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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th September 2016

The news headlines:

  • Former RSGB President SK

  • National Hamfest this week

  • DXCC checking at Hamfest

Sad news to begin this week’s broadcast. Former RSGB President Terry Barnes, GI3USS has recently become a Silent Key. Terry served as RSGB President in 1992. He was the first GI callsign to hold the position for around 25 years. Terry had been a volunteer for the Society for some years before his election to President, and put this experience to good use during his term of office. He was also the President of the Radio Amateur Old Timers’ Association (RAOTA) from 1994 until 1998. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends around the world.

The National Hamfest takes place on the 30th of September and the 1st of October at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground. With several international traders as well as the UK’s largest dealers and representatives from the main manufacturers, there will be plenty for visitors to enjoy. For those looking for the extra bargain there will also be a large car boot sale area. For more details go to www.nationalhamfest.org.uk/

DXCC card checking will be available at the National Hamfest, on the UK 6m Group stand. They can also check your documents for your Logbook of the World, so bring your licence and an original photo ID such as photo driving licence or passport, with the same name on both. These documents don’t have to be sent to the USA. If you plan to bring a lot of cards, more than 25, please drop them off as soon as you arrive. Please note the paper application forms are no longer used, you must use the online tool to make your application and bring the resulting printout with the cards.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons. Sam Jewell, G4DDK will be speaking on Saturday on the secret life of the transverter. This will cover the basics of transverters, including designs, performance trade offs, buy or build and interfacing. Transverters can be used on any amateur radio band, so the talk is equally applicable to LF, HF, VHF and microwaves. On Sunday, Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG will be explaining Space Weather that bombards the Earth, sometimes with dramatic effects on our technology including how we are building resilience for our infrastructure. Cathryn is a professor at the University of Bath who has recently qualified as a radio amateur. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for tickets, bookings and details of the event.

The Convention Buildathon will provide attendees with the opportunity to build a 40m transceiver based on a popular Kanga UK design. Construction is simple and easy and will not pose any difficulties even to the novice kit constructor. The basic build should be completed in a half-day session, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the Convention attractions. Please note that participation in the Buildathon is charged at £29.95, which does not include the cost of admission to the Convention but does include use of all the equipment required and the 40m transceiver kit. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for details.

The RSGB is pleased that Susan Buckle, the Astronaut Flight Education Programme Support Manager at the UK Space Agency will be speaking following the Gala Dinner at the RSGB Convention. She will be talking about how the RSGB and the ARISS UK team worked closely with her and other UK Space agency colleagues for the ten amateur radio school contacts with Tim Peake. If you have already booked your tickets and want to reserve a table for friends, send an email to elaine.richards@rsgb.org.uk with the names of those wishing to share a table.

For young amateurs, there’s something new at the RSGB Convention. If you are under 21 you have free admission, although young people under 16 must be accompanied. Just turn up at the door with some form of ID that shows your age.

The annual RSGB Construction Competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any Member of the RSGB, or group of Members, is eligible to enter. The closing date for entries is the 30th of September and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention. This year the competition is being sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons with prizes of £50 of vouchers for each category winner and £100 for the winner of the prestigious Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy that will be awarded to the best overall entry. See the RSGB website for full details of the various categories, where you will also find an entry form.

The RSGB’s Training and Education Committee created a new role earlier this year, to help support amateurs with disabilities. This followed discussions with the RAIBC and the role includes liaising between the two organisations, giving consideration to disabilities more widely, from time to time making recommendations in this area to the TEC Chair and helping formulate responses to RSGB Board requests. If you are interested in this role, please contact Philip Willis via email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

Region 13 is looking for a Deputy Regional Manager for the Nottingham/Derbyshire area, which is District 136. If you are an RSGB Member and think this role would suit you, contact the Regional Manager, Jim Stevenson, G0EJQ by email to rm13@rsgb.org.uk

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

The Chippenham & District Amateur Radio Mini-Rally takes place today, the 25th of September, at the new venue of Kington Langley Village Hall, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. The doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 30 minutes earlier. Admission is £2, with under 16s free. There is on site car parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale area and refreshments will be available. Details from Brian, G6HUI on 0772 224 2741.

The National Hamfest takes place on the 30th of September and the 1st of October at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. More details are at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.

The Laugharne Tin Shed Rally takes place on the 1st of October in the Tin Shed Experience, Clifton St, Laugharne, Carmarthen SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 2pm. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Refreshments are available including bacon sandwiches. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

The British Vintage Wireless Society Auto Jumble takes place on the 2nd of October at The Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Details are online at www.audiojumble.co.uk

On the 2nd of October the Blackwood ARS Rally takes place at Rougemount School, Llantarnham Hall, Malpas Road, Newport NP20 8QB. The venue has free car parking. A talk-in station will be on 145.550MHz. Doors open at 10am to 4pm, with disabled access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and a lecture programme. There is catering available on site. Details available from Mike Rackham, GW4JKV on to 01495 226 149.

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

Alejandro, LU9VEA will be on Easter Island, IOTA reference SA-001, working as CE0Y/LU9VEA between the 26th and 30th of September. Listen for him on a variety of HF bands, working SSB. Send QSL cards to IK2DUW.

Stan, LZ1GC and Emil, DL8JJ will operate as H44GC from Guadalcanal, OC-047, from until the 3rd of October with two stations on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK. Emil then returns to Germany, while Stan moves on to Nendo Island to operate as H40GC from the 4th to the 17th. He then returns to Guadalcanal for another stint until October 21. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, LoTW.

Kasimir, DL2SBY will be active as S79KB until the 2nd of October from Praslin Island, AF-024 and from the 2nd to the 8th Eden Island. Look for him on the HF bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL via DL2SBY direct and ClubLog OQRS for direct and bureau.

Josep, EA3BT and Nuria, EA3WL will be on the air from the 26th of September to the 1st of October as S9BT and S9WL, respectively, on the 6 to 40m bands using SSB, RTTY and some CW. QSL both calls via EA3BT.

Aaron, VA1AXC is on the air as CY0/VA1AXC from Sable Island, NA-063 until early November, mostly on 20 metres during his spare time, using SSB only. QSL via JE1LET.

Now the special event news

Enigma Reloaded 2016 takes place until the 1st of October. The main goal of the event is to promote amateur activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in World War II. From the 17th to the 30th of September, stations registered as Activator stations will be on the air. On the 1st of October those stations will exchange predefined CW messages. Full details and rules are at www.enigma-reloaded.it

Riviera ARC from Devon will be activating Babbacombe Cliff Railway for Railways on the Air today, the 25th of September. They will be covering the HF bands and 2m / 70cm, and expect to be busy on 40 / 20 metres. They have requested the usual callsign of GB4BCR from Ofcom.

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, until the 28th of September. They are celebrating 75 years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com.

The 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest will be commemorated by the Phoenix Amateur Radio Club, starting with the Battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge until the 26th of September. Callsigns will be MX0PHX and MX0YHA, and operations will be subject to prevailing conditions on the HF bands. More information is online at www.phoenixarc.org.uk

Poole Radio Society celebrates its 40th Anniversary in October. GB40PRS will be on air during the month at locations in and around Poole. On the 1st to 3rd of October the callsign will be on the air from Kingstone Lacy.

GB16IYL will be on the air from the 3rd to the 10th of October for the BYLARA International YL Convention taking place in Milton Keynes.

On the 29th of September, Torbay Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB6GEO from Kents Cavern Torquay as part of the 7th International conference being held on behalf of the UNESCO Global Geoparks. They will be active on HF and VHF for the day. More information on QRZ.com

GB4DUK will be operating from the 1st of October to raise awareness for Dementia & Dementia UK. A special QSL card will be available for all HF and VHF contacts. More information is on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

The CQWW DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 25th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

A UK Microwave Group contest on 5.7 and 10GHz takes place today, the 25th, from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on those two bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The first leg of the ON Contest takes place on 6m from 0700 to 1000UTC today, the 25th. Work Belgian stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. ON stations will also send club codes, eg MCL, which count as multipliers.

Also today, the 25th, the Practical Wireless 4m Contest runs for four hours from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

The UK IE 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC on Wednesday. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

On Thursday the 80m Club Sprint runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. Using CW only the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On Saturday the 1st of October the 1.2/2.3GHz trophy takes place from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes on these two bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz-248GHz contest runs from 1400 on the 1st to 1400UTC on the 2nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Oceania DX SSB contest runs from 0800 on the 1st to 0800UTC on the 2nd. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. There are sections for single-op and multi-op stations. To encourage LF activity the points for QSOs are different on each band. Work only Oceania – that’s VK, ZL and Pacific islands.

The IARU 432MHz to 248GHz contest runs from 1400UTC on the 1st to 1400UTC on the 2nd. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain HF Phone Contest takes place next Saturday and Sunday, the 1st and 2nd, from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using the 14, 21 and 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 23rd October. Full details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk and please note that all contacts to all countries, even to non WAB members, count for points.

On the 2nd of October the International DX Contest runs from 0700 to 1900UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 14 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. There are Open, Restricted and QRP categories, plus you can enter single mode or mixed mode. Countries, UK excepted, and Call Areas act as multipliers, and QSO points are loaded to encourage operating on higher frequencies.

The ON Contest takes place from 0600 to 1000UTC on the 2nd. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band the exchange is signal report and serial number with ON stations giving their club code too.

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

This week saw the solar flux index increase from 80 to 86, but poor ionospheric conditions due to a high-speed solar wind stream dominated the earlier part of the week. The K index hit five on the 20th but, as predicted, geomagnetic conditions improved slightly towards the end of the week.

On the bright side, while some days have seen very poor HF conditions, there have been highlights. The Chilton ionosonde has indicated that the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path has exceeded 21MHz at times. And better autumnal conditions mean that there is DX around. This is an ideal month for working South Africa and South America on 18, 21 and even 24MHz at times.

East-West paths may be better on 14MHz, and will improve as we head into October. And don’t ignore 30m at the moment, which may deliver some surprises. Eighty and forty metres are also starting to come into their own at dusk and after sunset.

Our best advice is look for days that are geomagnetically quiet. That is, when the K index is zero, one or two. This may be tricky as NOAA predicts very unsettled geomagnetic conditions for eight days from September 28th. So work your best DX in the first half of this week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Prospects for tropospheric openings are poor this week, with low pressure near to the north and west of Britain bringing autumnal weather. For much of the period this will mean some quite strong winds at times and little chance of tropo developing. There may be some rain scatter options, although this could be difficult with fast-moving weather systems.

There is likely to be high pressure over the continent and this will place the better tropo conditions over the near continent and across Biscay at times, and probably not accessible for most of the country. The Sporadic-E season seems to be over, so it’s back to random meteor scatter as the main DX mode on the lower VHF bands.

Moon declination is heading negative again later this week so EME moon windows will shorten as the week goes on. Losses are also increasing as the moon heads out to apogee. But don’t despair of the poor VHF conditions. There are plenty of workable satellites in orbit to give you your fix of VHF DX, so why not give them a try? Go to the AMSAT-UK website for information.

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

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th September 2016

The news headlines:

  • National Hamfest fast approaching

  • Marconi Fellowship lectures

  • RSGB Convention workshops

The National Hamfest takes place on the 30th of September and the 1st of October at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground. Traders from the UK, Europe and the Far East will be in attendance making it a truly international show. The National Club of the Year 2015 winners will be presented with their trophies at 2pm on Friday the 30th by RSGB Board Member Len, GM0ONX and Jeff Stanton from Waters & Stanton who are the sponsors of the competition. The free raffle will also be drawn immediately afterwards. For more details go to www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The 2016 Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellowship Lectures will take place at 5pm on Thursday the 27th of October in the Weston Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford. Two Visiting Fellows will be giving their 30-minute lectures on Marconi and the uses of wireless in post-war years and Marconi’s early Latin projects over the South-Atlantic. The lectures are free to attend but you must be registered in advance. Go to http://tinyurl.com/jzdzrdv to register for your ticket.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons. There are workshops you can attend on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Dave, G4HUP is running three workshops throughout the day showing the techniques and tools needed to construct a project with surface mount devices. You can register for a session at http://huprf.com/huprf/smd-workshops-2016/ On Sunday there is a drop in workshop on the Raspberry Pi and Red pitaya run by Mike, G4WNC. It’s designed to give practical guidance to help you get going and will be running a number of demonstrations. You can bring your Pi along to this session and a handout will be available. For tickets or other information go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event.

In preparation for the 2017 IARU Region 1 Conference, the RSGB has updated its consultation forums so that UK amateurs can suggest topics on matters such as HF/VHF operating or technical recommendations, band plans, contests, EMC and amateur radio development. The initial phase is an open call and will be followed by further opportunities as UK papers are developed, or subsequently when all meeting papers are available. There are separate discussion forums covering EMC, HF, VHF/Microwave and more general matters. We would particularly appreciate initial topics by the middle of October, in time for the annual RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting on the 29th of October. More general help on the Forum system including registration is at http://rsgb.org/consultations If you wish to take part in the consultation go to www.rsgb.org/iaru-2017-consult.

The UK Space Agency’s Astronaut Flight Education Programme Support Manager Susan Buckle will be giving a presentation at the RSGB Convention on Saturday the 8th of October. Along with Ciaran Morgan M0XTD she will talk about the ten UK ARISS amateur radio school contacts with astronaut Tim Peake GB1SS during his Principia mission on the International Space Station. An RSGB video celebrates these historic school contacts and the range of linked activities the schools have enjoyed. You can view this on the RSGB’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/thersgb

From the 3rd to the 10th of October the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association will be hosting the very first International Young Ladies Radio Convention to be held in this country. There are ladies and their partners booked into the Novotel in Milton Keynes from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Iceland, Scotland, Sweden and the USA. More details are at www.bylara.org.uk

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

The 28th Great Northern Hamfest takes place today, the 18th of September, at Barnsley Premier Leisure Complex, Queen's Road, Barnsley, S71 1AN. The venue has easy access for disabled visitors and the Hamfest is in one large hall. Doors open at 10am and traders have access from 7.30am. Admission is £3.50, while children under 14 accompanied by an adult are free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There is no Bring & Buy. Details from Ernie, G4LUE on 07984 191 873.

The Weston-super-Mare Radio and Electronics Rally is on today, the 18th, at The CAMPUS Community Centre, Highlands Lane, Weston-super-Mare BS24 7DX. There is free parking, level access and catering. Doors open from 10am to 3pm and admission is £3, with under 16s free. There will be trade stands, group exhibitors, an auction of surplus equipment, a homebrew competition and lectures. For more details call Mike, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

The Crawley Microwave Round Table takes place today, the 18th, at Tilgate Forest Rec Centre, Hut 18, Tilgate Forest, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9BQ. It’s a day of demonstrations, presentations, equipment and component sales, all microwave related. Refreshments will be available.

The World Association of Christian Radio Amateurs and Listeners is holding a Fellowship Weekend at the Elim Conference Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4DG on the 23rd to 25th of September. The guest speaker on Saturday evening will be Don Field, G3XTT, the Editor of Practical Wireless. Details from Shirley on 01924 229 630.

DIGICON 16 will take place on the 24th of September at Portadown Golf Club, 192 Gilford Road, Portadown BT63 5LF. Doors are open from 10.30am to 5pm and admittance is £3. The day’s agenda will consist of talks on digital voice and other digital modes. More information from Philip Hosey, MI0MSO on 07849 025 760.

The British Amateur Television Club Convention is taking place on the 24th and 25th of September at RAF Museum Cosford, near Telford. Details can be fund at www.batc.org.uk

The Chippenham & District Amateur Radio Mini-Rally takes place on the 25th of September at the new venue of Kington Langley Village Hall, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. The doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 30 minutes earlier. Admission is £2 with under 16s free. There is on site car parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and refreshments will be available. Details from Brian, G6HUI on 0772 224 2741.

The Belgium Amateur Radio & Computer Rally will be held on the 25th of September in La Louvière, Belgium. Doors are open from 9am to 4pm with trade stands from the UK, Holland, Germany, France and a flea market. The website at www.on6ll.be has all the relevant information.

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

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

Dieter, DK4QT, Thomas, DL6TK, Kalle, DM3BJ and a few others starting will be on Madeira from the 19th to 28th of Septemer active as CT9/callsign. They plan to operate on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. They also plan to be in the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which is taking place on the 24th and 25th as CR3W. Send QSLs to CR3W via DL5AXX. Send QSLs to all others via their home callsigns.

Stu, K4MIL will be on the air as KG4SS from Guantanamo Bay from the 14th to 21st of September. He will be on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home call.

Andy, DL3YM will be on the air as 5X8B from Entebbe in Uganda from the 20th of September to the 1st of October while on a work assignment. Activity will be in his spare time from the campus of the Nkumba University in Entebbe on the HF bands using mostly CW with some SSB occasionally for demonstration purposes. QSL to his home callsign.

Gab, HA3JB will be on the air as T42CH from Havana in Cuba from the 20th to 25th of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

Ralf, DK8FA is transmitting as D44TUJ from Boa Vista, IOTA AF-086, until the 28th of September while on holiday. Activity is mainly on the 17 and 20m bands using digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

A group of operators will be operating as D66D from the 18th to the 30th of September. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via OK6DJ.

Now the special event news

Enigma Reloaded 2016 takes place until the 1st of October. The main goal of the event is to promote amateur activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in World War II. From the 17th to the 30th of September, stations registered as Activator stations will be on the air. On the 1st of October those stations will exchange predefined CW messages. Full details and rules are at www.enigma-reloaded.it

Riviera ARC from Devon will be activating Babbacombe Cliff Railway for Railways on the Air on the 24th and 25th of September. They will be covering the HF bands and 2m / 70cm, and expect to be busy on 40 / 20 metres. They have requested the usual callsign of GB4BCR from Ofcom.

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, until the 28th of September. They are celebrating 75 years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com.

The 950th anniversary of the Norman Conquest will be commemorated by the Phoenix Amateur Radio Club, starting with the Battles of Fulford and Stamford Bridge on the 20th to the 26th of September. Callsigns will be MX0PHX and MX0YHA and operations will be subject to prevailing conditions on the HF bands. A downloadable certificate is available on the website for all contacts. More information about the activities can be found at www.phoenixarc.org.uk

Now the contest news

Today, the 18th, the 2nd 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on today, the 18th, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC, the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number.

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

A new RSGB contest, the International Autumn Sprint CW, contest runs for four hours on the 24th and is modelled on the former EU Sprints. If you initiate a call by sending CQ, QRZ, up 2kHz etc you are permitted to work only one station on that frequency. You must then move at least 2kHz before you call another station or before you initiate a call again. The use of UK Contest Callsigns is permitted in all the International Sprints. It runs from 1700 to 2100UTC using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands. The exchange is both calls, serial number and name.

The CQWW DX RTTY contest takes place for the whole 48 hours of the weekend of the 24th and 25th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

A UK Microwave Group contest on 5.7 and 10GHz takes place on the 25th from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on those two bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The first leg of the ON Contest takes place on 6m from 0700 to 1000UTC on the 25th. Work Belgian stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. ON stations will also send club codes, eg MCL, which count as multipliers. There are four legs to the contest most of them on other bands, next month and in each of them the winners from each country receive an award, so long as they make 25 or more valid QSO.

Also on the 25th the Practical Wireless 4m Contest runs for four hours from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all mods 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 September.

The solar flux index followed the NOAA prediction this week, declining to 85 by Thursday. Geomagnetic conditions were regrettably not as settled as we would have liked, with the K index hitting three at times thanks to a continued high speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. Luckily, no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections were observed and there were no major solar flares.

This weekend, and early next week, NOAA predicts geomagnetic conditions will continue to be unsettled, with a maximum planetary K index of four at times. Next weekend, the 24th and 25th, may however be a little more settled.

The sun is looking fairly spotless at the moment and the solar flux index is predicted to be a lacklustre 75 to 80.

Band conditions continue to improve, although maximum usable frequencies are being suppressed by the lack of sunspots.

The good news is we have the autumnal equinox this week, and so are at an optimum time for North-South paths on HF, such as UK to South Africa and South America.

September can also offer some good opportunities for grey-line propagation on the lower bands around sunrise.

Andy, M0NKR reports 40m has been good to the Pacific this week. He also worked Ken, T32AZ on East Kiribati on 20 metres, so it is all about being on the right band at the right time.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Late summer is the classic high pressure season of the year. Together with early morning mist and fog, there are plenty of reasons why VHF and UHF Tropo should be on your operating schedule.

At the end of the hot weather last week, conditions fell off a little, but there were some huge thunderstorms, which produced rain scatter right down to 1.3 GHz.

