RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 6th. September 2015.

September 4, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th September 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Construction Competition deadline extended

  • RF engineer to get Whittle medal

  • QCWA honours centenarian radio amateurs

The deadline for entering the RSGB’s Construction Competition has been extended until 30 September. You just need to register your entry by then, as judging takes place at the RSGB Convention in October. There are four classes you can enter, either as an individual or a group. So if you’ve done a club construction competition or a club project this year, think about entering that project in this annual competition. Projects large or small are welcome. Details, and the entry form, are online at www.rsgb.org/construction-competition

British microwave engineer Professor Peter Clarricoats worked at the Queen Mary University of London for nearly 50 years. He is to receive one of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s highest accolades, the Sir Frank Whittle Medal, for his influential achievements. The Emeritus Research Professor will receive the honour at the Academy’s AGM in London on Monday the 21st of September. Amateur radio enthusiasts will be interested to learn that Professor Clarricoats is the son of John Clarricoats, G6CL, who was the general secretary of the RSGB for many years. The full story can be read at www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/162122.html

Two long-time radio amateurs have been in the news this week. The Quarter Century Wireless Association has honoured 105-year-old Charlie Hellman, W2RP for his 90 years in amateur radio. Charlie got his licence in 1925 when he was just 15. Two of his siblings also held amateur licences. Robert, now a Silent Key, was W2JAN and Benjamin, 96, is W2VB. Another long-lived radio amateur is Harry Wolf, W6NKT who is 106, although he’s ‘only’ been licensed since 1936.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional programme for Saturday and Sunday is now on the RSGB website. There will be a wealth of lectures on a very wide range of subjects. We are looking forward to welcoming some favourite lecturers back this year as well as new ones from both the UK and overseas. Day tickets are available online and savings are available until the 30th of September. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the information. Places are still available at the RSGB Buildathon that takes place on the Saturday at the Convention. See the website for details.

The Supplemental 2015 White Paper on Proposed RSGB Contest Rules Changes is now available on the RSGB website. It gives details of the proposed new scoring system for the UK Activity Contest series, and a proposal to permit the use of Machine Generated Modes, or MGM, in most VHF UHF contests. These two rule changes were suggested at the President’s Review of Contesting Workshop held in July 2015. Comments on these proposals are invited. Instructions on how to submit your response to these proposals are contained within the document, which can be downloaded from www.rsgbcc.org/supp_whitepaper2015.pdf

Churches and Chapels on the Air will take place next weekend on Saturday the 12th of September from 10am to 4pm. Stations mainly use the 40 and 80m bands, SSB. A full list of CHOTA stations can be found on the WACRAL website, www.wacral.org

The first DMR repeater in Malta has been operating for some time and now has a new callsign, 9H1DMR. The frequencies of operation are 438.525MHz input and 430.925MHz output. It is hosted by C Bridge DMR UK, Colour Code 1 with slots TS1 and TS2. Amateurs visiting Malta are welcome to use the repeater using their allocated Maltese callsigns, which are obtainable free of charge on application to the Malta Communications Authority, MCA, the Maltese equivalent of the UK’s Ofcom.

Channel 5 is looking for a venue with 1960s-style radio equipment to film some scenes for a documentary. They hope to film on Tuesday 8 September, so there is very little time to get in touch if you can help. Please contact Will Steel on 020 7308 5470 if you think your shack or other kit might be suitable.

The field strength calculation program ICNIRPcalc has been updated to Version 1.3. You can calculate the distance persons need to stay clear from a given antenna so that European exposure limits are not exceeded. The new version has no changes in the program itself, but the antenna database has been enlarged. You can download the program from the IARU Region 1 website at www.iaru-r1.org/

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

We start with the sad news that the North Wales Rally, due to take place on the 1st of November, has had to be cancelled due to a drop in bookings.

Telford HamFest takes place today, the 6th of September, at the Enginuity Centre in Coalbrookdale, Telford. As in previous years, there will be numerous traders and exhibitors as well as an RSGB Information and Book stand. More information is online at www.telfordhamfest.org.uk

Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally will be held next Saturday, the 12th, at Caister Lifeboat Station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Doors open at 9.30am, admission is £1 and there will be refreshments available. Details from Zane, M1BFI on 07711 214 790.

On Sunday the 13th, the West Kent Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at the Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John’s Road, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9XB. Doors open to the public at 10am. There is free parking and refreshments will be available. There will be an RSGB stand at the event to deal with enquiries and memberships, and offering a wide range of RSGB books for sale. Details are online at www.wkars.org.uk

Also on the 13th, the Andover RAC Boot Sale will be held in Wildhern Village Hall, SP11 0JE. Admission for buyers is £2 and sellers £8, with tables in the hall costing £10. Doors open at 9.30am for disabled visitors and general access is at 10am. Details from Martin, M0MWS on 07776 181 646.

The British Vintage Wireless Society Murphy Day takes place on the 13th at Mill Green Museum, Hatfield AL9 5PD. Details are on their website, www.bvws.org.uk.

The Torbay Annual Communications Fair takes place next weekend, on the 13th, at Newton Abbot Racecourse, Newton Abbot TQ12 3AF. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and refreshments will be available. Doors open at 9.30am for disabled visitors with general admission at 10am. Admission is £2. Details from Mike Dixon, on 01803 557 941.

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.

Now the special event news

Orkney Wireless Museum’s radio station GB2OWM will be active as part of Orkney International Science Festival until the 9th of September.

Today, the 6th, members of Brickfields ARS are operating GB4AUK from the grounds of Wolverton Manor on the Isle of Wight to support Age UK. Contacts will earn a point for The Isle of Wight County Award.

ON44WAR will be on the air to commemorate the sacrifice of the Belgian Resistance in WW II. They will be on the air from 0700UTC to 1600UTC on the 5th and 0700 to 1300UTC on the 6th. More details are on QRZ.com.

From the 1st to the 28th of September PD2015GH will be on the air to promote the Groene Hart of the Netherlands.

On Friday the 11th Newport Amateur Radio Society starts 28 days of operating rare callsign GB75BB for the Battle of Britain. Activity will be on all bands from 160m to 2m at various times.

GB2QLR will be on the air for the Queen’s Longest Reign starting early on the 9th of September. The station will be at the home of G0GDA in Kent running all bands using SSB and data. See QRZ.com for more info.

GB0AH will be active from 10am to 4pm on the 12th of September from Astley Hall, Charley PR7 1XA as part of their Heritage Weekend. Visitors are welcome.

Many amateurs are taking part in Churches and Chapels on the Air on the 12th of September. GB1LIM will be on the air from Lowton Independent Methodist Church, WA3 1EE from 9am to 9pm. There is disabled access from 8.45am. All are welcome, call in for a chat, or bring your licence and operate.

GB2MTM will be operated by Halifax & District Amateur Radio Society from Mount Tabor Methodist Church.

GB4STS will be at St Saviours Church, Brookwood, Woking GU24 0AS. Everyone is welcome and there will be interactive displays, communication related crafts and radio based coding and decoding challenges. Any nearby amateurs who wish to get involved can contact Mark, M0MXC by email to GB4STS@brookwood.org.uk

Gloucester & District ARS are operating GB4GC from the grounds of Gloucester Cathedral, GL1 2LX. Visitors are welcome.

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

Chas, NK8O is on the air as 5H3DX from Zinga in Tanzania until the 28th of September. Activity will be mainly on CW on all bands 20m to 6m running 100W to a Hexbeam. QSL manager is EA7FTR.

Robin, ZL4IG will operate as 5W0RM from Samoa until the 13th of September. It will be holiday style operation using QRP on 40m to 15m. QSL to his home call.

Heinz, DF1YP will sign FO/DF1YP from Moorea Island in French Polynesia until the 1st of October. IOTA reference is OC-046 and QSLs are requested via the German QSL Bureau.

Volker, DL1ZB will be active until the 29th of September as SV5/DL1ZB from Kos, which is IOTA reference EU-001. He will operate SSB, RTTY, SSTV and PSK63 on 20-6 metres. QSL via DL1ZB via the bureau, Logbook of the World and/or eQSL.

A group of Russian operators will be active as RT9K/0 from Dobrzhanskogo Island in the next week or so for about 7 days. The island is located in Zone 19 and this will be the first activation for the IOTA Award. The IOTA reference is AS-203 and QSL manager is RX9KM.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz Trophy Contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 6th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Overlapping the last three hours of that contest and then continuing for one hour on its own, the fifth and final 144MHz Backpacker contest. In the Backpackers contest there are two permitted power levels, 3W and 10W, and the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 144MHz Contest also overlaps the RSGB 144MHz Trophy contest. Trophy contest logs will automatically be entered in the IARU contest unless entrants specify otherwise.

SSB Field Day takes place for 24 hours ending at 1300UTC today, the 6th. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The All Asian DX Contest ends its 48 hours run at 2359UTC today, the 6th. Asian stations want to be sent the operator’s age, not a serial number, so it can be helpful to have a suitable number to give them.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone Contest takes place today, the 6th, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

On Tuesday, the 8th, the 432MHZ UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the SSB leg of the 80m Club Sprint runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

The Kulikovo Polye CW contest is on Saturday 12th. If you take part in this one, even casually, the important thing to remember is that you really should submit an entry, because if you don’t your QSO partners won’t get points for the QSOs you have with them. Stations in the Kulikovo Region of Russia send KP instead of a serial number.

The second leg of the WAE DX Contest takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 12-13th. Europe works non-Europe only. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Microwave Group is holding two Cumulative Contests this month. The first is on Sunday 13th, on 24 to 47GHz. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

This week brought a much-needed break from the effects of the virtually continuous coronal holes on the sun.

This saw the Kp index come down to a more reasonable one or two most of the time, with a corresponding improvement in HF conditions. As we are now in September we should see a bigger improvement as we head further into the autumn.

The solar flux index remained firmly below 100 and is predicted to stay below 90 until next weekend, when it may rise to 110-115.

The critical frequency over the UK has risen to around 6.4MHz this week, opening up paths with a maximum useable frequency of about 21MHz at times.

Nevertheless, 14 and 18MHz remain the ‘money bands’ for HF DX, but they remain vulnerable to the effects of the high-speed solar wind at times.

Other highlights to look out for this week include greyline openings to the Pacific on 40m and 80m at sunrise. Gary, ZL2IFB and Tony, ZL2AGY have both been spotted on 40m CW around 050UTC. Paths to the West Coast of the USA are also improving, especially on 17 and 20m.

Finally, good luck to all those taking part in this weekend’s HF SSB Field Day. Short path HF predictions from G0KYA for the UK can be found in the propagation section of www.RSGB.org.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week a long-awaited area of high pressure is going to move in across the British Isles.

The high should last until mid-week, when an Atlantic low is expected to move in towards the north-western parts of the UK with strengthening winds. Tropo propagation is likely to be slightly enhanced due to the high pressure area and the temperature inversions it creates.

Recent wet weather and damp ground will mean some fog overnight and early mornings, this could create the potential for good ducting conditions within the UK and near Continent, although these will tend to weaken as the temperature picks up in the mornings.

Stronger winds in the northwest will probably curtail any lift conditions after midweek.

These enhanced conditions will hopefully help the 2m Trophy and Backpackers contests this weekend, and should hang around for the 70cm Activity Contest on Tuesday evening.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 30th. August 2015.

August 28, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th August 2015

The news headlines:

  • ARISS and Tim Peake – do you want to get involved?

  • Free book updates available for exam changes

  • RAYNET helps at Shoreham air disaster

Later this year, astronaut Tim Peake will join the International Space Station for six months. During his time in orbit he will have contact with up to ten schools via amateur radio. These schools have been chosen by the European Space Agency and the RSGB will be working closely with them, and their local clubs, before, during and after the contacts. However, we’d like to share this opportunity with other schools, universities and young people’s organisations. If you’d like to be part of a team that develops activities and talks focused on using amateur radio to contact space, please let us know. Email gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk and put ARISS PROJECT as your email subject title.

It is now just one month to the 1st of October when the new UK Licence rules will be examined. The RSGB has published updates to the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced training books and they are now available on the ‘Extras’ webpages under ‘Publications’ on the RSGB website. The revised Exam Reference Data Booklets and sample exam papers will soon be available. These should enable anyone preparing for an exam after the 1st of October to have the current rules clear in their mind. The old Licence Conditions will continue to be examined until the end of September. If anyone has any questions about these changes, please contact Philip Willis, M0PHI, who is chair of the RSGB Training & Education Committee, via email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk.

South Sussex RAYNET group, assisted by members of South Kent RAYNET, provided communications support for the organisers and the User Services at Shoreham Airshow when a Hawker Hunter aircraft crashed during a flying display. Our thoughts are with those who offered their services as well as the family and friends of those involved.

In 2015, a new IARU Region 1 Youth Contesting Program was created. Youth members from IARU Region 1 member societies were invited to take part in a contest from so called Top Gun stations. These young amateurs will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their contest skills and will aim for the best results together as a team. From the UK, Dan McGraw, M0WUT has been selected to take part in the CQWW RTTY contest on the 25th and 26th of September from the 4O3A contest station in Montenegro.

Following representations from the Hungarian national society, the Hungarian telecoms regulator, NMHH, has been issuing temporary permits for operation in the band 5.350 – 5.450MHz on a Secondary basis for propagation research. The permits are valid for three months and can be re-applied for at the conclusion of the period. All modes are permitted, with a maximum power of 100W, currently in a nominal maximum bandwidth of 3kHz. Activity days are being organised and there is a CW beacon on 5.357MHz, at present using the callsign HA7SO, but this will change in due course to HG7BHB. It is hoped that the situation may become more permanent later in the year.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional programme for Saturday and Sunday is now on the RSGB website. The early booking discount for weekend packages has been extended to the 31st of August, so there’s just time to book your weekend at the lower price. Day tickets are also available online and savings are available on those until the 30th of September. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the information. Places are still available at the RSGB Buildathon taking place on Saturday at the Convention, see the website for details.

Jamboree on the Air, or JOTA, takes place from the 16th to 18th of October this year. The RSGB would like to support any clubs or groups who will be taking part and members of the Youth Committee are keen to visit as many events as possible. Please let us know if you’re planning a JOTA event – send us your details via the form on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/jota.

Churches and Chapels on the Air will take place on Saturday the 12th of September from 10am to 4pm. Stations mainly use the 40 and 80m bands, SSB. A full list of CHOTA stations can be found on the WACRAL website, www.wacral.org.

Over 500 stations from 32 countries took part in International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. The greatest participation was seen in England, Australia and Germany. Other nations showing increased growth in participants including Canada, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Scotland and Cuba, which had 13 stations take part. Next year’s event will be held on the 20th and 21st of August and 30 stations have already registered.

Jeremy Boot, G4NJH has for many years produced a weekly recording of the GB2RS News broadcast. For over 3 years Ed Durrant, VK2JI/DD5LP/G8GLM has been converting the file and posting it on iTunes, The Lounge and at gb2rs.podbean.com. TX Factor has also been podcasting the weekly GB2RS National News for nearly 18 months. You can find this version by visiting www.txfactor.co.uk or searching iTunes for TX Talk.

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

The Milton Keynes ARS Rally will take place today, on the 30th of August, at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. It is now even bigger, so why not combine the rally with a visit to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well? The rally is in a modern venue with large indoor and outdoor areas. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. Details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

On bank holiday Monday, the 31st, the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally will be at Ernulf Academy, Barford Road, St Neots Cambridgeshire PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am, with traders having access from 8am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Malcolm, M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

Telford HamFest takes place on the 6th of September at the Enginuity Centre in Coalbrookdale, Telford. As in previous years, there will be numerous traders and exhibitors as well as an RSGB Information and Book stand. A special feature this year will be the appearance of Technojam.uk, run by a group of Ormskirk techno-enthusiasts, who organise various workshops, mostly in the north of the country. They will set up multiple workshop stations to enable visitors to experiment with the Raspberry Pi boards, to build and control simple practical circuits. More information is online at www.telfordhamfest.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.

Now the special event news

Colin, G4GBP and friends will be operating GB0WWM from Wilton Windmill about 8 miles south east of Marlborough in Wiltshire over the bank holiday weekend. Visitors are welcome, although please do not confuse this Wilton with the Wilton near Salisbury. Refreshments will be available throughout and the windmill will be open on Sunday and Monday afternoon. Full details are on the QRZ.com listing for GB0WWM.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Otley ARS, GB5ORS and GX3RCM will be on the air over the weekend. For more information, please visit www.otleyradio.org.

Derby & DARS will be operating GB2SLC from Stenson Lock over the August Bank Holiday weekend. All volunteers are welcome.

Trowbridge & DARC will be operating an early station, GB0GBR, for Railways on the Air from Great Bulkington Railway, Bulkington, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1SW, starting on the 31st of August from 10am to 3pm.

It is planned to activate Orkney Wireless Museum’s radio station GB2OWM as part of Orkney International Science Festival between the 3rd and 9th of September.

On the Isle of Wight, members of Brickfields ARS are operating GB4AUK to support Age UK on the 5th and 6th of September from the grounds of Wolverton Manor. Contacts will earn a point for The Isle of Wight County Award.

On the 5th and 6th of September ON44WAR will be on the air to commemorate the sacrifice of the Belgian Resistance in WW II and especially those of the Refuge B 40. They will be on the air from 0700UTC to 1600UTC on the 5th and 0700 to 1300UTC on the 6th. More details are on QRZ.com.

From the 1st to the 28th of September PD2015GH will be on the air to promote the Groene Hart of the Netherlands.

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

ZA01 will be active from Sazan Island, EU-169, from the 2nd to the 9th of September. Plans are for SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY on the HF bands as well as the WARC bands and 6m. Some meteor scatter propagation is planned too. QSL manager is IK2DUW or IK7JWX for Italian contacts only. Details on www.QRZ.com.

G8OFQ will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands until the 30th of September. Operations will be on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via HA3JB.

K2HVN returns to Iceland and is operating as TF/K2HVN from the 31st of August to the 7th of September. He'll be on the 10 to 30m bands using CW and SSB, operating holiday style. Send QSL cards via his callsign as he is not accepting Logbook of the World or eQSLs.

Now the contest news

Today, on the 30th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest also takes place today, the 30th, from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using SSB and FM only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also giving their county.

The Romanian Amateur Radio Federation is running the YO DX HF Contest that ends its 24 hour session at 1159UTC today, the 30th. Foreign stations will transmit signal report and serial number. Romanian stations will transmit a signal report plus the abbreviation of the county or BU for stations from Bucharest. Logs must be submitted within 30 days after the contest. Rules can be found at www.yodx.ro/rules.

The second series of UKEICC 80m contests starts on the 2nd of September on SSB running between 2000 and 2100UTC. The frequency range is 3.7 to 3.775MHz and the exchange is just your 4 character locator. There is now a Team competition too. Entries are adjudicated electronically and the results are online shortly after 2200UTC on the evening of the contest. Details at www.ukeicc.com.

The first VHF contest of the month is the 2m UK Activity Contest on the 1st of September. Running from 1900 to 2130UTC, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

We stay with 2m for the 144MHz Trophy Contest, which takes place for 24 hours on the 5th and 6th, 1400 to 1400UTC. This one is hotly contested in the Open category, but there are four other categories and three of them are for single ops, so there are opportunities for all to strive to do well. 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 6th, from 1100 to 1500UTC. In the Backpackers contest there are two permitted power levels, 3W and 10W, and the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator. Please be aware that a WAB 2m contest overlaps this and WABers will ask for your Worked All Britain square.

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.

SSB Field Day takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of the 5th and 6th. Like its CW counterpart this contest has Open and Restricted sections, but please note that the antenna limitations are different, so check the rules. Running from 1300 to 1300UTC, the bands used are 3.5 to 28MHz and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CWops CW Open takes place from 0000 to 2359UTC on Saturday the 5th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number and name.

The All Asian DX Contest takes place for the whole 48 hours of the weekend of the 5th and 6th. UK stations taking part in SSB Field Day sometimes find that All Asian stations don’t want to have QSOs with them, because All Asian stations want to be sent the operator’s age, not a serial number, so it can be helpful to have a suitable number to give them.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone Contest takes place next Sunday the 6th of September from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 27th of September. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.

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

The predicted drop in the solar wind failed to materialise this week as it is still being driven by coronal holes on the sun. These are areas of weaker magnetic fields that let plasma escape from the sun's surface. The Kp index has hit six at times, bringing very unsettled geomagnetic storm conditions and poor HF DX in general, apart from auroral conditions on the higher bands.

There have been a few glimmers of better autumnal HF conditions, but there have also been some very noisy bands at times, completely devoid of signals. The outlook for the next seven days is likely to be similar. Sunspot region 2403 will be rotating out of view and the rest of the sun is virtually spotless.

NOAA says we can expect the solar flux index to be in the range 100-115 next week, but high-speed solar wind effects from coronal holes may continue, with a high K index at times. Scientists say that coronal holes are a feature of where we are in the current sunspot cycle and are long-lived as they form near the solar equator.

We could be in for more of the same over the coming months, so take the chance to work any DX as and when you hear it.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week saw almost daily 10GHz rain scatter propagation over the Channel and North Sea and, once again, the coming week is likely to be dominated by low pressure at first. Since we are still getting some very warm days, there is scope for large showers and thunderstorms to develop, which raises the prospect of more rain scatter conditions on the upper GHz bands.

Later in the week, high pressure moves in towards the western side of the country and could bring slightly enhanced Tropo conditions. But the flow underneath the high is not especially moist, which is the preferred condition for VHF DX.

If you do notice lift conditions, please try the simplex channels and multimode options on SSB and CW, rather than risk co-channel interference by accessing distant repeaters.

Sporadic-E is even more sporadic once we move into September, so don’t expect much, but if you are searching then the best things to look for are strong jet streams on the upper air weather charts on the RSGB forum.

We are back to random Meteor Scatter propagation on the lower VHF bands and for EME operators losses are low this week, with moon windows getting longer as the week goes on.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd. August 2015.

August 21, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd August 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB responds to PC Pro magazine article

  • Optimism for North Korea DXpedition

  • Convention booking discount extended

An article mentioning amateur radio was included in the August issue of computer magazine PC Pro. As the national society for amateur radio, the RSGB responded to highlight the considerable changes that have occurred within amateur radio in the thirty years since the author gained his licence. It also outlined the important role that radio amateurs play in the development of science and technology. An abridged version of our response is on the Letters Page of the PC Pro October issue, but you can read the full version on our website at www.rsgb.org/articles/pc-pro

Persistent optimism continues to prop up the hopes of several individual radio amateurs and groups to mount a DXpedition to the most-wanted and elusive DXCC entity on the globe – the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, P5. EA5RM and EA7AJR met with North Korean officials earlier in August and are hopeful that permission will be granted. The process has, so far, taken two years. Other groups and individuals are also due to meet officials looking for permission to operate from North Korea.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The latest lecture listing is on the RSGB website. The early booking discount for weekend packages has been extended to the 31st of August, so there’s still time to book your weekend at the lower price. Day tickets are also available online and savings are available on those until the 30th of September. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the information. Places are still available at the RSGB Buildathon taking place on Saturday at the Convention, see the website for details.

ARISS, or Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, has arranged a contact between the Space Station and a school in Switzerland on the 24th of August. This contact will be audible in Europe on 145.800MHz FM at 1224UTC for those interested to hear the contact between OR4ISS and HB9SG.

