, PSK, JT-modes and FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

The 5th Paddock Wood Guides will taking part in GirlGuiding London & South East England’s Impact Big Sleepover on the 24th and 25th of February near Sittingbourne, Kent. A special event station will operate on the 25th, GB5PWG for Paddock Wood Guides.

GB4UKG, representing UK Guiding, will be on the air from Abermule School, Montgomery, Wales on the 25th of February. The station will be on HF bands 40m and up, conditions allowing, and 2m VHF. The operator is Jon, M5AEO.

Special event station 9K57NLD is on the air until the 28th of February to mark Kuwait's 57th National and Liberation Day. QSL via ClubLog.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 18th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Tx power. US stations will also send their State, and Canadian stations their Province.

On Tuesday, the IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number with ET and GI stations ending their County too. There are SSB-Only and Mixed-Mode SSB/CW sections, with double points for CW QSOs in the mixed-mode section. See www.irts.ie/contests for permitted frequencies, the power limit and other rules.

Also 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.

On Thursday it’s the turn of the 80m Club Championships from 2000 to 2130UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest runs from 2200UTC on the 23rd until 2200UTC on the 25th. It’s SSB only; the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations also sending their State and Canadian stations their Province.

The REF Contest runs from 0600UTC on the 24th to 1800UTC on the 25th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department number or overseas prefix.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the first 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Sunspot group 2699 threw a surprise last week when it unleashed a C-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection. While we have got used to having coronal hole activity, CMEs have been less prevalent over the last few months. The CME and a coronal hole solar wind stream were predicted to reach Earth by Thursday the 15th of February. NOAA said the combined effects could generate minor, G1 class storming at higher latitudes, with a chance for isolated G2 storming as well, and issued an aurora alert for high latitudes.

The ACE spacecraft showed an increase in both solar wind density and speed from about 8am on Thursday, but ionospheric effects appeared minimal. But the full effects were seen later on Thursday evening when the K index rose to four.

NOAA predicts that next week the solar flux index will fall back to around 70, due to a lack of new sunspots. Geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled at the beginning of the week due to the ongoing effects of the CME, but should be more settled later in the week. The maximum usable band over a 3,000km path still tends to be 17 metres, with occasional openings on 15 metres and higher.

Daytime critical frequencies are still around 5MHz, so 40 metres is still mostly closed to the UK during the day. Night-time critical frequencies are mostly in the range 2-3MHz, so again 80 metres closes to UK contacts after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The return of high pressure means that Tropo will play a part this week. Conditions should be good across the southern half of Britain and well into the continent at times. Models show some hint that more disturbed weather could bring it to a close later next week.

There is some talk of a sudden stratospheric warming, which changes the stratospheric flow to look more like a summer pattern. There is a thought that this can lead to out of season Sporadic-E, and therefore well worth checking the clusters for activity on 28 and 50MHz.

You can keep an eye on digimodes activity on 50 and 144MHz by monitoring the operational frequencies for the different digital modes. Just use Google or look at posts on dxmaps.com to find these frequencies. This can act as a good real time guide for propagation, but remember to call CQ on the bands even if it seems quiet. If you don’t transmit, you won’t work the DX!

Moon declination goes positive this Monday and path losses will fall all week, as the Moon comes closer. This will give steadily improving EME conditions as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 11th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Gordon Adams, G3LEQ, SK

  • Four countries add 5MHz band

  • RSGB Convention 2018 news

Sad news to start this week. Gordon Adams, G3LEQ passed away quietly last week. Gordon had held many posts within amateur radio including serving his fellow amateurs as the GB2RS News Service Manager for many years. He was also the RSGB Spectrum Director and a prime mover of the 5MHz experiment when that started. He was the IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-ordinator too, among many other roles. Our thoughts are with his family and many amateur radio friends at this difficult time.

Lots of news this week for the 5MHz band. Following extensive discussions with their regulator, Czech amateurs can access both the new WRC-15 60m Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz and their existing twelve 60m channels. The WRC-15 allocation is available on an individual permit basis, with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. The New Zealand national society has negotiated a licence to allow limited operation by ZL amateurs on 60m on a trial secondary basis with no interference to Primary users. Operation centres on 5353kHz and 5362 to 5364kHz, with a maximum output of 10dBW EIRP. The Icelandic telecoms regulator will now permit access to the new WRC-15 60m allocation from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP, but has ended the previous experimental licence privileges. Argentinean amateurs may now use the new WRC-15 Amateur 60m Secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz, with a regional maximum power limit of 25W EIRP.

Detailed planning has now started for the 2018 RSGB Convention in October. The organisers plan the usual broad mix across the five streams with topics to cater for all tastes and at all levels. AMSAT-UK will be organising some of the lectures, as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the Convention again this year. The Convention organisers are keen to hear suggestions for talks to be given at the event. Please email any ideas to convention@rsgb.org.uk

A new exhibition opens at Bletchley Park on the 16th of February that showcases some of the many stories of life and work at Bletchley Park during WW2. It uses the Bletchley Park’s Oral History collection and the Roll of Honour to allow Veterans to tell their own stories through photographs, quotes and audio points. The National Radio Centre, also at Bletchley Park, is open Wednesdays to Sundays and, if you bring your current and valid licence with you, there is an opportunity to operate the GB3RS station.

Nominations are now open for the CQ Amateur Radio Contest and DX Halls of Fame. These recognise those amateurs who have made major contributions to contesting and DXing, respectively. Nominations to any of the halls of fame may be made by individuals, clubs or national organisations, and must be submitted by the first of March to be considered. A maximum of two people may be inducted into the Contest and DX halls of fame each year. There is no set maximum for inductees into the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. Nominations may be emailed to hall-of-fame@cq-amateur-radio.com

Speaking on behalf of the WSJT-X Development Team, Joe Taylor, K1JT, has issued a progress report on the team’s efforts to develop an FT8 DXpedition mode. Details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0211a. Joe said the basic goal of FT8 DXpedition Mode is to enable DXpeditions to make FT8 QSOs at the highest possible rates, and the WSJT-X Development Team has been working with members of the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team, ahead of its mid-summer operation, to work out the wrinkles.

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

Today, the 11th of February, the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 8AY, which is 3 miles from the Milton Interchange on the A34. Doors open from 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There is free car parking, with disabled parking and facilities. There will be traders, special interest groups and an RSGB book stand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk-in is on 145.550MHz using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com

The Radioactive Rally will take place on the 18th of February next weekend at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and an RSGB book stall. A single raffle ticket is included with the entrance programme, additional tickets can be purchased. Catering is available on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

OH2IS will be in Martinique, IOTA reference NA-107, from the 18th to 28th of February. He’ll be focusing on the low bands as FM/OH2IS using a full size 40m metre and top loading for 80m. On the higher bands he will have dipoles.

Dick, AD7AR will be active as 5W0LR from Samoa, OC-097, until the 22nd of February. He will operate CW and FT8, with some SSB if conditions are good, mainly on the 15 to 40m bands. QSL via Logbook of the World, or direct to his home callsign or logsearch on Club Log.

Henning, OZ1BII will be active as D44EE from Sao Tiago, AF-005, in Cape Verde from the 15th to the 20th of February. He will operate CW only on the 160 to 10m bands, with some activity on the WARC bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log OQRS, eQSL, or via his home call sign either direct or via the bureau.

Scott, NE9U will be active as PJ4/NE9U from Bonaire, SA-006, until the 24th of February. QSL via Logbook of the World, or via NE9U, either direct or via the bureau.

John, W5JON will be active as V47JA from St Kitts, NA-104, from the 13th of February to the 16th of March. He will operate SSB on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via W5JON, direct only, and Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. Guides and Scouts are taking part from the UK, Canada, USA, the Netherlands and possibly other countries. A list of known stations is displayed on the website, www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk and if your station isn’t listed, please send in details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is helping the Quedgeley Brownies for Thinking Day on the Air. Listen out for GB4QBP.

EI100MCV will be active until the 31st of December to mark the Centenary of the 1918 sinking of RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea. MCV was the original call sign of the vessel. The intention is to use all bands, operating on or close to frequencies ending with 18, for example 1918kHz, 3518, 3618 and 3718kHz and so on. Further details can be found on www.QRZ.com

Members of the International Amateur Radio Contest DX Club will be active with special callsign 4U0R from the Vienna International Centre, Austria, for World Radio Day between the 13th and 20th of February. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via UA3DX, direct, by the Bureau or Club Log OQRS.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide WPX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC today, the 11th. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Ending at 1200UTC today, the 11th, is the PACC contest. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations also exchanging their Province.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 432MHz UK Activity Contest, which uses all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 70MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC, then the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is 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.

Next weekend the ARRL International DX contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 17th to 2359UT on the 18th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Tx power. US stations will send their State and Canadian stations their Province.

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

Sunspot region 2699 provided us with a small increase in solar activity last week. It also produced a number of minor C and M-class flares as the solar flux index rose to around 77. More significantly, quieter geomagnetic conditions, thanks to a lack of coronal holes, meant the K index remained fairly low and the bands were quite settled. This brought band openings up to 21MHz at times, with the FOC Marathon last weekend giving an ideal opportunity to see just how far CW signals can travel. North American stations from as far afield as California, Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia were audible in the UK. Roger, G3LDI says he had 855 QSOs with 102 DXCC entities on all bands up to and including 10 metres.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 70. Geomagnetic conditions should remain settled until around Friday the 16th, when the K index could rise to a maximum of four or five due to incoming material from solar coronal hole activity.

As we are now in February it is worth looking at some propagation predictions. For the path from the UK to New York, Predtest.uk tells us that we can expect a maximum usable frequency of about 18.9MHz around 1400UTC with a maximum 10% chance of success using 100W to a dipole and SSB on 17 metres.

If you use CW your chance of success increases to 40%, and you get a similar or slightly better probability if using one of the newer digital modes such as FT8, which can copy signals down below the noise level.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking like the changeable period of weather is locked in for another week, with a series of fronts crossing the country and low pressure north of Scotland for much of the time. This will make it rather breezy at times, especially in the north.

For VHF/UHF propagation, the absence of high pressure rules out tropospheric openings, while on the microwave bands, rain scatter from heavy showers is probably going to be rather random and infrequent, as the seas gradually cool down and are less able to generate the heavy showers.

There is always the chance of an occasional aurora to lift spirits for a very exotic mode of operation and, with some strong jet stream activity, it’s not totally out of question that some Sporadic-E may develop, although such things are very rare at this time of the year. Stick to random meteor scatter QSOs in the early morning for your regular dose of VHF DX.

The Moon is at minimum declination and apogee today, so we have maximum EME path losses and low peak Moon elevations of less than 20 degrees in the UK.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 4th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • ARISS APRS packet not working

  • Nominate for the Golden Antenna Award

  • RSGBCC log upload practice site opened

 

An unidentified anomaly involving the radio serving the ARISS APRS Packet System on board the International Space Station has led to the system not functioning. A similar problem has occurred on other occasions and solutions that resolved the problem proved to be only temporary fixes. The system may return to service as it has in the past or it may have finally failed completely. ARISS sees the delivery of the interoperable radio system as the true solution to securing ARISS packet operation. Current target period for delivery and installation of the replacement system is autumn 2018. In the meantime, ARISS continues to investigate the problem and seek opportunities to resolve the issue. The ARISS team knows many amateur radio operators really enjoy using the ARISS APRS packet system, and thanks everyone for understanding the issues involved with not having it available.

For almost 50 years, the German town of Bad Bentheim has organised the Dutch-German Ham Convention. During this event the Golden Antenna is awarded for outstanding humanitarian performance, recognising the importance of the hobby during or after disasters. Nominations for this year’s Golden Antenna award should be submitted by 1 June, by email to juerriens@stadt-badbentheim.de and for more information on the Dutch-German Ham Convention see www.dnat.de

The RSGB Contest Support Committee has produced a facility to enable entrants to practice uploading logs for HF and VHF contests to the RSGB Contesting Committees website. This facility accepts logs formatted for the 80m Club Championship Contest and UK Activity Contest. The practice facility uses the same robot that is used for all RSGB HF and VHF contests and provides a very realistic experience, including giving feedback on any errors found in the ‘dummy’ log. This facility is accessed via the Information link on the RSGBCC website, www.rsgbcc.org where you can then scroll down and click on Log Test Facility. The HF Log Upload Test and VHF Log Upload Test links go to separate pages.

Have you seen the RSGB’s new web page about the National Radio Centre? It gives a brief overview of the centre, introduces some of the great volunteers who help to explain amateur radio to visitors at the Bletchley Park site and also links through to the full NRC website. The centre needs more volunteers so take a look and see if you could help. The website is www.rsgb.org/nrc

The VDSL interference survey set up by the RSGB EMC Committee has now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted their results. Following the survey, Ofcom is now investigating levels at six locations close to Baldock. We'll keep you posted of further outcomes.

In 2018 the Youth Contesting Program of Region 1 of the IARU is offering young amateurs the opportunity to take part in a contest from so-called Top Gun stations. There is still time to apply for a place with these contest stations. ES5TV is offering a place in the ARI International DX contest in May and 9A1A in the CQ M International DX contest also in May. The application deadline is the 1st of March. EC2DX has a place in His Majesty King of Spain contest in June with an application deadline of 1st of April. Finally, 4O3A is offering a place in the CQWW RTTY contest in September, with an application deadline of 1st of June. Go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0204A and click on the Apply Here link.

There is still time for RSGB Affiliated clubs to enter the Club of the Year competition, kindly sponsored by Waters and Stanton. As last year, the RSGB will be judging entries in two categories: clubs with fewer than 25 members and clubs with 25 or more members during 2017, and there will be separate prizes for each category. Please use the entry form on the RSGB website Club of the Year pages, which must be sent to your Regional Manager by the 28th of February 2018. Regional winners will be announced at the RSGB AGM on the 21st of April in Birmingham. The RSGB Board will judge the national winners, which will be announced at the National Hamfest in September.

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

The Canvey Radio Rally takes place today, the 4th of February, at Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS80JA. Doors open at 10.30am and admittance is £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. For more details contact Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

The Ballymena ARC Rally takes place on the 10th of February at Ahoghill Community Centre, 80 Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill BT42 1LA. Doors open 10.30am. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments will be available on site and a raffle will take place. Details from Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV on 028 2587 1481.

On the 11th of February the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 8AY, which is 3 miles from the Milton Interchange on the A34. Doors open from 10am to 3pm and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There is free car parking, with disabled parking and facilities. There will be traders, special interest groups and an RSGB book stand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk in is on 145.550MHz using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com

The 2018 Scottish Braehead Radio & Electronic rally, run by ASRA, will be taking place on the 20th of May. The website booking system is now open and they would like to invite any trader or club interested in having a table this year to visit the website www.asrarally.com/book For more details email info@asrarally.com

Please do not just assume we know about events. Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

At the time of writing this week’s script, the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition team is now at anchor off Bouvet Island, but weather and sea conditions have not reached the point where the team can begin transporting equipment and personnel ashore. Apparently, winds are 35 to 40 knots, the ship is pitching and rolling up to 30 degrees and it is around 0 degrees Celsius. Once they get ashore, the team of operators will be operating as 3Y0Z until the 28th of February. Activity will be on the 160 to 2m bands with multiple stations using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8, with EME on 6 and 2 metres. QSL via N2OO.

Chuck, W0DLE is operating as 3W9DLE from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam until the 30th of April. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Dick, AD7AF will be on the air as 5W0LR until the 22nd of February in Samoa. Activity will be on the 40 to 15m bands, and possibly 80m, using primarily CW and FT8 with some SSB, depending on band conditions. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Tim, N4UM, Bob, N4BP and Mike, K4RUM will be on the air as C6ARU, C6AKQ, and C6AUM, respectively, from Great Abaco Island, in the Bahamas, IOTA reference NA-080 from the 6th to the 20th of February. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands, with a focus on CW. QSL direct to his home callsigns.

Giovanni, IK5BCM, Giuseppe, IK5CBE and Giovanni, IK5CRH are operating as D68I until the 10th of February. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IK5CRH.

Chris, F4EBK is on the air as DU3/F4EBK from Baliuag on Luzonin the Philippines, IOTA OC-042, during the month of February. Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is helping the Quedgeley Brownies for Thinking Day on the Air. Listen out for GB4QBP.

Now the contest news

Today, the 4th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 432MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest that uses all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 50MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC and the 50MHz UK Activity Contest using all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, the 10th and 11th, the CQ World Wide WPX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 10th. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also next weekend, from 1200UTC on the 10th to 1200UTC on the 11th is the PACC contest. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations exchanging their Province details too.

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

Solar activity remained at very low levels last week, with one barely-visible sunspot group pushing the sunspot number to a maximum of 13 and the solar flux index to 69. Geomagnetic conditions were largely settled, with some coronal hole activity pushing the K index to three at times.

Despite the low SFI, there was band activity up to at least 21MHz. Z60A in Kosovo came up to a 59 on 15 metres CW on Wednesday and the FT8 frequency, 21.074MHz, revealed varying amounts of activity. So the message is that despite a low solar flux index it does pay to check the upper bands regularly. The FT8 frequencies are a good starting point, as are the International Beacon Project frequencies.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around the 70 mark. Geomagnetic conditions should be slightly unsettled, with a maximum K index of three throughout the week, rising to four on Saturday 10th due to ongoing coronal hole activity.

All eyes and ears will be on Bouvet Island this week as the 3Y0Z DXpedition gets underway. Described as the most remote island on Earth, Bouvet is 1000 miles north of Antarctica and a near north-south 7400km path from the UK. But it won’t be an easy one as signals are likely to be fairly weak unless you have a beam. Checking with the VOACAP online software shows 17m or 15m might offer the best chance of a daytime contact, with 17m peaking around 1600-1800UTC. 40m and 30m offer the best chance of an evening or night time path. By next week we should have a better idea of how strong they are.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week we are in a cold northerly with heavy wintry showers around the coasts, sometimes driven a fair way inland at times. We therefore have the prospects of rain scatter on the microwave bands, and you can track the showers on one of the many weather radars out there on the web.

