RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 28th. September 2014

September 26, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th September 2014

The news headlines:

  • IARU Region 1 Conference

  • The Future of IOTA

  • Lord Howe Island Dxpedition

Last week saw the 23rd International Amateur Radio Union General Conference held in Bulgaria. National societies, including the RSGB, from 45 countries covering Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Africa sent representatives to agree and coordinate activity to secure the future of amateur radio. Real progress was made at the meeting on a number of topics that are of key concern to UK radio amateurs including the need to protect our spectrum and to address the declining numbers of active radio amateurs. A full report of the proceedings of the final Plenary will be published in due course on the IARU Region 1 website at (www.iarur1.org).

The RSGB would like to congratulate Don Beattie, G3BJ who was elected IARU Region 1 President for the next three years. Don is an RSGB past president and well-known volunteer for the RSGB. Several other RSGB Members were elected into various committee positions and full details are on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s Islands on the Air programme celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2014. The last fifty years has seen the programme grow to 2,500 active island chasers and approximately 15,000 more casual participants. Those close to it have been anxious to ensure the sustainability of the IOTA programme and have spent some time reviewing the challenges and opportunities it faces. As a result, a small international group of IOTA enthusiasts will be invited to bring forward proposals to ensure the future of the programme for the next 50 years and beyond. This approach has the full support of the IOTA team and has been welcomed by the wider IOTA community both at home and abroad. Search “iota future” on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org.uk for the full information.

Christian, DL1MGB reports that, in less than four weeks, VK9DLX will be QRV from Lord Howe Island. The main team will arrive on 12th October but some members are scheduled to arrive earlier so don't be surprised if you hear VK9DLX some days earlier than expected. The main focus of this advance operation will be RTTY. Further information is at www.lordhowe2014.org

The Austrian national amateur radio society is involved in the negotiations with the government telecommunications ministry, to create a new Amateur Radio Act. The negotiations will revolve around modernising that nation’s rules. This is to make it more contemporary, bring relief in the application process and also enable such concepts as remote operation. The society notes that recent experiments with remote operation proceeded without any disturbances or incidents.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free download from the RSGB 5MHz webpage or from http://tinyurl.com/pjhd943. It features the latest 5MHz news, plus a report on Midsummer's Day on 5MHz and BeaconSpot looks at the new Swiss 5MHz Beacon.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Eric Swartz, WA6HHQ from Elecraft will be joining delegates over the internet for a talk looking at the insides of the K3 and the KX3 SDR transceivers on Saturday 11th. Packages are still available from www.rsgbevents.org to book your place or you can buy day tickets on the door at the event.

Responses to the recent Ofcom consultation on WRC-15 preparation by RSGB and affiliated groups including AMSAT-UK are now available on the WRC-15 Special Focus section of the RSGB website. In addition to supporting Agenda Item 1.4 for a 5MHz allocation, the detailed responses cover amateur radio interests across several VHF and Microwave allocations. This includes amateur bands affected by other agenda items, ITU procedures for nano- and pico-satellites, and preferences for future agenda items that may be proposed for WRC-1

At the G-QRP Convention in Ripponden on 25 October the traditional “Bring a Book - Buy a Book” stall will be operating in aid of Children in Need. Last year over £600 was donated to the appeal. The book exchange has provided some fantastic opportunities to share books around and obtain rare and treasured books from others at very reasonable cost, whilst supporting a very worthy cause. Richard, G4UGF says that he has empty tables ready to accept books from those turning out their book shelves. If you are not attending the convention then Richard is QTHR.

A public beta release of the weak signal data modes software WSJT-X, version 1.4, is planned for 1st October. In all, there are nine specific changes and improvements to the WSJT-X software in this latest release. To find out what they are send your web browser tinyurl.com/njabe49 to read the latest WSJT-X manual. 

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

Today, 28th September, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held in Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £5 on a first come first served basis. Sellers have access from 8.30am and buyers from 9.30am. Entrance is £2. More information from Gerry Day on 01656 860 761.

The 5TH West Tyrone ARC Conference will be held on 4 October at the Village Inn, Killyclogher, Old Mountfield Rd, Omagh, County Tyrone BT79 7LT. There is a full lecture stream as well as trade stands and a Bring and Buy. More details from Ian, MI1CCU by e-mail to mi1ccu@mail.com

Sunday 5th October sees the Blackwood and District ARS Rally at Rougemont School, Llantarnum Hall, Malpas Rd, Newport, NP20 6QB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2 with trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Andy, MW0MWZ on01495 220 687.

Also next Sunday, the 5th, the North Wakefield Club Winter Rally takes place at Middleton Active Centre, Middleton Ring Road, LS10 4AX. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Tony on 07740 003 159.

The Fog on the Tyne Rally appears in October RadCom with the incorrect date. The rally is being held on 25 October, opening at 10.30am at the Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760920 or on www.anarc.net. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Derby & District ARS will be GB2WS on the air as part of the Railways on the Air from Swanwick near Ripley, in West Shed, the home of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust over this weekend.

GB0GCR will be on the air for Railways on the Air and a Pirates and Princess weekend run at the Old Railway Station in Rothley this weekend.

GB1PCA will be on the air from 27th September for 28 days from the Swiss Valley Community Centre in South Wales to promote the awareness of Prostate Cancer in men, in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK. Activity will be mainly on 40m phone. Full QSL information on www.qrz.com

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

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

DJ7RJ and DJ2CW will be operating stroke as FR from Reunion Island starting 30th September. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB with two operators on the air until October 8th but with single handed operation thereafter until 30th October. QSL via each operator’s home callsign.

PY2WAS will be operating as C6AAS from Cable Beach in the Bahamas from 4th to 8th October.  This will be a holiday style operation concentrating nighttime on the 10 to 30m bands using CW and SSB.  QSL via PY2WAS either direct or via the bureau.

The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo until 3rd October.  Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest. QSLs go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the OQRS on ClubLog. 

IZ1MHY will be operational as 5H1MD from Zanzibar Island between 28th September and 10th October.  Activity will be on the 6 to 20m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home call, the bureau or direct.  See his listing on QRZ.com for more details.

DK5AD will be active from Nepal as 9N7AD until 4th October. His operation is holiday style on the HF bands using an Elecraft KX3 and a vertical antenna. QSL via his home callsign. For updates keep an eye on QRZ.com under DK5AD or 9N7AD

Now the contest news

There are three contests on the final weekend of the month. First is the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which runs

for 48 hours ending at 2359 today, the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone. The zone for the UK is 14.

The UK Microwave Group Cumulatives take place on today, the 28th, from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 24GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, the Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest that takes place today, the 28th, has Low Power (10 watts) and Open sections. Running from 1200 to 1600UTC, scoring is 1 point per contact, multiplied by the number of Locator squares worked. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC, using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 1.2/2.3GHz trophy contest runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting at 1400UTC on the 4th and running for 24 hours, the 432MHz to 248GHz contest has an exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

The EU Sprint SSB contest runs from 1600 to 2000UTC on the 4th. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On Sunday the 5th the 21/28MHz contest runs from 0700 to 1900UTC. The modes are CW and SSB and the exchange is the signal report, serial number and district.

In the Oceania DX SSB contest there are sections for single-op and multi-op stations. UK stations work Oceania, that’s VK, ZL and Pacific islands, only. To encourage LF activity the points for QSOs are different on each band. Running from 0800UTC on the 4th to 0800UTC on the 5th and using the 1.8 to 29MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU 432MHz-248GHz Contest starts at 1400UTC on the 4th and runs for 24 hours. An entry into the IARU contest will be made for you by the RSGB Contest Committee if you enter one or both of the RSGB UHF/microwave events that take place this weekend, unless you specify otherwise. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 248GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain HF Phone contest takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October from 1200 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square or DXCC Entity for stations outside the UK. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 26th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley G3XKT by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 19th to Thursday the 25th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 26th of September.

Numerous sunspot regions were visible everyday, some were large and complex, but for what ever reason failed to produce any significant solar flares. Saying that, a M2 class solar flare took place on the 23rd, otherwise solar activity was at low levels with only a small number of C class solar flares taking place everyday. Solar flux levels increased from 119 units on the 20th to 158 by the 25th, the average was 134 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 25th was 134 units, that's three units up on last week. X-ray flux levels averaged B5.3 units and increased during the period to C1 by the 25th. Geomagnetic activity started at active levels due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier, the Ap index on the 19th was 22 units. Activity declined to quiet levels till the 24th when a coronal hole disturbance arrived and the Ap on the 24th was 25 units. The average was Ap 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 660 kilometres per second on the 21st to 380 by the 23rd and the 24th. Particle densities were low except for the 19th that increased to 40 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 13 and plus 16 nanoTeslas on the 19th.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be low but could increase to moderate levels on any day. Solar flux levels are expected to increase to around the 160's. At the start of the forecast period geomagnetic activity is expected to be at 'active' levels due to a series of positive polarity, equatorial recurring coronal holes, by midweek activity should have declined to quiet levels. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 32MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 11MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. September 2014

September 19, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st September 2014

The news headlines

  • Updating the Amateur Radio Licence

  • International Air Ambulance Week

  • RSGB Legacy Fund

The discussion forum on the RSGB website is now open to allow all amateurs to read, and comment on, the Ofcom consultation document. Ofcom will be at the National Hamfest next weekend, 26th and 27th September to answer questions and at the RSGB Convention on Sunday 12th October. The consultation closes on 20th October 2014 and all amateurs are encouraged to let Ofcom know their views.

International Air Ambulance Week will be on the air from 27th September to 5th October. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5, 10 and 15 stations worked and/or heard.

The RSGB Legacy Fund exists due to the generosity of donors. The Legacy Sub-Committee works with the Board to consider proposals for its use. The scope for proposals is deliberately wide and the RSGB is looking for projects that help to develop and grow amateur radio. If you have a project you would like to be considered, you are very welcome to discuss it informally with one of the sub-committee trustees. Nick, G3RWF is Chairman and also the corresponding member from whom you can get a proposal form, via email to nhenwood77@gmail.com. More details are on the RSGB website.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The latest lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Visitors should note that tickets for the Technical Dinner on Saturday evening are now sold out but Gala Dinner tickets for the same evening are still available. Weekend packages and Pick and Mix options should be booked on the RSGB website, see www.rsgbevents.org. Day tickets with no other bookings will only be available on the door.

K1IED who is the QSL Manager for United States Antarctic stations KC4AAA, KC4AAC and KC4USV says that all three are now using Logbook of the World. K1IED notes that logs from the past two years, as well some that are older have already been uploaded. There is the possibility that some other older logs could be uploaded in the future as well.  

The RSGB Amateur Radio Direction Finding Team has arrived back from the 2014 World Championships which were held in Kazakhstan. They brought with them a record haul of four medals, all of them silver.

The most notable achievement was the silver medal won by team manager David Williams M3WDD in the 2 metre Classic race. His M50 category (that is men aged between 50 and 59) is one of the most competitive categories and the performances at the top are often breathtakingly good. This is the first time an RSGB member has 'broken through' into the top flight of one of these age categories. The remaining medals came in the slightly less competitive M70 category. The major team competition here came from the Swedes and from the Germans. In the 2m Classic race we were beaten by the Swedes and in the 80m Classic race it was the Germans who were on the top of the podium. Despite this Robert Vickers G3ORI snatched a silver medal in the 2m Classic race and thereby underpinned the team’s silver medal won in that race.

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in Colorado, New Hampshire and Texas. W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week so far during 2014 and, by the year’s end, W1AW will have been on the air from every state at least twice, as well as from most US territories.

The triennial General Conference of IARU Region 1 is being held in Albena, Bulgaria from 21st to 27th September 2014 and a small delegation from the RSGB will be in attendance. There are nearly 70 proposals under consideration that will help to improve the coordination of amateur radio within our Region over the next three years. From 18th to 26th September 2014, the special call sign LZ14IARU to commemorate the event will be active from the Grand Flamingo Hotel in Albena. QSL via the bureau.

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

We have no details for rallies this weekend and the next in the diary is the National Hamfest. This takes place on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th. The two day show is brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club, to whom the RSGB offer its thanks for the work involved. Taking place at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY doors open for the main hall at 10am and 9.30am for the outside and car boot area. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, a large RSGB bookstall, RSGB committees and special interest groups. Details at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.

On 28th September the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held in Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £5 on a first come first served basis. Sellers have access from 8.30am and buyers from 9.30am. Entrance is £2. More information from Gerry Day on 01656 860 761.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Derby & District ARS will be GB2WS on the air as part of the Railways on the Air from Swanwick near Ripley, in West Shed, the home of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust over the weekend of 27th and 28th September.

GB0GCR will be on the air for Railways on the Air and a Pirates and Princess weekend run at the Old Railway Station in Rothley on 27th and 28th September.

PA70KP will be on the air on 23rd September to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the destruction of the Resistance safehouse, Lidwina. More information is available at http://www.huizelidwina.nl/ in English and Dutch. There is a special memorial QSL card for contacts and SWL reports.

GB1PCA will be on the air from 27th September for 28 days from the Swiss Valley Community Centre in South Wales to promote the awareness of Prostate Cancer in men, in conjunction with Prostate Cancer UK. Activity will be mainly on 40m phone. Full QSL information on www.qrz.com

The Enigma event will take place on 26th September and will involve a message exchange encoded by an Enigma machine. To comply with regulations, the text of the demonstrative message to be transmitted, the algorithm used to code/decode, the Enigma machine settings and the web sites where is possible to download Enigma emulators will be published on multiple websites including www.arilaspezia.it An award is available for contacting stations in the clear in the preceding weeks see www.arilaspezia.it

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

The Czech DXpedition Team will be on the air from Togo between 25th September and 3rd October. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and some of the digital modes. The group also plans to take part in the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest on 27th and 28th September. QSLs go via OK6DJ, direct, via the bureau, eQSL, Logbook to the World, or using the OQRS on Club Log.

JI3DST will be active stroke 5 from Shodo Island, AS-200, in the Kagawa Prefecture until 22nd September. Operations will be on the 6 to 40m bands using CW, SSB, FM and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign direct or via the bureau.

LU5BE, LU8EFF and LU3AAL will be active stroke T from Purmamarca in the Jujuy region in Argentina from 24th to 30th September. Operations will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB, PSK31 and SSTV. They will also try to have a beacon on 6 meters. QSL via LU8EFF.

Depending on transportation, G4DBW should be active as ZD8RH from Ascension Island, SA-043, between the 22nd and 30th September. Operations will be mainly on CW. QSL direct via G4DBW or via RSGB Bureau.

JA7LU and JA2VWG will be active as 4W6LU and 4W6DD, respectively, on Timor Leste, OC-232, between 22nd and 29th September. Their operation will be on the 6 to 40m bands using SSB and RTTY. QSL each operator direct only via their home callsign. 

Dindo (DV1UD) will be active on CW as DX8DX next week 25th and 26th September from Pangutaran Island IOTA OC-188 (Pangutaran Group) and Tongkil (Tongquil) Island IOTA OC-119 (Jolo Group). QSL via M0OXO.

Andrea, IZ1MHY will be active as 5H1MD from Zanzibar (AF-032), from 28th September to 10th October. He will operate SSB, CW, and digital modes on the HF bands. QSL via home call.

Now the contest news

Today, the 21st, the second 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 21st, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just the serial number. Note all contacts are 75 baud.

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

Running at the same time on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity contests are on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is also signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday 24th September, the first of a series of eight, 1-hour 80m contests organised by the UK and Ireland Contest Club (UKEICC) takes place from 2000-2100 GMT. This first event is on CW, followed by SSB in October. These short contests use distance scoring similar to the Stew Perry event and entries have to be submitted within 1 hour of the end of the contest, with the results published online after a further 30 minutes approximately. Entries are welcomed from non-members of the UKEICC - the full Rules are on the website www.ukeicc.com

Thursday, the 25th, sees the CW leg of the popular 80 Club Sprint contest. Running from 1900 to 2000UTC the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

There are three contests on the final weekend of the month. First is the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, which runs for the whole 48 hours of 27th and 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and Zone. The zone for the UK is 14.

The UK Microwave Group Cumulatives take place on the 28th from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 24GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, the Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest on Sunday 28th has Low Power (10 watts) and Open sections. Running from 1200 to 1600UTC, scoring is 1 point per contact, multiplied by the number of Locator squares worked. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 12th to Thursday the 18th of September, compiled by G0KYA on Friday the 19th of September.

Solar activity was high at the beginning of the week, but more settled towards the end. There were numerous M class flares during the week. Conditions rose to moderate levels as sunspot region 2157 produced an M class flare on the 14th. The 90 day solar flux average on the 18th was 131, that’s up one on last week.

