Sunday 8th December 2013
The news headlines:
Register for SOS Radio Week
Canadian club experiments on 600m
FCC authorises ARRL Centenary callsign
SOS Radio Week will take place between 25 January and 2 February. The event is now in its sixth official year and in that time amateur radio enthusiasts have raised over £15,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If you are fortunate enough to live near the coast, why not forge a relationship with your local RNLI station? Most are happy to open their station to you and enable you to operate there. Stations wishing to take part in the event should visit www.sosradioweek.org.uk and register using the online registration form.
Industry Canada has issued a 600m experimental radio licence to the Marconi Radio Club of Newfoundland. VX9MRC will be on the air on 14 and 15 December on 472-479kHz to call attention to the potential new amateur radio band there and to the role amateur radio plays in emergency communication.
The FCC has authorised the Maxim Memorial Station W1AW to also use the call sign W100AW during 2014, the ARRL’s centennial year. Contacts made from the Maxim Memorial Station in Newington, from regional Centennial conventions and during the IARU HF Championship will use W100AW, with portable designators as appropriate. Bulletins and Morse practice transmissions during 2014 will still use W1AW. Contacts with W100AW will be worth 100 points in the ARRL Centennial QSO Party. To help kick off the ARRL Centennial, W100AW activity will begin at 0500UTC on 1 January 2014 (midnight in Newington) and will include participation in ARRL’s Straight Key Night; one CW station will use Hiram Percy Maxim’s straight key. Activity will continue throughout New Year’s Day.
The final RSGB Centenary event, at Imperial College, London, took place on 5 December. Both lectures were well received and the proceedings were streamed live over the web by the BATC. If you missed it live, you can watch recordings of the lectures on the BATC website, www.batc.tv. Our thanks to BATC for making this possible.
Patrick Kirkden, M0ZPK from Thanet Radio and Electronics Club helped the developers of the WREN SSTV satellite when it was thought to have stopped working. He was able to find the satellite and record some of its telemetry, giving the WREN team updated location information, which they have now released for other amateurs to use. This includes new commands, decode software and a video describing how to do it. See http://amsat-uk.org for more details.
The special event callsign celebrating the RSGB Centenary will be operated today by the Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club operating on 10, 15, 20 and 40m as well as 2m. They will be using SSB, FM and PSK. On Monday the City of Belfast Radio Amateurs Club will run 6 to 80m as well as 2m using CW, SSB and FM. Tuesday and Wednesday sees the callsign move to West Tyrone ARC with Foyle and District ARC taking over on Thursday and Friday running from 10 to 80m using SSB. On Saturday and Sunday it’s with Greenisland Electronics ARC at Carrickfergus with stations on 10 to 80m using CW and SSB. Details of how to get your QSL card are on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.uk, under the Operating drop down menu, clicking on Centenary Station.
The International Museums Weekend Admin Team has announced that the 2014 event will take place on the two weekends of 14/15th and 21/22nd June 2014. You, your club along with your local museum are invited to join in, on either or both of the weekends. More details about the event and a registration form can be found at http://www.ukradioamateur.co.uk/imw/.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
We have no details of rallies taking place during December. The next event in the diary is Bath Buildathon on 4 January. Booking is essential and the project is the 20m PSK Centenary Receiver. Intermediate Practical Assessments will also be available on the day. More details are in the forthcoming January RadCom or you can contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of the News and in RadCom, please email details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.
Now for the news of special events
GB4FCV will be on the air on the 20, 30, 40 and 80m bands using CW only until 13 December. It is to commemorate Sir Francis Chichester’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1967.
Special callsign 3A60ARM will be in use throughout December to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Monaco Society.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
The Buddies in the Caribbean group plan another trip to St Lucia, NA-108, until 9 December. As usual they will be using Buddipole antennas on the 10 to 80m bands. Calls will be J6/homecall.
Haru, JA1XGI will be active as V63XG from Chuuk Island in Micronesia, OC-011, until 12 December. He will operate all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. In particular he will be looking for contacts with Europe on 160 and 80m. QSLs go via his home callsign.
Alan, VK4WR and Graeme, VK4FI will operate from Niue Island, OC-040, with the callsign E6RQ until 17 December. QSL Manager is VK4FI.
Freddy, FK8RO will be active as FK8RO/P from Ouvea Island, OC-033, until 13 December. He plans to be QRV on 10 to 40m metres using CW with wire antennas. QSL via QSL via F5IRO, direct or bureau.
Once again Erik, LA2US will be active as JW2US from Bear Island, EU-027, for six months starting in December, until May 2014. He will operate mainly CW in his spare time. QSL via LA2US, direct or via bureau, plus LoTW and eQSL.
Now the contest news
The ARRL 160m Contest runs for 42 hours finishing at 1600UTC today, the 8th. This is a CW-only event in which you work the USA, US Territories and Canada only. The wording of the rules suggests that good frequencies to work on are 1830-1835kHz, but you are not limited to this 5kHz window. The exchange is signal report, and Ws and VEs also send their ARRL/RAC section.
Sunday 8th sees the 144MHz AFS take place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on 10 December from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The ARRL 10m Contest runs for 48 hours on 14 and 15 December. In this event everyone can work everyone. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Ws, VEs and XEs sending the State/Province code too.
Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 29th of November to Thursday the 5th of December, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 6th of December.
The largest sunspot group visible during the period remained very quiet and produced no significant solar flare activity. However, some smaller groups produced a couple of C class solar flares every day when solar activity was at low levels. Solar flux levels increased from 129 units on the 29th to 150 by the 5th. The average was 136 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 5th was 130 units, that's two unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.5 units on the 29th to C1 units by the 5th, the average was B5.3 units. The geomagnetic field was quiet every day, the most disturbed day was the 1st with an Ap index of 8 units. The average was Ap 5 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 260 kilometres per second on the 29th to 460 by the 2nd. Particle densities decreased from 34 particles per cubic centimetre on the 29th to below 10 particles per cubic centimetre for the remainder of the period. Bz varied between minus and plus 9 nanoTeslas on the 1st which was the most disturbed day to between minus and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day. For most of the period a high pressure system brought extended tropo conditions at VHF and UHF, with a particular focus on Germany.
Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days. Solar flux levels should be around the 150's for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity could be unsettled today and tomorrow due a small recurring coronal hole, also, activity would increase if a coronal mass ejection heads our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around or slightly higher than 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 8MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 36MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 29MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1600 hours UTC.
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.