The pressure has remained low through this weekend, but high pressure returns early next week. It’s unlikely that this will produce good enough inversions to produce much Tropo. In any event, this is soon replaced by more unsettled weather after mid-week. This will mean wet and windy weather at times and unlikely to do much for VHF/UHF conditions.

Random meteor rates are still low and there are no showers due until the Lyrids shower at the end of April. EME conditions will decline this week as Moon declination goes negative today, meaning shorter Moon windows in the Northern hemisphere. Path losses will increase all week as we approach apogee a week today. So, it’s looking like a good week to do some VHF DXing on the various artificial satellites. Look on the AMSAT-UK website for details.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 28th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • Two Chinese amateur CubeSats launched

  • New RSGB EMC Committee Chair sought

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk There is a form on the page for stations to submit their details to be added to the list, and a Yahoo group for exchanging details or arranging skeds. Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

On Friday the 19th of January two satellites carrying amateur radio payloads were launched. Both were developed by amateur students in Hunan province, China. The satellites, QuanTuTong-1 and Xiaoxiang-2, are 6U CubeSats. They will operate in the 435, 2400, 5650 and 5830MHz Amateur-Satellite Service bands. 5650MHz is used for uplinks and 5830MHz for downlinks. Currently only the 435MHz band telemetry beacons are known to be activated. A further three TY satellites using 5GHz are expected to be launched later in the year. Further details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0128A

John Rogers, M0JAV is stepping down as Chair of the RSGB EMC Committee after seven years’ invaluable service. The EMC Committee helps and advises members who have EMC problems, lobbies regulators and guides standards to protect the spectrum. It also investigates emerging EMC threats and updates members on these and other EMC matters. The RSGB is are looking for a volunteer, who must be an RSGB member, to fill the vacancy for an initial period of up to three years. To find out more about the role, or to apply, please send details of your amateur radio experience to RSGB Board Director Philip Willis, M0PHI via email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk

Two more lectures from the RSGB 2017 Convention have been published on the RSGB website. These are the talk by James Patterson, M1DST, on M1N-the-Middle, a Flexible Hardware Control Add-On For Your K3, and Antenna Selection For The 6G DXpeditions by Mike Chamberlain, G3WPH. Both of these excellent presentations are available in the Convention lectures section of our online video portal, www.rsgb.org/video

The RSGB Board has agreed to a Youth Committee proposal to send a UK team to YOTA 2018, which will be held in South Africa. Further details, including how to apply, will be available in due course.

Newton Le Willows Radio Club in St Helens, Merseyside is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers from 9am to 5pm on Saturday the 3rd of March. To book a place contact Lee, M0LGL via email to m0lgl@nlwarc.co.uk

Have you seen the RSGB’s live news page? It brings together its main news feed as well as its regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in one easy-to-find place. You don’t need a social media account to see it, so take a look at www.rsgb.org/live for more information.

Cubetto is a friendly wooden robot that can teach children the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play. On the 18th of February the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will host its second Cubetto event. Under parental supervision, it will explain and explore new modules, blocks, and activities that four to seven-year-olds can undertake, to increase their early years knowledge of basic coding. Whilst the activity itself is free, you will need an entry ticket to the National Museum of Computing. For details, see tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0128B

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

On the 27th of January the Horncastle Radio Rally will take place at Banovallum School, Mareham Road Entrance LN9 6DA. Entry will be £2. The venue is indoors, on one level, with all the usual attractions including bacon butties. There is free car parking on site. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

The Canvey Radio Rally takes place on the 4th of February at Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS80JA. Doors open at 10.30am and admittance is £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. For more details contact Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please do not just assume we know about your event.

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

Johannes, PA5X and Gerben, PG5M are going to activate Ibu Island, of the Cabo Delgado District group, IOTA reference AF-061 from the 28th of January until the 5th of February as C8X and C81G. Operations will be on 80 to 10m, including 60m, on CW, SSB, and FT8. QSL for C81G via PG5M or ClubLog, C8X via PA5X.

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is going to sign as FG/F6ITD and TO7D from the 29th of January to the 15th of March from Guadeloupe, NA-102. He plans to operate with a focus on the low bands on SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW, ClubLog OQRS or direct.

Rick, NE8Z will be active from Ecuador from the 20th of January to the 10th of February. He will operate CW and SSB on 40 to 6m as HC1MD from Tumbaco, Pichincha Province; as HC1MD/HC2 from Punta Blanca, Santa Elena Province; and as HC1MD/HC7 from Papallacta, Napo Province. QSL via LoTW, or direct to K8LJG.

Hermann, HB9CRV will be active CU8FN from Flores Island, EU-089, from 22 January to 16 February. He will operate FT8 on 160-10 metres. Hermann and Antonio, CU8AS will participate in the CQ WW 160 Meter CW Contest as CR2W. QSL for CR2W and CU8FN via LoTW, or via HB9CRV, direct or bureau.

Emmanuel, F5LIT will be active as YB9/F5LIT from Bali, OC-022 from the 30th of January to the 10thof February. Operations will be on 20 and 15m SSB. QSL via F5LIT, LoTW.

Now the special event news

The fifth and final Robin Hood VHF Award activity in January will take place on Sunday the 28th of January, with MX0YHA located in North Yorkshire, SD94 and MX0PHX located in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, SK41. Activities will be on 2m FM between 10.30am and 4pm. Further Robin Hood Award special activities are planned for late February. More information at www.robinhoodradio.uk.

Simone, IS0AFM is using special callsign IR0FOC from Cagliari, Sardinia throughout 2018 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the First Class CW Operators' Club. QSL via LoTW or direct to IS0AFM.

II4HRZwill be on the air in February celebrating the work of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. Throughout 2018, twelve commemorative radio stations with special callsigns will operate in turn throughout the year, each celebrating a specific scientist. Further details and award regulations at official website www.arifidenza.it

On Thursday 1 February Welland Valley Amateur Radio Society commences its month-long operation of GB1FWW from Main Street, Great Bowden. For more information contact Peter D Rivers, G4XEX, on 01858 432 105.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest ends it 48 hour run at 2200UTC on the 28th. Using CW only on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations sending their State and Canadian stations sending their Province. Remember that D-Region absorption will render the band pretty much useless during daylight hours.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint ends its run at 1200UTC on the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number.

On Wednesday the 31st the UKEICC 80m contest takes place from 2000UTC to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 4th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 432MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

News last week that the Republic of Kosovo (Z6) has been added to the DXCC list of current entities meant that QSOs with the new prefix were in demand. With Z60A on the air from Pristina until February 4th, there has been a sudden interest in propagation paths to the country! VOACAP Online shows that Z60A should be a fairly easy catch from the UK propagation-wise, although the massive pile-ups are causing problems. At around 2,000km from central UK, 30, 20 and 17 metres are the favourite bands to contact Z6 during daytime, with a 90-100% probability of a propagation path at times. This falls to 70-80% on 15 metres. At night, 80 and 40m come into their own, with again a more than 90% chance of a good path.These all depend upon having settled geomagnetic conditions, which were once again badly affected last week by the solar wind from a coronal hole on the Sun.

The K index rose to four on Wednesday evening, as a result of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) pointing south, enabling the solar wind to more easily couple with the Earth’s magnetic field. Next week NOAA forecasts that the solar flux index will be in the range 67-70 and we may expect more unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Sunday 28th. The rest of the week is predicted to be more settled.

At the moment, daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are most reliable on 20 metres, with occasional openings on 17 and 15 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The windy weather of recent days caused the really poor Tropo conditions during last week’s SHF UK activity contest, but it is probably behind us for a while. A mild southwesterly flow from the Atlantic can sometimes provide enhanced Tropo conditions, especially if it is accompanied by a region of high pressure nearby, over the continent. This is a distinct possibility later this weekend as high pressure builds across France and into Germany. The slightly ‘lifted’ conditions, chiefly in the south, developing over this weekend will probably last until a cold front arrives on Monday night.

The mid-week period sees low pressure to the east of Britain with a colder northerly flow and a return of flatter conditions, although there could be some rain scatter to the east over the North Sea on the microwave bands.

The last part of the week is split between high pressure building again over southern areas towards next weekend, and other models keeping the colder showery northerly option.

Random meteor rates are low this time of year and there are no showers due until the Lyrids shower at the end of April.

The Moon is approaching perigee and is its closest to Earth on Tuesday. Its declination reaches maximum on Monday, so there should be good EME conditions all this week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 21st. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Neville Cheadle, G3NUG, silent key

  • GMDX Group sponsors new VHF-UHF DX contest

  • 15 new SOTA associations added in 2017

It is with great sadness that the RSGB reports that Eric Neville Cheadle, G3NUG passed away unexpectedly on the 14th of January. Neville was an amateur’s amateur. A gentleman of the airwaves, he was also a terrific and prolific operator. Chairman of Chiltern DX Club for many years, Neville was a keen contester and the driving force behind numerous DXpedition operations, many of which he went on himself. He was a long-time RSGB volunteer, including a Board member and organiser of the RSGB HF Convention. He will be missed around the world by his many amateur friends and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

The GMDX Group is sponsoring a new annual competition to promote VHF-UHF DX and contesting activity in the geographical north and west of the British Isles, and to give stations everywhere an opportunity to work those areas. The competition is based on the GMDX Celtic Knot Award, which is for working stations in GM, GI, GD, GW, Cornwall and EI. The Celtic Knot VHF-UHF Competition takes advantage of the activity created by the RSGB VHF-UHF UK Activity Contests. Entry for the Celtic Knot VHF-UHF Competition will be automatic. Simply operate in each UKAC in the normal way, submit a log, or checklog, and GMDX will do the rest. Full details, rules, frequently asked questions and the first update of the monthly progress ladders are already online at https://gmdxvhf.wordpress.com

Fifteen new SOTA associations were added during the year 2017, bringing the total to 136 worldwide. These included IA, Isole Africane d`Italia, VO1, Canada – Newfoundland, FG, Guadeloupe, VY1, Canada – Yukon and ZB2, Gibraltar. For any countries not yet represented, the SOTA Management Team is happy to provide advice and support in the aim of bringing qualifying areas into the global programme. Please get in touch via the page www.sota.org.uk/Contact

The DP0GVN WSPR beacon now is in operation from Antarctica. It is in the German Neumayer III Research Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. The installation is part of a scientific project of the Technical University of Munich in cooperation with the University of Bremen and the German national amateur radio society, DARC. The technology consists of a multiband WSPR receiver that can simultaneously monitor up to eight bands from 160 to 6 metres and feed several hundred receive reports per hour to WSPRnet. The 5W multiband transmitter also has been commissioned and is working into a vertical antenna.

The RSGB has responded to a consultation in the Isle of Man regarding licensing additional spectrum in the 3.4GHz band for commercial use. This is immediately adjacent to the UK amateur allocation. Details of the consultation and the RSGB response can be found on the Spectrum Forum section of the RSGB.org website or via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0121-A.

The Australian licensing authority will permit all Australian radio amateurs to substitute the VK prefix with AX on Australia Day, the 26th of January. Australia Day commemorates the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788 at Sydney Cove and the establishment of a European settlement at Port Jackson.

W.I.T.C.H. Takeover takes place on Thursday, the 15th of February from 12 noon to 5pm at the National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB. This event will be a tie-in with a visit and speech by artist John Yeadon, creator of the paintings “Portrait of a Dead Witch” and “Portrait of a Live Witch”. The day will involve an in-depth speech from John Yeadon on the creation of his painting of the Harwell Dekatron, or W.I.T.C.H. computer, 35 years on, followed by the chance for visitors to get their hands dirty and create their own masterpieces with a variety of practical art activities for kids. Tickets cost from £8.67 and can be booked online via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0121-B

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

We have no details in the diary for any rallies this weekend. But on the 27th of January the Horncastle Radio Rally will take place at Banovallum School, Mareham Road Entrance LN9 6DA. Entry will be £2. The venue is indoors, on one level, with all the usual attractions including bacon butties. There is free car parking on site. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please do not just assume we know about your event.

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

Brian, GW4DVB will be operating a small holiday DXpedition to Palm Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, IOTA reference NA-025. He will operate from the 21st to the 28th January using the callsign J88PI. The equipment will be an FT-991A with 100W into a 10m vertical on the 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. QSL direct only to PO Box 20:20, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Wales CF72 9ZA. More information at www.g4dvb.co.uk/

Thomas, DL9OBQ is operating as 9Z4/DL9OBQ from Saint Augustine, Trinidad Island, IOTA SA-011, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 30, 17 and 15 metres using mostly CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Livio, IZ3BUR will be transmitting as J52EC from a mission in Cumura, in Guinea-Bissau, from the 24th of January to the 21st of February. QSL to his home callsign.

Mathias, DL4MM will be on the air as P4/DL4MM from Aruba from the 24th to the 31st of January. Activity is on the low bands. He will be active as P40AA in the CQ World Wide 160m CW contest. QSL to his home callsign.

Jeff, K8ND is operating as PJ2ND from the Signal Point station in Curaçao until the 5th of February. Activity is on the HF bands. He and Jim, W8WTS will be on the air as PJ2T in the CQ World Wide 160m CW contest. QSL PJ2ND via K8ND and PJ2T via W3HNK.

Rudi, DK7PE plans to be on the air as V5/DK7PE from Omarura in Namibia from the 24th to the 31st of January. Activity will be on the HF bands with an emphasis on 160 and 60 metres. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL to his home callsign.

Daniel, KD9HNL is operating as VP2MDH in Montserrat until the 29th of January. Activity is on various FM satellites. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

GB1LBC will be on the air from Silloth RNLI Lifeboat Station on the 27 and 28th of January, to raise awareness of the work the volunteer crews undertake in the coastal waters of the UK. Main operating bands will be 40m voice and 20m digital modes, mostly PSK and FT8. Other bands may be used if conditions allow. QSL information is on QRZ.com.

An increasing number of special event callsign applicants seem to miss the publicity tick box on the application form. If you do not tick the box on the second page of the form, Ofcom cannot pass your details to RSGB for publicity in the RadCom Special Events table, on the RSGB website, and in this section of GB2RS News. We would encourage all applicants to make sure they do tick the box that lets us help publicise their event.

Now the contest news

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

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest runs for 48 hours, starting 2200UTC on Friday the 26th. Using CW only on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations sending their State and Canadian stations sending their Province. Remember that D-Region absorption will render the band pretty much useless during daylight hours.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint runs from 1200UTC on the 27th to 1200UTC on the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number.

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

Last week saw unsettled HF conditions in the first half, but more settled ones later on. A high-speed stream from a coronal hole pushed the K index to four and five last weekend, and maximum usable frequencies were depressed until at least Thursday. The HF bands were often very lacklustre, with even 20m struggling to show much DX, although the E31A Eritrea DXpedition was audible at times on bands up to 15 metres. The lower bands were humming though, with Andy, M0NKR reporting that he had worked Hawaii, KH7 on 40 metres.

Daytime critical frequencies are currently hitting a maximum of about 5.5MHz, which means 40 metres is not open to close-in contacts. For inter-G work we suggest that 80 or 60 metres would be the best options. Daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path, derived from Chilton Ionosonde data and available at propquest.co.uk, are currently between about 18-22MHz around mid-day.

The 4U1UN international beacon on 14.100MHz is currently being heard in the UK on most afternoons, although the higher frequency 18.110 and 21.150MHz transmissions are generally more elusive.

Next week, we have the effects of another coronal hole to contend with. The high-speed solar wind, which may exceed 500 kilometres per second, is expected to impact the Earth by Saturday 20th, and we may see the K index rising to five. After a potential short-lived enhancement, expect maximum usable frequencies to be adversely affected through to around Tuesday or Wednesday. The rest of the week should be more settled geomagnetically.

NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain hovering around the 70 mark, as the only sunspot visible is a tiny fleck, which looks very unthreatening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather will continue into next week, but at least it may provide some strong rain shower activity at times, which is good for microwave band rain scatter. As a matter of interest, as the winter progresses, the seas cool and eventually maritime showers around the coasts become less significant for this propagation mode. We then have to wait for the land to warm in the spring and give us the familiar April showers!

The other VHF interest may involve some marginal Tropo conditions over southern Britain later in the week as high pressure builds across the near continent. The effects may mainly be confined to southern Britain, with paths to Europe and perhaps across the southern North Sea to the Baltic.

We are now in the annual low in sporadic meteor activity, which lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April. This means that random meteor scatter contacts will be harder to complete.

The Moon’s declination is increasing this week and it is coming closer after last week’s apogee. With positive declination from Tuesday and falling losses, conditions will get better for EME as the week progresses. Lowest losses coincide with next weekend, so get those antennas pointing at the moon.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 14th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Band Plans updated

  • RSGBTech and RSGBForum have moved

  • National Museum of Computing to host Raspberry Jam

The 2018 RSGB Band Plans can be found in the forthcoming February edition of RadCom, due to arrive with Members this week, and online. These incorporate changes from the 2017 IARU Region 1 Conference, along with UK usage changes. The main changes are in the 5MHz HF band, and the 50, 144 and 430MHz VHF/UHF bands. At 5MHz, the changes align with the flexible UK Usage plan and the lack of full access to the WRC-15 band. At VHF/UHF a number of new features accommodate digital modes and encourage experimentation. VHF DX and Contest enthusiasts should particularly note the changes in the 144MHz narrowband segment. At UHF, new designations for personal hot spots and reverse split repeaters have been introduced to accommodate growth in digital usage. Further information on the changes can be found in RadCom – and the online change notes, plus full band plans, are at www.rsgb.org/bandplans

The independent Yahoo! Groups RSGBTech and RSGBForum have moved to groups.io. Existing members of both groups, with working accounts, were automatically copied to the corresponding new groups. In addition, previous messages, files and so on held in each group were also copied to the new group location in order to maintain continuity of service. Anyone wishing to join RSGBTech or RSGBForum, should visit groups.io and search for the corresponding Group.

