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GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • Training and Assessment Guide on website

  • ISS amateurs return to Earth

  • Listen on 17.2kHz for SAQ

The amateur radio Training and Assessment Guide is now available on the RSGB website. This series of documents describes the procedures that are to be followed for the provision of training and assessment as part of the RSGB scheme for people to become eligible for a UK Amateur Radio Licence.

[Note to Newsreaders: the direct link is http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/tutor-resources-2/training-guide/training-assessment-guide/ ]

Three radio amateurs who had been on board the International Space Station for a little more than six months have landed safely back on Earth, touching down in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz transporter. Tim Kopra, KE5UDN; Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS, and Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, undocked from the space station early on the 18th of June after spending 186 days in space since arriving at the ISS in December. Kopra has now logged 244 days in space on two flights, while Peake, on his first mission, spent 186 days outside the atmosphere. Wrapping up his sixth mission, Malenchenko has now spent a cumulative total of 828 days in space, making him second on the all-time list behind Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, RN3DT.

The annual transmission on Alexanderson Day with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF 17.2kHz with the callsign SAQ will take place Sunday the 3rd of July at 0900UTC. Tuning up will start after 0830UTC. The process will be repeated at 1200UTC, with tuning up starting after 1130UTC. An amateur radio station with the callsign SK6SAQ will be active on 7.035MHz, 14.035MHz or 21.035MHz CW or 3.755MHz SSB. Two stations will be on the air most of the time. QSL reports to SAQ and SK6SAQ can be sent via email to info@alexander.n.se

American amateurs will have to continue renewing their licenses on a regular basis, after a petition for ‘lifetime’ licenses was denied. Last November Mark Krotz, N7MK, requested a change of the rules and the decision was announced on the 21st of June.

The VP8STI DXpedition video has been uploaded to the Intrepid DX Group's Vimeo.com page, see https://vimeo.com/intrepiddxgroup. Mike McGirr, K9AJ was an operator and the team doctor on the DXpedition to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year and he will be speaking about the DXpedition at this year’s RSGB Convention in October. See www.rsgb.org/convention for more details.

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

Today, the 26th of June, sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

Next Saturday, the 2nd of July, the Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society Rally will be held at Donaghadee Community Centre, Manor Street, Donaghadee, County Down BT21 0HB. The venue is just 100 metres from the harbour, and car parking is available. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There is a talk on Practical Outdoor Weatherproofing by Ian White, GM3SEK as well as trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Special interest groups will be in attendance. A raffle will be held on the day. Details from Harry on 0289 142 2762.

On Sunday the 3rd of July, the 20th Red Rose QRP Festival will take place at The Rose Centre, Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. The venue has easy access from all directions via the M6, M61, M60 or A580. There is free car parking and the spacious halls are at ground level with disabled facilities. Doors are open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands, clubs stands and special interest groups as well as an RSGB bookstall. There will also be a Bring & Buy. A licensed bar and refreshments are available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

Also on the 3rd, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. It opens at 9am with Talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, bring and buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2 with under 16s free.

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

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

Dave, FJ/W9DR and Tom, FJ/W9AEB will be operating from Saint Barthelemy Island, NA-146, until the 29th of June. Dave is on 6 metres only, doing CW/SSB with a 6m Beacon, and Tom is working on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as D44TWO from Sao Tiago, AF-005, in the Cape Verde Islands. He is expected to be there until the 13th of July. He will operate SSB, CW and digital modes on the 6 to 40m bands. His QSL manager is M0OXO.

Steve, NY3B will be active holiday style as J6/NY3B from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 4th of July. He will operate CW and SSB mostly on 40, 20 and 15 metres. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Naoki, JS3LSQ will be active as T88WJ from Koror, Palau, OC-009, until the 29th of June. He will operate mainly RTTY. QSL via JS3LSQ, direct or bureau.

Now the special event news

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Bushvalley ARC will be on the air from Ballymoney Show Grounds from the 27th of June until the 2nd of July to commemorate the battle of the Somme. The club will use GB100BOS. Club members from other clubs are welcome to join Bushvalley in this memorable occasion.

Now the contest news

Today, the 26th, the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also today is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs form1900 to 2130UTC. Using All modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, for 24 hours over the 2nd and 3rd of July, VHD NFD takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 3rd, the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Once again the sun looks pretty spotless, apart from one tiny smudge. As a result, this week saw the solar flux index drop below 80. We're beginning to sound like a stuck record, but ongoing coronal hole activity pushed the K index to five on Wednesday 22nd. Noisy electrical storms across most of Northern Europe didn’t help the bands either.

Next week the USAF predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 70-80, with the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of July. As the solar flux index at sunspot minimum doesn’t fall below about 66, this gives you some idea of the current state of the sun.

As it is mid-summer we can’t expect fantastic HF conditions either, with lower maximum usable frequencies during the day, compared with the autumn and winter, but higher MUFs at night.

If you want a challenge, try listening for the Alexanderson alternator at station SAQ in Grimeton, Sweden on 17.2kHz CW at 0900 and 1200UTC on Sunday 3rd July. The Twente SDR on the web can cover 17.2kHz, or you can hook an antenna up to your sound card and use some specialist software. Amateur station SK6SAQ will also be active on 80m SSB and 40, 20 and 15m CW during the day.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E may be poorer next week as the main Atlantic jet stream activity has already migrated north, leaving much of central Europe under a much slacker pattern. The absence of active jet streams over Europe probably means that one of the main Sporadic-E triggers, gravity waves, may be missing or reduced. These waves propagate up from the turbulence of the jet stream at 12km height to the E region at 120km.

This absence will make Sporadic-E hard to come by except perhaps for the more northern paths across to Scandinavia where the jet stream may be slightly more active.

Next week we will find a big high with a very large east-west extent just north of the Azores and covering much of the Atlantic. This could give some interesting Tropo paths down the western side of Europe from the UK to Spain and Portugal and onwards to the Canaries or Cape Verde.

It may also be a tempting week for those seeking the more unlikely options of trans-Atlantic Tropo. This is very much a long shot, since there are fronts involved which can easily break any ducts.

Moon declination goes positive on Monday and losses are falling with perigee on Friday, so EME conditions will improve as the week progresses.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • GB3UHF now live

  • US Field Day MW & LW

  • National Women in Engineering day

New 70cm beacon GB3UHF went on the air on Wednesday the 15th of June. It is located at the same site as its sister beacon, GB3VHF, at BT Fairseat in Kent, JO01EH. It uses the same type of 3 element Yagi antennas pointing in the same directions as those used on GB3VHF and radiates a similar ERP. It will be very useful to determine the propagation characteristics of VHF and UHF simultaneously. The keying format follows closely to that used by GB3VHF. The support from BT for scientific and VHF /UHF propagation research in this field is very much appreciated. Full details of the new GB3UHF beacon, which operates on 432.430MHz, can be found online at www.gb3vhf.co.uk and reports to the Keeper, G0FDZ, will be most welcome.

Next weekend several amateurs with special permits will be operating on medium and long wave throughout the ARRL’s Field Day, on the 25th and 26th. Operation will be on 185.3kHz and several spot frequencies in the 472kHz band. Details of the participating stations can be found at tinyurl.com/gb2rs-us-mw

This Thursday is National Women in Engineering Day. Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club will be visiting Wellesley House School that day, where some 60 girls will be attending from around six schools. The day will include amateur radio, design and computer technology, and electronic science activities for the girls.

In the Queen’s Birthday honours Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering at the University of Manchester, was awarded an MBE for services to Engineering through Public Engagement. Quoted in the Guardian, she highlighted amateur radio enthusiasts as an inspiration to the next generation of tinkerers.

Also in the Birthday Honours, astronaut Tim Peake, GB1SS, was awarded a CMG for services to space research and scientific education. The award was offered, and accepted, whilst Tim was on the International Space Station. It was thus the first in history to be offered to a person whilst they were not physically on Planet Earth.

Ofcom is changing its online licencing system that supports amateur radio. The change is part of a wider initiative to upgrade its licencing system. New facilities will include the ability for clubs to apply for the first time online. The changes will be phased in, with further features added over time. More information is at http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk

Worthing Radio Events group is running a portable HF station from the grounds of Gratwick House care home in Littlehampton, West Sussex. The station is active today, the 19th, from 1 to 5pm BST, so that ninety one year old Peter Craw, G3CCX, can get on the air for the day. Peter expects to concentrate activity on 18MHz. All contacts are very much welcome.

According to DX-World and The Daily DX, Polish DXer Dom Grzyb, 3Z9DX has received confirmation that North Korea will authorise a 5-day operation. Permission is expected to come at short notice and it is unlikely that there will be any advance publicity. He will only operate SSB and on one band, either 20, 15 or 10m. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the number one most-wanted DXCC entity and Dom managed a brief activation last December, the first for many years.

Sad news now that DXer and DXpeditioner Milt Jensen, N5IA, died on the 9th of June after falling from an amateur radio mast. He was 73. He took part in the XZ1N and XZ0A DXpeditions to Myanmar, and was part of the Ducie Island VP6DX DXpedition team.

The 2015 Best Communication Award from DxCoffee and the DXUniversity has been assigned to K1N, the DXpedition to Navassa, which took place in February 2015. The DXpedition took place after many years’ attempts and the website, www.navassadx.com, got many people involved in the details. The team also made good use of Facebook for news and pictures, and sent some tweets. Team member Glenn Johnson, W0GJ spoke about the DXpedition at the 2015 RSGB Convention and RSGB Members can watch a video of his talk online in the video archive.

Former lightship Planet, home to the special callsign GB2LBL, was the last manned lightship in the UK. Now permanently moored in Liverpool, the owner, Alan Roberts, together with the Marine Radio Museum Society, reports she is in financial distress. They have set up an information page, which also solicits donations, at www.chuffed/project/savetheplanetliverpool

Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon aspires to establish an amateur radio station on the site, similar to GB2IWM at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airfield. Rather than a radio club, its primary mission will be the collection, restoration, exhibition and display to the public of historic radio communication equipment, in support of the Imperial War Museum. As there is no nearby amateur radio club, Devon DRM Martin Sables, G7NTY is co-ordinating volunteers and would be pleased to hear from anyone who might be able to help. Please contact him via email to drm112@rsgb.org.uk

Finally, we would like to apologise for an incorrect story that crept into last week’s news, caused by an extraordinary mix-up of dates. We apologise to Milton Keynes ARS and anyone else who was affected.

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

Today, the 19th of June, the Newbury Radio Rally takes place at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@nadars.org.uk.

Friday to Sunday sees the Hamtronic Show at Friedrichshafen, Germany. There will be a large number of trade stands plus a huge flea market. Many IARU Member Societies have stands in the main hall. Lectures take place each day, some in English. There will be a large RSGB book stall. Details are online at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de

Sunday the 26th of June sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. The venue has car parking and disabled facilities. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with under 14s free. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall, There is catering on site. More details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098 or by email to rallymanager@westrally.org.uk.

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

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

3B8/M0RCX is active from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049, in a family type DXpedition. He will be on the air until the 14th of July. QSL via EB7DX or EQSL.

The Lofoten Islands, EU-076 are on the air courtesy of LA/DL5RMH with a holiday-style operation out of a camper van until the 25th. QSL to home callsign or via the bureau.

RC1M, RV1CC and UA1QV are on the air as RV1CC/P and RC1MP/P from the island of Kashin, EU-102, until the 23rd. Activity is on 40 to 15m. QSL direct or via the bureau.

Steve, NY3B will be active from Saint Lucia Island, IOTA NA-108 from 22 June to 4 July as J6/NY3B. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m SSB and CW. QSL via LOTW.

Howard, WB4WXE will be active again from Dominica Island, IOTA NA-101, as J79XE from 22 June to 11 July. He will operate on 40 to 6m with priority given to 6m. QSL via home call.

Wolfgang, DK1HW will be active from Safari, also known as Mushimasgali Island, Mushimas Migili Reef, in the Maldives, AS-013, from 20 to 28 June. His callsign will be 8Q7HW and activity is on the HF bands in CW, SSB, and PSK31. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

From Friday to Sunday members of the South Tyneside Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB2SJ at Souter Lighthouse for the second part of museums weekend. SJ were the original Trinity House call letters for the lighthouse. All visitors are welcome.

Cambridge & District ARS will be operating special event station GB1CMT at the Cambridge Museum of Technology from 11am to 5pm next Saturday.

Next Saturday Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society will put GB4FMG on the air for Gloucester Folk Museum in Gloucester. 

GB0APS will be on the air next Saturday and Sunday from Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air. Activity will be from noon to 5pm from Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

Also active next Saturday and Sunday for International Museums on the Air will be GB2FDH. It will be on the air from the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre, 121 Radcliffe Road, Bolton BL2 1NU.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz trophy finishes its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest concludes its 48 hour run today. It is CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, with the exchange being signal report and your age, for which YL operators send 00.

Today, the Worked All Britain 6m Contest runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC. It is phone only and the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

The UKuG High Band Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 80m Club Championship SSB leg takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday the 50MHz CW contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. This is a VHF Championship event. Using CW only on the 6m band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday is the 70MHz Cumulative #4. Running from 1400 to 1600UTC, all modes are permitted and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, the UKuG 5.7 and 10GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC next Sunday. 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 17th June

This week saw some fantastic six metre propagation, with the band behaving more like 20m. Multi-hop Sporadic-E contacts were made across the Atlantic, as far west as Arizona and south to Texas.

Six metres is a band that can exhibit both VHF and HF qualities, although we'll leave any further Sporadic-E discussion to the VHF section of this report.

As for the rest of HF, the scene has been dominated yet again by unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s extreme ultraviolet image on Thursday showed extensive coronal hole activity and the K index was pushed to six late on Tuesday June 14th and the early hours of Wednesday 15th. This activity had been predicted for last weekend, but the solar plasma arrived a couple of days later.

The solar flux index declined to 87 on Thursday. This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be the range 85-95, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions possible on Friday and next weekend.

Noon-time F2 layer maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are hitting 18.2MHz at times, while twenty metres is remaining open during the night according to the Chilton Digisonde. But the real thrills are the continued Sporadic-E events on the upper HF bands, so make the most them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The second half of last week produced some great openings as Sporadic-E developed along a major summer jet stream. With core speeds above 100 knots it affected much of the usual favoured locations for Sporadic-E over the continent. The southwesterly jet was disturbed as it crossed the Pyrenees and Alps, to give options around the compass for many stations.

There were also some notable trans-Atlantic paths using the waving jet stream flow to the west to give the necessary stopping off points for multi-hop paths to the USA and Caribbean. There will still be some jet stream activity over Europe this week, but the flow will be weaker and therefore any Sporadic-E produced may be more fleeting; so not such a good week.

The prospects for Tropo are marginal, with a weak ridge of high pressure to the west and a slack flow over the country. These patterns normally produce some limited Tropo overnight and around dawn, but these are often short-lived, since in the summer, the temperature inversion soon breaks down once the sun gets up. Keep an eye for GHz bands rain scatter if showers break out.

With the Moon at lowest declination on Tuesday and losses still high, EME will be poor this week with short moon windows, so maybe it’s time to look at some satellite operation.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Legacy Fund

  • Exercise Blue Ham

  • Yorkshire 6m newsreaders needed


The RSGB Legacy Fund exists due to the generosity of donors and the Legacy Sub-Committee works with the Board to consider and recommend proposals for its use. The Fund currently stands at about £170,000 and it provides an excellent opportunity to support innovation and development. Its scope for proposals is deliberately wide with the highest priority given to proposals focused on taking our hobby forward. There are currently four trustees and the RSGB would like to make one further appointment. The term of office for trustees is three years with a two term maximum. Most work is conducted by email and Skype. The RSGB would like to hear from Members who would be interested in serving. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is currently Chairman of the sub-committee and would welcome informal discussion, initially via email to president@rsgb.org.uk Applications by CV should arrive with the General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm@rsgb.org.uk by the 31st of August 2016.

On the 18th and 19th of June the Air Cadet Organisation will be organising and running a military style national radio exercise named ‘Exercise Blue Ham’. This will be one of the many events the organisation is holding during 2016 and 2717 to mark the 75th Anniversary of its formation. Amateur radio operators are invited to take part with the cadets. The exercise will take place on the MOD 5MHz, or 60m band, and a significant part of the exercise will be on the section of the band that amateurs are authorised to use. The Cadet stations will operate from noon on the 17th until noon on the 18th on specific frequencies within the band. These frequencies will be published live on the internet as the exercise is in progress and amateurs are welcome to check the exercise website and call in, but only on the amateur band frequencies they are authorised to use. Details are at www.alphacharlie.org.uk/blueham.

Additional GB2RS readers for the 50MHz service in Yorkshire are urgently needed. Any RSGB Member considering this role must be able to access GB3WY. If you think this is a voluntary role you would be interested in, please contact the GB2RS Manager, Ken, G3VBA, by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

Jim Bacon, G3YLA gave an interview to the Paul Hudson Weather Show regarding tropospheric propagation. It will be broadcast over the weekend and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days afterwards. Broadcasts today, the 12th, are at 12 noon on Radio York and Radio Leeds and 1pm on Radio Sheffield. Then, on Monday, the show is at 6pm on Radio Lincolnshire.

Milton Keynes ARS will celebrate 100 years since Alan Turing's birth with a series of special events using the GB2AMT, standing for Alan Mathison Turing. On the 16th and 17th of June, they will be receiving multiple Enigma transmissions using CW from GCHQ's tent at the Cheltenham Science Festival. A special NoV has been issued by Ofcom for this occasion, allowing the encrypted transmission to take place. GCHQ will be transmitting using the callsign GB5AMT and MKARS will be receiving this particular transmission using the GB2BP callsign. They will be using at least 2 or 3 receiving stations, in order to more closely imitate reception conditions as they were during the war. The messages received by each station will then be compared and collated at a central point and then fed into the Bombe machine in Block B at Bletchley Park. This part of the event will be transmitted by video link to Cheltenham, and the decoded message will then be sent back to Cheltenham using Twitter.

Misko, YT7MPB will give a tutorial lecture on amateur radio communications, related software & hardware, and computer networks in education during the International Science Conference Computer Networks on the 14th to 17th of June in Poland.

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

Today, the 12th of June, the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also today, the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

South Lancs Summer Rally will take place on the 18th of June at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. The venue has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors open at 9am with traders entering from 7.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. There is a licensed bar and catering on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

The 29th Newbury Radio Rally will take place on the 19th of June at Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. There will be a talk-in station operating on S22. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Admission is £2.50 and doors open at 9am. Car boot pitches cost £12.50 and sellers have access at 8am. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a flea market and special interest groups plus a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air. There are catering facilities on site. A raffle will be held during the event. Details from rally@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.

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

John, W5JON/V47JA will be active from Calypso Bay, St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-104, as V47JA from the 14th of June to the 15th of July. He will work the 160 to 6m bands, including 60m, using SSB. Send QSL cards to W5JON direct or via Logbook of the World. He is not accepting bureau QSLs.

Kurt, DL9FBF will be active holiday-style from Style in the Inner Hebrides, EU-008, until the 24th as MM/DL9FBF on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB, running 100W. QSL via DL9FBF either direct or via the bureau.

Bengt, SM7EQL will be operating from Crete, EU-015, until the 16th, signing SV9/homecall on the 30 to 10m bands. QSL via SM6JSM either direct or via the bureau

The North Eastern Contest Gang will be activating Saaremaa Island, which is IOTA reference EU-034, until the 17th. They will be using the callsign ES0UG, mainly on 6m, 4m, and 2m, but also a bit on HF. Following this, they are going to participate in the IARU 6m Contest on the 18th and 19th as LY2AAM from KO23. QSL for LY2AAM via DL3BQA.

Fred, PA1FJ is on the air as SV8/PA1FJ/p until the 24th from Samos, EU-049, with a QRP rig on HF using CW and SSB. QSL via PA1FJ via the bureau.

Giovanni, IU2HDO is currently active from Favigana Island, which is IOTA reference EU-054, until the 1st of July as IF9/IU2HDO.

Now the special event news

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands until the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER today, the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR today, the 12th, to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BM from The Bay Museum, Western Esplanade, Canvey Island, SS8 0AY on the 19th of June.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB2DD from Stifford Pumping Station on the 18th of June.

GB2CM will be on the air on the 19th from Thames Water STW, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ. Operating from 10.30am to 4pm, admittance to the museum is £8.

On the 18th and 19th, Stockton and District ARC will be taking part in Museums on the Air from Hartlepool Heugh Gun Battery, operating GB0HGB using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m.

During June Mid Sussex ARS will celebrate its 50th anniversary using the ex-President’s callsign, G5RV, on the 17th of June from 7.30pm at the Jack and Jill Windmills.

Now the contest news

The French DDFM 6m contest finishes its 24 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 12th. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

The second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC today, the 12th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. The 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest ends its 30 hour run at 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

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

Next weekend the 50MHz trophy runs from 1400UTC on the 18th to 1400UTC on the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours on the 18th and 19th. Its CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands with the exchange being signal report and your age, YL operators send 00.

On the 19th there are two events of note. The first is the Worked All Britain 6m Contest, which runs for six hours from 0900 to 1500UTC, phone only. The exchange for that one is signal report, serial number and WAB square. The second is the UKuG High Band Contest that runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands.

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

This week saw mixed HF propagation conditions. We were right to predict a geomagnetic disturbance for last weekend, although the plasma hit the Earth right at the end of National Field Day. This led to widespread aurora as the K index hit five and then six.

Propagation during field day was lacklustre due to a lack of sunspots and the seasonal doldrums. But there has been some decent propagation and excellent DX this week. Andy, M0NKR reports working 9Y4D in Trinidad on 6m, possibly via multi-hop Sporadic E, and XR0YS Easter Island on 10m, which, after careful examination, was most likely F layer propagation.