Geomagnetic activity was generally setted everyday, except for the 12th, which was the most disturbed day with an Ap index of 44 units. The cause of this disturbance was a solar flare and associated coronal mass ejection stemming from an M4.5 eruption on September 9th. The average was Ap 14 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds peak at around 600 to 800 kilometres per second, although the rest of week was more settled with speeds dropping to 400 to 600 kilometres per second. Once again, the Bz was most volatile around the 13th with large fluctuations. It was mainly neutral for the rest of the week.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week two active sunspot regions, which have already rotated into view, will become more earth facing. Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate on most days. Solar flux levels are expected to remain at similar levels, with a solar flux index in the 130-150 range. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet most days, with continuing risks of M-class solar flares. An Earth-directed coronal mass ejection at some stage in the next week cannot be ruled out. We are now at the autumnal equinox and can expect conditions on the upper HF bands to continue to improve. This time of year favours north-south paths, such as UK to South Africa or South America. The Optimum Working Frequency during daylight hours on these paths is expected to be 24 or 28MHz. The best time to try the path to South Africa is between noon and 1800 hours UTC. The South American path has a peak around noon and then again at about 1700-1800 hours UTC. Darkness hour lows on these paths will be either 10MHz or 14MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 14th. September 2014

September 12, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th September 2014

The news headlines:

  • Updating the Amateur Radio Licence

  • Learn how to Solder Surface Mount Devices

  • Looking ahead to the National Hamfest

The current form of the amateur licence has been around for several years and Ofcom is keen to ensure that it continues to meet its regulatory needs. A consultation paper entitled Updating the Amateur Radio Licence has now been issued, and all amateurs are encouraged to read it carefully and respond to Ofcom by 20th October. It is a 35-page, 264KB PDF. The RSGB has put together a brief commentary to help illustrate some of the more significant changes proposed and, additionally, we have opened a discussion forum in which any amateur can participate. The RSGB will use contributions to the forum to inform its response to Ofcom. Go to http://rsgb.org/licencereview

If you are interested in learning how to solder surface mount devices then the sessions taking place at the RSGB Convention on Saturday 11 October may be of interest. Run by Dave Powis, G4HUP there will be practical workshops all day, at which you can put into practice the tips and ideas discussed in his presentation at the start of the day. Opportunities for hand placement and soldering of SMDs will be provided, as well as the equipment for solder paste dispensing and reflow soldering, under expert guidance. Each session is around 45 minutes and can be pre-booked by contacting Dave via www.g4hup.com/SMD2014.htm

National Hamfest takes place on 26 and 27 September at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground. This year several traders are bring new products that will be shown for the first time. Details of many of these new products are in the September and October issues of RadCom. There is also a large car boot area as well as the inside trade hall. Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions of several RSGB committees and Ofcom will also be there. See www.nationalhamfest.org.uk for details.

Slow Scan Television appears to be once again operational from the International Space Station. On 6th September the ISS Slow Scan Television experiment was activated from the Russian Service Module on 145.800MHz FM. This followed an unsuccessful test back on 27th August when only the carrier was detected but no SSTV audio tones were heard.

Clubs and Groups are reminded that they need to send in their bids to host the G14YOTA callsign during December, which has been designated IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month. Applications have been received from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and the Isle of Man with a number of Clubs, schools and universities aiming to put youngsters on the air. Full details on how the month will work and how to apply to use the special callsign are on the RSGB website, just search for 'YOTA month' and you will find all you need. Closing date for bids is 22nd September, just a week away, so get working on those applications!

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The latest lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Visitors should note that tickets for the Technical Dinner on Saturday evening are now sold out. Gala Dinner tickets for the same evening are still available. Weekend packages and Pick and Mix options should be booked on the RSGB website, see www.rsgbevents.org. Day tickets with no other bookings will only be available on the door.

Ofcom have advised that there are expected to be LTE test transmissions over the next few months in the 2.3GHz band. LTE transmissions are the wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones. The tests will be in the central London area and will be up to 38dBW ERP. If licensed radio amateurs should become aware of unusual transmissions, they are asked to bear this in mind.

A report on 2012 trials in the United Kingdom that used 3.613MHz for 24kHz bandwidth high-speed data and video transmissions is now available to the public. It notes that by using modern modulation techniques an SSB channel can support a raw data rate of 12,800 bits per second and wider transmissions can support proportionally faster data rates. More information on this experimentation can be found in a very fascinating article with the long title of Wide Band High Frequency Communications 2012 UK Trials Summary prepared by James Alexander of Rockwell Collins Corporation. You can find it at tinyurl.com/hf-video-testing 

The 2014 D-Star QSO Party will run from 000UTC on 19th September to 2359UTC on the 21st. The goal of the Party is to communicate through as many D-Star repeaters as possible around the world during the period. All operators who submit an approved log will be eligible for the prize drawing with 10 lucky winners randomly selected to each win a prize. Full details of this event is on the web at http://www.d-staruk.co.uk/

Sochi hosts the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from the 10th to 12th October and a series of 11 special event stations will be active from tomorrow, the 15th until 15th October on all bands and modes. All the callsigns begin with UE16.

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

The TARS 50th annual Communications Fair takes place today, 14th September, at Newton Abbot Race Course, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 10am and admissions is £2. Details from Mike Dixon on 01803 557 941.

The West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9XB today, 14th September. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB Bookstall. Contact Dave, G4OTV, by e-mail to rally@wkars.org.uk for more information.

The Five Bridges Cluster and the Angel club are jointly hosting a Workshop for Examination Invigilators at 7.30pm on Monday 15th September. All current and potential exam invigilators are welcome to discuss best practice. The meeting will be held at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR on 07990 760920.

We have no details for rallies next weekend, the 20th and 21st, the next in the diary is the National Hamfest. This takes place on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th. The two day show is brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club, to whom the RSGB offer its thanks for the work involved. Taking place at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY doors open for the main hall at 10am and 9.30am for the outside and car boot area. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, large RSGB bookstall, RSGB committees and special interest groups. Details at www.nationalhamfest.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent today, 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

PA70OMG will be on the air until 21st September to commemorate Operation Market Garden by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division on 17th September 1944.

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

Nigel, G3TXF and Paul, ZS1S will be on Gough Island, AF-030, until 3rd October. Nigel will operate as ZD9XF on CW and Paul will sign ZD9ZS on SSB.

Four Australian operators will sign VK9NT from Norfolk Island, OC-005, until 21st September. Look for them on all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB and CW.

EA5IDQ will be on the air signing 9H3JA from Malta, EU-023 between 18th and 25th September. Activity will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

Five operators will be on the air as BO0D from Tungyin Island, AS-113, until 20th September. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via the BV Bureau.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of the Worked All Europe Contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 14th, after 48 hours on the air. The contest is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number and EU stations work non EU stations only.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone contest takes place today, 14th September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT by e-mail to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

On Tuesday, the 16th, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday 21st, the second 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Sunday 21st, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just the serial number. Note all contacts are 75 baud.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 5th to Thursday the 11th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 12th of September.

On the 4th two large sunspot regions rotated into view and between them they produced numerous C class solar flares everyday and one M class solar flares on the 6th and the 9th and two on the 11th. On the 10th activity increased to high when a X1 class flare occurred, the first since the 11th of June. Solar flux levels increased from 144 units on the 5th to 164 by the 8th, the average was 155 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 11th was 129 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B9.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for the 11th, which increased possibly due to the arrival of a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun on the 9th. The Ap index on the 11th was 13 units. The quietest day was the 8th with an Ap of 5 units. The average was Ap 8 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds 330 and 490 kilometres per second. Particle densities increased to around 40 particles per cubic centimetre on the 6th, 10th and the 11th, the remaining days densities were low. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. At least for the first half of the week the two active sunspot regions will still be visible before rotating out of view. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but there is a good chance that activity could increase at least till midweek. Solar flux levels should be around the 150's for most of the week but could start to decline by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be low, however, if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection takes place this would increase activity. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 25MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 12MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 27MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1200 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 7th. September 2014

September 5, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7 September 2014

The news headlines:

  • Encouraging Youth

  • Churches and Chapels on the Air

  • UK and US Licence Examinations

The RSGB Board has approved the formation of a new committee to provide a focus for its young members and to help promote amateur radio amongst the younger sections of society. The new committee will be known as the Youth Committee. Members of the Youth Committee must be under 26 years of age and be members of the Society (which includes Junior and Student members) and applications for membership of the committee are now invited. Details of how to apply are on the RSGB website, click on About Us and scroll down to Volunteers.

Churches and Chapels on the Air takes place on Saturday 13th September, between 10am and 4pm. There is still time to take part and send details to John, G3XYF via email to g3xyf@btconnect.com. A list of the participating station can be found on the CHOTA tab at www.wacral.org.

As has become a tradition, both UK and USA exams will be available at the RSGB Convention in October. The UK exams will be hosted by the RSGB Training & Education Committee and Paul Steed, G0VEP, will be hosting the USA exams. UK Foundation and Intermediate will be held on Saturday 11 October and the Advanced on Sunday 12 October. Candidates intending to sit the Foundation and/or Intermediate exams must have completed the relevant Practical Assessments before the exam. It is not intended to provide the Practical Assessments at the Convention but some help may be available in the run up. Bulk buy discounts will apply to anyone sitting more than one exam at the Convention. Anyone wishing to book their place should contact Carol Meredith at the RSGB HQ Exam Department by 19th September. Candidates wishing to sit the American exams need to have a mailing address in the USA and the appropriate fees. Anyone wishing to sit these exams should contact Paul via Paul.Steed@ntlworld.com If anyone has any general questions about the exams at the convention, or needs help arranging practical assessments, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

Asteroid mission Hayabusa 2, with a planned launch this December, will also carry the amateur radio satellite Shin’en 2. It will be among the first amateur radio satellite go into orbit outside the influence of the Earth’s gravity. The relatively small satellite will be put into an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to an orbit between Venus and Mars. It was built in Japan by students and carries a Mode J linear transponder for amateur radio communications along with CW and WSJT beacons. The satellite will operate on 437.505MHz for its CW beacon and 437.385MHz for the WSJT telemetry. The inverting CW and SSB transponder will uplink on 2m from 145.940 to 145.960MHz using Lower Sideband. The downlink will use 435.280 to 435.260MHz on upper sideband.

TX Factor, the television show for radio amateurs, is now available in a version especially for French speakers. Episode 1 is now available with French subtitles thanks to the work of F6FVY, F8BXI and F8GQH. That team plans to do the same with the rest of the show’s episodes. To view the TX Factor with or without the French sub titles go to www.txfactor.co.uk. 

International Air Ambulance Week will be on the air from 27th September to 5th October. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5, 10 and 15 stations worked/ heard.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. This year is a truly international event with Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, Bob Allphin, K4UEE and Carl, K9LA, travelling from the States, Paul O'Kane, EI5DI, Alex Artieda, HB9DRI, Verner Topse, OZ5TG from Europe and Eric Swartz WA6HHQ of Elecraft fame and Harold Kramer, WJ1B from the ARRL via the internet. These speakers will provide a wide range of topics from transatlantic 2m beacon and weak signal communications to the moving story of amateur radio at the 2013 Boston marathon. Weekend packages are still on offer, see www.rsgbevents.org and day tickets will be available on the door.

Durham and District ARS has received reports of deteriorating signal strength and reduced coverage of GB7PB. In response they have resited and replaced the repeater’s antenna with a commercial aerial and replaced the coaxial cable with a superior grade of coax. Signal reports would be most gratefully received in order to establish if signals and coverage have been improved. Send your report, by e-mail, to GB7PB@OUTLOOK.COM and please include your callsign, location or locator and signal report.

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

The British Amateur Television Club Convention takes place this weekend at the Everest Academy, Basingstoke. There will be lectures, demonstrations and surplus ATV equipment for sale. The BATC bi-Annual General Meeting is on Sunday afternoon. For more information see www.batc.org.uk

The Halton & District Radio Amateurs Rally that would have taken place on 14 September was cancelled due to lack of support from traders. The organisers would like to ensure that visitors don’t make an unnecessary journey

The TARS 50th annual Communications Fair takes place on 14th September at Newton Abbot Race Course, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 10am and admissions is £2. Details from Mike Dixon on 01803 557 941.

The West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9XB on 14th September. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB Bookstall. Contact Dave, G4OTV, by e-mail to rally@wkars.org.uk for more information.

The Five Bridges Cluster and the Angel club are jointly hosting a Workshop for Examination Invigilators at 7.30pm on Monday 15th September. All current and potential exam invigilators are welcome to discuss best practice. The meeting will be held at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR on 07990 760920.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Northampton Radio Club are hosting GB0TRN today, the 7th, at Delapre Park from 11am today to late afternoon on 7MHz, 14MHz, 18MHz and 21MHz depending upon conditions. SSB and Morse will be used. The event is to promote the use of amateur radio in conjunction with a public opening of The Northampton Society of Model Engineers club premises and their Model Railway Tracks. Members of the public will be able to take passenger rides.

WW1USA will be on the air today, 7th September, to commemorate the Battle of the Marne. More information is available at www.WW1USA.org or on QRZ.com.

1940s themed event GB0BIB, for Baston in the Blitz, will be operating on 7th September from Baston in Lincolnshire. It will be operational on 80, 40 and 2 metres.

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Leicester Radio Society will be running GB0APS from the Abbey Pumping Station for their Seaside Special Steam Day on Sunday 7th September.

Orkney Wireless Museum will put GB2OWM on the air from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall until 10th September. Look for them on weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm, operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent from the 12th to 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

PA70OMG will be on the air from 12th to 21st September to commemorate Operation Market Garden by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division on 17th September 1944.

On 13th September Dorking and District Radio Society will be active during the Heritage Open Day at National Trust, Polesden Lacey near Leatherhead in Surrey. There will be an exhibition entitled Communications in the Trenches with displays of the equipment that would have been used. In contrast, visitors will be able to see modern communications equipment being used at the special event station, GB0NT; activity will be on the HF bands as well as 2m. Skeds with other participating stations would be particularly welcome, please contact Garth at G3NPC@swansons.org.uk.

Many stations will be on the air on 13th September for Churches and Chapels on the Air. Amongst them is Martin G7MRV who will be operating GB0SML for St. Marys Lead from the tiny church of St Mary’s near Towton, North Yorkshire, Activity will be mostly HF, particularly 40m SSB, with a 10m WSPR beacon also running. Derby & Districts ARS will operate GB1SOC from St Osmund’s Church, Derby. Pentland Firth Radio Hams will be running GB0 SBC from Scarfskerry Baptist Church, which is the most northern church on the British mainland. Activity will be mainly on 20m and 40m. GB2HTl will be on the air from Holy Trinity Church, Lamorbey, Sidcup run by Cray Valley Radio Society.

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

Today, the 7th, the newly formed UK Island group will be signing M0UKI/P from the rare Farne Islands, EU-109. The team members will be on the air with two stations. QSL via M0OXO.

PA3EWP, PA1AW, PA9JO and PB5X will be active stroke LX from Luxembourg from 10th to 17th September. Operations will be on 10 to 80m with four stations using all modes. QSL via PA1AW.

DF1YP will be active stroke F O from Moorea Island, OC-046, in French Polynesia between 12th September and 8th October. His operation will be holiday style, mainly on 20m on SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the bureau.

HA0HW will be on the air from Thassos Island, EU-174, as SW8WW between 12th and 22nd September. He will operate mainly CW, with some SSB and RTTY on the HF bands and on the 6m band. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the HA Bureau.

YO2MSB will be active stroke 3A from Monte Carlo, Monaco until 12th September. QSL via his home callsign direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz Trophy Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1400UTC today, the 7th. There are five sections to choose between, depending on how much time you can devote, whether you’re at home or away, and single- or multi-op. The last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy coincides with the first three hours of the fifth and final 144MHz Backpackers’ Contest, which continues for one hour afterwards, 1100 to 1500UTC.

In the Backpackers’ there are 10 watt Hilltopper and 3 watt Backpacker sections. Those who operate from or use power from a vehicle can only enter the Hilltopper section. For those unfamiliar with backpacker contesting, there are antenna and height restrictions in both sections. Both contests use all modes on the band and the exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 144MHz Contest takes place at exactly the same time as the RSGB 144MHz Trophy, ending at 1400UTC on the 7th after 24 hours. The exchange in these are the same, signal report, serial number and locator, and stations that submit a log for the RSGB event will be automatically entered for the IARU event, unless they specify otherwise.

Probably the biggest and most popular event in September is SSB Field Day that runs until 1300UTC today, the 7th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the Field Day exchange is signal report and serial number.

The All Asian DX SSB that takes place for 48 hours ends at 2359 today, the 7th,using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange in this event is signal report and age, although ladies can give 00 as an answer.

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

Wednesday the 10th is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Sprint Contest. Running from 1900 to 2000UTC the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

On the 13th and 14th, is the SSB leg of the Worked All Europe Contest. Running from 000UTC on the 13th to 2359UTC on the 14th the contest is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number and EU stations work non EU stations only.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 14th September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT by e-mail to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 29th of August to Thursday the 4th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 5th of September.

