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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th December 2016

The news headlines:

  • Sandringham kicks off GB16YOTA

  • RAIBC seeks readers

  • Shake-up for RSGB contests

Sandringham School in St Albans activated the special callsign GB16YOTA for the first time on the first of December. Over 100 students visited the station and a number of young licensees operated during the event. Although conditions were poor and copy was difficult in many cases, they made 97 contacts in 24 countries across the school day. Support was provided by members of Verulam ARC. The purpose of GB16YOTA is to introduce and promote amateur radio to young people. It will be operated from a variety of clubs and organisations throughout December. Today, Sunday the 4th, Worcester ARC has the callsign. On Monday to Thursday it’s operated by Aberystwyth and District ARS, moving to Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club on Friday. Next Saturday it’s at Silcoates, and CDXC will take up the callsign on Sunday the 11th. If you hear GB16YOTA on the air please give them a call, as you might well be giving a young person their first-ever taste of amateur radio.

RAIBC, the charity working for radio amateurs with disabilities, produces spoken word recordings of many publications. These include equipment manuals, radio magazines such as RadCom, licence documents, and much more. All recordings are made by volunteers. Only ordinary computer equipment is used, and all that is required is enthusiasm and a clear speaking voice. If you think you could find the time to record material for RAIBC, either on a regular basis or occasionally as needed, please contact the RAIBC Audio Manager, Ian Spencer, via email to audioman@raibc.org.uk or phone 004 922 451 657.

Starting in the New Year, some significant changes are being made to RSGB contests. This is as a result of the Presidential Review of Contesting and detailed consultation with the contest community. A summary of the changes is in the January edition of RadCom, which should start arriving with RSGB Members from Wednesday onwards. The RSGB Contest Committee website, www.rsgbcc.org is in the process of being updated to reflect the changes.

In the December RadCom Club Calendar, some club calendar information had events for January accidentally mixed in. Unfortunately this was not noticed until after the magazine had been printed, and we apologise for the error. The GB2RS Local News in December should not be affected, as it is extracted from our database in a different way.

Goran, SM7DLK and Torleif, SM6YOR, report that the Swedish Post & Telecom regulator has been issuing temporary, 6 month experimental licenses for 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP. This replaces the previous four 3kHz segments used in past years, which have now all expired. There is still no decision on whether Post & Telecom will implement the WRC-15 recommendation in their national band plan. It is considered unlikely to happen before January 2018, or until a new national band plan is released.

David Honess, M6DNT, has been given the prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke award for Space Achievement, Industry/Project Individual. David was the driving force behind the Astro Pi project, which saw two Raspberry P computers installed on the International Space Station whilst Tim Peake – also a Clarke award-winner – was aboard. The award was presented at the British Interplanetary Society’s Reinventing Space Dinner at the Royal Society.

The origins of Silicon Valley spring from the early efforts of amateur radio enthusiasts, according to a newly released video. Paul Wesling, KM6LH tells of the interesting events in San Francisco early in the 20th century, as early radio was being developed, and how hams designed new devices and equipment to address steamship traffic plying the Pacific Ocean. Their efforts before World War II, including extending the state of the art into the microwave region, formed the basis of what became Silicon Valley. The video is on YouTube and can be found via tinyurl.com/gb2rs-1204

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

The Bishop Auckland RAC Rally is on Sunday the 4th at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB. The venue has good car parking and disabled facilities. There will be the usual radio, computer and electronics as well as a Bring & Buy. Catering and bar facilities will be available on site. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2 with under 14s free of charge with an adult. Talk in will be on S22. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

We know of no more rallies for 2016. If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible.

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

Christian, IS0BWM can be heard from the club station 9H0HQ/3 in Kenge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He plans to stay in the Congo until Christmas Day, December 25th. Send QSL cards directly to his address in Sardinia.

Jurgen, DJ2VO and Martin, DL3KMS will be active from Bonaire Island, IOTA reference SA-006, from the 3rd to the 15th of December as PJ4/DJ2VO and PJ4/DL3KMS. They will operate on HF bands. QSL PJ4/DJ2VO via DJ2VO and PJ4/DL3KMS via DL3KMS.

Chris, VK3FY will be on the air as 3D3FY from Denarau Island, OC-016, from the 4th to the 14th of December. Activity will be on 80-6m, CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO.

W9ILY is on the air from Sint Maarten, IOTA reference NA-105, as FS/W9ILY until the 10th of December.

Now the special event news

Dutch radio amateur Sascha, PD9Z will be operating PC16XMAS from the 6th to the 31st of December. The station is intended to maintain the spirit of friendship between amateur radio operators in the Christmas period – and to provide a nice QSL card! Operation will be on 160 to 10m, SSB and CW.

The USS KIDD Amateur Radio Club will be operating W5KID on 7 December from Baton Rouge, USA, in observance of Pearl Harbor Day. Activity will be on 14.240, 14.060, 7.240 and 7.060MHz from 1530 to 2130UTC.

Remembering the same event, the USS Midway Museum Chip will be on the air from San Diego on 14.230, 7.250 and PSK31 on 14.070MHz from 1700 to 2359UTC on Saturday the 10th.

GB2MOP will be on the air from the Museum of Power from Friday the 9th. Details of the operation remain sketchy at the time this bulletin was written, but www.GB2MOP.org may have up to date information.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz AFS contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL 160m CW contest ends today at 1600UTC. Work the USA, US Territories and Canada. The only time there is a path is when it’s dark at both ends of the QSO so it’s unlikely that much activity will be in evidence from the UK as this edition is broadcast.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHz UKAC, which runs from 2200 to 223UTC. All modes are used on the 2m band and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Next weekend sees the ARRL 10m contest, running from 0000 on the 10th to 2359 on the 11th. Using CW or phone, the report is RST plus serial number, with Ws, VEs and XEs also sending their state or province code. There are a number of categories in this contest so it will pay to check the ARRL website for details.

Finally, a reminder that the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

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

Last week was a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. The solar flux index hovered around the 80 mark and the K index was poor at the weekend, although a little more settled later in the week.

Last weekend saw the CW leg of CQ Worldwide and the consensus was that conditions weren’t brilliant. We said that 20 and 15m would be the optimum HF bands with occasional 10m openings. This turned out to be true as Roger, G3LDI proved by only working 67 stations on 10 metres in 48 hours. Roger said that they were mostly weak and watery European contacts, despite using a three-element SteppIR. The days of extensive DX openings on 10m may, alas, be behind us for a few years.

Back to the Sun, there have been three visible sunspot groups, with region 2615 generating M-class solar flares. So watch out for potential coronal mass ejections and flare-induced blackouts or sudden ionospheric disturbances.

As we head into December, now is the best time for the low bands, especially Top Band and 80m. You may find that the evening critical frequency drops so much that 40m struggles to open to DX at times. With a typical critical frequency of around 3MHz at 2000hrs even 80m may struggle at distances less than 300-400km. Unfortunately, geomagnetic conditions are also predicted to be unsettled from December 7th to the 11th due to recurrent coronal hole effects.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure will continue to provide slightly improved tropo conditions on the VHF/UHF bands at the beginning of the week, but there is likely to be a slow decline later as pressure falls to the north of Britain. Although lift conditions could affect much of the country at first, these will become confined to the south by midweek and all gone soon after.

Don’t forget to try the multimode part of the bands with CW or SSB, and do call CQ and announce your activity in advance on email reflectors, DX chat such as ON4KST.info and social media if the bands seem quiet.

The Moon is at lowest declination today and path losses are still high, but declination goes positive late on Thursday 8th and losses are lower. Look out for GHz bands EME operation from Jericho from that day until the 13th of December by E44QX and E44HP.

The big Geminids meteor shower is now only a week away. The zenithal hourly rate for this shower is up to 120 meteors per hour, so it’s a really good one. We’ll have more information next week as to the best times to operate. Look at dl1dbc.net for Virgo, a Java real-time meteor tracking web page that may help you. Unfortunately it doesn’t run on all browsers: you may have to try more than one before you get it to work.

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

 

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters’ GB16YOTA on the air

  • Join the Innovations Working Group

  • Virtual Buildathon from Chertsey

Every December, the IARU organises Youngster on the Air month, which is a month-long activity specifically aimed at getting young people operating amateur radio. It is not a contest but there is an Award to chase. The UK station, GB16YOTA, will be put on the air by Sandringham School ARC on the 1st of December, Sidmouth ARS on the 2nd of December, and by Durham & District ARS on the 3rd. Worcester RAA will be operating the callsign on the 4th. If young amateurs cannot get to these stations to take part, they can still join in by working as many YOTA stations as they can during December. Last year about thirty countries took part and there is an IARU Award for working the YOTA special event stations. Further details are available at www.ham-yota.com/december-yota-month/

The RSGB is looking for people interested in joining the Society's new Innovation Working Group. The required qualifications are simply an open and inquiring mind together with an enthusiasm to look for the new and the different within amateur radio. See the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org

Chertsey Radio Club will be hosting a Virtual Buildathon starting in December. Bob, M6FLT will be building a kit over a couple of weeks, live on camera, and will be able to answer questions as participants follow him. The kit will be a Kanga Products Fox-3, 40m CW transceiver and k16 keyer kit. Participants buy the kit but there is no cost to join in with the session. You will need access to a laptop or tablet device and internet connection. Places and kits are limited for this first session so e-mail chertseyradioclub@hotmail.com for more details.

It’s with sadness that we report the passing of the long time G3M-P group QSL sub manager, Gordon Brown, G3MZV. He will be very much missed. The RSGB QSL Bureau is therefore in need of a replacement volunteer for a slightly enlarged and busy group, G3M-S. If you would like to help, have time, space and some basic computer skills, including the use of a spreadsheet, please email the bureau via qsl@rsgb.org.uk

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the October 2016 T31T DXpedition to Central Kiribati, Kanton Island, for DXCC credit.

The next Suffolk Radio and Electronics Development, or RED event takes place in Ipswich this week. Suffolk RED is run and supported by many of the radio clubs and amateurs in Suffolk and further afield. All enjoy the mix of practical, hands-on activities available at each event. Plans include HF and VHF operating, CW tuition, Raspberry Pi Python scripting, constructing a link dipole and Advanced tuition advice. It all takes place in a very social and relaxed environment. The event take place at 7.30pm on the 30th November at Hallowtree Scout Camp, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0JP.