This week the solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 85-95, although on Thursday there was only one sunspot group visible.

Geomagnetic disturbances due to coronal hole activity are predicted to remain an issue this weekend, with the K index possibly increasing to four. Next week may also remain unsettled, with the K index predicted to hit five on Friday the 17th.

We are now entering the period for six metre summer solstice short path propagation when signals from Asia may be heard in Europe from over the North Pole. Stations equipped with six metres are encouraged to get on the band as this, plus multi-hop Sporadic E, can bring some surprises.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Propagation folk lore has the first week in June high on the list of Sporadic-E activity. Last week, we had some fine Sporadic-E, some excellent Tropo to the North and GHz-band rain scatter to the near continent. The northerly Tropo coupled signals into the aurora giving some remarkable mixed mode DX for the lucky few.

Next week, we may struggle to achieve any Tropo of note, as low pressure is due to move into the British Isles. This will bring showery weather ending the Tropo spell over the North Sea.

A new high to the southwest late in the week may allow paths to the south across Biscay and down past Portugal to the west coast of North Africa.

There should be plenty of opportunities for Sporadic-E during next week when weather elements are favourable. The principal elements are jet streams, and it is likely that these will be located over the near continent as the weather turns unsettled.

This could bring propagation towards the Balkans and round through Italy to Iberia. Remember that there are usually two main periods of activity, late morning and early evening, but very active events can last for much of the day.

Daily jet stream forecast charts and Sporadic-E blog are uploaded daily on the RSGB website Forums.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th June 2016

The news headlines:

  • Band plans updated

  • Hi-Impact balloon going up

  • RSGB Convention news

Amateurs are advised that updates to a number of band plans are now in effect in the UK and across IARU Region 1 as of the 1st of June. The changes to 80m, 30m and VHF provide for greater flexibility for narrow band digital modes. The new version also includes some editorial updates in other bands. Full details can be found on the RSGB website at http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/

On the 9th of June, a team from Hi-Impact, including DRM61, Mark, MW1MDH, will be launching a High Altitude Balloon from a site in Welshpool. It will carry a HABduino as part of a project with schools in the area. Mark is asking all amateurs and SWLs, if they would help track this flight and feed the data back into Habitat, the web based HAB tracker, http://tracker.habhub.org. The launch will take place around 11.30am and the HABduino will be transmitting on the 434.650MHz, RTTY, 50 Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 data bits, no parity, 2 stop bits. The callsign to look for is BARNABY.

If you weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of the lectures were recorded and are being made available to Members via the RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming John Rogers, M0JAV who will speak about Diagnosing and Reporting RFI problems. He will outline the new EMC assisted diagnosis / reporting process and will explain what is needed for Ofcom to consider investigating RFI cases. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

A 2m signal from the UK was heard across the Atlantic on the 2nd of May. It had been reflected off the structure of the International Space Station. Following two weeks of preparation, Tim, G4LOH, in Cornwall and Roger, VE1SKY, in Nova Scotia attempted a FSK441 contact. With a mutual window of less than 1 minute, VE1SKY was able to copy G4LOH at a distance of 4441km. This was the first signal received via ISS-bounce from Europe to North America, and the first intentional signal heard via ISS reflection in any direction across the North or South Atlantic.

Thanks to the Brazilian Amateur Radio League (LABRE) radio amateurs who will visit Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be able to get on the air easily. During August and September any foreign amateur will be able to operate in Brazil, regardless of whether there is a reciprocal agreement. No IARP or CEPT licence is necessary and no fees are required. You just need to send a scan of your passport identification pages and licence, a list of the cities you intend to operate in and when, plus an email address, to executiva@labre.org.br.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 9th of June from 10am to 2pm. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety. More details are online at www.npl.co.uk/time

Registration is open for the 3rd International Air Ambulance activity, a 9-day special event. The 2016 dates are the 19th to the 27th of September. To register your station, go to tinyurl.com/2016-iaw

The marine buoy ZL1SIX with its low powered transmission on the 30m band is now floating around the Pacific Ocean. Bob, ZL1RS reports that the solar powered buoy is transmitting the weak signal WSPR and JT9 modes on the 30m band. The yacht Windflower launched the buoy in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean with its last location being south of Fiji and Tonga. Data sent hourly shows the buoy travelling at about 1.8km per hour in a north-nor-east direction. More details, including tracking progress being mapped, are online at www.qsl.net/zl1rs/oceanfloater.html

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

This weekend, the 4th and 5th of June, the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takes place at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as camping and caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation as well as a special event station. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free. There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. There is a room for talks and demonstrations. More information from Dave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Today, the 5th, the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Convention takes place in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. There will be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also take place. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Also on the 5th, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be in the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincs PE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area. Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBR on 0794 630 2815.

On the 11th of June Martin Lynch is celebrating his 60th birthday at ML&S, Wessex House, Drake Avenue, Staines, Middlesex TW18 2AP. Customers old and new are invited, with the event co-hosted by Yaesu, Icom & Kenwood. There will be plenty of refreshments with hot & cold drinks.

On the 12th of June the 15th Junction 28 Rally will be held at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, DE55 7BD. The venue has car parking available and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and a raffle will take place, there is also a licensed bar. More information from Anya Lawrence on 01159 307 322.

Also on the 12th, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. There will be a talk in station on S22 and car parking is available on site. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £2. There will be an RSGB bookstall, a car boot area and a Bring and Buy. Special interest groups will be attending. There is a licensed bar and catering available. An HF station running GB4SWR will be on the air. Details from Kevin, G8MXV, 0771 004 6846.

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

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

On the air until the 15th of June, Kevin, K6TOP will be in the British Virgin Islands, IOTA reference NA-023, with the callsign VP2V/K6TOP. Find him on the 10 to 40m bands working CW in his spare time. Send QSLs via Logbook of the World.

John, 2M0JMN, is in the Cayman Islands, NA-016, operating as ZF2MN until the 17th of June. He will be operating holiday-style on the HF bands. Send QSL cards via M0OXO.

Waldi, SP7IDX, is active from Vannoya Island, EU-046, as LA/SP7IDX until the 10th of June. Send QSLs to his home callsign, via the Bureau, direct, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

Gerard, F6CKD is on the air from French Guiana until the 15th of June 1th as FY/F6CKD. He is mainly on 20 and 17 metres. Send QSLs via F6CKD.

Jonathan, KK7PW is on the air as 5X1O from Uganda until the 8th of July. Activity is on 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using 5 watts. QSL via EA5GL.

Hans, DF5UG is on the air as 9M2QQ from Segamat in West Malaysia until the 15th of June. Activity is mainly on 20 metres using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Jeff, K5WE is on the air as XR0YS from Easter Island, SA-001, until the 8th of June. Activity is on 80 to 6 metres using mostly CW and some RTTY. He may be active on 160 metres depending on local conditions. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Radio amateurs of the ARI Fidenza group will operate a radio station located close to the keel of the yacht Elettra, Marconi’s floating laboratory. Using the callsign IY4EC, the station will be on the air today, the 5th, as part of the Museum Ships event.

Chertsey Radio Club has the extended use of GB9LIZ until the end of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. The club has been operating most weekends on HF from Laleham Park and during the week using DMR modes.

Thurrock Acorns ARC will operate GB90QEB on the 8th of June to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday Tea Party being held at Tilbury Riverside Project from 2 to 4pm.

Members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club will operate GB90QB for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations using SSB and data on the HF bands from the 9th to the 13th of June. Details are on QRZ.com. 

Coulsden ATS will operate GB2ER over the weekend of the 10th to the 12th of June.

Crystal Palace Radio & Electronics Club will be running GB6CPR on the 12th of June to celebrate the 60th anniversary year since their foundation. Operation will be on the HF and VHF bands at 21 Overhill Way, Beckenham, Kent and will coincide with a street party in the same road. The station will be accessible to the public.

Now the contest news

The CW National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 5th, on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia NETwork Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 5th. The SEANET area encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is a triangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North East and Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer Es Contest ends its 24 hours at 1300UTC today, the 5th. 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.

The UK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and 9cm today, the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships data leg will take place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Next weekend, from 1600UTC on the 11th to 1600UTC on the 12th, the French DDFM 6m contest takes place. Using SSB, CW and FM the exchange is signal report, serial number and the 4-digit locator. Multipliers are French Départments and French Locator squares.

On the 12th the second 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. If you are intending to take part in the 3 watt section of the 2m Backpackers you might like to carry on for an additional three hours at the end to do the full seven hours of the Practical Wireless event. That 2m Low Power Contest takes place from 0900 to 1600UTC. The maximum power in this one is 3 watts and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The annual IARU ATV Contest takes place on from 1200UTC on the 11th to 1800UTC on the 12th. The contest includes all bands from 432MHz up and additionally the BATC will run an ATV Contest on 71MHz and 146MHz at the same time. Full details and links to the log sheets are at tinyurl.com/iaru-atv-16

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

The solar flux index declined further this week to the mid 80s. A quick look at an image of the sun from the Solar Dynamics Observatory on solarham.net shows why. On Thursday two sunspot groups were rotating out of sight on the sun’s limb, leaving a pretty blank disk. As a result NOAA predicts the solar flux index will diminish to 75-80 for the whole of next week.

This week has been quieter geomagnetically, with a maximum K index of three and a low of one. As we mentioned in the last report, this week may start off very unsettled with a K index up to five this weekend due to a geo-effective recurring coronal hole on the sun's surface. After a respite mid week, next weekend may also become unsettled.

The highlight this week has been prolonged Sporadic-E openings on the upper HF bands. These have brought lengthy short-skip openings on 20m and up and hopefully may continue. Rare, but relatively local, DX has included both Monaco and San Marino on 10 metres.

If you are fairly new to the hobby look around 28.500MHz for signals around mid-morning, mid to late afternoon and early evening. Also look for FM signals around 29.600MHz. Beacon hunters should look between 28.125 and 28.325MHz.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather pattern is fairly slow moving and although we start with high pressure, this will get displaced to the east. This could still provide some Tropo from northern Britain across to southern Scandinavia. Low pressure approaching from the Atlantic will introduce some showery weather with warmer and more humid southerly winds. If these showers are heavy and thundery they could produce good rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

As we said earlier, we’ve had a good start to this year for Sporadic-E with many days of European Sporadic-E on 50MHz upwards to 144MHz. Tea time on the 30th produced strong 144MHz signals from YU1EV and others, copied from East Anglia right over to West Wales and the Isle of Man.

Disturbed weather patterns with strong jet streams are what is required for Sporadic-E, but the next week is looking quieter as the jet stream migrates to the northern parts of Europe. This could mean paths to Scandinavia more often than southern Europe as in recent weeks. If you do one thing, check the VHF bands for Sporadic-E around tea time, before eating, and you’ll catch most of what develops.

With high declination, the Moon is favourably placed for EME, with low losses early in the week.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th May 2016

Thenews headlines:

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Transatlantic VHF digital beacon

  • Repeater insurance renewals

Ifyou weren’t able to visit the RSGB Convention in 2015, some of thelectures were recorded and are being made available to Members viathe RSGB website. Go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward towelcoming Jeff, VY2ZM/K1ZM, who lives with his wife, Miriam on PrinceEdward Island. He is both a well-known contester and a lowband DXerwith a special interest in 160m. He participates in most of the majorcontests each season. He will be speaking on Contesting from VY2ZM inthe Canadian Maritimes. Booking information can be found atwww.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo tobook.

Onthe 19th of May, antennas were erected and the VHF SDR turned on toinaugurate the VO1FN/b Transatlantic VHF Digital Beacon ReceiverSite. This is a joint project sponsored in part by the Society ofNewfoundland Radio Amateurs, Baccalieu Amateur Radio Club and theUpper Trinity Amateur Radio Club. The VHF Digital Receive site is nowoperational and ready for experimentation by beacon operators andwell-equipped VHF stations in Europe. The antennas, two InnovAntenna5 element LFA Q High Gain VHF Yagis, can be rotated to point tostations that are located in southern regions of Europe.

Repeaterkeepers are reminded that their repeater insurance is due. Those whohave yet to renew should do so via the RSGB website. Renewals havebeen reduced to £10 per repeater callsign.

AnInternational Space Station radio contact has been planned for Jeff,KD5TVQ with participants at a school in Ontario, Canada. The event isscheduled for Monday the 30th of May at approximately 1901UTC. Thecontact will be a telebridge contact operated by IK1SLD in northernItaly. The downlink signals should be audible over parts of Europe.Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800MHz narrowbandFM.

TheDayton Hamvention is over for another year. Around 25,000 visitorswere at the show, including the RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF.He was interviewed along with Chip Margelli, K7JA; A71EZ of the QatarAmateur Radio Society and Vicki Mate, K8VGM of the 3905 Century Clubfor the Amateur Radio Newsline report.

Nigel,G3TXF will be at the helm of the Kosovo Amateur Radio Associationstation Z60A during the CQ WPX CW contest this weekend. TheAssociation is the newest International Amateur Radio Union membersociety. The operation will be in preparation for their debut as anofficial headquarters station for the IARU HF Championship on the 9thand 10th of July when Z60A will operate from multiple stations aroundthe country.

Aradio relic from the Second World War has just come out of theshadows. It’s a wireless station just outside Norwich that operatedin obscurity, its access hidden behind a fake bookcase. The stationalso had a nearby escape tunnel. Civilian volunteers were dispatchedthere to transmit and receive messages for the Army, tradinginformation to help ward off an invasion. The station, which finallycame to public light in 2012, was recently granted HeritageProtection by Historic England. It is known as the Pinebanks stationand is located at Thorpe St Andrews near Norwich, one of threeunderground wireless stations similarly protected.

MidlandARS will be celebrating the 85th anniversary of the society in June.They are inviting ex members and anyone else who is interested to theshack for an exhibition of the club’s history and a buffet on the8th of June. If any ex members have any memorabilia that could beborrowed for the exhibition, please contact Norman, G8BHE on 0780 8078003.

Affiliatedamateur radio clubs need to be getting information together for thenext RSGB Yearbook and should recently have received a letter to thiseffect. Information such as contact details, meeting places andexamination information is being collected. The deadline forsubmitting information on the club is 6 June.

GB3WWand GB3WG have recently been repaired and upgraded. These areco-located at 370m ASL on a 180ft mast above Port Talbot. GB3WG haschanged frequency to RU70, wide split, on 430.875 and 434.475MHz with94.8Hz CTCSS. The repeater keeper, John, GW4FOI would appreciatereports from any and all areas.

IARURegion 1 has produced an updated VHF Managers’ Handbook. Allrelevant decisions of the IARU R1 Conference 2014 in Varna Bulgariahave been taken into account as well as recommendations proposed inthe Vienna meeting 2016. A completely new version of the VHF handbookwill be published after the 2017 Conference in Munich. To downloadyour copy, go to www.iaru-r1.org

Andnow for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Wehave no details of any rallies taking place today, the 29th.

Onthe 4th and 5th of June the Sussex Electronics and Radio Fair takesplace at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne, EastSussex BN21 2UF. The venue has free car parking as well as campingand caravanning on site and there are disabled facilities. A talk-instation will be in operation as well as a special event station.Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3, with children free.There will be indoor/outdoor trade stands and catering on site. Therewill be a room for talks and demonstrations. More information fromDave, G8PUO on 07807 074 538.

Onthe 5th of June the Central Scotland Amateur Radio Mini Conventionwill be held in Crofthead Community Education Centre, Templar Rise,Dedridge, Livingston EH54 6DG. There is car parking on site and thevenue has disabled facilities. Doors open at 10am, with disabledvisitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Admission is £4. Therewill be trade stands, a flea market, special interest groups, an RSGBbookstall and lectures during the event. A raffle will also takeplace. Details from John, MM0JRR, 01506 437 908.

Alsoon the 5th of June, the Spalding & District ARS Rally will be inthe Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, LincsPE11 2EF. The venue has free car parking and talk-in is on S22. Doorsopen at 10am. There will be trade stands and outside car boot area.Catering will be available on site. More information from John, G4NBRon 0794 630 2815.

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

Andnow the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Kevin,K6TOP is on the air as VP2V/K6TOP from Tortola, IOTA referenceNA-023, in the British Virgin Islands. He will be active until the15th of June while on holiday. Operation is on the 40, 20, 15 and 10mbands using mostly CW. QSL via NR6M.

Stefan,DF8HS will be active from Fehmarn Island, EU-128, from the 6th ofJune until the 4th of July. QSL via the bureau.

Gil,F4FET will be active as F4FET/p from Fort Brescou, EU-148, on the 3rdto the 5th of June. He will operate SSB on the 40 to 6m bands. QSLvia his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

John,K9EL will be active as FS/K9E from St Martin, NA-105, from the 5th tothe 23rd of June. He will be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB andRTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau, OQRS onClub Log, LoTW and eQSL.

Iain,MM0TFU will be active holiday style as MM0TFU/p from Blackwaterfoot,Isle of Arran, EU-123, from the 1st to the 14th of June. QSL via LoTWor direct to his home callsign.

Nowthe contest news

Today,Sunday the 29th, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serialnumber and locator.

TheCW World Wide WPX CW contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359 tonight onthe 29th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal reportand serial number.

OnTuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC.Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

TheCW National Field Day takes place over the weekend the 4th and 5th ofJune. Running from 1500 to 1500UTC on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

Alsoover the weekend of the 4th and 5th, the South East Asia NETworkContest takes place for 24 hours from 1200 to 1200UTC. The SEANETarea encompasses CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, which is atriangle extending from India in the West to Japan in the North Eastand Australia in the South East. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, theexchange is signal report and serial number.

TheUK Six Metre Group’s annual Summer E’s Contest takes place for 24hours on the same weekend, which was chosen to coincide with the peakof the Sporadic-E season. You don’t need to be a member of UKSMG toparticipate or enter. Running from 1300 to 1300 on the 5th, theexchange is signal report, serial number, locator and membershipnumber if you have one.

TheUK Microwave Group is holding another Low Band contest on 23, 13 and9cm on the 5th. Running from 1000 to 1400UTC on the 1.3, 2.3 and3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number andlocator.

Nowthe radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO onFriday 27th May.

Thispast week was more settled, geomagnetically, with the K indexgenerally staying around zero or one. This was thanks to a lack ofsolar coronal hole activity and the associated high-speed solar windstreams. The solar flux index declined from the high to mid 90s aslarge sunspot 2546 rotated out of view. This has left a rathersparse-looking solar disk with only one sunspot group visible. As aresult the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90 in thecoming week. NOAA predicts the geomagnetic K index rising again to anunsettled four on Monday and Tuesday.

Lookingfurther ahead it doesn't look good for next weekend’s HF CWNational Field Day as plasma from a recurring solar coronal holecould push the K index up to five. This could see the HF bands becomenoisy and maximum usable frequencies fall away.

Apartfrom occasional short-skip Sporadic-E openings on 10 and 15m, thehighest ‘money’ band for Field Day is predicted to be 20m, with15m perhaps struggling to open to DX. Forty metres may giveconsistent openings around Europe, with DX being workable at night.Eighty metres may give good openings around Europe after dark, but isunlikely to yield much DX.

Andnow the VHF and up propagation news.

Nextweek sees high pressure between Iceland and Scotland with lowpressure over the near continent. This will mean a north-easterlyflow of air from the North Sea. In the summer months, this can leadto extensive mist and sea fog along eastern coasts and give some goodTropo conditions from East Anglia to Aberdeen and Lerwick.

Thistype of Tropo depends upon warm moist air blowing off the continentand out across the cool North Sea to give longer DX paths to Denmark,for example. However, with a north-easterly wind it usually means drycool air gets folded into the mix, and I suspect we may be limited topaths up and down the east coast.

Lastweek saw some excellent Sporadic-E openings on 6 and 4 metres.Conditions on Wednesday extended from Scandinavia round to theBalkans and central Mediterranean.

Fornext week it's not a good sign that there seem to be fewsuitably-placed jet streams, often involved with Sporadic-Eformation. They are mostly located over Spain and the Mediterraneanand so a bit too far away.

EMEconditions will improve next week with increasing declination and themoon at perigee on Friday.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd May 2016

The news headlines:

  • G3KMA in CQ DX Hall of Fame

  • Distance Learning course news

  • Navassa DXpedition video online

The RSGB is delighted that Roger Balister, G3KMA is one of the 2016 inductees in the CQ DX Hall of Fame. As manager of the Islands on the Air programme since 1985, Roger has seen IOTA grow from a few hundred early participants to more than 10,000 today, making it one of the most popular award programmes in amateur radio. The CQ DX and Contest Halls of Fame honours those amateurs who not only excel in personal performance in these major areas of amateur radio but who also ‘give back’ to the hobby in outstanding ways.

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning team are now enrolling for their next course that will run from early July to December. The course has weekly work packages to guide students through the RSGB textbook with regular revision questions to check on progress. There are no fees to pay but students pay a deposit of £30 that is refunded to active students in time to pay for the exam. Exams can be arranged at any RSGB registered centre. The course has been running for nearly five years and has had almost 500 passes so far. Full details can be obtained from Steve, G0FUW, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

Glenn Johnson, W0GJ was a member of the K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island, which was voted DXpedition of the Year 2015. It was a once-in-32-year DXpedition and the number one Most Wanted Entity in Europe. In October 2015, he was the keynote speaker at the RSGB Convention. If you weren’t able to visit the Convention to hear the lecture, RSGB Members can go to www.rsgb.org/video and click the RSGB 2015 Convention link. In 2016, the Convention is looking forward to welcoming Mike, K9AJ from the Intrepid DX Group DXpedition to the remote British territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands earlier this year. He will describe the challenges, hardships and problems they faced and the experience of operating round-the-clock from some of the wildest parts of the planet in order to make around 140,000 contacts. Booking information can be found at www.rsgb.org/convention where you can click on the Convention logo to book.