This week there will be high pressure just to the south of Britain and partially over southern areas at times. This should offer good Tropo across the southern half of the country down to the south over France and Germany overnight as the surface cools.

Daytime heating usually destroys any surface night-time temperature inversions, which are needed for Tropo. The downside is that there may be a series of lows tracking over the north, which means winds and rain and no Tropo.

It’s the late show for EME operators in the early part of this week with moonrise in the early evening, getting later as the week progresses.

Lengthening Moon windows push moonset out to early afternoon at the end of the week. Lowest losses will occur early in the week.

The Orionids meteor shower continues, with no large peak, into November, so continue to look out for enhanced meteor scatter conditions this coming week.

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

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th September 2016

The news headlines:

  • British ARDF gold medal

  • Apply for ISS Schools Contacts

  • Latest Hamfest news

Eight British competitors attended the ARDF World Championships in Bulgaria in the name of the RSGB. The National Anthem sounded at the award ceremony for Day 2 of the championships. David Williams, M3WDD took the gold medal in the Men's 50 year plus age group Sprint race. This is only the second gold medal won at a World Championships by an RSGB Member. The RSGB would like to add its congratulations to David and thank him and the other competitors for their efforts.

Following on from the successful ARISS contacts carried out during the Tim Peake Principia mission to the International Space Station, schools from across Europe are being invited to submit applications to be part of the ARISS programme for September 2017 to January 2018. As so clearly demonstrated by the UK contacts, schools extensively benefit from a ‘direct’ contact where a full amateur radio ground station is established at the school and used in the contact with the astronaut on the ISS. This is the preferred approach within the UK and to assist schools, the AMSAT UK/ARISS UK Operations team have a fully portable satellite station that can be used as part of the contact, thereby allowing schools to concentrate on the educational aspects of how a contact can inspire students. Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD, is the RSGB Representative to ARISS as well as the UK Operations co-ordinator and is available to give advice and support to those planning an application. Early interaction with Ciaran can help avoid many of the pitfalls of ARISS selection process. The deadline for applications is in November 2016, with the selection of the successful schools being made in December. If you are interested in putting in an application, contact Ciaran as soon as possible by email to ciaran.morgan@rsgb.org.uk

For the first time, DXCC card checking will be available at the National Hamfest on the 30th of September and the 1st of October. This is being undertaken by volunteers on the UK 6m group stand, where you can also have your identity documents checked for your Logbook of the World application. Your photo driving licence or passport do not then need to be copied and sent to the USA. If you plan to bring a lot of cards, more than 25, please drop them off as soon as you arrive. DXCC checking is not the focus of the stand but is a service to fellow amateurs. Please note the paper application forms are no longer used, so use the online tool to make your application and bring the resulting printout with the cards.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. One of the highlights will be a talk on Space Weather by Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG. Space Weather bombards the Earth, sometimes with dramatic effects on our technology. Many people will already be familiar with solar events disrupting our HF communications and Cathryn will describe why Space Weather is important to the UK and how we are building resilience for our infrastructure. She will discuss the question, what happens if we have a really big solar storm? Are we prepared? Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event. The provisional programme is on the website, along with a detailed list of lectures and descriptions on the various talks.

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2016, now is the time to send in your nomination. Please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU by e-mail to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 16th of September.

The annual RSGB Construction Competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any Member of the RSGB, or group of Members, is eligible to enter. The closing date for entries is 30 September and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention. This year the competition is being sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons with prizes of £50 of vouchers for each category winner and £100 for the winner of the prestigious Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy that will be awarded to the best overall entry. See the RSGB website for full details of the various categories, where you will also find an entry form.

Free and unbureaucratic short-term cross-border amateur radio operation is set to be expanded to more countries outside Europe: non-CEPT countries can now join the framework of the CEPT licence and the CEPT Novice licence in a much simplified process thanks to an initiative of IARU Region 1 to change the relevant recommendations. Full details of these changes can be read at www.iaru-r1.org

The Grimsby UHF FM repeater, GB7GBY, operated by the Grimsby Amateur Radio Society for the last 30 years, was turned off at the end of August. It was removed because the multi storey flats where it was sited are due to be demolished next year. The new licence for a site in Cleethorpes is awaited. The new NoV holder is Dave, M0KWK. If you have D-Star in the North East Lincolnshire, try the new D-Star repeater GB7GC while GB7GY is off the air.

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

Today, the 11th, sees the Torbay Communications Fair at Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission is £2. There is plenty of car parking on site. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and onsite catering.

Today, the 11th, is the Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance will be £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering will be available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY, 0777 573 8200.

Membership of British Railways Amateur Radio Society is open to anyone with an interest in amateur radio and railways. BRARS is hosting the International Federation of Railway Radio Amateurs Congress in Derby from the 15th to the 19th of September and it will attract amateur radio & railway enthusiasts from around Europe. For more information go to www.BRARS.info

The Fog on the Tyne Rally takes place on Saturday the 17th of September 2016 at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, junk stall, RSGB bookstand and plenty of traders. Car parking is available.

The 28th Great Northern Hamfest takes place on the 18th of September at Barnsley Premier Leisure Complex, Queen's Road, Barnsley, S71 1AN. The venue has easy access for disabled visitors and the Hamfest is in one large hall. Doors open at 10am and traders have access from 7.30am. Admission is £3.50, while children under 14 accompanied by an adult are free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There is no Bring & Buy. Details from Ernie, G4LUE on 07984 191 873.

The Weston Super Mare Radio and Electronics Rally is on the 18th of September at The CAMPUS Community Centre, Highlands Lane, Weston super Mare BS24 7DX. There is free parking, level access and catering. Doors open from 10am to 3pm and admission is £3, with under 16s free. There will be trade stands, group exhibitors, an auction of surplus equipment, a homebrew competition and lectures. For more details call Mike, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

The Crawley Microwave Round Table takes place on the 18th of September at Tilgate Forest Rec Centre, Hut 18, Tilgate Forest, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9BQ. It’s a day of demonstrations, presentations, equipment and component sales, all microwave related. Refreshments will be available.

Looking ahead, from the 3rd to the 10th of October the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association will be hosting the very first International Young Ladies Radio Convention to be held in this country. There are ladies and their partners booked into the Novotel in Milton Keynes from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Iceland, Scotland, Sweden and the USA. More details are at www.bylara.org.uk

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

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

Listen for Marcel, PD5MVH, working as PD5MVH/p from Ameland Island, IOTA reference EU-038, until the 17th of September. He will use the 40, 20 and 10m bands, using CW, SSB and JT65. Send QSL cards to his home callsign, direct or via the Bureau.

Uli, DL2AH is active from Pitcairn Island, OC-044, using the callsign VP6AH until the 25th of November. He is operating holiday style on SSB and digital. Send QSL cards to his home call.

Ken, KH6QJ is operating from East Kiribati using the callsign T32AZ until the 15th of September. Listen for him on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m using SSB. Send QSL cards to his home call.

Ralf, DK8FA is operating as D44TUJ from Boa Vista Island, AF-086, between the 15th and 29th of September. He will be heard mostly on 20 metres using digital modes. Send QSL cards to his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. Ralf does not accept eQSL or LoTW.

Bob, VK2BOB will be on the air as 5W0BOB from Upolu Island, OC-097, until the 17th of September. Activity will be holiday style on 40 and 20 metres using SSB. QSL direct to home call.

Jim, KB1ZSQ is on the air as 9X0JW from Kigali until December 2017. Activity is in his spare time on 80 to 10 metres using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Joshua, VA7YM is on the air as A31YM from Eua Island, OC-049, from the 13th to the 21st of September. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL direct to EA5GL.

Now the special event news

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, until the 18th of September. They are celebrating 75 years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com.

Enigma Reloaded 2016 takes place from the 17th of September to the 1st of October. The main goal of the event is to promote amateur activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in World War II. From the 17th to the 30th of September, stations registered as Activator stations will be on the air. On the 1st of October those stations will exchange predefined CW messages. Full details and rules are at www.enigma-reloaded.it

Now the contest news

The WAE DX SSB contest ends its 48 hours run at 2359UTC today, the 11th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that European stations work non European stations only.

Today, 11th, from 0900 to 1700UTC the UK Microwave Group’s contest is on the 24 and 47GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Sprint running from 1900 to 2000UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On the 18th, the 2nd 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 18th, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC, the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number.

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

Last weekend saw very unsettled geomagnetic conditions due a large coronal hole across the sun’s equator. This impacted SSB Field Day, with the K index being pushed as high as four and five, sparking visible auroras at high latitudes and depressed maximum usable frequencies. The solar flux index hung tantalisingly close to 100 during the week, but couldn’t quite make it.

The good news is that better autumnal conditions are beginning to show, with the noon daytime critical frequency as measured by the Chilton ionosonde exceeding 5.6MHz on Wednesday. This indicated a maximum useable frequency of up to 21MHz on longer paths. There have also been some late-season Sporadic-E openings on ten metres, giving weak but useable short 28MHz skip to the south of France and Spain.

Next week the USAF predicts the solar flux index will start at around 90, decline slightly, and then peak at more than 100 next weekend. The extreme ultraviolet image from the SDO spacecraft on Thursday showed no earth-facing coronal holes, so fingers crossed we may have more settled conditions this week. NOAA, however, does predict a K index of four for Tuesday the 13th.

Mid-September often marks the start of better HF conditions, so if you have been put off over the last few months, now may be the time to switch on the radio.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We had some very good Tropo including a GM to EA8 contact last week and we start the coming week in a similar vein, after a brief cooling off period. It seems that, although high pressure will be nearby over the continent for the start of the week, the unsettled weather over Scotland and Ireland will edge south-east as the days pass. Even so, there may still be high pressure near to southern areas and over Biscay to offer paths towards Spain and Portugal for stations in the west.

Heading into autumn we usually hit the key time for overnight and early morning mist and fog. These conditions are perfect for Tropo, so make use of the visual clues and you’ll get some more new squares into the log.

The Moon is at minimum declination tomorrow so EME Moon windows will start to lengthen and losses will fall to minimum at perigee on the 18th.

The Orionids meteor shower continues with no large peak into November, so continue to look out for enhanced meteor scatter conditions this coming week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th September 2016

The news headlines:

  • New newsreaders wanted

  • Brits in ARDF World Championships

  • RSGB Convention news

The GB2RS Manager is looking to recruit volunteer newsreaders in the South West for 2m broadcasts, particularly in the Hampshire area. Readers are also wanted in Scotland, particularly around Ayrshire, again for 2m broadcasts. If you are interested in these volunteer posts, please contact the GB2RS Manager, Ken, G3VBA, by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

Eight British competitors are going to the ARDF World Championships in Bulgaria in the name of the RSGB. They flew out yesterday, the 3rd of September, to Varna on the Black Sea Coast. The first of the four competitions is the FoxOring and takes place today, the 4th. It is a combination of direction finding and orienteering skills. This is followed on Monday by the sprint race, with the 80m and 2m classic 5 transmitter races on Tuesday and Thursday. The RSGB has entered teams for the M40, M50 and M70 categories and an individual for the M60 category. The best chance of a podium place is in the highly competitive M50 category where there are two talented competitors at the lower end of the age group; David, M3WDD and Andrew, G4KWQ. The team are all self funded and fly back at the end of the week.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. The draft programme is on the website and there’s a full programme of events on both days with everything from DXpedition lectures to Raspberry Pi workshops and a Buildathon to microwave lectures. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event. The provisional programme will be on the website next week, along with a detailed list of lectures.

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2016, now is the time to send in your nomination. Your nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year and has some real achievements to show, for example, a good total of new countries worked or some serious HF DXpedition activity. This prestigious award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention. Please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, QTHR, or by e-mail to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 16th of September.

The UKFM Group (Western) AGM will take place on Monday the 5th September at 8pm in the Warrington ARC HQ, Bellhouse Lane, Grappenhall, Warrington, WA4 2SG. It’s important that as many members of the group as possible attend the AGM as part of the discussion will centre around membership numbers, membership fees and ultimately the possible closing down of some of the Group’s repeaters.

A team led by Dave, EI9FBB will be activating Europe's 2nd Most Wanted IOTA until the 6th of September. The team will be on the air from Lunga Island, which is EU-108, using the 80 to 6m bands. There will be four stations operating CW and SSB. Using the callsign MS0UKI, the 6-man team also includes EI5GM & EI6FR. See www.eu108.wordpress.com for full information.

Three International Space Station crew members are scheduled to return to Earth on Tuesday the 6th of September. NASA Television will provide coverage of their departure from the orbital outpost and return home, beginning at 2pm in the UK. Check out the full NASA TV schedule and video streaming information at: www.nasa.gov/nasatv

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

Today, the 4th, Telford & District ARS are holding their annual HamFest. This is held in the World Heritage location of Ironbridge Gorge, at its Enginuity site. There will be numerous traders and exhibitors as well as an RSGB Information and Book stand. A special feature this year is a presentation by Noel Matthews, G8GTZ about amateur radio on the ISS. More information from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

Next Saturday, the 10th, the Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally will be held at Caister Lifeboat Station, Tan Lane, Caster on Sea, Norfolk, NR30 5DJ. Doors open from 9.30am to 3pm, with traders gaining access from 8am. Admission is free and the venue has free parking and disabled access. All proceeds go to Caister Lifeboat. Contact Zane, on 0771 121 4790 for further details.

Next Sunday, the 11th, sees the Torbay Communications Fair at Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission is £2. There is plenty of car parking on site. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. There is also catering on site.

Also next Sunday is the Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance will be £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering will be available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY, 0777 573 8200.

Looking ahead, from the 3rd to the 10th of October the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association will be hosting the very first International Young Ladies Radio Convention to be held in this country. There are ladies and their partners booked into the Novotel in Milton Keynes from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Iceland, Scotland, Sweden and the USA. More details are at www.bylara.org.uk

On Sunday the 18th of September the Microwave Round Table will be hosted by Crawley ARC. It will be a day of demonstrations, presentations, equipment and component sales, all microwave related. 

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

Bob, VK2BOB, will work from Samoa, OC-097 as 5W0BOB between the 10th and 17th of September. Listen for him on the 20 and 40m bands using mainly SSB. His log will be uploaded to Club Log and QSL instructions are on QRZ.com.

Gordon, K7TRB, will use the callsign 7P8VA from Maseru in Lesotho between now and the 5th of November. He will be using the 80 to 10m bands and possibly on 6m as well. Listen for him on SSB and datamodes. Send QSLs to his home callsign, direct, or by the Bureau.

Alain, F8FUA will be on the air as FK/F8FUA from Lifou Island, IOTA OC-033, from the 5th to the 12th of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.

Pasi, OH3WS will be on the air as OJ0W until the 10th of September from Market Reef, EU-053. Activity will be on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Ken, KH6QJ is on the air as T32AZ from Kiritimati Island, IOTA OC-024, until the 15th of September. Activity is on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, until the 18th of September. They are celebrating 75 Years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com.

GB0APS will be on the air today, the 4th, from 1pm to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX, operating mainly on 40m SSB. Admission to the museum is £3.50.

On the 4th, the Radio club of Binche will put ON44WAR on the air to commemorate the Belgian Resistance in World War Two, especially those of the Refuge B 40 in Waudrez. The timetable of the activities is at www.on7ry.be

South Essex ARS will put GX4RSE on the air on the 10th from the War Memorial Hall, High Street, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 7RB. There will also be Morse keys and sounders for visitors to try and test their skill with information on the International Space Station, amateur radio videos and information on how to get licensed.

Otley ARS will be taking part in the Amateur Radio British Scientists Award 2016 by commemorating the life and works of Sir Edward Victor Appleton. The main event will consist of a display and information on Sir Edward’s life and work at the home of OARS, Clifton Village Hall, Otley, LS21 2ES on the 10th from 10am to 4pm. During the day, the radio shack will be open to the public.

Now the contest news

SSB Field Day takes place for 24 hours over this weekend ending at 1300UTC today, the 4th. Like its CW counterpart, this contest has Open and Restricted sections, although the antenna limitations are different, so please check the rules beforehand. It runs on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy also takes place for 24 hours this weekend and ends at 1400UTC today, the 4th. It is hotly contested in the Open category, but there are four other categories. Three of them are for single ops, so there are opportunities for all to strive to do well. Running on 2m from 1400 to 1400UTC using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 144MHz Contest takes place at the same time this weekend. It coincides exactly with the RSGB 144MHz Trophy contest. For those taking part in the former there’s no need to enter the latter, because your entry will be automatically submitted for you unless you specify that you don’t want to enter the IARU event. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Overlapping the last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy contest and then continuing for one hour on its own, the fifth and final 144MHz Backpacker Contest takes place today, Sunday the 4th from 1100 to 1500UTC. In the Backpackers there are two permitted power levels, 3W and 10W. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest takes place for the whole 48 hours this weekend ending at 2359UTC today, the 4th. UK stations taking part in SSB Field Day will find it helpful to have a suitable number to give them, because All Asian stations want to be sent the operators’ age, not a serial number. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and age, although YL operators can send 00.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone Contest takes place today, the 4th of September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and Worked All Britain square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 25th of September. It helps if stations, including mobiles, please try to find out their IARU Locator in addition to their WAB Area, as this contest coincides with part of the RSGB contest. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the UK EI CC that runs from 2000 to 2100UTC using SSB on the 80m band. The exchange is your 4 character locator square.

Next weekend, the 10th and 11th, the WAE DX SSB contest runs for the whole 48 hours. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that European stations work non European stations only.

On the 11th from 0900 to 1700UTC the UK Microwave Group’s contest is on the 24 and 47GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

This week brought a glimpse of better things to come. Andy, M0NKR reports he worked VP6J Pitcairn Island on twelve metres and the maximum useable frequency was often above 21MHz earlier in the week. The downside was, as predicted, periods of unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the K index hitting four at times and even six on Friday. But, looking on the bright side, as we enter September we are now heading towards better autumnal HF conditions in the northern hemisphere. The ionosphere is starting to cool and there is a shift towards more monoatomic and fewer diatomic species in the F2 layer. These are easier to ionise so we should start to see maximum usable frequencies increase. But we really need calmer geomagnetic conditions too, so look out for lower K indices for better propagation on the higher HF bands.

Next week may see the solar flux index increasing thanks to large sunspot group number 2585, which is rotating into position on the solar surface.

The US Air Force predicts the Solar Flux Index will be around 105 this weekend, tailing off to 70 by the end of the week. Geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled at the beginning of the week, but improving by next weekend.

The smoothed sunspot number for September, for use with VOACAP-based prediction programs, is 35.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This week’s weather will be largely dominated by high pressure, meaning that we’ll be getting a chance to try some VHF and UHF Tropo. In fact, for much of the coming week high pressure will extend across much of Britain and, at times, there should be some good quality temperature inversions to cause ducting over quite long distances.

Remember, Tropo is not a fleeting signal path like Sporadic-E, but can last for hours or even days, with some variability. It is often better at higher frequencies, so try the GHz bands and UHF first, then move down to VHF. The positioning of the high should allow contacts from the UK to Scandinavia and down across Biscay to Spain, as well as within the UK itself. This is a chance to test out your station. Don’t rely on a repeater to do the work for you, go simplex and try other modes like CW and SSB.

Moon declination is negative all this week, meaning shorter moon windows. Add this to the Moon’s apogee on Tuesday, bringing the highest losses, and EME opportunities will be more limited.

The Orionids meteor shower is spread over many months between late August and mid November, so continue to look out for improved meteor scatter conditions this coming week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th August 2016

The news headlines:

  • Italian hams aid earthquake response

  • 60m and 630m for Latvian hams

  • ARISS proposals sought

Following the magnitude 6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy on the 24th of August, Italian radio amateurs are active in the emergency response. Please keep 7060kHz clear, along with other Emergency Centre of Activity frequencies in the 80 and 40m bands for emergency communications within Italy. No external assistance is required at this time. The Italian radio amateur groups are following their planned response with their government. Any requests for information on missing persons should be made via the Red Cross or other recognised relief organisations.

Latvian amateurs have two new bands following the introduction of their new amateur radio licence on the 9th of August. Access has been allowed to the new WRC15 60m, or 5MHz, allocation from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with a power of 15W EIRP. 472 to 479kHz in the 630m band has also become available with a power of 1W EIRP. Both bands are subject to a narrow transmit bandwidth of 800Hz and are permitted to Category A licence holders only.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program is seeking proposals from schools and formal or informal educational institutions and organisations to host amateur radio contacts next year with ISS crew members. The window to accept proposals opens on the 1st of September and the deadline to submit a proposal is the 1st of November. ARISS anticipates that contacts will take place between July and December 2017. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. The online GB2RS has a link to the application process.