If you're interested in 472kHz CW make sure you're around on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th December when there is a QSO Party starting around sunset, about 1700UTC.

The last formal stage of the RAYNET reunification process was completed at a meeting in November. The process of setting up RAYNET-UK is ongoing and the Emergency Communications Committee page on the RSGB website will be updated regularly with progress reports. Full details will be in the next edition of RadCom, which should arrive with Members on or after 7 December.

A storm is threatening Nicaragua and Costa Rica through the remainder of this week. The Nicaraguan Government has raised the alert level for parts of the country to prepare for the storm and the Radio Experimenters Club of Nicaragua has activated their National Emergency Network. The main frequencies involved are 7.098MHz and 3.798MHz but also includes 7.105 and 3.805MHz. The Radio Club of Costa Rica has also activated their Network on 7080kHz. All radio amateurs should listen carefully before transmitting and avoid causing QRM to emergency traffic on those frequencies.

The Summits on the Air Summit to Summit event between Europe and North America on Saturday the 19th of November was a great success. Several activators had their first-ever inter-continental summit to summit contact. Seventy-seven summits were activated and the consensus seems to be that from a propagation point of view the 17m band was the best.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon starts on the 1st of December and ends on the 31st of January 2017. There are no specific operating periods; just work as many Locator squares as you can during that period. All modes are allowed on the 50MHz band and the exchange should be your signal reports and locator. For all the details, check out www.uksmg.org

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

We are not aware of any rallies taking place today. The final rallies in the 2016 dairy take place next weekend, the 3rd and 4th of December.

The South Lancs Winter Rally is on Saturday the 3rd of December 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 gaining access 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 Bishop Auckland RAC Rally is on Sunday the 4th at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB. The venue has good car parking and disabled facilities. There will be the usual radio, computer and electronics as well as a Bring & Buy. Catering and bar will be available on site. Facilities. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2 with under 14s free of charge with an adult. Talk in will be on S22. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible.

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

Alan, K0AV will operate as ZD8V from Ascension Island, IOTA reference AF-003, until the 1st of December. Activity will be mainly on CW and QSLs go via the home call. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World.

Tim, NL8F and Paula, NX1P will be on Norfolk Island, OC-005 until the 3rd of December. They will use the callsign VK9NF and be active on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL Manager is N7RO.

Jim, WB2TJO will be on the air as 3D2JS from Taveuni Island, OC-016, from December 2016 to March 2017. Activity will be on the HF bands and 6m using CW, SSB and some digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Volker, DJ8VW will be operating as 5P8VW from Roemoe between the 26th of November until the 10th of December. He will use the 10 to 160m bands SSB, CW and JT65. QSL via DJ8VW direct of via the bureau or Club Log OQRS.

Look for K2SX, W1UU, W2LK and WA6O to be active as VP2V from Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, NA-023 until the 29th of November. QSL via their home callsigns.

Mike, GM0HCQ is active from on board the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross. Whilst in Antarctic and Falkland Islands waters he uses the call VP8CMH/MM, at all other times he uses GM0HCQ/MM. The ship is due to arrive at Rothera Base on Adelaide Island, AN-001, Antarctica on the 27th of November and depart on the 30th. If time allows, Mike will be on the air as VP8ROT. QSL for all callsigns via GM0HCQ, direct only, Logbook of the World and eQSL. You can follow the ship itinerary and Mike’s daily updates at www.gm0hcq.com

Now the special event news

Members of ARRL Headquarters staff will be on the air as W1T from the 28th of November to the 4th of December, in honour of Mark Twain’s 181st birthday. On the 30th of November, Twain’s actual birthday, the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut has granted permission for a special event station to be set up in the front yard of the house from 1400-2100UTC. All other W1T activity during the week will be conducted from other sites, as ARRL staff time permits. All bands and modes will be considered, including satellite operation. A special W1T QSL card will be available to commemorate the event. Complete information is available on the W1T listing is at qrz.com.

Now the contest news

The CQWW DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of this weekend, the 26th and 27th. It will undoubtedly keep the HF bands busy, although declining solar activity will probably mean patchy and short-lived propagation on 10m. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI 80m contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. It’s CW only on the 3.5MHz band and the exchange is your four character locator square.

The ARRL 160m contest runs for 42 hours, starting 2200UTC on Friday the 2nd of December. Because you need to work the USA, US Territories and Canada only, the only time there is going to be a path is when it’s dark at both ends of the QSO. This means you can expect to hear the better-equipped East Coast stations from about 2200 each night. Propagation will spread west as darkness falls across North America, but the band will close around dawn in the UK, when the D Region forms. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, with US and Canadian station also sending their ARRL or RAC section.

On Sunday the 4th of December, the 144MHz AFS contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 25th of November.

This week NOAA, and us, got the HF propagation prediction wrong. The figures suggested that last weekend would be unsettled geomagnetically, but in fact conditions were actually much better. The K index did eventually rise, but not until late Tuesday evening.

The prediction for this weekend, as you either read or hear this report, remains uncertain as the Earth succumbs again to the last of the, weaker than expected, plasma stream from a large recurrent coronal hole on the sun. NOAA has this weekend's solar flux index predicted around 80 and the K index at three or four, but geomagnetic conditions may improve slightly as we move into next week.

It is hard to say exactly how conditions will be for this weekend's CW leg of the CQ Worldwide contest. If we continue to be hit with solar plasma maximum usable frequencies may be impacted adversely. However, as contesters tend to use larger than average antennas and power levels you should find the bands open to DX, at least up to 21MHz. Short occasional openings on ten metres may also be possible, especially to the southern hemisphere, southern Europe and equatorial Africa. But we certainly won’t see the kind of conditions we have enjoyed during the last two or three CQ Worldwide contests.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have high pressure in attendance and conditions on the VHF and UHF bands are picking up well. This high should provide temperature inversions, both near the surface and aloft, due to descending air within the high pressure area. These temperature inversions are important in that they form discontinuities of the refractive index over short height spans and become the regions that can duct your VHF / UHF signals over long distances.

Tropo conditions provide DX on paths around the edges of large highs, so look for flat layers of low cloud or mist and fog, both visual signs of temperature inversions. Favoured paths are likely to be within the UK and across the North Sea into northern Europe. Things will probably change around midweek as low pressure moves down from Iceland. It is possible that the high may reassert itself late in the week, but this is a bit of a long shot.

The Moon is at apogee today so path losses are at their highest. Moon declination is still negative so with the Sun close to the Moon on Tuesday it is a poor week for EME.

We had a Leonid fireball meteor last week. While spectacular, a single rock doesn’t help meteor scatter conditions, so just hang in there for the major Geminids shower in a few weeks time.

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

 

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • FUNcube-3 goes live

  • 472kHz QSO parties soon

  • Russian intruder leaves 20m

The EO-79/FUNcube-3 satellite has transitioned to amateur radio service, now that its primary mission has been completed. AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that the FUNcube U/V transponder has been activated with a regular schedule. Due to power budget constraints, the transponder cannot operate 24/7, so an orbit-specific schedule has been developed. The transponder will commence operation 27 minutes after the spacecraft enters sunlight and remain active for 25 minutes. This schedule may be modified in the weeks ahead, as experience dictates. The transponder uplink is 435.047 to 435.077MHz LSB; the downlink is 145.935 to 145.965MHz USB. The output power of the amateur radio payload is about 400mW.

If you're interested in 472kHz, there are two QSO Parties on the horizon. On the 26th and 27th of November it’s QRSS, and on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of December it’s the turn of CW. Starting with the sunset about 1700UTC, the organiser says that “we'll keep on QSOing until your eyes keep on closing”!

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System reports that the Russian military apparently responded positively to a complaint from German telecommunications authorities to eliminate an intruding signal on 20 metres. The Russian Navy RDL signal from Crimea had been transmitting on 14.180MHz, using F1B at 50 baud and 200Hz shift for several days. IARUMS said the transmissions were heard for the last time on the 31st of October.

The deep seated major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 that struck the South Island of New Zealand last Monday still has people cut off from road transport due to massive slips and damage. Amateur Radio Emergency Communications National Director Jeff Sayer, ZL4JS advises us that AREC offered its services, but were not needed as the civil infrastructure was coping well. AREC served well during the Christchurch earthquake of 2011, and the latest tremor brought back memories to many of that disaster.

The official rules for World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 to be held in Germany are now available. Noteworthy among the WRTC 2018 rules is permitting the use of spectrum or waterfall displays, and a prohibition on the use of second or sub-receivers. It will continue the two-operator, two-transmitter format of the earlier WRTCs so both stations will be permitted to transmit at any time to maximise their scoring. Also, only one computer is permitted to be attached to each radio, and PCs used in the effort must connect via wired Ethernet. See wrtc2018.de for full details of this event.

On the 13th of November, a new Greenlandic beacon, OX4M, went on the air from HQ90AL. The frequency is 70.047MHz, running 25W into a dipole radiating north/south. The beacon transmits PI4 + CW + carrier and also has a sister beacon OX6M on 50.047MHz.

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

Today, the 20th, the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held in the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. This is a new venue. Doors will open from 10am to 2pm. Admission is £1.50 and includes a tea or coffee. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. For more information email enquiries@catsradio.org

Also on the 20th, the Plymouth Radio Rally is taking place at Harewood House, Plympton, Devon PL7 2AS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall, Special Interest Groups and trade stands. Catering will be available on site. More information from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 01752 668 907.

The final rallies of the year are the South Lancs Winter Rally on the 3rd of December at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Then on the 4th it’s the Bishop Auckland RAC Rally at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB.

If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Tom, PA3TG, is operating as 5N/PA3TG from Nigeria until the 25th of November. He plans to be on 20m SSB and CW and on 30m CW in the evenings. QSL to his home callsign.

Felix, DL5XL will be returning to the German Antarctic Research Base Neumayer 3 this month and will be there until next February. His callsign will be DP1POL and he will mainly operate CW and digital modes. This activity will count as AN-016 for the IOTA programme. QSL Manager is DL1ZBO and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

A group of operators will be on the air as 8Q7SP from Dhiffushi Island, IOTA reference AS-013, in the Maldives from the 20th of November to the 3rd of December. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY, with several stations active. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest next weekend. QSL via SP6FXY.

Yutaka, JA6GWX will be on the air as 9N7NZ from Kathmandu in Nepal from the 20th to the 27th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to home callsign.