Amateurs are advised that updates to a small number of band plans will occur on the 1st of June. This follows approval of proposals agreed at the recent IARU Region 1 Interim meeting. The updates to 80m, 30m and VHF will provide greater flexibility for narrowband modes. The RSGB website and RadCom will be updated to carry details in due course.

A team of five Australian radio amateurs will activate Norfolk Island, IOTA reference OC-005, until the 31st of May to coincide with the Wireless Institute of Australia 2016 Annual General Meeting and Conference, also being held on Norfolk Island. The VK9NT crew plans to operate on the 160 to 10m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY. Activity on RTTY will be confined to just a couple of bands to maximise all-time new ones. The WIA Commemorative Station, VI9ANZAC, also will be active from Norfolk Island over the AGM weekend.

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced another of its stunning portraits of Mars. The red planet and Earth are nearing what is called opposition, when their orbits line them up with the Sun and put them very close to each other. This occurs every 780 days or so. The actual moment of opposition is today, the 22nd at 1110UTC; the two planets' closest approach follows just a few days later on the 30th. There will be just 75 million kilometres between the two planets on that day. Astronomers with smaller telescopes than Hubble will be grabbing the chance to view Mars in the week ahead. The planetary alignment means the Red Planet's disc, as well as being larger in the sky than usual, is also fully illuminated. The images can be found on the www.nasa.gov website.

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

Today, the 22nd, the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.org.

Next weekend, on the 28th, it’s the Waters and Stanton Open Day at 22 Main Road, Hockley SS5 4QS. Doors will be open from 10am to 4pm with free refreshments for visitors. Reps from the major manufacturers will be in attendance as well as local clubs. The presentation of the Region 12 Club of the Year plaque will take place during the day. There will be several talks including Nigel Booth, M0CVO on antennas and Murray Niman, on 5G Future Telecoms and amateur radio. A charity raffle with good prizes in aid of the British Wireless for the Blind Association will also be held.

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

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

Merv, N6NO is using the callsign VK9OL while working from Lord Howe Island, OC-004. He will be there until the 29th. He is using mainly CW and focusing on the WARC bands. QSL direct to N6NO.

John, AI6Y will be on the air as E51XYZ from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, from the 23rd to the 28th of May. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via operator’s instructions. Frank, VK3ADT is also on the air as E51ADT from Rarotonga until the 27th. QSL to his home callsign.

Olli, OH0XX will be on the air as PZ50X in Surinam until the 1st of June. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using mainly CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Laci, HA0HW will be on the air as SW8WW from Thassos Island, IOTA EU-174, from the 26th of May to the 6th of June. Activity will be on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest as a Single Op All Band entry. QSL to his home callsign.

Randy, WW6RG will be transmitting as VQ9RA from Diego Garcia, IOTA AF-006, from the 25th to 30th of May. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

The Radio Club of Haïti is activating the special callsign 4V1G until the 30th of August to commemorate the three generals of their independence.

On the 28th and 29th of May, members of the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club will put GB2MAC on the air from the Marble Arch Caves Geopark in County Fermanagh. This is part of European Geoparks Week. They will be operating SSB on all the HF bands. Send QSL cards via LoTW, eQSL and Bureau.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 22nd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 29th the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, running for 48 hours, is the CW World Wide WPX CW contest. It starts at 0000UTC on the 28th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 20th May.

This week the solar flux index managed to remain mostly above 100, thanks in part to large sunspot number 2546. The region appears to be quite stable and not a likely threat for any significant solar flares. Geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled with the K index hitting four at times and often hovering between two and three. This was due to ongoing coronal hole activity and the associated high speed solar wind streams. This is likely to continue as a coronal hole positioned near the solar equator was threatening to send the K index higher on Friday the 20th.

As we head towards mid summer, heating in the northern hemisphere, coupled with a change in the ionospheric chemistry, will see daytime critical frequencies reduce from their spring highs. We can see this by looking at the noon-time critical frequencies as measured by the Chilton ionosonde near Harwell. In mid April the critical frequency was exceeding 7MHz on good days. This month it is struggling to get past 6MHz. However, night time critical frequencies are remaining higher, which is a signature of summer HF propagation. By June we may see 20 metres remaining open all night.

Contacts via Sporadic-E on 10m should be abundant, but keep an eye on 20m at night as it might throw up a few surprises after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There are conflicting views of the weather story for the next week. However, one common theme in the model outputs is that for brief period we will find a weak ridge of high pressure nearby during the first part of the week. This may produce limited Tropo, especially overnight and in the early mornings. From about mid-week, the high weakens and a slack pressure pattern remains. This will mean a more showery weather type with options for rain scatter on the GHz bands from any heavy thundery showers.

Sporadic-E is always a viable option any day during the summer months from May to August, so it’s worth checking first on 10m for short skip conditions within Europe and then moving up to higher bands as any opening develops. Quite often, the greater ranges are found as each band opens. This is because over time, the Sporadic-E patch will usually slowly descend within the E region, shortening the path length.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is at its lowest on Tuesday so there will be short windows, but losses are decreasing all week as the Moon’s orbit brings it closer to the earth.

Remember that as well as our natural satellite there is always VHF DX potential using the many operational man-made satellites. Look on the AMSAT-UK website for details.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th May 2016

The news headlines:

  • Celebrate the ITU’s founding

  • Monday sees new satellite

  • RSGB thanks for Peake contacts

The International Telecommunication Union will mark the anniversary of its founding on the 17th of May. The ITU was established on that day in 1865. The theme of the 2016 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day will be Information and Communication Technology entrepreneurship for social impact. In conjunction with World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, radio amateurs in Australia will be permitted to use the prefix AX on the 17th.

The Slow Scan Television CubeSat STMSat-1 is planned to deploy from the International Space station on the 16th of May between 1400 and 1500UTC. It is thought to be the first amateur satellite to be built by Elementary school students, who are aged between 5 and 10 years old. It is expected to transmit using the Robot36 SSTV mode on 437.800MHz. Further information is at http://amsat-uk.org/

The final ARISS school contact of the Principia Mission took place on the 9th of May. It was between King’s School, GB1OSM, in Ottery St Mary, Devon and Tim Peake, GB1SS, on the ISS. The RSGB would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to plan and support all of the ten contacts that have taken place since January.

An initial meeting for all those interested in Broadband-Hamnet, a system of digital communications on the amateur microwave bands, will be held on the 22nd of May at Crawley Amateur Radio Club. The organisers hope to attract attendees from across the country. There will be presentations, demonstrations and open discussions. Please contact Ted, G4ELM, via email to BBHN.Event.2016@gmail.com to receive a copy of the agenda and to let him know if you plan to attend.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from tinyurl.com/zh65rb9 This edition features news on the latest 5MHz allocations, a provisional band plan from IARU Region 1 and a cartoon that might bring back a few memories.

The booklet Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur by John, ON4UN and Mark, ON4WW describes the best standards of operating on the amateur bands. Over the last eight years it has been translated into most major languages. The booklet can be found www.hamradio-operating-ethics.org/ and also on the RSGB website. The IARU has now become the custodian of the booklet and will adapt and update it to ensure it remains relevant and current.

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

Today, the 15th, LAMFEST takes place at Elescar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open for traders at 7am. Public access is at 10am and admission is £2. All monies raised will be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Further details from Ian, M0IOD on 0191 604 0255.

The Dayton Hamvention takes place between the 20th and 22nd of May at the Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio, USA. See www.hamvention.org for more information.

On the 21st of May the Rochdale and District ARS Summer Flea Market Indoor Sale will take place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 11am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10.45. The rally finishes around 3pm. Entry is £2.50, with those under 12 free. Further details from Dave, G3RIK on 01706 633 400.

On the 22nd the Black Country Radio Rally Mark 2 will be held in the Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. Doors open at 10am and the admission is £2. A raffle will be drawn at 2pm.

Also on the 22nd, the 33rd Dunstable Downs Radio Club Annual Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. Details at www.ddrcbootsale.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.

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

A group of Australian operators will operate from Norfolk Island, OC-005, using the callsign VK9NT, from the 20th to the 31st of May. They plan to be active on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL manager is VK2CA.

Aaron, VA1AXC will remain on the air from Sable Island, NA-063, as CY0/VA1AXC. Find him on 20m SSB. His QSL info is direct to JE1LET.

Janio, PY4NY is operating from to Fernando de Noronha, SA-003, until the 23rd of May using his PY0NY callsign on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and PSK. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Roly, ZL1BQD is on the air as H44RR from Honiara, IOTA OC-047, and then Munda, IOTA OC-149, until the 25th of May. Activity is on the HF bands using JT65, and possibly including 160 metres using CW as well. QSL direct to home call.

Gerd, DL7VOG is on the air as J68GU from St Lucia, NA-108, until the 22nd of May. Activity is on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, RTTY and PSK. QSL to his home callsign.

The European Collins Collector Association put the station TM5CR on air every Thursdays on 14.263MHz at 3pm and on 7.165MHz on Saturdays at 11am, both local time in Paris. Visitors are welcome to join in the nets.

Now the special event news

Today, the 15th, Coventry ARS will operate GB8OMB from The Old Mill at Baginton near Coventry for Mills on the Air.

Cambridge & District ARC will operate GB0CMW from 10.30am to 4pm today, the 15th, from Cattell's Windmill, Mill Road, Willingham CB24 5UU.

Cray Valley Radio Society will put GB6MW on the air from Meopham Windmill, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA from 10am to 4.30pm today.

Leicester Radio Society will operate GB2WWM from 10am to 6pm today, the 15th, from Wymondham Windmill, Butt Lane, Wymondham LE14 2BU.

To celebrate the World Telecommunication Day on the 17th of May, the special event station 8J1ITU will be on the air from Honshu Island, Japan. Activity continues until the 31st.

Now the contest news

The first of this year’s VHF CW Championship events takes place today, the 15th. The 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 15th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 5th of June. Full details from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

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

Next weekend on the 21st and 22nd the 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday the 22nd, the first 144MHz backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. 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 13th May.

The solar flux index hovered teasingly just below 90 this week, trying to make us believe that we are not heading towards the next sunspot minimum.

There were no significant solar flares, but we did have geomagnetic disturbances, particularly at the beginning of the week. This was due to an ongoing high-speed solar wind stream moving past our planet. The solar wind speed was elevated above 600 kilometres per second with a south-pointing Bz component – meaning it more easily coupled with the Earth's magnetic field. The Kp index hit five on occasions, sparking visible aurora in Northern latitudes.

These are not generally good conditions for long-distance HF contacts, although auroral contacts on the higher HF bands may be possible.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to be in the 90-95 region. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions may continue with this Sunday, the 15th, and next weekend looking the worst.

But enough of the doom and gloom, mid-May should be a good opportunity for Sporadic-E on the upper HF bands, from 20m up.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There was some useful Sporadic-E and Auroral propagation around last week with some Southern and Western British Isles stations working Benin (TY2) via 50MHz multi-hop Sporadic-E, and quite a few Auroral contacts noted on bands up to 144MHz. Next week looks quieter at first with just weak jet streams, but perhaps a stronger and potentially more useful northwesterly jet stream propagating across Scotland into central Europe from midweek to lift hopes later.

With high pressure showing on the charts after the weekend, we could be distracted by Tropo for a while. By the start of this weekend, high pressure will be building across western Britain from Iceland, but being a ‘cold’ high means that any Tropo will be marginal since the low level air below the inversions will be dry and not provide much of a contrast to the dry air above.

The main change during the week is that a ‘warm' high near the Azores will push a ridge towards southern Britain and this time may have moister air associated with it, so offers a chance of better Tropo, especially to the south across Biscay to Spain.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination is declining and losses are increasing, so early next week will be the last chance to work the D44TVD GHz Bands EME DXpedition.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th May 2016

The news headlines:

  • G0FUW appointed RSGB Chairman

  • Final ARISS contact on Monday

  • Exams Standards Committee report released

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Steve Hartley, G0FUW, has been appointed as Chairman of the Board for the coming year. Steve has been an active volunteer for over twenty five years, predominantly in training, and has served on the Board for two and a half years. He has led the introduction of the Youth Committee and the UK's participation in the IARU YOTA activities. Steve is a keen radio constructor and QRP operator.

The final ARISS Schools contact between Kings School, Ottery St Mary, Devon and Tim Peake on the International Space Station has now been confirmed for Monday the 9th of May at 0926UTC, which is 1026BST. It will be a direct contact using callsign GB1OSM operated by The ARISS UK Operations team. The downlink should be audible over Western Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800MHz, narrowband FM.

The first annual report of the RSGB Examination Standards committee has been released. It includes details such as committee membership, results statistics and reports from officers. The report can be found on RSGB website in the Examination Standards Committee pages under Minutes, Papers and Reports.

For those with an interest in World War II history, an auction of a D-Day Museum’s storage is due to take place on the 21st and 22nd of May at the Auction House in Caen, France. Around 800 lots are in the catalogue with items from British troops to French resistance as well as US and German troops. Lots 1 to 418 will be auctioned from 2pm on the 21st, the remaining lots on the 22nd. Public viewing is from the 16th. You’ll find a copy of the catalogue online at tinyurl.com/hdwwgd2

The International Museums Weekends are the 18th and 19th and the 25th and 26th of June. Registration is now open at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Sad news now that long-time newsreader George, GM7GMC became silent key recently. He has been involved with GB2RS news reading for over 25 years, 16 of which he was the sole newsreaders for the Caithness and Orkney area. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

The QTT hour idea has the aim of increasing contacts and friendships between former professional CW operators as well as between the many CW clubs all over the world. The actual QTT Hour is easily remembered and determined by the date in UTC. On the 1st of the month it’s at 0100Z, on the second at 0200Z and so on. The centre of activity frequency will be the same number of kHz from lower band edge. So, on the 17th of the month activity is at 1700Z on 1817, 3517, 7017 and 10117kHz. Full details are at www.vkcw.net/qtt-hour

Today, the 8th of May, there will be no 7127kHz news broadcast from Germany, as both readers are unavailable. News broadcasts will be back to normal on the 15th.

Radio amateurs have been asked to listen out for the SamSat-218D CubeSat in a post on the Hackaday website. The satellite was launched on the 28th of April. SamSat-218D has a Morse beacon on 145.870MHz, which transmits ‘SamSat-218D’. Full details are online at tinyurl.com/hhl9lw8, which also includes details of where to send any reception reports.

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider went into standby mode after an electrical transformer suffered a short circuit at the end of April. A small wild animal, believed to be a weasel, had been gnawing on a power cable. Sadly, the weasel did not survive the event, but the LHC should be back online soon. The power outage came just as the LHC was preparing to resume collecting data.

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

The 35th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place today, the 8th of May, at the SHARE Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland BT92 0EQ. Doors open from 11.15am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A licensed bar and catering will be available on site. Lectures will form part of the day’s activities and there will be a prize draw during the day. Camping is available. More information from Michael, MI5MTC on 0286 862 1436.

Next Sunday, the 15th, LAMFEST takes place at Elescar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open for traders at 7am. Public access is at 10am and admission is £2. All monies raised will be donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Further details from Ian, M0IOD on 0191 604 0255.

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

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

A group of three German operators will be on the air from Jericho in Palestine from the 8th to the 15th of May. They will use the callsign E44QX and be on the 10 to 80m bands, mainly on CW, but also some SSB and RTTY. QSLs will be handled by DF8DX.

Gerd, DL7VOG will be active as FM/DL7VOG on the island of Martinique, NA-107, until the 6th of June. He will make a side trip St Lucia, NA-108, from the 12th to the 22nd, where he has applied for the callsign J68GU. Operation from both locations will be mainly CW and RTTY on all bands from 6 to 80m. QSLs can be applied for via Club Log OQRS.

Uli, DJ9XB will operate holiday style as SV9/DJ9XB from the island of Crete, EU-105, from the 10th to the 20th of May. He will be on all bands 40m to 6m with the focus on 6m. QSL to the home call.

Guenter, DL3NBI is on the air as IA5/DL3NBI from Isola del Giglio, IOTA EU-028, until the 13th of May. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL direct to home call.

TG9IIN is on the air as YN3/TG9IIN from Leon in Nicaragua until the end of July. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB, RTTY, PSK and JT65. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

Coventry ARS will operate GB8OMB from The Old Mill at Baginton near Coventry on the 14th and 15th of May for Mills on the Air.

Cambridge & District ARC will operate GB0CMW from 10.30am to 4pm on the 14th and 14th from Cattell's Windmill, Mill Road, Willingham CB24 5UU. The Mill has external seating and tea room, the radio operating location is within the Mill, which is accessed via steps.

Cray Valley Radio Society will put GB6MW on the air from Meopham Windmill, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0QA from 10am to 4.30pm on the 15th.

Leicester Radio Society will operate GB2WWM from 10am to 6pm on the 14th and 15th from Wymondham Windmill, Butt Lane, Wymondham LE14 2BU. There is a tea room serving snacks and main meals plus assortment of small shops.

GB1MAC will be on the air on various dates between the 13th of May and the 9th of June with Merseyside Air Cadets for the 75th anniversary. The station will be operated by licensed cadets and staff of Merseyside Wing, Air Training Corps.

Now the contest news

The 432MHz-248GHz Trophy ends its 24 hour run at 1400 today, the 8th. Using the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest ends its 24 hours at midday today, the 8th. There are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. Italians send a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, while non-Italians send a signal report plus serial number. Check the rules for scoring.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands today, the 8th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 8th, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB only, exchange a signal report and serial number. EIs and GIs also give their county.

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

Wednesday sees the data leg of the 80m Club Championship, which takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal repot and serial number.

The first of this year’s VHF CW Championship events takes place next Sunday, the 15th. The 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 15th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 5th of June. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of May.

The solar flux index held steadfast at 90 for most of the week, but geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled with the K index hitting five on Bank Holiday Monday. The latter half of the week was a little more settled, bringing better HF conditions with only a few minor C-class solar flares.

At the time of writing, a new large sunspot, number 2542, was just rotating around the sun's limb. This will join the much smaller sunspot groups that are already visible on the solar disk. As a result, NOAA is predicting the solar flux index could rise to 110 on Sunday, before declining to 95 towards the end of the week.

Geomagnetic conditions will remain unsettled, with the K index forecast to peak at five on Wednesday 11th.

The Propagation Studies Committee is pleased to announce the next phase of its experimental HF online prediction system is now available for testing. Codenamed Proppy, it can now provide point-to-point predictions as well as area coverage maps. The system uses the new ITURHFProp engine and users can find a link to Proppy at the bottom of the www.predtest.uk website. The site and software is experimental and the ultimate goal is to move the system onto the RSGB website.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week’s weather will be driven by low pressure to the south of Britain and a high over Scandinavia and later near the Faroes. This could mean a little Tropo from the east coast to Denmark and southern Sweden, but the rest of the country will be influenced more by low pressure and hence a rather showery type of weather is expected, with the chance of some rain scatter on the GHz bands. Later in the week the low pressure will probably drift east allowing a new high to build from Greenland towards the Faroes.

As a general rule, as we approach summer, rain scatter tends to improve due to more intense rain cells at a more helpful height for propagation.

There have been several separate Sporadic-E openings up to 6m within Europe recently, with some reachable from the UK. We are hoping for more this week, but the jet stream pattern is less favourable. More likely areas for the Sporadic-E are well south over Iberia and the Mediterranean plus to the north over the Faroes towards Iceland.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination reaches maximum on Monday and losses are low, so it’s another good week with long afternoon and evening moon windows.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st May 2016

The news headlines:

  • Next Tim Peake contact confirmed

  • Advanced exams now ‘on demand’

  • IARU Interim Meeting minutes released

The ARISS UK Operations team is delighted to announce that the ARISS Schools contact between Ashfield Primary School in Otley, West Yorkshire and Tim Peake on the International Space Station has now been confirmed for Thursday the 5th of May at 0908BST. It will be a direct contact operated by GB1APS. The contact should be audible over Western Europe. Interested parties are invited to listen in on 145.800 MHz narrowband FM.

The Examinations Standards Committee has agreed to offer the Advanced examination ‘on demand’. This means that Advanced exams can be booked in the same way as the Foundation and Intermediate, with the important exception that one calendar month’s notice must be given. On-demand bookings will commence on the 1st of May, so Advanced exams can be booked after then for any date after the 1st of June 2016.

The minutes from the Interim Meeting of IARU Region 1 are now available on the RSGB Spectrum Forum website. Over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of April, delegates from Member Societies discussed numerous papers and proposals on HF, VHF/Microwave and EMC matters. The resulting recommendations for band plan and other changes will be considered for approval by the Region 1 Executive when they meet on the 7th and 8th of May 7. Details at http://tinyurl.com/gkw2w6h

At a recent RSGB Board meeting, the application of the Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 in respect of amateur radio activities was discussed. Board Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW will be preparing an article for RadCom giving guidance to clubs and individual Members on how this legislation applies to them.

Due to the increase in D Star activity with many new users of the mode, UKFM Group Western, who maintain D-Star repeaters throughout the North west, has produced a guide to D-Star etiquette. The web page outlines some common practices and hints on use of repeater linking and radio settings, which will be helpful in maintaining the best use out of the system. The page can be found at www.ukfmgw.co.uk under D-Star etiquette.

The RSGB-provided repeater and beacon insurance premium for the period from the 30th of April 2016 to the 29th of April 2017 will be £10 per repeater. If you are a Keeper and have not already received an email about this, you may renew online at the RSGB shop. A certificate will be sent by e-mail once payment has been received, but please allow a couple of days for applications to be processed.