Raspberry Jams are something of a phenomenon. Independent and run by volunteers, they gather together people from all walks of life to celebrate the Raspberry Pi in particular, and digital making in general. The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park is holding a Raspberry Jam for younger people, who are just starting out with coding and creating their own projects. Running from 12 noon to 5pm on the 16th of February, tickets cost from £9.20 depending upon your age. Please note that this is not a ‘Drop-Off’ event: parental supervision is required at all times. Your ticket also gets you access to the whole of the museum, giving you the chance to find inspiration from the 70 years of computing that have come before. Tickets and details are available at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0114-A

Phil Cragg, G3UGK has indicated that he is standing down as Morse Competency Project Lead. The RSGB wishes to thank him for his work on behalf of the Training and Education Committee (TEC). The RSGB is now seeking a successor to take forward the Morse Competency Scheme, including proposed changes to make the scheme more accessible that are at an advanced state of preparation. If you feel you can assist in this capacity and wish to discuss it further, please contact TEC Chair Paul Whatton, G4DCV via email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System Newsletter reports that many Indonesian pirates were heard on the 30th of December in the 7.000 to 7.040MHz range, USB and LSB, active in 5kHz increments. Signals were reported to be rather strong in Europe. There were also Chinese over-the-horizon radars on 7 and 14MHz, emitting 10kHz wide bursts with durations of 3.8 and 7.6 seconds, and often jumping. A Russian military system was also reported, transmitting DSB on 7.030MHz from Crimea, covering about 5.6kHz for several days. Radio Eritrea and white noise jamming reported to be from Radio Ethiopia continue to be reported on 7.140 and 7.180MHz.

The Bouvet Island 3Y0Z DXpedition team has issued an invitation to follow the team while it’s on its way to the “most remote place on Earth”. The 3Y0Z team will be using a Garmin InReach SE satellite-tracking device that will enable others to follow the team’s travel route and progress in real time on a map. The device uses Iridium satellite technology and will send a waypoint along the route every 30 minutes. These will appear on the Bouvet MapShare website, as the team travels to Chile and eastward on the vessel Betanzos on the 10- to 12-day journey across the South Atlantic to Bouvet. See more at https://share.garmin.com/bouvet

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

Today, the 14th, The Red Rose Winter Rally will be held at The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park M41 7FJ. The venue is opposite the Trafford Centre and is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. The hall is all on one level with a large free car park. There is a café on site. Doors open at 11am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Further details from John on 0787 016 1953 or see www.wmrc.co.uk

We have no details in the diary for any rallies next weekend. The next rally on our list is the Horncastle Radio Rally on the 27th of January.

Please do not just assume we know about your event. The February RadCom lists every rally we have been told about, but we suspect there are some notable omissions. To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Brian, GW4DVB will be operating a small holiday DXpedition between the 21st and 28th of January. Operating as J88PI from Palm Island situated near the southern tip of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The IOTA reference is NA-025. He will be using a Yaesu FT-991A with 100 watts into a 10m vertical on the 10, 15, 17, 20 and 40m bands, SSB only. QSL direct only to PO Box 20:20, Llanharan, Pontyclun, CF72 9ZA.

Rich, PA0RRS will be on Penang Island, West Malaysia using his 9M2MRS callsign until the 31st of January. The IOTA reference is AS-015 and QSLs go via his home call.

Thomas, DL9OBQ is on the air as 9Z4/DL9OBQ from Saint Augustine, Trinidad Island, IOTA SA-011, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 30, 17 and 15 metres, using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Steve, KG4LJB is operating as C6AJB from Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, IOTA NA-001, until the 20th of January. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 17 metres. QSL to his home call.

A group of operators will be on the air as E31A from the 14th to the 23rd of January. Activity will be on 160 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. The main objective of this trip is to support the Eritrean National Olympic Committee. QSL via JH1AJT.

Now the special event news

The GB1LBC will be on the air from Silloth RNLI Lifeboat Station on the 20th and 21st and the 27th and 28th of January, to raise awareness of the work the volunteer crews undertake in the coastal waters of the UK. Main operating bands will be 40m voice and 20m digital modes, mostly PSK and FT8. Other bands maybe used if conditions allow. QSL information is on QRZ.com.

MX0YHA in SD94 and MX0PHX in SK41 will be on air on the 2m band today, the 14th, for the Robin Hood January VHF Award. Details are online at www.robinhoodradio.uk

Members of the Norwegian national society are on the air with special calls LM90NRRL, LM90HQ and LM90C throughout 2018 to celebrate their 90th year as their national IARU Society.

Now the contest news

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

On the 18th the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 70MHz UK Activity contest that uses all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 20th the datamodes AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using only the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The Worked All Britain 1.8MHz contest takes place from 1900 to 2300UTC on the 20th of January. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 10th of February. Full details of the rules and log sheets are online at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

Last week, we continued to suffer the effects of coronal holes on the Sun, which are very prevalent at this point in the solar cycle. On Wednesday, HF was very lacklustre with little on the bands and 20m closing around 4pm. Having said that, there were pearls to be found. The 6O6O DXpedition to Somalia has been worked by many UK stations on 20 and 15 metres and Japan has been heard on 40 metres.

In mid-Winter, it can pay to check out 80 metres too. The USA is often romping in on SSB at the top end of the band around sunrise. Even if you have a compromise antenna you may be able to hear the louder stations, such as Mitchell, KH6M in Naples, Florida. Just listen around 3.795MHz for the 80 metre DX nets from 7.00am onwards. Transatlantic signals will start to fade out after sunrise around 8am as the D layer starts to build.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 70, reflecting zero sunspots, but we may get some geomagnetic disturbances due to the ongoing effects of coronal holes. NOAA predicts the K index may rise to a maximum of four, bringing unsettled conditions this weekend. Unsettled conditions are also predicted for the following weekend of the 20th and 21st, so mid-week may be best for HF. As always, we recommend using tools, such as the International Beacon Network, DX Cluster, or Reverse Beacon Network, to get a real-time snapshot of conditions. Or best of all, get on the bands, tune around and call CQ! Overall, make the most of the low bands – 160, 80 and 40 metres – which are at their best this time of year.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There has been some Tropo over the last week, but the conditions are on the turn again as pressure falls and a cold front crosses the country after this weekend. Any remaining Tropo will be gone by Monday evening as the cold front arrives and introduces a cold, showery west to north-westerly across the country.

Much of the coming week will be rather windy with showers, so microwave bands rain scatter, satellites and aircraft scatter at VHF and above should be the modes of choice. There’s still plenty to keep DXers happy!

We are now entering the annual ‘low’ in sporadic meteor activity that lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April, so you’ll still need to work hard for meteor scatter contacts.

The Moon is at apogee on Monday and minimum declination on Tuesday, so EME opportunities will be short with low moon elevations and path losses at their highest of this month’s lunar cycle.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 7th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year to all

  • Jeff Smith, MI0AEX awarded MBE

  • Volunteer now for RSGB positions

 

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 everyone that the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week by email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons by 4.30pm.

Congratulations to RSGB Past President Jeff Smith, MI0AEX, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to health, for founding Ards First Responders. The Ards Peninsula First Responders is a volunteer group who responds to life threatening emergency calls, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, serving the BT22 area.

This is the time of year when we call for volunteers to step forward for election at the AGM that will take place at Jurys Inn in Birmingham on the 21st of April. In 2018 the RSGB will be looking to appoint a President, two elected Board Directors, two nominated Board Directors and two Regional Managers. Regions 1 and 11 are open for volunteers whether the current RM is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies can be found on page 9 of the January 2018 RadCom. Completed papers with their supporting signatures, or electronic nominations, must be received at HQ by 2359UTC on 31 January 2018.

In 2017, a team led by Noel, G8GTZ and Brian, G4NNS made several visits to Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to use the 32m GHY6 dish for 3.4GHz and 5.6GHz EME operation. During one of the visits, Michael Portillo and the Great British Railway Journeys team visited and filmed a sequence including EME operation. The program schedule has now been confirmed and it will be shown on Friday the 12th of January at 6.30pm on BBC2. Described as “Going to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera”, the sequence will show Michael talking to Brian, G4NNS and operating his station under supervision to “talk to the moon” and hear his echoes coming back.

During the Winter Olympic Games, until the 28th of February, all South Korean licensed stations and operators may change the number in their call signs to 23.

History was made on Friday the 29th of December when what is believed to be the first ever Wainwrights on the Air activation and chase were made using Yaesu’s C4FM mode. Mark, M0NOM, activated Orrest Head using the more normal FM mode and also C4FM (commonly known as Fusion) simplex. Contact was made at around 1.30pm with Sue, G1OHH, who was at her home in Lancaster using DN/C4FM mode. Mark, M0NOM was using a Yaesu FT1 handset and Sue, G1OHH was using her FTM400XDE. Both Mark and Sue are members of the North West Fusion Group who aim to promote the use of the mode throughout the North West of England. The contact wasn’t specifically pre-arranged but made in the same way that operators would on FM. The group uses 144.6875 DN simplex as a frequency of choice and welcome any contacts on that frequency and mode. North West Fusion Group can also be found on Facebook.

The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society is inviting two youngsters from IARU Region 1 to join the A44A contest team. These two young radio amateurs will have the opportunity to join the CQ World Wide 160-Meter contest in SSB or CW in the beginning of 2018. The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society will cover flight and accommodation costs for both youngsters. Apply online at www.iaru-r1.org as soon as possible if you are interested in taking part. A participant must be under the age of 26 years.

The RSGB assists HF DXpeditions to the rarer countries through a fund that is supported each year from proceeds of the raffle, which is held at the annual RSGB Convention, as well as income from legacies and donations. The Society is looking to appoint a 5th Trustee for the HF DXpedition Fund who, given the increasing number of applications, will also act as Secretary to the group. Details of duties can be found on the RSGB website under ‘volunteer vacancies’. Applicants should be enthusiastic HF DXers with an interest in DXCC and IOTA. RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment to this important role should contact Steve Thomas, M1ACB, RSGB General Manager, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

During January, Ofcom is holding public meetings in Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh to gain feedback on its proposed Annual Plan, which outlines Ofcom’s planned areas of work for the next financial year. Those with an interest in Ofcom’s work are encouraged to attend one of the meetings, which offer an opportunity to comment on Ofcom's approach to TV, radio, telecoms, postal and wireless communications services. Details are at tinyurl.comGB2RS-0107A

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

Next Sunday, the 14th, The Red Rose Winter Rally will be held at The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park M41 7FJ. The venue is opposite the Trafford Centre and is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. The hall is all on one level with a large free car park. There is a café on site. Doors open at 11am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Further details from John on 0787 016 1953 or see www.wmrc.co.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 email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Pat, N2IEN will be on the air as A52PD from Bhutan until the 14th of January. QSLs go via NR6M.

Jim, WB2TJO is operating as 3D2JS from Taveuni Island, IOTA reference OC-016, until the 13th of March. Activity is on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and some digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Trung, W6TN is on the air as 3W9T from Vietnam until the 11th of January. Activity is on the 20 and 40m bands using CW. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Pat, N2IEN is operating as A52PD from Bhutan until the 14th of January. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands using mostly CW and various digital modes. QSL via NR6M.

Take, JA8DKJ is on the air as 8J8SSF from Hokkaido, IOTA AS-078, until the 12th of February during the Sapporo Snow Festival. QSL via the bureau.

Now the special event news

On the 7th of January, MX0YHA & MX0PHX will celebrate Russian Christmas from high ground in North Yorkshire and in the East Midlands. They will use the 2m FM band, as well as 40m and 20m if conditions allow. A special downloadable self-service QSL card is available: follow the links on www.phoenixarc.org.uk

Alex, UA1OJL is stationed at the Bellingshausen Base on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. Until the 31st of March he will be using the special callsign RI50ANO to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bellingshausen Base. QSL Manager is RN1ON, via Club Log OQRS.

Now the contest news

The ARRL RTTY Roundup ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 7th of January. Using the 2.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. US stations send their State; Canadian stations send their Province.

The CW AFS contest takes place today, the 7th of January, from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 432MHz UK Activity Contest using all modes. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 50MHz UK Activity Contest using all modes. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 13th, the SSB AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week the solar flux index, or SFI, hovered around the 70 mark, reflecting the lack of sunspots. Given that the SFI doesn’t really fall below about 65-66 at sunspot minimum, this shows the distinct lack of solar activity at this time. This meant that the lower bands were the ones to see the most activity, with 80 and 40 metres showing just how well they can work during the winter. There were reports of the US being worked on 80 metres at sunrise and on 40 metres during late afternoon. Japan was also worked on 40 metres. This month will offer very similar propagation to December on the low bands so make sure you don't miss it.

There were also reports of Sporadic-E openings into Europe on the HF bands. Winter Sporadic-E can often bring strong short-skip openings from 40 up to 10 metres, as well as on the 6m band, as you will hear later.

The SFI is predicted to remain around 70 next week, so expect more of the same, propagation-wise.

Unsettled geomagnetic conditions are forecast for around the seventh and eighth, due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole. The 23th and 14th may also be unsettled, with a possible maximum K index of five, so look for auroral-type noisy conditions, and depressed maximum usable frequencies after a potential short-lived upswing after the enhanced solar wind hits.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The New Year starts with a hint of tropo promise as high pressure drifts across the north of the country this weekend. Conditions in such winter highs may not always deliver good results and this one could be a bringer of shallow surface inversions with only limited tropo lift potential. This high will soon be replaced by the return of low pressure and more unsettled conditions during next week, so look for rain scatter on the microwave bands.

Last week saw some good 50MHz Sporadic-E into Europe, mainly from western Britain and one reported path within Europe on 70MHz. This is a timely reminder that, although rare, Sporadic-E is possible outside of the traditional high summer season, so keep looking!

After last week’s short Quadrantids meteor shower we are entering the annual ‘low’ in sporadic meteor activity that lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April, so you’ll need to work hard for meteor scatter contacts for a while.

Moon declination goes negative on Monday and we are just a week away from its apogee, the point at which the moon is furthest from the Earth, so EME opportunities will be short and path losses will increase as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 24th. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 24th of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • Last GB2RS of 2017

  • GB2RS Newsreader celebrates 25 years

  • RSGB office Christmas closing times

This is the final GB2RS news reading for 2017 and we start with seasonal greetings to all newsreaders and listeners, both over the air and via the internet recordings, and not forgetting viewers of the ATV broadcast, which is available via several repeaters and kindly streamed via the BATC.TV website, as well as those that view this news via TX Factor. There will be no news reading on the 31st of December as the RSGB HQ is closed. We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those that read the news, in whatever format, for their tireless dedication to their fellow amateurs. Normal broadcasts will resume on Sunday the 7th of January.

On the 1st of January, newsreader William Marshall, G4IOD will have completed 25 years of reading GB2RS for the North of England. Our thanks to him for his years of long service.

The RSGB’s offices will be closed from twelve noon on Friday the 22nd of December until eight-thirty AM on Tuesday, the 2nd of January. Please remember that the Exam Department will not be processing any exam results during the festive period. Ensure you allow the full 10 working days after the exam date before contacting the department if you have not received your results in the post.

Newton le Willows ARC will be hosting a Train The Trainers event on Saturday the 3rd of March at Derbyshire Hill Family & Community Centre, Derbyshire Hill Rd, Parr, St Helens WA9 2LU. Places are strictly limited, so early booking is advised. Tea and coffee will be provided, though you will need to provide your own lunch. The event is free to RSGB Members, although the club would appreciate any donation, no matter how small, to go towards the refreshments and venue hire etc. For more information please contact Lee, M0LGL on 0741 483 6945, after 3.30pm please.

There have been some recent updates to the RSGB’s Award Scheme including the acceptance of Log Book of the World confirmations as well as traditional QSL cards. Two new awards for Foundation and Intermediate licensees encourage greater activity on the bands within the first year of gaining those licence levels. Two other awards, the IARU R1 Award and the Commonwealth Century Award, encourage contacts with countries around the world. If you’re inspired to aim for an award in 2018 you’ll find more information on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/awards

The Radio Amateur Old Timers’ Association is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee in 2018. To commemorate this, they will be running a tiered Diamond Jubilee award throughout the year. Details will be on the Association website at www.RAOTA.org

The RSGB was proud to host Youngsters on the Air 2017 and is celebrating both that international event and YOTA month by releasing its final YOTA video. It is an overview of the fabulous range of amateur radio activities, achievements and events enjoyed by the 80 youngsters from 27 different countries who came to Gilwell Park in August. Find it at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1224A

ARI, the Italian Amateur Radio Association, has organised an award to commemorate great scientists. It recognises those who made a contribution to the advancement of knowledge in physics and similar disciplines that led to the development of radio. Throughout the year twelve different stations will be on the air. In January it is II4MXW, to commemorate the work of James Clerk Maxwell.

The annual KW Days take place on the 6th and 7th of January. The KW Company was founded on 5 January 1953 by the late Roly Shears, G8KW. Last year there were 50+ KW stations on the air. The KW Yahoo group would love to hear from clubs planning similar activities in other regions of the UK and from those overseas. Details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1224B. Daytime SSB activity centres will be on 7.177MHz or 3.777MHz and 14.277MHz as conditions permit. Operators are encouraged to use KW gear on other bands, so if you hear some AM on 1.977MHz or MCW operating on 160 or 80 metres at night, don’t be surprised. AM and CW activity will be on the VMARS net channels, see www.vmars.org.uk

The ARRL has announced that Maxim Memorial Station W1AW will start scheduled transmissions on 6m beginning on the 2nd of January. Transmissions on 50.350MHz will become a part of W1AW’s regular CW practice, and CW, digital and phone bulletin transmission schedule, starting with the 1400UTC fast code practice on the 2nd.

AMSAT-UK is holding a second annual CW Activity Day. It will be held from 0001 to 2359UTC on the 1st of January. This year's event is dedicated to the memory of Pat Gowen, G3IOR. The rules are very simple: there aren’t any. Just operate CW through any amateur radio satellite. Straight keys and bugs are encouraged, but not required. The important thing is to get on the air and have fun.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 remains quite sparse so please, if you are a rally organiser – or know one – let us know the details as soon as possible. If the rally or event is not listed in the January 2018 RadCom then we do NOT know about it.