The RSGB annual Construction Competition closes at the end of September so now is a good time to think about your entry. There’s been a slight rule change and entries where the Original designs have been published prior to the competition – in print or on the web – are now accepted. So, is your homebrew project eligible for the competition? Check out the rules at www.rsgb.org/construction-competition. Judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October.

RAOTA, the Radio Amateur Old Timers' Association is holding its AGM during the afternoon of the 26th of September less than a mile from the National Hamfest. Anyone planning to attend the AGM must book in advance no later than the 10th of September. For more information or to book a place please contact Ian, G4EAN by e-mail to GenSec@RAOTA.org

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group has been shortlisted for a grant from M&S Energy to fit solar panels on their site. This will reduce the electricity bills for the six beacons and five repeaters that run from their site. The award will go to the group with the most votes, so they are asking everyone to support them. There is a voting link on their website www.gb3nc.org.uk or search for GB3NC using your favourite search engine. You have to register with your email address and receive an email from M&S to vote. Last time the Group missed an award by just a few hundred votes. 

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

Today, the 23rd, the Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society annual radio rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX. Entry is £3, and the doors are open from 10am to 4pm. Sellers have access from 8.30am. Details from Tony, G0OLS on 07759 684 411.

The Milton Keynes ARS Rally will take place on the 30th of August at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. It is now even bigger, so why not combine the rally with a visit to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well? The rally is in a modern venue with large indoor and outdoor areas. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. Details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

On bank holiday Monday, the 31st, the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally will be at Ernulf Academy, Barford Road, St Neots Cambridgeshire PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am, with traders having access from 8am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Malcolm, M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

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.

Now the special event news

Cray Valley Radio Society will be operating GB150CM today, the 23rd at Crossness Museum, The Old Works, Thames Water STW, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London. SE2 9AQ. Open from 10.30am to 4pm, admission to the Museum is £6.

GB2BB will be operated at the RAF Bradwell Bay Memorial Flypast on the 27th of August. Operation will be from 10am to 4pm and the station will be situated at Bradwell Marina, Waterside Road, Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex CM0 7RB. The flypast will involve the Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft.

Colin, G4GBP and friends will be operating GB0WWM from Wilton Windmill about 8 miles south east of Marlborough in Wiltshire on the 29th to 31st. Visitors are welcome, although please do not confuse this Wilton with the Wilton near Salisbury. Refreshments will be available throughout and the windmill will be open on Sunday and Monday afternoon. Full details are on the QRZ.com listing for GB0WWM.

The plan to have Australia’s Casey Station in Antarctica on the air using the VI0ANZAC commemorative callsign was stopped by a severe storm. Doug, VK0DMV described the storm having wind reaching 112 knots and a fair bit of damage was caused. The WIA is pleased to announce that VI0ANZAC is rescheduled for the weekend of the 29th and 30th of August, weather permitting of course.

A special event operation from the 26th of August 26 to the 2nd of September will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the more than 230 people who lost their lives. Several stations along the Mississippi coast will use special event K for Katrina prefix. Operation will begin on the 26th at 0000UTC and on the 29th at 1300UTC, the time of Katrina’s impact, all stations will reduce power to 100W, except K5M and K5T. Reduced power operation will continue until the 2nd at 2359UTC. Details at www.katrina5h.com

This year sees the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Otley ARS. The highlight of the celebrations will be two events over the weekend of the 29th and 30th of August. The shack at Clifton Village Hall, Newall Carr Road, Otley will be open to the public from 10am to 5pm both days. The venue will be operating a special event station, using the callsign GB5ORS. There will be displays depicting the history of the society together with a wealth of information about what the society does and amateur radio in general. In addition, the society will be operating the GX3RCM mobile promotional unit on the Chevin above Otley. For more information, please visit www.otleyradio.org

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

Jim, G3RTE, Phil, G3SWH and Matt, MJ0ASP will be QRV as F/G6AY/p from Cezembre Island, IOTA reference EU-157, on from the 26th to 28th of August. They will operate CW only on 30 to 10 metres during their daylight hours only. QSL via G3SWH, direct or bureau.

Volker, DL1ZB will be active as SV5/DL1ZB from Kos, EU-001, until the 29th of September. He will operate SSB, RTTY, SSTV and PSK63 on 20 to 6 metres. QSL via DL1ZB using the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Rick, AI5P will sign as PJ4/AI5P from Bonaire, SA-006 until the 24th of August, followed by activity from Curaçao, SA-099 as PJ2/AI5P from the 24th to the 31st of August. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Pedro ON7WP will be on the air as C5WP in The Gambia until the 1st of September. This will be a spare time operation concentrating on the WARC bands and 6m.

Jim, W2JHP will operate as V31TA from the Turneffe Atoll in Belize, Central America from the 23rd of August to the 4th of September. This island counts as NA-123 for the Islands on the Air Award.

A reminder that a group of UK operators will be activating Niue island, OC-040 as E6GG from the 16th to the 29th of September. They will be using four Elecraft stations with linear amplifiers on 160-10 metres and will pay particular attention to the European openings and hope to work a lot of UK stations. You can find propagation suggestions, timings and lots of other information on the expedition website, www.e6gg.com.

Now the contest news

The UKSMG Summer Marathon is now over, and the closing date for entries was set at the 17th of August. However, as there were a few technical issues uploading logs earlier this year, the submission closing date has been extended to Friday the 4th of September. Details are on the uksmg.org website.

On Tuesday two events take place from 1900 to 2130UTC with the same exchange of signal report, serial number and locator. The 50MHz UK Activity Contest uses all modes on the band and the SHF UK Activity Contest uses the 2.3 to 10GHz bands.

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

Next weekend, on the 30th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest also takes place on the 30th from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using SSB and FM only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also giving their county.

The Romanian Amateur Radio Federation is running the YO DX HF Contest from 1200UTC on the 29th to 1159UTC on the 30th. Foreign stations will transmit signal report and serial number Romanian stations will transmit a signal report plus the abbreviation of the county or BU for stations from Bucharest. Logs must be submitted within 30 days after the contest. Rules can be found at www.yodx.ro/rules

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

HF propagation conditions were very bad earlier this week. The culprit was a high-speed solar wind stream from coronal holes on the sun. The solar wind often exceeded 500 kilometres per second and had a south-facing Bz field at times. This meant that it more easily coupled with the Earth's magnetic field – and plasma poured in. The net result was very poor conditions with a depleted F2 layer, lower maximum usable frequencies and rapid fading on the HF signals that could get through.

The Kp index hit seven last weekend, leading to visible aurora and rotten conditions for the International Lighthouse and Lightship event, thanks to the arrival of material from a coronal mass ejection. However, late-season Sporadic-E brought some extended 10 metre openings to Europe on Thursday the 20th.

The solar flux index has declined, staying just below 100 all week. Next week, it should remain in the range 90-95, according to NOAA, but HF conditions may again be dominated by the geomagnetic effects of the solar wind.

Predicting much more than three days ahead is hard, but looking at images from the GOES-12 X-ray imaging satellite suggests that coronal hole-enhanced solar wind effects may be less prevalent in the latter half of next week. This could mean HF conditions may improve as geomagnetic conditions become more settled. Time will tell if we are right!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Low pressure will be nearby for much of this week, mainly to the North and West of Britain, but with smaller lows tracking northeast across the country at times.

The nearest areas of high pressure are over the Continent, linking back to a large high near the Azores. Conditions are expected to be fairly flat for VHF tropo, except today and tomorrow may see some Northerly trans-North Sea paths. Later in the week occasional Southerly paths into the Continent or across Biscay to Spain may be possible.

The Sporadic-E season's primary months, typically from May to August, are nearly over, so Sporadic-E openings are much less likely. But with such an unsettled weather pattern there will be some jet stream upper winds over Britain and the near Continent. These jet stream winds may give a chance of Sporadic-A patches, but since they are quite close-by, the geometry is more likely to favour paths from northern Britain into Europe.

For EME operators, the Moon reaches its lowest declination on Monday so bringing very short, low-elevation Moon windows this week, but with perigee will come the lowest losses next weekend.

There are daily updates on the RSGB propagation forum.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 16th. August 2015.

August 14, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th August 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention discount deadline

  • New 70cm beacon on the air

  • Join in the Construction Competition

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The latest lecture listing is on the RSGB website. The early bird discount for weekend packages closes on the 18th of August, so there’s just time to book your weekend at the lower price. Day tickets are also available online and savings are available on those until the 30th of September. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the information.

The Leicestershire Repeater Group is pleased to announce that the new UHF beacon, GB3LEU, became operational on Sunday the 9th of August at 1225UTC. It is near Markfield, Leicestershire, IO92IQ and transmits on 432.490MHz. It identifies in Morse as well as JT65. Reports and comments are very welcome to the Beacon Keeper, Geoff, G3TQF, via the website www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk. The Group is indebted to the RSGB Emerging Technology Coordinating Committee for licensing and the Propagation Studies Committee for supply of the beacon synthesiser and PIC identifier PCB.

The RSGB annual Construction Competition closes at the end of September so now is a good time to think about your entry. Have you made something for you local club’s construction competition that could be entered? There are four classes: Junior, Beginner, Craftsman and Designer. Even team entries are allowed for a group build club project. Check out the rules at www.rsgb.org/construction-competition. Judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October.

As more and more communications equipment designs have adopted digital signal processing techniques, the US company Rockwell Collins has announced that it will stop manufacturing its renowned mechanical filters. It did not provide a specific date. In a mechanical filter, input and output transducers convert the electrical signal to and from resonant mechanical vibrations. Rockwell Collins makes two different types of mechanical filters, many of which have found their way into amateur radio products and applications.

This weekend the RSGB ARDF team flies out to the Czech Republic for the 20th IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships. There are four separate competitions in total. The Championships start on the 18th and there are races on the 19th, 20th and 22nd. The RSGB is fielding a team of 9 runners in the M40, M50, M60, M70 and W50 categories. The best chance of a podium place is in the M50 category, which is men aged between 50 and 60, where last year's 144MHz silver medallist at the World Championships, David, M3WDD is joined by triple RSGB Champion Andrew, G4KWQ, who posts his 50th birthday this year. The duo make a formidable combination but the class is highly competitive with a strong entry from Eastern Europe. Go to www.ardf2015.cz to follow the action as it happens this coming week.

Today is the second day of the ever-popular International Lighthouses and Lightships weekend. Nearly 500 entrants are registered, spanning over 40 countries. Many stations will have special callsigns to listen out for, and quite a lot will be giving special QSL cards. Details are online at www.illw.net.

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

G4CLD had a table at the Flight Refuelling amateur radio rally last weekend in Dorset. He sold a Mandol vertical antenna at the end of the rally, but unfortunately the buyer left the top section behind. Without this the antenna will not work. If this is your antenna, please contact G4CLD via the details on QRZ.com.

The Finningley ARS Summer Rally will take place today, the 16th, at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The venue is easily accessible from the M180 junctions 1 and 2. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614 640.

On Friday the 21st, the Cockenzie and Port Seaton ARC mini rally will be held at the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton. Bring along your own junk and sell it. Tables free, first come first served. Doors open from 6pm to 9pm and admission is £2. Details, by e-mail to bob.gm4uyz@talktalk.net.

On the 23rd, the Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society annual radio rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX. Entry is £3, and the doors are open from 10am to 4pm. Sellers have access from 8.30am. 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.

Now the special event news

Stockton and District ARS is activating GB6HPL on the 16th of August from The Heugh Gun Battery, Hartlepool, which is lighthouse number 188. Operation will be on 40m, 20m, 10m and 2m.

Members of South Tyneside Amateur Radio Society will be operating from Souter lighthouse this weekend as part of the celebrations for the Lighthouses and Lightships Weekend. Using the callsign GB2SJ they will be working all modes and bands and, as always, visitors will be made most welcome. They will be on site Saturday and most of Sunday.

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

Jim, G3RTE, Phil, G3SWH and Matt, MJ0ASP will be QRV from the Island of Cezembre, off St Malo, as F/G6AY/P between 16 and 19 August. This is IOTA reference EU-157. They plan to have two 100 watt stations with vertical antennas on 30 to 10 metres, CW only. Cezembre is one of Europe's rarest islands in the IOTA programme, being needed by more than 60% of IOTA participants. Activity will be during daylight hours only as it is not permitted to stay on the island overnight. There will be a log search at www.g3swh.org.uk/f g6ay.html. QSL via G3SWH, either via OQRS via the web page, which is the preferred method, or direct with SAE and adequate return postage, or via the RSGB bureau. Please check the online log before requesting QSLs and note that IRCs, stamps or coins are not accepted.

Another holiday style operation is S79DPX operating from the Seychelles. This is IZ2DPX, who will be there until 23 August. He is using a multi-band vertical and is active on SSB.

Pedro, ON7WP will be active again in his spare time as C5WP from The Gambia from 15 August to 1 September. During the first week he will operate from the village of Buntu, with a focus on the WARC bands, but he will also give 6m a try. He will then move to the coastal area, where he will focus on the low bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct only.

Volker, DL1ZB will be active until the 29th of September as SV5/DL1ZB from Kos, Dodecanese, IOTA reference EU-001. He will operate SSB, RTTY, SSTV and PSK63 on 20-6 metres. QSL via DL1ZB, bureau preferred, or Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Now the contest news

Today, the 16th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. It is on the 24 and 47GHz bands, all modes, and 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 14th of August

Long-range HF propagation showed signs of picking up this week. Whether this was due to the slow change to better Autumnal propagation, or from having a short period of fairly settled geomagnetic conditions, is debatable.

The settled conditions didn't last long though as the Kp index was up to four on Thursday due to plasma from a high-speed solar wind stream. The interplanetary magnetic field had a strong south-facing component meaning it coupled with the earth's magnetic field and plasma flooded in. This brought poor HF conditions once again, with little being heard outside of Europe on Thursday morning.

Next week the solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 90-100, with more periods of unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. Optimum working frequencies on 3,000km paths during daylight are now about 18 or 21MHz on southerly routes, such as UK to South Africa. On easterly paths to the US, 14 or 18MHz are more likely to bring contacts. It is similar story on the short path to Japan, where 18MHz remains favourite, with occasional openings on 21MHz.

The Chilton Ionosonde indicated a critical frequency of 6.425MHz at midday on Wednesday, showing that 40 metres is not really a viable option for inter-G communications. 80 metres may be better, but suffers badly from daytime absorption.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After last week’s excitement of the Perseids meteor shower it’s back to more normal VHF conditions, with just the tail end of the shower enhancing meteor scatter paths on the low VHF bands.

Early in the week there will be a weak ridge of high pressure over the UK, so some enhancement of tropo conditions is possible, chiefly overnight. There are two main high pressure centres this week; one over Scandinavia and the other near the Azores, and these are likely to persist through the week. This could mean some slightly enhanced tropo conditions up and down the North Sea as well as down towards the Azores.

The trough of low pressure between these two highs may produce some heavy showers resulting in possible GHz Bands rain-scatter paths within the UK.

It’s still worth checking for Sporadic-E on 50 and 70MHz in both the late morning and late afternoon peak operating windows and, with jet stream activity over the Pyrenees, the first paths to look at should probably be those towards EA and CT.

And that’s all from the propagation team for this week. There are daily updates on the RSGB propagation forum.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 9th. August 2015.

August 7, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th August 2015

The news headlines:

  • Amateur radio hits mainstream media

  • Book your turn for G15YOTA

  • International Lighthouse Weekend next week

Amateur radio has featured regularly in the local and national news during the last couple of weeks. RSGB Member Adrian, 2E0SDR made contact with an ISS astronaut, and they chatted for 50 seconds before the station moved out of range. It was reported on BBC Radio 4 and in a number of major national newspapers, where you can read more about his experience. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11786461/Radio-ham-talks-to-space-station-from-garden-shed.html] Holly Thomas, aged ten, was interviewed by the Welsh media after gaining her Foundation licence. She is one of the youngest Welsh persons to achieve the licence, and is a great example of all the young operators who are now enjoying amateur radio. [www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-33793881] Finally, Kevin, G7BCS, the Chair of Farnborough and District Radio Society, was interviewed on the 25th of July by James Cannon on BBC Radio Surrey. You can listen to it on BBC Surrey iPlayer where the interview starts at 49 minutes and will be available for a further two weeks. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02x6ngs#play]

Following on from the success of last year’s event, applications to host a Special Event Station for Youngsters on the Air Month in December are now open. The RSGB Youth Committee has managed to secure the callsign G15YOTA, and its regional variations. The aim of the month long event is to promote amateur radio to younger audiences and to encourage them to get on the air. Special event stations will be active from countries all over the world, with each Special Event Station identifiable by its YOTA suffix. An award scheme also exists to encourage amateurs to work as many YOTA stations as possible throughout the event in December. If your club or organisation would like to host the G15YOTA callsign in December, the only requirement is that the station is operated by young people who are under 26 years old and a Full licence holder is available to hold the NoV and supervise the station at all times. Applications should be sent by email to YOTA@rsgb.org.uk and close on the 30th of September.

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend takes place next weekend on the 15th and 16th of August. Stations will be on the air from all over the world and will give amateurs that chance to work some unusual stations. Visit the website www.illw.net for more information.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The latest lecture listing is on the RSGB website. The early bird discount for weekend packages closes on the 18th of August, so there’s still time to book your weekend. Day tickets are also available online and until 30th of September there are savings to be made. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the information.

The next British inland Waterways on the air event will be held over the August bank holiday weekend, the 29th to the 31st of August. The event is open to all amateurs who are boaters, cyclists, walkers and other users of the canals, rivers, towpaths, riverbanks for work or recreation. Many clubs and individual amateurs put on special event stations. The primary band will be 40m. More details can be found on the BiWota Facebook page or on the RSGB Special Interest Group – BiWota page. http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/special-interest-groups/biwota-british-inland-waterways-air/

A small amateur radio club based in Standish, near Wigan has lost its second venue in two years. The decision has been taken to dissolve the club and they would like to donate their equipment to any worthy club, because they are passionate about keeping the hobby alive. If there are any clubs struggling for equipment from components to radios and computers to antennas, please get in touch, via email to 2e0awr@googlemail.com and please note than any donations will be based on merit, rather than first come first served.

The Polish Amateur Radio Union, PZK, has created the Enigma Award to honour Marian Rejewski, who broke the Enigma cipher. The event will take place from the 14th to the 30th of August. Several special calls will be used during this event that will operate on all bands from 80m to 10m, including WARC bands. For QSOs with SN0CIPHER station, the operator will receive a cryptogram, which has to be decoded. This station will give a new cryptogram for each QSO on new band or new mode. QSOs with other special event stations will receive the decryption data necessary to decode the cryptogram. Full information can be found at http://enigmaaward.eu/

The activation of VI0ANZACon Casey Base in the Australian Antarctic Territory is due to start operation, as part of the Wireless Institute of Australia ANZAC 100 program. Doug, VK0DMV is working at Casey Station and can only operate when his duties allow. Provisional timings can be found on the WIA website. [www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2015/20150805-2/index.php]

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

Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place today, the 9th of August, at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk In will be on S22 and the gates are open from 10am to 4pm. There is disabled access from 9.30am. Admission is £3.50 and there will be trade stands, a car boot sale, licensed bar as well as lectures. Details from Tony, G3PFM on 07743 475 018.

Next weekend, on the 16th, the Finningley ARS Summer Rally will take place at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The venue is easily accessible from the M180 junctions 1 and 2. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614 640.

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.

Now the special event news

GB2VJ will be on the air from the 8th of August to the 4th of September to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. Details are at www.essexcw.org.uk.

Leicester Radio Society will be operating GB2VJD from Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QJ to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day on the 14th and 15th of August. It’s a ground floor venue and visitors are welcome. Details from John, G0IJM on 07939 121 132.

Stockton and District ARS is activating GB6HPL on the 15th and 16th of August from The Heugh Gun Battery, Hartlepool, which is lighthouse number 188. Operation will be on 40m, 20m, 10m and 2m.

Riviera ARC will be running a special event station on the15th of August from Berry Head, Brixham using the callsign GB4BHL. They will be operating from the Napoleonic Fort at Berry Head with kind permission from Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust.

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

The annual Bogong High Plains Winter mini-expedition will once again head up to the Victorian Alps in Australia from the 11th to the 14th of August. The team will be led by M0CYT/VK3SN and VK3GT and will utilise ultra-light weight solar powered QRP gear to operate on all bands from 80m to 70cm. They will be back country ski touring across the pristine icy wilderness of the Bogong High Plains. Listen out especially on 20m to share a contact with the boys who are camping out in deep snow above 1800m elevation. For further details, see RadCom July 2014, or visit www.vk3sn.net

Ernest, W4EG lives on Amelia Island, IOTA reference NA-138. He is presently only operating mobile, although a better station should be on air in the next few months. Contacts can be scheduled by e-mail to w4eg@hotmail.com.

Jim, G3RTE, Phil, G3SWH and Matt, MJ0ASP will be QRV from the Island of Cezembre, EU-157, off St Malo as F/G6AY/P between the 16th and 19th August. They plan to have two 100 watt stations with vertical antennas on 30 to 10 metres, CW only. Cezembre is one of Europe's rarest islands in the IOTA programme, being needed by more than 60% of IOTA participants. Activity will be during daylight hours only as it is not permitted to stay on the island overnight.

ZS1FUN will be active from Dassen Island, AF-064, on the 15th and 16th of August.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Europe, WAE contest ends its 48 hour operation at 2359 today, the 9th. Europe works non-Europe only in this contest, so there tends to be a lot of DX working. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Wednesday sees the 80m Club Sprint running from 1900 to 2000UTC. This contest is CW only and the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Next weekend, on the 16th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. It on the 24 and 47GHz bands, all modes, and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Further complaints about poor HF conditions were heard this week as the summer doldrums continued, not helped by a less than brilliant solar flux index of about 105. Having said that, the sun is showing more activity with a sprinkling of spots. Geomagnetic conditions were on the whole settled this week, at least until Thursday when the Kp index hit four thanks to a high-speed solar wind stream. A visible aurora warning was issued when the plasma hit the earth after being thrown out from a recurring coronal hole on the sun. A coronal hole is an area where the solar magnetic field reaches out into space so the hot gas can escape.

A look at the Chilton Ionosonde data for noon on Thursday showed that the F2 layer could support communication at up to about 23MHz around noon, but this isn't typical. The previous day it was around 18MHz. We would therefore recommend trying to use 18 or 21MHz during the day to minimise D layer absorption and maximise your DX potential. After dark move down to 14MHz or 18MHz, which have both brought a few surprises in terms of DX recently. Unfortunately we are still some way away from better autumnal HF conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week, meteor scatter operators can look forward to the Perseids, the longest meteor shower of the year. It peaks around the 12th, but there will be plenty of activity on meteor scatter either side of the peak. This is the time to try meteor scatter if you’ve never done it before. Using FSK441 on two and four metres and JT6M on six metres with 50 watts and a small Yagi should give you contacts. At the peak, even SSB contacts are possible.

An area of high pressure just north of the Azores, with a ridge extending along the English Channel this week, will mean some slightly enhanced tropo conditions are possible at times. In particular, there will be some good prospects for ducting along the west coast of France and Spain and down towards the Canaries and Azores. By Wednesday there are prospects for tropo paths across the North Sea.