On the 8th of May there will be no 7127kHz news broadcast from Germany, as both readers are unavailable. News broadcasts will be back to normal on the 15th.

The RSGB Examination Standards Committee wishes to appoint an Examination Standards Manager for the Radio Communications Exams. Reporting to the Examinations Standards Committee, the post is responsible for developing and documenting the internal and external procedures that govern the running of the RCE. Candidates should ideally be located in a central part of the UK and be prepared to travel around the UK. They should have a UK Full amateur radio licence and will ideally have experience in a senior position in industry or mainstream education, with responsibility for leading a team and quality management. Those interested in applying should contact Simon Watts, G3XXH, via email to esc.chair@rsgb.org.uk, providing a brief CV and a covering letter outlining how they meet the requirements of this role.

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

The Dambusters Hamfest takes place today, the 1st of May, at Thorpe Camp Museum, Tattershall Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PE.The venue is all on one level and doors open at 10am. Admission is £3 and includes entry into the museum. Hot food will be available in addition to the NAFFI. This is mainly an outdoor rally but some limited space is available indoors, with a small charge for tables. More information by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk.

Dartmoor Radio Club Rally will take place on the 2nd of May at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8DD. The venue has free car parking as well as disabled facilities but please note there is no talk-in station. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH, on 01822 840 723.

The 35th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place on the 8th of May at the SHARE Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland BT92 0EQ. Doors open from 11.15am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A licensed bar and catering will be available on site. Lectures will form part of the day’s activities and there will be a prize draw during the day. Camping is available. More information from Michael, MI5MTC on 0286 862 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.

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

Koji, JI1LET, is operating as JD1BOI from Chichijima Island in the Ogasawara Archipelago, IOTA reference AS-031, until the 6th of May. Ogasawara is about 1000km south of Tokyo and counts as a separate entity for the DXCC Award. Koji is working all bands from 80 to 6m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign.

A DXpedition to Lundy Island, EU-120, will take place from the 2nd to the 7th of May by three members of the Virtual Amateur Radio Club from Kent. Mark, G0GQT, Keith, M0KJA and Nigel, G0GDA will be using MX0VRC/P. The island has no grid electricity and uses locally generated power between 6am and midnight, the generators being switched off during the night. Three stations will be using a variety of aerials and running SSB, data and CW on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL is by eQSL. See QRZ.com for more details.

Chris, HB9LCA will be active as YJ0CS from Vanuatu, OC-035, from the 1st to the 27th of May. He will be mainly on CW and will be working holiday style. QSL to his home callsign.

Martin, LU9EFO will be QRV as CE0Y/LU9EFO from the 6th to the 16th of May from Easter Island, SA-001. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL direct via F4BHW.

A group of operators will be QRV as MJ/ON4RSX from St Brelade, Jersey from the 5th to the 8th of May. Jersey is IOTA reference EU-013. Activity will be on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct via ON8VP.

Now the special event news

Ballymena ARG will be operating a station at the Shanes Castle Steam Traction Rally on the 1st and 2nd of May. This will be a station in the Castles and Stately Homes on the Air award scheme. The Traction rally takes place at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 028 2587 1481.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC on Monday. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

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

The 432MHz-248GHz Trophy starts at 1400 on the 7th and runs for 24 hours. Using the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting at the same start time, but running for eight hours, the 432MHz Trophy and 10GHz Trophy contests are ideal if you are not equipped for all the UHF and microwave bands. Using all modes on the respective two bands, the exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting on the 7th, 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. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is you 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest runs for 24 hours from midday on the 7th. There are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. Italians send a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, while non-Italians send a signal report plus serial number. Check the rules for scoring.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest is on the 8th. It coincides with the RSGB events taking place the same weekend. Running from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 8th, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB only exchange a signal report and serial number, EIs and GIs also give their county.

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

It's been another mixed week. with coronal holes dominating once again. The K index, a measure of the disturbance to the earth's magnetic field due to incoming solar plasma, fluctuated all week, being as low as one and as high as four.

The solar flux index started the week at 82, but rose steadily to reach 94 by Friday. By then there were actually six sunspot regions visible on the sun, although some were so small they looked like dust on the lens.

Two small, but almost geo-effective, coronal holes could be seen in the Solar Dynamics Observatory's extreme ultra-violet image on Thursday, which suggest we may have unsettled conditions as you hear or read this report. NOAA predicts the solar flux index could rise to 95 by the 3rd of May, although unsettled geomagnetic conditions will continue to affect propagation, especially on the first and fourth.

As we are now in May, Sporadic-E will become prevalent on the higher HF bands, notably ten metres, but more about that later.

Otherwise, a look at an HF propagation coverage map from VOACAP Online shows May generally sees the start of the summer doldrums when maximum usable frequencies are generally lower during daylight hours, but remain higher at night.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We may start this weekend with a weak ridge of high pressure over southern Britain, which is potentially useful for some limited Tropo, especially down to the south towards western France and northern Spain. Unfortunately, almost as soon as it happens, it will be gone and low pressure will be in control, so it's more likely to be rain scatter on the GHz bands from large shower clouds that gives any enhancement locally.

On a more positive note, the Sporadic-E season is now under way and current weather patterns are producing good jet streams in the right places over Europe. These are known to be helpful for Sporadic-E and the Sporadic-E maximum usable frequency has already reached more than 100MHz in the past week over the northern Balkans, and allowed UK stations to have 6 metre QSOs with Greece.

Sporadic-E is not an everyday thing, so check the beacons and clusters to follow any openings as it intensifies. Openings usually start as short skip on 10m, then up through 6m to 4m and perhaps even 2m. There are two main periods of activity from the UK, usually late morning and again late afternoon into early evening.

Moon declination is climbing this week and losses are falling as the moon comes in to perigee on Thursday. So this is a good week for EME with a daytime moon.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • Tim Peake contact on Monday

  • Operating at the Olympics

  • Club Calendar error in RadCom

The next planned school contact with Tim Peake on the ISS is tomorrow, Monday 25 April from The Derby High School in Bury at 1202UTC. This contact will be webcast on the ARISS Principia website and Tim’s transmissions will be audible over most of Western Europe on the usual downlink frequency, 145.800MHz.

Thanks to the Brazilian Amateur Radio League, LABRE, radio amateurs who will visit Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games will be able to get on the air easily. During August and September any foreign amateur will be able to operate in Brazil, regardless of whether there is a reciprocal agreement. No IARP or CEPT licence is necessary and no fees are required. You just need to send a scan of your passport identification pages and licence, a list of the cities you intend to operate in and when, plus an email address, to executiva@labre.org.br 

We’d like to make you aware that the Club Events Calendar printed in the May edition of RadCom is incorrect. Due to a clerical error, the February information was repeated. A revised version of the Affiliated Clubs Newsletter for May 2016 has been sent out to clubs, and the electronic versions of RadCom on the RSGB website will be issued with errata bearing the correct information. The RadCom editorial team apologises for any inconvenience this error may cause, and has taken steps to reduce the chances of the same thing happening again.

Following agreement with the RSGB Board, management of the Islands on the Air program has transitioned to Islands Radio Awards Ltd, a new, not-for-profit company. This entity will assume full responsibility for all aspects of the program, which it will run in partnership with the Society. The company has been registered in the names of its current directors, Roger Balister, G3KMA, and Stan Lee, G4XXI, and a full Board of Directors will established. The new company is fully committed to completing the paperless QSLing project that will allow electronic confirmation of contacts and no significant policy changes are anticipated.

On Monday, the 25th, ANZAC Day remembers those who died in 1915 in the fighting at Gallipoli. To commemorate this, amateurs in New Zealand and Australia will be on the bands using the same older modes once employed by radio operators in the military. This AM & CW event has become a popular annual ANZAC Day activity with those participating using older, crystal-locked transceivers or former military radios.

Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 426, The Wireless Telegraphy (Control of Interference from Apparatus) Regulations 2016 are now in effect. There is a brief summary in the May RadCom and in June there will be a longer article from the EMC committee. The legislation can be read at www.legislation.gov.uk/2016/426

The RSGB Board is embarking on a review of the Society’s strategic vision and goals and a Member with group facilitation skills is sought to work with the Board and others during the process. Please contact the General Manager via gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk if you are able to assist.

The QSL bureau is pleased to welcome Andy Hood, GM7GDE, as the new volunteer for GM4-8 series cards. Our thanks go to Tom Wylie, GM4FDM the retiring manager and for his help, in ensuring a smooth transition. For details, see the RSGB website.

Twenty five used ex BBC local radio cars are being sold on behalf of the BBC by Cambridge Broadcast. These have a professional technical installation of a pneumatic mast. The vehicles are all Peugeot based on either 806 or 807 models and ages range from 2001 to 2006. Most have technical battery fit-outs with split charging from engine, and external mains inputs, with 19” equipment racks, and audio monitoring. Details are on the cambridgebroadcast.com website

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

The Ripon & District ARS Rally takes place today, the 24th, in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am, with entry costing £2. Details are online at www.ripon.org.uk

Today, the 24th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge CB22 6RN. Car parking is free at the venue, which also has disabled facilities. The doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £2. A talk-in station will be on air to assist visitors. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering will be available on site and this year sees new caterers booked. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM, on 0794 197 2724.

The Dambusters Hamfest takes place on the 1st of May at Thorpe Camp Museum, Tattershall Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PE.The venue is all on one level and doors open at 10am. Admission is £3 and includes entry into the museum. Hot food will be available in addition to the NAFFI. This is mainly an outdoor rally but some limited space is available indoors, with a small charge for tables. More information by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk

Dartmoor Radio Club Rally will take place on the 2nd of May at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8DD. The venue has free car parking as well as disabled facilities but please note there is no talk-in station. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on 01822 840 723.

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

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

Doug, VK4ADX will operate holiday style from Norfolk Island from the 23rd of April to the 2nd of May. While there he will use the callsign VK9NU and be on SSB only. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Elvira, IV3FSG will be active from the Democratic Republic of Congo for one month. She will operate SSB, RTTY and PSK31 on 80 to 10 metres. Her callsign will be 9Q0HQ/1 from the 22nd to 30th of April and 9Q0HQ from the 1st to the 22nd of May. QSL via IK3GES. Logsearch on Club Log.

Koji, JI1LET, will be active as JD1BOI from Chichijima, AS-031, Ogasawara from 26 April to 6 May. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 80 to 6 metres. QSL via JI1LET, direct or bureau.

Andre, DL1AS, Martin, DM4IM and Erwin, DK4BX will be active from Belize as V31DL, V31IM and V31BX respectively from the 20th of April to the 20th of May. QSL V3V via V31BZ, others via home calls and LoTW.

Mike, VO1OK will also be active from Belize as V31OK.. He will start on 25 April from Belize City, and then will move to Ambergris Caye, NA-073, from the 28th of April to the 3rd of May. QSL via home call.

GS0NWM will be operated by Bob, M0KLO, Glenn, G0SBN, and Chris, GM3WOJ from the Isle of Barra, EU-010between April 24 and 30. The locator is IO67ga, which is WAB NF71. They will be active on 80 to 10m, CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via M0URX, OQRS.

Andy, M1LOL and Ray, M1REK will be operating as MM1LOL from the Isle of Muck, EU-008, from the 1st to the 7th of May. Look for them on 80 to 10m, SSB and data.

Now the special event news

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX today, the 24th, from 10am to 4pm at RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW for Airfields on the Air. Admission to the museum is £3, accompanied children are free.

Ballymena ARG will be operating a station at the Shanes Castle Steam Traction Rally on the 1st and 2nd of May. This will be a station in the Castles and Stateley Homes on the Air award scheme. the Traction rally takes place at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 028 2587 1481.

Now the contest news

The SP DX RTTY contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 24th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with SP stations sending their Province code too.

Today, the 24th, the BARTG Sprint 75 runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number.

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 UK Activity Contest takes place on the 2.3GHz bands and up. Running from 1900 to 2130UTC and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC takes place for an hour between 2000 and 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator only.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of April.

It has been week of mixed HF propagation, good at times and lousy at others. The solar flux index declined from 102 on Sunday to 83 on Thursday, as only one lonely little sunspot remained visible.

The K index, which is the three-hourly measure of geomagnetic disturbance due to incoming plasma from the Sun, has also risen and fallen, starting off at four last Sunday, and declining to one at times during the week.

Looking ahead, the solar flux index is predicted to be between 85-98, according to the US Air Force, rising as sunspot 2533 comes into play over the next few days.

It is bad news on the geomagnetic disturbance front. The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s extreme ultraviolet image showed a massive coronal hole looking straight at us on Thursday. The associated high-speed solar wind stream from this may hit the earth on Saturday, just in time for International Marconi Day. NOAA predicts the K index could rise to four in the early hours of Saturday morning, tailing off to two by late afternoon. This may not bode well for HF propagation.

Unsettled conditions are expected to continue until 26 April with isolated active periods likely. Mostly quiet conditions are expected from 27 to 28 April.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some high pressure during last week produced a little bit of Tropo for stations in the North of England, we are returning to low pressure over the North Sea. This may eventually drift across southern England later in the week. The result is a return of a cool northerly wind and means that April showers will continue to be a theme this week, and hence give options for rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

Last week, Sporadic-E was reported on 10 metres and 6 metres and, with the continued presence of a jet stream blowing down across the UK into southern Europe, there is plenty of scope for further Sporadic-E events this coming week.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower has passed its peak so it is back to random meteor scatter contacts in the early mornings.

Over the next few years, the Moon is entering a phase when high declination is combined with the moon being at perigee or closest to the earth. This means long, high-elevation moon windows will occur when path loss is at its lowest, improving EME conditions. This week, lowest declination occurs on Wednesday so expect short Moon passes in the early hours of the morning.

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

Next, the Local News:

Please note that details of all RSGB-affiliated clubs and societies
can be found on the RSGB website, including email addresses
and website links where known.

[Note to Newsreaders: Please read the local news items appropriate to the service area of your transmission.]

NEWS FOR THE MIDLANDS

Now for news from clubs that have several events this week. Leicester Radio Society concludes its CQ LRS weekend of activity today. On Monday there’s a table top sale. Details from Alex, G8FCQ, on 07531 201 640.

Wythall Radio Club has its club net from 8pm on 145.225MHz or GB3WL tonight and next Sunday. Monday sees a curry night at the Monsoon. On Tuesday there’s a Morse class plus a club night and a talk. The regular nibbles night in the shack is on Friday. Details from Chris, G0EYO, on 07710 412 819.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society has an open net on Monday and Thursday from 8pm on 145.375MHz FM and/or 7.16MHz ± QRM. On Friday there’s a skittles evening at Brandon Social Club. Contact John, G8SEQ, on 07958 777 363.

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is having an informal and general operating evening on Monday. Wednesday and Thursday see club nets, starting at 7.30pm on 145.550MHz. Contact Anne, 2E1GKY, on 01242 699 595, daytime.

South Birmingham Radio Society is planning for outside events on Monday. The regular coffee morning in the shack is on Tuesday from 11am. Thursday sees training classes with Dave Murphy, G8OWL. On Friday there’s an open meeting and ragchew. Contact Gemma Gordon, M6GKG, via email to gemmagordon.m6gkg@gmail.com.

On Monday Sutton Coldfield Amateur Radio Society has a club meeting. Tuesday sees a DMR open net on GB7FW slot/local2 from 7.30pm. More information from Robert Bird, by email to spirit.guide@hotmail.co.uk.

Lincoln Short-Wave Club is taking part in the UK Club Contests on Tuesday. On Wednesday there’s a used equipment sale in Aisthorpe Village Hall, LN1 2SJ. The club net is on Thursday from 8pm on 145.325MHz. Saturday sees shack activities plus G5FZ on the air. For more information contact Pam Rose, G4STO, on 01427 788 356.

On Tuesday Salop Amateur Radio Society Club has its CW net from 4.30pm on 144.070MHz. Wednesday sees the club voice net on GB3LH from 8.30pm. On Thursday there’s a natter night. For details, email salopamateurradio@gmail.com.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Monday RAF Waddington Amateur Radio Club has its net on 145.325MHz from 8pm. Details from Bob, G3VCA, on 07971 166 250.

On Tuesday Cheltenham Amateur Radio Association has a slow CW net on 3540-3550kHz from 8pm. More information from Derek Thom, G3NKS, on 01242 241 099.

On Tuesday Derby & District Amateur Radio Society is on the air. Contact Richard Buckby, by email to radio@dadars.org.uk.

On Tuesday Loughborough & District Amateur Radio Club is having a practical evening. More information from Chris, G1ETZ, on 01509 504 319.

On Tuesday Mid-Warwickshire Amateur Radio Society is having a technical topics and homebrew evening. Details from Don, G4CYG, on 01926 424 465.

On Wednesday Malvern Hills RAC is having an informal evening. Contact Dave, G4IDF, on 01905 351 568.

On Wednesday Midland Amateur Radio Society is having a general meeting, along with the shack on the air and training classes. Details from Norman, G8BHE, on 07808 078 003.

On Wednesday South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society has its net on 145.525MHz at 8pm. More information from Andrew, M0NRD, on 07969 062 859.

On Wednesday Telford & District Amateur Radio Society is looking at power supplies, including QRM from them. Contact John Humphreys, M0JZH, on 07824 737 716.

On Saturday Central Radio Amateur Circle has a shed work evening and group meeting. Details from Martin Hallard, G1TYV, on 07948 027 994.

NEWS FOR THE NORTH OF ENGLAND

South Manchester Radio and Computer Club is holding a technical forum on Monday. On Thursday there’s a talk on the science of surfing by Bob Marsh. Details from Ron, G3SVW, on 01619 693 999.

On Tuesday Chester & District Radio Society is having a visit by Paul Darlington of Kanga Products. Wednesday sees an inter club quiz with Wirral & District Radio Society at Irby Cricket Club. Contact Bruce Sutherland, M0CVP, on 01244 343 825.

Halifax & District Amateur Radio Society has its net on Wednesday on 145.400MHz. Thursday sees a net in association with the West Yorkshire branch of RAFARS on 145.350MHz from 7pm. Details from Martin, M0GQB, on 01422 341 317.

On Monday Angel of the North Amateur Radio Club is on the air. Contact Nancy Bone, G7UUR, on 01914 770 036.

On Monday Bolton Wireless Club is having a social evening at Tavern Fayre. For details, send an email to boltonwireless@gmail.com.

On Monday Macclesfield & District Radio Society is watching the WWFF 44 film. For details, email info@gx4mws.com.

On Monday Sheffield Amateur Radio Club is having a shack night operating M0RCU. Contact David, G6DCT, via email to littlewood20@btinternet.com.

On Monday Thornton Cleveleys Amateur Radio Society is having a video night. Details form John E Rodway, G4FRK, on 01253 862 810.

On Tuesday Stockport Radio Society has a skills night. More information from Heather Stanley, M6HNS, on 07506 904 422.

On Wednesday Denby Dale Radio Club is having a night on the air. Details from Darran, G0BWB, on 07974 423 227.

On Wednesday Mid-Cheshire Amateur Radio Society is testing the HF contest equipment. Contact Peter Paul Fox, G8HAV, on 01606 553 401.

On Wednesday Sheffield & District Wireless Society is having a social night. Contact Krystyna, 2E0KSH, on 07884 065 375.

On Thursday Bishop Auckland Radio Amateur Club is having a normal club night with training classes. Contact Mark, G0GFG, on 01388 747 497.

On Thursday Ripon & District Amateur Radio Society is holding a club night. More information from David Cutter, G3UNA, on 01423 860 778.

On Friday East Cleveland Amateur Radio Club is on the air. For more information contact Alistair, G4OLK, on 01642 475 671.

NEWS FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

On Tuesday Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club is erecting the new Antennae A4, with the first call to be carried out by club chairman Jimmy, GI0OND. Details from Dave, via email to muarc.secretary@yahoo.co.uk.

Next Sunday and Monday Ballymena Amateur Radio Group is running a Castles and Stately Homes on the Air station at Shanes Castle, Randalstown Rd, Antrim BT41 4NE. The special event station is part of the steam traction rally at Shanes Castle. There will be catering, family attractions, disabled facilities, car parking and access by public transport. Contact Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV, on 02825 871 481.

NEWS FOR SCOTLAND

Stirling and District Amateur Radio Society has training, construction and projects from 10.30am till 2pm today and next Sunday. Thursday sees operating, training and presentations from 7 until 9pm. Contact Myles Williamson, MM0MYL, on 07890 477 516.

Livingston and District Amateur Radio Society is having an operating and training evening on Monday. Thursday sees an operating evening. For more information contact Cathie, 2M0DIB, on 01506 433 846.

On Wednesday Glenrothes & DRC is holding a club night. More information from Tam, MM0TGB, on 0775 3526 498.

On Wednesday Lothians Radio Society has a club night at Braid Hills Hotel. Contact Mike Burgess, MM0MLB, via email to secretary@lothiansradiosociety.com.

On Thursday Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society is having a construction and on the air evening. More information from Fred Gordon, GM3ALZ, on 01975 651 365.

On Friday West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society has its regular club night from 8pm at Garnethill Multicultural Centre. For details, email info@wosars.org.uk.

NEWS FOR THE SOUTH EAST and EAST ANGLIA

We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. Cambridge & District Amateur Radio Club has nets today and next Sunday from 8.30am on 144.180MHz USB, from 10.30am on 7.0875MHz or 3.620MHz LSB, and from 11.30am on 145.550MHz FM. Thursday sees a club net from 8pm on 145.550MHz FM. More information from Ian, M0HTA, via email to publicity@cdarc.co.uk.