This year’s International YL Convention takes place between the 3rd and the 10th of October at the Novotel Hotel, Milton Keynes MK13 7RA. Ladies from USA, Canada, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and India are already booked in, some with their partners. A full programme of events will take place. Details can be found at www.bylara.org.uk or from Carol, 2E1RBH via email to carolhodges1@btinternet.com.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. The early bird booking discount for weekend packages and day tickets has been extended to the end of August, so don’t miss out, go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event. The provisional programme will be on the website next week, along with a detailed list of lectures.

On Saturday the 10th of September there will be many Churches and Chapels on the air from all over UK, some in rare Worked All Britain squares. The northernmost church on the UK mainland will be on the air, as will, for the first time, the most northerly church in the UK, on the Isle on Unst in Shetland. Operation will be mainly 40m SSB from around 10am. There’s still time to register a station, go www.wacral.org for information.

If you are planning to sit any of the UK amateur radio exams at the RSGB Convention in October, please note that they must be booked in advance. The deadline for the Advanced exam booking is the 9th of September and the Intermediate and Foundation exam deadline is the 23rd of September. Practical assessments, where necessary, must be completed before the exam. Please book your exams by email to exams@rsgb.org.uk. USA exams are also available on Sunday the 9th of October. Please book via email to g3zay@btinternet.com

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

Today, the 28th, the Milton Keynes ARS rally takes place at The MK Irish Centre, Manor Fields, Watling Street, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HX. It’s opposite Dobbies Garden Centre. There will be a talk in station. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and local clubs. A licenced bar and catering will be available on site. More details from Roy, G8RCK on 0786 667 3192.

On Monday the 29th of August the Huntingdonshire ARS Annual Rally takes place at the Ernulf Academy, St. Neots PE19 2SH. Further info from rally organiser Malcolm Hirst on 01480 214282.

Telford & District ARS are holding their annual HamFest on Sunday the 4th of September. This is held in the World Heritage location of Ironbridge Gorge, at its Enginuity site. There will be numerous traders and exhibitors as well as an RSGB Information and Book stand. A special feature this year is a presentation by Noel Matthews, G8GTZ who is Chairman of the British Amateur Television Club, and was also ARISS TV Team Leader for the recent Principia project of school amateur radio contacts to the International Space Station. His presentation is entitled Amateur Radio on the ISS. More information from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

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

Two amateurs from Japan are operating as VP6J from Pitcairn Island, IOTA reference OC-044, until the 3rd of September. Activity is on 160m to 10m operating CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to JF2MBF. Following their departure on the 3rd, a German amateur, Uli, DL2AH, arrives and will be there until the 25th of November.

Carl, DU6/OE9MON is active from Panay Island, OC-129, until the 2nd of September. QSL via LZ1JZ.

William, K9HZ is on the air as J68HZ from Labrelotte Bay, Castries, IOTA NA-108, until the 11th of September. Activity is on 160 to 6m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

Tom, KC0W will be operating CW from Vanuatu where he will sign YJ0COW until the 21st of September. Send QSL cards directly to his home call.

David, OK1DBS and Josef, OK1XC will be on the air as JT1DBS and JT1XC, respectively, until the 24th of September in Mongolia. The first week they will be active from Ulaanbaatar, and for the remainder of the time they will be QRV as JT1DBS/3 and JT1XC/3, respectively, from Batshireet. QSL all calls to home calls.

Now the special event news

Houghton–le-Spring ARC and Wearside Electronics ARS are operating from Shildon Railway Museum today, the 28th, using the callsign GB6MOB. Operation will be on HF and VHF/UHF. Visitors are invited and entry into the museum is free, although donations are welcome.

GB100E will be commemorating the rescue of the crew of the Endurance by Ernest Shackleton in August 1916. Activity will be until the 31st of August at the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre. More information is at www.RedKiteRadio.org.uk

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, from the 3rd to the 18th of September. They are celebrating 75 Years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com

GB2ATC will be operational on the 3rd of September from 10am to 4.30pm and will be manned mainly by cadets from the Orsett Hundred Squadron, supported by members of the Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club. The station will be located at the Orsett Show Ground, just outside Grays in Essex.

GB0APS will be on the air on the 4th of September from 1 to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX, operating mainly on 40m SSB. Admission to the museum is £3.50.

Now the contest news

The Irish IRTS 2m Counties takes place from 1300 to 1500UTC today, the 28th. In this contest QSOs with EI and GI are the only ones that count for points. Each of the 32 Irish counties is a multiplier. Using the 2m band only, SSB and FM, the exchange is RTT and serial number, with EIs also giving their county.

Today, the 28th, also sees the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on the 30th of August from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

SSB Field Day takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th. Like its CW counterpart, this contest has Open and Restricted sections, although the antenna limitations are different, so please check the rules beforehand. It runs from 1300 to 1300UTC on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy, which takes place for 24 hours on the 3rd to the 4th, is hotly contested in the Open category, but there are four other categories. Three of them are for single ops, so there are opportunities for all to strive to do well. Running on 2m from 1400 to 1400UTC using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

For 24 hours over the same weekend the IARU 144MHz Contest takes place. It coincides exactly with the RSGB 144MHz Trophy contest. For those taking part in the former there’s no need to enter the latter, because your entry will be automatically submitted for you unless you specify that you don’t want to enter the IARU event. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Overlapping the last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy contest and then continuing for one hour on its own, the fifth and final 144MHz Backpacker Contest takes place on Sunday the 4th from 1100 to 1500UTC. In the Backpackers there are two permitted power levels, 3W and 10W. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest takes place for the whole 48 hours of the weekend of 3rd-4th of September. UK stations taking part in SSB Field Day will find it helpful to have a suitable number to give them, because All Asian stations want to be sent the operators’ age, not a serial number. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and age, although YL operators can exchange 00.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 4th of September from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and Worked All Britain square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 25th of September. It helps if stations, including mobiles, please try to find out their IARU Locator in addition to their WAB Area, as this contest coincides with part of the RSGB contest. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

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

This week was a mixed bag in terms of the sun and HF propagation. The solar flux index hovered around the 80 mark, but there was a geomagnetic disturbance on Tuesday evening that sent the K index up to five for more than six hours. This prompted warnings that aurora might be visible from lower than usual latitudes.

There are signs that the summer HF doldrums are starting to wane a little. The daytime critical frequency, as measured by the Chilton Digisonde near Harwell, peaked at more than 6MHz on Tuesday afternoon, bringing some signs of life on 15 metres. This continued to increase during the early evening, but was probably due to the early positive phase of the subsequent geomagnetic and ionospheric disturbance caused by plasma from a coronal hole. It does go to show that you never quite know how HF propagation may pan out, so it is worth keeping an eye on the K index at solarham.com.

Next week NOAA predicts the SFI will be in the range 75-85. Ongoing coronal activity and associated high speed solar wind streams will push the K index up to five midweek, with the unsettled conditions predicted to last across the weekend, potentially causing problems for HF SSB field day.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There were some good tropospheric openings around last week. As we head into the weekend there will be a ridge of high pressure close to southern Britain, which in some models remains close by for much of the coming week.

This could give some extended Tropo paths to the south across Biscay to northern Spain and the Azores as well as across the North Sea to Denmark and North Germany. Scotland will be slightly more breezy at times with rain or showers, so is not quite as likely to see the Tropo conditions.

It really is getting close to the end of the main Sporadic-E season and, since the jet stream pattern is looking weak and not well placed for paths into Europe, we may have little to get excited about.

The new moon on the first of September, together with decreasing moon declination, means an increase in degradation on EME paths.

With the Perseids meteor shower now a passing event, the Alpha Aurigids may produce some sporadic activity between the 29th of August and the 3rd of September. This is a class II shower and comprises Halley's comet debris. The Orionids shower is spread over many months between late August and mid November, but early activity may be detected this coming week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st August 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB writes to Ofcom

  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium videos online

  • Aves Island DXpedition surprise

Many UK radio amateurs will be aware that there have been problems with the new Ofcom licensing system. Following numerous complaints from members, RSGB Board members have been in almost daily contact with Ofcom senior staff. Unfortunately, we continue to receive complaints and the Society has become frustrated at the continued lack of progress. The RSGB Chairman has therefore written to the Chief Executive of Ofcom, highlighting multiple shortcomings in the new Ofcom licensing system, and seeking a meeting at the most senior level to help Ofcom resolve their problems. RSGB will continue to keep the amateur radio community informed of progress.

An unexpected invitation from the Venezuelan Navy has given an opportunity for a DXpedition to Aves Island, IOTA reference NA-020. Last activated in February 2007, it is number 17 on the ClubLog DXCC Most Wanted List. A small number of civilian and Navy operators will be on the air as YX0V for up to 10 days around the end of August and start of September. The exact dates are dependent on the Navy’s plans. Aves Island is only about 1200 feet long and some 150 feet wide, and is situated west of the Leeward Islands.

Thanks to the efforts of BATC and AMSAT-UK volunteers, videos of presentations at the July 2016 International Space Colloquium are now available on YouTube. These, and previous years’ presentations, can also be downloaded from the AMSAT-UK YouTube channel. AMSAT-UK members operated a satellite ground station during the event, using the call sign G0AUK. Contacts were made via the SO-50, AO-85, and FO-29 satellites.

Gerald Youndblood, K5SDR, and Youndblood, KD5FGE and Lori Hicks of FlexRadio visited the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park recently. They delivered a generous donation to the GB3RS station – a FlexRadio FLEX-6500 and a FLEX Maestro. The trio from FlexRadio were met by the RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF and RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, as well as several of the National Radio Centre’s regular volunteers. A full report is in the September edition of RadCom.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. The early bird booking discount for weekend packages and day tickets has been extended to the end of August, so don’t miss out, go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event.

A Train the Trainers event will take place on Saturday 19 November. It will be hosted by Leicester Radio Society, and there will be space for up to 25 delegates. The event is free for RSGB Members but must be pre-booked. For more information contact Mike, G4SJX via email to mike_g4sjx@hotmail.com as soon as possible.

Graham Shirville, G3VZV, has been chosen to be the next president of the British Amateur Television Club. He succeeds Peter Blakeborough, G3PYB, who became a Silent Key last December. BATC chairman Noel Matthews, G8GTZ, said he was delighted Graham had agreed to take up the role. He added that Graham has the necessary experience and gravitas, is passionate about ATV, has contacts throughout the amateur radio community and will serve the BATC well in the role as President. The appointment is for two years.

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

We start with advance notice of the Dutch National Ham Radio Convention on 5 November. Organised by the Dutch Radio Society, VERON, it takes place in the Americahal in Apeldoorn. There will be lectures, presentations, trade stands and a large flea market. More information, in Dutch, is on the veron.nl website.

Sad news now that the North Wales Rally planned for the 23rd of October has had to be cancelled. This news unfortunately came in too late to be included in the September RadCom.

The Rugby ATS Rally takes place today, Sunday the 21st, at Princethorpe College, Rugby. Due to local road resurfacing work, access is via a temporary entrance in Coventry Road, off Oxford Road. Please use satnav postcode CV23 9QF. Doors open at 10am for the public and admission is £3. There will be a car boot area and catering will be available on site. More details from Tony, G0OLS on 07759 684 411.

Next Sunday the Milton Keynes ARS rally takes place at The MK Irish Centre, Manor Fields, Watling Street, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HX. It’s opposite Dobbies Garden Centre. There will be a talk in station. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and local clubs. A licenced bar and catering will be available on site. More details from Roy, G8RCK on 0786 667 3192.

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

Armin, DK9PY is active again as 6Y6N from Jamaica, IOTA reference NA-097, until 24 August. He operates CW only. QSL via DK9PY, direct or bureau. Logsearch on Club Log.

A team from the Lagan Valley Amateur Radio Society will be active as EJ0L from Arranmore Island, EU-121, until 22 August. They will operate CW, SSB and maybe RTTY on 80, 40, 20 and 15 metres. QSL direct only to MI0BPB.

Flores Island, the Island of Flowers, SA-030 is being be activated until Tuesday as CV5ER by a team of nine Argentinian amateurs. Details are on QRZ.com; QSL direct or eqsl.

Former Head Lighthouse Keeper Peter, VK4LLE is on the air from Lady Elliot island, OC-142, until the 25th of August. Activity is mainly for ILLW. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

GB100E will be commemorating the rescue of the crew of the Endurance by Ernest Shackleton in August 1916. Activity will be from 24 to 31 August at the Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre. More information is at www.RedKiteRadio.org.uk

GB75ACO – that’s Air Cadet Organisation – will be operating at Stalham ATC Squadron, Norfolk, from the 3rd to the 18th of September. They are celebrating 75 Years of the Air Training Corps. Primary activity will be on 40m, with some local 2m and 60m. Special QSL cards will be available and details are on QRZ.com

TCSWAT will be on the air as TC1LHW from Terkos Karaburun Lighthouse during this weekend’s ILLW event. There will be five operators on the HF bands. QSL via LoTW only. 

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the 50MHz UKAC takes place on the 6m band, plus at the same time there’s the SHF UKAC on 2.3 to 10GHz. Both contests are all modes, run from 1900 to 2130UTC and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the 80m Club Sprint SSB leg from 1900 to 2000UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

The Irish IRTS 2m Counties takes place from 1300 to 1500UTC on Sunday the 28th. In this contest QSOs with EI and GI are the only ones that count for points. Each of the 32 Irish counties is a multiplier. Using the 2m band only, SSB and FM, the exchange is RTT and serial number, with EIs also giving their county.

Next Sunday also sees the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest from 0600 to 1800 UTC. Using all modes, RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

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

This week has been a little unsettled in terms of geomagnetic disturbances and we are still experiencing the summer HF doldrums, at least until September. The K index hit three on many occasions due to ongoing coronal hole activity, and these negated the slight rise in the solar flux index caused by a handful of weak sunspots. Maximum usable frequencies have risen above 21MHz at times, with the 4X6TU international beacon in Israel, RR90 in Russia, OH2B in Finland and ZS6DN in South Africa being heard on 18.110 and 21.150MHz. But a casual glance across the rest of the HF bands has not shown vast amounts of DX activity.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 75-80. Geomagnetic conditions should be reasonably settled, apart from midweek when the K index is predicted to rise to four. This is due to yet another recurrent, negative polarity, high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole.

We continue to encourage you to look for evening openings on twenty metres, when D layer absorption has dropped away, hopefully leaving potentially good DX paths. And during the day don't ignore five megahertz, a band that continues to offer opportunities for NVIS contacts around the UK at a time when forty metres is only open to Europe.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather over the weekend will mean that some rain scatter may be available, and in the south of the country a weak ridge of high pressure across Biscay and northern France could also provide some extended Tropo paths early next week. As the high moves towards Scandinavia by midweek, Tropo paths across the North Sea may be worth exploring. It is possible that some thundery weather may creep north over western Britain later in the week, to reintroduce the possibility of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

We are now getting nearer the tail of the 2016 Sporadic-E season, so events may be harder to find. That said, there was a nice transatlantic opening last week on 50MHz and there should be some jet streams over Europe and the Atlantic this week that might promote some more late season Sporadic-E. For this you’ll need to check the cluster, particularly late morning and around tea time.

There are no meteor showers this week so it’s back to early mornings for the best random meteor scatter conditions.

EME conditions will be good this week with low losses and long moon windows, so look out for inspired and recharged EME’ers returning from this weekend’s EME2016 conference!

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th August 2016

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom website latest news

  • Volunteer for the RSGB

  • SSTV from ISS this week

RSGB continues to have regular meetings with senior managers at Ofcom about problems with the new licensing system. Subjects include the reissuing of previously used callsigns and the continuing need to revalidate amateur licences every five years. Any important updates will be published on the RSGB website.
Have you thought about volunteering with the RSGB? The RSGB is always looking for volunteers, whether you can spare a little time or a lot, and wherever you are in the UK. The Volunteer Vacancies page on the RSGB website has recently been updated to make it easier to find the role that would suit you best. Volunteers are being sought in particular within the examinations section as there are two high profile roles to be filled; the Examination Standards Committee Chairman and the Examination Standards Manager. For these, and other roles, go to the RSGB website and search for ‘volunteering’.
Slow-scan television transmissions will be made from the International Space Station on the 15th and 16th of August. The MAI-75 Experiment will transmit SSTV images on 145.8MHz over the course of a few orbits as the space station passes over Moscow. Operators in Europe and South America will have the best chances to receive images. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range, and that site can be found at www.issfanclub.com

Field strength calculation software ICNIRPcalc has been around for a while. You can use it to calculate the distance a person needs to stay clear from a given antenna to ensure that European exposure limits are not exceeded. A new version has been released with an enlarged antenna database plus German, English, French and Swedish language capabilities. You can download the new version free from a link on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org

There will be many Churches and Chapels on the air for the annual CHOTA event on the 10th of September. These include some in rare Worked All Britain squares such as the most northerly church on the UK mainland and for, the first time, the most northerly church in UK, which is on the Isle on Unst in Shetland. Most WACRAL operation will be on 40m SSB from around 10am to 4pm. There’s still time to register a station on the WACRAL website, www.wacral.org

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Visitors can hear Simon, GW0NVN describe how to get your homebrew project up and running using test equipment you never knew you had in the shack. The early bird booking discount for weekend packages and day tickets ends on the 18th of August, go to www.rsgb.org/convention for bookings and details of the event.

The Tokyo Ham Fair takes place next weekend, the 20th and 21st of August. Last year, around 36,000 attended the show, including several from the UK. We plan to bring you a report of this year’s show in a future edition of RadCom.

A replacement QSL Sub Manager volunteer is sought for the very busy G3I-L group. Outgoing cards may continue to be sent to the central bureau in the usual way. If you are interested in taking on this group as QSL Sub Manager, please send an email to qsl@rsgb.org.uk

The 19th annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend takes place from 0001UTC on Saturday the 20th of August to 2400UTC on the 21st. The official list of entrants for 2016 is now up to 414 stations in around 40 countries. It’s a popular international event, probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual ‘5/9 CQ Contest’ type event. It is free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. The many entrants will tell you what an enjoyable time they all have. Details are at www.illw.net and we mention some of the UK stations later in this bulletin.

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

Today, the 14th, the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. The venue has car parking on site. Camping is available in an adjacent field on Saturday night only. Talk-in will be provided on S22. Gates open at 10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and indoor and field pitches for traders. Lectures will take place during the day. A licensed bar and catering facilities are also on site. More details from Tony Baker, G3PFM, on 0774 347 5018. 

On Saturday the 20th of August, Grey Point Fort ARS and attending the Grey Fort Point barbecue that runs from 1 to 11pm. Tickets are £6 and activities will include an ARDF fox hunt, a Bring & Buy as well as family attractions. Tickets are available from the Grey Point Fort. Thomas, MI0MOD can give you more information on 02891 185 2731.

The Rugby ATS Rally takes place on Sunday the 21st of August at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby. Due to local road resurfacing work, access to will be via a temporary entrance in Coventry Road, off Oxford Road. Please use satnav post code CV23 9QF. Doors will open at 8.30am for traders and at 10am to 4pm for the public. Admission is £3. There will be a car boot area and catering will be available on site. More details from Tony, G0OLS on 07759 684 411.

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

Nicola, IU7GSN is on the air as ZA3/IU7GSN until the 23rd of August. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct to his home callsign.

A group of US and Canadian operators will use CY9C from St Paul Island, NA-094, from the 19th to 28th of August. Operation will be on all bands from 6 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log OQRS or directly to WA4DAN.

A group of operators will be using R0F from Shikotan Island, IOTA AS-062, until the 17th of August. Activity is on the HF bands with two stations. QSL via R6MG.

Four German amateurs will use the callsign OJ0DX from Market Reef until the 16th of August. They will be on the 10 to 60m bands using CW and SSB. QSL manager is DL3DXX.

Operators Alex, UX0LL and Alex, UT5UY will be operating as 5H1ZZ from Zanzibar Island, IOTA AF-032, until the 22nd of August. Activity will be with two stations on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via M0URX.

Reg, G8VHI remains active /MM in the North Sea on 2m, holiday style, until the 20th of August.

Now the special event news

International Lighthouses and Lightships weekend on the 20th and 21st of August will see many special event stations and activations.

Dover Radio Club will operate GB2DCP from Dover Castle. Details from Aaron, 2E0FQR, on 0771 465 4267.

Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club is putting GB2LBN on the air at Barns Ness. More information from Bob, GM4UYZ, on 01875 811 723.

Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is running GB0TBW, Trinity Buoy Wharf. Details from Dave De La Haye, M0MBD, on 0798 016 5172.

Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club will put GB0NFL on the air at Joss Bay. Details from Ian, 2E0DUE, via email to hilderstoneclub@gmail.com.

Newport Amateur Radio Society will have GB4EUL active at East Usk Lighthouse. Details from Margaret, GW4SUE, on 01633 665 289.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Europe (WAE) DX CW Contest ends it 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 14th. Europe works non-Europe only in this event, so, propagation permitting, there’ a lot of DX working. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 14th, the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report serial number and locator.

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

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

Last week the solar flux index climbed as NOAA had predicted, hitting 95 by Thursday evening. This was largely due to a new large crop of sunspots on the sun's surface. These will rotate across the sun over the next few days and, as long as they don't fade away, they should help the solar flux index remain high.

The week also saw some very unsettled geomagnetic conditions due to ongoing coronal hole activity, with the K index hitting three and four. Coronal holes are areas of the sun with lower energy and open magnetic fields that allow plasma to flow out. When these are in line with the earth the plasma can arrive in a couple of days.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 90-95 over the next week, tailing off to 75 by next Sunday.

The beginning of next week may once again be subject to unsettled geomagnetic conditions due to coronal holes, with the K index predicted to hit four again.

HF is showing some signs of improvement with the Chilton ionosonde measuring the critical frequency as 5.875MHz at noon on Thursday. This means that we may see 18 and 21MHz opening to DX at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The prospects for VHF and UHF are looking pretty good for the start of the week with high pressure over Britain, later moving eastwards across the North Sea. This means there are likely to be some good opportunities for Tropo this weekend and into the first half of the week. Paths to the south across Biscay to Spain, Portugal and the Azores and Canaries look worth trying initially, and then along the east coast from East Anglia to Shetland early in the week.

The midweek period onwards looks more unsettled with the potential for some thunderstorms and perhaps rain scatter from the large cumulonimbus thunder clouds.

Sporadic-E has been good recently for some parts of the country, but it's important to realise that it is very rare for all areas to have openings at the same time. The unsettled weather means that there should continue to be some jet stream activity, so check for late morning and late afternoon Sporadic-E.

The tail end of last week’s Perseids meteor shower should still give enhanced meteor scatter conditions for the next day or so.

The Moon is at minimum declination today, so short, but lengthening low-elevation Moon passes are the order of the day. These will lengthen and losses will reduce as the week progresses.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th August 2016

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom online licensing statement

  • Belarus gets 60m band

  • Dayton Hamvention moves venue

Some teething troubles have been encountered with Ofcom’s new online licensing system. These include the dedicated licence revalidation facility, which has disappeared, and the reissue of callsigns that have, at some time in the past, been issued to someone else. The RSGB has pressed Ofcom for a statement, which is reproduced in full at www.rsgb.org/ofcom-update. Ofcom said that it remains a Licence condition to revalidate at least every five years. While the new portal doesn’t currently have a dedicated revalidation button, it will automatically revalidate your licence when you register on the new system. In the future, Ofcom will introduce a feature to Revalidate and to check your licence details easily. In the meantime, if you contact Ofcom by phone, email or letter, you can ask them to revalidate your licence, although they strongly encourage all licensees to register on the portal. Ofcom also confirmed that some applicants have received callsigns that were previously issued to someone else. This only affects a very small number, issued between the new system going live on the 28th of July, and ending at 8am on the 3rd of August. Ofcom stress that no duplicate callsigns were issued, and that none of the recycled callsigns had been valid for at least the previous two years.

Amateurs in Belarus now have access to the new WRC15 60m allocation. Their band is from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 50 watts. Class A, the top level licence holders, may use SSB, CW and digital modes.

Hara Arena, home of the Dayton Hamvention, is due to close shortly. Hamvention managers have announced that the event will be moving to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio. It’s about 16 miles east of central Dayton. More details are at www.hamvention.org.

Since the first Sunday in June there has been an addition to the GB2RS broadcast schedule. Reg, G8VHI, in Nuneaton, now reads the news at 2030UTC on 145.525MHz. He has a very good VHF location and should be audible over a large part of the West and East Midlands. His best report to date is near Hamburg in Germany!

Tropical Storm Earl is currently heading across Central America, affecting Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Radio amateurs in the region are providing emergency communications support. Amateurs in the rest of the world are reminded it is possible to cause unintentional QRM to these emergency nets. Please listen carefully if operating near amateur emergency frequencies, particularly in the 7MHz band. Details of all the frequencies to avoid during the hurricane season can be found at www.iaru-r1.org.

Ofcom is holding a consultation on Improving spectrum access for consumers in the 5GHz band. This proposes an expansion of 5GHz Wi-Fi bands that would, amongst other things, affect weak signal reception for 5760MHz narrowband and EME users and 5840MHz satellites, whilst still inhibiting innovation of amateur mesh and other innovative data systems. The RSGB response to this consultation, and a related one by AMSAT-UK, may be read in the Spectrum Forum section of the RSGB website.

So far more than 375 registrations have been received from 40 countries for this year’s International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Organisers expect around 500 marine structures to be listed when the event goes on air on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of August. Leading this fun event so far is Germany with 60, USA and Australia with 55, followed by England with 30. To see all registrations, go to www.illw.net

Krzysztof, SP5HS became silent key at the age of 81 earlier this month. He was one of the reactivators of the Polish Amateur Radio Union PZK in 1956 and one of the Headquarters personnel. In 1990, he was elected President of the Union. A longer tribute is on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/sk

Amateur Radio Newsline has selected 17 year old Skyler Fennell, KD0WHB, of Denver, Colorado as the 2016 Bill Pasternak WA6ITF Memorial Young Ham of the Year. First licenced in July 2013, he reached Extra class in 2014. His YouTube channel chronicles several of his amateur radio achievements. Search for Skyler FM.

Due to resurfacing work, access to the Rugby ATS Rally on the 21st of August will be via a temporary entrance in Coventry Road. Full details are on the RSGB website and will also be in next week’s GB2RS.

Alaska’s High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program facility, HAARP, will reopen in 2017. HAARP is known as the world’s most capable high power, high frequency transmitter for study of the ionosphere. The FCC recently granted HAARP two Experimental Service licences for research. WI2XFX covers experiments on various frequencies between 2.65 and 8.1MHz. WI2XDV covers ionospheric research between 1 and 40MHz.

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

The 27th King’s Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place today, the 7th of August, at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4DZ. Talk in will be available on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. Doors open at 9am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as tables inside. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG on 01553 768 701.

Also on today, the 7th, the Lorn Radio Rally will be held in Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry will be £2. Raffle tickets cost £1 and the draw will take place at 1.30pm. There will be a Bring & Buy, trade stands and local groups. Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be available. Details, by email to lornradioclub@gmail.com.

Next Friday, the 12th, the 23rd Mini Rally Night will be held by Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club. It takes place in the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton EH32 0BQ. Bring along your junk and sell it yourself. Tables are on a first come first served basis. The entrance fee £2 for everyone. Refreshments will be available. Doors open from 6pm to 9pm. The venue has disabled access.

Next Sunday, the 14th, the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest will take place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. The venue has car parking on site. Camping is available in an adjacent field on Saturday night only. Talk-in will be provided on S22. Gates open at 10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and indoor and field pitches for traders. Lectures will take place during the day. A licensed bar and catering facilities are on site. More details from Tony Baker, G3PFM on 0774 347 5018.

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

Reg, G8VHI will be active from the 13th to the 20th of August /MM in the North Sea. He plans to use 144.333MHz using 100W to a 4 element antenna. He is limited to operation from his cabin, which is located on the starboard side. This is a family holiday and operating will reflect this.

Armin, DK9PY will be on the air as 6Y6N from St Elizabeth in Jamaica, IOTA reference NA-097, from the 10th to the 14th of August. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

GW4UWD is on the air as 9A/GW4UWD/p from Zlarin Island, Croatia, EU-170, until the 9th of August. Activity is QRP on HF using CW, mostly during his mornings and evenings. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Johannes, PD0JBH is transmitting as C91PA from Maputo in Mozambique and plans to be there until March 2017. Activity of late has been on 40 and 20 metres using SSB. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Giuseppe, IZ4JUK will be on the air as IS0/IZ4JUK from Porto Ottiolu in Sardinia, EU-024, until August the 25th. Activity will be on 20 and 15m using SSB, and on 40m if conditions permit. QSL direct to his home call.

Ismo, OH2IS will be transmitting as OH0/OH2IS from the Aland Islands, EU-002, until the 11th of August. Activity will be holiday style on 80 to 10 metres using only CW. QSL to home call.

Dietmar, DL3DXX, Rene, DL2JRM and Robin, DO2XX will active as OJ0DX from August the 11th to the 16th from Market Reef, EU-053. Activity will be on 80 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DL3DXX.

Now the special event news

ZV2016RIO will be on the air from Rio de Janeiro until the 21st of August. Activity is on 160 to 2 metres, except 30 metres, using CW, SSB, FM, PSK, D-Star and some satellites as well. QSL via PY1AA.

GB5RC will be on the air to commemorate Radio Caroline broadcasts. The Martello Tower Group, based in Essex, is operating two stations aboard the MV Ross Revenge until the 8th of August.

Plymouth Radio Club is taking part in the 1940s Weekend on the 13th and 14th of August from RAF Harrowbeer Wartime Airfield, Dartmoor, A386, Crapstone Road, Crapstone, Yelverton, Devon PL20 6BT. GB0QB will be used on the air, because QB was RAF Harrowbeer’s wartime identification code.

South Essex ARS will put GB1HB on the air for the 72nd anniversary of the two B17s that crashed at Canvey Point on the 13th of August 1944. Activity will be from the Island Yacht Club, Point Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 7TX. Visitors are always welcome.

Now the contest news

Today, the 7th, the 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest will be on the air from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Sprint runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It’s the CW leg and the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

The Worked All Europe (WAE) DX CW Contest runs for the entire 48 hours of the weekend of 13 and 14th. Europe works non-Europe only in this event, so, propagation permitting, there’ a lot of DX working. 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 5th of August

This week saw the effects of yet another solar coronal hole, which pushed the Kp index to four and five on Wednesday and Thursday. We predicted this last week, but were out by one day. Lacklustre sunspot activity also meant that the IOTA contest saw many contestants staying on 20m and below, with the odd foray up to higher bands. The solar flux index stayed in the mid 70s as the only sunspot that did appear rapidly dwindled away by Wednesday. On the bright side there were no solar flares to report.

Next week both NOAA and the US Air Force predict the solar flux index will be in the range 90-95. If correct this means we may see a slight uplift in HF conditions. However, continued unsettled geomagnetic conditions may work against us, especially around midweek when NOAA predicts the K index will hit four again. Summertime D layer absorption and reduced MUFs are still impacting DX paths.

VOACAP predicts UK to New York on 20m CW is best from 2000-2200UTC with a 77% chance of success, and on 30m from 2200 to midnight with a maximum 81% chance. These figures drop by about 30% for SSB.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is a familiar look to the weather charts for the coming week, largely a story of low pressure to the north, moving into Scandinavia later. This means that Tropo conditions may be limited initially, but pressure remains high over Biscay and northern France, so paths to the south from southern Britain offer the best of a poor showing. However, models do bring a large high close to the southwest and Ireland later, with perhaps some Tropo possibilities. The low pressure to the north means that there will be showery periods, especially in the first part of the week, so there’s a chance for rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

Hanging on to Sporadic-E into August is always a bit problematic, but there are likely to be some strong jet streams around, particularly over the UK and northern Europe. These may bring good prospects if you can be in the shack at the right time. A check during late morning and tea time should capture most events.

The Perseids meteor shower reaches its peak next Thursday and Friday so meteor scatter conditions will improve through the week. Moon declination is negative and the moon is at apogee on Wednesday so losses are high and moon windows are short. And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 31st July 2016

The news headlines:

  • New Ofcom licensing portal available

  • G5RP nominations sought

  • New RadCom Plus now available

Ofcom have informed us that its new licensing portal is now available for use at http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/online-licensing-service. New and existing customers of the previous licensing system should follow the instructions for registering on the new system carefully and consult the online help and support for further information. The RSGB guidance and FAQ web pages will be updated to match the new system in due course.

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2016, now is the time to send in your nomination. Your nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year and has some real achievements to show, for example, a good total of new countries worked or some serious HF DXpedition activity. This prestigious award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention on the 7-9th October. Please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, QTHR, or by e-mail to ian.greenshields@gmail.com to arrive no later than Friday the 16th of September.

RadCom Plus is the RSGB’s digital technical supplement. The latest version is available to RSGB Members via the RSGB website. This edition has articles on a narrowband direct upconverter for the LF/ME bands, the issues and solutions for making a direct SSB upconverter that is suitable for audio or digital modes, a relatively inexpensive way to start transmitting on 10GHz, using the Arduino microcontroller, the ganging and tracking of superhet receivers and a 70cm handheld using the DRA818U module.

It is with sadness that we advise Members that two QSL Sub–Groups have been temporarily suspended, due to the sudden death of John Fogden, G4WSX. He was a stalwart of the RSGB, a long time volunteer who will be missed by many, especially his friends in the G3I-L and G4W-X sub groups that he handled with diligence for many years. A replacement volunteer is sought for the very busy G3I-L group. At this time it is intended that John’s G4W-X group will be absorbed into a larger group as part of an on-going G4 Series review. Please do not send collection envelopes until further notice. Out going cards, destined for both call groups may continue to be sent to the central bureau in the usual way. Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends at this difficult time.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. This year, delegates can learn more from Paul, G4DCV who lives in a town centre semi with a small garden and is surrounded by buildings on rising ground yet still enjoys DXing on 144MHz. He has worked 68 DXCC and 385 squares on 2m. So just how do you work VHF DX from such a very difficult environment? Join us and find out. For more information on this year’s Convention, go to www.rsgb.org/convention

The Dutch Caribbean island of Saba is the destination for three young amateurs. They were chosen for the 2016 Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure, and they'll set out in August to operate at the island station of Jeff, PJ6/NM1Y. Morgan, KD8ZLK; Ruth, KM4LAO, and Faith, AE4FH will work from the island from the 2nd to the 9th of August.

GB4EMF and GM8EMF special event stations will be on the air between the 5th and 7th August as part of the Electromagnetic Field festival near Guildford, Surrey. The Amateur Radio village at the festival will be run by an enthusiastic group of operators and will invite new and interested people to experience the hobby from midday on Friday to Sunday afternoon. The stations will be operating on HF, VHF and UHF, using a variety of modes. Tickets for the festival are no longer available, but amateurs are encouraged to get in contact or to join in at the village if attending.

UK Astronaut Tim Peake, GB1SS headed a contingent of radio amateurs and youngsters invited to visit the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, at 10 Downing Street earlier this month. Sandringham School student Jessica, M6LPJ, and her head teacher Alan, G4DJX, were among those to visit No. 10.

TX Factor episode 12 is now ready to watch at www.txfactor.co.uk It's a bumper summer edition with two rig reviews, the Sun Expert Electronics MB1 transceiver and the Icom IC-7300. Also in this show, is amateur satellite operating.

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

The Horncastle Summer Rally takes place today, the 31st, at Horncastle Youth Centre, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. The venue is all on one level. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be refreshments available, including hot bacon butties. Details from Tony Nightingale, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

The 27th King’s Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place on the 7th of August at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4DZ. Talk in will be available on 145.550MHz and doors open at 9am with admission £2. Car parking is free. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as table inside. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG on 01553 768 701.

Also on the 7th the Lorn Radio Rally will be held in Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry will be £2. Raffle tickets cost £1 and the draw will take place at 1.30pm. There will be a Bring & Buy, trade stands and local groups. Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be available. Details, by email to, lornradioclub@gmail.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 details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Tom Callas, KC0W, continues from Tuvalu as T2COW until the 18th of August. He will be on CW only on HF including the 6m band, running 500W into vertical antennas over salt water.

Theodoros, SV1EJD is on the air as SV8/SV1EJD from Syros Island, IOTA EU-067, until the 11th of August. Activity is on the 6 to 80m bands using SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

Janez, S53V will be active as 9A8CV from Krk Island, EU-136, until the 3rd of August. He will only operate CW. QSL via eQSL only.

Jan, PA4JJ will be active holiday style as 9A/PA4JJ from Croatia between the 1st of August and the 30th of September. Expect him to operate mainly digital modes. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

Jim, W2JHP will be active as V31TA from the Turneffe Islands, NA-123, in Belize until the 12th of August. He will operate SSB and maybe some digital. QSL via EA5GL direct only.

Now the special event news

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX for Airfields on the Air today, the 31st, from 10am to 4pm from RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW.

GB5RC will be on the air to commemorate Radio Caroline broadcasts. The Martello Tower Group, based in Essex, is operating two stations aboard the MV Ross Revenge from the 5th to the 18th of August.

Now the contest news

Today, the 31st, the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to 1800. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, seral number and locator.

The IOTA Contest ends it 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 31st. It’s CW and SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference.

On Tuesday, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange s signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 4th 144MHz Backpacker Contest takes place from 1300 to 1700UTC. using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Overlapping somewhat the 144MHz low Power Contest runs from 1400 to 2000UTC. Again using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power Phone Contest takes place next Saturday, the 6th, from 1000 to 1800UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 27th of August. The maximum power allowed is 10 watts. All stations, including mobiles, should try to find out their IARU Locator in addition to their WAB Area, as this contest coincides with part of the RSG 144MHz contests. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.

On Sunday the 7th, the 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800 to 1200UTC. the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 29th July.

This week we have been looking once again at a blank solar disk. The spotless sun offered a solar flux index of 72 on Thursday, just six points up from a typical solar minimum figure. Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't stop there. There were poor geomagnetic conditions last weekend thanks to the effects of a coronal mass ejection.

And conditions worsened again on Thursday morning when the K index hit four, due to incoming plasma from a coronal hole. The net effect has been a reduction in maximum useable frequencies and poor daytime HF conditions, thanks to D layer absorption.

Next week another solar coronal hole will rotate into position. This may mean poor geomagnetic conditions and an elevated K index of up to five on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th.

As we are now entering August, you should really be using the smoothed sunspot number of 35 for your VOACAP-based prediction programs, although with the actual sunspot number being zero, predictions may be optimistic.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the 70s this week, although sunspots can suddenly appear.

This weekend's RSGB Islands On The Air contest may see 14MHz being the ‘money band’ during daylight hours, with 80m and 40m coming into their own at night. There may be occasional F layer openings on 15m and short-skip Sporadic E openings throughout HF.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

For much of next week there will be low pressure near northern Scotland with a showery weather pattern producing the possibility of rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands. At times a weak ridge close to southern Britain may allow some limited Tropo openings across sea paths to the Low Countries and south across Biscay.

There is still time in the 2016 Sporadic-E season for jet streams to make the turbulent gravity waves, which may be part of the formation process for Es.

The good news is that we have a weak jet stream over the British Isles and into northern Europe for much of next week. This will favour paths into the Baltic and probably towards Italy and Spain if the jet stream is a little to the south of the UK.

It is also worth looking for the occasional path to North America, since the jet stream covers much of the width of the Atlantic.

The beginning of August sees the Perseids Meteor shower building gradually to its August 11th and 12th peak. So don’t wait, you should see meteor scatter conditions improving throughout the coming month.

The Moon is at its highest declination today and losses are low so another good week for EME.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • New Ofcom website portal

  • Turkish amateur radio status

  • Prepare for IOTA next weekend

Ofcom have informed us that their new Online Licensing portal is expected to go live for their own staff usage on Sunday 24th July, with public access expected to follow on Wednesday the 27th or Thursday the 28th of July. The new system will enable the management of personal information and amateur radio licences, including club licences, in a more effective way. Visit http://tinyurl.com/gb2rs-2472 for further information.

There has been conflicting reports over the state of amateur radio licenses in Turkey. Early reports indicated that the airwaves had gone silent after Turkish President had revoked 3,213 amateur licenses along with those of more than 20 TV and radio broadcasters. Then it was reported that restrictions against radio and TV operations had not yet affected that nation’s amateur licensees. Tevfik ,TA1HZ, reported to us in an email on the 21st that, as of then, there was no curfew imposed on amateur radio in Turkey. The country is now under extraordinary circumstances law but the Communications Authority has not released any announcement about amateur radio restrictions.

