Sunday 2nd November 2014
The news headlines:
Extra 1MHz on 2m now active for experimenters
Confusion over Cornish K prefix
New 70cm beacon in Northern Ireland
Friday October 31st marked the start of the 146 to 147MHz experiment in the UK. The band is only available to UK Full licensees, via a Notice of Variation. You can apply for your NoV via the RSGB website under the Operating tab, look for Licensing and NoVs. The additional spectrum has been made available on a temporary basis to encourage amateurs to experiment and test new communications schemes and systems, rather than to provide for ‘more of the same’. An initial band plan and further information is available on the RSGB website.
The RSGB has received a significant number of enquiries expressing confusion and concern about the unexpected allocation of the secondary prefix “K” for Cornwall. As a result, the Board has written to Ofcom asking them to review their decision and consult on the changes that they are proposing.
GB3NGI, the first of the new UK 70cm beacons, is now operational on its IARU-aligned frequency of 432.482MHz. GB3NGI is located on an excellent hilltop site in Northern Ireland at IO65VB and is licensed for 250W erp on a 125 degree bearing. It transmits both CW and JT65B. Early reports already indicate 500km coverage across parts of the UK and Ireland. Further information is at www.qsl.net/gb3ngi/ and reception reports and map are on www.beaconspot.eu/
The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operation from American Samoa is expected to be underway from November 2 and continue for about 12 days. W1AW/KH8 operations are expected to take place from two locations — from the station of Uti Gandy, KS6FO and the late AH8LG, and from the Maliu Mai Beach Resort on the beach on the southwestern part of the island, which has hosted other KH8 operations. The international team will begin W1AW/KH8 operations from the two sites once all the antennas have been put up and/or repaired. Plans call for three or four stations on all bands from 1.8 to 28MHz.
Have you ever thought that radio exam questions could be better written? Would you like to help strengthen the RCF question bank? An exam questions workshop will take place in Bath on Saturday 6th December. The aim of the workshop is to enable issues to be discussed openly so that attendees gain confidence in writing new questions on their own. There will be a couple of short presentations on what makes a good question and some examples of things that can go wrong. Attendees will be asked to bring some draft questions with them and share them with the group for peer review. Having gained some practice it is hoped attendees will submit further questions afterwards. RSGB Book tokens are available for a number of accepted questions. Attendance is free for RSGB members. Anyone interested in attending should contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW via email@example.com
To celebrate the 7 November release of the film Interstellar, Warner Bros Pictures have teamed up with the Slooh Community Space Observatory for a 2-hour journey into space using your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It all starts at 7pm today, 2 November. For full details go to www.mediapromos.co.uk/interstellar/
The RadCom Editor has provided material from the RSGB archives for the Science Museum video about early radio technology. Part of the new Information Age exhibit, the film is about the London radio transmitter 2LO that changed our world and marked the birth of British broadcasting. You can watch the video and find out more by going to www.sciencemuseum.org.uk, search on Information Age and click on ‘broadcast’.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The Chelmsford Ideas Festival runs until 2 November. Amongst the highlights is a talk by Professor Marconi, the grandson of Marconi. Jim, 2E0RMI and Pete, M0PSX gave presentations in the Ideas Hub on The World of Amateur Radio from 10am to 4pm on Friday 31 October.
There are no rallies taking place this weekend in the diary, but on 9th November the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at the Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors having access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now for the news of special events
Look out for OL90OK from 1st to 15th November to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first amateur radio contact in Czech Republic, which took place on 8th November 1924.
Also keep an ear open for special event station IY1IEY that will be on the air between 1st November and 31st December to commemorate the experiments conducted by Marconi from his yacht Elettra between 1919 and 1936. Operations will be on all of the HF bands including 30, 17 and 12 metres. QSL IK1QBT direct.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
9M2SE will be on the air from Pangkor Island, IOTA reference AS-072, on 8 and 9 November, operating SSB and CW on the 10 to 40m bands. They will be using two 100 watt transceivers, two 3-element Yagis for 10 and 15m, a vertical for 20m and a junior G5RV for the 10 and 40m bands.
K2HVN will be active stroke VO9 from Bermuda, NA-005, from 3rd to 10th November. He plans to operate 17 and 20 metres using CW and SSB and 30 metres on CW only. QSL via his home address.
A team of experienced French operators will be activating Tromelin Island, AF-031, as FT4TA until 10th November. They plan to have 4 stations on the air for 10 days on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL via F1NGP. Tromelin is at No 10 in the most wanted DXCC lists.
UA3IPL will be active as stroke JW from Spitsbergen Island, EU-026, for 4 months starting 30th October. His operation will be on the HF bands using slow speed Morse, SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. QSL via RW6HS direct.
Joel, F3CJ, is on a trekking holiday in the Nepal until 4th November and will be signing 9N7CJ.
Toshi, JA8BMK will be in Nepal until 20th November. He will operate holiday style on all bands using the callsign 9N7BM. QSLs go via his home call.
Now the contest news
On Tuesday the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.
On Saturday the 8th the Club Calls contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club code.
The WAE DX RTTY contest takes place for 48 hours next weekend, the 8th and 9th. It’s the last of this year’s WAE series. Everyone can work everyone. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 31st of October.
Giant sunspot region 2192 has now disappeared around the back of the sun and luckily it didn't produce any major coronal mass ejections to upset HF conditions while it was visible. The region was, however, the source of numerous solar flares over the past two weeks, which caused a number of sudden ionospheric disturbances or fadeouts. When these occur it is still worth checking the higher HF bands, like 28MHz, since absorption is less at higher frequencies.
Solar Flux Index levels this past week have been in the wide range of 217 to 150. The SFI is now lower, but conditions will remain good, as long as the K index remains low.
The smoothed sunspot number for November, for use in HF prediction programs like VOACAP, is currently 69.
For HF contacts around the UK, 7MHz remains the best option during the day, with the critical frequency falling after dark. 80m may be a better option in the evening.
For paths to the East Coast of North America, the optimum working frequency should be 18 or 21MHz in the afternoon with a reliability of around 80%. Contacts on 28MHz should also be possible with a reliability of about 75%.
And now the VHF and up propagation news. The weather in the coming week will be very unsettled with a large area of slow-moving low pressure near northwest Scotland, followed by a second major low late in the week. These will produce strong winds at times and generally preclude enhanced tropospheric propagation. However, intense convection of cold air over warm seas will produce large cumulonimbus cloud and heavy showers, which may give some rain scatter opportunities on the upper GHz bands, chiefly near western coasts.
A weak ridge of high pressure may transit the country midweek and could develop temporary temperature inversions, which would marginally improve tropo prospects, although these are likely to be very minor. Lower solar disturbance means a low probability of VHF auroral propagation.
We will begin to see the onset of the Taurids meteor showers, which peak on the 11 and 12th November, albeit with a low zenithal hourly rate of around five. Remember that the best time for random, non-shower, meteor scatter contacts is around dawn.
And that's all for this week from the propagation team.