Surrey Radio Contact Club has a net today and next Sunday on 1905kHz from 9.30am. On Thursday there’s a net from 8pm on 70.300MHz and Friday sees a net on 145.350MHz, also from 8pm. Details from John, G8IYS, on 020 8657 0454.

Fareham & District Amateur Radio Club has a Top Band net from 7.30pm on 1967kHz LSB on Monday. The 2m net is on Tuesday on 145.475MHz. On Wednesday there’s a video night, and Thursday sees a Top Band net from 7.30pm on 1967kHz. For more information contact Steve Ellis, G7HEP, on 01329 663 673.

Southdown Amateur Radio Society has its regular schedule of multiple nets and meet-ups on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday on various bands. For details contact Andy, M6GND, on 01323 486 924.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Monday Eastbourne Electronics & Radio Club is having a talk. Contact Peter, via email to g4urt@btinternet.com.

On Monday New Forest Amateur Radio Society is having a presentation by Richard, M0RBF on mobile installation and operation. More information from Richard, M0RBF, on 01425 612 612.

On Tuesday Dorking & District Radio Society is having a talk on digital amateur radio by Denis Stanton, G0OLX. Contact David Browning, M6DJB, via email to djb.abraxas@btinternet.com.

On Tuesday Leiston Amateur Radio Club has its 2m and 70cm contest. Details by email to m0iah2008@gmail.com.

On Wednesday Bracknell Amateur Radio Club has its net from 8pm on 145.375MHz. Contact Andy, M0HAK, via email to andy@m0hak.co.uk.

On Wednesday Bromley & District Amateur Radio Society has its net, commencing on 145.500MHz at 9pm. Contact Andy, G4WGZ, on 01689 878 089.

On Wednesday Crawley Amateur Radio Club is having a surplus equipment sale. More information from John, G3VLH, on 01342 714 402.

On Wednesday Darenth Valley Radio Society is holding its AGM. Contact Mike, G8AXA, on 01689 856 935.

On Wednesday Norfolk Amateur Radio Club is having an informal and Bright Sparks evening. Details from Chris Danby, G0DWV, on 01603 898 308.

On Thursday Echelford Amateur Radio Society is holding its AGM and watching the Saba Island - Dutch Caribbean PJ6A DXpedition video. Contact John, G4GSC, on 01784 451 898.

On Thursday Edgware & District Radio Society is discussing G3ASR/P operations for 2016, led by Bill, G0STR. More information from Mike, G4RNW, on 02089 500 658.

On Thursday Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club is having a talk on DMR by Matt, M1CMN. Contact Ian, 2E0DUE, via email to hilderstoneclub@gmail.com.

On Thursday Horsham Amateur Radio Club is having a social evening at The Bax Castle, Two Mile Ash. More information from Alistair, G3ZBU, on 07855 268 666.

On Thursday Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society has its net on 144.725MHz from 8pm. The Field Weekend at The Rainbow and Dove Public House, Hastingwood also commences on Thursday. For more information contact Marc Litchman, G0TOC, on 0774 345 6058.

On Thursday Newbury & District Amateur Radio Society is having a talk by David, 2E0GBG about World Scout Jamboree 2015 in Japan. Contact Rob, G4LMW, on 01635 862 737.

On Thursday Norfolk Coast Amateur Radio Society is having a talk on restoring the CR100. Details from Steve, G3PND, via email to info@norfolkcoastamateurs.co.uk.

On Thursday Reading & District Amateur Radio Club is having a talk on the Chilton Ionosonde by Dr Ruth Bamford of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Details from Pete, G8FRC, on 01189 695 697.

On Thursday Thames Amateur Radio Group has its net on GB3DA. For more information email targradio@outlook.com.

On Thursday Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club has an open net on 2m FM simplex from 7.30pm. Details from Gordon, 2E0ELI, via email to acorns@taarc.co.uk.

On Friday Fort Purbrook Amateur Radio Club is having a presentation on transmission lines. Details from Graham Yoxall, M0CYX, on 0785 040 0108.

On Friday Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club has a net on 145.525MHz from 8pm. More information from Quintin Gee, M1ENU, on 023 8078 7799.

On Friday Mid-Sussex Amateur Radio Society is having a quiz and cakes night. More information from Stella Rogers, M6ZRJ, on 01273 844 511.

On Sunday Worthing & District Amateur Radio Club has its regular net on 3.172MHz from 7.30am, followed by the regular breakfast meeting at 9am. Details from Al, M0OAL, via email to information@wadarc.org.uk.

NEWS FOR THE SOUTH WEST

We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. We start with news from clubs that have several events this week. Today and next Sunday North Bristol Amateur Radio Club is holding an open net on GB3BS from 7pm. On Friday there’s a relax and chat evening plus operating and training classes. Details from Mat, G7FBD, via email to g7fbd@gb3bs.com.

The SouthWest Cluster is holding further experimental nets on the DMR Network, Slot 2, Talk Group 950, from 6pm tonight and next Sunday.

Exeter Amateur Radio Society is having an SDR dongles workshop on Monday. Tuesday sees the club net on 145.575MHz from 7.45pm. Contact Nick, M0NRJ, on 01363 775 756.

Thornbury & South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club is on the air on Wednesday. The club net is on Friday. Saturday sees the start of the weekend field event. For details, email night tsgarc@gmail.com.

Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. Tonight, Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society has its Spring auction sale, open to all who enjoy bargains. Details from John, G4POF, via email to g4pof@hotmail.com.

On Monday Bristol RSGB Group is having a talk by Roger Dixon, G4BVY on complex impedance matching. Details from Robin Thompson, G3TKF, via email to robin@g3tkf.co.uk.

On Monday Weston Super Mare Radio Society is having a construction, operating and natter night. Contact Paul, G3SDH, via email to g3sdh@btinternet.com.

On Thursday South Bristol Amateur Radio Club is having an open house and on the air night. Details from Andrew Jenner, G7KNA, on 07838 695 471.

On Thursday Yeovil Amateur Radio Club has the club station on the air. Details from Rodney Edwards, M0RGE, on 01935 825 791.

On Friday Torbay Amateur Radio Society has its auction and 90/10 sale. For more information contact Dave, G6FSP, by email to g6fsp@tars.org.uk.

NEWS FOR WALES

On Monday Llanelli Amateur Radio Society has a junk sale. Contact Craig, MW0MXT, on 01269 845 773.

On Thursday Aberystwyth & District Amateur Radio Society has its net on 145.500 then 145.550MHz. More information from Ray, GW7AGG, on 01970 611 853.

On Thursday North Wales Radio Society is having a natter night. Details from Ceri Jones, 2W0LJC, via email to 2w0ljc@mail.com.

On Friday Blackwood and District Amateur Radio Society is having a teaching session on D-Star by Andy, MW0MWZ. Details are online at www.gw6gw.co.uk.

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB launches new amateur radio video

  • International Marconi Day activities

  • Listen for Tim Peake contact

Amateur radio is a hobby with so many aspects it can be hard to describe and difficult to know what to try first. The RSGB’s new video gives you a taster of just some of the many exciting, challenging and fun things you can do. You can see the video on the RSGB website via www.rsgb.org/main or via the RSGB’s YouTube channel. The Society will take a look at other parts of the hobby in the future, so let us know if you have any particular aspect you’d like to see covered.

Marconi was born on the 25th of April 1874 and amateur radio operators around the world are again taking part in International Marconi Day on Saturday, the 23rd of April. The 24-hour-long event has drawn participation by as many as 60 stations from around the world. GB4IMD will be operating from the Stithians Showground in Cornwall. For a list of confirmed stations visit http://gx4crc.com/imd-stations/

The next amateur radio contact with Tim Peake on the International Space Station is scheduled for the 18th of April at approximately 1456 UTC, that’s 1556 BST. Pupils at St Richards Catholic College, Bexhill-on-Sea will use the callsign GB4SRC to make contact with Tim, who should be audible over most of Western Europe. Interested parties should listen in on 145.800MHz narrowband FM.

ANZAC Day on the 25th of April remembers those who died in 1915 in the fighting at Gallipoli. To commemorate, amateurs in New Zealand and Australia will be on the bands using the same older modes once employed by radio operators in the military. The AM & CW event has become a popular annual ANZAC Day activity with those participating using older, crystal-locked transceivers or former military radios.

The RSGB is pleased to announce that two members of staff have successfully passed their Foundation licence exam. Membership Secretary Clare Davies is now licensed as M6GSV, and RSGB Sales Secretary Louise Routh, is M6TZH. This now means that 11 of the 15 RSGB HQ staff are licensed, with a mixture of Full, Intermediate and Foundations levels.

Voting closes this week, on the 21st, for the 89th RSGB AGM that will be held in Glasgow on Saturday the 23rd of April, commencing at 12 noon. For details, go to www.rsgb.org/AGM2016.

World Amateur Radio Day takes place on the 18th of April. It marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925. Radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate amateur radio’s contribution to society.

The International Amateur Radio Union has announced that Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, has been appointed to serve as IARU Satellite Adviser. He replaces ZS6AKV, who has served as Satellite Advisor since 1994 and to whom the IARU is grateful for his excellent work. Hans has also been nominated as the CEPT coordinator for WRC-19 Agenda Item 1.1, which will consider a formal 50MHz amateur allocation in Region 1.

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

Today, the 17th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Other attractions include trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and lectures. A raffle will also be held. Catering is available on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

The Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale will be held today, the 17th, at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, Car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering is available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY on 0777 573 8200.

The Martin Lynch Training Academy is hosting RSGB Train the Trainers in Staines on Thames on Saturday 23 April. The course will run from 09.30 until 17.00 and is free for RSGB members. Details are online at www.hamradio.co.uk/training.php

The Ripon & District ARS Rally takes place on the 24th of April in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am, with entry costing £2. Details at www.ripon.org.uk

On the 24th of April the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge CB22 6RN. Car parking is free at the venue, which also has disabled facilities. The doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £2. A talk-in station will be on air to assist visitors. There will be trade stands, a car boot area, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering will be available on site and this year sees new caterers booked. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM on 0794 197 2724.

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

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

Svein, LA9JKA, is operating on Jan Mayen Island, EU-022, on all HF bands, until early October. He is using the callsign JX9JKA. Send QSLs to his home callsign.

Tom, KC0W will be active for several months as KH8/KC0W from American Samoa, using CW only. Send cards to his home QTH in the United States.

Members of the Palos Verdes ARC will be working as K6PV/6 from Santa Catalina Island, NA-066, from the 28th of April to the 1st of May. Look for them operating SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK31 on the 10 to 80m bands. Send QSL cards via K6PV.

Doug, VK4ADC is working holiday style as VK9NU from Norfolk Island, OC-005, from the 23rd of April until the 2nd of May. He will only be working SSB. Look for him on the 80 to 6m bands. Send QSL cards via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau. You may also use eQSL and Logbook of the World.

Alex, W1CDC is on the bands as 8R1A from Guyana until the 24th of April, holiday style. Listen for him on the 80 to 10m bands, mainly working CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Kerry Amateur Radio Group will participate as an Award Station in this year's International Marconi Day event on the 23rd of April. The station will be set up the site of the former Marconi Station at Ballybunnion. Members of the Expeditionary Radio Team will operate from 0000 to 2359UTC on the 23rd. Two HF stations are planned, using EI6YXQ to commemorate the original callsign, YXQ, used for the first transatlantic voice radio transmission in March 1919.

South Essex ARS will operate GB2BOX on the 24th of April from 10am-4pm at RAF Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW for Airfields on the Air. Admission to the museum is £3, accompanied children are free.

North-West ARC will take part in World Amateur Radio Day on the 18th from 12 noon to 4pm at The Brooklyn Hotel, Green Lane, Bolton BL3 2EF.

GB1STG will be on the air for St George’s Day, the 23rd, from 10am to 6pm from Galleywood Common, Galleywood, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8TS. Operation will be on 40m and 2m.

OE16M will be on the air from the 22nd to 24th of April as part of the Marconi Day celebrations. This is also an official International Marconi Day station and contacts on the 23rd count for awards. QSL via the bureau to OE1WHC.

GB0STG will celebrate St George's Day on the 23rd of April from the Harby Allotments in the Vale of Belvoir in Leicestershire. The location will be supporting Sheds, Allotments and Green Houses on the Air.

From the 18th to the 28th of April IQ4FE will be on the air to commemorate the World War II battle that occurred near Parma. Details are on QRZ.com.

Pontefract & District ARS will put GB1AVR on the air on the 22nd and 23rd of April for the Ackworth Vintage Rally, a gathering of Scammell and other vintage vehicles.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Britain Datamodes Contest takes place today, the 17th of April. Using the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. There are two separate contests, one for RTTY and one for PSK, and you will need a separate set of entry sheets for each. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600UTC and again from 2000 to 2200UTC. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400UTC and again from 1800 to 2000UTC. Both are split into two periods to allow for good propagation on 40 and 20m in the afternoon and on 80 and 40m in the evening. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 8th of May. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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 data leg of the 80m Club Championships take place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using RTTY and PSK the exchange is signal report and serial number

On the 23rd and 24th, the SP DX RTTY contest runs from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with SP stations sending their Province code too.

On the 24th the BARTG Sprint 75 runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 15th April.

No sooner did we say that it was beginning to look like the start of a solar minimum than an enormous sunspot appeared around the sun's limb. Sunspot 2529 has produced a number of B and C-class solar flares. And despite NOAA predicting a solar flux index of around 80 last week, it rocketed to 111.

Geomagnetic conditions remained unsettled all week thanks to coronal hole activity and associated high-speed solar wind streams. The K index hit five on Wednesday and Friday, and hovered around three and four all week. Next week the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90-100. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be more settled, with perhaps Tuesday the 19th and Saturday the 23rd more unsettled.

Speaking of which, Saturday the 23rd is International Marconi Day, when more than 60 special event stations around the world join in on HF to celebrate the inventor's birthday. You can get a nice certificate by working 15 of these stations and Steve G0KYA has a set of propagation conditions for UK stations on his Blogspot page – just Google G0KYA.

Eighty and forty metres will be best for working the UK stations, while 20m may be optimum for the Europeans. The East Coast of the USA is more problematic, with 20 or 17m likely to be the best bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend we still have the leftovers of the low pressure and April showers in south-eastern Britain, but high pressure is building in from the west to affect much of the country early next week. This could bring some slightly-enhanced Tropo conditions, but only briefly since unsettled showery weather will return after midweek. We therefore have some chance of Tropo, mostly West-East paths into northern Europe during the first half of the week, and either side. April showers could give some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

There have been a few Sporadic-E openings on 10m. One on Wednesday 13th April, from Austria to Scotland was crossed by a jet stream over the mountains of southern Germany. It is worth checking the RSGB propagation forum for the daily jet stream forecast charts to see which direction the Sporadic-E might appear from. Look for jet streams crossing mountain ranges like the Alps or Pyrenees.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the 21st and 22nd of April so by now we should be seeing a noticeable increase in meteor rates. For EME operators, the Moon is up in the evening and overnight this coming week, but losses are highest as we approach apogee on Thursday.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th April 2016

The news headlines:

  • New RSGB General Manager appointed

  • Ofcom revises Licence Guidance

  • New DXpedition Fund trustees

Steve Thomas, M1ACB has been appointed as the new General Manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain. He will join the staff on Monday the 11th of April. Steve has been an active volunteer with the RSGB for many years, and is presently the Regional Manager for Region 12. Graham Coomber, G0NBI will remain in place until the 30th of April, to ensure a smooth handover.

Ofcom have revised their Guidance notes relating to the UK Amateur Radio Licence. The document should be read in conjunction with the Licence, and is intended to help licensees understand and comply with the Licence terms and conditions. It can be downloaded from the Ofcom website, or via the shortcut tinyurl.com/ofcom-ar-2016

The RSGB sponsors HF DXpeditions to the rarer countries through a fund that is supported each year from proceeds of a raffle held at the annual RSGB Convention, as well income from legacies and donations. The Society wishes to put on record its thanks to Colin Thomas, G3PSM who is stepping down as a Trustee of the fund after 19 years, and to welcome two new trustees, Martin Atherton, G3ZAY and Gordon Rolland, G3USR. Details of the fund are on the RSGB website under the Operating tab.

The 89th RSGB AGM will be held in Glasgow on Saturday the 23rd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. For details, go to www.rsgb.org/AGM2016. Please note that online voting closes at 12 noon on the 21st of April. Whilst the Society encourages Members to vote electronically via the website wherever possible, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Lunch will be provided for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website.

The April/May edition of the online RadCom Basics is now available to RSGB Members and was emailed to subscribers last week. It contains features on receiving transmissions from the International Space Station, part two of the feature on making homemade coaxial trap antennas, getting your first HF award with International Marconi Day, plus a look at JT65. RadCom Basics is aimed at new amateurs and those who may want to find out more about aspects of the hobby they may have never considered. You can find out more about RadCom Basics and subscribe in the publications section of the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.

The Martin Lynch Training Academy is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers session in Staines on Thames on Saturday the 23rd of April. The course will run from 9.30am until 5pm and is free for RSGB Members. Train the Trainers is designed to encourage and support anyone delivering Foundation, Intermediate and/or Advanced licence classes who is not already a professional teacher. It's a fun day delivered by 3 enthusiastic professional teachers and keen radio amateurs, who between them have over 50 years’ experience in the classroom. To book a place please email steve@hamradio.co.uk

World Amateur Radio Day, observed every year on the 18th of April, marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union in 1925. Radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate amateur radio’s contribution to society. The IARU has provided a World Amateur Radio Day poster that can be downloaded from www.iaru.org under the ‘operating’ tab. Amateurs are encouraged to promote their activity on social media by using the hashtag #WARD2016.

The surprise visit to North Korea by Dom, 3Z9DX last December where he gave a demonstration of amateur radio to local officials has been given approval for DXCC credit. The callsign used was P5/3Z9DX. He made in the region of 785 QSOs and it is hoped that further visits may be possible in the future.

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

Today, the 10th of April, the NARSA exhibition will take place at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and Morse proficiency tests are also available. Highlights include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstand. There is a licensed bar and catering facilities. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also today, the 10th, is the 32nd Yeovil QRP Convention held at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stalls, plus a programme of talks. Contact Bob Harris, by email to wjh069@gmail.com.

Next Sunday, the 17th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. Other attractions include trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and lectures. A raffle will also be held. Catering is available on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

The Andover Radio And Computer Boot Sale will be held on the 17th of April at Tangley Village Hall, Wildhern, Andover, Hants SP11 0JE. Doors will be open from 9am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 8.30am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, Car boot area, as well as trade stands. Catering will be available on site and there will be a raffle held on the day. More details from Paul Phillips, G4KZY on 0777 573 8200.

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

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

A team of operators will be on the air as EP2A from the Gilan Province in Iran between the 16th and 25th of April. They will be using the 160 to 6m bands, except 60m, using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will have four stations on the air. QSL via YL2GM or Club Log OQRS, either direct or bureau.

Brian, GW4DVB will be active as J88PI from Palm Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, NA-025, from the 12th to the 22nd of April. Using an Elecraft KX3 and KXPA100 with a 10m vertical and M0CVO multiband dipole, he plans to operate on the 6 to 40m bands SSB only. QSL via his home address, see QRZ.com.

Listen for Bill, K2HVN, working as 9Y/K2HVN on the Island of Tobago, SA-009, from the 4th to the 26th of April. He will work 40 to 10m holiday style. He will be operating SSB and CW. QSL via his home callsign only; he will not accept LoTW. See QRZ.com for information.

Operators Helen, RC5A and Yuri, RM0F are going to Maldive Islands, AS-013, where they will be active as 8Q7CA and 8Q7FU, respectively, between the 17th and 30th of April. They will work the 160 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home callsigns, direct, by the Bureau or the OQRS on ClubLog.

Alex, W1CDC will be active as 8R1A from Guyana from 11th to 24th April. This will be a holiday-style activation of 80m to 10m, mainly on CW. QSL to the home call.

Jacek, SP5APW will visit Koh Rong Sanloem Island in Cambodia from 12th to 18th April. His callsign will be XU7AKC and the IOTA reference is AS-133. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Now the special event news

We have no reports of special event stations taking place this week.

Now the contest news

Today, the 10th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today, the 10th, the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest takes place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday it’s the turn of the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships, which runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange s signal report and serial number.

On Saturday, the 16th, the International Sprint SSB contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

The Worked All Britain Datamodes Contest takes place next Sunday, the 17th of April 2016. Using the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. There are two separate contests, one for RTTY and one for PSK, and you will need a separate set of entry sheets for each. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600UTC and again from 2000 to 2200UTC. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400UTC and again from 1800 to 2000UTC. Both are split into two periods to allow for good propagation on 20 and 40m in the afternoon and on 40 and 80m in the evening. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 8th of May. Full details from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday 8th April.

It is beginning to look like we’re getting an early taste of the upcoming solar minimum. The sun currently only has one small sunspot group and, at the time of writing, there were no new spots coming up behind it. The solar flux index hovered in the low to mid eighties this week, giving a noon-time critical frequency of 5.9MHz on Tuesday and 5.2MHz on Wednesday, as measured at Chilton, near Harwell. These figures suggest that the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path struggled to get up to 15m, although FT4JA on Juan de Nova has been audible on 12 metres at times. Forty metres was only open to Europe and beyond, after losing its valuable inter-G capabilities.

The earth was hit by yet more plasma from the solar wind in the early hours of Friday, sending the K index up to five.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline further to around 80. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions are predicted for the 11th to the 14th, thanks to recurring coronal holes on the solar surface and high speed solar wind streams. We suggest you get your HF DXing in on Sunday, before the onslaught from the solar wind.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It will be another unsettled week, with low pressure being the main driving force behind the weather, and we are therefore very unlikely to see any enhanced conditions on VHF or UHF due to Tropo. There is, however, still a very good chance of further heavy showers, some thundery, and these big clouds can produce good rain scatter paths on the gigahertz bands.