The flagship RSGB HF event of the month is the IOTA Contest, which takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 30th to 31st July. Everyone who lives anywhere in the British Isles lives on an island, so everyone will be in demand that weekend. Exchange a signal report, serial number and your IOTA reference. Mainland Britain is EU-005, mainland Ireland is EU-115, while smaller islands have differing references. A full list of islands can be found at www.rsgbiota.org and details of the contest itself are at www.rsgbcc.org/hf/iotahelp.shtml. For those interested in finding out which islands are going to be activated by DXpeditions, a visit to NG3K’s website at www.ng3k.com/misc/iota2016.html will put you in the picture.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. This year, delegates can learn more about aurora with Paul Whiting, G4YQC. Not only is the aurora a magnificent sight and a strange propagation mode it is also a major RF radiator. Paul will talk about what this phenomenon is, its causes and how to look and listen out for it. For more information on this year’s Convention, go to www.rsgb.org/convention

The keynote lectures and presentations from Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016 are available from the Documentary Archive Radio Communications. Go to www.dokufunk.org and click on the Lecture Room icon.

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford will hear presentations from Peter, DB2OS and Achim, DH2VA on the new geostationary amateur radio satellite transponders due to launch in 2017. The two transponders will provide CW, SSB and digital amateur TV communications between 5 continents. The event on the weekend of 30-31 July is open to all. Thanks to volunteers from the BATC the presentations will also be streamed live. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

A new radio club has been formed in Poland, located in one of the schools in Rzeszow. It has all been made possible by a number of radio amateurs from nearby clubs. The club call is SQ8POP, which is held by Piotr, SP8MRD, so keep your ears open for this call – the school looks forward to working you.

The August RadCom contains details of a new propagation prediction tool from the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee. The first stage can be seen working at www.rsgb.org/iturhfprop/ and the PSC is keen to develop it further. Unfortunately, the initial developer can no longer devote any more time to the project. Consequently, the RSGB PSC is looking for an experienced programmer with Python skills, plus a good working knowledge of Linux and web servers, to develop the next phase of the online HF propagation prediction software on a voluntary basis. If you can help please contact Gwyn, G4FKH via email to g4fkh@sky.com.

The first meteor scatter QSO from OE2YOTA, the Youngster on the Air station in Austria has been made and confirmed. RSGB VHF Manager John, G4SWX made the contact on the 16th of July at 1217UTC on 144.360MHz. The youngsters from other countries in IARU Region 1 as well as one team from the US will be on their way home by the time of this news broadcast and we look forward to hearing more about their week.

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

The Finningley ARS Annual Rally will be held today, the 24th of July, at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There will be a talk in station and doors open at 10.30am, with admittance £3. The venue is all on one level. Car parking is free. There is a large indoor and outdoor trader’s area with major traders, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There will be a flea market. Hot food and drinks will be available all day. More information from Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

The Horncastle Summer Rally takes place on the 31st of July at Horncastle Youth Centre, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. The venue is all on one level. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be refreshments available, including hot bacon butties. Details from Tony Nightingale, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

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

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

A group of operators will put DR0F on the air from the island of Neuwerk, EU-127 from the 28th of July to the 1st of August, which includes the IOTA Contest. QSL via the bureau to DM4DL.

A large group of operators will be active from Yijiangshan Island, IOTA AS-141, from the 26th of July to the 1st of August. They will sign B5/homecall and plan to operate SSB, CW and digi modes with two stations on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via home callsigns. The group will participate in the IOTA Contest as B5C, QSL via BA4TB.

The Chilean DXpedition Team will be active as XR1T from Santa Maria Island, SA-069, from the 28th of July to the 1st of August, IOTA Contest included. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on all bands. QSL via CE3OP, direct or bureau using OQRS.

Janez, S53V will be on the air as 9A8CV from Krk Island, IOTA EU-136, from the 24th of July to the 3rd of August. This includes an entry in the RSGB IOTA contest. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Take, JG8NQJ is on the air as JG8NQJ/JD1 from Marcus Island for a couple of months while there to service the weather station. Activity is in his spare time on 20, 15, 10 and 6 metres using CW and RTTY. QSL direct to JA8CJY.

Now the special event news

GB2SW will be on the air for Skiffie Worlds, the World Rowing Championships, between the 24th and the 30th of July. They will be operating from Delamont Country Park, Downpatrick Rd, Killyleagh, Co Down BT30 9TZ. The station will be on air using multiple modes and bands, operated by a number of amateurs from across the UK.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, Roker, Sunderland today, the 24th of July, for the Sunderland International Air Show. Operations will be on HF, VHF and UHF using the call sign GB4SAS and all are welcome.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX for Airfields on the Air on the 31st of July from 10am to 4pm from RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW.

Several special event stations are poised to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Poland. His Holiness will be in Poland from the 27th to the 31st of July. Special event call signs will include HF0F in Kraków, as well as HF31WYD, HF2SDM, and HF7SDM.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on all bands 2.3GHz and up, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 31st the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to 1800. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, seral number and locator.

Next weekend is the big IOTA Contest, running from 1200UTC on the 30th to 1200UTC on the 31st. It’s CW and SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference.

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

There was plenty of solar action this week. The solar flux index climbed to 108 on Thursday thanks to a slew of sunspots. Plus we had incoming plasma from a coronal mass ejection that sent the K index up to five for nine hours in the early hours of Wednesday 20th. There have also been some M- and C-class solar flares to keep us on our toes.

Unfortunately, due to the time of year the increased solar flux didn’t really create enhanced HF propagation, with maximum useable frequencies still languishing around the 15MHz mark.

There has, however, been widespread Sporadic-E over the UK, which has helped short-skip contacts, even on forty metres, at a time when the F layer critical frequency was only around 5MHz.

NOAA is predicting that the solar flux index will decline from around 90 at the start of next week to 70 by the end. This is presuming that new sunspots don’t appear.

Geomagnetic conditions will remain slightly unsettled with a K index of two or three.

Our tip for best propagation this week is to wait until mid to late evening. By this time the harsh summer D layer absorption will be declining, leaving the 20m and possibly 17m bands open to DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking like a week of high pressure nearby in the south, but it will be fairly weak and likely to weaken further after midweek.

Any Tropo is more likely early in the week, especially down to the south across Biscay towards Spain and Portugal and on towards the Canaries.

The North is likely to be under the influence of low pressure, with showery weather likely to bring some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands and probably in the south later in the week as the high declines.

Sporadic-E is still prevalent well into August, so plenty of time to check out activity on 10m, 6m, 4m and 2m for those fleeting QSOs with stations in Europe, or beyond.

However, Sporadic-E does fare better when there are active jet streams over Europe, and the next week is not quite so well blessed, with most of the activity being over Britain and Scandinavia; perhaps a bit too close for maximum benefit.

Moon declination goes positive again on Sunday so lengthening moon windows added to perigee and lowest path loss on Wednesday means a good week for EME.

The 28th and 29th of July brings the Delta Aquarids meteor shower, which lacks a sharp peak and favours the Southern Hemisphere and tropical latitudes in the North. Look for some meteor rate enhancements an hour or two before dawn.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Latest Convention news

  • National Hamfest attractions

  • New CISPR/H committee chair

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. One of the talks from last year is now available for Members to view via the RSGB website It’s called what makes the pings go ping? – a deeper understanding of meteor scatter by John Worsnop, G4BAO, who looks at the principles behind meteor scatter. He covers everything from the formation and types of meteor trails to the effect of operating frequency and of path geometry, including the antenna and its environment as well as receiver performance. To view this very interesting talk, go to www.rsgb.org/ping-talk and for more information on this year’s Convention, go to www.rsgb.org/convention

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on the 30th of September and 1st of October. This year the flea market has been redesigned providing low cost table space for selling your personal excess equipment and junk. If you do not wish to sell items yourself then the large Bring & Buy stand will look after the sale for a small commission. It will be open from 0930 each day, located in the marquee immediately outside the George Stephenson Hall. For fast track entrance tickets or flea market bookings, please visit www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The German national Society, DARC, has reported that Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE has been elected as Chair of the CISPR/H committee. CISPR is International Special Committee on Radio Interference.

The RSGB is looking for a new Company Secretary. This is a key role in the Society’s governance regime and provides important support in the running of Board meetings and Annual General Meetings. The main duties of the post are set out in the Society’s Articles of Association, and detailed Terms of Reference are available from the General Manager by email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk Applications should be in by the 31st of August.

The RSGB Board Chair, Steve Hartley, G0FUW, will address the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium at the Holiday Inn, Guildford on the 31st of July. He will give an insight into the RSGB support given to the schools involved in the Principia ARISS contacts and how the Society plans to build on those successes. He will also outline the Schools Link project, which aims to show schools how they can use amateur radio to deliver ‘core’ science in a practical way to enrich the learning experience, and in the process hopefully generate some new radio amateurs, and maybe radio communication engineers. Further information is available at http://amsat-uk.org/

Youngsters on the Air 2016 is taking place in Austria all next week. Over 100 youngsters from 30 IARU member societies, including a team from the USA, will be having a lot of fun with amateur radio. There will be many workshops, optimising their skills in electronics and contesting and well as making new international friends. On Monday at 1025UTC there will even be a telebridge ARISS contact with astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. OE2YOTA will be on air on most bands in several modes, so give these young people a call.

The organisers of the Weston Super Mare Rally on the 18th of September would like to ask all those traders and clubs who had planned to attend the rally, including those with bookings already to please contact Dave, G4CXQ on 07871 034 206 or by e mail to g4cxq@btinternet.com The original organiser has been taken ill abroad and the relevant files are unavailable at this time.

The construction of the Codebreakers' Wall surrounding Hut 8 at Bletchley Park has been finished. The wall is a re-creation of the original wartime blast wall. You can sponsor a brick to be engraved with the name of a Veteran, with your name or in memory of a loved one. The Codebreakers' Wall will be a memorial that will last for generations at Bletchley Park and the money raised will help to complete the transformation of this historic place. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ and click on ‘support us’

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

Today, the 17th of July, the McMichael Radio Rally takes place at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane B4446, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. The venue has free car parking and a talk-in station will be on air. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar are available on site. A raffle will take place on the day. Details from Min Standen, on 0771 577 1665.

The Cambridge & District Surplus Sale takes place at Coleridge Community College, Radegund Road, Cambridge CB1 3RJ from 7.30pm on the 22nd of July. All are welcome to buy or sell amateur radio related equipment. Contact Ian, M0HTA, on 0744 304 6045.

The Finningley ARS Annual Rally will be held on the 24th of July at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There will be a talk in station and doors open at 10.30am, with admittance £3. The venue is all on one level. Car parking is free. There is a large indoor and outdoor trader’s area with major traders, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There will be a flea market. Hot food and drinks will be available all day. More information from Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

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

Martinez, HK3Y will sign 5J0Y from San Andres Island from 18th to 23rd July. This one counts as NA-033 for the Islands on the Air Award.

Braam, 3DA0AY has been active recently from Piggs Peak, Swaziland. It is expected he will remain there until the 25th of July. QSLs go via his home call ZS6AYE.

Stu, VK4SDD will be active as 9A/VK4SDD from Pasman Island, EU-170 until the 22nd of July. QSL via home call, direct only.

Clemente, HK3Y will be active as 5J0Y from San Andres Island, NA-033, from the 18th to the 23rd of July. QSL to HK3Y at the address given on qrz.com

Tom, KC0W will be on the air from Tuvalu between the 21st of July to the 18th of August. He operates CW only on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL direct only to KC0W and logsearch on Club Log. He does not use Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

Today, the 17th, Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is operating GB100NWA for North Weald Airfield Community Day, celebrating the airfield’s 100th anniversary.

Also on the 17th, Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB1AVR from the Ackworth Steam Spectacular & Vintage vehicles event.

A special event station will be on the air for Skiffie Worlds, the World Rowing Championships between the 24th and the 30th of July. They will be operating from Delamont Country park, Downpatrick Rd, Killyleagh, Co Down BT30 9TZ.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, Roker, Sunderland on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July for the Sunderland International Air Show. Operations will be on HF VHF and UHF using the call sign GB4SAS and all are welcome.

Now the contest news

This weekend, there are several contests taking place.

Today, the 17th, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC, using CW on the 3.5 to 7MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

The UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC using all bands from 24 to 248GHz. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the 17th, the 70MHz trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on 4m the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

On Thursday, the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. This is the data leg and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

We got the HF prediction half right last week. We forecast the unsettled geomagnetic conditions that struck us on Tuesday, but NOAA got the week’s solar flux index prediction totally wrong. Prior to last Friday the sun had been almost completely spotless, but a new crop of sunspots broke out, pumping the SFI from the mid 70s to the high 90s. This was enough to wake up the higher HF bands, with DX being workable at times on 15 and 10 metres during the IARU HF World Championship last weekend.

Looking forward, sunspot 2565 looks well established and should help keep the SFI higher. The US Air Force predicts the SFI will start the week at about 92 and tail off to 77 by Friday. If that is the case HF DX might be more easily workable this weekend and earlier in the week.

Solar flare activity from sunspot 2565 may be possible and could lead to relatively short-lived HF disruptions at times.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be reasonably settled early in the week, with perhaps more unsettled conditions some time between Tuesday to Thursday due to solar coronal hole activity.

Sporadic E activity could also bring short-skip conditions from 20 to 10 metres at times, but more of that later.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

July is still in the midst of the Sporadic E season so that’s probably the best exotic mode to seek out again during the coming week. Look during late morning and early evening to save wasted effort, while checking beacons and clusters for a heads-up on what’s happening.

The RSGB forum propagation section contains a daily blog on the location of jet streams, which might be instrumental in forming Sporadic E. This can give an early indication of prospects and which direction might be best. There's still a little time before the season ends to get a few more locator squares in the log.

The prospects for tropospheric propagation are a little above average at first with high pressure nearby over southern Britain this weekend, but expect it to decline early in the week. Tropo paths in summer tend to favour sea paths and any paths over land are best overnight until just after dawn, when heating will break down any inversion. Once the high breaks down, the more unsettled weather pattern will give options for some rain scatter on the GHz bands from mid-week onwards.

The moon is at its lowest declination today and losses are high all week, so the Moon will be low in the sky and only visible for a few hours.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Support GR2HQ in IARU contest

  • QRZ founder visits UK

  • New 47GHz record set

This weekend, station GR2HQ will be active in the IARU HF Championship from 1200UTC on the 9th until 1200UTC on the 10th, providing the RSGB HQ multiplier for the UK. This will probably be last time Ofcom issues the GR prefix so they hope to work as many stations as possible. The GR2HQ team are located up and down the UK, with awards available. A tip to find the other slots is to locate the 80m SSB station and ask them the frequencies of the other bands and modes. More details about the organisation and setup is available in the July 2016 edition of RadCom. If you are interested in getting involved in 2017 contact Mike, G7TWC.

Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ, President and Founder of QRZ.com is visiting London on the 15th of July. He will be the guest speaker at Havering & District ARC held at The Spring House Club, Springhouse Road, Corringham, Stanford-le-Hope SS17 7QT. The talk will begin at 7.30pm sharp so please arrive early. For more details contact g4hrc@haveringradioclub.co.uk or look at the club’s website www.haveringradioclub.co.uk

A new distance record was set on 47GHz between Whiteface Mountain in New York at FN34bi and on Mont Tremblant in Quebec at FN26rf. The distance was calculated at 215km, that’s 133.3 miles, a new US-Canada record on the band. Congratulations to N1JEZ, KT1J, VE2UG and VE3FN.

The number of instances of interference from VDSL has increased over the last couple of years in the UK. To help amateurs to detect interference from VDSL the RSGB has drawn up a leaflet, the 15th in a series of EMC leaflets that the RSGB EMC Committee has produced. The leaflet has been uploaded to www.iaru-r1.org/ by G4JKS and is freely available to all. Just search that site for VDSL.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Two of the very different talks you can expect are Restoring Old Radio Sets by Philip Lawson, G4FCL and Making the Tim Peake Contacts A Reality with Graham Shirville & Noel Matthews. Philip will give a taster as to what is involved in restoring an old radio set from electrical and mechanical repairs through to testing and restoring the cabinet. Graham and Noel will explain the organisation required to provide the VHF ground station equipment needed at each of the ten schools and how it was only part of the challenge. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

The annual Night of Nights event starts at 0001UTC on the 13th of July. In this event, historic maritime CW stations such as KPH, WLO and Coast Guard stations such as NMC return from the dead for a few hours. It’s sponsored by the Maritime Radio Historical Society based in the USA. Two amateur stations, K6KPH and W4WLO will also be on the air using CW. QSLs will be available for working various stations. For more details put Maritime Radio Historical Society in to your favourite search engine.

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on the 30th of September and 1st of October. This year there will be several international attendees including LUSO Towers, Mastrant guying ropes, Powertech Computers and Tecadi with his pole and rope solutions. Several of the UK exhibitors have even increased their stand sizes to accommodate their increasing product lines. For advance entrance tickets that give you fast track entry to the event, or flea market bookings and club stand requests, please visit www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

In an Andorran government resolution dated the 16th of June, Andorra returns to 60m with the allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. CW and USB is permitted, with a maximum bandwidth of 5kHz. There is also a new 4m allocation of 70.0 to 70.2MHz, on a non-interference basis, with a maximum power of 10W. All modes are permitted and users must abide by the IARU Region 1 band plan. Finally, a power increase has been granted on 6m, now up to a maximum of 600W.

Churches and Chapels on the Air will take place on Saturday the 10th of September. If you or your club intend to put a station on please register that station with John, G3XYF, by email, to g3xyf@btconnect.com. A full list of registered participants can be found at www.wacral.org/CHOTA.htm

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

Today, the 10th of July, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place from 10.30am to 5pm, with admittance costing £2. The venue is Penair School, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TN. There is plenty of car parking and the venue also has disabled facilities. There will be a bring-and-buy sale, an RSGB bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Details from Ken Tarry, G0FIC on 01209 821073.

The McMichael Radio Rally takes place on the 17th of July at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane B4446, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. The venue has free car parking and a talk-in station will be on air. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar are available on site. A raffle will take place on the day. Details from Min Standen, on 0771 577 1665.

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

Antonio, EA5RM will be active as CP1XRM from Bolivia until early August. He will be on the HF bands running 100W to a vertical and using solar power. QSL to his home call.

Anna, W6NN and Rich, KE1B will be on the air as 8P6NN and 8P6MM from Barbados, respectively, until the 21st of July. Barbados is IOTA reference NA-021. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL both calls via KE1B.

OZ1DJJ will operate as OX3LX from Greenland until the 15th of July. Initially he will be on the air from Tasiilaq Island, NA-151. This is not a DXpedition and he will be on the air when possible outside his working hours. His QSL manager is OZ1PIF.

Yan, RZ3FW and Sergey, R4WAA will be on the air as JT5FW from the 11th to the 19th of July from Mongolia. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via RZ3FW.

Mikhail, RA1ALA will be on the air as RA1ALA/0 from Kuril Island, IOTA AS-025, until the 18th of July. Activity will be on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. QSL to his home call.

Now the special event news

Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is operating GB0IS for Theydon Bois Donkey Derby today. Next Sunday they will be working as GB100NWA for North Weald Airfield Community Day, celebrating the airfield’s 100th anniversary.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is putting GB4BLC on the air on Tuesday for Bramcote Open Day at Gamecock Barracks.

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB1AVR from the Ackworth Steam Spectacular & Vintage vehicles event on the 16th and 17th of July.

Now the contest news

This weekend, the IARU HF championships ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 10th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which for the UK is 27. The UK has an HQ team entering, GR2HQ, and you can help by working them on as many bands as possible. You can ask any of the GR2HQ stations for the frequencies of the other stations, as they can all see on their logging software where the other stations are transmitting.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

There are several contests taking place next weekend on the 17th. The Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC, using CW on the 3.5 to 7MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power. The UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC using all bands from 24 to 248GHz. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Finally, the 70MHz trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on 4m the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

We got the forecast for last weekend about right. Plasma from a coronal hole hit the Earth late on Saturday, pushing the K index to four. The solar flux index, however, has remained doggedly in the 70s. DX has been possible on HF though. After a request for information last week Peter, M0RYB said he was pleased to work TR3SA in Gabon on 20 metres on Saturday at 1824Z. He also worked a station in Brazil on 20m.

This week should see the solar flux index remain in the mid 70s as the only visible sunspot on the solar surface rotates away to the south east. A small coronal hole on the sun's equator is rotating into a geo-effective position about now, which may mean a geomagnetic storm could hit early next week, perhaps Monday or Tuesday. This may see the K index rise to four with the corresponding noisy bands, lower maximum usable frequencies and poor polar paths.