Solar activity was low with numerous C class solar flares taking place everyday, these got stronger as a couple of sunspot regions rotated into view. Solar activity increased to moderate levels on the 3rd and the 4th once these regions rotated fully into view. The largest solar flare was a M2 class which occurred on the 3rd. Solar flux levels increased from 120 units on the 29th to 138 by the 3rd. The average was 129 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 4th was 130, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.5 units on the 29th to C1.2 by the 2nd. The average was B7.2 units. Geomagnetic activity was unsettled everyday, except for the 4th, which was quiet, the most disturbed day was the 29th with an Ap index of 20 units. The cause of this prolonged disturbance was a very slow moving coronal mass ejection and in the latter days of the period possibly a weak coronal hole disturbance. The average was Ap 13 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 350 and 490 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low everyday. Bz varied between minus 9 and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 5 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week at least two active sunspot regions will have already rotated into view. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to increase and be in the 140's for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet most days, there is a slight chance though that an Earth directed coronal mass ejection could head our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 10MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 31MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1600 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 31st. August 2014

August 29, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 31st August 2014

The news headlines:

  • ARDF World Championships 2014

  • DXCC approves new operations

  • Churches and Chapels on the Air soon

The 17th ARDF World Championships are being held in Kazakhstan next week. The RSGB team of nine, all of whom are self-funded, flies out next Friday next to take part. The age categories are generally 10 years in duration and the number quoted is the age that a person enters the age group. This year our team has no ladies. We have one runner in M21, three in M40, two in M50, one in M60 and two in M70 as well as teams in the M40, M50 and M70 competitions. There are two classic races, that is five transmitters spaced well apart in forested terrain. These are followed by the fast and furious Sprint event in which ten transmitters are deployed and the winning times are likely to be around 20 minutes. The older age groups do not have to find all the transmitters that are set out. The final competition is Fox-o-Ring that uses extremely low power transmitters placed either inside or close to a circle printed on the map. The first race is on Monday the 8th September with the remaining three races between the 10th and 12th. To follow the action, check out the website at www.ardf2014.kz

The ARRL DXCC desk has approved the following operations for DX Century Club credit: A52JR, 4W/HB9FLX, 4W/N1YC, and 4W/PE7T. If a request for DXCC credit for any of these operations has been rejected in a prior application, contact the ARRL DXCC Desk to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

Churches and Chapels on the Air takes place on Saturday the 13th, between 10am and 4pm. There is still time to take part and send details to John, G3XYF via email to g3xyf@btconnect.com and a list of the participating station can be found on the CHOTA tab on the WACRAL website, see www.wacral.org

The next stage of proposed changes to microwave spectrum in Australia has now started with a draft direction from the Canberra government to licence spectrum overlapping the 3.4GHz amateur band for mobile broadband. This follows a previous consultation and other proposed changes in the 2.3GHz band in which the Wireless Institute of Australia been actively involved. The latest changes pose a particularly serious threat on the harmonised use of 3400-3410 by the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite Service as one of the proposed new commercial bands is 3400-3425MHz.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 reports that Moldova has signed the pan-European CEPT Novice and Class 1 amateur radio licence agreement. The prefix to be used is ER.

The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. On Saturday from 9am until 1pm, G3VKW, GM3WOJ and G4BWP will have a number of vintage transceivers on display from the 1960s to 1980s. These will be connected to a receive antenna, so visitors can try listening on one of these radios. In the full lecture programme, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, also know by his overseas callsigns of 5X1NH and 9X0NH, has made over 120,000 QSOs using lightweight antennas, hand-carried on each trip. He will talk about his experiences and experiments in Uganda and Rwanda. Useful information for travellers, but also for UK operators trying to put out a good signal with a quite simple antenna. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still just time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

The annual RSGB Construction Competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any Member of the RSGB is eligible to enter and, with many clubs having held their own Construction Competitions throughout the year, it could be a well-contested event. The closing date for entries is 30 September and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention. This year the competition is being sponsored Martin Lynch & Sons with prizes of £50 of vouchers for each category winner and £100 for the winner of prestigious Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy, which will be awarded to the best overall entry. The RSGB website has full details of the rules and conditions, which also appeared in the August edition of RadCom.

The BBC World War One At Home Live Events reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands-on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on the 6th and 7th September at Air Waves in Portrush, Co Antrim.

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

The Telford Hamfest takes place today, 31 August, at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. For more details contact Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

The Scottish branch of Waters and Stanton will be having their annual Open Day on 6 September at Woodside Way, Glenrothes, Fife. Doors open at 10am and there are lectures between 12 to 2.30pm. Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom will be exhibiting and have contributed raffle prizes.

On Saturday 6 September, Friskney & East Lincolnshire Communications Club Rally will be held at Friskney Village Hall, Church Road, Friskney PE22 8RD. Doors open 7am for traders and 8.45am for the public. There will be a Bring & Buy stand. Details on 07534 624 559.

The British Amateur Television Club Convention takes place on 6 and 7 September at the Everest Academy, Basingstoke. There will be lectures, demonstrations and surplus ATV equipment for sale. The BATC bi-Annual General Meeting is on Sunday afternoon. For more information see www.batc.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

Now for the news of special events

Today, the 31st, from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition about amateur radio. As the open day theme is local history, the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia.

Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.

Bromsgrove & DARC will be running GB2WWT from the 29th August to the 7th September to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two They plan to use the 10 to 80m bands with PSK, SSB, CW and RTTY as well as 2m FM. Details are on their website, www.radioclubs.net/bdarc

Orkney Wireless Museum plans to put GB2OWM on the air from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall between the 4th and 10th September during the 24th Orkney International Science Festival. Probable operating periods will be weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm and Saturday morning between 10am and 12.30pm. Operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

1940s themed event GB0BIB, for Baston in the Blitz, will be operating on the 6th and 7th September from Baston in Lincolnshire. It will be operational on 80, 40 and 2 metres.

Leicester Radio Society will be running GB0APS from the Abbey Pumping Station for their Seaside Special Steam Day on Sunday 7th September.

The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent from the 12th to 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.

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

Joe, OZ0J will be operating a T88 callsign between the 2nd and 9th September. He plans to operate CW and digital modes between 3.5 and 50MHz. All QSOs will be uploaded to www.clublog.org once a day, depending on the internet connection. QSL via OZ0J direct or via the bureau. Please use OQRS on www.clublog.org if possible.

ZL2MF/G3ZXD will be travelling to Niue Island, OC-040 between the 2nd and 9th September on holiday with some radio gear. Plans are to operate on 20m and possibly some other bands. The equipment is an IC-706MkII plus LDG tuner, 20m dipole, multiband mobile whip and 6m loop. QSL via ZL Bureau or direct.

VE3LYC and KD1CT will attempt to operate from Matthew Island, OC-218 from the 4th to the 7th September. They will maintain one station on the air around the clock, operating on all bands from 10 to 40m using CW and SSB. QSL via VE3LYC, direct or by the bureau.

JH3LSS will be operational as A52LSS from different areas in Bhutan between the 4th and 10th September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign or electronically using Logbook to the World.

YO2MSB will be active stroke 3A from Monte Carlo, Monaco between the 5th and 12th September. QSL via his home callsign direct, via the bureau or electronically using eQSL.

G0VJG, EI9FBB, G7GLW & M0OXO will be on the air from the Farne Islands, EU-109, on the 6th and 7th September. This short operation may also include participation in the SSB Field Day contest. The team are aiming for Longstone Island, dependant on weather. They will be using multi-band dipoles and vertical antennas and hope to give this IOTA to as many chasers as possible in the short time frame. QSL will be via M0OXO OQRS direct or via the bureau.'

Murray, WA4DAN has received permission from Parks Canada for a one-day DXpedition to Sable Island, planned for the 8th of September. A second operator will be Randy, N0TG. WA4DAN will operate the SSB station while N0TG will be on CW. Antennas are expected to be 17 and 20m Yagis with at least one of the two stations operating high power.

Now the contest news

Today, the 31st, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The 144MHz Trophy Contest runs for 24 hours over the 6th to 7th. There are five sections to choose between, depending on how much time you can devote, whether you’re at home or away, and single- or multi-op. The last three hours of the 144MHz Trophy coincides with the first three hours of the fifth and final 144MHz Backpackers’ Contest, which continues for one hour afterwards, 1100 to 1500UTC. In the Backpackers’ there are 10 watt Hilltopper and 3 watt Backpacker sections. Those who operate from or use power from a vehicle can only enter the Hilltopper section. For those unfamiliar with backpacker contesting, there are antenna and height restrictions in both sections. Both contests use all modes on the band and the exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Probably the biggest and most popular event in September is SSB Field Day that runs from 1300UTC on the 6th to 1300UTC on the 7th. With Open and Restricted sections, participants will find it useful to have a suitable number ready to give Asian stations that are taking part in the All Asian DX Contest, who give their age rather than a serial number as part of the exchange. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the Field Day exchange is signal report and serial number.

As we move into the autumn there are lots of international contests, the first being the All Asian DX SSB that takes place for the entire 48 hours of the 6th and 7th using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange in this event is signal report and age, although ladies can give 00 as an answer.

Next, two more coinciding contests. The IARU 144MHz Contest takes place at exactly the same time as the RSGB 144MHz Trophy, 1400UTC on the 6th to 1400UTC on the 7th. The exchange in these are the same, signal report, serial number and locator, and stations that submit a log for the RSGB event will be automatically entered for the IARU event, unless they specify otherwise.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 22nd to Thursday the 28th of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 29th of August.

Solar activity increased to moderate levels on the 22nd and the 25th when low strength M class solar flares took place and to high levels on the 24th when a M5 class flare occurred. On the remaining days solar activity was low, with a total of 44 C class flares taking place. Since the 25th the sunspot groups responsible for these flares decayed and simplified magnetically. Solar flux levels peaked at 141 units on the 24th but then declined to 119 by the 28th. The average was 129 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 28th was 128 units, that's two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased to B5.9 units on the 24th before declining to B3.5 units by the 28th. The average was B4.8 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day until the 27th and the 28th when a coronal mass ejection arrived that had departed the Sun from an event that took place on the 22nd. The Ap index for the 27th and the 28th was 21 and 25 units respectively. The average was Ap 10 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline to a very slow 240 kilometres per second on the 26th but then increased 390 by the 28th. Particle densities were low except for the 27th, which increased to 20 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 15 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the 27th, which was the most disturbed day. The magnetic disturbance resulted in auroral propagation from around midday on the 27th on 50, 70 and 144MHz through to the evening of 28th. However, this was a weak disturbance so only a handful of UK operators reported contacts.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity should be at low levels with only C class solar flares expected. Solar flux levels are expected to decline and be in the 110s for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at unsettled to active levels for the next couple of days due to a recurring coronal hole. Activity should then decline to quiet levels only to increase again next weekend. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 24MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 12MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 23MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 17MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1100 and 1700 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 24th August 2014

August 22, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • Electromagnetic Field Camp 2014 next weekend

  • New 5MHz allocation chart issued

  • Chasqui-1 amateur radio satellite deployed

The Electromagnetic Field or EMF 2014 event is taking place from the 29th to 31st August at Bletchley near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. It is described as a camping festival for anyone interested in radio, electronics, space, homebrewing, robotics, 3D printing, the internet culture and pretty much anything else you can think of. Attendees are invited to set up their own village or camps within the camp. That’s where like-minded people can gather and put on their own activities. The EMF team of volunteers will supply power and internet to each tent. GB2EMF will be on the air from the Amateur Radio Village. More details, and ticket information, are at www.emfcamp.org

A new and updated 5MHz allocation chart has been issued and it has been several months since the last update. Due to the increasing number of 5MHz allocations it has been reconfigured as a Microsoft Excel file instead. The current updated Worldwide Amateur 5MHz Allocations Chart can be found at http://tinyurl.com/oofmemh

The Chasqui-1 amateur radio satellite has been successfully deployed from the International Space Station during a spacewalk by two Russian Cosmonauts. It is a research satellite designed to standard CubeSat dimension by the Peruvian National University of Engineering in collaboration with the Southwestern State University in Kursk. Experiments onboard include cameras that work by visible and infrared light. It carries a beacon on 437.025MHz that can transmit either 1200 bit per second audio frequency shift keying using AX.25 protocol or 9600 bits per second Gaussian minimum shift keying, better known as GMSK.

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The provisional lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Ofcom staff will be among those giving presentations, with other highlights such as James Coxon, M6JCX speaking about high altitude balloons and a software developers’ workshop run by Michael Wells, G7VJR. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month and the RSGB has arranged for Clubs/Groups to use the special callsign G14YOTA, with regional variations, on a rota basis. An application form is available on the RSGB website. The main requirement is to use the callsign to put youngsters on the air, and, for this purpose, anyone under the age of 26 is considered to be a youngster. Applicants are encouraged to think about making the most out of the activation by including other activities, such as Morse demonstrations, ARDF hunts, WSPR beacon displays, listening to remote SDRs, use of Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and so on. Applications must be received by 22 September.

The 4th annual World Digital ATV QSO Party will be held on 29 and 30 August. The event will have anchors in England, the United States and Australia. This will be a show and tell format that uses a combination of direct inputs for those within range of interconnected ATV repeaters and other contributions via Skype. The entire session will be streamed by the British Amateur Television Club.

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

Today, the 24th, Milton Keynes ARS Rally will be held at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. Visitors can combine a visit to the rally with one to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well. There is a car park and doors open at 10am with entry costing £3. More details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

August Bank Holiday Monday, the 25th, sees the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally take place at St Neots Community College, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There is talk in on S22 with a Bring & Buy and car boot area as well as trade stands. More from Clive, G3NKQ on 01480 810 473.

The Telford Hamfest takes place on 31 August at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DU. For more details contact Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255 416.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4PIA at the Party in the park on 25th August at the Miners Welfare Park, Coventry Road, Bedworth.

Wakefield & District Radio Society will be operating portable for the entire weekend from the Calder Drift Scout Camp, just south of Wakefield. They hope to be active on all bands from 80 metres to 2 metres using the callsigns GX3WRS, GX1WRS and/or GX3ESP. More information from the events and publicity manager, Stu M0TNG by e-mail to m0tng@wdrs.org.uk.

Wearside Electronics & Amateur Radio Society will be on the air on Monday 25th from 7 to 9.30pm operating HF, VHF and UHF. If you are interested in amateur radio and want to know more about the exam system pop along for a chat, cuppa and some pie and cake. All welcome. The address is on QRZ.com under G0BNK or use the Find a Club function on the RSGB website. 

On Sunday 31st August from 10.30am to 4pm, Cray Valley RS will be at Crossness Museum, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ with the GB2CM exhibition about amateur radio. Cray Valley members and registered trainers will be on hand to explain more about the training courses on offer and sign up those interested in the next Foundation or Intermediate course. As the open day theme is local history, the stand will also feature some local history connections with radio by including a small display of memorabilia.

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

PA0FAW will activate special event station PA44AH between the 1st and 28th September to commemorate the World War 2 Battle of Arnhem. The operation will primarily use CW and digital modes but there is the possibly some SSB. QSL via PA0AW and SWL reports are also very welcome.

WB6OJB and K5LBU will be on the air as C81AK and C81CF, respectively, from Tenda Tora Lodge in Bilene between the 25th August and 2nd of September. WB6JOB will be operating on SSB and CW, while K5LBU will be on PSK and possibly RTTY. QSLs go to each operator’s home address or via Logbook to the World.

AC8W, KC8CO, KN8R and N8LJ, will be in Fiji, OC-016, from the 26th August to the 2nd of September operating as 3D2 followed by AC, 3CO, LJ and TR. They will be taking three K2s and one TS-590 along with two KPA-500s and one ALS-500. Antennas will be verticals on the beach. Activity is expected to be on 1.8 to 28MHz on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via K8AQM.

Murray Adams, WA4DAN, has received permission from Parks Canada for a one-day DXpedition to Sable Island, now planned for the 8th September. A second operator will be Randy Rowe, N0TG. The two-man team will be using the Sable Island Amateur Radio Station that WA4DAN and the CY0P team left behind after their venture to Sable in October 2013. If things go as anticipated, WA4DAN will operate the SSB station while N0TG will be on CW. Antennas are expected to be 17 and 20m Yagis with at least one of the two stations will operating high power.

Now the contest news

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest takes place today, the 24th, between 1300 to 1500UTC, with awards for the leading non-EI station in each of the six sections of this 2-hour event. These awards often go to stations in GI, but if you have a good takeoff across the sea to Ireland it’s definitely worth a try. Also worth remembering is that if you’re a VHF ‘square basher’ and have missing squares in Ireland, this could be a good afternoon to work some of them. The 32 Irish counties are used as multipliers and you can find a list of them on EI8IC’s website. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday, two contests take place, both running from 1900 to 2130UTC. The first is the 50MHz UK Activity contest where the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator using all modes. The second is the SHF UK Activity Contest for the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, again using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the SSB leg of the 80m Club Contest, running from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is the usual one of both callsigns, serial number and name.

On the 31st August the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800 on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 15th to Thursday the 21st of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 22nd of August.

Several small sunspot regions were visible every day, however, on the 21st a new active sunspot region rotated into view. Until then solar activity was low with only a small number of C class solar flares taking place each day, but on the 21st an impulsive M3 solar flare took place increasing activity to moderate levels. Solar flux levels took a small dip to 111 units on the 18th and the 19th but started to increase with the approaching new sunspot region and ended the period at 128 units. The average was 115 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 21st was 126 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B2.6 units to B5.8 by the 21st and the average was B3.6 units. Geomagnetic activity was at quiet levels except for the 19th which increased to Ap 15 units and 12 on the 21st. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 380 to 260 kilometres per second by the 16th but then increased to 450 kilometres per second on the 19th. Particle densities were low but increased to 30 particles per cubic centimetre on the 19th. Bz varied between minus 5 and plus 2 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 18 and plus 12 on the 19th that was the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun will rotate into view, solar flare activity is expected to increase to moderate levels, on some days. There will be a slight chance of a major solar flare taking place. Solar flux levels should increase and be around the 150s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity should be quiet at first but around midweek a small recurring disturbance is expected. Activity should then decline but increase again later at the weekend. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 30MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 23MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1400 and 1800 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 17th August 2014

August 15, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention news

  • Plans for Youngsters On The Air month

  • BBC World War 1 At Home radio day

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Dave Powis, G4HUP is doing an SMD presentation on the Saturday, followed by workshops during the day. Visitors can book their places in the workshop, which takes up to an hour with only 6 individuals per session. During the session they will learn solder dispensing and component placement of surface mount components and they will have access to a reflow oven. Also on Saturday, from 9am until 1pm, Keith, G3VKW, Chris, GM3WOJ and Fred, G4BWP will have a number of vintage transceivers on display, dating from the 1960s. These will be connected to a receive antenna, so older visitors can relive the experience of listening on one of these radios that they may have owned in the past, while younger visitors can also share that experience. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until the 1st September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place.