We mentioned last week that April is the time to start looking on 10m for Sporadic-E openings. There were indeed some fleeting European 10m Sporadic-E paths logged on the various cluster sites last week. Admittedly, some of these have been beacons and skimmers, but it is worth putting in a human presence on 10m just in case any early season paths are accessible from Britain.

As the moon moves away from perigee, degradation on the EME path will increase throughout the week. The increase will be approximately 1.9dB by next weekend. The early part of this week will be favoured by small EME stations.

The 2016 Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the 21st and 22nd of April. A noticeable increase in meteor rates can be expected from about the 16th of April.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd April 2016

The news headlines:

  • YOTA 2017 UK Summer Camp

  • Ofcom pausing revalidations

  • KH5K off DXCC List

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the Youngsters on the Air 2017 summer camp will be held in the UK. The Society looks forward to welcoming teams of young amateurs from some 15 countries in IARU Region 1 to the UK in August 2017. The RSGB Youth Committee and RSGB HQ will be working hard over the coming weeks and months to deliver a great YOTA event.

Representatives of the Society met with Ofcom last month. Further details are on the Notices section of the RSGB website. Subjects discussed included how the Society and Ofcom could work more effectively to tackle reports of EMC, implementation of the WRC-15 agreement to harmonise the spectrum allocation at 5MHz and progress with licence re-validation. Ofcom reported that, due to the commissioning of a new IT system, there would be a pause in the revalidation process until later in the Spring.

The ARRL Awards Committee has voted to delete Kingman Reef, KH5K, from the DXCC List, effective from the 29th of March 2016. Honor Roll status will now be attainable after confirming 330 entities on the DXCC List and the total number of entities on the List will drop from 340 to 339.

The findings of the Amateur Radio Survey that was undertaken at the end of last year have now been analysed. An initial summary will appear in the June edition of RadCom and a presentation of the key findings will be made available to affiliated clubs later in the year.

Sad news now. Northern newsreader Hugh Morgan Jones, M1NTO has become a silent key after a long illness. Hugh was a very capable news reader and always reliable. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends. His funeral will be held at Tyldesley Methodist Church on Monday the 11th of April at 10am.

The Leicestershire UHF Beacon, GB3LEU, was switched off on the 24th of February to investigate spurious emissions that were being produced by the transmitter’s synthesiser stage. The design is based on the LMX2541 IC. It is not known how long it will be out of service. If anyone has experience of this particular chip, the repeater group would appreciate a call. Please contact Geoff Dover, G4AFJ on 01455 823 344.

RSGB Members are reminded that voting is still open for the resolutions at the forthcoming AGM. Full information, and details of how to vote, were contained in the April edition of RadCom.

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

Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, the 3rd of April, at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and catering is available on site. Further details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

On the 10th of April, the NARSA exhibition will take place at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. There will be a talk-in station and Morse proficiency tests are also available. Highlights include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstand. There is a licensed bar and catering facilities. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on the 10th is the 32nd Yeovil QRP Convention held at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stalls, plus a programme of talks. Contact Bob Harris, by email to wjh069@gmail.com.

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

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

Four German operators are active as 5V7D from Kpeme in Togo until the 11th of April. They are working all bands 10m to 80m using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL manager is DL9MBI.

Dick, G3RWL returns to Barbados, NA-021, until the 22nd of April where he will reactivate his 8P9DR callsign. He will operate on CW and RTTY. QSLs go via ClubLog OQRS.

In addition to the ongoing Heard Island DXpedition, VK0EK, there will be another rare DXCC entity on the air this week. Until the 11th of April, look out for FT4JA from Juan de Nova Island, AF-012. The island is located in the Mozambique Channel and has a small garrison of French troops and a weather station. QSLs will be available via ClubLog OQRS.

In April, Svein, LA9JKA returns to Jan Mayen, EU-022, for another 6 months on the island. On the air during his spare time as JX9JKA on HF using SSB and digital modes, he will focus on 160, 80, 40 and 30m. QSL direct via LA9JKA.

Akira, JH0CKF will be operating as T88MZ from Koror Island, OC-009, between the 5th and 8th of April. QSL via JH0CKF either direct or via the bureau, LoTW or eQSL.

Now the special event news

Today, the 3rd, GB1HPT will be on the air celebrating RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire. See the entry on QRZ.com for more information.

Now the contest news

The CW/SSB leg of the SPDX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 3rd. Work Polish stations only, giving them a signal report and serial number. Expect a signal report and one of sixteen single-letter Province codes in return. There are a large number of categories, and certificates are on offer for the category winners in each DXCC entity.

The SSB leg of new contest, RoLo 1, which replaces RoPoCo, runs for 90 minutes this evening, the 3rd, starting at 1900UTC. The power limit for all entrants is 100W. Send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full Locator. In subsequent QSOs you send the Locator you received in each of your previous QSOs. Even if you receive a Locator that is obviously corrupted, pass it on exactly as received. This contest is a qualifying event for the HF Championship. It is all about logging accuracy, and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces an error, you won’t lose points.

Also today, the First 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes in the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

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

Wednesday sees the UK EI 80m CC, which runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is your 4 character locator.

On Saturday the 9th, the International Sprint CW contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On Sunday the 10th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also on the 10th, the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest takes place from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday 1st April.

This past week saw continued low to medium geomagnetic disturbances thanks to ongoing solar coronal holes. A geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for the 2nd of April due to a disturbed interplanetary magnetic field, coupled with elevated solar wind speeds from a coronal hole high speed stream. This could see the K index climb again to five or six. Periods of further, but less potent, geomagnetic storming are forecast for the rest of next week.

At the time of writing there was just one solitary sunspot, which is stable and non-threatening. The overall trend of declining sunspot and flare activity will gradually continue as we slowly make our way towards the next solar minimum around the end of the decade.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 80s. As we are now in April you should be using a smoothed sunspot number of 39 for VOACAP-based prediction programs.

April remains a good month for north-south paths, such as UK to South Africa. We also have the continuing DXpeditions of VK0EK on Heard Island and FT4JA on Juan de Nova Island near Madagascar. The optimum bands to work FT4JA are likely to be 17 or 15m, with occasional openings up to 10m if the K index remains low.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It seems that we are stuck in this slightly unsettled April showers story for another week, with any high pressure displaced to the east and well away to the south-west of the British Isles.

So what does that leave for VHF/UHF operators? From a Tropo perspective, not a lot really, but we could again see some rain scatter options on the microwave bands from the large April shower cumulonimbus clouds. Lastly, it is worth another ‘heads up’ for the 2016 Sporadic-E season, which should be showing its hand on 10m during late April. Dust down those frequency lists, check the beacon portion of the band and give it a try. The 28MHz beacons are listed from page 135 to 140 of the 2016 RSGB Yearbook and, with more than 100 beacons per page, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There is also the prospect of some trans-equatorial propagation activity at this time of the year, making 10m a band well worth keeping an eye on during April.

There are no major meteor showers this week. In the run up to the Lyrids, from the 16th to the 22nd of April, there may be a small increase in random meteors towards the end of the week.

The moon will be close to the sun in the sky on the 7th, so EME degradation will be high due to sun noise. Additional path losses due to the moon’s perigee will be low for a few days either side of this.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • Welcome to BST

  • 10MHz for Internet of Things

  • K1JT is Amateur of the Year

Don’t forget that the clocks changed at 1am today, the 27th of March, for the start of British Summer Time. This means that all times given as UTC in this bulletin are one hour earlier than local time.

Ofcom has announced measures to help ensure adequate spectrum is available for the so-called Internet of Things, and to encourage investment and innovation in this developing technology. The Internet of Things is set to enable large numbers of previously-unconnected devices to communicate and share data with one another, a process known as machine-to-machine communications. Ofcom is allocating a total of 10MHz of VHF spectrum including 70.5-71.5MHz that, in 2015, Ofcom agreed could be used by radio amateurs for digital experimentation using a Special Research Permit. Section 4.30 of Ofcom's statement says "Radio Amateurs will continue to be permitted temporary access to the 70.5–71.5MHz band".

Joe Taylor, K1JT has been named as the 2016 Dayton Hamvention Amateur of the Year. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1993 for the discovery of the first orbiting pulsar, leading to observations that established the existence of gravitational waves. Joe was first licensed in 1954 as KN2ITP. Since his retirement, he has been developing and enhancing digital protocols for weak-signal amateur radio communication, including JT65 and WSPR.

In the April issue of RadCom, reference was made to GB2RS news reading in Northern Ireland within the GB2RS report. It suggested that there were no news readers there or in the Isle of Man. The GB2RS Manager, G3VBA, would like to apologise for the error as there are a number of excellent news readers in Northern Ireland, some of whom have been reading the news for many years. There are, however, no news readers yet on the Isle of Man. Apologies to all those news readers in Northern Ireland, and our grateful thanks for their service to the amateur radio community.

A new video has been released by the European Space Agency showing a summary of astronaut Tim Peake's Principia mission so far. It can be viewed at https://youtu.be/5PHpF4xnvKQ

On the 21st of March the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, completed its circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere. During the flight, at an altitude of about 11.5km, the balloon transmitted telemetry data at 4 minute intervals using Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600MHz USB, with an output power of just 3mW. Each telemetry packet was preceded by 10 seconds of 1Hz pips for manual alignment and a RSID tone for automatic alignment with suitable software. Additionally the payload had the capability for 144MHz APRS.

An initial meeting for all those interested in Broad Band HamNet, a system of digital communications on the amateur microwave bands, will be held on the 22nd of May at the HQ of Crawley Amateur Radio Club. The organisers hope to attract attendees from across the country. There will be presentations, demonstrations and open discussions. Please contact Ted, G4ELM, via email to BBHN.Event.2016@gmail.com to receive a copy of the agenda and to let him know if you plan to attend.

Two important consultations close at the end of March. These concern the future of the three UK 5MHz beacons, GB3RAL, GB3WES and GB3ORK, and input to the papers for the April IARU Region 1 interim meeting. Comments from all UK amateurs are invited via the RSGB consultations forum, which includes guidance and links to the papers. Please go to the section entitled Forums on the main RSGB website page.

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this Easter weekend. The next is the Hack Green Bunker Rally on the 3rd of April at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and catering is available on site. Further 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 radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The big DXpedition event this week will be VK0EK operating from Heard Island. They plan to be on the air until the 10th of April. This is a multi-national effort is led by the experienced DXer Bob, KK6EK. Up to date info is available on http://vk0ek.org/

Mike, VK8MA is involved with a climate project that will be operating on Ascension Island, AF-003, over the next 20 months or so. He has obtained the callsign ZD8MA and will take an FT-897 with 100W and a Buddipole. He will operate on the 10 to 40m bands as work allows.

Paul, G8AFC will continue to be operational as 3B8/G8AFC from Mauritius on 10m, usually around 28.480MHz ±QRM until early April. 50MHz operation is available if conditions allow. He is running 100W to a Moxon Rectangle and is located right on the north coast. The island has the IOTA reference of AF-049.

Richard, G3RWL is working as 8P6DR from Barbados, NA-021, from the 29th of March until the 22nd of April. He will be on the air holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands using CW and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau using ClubLog OQRS.

Eric, KV1J will be on the air as FP/KV1J from Miquelon Island, NA-032, until the 29th of March. Miquelon Island is part of the DXCC entity of the St Pierre & Miquelon Islands, located off the coast of Canada. Activity is on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign and Logbook of The World.

Joerg, DL3LUM is going to travel to Curacao, SA-099, from the 26th to 31st of March. Using the callsign PJ2/DL3LUM on HF, mostly CW, he will be using a KX3 and a vertical antenna. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau, OQRS, Logbook of the World or eQSL.

Now the special event news

Next weekend, on the 2nd and 3rd, GB1HPT will be on the air celebrating RAF Hooton Park, Cheshire. See the entry on QRZ.com for more information.

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be running a special event callsign to coincide with the club’s 50 year birthday during April. For further information contact the secretary, Dave, by email, to muarc.secretary@yahoo.co.uk

Between the 26th of March and the 22nd of April, Harlow and District Amateur Radio Society will be activating GB0HAF from Hunsdon Airfield for RAFARS Airfields on the Air. Operation will be on HF and 2m throughout the period. More details available on QRZ.com

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB4SL until early April to mark the visit of Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan.

Now the contest news

The CQ WorldWide Worked All Prefix SSB Contest is on this weekend from 0000UTC on the 26th to 2359 on the 27th. In addition to all the common prefixes, expect to hear plenty of interesting and obscure ones too. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest will run from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

The CW/SSB leg of the SPDX Contest runs for 24 hours from 1500 on the 2nd. Work Polish stations only, giving them a signal report and serial number. Expect a signal report and one of sixteen single-letter Province codes in return. For single-op stations there are High, Low and QRP categories for single- and multi-band, CW/SSB/mixed, but there’s also an uncommon mixed mode category called Single-Op Three Bands. Certificates are on offer for the category winners in each DXCC entity,

The SSB leg of new contest, RoLo 1, which replaces RoPoCo, runs for 90 minutes on the evening of the 3rd, starting at 1900UTC. The power limit for all entrants is 100W. Send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full Locator. In subsequent QSOs you send the Locator you received in each of your previous QSOs. Even if you receive a Locator that is obviously corrupted, pass it on exactly as received. This contest is a qualifying event for the HF Championship. It is all about logging accuracy, and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces an error, you won’t lose points.

Also on the 3rd, the First 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes in the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society has had to cancel the Oman High Speed Telegraphy Championship that had been planned for the 21st to 25th of September. The IARU Region 1 High Speed Telegraphy Working Group is reviewing the available alternatives.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Thursday 24th March.

This week has seen more settled geomagnetic conditions with the K index hovering around two, although Wednesday saw it spike up to four due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. Sunspot wise, the solar surface was a little lacklustre, with just one sunspot group visible. This pushed the solar flux index to the high eighties.

The current image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft shows extensive coronal holes on both hemispheres. These don’t bode well for settled geomagnetic conditions over the next week.

The solar flux index is predicted to remain around 90. And although both NOAA and the US Air Force are predicting settled geomagnetic conditions, the SDO extreme ultraviolet image suggests otherwise. With a geo-effective coronal hole rotating into position on the sun we could get a geomagnetic storm before the end of the Easter weekend, with subsequent negative effects on the HF bands.

The goods news is that the VK0EK Heard Island DXpedition is under way. The best band and times to work them from the UK appear to be 15m from 0600 to 1400UTC, with potential 17 and 12m openings around the same time. There will be shorter openings on most of the bands at various times of day and night, so see the VK0EK website for more details.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week was poor for tropo despite some forecasts saying otherwise. And it looks like another poor week with low-pressure dominating, especially over the north and east of the country. This means April showers-type weather is the most likely. Since these can often bring large towering cumulonimbus clouds with heavy rain, this provides some prospect of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

On the lower VHF bands, it’s not too long to wait now for the Sporadic-E season. There was one report last week on four metres, with the focus centred over the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. This was probably due to a jet stream being disturbed over the mountains.

Keep a lookout on 10 metres for the characteristic ‘short skip’ conditions as your early season indicators. The RSGB propagation forum will have a map of the jet stream locations each day to guide you where to look.

A week for EME system repairs is coming up as Moon declination is at its lowest on Wednesday, meaning only short, low-elevation windows. The moon is coming back towards us next week, but path losses are still high.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • VK0EK team en route to Heard Island

  • Register for Mills on theAir

  • Roy, G8CKN retires after 37 years of GB2RS

The VK0EK team are almost at the end of their 10 day journey to Heard Island at the time of writing. The operators are currently active as ZL/ZS9HI/MM from Braveheart. Activity has been mainly on CW on 30, 15 and10 meters. See their website at http://vk0ek.org for more information on the DXpedition.

Denby Dale ARS invite registrations for this year’s Mills On The Air weekend that takes place over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of May. Please visit www.g4cdd.net and follow the links.

Roy, G8CKN has decided to retire from presenting the GB2RS news and the RSGB would like to thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the amateur radio community. He started broadcasting at the beginning of the 2m FM service 37 years ago, adding simultaneous 70cm FM and 23cm ATV transmissions for the last 21 years. He then added world-wide internet video streaming some 15 years ago. A replacement or replacements are required to take over the current transmissions on 2m FM, 70cm FM via GB3BN, 23cm Analogue or 70cm Digital ATV via GB3HV and Internet Streaming via batc.tv. Assistance will be given to set up these transmissions and some equipment may also be available. If anyone would like to take over as a GB2RS news reader in Hampshire/central southern England please contact the GB2RS News Manager, Ken Hatton, G3VBA, via email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk.

Following the transfer of responsibility of amateur licence examinations to the RSGB, the Examinations Group is looking for volunteers to join them. Ideally volunteers will have a Full licence and experience in radio communications technology in some professional, educational or employment capacity. Full details are on the RSGB website, just put volunteering in the search box.

Voting has now opened in the RSGB’s 2016 election. Members have one of three options for registering your vote on each Resolution. You can attend the AGM in person on the 23rd of April at Glasgow City Hotel, 36 Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN, starting at 12 noon. You can vote by the internet on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/votersgb16 or you can vote by post by contacting the RSGB HQ by writing to the General Manager, by email from gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk or by telephone 01234 832 702. Full details are in the April RadCom. The closing date for internet or postal voting is 12 noon on 21 April 2016.

A number of teams will be working the CQWW WPX SSB Contest on the 26th and 27th of March. They include members of the CT3 Team, active as CQ9T from Funchal, AF-014, working as a Multi-Single/ Low-Power entry. QSL via CT3KN. Also listen for members of Amateur Radio Taipei, active from Taiwan as BP0P as a Multi-2 entry. QSL via BP0P, see qrz.com. During the contest, listen out for Laurent, FM5BH, who will be active as TO972M from Martinique Island, NA-107, as a Single- Op/All-Band/High-Power entry. QSL via FM5BH direct. The bands will be very busy and you should get the opportunity to work many more DX stations.

If you are looking for something to entertain the younger members of the family over Easter, take a look at the activities available at Bletchley Park. Children will enjoy the Nifty Number trail and the code breaking session available over the Easter long weekend. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk for full details. Don’t forget to visit the National Radio Centre whilst you are there. Remember to take a copy of your licence if you wish to operate GB3RS.

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

Today, the 20th the 31st Wythall RC Rally will take place at the Wythall Radio Club HQ, Wythall Park, Silver St, Wythall B47 6LZ. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30/10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands as well as a licensed bar and catering facilities. Details from Mike on 07976 744 479.

Today, the 20th the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held at Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. More information from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com. 

Today, the 20th, the Causeway Coast Glens AC Radio Rally will be held at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland BT57 8QG. The venue has disabled access and suitable car parking on site. Doors open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Catering facilities are available on site and there will be a raffle taking place during the day. More details from MN0CCG on 0754 492 3956.

There are no rallies in the diary for Easter weekend. The next is the Hack Green Bunker Rally on the 3rd of April at the Hack Green Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich in Cheshire.

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

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

Herbert, DK2BR is operating holiday style from Con Son Island, Vietnam, until the 26th of March with the callsign 3W2BR. This is IOTA reference AS-130. He will be on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK31. Send QSL cards direct to his home callsign.

Hiro, JA6WFM, will be active in Tonga as A31MM during the CQWW WPX SSB Contest, taking place on the 26th and 27th of March. He will work a Single-Op/All-Band/Low-Power entry. QSL via EA5GL or Logbook of The World.

A group of four Norwegians will sign VK9CK from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, OC-003, until the 26th of March. Operation will be on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB, CW and RTTY.

Bogdan, SP2FUD and Zenek, SP2GCJ will be on the air as C5FUD and C5GCJ, respectively, from Brufut in the Gambia until the 1st of April. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes a possible entry in the upcoming CQ WPX SSB contest. QSL to their home callsigns.

Bill, K1CN is on the air as C6AMM from Harbour Island in the Bahamas, IOTA NA-001, until the 3rd of April. Activity is holiday style on the 6 to 40m bands using mostly SSB with some CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Between the 26th of March and the 22nd of April, Harlow and District Amateur Radio Society will be activating GB0HAF from Hunsdon Airfield for RAFARS Airfields on the Air. Operation will be on HF and 2m and on various days. More details available on qrz.com or from Colin, by email to g0mgu@hotmail.co.uk

Special event stations in Russia will be on the air until the 16th of June as part of the international scientific-educational radio marathon called Inventors of Telecommunications, established by the Russian Geographical Society and supported by radio clubs and individual operators. There will be awards and certificates. Each RT73-prefix station represents a historical figure in the area of telecommunications or electronics. For example, RT73BA represents Alexander Graham Bell, RT73EA represents Edwin Howard Armstrong and RT73NT represents Nikola Tesla.

Now the contest news

The 24 hours of the Russian DX Contest ends at 1200UTC today, the 20th. There are numerous entry categories, for single- and multi-band, single- and multi-mode, multi-op, various power levels, clubs, and so on. An interesting aspect of this event is the possibility of submitting two single-band entries, for example 15m and 80m. Work everyone and send a signal report and serial number, but expect Russian stations to send you a signal report and a 2-letter Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY contest ends at 0200UTC on the 21st. Operating on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest is taking place at the same time. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it’s the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships taking place between 2000 and 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CQ WorldWide Worked All Prefix SSB Contest is on next weekend from 0000UTC on the 26th to 2359 on the 27th. In addition to all the common prefixes, expect to hear plenty of interesting and obscure ones too. 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 18th March.