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

Earl, WA3DX will be touring Senegal between the 25th of December and the 12th of January and will be active holiday style as 6W1/WA3DX from Dakar, as 6W7/WA3DX from Mbao, as 6W6/WA3DX from Kaolack and the Saloum Islands. He will operate SSB, PSK and SSTV on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL direct to WA3DX.

A team from the Qatar Amateur Radio Society will be active as A70X from Al-Safliyah Island, IOTA reference AS-088, from the 1st to the 6th of January. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS.

Thomas, DL7UZO and his wife will be active as 5P9Z/p from IOTA group EU-171 from the 28th of December to the 4th of January. They will operate CW, RTTY and SSB on the 10 to 160m bands. For more information see http://5p9z.com/home/

Vadym, UT6UD will be active as PJ7/UT6UD from Sint Maarten, NA-105, from the 30th of December to the 13th of January. He will be on the 17 to 160m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to his home callsign.

JH0IXE will be active again as T8CW from Koror, OC-009, in Palau from the 27th of December to the 5th of January. QSL via JA2KCT using the bureau or JH0IXE direct, Logbook of The World and eQSL; logsearch on http://t8cw.idou.net

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA, for Youngsters on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 24th, will see Mid-Ulster ARC finish their two-day session, the 28th sees Leicester RS takes over, followed by Telford & District ARS on the 29th. Finally, on the 30th and 31st, the callsign will be in operation at the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. The GB17YOTA team particularly invites young people, licenced or not, to come and get their first taste of operating a top-notch station. If you are an RSGB Member, you can also print a voucher for free entry to Bletchley Park. Details for this are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1224C All enthusiasts are welcome to the event, both young and old, licensed or not. For more information, email youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

Celebrating the valve equipment produced by KW Electronics Ltd of Dartford Kent, GB2KW will be active between 1 and 28 January. Run by members of the Sutherland & ARS, they will be operating from near Invergordon, Scotland. All QSOs with GB2KW will be confirmed electronically only on Club Log and the ARRL’s Logbook of The World. GB8KW will be operated by Cray Valley ARS.

MX0PHX & MX0YHA will be on air for the 3rd Robin Hood Special Yuletide VHF Award activity on December the 24th and 31st. Activity will be on 2m FM between 10am and 4pm. More details at www.robinhoodradio.uk.

Welland Valley ARS will host a series of special event stations in 2018 to mark the end of World War I, in remembrance of the millions who were killed or wounded. A total of twelve special call signs have been applied for and will be put on air during the year: GB1GW is the callsign to look for during January. See www.qrz.com/db/GB1GW for QSLing options and details about the certificates available.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the 26th of December the DARC Christmas Contest runs from 0830 to 1100UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations send DOK or NM too.

The Christmas Cumulatives run from 1400UTC on the 26th to 1600UTC on the 29th of December. Using all modes on the 50 to 432MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain Christmas Party takes place from the 26th of December to the 6th of January. It’s all modes on all bands and the exchange is the WAB book number.

The Stew Perry Top Band Challenge runs from 1500UTC on the 30th to 1500UTC on the 31st of December. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

The UK 6m Group Winter marathon runs throughout January. Using all modes in the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

On the 1st of January the IRTS 80m Counties Contest runs from 1500 to 1700UTC. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations sending their County too.

On the 2nd of January the 144MHz UK FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed from 2000 to 2230UTC by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest. The exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 3rd the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB, the exchange on the 80m band is your 4-character locator.

Starting at 1800UTC on the 6th and running until 2359UTC on the 7th, the ARRL RTTY Roundup takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations giving their State and Canadian stations their Province.

On the 6th from 2000 to 2300UTC then again on the 7th from 0400 to 0700UTC, the European 160m CW Party takes place. Go to www.eucw.org/eu160.html to learn more about the exchange and who to work.

Finally in this marathon session, the CW AFS contest takes place on the 7th of January from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of December.

This week we have a slightly different approach to the HF propagation news. We want to help you and your family contact Santa's elves in Lapland. The station Oscar Juliet Nine X-ray is on the air this Christmas from Santa Claus land. Up to 30 elves are operating OJ9X from Finland for the entire month of December to help celebrate the centennial of the country’s foundation. To work OJ9X, the best starting point is the DX Cluster or Reverse Beacon Network to see where they are operating. They have been spotted on many bands and modes over the past two weeks.

The HF predictions suggest twenty metres, 14MHz, gives a good possibility of a contact, with a probability of greater than 80% during the hours of daylight. There is also a 15-20% possibility of some daylight openings on seventeen metres, that’s 18MHz, especially around late morning. Thirty metres, or 10MHz, should also give a high probability of a contact during daylight, while 40 metres, or 7MHz, may be open for the whole 24 hours, with late afternoon being the best time. Eighty metres, 3.5MHz, may also open to Finland from late afternoon and through the night, while Top Band, or 1.8MHz, may also be open to OJ9X during the hours of darkness in the UK.

NOAA is predicting unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times over the next two weeks due to coronal hole activity. This could bring noisy bands and depressed maximum usable frequencies, so if you hear OJ9X try to work it while the band is open.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The lead up to Christmas Day will be mild, with high-pressure weather and some enhanced VHF Tropo conditions. But from Boxing Day it’s all change to a colder more unsettled weather type. This will be dominated by low pressure and periods of rain, or snow in some northern areas. The only show in town from this weather is usually rain scatter on the gigahertz bands. There is a possible return of high pressure later next week, with possibly some Tropo back in play for next weekend and the lead-in to 2018.

These low pressure developments are usually symptomatic of strong winter jet streams and these can produce some mid-winter Sporadic E, so don’t rule out a look at 28MHz or 50MHz for some strong short-skip propagation, particularly using the digital modes.

Why not make trying a new propagation mode your New Year’s Resolution? You could seek out rain scatter, Sporadic-E, meteor scatter, Tropo, or try CW and SSB on the VHF/UHF bands. You’ll find plenty of support from these bulletins through the year.

The Quadrantids meteor shower is usually active from the end of December so look for better meteor scatter. It has a short peak around the 3rd and 4th of January, so be ready for that.

EME path losses are still high, but falling as the week progresses. Declination goes positive on Tuesday and conditions will improve as the year turns.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week, and indeed for the year. We wish you a Happy Christmas and a New Year full of DX.

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 17th. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 17th of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • Thanks to all Newsreaders and listeners

  • RSGB releases Measuring Spectrum Pollution video

  • SDR book is surprise best-seller

Next weekend will see the final GB2RS news broadcast for 2017. The RSGB would like to thank the loyal band of news reading volunteers for their service to the amateur community throughout the year. We would also like to thank those that listen to the news each week and call in to the news readers after the broadcast. There will be no news reading on the 31st of December; normal service will return on the 7th of January.

The RSGB has released the video of the RSGB Convention lecture by Alwyn Seeds, G8DOH on Measuring Spectrum Pollution at VHF and UHF. Members can view it via the RSGB video portal. This lecture is the basis for the article in the January RadCom written in conjunction with John, G4BAO on the same subject. RSGB Members can find the video via the RSGB video portal, www.rsgb.org/videos  

Last orders for UK delivery at the RSGB shop is 10am on the 20th of December. RSGB Members should note that the RSGB Members’ Book Voucher runs out at the same time. An interesting story to come from the RSGB shop this week involves the new RSGB Software Defined Radio book. First detailed in the January RadCom, which has only just started arriving on doorsteps, over a third of the book’s print run sold within the first 24 hours. So, if you are thinking about using your voucher on this book, don’t delay. You can read all about the book on page 77 of the January RadCom.

The National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park will play host to the GB17YOTA callsign on the 30th and 31st of December, as part of Youngsters on the Air month. There will be an opportunity for licenced visitors to operate the station. If you are an RSGB Member, you can also print a voucher for free entry to Bletchley Park. Details for this are at https://thersgb.org/members/portal/bpvouchers/ All enthusiasts are welcome to the event, both young and old, licensed or not. If you need more information please email youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk 

Over the past few years, various members of the Contest Support Committee have been involved in producing a definitive list of past winners of the contest trophies. The collected information is not necessarily complete as some trophies have been awarded for almost 100 years. It is now available on the RSGBCC website at www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/trophies.pl. Please do take a look at that page. If you have won a trophy in the past and the information is missing or incorrect, please let us know. You can contact Jacqui, G6XSY by email to trophies@rsgbcc.org.

The South African Radio League will host the 2018 Youngsters on the Air – YOTA – Annual Camp. This annual event brings together young people from Region 1 and elsewhere for a week, creating an opportunity to learn all about different nationalities and cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill, and learn new amateur radio skills. Several articles on the UK 2017 event at Gilwell Park appeared during the year in RadCom and there are several videos on the RSGB website too.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 remains quite sparse so please, if you are a rally organiser – or know one – let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

John, N9MDH will be in Togo as 5V7JE until the end of May. Main activity will be digimodes on the WARC bands.

Volker, DJ8VW will be active as 5P8VW from Romo Island, IOTA reference EU-125, until the 23rd of December. He will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSLs are preferred via Club Log OQRS, as well as eQSL, Logbook of The World or via DJ8VW, either direct or via the bureau.

Georg, NZ1C will be active holiday style as TK/NZ1C from Corsica until the 24th of December. He will operate CW and FT8, with some SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via DD5ZZ.

Dirk, DF2XG is on the air as 3W9XG from Hai Phong in Vietnam while there on work assignment. Activity is in his spare time on the 10 to 40m bands using CW. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Vlad, UA4WHX will soon be on the air as 4L/UA4WHX from Georgia. Activity will be on the 17 to 40m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. His length of stay is unknown. QSL to his home callsign.

Ernest, J69Z is operating as 8P9JB from Barbados, NA-021, until the 2nd of January. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Mauri, AG1LE is on the air as E51DXX from Rarotonga, OC-013, until the 29th of December. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using SSB, PSK31 and FT8. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA, for Youngsters on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 17th, will see Durham & District ARS operating the callsign. This is followed from the 20th to the 22nd by Castle Rushen High School, then on the 23rd and 24th by Mid-Ulster ARC. A list of activations is on page 8 of the December RadCom.

2E0XLG will be on air for the 3rd Robin Hood Special Yuletide VHF Award activity from Earby in North Yorkshire on the 17th of December. Activity will be on 2m FM between 10am and 4pm. More details are online at www.robinhoodradio.uk.

Special event station YP2018HNY will be on the air from the 15th of December to the 15th of January to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via YO3KPA.

Alex, 5B4ALX is on the air as special event station 5B4XMAS from Cyprus until the 31st of December. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IZ4AMS.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon continues. There are no set operating times, just work as many Locator squares as you can. You can upload your log as many times as you like, while you build your score.

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.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed at 2000 to 2230UTC by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest, where all modes may be used. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 15th of December.

Last week, the solar flux index nudged into the low 70s, although the sun remained spotless. The enhanced solar wind from a coronal hole pushed the K index to four, and it remained around three for long periods during the week. So these were far from ideal conditions for F2 layer DX on the higher bands, but there were good openings to be had.

Last weekend’s ARRL 10 metre contest benefitted from some extended Sporadic-E openings around Europe. The openings were possibly caused by strong jet stream activity over central and northern Europe. This is a reminder that it is worth checking 10 metres now and again to see if the band is open. Others have reported good mid- to late-afternoon openings on 40 metres, with Australasia and the Pacific being worked at times. This is classic mid-winter propagation and it is worth looking out for.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the low to mid 70s. Another Earth-facing coronal hole on the sun’s equator on Thursday will no doubt result in a high-speed solar wind stream. NOAA predicts this has the potential to push the K index up to five this weekend and Monday, with the possibility of depressed maximum usable frequencies and auroral conditions. The K index may settle again from Tuesday onwards. So the best advice is to concentrate on the long winter nights, with 40m possibly opening up from late afternoon and the potential for DX on 160, 80 and 40m through the night and at sunrise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a cold end to the week, there will be a marked change as high pressure returns across the southern half of Britain during this weekend. Much of the country will have good conditions and the chance of fairly widespread Tropo at times during next week. The models are in agreement in developing a large high over Biscay, which could go on to produce lift conditions over the southern half of the UK and much of the continent. Windier conditions over northern areas will limit the Tropo activity over Scotland, but even here some enhancement of conditions is possible at times.

With the Geminids shower peak now over, we revert to more normal meteor scatter conditions until the January Quadrantids, with early mornings continuing to be the best time for making QSOs.

With Moon apogee and minimum declination on Tuesday, EME opportunities will be short and path losses high, so maybe it’s a good week to make some pre-Christmas QSOs using the various artificial satellites at our disposal.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 10th of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • Croatians get 5MHz plus Top Band extensions

  • RSGB Raspberry Pi lecture online

  • MSF maintenance shutdown

On the 24th of November, the Croatian Regulatory Authority published changes to the rules on amateur radio communications in the Republic of Croatia. According to these changes, Croatian radio amateurs now have access to the WRC-15 60m amateur secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP. They now also have access to the 160m band from 1810 to 2000kHz, with 1.5kW maximum power from 1810 to 1850kHz and 1kW between 1850 and 2000kHz.

The RSGB has released the video of the RSGB Convention 2017 Raspberry Pi lecture by Mike Richards, G4WNC. Members can view it via the RSGB video portal. Mike’s presentation includes a range of practical Pi projects to encourage people to get their Raspberry Pi out of the drawer and into use. These uses include a data modes terminal using FLDIGI and WSJT-X, a DVB-T dongle receiver and using the Pi to control things around the shack. Also released this week were Latest Developments in IOTA by the IOTA management team and 51LYC Brings Pukapuka Atoll OC-098 in North Cook Islands on the air by Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC. All three can be found via the RSGB video portal, www.rsgb.org/videos  

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 14th of December from 1000 to 1400UTC. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out safely. The MSF radio signal is a dedicated time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time, based on the NPL time scale UTC.

The Codebreakers’ Wall is a specially reserved area in the grounds of Bletchley Park for veterans, their families and supporters of Bletchley Park to have their names engraved into a brick to share with loved ones for many years to come. A digital version of the wall is now available soon so you can search for names, locate bricks in the Codebreakers’ Wall and discover the stories behind the bricks. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/codebreakers-wall to learn more.

A meeting was held on the 2nd of December between the President of IARU Region 1 and the President of the European Radio Amateurs’ Organisation. Also present were the Chair of IARU Region 1’s Spectrum and Regulatory Liaison Committee and the Secretary-General of EURAO. The meeting was held against a background of both IARU Region 1 and EURAO having Letters of Understanding with CEPT, enabling participation in the work of CEPT. Both organisations accepted that they had shared objectives, identified some specific areas for interworking and will continue a constructive dialogue into the future.

Due to a change in work circumstances and a significantly increased workload, Sara McGarvey, 2I0SSW has reluctantly decided that she needs to step down from her RSGB Board responsibilities and thus has tendered her resignation as an Elected Board member of the RSGB. The Chairman and Board would like to thank Sara for her contribution to the Society especially associated with YOTA 2017. Sara will be continuing with her Deputy Regional Manager role in Northern Ireland. Details of all the Board and Regional vacancies are in the January 2018 RadCom, along with information about the nomination process.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is still looking quite empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Lester, W8YCM is on the air until January 2018 as 6Y6Y from Westmoreland Parish at Negril, Jamaica, IOTA reference NA-097. Activity is holiday style on various HF bands. QSL direct to home call.

Elvira, IV3FSG is on the air as E44YL from Bethlehem until the 18th of December. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and various digital modes. QSL via IK3GES.

Rich, PA0RRS is operating as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, AS 015, until the 31st of January 2018. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and PSK. QSL to home call.

Ulmar, DK1CE is on the air as V5/DK1CE near Omaruru in Namibia until the 15th of December. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using CW and some SSB. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA, for Youngsters on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 10th, sees Mid Ulster ARC operating it. The King’s School Radio Club in Ottery St Mary, Devon takes up the mantle on Monday. Worcester Radio Amateurs Association are on the air on the 12th, followed by Aberystwyth & District ARS on the 13th and Swansea Radio Society on the 14th. Silcoates School radio club will bring it to life on the 15th and Durham and District ARS take to the airwaves on the 16th and 17th. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December edition of RadCom.

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification, Hong Kong licensed radio amateurs are being allowed to use the special prefix VR20 on a voluntary basis until the 30th of June 2018.

DT23WOP from the Republic of Korea is on the air until February 2018 for the 23rd Olympic Winter Games. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL via HL1IWD.

The traditional Santa Claus Land station OH9SCL is operating during December from Finnish Lapland. Activity is mainly on 160 to 10 metres using all modes, including FT8. QSL via OH9AB.

Now the contest news

This weekend’s ARRL 10m contest ends its run at 2359UTC today, the 10th. Using CW and phone only, the exchange is signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations will also exchange their State or Province code.

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

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon continues. There are no set operating times, just work as many Locator squares as you can. You can upload your log as many times as you like, while you build your score.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 8th of December.

Last week, the effects of the high-speed solar wind from another coronal hole saw the K index climb to five on Tuesday and remain relatively high throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The ionosphere took a hit and daytime maximum usable frequencies struggled to exceed 18MHz at times. By Thursday, conditions were starting to improve a little, but the HF bands were still noisy with a distinct lack of signals.

The solar disk also remained fairly unblemished by sunspots, other than one very tiny group of three that saw the solar flux index climb, if that is the right word, to 68. This will most likely be the trend for the next 18 months or so as we experience the end of solar cycle 24.

Daytime critical frequencies have been around 5-6 megahertz, which means 60 and 80 metres remain the best bands for UK-wide short skip in daylight. Night-time critical frequencies of around three megahertz mean 80m is largely closed to short skip, although both it and 40 metres are potentially open to longer distances.

This weekend, another coronal hole is rotating into an earth-facing position and NOAA predicts we may have disturbed geomagnetic conditions from Monday the 11th through to Wednesday the 13th. Conditions should then be more settled through to next weekend.