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month and the RSGB has arranged for Clubs/Groups to use the special callsign G14YOTA, with Regional variations, on a rota basis. An application form is available on the RSGB website. As there are only 31 allocations, applicants are asked to give three choices of date in an attempt to resolve diary conflicts. There are some conditions attached to using the G14YOTA callsign and these are included on the application form and on the website. The main one is the requirement to use the callsign to put youngsters on the air, and, for this purpose, anyone under the age of 26 is considered to be a youngster. Applicants are encouraged to think about making the most out of the activation by including other activities, such as Morse demonstrations, ARDF hunts, WSPR beacon displays, listening to remote SDRs, use of Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and so on. The RSGB will provide some promotional material, stickers, badges, etc. Applications must be submitted by 22nd September and a panel made up from the YOTA teams will then allocate the callsign, with every Region having some activations. For further details see the RSGB website, Operating section.

The BBC Radio Solent WW1 At Home display will be at the Weymouth Pavilion on Carnival day, 20th August. Members of the South Dorset Radio Society will be assisting the Royal Signals Museum with a demonstration of how Morse Code was used during WW1. Rob, G0RYL, Carol, 2E1RBH, Rob, G3MYM and Geoff, G0EVW expect to be located in the Ocean Room at the back of Weymouth Pavilion. The event runs from 10am to 4pm, is open to the public and entry is free. The South Dorset Radio Society team will be very pleased to see any radio amateurs who are able to visit, although this is a Morse demonstration not a special event station.

There’s still time to get involved with Churches and Chapels on the Air, which takes place on the 13th September between 10am and 4pm. Activity is mainly on 40 and 80m and over 20 stations in the UK are already planned. Contact John, G3XYF by email to g3xyf@btconnect.com if you are planning to take part.

The RSGB is involved with a special event station, 2SZ, that will be on the air from North London from 11th to 18th October. This to celebrate the first two way radio communication between the UK and New Zealand on 18th October 1924 between 2SZ at Mill Hill School and 4AA in New Zealand. The contact attracted the attention of the national press and was reported in the Daily Mail newspaper on 21st October 1924. To commemorate the 90th anniversary, stations will recreate the first contact, hopefully on a wavelength close to the one that was used in 1924. This is believed to be only the second time that Ofcom has permitted radio amateurs to use three character callsigns to commemorate a special event. More details are on the RSGB website.

Kerry Amateur Radio Group has been issued with an additional callsign, EI1K. The club intends to use the callsign for contest operating, while the other callsign, EI1KARG, will continue to be used for club field day operations and special event stations. The group have a qrz.com page for EI1K where photographs of our various activities and details of the club can be found.

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

The Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society Annual Radio Rally will take place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX today, 17th August. More details from Stephen, G8LYB on 01788 578 940.

Also today, the 17th, the 2nd South Manchester Radio Club Summer Radio Car Boot Sale will be held at Trafford Metrovicks Rugby and Cricket Club, Finnybank Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6LR. Tables are £10 and admission is £1, with the gates opening at 9.30am. More information from John, M6JII, on 07892 890 902.

On 24th August, Milton Keynes ARS Rally will be held at Longueville Hall, Hammond Park, Whaddon Road, Newton Longville, Milton Keynes MK17 0AT. Visitors can combine a visit to the rally with one to Bletchley Park and visit the National Radio Centre as well. There is a car park and doors open at 10am with entry costing £3. More details from Steve, G6KJU on 07866 673 192.

August Bank Holiday Monday, the 25th, sees the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally take place at St Neots Community College, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There is talk in on S22 with a Bring & Buy and car boot area as well as trade stands. More from Clive, G3NKQ on 01480 810 473,

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4PIA at the Party in the park event that has changed its date. Organisers have moved the event to the August bank holiday on 25th August. It remains at the Miners Welfare Park, Coventry Road, Bedworth.

Halifax and District ARS will be operating from two churches in the Halifax area as part of Churches on the air on 13th September. GB4ASC will be operated from All Souls Church at Haley Hill, Halifa, and GB4BMC will be operated from Bethesda Methodist Church at Elland. Frequencies will be the HF bands.

The Radio Society of Sri Lanka will activate the Point Pedro Lighthouse, the Northern most point of the island, on 17th August for the International Light House event. The team use HF bands both on CW and SSB. QSL requests to PO Box 907, Colombo. SWL reports are also welcome.

This weekend, during the International Lighthouse & Lightships Weekend, TC1LHW will be active from Istanbul Terkos Karaburun Lighthouse and TC6LHW will be active from Samsun Bafra Lighthouse. Details are on qrz.com

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

A group of English operators will be active from Rathlin Island, EU-122, until 20th August. They will use the callsign GN0GRC and plan to operate from three lighthouses while there. QSLs go via G0RCI.

G3ZVW will be active as ZD8N from Georgetown on Ascension Island, SA-043, between the 21st and 29th August. Operation will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

LZ3FN will be operating stroke SV9 from Crete between 24th August and 7th September. Activity will be on all bands, mainly CW. QSL via LZ1PM.

JH1UVV will be on the air as T88UN from the West Plaza by the Sea Hotel rental shack on Koror Island, OC-009, between the 28th and 31st August. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL cards go via his home callsign only. No electronic QSLs will be available for this one.

VK3VTH will be active stroke 7 from King Island, OC-233, between the 14th and 17th August. His operation will be on 40 and 20m using SSB only. QSL via VK3VTH either direct or via the bureau.

VK3ATX will be operational stroke P from Gabo Island, OC-196, on 16th and 17th August. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct only. 

Now the contest news

On Tuesday, the 19th, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest takes place on Sunday 24th between 1300 to 1500UTC, with awards for the leading non-EI station in each of the six sections of this 2-hour event. These awards often go to stations in GI, but if you have a good takeoff across the sea to Ireland it’s definitely worth a try. Also worth remembering is that if you’re a VHF ‘square basher’ and have missing squares in Ireland, this could be a good afternoon to work some of them. The 32 Irish counties are used as multipliers and you can find a list of them on EI8IC’s website. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 8th to Thursday the 14th of August, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 15th of August.

All visible sunspot groups were small and not very flare productive. Only eight small C class solar flares took place up to the 11th, since then solar activity declined to very low levels with no C class solar flares taking place. Solar flux levels declined from 123 units on the 8th to 103 by the 13th and the 14th. The average was 108 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 14th was 127 units, that's three units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B4.8 units on the 8th to B2.5 by the 14th and the average was B3.4 units for the period. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 12th, which increased to Ap 10 units. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 360 kilometres per second on the 8th to 560 by the 12th. Particle densities were low every day except for the 11th, which increased to 22 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 10 and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the 12th, which was the most disturbed day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be at low levels, however, an M class solar flare is slightly possible on any day. Solar flux levels are expected to be around the 100 mark but could increase slightly after midweek. Geomagnetic activity should be mostly quiet but could increase slightly towards next weekend due to a small recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate should be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 10th August 2014

August 8, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th August 2014

The news headlines:

  • First 6m transatlantic Opera decode achieved

  • FUNcube-2 beacon goes live

  • G14YOTA granted for Youngsters on the Air in December

At 1427 on 21 July, WD4KPD decoded the first 6m band transatlantic Opera beacon transmission from Graham, G0NBD, at a range of 3664 miles. The transmitting station used Opera mode OP1 with the 60 second transmit time pre-set for the 6m band. The aerial was a home-made 2 element Quad located in the roof space of the house.

The FUNcube-2 telemetry beacon aboard the UKube-1 satellite has been switched on. Transmissions are on 145.915MHz, plus or minus Doppler shift. If you have a station that will receive the FUNcube-1 telemetry transmissions then it should also be able to hear FUNcube-2. The FUNcube-1 Dashboard application for home computers does not yet properly display data from FUNcube-2 but it does correctly upload information to the corresponding Data Warehouse. A revised version of the Dashboard software is being prepared by the team and the latest information can be found at www.amsat-uk.org

December is IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air Month. This year Ofcom has granted RSGB permission to use special callsign G14YOTA in a similar way to the successful G100RSGB call. We are therefore looking for 31 clubs and groups to host the YOTA callsign for one day each during December. The only stipulation is that it must put youngsters on the air, either Club members operating the Club station, or local youth groups passing greeting messages and learning about radio. Booking details are still being ironed out, but start thinking now about how your club can get involved. Bookings are likely to be taken from around the end of September. More information will be published later on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, and you can follow YOTA on Twitter via @yota_uk

The Wireless Institute of Australia has been facing a series of spectrum losses in the 70cm, 2.3GHz and most recently 3.4GHz bands. Their most recent submission to their regulator is now online at www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2014/20140731-1/index.php

The annual UK High Altitude Society meeting will take place on 16 August at the University of Greenwich. Some of the topics in the programme are WebSDR, Advanced superpressure balloon technology and Predictor. The conference attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434MHz signals. For full details see http://ukhas.org.uk

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, G3YJO is to take up the position of Chair of Surrey Space Centre. The Centre has been steadily expanding its staff and activities and the new role as Chair will enable him to better help with the strategic research planning and external relations, as well as mentoring staff and students. It was also announced that Professor Aglietti will take on the role of Director of the Centre.

Following the advertisement in RadCom for someone to lead the Club Relay event next year, Dan Trudgian, M0TGN, has been appointed. Dan is a great enthusiast for amateur radio and has relevant experience of getting events off the ground and getting people enthused. The Club Relay builds on the success of the RSGB Centenary Station, G100RSGB, and will be touring the country throughout the year, hosted by local clubs. The RSGB plans to go live with bookings for the callsign around October.

The RSGB Convention takes place between 10 and 12 October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The RSGB has extended the Early Bird discount until 1 September so there’s still time to get a bargain. Go to www.rsgbevents.org to book your place. The programme is almost finished and will be on the RSGB website soon. One of the highlights will be the talk by Bob Allphin, K4UEE who was a member of the successful 2014 FT5ZM Amsterdam Island DXpedition, the sixth most-wanted DXCC. Their story is a very interesting one and many UK station got a 'new one' from their DXpedition. The cost of this DXpedition was almost half a million dollars, the sea trip across the South Atlantic was dire and participants put in a lot of their own money. Also confirmed is Mike Richards, G4WNC who asks is your Raspberry Pi collecting dust? Mike will show you how to get it doing something useful in the shack and starting working datamodes amongst other things. Free fact sheets will be available at the end of the talk.

Thanks to the volunteers from the British Amateur Television Club, videos of the presentations given to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium held in Guildford on 26 and 27 July are now available to view online or download. Links to the presentation videos, slides and the schedule are at tinyurl.com/2014-coloq-video

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

Today, Sunday the 10th, the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Gates open at 10am and talk-in will be on S22. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and refreshments. Details from Tony, G3PFM on 07773 157356 after 6pm.

The Rugby Amateur Transmitting Society Annual Radio Rally will take place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PX on 17 August. More details from Stephen, G8LYB on 01788 578 940.

Also on 17 August, the 2nd South Manchester Radio Club Summer Radio Car Boot Sale will be held at Trafford Metrovicks Rugby and Cricket Club, Finnybank Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6LR. Tables are £10 and admission is £1, with the gates opening at 9.30am. More information from John, M6JII on 07892 890 902.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

The Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB4STG in the CHOTA event from St.Georges Church Brede. HF bands depending on conditions. Operation will commence at 8am, taking a half hour break at 9am whilst the morning worship takes place. Activity will then resume until 5:30pm.

A special callsign, CF3NAVY, will be on the air for the month of August to celebrate 100 years of the submarine service of the Royal Canadian Navy. QSL Manager is VE3RCN.

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

KB5FLA will be on the air stroke PJ7 from Sint Maarten, NA-105, until 12 August. Activity is holiday style on 40 and 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign direct or electronically via Logbook to the World or eQSL.

DJ8NK, signing as GJ0VNK, and F6EXV, signing as MJ0EXV will be operational from Jersey, EU-013, until 12 August. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 6m using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. There is the possibility that the duo could turn up on 60 meters as well. Logs will be uploaded to Club Log and Logbook to the World. QSL via their home callsigns, direct or via the bureau.

ON4BR will be active as D44TLO from the Windward Islands, OC-046, between16 and 23 August. Operations will be on 40 to 10 metres using CW only. QSL via his home callsign

Ian, MM0IMC is planning to activate the Ardrossan Lighthouse, ILLW ref UK0089, on 16 and 17 August for a few hours each day as part of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. This will be a QRP station on 40m, weather and band conditions permitting.

F5OZF and F5RXL will operate as TK50O (Tango Kilo fifty Oscar) from Corsica, EU-014, until 15 August. QSLs go via F5RXL and logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Now the contest news

For the whole 48 hours of the weekend of 9-10 August the first of this year’s Worked All Europe DX Contests, the CW leg, will be filling the HF bands with signals. Europeans work non-Europeans only. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 5th 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place on Sunday the 10th from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on 12 August from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

The following day, the 13th, it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Sprint from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Now the solar report for the 1st to the 7th of August, compiled on August 8th by Martin Harrison, G3USF

Solar activity was slightly higher this week. C-Class flares were reported daily and a couple of M-class flares occurred on the 1st. However, there were no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections. The solar flux started the week at 168 and ended at 137, averaging 144, compared with134 the previous week. The 90-day average was stable at 130. The X-ray flux increased from B4.3 to B6.3, with little daily variation. Geomagnetic activity was also higher, with unsettled periods on several days. The high point was the 4th, when the Ap index rose to 12. The daily average was 7.6, compared with 6.3 the previous week. Solar wind speeds recorded by the ACE spacecraft were above average for much of the week, thanks to a high-speed coronal stream. They were initially 285km/sec but climbed to 463km/sec on the 4th, remaining above average for the remainder of the period. The increase in geomagnetic levels had little impact on HF propagation but led to periods of radio aurora at VHF at high latitudes on several days. Bz varied between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas during quiet periods and plus or minus 9 nanoTeslas at more unsettled times. Particle densities were low.

Now the solar forecast. There are currently no signs of change in the broad pattern of recent weeks, though, as ever, an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection could just surprise us. No great variation is expected in solar flux levels. Flare activity will mainly be low, but isolated M-class flares are possible. Geomagnetic levels should stay low, with the Ap index mainly in single figures. MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to reach about 24MHz. Darkness lows will be in the vicinity of 14MHz. Paths to southern Africa should have a maximum usable frequency, with a 50% chance of success, of 32MHz. The optimum working frequency, with a 90 per cent prospect of a contact, will be about 24MHz. The path should be in good shape between 0800 and 1800UTC.

Finally, a reminder that one of the year’s major meteor showers, the Perseids, which have been with us since 26 July, are scheduled to peak between now and 13 August.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 3rd August 2014

August 1, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd August 2014

The news headlines:

  • New Chairman for Spectrum Forum

  • European Youth event on 20 and 21 September

  • Amateur balloon flies round the world

The RSGB’s Board of Directors has appointed Murray Niman, G6JYB, to the position of Chairman of its Spectrum Forum. The Spectrum Forum brings together the RSGB with special interest groups within the UK amateur community that share an interest in spectrum management. Murray is no stranger to spectrum matters, having held the post of RSGB Microwave Manager since January 2007. He succeeds the former Spectrum Chair John Gould, G3WKL, who was recently elected as RSGB President.

The European Radio Amateurs' Organisation is holding a youth event on 20 and 21 September and is encouraging other countries to join in. Called ‘Give Youth a Chance’, the aim is to promote amateur radio among young people, enabling them to have fun and meet other amateurs all over the world. Where regulations permit, licensed radio amateurs are encouraged to invite and supervise young future operators to have their first experience with real radio. Full details and suggestions on how to run your own event can be found at www.eurao.org

The 434MHz solar powered party balloon B-64, launched by Leo, M0XER, is passing the UK at the end of a record breaking journey around the world. Leo launched his balloon from Silverstone on 12 July. It traveled east across Asia, the Pacific and the Americas and completed the final transatlantic crossing arriving over Cornwall on July 31. You may still be able to receive B-64’s Contestia 64/1000 signal on 434.500MHz USB with the usual pips. When it is over the UK it will alternate the Contestia transmission with APRS also on 434.500MHz running 10mW output.