This week has seen continued geomagnetic storms, thanks to a high-speed solar wind stream flowing from a geo-effective coronal hole on the sun's surface. As we predicted, last weekend was reasonably settled, but then it all went pear shaped. The K index hit five on Tuesday night, and five again on Wednesday night, this time remaining at five for up to nine hours. High K indices are usually a sign of bad conditions, although there can be highlights.

During the initial phase of a geomagnetic storm you can often get enhanced conditions, but they tend not to last and you can be left with noisy bands and fluttery or no HF signals, especially if they go near the poles.

The noon critical frequency as measured by the RAL Digisonde on Tuesday was 7.2MHz, but just 5.4MHz on Wednesday. Quite a few of the IBP beacons on 14.100 MHz could be heard on Tuesday, but by Thursday morning none were audible.

Next week the solar flux index is predicted to be around 85-95 all week. With no geo-effective coronal holes rotating into view on the sun's surface the K index is predicted to remain around two. This means we may have more settled HF conditions next week. We suggest you keep your fingers crossed!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week’s high pressure gave some modest Tropo openings on the VHF bands, but as hinted at in the last bulletin, it was often handicapped by dry air at the surface, below the inversion. This has the effect of lessening the quality of the ducts formed and makes any Tropo weaker and more marginal. It looks like a similar story through the coming week, with the occasional improved spells when the surface layer of air becomes more moist. You’ll know this by the drizzle and misty low cloud.

As always check the bands and look for areas of fog and misty low cloud on the satellite pictures to see which directions might produce the better quality lifts.

Around the March Equinox, is “Fireball season” A fireball is just an especially bright meteor and they seem to appear in greater numbers than usual around this time. In fact, one was reported last week over the UK. Sadly fireballs are no help to meteor scatter operators as they are so few and are short lived.

Conditions were perfect for the Dubus CW EME event last weekend, with the moon at high declination and just beyond perigee.

Next week, losses will increase to maximum as the moon reaches apogee on Friday and windows will shorten, the declination going negative on Wednesday.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • Belgium gets WRC15 5 MHz allocation and 4m extension

  • Convention video available

  • Kenwood award for 2 and 6m

The Belgian telecoms regulator, IBPT, has issued a decision permitting access to the new WRC15 60m allocation for all Belgian Class A amateur licensees. The allocation is from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. All modes are permitted. Belgian amateurs also now have wider access to 4m. The band 70.1125 to 70.4125MHz has now been made available with a maximum power from the transmitter output of 50W. Secondary status with all modes is available for all Belgian Class A licensees.

Several of the presentations at the RSGB Convention in 2015 were videoed and they are being made available via the RSGB website. The first talk is on Engineering the Gemini range of VHF UHF power amplifiers by Chris Bartam, GW4DGU. Go to the video archives section on the RSGB website.

Kenwood UK has launched a VHF Challenge. The aim is to work as many large locator squares during 2016 on 2m and 6m as possible. For example, one point for a QSO with JO01 and one point for IO91 and so on. All modes are allowed but not the use of repeaters, satellites or other relaying. Provide a simple list of your QSOs with station worked, band, time and locator squares in either a Word, Text or Spreadsheet file to Mark Haynes, M0DXR by email to mark.haynes@uk.jvckenwood.com by the 14th of January 2017. There will be a trophy and prize for the winner.

The MB6IRH wires-x simplex gateway located in Northwich, Cheshire is now live. Located at IO83SG on 431.150MHz simplex, more details can be found by email to g0sph@g0sph.tv

The Arfon Repeater Group has announced an upgrade to their 70cm repeater, GB3AN. It is located on the north east coast of Anglesey near the town of Amlwch. The repeater has a change of operation with the recent installation of a Yaesu DR-1X Fusion repeater system, and following an NoV, it became operational in dual mode. Digital voice mode of C4FM together with normal FM is now available. The operating channel is RB08, an output frequency of 433.2000MHzRX and receive frequency of 434.8000MHz with a CTCSS access tone of 110.9Hz. Report on the coverage would be very welcomed via the website at www.arfon.info .

Stephen Purser, G4SHF has indicated that he wishes to stand down as Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee and the RSGB is looking for his successor. The successful applicant will have experience of the planning process, preferably in a professional capacity, and will head up a small team of advisers. The post will not involve the preparing planning applications for members, only advising members on their preparation. If you are interested in applying for this post, please contact Len, GM0ONXat gm0onx@rsgb.org.uk.

Coming up at the end of March is an opportunity to work the 6th most-wanted DXCC entity according to the Club Log DXCC Most Wanted List. Juan de Nova is a small island located between Mozambique and Madagascar with the IOTA reference AF-012. It was last activated in 2003 but FT4JA should be on the air starting on the 29th of March. Leading up to the DXpedition, two of its operators, F2DX and F6BEE, will head to Mayotte Island, AF-027, which is northeast of Juan de Nova, and be active as FH/ using their home callsigns from the 18th to 24th of March, when they will focus on the 6 to 40m bands. The other eight FT4JA operators will join them later.

The first UK amateur radio contact on the 241 GHz band took place on the 19th of February at 1500UTC between Roger, G8CUB and Chris, G0FDZ. The distance was 30 metres and the CW signals were 559 and 589. The transmit power at each end was in the order of one microwatt and the antennas used were 250mm and 300mm dishes. This contact has been made on the highest frequency allocation available to amateurs in the UK.

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

The Dover Radio Rally takes place today, the 13th, at the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT163LY. There will be a talk-in station. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors having access from 9.30am. Admission is £2. Highlights include trade stands, an auction, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There is catering available. Information from Peter Love, G0KOK on 07850 464 026.

Also today, the 13th, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at Earlesfield Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XW. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands and a flea market as well as a Bring & Buy stall. Specialist interest groups will be in attendance and there will be an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will be held on the day. More information on 0751 0271 577.

Next Saturday, the 19th, Laugharne Radio Rally will take place in the Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton St, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is free. Disabled visitors can gain access at 9.30am. There will be a raffle and light refreshments on the day. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

Also on the 19th, the 41st Dutch National Radio Flea Market will be held at Autotron, Rosmalen (Den Bosch), in The Netherlands. The Autotron has its own exit with signs on the A59 motorway. Doors open from 9am to 3.30pm. There are more than 330 stands booked at the event.

Next Sunday, the 20th the 31st Wythall RC Rally will take place at the Wythall Radio Club HQ, Wythall Park, Silver St, Wythall B47 6LZ. The venue has car parking as well as disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30/10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands as well as a licensed bar and catering facilities. Details from Mike on 07976 744 479.

On Sunday the 20th the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held on Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. More information from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com. 

Finally for next weekend, the Causeway Coast Glens AC Radio Rally will be held on the 20th at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland BT57 8QG. The venue has disabled access and suitable car parking on site. Doors open from 11am to 4pm and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Catering facilities are on site and there will be a raffle taking place during the day. More details from MN0CCG on 0754 492 3956.

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

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

A Polish Team of operators, working as 5J0P from San Luis, San Andres Island, will be operating until the 21st of March, using CW, SSB and RTTY on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL via the Club Log's OQRS tools for Bureau and direct requests. No QSL cards please. The QSL Manager is SP6IXF.

Bob, G3PJT will be back in Grenada as J34G until the 24th of March. This will be a holiday style operation with activity mainly on CW on 80m to 10m.

A group of 10 German operators will be in Sri Lanka until the 18th of March. Callsigns to look for are 4S7GWG and 4S7RTG. They will operate on the 6 to 40m bands and QSLs are via Club Log OQRS.

Noel, F6BGC will be operating holiday style on Thulhagiri Island until the 22nd. The IOTA reference is AS-013. Using the callsign 8Q7NC, he will operate SSB, CW and RTTY on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via F6BGC either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

John, GW4SKA plans to operate as GD4SKA from the Isle of Man, EU-116, from IO74QB from the 15th to the 23rd. He will be on the 10 to 80m bands using RTTY and PSK, including an entry in the BARTG RTTY Contest using the callsign GD0A. Logs will be put to Club Log daily, QSL via M0OXO.

Bert/DK2BR will be active holiday-style until the 26th from Con Son Island, AS-130. Operating as 3W2BR on the 10 to 40m bands he will be using SSB, RTTY, and PSK31 running 100W and verticals. QSL via DK2BR direct.

Now the special event news

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB4SL on the 12th of March for 28 days to mark the visit of Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan to Pontefract.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the 15th and 16th, Mid-Somerset Amateur Radio Club will be operating a special event station GB4BSC for British Science Week at the Blue School in Wells, Somerset. Operation will mainly be on 40m from around 9am to 5pm each day. If you hear them please give them a call as the students will be taking part in greetings messages. A special QSL card will be available and QSLs should be via the QSL manager Brian, G0FZI.

Orchard County DX Club will be operating a station, MN0OCG, for St Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March from 1am to 11.59pm. It is an official station for the St Patrick Day Award. Contact Alex Simpson, MI0MVP, on 0283 898 7505.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Britain 3.5 MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 13th, from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 3rd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets are on the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Sunday the 13th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hours runs at 1000UTC today, the 13th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

On Wednesday it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

For 24 hours over the weekend of the 19th and 20th the Russian DX Contest takes place. There are numerous entry categories, for single- and multi-band, single- and multi-mode, multi-op, various power levels, clubs, and so on. An interesting aspect of this event is the possibility of submitting two single-band entries, for example 15m and 80m. Work everyone and send a signal report and serial number, but expect Russian stations to send you a signal report and a 2-letter Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY contest runs from 0200 on the 19th to 0200UTC on the 21st. Operating on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

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

Last week we said that a geo-effective solar coronal hole looked like it might threaten the Earth, and we were right. Its open magnetic field allowed plasma to escape, impacting the earth on Monday and sending the K index up to six. This also sparked visible aurora, which were seen in southern UK.

This didn't bode well for the HF bands, which continued to suffer all week as the K index struggled to recover. Having said that, DX was workable at times. The TX7EU DXpedition in French Polynesia, for example, has been worked from the UK by some better-equipped stations.

This week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 90-95. Geomagnetic conditions may be quieter at the beginning of the week, but storm conditions may return with a vengeance from Wednesday onwards.

Make the most of the slightly more settled conditions this weekend when the CW-only Commonwealth Contest should give you a great opportunity to work some rare DX entities with little competition from the rest of the world.

The K index is predicted to hit four again on Wednesday and five for the rest of the week. So we can expect noisy band conditions, with lower maximum usable frequencies plus visible and radio aurora.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This may be a good week to look for DX on the multimode part of the bands. At last, we have the prospect of some longer lived Tropo as high pressure over Scandinavia links up across the UK with the high near the Azores.

Throughout the week, high pressure will always be nearby, ending up over the North Sea or Scandinavia.

High pressure areas tend to develop temperature inversions in the lower atmosphere with the effect of changing the refractive index of the air over a short vertical distance.

In the right conditions, this can form a duct whereby VHF/UHF signals can travel over much longer distances than normal. These Spring systems are not usually as good as the Autumn ones, since the air below the inversion is often cold and dry, reducing the refractive index change.

The western side of Britain may have low pressure to deal with by the end of the week, but eastern areas across to Scandinavia and northern Europe should yield some results through to the following weekend.

This is another quiet week for meteor activity, and for EME operators the Moon reaches maximum declination on Wednesday. This gives long moon windows, albeit with increasing losses as the moon heads out to Apogee.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th March 2016

The news headlines:

  • Learn to write exam questions

  • Longstanding Newsreader retires

  • Short Callsigns from the RSGB

Would you like to learn how the Examiners set questions and be able to take these skills back to your club? Club trainers are constantly challenged with the task of preparing practice questions which meet the needs of the syllabus and their students. Members of the Exam Group, led by the Chief Examiner, Alan Betts, will be holding a one day seminar at the Martin Lynch and Sons Ham Radio Training Academy in Staines on Saturday the 12th of March. A short presentation will be followed by informal work in small groups to develop skills and generate novel ideas for future development. For further details please email question.workshop@rsgb.org.uk

Trevor Harris, G2KF has decided to retire from reading GB2RS news due to ill health. The RSGB would like to thank Trevor for his service to GB2RS and the amateur community. If anyone would like to be a news reader in the South West please contact Ken, G3VBA by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk. Readers for other parts of the country would also be most welcome.

As of the 29th of February, the RSGB has taken over the responsibility for administering and distributing Special Contest Callsigns on behalf of Ofcom. The criteria for the issuing of a SCC have also been reduced. Full details and an application form are available from rsgb.org/scc and you can also find a list of currently-issued Special Contest Callsigns linked from that page.

A review is ongoing of the syllabus for all three levels of Radio Communications exams. This is being done by the Examinations Group and the Syllabus Review Working Group. The intention is to better align the Advanced with HAREC and to smooth out the steps more evenly between the different levels of exam. Also, the syllabus will be refreshed to include more recent technologies and practices currently in use. Later this year an advanced draft of the new syllabus is expected to be available, and there will be consultation with the training community. No changes will be implemented before January 2018 and at least 12 months notice will be given between the formal release of the new syllabus and the start of the corresponding updated exams.

During last year’s President’s Review of Contesting, some work was carried out on alternative scoring systems for VHF contests, with the aim of making the scoring evenly balanced across the country. This activity wasn’t completed and a commitment was made to come back to the subject in 2016. Volunteers who would like to get involved with this analysis would be welcome. The task will involve analysis of the open logs that are now being generated, along with other publicly available data, so the ability to manipulate and analyse large datasets will be very helpful. If you’d like more information, or just want to offer your help, please contact Andy Cook, G4PIQ, via email to vhfcc.chair@rsgb.org.uk

The Early Days of MFJ will be the topic as MFJ Founder Martin Jue, K5FLU, keynotes the 31st annual Dayton DX Dinner, sponsored by the SouthWest Ohio DX Association. Held in conjunction with the 2016 Dayton Hamvention®, the dinner will be on Friday, the 20th of May at the Marriott Hotel, 1414 S Patterson Boulevard, Dayton.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on Thursday the 10th of March from 1000 to 1400UTC. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety. More information is online at www.npl.co.uk/time

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

The Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place today, the 6th, at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, or 10.15 for disabled visitors and anyone booking items into the Bring & Buy. Admission is £2. There will be the usual range of traders, and catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198 374.

The Dover Radio Rally takes place next Sunday at the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT163LY. There will be a talk-in station. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors having access from 9.30am. Admission is £2. Highlights include trade stands, an auction, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There is catering available. Information from Peter Love, G0KOK on 07850 464 026.

Also next Sunday, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at Earlesfield Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XW. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands and a flea market as well as a Bring & Buy stall. Specialist interest groups will be in attendance and there will be an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will be held on the day. More information on 0751 0271 577.

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

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

UA4CC and LY2IJ will be on the air from Swaziland from the 9th to 15th of March, where the callsigns will be 3DA0CC and 3DA0IJ. On each occasion they will operate the HF bands, with a focus on the low bands. QSLs will be via Club Log OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Kenneth, LA7GIA is on the air as 3C7GIA from Malabo on Bioko Island, IOTA AF-010, until the 13th of March. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Michel, F6GWV and Gildas, F6HMQ will be in Guadeloupe, NA-102, until the 14th of March. They will use FG/homecall and in addition will use the special callsign TO66R.

Paulo, CT1ITE is QRV as D2/CT1ITE until the end of March from Angola. Activity is in his spare time on 80 to 10 metres, and possibly 160 metres, using CW and SSB. QSL to his home call.

Alan, G3XAQ will be back in Uganda until the 16th of March and will be found on CW using 5X1XA. His QSL manager is G3SWH.

Members of the ET7L team are QRV from Ethiopia until the 12th of April. QSL via US0LW.

Mike, UA1QV will be QRV as RI1PA from Kolguev Island until the 19th of March. Kolguev is located in the Arctic at 69 degrees north and has a population of just 300. The IOTA reference is EU-085 and QSLs go via the home call.

Now the special event news

Mid-Somerset Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB4BSC during British Science Week from the Blue School Wells. Planned days of operation are Tuesday and Wednesday the 15th and 16th, mainly on 40m.

Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB4SL on the 12th of March for 28 days to mark the visit of Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan to Pontefract.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 6th. Using SSB on the 1.8-28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RS plus Tx power. US stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

The RSGB 144/432MHz contest, a VHF Championship event, ends at 1400UTC today, the 6th. All modes can be used on the 144 and 432MHz bands, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Today, the 6th, the YL France team and DARC’s YL group are organising an international YL-Activity day in advance of International Women’s Day, March the 8th. Activity is from 0700 UTC to 1100UTC on 40m and 80m using SSB and CW. Scoring is heavily weighted towards YLs working YLs; OM to OM contacts score nil. Details are online at tinyurl.com/YL-comp-2016.

The first UK Microwave Group Low Band contest takes place today from 1000UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 2000 to 2130UTC with the exchange being signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Commonwealth Contest runs for 24 hours from 10am on the 12th. There should be several Commonwealth countries active that you don’t hear every day and because non-Commonwealth countries don’t enter this contest the pile-ups for the rare ones should be less, making them easier for the owner of an average station (100 watts and a doublet) to work. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and serial number, although HW stations also send HQ.

The Worked All Britain 3.5 MHz Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 13th, from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 3rd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets are on the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On the 13th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Solar activity was at lower levels this week. The Solar Flux Index declined to 91 on the 29th, before recovering toward the end of the week. However, it never quite reached 100.

Geomagnetic conditions were reasonably settled, with the A index in single figures and the K index hovering between one and three. This was mainly due to a lack of geo-effective coronal holes in the first half of the week, although at the time of writing this was unlikely to continue.

On Thursday a solar coronal hole on the sun's equator was pointing directly at the Earth, threatening unsettled conditions as you are reading or hearing this report.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to be around 100 to 105. After an unsettled start, geomagnetic conditions may become quieter, which may lead to better HF conditions later in the week.

Conditions on the lower bands have been very good, with the Medium Wave Circle reporting good reception of signals from the USA. Forty metres has also been humming, with strong North American SSB signals appearing from around 2200 UTC.

HF has also been active with Andy, M0NKR reporting many contacts to the Caribbean on twenty to twelve metres. This was probably due to the more settled geomagnetic conditions rather than the lacklustre sunspot activity.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It will be another quiet week for VHF and UHF tropo-style propagation, with low pressure and a cold northerly wind this weekend. This will last into Monday before a ridge builds from the west. This ridge is probably not as good as it sounds, since it is building in fairly cold air and so not very useful for tropo. In any event, it may only provide temporary enhancement over southern Britain. A weak trough will bring a collapse of any lift midweek, but a further ridge of high pressure may restore slightly better conditions at times over the second half of the week.

The rare 50MHz Sporadic-E opening on the 24th February, as reported last week, seems to have been caused by a very sharp and moving jet stream trough moving across western Iberia. This fits in nicely with the wind shear theory of Sporadic-E whereby turbulence caused in the jet stream can propagate upwards as gravity waves to cause wind shear in the E region.

We are still going down the slope of seasonal random meteor rates until the onset of the April Lyrids, so early morning continues to be best time for random meteor scatter operation.

The Moon’s declination goes positive on Wednesday night so the longer moon window, combined with perigee where losses are lowest, make it a good week for EME operation.

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

00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th February 2016

The news headlines:

  • RSGB UK bid for YOTA 2017

  • Special special Scout centenary callsigns

  • Latest ISS contact announced

The IARU has run a Youngsters on the Air International Summer Camp every year since 2011. It has been hosted in Romania, Belgium/Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Italy and Austria. The RSGB Board has agreed to submit a bid to host the 2017 YOTA Summer Camp in the UK. If successful, this will see young members from countries within Region 1 coming together for a week long programme of amateur radio related activities.

Ofcom has announced that it will release so-called ‘special special’ callsigns to support the Scouts’ Centenary celebrations. These callsigns will be prefixed GB100 (one zero zero), GB1OO (one oh oh) and GB1O0 (one oh zero), and have up to eight characters in total. An example might be GB100CSD. These callsigns will be available for special events by Cub Scout District and higher level groups and must be endorsed by the District Commissioner or equivalent for higher level groups. Ofcom has further clarified that events at the level of individual Cub Scout Groups will continue to be limited to normal special event callsigns.

The date of the next ISS School Contact has been confirmed by NASA. On Saturday the 5th of March, students from Powys Combined Schools will get their chance to speak to Tim Peake as he flies overhead. The pass is around 10.55 in the morning. Amateurs all over Northern Europe will be able to listen to the downlink live on 145.800MHz. A 2m handheld radio outdoors is adequate to hear much of his transmission, using only a rubber duck antenna.

Financial institutions are starting to see radio as a higher speed alternative to fibre optic networks. Making deals faster than others can bring huge benefits to traders, and every microsecond counts. A recent article in the Times reveals that a financial services consortium is seeking permission to build a thousand-foot mast in Kent. The purpose is to carry data traffic to the continent via radio, fractionally more quickly than other methods. The mast is just a mile from a similar height mast proposed by a rival company last year.

Recently, Norman Pascoe, G4USB, became a silent key. He was one of the founders of International Marconi Day and the yearly organiser. This year’s event will go ahead as planned, and the Cornish Amateur Radio Club expects to keep it running for many years to come. Unfortunately an online attack has taken down the International Marconi Day websites. If you have already registered for IMD 2016 you need not take any further action. For new registrations, or to find out more, please email the club via crac.imd@gmail.com

Interference from VDSL, the very high bitrate digital subscriber line technology used for superfast broadband to the home, is an increasing concern to amateurs. This problem, and other EMC-related matters, will be the subject of discussions between the RSGB and Ofcom at meetings in March 2016.