August means we are drawing towards the close of the Sporadic-E season, but note there is still potential for the occasional opening through to the end of the month and in to September. These may be harder to find and relatively fleeting, but it is worth monitoring the beacons nonetheless.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 2nd. August 2015.

July 31, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd August 2015

The news headlines:

  • Respond now to Contest Consultation

  • Lightships weekend registrations strong

  • New highlights for RSGB Convention

Amateurs interested in contesting have the opportunity to comment on the 2015 Contest Rules Consultation White paper, but time is running out. Your comments must be received by the 7th of August. The White Paper is available at www.rsgbcc.org/whitepaper2015.pdf and it contains details of how to submit your comments.

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend has attracted 370 registrations from 33 nations to date, with more expected before the event on the 15th and 16th August. Germany has registered 65 stations, Australia 60, USA 50 and England about 40. At least 10 registrations each are from Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Scotland and South Africa and Sweden. Visit the website www.illw.net for more information.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes The lecture timetable is almost full now and details are on the RSGB website. As part of Saturday’s Contest University, Olof Lundberg, G0CKV will talk about how contesting is about having fun and that feeling of achievement you gain through continuous self-improvement in terms of operating skills and station-building. Lee Volante, G0MTN will explore different aspects of station design for HF contesting and show how computer software allows site location, tower height and antenna choices to be modelled and performance predicted. Inside and outside the shack there are design decisions to be made that will increase your score – many of them simple and at zero cost. Details of the other lectures as well as weekend packages and day tickets can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention.

In Australia, the WIA have updated VHF/UHF band plans. This includes a move of their narrowband segment at 3.4GHz to circumvent loss of spectrum to LTE, with EME moving down to around 3398MHz as they have an allocation that goes lower than ours. The updated band plan also includes implementation of the new 144MHz satellite segment and various changes for their 2m and 70cm usage, especially repeaters. You can view the band plan at www.wia.org.au/members/bandplans/data/

The Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organised to conduct scientific and educational projects related to amateur radio, including DXing and the introduction and promotion of amateur radio in developing countries. The Foundation has announced the recipients of grants for this year. The recipients are the organising committee of the 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship that will take place in Germany; the Reverse Beacon Network, for the purchase of equipment necessary to establish a node at the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society’s ET3AA club station, and to a representative of the Voodoo Contest Group for the purchase of Amateur Radio training materials for use in Liberia.

The RSGB Board has agreed an update to the policy for the awards that are presented at the Convention and the AGM. The biggest change is that they have widened the eligibility criteria for several of the AGM awards. Nominations are currently being sought for the G5RP Trophy that is awarded annualy 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 2015, now is the time to send in your nomination. Full details of eligibility will appear in the September RadCom, due with Members from 15th August onwards. The award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention in October. Please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, QTHR, or by e-mail to ian.greenshields@gmail.com to arrive no later than the 11th of September.

A reminder that the 2015 AGM of the UK Six Metre Group takes place on Saturday the 8th of August, starting at 10am, at the home QTH of Chris, G3WOS. The agenda can be downloaded from the Group’s website. The AGM is immediately followed by the G3WOS 6m BBQ, which is a ticketed event. All UKSMG members are welcome to attend the AGM and those wishing to stay on for the excellent BBQ and talks event should purchase tickets in advance from www.gare.co.uk/bbq2015.htm

Satellite-maker Pocketqube has announced a vacancy for an RF engineer with an emphasis on antenna design for satellites. Full details are at www.pocketqubeshop.com/rf-engineer

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

Today, on the 2nd of August, the 26th King’s Lynn ARC Rally & Car Boot will take place at Gaywood Community Centre, PE30 4DZ. Talk in will be on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. Doors open at 9am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as car boot pitches. More information from Ted, G4OZG on 01553 768 701.

Also today, the 2nd of August, the Lorn Radio Rally will be held in Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and the entry is £2. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Details by email from lornradioclub@gmail.com.

Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place on the 9th of August at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk In will be on S22 and the gates are open from 10am to 4pm. There is disabled access from 9.30am. Admission is £3.50 and there will be trade stands, a car boot sale, licensed bar as well as lectures. Details from Tony, G3PFM on 07743 475 018.

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.

Now the special event news

Felixstowe & District ARS will be putting on a special event station, call sign GB2BRS, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain today, the 2nd. The station is located at Bawdsey Radar Station. Further details are on QRZ.com.

Riviera ARC will be attending the Torbay Steam Fair today, the 2nd, using GB6TSF. They aim to be operating 40m and 2m but other bands may be used depending on band conditions.

Hastings Electronics & Radio Club members are supporting the 10th Essex Living History Group annual WW1 spectacular with GB2WWI. It will be held at Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home, today, the 2nd. Details on QRZ.com.

GB2VJ will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VJ Day from the 8th of August to the 4th of September. Details at www.essexcw.org.uk.

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

Samuel, EA1IQC is currently residing on Arosa Island that is part of the IOTA group EU-080. He now has a permanent station on the island. More information is on QRZ.com under the callsign EA1IQC.

Rene, DL2JRM will be active from Faroe Islands, EU-018, from the 7th to the 10th of August as OY/DL2JRM.

Scott, K0MD will be QRV as CE0/K0MD from Vina del Mar in Chile until the 7th of August. Activity will be on 20 to 10m in his spare time. QSL to his home callsign.

Tim, N3QE is QRV as N3QE/KH6 from Hawaii, OC-019, until the 5th of August. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via operator's instructions.

Mikhail, RA1ALA, will be QRV as RA1ALA/1 from Varnek on Vaygach Island, EU-086, from the 2nd to the 14 of August. Activity will be on 40 metres and above using CW and SSB as time permits. QSL to his home call.

Now the contest news

Today, the 2nd, the second RoPoCo contest takes place from 0700 to 0830UTC. This is the CW leg and the exchange is signal report and in your first QSO you send your full postcode. In subsequent QSOs you send a signal report and the postcode you received in your previous QSO. QSOs with non-UK stations don’t count and should not appear in your contest log.

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

The Worked All Europe (WAE) contest runs for the entire 48 hours of the weekend of the 8th and 9th. Europe works non-Europe only in this contest, so there tends to be a lot of DX working. Using CW only on 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 31st of July.

HF propagation conditions during last weekend's IOTA contest were pretty dire. This was due to a “perfect storm” of typical summer conditions, a fairly low sunspot count and poor geomagnetic conditions, reflected in a Kp index of three. This was due to the arrival of material from a coronal mass ejection and the onset of a weak high speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. One contestant said that he worked no stations outside of Europe at all in the IOTA contest, which just about sums it up!

Over the next week the solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 100-110 with the Ap index in the range five to sixteen. The third, fourth and fifth are predicted to be the most settled days geomagnetically, with Sunday the second of August and next weekend predicted to be very unsettled with the chance of the Kp index hitting five. This means that you may be better off hunting DX during the week as next weekend may see a return of unsettled conditions with poor maximum usable frequencies in terms of F layer propagation and low DX potential.

As we are now in August, make sure you use the new smoothed sunspot number of 51 for your VOACAP-based prediction programs.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This will be another week of mixed, but not really strong indicators. Tropo-wise there are likely to be periods when there is a weak ridge of high pressure over southern parts of Britain and this could mean slightly enhanced prospects at times, both across to the Baltic, and south across Biscay towards Spain.

Unfortunately, for much of the week, there will be a large area of low pressure near northwestern Britain and this will mean its only rain scatter on offer for many north-western areas of the UK.

For Sporadic-E, the prospects are reasonable on two counts. Firstly there is a very non-summer jet stream, albeit weaker than last week, over the British Isles and into northern Europe. Jet streams are good places to generate the wave motion in the air that can propagate vertically to make Sporadic-E.

Secondly, we are approaching the interesting part of the year for the Perseids meteor shower, which peaks around 12th August and meteors are generally regarded as the 'raw materials' of Sporadic-E. For a day-by-day update on the jet stream check out the Sporadic-E blog on the RSGB forums on www.rsgb.org

It is also less than two weeks to the Perseids meteor shower, peaking around the 12th of August.

With EME, the moon declination is increasing and losses are lowest today and Monday.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 26th. July 2015.

July 24, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th July 2015

The news headlines:

  • Enter the RSGB Construction Competition

  • New Licence terms to enter exams

  • President’s Contesting Review Group reports

The RSGB annual Construction Competition is open for entries and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October. The competition can be entered by individual members or groups of members where the build team will be treated as a single entrant. The closing date is the end of September and projects that have been built for local club construction competitions or as part of a club night construction can be entered.

We are getting closer to the 1st of October when the new UK Licence rules will be examined. The RSGB has now published updates to the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced training books and they are now available on the Extras webpages under Publications on the RSGB website. A further announcement will be made as soon as the revised Exam Reference Data Booklets and sample exam papers are available. These should enable anyone preparing for an exam after the 1st of October to have the current rules clear in their mind. It is worth noting that the old Licence Conditions will continue to be examined until the end of September. If anyone has any questions about these changes, please contact the chair of the RSGB Training & Education Committee, Philip Willis, M0PHI, via email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk.

The RSGB President’s Review of Contesting, which commenced at the beginning of May, reached its finale this Wednesday with a day-long workshop. There were 18 participants, from different parts of the UK, with diverse experience. The workshop produced agreement that substantial change is needed in certain areas. Key outcomes are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/publications/president-review. Volunteers are now needed to work with the contest committee, who will develop, consult on, and implement improvements in time for the 2016 Contest Calendar. If you would like to help, please email Ian Pawson, G0FCT, via cc.chair@rsgb.org.uk.

The RSGB’s Youth Committee DXpedition, DX-15, will be active as MC0RYC from the Brecon Beacons in Wales until the 30th of July. Throughout the course of the DXpedition, they will be taking part in a range of activities including operating SOTA summits. Please work the young team if you can, including during the IOTA contest that is taking place this weekend. The RSGB would like to thank Kenwood for their sponsorship as well as SOTA, the RCF and the RSGB Legacy fund for their support.

Ofcom are publishing an FAQ on variations for Full licensees only. It tidies up an anomaly whereby a few Intermediate Licence holders have historically been granted a notice of variation to their licence to operate an internet gateway. This practice will be phased out. Exceptions will still remain such as where a variation is made available to support a national celebration, for example the 2012 Olympic Games.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Dr Paul Darlington, M0XPD will be speaking about how Arduinos and DDS chips, cooperating as programmable RF sources, have become useful and important in and around the shack. Paul will show how these inexpensive devices can be used on the test bench and as the building blocks of beacons and rigs, with plenty of proven, practical examples of hardware and software. Mike Richards, G4WNC will be looking at the Raspberry Pi in the shack and explaining how you can make the most of the Raspberry Pi both at home and when out and about with your radio. Details of the other lectures as well as weekend packages and day tickets can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention.

After a long service to the American Radio Relay League and the IARU, Dave Sumner, K1ZZ has announced he is to retire in May next year at the age of 67. He’s been on the ARRL full-time staff for 44 years.

A group of Clacton radio amateurs have been working with Icom UK to put on the first D-Star 2m repeater in Essex. Icom donated the repeater modules and the Martello Tower Group supplied the server, cavities, broadband and site. The repeater went on air on the 19th of July and is working very well. Signal reports would be gratefully received via the contact link on the website, www.martellotowergroup.com.

For some years the 70cm repeater in Haywards Heath, GB3HY, has been off the air. The Mid Sussex Repeater Group, led by Gavin, G6DGK, is in the course of restoring it to service. A meeting, open to anyone who is interested in the plans for the repeater, is to be held at the Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society club house. It is at lower back ground floor, Cyprus Hall, Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill RH15 8DX. There is a public car park behind Cyprus Hall. The meeting will be on the 31st of July and will start at 7.45pm.

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

Today, the 26th of July, the Horncastle Summer Rally will be held in the Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. More details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

Next weekend, on the 2nd of August, the 26th King’s Lynn ARC Rally & Car Boot will take place at Gaywood Community Centre, PE30 4DZ. Talk in will be on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. Doors open at 9am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as car boot pitches. More information from Ted, G4OZG on 01553 768 701.

On the 2nd of August the Lorn Radio Rally will be held in Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and the entry is £2. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Details by email from 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.

Now the special event news

Farnborough and District Radio Society will be running a special event station from a local Scout hut in Frimley as part of their 50th year golden jubilee celebrations. Club members are mounting a public display and demonstration using G50FRS from the 1st of August to the 7th from 11am until 9pm. The public is very welcome to attend the display at the Scout Headquarters, Parsonage Way, Frimley, Surrey GU16 8HZ.

Felixstowe & District ARS will be putting on a special event station, call sign GB2BRS, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The station will be located at Bawdsey Radar Station, on the Suffolk coast, which was the home of wartime radar. The event will take place on Sunday the 2nd of August, with activity mainly on HF. Further details are on QRZ.com.

Riviera ARC will be attending the Torbay Steam Fair on the 1st and 2nd of August using GB6TSF. They aim to be operating 40m and 2m but other bands may be used depending on band conditions.

Hastings Electronics & Radio Club members are supporting the 10th Essex Living History Group annual WW1 spectacular with a special event station, GB2WWI. It will be held at Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home, on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of August to commemorate the death of his only son, John, 100 years ago at Loos-en-Gohelle during the Battle of Arras. GB2WWI will be operating from 9am to 5pm on both days mainly on 40m CW but some SSB. Robert, F5RHD/P, has agreed to activate the St Mary’s Field Hospital Cemetery where Lt John Kipling is buried. Details on QRZ.com

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

ET3AA from the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society club station is on the HF bands until the 21st of August. QSLs only via US0LW.

G8OFQ will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands, SA-004, until the 30th of September. Operations will be on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via HA3JB.

Giuseppe, IK5WWA will be active as 3A/IK5WWA from Monaco until the 1st of August. He will operate holiday style on the HF bands and 6 metres.

Jan, DG8HJ will be active as DG8HJ/p from Fehmarn Island, EU-128, until the 3rd of August, possibly also during the IOTA Contest. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

Flavio, IW2NEF will be active as SV8/IW2NEF from Naxos Island, EU-067, until the 6th of August. QSL via IK2DUW, direct or via the bureau.

Tim, VE6SH will be QRV as V29SH from Antigua Island, NA-100, from the 28th of July to the 8th of August. Activity will be mainly on 30, 17 and 12 metres using CW, SSB and some RTTY. QSL direct to home call.

Now the contest news

Today sees the final few hours of the RSGB’s flagship Islands on the Air Contest. It started at 1200UTC on the 25th and finishes at 1200UTC today, the 26th. You can use SSB and CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Everyone who lives in the British Isles lives on an island and so we will be in demand that weekend. Exchange a signal report, serial number and your island reference. Mainland Britain is EU-005, mainland Ireland is EU-115, while the smaller islands have different reference that can be found at www.QRZ.com/i/iota.html

Also today, the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 and 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz and up bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. On the same day, the 28th, the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for this one is also signal report, serial number and locator.

On VHF, the first weekend of August is dedicated to low power. The first contest to begin, at 1300UTC on the 1st, is the fourth session of the 2m Backpacker series. It runs for four hours and the power limit is 3 or 10 watts, depending on which section you enter. One hour later the 2m Low Power Contest begins. It runs for six hours and the power limit is 25 watts. The 70cm Low Power Contest runs for four hours the following morning, Sunday the 2nd. In both Low Power contests the multipliers are Countries, Postcodes and Locator squares. In all three contests you can use any mode on the band and the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also on Sunday the 2nd, the second RoPoCo contest takes place from 0700 to 0830UTC. This is the CW leg and the exchange is signal report and in your first QSO you send your full Postcode. In subsequent QSOs you send a signal report and the Postcode you received in your previous QSO. QSOs with non-UK stations don’t count and should not appear in your contest log.

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

This week had seen reasonably settled conditions until the geomagnetic Kp index hit five on Thursday 23rd, thanks to a glancing blow from a solar coronal mass ejection. The solar flux index fell below 100 as well. If we look at the smoothed solar flux and sunspot data we can see we are now exiting the second peak of solar cycle 24 and may very well be in the early stages of a slow decline to the next solar minimum. However, this does not mean that we have seen the last of large sunspot groups and solar flares. Spikes in activity will remain likely while the sun makes the long transition to the solar minimum around 2019-2020.

Meanwhile there is DX to be worked – if you know where to look!

The sun is currently looking pretty bare and the USAF forecast is for the solar flux index to remain in 100-110 range next week. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet with low A and K indices.

Summer daytime ionospheric absorption continues to impact the HF bands, but the evenings from 2100UTC and night time are proving fruitful, especially for contacts to the Caribbean and South America on 17 and 20m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like a disappointing week if we expect the weather to help with VHF propagation. For much of the time there will be low pressure close to the British Isles. This may provide heavy showers so some upper GHz bands rain scatter propagation is likely. Early in the week may see North Sea tropo, but only for coastal stations. Stations in the far Southwest may still get paths down to northern Spain. Later, there are signs of rising pressure as a small high builds towards Britain towards the end of the week.

Sporadic-E events are likely to tail off now as we move into August, but it can still be a useful provider of new squares and DXCCs for 4 and 6 metres. Try the late morning and late afternoon/evening periods to capture the best chance of being there at the right time.

The countdown to the main meteor shower of the year, the Perseids, begins now. The peak should be around the 12th of August, but the broad peak means that meteor scatter will gradually become more important over the next couple of weeks.

The moon reaches its lowest declination on Wednesday, but EME path losses are falling and will reach minimum as the moon reaches perigee next Sunday.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 19th. July 2015.

July 17, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th July 2015

The news headlines:

  • ARISS shortlist revealed

  • New Radio initiative

  • Listen out for MC0RYC youngsters

The list of ten schools that will have the opportunity to contact British ESA astronaut Tim Peake using amateur radio while he is in orbit was revealed at the UK Space Conference earlier this week. Tim will launch to the International Space Station this December and will spend six months working and living on the ISS. The ARISS UK Operations team, supported by the RSGB, will now begin work with the shortlisted schools to prepare them for this exceptional opportunity during the mission of the first British ESA astronaut.

At the amateur radio show in Friedrichshafen, a ‘new radio’ initiative led by the Austrian and German national societies was launched. This highlighted that amateur radio equipment, particularly handhelds, needs to move further into the 21st century and towards ‘smart’ radios with adaptable voice flex codecs as well as a more open applications layer, perhaps more akin to a smartphone. A website for the initiative can be found at www.newradio.eu/

The RSGB’s Youth Committee DXpedition, DX-15, will be active as MC0RYC from the Brecon Beacons in Wales from the 23rd to the 30th of July. Throughout the course of the week, they will be taking part in a range of activities including operating SOTA summits. Please work the young team if you can. The RSGB would like to thank Kenwood for their sponsorship as well as SOTA, the RCF and the RSGB Legacy fund for their support.

In Europe, 76 young amateur radio operators from more than 22 nations are getting ready to share their youthful enthusiasm for the hobby at the Youngsters on the Air summer camp in Italy from the 18th to the 25th of July. A small team of youngsters from the UK will be there. The programme, which is a mix of educational and intercultural events, is expected to feature a presentation on PSK, a workshop on soldering cable connectors and a session on how to build HF wire antennas. There will also be foxhunting and a contest with 70cm handhelds.

ARISS SSTV images will be transmitted this weekend from the International Space Station to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission. The ARISS team has developed a series of 12 slow scan television images that will be transmitted on 145.800MHz FM with 5kHz deviation. The images are planned to start sometime Saturday morning, the 18th, and finish on the 19th of July. The images can be displayed using several different SSTV computer programs that are available on the internet. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Visitors will be pleased to hear about two propagation-related lectures taking place. Dr Ruth Bamford will be speaking about ionosondes that are used to examine the ionosphere and what an eclipse can tell us. This will be followed by Steve Nichols, G0KYA, chairman of the RSGB’s propagation committee, speaking on the sun, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and their effects on HF. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will take place at the Holiday Inn, Guildford. On the 25th of July the lecturers will include Professor Richard Holdaway and Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, as well as Peter, DB2OS, Drew, KO4MA and Ivo, PA1IVO. Admittance is £10 for the day and car parking is free. Further details are at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

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

Today, the 19th, sees the McMichael Radio Rally and Car Boot Sale at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. There will be a talk in station, free car parking and the gates open at 9.30am. Admittance is £2 and there will be special interest groups, trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete, G8FRC, on 01189 695 697.

As mentioned earlier, the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium takes place from the 24th to the 26th of July at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. A beginners session is scheduled for Friday 24th and an active satellite ground station will be in operation. The 25th has a wide range of lectures. More information at http://amsat-uk.org.

On the 26th of July the Horncastle Summer Rally will be held in the Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. More details from Tony, 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.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is running GB4SAS from the Roker life boat station, in the marina North Dock, SR6 0PW, for the Sunderland Air Show on the 25th and 26th of July. Activity will be on all HF bands as well as 2m and 70cm. Visitors are most welcome.

A World War II special event commemorative station has been set up in Brazil by Ronaldo, PS7AB. PV70FEB will be on the air until the 30th of July to honour the importance of peace and commemorates the Brazilian Expeditionary Force on Italy’s battlefields. Certificates will be sent in 2016 via email to all stations who complete contacts with at least 10 special event stations on SSB, digital or CW. QSL via PS7AB, direct with $2, by the Bureau, eQSL or Logbook of The World.

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

G5O will be operating as GI5O from the East Lighthouse, Rathlin Island, IOTA reference EU-122, from the 24th to the 26th of July, primarily for the IOTA Contest.

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY, is working Mauritius, AF-049, and operating as 3B8HC until the 25th of July. Activity will include some slow CW but mainly SSB on all HF bands, from 80 to 6 meters. QSL via NI5DX direct.

Radio Scouters Stuart, G6CJR, Denis, M0NDJ and Claire, G8ULQ will be operating 8N23WSJ at the 23rd World Scout in Japan. The Jamboree will be taking place from the 28th of July until the 8th of August. They expect to be operating all the popular HF bands, 24 hours a day, conditions permitting. Please look out for them.

The F6KOP Team will be active from Les Minquiers, EU-099, from the 25th to the 29th of July with four SSB/CW stations from 80 to 6m. QSL via the bureau, OQRS or direct via F6KOP.

G8OFQ will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands until the 30th of September. Operations will be on 160 through to 6 meters but no times or modes have been mentioned. QSL via HA3JB.

PY8WW will be operating from Caviana Island, SA-042, from the 22nd to 29th July. His operating site only has an elevation of 1m above sea level but listen out for him particularly in the IOTA contest. See www.paradxgroup.com

Aeriel, NY4G will be active as FP/NY4G until the 23th of July from St Pierre and Miquelon Islands. Activity will be mainly on CW and logs will be uploaded to Club Log and Logbook of The World. QSLing will be available via Club Log OQRS.

Now the contest news

Today, the 19th, is host to several contests. Running from 0900 to 1600UTC, the RSGB Low Power Contest is on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands using CW only. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power level.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC today on the 24 to 248GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

On Thursday it’s the turn of the data leg of the popular 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend is the RSGB’s flagship Islands on the Air Contest. It takes place for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 25th using SSB and CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Everyone who lives in the British Isles lives on an island and so will be in demand that weekend. Exchange a signal report, serial number and your island reference. Mainland Britain is EU-005, mainland Ireland is EU-115, while the smaller islands have different reference that can be found at www.qrz.com/i/iota.html

Also next weekend, on the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 and 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The sun continues to be unsettled as we slide down from the peak of solar cycle 24. This is to be expected as the downward portion of any cycle tends to throw up more solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The 12th and 13th were quite unsettled, with the Kp index reaching five on Monday due to an elevated solar wind stream and a prolonged period of the interplanetary magnetic field having a southward-facing component.