As has become a tradition, both UK and USA exams will be available at the RSGB Convention in October. The UK exams will be hosted by the RSGB Training & Education Committee and Paul Steed, G0VEP, will be hosting the USA exams. UK Foundation and Intermediate will be held on Saturday 11 October and the Advanced on Sunday 12 October. Candidates intending to sit the Foundation and/or Intermediate exams must have completed the relevant Practical Assessments before the exam. If you need help arranging practical assessments, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk. Anyone wishing to book their place for the UK exams should contact Carol Meredith at the RSGB HQ Exam Department by 19 September, via exams@rsgb.org.uk. Anyone wishing to sit the US exams should contact Paul via Paul.Steed@ntlworld.com.

The BBC will mark the centenary of World War One with events running from 2014-2018. This summer, as part of the season, BBC Learning will create eight large-scale inspirational Great War events which will take place throughout the UK, reflecting the dramatic impact the war had on local families and communities. The next WW1 At Home Live event will be on 8 to 10 August at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Sad news now from the USA. ARRL DXCC and Awards Manager Bill Moore, NC1L was seriously injured in an accident. Moore suffered a broken neck and other injuries and is paralysed from the chest down. He is stable and recuperating at Mount Sinai Rehab Hospital in Hartford. There is no timetable for his return to work at ARRL Headquarters. DXCC and awards questions should be sent to one of the e-mail addresses listed on the DXCC Contacts web page. Many amateurs know Bill through the DXCC programme and cards and get-well wishes are appreciated. Send to Bill Moore, NC1L, 92 Reservoir Rd, Newington, CT 06111, USA. Our best wishes to Bill for a speedy recovery.

Last weekend saw the AMSAT-UK Colloquium take place. Jim, G3WGM and Ciaran, M0XTD gave a presentation on the FUNcube-1 mission. The presentation included the announcement of a new version of the FUNcube-1 Dashboard. This has greatly improved decoding performance for weak signals – especially for FUNcube Dongle users. Additionally the Dashboard can now activate the Bias-T pre-amp power from the Dongle. The new version can now be downloaded and the guidance notes have been updated to provide full information about it. Details and downloads are at http://funcube.org.uk

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

Today, 3 August, the 25th King’s Lynn Arc Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, PE30 4DZ, where there is talk-in on S22 and free car parking. Opening time is 10am and admission is £2. There are trade stands, a car boot sale and catering. Camping is available by prior arrangement. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701.

Also today, 3 August, is the Lorn Radio Rally, at Crianlarich Village Hall. Opening time is 10.30 and admission is £2. There’s a bring and buy, RSGB bookstall and free tables for traders. Contact Stewart, MM1AVR, on 07708 016 522.

On Friday the 8th, Cockenzie & Port Seton ARC is holding its 21st Mini Rally at the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton. Bring along your own junk and sell it; tables are free on a first come first served basis. Doors open 6pm and admission is £2.

Next Sunday, the 10th, the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest will take place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Gates open at 10am and talk-in will be on S22. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and refreshments. Details from Tony, G3PFM on 07773 157356 after 6pm.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today, 3 August, sees the start of a very unusual special event callsign, GB1418WAR, commemorating the 1914-1918 First World War. Activity will be from Top Band to 28MHz, mainly on SSB but with some CW. QSL via M0OXO.

Next weekend, 8 and 9 August, a demonstration station will be at the Mull of Galloway Festival Weekend Special Event at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Drummore, Stranraer DG9 9HP. As well as a demonstration station they will also show Ian, MM5WIG’s video of GM100RSGB at the Mull of Galloway.

Barrack Point Lighthouse on Sherkin Island in County Cork will be on the air during the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society contest on 3 August, US National Lighthouse Day on 7 August and the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend weekend on 16 and 17 August. Barrack Point Lighthouse has been designated IE0014 by ILLW. A QSL card will be sent to all stations worked.

Essex CW Club will put GB2VJ on the air from 8 August to 4 September to mark events on 14 August 1945, when it was announced that Japan had surrendered to the Allies, effectively ending WW2.

The declaration of the First World War was made from Whitehall at 11pm on 4th August 1914. By midnight the high powered spark generator at Poldhu in Cornwall broadcast the news to all British Merchant ships using the call sign ZZ. To mark the centenary, the Radio Officers’ Association have organised an event in collaboration with the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club. The call sign GB100ZZ will operate from 4 August from the original site where the message was sent. The special event is to honour the sacrifice made by all wireless operators during the Great War, irrespective of side. See the website at www.500kcs.org for full information.

Burton upon Trent AC is holding a special event at the National Brewery Museum on 3 August with the callsign GB2ALE. The event is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of one of the club’s founders, Mr FVA Smith, XSR, receiving a message from the Marconi spark transmitter at Poldhu on the eve of World War 1, announcing the mobilisation of French and Belgian troops. Main operations will be on all HF bands and there will be talk-in available on 2m. Full details are at www.burtonarc.org

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

Giovanni, IZ2DPX will be active as VP2MPX from Montserrat, NA-103, until 25 August on SSB on the HF bands and 6 metres.

Tony, 3D2AG will be back on Rotuma Island, OC-060, until 8 August. He will be QRV in his spare time as 3D2AG/p on the 40 to 6m bands using a solar powered station with 3 element Yagi and inverted V. QSL direct to 3D2AG, see QRZ.com.

Dirk, PA7DN will be active asPA7DN/p from Terschelling, EU-038, until 8 August. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The VHF part of the 43rd Alpe Adria VHF/UHF/SHF contest takes place today, 3 August. Entry categories include a low power high altitude class for those above 1600m ASL and below 5W. Operations are on CW and SSB from 0700-1500UTC and full details are at www.alpe-adria-contest.net/

Today, 3 August, the CW contest RoPoCo 2 is on the air from 0700-0830UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is RST and full postcode received.

The RSGB 432MHz Low Power contest is today, the 3rd. Operating from 0800UTC until 1200 on all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Finally for this weekend, Microwave Field Day takes place on today, the 3rd, from 0900-1700UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 and 10GHz bands, RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

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

For the whole 48 hours of the weekend of 9-10 August the first of this year’s Worked All Europe DX Contests, the CW leg, will be filling the HF bands with signals. Europeans work non-Europeans only. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 5th 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place on Sunday the 10th from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 25th to Thursday the 31st of July, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 1st of August.

As predicted, two large sunspot regions rotated into view, one on the 27th and the other on the 30th. Solar activity started at low levels with a small number of C class solar flares taking place each day. However, on the 31st, activity increased to moderate levels when a M2 class solar flare took place just before midday. Solar flux levels increased from 107 units on the 25th to 156 by the 31st. The average was 132 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 31st was 130, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B2.8 units on the 25th to B7.1 by the 30th, the average was B5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, though, on the 28th activity increased slightly with an Ap index of 10 units. The average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 310 and 470 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase to 60 particles per cubic centimetre on the 28th. Bz varied between minus 8 and plus 12 nanoTeslas on the 28th which was the most disturbed day and between minus 5 and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Now the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be at moderate levels on some days. This is due to the two old returning sunspot groups that produced M class solar flares on their last rotation. Solar flux levels should be around the 160's at first but could start to decline after midweek. Geomagnetic activity should start at quiet levels but by midweek increase slightly due to a recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 12MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 22MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 17MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 100 and 1600 hours.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 27th July 2014

July 25, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th July 2014

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters on the Air was great success

  • Commonwealth Games requires four channels on 2m

  • First transatlantic Opera decode achieved on 6m

Youngsters on the Air 2014 was a huge success. Initial reports speak about how well run it was and how friendly the 60 young people were. But more importantly, the RSGB-sponsored UK delegation was continually praised for its punctuality, good manners, enthusiasm, competitiveness, good operating standards, technical expertise. In short they were everything expected of ambassadors for the UK and also for the RSGB. The boys really did lead in every field. A full report on the event is planned for the next edition of RadCom.

Following negotiations with the RSGB to minimise the impact on radio amateurs, Ofcom has announced that it will temporarily authorise up to four 25kHz channels, between 144.000MHz and 144.100MHz, for the period 22 July to 4 August 2014, to support the operation of the Commonwealth Games. The frequencies to be used specifically exclude the CW calling frequency at 144.0500MHz. Usage of this spectrum will be in the vicinity of Glasgow Commonwealth Games venues and will be limited to handheld equipment operating on a maximum of 5W ERP. Ofcom emphasises that use of Primary Amateur spectrum is only for the specified time period and does not constitute a change of usage. Ofcom are aware of the very short notice and will authorise this usage on a non-interference, non-protection basis. Amateurs in the Glasgow area are requested to avoid these frequencies until 4 August. Full details, including the centre frequencies and precise area affected, are online at www.tinyurl.com/glasgow2m

The first transatlantic decode of an Opera beacon on the 6m band occurred at 14:27 on 21 July. David Gaytko, WD4KPD, located in Washington, decoded transmission from Graham Brown, G0NBD, at a range of 3664 miles. The signal to noise ratio was -18dB and the mode in use was Opera OP1, with a 60 second Tx time.

The UK 2m transatlantic beacon GB3WGI has recently been permitted a higher power by Ofcom. Located at Derrygonnelly, Northern Ireland, the beacon now has an ERP of 1000W, beaming on a heading of 280°.

The Brendan Awards Committee has named Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, to receive the first Triennial Brendan Medal. This award is for his work on setting up and maintaining his 2 metre trans-Atlantic beacon system. The medal was presented to Justin by Irish Radio Transmitting Society President Séamus McCague, EI8BP, during the recent ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ofcom has recently published a Call for Inputs on promoting investment in the Internet of Things. The document is informative and may have some practical implications for the shared sections of the 433MHz and 2.4GHz bands. Details are at http://goo.gl/jbfIId

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Irish Arms have created a full weekend of event for the long weekend from Friday 1st August to Monday 4th August. The highlight will be the firing of a Vickers Sons & Maxim 6 inch breech loading coastal gun at about 12.30 on the afternoon of Monday 4th August. The gun is dated 1897, so is 117 years old, and has not fired since 1939. It was restored by members of Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society over the past three years. In addition to the firing of the gun there will be activities over the weekend including military vehicles and a visit by the current Department of the Environment Minister and his dignitaries on Monday to take part in the firing of the gun.

The July/August 2014 issue of the free professional publication Sat Magazine features stories on TechDemoSat, UKube-1 with its FUNcube-2 boards and DX-1. Also included is the publication OSCAR News produced quarterly by AMSAT-UK. The publication is available for download in PDF format at tinyurl.com/july-2014-satmag

The BBC is staging another of their series of World War 1 At Home events on 1 and 2 August in the City Square, Dundee. Keep an eye on the RSGB website for details.

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

The Horncastle Summer Rally takes place today at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. There is free car parking, the event opens at 10.30 and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

Next Sunday, 3 August, the 25th King’s Lynn Arc Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, PE30 4DZ, where there is talk-in on S22 and free car parking. Opening time is 10am and admission it £2. There are trade stands, a car boot sale and catering. Camping is available by prior arrangement. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701 or see www.klarc.org.uk.

Also next Sunday is the Lorn Radio Rally, at Crianlarich Village Hall. Opening time is 10.30 and admission is £2. There’s a bring and buy, RSGB bookstall and free tables for traders. Contact Stewart, MM1AVR, on 07708 016 522 or email gm0lra@freeuk.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Bredhurst Receiving & Transmitting Society will be operating GB4FWW, for First World War, from Thursday 31 July until 9 August. Activity will be on HF SSB, 2m FM & SSB.

On Friday 1st August Pontefract and District ARS will be celebrating Yorkshire Day by operating GB0YD from the Towton, War of the Roses, Battlefield.

GB2CS will be on the air from 1-8 August for Cheshire Scouts and Guides. The station will be located at the Cheshire County Agricultural Showground in Tabley, near Knutsford. Operation will be on HF, VHF, UHF, IRLP, D-Star and Echolink, and will be staffed by amateurs involved in scouting in Cheshire. At the international jamboree there will be Scouts and Guides represented from many countries from Europe, as well as USA, Canada, Egypt and Africa.

Next Sunday sees the start of a very unusual special event callsign, GB1418WAR, commemorating the 1914-1918 First World War. Activity will be from Top Band to 28MHz, mainly on SSB but with some CW. QSL via M0OXO.

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

JH1NBN will be active as C21BN from Nauru, IOTA reference OC-031, between 27 July and 16 August. Operations will be on 80 to 6 metres SSB using simple antennas with 100 watts. QSL via his home callsign.

YB3MM will be on the air as 4W stroke NB3MM from Timor Leste between 31 July and 5 August. Operation will be on 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 metres using mainly SSB with some CW and PSK31. QSL IZ8CCW direct, by the bureau or OQRS.

WM2W and N0TW will be active as C6AMW and C6ATW respectively from the Bahamas, NA-080, between 1 and 4 August as part of the 10-10 Summer QSO Party. QSL via N0TW.

ON6DSL will operational stroke SV9 from Crete, EU-015, from 1 to 10 August. His mode of operation will be SSB using QRP at 5 watts into a home built antenna. QSL via his home callsign to the UBA Bureau.

Now the contest news

The RSGB IOTA contest is in progress this weekend, coming to a close at 1pm UK time today. Operation is on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands, using both CW and phone. The exchange is RST, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain and EU-115 for Ireland Full information is on the RSGB Contest Committee website at www.rsgbcc.org

Also today, the UK Microwave Group 5.7-24GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC. All modes are valid and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the RSGB 70MHz UKAC from 1900-2130UTC, with all modes of operation valid. RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Next Saturday sees the RSGB 4th 144MHz Backpackers contest, from 1300-1700UTC. Operating all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is RST, serial number, locator and postcode. Partially overlapping this is the RSGB 144MHz Low Power contest, which operated from 1400-2000UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is also RST, serial number, locator and postcode.

The VHF part of the 43rd Alpe Adria VHF/UHF/SHF contest takes place on Sunday 3 August. Entry categories include a low power high altitude class for those above 1600m ASL and below 5W. Operations are on CW and SSB from 0700-1500UTC and full details are at http://www.alpe-adria-contest.net/

On Sunday 3rd August the CW contest RoPoCo 2 is on the air from 0700-0830UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is RST and full postcode received.

The RSGB 432MHz Low Power contest is on Sunday 3rd. Operating from 0800UTC until 1200 on all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, Microwave Field Day takes place on Sunday 3rd from 0900-1700UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 and 10GHz bands, RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Now the solar report and forecast for the period July 18th to 24th, prepared on July 25th by Martin Harrison, G3USF

The Sun had another quiet week, with solar activity very low. Spots were few and there were six successive days when no solar flares were reported until a, small C-class occurred on the 24th. After last week’s precipitate drop, the solar flux was more stable. It began the week at 89 units and ended at 104, averaging 93. The 90-day average was 129 units on the 24th - a drop of 4 points. The X-ray flux was down from an average of B6.0 to B1.7

The one bright spot was that geomagnetic activity again remained low, with the Ap index in single figures every day, averaging only 4 units. Apart from the occasional spike, particle densities were consistently low. Solar wind speeds were below average, ranging between 270 and 355km/sec. Bz showed little daily variation, mostly ranging between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas. There were occasional sporadic-e opening, sometimes reaching 70MHz, and, more frequently, 50MHz.

Now the forecast. In the course of the coming week the more active face of the Sun should be beginning to turn towards us, bringing the return of areas that produced considerable activity during the last rotation. The solar flux should see a steady increase, possibly into the 130s. It seems likely that the flare count will increase, with solar activity at times up to moderate level. Geomagnetic activity will mostly remain low. Daytime MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to be in the vicinity of 24MHz, while darkness lows will be about 14MHz. Paths to Japan this week should have a Maximum Usable Frequency, with a 50% chance of success, of 20MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency with a 90 per cent prospect of a contact, will be about 14MHz. The path should be best between 0600 and 1200UTC.

There remains a fair possibility of sporadic-e on 28MHx and the lower VHF bands.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 20th July 2014

July 18, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 20 July 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

·         ARRL marks its hundred years

·         Get Set for the IOTA Contest

·         AMSAT Colloquium next weekend

 

 

The American Radio Relay League, or ARRL, has been in existence for 100 years and this weekend has been celebrating its centennial with a convention in its home town of Hartford, Connecticut. Commencing on Thursday 17th there have been dozens of talks, visits to ARRL Headquarters, formal dinners and many more activities. The RSGB extends its fraternal congratulations ARRL on reaching this milestone.

The RSGB IOTA Contest takes place next weekend, 26 and 27 July. It is based on the RSGB Islands on the Air award programme, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is one of the most popular events in the calendar, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world. Amateurs will be travelling to islands around the globe and putting them on the air, making contacts with other islands and with those who are chasing islands. More details are in the Contest News section later in this broadcast.

Next weekend sees the satellite convention of the year – the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium. Held at the Holiday inn in Guildford, the event is suitable for anyone from interested beginner to expert. It is a great opportunity to hear about the latest developments and to chat with satellite designers and builders. There will be many prestige speakers over the course of the event, including QST magazine editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. He will giving a presentation on Saturday the 26th that includes a description of operations at the impressive ARRL Headquarters station in Newington, Connecticut. On Friday 25 July, the day before the Colloquium, there will be a Bring Your Own Boards CubeSat Workshop. This takes place in the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford. The day will include ad-hoc tours to the Surrey Space Centre cleanroom, ground station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities. Details of both events can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/

After the great success of the International Museums Weekends there is another event to put on your calendar and support: Air Ambulance Week, from 27th September to 5th October. It is in support of Air Ambulances around the world and the sterling work they do. For more information and to register your participation, visit www.radio-amateur-events.org/  and click on Air Ambulance Week. Registration is free.