Christian, IS0BWM will be on the air as 9Q0HQ/3 from Kenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo from the 20th of November to the 25th of December. Activity will be on the HF bands using SSB. QSL direct to home callsign.

Tim, NL8F will be on the air as VK9NF from Norfolk Island from the 22nd of November to the 3rd of December. QSL direct to N7RO.

Now the special event news

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will operate from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool TS24 0DA, today, the 20th of November. Operation is expected to be on the 40 and 80m bands and, to a lesser extent, on 2m.

Omani amateur radio operators can sign their A4 calls with /46 until the 30th of November in celebration of the 46th anniversary of the independence of Oman.

Now the contest news

The Essex CW Club Annual Activity Week ends today, the 20th of November. This is a friendly non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. The minimum exchange is non-members give RST and name with members adding their membership number. Full details of preferred frequencies and awards can be found on the Essex CW Club website, just use your favourite search engine.

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

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

Thursday sees the 80m Club Sprint take place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is serial number and name.

The CQWW DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of the weekend the 26th and 27th. It will undoubtedly keep the HF bands busy, although declining solar activity will probably mean patchy and short-lived propagation on 10m. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 18th November.

Last week, the solar flux index hovered around the 80 mark, with average sunspot counts reaching their lowest level in five years. With sunspot minimum predicted to be some time in 2018 or 2019, this is a taste of what we can expect for the time being.

But it wasn't all bad news, as geomagnetic conditions were quite settled midweek with the planetary K index at one or two. As a result the HF bands were alive. Malcolm, G3PDH reports hearing as far as Arizona on 20 metres and the Chilton Digisonde suggested openings on 21MHz were possible over a 3,000km path.

Unfortunately, coronal hole activity on the Sun may, once again, result in unsettled conditions this weekend, the 19th and 20th. Expect the K index to rise and maximum usable frequencies to decline, although we can sometimes get a pre-auroral enhancement as the solar plasma first hits.

NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will continue in the range 75-80, but the K index will likely be in the range four to seven at times. So long-range DX may be impacted adversely, especially on routes over the North Pole.

Geomagnetic conditions for the following week's CQ Worldwide contest are also predicted to be unsettled, although perhaps not as bad as this weekend. Trying to be positive, early December is looking better.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There would seem to be another week of low pressure in store for us and sadly, that means a limited chance of Tropo developing. For the latter part of the week, there is an indication from one of the models for high pressure to move in over the southern half of Britain. This represents a limited chance for Tropo later in the week, but another weather model refuses to select high pressure to end the week, so is not to be trusted this far in advance.

There will be some heavy rain and showers at times, so always a chance of some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands, especially around the coastal fringes where the showers will be heavier.

Last Monday’s so-called Supermoon, the closest perigee since the 1940s, produced improved EME signals, especially on the GHz bands, due to the low path losses. In the coming week losses are moderate, but increasing. Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and windows shorten, but there are still plenty of EME opportunities to be had.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, the Leonids are all but over but we now have the major Geminids shower to look forward to in a few weeks time.

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

 

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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Changes on 60m in Portugal

  • Youngsters on the Air

  • Summit to Summit event on the 19th

Jose, CT1EEB reports from Portugal on changes to the 60m allocation in that country. These include some of the existing channels, plus the new WRC15 allocation. The new 60m band licence allows 5371.5kHz and 5403.5kHz A1A and J3E and 5351.5kHz to 5366.5kHz using A1A and J3E.

As many will know the RSGB is seeking support for the International Youth event – YOTA 2017 that is being held at Gilwell Park in August 2017. We are pleased to say that delegates to the RSGB Convention in October were very generous in donating hundreds of pounds to the appeal. We would like to thank everyone who gave – your support is much appreciated. Members have also started making personal donations to support the event. Anyone donating £15 or more is automatically sent one of the new YOTA supporters pin. The YOTA 2017 appeal still has a long way to go, so if you can help the event by donating a few pounds (or even a many) you can do so today by visiting www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

Following the success of the Australia-Europe Summit-to-Summit event in October, one between Europe and North America is now to take place from 1400 to 1700UTC on Saturday the 19th of November. So far, 27 stations in Europe, North America and even Africa have indicated their intention to participate. The aim of the event is to get as many Summit to Summit contacts as possible. These can be between North America and Europe or within the regions themselves. Home-based “chasers” will also be contacting the summit activators to gain points in the SOTA award scheme.

On the 27th of November, the largest amateur radio event in Portugal will take place in Lisbon. You need to be able to speak Portuguese to learn more from the ARVM website, but if you are holidaying in the area, it could be worth checking out. www.arvm.org/fr16.htm

ARISS Milestones, a video of a presentation by past ARISS-EU Chair Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, on the history of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is now available on YouTube. ON4WF delivered the 12-minute overview during the 6th Polish Nationwide Conference of ARISS Contributors and Supporters, held in Ostrów Wielkopolski on the 22nd of October. In the presentation, he noted that the primary objective of ARISS is educational outreach, by making it possible for students on Earth to speak with ISS crew members via ham radio, and get answers direct from space. You can view the presentation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufuyki21G6M

Omani amateur radio operators can sign their A4 calls with /46 until the 30th of November in celebration of the 46th anniversary of the independence of Oman.

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

We have no traditional rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 12th and 13th November.

On the 19th, the Rochdale & District ARS Traditional Radio Rally takes place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Talk-In will be on S22 and the doors are open from 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. The rally usually finishes around 3pm. The entry is £2.50 with under 12s free. Further details from Dave, G3RIK on 01706 633 400.

On the 20th, the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held in the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. This is new venue will open the doors from 10am to 2pm. Admission is £1.50 and includes a tea of coffee. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. For more information email enquiries@catsradio.org

Also on the 29th, the Plymouth Radio Rally is taking place at Harewood House, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon PL7 2AS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall, Special Interest Groups and trade stands. Catering will be available on site. More information from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 01752 668 907.

The Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally is being held again this year at Spennymoor leisure centre on Sunday the 4th of December, Anyone wanting a table please contact John on 01388 606 396 as soon as possible as there are not many left.

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

The 6V1IS team will be active until the 19th of November from Dakar. They will be operating /P from Ngor and Goree Islands which are IOTA AF-45 using all HF bands, including WARC and 6m using all modes. More information can be found at www.qrz.com/db/6v1is/

Eric, F6ICX is on the air as 5R8IC from Saint Marie Island, IOTA AF-090, until the 4th of February next year. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using mainly CW with some SSB, RTTY and PSK63. QSL to home callsign.

Alan, G3XAQ will be on the air as 5X1XA from Kampala until the 28th of November. Activity is on the HF bands using CW. QSL via G3SWH.

Tom, DJ6TF and Reiner, DL7KL will be on the air as 5Z4/DJ6TF and 5Z4/DL7KL, respectively, from Diani Beach from the 15th of November to the 1st of December. Activity will be on 80 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL to their home callsigns.

John, W5JON will be on the air as V47JA from Calypso Bay, St. Kitts, IOTA NA-104, from the 15th of November to the 15th of December. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres, including 60 metres, using SSB. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Two special event stations will be on the air to commemorate an historic broadcast made in 1914 from The Eifel Tower, by Frank Wright, the founder of Northampton Club to pupils in Bugbrooke School. A listening station, run by Northampton Radio club, will be at Bugbrooke County Primary School. F5KTR will transmit from Paris, operated by GRAC Radio Club. A message, in Morse, will be sent on 40m saying ‘Frank Wright is here’ as close to 2pm on the 17th as possible, but phone will be used before and after. The special call GB0WFX will be in use from the school other than on the 17th and it is hoped that they will get plenty of QSOs.

GB4MTR will be on the air until the 28th of November, mostly Tuesday and Friday evening and weekends, to mark the 60th anniversary of the amateur 4m band. Bands of operation will be from 80m to 70cm, FM, SSB and some data modes. QSL via the bureau to M0XTA, or direct to G6UT, see QRZ.com, and eQSL.

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will operate from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool, TS24 0DA, on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th of November. Operation is expected to be on the 40 and 80m bands and, to a lesser extent, on 2m.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 13th. Using the 2.5 to 29MHz bands the exchange is the signal report and serial number.

Between 1000 and 1400UTC today, the 13th, the UK Microwave group Low Band contest will be on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On the 19th, the Second 1.8MHz contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

The Essex CW Club Annual Activity week runs from the 14th to the 20th of November. This is a friendly non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. Slower operators are especially made welcome. Whilst the object is operate as many radio amateurs as possible in a week, it is hoped that a QSO goes beyond just an exchange of RST and becomes a CW chat for as long a duration as you wish. The minimum exchange is non-members give RST and name with members adding their membership number. Full details of preferred frequencies and awards can be found on the Essex CW Club website, just use your favourite search engine.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 11th November.

Last week saw DX being worked on HF as more-settled geomagnetic conditions allowed the ionosphere to strengthen. There were reports of US stations being worked on 40m before midnight, and DX contacts on 20m, 17m and 15m across the globe.

The solar flux index remained in the high 70s, and the geomagnetic K index remained mostly at one or two. This resulted in a settled ionosphere that saw daytime critical frequencies rise to 7.1MHz in the early afternoon, and maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path climb to more than 25MHz.

Unfortunately, the good conditions couldn't last and NOAA issued a geomagnetic storm alert due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent, negative-polarity coronal hole. By the evening of Thursday the 10th, the K index had risen to four.

Next week the solar flux index should remain in the 70s/80s, but this weekend will be dominated by poor geomagnetic conditions, with lower maximum usable frequencies, noisier bands, and an increased chance of auroral conditions.

Geomagnetic conditions should improve around the 16th and hopefully bring better propagation, at least until the weekend of the 19th and 20th when coronal hole effects may kick in again. You can get an initial positive propagation phase when solar plasma first hits so watch the HF bands as the K index first starts to rise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s going to be another week of hard work to get much Tropo from the VHF/UHF bands. However, there is likely to be a weak ridge over northern France and southern Britain on Sunday and Monday, which will slowly decline thereafter. So if there is anything worthwhile, it looks like the southern half of the country and into northern France, the Low Countries and Germany offer the best Tropo options for the first half of the week.

The northern half of Britain will remain closer to low pressure and more unstable showery air, so unlikely to benefit from any Tropo enhancements this week.

