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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
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.