Sporadic-E continues to give some respite on the higher HF bands. But outside of this the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path is struggling to hit 18MHz, with 14MHz being more reliable. The Chilton Digisonde suggests 20m may remain open through the night at times, but 10MHz may be a better option.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like another week with low pressure, rather than high pressure, on the charts. This will again suggest that there could be some rain scatter options for the GHz bands. The latter part of the week does hint that at a ridge of high pressure temporarily close to southern Britain could offer a small chance of some weak Tropo into northern France.

There should still be some Sporadic-E to liven things up and, since we are seeing such unsettled weather continuing, it suggests that jet stream activity will be on offer again. This is good since these are the sources of the gravity waves or turbulence that can propagate upwards to the E region to help form Sporadic-E. Most of the time the main jet stream zone will be across the Atlantic into the UK and northern Europe, which favours paths to the Baltic, Poland or Scandinavia, with a later in the day option to North America.

The Moon’s declination goes negative today, with consequent shorter moon windows from early afternoon to late evening. Losses are high, with apogee occurring on Tuesday.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd July 2016

The news headlines:

  • Rupert Thorogood, G3KKT, SK

  • New RSGB Microwave Manager

  • Schools Link project starts

We start with the unexpected and sad news that Rupert Thorogood, G3KKT, became a Silent Key last weekend. Among many other achievements he was Company Secretary of the RSGB from 2006 until his death. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

The RSGB 2016 Convention takes place on October the 7th to the 9th at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. There is the opportunity to sit the Foundation and Intermediate exams on Saturday the 8th, and the Advanced exam on Sunday the 9th. To enrol as a candidate, please contact the RSGB exams department via email to exams@rsgb.org.uk or phone 01234 832 717. Those sitting the Foundation or Intermediate exam will need to have completed the Practical Assessment before the Convention. Amongst the wide range of activities over the Convention weekend, Dave, G4HUP will be presenting a new SMD project aimed at beginners in this technology. The presentation will introduce and explain the project, as well as the techniques and tools needed to construct it. This will be followed during the day by a number of workshop sessions with full construction support. Registration details for the workshop sessions will be provided closer to the event, online at www.rsgb.org/convention

The RSGB Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Barry Lewis, G4SJH to the position of Microwave Manager. Barry brings considerable experience to the role from homebrew and contesting to regulatory affairs. He succeeds the Murray Niman, G6JYB, who had been covering the role since his appointment to Chair of the Spectrum Forum. The RSGB Board would like to thank him for his efforts on behalf of radio amateurs.

Now that the Tim Peake school contacts have finished, you might be thinking that it is all over. As far as the RSGB is concerned, this is just the beginning of another big project. The RSGB has set up the Schools Link Project to work initially with the ten ARISS contact schools to develop wireless-related science and its technologies into activities for use in everyday teaching. Ian, G3YNU is leading the project. Some schools have already set up amateur radio clubs as a result of pupils getting their Foundation Licence to lead the ARISS contacts. Others are being very active with their local clubs and are looking for ways in which to include amateur radio activities into their busy schedules, or are running Foundation courses for other pupils. If you are interested in getting involved, contact Ian via email to schools.link@rsgb.org.uk

As we announced last week, GB2RS newsreader Peter Robinson, G8MSQ passed away last week. His funeral will take place on the 5th of July at Kingswood Chapel, Worthing Crematorium, Horsham Road, Findon, Worthing, BN14 0RG at 12.20pm. If you plan to attend please email g4gnx@theatreorgans.co.uk

Chris Smith is a cub leader in Dronfield, Derbyshire at the 5th Dronfield Hilltop Troop. He is trying to find out if there is a local radio amateur who might be interested in setting up and running a JOTA station over the weekend of the 14th to the 16th of October. If you are interested, please contact Region 13 Manager Jim Stevenson, G0EJQ, via email to rm13@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Board has agreed to co-opt a new Regional Manager for South Wales, Region 7. Glyn Jones, GW0ANA has been appointed as Regional Manager for Region 7 and the Board would like to thank him for stepping forward. The post will become due for election at the 2017 RSGB AGM.

This year’s AMSAT-UK Colloquium takes place at the Holiday Inn in Guildford on the 29th to the 31st of July. A full programme of presentations, covering all aspects of the amateur satellite world has been developed for the Saturday and Sunday and a Beginners Session is scheduled for the Friday afternoon. There will be a session on how to develop software receivers using GNU radio, reviews of the Tim Peake ARISS contacts and the educational results achieved, information about a new 76GHz satellite project, a review of how to operate in the field and lots more. Libby Jackson, from the UK Space Agency, with whom the ARISS UK team worked closely during the Tim Peake mission, will be speaking during the Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening. More details online at https://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

Radio amateurs in the south of England are asked to look out for schools and youth groups taking part in the Boscombe Down Balloon Challenge and to provide any help and encouragement that they can. The Challenge invites teams of budding engineers and scientists to compete for three £1000 prizes. Entrants will launch their own high-altitude balloon that will carry a radio telemetry payload operating in the licence-free portion of the 434MHz band. This is a great opportunity to promote Science Technology Engineering and Maths, but many would-be competitors will lack the radio communications know-how that most licensed amateurs take for granted. Any offers of help in this area are likely to be most welcome. This is also a very good opportunity to show off amateur radio to young people. Full details of the Balloon Challenge can be found at www.bdballoonchallenge.org/ and Competition flights can take place at any time up to and including 31 December 2016.

The ARRL reports the US Geological Survey has posted a presentation entitled Challenges and Lessons Learned during Gorkha Earthquake of 2015, which focuses on amateur radio’s role in the 2015 Nepal earthquake response. You can view the presentation at tinyurl.com/usgs-nepal

Two long-serving volunteers in IARU Region 1 were recognised for their work for IARU at the Friedrichshafen HamRadio event last week. Christian Verholt, OZ8CY, former Chair of the EMC Working Group and former EMC Advisor to the IARU International Secretariat, was awarded the IARU President's Diamond Award by Tim Ellam, VE6SH, IARU President, and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, IARU Vice-President. The award is a new reward to recognise exceptional volunteer contribution over many years. Christian was also awarded the Region 1 Medal by Region 1 President Don Beattie in recognition of his work on EMC matters in the Region for more than 20 years. Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM, was awarded the Region 1 Medal by IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, to recognise his ongoing exceptional leadership of the successful IARU monitoring system. Congratulations to both for their commitment to the work of IARU.

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

Today, the 3rd of July, the 20th Red Rose QRP Festival will take place at its new venue, The Rose Centre, Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. The venue has easy access from all directions via the M6, M61, M60 or A580. There is free car parking and the spacious halls are at ground level, with disabled facilities. Doors are open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, clubs stands and special interest groups as well as an RSGB bookstall. There will also be a Bring & Buy. A licensed bar and refreshments are available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

Today, the 3rd, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally takes place at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. It opens at 9am with talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, bring and buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2, with under 16s free.

The Stockport Radio Society Rally takes place on Saturday the 9th of July at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6QS. There will be a talk-in station on the air for help with directions. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Highlights will include trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site and a raffle will take place during the day. Other information available from Nigel Roscoe, G0RXA on 0745 090 4422.

On the 10th of July, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place from 10.30am to 5pm, with admittance costing £2. The venue is Penair School, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TN. There is plenty of car parking and the venue also has disabled facilities. There will be a bring-and-buy sale, an RSGB bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Details from Ken Tarry, G0FIC on 01209 821073.

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

Dan, HR2DMR will be active from Swan Island for several weeks as HQ8S. This counts as NA-035 for IOTA.

Rafael, NN3RP will operate holiday style from Nicaragua until the 22nd of July. He is using the callsign YN2RP and is active on the 10 to 40m bands. QSLs go via NN3RP, and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Bruce, 3W3B will make a return visit to Laos until the 12th of July. He will operate on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and RTTY with the callsign XW4XR. QSLs go via E21EIC.

A group of six operators from the United Arab Emirates will sign S79V from Mahe, AF-024, in the Seychelles until the 10th of July. They will operate on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB, CW and PSK. The QSL Manager is IZ8CLM.

Bill, ON5JE is on the air as 4O1/ON5JE until the 20th of July from Montenegro. Activity is on 40 and 20 meters. QSL to his home callsign.

Antonio, EA5RM is QRV as CP1XRM from Bolivia until the 3rd of August while working on a project there. Activity is on the HF bands in his spare time. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

GB0APS will be on the air today, the 3rd, from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active today for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Grey Point Fort Military Vehicle Rally Somme Centenary Commemorations take place today, the 3rd, from 10am to 5pm at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helens Bay, Crawfordsburn BT19 1LD. The two Naval guns will be fired at 1pm. There will be military vehicles and displays on site with stations GN0URN and GB0GPF on air.

Now the contest news

VHD NFD ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 3rd, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championship takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, on the 9th and 10th, the IARU HF championships takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which for the UK is 27. The UK has an HQ team entering, GR2HQ, and you can help by working them on as many bands as possible. You can ask any of the GR2HQ stations for the frequencies of the other stations, as they can all see on the logging software where the other stations are transmitting.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 1st July.

The Sun has had another virtually spotless week with the solar flux index keeping stubbornly below 80. As we said last week, this is getting close to the kind of figures we expect to see at sunspot minimum, such as when the SFI touched 64 in June 2007. Geomagnetically, things were a little more settled than previous weeks with the K index generally being two or three.

On Thursday a large coronal hole had rotated into a central position on the Sun, suggesting its plasma output could become geo-effective. If correct we could expect the K index to soar this weekend, with the chance of visible aurora.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 80-82 over the next seven days. Other than the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend, the rest of the week looks like it could be better.

The Chilton Digisonde plots show the noon critical frequency as just below 5MHz on Wednesday, giving a predicted maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 17.8MHz. If you want to work DX via the F2 layer you may need to stay on 14MHz/20 metres during daytime. However, Sporadic-E should still give strong short-skip conditions at times on the HF bands from 20 metres upwards. Meanwhile, if you do work any decent DX on HF please tell Steve, G0KYA via email to G0KYA@QSL.net.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The first hour of the GHz Bands UKAC last Monday brought some rain scatter propagation and the unsettled weather this coming week means more showers will be around again. This is likely to give more rain scatter for the GHz bands.

However, the main DX mode, Tropo, needs areas of high pressure to succeed and the next week does seem dominated by low pressure for much of the time. Only at the very end of the week may we see a ridge from the Azores high move across southern Britain. This could give some limited Tropo paths in the south and down across Biscay towards northern Spain.

The DX mode of choice at this time of year is still Sporadic-E, and recent events have confirmed the season is still in full progress. With recent openings to Spain on 2m, all the traditional VHF bands are in play from 10m up to 2m. The position of the jet streams are again likely to favour paths to southeast Europe round to Spain. If your shack time is limited, a good choice for Sporadic-E activity is late morning and early evening.

The Moon declination is positive, but the moon’s orbit is taking it further out, meaning losses will rise towards the end of the week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RSNEWS

Sunday26th June 2016

Thenews headlines:

  • Training and Assessment Guide on website

  • ISS amateurs return to Earth

  • Listen on 17.2kHz for SAQ

The amateur radio Training and Assessment Guide is now available on the RSGB website. This series of documents describes the procedures that are to be followed for the provision of training and assessment as part of the RSGB scheme for people to become eligible for a UK Amateur Radio Licence.

Three radio amateurs who had been on board the International Space Station for a little more than six months have landed safely back on Earth, touching down in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz transporter. Tim Kopra, KE5UDN; Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS, and Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, undocked from the space station early on the 18th of June after spending 186 days in space since arriving at the ISS in December. Kopra has now logged 244 days in space on two flights, while Peake,on his first mission, spent 186 days outside the atmosphere. Wrappingup his sixth mission, Malenchenko has now spent a cumulative total of 828 days in space, making him second on the all-time list behind Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, RN3DT.

The annual transmission on Alexanderson Day with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2kHz with the callsign SAQ will take place Sunday the 3rd of July at 0900UTC. Tuning up will start after 0830UTC. The process will be repeated at 1200UTC, with tuning up starting after 1130UTC. An amateur radio station with the callsign SK6SAQ will be active on 7.035MHz, 14.035MHz or 21.035MHz CW or 3.755MHz SSB. Two stations will be on the air most of the time. QSL reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ can be sent via email to info@alexander.n.se

American amateurs will have to continue renewing their licenses on a regular basis, after a petition for ‘lifetime’ licenses was denied. Last November Mark Krotz, N7MK, requested a change of the rules and the decision was announced on the 21st of June.

The VP8STI DXpedition video has been uploaded to the Intrepid DX Group's Vimeo.com page, see https://vimeo.com/intrepiddxgroup. Mike McGirr, K9AJ was an operator and the team doctor on the DXpedition to SouthGeorgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year and he will be speaking about the DXpedition at this year’s RSGB Convention in October. See www.rsgb.org/convention for more details.

Andnow for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 26th of June, sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

Next Saturday, the 2nd of July, the Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society Rally will be held at Donaghadee Community Centre, Manor Street, Donaghadee, County Down BT21 0HB. The venue is just 100 metres from the harbour, and car parking is available. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There is a talk on Practical Outdoor Weatherproofing by Ian White, GM3SEK as well as trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Special interest groups will be in attendance. A raffle will be held on the day. Details from Harry on 0289 142 2762.

On Sunday the 3rd of July, the 20th Red Rose QRP Festival will takeplace at The Rose Centre, Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. The venue has easy access from all directions via the M6, M61, M60 or A580. There is free car parking and the spacious halls are at ground level with disabled facilities. Doors are open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, clubs stands and special interest groups as well as an RSGB bookstall. There will also be a Bring & Buy. A licensed bar and refreshments are available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

Also on the 3rd, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. It opens at 9am with Talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, bring and buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2 with under 16s free.

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

Dave, FJ/W9DR and Tom, FJ/W9AEB will be operating from Saint Barthelemy Island, NA-146, until the 29th of June. Dave is on 6 metres only, doing CW/SSB with a 6m Beacon, and Tom is working on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as D44TWO from Sao Tiago, AF-005, in the Cape Verde Islands. He is expected to be there until the 13th of July. He will operate SSB, CW and digital modes on the 6 to 40m bands. His QSL manager is M0OXO.

Steve, NY3B will be active holiday style as J6/NY3B from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 4th of July. He will operate CW and SSB mostly on 40, 20 and 15 metres. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Naoki, JS3LSQ will be active as T88WJ from Koror, Palau, OC-009, until the 29th of June. He will operate mainly RTTY. QSL via JS3LSQ, direct or bureau.

Now the special event news

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road,Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Bush valley ARC will be on the air from Ballymoney Show Grounds from the 27th ofJune until the 2nd of July to commemorate the battle of the Somme. The club will use GB100BOS. Club members from other clubs are welcome to join Bush valley in this memorable occasion.

Now the contest news

Today, the 26th, the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also today is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs form1900 to 2130UTC. Using All modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, for 24 hours over the 2nd and 3rd of July, VHD NFD takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 3rd, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Once again the sun looks pretty spotless, apart from one tiny smudge. As a result, this week saw the solar flux index drop below 80. We're beginning to sound like a stuck record, but ongoing coronal hole activity pushed the K index to five on Wednesday 22nd. No isyelectrical storms across most of Northern Europe didn’t help the bands either.

Next week the USAF predicts the solar flux index will be in the range70-80, with the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of July. As the solar flux index at sunspot minimum doesn’t fall below about 66, this gives you some idea of the current state of the sun.

As it is mid-summer we can’t expect fantastic HF conditions either, with lower maximum usable frequencies during the day, compared with the autumn and winter, but higher MUFs at night.

If you want a challenge, try listening for the Alexanderson alternator at station SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden on 17.2kHz CW at 0900 and 1200UTC on Sunday 3rd July. The Twente SDR on the web can cover 17.2kHz, or you can hook an antenna up to your sound card and use some specialist software. Amateur station SK6SAQ will also be active on 80m SSB and 40, 20 and 15m CW during the day.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E may be poorer next week as the main Atlantic jet stream activity has already migrated north, leaving much of central Europe under a much slacker pattern. The absence of active jet streams over Europe probably means that one of the main Sporadic-E triggers, gravity waves, may be missing or reduced. These waves propagate up from the turbulence of the jet stream at 12km height to the E region at 120km.

This absence will make Sporadic-E hard to come by except perhaps for the more northern paths across to Scandinavia where the jet stream may be slightly more active.

Next week we will find a big high with a very large east-west extent just north of the Azores and covering much of the Atlantic. This could give some interesting Tropo paths down the western side of Europe from the UK to Spain and Portugal and onwards to the Canaries or Cape Verde.

It may also be a tempting week for those seeking the more unlikely options of trans-Atlantic Tropo. This is very much a long shot, since there are fronts involved which can easily break any ducts.

Moon declination goes positive on Monday and losses are falling with perigee on Friday, so EME conditions will improve as the week progresses.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • GB3UHF now live

  • US Field Day MW & LW

  • National Women in Engineering day

New 70cm beacon GB3UHF went on the air on Wednesday the 15th of June. It is located at the same site as its sister beacon, GB3VHF, at BT Fairseat in Kent, JO01EH. It uses the same type of 3 element Yagi antennas pointing in the same directions as those used on GB3VHF and radiates a similar ERP. It will be very useful to determine the propagation characteristics of VHF and UHF simultaneously. The keying format follows closely to that used by GB3VHF. The support from BT for scientific and VHF /UHF propagation research in this field is very much appreciated. Full details of the new GB3UHF beacon, which operates on 432.430MHz, can be found online at www.gb3vhf.co.uk and reports to the Keeper, G0FDZ, will be most welcome.

Next weekend several amateurs with special permits will be operating on medium and long wave throughout the ARRL’s Field Day, on the 25th and 26th. Operation will be on 185.3kHz and several spot frequencies in the 472kHz band. Details of the participating stations can be found at tinyurl.com/gb2rs-us-mw

This Thursday is National Women in Engineering Day. Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club will be visiting Wellesley House School that day, where some 60 girls will be attending from around six schools. The day will include amateur radio, design and computer technology, and electronic science activities for the girls.

In the Queen’s Birthday honours Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at the University of Manchester, was awarded an MBE for services to Engineering through Public Engagement. Quoted in the Guardian, she highlighted amateur radio enthusiasts as an inspiration to the next generation of tinkerers.

Also in the Birthday Honours, astronaut Tim Peake, GB1SS, was awarded a CMG for services to space research and scientific education. The award was offered, and accepted, whilst Tim was on the International Space Station. It was thus the first in history to be offered to a person whilst they were not physically on Planet Earth.

Ofcom is changing its online licencing system that supports amateur radio. The change is part of a wider initiative to upgrade its licencing system. New facilities will include the ability for clubs to apply for the first time online. The changes will be phased in, with further features added over time. More information is at http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk

Worthing Radio Events group is running a portable HF station from the grounds of Gratwick House care home in Littlehampton, West Sussex. The station is active today, the 19th, from 1 to 5pm BST, so that ninety one year old Peter Craw, G3CCX, can get on the air for the day. Peter expects to concentrate activity on 18MHz. All contacts are very much welcome.

According to DX-World and The Daily DX, Polish DXer Dom Grzyb, 3Z9DX has received confirmation that North Korea will authorise a 5-day operation. Permission is expected to come at short notice and it is unlikely that there will be any advance publicity. He will only operate SSB and on one band, either 20, 15 or 10m. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the number one most-wanted DXCC entity and Dom managed a brief activation last December, the first for many years.

Sad news now that DXer and DXpeditioner Milt Jensen, N5IA, died on the 9th of June after falling from an amateur radio mast. He was 73. He took part in the XZ1N and XZ0A DXpeditions to Myanmar, and was part of the Ducie Island VP6DX DXpedition team.

The 2015 Best Communication Award from DxCoffee and the DXUniversity has been assigned to K1N, the DXpedition to Navassa, which took place in February 2015. The DXpedition took place after many years’ attempts and the website, www.navassadx.com, got many people involved in the details. The team also made good use of Facebook for news and pictures, and sent some tweets. Team member Glenn Johnson, W0GJ spoke about the DXpedition at the 2015 RSGB Convention and RSGB Members can watch a video of his talk online in the video archive.

Former lightship Planet, home to the special callsign GB2LBL, was the last manned lightship in the UK. Now permanently moored in Liverpool, the owner, Alan Roberts, together with the Marine Radio Museum Society, reports she is in financial distress. They have set up an information page, which also solicits donations, at www.chuffed/project/savetheplanetliverpool

Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon aspires to establish an amateur radio station on the site, similar to GB2IWM at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airfield. Rather than a radio club, its primary mission will be the collection, restoration, exhibition and display to the public of historic radio communication equipment, in support of the Imperial War Museum. As there is no nearby amateur radio club, Devon DRM Martin Sables, G7NTY is co-ordinating volunteers and would be pleased to hear from anyone who might be able to help. Please contact him via email to drm112@rsgb.org.uk

Finally, we would like to apologise for an incorrect story that crept into last week’s news, caused by an extraordinary mix-up of dates. We apologise to Milton Keynes ARS and anyone else who was affected.