When the so-called Bz points south we are more likely to get coupling of solar plasma with the earth's magnetic field and therefore unsettled conditions. The solar flux index declined this week with only two spots visible as group 2381 rotated out of view. Coming around the limb though is another spot, although early signs are that this is quite stable. Next week we can expect the solar flux index to continue around 100 with reasonably settled geomagnetic conditions and a Kp index of around two.

In addition to Sporadic-E openings on the higher HF bands we may see possible short-path F2 layer openings up to 24MHz. Paths may exist to Western Australia on 18MHz or even 21MHz around 0700-0800, but these may have a maximum probability of only around 32%. Around noon, the probability of a contact rises to 50% on 15m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E was a little quiet last week, with mainly intra-European paths. From QSO reports, tropo was slightly enhanced but seems to have favoured stations further south than the UK, with openings via the Azores’ high. For both modes it’s been a case of being there at the right time. Don’t give up, it’s still the prime season for Sporadic-E and summer Tropo.

Sporadic-E is going to behave slightly differently next week, since the main jet stream is migrating further north to be over Northern Europe or Scandinavia by the second half of the week. This will probably favour Sporadic-E openings into the Baltic and Scandinavia, rather than to the southeast into the Balkans and Italy.

In the coming week, there will be a large, but weak, area of high pressure over the near continent, but with the main Azores high dominating across Biscay and the nearby Atlantic west of Portugal.

This should offer some reasonable Tropo sea paths to Spain, Portugal, Canaries and Azores. Later in the week there could be sea Tropo to the east and land paths across to the continent should show some enhancement overnight and for a short period after dawn.

Slow-moving isolated thunderstorms, and perhaps heavier showers over northern Britain mean that there may be rain scatter opportunities on the higher bands on some days.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 12th. July 2015.

July 10, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th July 2015

The news headlines:

  • Welsh Youth DXpedition soon

  • Enter your club for Club of the Year

  • Revalidate your licence to avoid revocation

The RSGB’s Youth Committee is running a Kenwood-sponsored Youth DXpedition, DX-15, and will be active as MC0RYC from the Brecon Beacons in Wales from the 23rd to the 30th of July. They’ll be on all HF bands and VHF including satellite operations. Throughout the course of the week, they will be taking part in a range of activities including operating SOTA summits. You can support them by following their progress on Twitter @theRSGByouth, working the Youth DXpedition, or listening for the callsign MC0RYC during the IOTA Contest over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of July. Please work the young team if you can, so they can experience the full flow of a big contest.

The theme of this year’s RSGB Club of the Year competition is Promoting Amateur Radio. There are two categories, based on the size of your club. Groups with greater or fewer than 25 members vie for separate prizes sponsored by Waters & Stanton. Details of the competition are at www.rsgb.org/coty and there is plenty of time left to organise events to showcase amateur radio to the public.

Ofcom has advised the Society that plans will be drawn up to revoke licences that have not been revalidated as required by the licence conditions. The quickest way to revalidate is to do so online via the Ofcom website, or by e-mail to amateur.validations@ofcom.org.uk This can be done at any time. If you need assistance in the process, Ofcom staff are available to help, but please be patient during times of heavy workload.

Burundi has joined the International Amateur Radio Union, IARU, after a recent vote. Their national society, ABART, was approved following a 67 vote acceptance.

ARISS, or Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, wishes to shorten the waiting time for a school conversation with an astronaut or a cosmonaut on board the International Space Station. Schools in Europe, Africa and the Middle East are invited to submit an application in February, March and April 2016 for contacts in 2017. The application form is available at www.ariss-eu.org/schoolcontacts.htm

The beacon OK0EB at Klet, which is in locator square JN78DU and at 1084m above sea level, has had its frequencies extended to the microwave bands. The new frequencies and powers are 1296.970MHz, 2320.970MHz and 3400.970MHz, all at 10W. It also now has 5760.970MHz at 5W and 10368.970MHz at 2W. Omnidirectional antennas are installed with a moderate advantage to the north-east direction. Signal reports to Petr, OK2ULG, via email to ok2ulq@seznam.cz please.

The annual update of the European Common Allocation Table is out at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1207 and includes an upgrade of the status of the 70MHz band for some European countries. There will be no change in the UK allocation.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Two more lectures have been confirmed that will interest beginners and the more experienced operators alike. Roger Cooke, G3LDI will show the novice to datamodes why they should not be so verbose in their macros and thus increase their contact rate in a contest. Well-known DXer Nigel Cawthorne, G3TXF will talk about the RSGB Commonwealth Contest, one of the world’s longest running contests. He has participated in the Contest from several countries and will describe some recent operations. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

The Leicestershire Repeater Group will be testing the aerials for the new UHF beacon, GB3LEU, on Tuesday the 14th of July during the 70cm UK Activity Contest. They will be using the callsign G0LRG. As a result the GB3LE repeater on 433.100MHz may be switched off during this time as they investigate possible breakthrough issues. Further information is available from Geoff, G4AFJ, by e-mail to geoffrey@geoffg4afj.plus.com

The British inland Waterways on the Air event will be held over the August bank holiday weekend, the 29th to the 31st of August. The event is open to all amateurs who are boaters, cyclists, walkers and other users of canals, rivers, towpaths or riverbanks for work or recreation. Many operate special event stations, with the main band of activity being 40m. For full details, go to the RSGB website www.rsgb.org and search for biwota.

This year’s RSGB Convention in October will include a Buildathon, or kit building workshop, on Saturday the 10thy. Those taking part will build a 40m Software Defined Receiver that can be modified to cover other bands using an external signal source. The kit uses through-hole components so there will be no need for special soldering techniques or magnifying goggles etc. However, there will be experienced builders on hand to assist with building and testing the kits. Those wishing to take part in the Buildathon will need to buy a ticket for the Convention and pay for the kit via the RSGB Shop. The kit is being supplied by Kanga UK and the Convention price is expected to be about £25. Further details can be had from RSGB Board member Steve Hartley, by e-mail to g0fuw@rsgb.org.uk

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

Today, the 52nd Cornish RAC Mobile Rally will be held at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. There is talk-in, car parking, trade stands, a Bring and Buy and catering. Admission is £2 and doors open at 10.30. Contact Steve, on 01209 844 939, or email g7voh@btinternet.com.

Next Sunday, the 19th, sees the McMichael Radio Rally and Car Boot Sale at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. There will be a talk in station, free car parking and the gates open at 9.30am. Admittance is £2 and there will be special interest groups, trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete on G8FRC, 01189 695 697.

The Finningley ARS Summer Rally is not taking place on the 19th of July, having been moved to the 16th of August in plans widely announced earlier in the year. Please make sure your diary is up to date to avoid a wasted journey. A list of all known rallies is maintained on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/main/news/rallies/

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.

Now the special event news

Thorpe Camp Museum ARG is holding a Military Radio Week until the 19th of July. They will be using GB4TCM and MX0TCM for the event. Clubs and individuals are invited to use military radios to make contact with the stations if possible. For information contact Anthony, M0HAZ on 07956 654 481.

GX4RSE, will be on the air from the Island Yacht Club, Point Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 7TX on the 18th of July from 10am to 4pm for the yearly fun day. Details from Dave, G4UVJ on 01268 697 978.

On Saturday the 18th of July The Vintage & Military ARS will be holding its AGM at the Neatishead Radar Museum, Neatishead in Norfolk. Members of VMARS will be able to see the fascinating history behind the RAF's radar and defence systems employed in former years including the Cold War period. The following day, Sunday 19th, several VMARS members will be operating and displaying vintage & military radio equipment at the Norfolk & Suffolk Air Museum at Flixton near Bungay in Suffolk. There will be a family fun day. There is also a NAAFI in the main hangar for tea and coffee and very nice home-made cakes. Admission is free. Details are at www.vmars.org or from Stuart J Mckinnon on 01384 872 157.

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

EA1IQC is now active as a fixed and permanent station in Arosa Island, EU-080. See QRZ.com for details.

S79HN will operate from Praslin Insland, in the Seychelles, AF-024, from the 16th to the 20th of July. They will operate CW, RTTY and SSB on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL via JJ2VLY, direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World.

Stan, EI6DX will operate from the Seychelles as S79OWZ from the 16th to the 30th of July. He will be on the northern side of Mahe Island with a clear take-off to Europe and Asia. The QSL Manager is RX3RC.

G8OFQ will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands, SA-004, until the 30th of September. Operations will be on 160 to 6 metres. QSL via HA3JB

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY will be active as 3B8HC until the 25th from Mauritius, AF-049, using the 6 to 30m bands. QSL via NI5DX.

G3ZAY, M0BLF, M0HSW, M0TJH, M0VFC and M1BXF will be active from Spitsbergen, EU-026, until the 17th of July. Using the 10 to 40m bands and maybe 6m, they will be using SSB and CW. QSL via home callsign direct or bureau, with ClubLog OQRS being preferred.

Davide, IZ2ZOT is on Elba, EU-028, as IA5/IZ2ZOT until the 18th. Operating on HF using SSB and digital modes the QSL route is via IZ2ZOT either direct or Bureau, Logbook of the World or eQSL.

Now the contest news

Next Saturday and Sunday the IARU HF Championship takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. SSB and CW can be used on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RS or RST plus your ITU zone, which is 27 for the United Kingdom.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Marathon continues throughout July. With no particular operating times, just try to work every Locator square you can, whenever you can. The exchange is your 4 character locator.

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

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

Next weekend, on the 19th, is host to several contests. Running from 0900 to 1600UTC, the RSGB Low Power Contest is on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands using CW only. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power level.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC next Sunday on the 24 to 248GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for the 19th the 70MHz trophy that runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

The sun was remarkably well behaved during the first half of the week with few solar flares of note. The Kp index remained around one or two, apart from two excursions to three on the 7th and 9th. The solar flux index was, as predicted, around 125-135 all week.

Conditions will remain very similar next week with the solar flux index predicted to be about 115-130. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet. However, there is an active sunspot just around the limb that was probably the cause of a coronal mass ejection observed on Monday the 6th that may cause problems later in the week.

The critical frequency as measured by the Chilton Ionosonde at mid-day has been around 6.3MHz, giving a predicted maximum useable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 17.9MHz.

Many people have commented on the poor HF conditions recently, but this is mainly seasonal. Good long-range HF propagation will return in the autumn. Meanwhile, keep an eye on 20m at night as the band is often open to DX at this time of year.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There was plenty of Sporadic-E and tropo about last week and these two main propagation modes are going to remain in full swing. The weather charts indicate a ridge of high pressure over southern Britain for much of the week, which will favour tropo style openings. As in the past couple of weeks, propagation can be particularly good over sea paths.

The required temperature inversions are almost a permanent feature across water in high summer as warm, dry continental air drifts out across a cool sea surface. It is worth remembering that there is nearly always a shallow nocturnal surface inversion, which forms by dawn to give some lengthy, but temporary, tropo paths inland, but these soon disappear when the sun comes up and the heating destroys the inversion.

Sporadic-E has been active on several occasions last week and with a fairly strong jet stream over northern Europe, there is every chance that the magic of Sporadic-E will recur, particularly across to Eastern Europe and the Baltic. Try checking for Sporadic-E mid-morning and late afternoon on 6m. The potential for paths across the Atlantic is also quite high and worth checking each evening, since the jet stream remains strong across to the States through this week.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 5th. July 2015.

July 3, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th July 2015

The news headlines:

  • Improving club practical sessions

  • Crowds flocked to BATC at Friedrichshafen

  • Guildford Space Colloquium soon

The Inspire Group is doing some research for the RSGB on the benefits and challenges of running regular practical sessions during club nights. Does your club organise this type of event? If so, we’d like to hear about your experiences and find out what worked, what didn’t and what you’d like to do if you had the resources. Please contact Michael, G0POT via email to g0pot@metalkettle.co.uk or on 01635 672 787.

More than 200 radio amateurs visited the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) stand at the International Amateur Radio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen. BATC chairman Noel Matthews, G8GTZ described it as a “very busy and worthwhile” three day event promoting both amateur television and the BATC. Enthusiasts from across Europe, and beyond, were shown demonstrations of the latest reduced bandwidth digital television projects. Many commented on how impressed they were with the MPEG-4 picture quality using just 500kHz bandwidth. The new USB tuner project MiniTiouner [sic] demonstrated by F6DZP also created a lot of interest. The BATC shop enjoyed a brisk trade and new joiners at the event helped boost the club’s membership to more than 950.

The AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium will be held on 24-26 July at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ. Among the speakers will be Peter Guelzow, DB2OS with an update on AMSAT-DL projects, including the Phase 4 satellite and Chris Brunskill, formerly of Surrey Space Centre. He will be presenting a novel project aimed at schools and education. It is hoped the BATC will be able to demonstrate live Digital TV reception from the International Space Station, using the Ham TV system. Drew Glasbrenner, KO5MA, from AMSAT North America will be presenting the latest news of the FOX satellites due for launch later this year, and also on their Phase 4 project. The Colloquium is open to all. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

RadCom and other magazines often include photographs of instantly recognisable buildings, but this may have to stop if a new EU restriction on the so-called Freedom of Panorama is voted in on the 9th of July. Many organisations including Wikipedia and the Royal Photographic Society are strongly opposed to the restrictions. A change.org petition has been set up to oppose the legislation. The RSGB encourages people to read and sign the petition, which can be found at tinyurl.com/freepanorama

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Two more lectures have been confirmed. The Kit Building Editor of CQ Magazine, Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, will be speaking on successful kit building techniques. Dr Alwyn Seeds, G8DOH, will be discussing high performance VHF/UHF contest stations. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

The RSGB presents a variety of awards and trophies every year. Presentations take place at the AGM and the RSGB Convention. A gallery of the AGM trophies is now available to Members on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm-trophies and further galleries, including contest awards, are under preparation.

Surrey Satellite Technology was 30 years old on Monday. There’s a .GOV blog post about it at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1507 and it’s interesting to note that the two photos on the page both feature UoSAT-1, even though it isn’t mentioned that it was an amateur satellite. Apart from being a world-class space company, Surrey Satellite Technology has had a close association with Arkwright Trust students.

Emergency communications on 20m arising from the Nepal earthquake have now been cut back. Main communication systems in the area are now generally working normally and although there may still be emergency-related traffic on other frequencies, 14.215MHz is essentially now clear. Partly as a result of the amateur radio response, the Indian government is planning number of amateur radio-equipped emergency operation centres. More information on the plans can be found at tinyurl.com/me29fpn

In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission is inviting comments on its recent proposals to permit a Secondary amateur radio operation on 137kHz and 479kHz. Amateurs would share some of the frequencies with other users such as unlicensed power line carrier systems. Comments are due in by 31 August; depending on the results, the bands may become available some time after that.

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

Today, the British Vintage Wireless Society Swapmeet and Auction takes place at the Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. Details from Mike Barker on 01380 860 787.

Also today, the 19th Red Rose QRP Festival is being held in Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and the doors open at 11am with £2 admission. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Details from Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Radio Rally takes place today in the Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups and catering on site. Admission is £2 with, under 16s free. See www.norfolkamateurradio.org.

Next Saturday, the 11th, the Stockport Radio Society Rally takes place at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6QS. The opening time is 10am and admission is £2. There are disabled facilities and catering. Contact 07506 904 422 or email info@g8srs.co.uk.

Next Sunday, the 52nd Cornish RAC Mobile Rally will be held at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. There is talk-in, car parking, trade stands, a Bring and Buy and catering. Admission is £2 and doors open at 10.30. Contact Steve, on 01209 844 939, or email g7voh@btinternet.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.

Now the special event news

Thorpe Camp Museum ARG is holding a Military Radio Week from the 11th to the 19th of July. They will be using GB4TCM and MX0TCM for the event. Clubs and individuals are invited to use military radios to make contact with the stations if possible. For information contact Anthony, M0HAZ on 07956 654 481.

Special event station UE40SA is on the air until the 20th of July to commemorate the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project 40 years ago. Details are on QRZ.com and QSL via GM0WRR.

Advance notice now that on Saturday the 18th of July The Vintage & Military ARS will be holding its AGM at the Neatishead Radar Museum, Neatishead in Norfolk. The following day, Sunday the 19th, several VMARS members will be operating and displaying vintage & military radio equipment at the Norfolk & Suffolk Air Museum at Flixton near Bungay in Suffolk. There will be a family fun day and a chance to appreciate a fine collection of aircraft, military vehicles and communications equipment. There is also a NAAFI in the main hangar for tea/coffee and very nice home made cakes. Admission is free. Details are at www.vmars.com or from Stuart J Mckinnon on 01384 872 157.

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

Paul, HB9ARY will be QRV as 3B8HC from the 9th to the 25th of July. Activity will be holiday style on 80 to 6 metres using mainly CW. QSL via NI5DX.

Giuseppe, IK2YDJ is QRV as 5Z4/IK2YDJ from Rongo, Kenya until the 20th of July. Activity is on 40 to 6 metres. QSL to home call.

Tony, ZL2AGY plans to be active as E51AGY from Rarotonga Island, IOTA OC-013, from the 6th of July to the 3rd of August. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW. QSL to his home call.

Zorro, JH1AJT will be QRV as KH0/KH8Z from Saipan from the 6th to the 10th of July while on a business trip. Activity will be holiday style on 20, 15 and 10 metres using mainly SSB. QSL to his home call.

Dieter, DF2SD will be QRV as OZ/DF2SD from Fano Island, IOTA EU-125, until the 18th of July. Activity will be on 40 to 6 metres using SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

Stan, EI6DX will be QRV as S79OWZ from Mahe Island in the Seychelles, IOTA AS-024, from the 7th to the 18th of July. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via RX3RC.

Goran, S55OO will be QRV as SV9/S55OO from Rethymnon, IOTA EU-015, from the 8th to 19th of July. Activity will be holiday style on 40 to 6m using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home call.

A multi-national team of twenty operators from the Mediterraneo DX Club led by Antonio, IZ8CCW and Gabriele, I2VGW will be active as 3W3MD from Da Nang, Vietnam from 31 October to 10 November. They plan to be QRV on all bands and modes with five stations 24/7. A website is under construction, and further information is expected in due course.

Jim, G3RTE, Phil, G3SWH and Matt, MJ0ASP will be QRV as F/G6AY/p from Cezembre Island, one of the rarest European IOTA groups, EU-157, on 26-28 August. They will operate CW only on 30-10 metres with two 100-watt stations and vertical antennas. Activity will be during their daylight hours only, as it is not permitted to stay on the island overnight. QSL via G3SWH, direct, bureau or LoTW.

Now the contest news

VHF National Field Day completes its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, Sunday. Bands in use are 50MHz to 1296MHz and all modes can be used. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest takes place from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes in the 144MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. It is helpful if portable and mobile stations in this contest also know their WAB square for the WAB contest taking place at the same time.

Also today, the Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power contest takes place from 1000-1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 26th of July. The power limit is 10 watts. Details from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Monday the 6th sees the RSGB 80m Club Championships CW leg. Operation is CW only on the 80m band and the exchange is RST plus serial number.

On Tuesday the 7th the RSGB 144MHz UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. All modes are permitted on the 144MHz band only, and the report is RS or RST, serial number and locator.

Next Saturday and Sunday the IARU HF Championship takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. SSB and CW can be used on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RS or RST plus your ITU zone, which is 27 for the United Kingdom.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Marathon continues throughout July. With no particular operating times, just try to work every Locator square you can, whenever you can. The exchange is your 4 character locator.

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

As predicted, this week the sun has been more settled. The solar flux index has been around the 100 mark and the Kp index has not risen above three. Nevertheless, we are still in the summer HF doldrums and apart from sporadic E openings on the higher HF bands conditions remain fairly lacklustre.

The optimum bands for working the east coast of the US from the UK this week will be 20 or 17m during the day, and 20m or 30m at night. Paths to Japan will be similar. Propagation to South America and South Africa will be better, with openings up to 10m at times.

As we are now in July please ensure you use the latest smoothed sunspot number of 55 for your VOACAP-based prediction programs.

Next week looks like it could potentially be more unsettled with a number of sunspots rotating into view. Three distinct groups will be directly in line with Earth and the potential for flares and coronal mass ejections remains high. NOAA says we can expect the solar flux index to be in the range 125-130, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the sixth to the eighth, and again on the eleventh and twelfth.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High summer is a good time for Tropo paths to develop overnight as a strong surface temperature inversion forms. This favours coastal stations for paths across the North Sea, English Channel and down to the south across Biscay towards Spain and the Azores/Canaries. Hot dry air from the continent drifts out across the cool sea surface, providing the mechanism to alter the refractive index.

Inland stations should be aware that inland locations will lose these ‘lifts’ once the temperature rises after dawn. In the coming week, a ridge of high pressure will extend from the Azores high up to southern Britain, so these Tropo paths are mainly going to favour the southern half of the country.

Sporadic-E took a bit of a dip last week, but we are still in the main season so have an early look at 10m beacons to determine which paths might open up on 6m, 4m and 2m later in the day.

Last week saw some severe thunderstorms that provided rain scatter contacts in for the Southeast on the GHz bands. The likelihood of this is much lower in the coming week due to the high pressure. There are no significant meteor showers this week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Broadcast for Sunday 28th. June 2015

June 26, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th June 2015

The news headlines:

  • MBE for radio amateur

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Nine satellites to be launched

Congratulations to Ray Aldous, G8CBU who was awarded the MBE in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to Scouting. Ray became interested in radio whilst he was a student at Luton Technical College and he joined the RAF in 1951 as a wireless mechanic. He was posted to Egypt and it was there that he became a leader in the Scout movement. After leaving the RAF he continued as a Scout leader with the 7th Luton troop. His interest in radio was re-kindled when he accompanied his Scouts to the 1966 JOTA station in Luton and 2 years later he gained his amateur licence. Ray has been involved in JOTA since 1966 and over the years has inspired a number of Scouts and leaders into becoming licenced – and influenced a few amateurs to get involved with Scouting.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. More lectures have been confirmed. Steve Nichols, G0KYA will be speaking on Understanding HF Propagation with a look at the sun, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and their effects on HF. He will also discuss propagation prediction programs and where amateurs can get solar information. Ian White, GM3SEK will help visitors to clean up their shack by showing how you can reduce your noise levels on receive, and reduce risks of causing interference. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

Nine satellites, designated CAS-3A to CAS3i, with payloads operating in the amateur bands, are expected to be launched on 20 July on the new CZ-6 rocket. The Chinese amateur satellite group CAMSAT says that six of the satellites, CAS-3A to CAS-3F, are equipped with substantially the same amateur radio payloads. This will be a 20kHz bandwidth 435/145MHz 100mW linear transponder for SSB/CW communications, a CW telemetry beacon and an AX.25 19.2k/9.6k bps GMSK telemetry downlink. CAS-3G has 9k6 GMSK AX25 downlinks on 145MHz and 437MHz; CAS-3H carries 145MHz APRS, an FM transponder and a 437MHz CW beacon while CAS-3i has a 9k6 FSK telemetry downlink on 437MHz.