Papers are now available for the April IARU Region 1 interim meeting. Proposals cover a wide range of HF, VHF, microwave and EMC matters. These include band plans, contest rules, and interference issues. Comments from UK amateurs are invited via the RSGB Consultations forum, which includes guidance and links to the papers. Comments are also invited on a separate consultation regarding the future of the UK 5MHz beacons. These must be received before the end of March. Information on both of these items can be found at http://forums.thersgb.org

The latest version of the RSGB Band Plans were published in the March edition of RadCom. For reasons of space, the usual quite-small print was used. The Band Plans are also available in a variety of formats on the RSGB website, which can be viewed at much larger sizes if required. To find them, go to the www.rsgb.org website, select Operating and then Band Plans. There you will also find additional information such as a detailed look at the changes made this year.

70cm beacon GB3LEU has been suffering from frequency stability anomalies. It was switched off shortly after noon on 23 February and will remain off the air whilst the issues are investigated. Progress reports will be issued online at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk.

A new volunteer QSL sub manager has been appointed for the G1 and G2 series of call signs. Colin Tuckley, G8TMV replaces long-time volunteer Anthony Nowell, who died suddenly, shortly before Christmas. Unfortunately, we have been unable to recover Members’ collection envelopes from Anthony’s estate. G1 and G2 call holders are advised to send replacement envelopes to the new manager ASAP. Please remember that all collection envelopes must have the relevant callsign and unique membership number in the top left corner.

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

The Brats Rainham Radio Rally takes place today, the 28th, at Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, ME8 0BX. Doors open at 9.30/10am and there will be a talk-in station. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. More details from Trevor on 07717 678 795 or online at www.brats-qth.org.

Also today the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale takes place at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time and hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar. Details are online at www.MW0PRG.co.uk/events.uk.

Next Saturday the Lagan Valley ARS annual rally takes place at Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough BT26 6AR. The only other information we have been given is that the doors open at 11am.

Next Sunday the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, or 10.15 for disabled visitors and anyone booking items into the Bring & Buy. Admission is £2. There will be the usual range of traders, and catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 07714 198 374 or by email to g3zvi@yahoo.co.uk.

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

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

VK5MAV and VK5CE will be activating Breaksea, IOTA reference OC-243, from the 29th of February to the 4th of March. QSL via Clublog OQRS, direct and bureau.

DK2AMM, DL6JGN, GM4FDM and PA3EWP will be on the island of Nuku Hiva, OC-027 from the 3rd of March to the 15th. Activity will be on 40-10m, CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DK2AMM.

Majuro, OC-029 will be put on the air by AH6OY from the 1st to the 7th of March, probably with a V73I callsign. QSL direct or via the bureau.

UA1QV will activate Kolguev, EU-085 from the 5th to the 16th of March. Using the callsign RI1PA, activity will be on all bands. QSL to the home call, direct or bureau.

A group of 10 operators will be on the air as DA0HEL from Helgoland, EU-127 from the 5th to the 13th of March. Activity will be on all bands, possibly up to 2m, on SSB, CW, RTTY, PSK and JT65. QSL direct or via the bureau to DF6QC.

Operating form the lowest point on the Earth’s surface, 429 metres below sea level, 4X429DS will be on the air from the shores of the Dead Sea on all bands and modes from the 3rd to the 6th of March. QSL to N4GNR.

Now the special event news

Llanelli ARS will be putting GB4SDD on the air on Tuesday from 10.30am to mark St David’s Day.

R85PAR will be on the air from the 1st to the 21st of March to celebrate 85 years of Russian polar aircraft. QSL via RZ5D, direct or via the bureau.

Marking 70 years since Winston Churchill’s speech that coined the phrase ‘iron curtain’, W0C will be on the air from the 4th to the 7th of March. Sponsored by Callaway Amateur Radio League LLC, the special event will be operating at or near 14.275, 14.070, 7.225, and 7.070MHz.

St Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March, sees the third year of the annual St Patrick’s Day Award. The sole aim of this one-day award is to enjoy the festivities and connect with other stations across the world. To find out more or to register a station for the day, go to http://stpatrickaward.webs.com/

Now the contest news

The French REF Contest concludes tonight at 1800UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5-28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RS and serial number. French stations also send their département number or overseas prefix.

The CQ WW 160m DX contest concludes tonight at 2200UTC, having started on Friday. Using SSB on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is RS plus CQ Zone. US stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

The first 70MHz Cumulative runs from 1000UTC to 1200UTC today on the 4m band. Using all modes, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UKEICC 80m SSB contest takes place from 2000UTC to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend sees the ARRL International DX contest from 0000UTC on the 5th to 2359UTC on the 6th. Using SSB on the 1.8-28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RS plus Tx power. US stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

Also on the 5th and 6th is the RSGB 144/432MHz contest, which is a VHF Championship event. Action commences at 1400UTC on Saturday and ends at 100UTC on Sunday. All modes can be used on the 144 and 432MHz bands, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday the YL France team and DARC’s YL group are organising an international YL-Activity day in advance of International Women’s Day, March the 8th. Activity is from 0700 UTC to 1100UTC on 40m and 80m using SSB and CW. Scoring is heavily weighted towards YLs working YLs; OM to OM contacts score nil. Details are online at tinyurl.com/YL-comp-2016.

Finally, the first UK Microwave Group Low Band contest takes place from 1000UTC to 1600UTC next Sunday. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

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

This week didn't bring the better HF conditions that we talked about in the last GB2RS. This was due to a declining solar flux index and generally active geomagnetic conditions. The SFI declined to 88 by Thursday due to a lack of sunspots, although NOAA had predicted around 100 to 110. The K index also fluctuated between one and three due to ongoing solar coronal holes, although there were no major geomagnetic events. Together this brought reasonable propagation during the ARRL DX CW contest, with many of the eastern and mid-western states being workable up to 21MHz, but ten metre openings were a little lacklustre.

We now have one solitary sunspot group on the solar surface – and it’s a small one at that. So next week the SFI should start with a lowly 85, but is predicted to finish the week at a more promising 115, according to the US Air Force. The geomagnetic K index may continue to remain reasonably unsettled due to coronal holes. The first, third and sixth of March may potentially be worse with a predicted K index of four.

We are now entering a period where north-south paths are potentially much better on HF, but east-west paths may suffer, especially on the higher bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s thin pickings again for VHF/UHF tropo this week. There will be some weak ridging at first and again from midweek, but these cold air winter highs or ridges are not necessarily great at producing good lift conditions. Ideally, we need a good flow of cloudy moist air from the Azores or Biscay, but alas not this week.

Other potential sources of higher frequency action may come from isolated wintry showers around the coasts, which can make good sources of scatter mode propagation on the GHz bands. This week will favour the North Sea for scatter points.

Last Wednesday’s cluster reports saw a short 50MHz Sporadic-E opening from the South West down to Spain and Portugal, so remember to check the lower bands around lunchtime for these rare surprises.

The seasonally-low random meteor rates continue and, with no major showers, early morning continues to be best time day for random meteor scatter operation.

The Moon heads towards its lowest declination on Friday and the short, low elevation windows added to high losses mean not much time for QSOs. But it is a good week to check out your EME systems. At this this time of year the sun is reaching up to 30 degrees elevation at noon so you can again use the sun for cold sky noise measurements to check your system sensitivities on the higher bands.

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

00:0000:00
GB2RS NEWS
Sunday 21st February 2016

The news headlines:
ISS link to City of Norwich school 
5MHz Beacon consulatation opens
Antarctic Activity Week starts

The next UK school contact with Tim Peake on the ISS will be with the City of Norwich school on Friday the 26th of February. The 10-minute window opens at 1434UTC and the call will be GB2CNS. A team of 9 amateurs, mainly from Norfolk ARC, have already run two 1½ hour workshops entitled Making Waves for students. The workshops started with an introduction into amateur radio and included a showing of the new RSGB youth video. Then they ran a circus of 5 activities covering SSTV, Morse, waves, APRS and a 4 component batteryless crystal set. The following scheduled contact is Powys Combined Schools, between the 29th of February and the 6th of March. The exact dates and times are only notified by NASA about 10 days beforehand, but will be publicised via GB2RS, the RSGB website and social media once available. All school contact transmissions from the ISS can be heard on the usual downlink frequency of 145.800MHz.
As announced in the March edition of RadCom, a consultation has opened on the future of the three UK 5MHz beacons, GB3RAL, GB3WES and GB3ORK. With the completion of the 5MHz Experiment and increasing technical and site difficulties, views on their future and offers of support are sought as part of the consultation exercise. Full details are online at http://forums.thersgb.org/ 
Look for this year's 13th Antarctic Activity Week to take place between February 22-28th. Complete details and a list of participants is available online at www.waponline.it/Default.aspx?tabid=113 The website will have an updated list with callsigns and QSL Managers. As many as 37 stations could be on the air, conditions permitting.
The Youth Contesting Programof IARU Region 1 will be continued in 2016. Youth members from IARU R1 member societies are invited to take part in a contest from so called Top Gun stations. They will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their contest skills and will aim for the best results together as a team. A youngster will probably be coming for the first time to the host country, and will get the chance to experience this country and share amateur radio knowledge with local youngsters. The contests take place in May, July and September and full details, including information on how to apply, are online. The website is www.ham-yota.com/youth-contesting-program
International Amateur Radio Union President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA has presented former ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ with the IARU’s prestigious Michael J Owen, VK3KI, Memorial Award. Tim cited David’s  “skill, diplomacy, and encyclopedic knowledge” of amateur radio, and his role on the international scene, as most deserving of the award. Michael J Owen, VK3KI was a towering figure in the IARU and the Wireless Institute of Australia. He died in 2012. David Sumner started with his service at the watershed World Administrative Radio Conference in 1979, which yielded the so-called WARC bands, 30, 17, and 12 metres. David has travelled to more than 60 countries in connection with his ARRL and IARU responsibilities, which include 17 years as IARU Secretary.
World Thinking Day is taking place this weekend. This is when members of Girlguiding use amateur radio to try to contact other members throughout the world, as part of the celebrations of their founders’ birthdays. If you hear Thinking Day stations on the air, please give them a call.
Over 1,000 Members volunteer for the RSGB in a wide variety of roles. What motivates them and what do they get out of it? Find out from the RSGB’s new video. Go to www.rsgb.org/ volunteer-video to see it on our website, or view it on the RSGB YouTube channel. If you’d like an offline copy to show at your club, please contact us. In the video Andy Roberts, M0GYK, Diana Smith, M6FIO and Graham Parry, G7OSR explain why they enjoy volunteering at the NRC. So if you’ve got some spare time, would like to help others within the amateur radio community, or would like to shape the future of the hobby, watch the video then take a look at the volunteering section in ‘About us’ on our website, www.rsgb.org – see what inspires you! 
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week 
There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend. Next weekend, two rallies will take place. 
The Brats Rainham Radio Rally is at Rainham School for Girls, Derwent way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent, ME8 0BX on the 28th of February. Doors open at 9.30/10am and there will be a talk-in station. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. More details from Trevor on 07717 678 795 or online at www.brats-qth.org. 
Also on Sunday the 28th of February the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale takes place at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables will be £5 each on a first come first served basis. Please book with Madeline on 01639 885126. Doors open at 8.30am for sellers buyers at 9.30am. Admission is £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time and hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar. Details are online at www.MW0PRG.co.uk/events.uk.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. 
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
Masato, JA0RQV will be active as 6Y5/JA0RQV mainly from his hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, NA-097, starting on the 21st of February until the 17th of April. Activity will be mostly on the weekend and spare time. He will work on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO using ORQS or Logbook of The World.
Members of the Radio Club Argentino will be on the air from Carlini Base in the South Shetland Islands during the last few weeks of February. They will sign LU1ZI and the IOTA reference number is AN-010.
Members of the Italian DXpedition Team will be active as 3XY1T from the Los Islands, AF-051, until the 4th of March. They will be on all bands from 160m to 6m on SSB, CW and RTTY. 
Mark, K0MDJ is on the air as 9H3DJ until 1 June while on a business trip to Malta. Activity is in his spare time using mostly SSB on 17m. Malta is EU-023. QSL to his home call.
A team of 9 operators from North America will be active as A35T from the island of Tonga until the 28th of February. QSLs will be handled by M0URX. 
A number of American operators will be QRV from Guantanamo Bay, NA-015, until the 4th of March. Look for the callsigns KG4BP, KG4EU, KG4HF, KG4HP and KG4WV. 
Now the contest news
The ARRL International DX 48-hour contest is coming to a close tonight. Work the USA, contiguous 48 States, and Canada only, giving them a signal report and your transmit power. US/Canadian stations give a signal report and their State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the event; the SSB leg takes place next month. 
The RSGB 50MHz UKAC is on Tuesday from 2000UTC to 2230UTC. The SHF UKAC takes place at the same time on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. Both have an exchange of RST, serial number and locator. 
On Wendesday the UKEICC 80m contest takes place from 2000UTC to 2100UTC. Operating in CW on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator. 
Friday sees the start of the CQ WW 160m DX contest at 2200 UTC, concluding at 2200UTC on the 28th. Using SSB on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is RS plus CQ Zone. US stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province. 
The French REF Contest takes place next weekend from 0600UTC on the 27th to 1800UTC on the 28th. Using SSB on the 3.5-28MHz contest bands, the exchange is RS and serial number, with French stations also sending their département number or overseas prefix. 
Finally for next weekend, the 70MHz Cumulative #1 runs from 1000UTC to 1200UTC on the 4m band. Using all modes, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator. 
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G4BAO and G3YLA on Friday 19th February.
This week has been a mixed bag in terms of HF performance. At times 10 metres has been open, with the 7P8C DXpedition to Lesotho putting in an appearance on the band for hours on Monday and Tuesday. But the high-speed solar wind is never far away and played havoc with geomagnetic conditions later on Tuesday and all day Wednesday, with the Kp index hitting six on both days. The solar wind exceeded 600 kilometres per second at times, causing geomagnetic storming at higher latitudes. This was due to an ongoing coronal hole on the southern hemisphere of the sun – a region within the sun's corona with open magnetic field lines that allows a stream of particles to escape. This left the HF bands very noisy indeed.
Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 100-115, which could spell openings up to 10m. The good news is that the K index is predicted to be a reasonably-settled 2 all week long. If this turns out to be accurate we can expect some good DX openings on HF.
Finally, don't forget the lower bands. There have been some good openings to Australia and Asia reported on 80m during the hours of darkness, especially around greyline times.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
There is another rather poor tropo week coming up, but with one possible glimmer of hope in the south around mid-week. We start the week with low pressure to the north of Britain and the long-term area of high pressure near the Azores. This makes for a cold start to the week with northwesterly winds and some snow showers possible, producing good highly reflective clouds for GHz band scatter modes.
Around mid-week, a ridge from the Azores high will cross southern Britain to give a brief enhancement, but nothing dramatic. It's unlikely to last because low pressure will return by the end of the week. 
Watch out for auroral propagation on the lower VHF bands in the coming week as the sun has been active and produced recent auroral propagation for northerly stations.
The seasonally-low random meteor rates continue and no major showers, so early morning continues to be best time day for random meteor scatter operation.
The Moon will be up overnight and in the early morning this week and its declination is decreasing. Moon windows will shorten and losses reach a maximum as the Moon reaches apogee, its furthest distance away, on Saturday.   
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.  


00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th February 2016

The news headlines:

  • First school ham TV ISS link

  • Thinking Day next weekend

  • New 472kHz distance record set

The UK ARISS team achieved a world first at the Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth on Thursday, by receiving live ATV video from the ISS during the contact. Using the HamTV transmitter, which has recently been commissioned on board the ISS, Tim Peake was the first astronaut to use this equipment during a two way schools contact. The next UK school contact will be with Oasis Academy in north Bristol, on Friday 19 February. The 10-minute window opens at 1423UTC. Students there have already completed a Buildathon, thanks to Shirehampton ARC, and are looking forward to the actual contact. After that, The City of Norwich Schools have a contact scheduled between the 22nd and 28th of February. The exact dates and times are only notified by NASA about 10 days beforehand, but will be publicised via GB2RS, the RSGB website and social media once available. All school contact transmissions from the ISS can be heard on the usual downlink frequency of 145.800MHz.

World Thinking Day will take place on the 20th and 21st of February. This is when members of Girlguiding use amateur radio to try to contact other members throughout the world as part of the celebrations of their founders’ birthdays. For further details and to add your station to the list of participants go to www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk or contact Liz, M0ACL via m0acl@guides-on-the-air.co.uk If you hear Thinking Day stations on the air, please give them a call.

Tuesday the 9th of February saw a new record set for the longest DX on the new 600m band. WSPR was used by Phil Dwyer, VK3ELV and Laurence Howell, KL7L, the latter operating as WE2XPQ. The contact, from Victoria in Australia to Alaska in the USA, is the first-ever between VK3 and KL7 on the 472kHz band. KL7L also reported a 136kHz opening to Japan at the same time.

Stuart, M0SGS has been given granted an NoV to operate a Simplex Fusion C4FM Digital Voice Gateway callsign MB6ILE on 431.075MHz. The gateway is located in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, and serves the Leeds and Bradford area. Transmission is via a 70cm folded dipole at about 630ft ASL with a 5 watt output. The system went live on the 6th of February and can be accessed via any C4FM Fusion enabled radio. Details of operating times, updates and how to connect can be found at www.m0sgs.co.uk

The latest RSGB Band Plans have now been finalised. They cover all 29 UK amateur bands from 136kHz to 250GHz, including the special 146MHz band that is only available by Notice of Variation to Full licence holders. The Band Plans are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/bandplans. They also appear in the March edition of RadCom, which should start arriving with Members on Wednesday this week.

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

Today, the 14th, the UK Allstar Radioactive Fair will be held at the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5DG. The venue is well served by public transport, has free car parking and disabled facilities. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and catering facilities. More information from Roger Reeves, M0ROJ on 0774 761 8131.

Also on today, the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. The venue has free car parking, disabled facilities a licensed bar and catering. The talk-in station will be on 145.550MHz. Doors open at 9.45/10am and admission is £3, with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, a flea market and special interest groups. Details from Ann, G8NVI on 01235 816 379.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend. On the 28th, two rallies will take place. These are the Rainham Radio Rally and Pencoed Table Top Sale. More details on those next week.

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

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

Masato, JA0RQV will be active as 6Y5/JA0RQV mainly from his hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, NA-097, starting on the 21st of February until the 17th of April. Activity will be mostly on the weekend and spare time. He will work on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO using ORQS or Logbook of The World.

Wim, ON6DX is visiting Togo in West Africa. He will reactivate his 5V7TH callsign until the 22nd of February. He will be active on 40m to 6m CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home call.

Members of the Radio Club Argentino will be on the air from Carlini Base in the South Shetland Islands during the last few weeks of February. They will sign LU1ZI and the IOTA reference number is AN-010.

Members of the Italian DXpedition Team will be active as 3XY1T from the Los Islands, AF-051, between the 18th of February and the 4th of March.

Mark, K0MDJ is on the air as 9H3DJ until June 1 while on a business trip to Malta. Activity is in his spare time using mostly SSB on 17 meters. Malta is EU-023. QSL to home call.

Now the contest news

The first of this year’s CQ Worldwide Worked All Prefix Contests is RTTY, which is held for the entire 48 hours this weekend ending at 2359 on the 14th. There are too many categories to list, so please check the contest website www.cqwpx.com/ for more information. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Another contest this weekend with numerous categories is the PACC, a Dutch contest. It’s a CW and SSB event ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 14th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and Dutch stations send their Province code too.

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

On Thursday it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The second 48-hour contest is the ARRL International DX, on the weekend of the 20th and 21st. Work the USA, contiguous 48 States, and Canada only, giving them a signal report and your transmit power. US/Canadian stations give a signal report and their State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the event; the SSB leg takes place next month.

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

This past week saw an increase in the solar flux index, helped along by a gaggle of sunspots. The SFI hovered around 117 mid-week which, when coupled with relatively settled geomagnetic conditions, brought some life to the upper HF bands. Andy, M0NKR reported working Japan on twenty metres from his car at lunchtime using a monoband whip and 150 watts. Australia has also put in an appearance on 10m at times.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 110 to 115, with generally settled geomagnetic conditions. There is the chance of unsettled conditions later in the week with the K index predicted to hit four on Thursday and/or Friday. This is due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurring coronal hole. So the message is, get your DXing efforts in earlier in the week.

The critical frequency as measured by the Chilton Ionosonde was 8.6MHz at noon on Wednesday the 10th. This translates to an estimated maximum useable frequency of 31MHz over a 3,000km path and explains why DX was to be found on ten metres. It may be worthwhile keeping an eye on 28MHz this week to see if the good conditions continue.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s been a poor winter overall for tropo and there are few glimmers of hope in the coming week. After we have shunted the cold wintry weather into the continent, indications are that it will be Monday when a ridge of high pressure moves into Ireland and western Britain. This will migrate eastwards across the country, being replaced by low pressure again from Thursday onwards. This means that we may have a mid-week opportunity to get some marginal tropospheric enhancement on the VHF and UHF bands, before it fades away again.

This is not a particularly strong ridge and is unlikely to bring widespread good conditions. The best tropo prospects are reserved for the eastern Mediterranean, around Cyprus and Crete, and also from Portugal to the Azores and Canaries.

There is still no respite from the annual dip in meteor rates so early morning continues to be best time day for random meteor scatter operation.

The Moon declination increases all next week, reaching maximum on Thursday. So long moon windows, with associated low losses, means it’s a good week for Earth-Moon-Earth operation. If you aren’t equipped for EME, or Oscar Zero as the Moon is sometimes called, artificial satellite DX is always available. Maybe take this slow week as an excuse to try satellite operation.

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

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