The solar flux index is predicted to continue to hover around the 68-70 mark and, with such a poor prognosis for HF propagation, it might be worth concentrating on night-time DX, or looking at using more efficient data modes, such as PSK or FT8 on the 20 and 30 metre bands during daylight.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week, the nights of the 13th and 14th see the peak of the Geminids, one of the largest meteor showers of the year. The Zenithal Hourly Rate, or ZHR, is an idealised number for the visually-observed meteors seen under a moonless sky with the radiant at the zenith. There will be many more radio meteor reflections observed than this number. The Geminids has a ZHR rate of 120, so look for plenty of good, strong meteor bursts on the lower VHF bands.

As well as the usual digimodes, SSB and CW QSOs can often be made in this shower, if you get your operating technique nice and slick. There is no moonlight on Wednesday night, so, if the skies are clear, go outside and take a look for bright meteors.

We are in a cold northerly weather pattern for this week and with minor troughs running south and small lows developing; this type of weather is very poor for Tropo. That leaves us just a hope for some rain/snow scatter on the gigahertz bands from some of the heavy wintry showers, which will be fairly commonplace near the coasts. More organised areas of rain and snow may affect some areas during the week. As usual, use the various radar visualisation tools online to track the precipitation.

Moon declination goes negative on Monday night and losses are rising as the Moon moves away. Due to this, EME opportunities will be shorter and signals lower.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 3rd. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 3rd of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • SSTV from ISS this week

  • New AROS coordinator wanted

  • Book for January Advanced Distance Learning

ARISS has announced that the MAI-75 slow-scan TV system in the Russian Service Module of the International Space Station will be on the air starting on the 5th of December at around 1500UTC and continuing until the 6th of December at 0900UTC. Test images will be transmitted on 145.800MHz FM and should be available worldwide. SSTV activity on the 7th and 8th of December is scheduled to occur at times when the ISS is above Moscow. In the past images have been sent in PD180 mode, with a 3-minute off-time between each image.

The Amateur Radio Observation Service is the RSGB’s confidential advisory and reporting service. It is intended to assist radio amateurs and others who may be affected by problems which occur within the amateur bands or which develop on other frequencies as a result of amateur transmissions. The AROS Coordinator runs a team of volunteer observers and liaises with Ofcom’s enforcement team. They also oversee Intruder Watch, the RSGB's Monitoring System. The current coordinator, Mark Jones, G0MGX is stepping down from the role after several years’ invaluable service. The RSGB is looking for a volunteer, who must be an RSGB Member, to fill the vacancy. The role requires patience and tact, as well as managing the coordination of the team of AROS volunteers. Further information about AROS can be found on the RSGB’s website, www.rsgb.org/aros. To find out more about the role or to apply, please send details of your amateur radio experience to RSGB Board Director Philip Willis, M0PHI by email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk.

The next Advanced Distance Learning run by the Bath-based team course is due to start on the 26th of January, aiming for an exam in early July. The course is free but students must provide their own textbook and calculator, and arrange their own exam when the time comes. Guidance is provided by the course team. A £30 deposit is required to secure a place on the course and the deposit is refunded to those who see the course through. Deposits from students who did not complete the course, and generous donations from students who did, have so far raised over ten thousand pounds for charities like the RCF, Wireless for the Blind and RAIB. Places are limited in number and the last three courses have been full well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact Course Leader, Steve, G0FUW via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

The RSGB Youth Committee is delighted to have the callsign MX0RYC re-allocated by Ofcom. This callsign was used during the youth DXpedition in Wales in 2015. It will be used by the Youth Committee for our outreach activities. You can follow what they do on twitter @theRSGByouth. 

Hull, the UK’s City of Culture, is now in its final month. Humber Fortress DX ARC has held the NoV GB0HCC for most of the year, with Hull & District ARS also helping out. They have worked most continents during the year. The next UK City of Culture will be announced next month and they would encourage the radio clubs in the chosen city to join forces and make it a year to remember. If anyone would like more information about how they set the event up, please email john.cunliffe@hfdxarc Those involved would like to thank Ofcom for extending the GB0HCC NoV throughout 2018 to be operated by Humber Fortress DX ARC on club nights.

Long-standing RSGB QSL Bureau member Lynne Constantine, G6CQG, passed away last week after a long illness. The Bureau says the final round of deliveries for 2017 to some sub-groups may be delayed as a result.

With the successful completion of the Canada C3 Expedition via the Northwest Passage, which culminated with the arrival of the Polar Prince in Victoria, British Columbia, the CG3EXP special event callsign has been retired. The Polar Prince will continue to carry an Ultimate 3 WSPR beacon as the ship returns to the East Coast via the Panama Canal. The vessel’s WSPR system will identify as VE0EXP. The CG3EXP WSPR beacon transmitted on 20, 30, and 40 metres. Anyone with an HF receiver and the free WSPR application may be able to receive the VE0EXP signal and track the vessel’s location on WSPRnet.

The RSGB’s Emerging Technology Coordination Committee develops and enhances the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications systems and promotes the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. This committee performs a key role in the enjoyment of amateur radio by large numbers of RSGB Members. After many years of service to the society as the Chair of the ETCC, John McCullagh, GI4BWM, has decided that it is now time to retire from this role. The position of Chair of the ETCC Committee is offered for an initial period of up to three years. RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment to this important role should write to RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The RSGB has just released three more RSGB Convention 2017 lectures that link with the Strategy. You’ll find them all on the video portal, www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos. Board Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW explains more about the Strategy itself, President Nick Henwood, G3RWF gives a progress report on the “Breaking the mould – clubs and groups for the 21st Century” project and Youth Committee Deputy Chair Milo Noblet, M0ILO summarises the successful YOTA 2017 event and a brief look at how we will be building on it.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is still looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Hartwig, DL7BC will be operating as FY/DL7BC/p near Cayenne in French Guiana until the 7th of December. QSL direct to home call.

John, N9MDH is on the air as 5V1JE from Lome in Togo until the end of May 2018. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via Logbook of the World.

The Kuala Lumpur DX Team will be active as 9M4IOTA from Langkawi Island, IOTA reference AS-058, in West Malaysia until the 4th of December. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on 80 to 10 metres. QSL direct to 9M2OOO.

Olof, G0CKV is operating as 3B9HA until the 12th of December 12 from Rodrigues Island, AF-017. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using CW and possibly FT8. He will be a Single Op/All Band entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to M0OXO.

Andre, ON7YK is operating as C5YK from Kerr Serign, in The Gambia, until the 30th of January 2018. Activity is on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres using mostly digital modes, with a focus on FT8, and some CW. QSL via operator's instructions.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA on the air for Youngster on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 3rd, sees the Wessex Contest Group operating the call. On Tuesday, Carrickfergus ARG take over, then Southampton University Wireless Society on Wednesday. Chertsey Radio Club will working with 6th Staines Scout Group on Thursday and this will ensure that anyone who missed JOTA last week will have a chance to go on air and complete their communicators badges. On Friday, the callsign transfers to Hilderstone Radio Club. Over the weekend Worksop ARS will operate on Saturday and Mid-Ulster ARC next Sunday. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December edition of RadCom.

GB2ROR will be on the air from BBC Broadcasting House, London on the 7th of December on 40m HF and 2m VHF in memory of Radio 4 announcer Rory Morrison, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2013. The radio station will coincide with the annual BBC staff bake-off organised each year by Radio 4's Susan Rae in aid of Rory’s charity. The operator will be Jonathan, M5AEO.

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m contest ends its run at 1600UTC today, Sunday the 3rd. Using CW only, the exchange is the usual signal report. US and Canadian stations also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

The RSGB 144MHz AFS contest takes place today, the 3rd. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 2m band and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is immediately followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC, in which all modes may be used. The exchange is the same: signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the ARRL 10m contest runs from 0000UTC on the 9th to 2359UTC on the 10th. Using CW and phone only, the exchange is signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations will also exchange their State or Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday the 1st of December.

HF propagation for last week’s CQ Worldwide CW contest was fair to middling. There was a 10 metre opening on Saturday, but otherwise the money bands were 20 and 15 metres during the day, with 40 and 80 metres coming into their own after sunset. The predicted poorer geomagnetic conditions on Sunday didn’t really materialise, but it was interesting to see how quiet the bands were on Monday – after the contest had finished. It is amazing how contest activity can really show that the HF bands are actually open!

Otherwise, last week the solar flux index remained in the low 70s while geomagnetic conditions were mainly settled. Tuesday and Thursday saw the K index climb to four and five respectively, the latter event probably caused by a glancing blow from a relatively-weak coronal mass ejection (CME).

As we head into December you will find that 20 metres now opens later and closes earlier, often around or before sunset. But the lower bands really start to deliver, with 40m and 80m offering long periods of DX after dark. Top Band, as 160 metres is often known, can also offer DX for those equipped for 1.8MHz.

If you are using a VOACAP-based propagation prediction program, the predicted smoothed sunspot number for December is 13 using the McNish and Lincoln method. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the low 70s, but we may be set for poor geomagnetic conditions at times. The K index is predicted to reach a peak of six some time from Monday to Thursday, due to a large coronal hole rotating into an Earth-facing position. Expect the possibility of pre-auroral enhancements, but ultimately depressed maximum usable frequencies and auroral conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weekend starts with a cold northerly pattern with wintry showers in eastern coastal regions giving some rain scatter. But this will soon fade as high pressure becomes more dominant by Sunday and through a large portion of next week. This is potentially good Tropo news for the RSGB 144MHz AFS contest on Sunday the 3rd, especially for stations in the west and south. As the high develops, the subsidence inversion may provide some extended paths, especially midweek as the high starts to decline. The favoured areas will be over southern and southwestern UK, but many places could do well for a time, especially if we have some overnight mist and fog, which in December can last well into the morning. Later in the week it will turn more unsettled again so it’s unlikely the Tropo will last to the following weekend.

Now to meteor scatter. The Geminids have a broad peak, culminating on the 13th and 14th of December. This is usually one of the best showers of the year, with a maximum Zenithal Hourly Rate, or ZHR, of 120. This week, in the run-up to the maximum, we can expect many useful reflections. Also remember that the minor shower, Puppid/Velids, with its low ZHR, will peak around Saturday the 9th. Early December has a number of other weak showers, so the meteor scatter enthusiasts should see some nice reflections throughout the week.

Sunday's full moon is known as the Cold Moon and is also a Super Moon. It is the only visible Super Moon of 2017. The moon will be closest to earth so it will appear large in the sky. As it is at perigee path losses will be at their lowest, enabling smaller EME stations an ideal opportunity to work other small stations.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 26th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • New FM repeater satellite

  • ITU-R celebrates 90 years

  • SDR pioneer dies

A new easy-to-use amateur radio satellite was launched last weekend and was switched on for general use on Thursday. AO-91, also known as RadFxSat and Fox-1B is a Cubesat that carries an FM transponder. The uplink is on 435.250MHz FM, plus or minus Doppler, with a mandatory 67Hz CTCSS tone for access. The downlink is on 145.960MHz FM. The present position of the satellite can be seen www.n2yo.com and all amateurs are invited to listen out for the bird. The northernmost point of its orbit periodically passes roughly over Bedford, meaning that it will give good service over the whole of the British Isles, Europe, and beyond. Full details about the satellite are on the AMSAT-UK website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611A. By coincidence, another AMSAT mission, FUNcube-1, also known as AO-73, celebrated its fourth birthday in space this week. It has travelled well over 500 million miles in orbit since launch and been received tens of thousands of times.

On the subject of birthdays, the International Telecommunications Union celebrated 90 years of ITU-Radiocommunications Study Groups on the 21st of November. A 90th anniversary celebration issue of the ITUNews magazine can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611B Also, ITU HQ station 4U1ITU will be active in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Sad news now. One of the pioneers of software defined radio, Dr Vanu Bose, died suddenly at the age of just 52 on the 11th of November. He gained his PhD at MIT, founded, and was CEO of Vanu, Inc. His company made much early progress in SDR, including developing the first SDR GSM mobile phone base station. Later developments included solar-powered mobile phone base stations. Dr Bose donated many of these to Puerto Rico this year to replace infrastructure destroyed by the hurricanes.

The recent RSGB VDSL Survey highlighted the growing problem with RF noise radiated from phone lines carrying VDSL2 broadband services. Backed by the RSGB Legacy Fund, members of the RSGB EMC Committee are researching and developing RF digital signal processing techniques to identify and, hopefully, help mitigate VDSL RFI. The first stage, which is currently underway, is analysing files recorded by amateurs around the country and submitted via the VDSL Survey. The team will report progress as it happens.

The RSGB Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, or ETCC, develops and enhances the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications systems, and promotes the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. The Chair of the ETCC, John McCullagh, GI4BWM, has decided to retire from his role, after many years of invaluable service. RSGB is therefore seeking a volunteer, who must be an RSGB Member, to take over the position. The position of Chair of the ETCC Committee is offered for an initial period of up to three years. Anyone interested in this important role should, in the first instance, write to Steve Thomas, M1ACB, RSGB General Manager, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk, providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The RSGB telephone system suffered some problems this week. Some calls went unanswered and we may have lost some messages that were left. The RSGB apologises for anyone inconvenienced by these issues.

This weekend sandwiches between so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These relatively new traditions see discounts from all kinds of sellers, including the RSGB Bookshop. If you are an RSGB Member and have kept the RSGB up to date with your email address, you will also have received an extra discount voucher. All RSGB Members are encouraged to visit http://thersgb.org/members from time to time to make sure all their details are up to date.

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

Today, the 26th, the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6DB. The venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering facilities and a bar are on site. Doors open at 10.30am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, under 14 free of charge with adult. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

Next Saturday the Souths Lancs ARC Winter Rally takes place at Bickershaw Village Community Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. There are a limited number of pitches available. Doors open to the public at 9am, and admission is £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR, on 01942 735 828.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

This is another very good week for DX, with teams around the world activating unusual places for the CQ WW contest this weekend. Many are operating for several days before and after the contest, giving the opportunity for lots of interesting contacts. Keep an ear on the bands and your eye on the propagation tools – you might be surprised what you bag. There are far too many DXpeditions to list them all, but here is a small sample.

John, W2GD is on the air as P40W from Aruba, SA-036 until the 28th of November. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL direct to N2MM.

A group of operators will be on the air from Ghana as 9G5W until the 29th of November. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via S59ZZ.

Oliver, F6ARC is active holiday-style as FG/F6ARC until the 29th of November from Guadeloupe, NA-201. He is on various HF bands, CW only. QSL via FE11DX.

UA4CC is on the air until the 30th of November from Montenegro as 4O7CC. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes, including FT8. QSL to home call.

LU3YK, LU7VB, LU8YD and LU9VEA will be active as HC8LUT from San Cristobal Island, SA-004 from the 29th of November to the 8th of December. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using mainly SSB, but also PSK31, JT65, WSPR and FT8, plus satellite activity on FM and other modes. QSL via IK2DUW and LoTW, logsearch on Club Log.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is the start of the very special special event station GB17YOTA. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Sandringham School radio club starts the ball rolling on Friday the 1st of December, handing over to RSGB Region 7 Youth Committee representative Will Davies, 2W0WOD, on Saturday. Next Sunday sees the Wessex Contest Group taking up the call. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December RadCom.

Very few special event stations seem to be on the air this week. Ofcom reported that no UK special event stations gave their consent to be publicised in the month of November. When an application is made for a Special Event callsign the applicant signs a confirmation that the Special Event Station is in support of an event which is of special significance, and will be open to viewing by members of the public. So there is logic in ticking the box to permit Ofcom to tell RSGB about your event, so that we can publicise it in GB2RS, in RadCom, and on the RSGB website.

Now the contest news

This weekend sees the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest, which started at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning and runs to 2359UTC on Sunday night. This CW-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RST plus CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 2200 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz to 10GHz bands, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

On Wednesday it’s the UKEICC 80m contest from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

On Thursday the Autumn Series continues from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 80m band, CW. The exchange is signal report plus serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon kicks off on Friday, running until the end of December. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report plus locator.

Next weekend sees the ARRL 160m contest running from 2200UTC on Friday until 1600UTC on Sunday. Using CW only, the exchange is the usual signal report. US and Canadian stations also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Finally for this week, the RSGB 144MHz AFS contest takes place next Sunday. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 2m band and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The Solar Flux Index remained in the 70s last week, reflecting the continued absence of sunspots. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled at the beginning of the week, but improved as the effects of a coronal hole passed. We were left with a mixed bag of HF propagation, with fair conditions at times and poorer ones at others.

Highlights were the J5T DXpedition to Guinea-Bissau, and the Polish TO2SP DXpedition to St Barthelemy, with many radio amateurs filling much-wanted band slots. Other DX stations were on the air from around the world as they prepared for this weekend’s CQ Worldwide CW contest. Speaking of which, conditions seem likely to be fairly settled on Saturday 25th, but another earth-facing coronal hole looks as though it could threaten the ionosphere on Sunday 26th.

Saturday might be the best day for working DX in CQ Worldwide, whereas Sunday may be a little more unpredictable. If our prediction is correct, and solar matter impacts the Earth, there is the possibility of an initial HF enhancement, but then declining maximum useable frequencies as the K index rises. Otherwise, expect 20 and 15 metres to be the main HF bands for DX, with good 10m openings being very thin on the ground.

Recently, some days have also seen some Sporadic-E responses on the ionosonde data, which can make a difference for local near vertical incidence skywave activity on 80m in the evening, when the foF2 ionisation is usually insufficient for inter-G nets. Since this may be related to jet stream activity, and there will be plenty of that this week, it’s certainly worth a check. You can monitor the ionosphere using the daily graphs available on www.propquest.co.uk

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The charts in both the primary longer-range models seem to be locked into a low-pressure story for next week, which can mean quite windy and often colder weather too. There is little of cheer for the VHF/UHF bands in this pattern, except perhaps the odd bit of rain scatter as showers run down the coasts on northerly winds. Both models do suggest a build-up of higher pressure to the west of Ireland later next week and this may give some prospects for Tropo as we move into the following week. But otherwise it is looking like thin pickings for weather-related propagation this time.