Ofcom has published a statement giving effect to policy decisions to extend Recognised Spectrum Access for Receive-Only Earth Stations to two new frequency bands. These are ground based terminals that are used to receive signals from meteorological satellites, earth exploration satellites and space missions, but do not transmit. This now extends to the 7850 – 7900MHz band and the 25.5 – 26.5GHz band and will come into force on the 10th of July.

The CISPR 11 standard with the catchy title of ‘Industrial, scientific and medical equipment – Radio disturbance characteristics – Limits and methods of measurement’ covers power electronic devices such as solar inverters. Although there were voltage limits for conducted emissions at the mains port in the past, limits for the connections to the solar cells were missing. After a positive vote of the international standard bodies, CISPR 11 Ed.6.0 is about to appear officially. In this new version, limits finally apply for the DC terminals, in particular for systems up to 2kVA in residential environments. These limits are 74dBµV between 500kHz and 30MHz. The IARU has worked with the standardisation bodies over the last 5 years to achieve this but the work in terms of photovoltaic does not end here. With the current limit, however, a reasonable protection for short wave reception has already been achieved. Ofcom have published details on their website.

Ofcom has published a policy on temporary callsigns and callsign enhancements and the subject was discussed at a recent meeting between the RSGB and Ofcom. The RSGB has asked for clarification about two issues. The first is that all clubs in England must now use the Regional Secondary Locator ‘X’ in the callsign at all times, although this would appear to differ from the licence conditions. The second point is that the structure of temporary callsigns for special events is such that some very recent approvals do not follow the policy and, as written, this will restrict Ofcom’s ability to accommodate some requests in future. For example, G100RSGB would not now be allowed. Ofcom agreed to look again at these points but, nevertheless, the policy is now a public document and thus in force. The RSGB will report any further communication from Ofcom.

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

Today, Sunday the 28th of June, the West of England Radio Rally will be held at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, including an RSGB bookstall, as well as disabled facilities. Details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098.

On Saturday the 4th of July the Bangor and District Amateur Radio Society annual rally will be held in the Donaghadee Community Centre, located just 100m from the harbour. Doors will be open at 11am sharp and there will be a small entrance fee. All are welcome.

Next Sunday, the 5th of July, British Vintage Wireless Society Swapmeet and Auction will take place at the Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. Details from Mike Barker on 01380 860 787.

Also next Sunday, the 19th Red Rose QRP Festival will be held in Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and the doors open at 11am with £2 admission. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Details from Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Radio Rally will be held in the Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB on the 5th of July. Doors open at 9am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups and catering on site. Admission is £2 with under 16s free. See www.norfolkamateurradio.org.

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

Now the special event news

Today, the 28th of June, Martin, G7MRV and Bob, M1BBV are walking the Lyke Wake Walk challenge, whilst operating GB0MAG. Operation will be at quite low power on 2m FM only with an ultra lightweight rucksack mounted antenna to increase the range. See QRZ.com for more information.

The 16th Island Games will be held in Jersey until the 3rd of July. Jersey ARS will be active with GJ15IG using SSB and CW. Logs will be uploaded the Logbook of the World and paper QSLs should be requested using the OQRS facility provided by Club Log.

Bush Valley ARC will be taking part in the Museums on the Air from The Green Lane Museum in The Roe Valley Country Park today, the 28th of June, using GB8GLM. Two stations will operate HF, VHF and D-Star.

Banbury Amateur Radio Society is operating GB8OOM until mid-July to celebrate 800 years of the signing of the Magna Carta. Operation is on HF, VHF and UHF, with days given for modes other than voice. The club will have a special 48 hour event for the weekend of the 4th of July including a barbecue and will also enter VHF Field Day under the club call of G0BRA. Further information is at www.banburyarc.org

Durham & DARS is participating as one of the bonus stations in the 13 Colonies special event, operating GB13COL. The event will run from 1300UTC on 31 June until 0400UTC on 6 July. The primary focus of the event will be the HF bands except the WARC bands and 60 metres, as well as VHF & UHF for local QSOs using SSB, CW and digital modes. Every year there is a different certificate theme for amateurs who make contact with either one or all participating stations, including the bonus stations. See www.13colonies.info

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

G8OFQ will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands, SA-004, from the 1st of July to the 30th of September. Operations will be on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via HA3JB.

ON8VP, ON6QQ and ON5TQ will be operating as OJ0V from Market Reef from the 28th of June to the 4th of July. Activity will be on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via ON5TC.

PJ5A will be active from St Eustatius Island, IOTA NA-145, until the 6th of July. Their emphasis will be on 6m but there will be some HF and low band activity as well. QSL via M0URX.

T88MZ will be active from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, from the 30th of June to the 3rd of July. Activity will be holiday style on the 80 to 6m bands using SSB. QSL to home call.

Kouchi, JR2GAG will be QRV as V63GG from Pohnpei Island, IOTA OC-010, from the 29th of June to the 5th of July. Activity will be on the 20 to 6m bands and possibly the lower bands as well. QSL to his home callsign.

VK7NSE and VK2HV are on the air as VK7FG from Flinders Island, IOTA OC-195, until the 2nd of July. Activity is on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via M0OXO.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz CW contest takes place today, the 28th of June, from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600 today, the 28th of June. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

The first VHF contest of July is VHF National Field Day, which runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on Saturday the 4th of July. There are station inspections in this contest so if you have registered and decide not to take part for any reason, please contact the Contest Committee in case an inspector wastes time trying to locate a station that’s not active. Bands in use are 50MHz to 1296MHz and all modes can be used. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 5th of July the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest will take place from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes in the 144MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. It is helpful is portable and mobile stations in this contest also know their WAB square for the contest taking place at the same time.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power contest takes place next Sunday the 5th of July from 1000-1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 26th of July. The power limit is 10 watts for this contest. Details from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Marathon continues throughout July. With no particular operating times, just try to work every Locator square you can, whenever you can. The exchange is your 4 character locator.

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

What a week it has been in terms of solar activity and its effects on HF propagation. We've had everything thrown at us. On Sunday we started with a series of strong M-class X-Ray flares. One of these resulted in a full halo coronal mass ejection. The halo effect observed means the CME was coming straight towards earth.

On Monday we had a proton radiation storm, which impacted HF radio propagation through the polar regions, a so-called Polar Cap Absorption Event. And on Tuesday we had the big one with the arrival of the CME from Sunday's flare. This pushed the Kp index to eight, with dire effects on the F2 layer and ionospheric propagation, with aurora and depressed critical frequencies.

The Chilton Ionosonde struggled to get any returns from the F2 layer on Tuesday morning and all that could be heard were a few weak European signals on 20m. By early afternoon the critical frequency was 4.350MHz, giving a maximum usable frequency of about 16.8MHz on 3,000km paths. By Thursday the K index hit six again thanks to another CME.

So, this week has been characterised by dismal HF conditions with Sporadic-E being disrupted as well. Next week is predicted to be more settled with a solar flux index in the 120s and quieter geomagnetic conditions, so HF propagation may improve.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We are still in the peak period for Sporadic-E and the weather triggers, chiefly jet streams in the upper atmosphere, are still likely to be present for the coming week. There was more good Sporadic-E across Europe last week with some 6 metre openings to the Caribbean and the Americas, plus Auroral Es to Scandinavia and 2 metre paths to southern Italy. Expect more of the same.

Longer-term weather models are showing good potential for enhanced Tropo conditions in the coming week. A ridge of high pressure should develop across southern England today, and soon build to form a large high over southern UK which moves into the North Sea and Scandinavia by mid-week. By this time, a trough may bring some heavy thundery showers into southwestern Britain from France to give a chance of rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

Remember that Tropo paths across the sea can remain active throughout 24 hours, but inland stations may benefit during night-time and early morning, before the sun breaks down any temperature inversion. Often Tropo tends to be better on the higher bands, like 70cm and 23cm, and is often long-lasting compared with the fleeting lower band QSOs via Sporadic-E.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. June 2015.

June 19, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st June 2015

The news headlines:

  • Chris Budd, G4NBG - OBE

  • RSGB Convention lectures announced

  • Medium wave experiments in US

Professor Chris Budd, G4NBG has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to science and maths education. He has been a radio amateur and RSGB Member since his teens, when he was introduced to the hobby by his grandfather who held a licence in the 1920s and was a radio scientist during the war. Professor Budd was active first under G8OPB and then G4NBG and, as a student, was President of G6UW, the Cambridge Wireless Society. He joined the University of Bath in 1995, has published over 100 research papers and is also the creator of Bath Taps into Science, a major hands-on science festival that has won several national prizes in the 14 years it has been running. Congratulations.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the weekend of the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. We are please to announce that Glenn Johnson, W0GJ will be speaking about the K1N DXpedition, a once in 32 year from Navassa Island, that was number 1 in the Most Wanted Entity in Europe. Dave Powis, G4HUP will be looking at digital and analogue scopes, how each type of instrument works and how they can be used. This will be followed by a workshop to give visitors hands on experience of scopes. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

A group of US medium wave experimental licensees will transmit greetings on 630m during the ARRL Field Day weekend on the 27th and 28th of June. While the 472 to 479 kHz band is not yet available for amateur radio use in the US, these greetings messages are allowed. See http://www.arrl.org/news for details of callsigns and frequency of those planning to pass greetings messages.

With the new UK amateur licence now in place, the exams need to change to reflect the current licence conditions. The RCF gave notice that the new rules will be examined from the 1st of October. The RSGB is now working on updates to the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced training books and a further announcement will be made as soon as the ‘Extras’ are available. These should enable anyone preparing for an exam after the 1st of October to have the current rules clear in their mind. It is worth noting that the old licence conditions will continue to be examined until the end of September. If anyone has any questions about these changes, please contact Philip Willis, M0PHI, who is chair of the RSGB Training & Education Committee tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is seeking someone to develop a web program that graphically displays HF propagation predictions. The propagation information will be obtained by running ITURHFProp and utilising its text-based output. No prior experience in propagation is expected only a good web programming background. Interested parties should contact Gwyn Williams, G4FKH at g4fkh@sky.com.

Every year, the BBC broadcasts a special programme to the scientists and support staff in the British Antarctic Survey Team. Music requests and special messages are sent to the small team of 40+ located at various Antarctic research stations. The frequencies to be used for the BBC Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast today, the 21st of June are 5985kHz, 5905kHz and 9590kHz at 2130UTC.

The RSGB Convention takes place over the weekend of the 9th to the 11th of October at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. We are please to announce that Glenn Johnson, W0GJ will be speaking about the K1N DXpedition, a once in 32 year from Navassa Island, that was number 1 in the Most Wanted Entity in Europe. Dave Powis, G4HUP will be looking at digital and analogue scopes, how each type of instrument works and how they can be used. This will be followed by a workshop to give visitors hands on experience of scopes. Details can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention

Professor Chris Budd, G4NBG has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to science and maths education. He has been a radio amateur and RSGB Member since his teens, when he was introduced to the hobby by his grandfather who held a licence in the 1920s and was a radio scientist during the war. Professor Budd was active first under G8OPB and then G4NBG and, as a student, was President of G6UW, the Cambridge Wireless Society. He joined the University of Bath in 1995, has published over 100 research papers and is also the creator of Bath Taps into Science, a major hands-on science festival that has won several national prizes in the 14 years it has been running. Congratulations.

The next British inland Waterways on the air event will be held over the August bank holiday week end of the 29th to the 31st of August. The event is open to all amateurs who are boaters, cyclists, walkers and other users of the canals, rivers, towpaths, riverbanks for work or recreation. The primary band will be 40m. More details can be found on the RSGB website, search BiWota. http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/special-interest-groups/biwota-british-inland-waterways-air/

On the 28th of June, Martin, G7MRV and Bob, M1BBV are walking the Lyke Wake Walk challenge, a 40mile route across the North Yorkshire moors, to be completed in under 24 hours with 5,000ft of ascent. They are fundraising for MAG International, a landmine and UXO clearance and awareness education charity. As if the strenuous nature of the walk wasn’t enough, they decided to operate amateur radio en route. Ofcom has been very supportive and have issued them with a SES NoV to operate under the callsign GB0MAG on that day during they walk. The NoV is not fixed to a single operating location, but rather a 40mile long and 20meter wide operational corridor! Operation will be at quite low power on 2m FM only with an ultra lightweight rucksack mounted antenna to increase the range. See QRZ.com

The British Amateur Television Club is helping to organise an ATV Convention at the Hamradio exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany on 26 June. Entitled Digital Amateur TV: State Of The Art And Trends, it will run for four hours. It will give an overview of current ATV activity in European countries and will cover the move from analogue to digital operation by ATV operators

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

The Newbury and District Amateur Radio rally takes place today, Sunday the 21st of June at the Newbury Showground. Owing to essential roadworks on the M4 Junction 13, the roundabout is closed. This means that diversions are in place for most visitors to the rally. Visitors should check the NADARS website www.nadars.org.uk before setting off for details of the diversions. Talk-in will be available on S22. The rally opens at 9am for visitors and 8am for sellers, with trade stand and a car boot area including a demonstration marquee with a display of amateur radio on the air. Details from Phill on 07771 504 738.

The Barnsley LAMFEST Radio Rally will take place today, the 21st of June, in Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. The event is held in aid of The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands as well as family entertainment. Details from Claire on 01226 361 700.

The Hamtronic Show will take place in Friedrichshafen in Germany next weekend the 26th to 28th of June. There will be trade stands including a large RSGB bookstall and the RSGB President will be attending the show and associated meetings.

On Sunday the 28th of June the West of England Radio Rally will be held at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, including an RSGB bookstall, as well as disabled facilities. Details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098.

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.

Now the special event news

Cambridge Museum of Technology is hosting GB1CMT, operated by members of the Cambridge & District Amateur Radio Club, today the 21st of June. On air from 11am to 5pm, the museum including the radio operating area is open to the public from 2pm to 5pm.

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will operate GB1JSS from Galleywood Common on the Summer Solstice, today the 21st of June. Several stations will be active through the day including 40m SSB and 2m for local contacts. The event runs from 7am until 9pm and all are welcome to visit, operate and/or assist, further details at http://g0mwt.org.uk/

Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club is operating GB2PHC at Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre today the 21st of June. This is a Museums on the Air station operating on 70cm, 2, 10, 20 and 40m mainly voice.

The 16th Island Games will be held in Jersey between the 27th of June and the 3rd of July. To mark this occasion, members of the Jersey Amateur Radio Society will be active with GJ15IG and plan to have 2 or 3 stations on the air, using SSB and CW. Logs will be uploaded the Logbook of the World and paper QSLs should be requested using the OQRS facility provided by Club Log

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society will operate from Shildon Railway Museum on Saturday the 27th of June using GB4SRM. Operation will be on HF, VHF/UHF and all are welcome. Details at www.wears.org.uk

On the 27th of June, Llanelli ARS will operate GB1BAF for British Armed Forces Day.

Bush Valley Amateur Radio Club will be taking part in the Museums On The Air from The Green Lane Museum in The Roe Valley Country Park on the 27th and 28th of June using GB8GLM. Two stations will operate HF, VHF and D Star station.

Riviera ARC will be participating in National Armed Forces Day on the 27th of June using GB8AFD. They aim to be work mainly 40m and 2m but may consider other bands. Special event QSLs will be available.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Peter, VE3IKV will be active from the Bahamas from the 22nd June to the 6th of July using C6AUX. He will be mainly on 6m with some HF, both CW and SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Two Japanese operators will be on the air from Timor Leste, East Timor, OTA reference OC-148, from the 25th to the 29th of June. Callsigns will be 4W/JA7LU and 4W/JI1AVY. Activity will be on all bands from 6 to 160m.

Peter, ZL2HM will operate holiday style on the Pacific island of Niue, OC-040, as E6AB from the 24th of June to the 4th of July. He will be on the 10 to 80m bands, mainly SSB.

The 6M6M team will be active until the 31st of July on 6m only with high power stations, from the Gyeonggi Province, HL2. QSL via HL2UVH.

Tim, VK7NSE and Paul, VK2HV will be active as VK7FG from Flinders Island, OC-195 for around two weeks. They will be on the 10 to 160m bands with possibly some 6m. QSL via M0OXO using OQRS or www.m0oxo.com for direct and bureau cards.

Now the contest news

The biggest VHF contest of the month, the 6m Trophy, ends its 24 hours at 1400UTC today the 21st. It has 6-hour and 24-hour sections for ‘single op fixed’ and ‘single op others’, as well as a 24-hour Open (multi-op) section. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW leg of the All Asian DX Contest ends its 48 hours at 2359 today, the 21st. Exchange a signal report and your age, with YL operators sending 00. It will be using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands.

The IRTS 80m Counties contest runs from 1400 to 1700UTC today, the 21st of June. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations also giving their county.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place today, the 21st of June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Full details of the rules and logsheets from worked-all-britain.org.uk.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator. The SHF UK Activity Contest also takes place on Tuesday at the same time, Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is also signal report, serial number and locator.

The 50MHz CW contest takes pace on the 28th of June from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600 on the 28th of June. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for the 28th of June, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The sun has been relatively clear this week, apart from sunspot group 2367 that pushed the solar flux index to 136. Geomagnetic conditions have been reasonably quiet with the Kp index mostly at two to three, with two instances of it hitting four. Nevertheless, summer conditions in the northern hemisphere have taken their toll with lower maximum usable frequencies during the day, plus noisy conditions on 80m and 40m, thanks to solar absorption.

The poor HF conditions are quite normal and are believed to be due to a change in ionospheric chemistry with a shift towards more diatomic molecular components and fewer monatomic ones. These are harder to ionise due to the tighter bonding of their electrons, hence the lower overall ionisation and maximum useable frequencies during daylight hours.

This week keep a look out on 20m and 17m, with occasional F2 openings on 15m. Ten metres should continue to show Sporadic-E activity at times. There is DX to be had, but you will have to work at it.

The solar flux index is predicted by the USAF to be in the 120s next week, probably thanks to sunspot group 2371, which is rotating around the sun's limb and shows some promise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Tropo is often to the fore at this time of the year as warm, dry continental air drifts out across a cool sea and forms sea fog overlain by dry warm air aloft. These are ideal conditions for Tropo, since this can form lengthy surface ducts particularly across the North Sea or down to the south across Biscay to Spain and beyond. Night-time cooling and the effect of onshore sea breezes can couple inland stations to these enhanced Tropo conditions, although tends it to break down as daytime heating gets under way soon after sunrise.

The first part of the week may see elevated inversions due to an area of high pressure extending towards southern Britain from the Azores, so look for Tropo down towards the South West. After midweek, an area of low pressure will introduce more unsettled, showery weather providing some possibility for rain scatter.

Sporadic-E has been good during the past week and strong jet stream activity over Europe has probably helped greatly with this.

During next week, the jet stream activity will be weaker and probably favour more northern paths, check the propagation blog on the RSGB forums for daily updates.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th. June 2015.

June 13, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th June 2015

The news headlines:

  • RadCom Basics launched

  • Enrol now for Distance Learning Advanced course

  • New RD3000 repeater in Malta

Following the launch of the RSGB’s technical e-Supplement, RadCom Plus in May, the RSGB is delighted to announce that the electronic New Starters’ Newsletter has been re-branded as RadCom Basics. Designed to help newly-qualified amateurs get started in amateur radio, RadCom Basics is currently sent to the 2,300 Members who have subscribed to it. If you are not on the circulation list but would like to receive RadCom Basics please sign up on the web page www.rsgb.org/radcom-basics. Over 4000 RSGB Members have downloaded the first edition of RadCom Plus. If you would like to be notified when the next edition is available, planned for September, go to www.rsgb.org/radcom-plus.

Enrolment for the next Bath-Based Advanced Distance Learning Course closes on the 19th of June. There are plenty of places remaining. The course comprises of around 20 weekly work packages that include revision questions, lecture notes, exercises, videos and mock exams, heading for the December exam. There are no fees for the training but students must provide their own textbook, have access to the internet and pay the exam fee at the end of the course, which can be sat at any local Exam Centre. A £30 deposit is taken to secure a place on the course and the deposit is refunded to those who stick with the training in time to help pay for the exam. Those that do not play an active part in the course agree to donate their deposit to charity. Further details can be obtained from Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by e-mailing g0fuw@ tiscali.co.uk

A new DR3000 repeater has gone on air in Malta. The repeater forms part of the 9H1BBS repeater system, which consists of two analogue Kenwood repeaters running on VHF and UHF each with a dedicated EchoLink System and now joining the setup is a DMR repeater which is directly linked to the UK c-Bridge. The repeater group would like to thank G0OLX, G0RDI and G4EML for their help in getting it all set up. If you are visiting the island for a holiday, full technical details can be found at www.9h1bbs.zoomshare.com/

If you hear the call CQ Kids Day next weekend, it will be part of the ARRL’s Kids Day on Sunday the 21st of June. Kids Day is a way to introduce young people to the magic of amateur radio in the USA by getting them on the air and this year it’s on Father’s Day on both sides of the Atlantic. Young people will be getting on the air from amateur stations all over the USA, so please give them a call and help these potential new recruits into the hobby.

An RSGB and RCF examinations workshop will be held Saturday the 4th of July at the BAE Systems site in Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex. Attendees can learn more about exams and question writing. The event is aimed at all tutors and other interested parties. Please note that prior registration is required for site access on the day. For further details or to book your place, please e-mail workshop@niman.org.uk

Icom UK have announced the latest generation of high end HF transceiver, called the IC-7851. It has a host of new features and upgrades and you can read full details on Icom UK’s website at http://www.icomuk.co.uk/News_Article/3508/18475/

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

Today, on the 14th of June, the Junction 28 QRP Rally will be held at the Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. The venue is 10 minutes from M1 junction 28 and the A38. There will be talk-in on S21 and the doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments on site. Details from Anya, 2E0BQS on 0115 930 7322.

Today, the 14th of June, the East Suffolk Wireless Rally will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich, IP10 0DD. There will be a car boot sale, Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046846.

The South Lancs Summer Rally will be on the 20th of June at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw WN2 5TE. Doors open at 7.30am for traders and 9am for customers, with admission costing £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy as well as special interest groups and catering. Details from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

The Newbury and District Amateur Radio rally takes place next Sunday the 21st of June. This year, essential roadworks on the M4 Junction 13 have closed the roundabout normally used as the main entry and exit point. This means that there are diversions in place for all visitors coming from the M4 Westbound, A34 North- and Southbound. Visitors travelling Eastbound on the M4 can take the slip road to the showground. All visitors leaving the showground will have to follow diversion routes. Full details of all these diversions can be found on the Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society website, www.nadars.org.uk – follow the rally links. Talk-in will be available on S22. The rally opens at 9am for visitors and 8am for sellers, with trade stand and a car boot area including a demonstration marquee with a display of amateur radio on the air. Details from Phill on 07771 504 738.

The Barnsley LAMFEST Radio Rally will take place on the 21st of June in Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. The event is held in aid of The Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands as well as family entertainment. Details from Claire on 01226 361 700.

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.

Now the special event news

Riverway ARS will be operating GB200W, Golf Bravo Two Hundred Whiskey, to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. Operation will take place until the 28th of June and will be active on all bands from 80m to 70cm where possible. QSLs will be accepted via EQSL only. Full information about the station may be found on QRZ.com.