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

Today, the 19th of June, the Newbury Radio Rally takes place at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@nadars.org.uk.

Friday to Sunday sees the Hamtronic Show at Friedrichshafen, Germany. There will be a large number of trade stands plus a huge flea market. Many IARU Member Societies have stands in the main hall. Lectures take place each day, some in English. There will be a large RSGB book stall. Details are online at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de

Sunday the 26th of June sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

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

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

3B8/M0RCX is active from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049, in a family type DXpedition. He will be on the air until the 14th of July. QSL via EB7DX or EQSL.

The Lofoten Islands, EU-076 are on the air courtesy of LA/DL5RMH with a holiday-style operation out of a camper van until the 25th. QSL to home callsign or via the bureau.

RC1M, RV1CC and UA1QV are on the air as RV1CC/P and RC1MP/P from the island of Kashin, EU-102, until the 23rd. Activity is on 40 to 15m. QSL direct or via the bureau.

Steve, NY3B will be active from Saint Lucia Island, IOTA NA-108 from 22 June to 4 July as J6/NY3B. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m SSB and CW. QSL via LOTW.

Howard, WB4WXE will be active again from Dominica Island, IOTA NA-101, as J79XE from 22 June to 11 July. He will operate on 40 to 6m with priority given to 6m. QSL via home call.

Wolfgang, DK1HW will be active from Safari, also known as Mushimasgali Island, Mushimas Migili Reef, in the Maldives, AS-013, from 20 to 28 June. His callsign will be 8Q7HW and activity is on the HF bands in CW, SSB, and PSK31. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

From Friday to Sunday members of the South Tyneside Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB2SJ at Souter Lighthouse for the second part of museums weekend. SJ were the original Trinity House call letters for the lighthouse. All visitors are welcome.

Cambridge & District ARS will be operating special event station GB1CMT at the Cambridge Museum of Technology from 11am to 5pm next Saturday.

Next Saturday Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society will put GB4FMG on the air for Gloucester Folk Museum in Gloucester. 

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz trophy finishes its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest concludes its 48 hour run today. It is CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, with the exchange being signal report and your age, for which YL operators send 00.

Today, the Worked All Britain 6m Contest runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC. It is phone only and the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

The UKuG High Band Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 80m Club Championship SSB leg takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC next Sunday. 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 17th June

This week saw some fantastic six metre propagation, with the band behaving more like 20m. Multi-hop Sporadic-E contacts were made across the Atlantic, as far west as Arizona and south to Texas.

Six metres is a band that can exhibit both VHF and HF qualities, although we'll leave any further Sporadic-E discussion to the VHF section of this report.

As for the rest of HF, the scene has been dominated yet again by unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s extreme ultraviolet image on Thursday showed extensive coronal hole activity and the K index was pushed to six late on Tuesday June 14th and the early hours of Wednesday 15th. This activity had been predicted for last weekend, but the solar plasma arrived a couple of days later.

The solar flux index declined to 87 on Thursday. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be the range 85-95, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions possible on Friday and next weekend.

Noon-time F2 layer maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are hitting 18.2MHz at times, while twenty metres is remaining open during the night according to the Chilton Digisonde. But the real thrills are the continued Sporadic-E events on the upper HF bands, so make the most them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The second half of last week produced some great openings as Sporadic-E developed along a major summer jet stream. With core speeds above 100 knots it affected much of the usual favoured locations for Sporadic-E over the continent. The southwesterly jet was disturbed as it crossed the Pyrenees and Alps, to give options around the compass for many stations.

There were also some notable trans-Atlantic paths using the waving jet stream flow to the west to give the necessary stopping off points for multi-hop paths to the USA and Caribbean. There will still be some jet stream activity over Europe this week, but the flow will be weaker and therefore any Sporadic-E produced may be more fleeting; so not such a good week.

The prospects for Tropo are marginal, with a weak ridge of high pressure to the west and a slack flow over the country. These patterns normally produce some limited Tropo overnight and around dawn, but these are often short-lived, since in the summer, the temperature inversion soon breaks down once the sun gets up. Keep an eye for GHz bands rain scatter if showers break out.

With the Moon at lowest declination on Tuesday and losses still high, EME will be poor this week with short moon windows, so maybe it’s time to look at some satellite operation.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Legacy Fund

  • Exercise Blue Ham

  • Yorkshire 6m newsreaders needed


The RSGB Legacy Fund exists due to the generosity of donors and the Legacy Sub-Committee works with the Board to consider and recommend proposals for its use. The Fund currently stands at about £170,000 and it provides an excellent opportunity to support innovation and development. Its scope for proposals is deliberately wide with the highest priority given to proposals focused on taking our hobby forward. There are currently four trustees and the RSGB would like to make one further appointment. The term of office for trustees is three years with a two term maximum. Most work is conducted by email and Skype. The RSGB would like to hear from Members who would be interested in serving. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is currently Chairman of the sub-committee and would welcome informal discussion, initially via email to president@rsgb.org.uk Applications by CV should arrive with the General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm@rsgb.org.uk by the 31st of August 2016.

On the 18th and 19th of June the Air Cadet Organisation will be organising and running a military style national radio exercise named ‘Exercise Blue Ham’. This will be one of the many events the organisation is holding during 2016 and 2717 to mark the 75th Anniversary of its formation. Amateur radio operators are invited to take part with the cadets. The exercise will take place on the MOD 5MHz, or 60m band, and a significant part of the exercise will be on the section of the band that amateurs are authorised to use. The Cadet stations will operate from noon on the 17th until noon on the 18th on specific frequencies within the band. These frequencies will be published live on the internet as the exercise is in progress and amateurs are welcome to check the exercise website and call in, but only on the amateur band frequencies they are authorised to use. Details are at www.alphacharlie.org.uk/blueham.

Additional GB2RS readers for the 50MHz service in Yorkshire are urgently needed. Any RSGB Member considering this role must be able to access GB3WY. If you think this is a voluntary role you would be interested in, please contact the GB2RS Manager, Ken, G3VBA, by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

Jim Bacon, G3YLA gave an interview to the Paul Hudson Weather Show regarding tropospheric propagation. It will be broadcast over the weekend and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards. Broadcasts today, the 12th, are at 12 noon on Radio York and Radio Leeds and 1pm on Radio Sheffield. Then, on Monday, the show is at 6pm on Radio Lincolnshire.

Milton Keynes ARS will celebrate 100 years since Alan Turing's birth with a series of special events using the GB2AMT, standing for Alan Mathison Turing. On the 16th and 17th of June, they will be receiving multiple Enigma transmissions using CW from GCHQ's tent at the Cheltenham Science Festival. A special NoV has been issued by Ofcom for this occasion, allowing the encrypted transmission to take place. GCHQ will be transmitting using the callsign GB5AMT and MKARS will be receiving this particular transmission using the GB2BP callsign. They will be using at least 2 or 3 receiving stations, in order to more closely imitate reception conditions as they were during the war. The messages received by each station will then be compared and collated at a central point and then fed into the Bombe machine in Block B at Bletchley Park. This part of the event will be transmitted by video link to Cheltenham, and the decoded message will then be sent back to Cheltenham using Twitter.

Misko, YT7MPB will give a tutorial lecture on amateur radio communications, related software & hardware, and computer networks in education during the International Science Conference Computer Networks on the 14th to 17th of June in Poland.

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

Today, the 12th of June, the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also today, the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

South Lancs Summer Rally will take place on the 18th of June at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. The venue has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors open at 9am with traders entering from 7.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. There is a licensed bar and catering on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

The 29th Newbury Radio Rally will take place on the 19th of June at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@nadars.org.uk.

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

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

John, W5JON/V47JA will be active from Calypso Bay, St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-104, as V47JA from the 14th of June to the 15th of July. He will work the 160 to 6m bands, including 60m, using SSB. Send QSL cards to W5JON direct or via Logbook of the World. He is not accepting bureau QSLs.

Kurt, DL9FBF will be active holiday-style from Style in the Inner Hebrides, EU-008, until the 24th as MM/DL9FBF on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB, running 100W. QSL via DL9FBF either direct or via the bureau.

Bengt, SM7EQL will be operating from Crete, EU-015, until the 16th, signing SV9/homecall on the 30 to 10m bands. QSL via SM6JSM either direct or via the bureau

The North Eastern Contest Gang will be activating Saaremaa Island, which is IOTA reference EU-034, until the 17th. They will be using the callsign ES0UG, mainly on 6m, 4m, and 2m, but also a bit on HF. Following this, they are going to participate in the IARU 6m Contest on the 18th and 19th as LY2AAM from KO23. QSL for LY2AAM via DL3BQA.

Fred, PA1FJ is on the air as SV8/PA1FJ/p until the 24th from Samos, EU-049, with a QRP rig on HF using CW and SSB. QSL via PA1FJ via the bureau.

Giovanni, IU2HDO is currently active from Favigana Island, which is IOTA reference EU-054, until the 1st of July as IF9/IU2HDO.

Now the special event news

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands until the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER today, the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR today, the 12th, to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BM from The Bay Museum, Western Esplanade, Canvey Island, SS8 0AY on the 19th of June.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB2DD from Stifford Pumping Station on the 18th of June.

GB2CM will be on the air on the 19th from Thames Water STW, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ. Operating from 10.30am to 4pm, admittance to the museum is £8.

On the 18th and 19th, Stockton and District ARC will be taking part in Museums on the Air from Hartlepool Heugh Gun Battery, operating GB0HGB using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m.

During June Mid Sussex ARS will celebrate its 50th anniversary using the ex-President’s callsign, G5RV, on the 17th of June from 7.30pm at the Jack and Jill Windmills.

Now the contest news

The French DDFM 6m contest finishes its 24 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 12th. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

The second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC today, the 12th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. The 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest ends its 30 hour run at 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 50MHz trophy runs from 1400UTC on the 18th to 1400UTC on the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours on the 18th and 19th. Its CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands with the exchange being signal report and your age, YL operators send 00.

On the 19th there are two events of note. The first is the Worked All Britain 6m Contest, which runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC, phone only. The exchange for that one is signal report, serial number and WAB square. The second is the UKuG High Band Contest that runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands.

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

This week saw mixed HF propagation conditions. We were right to predict a geomagnetic disturbance for last weekend, although the plasma hit the Earth right at the end of National Field Day. This led to widespread aurora as the K index hit five and then six.

Propagation during field day was lacklustre due to a lack of sunspots and the seasonal doldrums. But there has been some decent propagation and excellent DX this week. Andy, M0NKR reports working 9Y4D in Trinidad on 6m, possibly via multi-hop Sporadic E, and XR0YS Easter Island on 10m, which, after careful examination, was most likely F layer propagation.

This week the solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 85-95, although on Thursday there was only one sunspot group visible.

Geomagnetic disturbances due to coronal hole activity are predicted to remain an issue this weekend, with the K index possibly increasing to four. Next week may also remain unsettled, with the K index predicted to hit five on Friday the 17th.

We are now entering the period for six metre summer solstice short path propagation when signals from Asia may be heard in Europe from over the North Pole. Stations equipped with six metres are encouraged to get on the band as this, plus multi-hop Sporadic E, can bring some surprises.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Propagation folk lore has the first week in June high on the list of Sporadic-E activity. Last week, we had some fine Sporadic-E, some excellent Tropo to the North and GHz-band rain scatter to the near continent. The northerly Tropo coupled signals into the aurora giving some remarkable mixed mode DX for the lucky few.

Next week, we may struggle to achieve any Tropo of note, as low pressure is due to move into the British Isles. This will bring showery weather ending the Tropo spell over the North Sea.

A new high to the southwest late in the week may allow paths to the south across Biscay and down past Portugal to the west coast of North Africa.

There should be plenty of opportunities for Sporadic-E during next week when weather elements are favourable. The principal elements are jet streams, and it is likely that these will be located over the near continent as the weather turns unsettled.

This could bring propagation towards the Balkans and round through Italy to Iberia. Remember that there are usually two main periods of activity, late morning and early evening, but very active events can last for much of the day.

Daily jet stream forecast charts and Sporadic-E blog are uploaded daily on the RSGB website Forums.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • Band plans updated

  • Hi-Impact balloon going up

  • RSGB Convention news

Amateurs are advised that updates to a number of band plans are now in effect in the UK and across IARU Region 1 as of the 1st of June. The changes to 80m, 30m and VHF provide for greater flexibility for narrow band digital modes. The new version also includes some editorial updates in other bands. Full details can be found on the RSGB website at http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/

On the 9th of June, a team from Hi-Impact, including DRM61, Mark, MW1MDH, will be launching a High Altitude Balloon from a site in Welshpool. It will carry a HABduino as part of a project with schools in the area. Mark is asking all amateurs and SWLs, if they would help track this flight and feed the data back into Habitat, the web based HAB tracker, http://tracker.habhub.org. The launch will take place around 11.30am and the HABduino will be transmitting on the 434.650MHz, RTTY, 50 Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 data bits, no parity, 2 stop bits. The callsign to look for is BARNABY.

If you weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of the lectures were recorded and are being made available to Members via the RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming John Rogers, M0JAV who will speak about Diagnosing and Reporting RFI problems. He will outline the new EMC assisted diagnosis / reporting process and will explain what is needed for Ofcom to consider investigating RFI cases. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

A 2m signal from the UK was heard across the Atlantic on the 2nd of May. It had been reflected off the structure of the International Space Station. Following two weeks of preparation, Tim, G4LOH, in Cornwall and Roger, VE1SKY, in Nova Scotia attempted a FSK441 contact. With a mutual window of less than 1 minute, VE1SKY was able to copy G4LOH at a distance of 4441km. This was the first signal received via ISS-bounce from Europe to North America, and the first intentional signal heard via ISS reflection in any direction across the North or South Atlantic.

Thanks to the Brazilian Amateur Radio League (LABRE) radio amateurs who will visit Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be able to get on the air easily. During August and September any foreign amateur will be able to operate in Brazil, regardless of whether there is a reciprocal agreement. No IARP or CEPT licence is necessary and no fees are required. You just need to send a scan of your passport identification pages and licence, a list of the cities you intend to operate in and when, plus an email address, to executiva@labre.org.br.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 9th of June from 10am to 2pm. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety. More details are online at www.npl.co.uk/time

Registration is open for the 3rd International Air Ambulance activity, a 9-day special event. The 2016 dates are the 19th to the 27th of September. To register your station, go to tinyurl.com/2016-iaw

The marine buoy ZL1SIX with its low powered transmission on the 30m band is now floating around the Pacific Ocean. Bob, ZL1RS reports that the solar powered buoy is transmitting the weak signal WSPR and JT9 modes on the 30m band. The yacht Windflower launched the buoy in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean with its last location being south of Fiji and Tonga. Data sent hourly shows the buoy travelling at about 1.8km per hour in a north-nor-east direction. More details, including tracking progress being mapped, are online at www.qsl.net/zl1rs/oceanfloater.html

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

This weekend, the 4th and 5th of June, the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takes place at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as camping and caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation as well as a special event station. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free. There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. There is a room for talks and demonstrations. More information from Dave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Today, the 5th, the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Convention takes place in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. There will be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also take place. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Also on the 5th, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be in the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincs PE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area. Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBR on 0794 630 2815.

On the 11th of June Martin Lynch is celebrating his 60th birthday at ML&S, Wessex House, Drake Avenue, Staines, Middlesex TW18 2AP. Customers old and new are invited, with the event co-hosted by Yaesu, Icom & Kenwood. There will be plenty of refreshments with hot & cold drinks.

On the 12th of June the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also on the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

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

On the air until the 15th of June, Kevin, K6TOP will be in the British Virgin Islands, IOTA reference NA-023, with the callsign VP2V/K6TOP. Find him on the 10 to 40m bands working CW in his spare time. Send QSLs via Logbook of the World.

John, 2M0JMN, is in the Cayman Islands, NA-016, operating as ZF2MN until the 17th of June. He will be operating holiday-style on the HF bands. Send QSL cards via M0OXO.

Waldi, SP7IDX, is active from Vannoya Island, EU-046, as LA/SP7IDX until the 10th of June. Send QSLs to his home callsign, via the Bureau, direct, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

Gerard, F6CKD is on the air from French Guiana until the 15th of June 1th as FY/F6CKD. He is mainly on 20 and 17 metres. Send QSLs via F6CKD.

Jonathan, KK7PW is on the air as 5X1O from Uganda until the 8th of July. Activity is on 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using 5 watts. QSL via EA5GL.

Hans, DF5UG is on the air as 9M2QQ from Segamat in West Malaysia until the 15th of June. Activity is mainly on 20 metres using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Jeff, K5WE is on the air as XR0YS from Easter Island, SA-001, until the 8th of June. Activity is on 80 to 6 metres using mostly CW and some RTTY. He may be active on 160 metres depending on local conditions. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Radio amateurs of the ARI Fidenza group will operate a radio station located close to the keel of the yacht Elettra, Marconi’s floating laboratory. Using the callsign IY4EC, the station will be on the air today, the 5th, as part of the Museum Ships event.

Chertsey Radio Club has the extended use of GB9LIZ until the end of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The club has been operating most weekends on HF from Laleham Park and during the week using DMR modes.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB90QEB on the 8th of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday Tea Party being held at Tilbury Riverside Project from 2 to 4pm.

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands from the 9th to the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER over the weekend of the 10th to the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR on the 12th of June to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

Now the contest news

The CW National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 5th, on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia NETwork Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 5th. The SEANET area encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is a triangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North East and Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer Es Contest ends its 24 hours at 1300UTC today, the 5th. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG to participate or enter. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membership number if you have one.

The UK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and 9cm today, the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships data leg will take place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, from 1600UTC on the 11th to 1600UTC on the 12th, the French DDFM 6m contest takes place. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

On the 12th the second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. That 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest takes place on from 1200UTC on the 11th to 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

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

The solar flux index declined further this week to the mid 80s. A quick look at an image of the sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory on solarham.net shows why. On Thursday two sunspot groups were rotating out of sight on the sun’s limb, leaving a pretty blank disk. As a result NOAA predicts the solar flux index will diminish to 75-80 for the whole of next week.

This week has been quieter geomagnetically, with a maximum K index of three and a low of one. As we mentioned in the last report, this week may start off very unsettled with a K index up to five this weekend due to a geo-effective recurring coronal hole on the sun's surface. After a respite mid week, next weekend may also become unsettled.

The highlight this week has been prolonged Sporadic-E openings on the upper HF bands. These have brought lengthy short-skip openings on 20m and up and hopefully may continue. Rare, but relatively local, DX has included both Monaco and San Marino on 10 metres.

If you are fairly new to the hobby look around 28.500MHz for signals around mid-morning, mid to late afternoon and early evening. Also look for FM signals around 29.600MHz. Beacon hunters should look between 28.125 and 28.325MHz.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather pattern is fairly slow moving and although we start with high pressure, this will get displaced to the east. This could still provide some Tropo from northern Britain across to southern Scandinavia. Low pressure approaching from the Atlantic will introduce some showery weather with warmer and more humid southerly winds. If these showers are heavy and thundery they could produce good rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

As we said earlier, we’ve had a good start to this year for Sporadic-E with many days of European Sporadic-E on 50MHz upwards to 144MHz. Tea time on the 30th produced strong 144MHz signals from YU1EV and others, copied from East Anglia right over to West Wales and the Isle of Man.

Disturbed weather patterns with strong jet streams are what is required for Sporadic-E, but the next week is looking quieter as the jet stream migrates to the northern parts of Europe. This could mean paths to Scandinavia more often than southern Europe as in recent weeks. If you do one thing, check the VHF bands for Sporadic-E around tea time, before eating, and you’ll catch most of what develops.

With high declination, the Moon is favourably placed for EME, with low losses early in the week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th May 2016

Thenews headlines:

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Transatlantic VHF digital beacon

  • Repeater insurance renewals

Ifyou weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of thelectures were recorded and are being made available to Members viathe RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward towelcoming Jeff, VY2ZM/K1ZM, who lives with his wife, Miriam on PrinceEdward Island. He is both a well-known contester and a lowband DXerwith a special interest in 160m. He participates in most of the majorcontests each season. He will be speaking on Contesting from VY2ZM inthe Canadian Maritimes. Booking information can be found atwww.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo tobook.