However, we are now into the build-up to what is often one of the better meteor showers of the year. The Geminids has a broad peak, culminating on the 13th and 14th of December, but there are normally many meteors throughout the shower period giving useful reflections. Unlike many meteor showers the Geminids is associated with the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, rather than a comet.

Minor shower Puppid Velids also starts around the end of this weekly report, with a peak around the 9th of December. Moonlight may affect shower visual sightings, but will not affect radio reflections. Talking of moonlight, the moon is waxing gibbous this week with the half moon this evening, Sunday, and the full moon is next Sunday.

As we move into the latter half of the week the moon-path degradation is very low and better suited to smaller EME station operations. For those early birds, the morning moon will favour paths to the west, whilst the early and later evening moon will be better for paths to the east of the UK.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 19th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • New videos from RSGB

  • New frequencies for Germany and Columbia

  • Prepare for YOTA Month

The RSGB has released three new videos of talks from the 2017 Convention. They all link with the RSGB Strategy and you can find them at www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos. In the first video, RSGB Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW explains about the Strategy itself. The second video features RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF, giving a progress report on the Clubs and Groups for the 21st Century project. Finally, Youth Committee Deputy Chair Milo Noblet, M0ILO provides a summary of the successful YOTA 2017 event and a brief look at how the RSGB will be building on it.

German amateurs have been allocated 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. Their 6m band has now been permanently extended to 50.03 to 51MHz. Almost on the other side of the world, Columbian amateurs are gaining new allocations at 2200m, 630m and 6m. Thanks to the efforts of the Columbian national amateur radio society LCRA and their strategic partner Liga Radio Bogotá, the bands 135.7 to 137.8kHz, 472 to 479kHz and 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz will shortly go live. Activation awaits the Colombian Communications Ministry granting the privileges by administrative act.

GB17YOYA will be on the air almost every day in December. The call sign marks YOTA Month, December, and will be used in rotation by clubs up and down the country. Several other countries will also be running their own YOTA Month stations. GB17YOTA will have a special QSL card and will be uploading logs daily to Clublog. Full details of all participating countries can be found at www.ham-yota.com and there is more information on GB17YOTA in the December edition of RadCom.

Now is the time to consider whether you could help your fellow radio amateur. In the coming weeks and months RSGB will be releasing details of various volunteer vacancies. These include joining the RSGB Board, becoming a Regional Manager, or taking a position in one of the many committees that are essential to the services RSGB provides to, and on behalf of, its Members. Some of the positions are appointments; some, such as the Board and Regional Managers, are filled through an election process. RSGB encourages any amateur from any walk of life to consider whether you can add something back into the hobby you enjoy. More details of the openings will be published in RadCom and via GB2RS.

ITU-R Working Party 5A met in Geneva recently to prepare for World Radiocommunications Conference 2019, WRC-19, by considering an allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The Working Group consists of a mix of radio amateurs from all three IARU Regions, administrations from all over the world and other interested parties like meteorologists and military. The RSGB was represented by Murray Niman, G6JYB.

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

Today, the 19th, the Plymouth Radio Club Radio Rally will be held at Harewood House, Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. There is car parking available and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open from 10am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.50am. Admittance is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, a Bring & Buy and RSGB book stand. A raffle will take place on the day. Catering is available on site. Information from David Beck, 2E0DTC on 0777 766 4822.

Also on the 19th, the 40th Coulsdon ATS Electronics Radio Bazaar will be held at the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £1.50. Car parking and disabled facilities are available. There will be a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Catering will be available on site. Details from Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6DB. The venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering facilities and a bar are on site. Doors open at 10.30am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, under 14 free of charge with adult. More details 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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Olof, G0CKV will be active again as 3B9HA from Rodrigues Island, IOTA reference AF-017, from the 23rd of November to the 12th of December. He will operate CW, with main activity during the CQ WW DX CW Contest and focus on the low bands at other times. QSL via LoTW and M0OXO's OQRS http://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/

Nick, G3RWF will be active again as 5X1NH from Uganda on the 20th to the 30th of November, with main activity during the CQ WW DX CW Contest. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, LoTW, or via home call.

Mike, AJ9C will be on the air as YN2CC in Nicaragua from the 21st to the 29th of November. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to his home call.

The Italian DXpedition Team is active as J5T from Bubaque Island, AF-020, until the 26th. They expect to have four stations on all HF bands to 28MHz, using CW and SSB, plus RTTY on one band. There will not be any FT8 operations. Subject to the availability of internet connection, the real time log will be available at: http://win.i2ysb.com/logonline and you can QSL via I2YSB direct, OQRS or LoTW.

Eberhard, DL7JLL is on the air as VP8JLL from the Falkland Islands, SA-002, until the 25th. QSL to home call.

Bud, AA3B will be active as V26K from the 22nd to the 27th of November from Antigua, NA-100. Activity will be on the HF bands using primarily CW and possibly RTTY on the 27th. QSL direct to home call.

A group of operators are on the air J5T from Bubaque Island, IOTA AF-020, until the 26th. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY with three stations on the air at once. QSL via I2YSB.

Members of the Yaguarete DXers Group are active as 5K0T from San Andres Island, IOTA NA-033, until the 25th. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via LU1FM.

Harald, DF2WO is QRV as 9X2AW from Kigali, Rwanda until the 30th of November. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via M0OXO.

A group of operators will be QRV as 9G5W from Kokrobite, Ghana from the 20th to the 29th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via S59ZZ.

A92AA and A61M will be on the air as 5T1A and 5T1R respectively, from Nouakchott, Mauritania from the 20th of November to the 20th of December. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using SSB and FT8. QSL via operators' instructions.

Tom, KC0W is active as 3W9CW from Con Son Island, IOTA AS-130, until November 28. QSL direct to his home call.

Now the special event news

Indian special event station AU2JCB will be on the air from the 23rd of November until the 11th of December. This is to celebrate the 159th anniversary of the birth of India's great scientist and inventor, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using SSB, plus FM on 10 and 6 metres. QSL direct to VU2DSI.

Special event station W1P will be on the air from the shack of K1WCC on the 24th of November. The station commemorates the loss of the 200 lives when the steamship Portland went down in 1898. Activity is likely to be around 3.997MHz from 1300UTC, moving to around 14.260MHz when the band opens. QSL with SASE direct.

Now the contest news

On Sunday the 19th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the 1.3GHz UKAC from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the Autumn Series continues from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend sees the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest. Starting at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning and running to 2359UTC on Sunday night, this CW-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RST plus CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

Last week saw the solar flux index stay steadfastly in the mid-70s thanks to a lack of visible sunspots on the solar surface. But by Thursday one had appeared over the limb and was designated sunspot 2687.

Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled in the first half of the week, but a minor G1 geomagnetic storm commenced on Wednesday as an elevated solar wind stream moved past our planet. This continued into Thursday, with the Kp index hitting four at times. This had a slightly detrimental effect on the ionosphere, with maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 21MHz at times.

Next week. NOAA forecasts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-70s. But we may have unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 20th to the 22nd, due to yet another high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. The hole is very much Earth-facing as it is right on the solar equator. It therefore has the potential to create unsettled and auroral conditions and a high K index. The end of the week may therefore be better for HF DX, although, as always, be prepared for surprises.

To end on a positive note, this time of year is ideal for long-distance propagation on the lower bands and members of CDXC report lots of DX on 40m and 80m. For example, K6MYC in California has been worked by many hams in Europe from about 40 minutes before our local sunrise to about 30 minutes afterwards. Admittedly Mike does have 40 acres, seven 89-foot towers and a three-element beam for 80 metres, which helps!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We start with a weak area of high pressure and hence just a chance of some Tropo, especially in the south of the UK and extending into the near continent and down across Biscay. Tropo can be amplified overnight and during the mornings, particularly in the misty mornings of autumn, but overall, this event looks marginal at best.

The second phase of weather propagation will come after midweek when the pressure falls away as low pressure takes up position. There could be some coastal showers giving a chance of rain scatter on the microwave bands, principally on the western side of the country. In the east, there may still be some residual Tropo since high pressure is likely to remain close by, although much weaker.

The new moon was on the 18th, so for the early part of next week the moon will still be close enough to the sun to make EME contacts a little more difficult. The moon will also appear in the direction of the Milky Way so the sky noise temperatures will be particularly high. This coincides with low moon declination at this time of year. This is not so good for the microwave EME operators, who tend to prefer the moon to be higher in the sky. But for those who do EME on the VHF bands, and without antenna elevation, the low moon may help.

The Leonids meteor shower peak has just passed, but there may be some useful ‘tail-end’ meteors from the dust of associated comet Temple-Tuttle. The November Taurids is a minor meteor shower with a broad peak of around 10 days, but at a low rate. There may just be enough meteors around to make operating meteor scatter worthwhile, as long as you have patience.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. November 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 12th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • Extra frequencies for Argentinian amateurs

  • Confine contesting to the band plans

  • Second G2BVN Memorial Trophy awarded

Amateur radio operators in Argentina are to gain access to the 60m and 630m bands, and some of their other bands are being extended. The new allocations will be effective in 90 days. The new allocations are 472 to 479kHz for the 630m band and 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz for the 60m band. Top Band has been extended to 1800 to 2000kHz, 80m is now 3500 to 4000kHz and, finally, the 30m band allocation is now 10.100 to 10.150MHz.

The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors has announced five Excellence Awards that are presented to individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to amateur radio. Receiving Yasme Foundation Excellence Award are the Dayton Amateur Radio Association for the new Dayton Hamvention; Paul, KD4STH, and Bill, WB8ELK for heir work in amateur radio high-altitude ballooning; Nathaniel, W2NAF, and Magda, KM4EGE for creating and leading the organisation that sponsored the Solar Eclipse QSO Party; the WSJT Development Team and Dale, VK1DSH for in the ITU-R Working Party 5A. To read more about the contributions that warranted the award, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112A

The RSGB VHF Contest Committee would like to remind contesters to follow the relevant band plans. The high level of activity in the 144MHz UK Activity Contests means that finding a frequency to operate on within the normally used frequency segment for SSB of 144.150 to 144.399MHz can be very difficult. Entrants are reminded that the rules explicitly require adherence to the RSGB Band Plan. Stations using SSB below 144.150MHz or between 144.400MHz and 144.500MHz during the 144MHz UKAC are liable to be penalised. The VHFCC reserves the right to penalise both parties in a QSO made outside of the band plan. However, the 144.500MHz to 144.794MHz segment of the 2m All Mode section can also be used during the UKAC. The VHFCC recognises that this is not normally in use during SSB contests, but if people would like to try calling CQ in a quieter part of the band, why not try it taking care to avoid the designated calling frequencies and centres of activity for other modes such as SSTV, ATV talk back, digital voice and data. Up to date versions of the band plans are online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112B

IARU Region 1 awards two G2BVN Memorial Trophies. One, to Colin Thomas, G3PSM, has already been announced. The second has been awarded to Professor Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC. Many know Wolf from the work he does managing the DokuFunk archive that collects and archives historic pieces, including QSL cards.

The permanent special event station GB2RAF, based at the RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum in Norfolk, will be off the air until the 14th of April 2018. This is due to the Museum closure until March 2018 for its winter break.

Spain's amateur satellite group AMSAT-EA has released an English language edition of their November newsletter. It covers the recently activated linear transponder SSB/CW satellites CAS-4A and CAS-4B, upcoming DXpeditions and an article on the QBITO satellite. The translation was made by Fernando, EC1AME. Download the newsletter from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112C

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

As we announced some time ago the Great Northern Hamfest, originally planned for today, the 12th of November, has been cancelled.

On the 18th, the Rochdale & District ARS Traditional Radio Rally will take place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, off the A680 Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50, with those under 12 years free. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders, a junk stall and amateur radio sellers. Traders can set up from 8am. There will be refreshments available including bacon and sausage butties. Contact Dave, G3RIK by email to rally@radars.me.uk.

On the 19th the Plymouth Radio Club Radio Rally will be held at Harewood House, Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. There is car parking available and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open from 10am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.50am. Admittance is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, a Bring & Buy and RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place on the day. Catering is available on site. Information from David Beck, 2E0DTC on 0777 766 4822.

Also on the 19th, the 40th Coulsdon ATS Electronics Radio Bazaar will be held at the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £1.50. Car parking and disabled facilities are available. There will be a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Catering will be available on site. Details from Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Tom, KC0W will be active as 3W9CW from Vietnam between the 17th and 30th of November. He will operate CW and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct only, and logsearch on Club Log. He does not use Logbook of The World.

Harald, DF2WO will be active again as 9X2AW from Kigali, Rwanda between the 15th and the 30th of November. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as DU1/SP5APW from Busuanga Island, IOTA reference OC-090, from the 16th to the 23rd of November. He will operate SSB, some PSK31 and RTTY on the 40, 17 and 20m bands. QSL via his home call either direct, via the bureau or Logbook of the World; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

A large team from Slovenia will be active as TK/ homecall from Corsica, EU-014, between the 20th and 29th of November. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via S50C.

Now the special event news

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will again be run from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool TS24 0DA on Saturday the 18th of November and Sunday the 19th of November. Operation is expected to be on 80 and 40m bands, with some operation on 2m.

GB1BSW will now take place on the 18th of November between 10am and 5pm, after being postponed due to bad weather. Members of Wrexham Amateur Radio Society will operate the station from the Brymbo Heritage Project, which is on part of the old Brymbo Steel Works.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday the Autumn Series data leg will take place between 1900 and 2030UTC. Using the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is immediately followed by the 432MHz UKAC, which uses all modes between 2000 and 2230UTC. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday, the IRTS Evening Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations sending their county.

On Thursday, the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000. This is also followed by the UKAC, running from 2000 to 2230UTC, using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the second 1.8MHz contest runs between 1900 and 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

On Sunday the 19th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

As forecast, last week saw auroral conditions and the Kp index rise to six as the result of incoming solar material from yet another coronal hole. The Aurora Borealis was even visible from Northern England and Scotland. Coronal holes are lower-energy areas on the Sun with open magnetic field lines that allow tonnes of material to escape and form a high-speed solar wind. Very prevalent at this point in the solar cycle, every indication is that this phenomenon will continue at least until 2019.

The unsettled geomagnetic conditions were a double-edged sword. Maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path climbed to more than 28MHz as the solar material first hit on Tuesday. But by Wednesday, at times the ionosphere was struggling to support signals much above 14MHz over the same distance. This continued well into Thursday.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the total absence of sunspots may continue, with the solar flux index around the 70 to 75 mark. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be better than last week, but still unsettled at times, with a maximum Kp index of three. This means MUFs may reach 28MHz at times, although 18 and 21MHz may be more reliable. However, there is evidence of more coronal holes on the SDO spacecraft’s extreme ultra-violet imagery, which suggests we have more of a bumpy ride than the NOAA figures predict.

For newcomers, this month continues to be a good one for long-haul DX on the higher bands so do keep a look out on 14MHz and above.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This Friday night and Saturday morning, the 17th and 18th of November, sees the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower. The shower is active throughout November and, with a peak zenith hourly rate of 15, it is one of the larger showers of the year. The shower radiant, the point in the sky from where the meteors seem to emerge, lies in the constellation Leo. It occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Use your favourite search engine to find the DL1DBC Virgo realtime meteor prediction page to find the best time and beam directions to work meteor scatter on VHF using this shower.

It’s hard to get too excited about the prospects for Tropo over the next week or so, apart from a chance of some weak high pressure over the southern half of the country. This may not amount to much of a lift for VHF operators, so that just leaves us with some options for rain scatter on the GHz bands. This will, like previous weeks, be due to heavy showers that form over the seas around the British Isles at this time of year. They are worth seeking out both day and night – just follow the bright echoes on the weather radars.

Moon declination goes negative at Moonset on Tuesday and losses are climbing this week. There is still plenty of time for EME contacts this lunar cycle before the Moon gets to apogee, its furthest point away, and its maximum southerly declination on Tuesday 21st.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 5th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • Contest opinions sought by IARU

  • 10GHz beacon back on the air

  • Want to host Train the Trainers?

IARU Region 1 has a new contest working group that is responsible for organising the future Region 1 contests. They want to know the opinion of the contester or the contest teams who send their log to the robot or to the national contest manager. They also want to hear from those who just give away points and do not send their log. As many people as possible are invited to give their views. The survey takes about 15 minutes to answer and will close on the 30th of November. To start a survey, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105A

The GB3LEX 10GHz beacon situated in Leicestershire was returned to service on the 15th of October. It is running at its licensed power using a new PA that became available thanks to the late G4HUP. Reports would be appreciated via the website at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk, via the DX cluster or on Beacon Spot.

The RSGB is looking for enquiries from clubs interested in hosting Train the Trainers during 2018. There are currently four slots available, spread over the year. We would be particularly interested in hearing from clubs in areas not yet served by an event. These include, for example, the North Wales and Flint area; the Midlands, within a 30 mile radius of Birmingham; the Penrith and Dumfries area, and the Bath and Salisbury area. For more information please contact David Evans, G0EVA by email to g0eva@aol.co.uk

The RSGB has released the first of its Strategy video updates. This short video was filmed by the TX Factor at National Hamfest. Top RSGB representatives talk about some of the ways the Society is engaging with radio amateurs, representing amateurs nationally and internationally, and also developing even better ways of communicating with them. Take a look at www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos – more videos will be released in due course.

The EMC Committee would like to thank all 1,200 radio amateurs who took part in the VDSL RFI survey. The results have been analysed and were presented at the RSGB 2017 Convention. To see the PowerPoint presentation, watch the video of the Convention lecture or take part in the survey go to the EMC Committee pages on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105B. There is still time to take part in the survey, so please do complete it if you haven’t already.

IARU Region 1 has released a new version of its VHF handbook. You can get a copy from the Resources section of the IARU website, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105C

The Spanish State Official Newsletter carried the new National Frequency Allocation Chart that contains some good news for Spanish radio amateurs. It included the new global 60m Secondary allocation, 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz, that was agreed at ITU WRC-15.

