Sunday 4th October 2015
The news headlines:
Exams changed on 1st of October
Consultation for IARU Region 1 Interim Meeting
GB0RWC celebrates Rugby World Cup
On the 1st of October, the new UK Licence rules started to be examined. Updates to the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced training books have been published on the ‘Extras’ webpages under ‘Publications’ on the RSGB website. The revised Exam Reference Data Booklets and sample exam papers have also been made available on the Training pages of the RSGB website. These should now be the only ones used by anyone preparing for a UK amateur radio exam. If anyone has any questions about these changes, please contact Philip, M0PHI, who is chair of the RSGB Training & Education Committee, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
In preparation for the 2016 Region 1 Interim Meeting, the RSGB has re-opened its IARU Forums so that UK amateurs can suggest topics on matters such as operating or technical recommendations, band plans, contests and EMC. The initial phase is an open call and will be followed by further opportunities as UK papers are developed, or subsequently when all meeting papers are available. There are separate discussion forums covering HF, VHF/Microwave and EMC matters. Please ensure that initial topic suggestions are submitted by the end of October.
Worked All Britain is commemorating the Rugby World Cup 2015 with a period of activity until the 31st of October. GB0RWC is being used by the 9 radio clubs taking part. See the WAB website at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk for the schedule. QSL cards are not required by WAB, but for those that require one for GB0RWC, eQSL is available. WAB would like to thank the various clubs hosting this callsign, to Colin, M0DMJ for hosting the QRZ page and to Geoff, G7GJU for organising the event.
At 0448UTC on the 27th of September, an automatic bot gained access to the IOTA website database and was able to exploit a bug in the IOTA code in order to reset the password for every user on the site. There is no sign in the system logs that any data was read or that personal data was compromised. Once the IT team was aware of the issue, they immediately took the database offline for analysis and corrected the bug. User passwords are stored in a hashed format in the database, not in plain text. In accordance with best practice, however, the team would like to encourage all users of the IOTA website to change their passwords. Additionally, if you have used your IOTA password on other websites, you should also change the passwords on those sites. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com
The second edition of RadCom Plus is now available online to RSGB Members from the RSGB website. We received several requests to provide a version that can be downloaded and read offline and we are thus publishing this edition in two formats – the original flip version, which also allows for a copy to be printed, and an e-pub version. Subjects covered in this second edition are a position reporting system using WSJT weak signal data modes, an all-digital PAL vectorscope, a high grade remote antenna switch and an HF multimode beacon. Issue 3 will be available in the New Year. Article submissions for RadCom and RadCom Plus are most welcome: please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Radio Amateurs Emergency Network and RSGB formed a Joint Working Group in 2014 to encourage a closer working relationship between the two organisations and to explore ways in which RAYNET could become a single unified body. In the consultation that followed, the vast majority of responses supported a move to one organisation in the UK concentrating on emergency communications. Draft proposals to achieve this are being formulated and will be published shortly for consultation. For further information, see the RSGB Notices section on the RSGB website.
The RSGB Convention takes place next weekend, the 9th to 11th, at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Visitors may be interested to know that the IET will be represented in the Exhibitors Lounge. The IET is the professional society for the engineering and technology community, with more than 150,000 members in 127 countries and their representatives are looking forward to meeting delegates at the Convention. DXCC card checking will be available courtesy of the ARRL, and US exams will take place on the 11th. If you are interested in the US exams, please e-mail email@example.com as soon as possible. Go to www.rsgb.org/convention for all the latest information.
The Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS, has an important role as it works behind the scenes, largely independent of the rest of the RSGB, to assist radio amateurs and others to investigate reports of licence infringements and poor operating that might bring the hobby into disrepute. The service is seeking a deputy coordinator who will work closely with the coordinator to support and organise any investigation carried out by the group of observers and liaise directly with Ofcom. A good working knowledge of amateur radio is needed, along with a discreet but objective approach to problem solving and issue resolution, and a track record of good interpersonal skills. Applications by CV, or expressions of interest, should be sent to Graham Coomber, G0NBI, General Manager, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 3 Abbey Court, Fraser Road, Priory Business Park, Bedford MK44 3WH, to arrive by 30 November. AROS coordinator Mark Jones, G0MGX would also welcome informal enquiries via email@example.com
Due to a problem on the iTunes site the weekly GB2RS News Bulletin podcast stopped being searchable on iTunes about a month ago. Subscribers to the podcast still received editions but new subscribers could not find the program. Ed, DD5LP has worked with Apple to rectify this fault and now, once again, searching for GB2RS in the Apple iTunes store will take you to the weekly RSGB amateur radio news broadcast from the UK read by Jeremy, G4NJH.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, on the 4th of October, the British Vintage Wireless Society Auto Jumble takes place at The Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors are open from10.30am to 4.30pm. See www.audiojumble.co.uk for details.