Several countries have announced new or amended amateur allocations recently. The latest news is that amateurs in Andorra have been granted access to frequencies between 5.275 and 5.450MHz. Maximum power is 100W PEP and signal bandwidths must not exceed 3kHz. In Spain, the allocation of six spot frequencies at 5MHz was due to expire at the end of this month. Following representations to the government by the Spanish national amateur radio society, URE, permission has been extended until 30 November 2015. The Spanish allocations do not coincide with the ‘common’ 5MHz channels, so those making contact with Spanish stations are reminded that their transmissions must remain within their own licenced sub-bands.

The results of the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship have been announced and the overall winner was the United States of America team, who gained an early lead and never looked back. Second was the Solvakian team and Germany came third. Full details of the results are online at www.wrtc2014.org. The British team came tenth with a total of 4158 QSOs and score of 6,008,327. The Americans had 4572 QSOs from which they scored 7,184,844 points. Congratulations to all 59 teams that took part – the lowest score was 3107 QSOs in 24 hours and a score of 3,382,155.

According to the International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System newsletter, the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency has taken action against a number of sports fliers who were using the 144-148MHz amateur band illegally. Agents visited a sports flying site and confiscated a number of transceivers and took legal action against several people.

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

The Finningley ARS Summer Rally takes place today at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The site is easily accessible from M180 junction 1 and 2. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy and an RSGB bookshop. Details from Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614 640.

Next Sunday, 27 July, the Horncastle Summer Rally takes place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. There is free car parking, the event opens at 10.30 and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

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

Now for the news of special events

Members of the Worked All Britain Awards Group will be operating GB4CGS, for Commonwealth Games Scotland, from different locations between 23 July and 3 August to celebrate the Commonwealth Games. A certificate will be awarded for working the station on 3, 6 or 9 of the 12 days that it will be active, with the certificate being endorsed as Bronze, Silver and Gold respectively. Full details are on the Worked All Britain website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

In July 1914 Sigurjon Isfeld travelled from Gimli, Manitoba to deliver 100 Canadian husky dogs to Sir Ernest Shackleton in England for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. To recognise the centenary of the trip, VE4XSI will be on the air from Gimli from 26 July until 4 August. Operation will be on 7.200 14.250, 21.250 and 28.350MHz as band conditions dictate. See VE4XSI on QRZ.com for more information.

Bromsgrove and District ARC will be running a World War One commemoration station, GB1WWO, on all bands from 25 July to 4 August.

Chester and District Amateur Radio Society will operate GB100GW for Great Britain 100 Great War from Leasowe Lighthouse near Morton Wirral from 25 July until 7 August. During busy periods M0MTC will also be used.

Wirral and District Amateur Radio Club will be on the air as GB100CMM for Great Britain 100 Cheshire Military Museum from Chester. Operations commence on 1 August and continue until 7 August.

Burton upon Trent Amateur Radio Club is holding a special event at the National Brewery Museum on 2 and 3 August with the callsign GB2ALE. The event is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of one of the club’s founders, Mr FVA Smith, XSR, receiving a message from the Marconi spark transmitter at Poldhu on the eve of World War 1, announcing the mobilisation of French and Belgian troops. A re-enactment will be attempted at various times over the weekend. Main operations will be on all HF bands and there will be talk-in available on 2m. Full details are at www.burtonarc.org

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

Many stations are likely to be on the air from exotic locations next weekend for the RSGB Islands on the Air contest. Here is a sample of those who are likely to be active.

Members of the Union De Radioaficionados De Tenerife will be active as EA8URT from the Canary Islands, AF-004, during the contest on 27 and 28 July. QSL direct as instructed on QRZ.com or via the bureau.

IW2NEF will be active from Zanzibar Island, AF-032, probably using the call 5H1NE, from 22 July until 6 August. Activity will be holiday style on SSB only. QSL via IK2DUW.

OM3RM will be operational portable stroke 9A from Vis Island, EU-016, during the contest. This as a Single-Operator All-Band Mixed entry. QSL via OM3RM.

PS8RV will be active as ZY8D from Caju Island, SA-072, from 25 to 27 July and taking part in the contest. Operation will be on HF but modes have not been announced. QSL via the information provided on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

Today, 20 July, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

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

Finally for today, the UK Microwave Group is holding the 24 to 248GHz Contest from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the 50MHz UKAC from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using all modes on 6m, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

The 80m Club Championships Data leg is on Thursday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Operating on 3.5MHz and data modes only, the exchange is RST and serial number.

The big news for next weekend is the RSGB IOTA contest. The duration is 24 hours, starting at 1200UTC on Saturday 26, that’s 1pm UK time, and it finishes at the same time on the 27th. Operation is on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands, using both CW and phone. The exchange is RST, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain and EU-115 for Ireland Full information is on the RSGB Contest Committee website at www.rsgbcc.org

Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group 5.7-24GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC on Sunday 27th. All modes are valid and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Now the solar report and forecast for the period July 11 to 17, prepared on July 18 by Martin Harrison, G3USF.

Solar activity retreated from the levels of recent weeks. Though C-class flares were reported on most days they had no marked impact on propagation. On the 16th and 17th no flares were reported and the solar disc was almost blank. The solar flux, which touched the 200 mark on the 8th, had declined to only 89 by the 17th. The average for the week, 118, was 59 units down on the previous week. The less volatile 90-day average, at 133, was three points down. The X-ray flux level was also down – from an average of C1.0 to B6.

However, happily for HF operators, the geomagnetic field was never more than slightly unsettled. The highest daily Ap reading was 9 and the average was 6. Solar wind speeds ranged between 288 km/sec on the 13th and 474km/sec on the 14th. Particle densities were consistently low and Bz varied around plus 5 and minus 4 nanoTeslas. HF propagation was at predicted levels but VHF Sporadic-E occurred only occasionally: the summer season is now clearly behind us – though there could still be brief openings.

Now the solar forecast. The low level of solar activity of recent days is expected to continue during the first part of the week, with few flares of consequence and generally quiet geomagnetic levels. However, by next weekend, the solar flux should be recovering some of the ground lost during the sharp decline of recent days. Daytime MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to be in the vicinity of 24MHz, while darkness lows will be about 14MHz. Paths to eastern North America should have a maximum usable frequency – that’s a 50 percent of a contact – around 23MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency, there should be a 90 per cent chance of success, will be 17MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 13th July 2014

July 11, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 13th July 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  •  2m signals cross the Atlantic
  •  UKube-1 successfully launched
  •  Software developers at the RSGB Convention

 

 

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication on 2m has gone unclaimed for years. A new attempt to span the Atlantic is underway. Operating as VC1T on 144.155MHz, the signal from the Brendan Quest team using the FSK441 transmission mode was heard and decoded by John Regnault, G4SWX, in Suffolk on 6 July at 1341UTC. The stations continued to try to make it a complete two way contact for something over the next four hours but nothing was heard from G4SWX or any European station. Even if a two-way contact is not achieved the team is eligible to be awarded the Brendan Plate. For more information go to www.brendanquest.org

The UKube-1 amateur radio satellite was successfully launched on 8 July from Kazakhstan. Its 145.84MHz beacon signal was received by the satellites control team at 1916UTC. UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards that provide an educational beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio communications. The FUNcube educational BPSK beacon on 145.915MHz is also operational but the transponder is not expected to be available until the primary mission has been completed. Further information at http://amsat-uk.org/

The RSGB Convention takes place on 10 to 12 October at Kent’s Hill, Milton Keynes. There are some very exciting lectures and workshops planned. On Saturday, a workshop and show-and-tell session for programmers developing logging software, data modes, computer control systems, SDR, remote control and other innovations in radio software has been arranged. All are welcome and if you would like time in the session to discuss your software, contact Michael Wells, G7VJR in advance. Jim Bacon, G3YLA will be bringing delegates up to date on the latest 2014 season of Sporadic-E and revealing the results of some new techniques to try to second guess the phenomenon. He will also introduce a new item to the amateur radio community from the world of weather and propagation with a review of current research to examine the effects of climate change upon the ionosphere. Does global warming mean that DX is hotting up or is a DX Ice Age coming? Weekend packages that can be tuned to the individuals are available from the RSGB website at www.rsgbevents.org/index.html

According to the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand new rules to govern amateur radio include the opening of the 6m band from 50 to 54 MHz; the expansion of two meters to 146.5 MHz and giving Thai advanced class license holders privileges that will allow power output levels of up to 1kW. Additional spectrum will also be authorised in the 160 and 80 meter bands with more club stations and contest callsigns to be issued as well.

The RSGB’s Youngsters on the Air event at Wolverhampton on 19 and 20 of July has been granted a NoV to use the callsign GB1YOTA on site. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, satellite working, digital modes, Intermediate practical assessments and Centenary PSK receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest, all of which have been arranged by young amateurs, for young amateurs. Bookings for YOTA UK are still being taken via the RSGB Shop and you can follow YOTA UK on Twitter using @yota_uk

On 26 and 27 July, the village of Codford near Warminster in Wiltshire will be commemorating the centenary of the start of WW1. This event will fill the village hall and its adjacent recreation field with a rich mixture of memorabilia and other exhibits from the time, including a full-scale section of a front-line trench. In the trench dugout will be an earth-mode telegraph station, which will communicate with a similar station on the far side of the field. Reproduction telegraph equipment is being constructed by members of the Trowbridge and District ARC, but there is a critical shortage of CW operators to demonstrate the stations. Any willing volunteers would be most welcome. Please contact G0GRI via the Trowbridge and District ARC website at www.radioclubs.net/trowbridgedarc/

GB3SSS is back on air on its spot frequency of 144.407MHz. The beacon keeper has requested that reception reports should go to www.beaconspot.eu. Beaconspot.eu presents an accurate picture of microwave and VHF/UHF beacons in Europe, plus 6m beacons worldwide. Data may be retrieved for a particular beacon, for analysis and maps show beacon distribution by band, and spots coverage of every beacon.

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association will hold its 2014 PARA Kids Day on 19 July. It is an opportunity to introduce youngsters to the fun world of amateur radio. Based on similar initiatives in other countries it is a family oriented event aimed at introducing youngsters aged 15 or under to amateur radio and how it can benefit them in the future.

The level of public liability cover provided under the RSGB insurance policy offered free to affiliated clubs and RAYNET groups has been doubled from £5m to £10m with immediate effect. See the RSGB website for full details.

 

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

The McMichael Rally and Car Boot Sale will take place today, 13 July, at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Car parking is free and admission is £2, with gates opening at 9.30am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete, G8FRC on 01189 695 697.

Next weekend, on 20 July, the Finningley ARS Summer Rally will be held at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sand toft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The site is easily accessible from the M180 junction 1 and 2. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy and an RSGB bookshop. Details from Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614 640.

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

 

Now for the news of special events

GB1YOTA will be on the air on 19 and 20 of July from the RSGB’s youth event in Wolverhampton. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, Satellite working, Digital Modes, Intermediate Practical Assessments and Centenary PSK Receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest

On 20 July, Chorley and District ARS will be operating the call GX7WAB celebrating 45 years of the Worked all Britain Awards scheme the club will be on 40 meters upwards. The club will be transmitting from the Angelzarke view point, near Chorley. More info on qrz.com

Between 21 July and 3 August, the Stirling and District Amateur Radio Society is hosting the special event station GA14CG to celebrate the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, Scotland. Visitors are most welcome to the station between the hours of 10am and 4pm daily and licensed amateurs who visit are welcome to operate. The activation will consist of 3 HF stations and 2 VHF stations and activity is expected from 1.8MHz through 144MHz; using SSB, CW and Data. Skeds can be arranged on request. QSLing is preferred via Logbook of The World and e-QSL. If you require a paper card, you may request a card direct or via the bureau using Club Log OQRS. More information, including an option to book an operating slot,

 

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

PD7YY will be operational stroke OZ from Langeland Island, EU-172, between 19 and 25 July. This will be a holiday style operation on the HF bands. QSL via PD7YY direct or via the bureau. No electronic QSLs will be available for his operation. 

OE3GEA and OE5OHO will be active stroke FP from Miquelon Island, NA-032, between 16 and 22 July. Operation will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using mostly CW with low power and wire antennas. QSL via their home callsign.

HP2BWJ will be operational as H92G from Isla Grande, Panama on 19 and 20 July. Listen out for him on the 10 to 40m bands and QSL via HP2BWJ.

 

Now the contest news

Apologies from the GB2RS script team for getting the time of NFD incorrect last week. Thankfully all those entering will have taken a good look at the rules before competing and will have noted the correct time.

The IARU HF Championship ends its 24 hour activity at 1200UTC today, 13 July. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and ITU zone number. For stations in the UK, the number is 27.

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

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

Next Sunday, 20 July, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 and 7MH bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

Also on 20 July, the 70MHz Trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Finally for 20 July, the UK Microwave Group is holding the 24 to 248GHz Contest from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

 

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 4th to Thursday the 10th of July, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 11th of July.

For three days from the 6th eleven sunspot regions were visible, though most were small there were at least a couple of large and magnetically complex regions. Saying that, solar activity only increased to moderate levels on the 8th, 9th and the 10th when a single M class solar flare took place on each day. The largest solar flare was a M6 on the 8th that was associated with a non Earth directed coronal mass ejection. Solar flux levels increased from 188 units on the 4th to 201 by the 6th and again on the 8th, levels then declined to 177 units by the 10th. The average was 194 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 10th was 137, that's five units up on last week. X-ray flux levels averaged C1 units and varied little day to day. Geomagnetic activity was quiet day and the average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between a slow 260 kilometres per second to a normal 420 kilometres per second. Particle densities increased to 24 particles per cubic centimetre on the 9th. Bz never varied between more than minus and plus 8 nanoTeslas throughout the period.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to rotate into view as the large sunspot groups rotate of the solar disc. Solar activity should only be at low levels and solar flux levels are expected to decline sharply and be around 110 units by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at unsettled levels for the first half of the week due to a recurring coronal hole, activity should then decline to quiet levels for the remainder of the week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1200 and 1500 hours UTC. Sporadic-E is expected to take place most days.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 6th July 2014

July 4, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 6th July 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Special callsign granted for YOTA event
  • Germans gain limited 70MHz band
  • Latest RSGB Convention news

 

The Youngsters on the Air event at Wolverhampton on 19 and 20 of July has been granted an NoV to use the callsign GB1YOTA on site. The YOTA team are most grateful to Ofcom for the permission. The YOTA UK event has been timed to coincide with the IARU Region 1 YOTA gathering in Finland and it is hoped that GB1YOTA will be able to make contact with the Finnish station. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, Satellite working, Digital Modes, Intermediate Practical Assessments and Centenary PSK Receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest, all of which have been arranged by young amateurs, for young amateurs. Bookings for YOTA UK are still being taken via the RSGB Shop and you can follow YOTA UK on Twitter using @yota_uk

The German Federal Network Agency has approved the use of 70.000 to 70.030MHz by German Class A radio amateurs until 31 August. DARC report the restrictions are similar to those for the 50MHz band, ie 25 watts EIRP, all transmission modes, maximum bandwidth 12kHz and horizontal antenna polarisation. This means that in Germany, for the first time since 1957, opportunities exist for 4m working within the amateur radio service.

The RSGB Convention takes place on 10 to 12 October at Kent’s Hill, Milton Keynes. There are some very exciting lectures and workshops planned. Following his talk on surface mount devices, Dave Powis, G4HUP will be running a practical workshop through the day where you can assemble one of his introductory SMD kits, such as the panoramic adapter tap or latching relay driver, and use the reflow oven to solder the parts on the board. Details of how to book your slot during the day will be available closer to the event. Another popular lecturer who is returning to the Convention is Dr Colin Forsyth, a Research Associate in the Space Plasma Physics Group at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory. His talk this year, entitled Alphabet Soup: The Science Behind Space Weather Indices, will explain how the complex interaction between the Sun and the Earth gives rise to the highly variable and charged layer in the atmosphere known as the ionosphere. Weekend packages that can be tailored to the individual’s needs are available from the RSGB website at www.rsgbevents.org/index.html

Many stations have been receiving the telemetry transmitted by FUNcube-1, which has now been in orbit for over 220 days. Since launch, data has been received by more than 650 stations around the world and the online Data Warehouse received its one millionth packet of information in June. The FUNcube team are immensely grateful to all the schools, colleges, radio amateurs and other listeners who are providing this data and want to encourage everyone to continue to listen to FUNcube-1 and to upload the data to the Warehouse. The FUNcube records show that there were three stations who uploaded the same one millionth packet to the Warehouse. They are G0EID, OM3BC and DL3SER.

The BBC News website recently reported that Samsung is to stop producing plasma televisions by 30 November. Samsung said falling demand meant it would instead focus on producing curved and ultra-high-definition TVs. Other manufacturers including Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi and Pioneer have also pulled out of plasma TV manufacture in recent years. A number of plasma TV models from various manufacturers have been found to emit wide band RF noise, so decreasing the number of sets in circulation may lead to a welcome noise reduction in the long term.