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

Today, the 5th of November, the West London Radio & Electronics Show, also known as the Kempton Rally, will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station, and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access ten minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall, RSGB Regional Team representatives, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and catering on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX, on 0845 165 0351.

Also today, the 5th, the Bush Valley Radio Rally takes place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady BT49 9DF. Talk-in will be on 145.400MHz. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3, with a free draw ticket. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments are available on site. Tables are free and should be booked with Jack on 0788 529 2545.

The Fog on the Tyne rally takes place on the Saturday the 11th of November at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Car parking is available and the entrance is on Whitehall Road. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be traders and RSGB bookstand and a junk stall. Catering will be available on site. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760 920.

As we announced some time ago the Great Northern Hamfest, originally planned for the 12th of November, has been cancelled.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Chas, NK8O will be active again as 5H3DX from Zinga, Tanzania from the 7th of November to the 4th of December. In his spare time he will operate CW and some PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via NK8O, direct only, see QRZ.com for instructions, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Members of the Mediterraneo DX Club will sign 9U4M from Burundi until the 17th of November. They will operate all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB, CW and RTTY. The QSL manager is IK2VUC.

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY will be operating as 3B8HC until the 18th of November from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049. Activity will be holiday style on the 80 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to NI5DX.

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ are on the air as as 3XY3D/p from Kassa Island, AF-051, during the month of November. Activity is on the 10 to 40 to 10m bands using mainly CW. QSL via F5OZC.

Sergio, IZ3NXC will be operating as 9A/IZ3NXC from Pag Island, EU-170, from the 7th to the 9th of November. Activity will be on he 10 to 80m bands using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IK3GES.

Now the special event news

Many amateur radio operators will use the 630m band on the 11th of November during a special operating event to commemorate the 1906 Berlin Treaty. On the 3rd of November of that year the Treaty made 500kHz the International Distress Frequency. Canadian and authorised US radio amateurs will operate from 472 to 479kHz, using CW. Some stations are expected to offer cross-band contacts, transmitting on 630m and listening on 160, 80, and 40m. Experimental operators, including WD2XSH stations and others who don’t yet have UTC approval, will operate in the 472-479kHz band or just outside of it, and there may be some operation on 500kHz proper. The Maritime Radio Historical Society will activate its KSM/KPH transmitter at Bolinas, California with special messages and bulletins.

Now the contest news

Ending its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 5th, the Marconi CW contest takes place. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 200UTC. It is followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Saturday the 11th, the Club Calls contest, otherwise know as the 1.8MHz AFS, takes place from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using CW and RTTY on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club information.

Next weekend is the WAE DX RTTY contest running from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2359UTC on the 12th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 3rd of November.

Last week saw more settled geomagnetic conditions and, although there were few sunspots, the ionosphere was able to offer DX contacts. The CQ Worldwide contest saw 15 metres and even 10 metres providing openings at times. With the solar flux in the low 70s it was the seasonal upturn, due to change in ionospheric chemistry, that was mostly responsible for the better conditions.

There is also evidence that coronal hole activity may be responsible for an increase in the ionospheric electron count. This shouldn’t be confused with the effects of a coronal mass ejection, when the earth is effectively blasted with a high-speed solar wind, which can lower ionisation levels and depress maximum usable frequencies.

NOAA issues what are called ALTEF3 warnings when energetic electron levels exceed a certain event threshold. HF propagation enthusiasts might want to experiment and see if these coincide with higher maximum usable frequencies and openings when the solar flux index remains otherwise low.

Solar activity is predicted to remain at very low levels next week with no visible Earth-facing sunspots at the time of writing. However, another coronal hole will become geoeffective and NOAA predicts that its effects could see the K index rise to five or even six from Tuesday the 7th to Friday the 11th.

Look out for the possibility of initial ionospheric enhancements, but also the likelihood of unsettled conditions and depressed maximum usable frequencies thereafter. However, an increased solar wind can often bring unpredictable ionospheric effects, so do check the upper HF bands for openings all week and keep an eye on the live ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The enhanced Tropo of last week saw some good VHF and microwave bands DX, but it will decline quickly as a cold front moves south and destroys the subsidence inversion. This weekend has a colder northerly flow controlling the weather. This means strong shower development around the coasts, especially of Scotland, Northern Ireland and eastern England.

These showers are driven by the warmth of the surrounding seas, whose temperatures change little from day to night. This can provide a 24-hour run of potential rain scatter on the microwave bands. You can track the showers on any rainfall radar to get the beam headings you need.

The next item for attention could well be the return of high pressure in the south late in the week, but this is not supported by all weather models, so check the charts after midweek for signs of a ridge building from the Azores high towards Biscay and southern UK.

The Moon reaches perigee on Monday and maximum declination on Wednesday. This brings low losses and long moon windows for EME, coinciding with microwave bands activity from Cape Verde this weekend until Tuesday.

There are no significant meteor showers this week, but the big Leonids shower is less than two weeks away, so focus on checking all your systems. You can continue to look around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. October 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 29th of October 2017

The news headlines:

  • Check you’re back on GMT

  • New IOTA website live

  • Fox-1 satellite launches soon

Today, October 29, at 2am, the UK reverted to Greenwich Mean Time, or UTC, by going back one hour to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime. The mornings will also be lighter, however the evenings will be darker but better for AM DX. Sunday the 25th of March 2018 is when the clocks will go forward again at 1am and British Summer Time begins.

The new Islands on the Air website and the software system that will run the IOTA programme in the future are now fully up and running. Users will be redirected from the old site to the new one and can log in using their existing credentials. Go to www.iota-world.org to learn more about the programme.

The next AMSAT satellite Fox-1 is scheduled to launch on the 10th of November at 0947UTC. It will carry a FM transponder with an uplink on 435.250MHz with a 67.0Hz CTCSS and a downlink on 145.960MHz. It will launch on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The Scottish Microwave Round Table will take place on Saturday the 4th of November at the Museum of Communication, Burntisland, Fife. There will be four talks on such subjects as a 10GHz station, 13cm SOTA, a 10GHz beacon and modifications to the DB6NT G2 transverters. The GM round of the UK Microwave Group Projects trophy will also take place. Booking is still open so go to www.gmroundtable.org.uk/registration to find out more.

On the 22nd of October, at 1546UTC, Alex, ZS6EME recorded the first-ever digital EME QSO with HB9Q on 10GHz. This is the first microwave EME QSO on such a high band from South Africa. They used the new digital mode QRA64D, while using only 50 watts at the feed of his 1.5 metre dish. Later, on the 23rd, Alex completed 10 more EME QSOs on 10GHz. On the 24th, he was able to make the first-ever South African digital EME QSO on 5.7GHz with PA3DZL at 1156UTC, as well as 7 more QSOs on 5.7GHz. Congratulations.

If your radio club is thinking of visiting Bletchley Park with a group of 12 or more in 2018, bookings are now being taken including an offer that comes with a private guided tour and more. Go to https://bletchleypark.org.uk/visit-us/groups to make your booking. If you’re not planning to go as part of a group, remember that RSGB Members can download a free Bletchley Park admission voucher from the RSGB website. Don’t forget the National Radio Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday every week. If you want to operate GB3RS, please bring a copy of your licence with you.

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 28th and 29th.

On the 5th of November the West London Radio & Electronics Show, also known as the Kempton Rally, will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station, and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access ten minutes earlier. There will be trade stations, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and catering on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX, on 0845 165 0351.

Also on Sunday the 5th, the Bush Valley Radio Rally takes place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady BT49 9DF. Talk-in will be on 145.400MHz. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3 with a free draw ticket. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments are available on site. Tables are free and should be booked with Jack on 0788 529 2545.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Two Canadian amateurs will operate as VY0ERC from the Eureka Amateur Radio Club station on Ellesmere Island, IOTA reference NA-008, until the 10th of November.

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY will be active as 3B8HC from Mauritius Island, AF-049, between the 4th and 18th of November. He will operate SSB and slow CW on 80-10 metres, with a focus on 80m. QSL via NI5DX, direct only, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Alain, F5OZC will be active from Guinea until the 1st of December. Look for 3XY3D/P to operate mainly CW from Kassa Island, AF-051, from the 2nd of November to the 1st of December. QSL via F5OZC, direct or via the bureau.

Luc, F5RAV and Gerard, F5NVF will be active as 3XY4D from Conakry, Guinea until the 6th of November. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on 80-10m. QSL via F5RAV, direct only.

Peter, DC0KK will be active as 4S7KKG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, from the 1st of November to the 25th of March. He operates mainly CW and digital modes. QSL via his home call, either direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World or OQRS on Club Log.

Thomas, OZ1AA will be active as 4W/OZ1AA from Dili, OC-148, in Timor Leste between the 1st and the 7th of November. He will be using 40-10 metres with a focus on CW and some FT8. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via OZ1ACB.

Babs and Lot will be active as CT8/DL7AFS and CT8/DL7ZG respectively from Sao Miguel, EU-003, in the Azores until the 10th of November. They will operate mainly SSB and digital modes on 80-10 metres. QSL via DL7AFS, direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

Hull is the UK’s City of Culture throughout 2017. Hull & District Amateur Radio Society has had the special event callsign GB17HCC on the air regularly and over 500 QSOs have been made so far. QSLs received via the RSGB Bureau will be replied to once all QSLs have been received.

Now the contest news

This weekend from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359UTC on the 29th, the CQ World Wide DX SSB contest takes place. Using all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Wednesday, the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4 character locator square.

Next weekend from 1400 on the 4th to 1400UC on the 5th, the Marconi CW contest takes place. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of October.

Last week was once again a mixed bag, with good HF openings at times, and depressed maximum usable frequencies at others. Quieter geomagnetic conditions on Sunday and Monday saw good openings up to and including 28MHz. But the arrival of solar material from a coronal hole on Tuesday saw much more unsettled conditions. An initial pre-auroral enhancement saw the good HF openings continue, but then there was bit of a roller coaster as the MUF rose and dropped as the K index fluctuated. In amongst this there was DX to be had with HK3C in Columbia and HP3SS in Panama romping in on 10 metres.

The daytime critical frequency was often above 7MHz, giving good inter-G contacts on 40 metres, although it often dropped back down, leaving the band only open to Europe.

Next week it currently looks like the sun is going to be more settled with no sign of coronal hole activity, at least in the first half of the week. There are currently two small sunspots visible on the solar surface and the prediction is the solar flux index will be in the high 70s or low to mid 80s.

If our prediction about the coronal holes is correct there should be settled HF ionospheric conditions for most of the week, with maximum usable frequencies at their seasonal norms. This means we could see openings up to and including 28MHz, although 14-24MHz may be more reliable. The lower bands should also offer some good DX with 40m and 80m coming into their own after dark. Hopefully this will be good news for the CQ World Wide SSB contest, which takes place this weekend, the 28th and 29th.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Moving into November often brings some settled high pressure weather and this year is no exception. There is likely to be a high pressure focus over southern UK from time to time for much of the week. So this is a good week to check your VHF station out and try some of those Tropo paths, especially south towards the continent and across Biscay towards Spain, the Azores and Canaries.

There will be periods when the weather turns more unsettled with a cooler northerly, especially down the North Sea. Showers at this time of the year can be quite active as a cold northerly air flow crosses the relatively warm water of the North Sea, so raising the possibility of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Moon declination goes positive again on Thursday and it is moving towards perigee a week today. Path losses will fall throughout the week so it’s time to start your EME activities again for another cycle.

Last week saw a few 50MHz Sporadic-E reports, so don’t give up completely on that mode, especially as we now have low-signal digital modes in our VHF DX toolbag.

There are no significant meteor showers this week, so focus on the early mornings around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. October 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 22nd of October 2017

The news headlines:

  • New NoVs for 146-146MHz

  • Anniversary GB2CW transmission for G3UKV

  • Jamboree on the Air still active today

All current 146 to 147MHz band Notices of Variation expire on Tuesday the 31st of October. Ofcom has agreed that the band will be made available for another year. However, to continue to use the frequencies you must obtain a new NoV. These are available, free of charge, from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/nov

Martyn, G3UKV will be making his 500th GB2CW transmission this coming Thursday, the 26th of October. He made his first transmission under GB2CW in February 2007, and comes on 80m on a frequency of 3605kHz every Thursday at 9am local time. He would welcome as many call-ins following the half hour Morse transmission as possible to celebrate the occasion.

This weekend will see many international callsigns on the air for the 60th Jamboree on the Air, where amateur radio and the Scouting movement get on the air. This year they are expecting around 1 million participants from around 150 countries. If you hear these young people on the air, please give them a call.

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB member who is currently (or will be starting) teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level and is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. There are two workshops in the near future, one at Worksop ARC on the 18th of November and the other in Southend on Sea on the 9th of December, Please send an email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com or nigel.m0ich@gmail.com respectively if you wish to take part.

There is a possibility that due to a combination of readers holidays, work commitments and the need for urgent antenna work at the QTH of MI1AIB, there may be no DMR readings of GB2RS for Region 8 on some Sundays during October and possibly early November. Other readings of GB2RS will take place as normal.

Amateur radio’s two newest bands came to life in the United States on Friday the 13th of October. Both the 472 to 479 kHz band and the 135.7 to 137.8kHz band are now available to US radio amateurs who have completed the application process.

The PJ7T DXpedition to St Maarten has been suspended. Hurricane Irma destroyed 95% of the infrastructure on the island and it will impossible to complete the DXpedition successfully. The team of Argentinian operators are looking at a different island and details will be announced later.

The RSGB has release 12 lectures from the 2016 Convention on to its YouTube channel. See www.youtube.com/theRSGB

Videos of the talks given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, held as part of the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes last weekend, are being made available on YouTube. The first is An introduction to Amateur satellites by David Johnson, G4DPZ and Carlos Eavis, G3VHF. The other presentations are expected to be uploaded in the coming days. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tj2rUsNpPs

The Bath-based Distance Learning course for the Advanced exam has achieved an 85% pass rate with over 500 passes to date. The Bath-based distance learning team will be running another Advanced amateur radio course from January until June. 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. To enrol contact Steve, G0FUW, via e-mail to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

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

Today, the 22nd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at The Volunteer Hall, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Doors open 11.15am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a bring and buy and refreshments. Admission is £2.50 – and please note that round pounds are no longer acceptable.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 28th and 29th. On the 5th of November, the Kempton Rally will take place at Kempton Park racecourse and the Bush Valley rally at the United Services Club in Limavady.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Keith, GM4YXI and Chris, GM3WOJ will be active as VK9CZ from Cocos-Keeling, OC-003, from the 24th of October to the 7th of November, including the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. They will operate SSB, CW and some RTTY on the 10 to 160m bands with two stations. QSL via N3SL and Logbook of The World, logsearch on Club Log.

Alex, UT5UY and Roman, UR0MC will be active as 4S7AYG from Sri Lanka, AS-003 until the 31st of October. QSL via M0URX's OQRS at www.m0urx.com/oqrs/ and Logbook of The World.

Ilya, R3XA will also be active as 4S7KLG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, until the 30th of October including an entry in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. He will operate mainly CW. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via EA5GL; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

John, W2GD will be active as P40W from Aruba, SA-036, until the 31st of October. Main activity will be during the CQ WW DX SSB Contest; before and after the contest he will operate some CW and be active on the 160, 30, 17 and 12m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct only to N2MM.

Now the special event news

Today, the 22nd, Watcombe Radio Club is running JOTA station GB3TBS for Torbay Borough Scouts at the Torbay District Scout Camp in Torquay from 10am to 1pm.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be operating JOTA and Jamboree on the Internet, JOTI, with Bangor West Explorer Scouts today, the at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU.

Perth Repeater Group is running a JOTA event with 1st Perthshire Pitlochry Scout Group today, the 22nd, 9am to 6pm. Operations will be at Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5BX.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is taking part in JOTA today, the 22nd, supporting the Coventry Minotaur Unit. GB0CMU will be on the air from The Scout Headquarters, Partidge Croft, Coventry.

Mid Ulster ARC will operate GB4PS today, the 22nd, for JOTA from 10am to 3pm from Portadown Scout Hall, 118 Mahon Road, Portadown BT62 3SF

Now the contest news

The Worked All Germany contest ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today. Using CW and SSB on 80 to 10m, the exchange is RST and serial number, with DLs sending DOK.

The 50MHz AFS contest takes place on 6m from 0900 to 1300UTC today, the 22nd. All modes can be used, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also starting at 0900UTC today, the UK Microwave Group 24-76GHz contest runs until 1700UTC. All modes can be used on the bands between 24 and 76GHz. RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

The RoLo 2 contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC today, the 22nd, using CW only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is RST plus the rolling locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

On Thursday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359UTC on the 29th, the CW WorldWide DX SSB contest takes place. Using all bands between 1,8 and 28MHz the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 20th of October.

The latter half of last week saw more settled geomagnetic conditions with the Kp index declining to one and even zero. This helped the HF bands enormously and there were openings up to and including 12 metres. The upper bands were full of signals, reflecting the better HF conditions associated with Autumn. Higher critical frequencies also meant that 40m, or 7MHz, was often open around the UK during daytime.

The solar flux index was in the low 70s as the sun’s disk was devoid of sunspots. A coronal mass ejection occurred on the far side of the sun, but it wasn’t directed towards Earth and so didn’t cause problems. This does suggest though that we could have sunspot, solar flare and coronal mass ejection activity in about week’s time. Next week it looks like we could suffer the effects of more coronal hole activity. The extreme ultra-violet image from the solar dynamics observatory or SDO spacecraft showed another equatorial coronal hole rotating into an earth-facing position for the weekend.

The enhanced solar wind from this could hit the Earth sometime around Monday the 23rd or Tuesday the 24th, with its effects lasting until a couple of days thereafter.

As always, this could bring short-lived ionospheric enhancements, so keep an eye on the higher bands, but ultimately the Kp index may rise and maximum useable frequencies could decline.