Also today, the 4th, the Blackwood ARS Rally will be held in Rougemount School, Newport NP20 8QB. Talk in will be on145.550MHz and the doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area as well as a Bring & Buy. Details from Andy on 01495 220 687,
The Hornsea Amateur Radio Club is holding its rally today, the 4th, in the Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Yorkshire HU18 1NQ. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, a bring & Buy as well as special interest groups. Details from Rick, M0CZR on 01964 533 712.
Next weekend is the RSGB Convention on the 9th to 11th, at Kent’s Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ. The principal sponsor for the event is Martin Lynch & Sons, to whom the Society would like to pass on their thanks. Full details of the two-day programme is at www.rsgb.org/convention
On the 11th of October the Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. There will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. Details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now the special event news
Houghton-Le-Spring ARC is running GB6HF to celebrate Houghton Feast 2015 during the evening of Tuesday the 6th of October. The station will be located at the Dubmire Royal British Legion Club, Fence Houses.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
N7QT and N7BX will operate from Manihiki Island, OC-014, in the North Cook Islands until the 27th of October. The callsign will be E51MQT and activity will be on all bands 10m to 160m. QSLs go via N7BX.
Ulrich, DL2AH will be on the air as NH0/DL2AH from Rota Island, OC-086, in the Mariana Islands until the 16th of October. QSLs go directly to DL2AH.
A group of 7 operators from Poland will activate S79SP from Mahe Island, AF-024, in the Seychelles from the 3rd to the 18th of October. They will be on all bands 160m to 6m on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL Manager is SP6FXY.
Willi, DJ7RJ will sign 3B8/DJ7RJ from Mauritius, AF-049, from the 5th to the 30th of October. Willi will be active on all bands SSB and CW and in particular on 160m.
The Lundy DX Group will be active again from Lundy Island, IOTA EU-120, from the 6th to the 13th of October as MX0LDG. Operation will be on 10m to 40m using SSB and RTTY but there will be no operation between midnight and 6am due to power restrictions. Please do not send QSL cards: requests should be made via OQRS. See www.m0urx.com/oqrs for details.
Now the contest news
There are coinciding VHF and microwave events this weekend. Running for 24 hours and ending at 1400UTC today, the 4th, the 432MHz-248GHz Contest is where the serious microwavers will be found. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. The IARU event also runs at exactly the same time with the same frequency bands and exchange. Your logs will be entered into both, unless you specify otherwise.
The first international event of October is the SSB leg of the Oceania DX Contest. It runs for 24 hours ending at 0800UTC on the 4th. Work Oceania, that’s VK, ZL and Pacific islands, only. The exchange is signal report and serial number on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands.
The Worked All Britain HF Phone Contest takes place for 24 hours and ends at 1200UTC today, the 4th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.
The 21/28MHz Contest takes place from 0700 to 1900UTC today, the 4th. Using CW and SSB the exchange is signal report, serial number and District.
On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m event runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is the first four characters of you locator.
Next weekend from 0800UTC on the 10th to 0800UTC on the 11th is the Oceania DX CW contest. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday the 2nd of October.
Better autumnal HF conditions continued this week with more settled geomagnetic conditions and a healthy solar flux index that reached 131 on Thursday. However, the solar proton flux increased slightly that day, which may have caused some problems.
During such an event, the Earth can be showered with highly-energetic solar particles. When these protons arrive at Earth and enter the atmosphere over the polar regions enhanced ionisation can be produced at altitudes below 100km.
Ionisation at these low altitudes can be particularly effective at absorbing HF radio signals and can render HF communications impossible throughout the polar regions. This type of event is also known as a Polar Cap Absorption Event or PCA, and paths through the North Pole may be affected. Otherwise, autumn continues to be a good time to try the upper HF bands.
Data from the Chilton Ionosonde show that the maximum usable frequency on Thursday rose to nearly 26MHz on 3,000km paths. So our advice is to try listening or calling on 15, 12 and even 10m this week to see if the bands are open.
As always, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and high-speed solar wind streams may cause disrupted conditions at times.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
After a good week of enhanced VHF/UHF tropo conditions, especially in the north of the country, the area of high pressure responsible for the ducting is showing signs of collapsing in the coming week, as low pressure moves past north-west Britain. Models suggest that there may be a chance of the high re-asserting itself over south-eastern Britain later in the week but, at the time of writing, it seems the best conditions will be behind us by this weekend.
The Draconids meteor shower peaks on Thursday so keep a lookout for a short-term improvement in meteor scatter opportunities either side of the peak.
With positive Moon declination all next week we will have long Moon windows for EME, extending from late night through to late afternoon the following day. Losses will increase over the week as the Moon approaches apogee.
And that’s all from the propagation team for this week.