F6HTJ, the keeper of the F5ZAL VHF beacon, has added 30 seconds of Opera OP05 to his 2m beacon. The beacon is on 144.4745MHz USB and reports are welcome. When strong tropo conditions exist, the CW beacon has been received in south G, EI, ON, DL, HB, I8, IG9 and 9H. See www.f8bsy.com/ref66/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1210

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 operating event will take place on 12 July beginning at 1200UTC and concluding on the 13th at 1200UTC. WRTC2014 pits fifty-nine two-operator amateur radio teams, representing 32 countries, in a battle of operating skill and strategy from identical locations and using identical antenna systems. More about this year’s event is at www.wrtc2014.org 

Chris Stubbs, M6EDF gave a talk on high altitude balloons at Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society on 1 July and launched a high altitude helium balloon as part of his demonstration. The balloon, called CARS-1, contained a GPS receiver and 434.3MHz transmitter and was tracked by amateurs in several countries. It was last heard of at 0645 the following morning as its battery ran flat. It was at an altitude of 5.4km northwest of Paris, and it is believed that it may well have continued flying for some time. A full report, including a video, can be found on the www.essexham.co.uk website.

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication on 2m has gone unclaimed for years but that could change within the coming days. The Brendan Quest team, VC1T, is currently running 750W into a 98 foot long 43-element Yagi at about 25 feet above average terrain at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, and hopes to achieve 2m transatlantic communication. A detailed operating schedule, operating procedure and the modes that will be used can be found online at www.brendanquest.org, along with a full description of the monster antenna they’re using.

The BBC will mark the centenary of World War One with events running from 2014-2018. This summer, as part of the season, BBC Learning will create eight large-scale inspirational Great War events which will take place throughout the UK, reflecting the dramatic impact the war had on local families and communities. The WW1 At Home Live Events will reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, including communications demonstrations. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on 12 and 13 July at the Wolverhampton & Black Country Show.

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

Today, 6 July, sees three rallies taking place: the 51st Cornish Mobile Rally, the 18th Red Rose QRO Festival and the Barford Norfolk rally.

The Cornish Mobile Rally is at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Steve on 01209 844 939.

The Red Rose QRP Festival takes place today in Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and doors open at 11am, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Rally will be held today, 6 July, at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy.

The Stockport Rally will take place on Saturday 12 July at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6QS. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and tables are available at £10 each. More information from Bernard, G3SHF on 01625 850 088, daytime, or Nigel, G0RXA on 0161 428 8413, evenings.

The McMichael Rally and Car Boot Sale will be on Sunday 13 July at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Car parking is free and admission is £2, with gates opening at 9.30am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete, G8FRC on 01189 695 697.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB4JPJ will be on the air today, 6 July, celebrating the birthday of John Paul Jones the founder of the modern US and Russian navies. Members of the public as well as visiting amateurs are very welcome to attend with free entry to the John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, Arbigland, Kirkbean, DG2 8BQ on the day.

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

K2QBV will be active as E51QBV from Rarotonga Island, IOTA reference OC-013, between 8 and 21 July. QSL via his home station address.

G0SGB has announced plans to activate all of the Madeira Islands Lighthouses from 12 to 22. The Madeira Islands are located in the eastern Atlantic Ocean about 540 miles southwest of Lisbon, Portugal. G0SGB says he will be operational on all bands as conditions allow. He says that each QSL card will depict the Lighthouse he is at when a QSO takes place. Your QSLs should go direct only to G0SGB.

AG6OU should once again be active as XW6OU from Vientiane, Laos. His operation should be on 20m, mainly SSB. The exact length of his stay is not known but if you make contact, QSL via E21EIC direct or electronically using eQSL.

Dmitry, RM2A will be visiting several Fijian islands until 13 July. While in Fiji he will sign 3D2ML. QSLs go via his home call.

Laurent, F8BBL will use the special callsign TK14CC from Corsica, EU-014 until 19 July while on holidays there. Operation will be mainly CW on 80 – 6m.

Alexander, UA3IPL will be active as JW/UA3IPL from Spitsbergen until 28 August. QSL Manager is RW6HS.

Now the contest news

This weekend, the RSGB VHF NFD takes place, ending at 1500UTC today after 24 hours of operation. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, 6 July, the 3rd 144MHz Backpackers contest running from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, on 12 and 13 July, the IARU HF Championship takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and ITU zone number. For stations in the UK, the number is 27.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 27th of June to Thursday the 3rd of July, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 4th of July.

NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft, which can see the far side of the Sun and make 3D images of incoming coronal mass ejections, have made my job of forecasting solar activity for GB2RS much easier. Later this year, the twin probes will pass directly behind the Sun and will have to be turned off. Operations could be curtailed for more than a year. The reason has to do with STEREO's high gain antenna. Ironically, when the antenna points too close to the Sun, it overheats. As the probes pass behind the Sun, they can't point their antennas at Earth without heat-sensitive components becoming dangerously hot. This engineering problem was not anticipated when STEREO was launched in 2006. However, it might be possible to avert a complete blackout using the antenna's side-lobes. Tests in July will evaluate this possibility: let’s hope they are successful.

Several large sunspot regions returned to the solar disc during the period. These regions produced several major flares on their last rotation. Only one M class solar flare took pace, and this was on the 1st. Numerous C class solar flares took place every day, 58 in total. Solar flux levels increased from 104 units on the 27th to 178 by the 3rd. The average was 141 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 3rd was 132 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B4.6 to B9.6 units by the 1st. The average was B7.5 units. Several large coronal mass ejections took place but none headed our way. As a result the geomagnetic field was quiet every day and the average Ap index for the period was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 300 and 390 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low but increased to 26 and 28 particles per cubic centimetre on the 28th and the 29th respectively. With a quiet geomagnetic field, Bz showed only minor variations with fluctuations up to of minus 9 and plus 6 nanoTeslas. It was a good week for Sporadic-E, daily at up to 70MHz, and at times peaking to over 100MHz.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days with also a small chance that activity could increase to high. Solar flux levels should be in the 170s for most of the week but levels could start to decline later in the week. Providing no coronal mass ejections head our way then geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day except for the 11th, when a small recurring coronal hole could increase activity. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate will be around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1500 and 2000 hours. Sporadic-E is expected most days with openings up to 70MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 29th June 2014

June 28, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 29th June 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Ofcom starts consultation for World Radiocommunications Conference 2015
  • New Intruder Watch Co-Ordinator appointed
  • Get your entry in to the RSGB Construction Competition

 

Ofcom has just started a consultation on the key issues to be considered at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015, or WRC. These conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands. Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs. The next conference takes place in Geneva from the 2 - 27 November 2015. It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests, including amateur radio use of parts of the spectrum. Ofcom’s consultation sets out the main issues to be discussed at the conference and the emerging UK position. Full details can be found at tinyurl.com/ofcom-wrc15

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Vaughan Ravenscroft, M0VRR has been appointed as Intruder Watch Co-ordinator, succeeding Chris Cummings, G4BOH, to whom the RSGB expresses thanks for his years of service to the amateur radio community. Vaughan took up his duties on 27 June and may be contacted by e-mail to iw@rsgb.org.uk

Throughout the year, many local radio clubs hold construction competitions. Those RSGB Members who enter should remember that the RSGB’s annual construction competition will be judged at the RSGB Convention in October. Winners in each category will be awarded prizes and the best overall entry will be awarded the Pat Hawker MBE, G3VA Trophy. There are four categories: Designer, for an original project, Craftsman, for projects such as kits, Beginner, for those new to amateur radio and Junior, for young Members. All the information can be found at www.rsgb.org/main/rsgb-annual-construction-competition/

The RSGB’s Islands on the Air programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Saturday sees a range of talks from the IOTA Contest to DXpeditions in Panama, Austral Islands and Corsica amongst the programme. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

Two pieces of sad news now. Former GB2RS News Reader Martyn Phillips, G3RFX / ZB2FX passed away on the morning of 20 June 2014 after a short illness. He started broadcasting GB2RS in 1995 and made 1273 transmissions from his well-equipped shack. We also understand that Wes Wysocki, SP2DX passed away suddenly at the age of 82. He was the Polish Society’s IARU Liaison Officer for ten years until 2010 and a member of General Conferences of the IARU Region 1. He persuaded Poland to join the ARISS Programme and was always a supporter of our activity within the framework of the ARISS initiative. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

Italian amateurs again have access to 70MHz until 19 December 2014. All Italian stations are authorised except those 30km or less from the Italian border with Austria, Switzerland and France. They are allowed to use 70.1, 70.2 and 70.3 with 25kHz of bandwidth, all modes, with 50W ERP.

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

This weekend sees the Hamtronic Show taking place in Germany. The RSGB President and Chairman of the Board are attending the event and there is a large RSGB bookstall as well as an IOTA presence.

Today, 29 June, the West of England Radio Rally takes place at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098.

On Saturday 5 July, the Bangor & District ARS Rally will be held in Donaghadee Community Centre, County Down BT21 0HB. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. The venue is just 50m from the harbour and parking is available. More from Peter, MI6NID, on 028 9188 9 018.

Sunday 6 July sees three rallies taking place. The 51st Cornish Mobile Rally, the 18th Red Rose QRO Festival and the Barford Norfolk rally.

The Cornish Mobile Rally will be held at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Steve on 01209 844 939.

The Red Rose QRP Festival takes place in the Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and doors open at 11am with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy.

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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Riviera ARC will be running GB8AFD on 29 June for National Armed Forces Day. The plan is, weather permitting, to run datamodes on HF. They may also be active on 2m FM.

Causeway Coast & Glens ARC will be holding an on the air event from 1 to 7 July to help raise funds for a memorial or statue to commemorate Rifleman Robert Quigg, who won a Victoria Cross on 1st July 1916. They plan to use the 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m bands using phone and digimodes.

On Sunday 29 June, Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB0AFD at the Armed Forces Day event at Alexander Park, Hastings, from early morning until around 4pm using the 10, 20 and 40m bands.

GB4JPJ will be on the air on 5 and 6 July celebrating the birthday of John Paul Jones, the founder of the modern US and Russian navies. Members of the public as well as visiting amateurs are very welcome to attend on the day, with free entry to the John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, Arbigland, Kirkbean, DG2 8BQ.

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

F5LMJ will be operational as TO5MJ from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, between 7 and 17 July. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes.  Paper QSLs go via his home callsign or electronically using Logbook of the World. 

DO3MY will be operational as 6V1W from Senegal from July until September. His activities will be on the HF bands only. QSL via his home callsign.

N5NU will be living in Santiago, Chile until August and is sometimes active stroke CE3 or CE5 depending on his exact location. His home station is a QRP radio running 5 watts to a dipole. Listen out for him mainly on 15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

John, W5JON and his wife Cathy, W5HAM will be QRV from their home at Calypso Bay on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, NA-104, until early August. Look for the callsigns V47JA and V47HAM. Logs for both calls will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

JJ8DEN is planning to operate from the Svalbard archipelago, EU-026, midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, from 27 June to 3 July as JW/KH0PR. Details on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

This weekend, several contests are scheduled. The first is the UK Microwave group’s contest on the 5.7, 10 and 24GHz bands. It runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

From 0900 to 1200UTC it’s the 50MHz CW contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, at 1400 to 1600UTC it’s the 4th 70MHz Cumulative. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, 5 and 6 July, the RSGB VHF 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.

On Sunday 6 July, the 3rd 144MHz Backpackers contest running from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 20th to Thursday the 26th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 27th of June.

By the 24th only three sunspot regions were visible and these were only producing the occasional C-class solar flares most day. In fact, on the 22nd and the 25th solar activity declined to very low levels when no C class solar flares took place. In total 10 C class solar flares took place during the period. Solar flux declined from 102 units on the 20th to 94 by the 24th. The average was 97 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 26th was 133 units, that's four units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined slightly to B1.6 units and the average was B2 units. Geomagnetic activity quiet everyday, the most disturbed day was the 20th with an Ap index of 9 units. The average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 400 kilometres per second on the 20th to 500 by the next day, speeds then declined to 300 kilometres by the 25th. Particle densities were moderate to high most days with a peak of 50 particles per cubic centimetre on the 25th. Bz showed only modest fluctuations throughout the period with minus 7 and plus 8 nanoTeslas recorded on the 20th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week should see the more active side of the Sun coming into view. Several active sunspot groups are expected to rotate into view. Solar activity is expected to be mostly low but could increase to moderate on the occasional days. Solar flux levels should increase and be in 130s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet with the Ap index in single figures every day. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 27MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1400 and 2200 hours. Sporadic-E should take place on most days.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd June 2014

June 20, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 22nd June 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Key ARRL speaker at AMSAT-UK Colloquium
  • Schedule announced for 2m Transatlantic attempt
  • Ofcom to legalise AM and SSB CB on Friday

 

QST magazine Editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY will be giving a presentation to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, which takes place at the Holiday Inn in Guildford on Saturday on 26 July. Steve will talk about the satellite operations at the ARRL Headquarters station in Connecticut. The Colloquium is open to all and further details can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication has gone unclaimed for years. A determined effort is being made this summer by the Brendan Quest team in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. Using 750W to a thirty metre long 43-element 3m Yagi at 6 to 8.5m above ground level, the VC1T team hope to achieve Transatlantic communication on 2m, one of the few remaining amateur radio distance records. The detailed summer operating schedule has now been released at www.brendanquest.org/ and describes how VC1T will be using WSJT, CW and SSB between 4 and 12 July. It is important that EU operators follow the operating protocol closely to increase the chance of success. Full details, including details of the monster antenna, are on the website.

Ofcom have announced amendments to Wireless Telegraphy regulations that will enable AM and SSB Citizens Band operation on 27MHz from Friday 27 June. The permitted frequencies are the 40 CEPT Harmonised channels, which are the same as the American 40 channels. The power limits are 4W ERP for AM and 12W ERP for SSB. The full Ofcom statement can be found at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/proposal-wireless-telegraphy-exemption-2014/statement/

Thursday 19 June saw the successful launch of the FUNcube-3 satellite from Dombarovsky near Yasny in the Russian Federation. It was one of 12 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads and part of a constellation of 37 satellites on the aboard the Dnepr rocket. Described as a fast-track mission to provide a transponder-only payload on a 2U CubeSat, FUNcube-3 is part of the precursor programme for the forthcoming QB50 mission. The satellite carries a FUNcube inverting 400mW SSB/CW linear transponder with 70cm input and 2m output, plus a telemetry beacon on 145.815MHz. A second QB50 precursor satellite, QB50p2, has beacons on 145.880 and 145.840MHz, plus a 70cm to 2m FM transponder that is expected to be switched on in the coming months. More details can be found at http://funcube.org.uk/

International Museums Weekends stations are on the air this weekend. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a short wave listeners.

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor, on 4 to 6 July. One of the talks that is sure to be interesting is the afternoon lecture by the Russian Robinson Club. There are almost 100 guests already booked for the Saturday Gala Dinner, with overseas guests featuring prominently and 20 countries and 5 continents are represented. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

The BBC will mark the centenary of World War One with events running from 2014-2018. This summer, as part of the season, BBC Learning will create eight large-scale inspirational Great War events that will take place throughout the UK, reflecting the dramatic impact the war had on local families and communities. The WW1 At Home Live Events will reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions. People can also learn about how medicine and communications were transformed during the war, including demonstrations of how carrier pigeons were an invaluable resource for sending messages. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on 28 June at Woolwich Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day.

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

Today, 22 June, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, otherwise known as the Ipswich Radio Rally, is being held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. Entry is £2, from 9.30am. Visitors can expect trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and a RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046 846.

The LAM Communications Rally will take place today, 22 June and is in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Held at Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley, S74 8HJ, visitors will find car parking and admission to the Heritage Centre free, with entry to the rally £2. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as catering facilities. Information from Clare Marsh, by e-mail, to sales@lamcommunications.net.

Next week the German Hamtronic show takes place from Friday to Sunday at Messe, Friedrichshafen. There will be a large RSGB book stall plus major manufacturers, other trade stands and a huge flea market. A series of lectures also take place, and there is catering plus evening entertainment. Details at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de.

Next Sunday sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. There is car parking, the opening time is 10am and admission is £2.50. There are trade stands, catering, disabled facilities and an RSGB book stall. Details from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098 or online at www.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today, 22 June, Stockton & District ARG are putting GX4XXG/P on the air from Hartlepool Gun Battery from 10am till 4pm. They plan to work on the 40m, 20m, 17m, 15m and 2m bands.

Also today, Bromsgrove and District ARC are operating GB1AMB from 9am to 5pm for International Museums Weekend. Operating from part of the Avoncroft Museums site, the club will also be participating in WAB 50MHz Phone contest.

South Tyne Amateur Radio Society is operating GB4SRF today, from Segedunum Roman Fort in Walsend. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 6m, 2m and 70cm. Details are on QRZ.com.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be operating GB2CM from Crossness Museum in Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ today. Operation will be on HF and 2m.

West Manchester Radio Club are running GB0PIT from the Astley Green Colliery Museum, Higher Green Lane, Tyldesley, M29 7JB today, 22 June, from 1.30pm to 5pm. Operations are planned on the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 2m bands.

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum today, using the 10 to 80m bands.

Riviera ARC will be running GB8AFD on 28 & 29 June for National Armed Forces Day. The plan is, weather permitting, to run SSB on HF on the 28th and datamodes on HF on the 29th. They may also be active on 2m FM.