Don’t forget that with a Yagi and a bit of power you can always work DX up to 800km using aircraft scatter on the higher VHF/UHF bands.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, Thursday sees the major shower for this month - the Leonids. It’s predicted to peak at around 10:30am so look out for enhanced conditions and an opportunity to try out the new MSK144 mode from K1JT’s WSJT-X 1.7 software.

Six metre activity on this mode seems to be on or around 50.280MHz

EME path losses are at their lowest at the moment with the Moon at perigee on Monday. Declination is at a maximum on Thursday, so, in all, a good week for EME.

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

 

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Download ITU Radio Regulation

  • Warning over out of band signals

  • RAYNET agreement

The 2016 ITU Radio Regulations have been released. They are available as a free download via the ITU website, in English and five other languages. You can download your copy of the ITU Radio Regulations via www.itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2016

It has been brought to the attention of the Amateur Radio Observation Service that software commonly used by UK licensees for the production of signals in both JT65 and JT9 modes, uses a default preset frequency of 5.357MHz (JT65) or 5.359MHz (JT9) in the 5 MHz band. UK licensees are reminded that, after applying the audio offset to the AFSK signal in JT65 mode, using these presets will, in the majority of cases, cause the transmission to fall outside of the upper band edge of the UK allocation of 5.354MHz to 5.358MHz. In the case of JT9, if the default of 5.359MHz is used all transmissions will be outside of the UK allocation. Many examples of this have been noted and it is imperative that these out of band transmissions cease in order that UK licensees remain within the terms of their Amateur Radio Licence.

At the RAYNET AGM held in Cambridge on the 29th of October, RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF and Cathy Clark, G1GQJ, Chairman of the Radio Amateur's Emergency Network, signed the agreement between the two organisations, for the reunification of RAYNET operations, as from 1 January 2017. Once the formalities associated with the change of name to RAYNET-UK are finalised, the merging of the emergency communications groups currently with the RSGB into this new entity will begin.

If your radio club is working with a school for British Science Week in 2017, make sure they know that grants of up to £700 are available for schools in challenging circumstances. Applications for creative cross-curricular events are welcome, especially events that reach members of the local community who don’t usually come to science events. Grants close on the 21st of November at 5pm. See www.britishscienceweek.org/ for details.

Following last week’s Spectrum Forum meeting over twenty reports on a wide-range of topics are now available in the Spectrum Forum section on the RSGB website.

Registration is now open for this year's Scottish Microwave Round Table, which will be held at the Museum of Communication, Burntisland from 9.30am on Saturday, the 12th of November. Organised by the Lothians Radio Society, there will be a program of talks, a constructors' contest and an equipment test facility. Microwave component and surplus items will also be on sale. Refreshments and lunch will be provided by the Museum. After the Round Table, there is an option of an evening dinner at the nearby Kingswood Hotel including the traditional musical break. Further event details and registration information can be found at www.gmroundtable.org.uk

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning team have opened enrolment for their next course, which will run from mid-January, aiming for exams in late June or early July. The course guides students through the RSGB Advance textbook with lots of revision questions, exercises and videos to watch. Students have access to an on-line tutor who will provide advice and can answer any questions that might arise. There are no charges for the training but students pay a refundable deposit which is paid in return for seeing the course through. Those that do not complete the course agree to donate the deposit to a radio-related charity. If you would like to know more, full details and enrolment forms are available from Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB has released a briefing paper on amateur activity at 47GHz. This was prompted by the band being in scope of ITU and CEPT studies for next generation, 5G smartphones. It is just one of the many examples of RSGB spectrum defence work from LF to the millimetre waves. The paper may be found on the Spectrum Forum section of the RSGB website www.rsgb.org Other emerging developments such as Wireless Power Transmission are also being monitored.

Repeater GB3CF has implemented a dual mode Fusion repeater using Yaesu equipment coupled with Arcom logic. Users can look forward to full internet connectivity soon. GB3LEX, the 10GHz beacon, has been taken out of service for investigation following reports that although it was audible locally, listeners further away were unable to hear it. Further info will be available in due course at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk or via G4AFJ on 01455 823344.

The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is looking for an additional member to focus on studies of abnormal VHF propagation. One of the tasks to be undertaken will be to study all information concerning exceptional contacts and reception reports in order to establish if there are patterns of linked propagation modes that might have previously been missed. A further aspect of the role is to be able to communicate the results of it to RSGB Members and beyond via presentations and articles in RadCom. A really good working knowledge of VHF propagation and communication skills are important for this role. If you are interested please email Steve Nichols, G0KYA, via email to psc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk including a brief resume of what you would bring to the role.

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

The West London Radio & Electronics Show will be held today, the 6th of November, at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation. Doors open at 9.50/10am. There will be trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will take place during the day and a lecture stream will be available. There are catering outlets on site. More information from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Today, the 6th of November the Bushvalley ARC Annual Rally will take place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry BT49 9DF. Doors open at 11am and the venue has disabled facilities. There will be a Bring & Buy, a talk-in station and trade stands. There will be catering on site and a raffle will be held on the day. More details from Jackie Doyle, MI0JPD on 0788 529 2545.

The UK FM Group Western are staging a Digital Radio User Guidelines session starting at 10am on Saturday the 12th of November at the Warrington Amateur Radio Club, Bellhouse Lane, Grappenhall WA4 2SG. To reserve a place contact the groups Membership Secretary, Kath Wilson, M1CNY on 01270 761 608 or by email to dwilson@btinternet.com

We have no traditional rallies in the diary for the weekend 12th and 13th November. The next ones are the Rochdale & DARS Traditional Radio Rally on the 19th and the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar on the 20th. Details in next week’s news,

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

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

The 6V1IS team will be active from the 7th to 19th of November from Dakar. They will be operating /P from Ngor and Goree Islands, IOTA AF-45, on all HF bands, including WARC and 6m using all modes. More information can be found at www.qrz.com/db/6v1is/ 

ZL1BQD will be active as E51RR until the 25th November from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m. QSL to the home call.

Maurizio, IK2GZU will be on the air as 5H3MB in Tanzania from the 7th of November to the 2nd of December. QSL to his home callsign.

Eric, F6ICX will be on the air as 5R8IC from Sainte Marie Island, IOTA AF-090, until the 4th of February 2017. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Alan, MW0YCC will be active as VP8DPJ while stationed at the British Antarctic Territory Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island, IOTA AN-001, until April 2018. QSL via operator's instructions.

Now the special event news

GB4MTR will be on the air until the 28th of November, mostly Tuesday and Friday evening and weekends, to mark the 60th anniversary of the amateur 4m band. Bands of operation will be from 80m to 70cm, FM, SSB and some data modes. QSL via the bureau to M0XTA, or direct to G6UT, see QRZ.com, and eQSL.

San Francisco Radio Club is celebrating their centennial year. The final event will be W6PW/100 on the 12th from 1600 to 2300UTC.

A special event on the 13th on the 630m band will commemorate the Berlin Treaty of 1906 that made 500kHz the International Distress Frequency. US Part 5 Experimental licensees and Canadian amateurs will operate in the 472-479 kHz band. They will also participate in cross-band QSOs with amateurs operating on 160, 80, and 40 meters. The Maritime Radio Historical Society will activate the KSM/KPH transmitter in Bolinas, California with special messages and bulletins.

Now the contest news

This weekend the Marconi CW Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 6th, using the 144MHz band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest will take place between 2000 and 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the IRTS Evening Counties Contest will run from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5MHz band the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations sending their county too.

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

On Saturday, the 12th, the Club Calls Contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club code.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 12th to 2359UTC on the 13th the WAE DX RTTY contest will be on the air. Using the 2.5 to 29MHz bands the exchange is the signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 4th of November.

Last week, the solar flux index remained in the mid to high 70s, but HF propagation was once again dominated by variable geomagnetic conditions. The first half of the week, which included the CQ Worldwide contest, was very unsettled with the K index at high latitudes peaking at seven. This drove down maximum useable frequencies and impacted a lot of potential DX contacts. The second half of the week was a little more settled as a large coronal hole on the sun rotated away, but the K index was still four at times.

We should now see more settled geomagnetic conditions, at least until around the 8th or perhaps the 11th, depending upon which model you believe, when the K index will climb once again.

This is not expected to have much effect on LF, MF and HF over 2,000 to 3,000km paths, but may cause a reduction in signal levels particularly on longer, more northerly, paths that may persist for two or three days.

Otherwise, this is now a prime time for HF propagation, with worldwide contacts possible on all bands up to around 21MHz, with occasional openings on 12 and even 10 metres.

If you want a challenge, you still have a few days left to work the Six-Gs groups on Chatham Island who are operating as ZL7G.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some welcome Tropo last week, we start this week with a low pressure system over the North Sea and a showery northerly across much of the country. Apart from a chance of some rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands, the VHF/UHF prospects seem likely to be uninspiring at first.

Soon after the weekend, we should find high pressure building back in across north-west Britain and this will gradually migrate to southern areas, leaving space for low pressure and a brisk westerly wind to reach the north again by the end of the week. During this period, as the high moves south, there is a prospect of some limited Tropo, especially in the south and across the near continent.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, start preparing for the major shower for this month - the Leonids. It peaks on Thursday, the 17th, at around 1030UTC. Otherwise, it’s back to early mornings for random contacts on the low VHF bands.

Moon declination is at a minimum today and losses are high, but reduce as the week progresses, dropping to a minimum next Sunday. Moon windows continue to lengthen as declination becomes positive again.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th October 2016

The news headlines:

  • Renew your 146MHz NoV now

  • RSGB Award Manager needed

  • New Examination Standards Chairman

All current 146 to 147MHz band Notices of Variation expire on Monday 31 October. On Friday 28 October Ofcom announced that the band would be made available for another year. However, to continue to use the frequencies you must get a new NoV. These are available free from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/nov

A vacancy has arisen for a volunteer to manage the RSGB’s award programmes. The Society administers a number of award programmes for HF, VHF and special awards for Foundation and Intermediate licence holders. The Awards Manager receives and checks claims for the various levels of award then passes the information electronically to HQ for it to be validated and the appropriate award issued. To carry out this role you will need good administration and computer skills. Most of the communications will be by email. The workload is not usually high and can be managed flexibly. If you are interested in applying or would like to find out more, contact Steve Thomas, M1ACB, General Manager via email gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk and details of this and other volunteer roles can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/blog/category/volunteer-vacancies/

Dave Powis, G4HUP has been appointed as chair of the Examinations Standards Group. He will take over when Professor Simon Watts retires at the end of this year. The ESC develops and publishes all procedures and policies for the administration of Exams, and develops the syllabus and question banks in conjunction with the Examinations Group and Training and Education Committee.