Furness ARS will put GB8CMC on the air to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta from the 12th to the 26th of June on the HF bands using a high power station. More information at QRZ.com

The Phoenix Radio Group will also be commemorating the Magna Carta until the end of the month. Operating as MX0PHX from The Vale of Belvoir, [pronounced "beever”] the station will be on the HF and VHF bands; times will vary. Up to date information can be found at www.M0PHX.org.uk

GM150CM will be on the air on the 21st of June from 9.30am to 5pm at The Crossness Engines Trust, The Old Works, Thames Water STW, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ. Admission is £6. It is recommended that visitors wear flat shoes and trousers to explore the venue. Details from Richard, G7GLW on 020 73 78 87 96.

During June, Furness ARS will be operating GB125SL to celebrate what would have been Stan Laurel’s 125th birthday. The main activity will be on his birthday, Tuesday 16th June, with a high power station on the HF bands, followed by a weekend of activity on Saturday 27th and Saturday 28th June. More details can be found at www.fars.org.uk/GB125SL

Gloucester AR&ES will be on the air with GB4FMG on Saturday the 20th of June from Gloucester Folk Museum as part of the Museums on the Air event. They plan to operate on HF and 2m.

Thornbury & South Gloucestershire ARC will be on the air from Thornbury and District Museum on the 20th & 27th of June.

The Five Bridges Cluster will be operating from Segedunum Roman Fort on the 20th and 21st of June from 10am to 4pm as part of the Museums on the Air event.

Nigel, G0GDA will be operating GB8HMC to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta for 7 days from the 15th of June.

GB4WIV will be on the air for the Wartime in the Vale event, a military vehicle display and wartime re-enactment show at Ashdown Camp near Badsey in Worcestershire. The event will be on the 20th and the 21st of June and they plan to use the 10 to 160m bands as well as 6m, 4m, 2m and 70cm.

West Tyrone ARC will be taking part in the International Museums on the Air weekend from the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone with GB1AFP. They will be operating with two stations on HF, VHF/UHF, Echo Link and digital modes from 10am on the 20th of June until 5pm on the 21st.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Strumble Head DX & Contest Group is travelling to Ramsey Island, IOTA EU-124 from 19 to 22 June with three stations on the air. The usual DX Code of Conduct rules will be adhered to and the regular QSL route is via M0URX. Please do not send your card to them via the bureau as they do not need your card, but use Tim's online request service, OQRS, to get your card sent this way free of charge – or request direct and donate a couple of dollars to assist with their costs.

A group of four US amateurs will operate as VP2MKV from Montserrat, NA-103, from the 10th to the 18th of June. They will be active on all bands from 80m to 2m on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go to N0KV

Chris, F4WBN has returned to the Niger Republic and is on the air as 5U5U. Look for him until the 16th of June on the 6 to 40m bands, mainly SSB with some RTTY. QSL via his home call.

A team of three operators will be on the air as D4C from Sao Vicente Island, IOTA AF-086, from the 15th to the 22nd of June. QSL via IZ4DPV.

A group of operators will be on the air as 6M6M from the Gyeonggi Province in the Republic of Korea from the 19th of June to the 31st of July. Activity will be on 6 meters using CW, SSB, FM and digital modes. QSL via HL2UVH.

John, WA4PSO and Sean, N5PV will be on the air as KP2/homecalls from St Croix in the US Virgin Islands from the 16th to the 23rd of June. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. QSL via N5PV.

Now the contest news

Today, the 14th, the second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Low Power contest organised by Practical Wireless takes place for 8 hours today, running from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts, so if you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers’ contest you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the PW event. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The French REF DDFM 6m Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 14th. Multipliers are French Departments and French Locator squares. The exchange is signal report, serial number and the first four digits of your 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.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs the SSB leg from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The biggest VHF contest of the month, the 6m Trophy, runs for 24 hours over next weekend, the 20th and the 21st of June, from 1400 to 1400UTC. It has 6-hour and 24-hour sections for ‘single op fixed’ and ‘single op others’, as well as a 24-hour Open (multi-op) section. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW leg of the All Asian DX Contest takes place for the full 48 hours of the 20th and the 21st. Exchange a signal report and your age, with YL operators sending 00. It will be using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands.

The IRTS 80m Counties contest runs from 1400 to 1700UTC on the 21st of June. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations also giving their county.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, the 21st of June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 12th of July. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley G3XKT by e-mail aebbooks@ntlworld.com. A note to mobiles, please try to find out your Locator in addition to your WAB Area, as this contest coincides with part of an RSGB contest.

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

HF propagation during last weekend's field day was pretty much as predicted. Conditions were settled, but there wasn't an awful lot of DX to be had, with F2 layer openings topping out at 21MHz at times. This was mainly due to summer HF conditions with lower daytime MUFs.

The beginning of the week saw the very unsettled geomagnetic conditions we warned you about, with the Kp index hitting five due to the effects of a solar wind stream from a coronal hole. What no-one really predicted was the sharp increase in the solar flux index, due to some new sunspots.

Next week should see the solar flux index sitting around the 120 mark and reasonably settled geomagnetic conditions with a Kp index of about two. Nevertheless, the optimum working frequency on paths around 3,000km may remain at about 14MHz. Forty metres may also be poor during the day due to high levels of absorption and lower critical frequencies.

The only bright spot will be the continued seasonal Sporadic-E openings on 10m. But, as always in the summer, do check the HF bands after dark as you may find 20m remaining open all night and 15m offering openings to South America in the late evening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The 5th of June saw 5.7 and 10GHz rain scatter propagation into the continent for those in the Southeast of England, with QSOs well into Germany.

The main weather feature this coming week will be a new area of high pressure to the West of Britain. Later in the week, the models suggest it will be more centrally placed over the UK. Initially, Tropo paths are more likely down the western side of Britain and across Biscay to the Azores, Canaries and western Spain, with a weaker Tropo event closer to home with possible paths into the near Continent from Monday.

The Sporadic-E season is now well under way, with almost daily openings on 50MHz and extensions up to 70 and 144. There was a widespread opening on 144MHz on the 9th of June that allowed a few UK stations to work as far as the Balkans, Italy and Portugal.

At this season peak, expect openings outside the traditional late morning and late afternoon periods and look on 6 and 4m in the late evening for northerly paths to OY, TF, OX and beyond.

Also don’t rule out Es occurring when the K index is higher than three. While not be so secure, there have been some quite acceptable Es openings recently with a K index of 4.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 7th. June 2015.

June 5, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th June 2015

The news headlines:

  • Examinations Workshop

  • Churches and Chapels on the Air

  • Train the Trainers events roundup

An RSGB and RCF examinations workshop will be held Saturday, the 4th of July at the BAE Systems site in Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex. Attendees can learn more about exams and question writing. The event is aimed at all tutors and other interested parties. Please note that prior registration is required for site access on the day. Further details are in the Trainers section of the RSGB website.

Now a reminder to all groups and individuals who are planning to put a station on the air for the popular Churches and Chapels on the Air. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday the 12th of September from 10am to 4pm. Please see the WACRAL website www.wacral.org for details. Any individual or group wishing to have their station details included on the WACRAL website should send details to Steve, G0JFM via s.nicholls@gmx.co.uk.

The remaining RSGB Train the Trainers events for 2015 are taking place on 13 June in Badsworth and 11 July in Merthyr Tydfil. These events continue to be popular and places are limited to ensure those attending can be given full attention by the delivery team. Early enquiries and booking are recommended. These events are an RSGB Member benefit so are available for free to any RSGB member involved with delivering RCF exam training. More information is available in the Trainers section of the RSGB website.

Now is the time to start planning your entry in the RSGB’s annual construction competition. The competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any Member of the RSGB is eligible to enter. The closing date for 2015 entries is 30 September and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October. The competition is again being sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons and the RSGB is very grateful for their support. The prestigious Pat Hawker, G3VA Trophy will be awarded to the best overall entry. Projects must have an amateur radio context, be home-constructed, tested, complete and working. There are four classes of entry and the full details may be found on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/construction-competition

The RSGB Board has agreed that next year’s AGM should be held in Scotland. Whilst the venue has yet to be agreed, it is likely to be in Edinburgh or Glasgow. The date of the AGM will be Saturday 23 April 2016. Details of the venue will be published later and all paperwork for the 2016 AGM will appear in the March 2016 RadCom.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 11 of June from 10am to 2pm. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety. See www.npl.co.uk/time for details.

Work has been going on updating the Eddystone Users website and it has now gone live. The content has not changed, it is still the same invaluable library of information as it was before, but the layout is updated to give it a more modern feel. The URL is still the same, www.eddystoneusergroup.org.uk and don’t forget to press F5 in case your cache needs updating to view the new pages.

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

The Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention takes place today, the 7th of June, at the Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Livingston EH54 6DG. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, lectures and an RSGB bookstall. Contact John, MM0JRR on 01506 437 908 for further details.

The Spalding & DARS Annual Rally will be held today, the 7th of June, at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2EF. Doors open at 10am, and there will be talk in on S22 and free car parking. The opening time is 10am. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

Today, the 7th of June the British Vintage Wireless Society Swapmeet will take place at the Cinema Museum, The Masters House, 2 Dugard Way, Kennington, London SE11 4TH. Doors open at 10am to 4pm and admission is £5. The nearest tube station is Elephant and Castle. Details are at www.bvws.org.uk

Next weekend, on the 14th of June, the Junction 28 QRP Rally will be held at the Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. The venue is 10 minutes from M1 junction 28 and the A38. There will be talk in on S21 and the doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments on site. Details from Anya, 2E0BQS, on 0115 930 7322.

On the 14th of June the East Suffolk Wireless Rally will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich, IP10 0DD. There will be a car boot sale, Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046846.

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.

Now the special event news

Today, the 7th of June, Coventry ARS, supported by Coventry Gliding Club, will take part in Youth Aviation Day at the Gliding Centre, Husbands, Bosworth LE17 6JJ. This will include special event station GB4YAD. It will be a fun packed day promoting various youth activities including amateur radio.

The Riverway Amateur Radio Society, in Stafford, will be operating a special event station to commemorate the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, GB200W, that’s Golf Bravo Two Hundred Waterloo. This event is being carried out in conjunction with the Stafford & Rugeley Sea Cadets. Operation will take place until the 28th of June and will be active on all bands from 80m to 70cm where possible. QSLs will be accepted via EQSL only. Full information about the station may be found on QRZ.com.

2015 marks 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta and at least three clubs are putting on special event stations to mark the anniversary. Furness Amateur Radio Society in Cumbria has secured the callsign GB8CMC for 8 Centuries Magna Carta. The station will be on the air from the 12th to the 26th of June on the HF bands using a high power station so listen for and work this unique station. More information at QRZ.com. The Phoenix Radio Group will also be commemorating the 800th Anniversary, from the 10th of June until the end of the month. Operating as MX0PHX from The Vale of Belvoir, the station will be on the HF and VHF bands, and times will vary depending on local circumstances. Up to date information can be found at www.M0PHX.org.uk. Finally, MX0YHA will be on the air from the Barony of Skipton in Yorkshire between the 10th and 30th of June to commemorate the same event. The station will be on the HF bands and 6m at various times over the three weeks. A special commemorative QSL certificate is available to all contacts. More information can be found at www.YHARG.org.uk.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Sigi, DL7DF along with DJ6TF, DK1BT and DL7UFR, will operate as OX/homecall from Greenland until the 12th of June. They will operate all bands from 6 to 160m using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31.

Nobby, G0VJG will sign 8Q7CQ from the Maldives, IOTA AS-103, until the 18th of June. While he will be on the HF bands, he will also hope to work many stations on 6m. QSL Manager is G4DFI.

9N7CW is the callsign issued to Jacky, ZL3CW who is working in Nepal with the UN World Food Programme. For the time being his licence is good for 40, 30, 20 and 17 metres. QSL via ZL3CW, direct only, or OQRS and Logbook of the World when he returns home.

Fred, PA1FJ will be active as SV8/PA1FJ/p from Chios, EU-049, from the 8th to 21st of June. He will operate SSB and CW on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign, bureau preferred.

Now the contest news

This weekend is the CW National Field Day, running until 1500UTC today, the 7th of June. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest takes place for 24 hours this weekend, ending at 2359UTC today. If you’re not busy taking part in one of the other contests that weekend, it’s a good opportunity to work stations in CQ zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Basically that’s a triangle that extends from India in the West to Japan in the North East and Australia in the South East. Using CW and SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer Sporadic-E Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1300UTC today. Although there’s no guarantee of Sporadic-E propagation, the first weekend of June was chosen to coincide with the peak of the season. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG to participate or enter. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and UKSMG membership number if you have one.

Today, Sunday 7th, the UK Microwave Group is holding another of their Low Band contests, from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

A new annual HF contest is scheduled to take place this weekend ending, at 1500UTC today, the 7th. The date and time of this Dutch contest are simultaneous to the IARU CW Field day and the contest exchange is the same, signal report and serial number. Rules are available in English on the www.dkars.nl website, where you can also upload your log via their robot.

Starting on 1 June and ending on 30 September, the UBA contest is designed to promote VHF DXing during the Sporadic-E season as well as encouraging meteor scatter contacts. The Belgian Society, UBA, invite every VHF DXer to participate in this contest and so promote the use of the bands. More info about the rules can be found on the UBA website, www.uba.be

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

On Wednesday it’s the CW leg of the ever popular 80m club championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, on the 14th, the second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next weekend, but running for 24 hours, the French REF DDFM 6m Contest runs from 1600 to 1600UTC. Multipliers are French Departments and French Locator squares. The exchange is signal report, serial number and the first four digits of your locator.

The Low Power contest organised by Practical Wireless takes place for 8 hours on Sunday the 15th, running from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this contest is 3 watts, so if you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers’ contest you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the PW event. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

We are now truly into the summer propagation season in the northern hemisphere, which is characterised by lower maximum usable frequencies during the day, compared with winter, but higher MUFs at night. Solar activity has continued to be low, with a solar flux index of around 100. There have been no major flares of note this week and geomagnetic conditions have remained relatively calm.

At the time of writing the forecast for this weekend’s field day was for reasonable, settled conditions, an SFI of about 110 and a low Ap index of about five. If this pans out then it should lead to a good Field Day with F2 layer openings to the south up to around 21MHz with occasional Sporadic-E openings on 10m.

The eighth, ninth and tenth may see more unsettled geomagnetic conditions with a Kp index hitting five due to another recurrent coronal hole and its associated high speed solar wind stream. This may knock MUFs down considerably and bring auroral conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Be on the lookout for good VHF propagation next week as both Sporadic-E and tropo look like delivering the goods.

Next week will see high pressure becoming a dominant feature on the weather charts. A large high will develop just to the west of Britain on Sunday and should remain nearby until the end of the week, when a small thundery low may spread northwards into the country from France.

It’s likely that there will be enhanced VHF conditions for some parts of the country until near the end of the coming week. The best direction to look will be along the axis of a ridge of high pressure extending propagation into Northern Europe and the Baltic.

Sporadic-E continues to deliver, primarily because we currently have a strong jet stream over northern Europe, but as the high develops, the jet stream will be displaced farther north and openings into Europe may have to rely upon different weather triggers like thunderstorms and upper air ridge patterns. The high will mean less chance of rain scatter on the upper GHz bands than last week.

The moon reaches positive declination and perigee this week with consequent lengthening moon windows and low path degradation.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 31st. May 2015.

May 29, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 31st May 2015

The news headlines:

  • Long-serving GB2RS Newsreader retires today

  • New SDR display at National Radio Centre

  • Work Experience placements wanted for Arkwright Scholars

John Kelly, GM3TCW retires today after 40 years as a newsreader and the RSGB would like to thank him for his long service to his fellow radio amateurs. The GB2RS Manager and team hope John enjoys his retirement. Because of John’s retirement the RSGB looking for a volunteer newsreader for 80m. Please contact the GB2RS Manager, Ken, G3VBA via gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is pleased to announce that there is a new interactive display at the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. With visitors numbers continuing to climb it is important to give visitors something new within the NRC from time to time. The three low cost tablets and associated SDR Touch software currently demodulates various modes between 25MHz and 1750MHz. The RSGB would like to thank Professor Ben Allen and SDR Touch for their ideas and support of this project.

Could your company help show bright young people what the radio industry has to offer? Many radio amateurs think the Radio Communications Foundation just looks after the UK’s radio exams but, every year, it sponsors two Arkwright scholars who have an interest in radio or electronics. The RCF Trustees are also often asked if they can help to find radio-related work experience places for these Scholars. James Russ, 17, is an Arkwright Scholar and described his week’s experience at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, Guildford as “a truly incredible experience and…an invaluable insight into the diversity of the jobs that engineers perform.” If you think you can help to provide experience for other young people, please contact Marilyn Slade via secretary@commsfoundation.org

The Herzliya Science Center is inviting stations with the ability to send compressed APRS packets to take part in testing the Duchifat-1 CubeSat. The satellite will collect packets worldwide and downlink them from time to time over the ground station. Participants must register in advance to have their packets identified on the map at
www.h-space-lab.org. Received packets will be displayed on a map on the Science Center’s website, and QSL cards will be sent via the bureau. The uplink is 435.220MHz, the downlink is 145.980MHz. The satellite’s beacon callsign is 4X4HSL. The APRS compressed digipeater uses AFSK 1200 baud on the UHF uplink and BPSK 1200 baud on the VHF downlink.

Earlier this week, the Alberta Amateur Radio Emergency Service requested priority access to 14.135, 7.135, and 3.675MHz due to fires in Alberta, Canada. Volunteers responded to assist with communication during the wildfire emergency that has caused the evacuation of thousands of residents. The emergency service has advised that they no longer need priority access to those frequencies and thank everyone for their consideration.

The RSGB has begun an online photo archive containing images of RSGB and amateur radio history going back over 100 years. Additional material will be added regularly. The images are provided for Members’ interest and for them to use as they wish, subject to our conditions of use. Check out the first galleries of QSL cards, NFDs and AGM photos at www.rsgb.org/photo-archive/

At the recent RSGB AGM, it was announced that Rex Moncur, VK7MO was awarded the Fraser Shepherd Award for research into microwave applications for radio communication. Rex is the holder of the new ~2700km terrestrial 10GHz distance record and a range of other highly creditable DX/EME achievements. Rex has also been awarded the Technical Excellence Award from the Wireless Institute of Australia.

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

Today, the 31st, the first Black Country Radio Rally takes place at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. There is talk-in and car parking, and the opening time is 9.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups, catering, disabled facilities and an RSGB book stall. For information, email Martin via radio-circle@live.co.uk.

On the 6th of June, Martin Lynch & Sons will be holding an Open Day and launch party for the new store in Staines-Upon-Thames near Heathrow. The store will be open from 8am until 4pm and everyone is welcome, see their hamradio.co.uk website for full details.

The Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair will take place on the 6th of June at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne BN21 2UF, The main hall doors will be open from 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. The fair closes at 4pm. Visitor entry is £2 per person, with children under 16 free. Disabled facilities are available throughout the building. GB6SRF will be on the air throughout the day and also as a talk-in station. Please bring a copy of your licence if you would like to operate.

The Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention takes place on 7 June at the Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Livingston EH54 6DG. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, lectures and an RSGB bookstall. Contact John, MM0JRR on 01506 437 908 for further details.

The Spalding & DARS Annual Rally will be held on the 7th of June at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2EF. Doors open at 10am, and there will be talk in on S22 and there is free car parking. The opening time is 10am. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

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.

Now the special event news

Over the weekend of the 6th and 7th of June, the Italian Amateur Radio Association Fidenza group will operate a radio station located close to the yacht Elettra, which is kept at the museum using the callsign II4MB. Elettra was the moving laboratory of Marconi and he conducted many experiments onboard. 

The Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society will be running special event station GB6COD on Saturday 6th June at their HQ station in HMS Collingwood, Fareham. The station will be up and running from 0900. Main operation will be on SSB on the HF bands, mostly on the RNARS Centre of Activity frequencies. These are listed on www.rnars.org.uk/ The station will be open to visitors of all ages and you are encouraged to visit while you are at the event. Morse tests, for reading CW plain language will be available at 15, 20, 25 and 30 wpm for 3 minutes and a certificate awarded for successful applicants. During the Open Day there will be many attractions, entertainment and displays designed to capture the imagination of everyone.

On the 7th of June Coventry ARS, supported by Coventry Gliding Club, will take part in Youth Aviation Day at the Gliding Centre, Husbands, Bosworth LE17 6JJ. This will include special event station GB4YAD. It will be a fun packed day promoting various youth activities including amateur radio.

A special event station, DF0RI, will operate from the German U-boat U10 during the 2015 Museum Ship weekend on the 6th and 7th June. This will be a first for U10 since it was decommissioned. The first QSO is scheduled to be with GB2RN, aboard HMS Belfast, where a message from the last commander of the sub will be transmitted in CW.

The Riverway Amateur Radio Society, in Stafford, will be operating a special event station GB200W (Golf Bravo Two Hundred Whiskey) to commemorate the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. This event is being carried out in conjunction with the Stafford & Rugeley Sea Cadets. Operation will take place until the 28th of June and will be active on all bands from 80m to 70cm where possible. QSLs will be accepted via EQSL only. Full information about the station may be found on QRZ.com.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The 9M2SE Malaysian Special Expedition team will be on Tioman Island, AS-046, from 0400 on the 5th June to 0000 on the 7th. The 10-strong team plan to operate on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands.

M0NPT will be operating from Crete, EU-015, as SV9/M0NPT/P until the 12th of June. He will be active on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and digital modes.

Erik, N5WR will operate holiday style in the Cayman Islands, NA-016, until the 7th of June. He will use the callsign ZF2WA and will operate mainly CW. QSLs go via his home call.

Rob, VK4AAC, returns to Kangaroo Island, OC-139, until 25 August, operating on SSB as VK4AAC/5 on 40 & 20m. QSL via VK4AAC, see also qrz.com.

Now the contest news

This weekend sees the CQWW WPX CW 48 hour contest end at 2359UTC today, the 31st. Using all of the HF contest bands, CW only, RST and serial number form the exchange.

Today, the 31st, also sees the UK Microwave Group contest take place from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is RST plus serial number and Locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships has the data leg running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

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

Next weekend is the CW National Field Day running from 1500UTC on the 6th to 1500UTC on the 7th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest takes place for 24 hours on the weekend of 6th and 7th of June. If you’re not busy taking part in one of the other contests that weekend, it’s a good opportunity to work stations in CQ zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Basically that’s a triangle that extends from India in the West to Japan in the North East and Australia in the South East. Using CW and SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On the same weekend the UK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer Sporadic-E Contest takes place for 24 hours from 1300 to 1300UTC. Although there’s no guarantee of Sporadic-E propagation, the first weekend of June was chosen to coincide with the peak of the season. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG to participate or enter. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membership number if you have one.

On Sunday 7th the UK Microwave Group are holding another of their Low Band contests, from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

A new annual HF Contest is scheduled to take place on the 6th and 7th of June from 1500UTC to 1500UTC. The date and time of this Dutch contest are simultaneous to the IARU CW Field day and the contest exchange is the same, signal report and serial number. Rules are available in English on the www.dkars.nl website, where you can also upload your log via their robot.

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

As predicted, the sun was a little more settled this week, with the solar flux index being below 100. There were no X-class solar flares to black out HF either. Geomagnetic conditions were also settled with the Ap index at middle latitudes remaining in single figures. The Kp index, which is a better indicator of real-time conditions as it is updated every three hours, was also mostly at one or two.