At the moment, the effects of coronal holes rather than sunspots are driving ionospheric conditions on the HF bands.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The week will start with a deep low moving across the UK, with strong winds and possibly some rain scatter options for the GigaHertz bands. Although the pattern remains unsettled in the north until later next week, there are signs that high pressure will begin to exert some influence in the second half of the week over southern areas. This means that from midweek, there is a possibility that southern UK, across to the continent and south past Biscay and Portugal towards the Azores, could experience some Tropo conditions to round the week off.

Remember that there’s always aircraft scatter to make DX QSOs on the UHF and microwave bands. A group often congregates on 1296.165MHz and the ON4KST microwave chat on a Wednesday evening to experiment with digital mode QSOs. This so-called “digifest” is usually announced on social media and the UKmicrowaves reflector.

The Moon reaches apogee on Tuesday and maximum negative or southerly declination on Wednesday, so losses are at maximum and moon windows at their shortest. This makes it a good week to try your hand at using the man-made satellites that are available for VHF stations to use.

There is just one minor meteor shower of little note this week, so focus on the early mornings around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. October 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 15th of October 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • BBC DG to open G8BBC shack

  • Upcoming Train the Trainers courses

  • Exercise Blue Ham on 5MHz

On Wednesday the 18th, BBC Director General Tony Hall will cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new G8BBC radio shack at Broadcasting House, London. The station, home of the recently formed London BBC Radio Group, will move on from test transmissions to full operation following a watch period of a few months during which the Master Control Room at BH were checking for any interference issues. It is hoped that the Director General will be able to pass a greetings message over the air to GB3RS at the RSGB's National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park, or GB2RN on HMS Belfast, depending on propagation conditions on the day. G8BBC will be active on HF bands and VHF, and hopes to expand operations further in the near future. 

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB Member teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level. It is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. Courses must be pre-booked. One is planned for the 18th of November at Worksop Amateur Radio Club. Contact Steve Hambleton, by email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com to book your place. Then on the 9th of December there will be a training session at Thames Amateur Radio Group in Southend on Sea. Email nigel.m0ich@gmail.com to book a place.

Cadet Radio Exercise BLUE HAM 17-2 is an HF radio exercise on the MOD/Amateur shared 5MHz band. It takes place on 21-22 and 28-29 October from 0800 to 2000UTC. Feedback received from previous Exercises has resulted in changes to the scoring system. Details are at https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

The RSGB Examination Standards Committee Report 2017 is available for download. It includes a submission about the Air Cadets Organisation Foundation equivalent exam. A comparison of the 2016 RSGB exam passes with the RCF figures for 2015 shows a fall in the number of passes at both Foundation and Intermediate levels. You can download the full 2017 Examination Standards Committee Report from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715a

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of the first of October. The top ten entities remain unchanged, with the top three being P5, North Korea, also known as DPRK, 3Y/B, Bouvet Island, and FT5/W Crozet Island. The complete DXCC Most Wanted lists is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715b and island-chasers will be pleased to hear that a team is planning to activate Bouvet Island, IOTA reference AN-002, early next year. We will report more news as it becomes available.

British Railways Amateur Radio Society is holding its AGM on Saturday 28th October at the Brunswick Inn at 1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU. This is almost opposite the railway station car park. Starting with an informal chat at noon, the AGM will commence at 1.15pm. The AGM is in a private, ground floor room. Ian G4EAN, the BRARS secretary, says that the BRARS committee is hoping that a good number of members will attend. For more information contact Ian Brothwell, G4EAN, via email to g4ean@brars.info or on 0115 926 2360. Membership of BRARS is open to anyone with an active interest in amateur radio and details are at www.BRARS.info

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

Today, the 15th, the Holsworthy ARS Rally takes place at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There is free car parking on site, with disabled access. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Howard, M0MYB by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com for more details.

Today also sees the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally at Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. There is car parking at the venue. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under-14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place. There is catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, 01964 533712 or by email to R106221@aol.com

A WADARC Junk Sale takes place on Wednesday 18th October starting at 7.30pm in the Jubilee Hall, Lancing Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing. There will be NO ENTRANCE FEE to non-WADARC members. All are welcome. The sale will include items from the estate of the late Bryan Philips, G3GVB. Most items can be viewed in advance on the club website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715c

On Saturday the 21st Carrickfergus Amateur Radio Club is holding its rally at Downshire Community School, Downshire Road, Carrickfergus BT38 7DA. Doors open 11am and admission is £3. Light refreshments will be available. All will be welcome. Details from Elizabeth Forde, via email to elizabethforde64@yahoo.com.

Next Saturday also sees Yeovil Amateur Radio Club’s 71st anniversary event at Sparkford Village Hall, Sparkford, Nr Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7ED. Admission is free and light refreshments will be available. There will be displays, computer controlled radio, SDR, Morse, spy sets and more. Ex members are welcome. For more information contact Bob on 01963 440 167.

Next Sunday, the 22nd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at The Volunteer Hall, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Doors open 11.15am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a bring and buy and refreshments. Admission is £2.50 – and please note that round pounds are no longer acceptable.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Janusz, SP9FIH, will be active again as E44WE from Palestine on 18-29 October. He will be active on 30, 15, 12 and 10m SSB, PSK63 and RTTY. He will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest on 15m. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or SP9FIH. See www.e4.dxpeditions.org for more information.

Flavio, IW2NEF will be active holiday style as 3B8/IW2NEF from Mauritius Island, IOTA reference AF-049, on the 16th to the 23rd of October. QSL via IK2DUW.

Martti, OH2BH and others will be active as 4S7BHG from Sri Lanka from 25 October to 1 November. They will focus on the low bands, and will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. QSL via OH2BH.

Steve, N6SJ will be active as A52SJ from Paro, Bhutan from the 12th to the 19th of October and again for one night on the 26th of October. This will be a Top Band-only operation, with activity on 1826.5kHz CW, or 1840kHz FT8 if conditions are marginal. QSL via home call; log search on Club Log.

Now the special event news

On 21st October, Members of Wrexham Amateur Radio Society will put on a Special Event Station during the open day at the Brymbo Heritage Project. Using the callsign GB1BSW they will be active on HF and VHF, looking for contacts in this country and all around the world. Feel free to pop along and have a go at talking to the world without wires, whether or not you’re licenced.

Solihull Amateur Radio Society will be running two Jamboree on the Air stations on 21 October. GB1NSS will be on the air for Nelson Sea Scouts in Solihull and GB0SDB will be active in Birmingham.

From the 20th to the 22nd Watcombe Radio Club is running JOTA station GB3TBS for Torbay Borough Scouts at the Torbay District Scout Camp in Torquay. Celebrating 60 years of Jamboree on the Air, the station will operate on Friday, before the official start of JOTA, from 7am to midnight. Saturday hours will be 9.30am to 8pm and on Sunday it’s 10am to 1pm. Scouts are expected to attend all three sessions and pass greetings messages. There will also be an amateur television station thanks to local members of the British Amateur Television Club. The first event in 1957 included an ATV station so this seems rather appropriate.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be operating JOTA and Jamboree on the Internet, JOTI, with Bangor West Explorer Scouts. Activity will be from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU. There will be a talk-in station and attractions include family activities and special interest groups. Contact Stephen McFarland, GB0GPF, on 028 9263 4315 or email greypointfort@hotmail.co.uk.

Perth Repeater Group is running a JOTA event with 1st Perthshire Pitlochry Scout Group next Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Operations will be at Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5BX. Contact Martin Hobson, GS0PRG, on 01796 472 140 or email martin.hobson@btinternet.com.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is taking part in JOTA next Saturday and Sunday, supporting the Coventry Minotaur Unit. GB0CMU will be on the air from The Scout Headquarters, Partidge Croft, Coventry.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX CW Contest ends its 24 hour run at 0800UTC today, the 15th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 1.3GHz UKAC from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series Data leg takes place from 1900-2030UTC. Using data modes only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is RST and serial number.

Thursday sees the 70MHz UKAC from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Germany contest takes place from 1500UTC Saturday to 1500UTC Sunday. Using CW and SSB on 80 to 10m, the exchange is RST and serial number, with DLs sending DOK.

Next Sunday sees three events. The 50MHz AFS contest takes place on 6m from 0900 to 1300UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also starting at 0900UTC next Sunday, the UKuG 24-76GHz contest runs until 1700UTC. All modes can be used on the bands between 24 and 76GHz. RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Finally for this week, the RoLo 2 contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on Sunday 2030UTC, using CW only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is RST plus the rolling locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of October.

Last week saw a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. At the beginning, quiet geomagnetic conditions saw the HF bands alive with DX. With the K index hovering between zero and one, the ionosphere was showing what it can do during a typical Autumn day. There were openings up to and including 12 metres, with DX being worked as far afield as India, Cocos Keeling Island, the Falkland Islands, and Sao Tome and Principe off the west coast of Africa.

Unfortunately, and as we predicted, it didn’t last as a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole, moving at more than 500 kilometres per second, impacted the earth on Wednesday the 11th. This sent the K index soaring to five and, after a brief ionospheric enhancement, maximum useable frequencies started to plummet.

By Thursday the MUF over a 3,000km path was struggling to exceed 14MHz as the geomagnetic storm continued. However, another pre-auroral enhancement, probably due to a surge in the incoming solar wind stream, saw 10 metres open to DX briefly on Thursday afternoon, with Saudi Arabia booming in.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the range 74 to 80, reflecting where we are in the declining solar cycle. Ionospheric conditions may be unsettled this weekend following the final throes of the coronal hole solar wind stream, but should then improve.

Geomagnetic conditions are forecast to be quite settled after Tuesday the 17th, with a maximum K index of two. If correct this means that reliable HF DX may return, giving good openings up to 21MHz, perhaps even 24MHz, for the rest of the week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We are stuck in a very unsettled weather pattern and it seems like the north-west of the country is most likely to experience the more disturbed weather conditions with strong winds and a risk of gales. None of these things are good for Tropo, but we may see some good options for rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

We have nearby high pressure over the continent and this should be a player at first over this weekend. It will decline early next week and any temporary Tropo is only likely to be available from southern Britain, favouring paths towards the Continent.

Meteor scatter conditions should be better this week, with the Epsilon-Geminids shower on Wednesday and the larger Orionids, peaking sometime in the early hours of Saturday. Interestingly, the Orionid meteor shower is one of the showers created by debris from Comet Halley.

You’d better get your QSOs in with the 3DA0MB eight-band EME DXpedition to Swaziland early next week. Moon declination goes negative again on Wednesday and the moon reaches apogee on Thursday, with highest losses. As the sun and moon are close on Thursday, noise will also be an issue on VHF. At least it’s a daytime moon and gigahertz band dish feed changes can be done without a torch!

More details of 3DA0MB are available on the HB9Q logger and moon net.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 8th. October 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 8th of October 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Foundation and Intermediate exams going online

  • Please keep emergency frequencies clear

  • Two Train the Trainers courses announced

An online option for Full examinations was launched in March 2017. Clubs, exam centres and candidates have all given very positive feedback. A recent Exam Group meeting approved the roll-out of online Foundation and Intermediate exams. From the 1st of November, the RSGB HQ Exams Department will accept applications for online Intermediate exams and, from the 2nd of January 2018, you will be able to apply for an online Foundation exam. To bring consistency to the application process, a notice period of ten working days will apply to every exam from the 1st November, regardless of level or whether it is online or paper-based. All examinations, both online and paper, will still be held at Exam Centres and invigilated in exactly the same way as now. When applying for an exam you must state whether electronic, paper or a mix of examination type is required. Online exams reduce paperwork for invigilators and provide immediate feedback to the candidates. More online administrative tools are in the pipeline to assist Examination Secretaries. Applications for paper examinations will continue as before.

Tropical Storm Nate is now threatening to dump flooding rains over portions of Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center. An amateur radio emergency net has been activated in Costa Rica. Amateurs not involved in the storm emergency are asked to avoid interfering or operating near storm nets. The frequencies likely to be used are 3.752MHz, 7.24MHz and 14.302MHz. 40m is the main HF band for traffic. Other nets active in the region could be using 7.117MHz, 7.090MHz and 7.098MHz.

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB Member teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level. It is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. Courses must be pre-booked. Each has a maximum of 25 places, allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. One RSGB Train the Trainers event is planned for the 18th of November at Worksop Amateur Radio Club. Contact Steve Hambleton, by email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com to book your place. On the 9th of December there will be a training session at Thames Amateur Radio Group in Southend on Sea. Email nigel.m0ich@gmail.com to book a place. Courses run from 9am to 5pm, with a break for you to eat your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee are provided.

GB17YOTA returns this December for YOTA month. Applications are coming in from clubs across the country so apply soon if you want to be involved. Allocations will be made by the end of October. Email yota.month@rsgb.org.uk to find out more or to receive the application form.

The VHF Contest Committee has opened a consultation to help set the rules for the 2018 series of contests. Through its earlier consultation, it has already agreed to change the scoring system for the UK Activity Contests to the Nordic System, but this exercise asks some wider questions. If you are a VHF Contest participant, please find a few minutes to complete the survey. It is online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0810A and remains open until 2359UTC on the 29th of October. Your help will be much appreciated.

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

Today, the 8th, the 44th Blackwood ARS rally will be held at Rougemont School, Newport, Gwent NP20 6QB. There is free parking on site, including disabled spaces. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and a Bring & Buy. A raffle will be held. There are talks and lectures during the day, and catering is available on site. Contact Mike Rackham, GW4JKV, on 01495 226 149.

The RSGB Convention, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, takes place on Friday to Sunday of this week, the 13th to the 15th. If you haven’t already pre-booked, tickets will still be available on the door at Kent’s Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kent’s Hill Park, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ. There are talks for all interests and a full programme is available on the website, www.rsgb.org/convention

Next Sunday, the 15th, the Holsworthy ARS Rally takes place at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There is free car parking on site, with disabled access. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Howard, M0MYB by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com for more details.

On Sunday the 15th, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will be held at Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. There is car parking at the venue. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under-14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place. There is catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, 01964 533712 or by email to R106221@aol.com

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

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

Jose, EA5IDQ will be active as S9CQ from Sao Tome, IOTA reference AF-023, from the 12th to the 21st of October. He will operate SSB and RTTY on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via his home call, either direct, via the bureau or Logbook of The World.

Craig, VK5CE will be active as VK5CE/8 from North Island, OC-198, on the 12th to the 15th of October. He will operate SSB on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres with a large array of vertical and beam antennas. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or via VK5CE, either direct or via the bureau. The log will be uploaded after the DXpedition, as Craig won’t have phone or internet access while on the island. See https://oc198.wordpress.com for details.

John, MM0VEG will be active as 8Q7BI from the Maldives, AS-013, until the 16th of October. He will operate exclusively on 20 metres, using SSB if conditions are good, or PSK31 if they are poor. QSL via his home call, direct or bureau, and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

Nicola, I0SNY will be active on the HF bands as BY1DX/I0SNY until the 18th of October. QSL via IZ3KVD direct or 9A5URI via the bureau.

Stan, LZ1GC will be active as H40GC from Temotu Province, Nendo, OC-100, until the 20th of October. He is on CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, his home call either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World. See www.c21gc.com/ for more information.

Now the special event news

Members of the Scarborough Amateur Radio Society will again be attending the North Yorkshire Moors Railway annual World War II weekend at Pickering. This year the event is on the 13th, 14th and 15th of October. All are welcome to come along to the marquee in the station yard, where period radio equipment will be on display. Special event station GB2YMR will also run throughout the weekend on 40 and 80 metres.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX SSB contest ends at 0800UTC today, the 8th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Ending at 1900UTC today, the 8th, is the Worked All Britain HF Phone contest. Using the 14 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number, WAB area and Book number.

Today, the 8th, the DX Contest runs from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday, the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using CW only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

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

Next weekend, from 0800UTC on the 14th to 0800UTC on the 15th, the Oceania DX CW Contest uses the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of October.

Last week saw sunspot activity remain fairly stable, with the solar flux index hovering in the upper 80s. There were no solar flares and so no associated coronal mass ejections either. On the whole, geomagnetic conditions were a little more settled than they have been of late and other than a K index of four on Monday the dial sat mostly between one and three.

These more settled conditions, coupled with the expected seasonal uplift in ionospheric propagation, meant there was DX to be had. Maximum usable frequencies climbed to more than 24 MHz at times, although 21MHz was perhaps a little more reliable.

A quick look at the International Beacon Project frequency on 21.150MHz saw the South Africa, Israel and New York beacons audible at times. The Russian and Madeira beacons also made a good showing on both 14.100MHz and 18.110MHz. The five watt ED6YAJ beacon in Majorca on 28.235MHz was even audible for hours on Thursday, with few other signals on the band. Beacons are always useful tools to get a quick snapshot of HF conditions.

Critical frequencies over the UK have struggled to get much above 6.2MHz at times, which means 80 and 60 metres remain the main bands for near vertical incidence skywave or short skip contacts around the UK.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline further into the low 70s as the current crop of sunspots rotate off the disk. Stormy geomagnetic conditions are predicted for Wednesday the 11th to Sunday the 15th of October, thanks to a recurrent coronal hole. If this comes to pass we would expect the best DX to occur in the first half of the week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The next week or two looks very much like an autumn sequence of unsettled weather, with low pressure dominating the charts throughout this week and next. There may be brief periods when a ridge puts in an appearance in southern Britain, but this is likely to be transient and not a strong Tropo signature. Of course, such conditions become a test of all those summer antenna jobs, so this is a good time to check that all the ropes and guys are secure.

The strong jet stream at times over the coming week would have been useful for Sporadic-E in the summer season, but is of little value at this time of the year.

There are three minor meteor showers this week. The Draconids is today, the Southern Taurids on Tuesday and the delta-Aurigids on Wednesday. All of them have just single-digit zenithal hourly rates, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts on the lower VHF bands.

The moon reaches perigee on Monday and maximum declination on Thursday, so a good week for EME. Look out for OK1VVT, QRV from Morocco on 144MHz as CN2R, and OK1DFC in Ceuta operating from the QTH of EA9LZ, on 70, 23, 3 and 6cm. More details on the HB9Q logger and moon.net.

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

 

- Older Posts »