Videos of the talks at the recent British Amateur Television Club Convention are now available on YouTube. Among the many talks are Receiving and Presenting HamTV from the ISS by Noel, G8GTZ, VHF/UHF Propagation by Mike, G0MJW and A Practical Operators Guide to 146MHz Reduced Bandwidth TV by Shaun, G8VPG.

As many listeners will know the RSGB is seeking support for the International Youth event, YOTA 2017, that is being held at Gilwell Park in August 2017. We are pleased to say that delegates to the RSGB Convention in October were very generous and donated hundreds of pounds to the appeal. Members of the RSGB Youth Committee spent the Saturday of the event waving the donation box, handing out flyers about the event and were very grateful for the positive response they got from the delegates. We would like to thank everyone who gave – your support is much appreciated. The YOTA 2017 appeal still has a long way to go, so if you can help by donating a few pounds, or even many pounds, you can do so today by visiting www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

The UKFM Group Western are holding a further Digital Radio User Guidelines session Saturday 12 November. It takes place at the Warrington Amateur Radio Club, Bellhouse Lane, Grappenhall WA4 2SG. The event starts at 10am and will include user friendly advice and hands-on equipment sessions, question and answers on all matters D-Star, DMR, Fusion and the like. To reserve a place, contact the group’s Membership Secretary, Kath Wilson, M1CNY on 01270 761 608 or email dwilson@btinternet.com

Applications for the Ofcom Graduate Scheme are open until January 2017. Ofcom is holding a Graduate Scheme open day on Friday the 4th of November at their London office. At this event you can find out about working at Ofcom, their Graduate Scheme pathways and information about the application process from current Graduates and senior colleagues across the organisation. For more information and to register your interest, email Ofcom.Grads@ofcom.org.uk and to find out more about the Ofcom Graduate scheme, go to www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/jobs/graduates-apprenticeships-internships

Three crew members, including radio amateurs KG5FYJ and KF5LKS are set to depart the International Space Station on the 29th of October. They should land in Kazakhstan at 0359UTC on Sunday. Once the Soyuz undocks, Expedition 50 will begin aboard the ISS under the command of NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD. Two more amateurs, KC5ZTD and KG5FYG, are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan in November.

October saw the Summits on the Air, Australia to Europe Summit to Summit event and between 0630 and 0830UTC seventy three summits were activated – 22 more than expected. Contacts were made between continents as well as within each of the regions. A similar event is being discussed between European and North American SOTA activators.

The ARI Tuscany Regional Committee is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Tuscan flood that happened on the 4th of November 1966. The event will be held from 0000UTC on the 29th of October until 2359UTC on the 6th of November. A special event station, II5ALL, will be active amongst many other and an award is available. Go to www.arifirenze.it/ii5all/ and scroll down for the English version of the rules.

The latest edition of the ARRL publication Radio Waves, aimed at instructors and science educators, is now available for download. It includes items on building blocks to illustrate basic electronics and ARISS news. You can download the publication from the ARRL website.

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

We have no details of any full scale rallies taking place this weekend, the 29th or 30th of October.

The Dutch National Ham Radio Convention is on the 5th of 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.

The West London Radio & Electronics Show will be held on the 6th of November at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation. Doors open at 9.50/10am. There will be trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will take place during the day and a lecture stream will be available. There are catering outlets on site. More information from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

On the 6th of November the Bushvalley ARC Annual Rally will take place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry BT49 9DF Doors open at 11am and the venue has disabled facilities. There will be a Bring & Buy, a talk-in station and trade stands. There will be catering on site and a raffle will be held on the day. More details from Jackie Doyle, MI0JPD on 0788 529 2545.

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

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

Francois, F6AJL will be on the air from the West African country of Benin using TY5AA until the 30th of November. He will operate all bands between 80m to 10m. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Chas NK8O is in Tanzania with the callsign 5H3DX until the 12th of November. He will operate mainly CW on 80m to 15m. Details of the way to QSL can be found on the 5H3DX QRZ.com page.

DL3KZA and YB9IPY/8 will be on the air as YB8/DL3ZKA from Salayar Island, in Indonesia, IOTA reference OC-236, from the 1st to the 14th of November. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via DL3KZA.

Sigi, DL7DF and four other German amateurs will visit the Caribbean island of Anguilla, NA-022, until the 7th of November. Their callsign will be VP2EGR and operation will be on 160m to 10m CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. QSL to DL7DF.

Hiro, JF1OCQ and Taka, JH1BED will be on the air from Samoa as 5W7X and 5W0ST, respectively, from the 31st of October to the 9th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to their home callsigns.

The Six-Gs DXpedition Group are active as ZL7G from Chatham Island, OC-038, until the 10th of November. They have four complete high power stations and hope to satisfy the demand from Europe for ZL7.

Now the special event news

GB4MTR will be on the air between the 1st and 28th of November, mostly Tuesday and Friday evening and weekends, to mark the 60th anniversary of the amateur 4m band. The station will be run by Selim, M0XTA and other members of the Harlow & District Amateur Radio Society. Bands of operation will be from 80m to 70cm, FM, SSB and some data modes. QSL via the bureau to M0XTA, or direct to G6UT, see QRZ.com, and eQSL. A QSL card for the station will be sent via the bureau to any station worked, if requested.

VI4SEA will be on the air between the 1st and the 9th of November in honour of the officers and sailors of the light cruisers HMAS Sydney and SMS Emden who gallantly fought in the first ever naval action of the Royal Australian Navy in World War One off the coast of the Cocos Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean. The operations will see them transmitting from the 630m band through to the 6m band. A special webpage has been set up on QRZ.com under VI4SEA.

Now the contest news

This weekend is one of the big contests, the CQ World Wide DX SSB. Its 48 hour run ends at 2359UTC on the 30th. It’s SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

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

On Wednesday it’s the UK EI contest on 80m. Running from 2000 to 2100UTC and using SSB, the exchange is your four character locator, or grid, square.

On Saturday the International Autumn Sprint runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Next weekend the Marconi CW Contest runs from 1400UTC on the 5th to 1400UTC on the 6th using the 144MHz band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 28th of October.

Last week was characterised by low sunspot activity, but very unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The solar flux index was in the mid to high 70s, but the K index was five or six for days on end, and even peaked at seven. This was high enough for automatic visible aurora e-mail warnings to be sent out by Lancaster University.

The noon Chilton Digisonde plot from Harwell suggested that only 20 metres would be open, with the higher bands closed. These poor conditions were caused by a massive coronal hole on the sun. This hole is recurring and brought the same conditions 27 days ago. Rest assured, we can probably expect a repeat performance again around November 22nd.

With regards to LF/MF propagation, the Dst index was depressed to -80nT on the 25th but is rising slowly. It would seem from reports that LF/MF propagation on paths over 2,000km has suffered but not as much as might be expected. It seems that though the solar wind velocity had increased, the plasma density is low. This suggests there may be lower levels of electron precipitation and a faster recovery of conditions than would be expected after a coronal mass ejection.

Next week looks set to continue with the poor geomagnetic conditions. NOAA suggests the K index will remain at around five until a much-needed respite beginning around the 2nd of November.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Most of this week will be dominated by high pressure and this is likely to continue to provide slightly-enhanced Tropo opportunities for many areas although, like last week, the better conditions will be when there is moist air near the surface, which quite often means those typical foggy autumnal nights and mornings.

The longer range models do, unfortunately, suggest that the high weakens and is replaced by low pressure in the second half of the week, so it won’t last forever.

As for operating tips, it’s simple; don’t restrict yourself to FM and repeaters, and do remember to try the other modes on VHF/UHF because SSB and CW can produce surprising results – and there’s plenty of spectrum space down there.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, we are now approaching the peak of the Taurids meteor shower, a diffuse shower that lasts from late September until late November. Don’t get too excited though, as the meteor rate is low. It does though, have a reputation for some fireballs. Look for a peak overnight around the 4th and 5th of November.

The Moon is close to the Sun today so noise will be high, especially on the low bands with wider antenna beamwidths. Combined with a low declination and high losses at apogee on Monday, it’s a week for EME system maintenance only.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd October 2016

The news headlines:

  • NoV for terahertz bands

  • 60m for Luxembourg

  • Fire at SAQ, Grimeton

  • K1ZZ new IARU Secretary

Frequencies above 275GHz, the so-called terahertz bands, are a new area for experimentation and propagation research. Ofcom have generously enabled low-power Notice of Variation access for Full licensees in order to facilitate innovation at the cutting edge of RF technology. The NoV includes a number of conditions related to frequency bands, and protection zones around key UK Radio Astronomy Sites, for which guidance is available. The NoV application is now available, along with several other NoVs, at www.rsgb.org/nov

Since the 10th of October, the new WRC15 60m band has been released for amateur radio use in Luxembourg. The update to the national frequency plan allows the use from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a secondary basis with an effective radiated power of 15W. The Luxembourg LX0HF CW beacon presently operates on 5205.25kHz.

A fire in early October at the SAQ Alexanderson alternator long wave antenna is under investigation by the Grimeton World Heritage Foundation, which owns and manages the station in Grimeton, Sweden. The fire, attributed to arcing, was quickly extinguished. Fortunately, no injuries occurred. The Foundation said that it could take a while to determine the extent of the damage, and then to complete repairs. The fire will keep SAQ off the air for a while, and prevent operation on the next scheduled UN Day transmission, the 24th of October.

Rod Stafford, W6ROD has retired as IARU Secretary after seven years and the ARRL Board of Directors has designated David Sumner, K1ZZ as his replacement. Dave Sumner has served in this capacity twice previously, from 1982 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2009. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH has appointed Rod Stafford as Emergency Communications Special Advisor, where he will represent the interests of the IARU and the global amateur radio community in the Development Sector of the ITU. He will also offer advice and counsel on matters relating to emergency and disaster response communications.