So, overall, HF conditions were settled and long-distance DX was possible, although we are now entering the summer doldrums when maximum usable frequencies tend to be poorer than in winter during daytime.

To confirm this, the noon ionosonde plot taken at Chilton on Wednesday showed a critical frequency of 6.4MHz and a predicted maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path of less than 20MHz. This means that 20m and 17m might remain the optimum bands for DX, while Sporadic-E will offer short skip on higher bands. It also shows that 7MHz might not always support close-in inter-UK contacts and 5MHz might be a better bet.

For the coming week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 110-125 with unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday when the K index may hit four, due to a recurrent coronal hole and high speed solar wind.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E was fairly active last week, with 70MHz openings as far as the Canaries and a brief appearance of 144MHz Es to Portugal on Wednesday. This was probably due to an abundance of useful jet streams, which can generate the wind shear required. The jet stream pattern will become confined to the northern fringes of Europe in the week ahead, so paths to Scandinavia may bear fruit.

Next week is historically one of the best weeks of the Sporadic-E season, with good openings to the Americas often reported around June 6th, so be vigilant and you should work some nice DX.

As for tropo, next week will start with an area of low pressure over the country, so we are unlikely to see any enhancement until after mid-week when a ridge of high pressure will develop making it worthwhile checking the VHF/UHF bands for lift conditions especially overnight and early mornings.

There is the potential for some thundery showers up to mid-week, so look out for rain-scatter on the upper GHz bands. No significant meteor showers this week, and the Moon reaches its most southerly declination on Wednesday so this is a week to focus on Sporadic E on the low VHF bands.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 24th. May 2015.

May 22, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • Nepal amateur radio earthquake relief response again suspended

  • Certificate for Exam Secretary Carol, M6MUP

  • South Africans get 1kW plus new 8 metre band

Amateur Radio emergency operations on 20 metres, resumed in the aftermath of the second Nepal earthquake, have now been suspended again, according to Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, the Amateur Radio Society of India National Coordinator for Disaster Communication. He said he discussed the situation on the 17th of May with Satish Kharel, 9N1AA, and that the decision was based on the fact that all systems in the affected region are quoted as working normally.

RSGB Exam Secretary Carol Meredith, M6MUP, has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club for the “hard work, support and ‘extra mile’ she goes to support both Exam Secretaries and candidates alike”. About 3,000 amateur radio examinations are held each year and Carol processes all of the paperwork. Part of her job is advising candidates whether they have passed or not and, thankfully, in 80% of cases its good news! A photo of Carol receiving the Certificate can be seen on the RSGB Facebook page, www.facebook.com/theRSGB

Amateurs in the Republic of South Africa have been given a new 8 metre band, 40.675 to 40.685MHz, for propagation studies. The allocation is for up to 400W and all emissions are permitted except pulse and fast scan TV. At the same time, the power limits for most of the other amateur bands have been raised to 1kW for A licensees and the 160m band has been extended up to 2MHz.

RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL and General Manager Graham Coomber, G0NBI represented the RSGB at a garden party at Buckingham Palace recently. They were formally presented to the Society’s Patron, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT.

On Wednesday a super-secret US military unmanned spaceplane was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Also aboard the rocket were a number of CubeSats, some of which included amateur radio payloads. BRICSat-P, designed to test a novel propulsion system, carries an APRS transponder with a 145MHz uplink and 457MHz downlink. It also has a PSK32 transponder that has a 10m uplink and UHF downlink. The Planetary Society’s LightSail-A has a 9600bps FSK AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.435MHz. Amateurs are asked to forward any data they collect from this satellite to the contact details at tinyurl.com/JD-lightsail. More information on all of the CubeSats aboard the launch can be found at tinyurl.com/20-may-launch

While on the subject of space, the RSGB understands that it is unlikely there will be any contacts with the Columbus module station on the International Space Station until after a crew change, which will probably occur in June or July.

This year’s International Museums Weekends take place on 20/21 and 27/28 June. More information about the event, including how to register, can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Fans of Laurel and Hardy will be delighted to learn that Furness Amateur Radio Society are planning a special event station to commemorate what would have been Stan Laurel’s 125th birthday. He was born on 16 June 1890 in Ulverston – then in Lancashire, but now Cumbria. Special special callsign GB125SL will be on HF SSB from 1 to 28 June. Main activations, with a high power HF station, will be on the 16th, Stan’s birthday, plus the weekend of the 27th and 28th. More information, including some interesting facts about Stan Laurel, are at www.fars.org/gb125sl.php

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

We have no information on any rallies taking place today.

Next Sunday the Black Country Radio Rally takes place at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. There is talk-in, car parking, and the opening time is 9.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups, catering, disabled facilities and an RSGB book stall. For information, email Martin via radio-circle@live.co.uk.

Advance notice now about the Newbury Radio Rally on the 21st of June at the Newbury Showground. Access to the Showground will be affected by essential roadworks that will be taking place at M4 junction 13. Diversions will be in place, and details will appear nearer the time on the Newbury and District ARS website, www.nadars.org.uk.

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

Now the special event news

On the 29th of May 1815, over 6,000 British cavalry gathered for an inspection beside the river Dender before the battle of Waterloo. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the inspection and the crossing of the river to battle, the Belgian Amateur Radio Society, UBA, will operate special event station OT200GBN. On Friday the 29th, operation will be in CW on 80 to 10m from the nearby town of Schendelbeke. On Saturday the station moves to Onkerzele and switches to SSB. A special QSL card is available.

Pentland Firth Radio Hams are operating GB2GEO today for Geoparks On The Air weekend. The station is at Durness in the North West Highlands Geopark, WAB square NC46. Operations commence at 10am and will be on the HF bands as conditions permit. For further information contact Rona Morrison on 07801 535 320.

Members of the RNARS London Group are in their final week of operating GB70VE, Victory in Europe, from the Bridge Wireless Office of HMS Belfast. Details are at www.GB2RN.org.uk and you can read about HMS Belfast in the June RadCom.

25 May marks the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in the St Lawrence River. The vessel collided with a freighter and sank just 14 minutes later, taking the lives of 1012 of the 1477 people on board. Nathan, KC9HYY will be active as KC9HYY/EOI, for Empress of Ireland, from 0000UTC on the 25th of May until 2359 on the 2nd of June. Please look for Nathan on bands 10m-40m operating SSB and various modes of digital, including PSK31, RTTY and JT65. Details are at QRZ.com/db/kc9hyy.

PA125VVG is on the air until 7 June to celebrate Vincent Van Gogh. Activity is on HF and VHF in different modes. A special QSL card is available direct or via the Bureau. EQSL and LoTW are not being used. More information, including details of a special Award, are online at QRZ.com/db/pa125vvg

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Paulo, CT1FJZ, is currently active from the Congo Republic as TN/CT1FJZ. He has been active so far on 20 metres SSB. No other information or length of stay is available. QSL via the home call. 

Alan, G3XAQ will be active from Brusubi, The Gambia, as C56XA, from 16 May until 4 June. Operation will be holiday-style on the HF bands and will include a Single-Op, All-Band, Low-Power entry in the CQ WPX CW Contest on 30 and 31 May. QSL via G3SWH

A DXpedition from Italy led by Stafano, I2YSB, is expected to be in Nairobi, Kenya, using the special call 5Z0L. They are staying until 31st May and operations are expected to feature 6m band quite heavily, at it has only recently been authorised in Kenya. There will be three stations in total, active from 80m to 6m. A real time online log is at www.i2ysb.com/joomla5/

Lastly, G8OFQ has announced he will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands from July 1st to September 30th. Operations will be on 160 through 6 metres but no times or modes have been mentioned. QSL via HA3JB.

Now the contest news

On Sunday the 24th of May, 3rd 70MHz Cumulative runs from 1400 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 the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday, the SHF UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UKEI Contest Club 80m Contest SSB leg takes place on Wednesday from 2000 to 2100UTC. Operating on 80m SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character Locator: no RS report should be sent.

The weekend of the 30th and 31st sees the CQWW WPX CW 48 hour contest from 0000 to 2359UTC. Using all of the HF contest bands, CW only, RST and serial number form the exchange.

Finally, next Sunday sees the UKuG contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is RST plus serial number and Locator.

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

This week has been a mixed bag in terms of solar activity. As predicted, the beginning of the week was unsettled with the Kp index hitting six on the 19th.

The solar flux index started the week at 120, but by Thursday it had declined to around 106. Next week it is expected to remain in the range 100-110, with the Kp index ranging around two to three. In other words, solar activity will be subdued, but geomagnetic conditions will remain quite settled. This means that the lower HF bands, including 14MHz and 18MHz should be quite lively, but other than Sporadic-E openings we shouldn't expect too much from 21MHz and above.

We are now heading towards summer propagation conditions, where maximum useable frequencies during the day will be lower than they are in winter. But twenty metres, in particular, may stay open longer in the evening. It is possible that by the summer solstice 14MHz may remain open all night.

This is mainly due to a change in the chemical composition of the ionosphere, with more diatomic than monatomic elements that are harder to ionise. These summer doldrums are only alleviated by the prospect of strong Sporadic-E openings, although these will be mostly short skip.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week we underestimated the potential for stations in the South and West for the intense area of ducting from Portugal down the West coast of Africa. There were some good tropo contacts reported from the UK and Ireland via its Northerly extension.

The weather patterns for this week seem to be locked into a persistent pattern of high pressure to the southwest of Britain with a ridge of high pressure extending eastwards across southern Britain and Biscay. We’ll be more optimistic about their potential for the Southern UK with the possibility of tropo openings over southern Britain and down the west coast of France towards northern Spain or perhaps as far as the Canaries and Azores.

Some weather models show a more active low arriving over the UK later in the week, which may remove the chance of tropo and perhaps replace it with thundery showers and hence offer rain scatter opportunities on the higher bands.

We are well into the Sporadic-E season now, and Brazil was worked on 50MHz as far East as JO02 and North to IO93 last week, so check 6m and 4m for Es in the late morning and late afternoon and around 2000 for Sporadic-E enhanced Trans Equatorial propagation to South America.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 17th. May 2015.

May 15, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB AGM prize photos now available

  • Brits inducted to CQ Hall of Fame

  • Business Radio Interest Group notes posted by Ofcom

Photographs from the RSGB AGM are now available for Members to view in the new photo archives section of the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/photo-archive. Members and clubs receiving prizes can download the relevant images for their club newsletters or other local publicity. Usage permission details are on the site. The RSGB photo archive contains images of amateur radio history stretching back over 100 years and the online content is expanding on a regular basis.

The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet. UK interest in the 2015 inductees include Olof Lundberg, G0CKV, a leader of the communications satellite industry for a quarter of a century, who has been inducted into the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. At the same time, Michael Wells, G7VJR, the founder of Club Log, has been installed into the DX Hall of Fame. Congratulations to both and all the other inductees whose details appear online at www.cq-amateur-radio.com

Ofcom has now posted the files from the Business Radio Interest Group meeting on the 30th of April at which John Regnault, G4SWX gave a short presentation on the first six months of progress with the 146MHz experimental amateur allocation. Reduced Bandwidth Digital Amateur Television was a topic that interested many of the attendees and John played a couple of video clip examples with help from Noel, G8GTZ and colleagues from BATC. The files are at tinyurl.com/brig300415

Amateur radio relief activity in Nepal had begun to wind down before a magnitude 7.3 earthquake again shook parts of the Himalayan nation on the 12th of May, collapsing buildings and killing dozens in a region that’s still trying to recover from the much stronger earthquake on the 25th of April. The latest quake revived the ham radio effort. Although there is no apparent need for amateur radio emergency communications at this time, everyone is reminded that IARU Emergency Centres of Activity along with 14.210MHz may be in use, so please listen carefully before transmitting. There is however no need to call and ‘keep a frequency clear’ as this may affect communications that are happening local to the disaster area eg in Afghanistan and India.

Kenwood UK has launched new Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay in touch with those interested in the their product range, including information on new products and firmware released when available. They will also include general amateur radio news. For Twitter the details are kenwoodhamradio, all one word, and for Facebook its Kenwood Ham Radio, three words.

The Bath-based radio training team have been running classroom courses for over 15 years but in 2011 they started running distance learning courses for the Advanced exam. The courses have since proved to be far more popular than the Team ever envisaged, with hundreds signing up to join. Not all of those who start complete the course but, so far, the average pass rate is over 85%. The June exam should see the number of successful candidates pass the 300 mark. The Team are now enrolling students for their next course that will run from July to the December exam. A £30 deposit is taken to secure a place on the course, and the deposit is refunded to those sit the exam. Those that do not finish the course agree to donate their deposit to charity. In reality, many of the successful students also donate their deposits and the Team has so far raised over £4,000 for radio-related good causes. Recent donations include the Radio Communications Foundation, RAIBC and the British Wireless for the Blind Fund. Further details can be obtained from Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by e-mailing G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

Kandersteg International Scout Centre is a not-for-profit campsite situated in a small Swiss Alpine village. It gives Scouts and Guides from around the world the chance to experience international friendship. They are looking for any robust PMR-type hand portable radios that can be used on a daily basis. If you can help, please contact programme@kisc.ch

Last week Sarah Brightman announced that she is postponing her trip to the International Space Station. However, planning for Major Tim Peake’s forthcoming mission is progressing well. He is planning to contact selected schools via amateur radio during his stay on the ISS. The first stage of the selection process ended recently and an announcement is expected soon of the shortlist from which the final choice will be made.

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

The Dayton Hamvention ends its 3-day run today. The RSGB has been represented by the President, John Gould, G3WKL, plus an RSGB book and Membership stand. Details are at www.hamvention.org

Today, the 17th of May, the 32nd Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for all the necessary information.

Also today, the 17th of May, the Weston Radio Rally will be held at the Old Pumping Station, Westonzoyland, Somerset TA7 0LS from 10am to 7pm. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as events for all the family at the Steam on the Levels event. More details from Mark, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

The Rochdale & District ARS Summer Flea Market Indoor Sale is on the 23rd of May at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitor gaining access 15 minutes early. Admission is £2.50, with under 12s free. Details from Dave, G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

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.

Now the special event news

Mark, G3ZRR has organised GB50LBC to celebrate the London Borough of Croydon's 50th birthday. Starting from about 16th May, he intends to operate the station at venues throughout the borough, during the Council’s 50th anniversary. The idea is to include Croydon’s parks, educational establishments, Scout, guide, military and Cadet Force installations.

On the 18th of May, the paddle steamer The Medway Queen will be towed from Gillingham Kent to Ramsgate harbour to take part in the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, Operation Dynamo. The Medway Queen is one of the Dunkirk Little Ships and she carried over 7000 allied troops to safety. A joint venture with Bredurst Receiving and Transmitting Society and Hilderstone Radio Club will operate a special event from the ship as part of the 75th commemoration event. An HF station will be operational from the 23rd to 31st of May.

2015 is the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and one of the 25 barons who signed it was John de Lacy from Pontefract. In recognition of this, Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB800MC from the 20th of May to the 16th of June, mainly at weekends, but hopefully also midweek if circumstances allow. Full details are on QRZ.com.

5B70VE is the special callsign that members of Pafos Radio Club will use in May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the end of World War II. QSL via 5B4AHO.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Iain, G4SGX will operate holiday style as FG/G4SGX from Guadeloupe until the 19th of May. He will use dipoles on an EU-facing beach on 40, 30, 20 and 15m CW. QSL via his home callsign and Logbook of The World.

Three Japanese operators will be on Niue Island, OC-040, until the 25th of May. Look for the callsigns E6ZS, E6NZ and E6TE on all bands from 160 to 6m CW, SSB and RTTY.

The Camb-Hams group is activating Mull, EU-008, as GS3PYE/P until the 21st of May. They are on the 80 to 10m bands using SSB, CW, RTTY, and PSK, and also on 6m, 4m, and 2m, plus satellites AO-7, VO-52, FO-29, SO-50, and AO-73. The group also hopes for short trips to Iona, EU-008 and Treshnish Island, EU-108. QSL via Club Log OQRS or the bureau.

Hans, DK3PZ, will be active as SM7/DK3PZ from Oland, EU-037, until the 23rd of May. He will be on the air on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct, bureau or via eQSL.

BA4TB and BD4TR are members of the Chinese rescue team deployed in Nepal after the earthquake. In their spare time they are active as 9N7TB and 9N7TR on the HF bands. QSL via home calls.

Alan, G3XAQ will be active holiday style as C56XA from The Gambia until the 4th of June. He will operate CW on the HF bands, and will participate in the CQ WW WPX CW Contest. QSL via G3SWH.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hours of operation at 1400UTC today, the 17th. This contest is part of the VHF Championship series. With 6- and 24-hour sections for Single-Op Fixed and Single-op Open stations, plus an Open section for multi-op stations, there are convenient categories for everyone. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 17th, the first of this year’s 144MHz Backpacker events runs for four hours, the first three of them overlapping the final three hours of the 24-hour contest. Taking place between 1100 and 1500UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest takes place today, the 17th, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 7th June 2015. Full details of the rules and logsheets 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

Also today, starting at 1200UTC and running for three hours, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs along similar lines to their 80m contest in January using SSB and CW only. Exchange a signal report and serial number, with EIs and GIs also giving their county.

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

Thursday sees the CW leg of the popular 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Sunday the 24th of May, 3rd 70MHz Cumulative runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

It looks like we got the HF forecast for last week about right. The Kp index stormed up to six on Wednesday 6th, remaining at four for the whole day. This was due to an enhanced solar wind stream above 700 km/s and a southward-facing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field. This negative Bz means the solar wind coupled more easily to the earth's magnetic field, allowing charged particles to flow towards the polar regions. The end result was visible and radio aurora and depressed maximum usable frequencies worldwide.

The estimated maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path at noon on Monday, based on the Chilton ionosonde data, was 20.1MHz. But at noon on Wednesday it was just 18.4MHz.

The solar flux index was in the range 150-167, which would have brought lots of DX if it had not been for the geomagnetic disturbance.

With the sun currently peppered with lots of spots, next week may be a mixed bag. NOAA/USAF predicts a solar flux index of 145, declining to 115 by the end of the week. The geomagnetic prediction is for more settled conditions, which may lead to better conditions on the higher HF bands, although solar flares and incoming solar particle streams may have a sting in their tail.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

An intense area of ducting from Portugal down the west coast of Africa brought transatlantic reception of the Cape Verde 144MHz beacon in the Caribbean (PJ4) on the 6th of May. While still present, this will sadly be out of range for most UK stations who will have to put up with mainly poor tropo again.

Of course, if Sporadic-E enables UK stations to couple into this duct, it could be a different story. Early in the week, stations in the south might take advantage of ducting in the Bay of Biscay area. To compensate, 50 and 70MHz Sporadic-E is really taking off now with stations in the UK working Israel on 50MHz last Thursday lunchtime.

Be on the lookout for more frequent openings, with lunchtime and early evenings generally the best time in this early part of the season.

There are no meteor showers this week. The moon reaches maximum declination this week so for EME operators there will be longer moon windows with increasing losses as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 10th.. May 2015.

May 8, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • BATC special edition covers digital ATV

  • TX Factor Episode 8 arrives

  • Greek amateurs plan high altitude balloon launch

The British Amateur Television Club has just published a special edition of CQ-TV devoted to reduced bandwidth digital amateur television. A lot has been happening, particularly on the new 1MHz allocations at 70 and 146MHz. The CQ-TV RB-TV Special contains a round-up of recent on-air tests, a new Award and exciting details of DigiThin, a new homebrew digital ATV transmitter based on a Raspberry Pi. It provides remarkable image quality in a very narrow bandwidth. Full details, including a free download of the CQ-TV RB-TV Special, are at www.batc.org.uk/cq-tv/

Episode 8 of TX Factor is now available for download. It features interviews with Don, G3XTT, the editor of PW magazine and Dave Stockley, G4ELP, who runs Icom UK. There’s a trip round Broadcasting House with help from Jim, G4AEH and Jonathan, M5AEO and also a chance to win a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ courtesy of its inventor, Howard Long, G6LVB. Go to www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/ for full details.

AEOLUS team, a group of Greek radio amateurs, will make a second attempt to send a payload carrying amateur radio equipment to the stratosphere. The special callsign granted for this is J43VHF and the flight name is AEOLUS-2WAY. The balloon launch is scheduled for the 10th of May at 0800UTC. Radio amateurs will be able to communicate with the control station, J43VHF, on 144.220MHz USB. Another possibility is 7.120MHz LSB. The control team will have an uplink to the HAB in the 23cm band. The balloon’s 150mW APRS beacon will be operating as J43VHF-11 on 438.100MHz, though at 1200bps instead of the 9600bps more commonly used at UHF. For more details look for J43VHF on QRZ.com

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that a new FUNcube communications package, based on the British-designed FUNcube-1, has been selected as a major payload for the Nayif-1 CubeSat mission. This 1U mission is intended to provide Emirati students with a tool to design and test systems in space. It is being developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology in partnership with American University of Sharjah. It is expected that this payload will provide a large amount of valuable environmental data from space together with a new, enhanced, UHF to VHF linear transponder. The launch is scheduled to take place towards the end of this year.

Thanks to the efforts of the Computer Association of Nepal-USA, a repeater that the group had donated to Tribhuvan University in Nepal was released from customs on the 5th of May and now is at the University in the care of Sanjeeb, 9N1SP. As Nepal responds to the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, amateur radio has been playing a key role in the recovery effort. This role has been to provide communication for responders working in more remote regions as well as to help in locating missing people. It also has served to convey information about casualties.

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group have entered for the 2015 Aviva Community Fund awards and need as many votes as possible for their Solar Power Project to get a funding award, so they are asking you to help. The Group runs six beacons and five repeaters, and needs to offset their electricity bill by using solar power. One of the repeaters is for the Cornwall Search and Rescue Team and the Aviva Fund entry highlights the rescue team using this repeater. Everyone has ten votes, and you can give them all to this project by following the link on their website at www.gb3nc.org.uk before voting closes on the 30th of May. 

ATDI is running its annual competition that will give engineering graduates and undergraduates the opportunity to show their knowledge as well as the chance to win valuable prizes, including paid internships at ATDI. The theme of this year's contest is white space network deployments. The competition opened on the 1st of May and will be judged by an international panel of experts. First prize is 10,000 euros, a one-year licence for ATDI's leading planning and modelling software, an internship with ATDI and an opportunity to become an ATDI certified trainer. Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries. All the information you need to enter is at www.atdi.co.uk/student-competition/

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

The British Vintage Wireless Society National Vintage Communications Fair takes place today, the 10th of May, at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way, Leamington Spa CV31 1XN. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm and admission is £8, with under-14s free. Early entry from around 9am is available for £25.

Today, the 10th of May, the 34th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally takes place in the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0EQ, Northern Ireland. Doors open at 11.30, and there will be a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands and special interest groups. Details from Michael on 028 6862 1436.

The Dayton Hamvention takes place next weekend from the 15th to 17th of May in Ohio, USA. The RSGB will be represented with a bookstall. QRP columnist George Dobbs, G3RJV will receive the Technical Excellence Award 2015. Details at www.hamvention.org

On the 17th of May, the 32nd Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for all the necessary information.