Onthe 19th of May, antennas were erected and the VHF SDR turned on toinaugurate the VO1FN/b Transatlantic VHF Digital Beacon ReceiverSite. This is a joint project sponsored in part by the Society ofNewfoundland Radio Amateurs, Baccalieu Amateur Radio Club and theUpper Trinity Amateur Radio Club. The VHF Digital Receive site is nowoperational and ready for experimentation by beacon operators andwell-equipped VHF stations in Europe. The antennas, two InnovAntenna5 element LFA Q High Gain VHF Yagis, can be rotated to point tostations that are located in southern regions of Europe.

Repeaterkeepers are reminded that their repeater insurance is due. Those whohave yet to renew should do so via the RSGB website. Renewals havebeen reduced to £10 per repeater callsign.

AnInternational Space Station radio contact has been planned for Jeff,KD5TVQ with participants at a school in Ontario, Canada. The event isscheduled for Monday the 30th of May at approximately 1901UTC. Thecontact will be a telebridge contact operated by IK1SLD in northernItaly. The downlink signals should be audible over parts of Europe.Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800MHz narrowbandFM.

TheDayton Hamvention is over for another year. Around 25,000 visitorswere at the show, including the RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF.He was interviewed along with Chip Margelli, K7JA; A71EZ of the QatarAmateur Radio Society and Vicki Mate, K8VGM of the 3905 Century Clubfor the Amateur Radio Newsline report.

Nigel,G3TXF will be at the helm of the Kosovo Amateur Radio Associationstation Z60A during the CQ WPX CW contest this weekend. TheAssociation is the newest International Amateur Radio Union membersociety. The operation will be in preparation for their debut as anofficial headquarters station for the IARU HF Championship on the 9thand 10th of July when Z60A will operate from multiple stations aroundthe country.

Aradio relic from the Second World War has just come out of theshadows. It’s a wireless station just outside Norwich that operatedin obscurity, its access hidden behind a fake bookcase. The stationalso had a nearby escape tunnel. Civilian volunteers were dispatchedthere to transmit and receive messages for the Army, tradinginformation to help ward off an invasion. The station, which finallycame to public light in 2012, was recently granted HeritageProtection by Historic England. It is known as the Pinebanks stationand is located at Thorpe St Andrews near Norwich, one of threeunderground wireless stations similarly protected.

MidlandARS will be celebrating the 85th anniversary of the society in June.They are inviting ex members and anyone else who is interested to theshack for an exhibition of the club’s history and a buffet on the8th of June. If any ex members have any memorabilia that could beborrowed for the exhibition, please contact Norman, G8BHE on 0780 8078003.

Affiliatedamateur radio clubs need to be getting information together for thenext RSGB Yearbook and should recently have received a letter to thiseffect. Information such as contact details, meeting places andexamination information is being collected. The deadline forsubmitting information on the club is 6 June.

GB3WWand GB3WG have recently been repaired and upgraded. These areco-located at 370m ASL on a 180ft mast above Port Talbot. GB3WG haschanged frequency to RU70, wide split, on 430.875 and 434.475MHz with94.8Hz CTCSS. The repeater keeper, John, GW4FOI would appreciatereports from any and all areas.

IARURegion 1 has produced an updated VHF Managers’ Handbook. Allrelevant decisions of the IARU R1 Conference 2014 in Varna Bulgariahave been taken into account as well as recommendations proposed inthe Vienna meeting 2016. A completely new version of the VHF handbookwill be published after the 2017 Conference in Munich. To downloadyour copy, go to www.iaru-r1.org

Andnow for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Wehave no details of any rallies taking place today, the 29th.

Onthe 4th and 5th of June the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takesplace at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, EastSussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as campingand caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-instation will be in operation as well as a special event station.Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free.There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. Therewill be a room for talks and demonstrations. More information fromDave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Onthe 5th of June the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Conventionwill be held in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise,Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and thevenue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabledvisitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. Therewill be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGBbookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also takeplace. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Alsoon the 5th of June, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be inthe Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, LincsPE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doorsopen at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area.Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBRon 0794 630 2815.

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

Andnow the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Kevin,K6TOP is on the air as VP2V/K6TOP from Tortola, IOTA referenceNA-023, in the British Virgin Islands. He will be active until the15th of June while on holiday. Operation is on the 40, 20, 15 and 10mbands using mostly CW. QSL via NR6M.

Stefan,DF8HS will be active from Fehmarn Island, EU-128, from the 6th ofJune until the 4th of July. QSL via the bureau.

Gil,F4FET will be active as F4FET/p from Fort Brescou, EU-148, on the 3rdto the 5th of June. He will operate SSB on the 40 to 6m bands. QSLvia his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

John,K9EL will be active as FS/K9E from St Martin, NA-105, from the 5th tothe 23rd of June. He will be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB andRTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau, OQRS onClub Log, LoTW and eQSL.

Iain,MM0TFU will be active holiday style as MM0TFU/p from Blackwaterfoot,Isle of Arran, EU-123, from the 1st to the 14th of June. QSL via LoTWor direct to his home callsign.

Nowthe contest news

Today,Sunday the 29th, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serialnumber and locator.

TheCW World Wide WPX CW contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359 tonight onthe 29th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal reportand serial number.

OnTuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC.Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

TheCW National Field Day takes place over the weekend the 4th and 5th ofJune. Running from 1500 to 1500UTC on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

Alsoover the weekend of the 4th and 5th, the South East Asia NETworkContest takes place for 24 hours from 1200 to 1200UTC. The SEANETarea encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is atriangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North Eastand Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

TheUK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer E’s Contest takes place for 24hours on the same weekend, which was chosen to coincide with the peakof the Sporadic-E season. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG toparticipate or enter. Running from 1300 to 1300 on the 5th, theexchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membershipnumber if you have one.

TheUK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and9cm on the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

Nowthe radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO onFriday 27th May.

Thispast week was more settled, geomagnetically, with the K indexgenerally staying around zero or one. This was thanks to a lack ofsolar coronal hole activity and the associated high-speed solar windstreams. The solar flux index declined from the high to mid 90s aslarge sunspot 2546 rotated out of view. This has left a rathersparse-looking solar disk with only one sunspot group visible. As aresult the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90 in thecoming week. NOAA predicts the geomagnetic K index rising again to anunsettled four on Monday and Tuesday.

Lookingfurther ahead it doesn't look good for next weekend’s HF CWNational Field Day as plasma from a recurring solar coronal holecould push the K index up to five. This could see the HF bands becomenoisy and maximum usable frequencies fall away.

Apartfrom occasional short-skip Sporadic-E openings on 10 and 15m, thehighest ‘money’ band for Field Day is predicted to be 20m, with15m perhaps struggling to open to DX. Forty metres may giveconsistent openings around Europe, with DX being workable at night.Eighty metres may give good openings around Europe after dark, but isunlikely to yield much DX.

Andnow the VHF and up propagation news.

Nextweek sees high pressure between Iceland and Scotland with lowpressure over the near continent. This will mean a north-easterlyflow of air from the North Sea. In the summer months, this can leadto extensive mist and sea fog along eastern coasts and give some goodTropo conditions from East Anglia to Aberdeen and Lerwick.

Thistype of Tropo depends upon warm moist air blowing off the continentand out across the cool North Sea to give longer DX paths to Denmark,for example. However, with a north-easterly wind it usually means drycool air gets folded into the mix, and I suspect we may be limited topaths up and down the east coast.

Lastweek saw some excellent Sporadic-E openings on 6 and 4 metres.Conditions on Wednesday extended from Scandinavia round to theBalkans and central Mediterranean.

Fornext week it's not a good sign that there seem to be fewsuitably-placed jet streams, often involved with Sporadic-Eformation. They are mostly located over Spain and the Mediterraneanand so a bit too far away.

EMEconditions will improve next week with increasing declination and themoon at perigee on Friday.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd May 2016

The news headlines:

  • G3KMA in CQ DX Hall of Fame

  • Distance Learning course news

  • Navassa DXpedition video online

The RSGB is delighted that Roger Balister, G3KMA is one of the 2016 inductees in the CQ DX Hall of Fame. As manager of the Islands on the Air programme since 1985, Roger has seen IOTA grow from a few hundred early participants to more than 10,000 today, making it one of the most popular award programmes in amateur radio. The CQ DX and Contest Halls of Fame honours those amateurs who not only excel in personal performance in these major areas of amateur radio but who also ‘give back’ to the hobby in outstanding ways.

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning team are now enrolling for their next course that will run from early July to December. The course has weekly work packages to guide students through the RSGB textbook with regular revision questions to check on progress. There are no fees to pay but students pay a deposit of £30 that is refunded to active students in time to pay for the exam. Exams can be arranged at any RSGB registered centre. The course has been running for nearly five years and has had almost 500 passes so far. Full details can be obtained from Steve, G0FUW, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

Glenn Johnson, W0GJ was a member of the K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island, which was voted DXpedition of the Year 2015. It was a once-in-32-year DXpedition and the number one Most Wanted Entity in Europe. In October 2015, he was the keynote speaker at the RSGB Convention. If you weren’t able to visit the Convention to hear the lecture, RSGB Members can go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming Mike, K9AJ from the Intrepid DX Group DXpedition to the remote British territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year. He will describe the challenges, hardships and problems they faced and the experience of operating round-the-clock from some of the wildest parts of the planet in order to make around 140,000 contacts. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

Amateurs are advised that updates to a small number of band plans will occur on the 1st of June. This follows approval of proposals agreed at the recent IARU Region 1 Interim meeting. The updates to 80m, 30m and VHF will provide greater flexibility for narrowband modes. The RSGB website and RadCom will be updated to carry details in due course.

A team of five Australian radio amateurs will activate Norfolk Island, IOTA reference OC-005, until the 31st of May to coincide with the Wireless Institute of Australia 2016 Annual General Meeting and Conference, also being held on Norfolk Island. The VK9NT crew plans to operate on the 160 to 10m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. Activity on RTTY will be confined to just a couple of bands to maximise all-time new ones. The WIA Commemorative Station, VI9ANZAC, also will be active from Norfolk Island over the AGM weekend.

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced another of its stunning portraits of Mars. The red planet and Earth are nearing what is called opposition, when their orbits line them up with the Sun and put them very close to each other. This occurs every 780 days or so. The actual moment of opposition is today, the 22nd at 1110UTC; the two planets' closest approach follows just a few days later on the 30th. There will be just 75 million kilometres between the two planets on that day. Astronomers with smaller telescopes than Hubble will be grabbing the chance to view Mars in the week ahead. The planetary alignment means the Red Planet's disc, as well as being larger in the sky than usual, is also fully illuminated. The images can be found on the www.nasa.gov website.

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

Today, the 22nd, the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.org.

Next weekend, on the 28th, it’s the Waters and Stanton Open Day at 22 Main Road, Hockley SS5 4QS. Doors will be open from 10am to 4pm with free refreshments for visitors. Reps from the major manufacturers will be in attendance as well as local clubs. The presentation of the Region 12 Club of the Year plaque will take place during the day. There will be several talks including Nigel Booth, M0CVO on antennas and Murray Niman, on 5G Future Telecoms and amateur radio. A charity raffle with good prizes in aid of the British Wireless for the Blind Association will also be held.

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

Merv, N6NO is using the callsign VK9OL while working from Lord Howe Island, OC-004. He will be there until the 29th. He is using mainly CW and focusing on the WARC bands. QSL direct to N6NO.

John, AI6Y will be on the air as E51XYZ from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, from the 23rd to the 28th of May. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via operator’s instructions. Frank, VK3ADT is also on the air as E51ADT from Rarotonga until the 27th. QSL to his home callsign.

Olli, OH0XX will be on the air as PZ50X in Surinam until the 1st of June. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using mainly CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Laci, HA0HW will be on the air as SW8WW from Thassos Island, IOTA EU-174, from the 26th of May to the 6th of June. Activity will be on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op All Band entry. QSL to his home callsign.

Randy, WW6RG will be transmitting as VQ9RA from Diego Garcia, IOTA AF-006, from the 25th to 30th of May. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

The Radio Club of Haïti is activating the special callsign 4V1G until the 30th of August to commemorate the three generals of their independence.

On the 28th and 29th of May, members of the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club will put GB2MAC on the air from the Marble Arch Caves Geopark in County Fermanagh. This is part of European Geoparks Week. They will be operating SSB on all the HF bands. Send QSL cards via LoTW, eQSL and Bureau.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 22nd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 29th the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, running for 48 hours, is the CW World Wide WPX CW contest. It starts at 0000UTC on the 28th. Using 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 20th May.

This week the solar flux index managed to remain mostly above 100, thanks in part to large sunspot number 2546. The region appears to be quite stable and not a likely threat for any significant solar flares. Geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled with the K index hitting four at times and often hovering between two and three. This was due to ongoing coronal hole activity and the associated high speed solar wind streams. This is likely to continue as a coronal hole positioned near the solar equator was threatening to send the K index higher on Friday the 20th.

As we head towards mid summer, heating in the northern hemisphere, coupled with a change in the ionospheric chemistry, will see daytime critical frequencies reduce from their spring highs. We can see this by looking at the noon-time critical frequencies as measured by the Chilton ionosonde near Harwell. In mid April the critical frequency was exceeding 7MHz on good days. This month it is struggling to get past 6MHz. However, night time critical frequencies are remaining higher, which is a signature of summer HF propagation. By June we may see 20 metres remaining open all night.

Contacts via Sporadic-E on 10m should be abundant, but keep an eye on 20m at night as it might throw up a few surprises after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There are conflicting views of the weather story for the next week. However, one common theme in the model outputs is that for brief period we will find a weak ridge of high pressure nearby during the first part of the week. This may produce limited Tropo, especially overnight and in the early mornings. From about mid-week, the high weakens and a slack pressure pattern remains. This will mean a more showery weather type with options for rain scatter on the GHz bands from any heavy thundery showers.

Sporadic-E is always a viable option any day during the summer months from May to August, so it’s worth checking first on 10m for short skip conditions within Europe and then moving up to higher bands as any opening develops. Quite often, the greater ranges are found as each band opens. This is because over time, the Sporadic-E patch will usually slowly descend within the E region, shortening the path length.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is at its lowest on Tuesday so there will be short windows, but losses are decreasing all week as the Moon’s orbit brings it closer to the earth.

Remember that as well as our natural satellite there is always VHF DX potential using the many operational man-made satellites. Look on the AMSAT-UK website for details.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th May 2016

The news headlines:

  • Celebrate the ITU’s founding

  • Monday sees new satellite

  • RSGB thanks for Peake contacts

The International Telecommunication Union will mark the anniversary of its founding on the 17th of May. The ITU was established on that day in 1865. The theme of the 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day will be Information and Communication Technology entrepreneurship for social impact. In conjunction with World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, radio amateurs in Australia will be permitted to use the prefix AX on the 17th.

The Slow Scan Television CubeSat STMSat-1 is planned to deploy from the International Space station on the 16th of May between 1400 and 1500UTC. It is thought to be the first amateur satellite to be built by Elementary school students, who are aged between 5 and 10 years old. It is expected to transmit using the Robot36 SSTV mode on 437.800MHz. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

The final ARISS school contact of the Principia Mission took place on the 9th of May. It was between King’s School, GB1OSM, in Ottery St Mary, Devon and Tim Peake, GB1SS, on the ISS. The RSGB would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to plan and support all of the ten contacts that have taken place since January.

An initial meeting for all those interested in Broadband-Hamnet, a system of digital communications on the amateur microwave bands, will be held on the 22nd of May at Crawley Amateur Radio Club. The organisers hope to attract attendees from across the country. There will be presentations, demonstrations and open discussions. Please contact Ted, G4ELM, via email to BBHN.Event.2016@gmail.com to receive a copy of the agenda and to let him know if you plan to attend.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from tinyurl.com/zh65rb9 This edition features news on the latest 5MHz allocations, a provisional band plan from IARU Region 1 and a cartoon that might bring back a few memories.

The booklet Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur by John, ON4UN and Mark, ON4WW describes the best standards of operating on the amateur bands. Over the last eight years it has been translated into most major languages. The booklet can be found www.hamradio-operating-ethics.org/ and also on the RSGB website. The IARU has now become the custodian of the booklet and will adapt and update it to ensure it remains relevant and current.

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

Today, the 15th, LAMFEST takes place at Elescar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open for traders at 7am. Public access is at 10am and admission is £2. All monies raised will be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Further details from Ian, M0IOD on 0191 604 0255.

The Dayton Hamvention takes place between the 20th and 22nd of May at the Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio, USA. See www.hamvention.org for more information.

On the 21st of May the Rochdale and District ARS Summer Flea Market Indoor Sale will take place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 11am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10.45. The rally finishes around 3pm. Entry is £2.50, with those under 12 free. Further details from Dave, G3RIK on 01706 633 400.

On the 22nd the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.org.

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

A group of Australian operators will operate from Norfolk Island, OC-005, using the callsign VK9NT, from the 20th to the 31st of May. They plan to be active on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL manager is VK2CA.

Aaron, VA1AXC will remain on the air from Sable Island, NA-063, as CY0/VA1AXC. Find him on 20m SSB. His QSL info is direct to JE1LET.

Janio, PY4NY is operating from to Fernando de Noronha, SA-003, until the 23rd of May using his PY0NY callsign on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and PSK. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Roly, ZL1BQD is on the air as H44RR from Honiara, IOTA OC-047, and then Munda, IOTA OC-149, until the 25th of May. Activity is on the HF bands using JT65, and possibly including 160 metres using CW as well. QSL direct to home call.

Gerd, DL7VOG is on the air as J68GU from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 22nd of May. Activity is on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, RTTY and PSK. QSL to his home callsign.

The European Collins Collector Association put the station TM5CR on air every Thursdays on 14.263MHz at 3pm and on 7.165MHz on Saturdays at 11am, both local time in Paris. Visitors are welcome to join in the nets.

Now the special event news

Today, the 15th, Coventry ARS will operate GB8OMB from The Old Mill at Baginton near Coventry for Mills on the Air.

Cambridge & District ARC will operate GB0CMW from 10.30am to 4pm today, the 15th, from Cattell's Windmill, Mill Road, Willingham CB24 5UU.

Cray Valley Radio Society will put GB6MW on the air from Meopham Windmill, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA from 10am to 4.30pm today.

Leicester Radio Society will operate GB2WWM from 10am to 6pm today, the 15th, from Wymondham Windmill, Butt Lane, Wymondham LE14 2BU.

To celebrate the World Telecommunication Day on the 17th of May, the special event station 8J1ITU will be on the air from Honshu Island, Japan. Activity continues until the 31st.

Now the contest news

The first of this year’s VHF CW Championship events takes place today, the 15th. The 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 15th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 5th of June. Full details from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

On Thursday, the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend on the 21st and 22nd the 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. 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 13th May.

The solar flux index hovered teasingly just below 90 this week, trying to make us believe that we are not heading towards the next sunspot minimum.

There were no significant solar flares, but we did have geomagnetic disturbances, particularly at the beginning of the week. This was due to an ongoing high-speed solar wind stream moving past our planet. The solar wind speed was elevated above 600 kilometres per second with a south-pointing Bz component – meaning it more easily coupled with the Earth's magnetic field. The Kp index hit five on occasions, sparking visible aurora in Northern latitudes.

These are not generally good conditions for long-distance HF contacts, although auroral contacts on the higher HF bands may be possible.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to be in the 90-95 region. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions may continue with this Sunday, the 15th, and next weekend looking the worst.

But enough of the doom and gloom, mid-May should be a good opportunity for Sporadic-E on the upper HF bands, from 20m up.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There was some useful Sporadic-E and Auroral propagation around last week with some Southern and Western British Isles stations working Benin (TY2) via 50MHz multi-hop Sporadic-E, and quite a few Auroral contacts noted on bands up to 144MHz. Next week looks quieter at first with just weak jet streams, but perhaps a stronger and potentially more useful northwesterly jet stream propagating across Scotland into central Europe from midweek to lift hopes later.

With high pressure showing on the charts after the weekend, we could be distracted by Tropo for a while. By the start of this weekend, high pressure will be building across western Britain from Iceland, but being a ‘cold’ high means that any Tropo will be marginal since the low level air below the inversions will be dry and not provide much of a contrast to the dry air above.

The main change during the week is that a ‘warm' high near the Azores will push a ridge towards southern Britain and this time may have moister air associated with it, so offers a chance of better Tropo, especially to the south across Biscay to Spain.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is declining and losses are increasing, so early next week will be the last chance to work the D44TVD GHz Bands EME DXpedition.

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

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