It is with sadness we report the death of Geoff Holland, G3GHS, a long time QSL sub manager for the G3E-H group of callsigns. In his 90s and unwell for several years, Geoff was always cheerful and helped by his XYL Mavis. He continued in post until his death two weeks ago. He will be missed by many. Members with G3E-H callsigns need to be aware that this small series will now be absorbed into other groups as part of the long term consolidation plan. All cards and envelopes are being transferred. The new groups will shortly become G3A-F and G3G-L. See the RSGB website for updates at www.rsgb.org/qsl

The RSGB Spectrum Forum will hold its annual meeting on Saturday the 29th of October. This key event will be an opportunity to consider reports from its members and review current and emerging issues. These include the potential harmonisation of the 50MHz band in Region 1, wireless power transmission, and plans for the forthcoming Region 1 Conference. Amateurs are reminded that the Society has a consultation open for topics for the Conference. Just search for IARU Consultation on the RSGB website.

The RSGB Training and Education Committee Schools Link project is expanding and has vacancies for additional team members and also for the team leader. The aim of Schools Link is to find ways of supporting teachers delivering the curriculum, by providing additional help and materials for those places where radio examples help illuminate it. The focus is on teachers and supporting the curriculum, rather than directly on school students or on getting amateur radio into schools. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact Philip Willis by email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk, describing those parts of your background that may be relevant, how they fit the project’s needs and why you think this is something where you would enjoy making a contribution.

The VHF handheld transceiver used for the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program has begun to display an error message and is unusable at this time. It has been in use for more than 16 years and in that time has connected students worldwide with astronauts on board the International Space Station. While the ARISS technical team evaluates the best path to restore operation from the ISS Columbus module, ARISS contacts will be supported using the Kenwood radio in the Russian Service Module. During this period, the packet digipeater will be unavailable.

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

Today, the 23rd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Opening time is 11.15am, and admission is £2.50. There will be traders, a Bring and Buy, and refreshments. Details from Jim, GM7LUN, on 01896 850 245, or email mail@gm7lun.co.uk

As mentioned on previous occasions, the North Wales Rally planned for today, the 23rd of October, has had to be cancelled.

Lomond Radio Club will be holding a junk sale on the 30th of October in the John Connolly Centre, Renton, West Dumbartonshire. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm. Everyone is welcome.

We have no details of any full scale rallies taking place next weekend, the 29th or 30th of October.

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

Keith, GM4YXI and Chris, GM3WOJ will be active as V6Z from Chuuk island in Micronesia, which is IOTA reference OC-011, until the 1st of November. Activity will be on SSB and CW, with extra emphasis on 160m and 80m, and they are looking especially for UK stations. Direct QSLs should be sent to Steve, N3SL. Visit www.v6z2016.com for more details, propagation charts, latest news and info, etc.

A multi-national team will be active as 3W2R from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam until the 28th of October. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres. QSL via EB7DX.

Daniel, DL5YWM will be on the air as OA4/DL5YWM, and possibly as OA8/DL5YWM from Peru, until the 5th of November. QSL to home call.

ES2RR, OH2BH and OH2PM will be on the air as OJ0B from the 23rd to 31st of October from Market Reef, EU-053. Activity will be on the low HF bands using RTTY. QSL via OH2BH.

John, KK9A will be active as P40A from the 25th to the 31st of October. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via WD9DZV.

Francois, F6AJL is on the air as TY5AA from Parakou City until the 13th of November. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

Members of the Radio club Admira in Romania are on the air with special event calls YR95HMK and YP95HMK until the 15th of November to mark the 95th birthday of King Michael. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to YO2KBQ.

Now the contest news

The UKEICC DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, RST, serial number and district code form the exchange.

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 2130UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC takes place on 80m between 2000 and 21000UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is your four-character locator, for example IO93.

On Thursday, the 80m Club Sprint contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. SSB only, the exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend is one of the big contests, the CQ World Wide DX SSB. Running from 0000UTC on the 29th to 2359UTC on the 30th, it’s SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of October

Last week the solar flux index fell back to the high seventies. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled over the weekend, but improved as the week went on. We are well and truly into the autumn HF season now, which is reflected in higher daytime maximum useable frequencies and lower night-time ones. However, we continue to be dogged by unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times, which have impacted MUFs and generally created poor HF opportunities. But when conditions have became more settled there have been band openings up to 12 metres.

As this is being written sunspot 2602 is heading towards the solar rim and there is nothing to replace it. As a result NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 70-75 next week, and HF conditions are likely to hampered by high K indices from the 22nd onwards. We may even see the K index hit six early in the week, due to recurrent coronal hole activity, and it could remain high until at least Wednesday.

Apart from possible auroral openings, there might be a pre-ionospheric storm event enhancement this weekend, although these are very hard to predict.

The last storm resulted in a good 10m opening to the Middle East and South America, so keep an eye on the higher HF bands this weekend.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It’s a mixed week with unstable air still producing showers near the east coast at first with some scope for rain scatter on the GHz bands. Around midweek, a more changeable westerly flow will bring windier weather across the north of Britain, so we need to be looking to the south for a high to develop over Brittany and bring a chance of some Tropo later in the week, which may then extend into parts of northern Britain later. Now this high is placed such that it may not be a great provider, but the peak times should be overnight and early morning, especially in regions where fog and mist has formed.

The Orionids meteor shower is over now, so it’s back to early morning random meteor QSOs on the lower VHF bands. There are still quite long daytime moon windows for EME operation, but Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are approaching their highest at the end of the week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th October 2016

The news headlines:

  • HS1A, King of Thailand, SK

  • More people at RSGB Convention

  • Ofcom launches Graduate Scheme

As has been widely reported by mainstream media, The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, HS1A, became a Silent Key on Thursday 13 October. Our thoughts are with his family and the people of Thailand at this most difficult time.

The RSGB Convention last weekend was the most successful ever, with visitor numbers up 20% on last year. A total of 542 people attended the world-class event, which attracted top-class lecturers from around the globe. Many of the talks were recorded and will be made available to RSGB Members in due course. Each will be announced as it becomes available.

Ofcom have opened applications for their 2017 Graduate Scheme. The programme sees young graduates embarking on a series of intensive job placements, moving regularly between projects and divisions to give the widest possible exposure to different departments. A Graduate Scheme open day will be held on Friday 4 November on Ofcom’s London office. For more information or to register your interest, email ofcom.grads@ofcom.org.uk.

Leicester Radio Society will be hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 19th of November. If you are an RSGB Member and already train people for Foundation, Intermediate of Advanced – or would like to do so – this may be the event for you. The course must be pre-booked and there are a maximum of 25 places, allocated on a first coms first served basis. It runs from 9am to 5pm, with a break for you to eat your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided. For more information, or to book your place, contact John, G0IJM via email to john.g0ijm@btinternet.com.

Many Jamboree on the Air stations are active this weekend around the country and around the world, putting members of the Scouting movement on the air. Around thirty JOTA special event callsigns were published in the October edition of RadCom, and there are likely to be many more. If you hear one please give them a call and be patient with young operators, as you could be their first-ever contact on the air.

Members of the RSGB Board, the General Manager, the Exam Quality Manager and several Committee Chairs have all been involved in meetings with Ofcom in the last week. This was to establish more effective working relationships and to help develop a common understanding of amateur radio issues. The meetings have included senior Directors at Ofcom, Spectrum and Policy Managers, Engineers and new Call Centre staff who are engaged with amateur radio issues on a daily basis.

Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in 2017 and National, regional and local events will take place throughout the year. Radio Amateurs of Canada announced that it has secured permission for all Canadian Radio Amateurs to use special call sign prefixes to celebrate this landmark. At the discretion of the operators concerned, VAs will be able to sign CF, VEs will be able to sign CG, VO may use CH and VY stations will be able to use CI. For instance, VE4RAC will be able to use CG4RAC. For more information on Canada150 visit tinyurl.com/gb2rs-1610

Polish radio amateurs are supporting UNICEF in its fight against child malnutrition. It is the intent of the Hams4KIDS initiative to help children in need, particularly in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, by focusing the collective efforts of the global radio amateur community to provide meaningful financial support to UNICEF’s anti-malnutrition program. The initiative’s radio station, SN4KIDS, is on the air until the 13th of November on all the HF bands plus 6m. For every unique QSO with the station, the organisers will donate 2 cents to UNICEF. So, the more QSOs, the more money gets raised. For more information take a look at facebook.com/hams4kids/ or www.hams4kids.org

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

The Holsworthy Radio Rally takes place today, Sunday the 16th of October in Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. Doors open at 10am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering. The venue has disabled access. Details from Howard, M0MYB by email to M0OMC@yahoo.co.uk.

The Carrickfergus Amateur Radio Group Radio Rally takes place on Saturday the 22nd at Downshire Community School, Carrickfergus, BT38 7DA. Doors open at 11.30pm and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. The venue has disabled facilities. Refreshments will be available. Contact Liz Forde, MI6GHA, on 07855 442 839, or via email to elizabethforde64@yahoo.com

The G-QRP Club Mini-Convention also takes place next Saturday, the 22nd, at Rishworth School, Ripponden, Halifax HX6 4QA. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £3.50. There will be a trade stands, a Bring and Buy sale, an RSGB Book Stall and on-site catering. Contact Graham Firth, G3MFJ, on 01132 671 070, or email g3mfj@gqrp.co.uk

On Sunday the 23rd the Galashiels Rally takes place at the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Opening time is 11.15am, and admission is £2.50. There will be traders, a Bring and Buy, and refreshments. Details from Jim, GM7LUN, on 01896 850 245, or email mail@gm7lun.co.uk

Finally, sad news that the North Wales Rally planned for the 23rd of October has had to be cancelled.

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

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

GM3WOJ and GM4YXI will be operating V6Z on the Chuuk Islands, IOTA reference OC-011 from the 17th October to the 1st of November. They are using LoTW and ClubLog, QSL direct or ARRL bureau via N3SL. See also www.v6z2016.com

The Selvagens Islands, AF-047 are on the air as CQ9GXC courtesy of CT1GXC from the 19th to the 25th of October. QSL via home call.

JA1NLX, JI1CNA are activating Mana, OC-121 as 3D2YA from the 21st to the 25th of October. QSL OQRS and LoTW.

Ivan, PV8IG will be active on the HF bands from Fernando de Noronha Island, SA-003 from the 18th to the 21st of October as PY0F/PV8IG. QSL via PT7WA direct.