Also on the 17th of May, the Weston Radio Rally will be held at the Old Pumping Station, Westonzoyland, Somerset TA7 0LS from 10am to 7pm. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as events for all the family at the Steam on the Levels event. More details from Mark, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

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.

Now the special event news

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th of May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be today, the 10th of May, to coincide with the yacht club’s VE Day anniversary events

Saturday the 9th of May marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB, until this afternoon, the 10th. Operations will be on all bands, as conditions allow, on SSB and CW, and a special QSL card is available.

GB2RWM will take part in the National Mills on the Air weekend today, the 10th of May, from 10am to 4pm from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED.

Mark, G3ZRR has organised a special event station, GB50LBC, to celebrate the London Borough of Croydon's 50th birthday. Starting from about 16th May, he intends to operate the station at venues throughout the borough, during the Council’s 50th anniversary. The idea is to include Croydon’s parks, educational establishments, scout, guide, military and cadet force installations.

Special callsign PA125VVG will be activated between the 11th of May and the 7th of June to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the passing of Vincent van Gogh. All of the QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau; direct cards should be sent to PA1CPA. See QRZ.com for more information and award rules.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A team of 13 operators will be active as YB5M from Pasumpahan Island, which has been confirmed to count for IOTA group OC-262, from the 14th to 17th of May. They plan to be QRV on 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs are via Logsearch and OQRS on Club Log. Further information is on the web at www.yb5m.com

Hans, DK3PZ will be active as SM7/DK3PZ from Oland Island, EU-037, from the 16th to 23rd May. QSL via his home callsign, with the bureau being preferred along with eQSL.

Three members from the DX Interceptors ARC will be active as MT0IXD from the Isle of Man, EU-116, from the 8th to 11th of May. They will operate SSB, CW and RTTY on 80-10 metres with two stations. QSL via M0OXO and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

IK5BCM and IU5BLZ will be active as IE9B from Ustica Island, EU-051, until the 16th of May. They will operate SSB, CW and digital modes on 80-10 metres. QSL via IU5BLZ, direct or bureau, plus Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Dan, N8YSZ will be active holiday style as C6ASZ from Long Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas until the 16th of May. Plans are to be QRV on 40-10 metres, with a focus on digital modes and SSB. QSL via N8YSZ, with bureau and Logbook of The World preferred.

TM2BIG will be on the air from Stagadon Island, EU-105 from the 14th to 18th of May. They will operate SSB and RTTY on 40-6 metres with three stations. QSL via F4FET, direct or bureau or OQRS on Club Log.

Now the contest news

Today, the 10th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

On Wednesday it’s the data leg of the popular 80m Club Championships. It runs from 1900 to 2030 and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours over the weekend of 16-17th. This contest is part of the VHF Championship series. With 6- and 24-hour sections for Single-Op Fixed and Single-op Open stations, plus an Open section for multi-op stations, there are convenient categories for everyone. Running from 1400 to 1400UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday 17th the first of this year’s 144MHz Backpacker events runs for four hours, the first three of them overlapping the final three hours of the 24-hour contest. Taking place between 1100 and 1500UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday from 1000-1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 7th June 2015. Full details of the rules and logsheets 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

Also next Sunday, starting at 1200UTC and running for three hours, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs along similar lines to their 80m contest in January using SSB and CW only. Exchange a signal report and serial number, with EIs and GIs also giving their county.

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

This last week has not been a good one for HF. On Sunday 3rd there were solar flares and an earth-facing coronal mass ejection, with further flares on Tuesday. Later on Tuesday evening there was a massive X-class solar flare that blocked out HF in the Pacific region. This was followed on Wednesday by a geomagnetic disturbance, with the Kp index hitting five. These combined to give poor HF conditions at times, despite the solar flux index rising to 136.

Looking ahead, large sunspot region 2339 was coming around the eastern limb of the sun at the time of writing. This was the region that brought the X-class flare, so we may be in for a rough ride next week.

The solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 140-150, but we can expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions, especially in the latter half of the week when the Kp index could hit five again. This may help depress maximum usable frequencies and generally disrupt long-range HF paths. The good news is that we are now in the Sporadic-E season, which may bring good short skip on the upper HF bands, especially 28MHz, but more of that later.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week, expect fairly flat tropo conditions. There will be a weak ridge of high pressure close to Southeast England at first, which may provide some slight enhancement to the near Continent, but it’s not expected to last long.

Last week we saw some Sporadic-E from the UK, but at the time of writing this was very marginal. It’s widely accepted that weather events play a role in determining some of the locational properties of Sporadic-E. To keep up to date with possible weather triggers for Sporadic-E, the RSGB Forum discussion group contains a section called Radio Propagation Questions. In there you will find the threads, Jet Stream Weather Charts For Es Research – Chart Drawer, containing daily postings of jet stream weather charts plus commentary, and Jet Stream Weather Charts For Es Research – Discussion for your feedback and questions. These charts may help you to look in the right directions for the DX. It’s not a forecast of Sporadic-E, but a new tool to encourage further research and discussion, so feedback is welcomed.

This resource can be found at www.rsgb.org, go to the main site and then select Forums.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 3rd. May 2015.

May 1, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd May 2015

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs provide Nepal emergency comms

  • New online magazine RadCom Plus launched

  • QB50p1 CubeSat tests successful

The situation in Nepal, hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake last weekend, seems to be getting worse as time passes. Many people are still buried in collapsed buildings and caught in rubble from landslides, and there are fears that the death toll will continue to rise. Amateur radio has been active throughout the emergency and many relief teams who travelled to the area from India, Turkey, China and many other countries have radio amateurs as part of their teams. Nets have been established on HF to support Nepal. Operators have been involved in passing health and welfare messages for families, and sending SSTV images to assist the relief effort. The IARU is collating information, and posts frequent updates on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org, which is also shared directly with RSGB and linked to our Twitter feed. The RSGB via the Region 1 AROS has been working with the relevant authorities to monitor and remove DQRM on the frequencies being used for this emergency. Whilst the emergency frequency of 14.300MHz has now been closed, all amateurs are asked to give priority to any emergency traffic.

The first edition of the new RSGB online magazine RadCom Plus is now available to RSGB Members via the RSGB website at rsgb.org/radcom-plus. It contains construction projects for a high performance 2m masthead preamp, a 1.8 to 146MHz Z-match and a PLL that provides an accurate and stable frequency source. There are theoretical articles on research into predicting Sporadic-E; how screening stops stages interacting and oscillating, and a detailed exploration of the common mode choke. There are over 40 pages of detailed technical reading, with many photographs and diagrams to help you understand or build the various projects. Feedback and discussion of the articles is welcome to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

AMSAT-NL says that an initial series of tests of the FUNcube transponder payload aboard the QB50p1 CubeSat have been successfully completed. QB50p1 is one of two QB50 precursor spacecraft that were launched from Yasny in Russia in June 2014. The primary science payloads are still being extensively tested but it has now been possible to undertake a short test of the transponder payload as well. After spending ten months in space, the transponder was commanded ‘on’ for short periods during each of the three morning passes over Europe on Monday 27th April. A number of FUNcube team members in the Netherlands and in the UK were standing by to run through a predefined test plan. The transponder has a similar performance to that of FUNcube-1 but the passband is nominally 5kHz wider by design. More information about the QB50 project can be found at https://www.qb50.eu/

Christian, OZ8CY has decided to stand down from his role as Chairman of the IARU Region 1 EMC Committee. Christian has held this role for 22 years and the Region 1 President, Don Beattie, G3BJ, would like to place on record IARU's gratitude to him for all his work over that extended period and wish him well for the future. As a result of this change, the Region 1 Executive Committee has decided to appoint Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, currently vice-chairman of the Committee.

Registration for the RSGB’s VHF National Field Day on 4th and 5th July is now open. The online registration form is available via the VHF pages of the RSGB Contest Committee website, www.rsgbcc.org

RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL, would like to thank all those contesters who have volunteered to join the group set up to review aspects of contest management, following disquiet about the adjudication of a RSGB contest. The review has now started and should complete its final session on 1st August.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free download in pdf format from the RSGB 5MHz webpage or tinyurl.com/q7uqrqw. This copy, Number 13, features 5MHz news from the Czech Republic, UK, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia, plus 5MHz Eclipsed, the official ITU Agenda booklet for WRC15, the HB9AW RX Project and Readers’ Feedback.

Several ANZAC commemoration stations remain on the air until 8th May. Listen out on the HF bands for VK100ANZAC, VI2ANZAC, VI4ANZAC and VI5ANZAC. Please check the cluster for operating and propagation such as DX Summit, VK-logger and others. More information can be found on the WIA website, www.wia.org.au

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

Today, the 3rd, the Scottish Highland Radio Rally takes place at Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre, Muirton, Aviemore PH22 1SF. Doors are open from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. More details from Roy, GM4VKI on 01563 850 976.

Also today, the 3rd, the Dambusters Hamfest takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby, Lincs LN4 4PE. Talk in will be on S22 and GB3FR and admission to the Hamfest is £3. Doors open 10am. E-mail tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 4th, the Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon. PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2, with free car parking. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups. More details from Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on his new number, 01822 840 723.

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE day, North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group will be holding an event on the 9th of May under the banner Radios That Helped Win The War. This will be based on their own collection of WW2 military radios, many of which will be operational using the call GB2VE. The event is at East Runton village hall, near Cromer in North Norfolk. To enhance the day, other owners of WW2 radios are invited to bring them along. B2 and other spy radios would be especially welcome. As there will be limited space, it is recommended that booking of tables to display visitors’ radios is done well in advance as it will be on a first come basis. Tables, and entry to the event, are free. For further information see www.nnarg.co.uk

The British Vintage Wireless Society National Vintage Communications Fair will take place on the 10th of May at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1XN. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm and admission is £8, with under-14s free. Early entry from around 9am is available for £25.

On 10th of May, the 34th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally takes place in the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0EQ, N Ireland. Doors open at 11.30, and there will be a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands and special interest groups. Details from Michael on 028 6862 1436.

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.

Now the special event news

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th of May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be on the 8 to 10th May to coincide with the yacht club’s VE Day anniversary events

Saturday the 9th of May will mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB, from the evening the 8th until the afternoon of the 10th. Operation will be on all bands, as conditions allow, on SSB and CW, and a special QSL card is available.

This year also marks 70 years since the liberation and the end of WWII for Denmark. The callsign OZ5MAY will be on the air on the 4th and 5th of May in memory of those in the Resistance who risked their lives. Activity will be after 1730UTC. There is also a certificate associated with the callsign. For details go to www.ddxg.dk/awards/underground.htm

GB2RWM will take part in the National Mills on the Air weekend on 10th May from 10am to 4pm from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED.

Unfortunately, the Bedworth Lions Club event supported by The Coventry Amateur Radio Club with GB4BLC that was due to take place on the 9th May has been cancelled.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The DX Interceptors will be on the air from Scarlett Point on the Isle of Man as MT0IXD from the 8th to 11th of May on the 80 to 10m bands. Two HF stations will be combined with homebrew hex beam and multiband vertical dipole and a dipole antenna for 80 to 30m. Modes will be CW SSB and Data. People are encouraged to add any band or mode requests on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/MT0IXD. QSL via M0OXO and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

Dan, N8YSZ will be active holiday style as C6ASZ from Long Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas from the 9th to 16th of May. Plans are to be on the air on the 10 to 40m bands with a focus on digital modes and SSB. QSL via N8YSZ; bureau and Logbook of The World are preferred.

TM2BIG will be active from Stagadon Island, EU-105, on 14th to 18th May. They will operate SSB and RTTY on the 40 to 6m bands with three stations. QSL via F4FET, direct, via the bureau or OQRS on Club Log.

Dave, GM0LVI will be active as GM0LVI/p from the Isle of Barra, EU-010, until 9th May, and from Tanera Mor, EU-092, on 25th to 31st July. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

Now the contest news

Starting on Saturday the 2nd of May and ending on the 2nd of August, the UK Six Metre Group’s Marathon is a contest without fixed operating times. The object of the exercise is to work as many locator squares as possible across three months of the Sporadic-E season. Entrants can upload their logs repeatedly during the Marathon, to update the online League Table. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at midday on Sunday the 3rd. This event is unusual in that there are sections for single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. For non-Italians the exchange is a signal report plus serial number, but Italians give a signal report and a 2-letter Province code – and there are 110 to collect. There are no points for working your own country but 1 point for working your own continent, 3 for other continents and 10 points for working Italy. There are no single band entries and only one power category – high! Multipliers are DXCC entities, except I and IS0, plus Italian Provinces.

The UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest ends today, Sunday 3rd. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also ending today, at 1400UTC, is the RSGB 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy.

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

Next weekend, on the 10th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

What a difference a week makes. Last week we said the solar flux index was predicted to hit the 130s. This week, apart from one tiny spot in the lower western quadrant, the sun is now looking very bare. At the time of writing the solar flux index was 104, and the USAF prediction for the bank holiday week is for an SFI of 100 at the beginning, rising to 135 at the end. The maximum predicted K index is two.

While not stunning, this could bring reasonably settled conditions and some DX on the lower HF bands. Please note that as we have now entered May you should be using the latest smoothed sunspot number of 60 with your VOACAP-based prediction programs. That is down very slightly on last month.

This week we have a reminder to check the bands regardless of what the predictions suggest. Chris, G0DWV worked a string of stations in the USA on 12m on Monday at around 1730UTC, even though the VOACAP Online prediction was quite pessimistic.

And finally, we are now entering the Sporadic-E season so keep an eye on ten metres for openings out to around 1000-1500 miles, especially mid-morning, afternoon and early evening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Early next week expect flat tropo conditions with large areas of low pressure nearby to the west of Britain and frontal troughs moving into Western Europe. But there are indications of high pressure building again towards the end of the week, and this may produce some enhanced conditions later.

Earlier this week we had Sporadic-E over the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Western Poland, a classic start-of-season cluster, which correlated very well with a southerly jet stream over that part of Europe. There is every reason to hope that the Sporadic-E season has started from our latitudes and with jet streams pushing across the Pyrenees and Alps there is a possibility that these weather ‘triggers’ will be producing the necessary wind shear in the upper atmosphere and hence the chance of some Es.

Check the late morning and late afternoon for 10 and 6m beacons to get to the bands as they open. A lot of ingredients need to be right for Es to happen, so it’s a ‘heads-up’ and not a promise!

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks around Wednesday May 6th with a small broad peak, so look out for enhancements to the usual random MS conditions.

The Moon reaches its lowest declination on Wednesday so short Moon windows for EME, but with low loss on the GHz bands.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 26th. April 2015.

April 24, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th April 2015

The news headlines:

  • Emergency nets support volcano disaster relief

  • Kenyan amateurs gain 6m band

  • Can you help identify Portishead equipment?

Southern Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted this week for the first time in more than 40 years, forcing the evacuation of an area of some 12 miles around the volcano. Approximately 5,000 residents have been relocated and ash, which measures nearly seven miles, has been reported from as far away as Argentina. IARU Region 2 reports that emergency nets are in operation primarily on 7050kHz, with 14250kHz and 3738kHz as alternate frequencies. They have requested that other users keep those frequencies clear for emergency traffic.

Following representations by the Amateur Radio Society of Kenya, the Communications Authority of Kenya has allocated 50 to 52MHz to the amateur service. Authorisation is on a Secondary, non-interference, basis and has been made possible by the migration of television services from analogue to digital. Permitted power is 150 watts DC input or 400 watts PEP for A3E and J3E emissions.

A film production company is looking for help from radio amateurs, particularly those who had a career in the maritime industry. A large portion of their film’s props are themed around radios, transmitters, receivers and all the other equipment that is related to maritime radio. Portishead Radio Station is one of the sets that is being re-created. There are a series of photos on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/deepwater. They are looking for help to identify the equipment in use. If you can assist, please send an email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s Twitter name has been changed to @theRSGB. Follow us at that account for regular amateur radio news, images, events and Member offers. Take a look at the profile header picture and see the winning photo from our Twitter photo competition, submitted by Adam, MM0KFX. Congratulations to Adam and to the two runners-up, Vaughan, M0VRR and Charles, M0OXO. The RSGB Youth Committee has also changed its Twitter name this week. You can follow them @theRSGByouth to find out what they’re getting up to in amateur radio.

One of the participants in the just-ended DX0P DXpedition to Spratly Islands was airlifted from Pag Asa Island after suffering a medical emergency. Chito Pastor, WW6CP, became ill just as the DXpedition was starting to wrap up on the 20th April and was evacuated on the 23rd. We wish him well. The DXpedition operated for about 5 days, logging around 5000 contacts.

RSGB Train the Trainers days are for you if you are delivering training for the amateur examinations and do not already have a professional educational background. The purpose is to give you some insights in how to prepare and deliver your material, to improve the learning skills of your class and hopefully inject some fun into the experience for everyone. The next Train the Trainers day is on the 9th of May, in Norwich. You can still book a place on the RSGB Train the Trainers day in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June. To book, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk.

The window to apply for ARRL Centennial Points Challenge and W1AW Worked All States awards has been open for a month now, and the initial rush of applications has been processed. Participants’ Centennial Points Challenge logs must already have been submitted via Logbook of The World (LoTW) – the cut-off date was January 22 – but the League will continue to accept award applications indefinitely. With little to no backlog in the queue, it’s anticipated that processing will be prompt. The ARRL Centennial QSO Party and W1AW/portable activities in 2014 resulted in more than 3.5 million Centennial event contacts recorded in LoTW. W100AW operation accounted for some 70,000 contacts.

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

Today, the 26th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place in Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 10am, with traders gaining access from 7am. Admission is £2 and there will be a Bring & Buy and RSGB bookstall. More information from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Next weekend on the 3rd, the Scottish highland radio Rally will take place in Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre, Muirton, Aviemore PH22 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. More details from Roy, GM4VKI on 01563 850 976.

Also on the 3rd, the Dambusters Hamfest takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby, Lincs LN4 4PE. Talk in will be on S22 and GB3FR and admission to the Hamfest is £3. Doors open 10am. E-mail tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

On the 4th, which is bank holiday Monday, the Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon. PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2 with free car parking. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups. More details from Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on 01822 852 871.

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.

Now the special event news

The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be airing the Club callsign MN0VFW / P today, the 26th, from Navan Fort, Armagh, Northern Ireland. They will be active on HF SSB and 2m FM from the Club's exhibition trailer that will be parked up in the Visitors Centre carpark. Visitors are welcome. 

Members of Barry Amateur Radio Society will be operating from Flatholm Island, EU-124, until the 27th April. Operation will be mainly HF but they also anticipate satellite operations using limited portable equipment during the stay. QSL via MW0DHF.

G8ALB intends to operate GB0PAW from the Wirral in support of Parkinson’s Awareness Week today the 26th. The station will operate from approximately 10am to 4pm on 80, 40, 30 and 10m as well as 2m and 70cm.

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be on the 8 to 10th May to coincide with the yacht clubs VE Day anniversary events

Saturday 9th May will mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB from the evening the 8th until the afternoon of the 10th. Operation will be on all bands SSB and CW as conditions allow and a special QSL card is available.

The Lusitania Radio Club will be running a special event station with the callsign EI100MFA to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania on 7th May 1915. The station will operate from 6th to 10th May from a site near the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse, County Cork or from the Lighthouse itself.

A special event station will be run on the 2nd to 4th May from a narrow boat at the Loughborough wharf. GB2LWW will be part of the Loughborough Wharf Weekend to celebrate the saving of the wharf basin from being filled in and built on. All are welcome aboard the dandelion disabled boat, where teas and coffees will be served.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Mark, M0TVV will be operating holiday portable from the 2nd to the 14th May as EA5/M0TVV on the 10, 20 and 40 metre bands QRP portable. This will be his first time operating outside the United Kingdom under his new Full licence and he hopes to be able to be on the air as often as possible during his two week stay in Murcia in Spain. Calls will be welcome.

Dave, WJ2O will be in Nicaragua until 30th April. He will operate as YN/WJ2O from the station of YN2N.

A group of 4 Australian operators will be active from Norfolk Island as VK9NT until to 4th May. They plan to be QRV on all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB and CW. QSLs can be requested by using the Club Log OQRS facility.

Gordon, G3USR will be operating holiday style from Freeport on Grand Bahama Island from until 27th April. His callsign will be C6AGM. He requests that QSLs are sent directly to his home call.

Two German amateurs will be active from Armenia until 5th May. Look for EK/DL7UCX and EK/DK7AO on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY.

Now the contest news

The 24 hours of the SP DX RTTY Contest ends today at 1200UTC today, the 26th. Non-SP stations can work anyone and there are multiples for DXCC entities and continents worked. The exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code.

The BARTG Sprint 75 runs for four hours this evening, the 26th, from 1700 to 2100UTC. All activity is on 75 baud RTTY. The contest exchange is a serial number only.

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

Also on Tuesday is the SHF UK Activity Contest, again taking place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using the 2.3GHz band and up, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting on Saturday 2nd May and ending on the 2nd August, the UK Six Metre Group’s Marathon is a contest without fixed operating times. The object of the exercise is to work as many Locator squares as possible across three months of the Sporadic-E season. Entrants can upload their logs repeatedly during the Marathon, to update the online League Table. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest runs for 24 hours from midday on Saturday 2nd. This event is unusual in that there are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. For non-Italians the exchange is a signal report plus serial number, but Italians give a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, and there are 110 to collect. There are no points for working your own country but 1 point for working your own continent, 3 for other continents and 10 points for working Italy. There are no single band entries and only one power category – high! Multipliers are DXCC entities (except I and IS0), plus Italian Provinces.

The UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest is on Sunday 3rd. It coincides with the RSGB events taking place the same weekend. The 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. The 432MHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC and, finally, the 10GHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. The exchange is the same for all contests, signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4DDK on Friday the 24th of April

Last week we said that the NOAA prediction was for a solar flux index of up to 135, but we thought this was pessimistic. We were proved right as the SFI soared to 154 on the 21st. However conditions remained very unsettled with the Kp index hitting four at times and with many M-class solar flares.

This week looks like it will be very similar with the predicted solar flux index around 135, but with continued unsettled geomagnetic conditions due to coronal mass ejections and high-speed solar wind streams.

On HF, this is a good month to look for long path openings to Australia. Peter, VK6APZ can often be heard around 0900-1000UTC around 18.120MHz, just before his sunset. This is at a time when there is no 20m opening and casual listeners could miss the opening on 17m. A similar opening to New Zealand can occur on 17m or 15m at around 0700UTC.

Propagation can vary dramatically, even on adjacent bands, and it is worth playing with a prediction tool like VOACAP Online to see where paths might exist.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This week starts with low pressure back on the charts and unsettled weather over the country for much of the week. This will mean a return to mainly flat tropo conditions until midweek. Towards the end of the week a new high will drift east and may provide some limited tropo enhancement as it reaches the UK by Friday.

There will probably be some large showers and thunderstorms in the first half of the week, so rain scatter will be a possibility; a good hint is to follow the more intense echoes from the various rainfall radars on the web.

The Es season has already produced some limited activity on 10m and 6m and should only grow in coming weeks. In view of the potential for jet streams to contribute to the locational properties of Es, this next week offers some good jet stream potential, suitable for Es paths into Europe and Scandinavia.

After last week’s Lyrids meteor shower it’s back to random meteors, the early morning being the best time.

Moon declination is falling and moving away this coming week, meaning increasing losses for EME. But moon windows are still long in the UK.

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

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