Rado, S59ZZ, Peter, S54W and Janko, S57L will be active from Ghana from the 19th to the 26th of October as 9G5AM. They will operate on 160 to 10m. QSL via S59ZZ

3W2R will be on the air from Vietnam, operated by EA1ACP, EA5HPX, EA7FTR, US7UX, EB7DX from the 20th to the 28th of October on 160 to 6m. QSL via EB7DX.

Also from Vietnam, Michael, N0ODK will operate as 3W2DK from the 20th October to the 5th of November. He will be using 40 – 10m with CW, SSB and digital modes, and will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest on the 29th and 30th October. QSL via home call, LOTW.

From the 19th to the 28th of October TL0A will be on the air from Central African Republic, courtesy of F4WBN, F9IE, TR8JLD and F5DUX. Using all bands from 80m to 6m, including 60m, expect to find them using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via F4WBN direct.

Now the special event news

As mentioned earlier there will be many JOTA stations on the air this weekend so please don’t hesitate to give them a call if you hear therm.

Special event radio ON4CLM is marking the anniversary of the Canadian Liberation March. This was a 33km march by Canadian troops to liberate the town of Knokke in 1944. This is the 35th year that the callsign has been used, and it will be active until the 14th of November. Details, including how to claim a free award, are at qrz.com/db/on35clm

VI50CC is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cooby Creek satellite tracking station throughout October. The station used leading-edge technology for its day including liquid helium cooled low noise amplifiers, and was the first to transmit and receive 6GHz TV signals across the Pacific. More information is at www.ddrci.org.au

Now the contest news

The Worked All Germany contest is ending its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today. Using CW and SSB, on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations will also send DOK.

Today, Sunday the 16th, the RoLo CW contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and locator received.

Also today, the 50MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the ON Contest runs from 0600 to 1000UTC. Using phone and CW on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SN stations also give their club code.

Next weekend the UKEICC DX contest takes place, starting at 1200UTC on Saturday and ending at 1200UTC on Sunday. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5-28MHz contest bands, RST, serial number and district code form the exchange.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 14th October

The solar flux hovered around the 100 mark and, as predicted, HF propagation showed a big improvement earlier in the week thanks to more settled geomagnetic conditions. There were many reports of DX being worked from the UK including H40GC in Temotu, Solomon Islands, and T31T in Central Kiribati.

The Kp index was in the range one to three up until Wednesday, but then hit five on Thursday, due to incoming plasma from a coronal mass ejection that took place on October 9th. The initial positive phase of this disturbance saw good 10 metre F2 layer propagation on Thursday, with Kuwait, Bahrain, Puerto Rico and Chile easily workable. There was also evidence of 10 metre Sporadic-E on Wednesday and early Thursday with low power beacons romping in from France, Spain, Austria and Italy.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline slowly to 85 by Saturday the 22nd. The weekend will then be very unsettled geomagnetically with a Kp index of up to five. The second half of the week may be more settled before the onslaught of higher Kp numbers again across the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd. Midweek may therefore be best with more settled geomagnetic conditions and the chance of DX contacts up to 21MHz or even higher. With the longer autumn nights the low bands are also starting to come into their own.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It’s a rain-scatter start to the coming week with a continuation of the unsettled showery weather and a trough of low pressure over the country. Gigahertz bands enthusiasts should be on the lookout for short rain scatter openings in the showers. From about the middle of the week, pressure will rise as an area of high pressure builds in from the west, offering the chance of some weak Tropo conditions. That said, there is some uncertainty as to whether the new high favours southern or northern Britain.

We’re currently passing through the stream of debris left behind by Comet Halley, the parent comet of the Orionids meteor shower. The shower is expected to peak before dawn on Friday the 21st, so look for a peak in meteor bursts on the lower VHF bands.

It’s a good week for EME with increasing moon declination giving long moon windows. The Moon reaches perigee, its closest point to the earth, this evening Sunday 16th, so EME path losses are at their lowest this week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th October 2016

The news headlines:

  • Emergency nets for Hurricane Matthew

  • YOTA Month deadline extended

  • New Propagation video released

Hurricane Matthew has already has caused devastation in Haiti, Cuba and Bahamas as it moved northward through the Caribbean. It is now battering the southern US states. Emergency nets are operating on 3.950, 7.252, 7.268 and 14.325MHz. Amateurs are requested to listen carefully before operating on frequencies which may be in use for emergency communications and avoid interference.

We often hear that young people are our future and we just need a good reason to bring amateur radio to their attention. The Tim Peake ARISS contacts resulted in a number of new School Radio Clubs starting up and hosting a YOTA station could do the same; December is YOTA month across Europe and Africa and the RSGB is co-ordinating the UK participants. In short, any Affiliated Club, school, college, university or Youth Group can apply to host the special callsign GB16YOTA for a day – or two – during December. The only stipulation is that the event must be aimed at getting youngsters on the air. The special event station can be the main attraction, or you can wrap other activities around it. A report on last year's event was on page 22 of the April 2016 RadCom. The deadline for applications has been extended to Saturday 15 October, so there is no time to waste! If you are interested in joining in, or would like more information, ask for an application form from yota.month@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee has released a new 19-minute video presentation for clubs entitled Radio Propagation – VHF and Higher. Written by RadCom microwave columnist John, G4BAO and narrated by Propagation Studies Committee chairman Steve, G0KYA, the presentation looks at the physics behind different VHF, UHF and microwave propagation modes. It looks at tropospheric enhancements and ducting, Sporadic-E, aurora, meteor scatter, rain scatter and much more. The video presentation is strictly for clubs and can include an optional Q&A session via Skype with a propagation expert after it has been shown. It also includes extensive show notes with URLs for all the sites mentioned. To request a copy and the show notes email Steve via psc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk.

A Vintage Radio Weekend on the Air will take place on the 15th and 16th of October. Everyone who has a vintage radio is invited to get on the air over the weekend, on any band and at any time. If conditions permit, there will be participants in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as well as some in the USA. All participants can download a free high resolution commemorative certificate from www.PhoenixARC.org.uk where additional information is also available.

The new RSGB website navigation is now live. Constructive feedback on the new website arrangement should go to web.feedback@rsgb.org.uk

Bellmans Auctioneers in Winchester have a large, single owner, private collection of valve and transistor radios and accessories coming up for sale on Tuesday the 11th of October. The details on viewing and bidding are on the website, www.bellmans.co.uk and the radios start at lot 650.

APRS WEST, a regional gathering for those interested in APRS and digital modes, takes place on the 16th of October at 76 Canal St Martin in Rennes, France. Running from 11am to 4pm, French time, visitors will bring their own projects, ideas and expertise to exchange with other enthusiasts. Two talks already planned are on a Mini APRS tracker by F4GOH and 100% solar powered Digipeater by F4BEA. Visit www.ara35.fr and select the APRS tab for more details.

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

Today, the 9th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will be held in the Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire HU18 1NQ. The venue has car parking on site and the doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will be held on the day and there will be catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, on 01964 533 712.

The Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, the 9th of October, at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. There will be a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. There will trade stands and catering is available on site. Further details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

Yeovil ARC celebrate its 70th anniversary on the 15th of October in the Methodist church hall, Quedam Centre, Yeovil. Open 10am to 4pm, admission is free and there will be demonstrations of radio equipment, both vintage and modern, SDR and Morse. More info from Bob on 01963 440 167 or by email to wjh069@gmail.com.

The Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 16th of October in Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. Doors open at 10am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering. The venue has disabled access. Details from Howard, M0MYB by email to M0OMC@yahoo.co.uk.

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

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

Grant, VK5GR will be active holiday style as VK5GR/p from Kangaroo Island, IOTA reference OC-139, from the 10th to the 16th of October. He will be QRV on at least 80 to 15 metres and will operate RTTY and other digital modes, plus some SSB. QSL via home callsign, bureau preferred, LoTW and eQSL.

Nobu, JA0JHQ will be active as CE0Y/JA0JHQ from Easter Island, SA-001, from the 14th to the 17th of October. He will operate mainly CW; plans are to concentrate on 30 and 40m on the 14th. QSL via LoTW, preferred, or home call, bureau or direct.

Andrea, IZ1MHY will be on the air from the Maldives as 8Q7MD until the 12th of October. This is a holiday style operation on 40m to 10m. Direct QSL requests go to IZ1MHY and bureau requests via 9A8ARS.

Yuri, R2DG will sign S79PA from Mahe in the Seychelles until the 12th of October. QSLs go via his home call.

Now the special event news

Poole Radio Society celebrates its 40th anniversary in October. GB40PRS will be on air during the month at locations in and around Poole. Until the 10th it will operate from Norden Railway Station. Then it moves to Poole Museum for the 11th and 13th.

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

Coventry ARS will be participating in JOTA with the 78th Coventry Stoke Aldermoor Scouts on the 15th and 16th of October. An application has been made for GB0SAC. The main bands will be 2m FM and 40m SSB. For further information contact Brian, G8GMU on 0780 186 2686.

Gloucester RAYNET will be hosting a JOTA station over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of October on behalf of the district Scouts from their headquarters in Tuffley, Gloucester. They will use GB100GLO for the celebration of the Scout centenary and look forward to working many stations on HF and VHF.

Nuneaton North Scouts will be active over the JOTA weekend of the 15th and 16th as GB1NNS. They will be on 40m, 15m SSB and 2m FM. The group emphasis is to get every troop member to make at least one contact over the weekend. Further info from Reg, G8VHI, via email to g8vhi@btinternet.com.

The 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings will be commemorated by the Youth Hostels Amateur Radio Group, MX0YHA, on the 14th, 15th and 16th of October, as part of their Norman Conquest programme. Preferred frequencies will be around 7.150 and 14.250MHz, with operation from 10am to 5pm. A downloadable commemorative certificate is available free from www.YHARG.org.uk.

Wearside Electronics ARS will be operating GB2HSG on the 15th of October for Scout Jamboree on the Air at the Scout Hut, Crow Lane, Herrington SR3 3TE. They will be on all HF bands, 2, 70cm and 6m from 10am.

Special event stations K6L and K1T will operate on the 14th to the 16th from the summit on Bear’s Den Mountain in Virginia, USA where 150 years ago Dr Mahlon Loomis made the first demonstration of wireless telegraphy over a path of approximately 21 miles to Furnace Mountain. Loomis noted various distances in his records between 14 and 22 miles.

Now the contest news

Ending its 24 hour run at 0800 today, the 9th, the Oceania DX CW contest uses the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 9th, the ON Contest runs from 0600 to 0900UTC. Using CW on the 3.5MHz band the exchange is signal report and serial number, with ON stations also giving their club code.

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

Wednesday sees the 80m Club Sprint from 1900 to 2000UTC. In CW only, exchange serial number and name.

From 1500 on Saturday the 15th to 1500UTC on the 16th, the Worked All Germany contest is on the air. Using CW and SSB, on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations will also send DOK.

On Sunday the 16th, the RoLo CW contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and locator received.

Also on the 16th, the 50MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next Sunday, the ON Contest runs from 0600 to 1000UTC. Using phone and CW on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SN stations also give their club code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 7th of October

Last week the solar flux index didn't behave as predicted and rose to 99 by Thursday. This was mainly due to the appearance of large sunspot groups 2598 and 2599. There were no major solar flares, only minor C-class events, but unsettled geomagnetic conditions continued thanks to ongoing coronal hole activity.

The K index hit four and five earlier in the week, although conditions improved by Thursday. Next week looks to be quite settled, geomagnetically, with the SDO spacecraft's extreme current ultraviolet image showing no Earth-facing coronal holes. NOAA predicts the highest K index reading will be two early in the week, rising to four on Sunday the 16th. The US Air Force predicts the solar flux index should remain in the range 95-102. Sunspot group 2599 appears fairly settled, so we don't expect any M or X-class solar flares.

If the forecast holds true it looks like HF conditions may be good next week. Maximum usable frequencies have been subdued, but if the settled conditions can continue we may expect openings up to 21MHz or higher at times. The best HF paths will still be north-south, but don't ignore greyline contacts on 40 and 80 metres at dawn.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There’s one strong message and one very weak message in the Tropo forecast for next week. The strong message is that the high, which gave some fair Tropo conditions in the last 144MHz UK activity contest, will decline after the weekend and gradually become displaced to the north of Scotland. At the same time, pressure will fall over southern Britain as it turns more showery and the north-easterly breeze picks up a little. So, not a good sign for Tropo in the coming week.

The weaker part of the forecast message is that prediction models diverge as we head towards the end of the week. One version rebuilds the high from the north of Scotland to bring a renewed chance of Tropo by the weekend, but other versions remain in the showery regime through to the end of the week and offer no potential return of Tropo. As we are talking about 7-10 days ahead, uncertainty at this range is not unusual.

There are no meteor showers this week so keep looking in the early mornings for random contacts on the lower VHF bands. Moon declination increases this week, going positive on Friday, so EME moon windows lengthen. Losses are low and falling this week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd October 2016


Thenews headlines:

  • DXCC Card checking at Convention

  • Changes to the RSGB website

  • Testing new equipment for ISS



ARRL DXCC card checking will be available to visitors at the RSGBConvention again this year. Please take your cards to the ARRL stand on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning and be prepared to leave them until the volunteers are available.

In response to feedback about the RSGB website, we’re trialling the first phase of a new navigation layout. Take a look, use it over the next few months and let us know if you like it – you can share your thoughts via web. feedback@rsgb.org.uk For example, is information easier to find? Do the new groupings work well? One of our aims is to showcase the breadth of RSGB services more effectively – is there anything we could do to improve that further? We’ll use your views as part of a fuller review of the website next year. Please note that improving the search function will be part of this later review. If you encounter problems, please raise a ticket with the IT and WebHelpdesk at www.rsgb.org/helpdesk.

You may need to clear your cache to see the new version.

The International Space Station is in the final stages of getting an upgrade. While new equipment has been graciously donated, significant funding has been needed for testing, certification and delivery ofthe equipment to make sure it meets NASA standards. Contact between schools and the space station have inspired young people to study science and technology and is one of the more publicised demonstrations of the power of amateur radio to communities that areinvolved. Fundraising is critically important to get this radio system ready for flight as it costs almost $200,000 to test and certify for NASA and other space agencies' standards. Check out www.amsat.org for more information.

TheRSGB 2016 Convention takes place on the 7th to the 9th of October at Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons. If you are attending the Gala Dinner on Saturday and wish to reserve a table for a group of friends, drop an email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk and we’ll take care of it for you. Day tickets will be available on the door throughout the 8thand 9th. Under 21s have free entry but those under 16 must be accompanied.

Something for all those RSGB Members who read the news, either regularly or just occasionally. Can you please check that your newsreader NoV is current? If you need to renew, go to www.rsgb.org/nov, click on gb2rs newsreaders NoV and follow the prompts.

Two videos from the 2015 RSGB Convention have gone on to the Members section of the RSGB website. The talk by John Regnault, G4SWX on Regular 3000km+ contacts on 144MHz by meteor scatter and tropo is now available. Also Cleanup your Shack by Ian White, GM3SEK where he talks about reducing your noise levels on receive and reduce risks of causing interference. Go to http://rsgb.org/main/archive/video-archive/rsgb-2015-convention/

During the month of December, youngsters will activate callsigns with YOTA as the suffix in several IARU countries. The idea of this is to show the amateur radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters to be active within the hobby. If you or your club wish to host the UK callsign, please apply before Friday the 7thof October to yota.month@rsgb.org.uk



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

The British Vintage Wireless Society Auto Jumble takes place today, 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

Today,the 2nd, the Blackwood ARS Rally takes place at Rougemount School, LlantarnhamHall, 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.

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 7th to the 9th of October at Kent’s Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kent’s Hill Park, Milton Keynes MK76BZ. The Convention programme of lectures for all interests is available on the website. Principal sponsor is Martin Lynch &Sons.

On the 9thof October the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will be held in the Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire HU18 1NQ. The venue has car parking on site and the doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will be held on the day and there will be catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, on 01964 533 712.

TheHack Green Bunker Rally takes place on the 9thof October at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL.There will be a saleof electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radiosets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. There will trade stands and catering is available on site. Further details from Lucy on 01270623 353.

Ifyou have any rally or event information you’d like to appear infuture 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

New Zealand amateur operators will be active from Norfolk Island as VK9NZ until the 8th of October. They hope to have 3 stations operating simultaneously. Send QSL cards to ZL3PAH. Logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Polish operators will be operating from Central Kiribati starting on the 4th of October for about 4 weeks. The callsign will be T31T and they willbe on all bands from 80m to 6m. Send QSL cards via Club Log OQRS.

The ongoing DXpedition by Tom, KC0W next moves to Western Kiribati where he will operate as T30COW until 24th October. This is a CW only operation and QSLs go directly to KC0W.

Aaron, VA1AXC is active as CY0/VA1AXC from Sable Island, NA-063, until earlyNovember. In his limited spare time he operates SSB only mainly on 20 metres. QSL via JE1LET, direct only.

Patrick, FO5QS has been active from Huahine, OC-067, in French Polynesia for seventeen years. He is now moving to Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas Islands, which is OC-027, and will remain there for several years.

Steve, W1SRD will be active as VK9LX from Lord Howe Island, OC-004, until the 8thof October. QSL is via home callsign and Logbook of The World. He does not use Club Log.



Now the special event news

Poole Radio Society celebrates its 40th Anniversary in October. GB40PRS will be on air during the month at locations in and around Poole.Until the 3rd of October, the callsign will be on the air from Kingstone Lacy, then from Worth Matravers on the 4thand 5th. From the 8th to the 10th it will operate from Norden Railway Station.

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.

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

Special event stations K6L and K1T will operate from the summit on Bear’s Den Mountain in Virginia where 150 years ago Dr Mahlon Loomis made the first demonstration of wireless telegraphy over a path of approximately 21 miles to Furnace Mountain. Loomis recorded various distances in his records between 14 and 22 miles.



Now the contest news

The 432MHz-248GHz contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 2nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Oceania DX SSB contest ends its 24 hour run at 0800UTC today, 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-opstations. 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 ends at 1400UTC today, the 2nd, after 24 hours. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain HF Phone Contest runs for 24 hours ending at1200UTC today, the 2nd. 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

Today, the 2nd of October, the International DX Contest runs from 0700 to1900UTC. 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 today, 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.

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 the UK IE Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to2100UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band the exchange is your four character locator, for example IO93.

For 24 hours next weekend, from 0800 on the 8th to 0800UTC on the 9th, the Oceania DX CW contest takes place, Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 9th, the ON Contest runs from 0600 to 0900UTC. Using CW 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 30thSeptember.

Last week was dominated by extensive geomagnetic disturbances thanks to ongoing coronal hole activity on the sun. Coronal holes are areas with open magnetic field lines that allow plasma to escape as a high-speed stream. This plasma impacted the Earth causing aurora and unsettled HF conditions, especially on paths over the poles.

The K index was pushed up to five and even six throughout the latter half of the week, bringing a mixed bag of HF propagation.

At times the maximum usable frequency was suppressed with noisy HF bands and very poor propagation. But there were highlights, with enhanced HF propagation at times, up to and including 21MHz. DX heard in the UK included D66D Comoros and S9BT Sao Tome.

Next week NOAA predicts very unsettled geomagnetic conditions for Sunday the 2nd and the first half of the week and unsettled conditions for the remainder. The solar flux index will be in the range 80-85, with a chance for C-class solar flare activity.

Because of the way HF conditions can change quickly, we suggest keeping a close eye on the twenty to fifteen metre bands as short-lived openings may occur at any time during daylight hours. As we head into October, DX is being worked and conditions will continue to improve.



And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The end of last week saw the finish to very unsettled weather. This week, high pressure is due to build to the east of Britain over Scandinavia and eventually link up with another area of high pressure over Biscay. This should provide some modest Tropo prospects at times for many areas, although Ireland and western Scotland may remain too breezy for any significant inversions to develop. The limiting factor of the Tropo may well prove to be fairly dry low-level air under the inversion, so the better conditions will be seen when there is evidence of moisture near the surface, like fog and mist.

Wednesday sees the Draconids meteor shower. Don’t get too excited though as it only has a low zenithal hourly rate. It’s a bit of an odd one in that the radiant is highest as darkness falls, giving higher meteor rates in the evening.

Moon declination reaches minimum on Friday so EME moon windows are short. Add this to high losses and this is a week for EME system maintenance and improvement. The Sun’s declination is falling giving a maximum sun elevation of 35 degrees this week, so now is the time for sun/cold sky measurements before it’s too low to clear ground noise.



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

00:0000:00

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.

00:0000:00

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.

00:0000:00

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.

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