Causeway Coast & Glens ARC will be holding an on the air event from 1 to 7 July to help raise funds for a memorial or statue to commemorate Rifleman Robert Quigg, who won a Victoria Cross on 1st July 1916. They plan to use the 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m bands using phone and digimodes.

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

W5JON will be operating as V47JA from his holiday home at Calypso Bay on St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-014, from 25 June to 6 August. He plans to be active on 160 through to 6m bands on SSB including operation on 60m. Paper QSLs go direct only to W5JON at his callbook address. Electronic QSLs are via Logbook of the World.

Matti, OH4SS will be operational stroke OH0 from Brando Island, EU-002, between 28 to 30 June. Activity will probably be only on 40, 17 and 15 meters on SSB only. QSL direct only, via OH4SS.

ON6KE has announced that he will be active stroke T F from Iceland, EU-021, between 27 June and 4 July. His operation will be low power holiday style, mostly in the early mornings and evenings on the HF bands using CW, SSB and JT65. Equipment is a FT-817ND and magnetic loop antenna. QSL only electronically using Logbook of the World or eQSL.

JG8NQJ is returning to Minami Torishima and will be active as JG8NQJ/JD1 until mid-August. He operates only CW and is employed at the local weather station while on the island. Minami Torishima counts as OC-073 for the Islands on the Air Award as well as being a separate entity for the DXCC programme.

An expedition to the South Kuril Islands takes place from 18 – 25 June. The callsign will be RI0F and the actual location will be Anuchina Island. The IOTA reference is AS-062 and QSL Manager is RX3F.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz trophy Contest ends its 24 hour operation at 1400UTC today, the 22nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest finishes at 2359UTC today, having run for 48 hours. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, exchange RST and your age, although YL ops may send 00.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place today, 22 June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 13 July. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.

The IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place this afternoon, the 22nd, from 1400 to 1700UTC. Using both SSB and CW, in this contest you exchange a signal report and serial number.

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

Several contests occur next weekend. The first is the UK Microwave group’s contest on the 5.7, 10 and 24GHz bands. It runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 29th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

At 0900 to 1200UTC on the 29th it is the 50MHz CW contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, at 1400 to 1600UTC on the 29th it’s the 4th 70MHz Cumulative. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 13th to Thursday the 19th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 20th of June.

Solar activity started at moderate levels when a single M class solar flare took place on the first four days of the period, however, from then the active sunspot regions rotated out of view. From the 17th, solar activity was low. In total 52 C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels declined from 153 units on the 13th to 111 by the 18th and the 19th, the average was 126 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 19th was 137, that's two units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from C1.2 units on the 14th to B2.5 by the 19th. The average was B7.2 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet at first with the Ap index in single figures but on the 18th a coronal hole disturbance occurred. The Ap index was 15 units on that day. The average was Ap 9 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 340 kilometres per second to 500 by the 17th. Particle densities were moderate most days and varied between 10 and 28 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus and plus 10 nanoTeslas on the 18th, which was the most disturbed day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to rotate into view. Solar activity is expected to be mostly low but on the occasional day increase to moderate levels. Solar flux levels may dip to around 100 units around midweek before increasing next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly low but during the second half of the week a small recurring coronal hole disturbance is expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be about 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency of around 20MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 15MHz. The best time to try this path will 0600 and 1000 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th June 2014

June 13, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Licence revalidation figures

  • International Museums Weekend in full flow

  • Noise Measurement Campaign on the RSGB website

Ofcom have advised the RSGB that 22,000 of the 83,000 licences on their database have yet to be revalidated, including 206 club licences. By the end of this month, all licence holders who have yet to revalidate will have been contacted by Ofcom. If you have not revalidated yet, now is the time to do it. The preferred method is using Ofcom’s online service via the Ofcom website, www.ofcom.org.uk, or by e-mail to amateur.validations@ofcom.org.uk. This can be done at any time. If you need assistance in the process, Ofcom staff are available to help on the telephone but please be patient during times of heavy workload.

International Museums Weekends stations are on the air both this weekend, the 14th and 15th, and next weekend the 21st and 22nd June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a short wave listeners.

The Noise Measurement Campaign, started in August 2013, now has a dedicated webpage on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/hfnoise

The Campaign is an attempt to monitor the HF background noise and to display the results for different locations around the country. Anyone can submit measurements. The project is aimed at making people more aware of their local noise environment and, in some cases, understanding the contributions from Power Line Adapters, RF emanations from switch-mode PSU’s, Plasma TV’s, etc. Whilst the current display is proving helpful, it is hoped that more may be able to be done later with the data, possibly in conjunction with the RSGB Noise Floor Study, details of which are also on the RSGB website.

Development of the page was funded through the RSGB Legacy Committee, using a bequest generously provided by the late Ken Rowell, G5RL. Information about the Campaign can be found on the new web page along with additional links for further information.

On Monday, June 9, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was shown equipment developed in 2012 by Dave Akerman, M0RPI. The Raspberry Pi payload he developed transmitted Slow Scan Digital Video on 434MHz from a High Altitude Balloon that achieved an altitude of over 30km and had a radio range of up to 700km. For the full story see http://amsat-uk.org

To mark the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, special event stations will be on the air until the end of July. Also, listen for special World Cup-related prefixes. Twelve stations are on the air with ZX14 prefixes and 15 other stations are using the prefix ZY14. For an award, work four key stations, five special stations and 25 other stations from Brazil for the bronze level award. Silver and Gold awards are also available. For more information go to www.labre.org.br/

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Following the opening by RSGB President, John Gould, G3WKL, the first talk is by Ghis Penny, ON5NT on the CW5F DXpedition to Timoteo Dominguez Island. There are almost 100 guests already booked for the Saturday Gala Dinner, with overseas guests featuring prominently and 20 countries and 5 continents are represented. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

There are several ways for radio amateurs to enjoy GB2RS. As well as the regular Sunday broadcasts from a host of volunteers, to whom the RSGB is most grateful, you can also read the news online, have it delivered to your e-mail or download the Podbean Podcast provided by Jeremy Boot, G4NJH. Now you can also receive the news via the streaming news service from TX Factor called TX Talk. Look out for the podcast each week uploaded to both iTunes and the lounge as well as on http://gb2rs.podbean.com. TX Factor is a brand new series of high definition TV shows covering all aspects of the hobby and information can be found at www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/

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

The 27th Newbury Radio Rally takes place today, 15 June, at the Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. Car parking is free and entry is £2.50. Gates open at 9am. There will be a huge radio, electronics and computing boot sale including a demonstration marquee with displays of amateur radio on air, air traffic radar, plus clubs and national society stands. Contact rally@nadars.org.uk.

The South Lancs Summer Rally takes place on 21 June at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Traders have access from 7.30am and the doors open for the public at 9am. Entry is £2 and there will be a Bring and Buy, special interest groups alongside the usual trade stands. More information from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

On 22 June the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, otherwise known as the Ipswich Radio Rally will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. Visitors can expect trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and a RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046 846.

The LAM Communications Rally will take place on 22 June and is in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Held at Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley, S74 8HJ, visitors will find admission to the Heritage Centre and CP free with entry to the rally £2. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and there will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy as well as catering facilities. Information from Clare Marsh, by e-mail, to sales@lamcommunications.net.

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 e-mail details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Several local club members will be running a special event station from Thurnham Castle in Kent today, 15 June, using the callsign GB4TCK. 

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum on 15th, 21st and 22nd June using the 10 to 80m bands.

On 21 June, Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB1JSS to celebrate the Summer Solstice from Galleywood Common, Chelmsford, CM2 8TR. There will be stations on HF, 50MHz and 144MHz as well as an amateur satellite station and a Top Band station using a kite antenna. All radio amateurs and listeners are welcome to attend.

South Tyne Amateur Radio Society is operating GB4SRF on 21 and 22 June from Segedunum Roman Fort in Walsend. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 6m, 2m and 70cm. Details on QRZ.COM.

South East Northumberland ARC is putting MX0HML on the air on 21 June from Memorial Hall, St Michaels Avenue, New Hartley, Northumberland, NE12 8QG from 11am in conjunction with a fete to promote amateur radio in the area. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 2m and 70cm. The RSGB Deputy Regional Manager for the area will be attendance to answer any questions.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be operating GB2CM from Crossness Museum in Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ on 22 June. Operation will be on HF and 2m. A display about amateur radio will be a feature of the station with members on hand to explain the hobby.

Nuneaton and District Amateur Radio Club will be operating from The Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre in Nuneaton on 21 June under the callsign GB4CCH. Planned operation will be on 2m FM and 40m SSB on or around 7.143MHz.

West Manchester Radio Club are running GB0PIT from the Astley Green Colliery Museum, Higher Green Lane, Tyldesley, M29 7JB on 22 June from 1.30pm to 5pm. Operating is planned on the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 2m bands.

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

ZL1GWE will be active as 5WZ1JM from Savaii, Samoa until 23 June. He’s reported to be operating on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

JA3IUY will be active as AH0CI from the Saipan Rental Shack in the Northern Mariana Islands, OC-086, on 21 and 22 June. Operations will be on all bands and modes. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

OK1QQ will be on the air as SV5/OK1QQ from the island of Kos, EU-001, from 16 to 26 June. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Look out for two new Palestinian calls on the air soon. Husband and wife, Walaa and Mai, have been issued with the callsigns E41WT and E41MT. Their QSL manager will be KB9GSY.

Now the contest news

The RSGB 2m Backpacker contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 2m Low Power Contest runs for 7 hours today, the 15th, ending at 1600UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 15th, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2030UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Thursday the 19th is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The 50MHz trophy Contest takes place from 1400UTC on the 21st to 1400UTC on the 22nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest takes place for 48 hours over the weekend of 21st-22nd from 0000 to 2359UTC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, exchange RST and your age, although YL ops may send 00.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 22 June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 13 July. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk. Participants should be ready to quote your Locator in addition to your WAB Area, as this contest coincides with the RSGB 50MHz Trophy contest.

The IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place in the afternoon of the 22nd from 1400 to 1700UTC. Using both SSB and CW, in this contest you exchange a signal report and serial number. As with all IRTS Counties contests, there are awards for those outside of EI.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 6th to Thursday the 12th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 13th of June.

Several large sunspot regions appeared and some were complex enough to produce large solar flares. Solar activity started the period at moderate levels on the 6th when a M1 class solar flare occurred. Later, on the 10th and the 11th activity increased to high when a single X class solar flare took place on both days. Also, on the 11th 3 M class flares took place and six on the 12th. In total 60 C class solar flares took place and 10 M class flares during the period. Solar flux levels increased from 133 units on the 6th to 175 by the 12th. The average was 156. The 90 day solar flux average on the 12th was 139, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.7 units on the 6th to peak at C1.1 units by the 12th. The average was B7.3 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but started to increase late on the 7th to peak the next day with an Ap index of 37 units. This was due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier. The rest of the period was quiet and the average was Ap 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 320 kilometres per second on the 7th to 650 by the 8th and again on the 11th. Particle densities increased to 31 particles per cubic centimetre on the 7 and 94 on the 8th. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the 11th and between minus 17 and plus 21 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day which was the 8th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to rotate out of view. Until then solar activity is expected to be low to moderate. Solar flux levels are expected to decline and by next weekend to be around the 130's. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet provided that no Earth directed coronal mass ejections heads our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be around 14MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. Sporadic-E is expected most days with double hop Sporadic-E openings on 50MHz possible also on this path.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th June 2014

June 6, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Get ready for the International Museums Weekends

  • IOTA 50th Anniversary celebration next month

  • Swiss 5MHz beacon goes on the air

International Museums Weekends are on the air again for the weekends of 14th/15th and 21st/22nd June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. Please listen for these stations and give them a call. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a SWL.

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Full details of the conference are in the July RadCom that will arrive with Members next week, or can be found on the website www.rsgbevents.org. Visitors will be interested to know that DXCC card-checking is being provided by Lionel, G5LP on the Saturday. He has asked that those bringing their cards for checking should e-mail him via g5lp@lppsltd.co.uk before the event. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those purchased on the day.

Although the 60m band has not been released for amateur radio in Switzerland, the Sursee Amateur Radio Club has obtained the necessary authorisations for a 5MHz experimental beacon project. HB9AW became operational on 5291kHz at 0000hrs on 1 June. The transmission commences with the callsign HB9AW in CW, followed by five 2-second dashes. The dashes are each accurately attenuated in the EIRP power sequence 10 watts, 5 watts, 1 watt, 100 milliwatts and then 10 milliwatts. It currently repeats every 5 minutes, commencing on the hour. Transmissions come from JN43BA on a half-wave dipole, configured for high-angle radiation as an NVIS ‘fountain’ type antenna. It is at a height above ground of 0.12 of a wavelength and a reflector is placed beneath the antenna. The aim of the system is to explore the propagation conditions on 5MHz in the hills and valleys of Switzerland in relation to its possible suitability as an emergency communications band. An online form on the Sursee Amateur Radio Club’s website accepts reception reports.

The next ARRL Kids Day operating event sponsored by the Boring Oregon Amateur Radio Club is planned for Saturday 21 June. Kids Day is not a contest but rather a twice yearly way for licensed amateurs to share the fun and excitement of our hobby with those who could be the next generation of licensees. Kids Day runs from 18:00 to 23:59 UTC. To take part you just need to invite non-ham youngsters to your station, with, of course, their parental consent and approval. Once the event begins simply call "CQ Kids Day". If you make contact, the preferred exchange would be your guest’s name, age, location, and favourite colour. More information including a free printable certificate can be found on the web at www.arrl.org/kids-day.

If you' are a user of Google's Chrome browser, then QRZ.com has published a free browser extension that will let you highlight and right click on any callsign, on any web page from any website and instantly perform a QRZ lookup. The new app is now available now in the Chrome Web Store. Just search for Right Click QRZ.

July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time that amateur signals from the UK reached other parts of the world by bouncing off the moon, a technique now known as moonbounce or earth-moon-earth, EME. In the July 1964 edition of Radio Communications the RSGB announced that at 20.20 GMT on June 13, 1964, G3LTF at Galleywood, Essex, and KP4BPZ in Puerto Rico, made contact on 430 Mc/s by bouncing their signals off the moon. Signal reports were RST459 both ways. A further contact took place one hour later. KP4BPZ was fortunate in having the 1000ft radio-telescope dish aerial at Arecibo, Puerto Rico at his disposal. G3LTF’s equipment included a 15ft dish aerial and an AF139 transistor preamplifier for reception. Power input to the PA was 150 watts. What is more remarkable is that Peter, G3LTF is still active on moonbounce and is one of the world’s leading pioneers. The RSGB offers Peter, G3LTF our heartiest congratulations on this 50th anniversary of his achievement.

Congratulations to the GB2RS Podcast team. They have now received 100,000 hits on their news recordings on Podbean. Each week the news is uploaded to both iTunes and the lounge as well as on http://gb2rs.podbean.com. Thanks to Jeremy and his team for their service to amateur radio every week, along with all our other news readers who read the news in various modes on the amateur bands.

Advance notice now of two events planned for 27 September. International Air Ambulance weekend will be run in support of the many Air Ambulance services around the world and particularly those in the UK, which are donation funded. More details on the event, its aims and a registration form to take part for free can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Railways on the air weekend takes place every year on the weekend closest to 27 September. This date celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway, which took place on 27 September 1825. The first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Darlington to Stockton. Bishop Auckland Amateur Radio Club coordinates this event. Now in its seventh year, the 2014 event will take place on 27 and 28 September. For more details please visit www.rota.barac.org.uk

We all know that Coronal Mass Ejections on the sun have a definite impact on radio propagation here on Earth, but few outside the solar science community have ever seen one close up. Now, thanks to video released by NASA, we can. The video was taken by NASA's sun-observing Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph or IRIS spacecraft and radioed back to Earth. It shows a large sheet of solar material erupting from our parent star that quickly consumes a field of view comparable to the size of five Earths wide and seven and a half Earths tall. Go to tinyurl.com/NASA-IRIS-CME.

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

The 13th Junction 28 QRP Rally will take place today, 8 June, at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. It is organised by South Normanton Alfreton and District Amateur Radio Club in association with the G QRP Club. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments. More from Anya, 2E0BQS on 0115 930 7322.

The Rochdale and DARS Summer Flea Market takes place on 14 June at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 6BU. Doors open at 10.15am and admission is £2.50. Details from G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

The 27th Newbury Radio Rally takes place on 15 June at the Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. Car parking is free and entry is £2.50. Gates open at 9am. There will be a huge radio, electronics and computing boot sale including a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air, air traffic radar, plus clubs and national society stands. Contact 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 e-mail details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Many stations are on the air to commemorate D-Day. They include HMS Belfast, which will be active until 30 June as GB70DDAY. GB70DDL will be on the air from 1 to 28 June. The station will operate on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes.

Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2HBT from Two Tree Island, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2GB throughout June as 19 June will be the 70th anniversary of the collision of two American Air Force 379th Bombardment Group B-17 Flying Fortresses. For more information, please check GB2HBT on the QRZ.com website.

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum on the 14th and 15th and 21st and 22nd for International Museums on the Air Event. They will be using the 10 to 80m bands.

The Portable Operating Group will be operating MC0POG from various locations around Pembrokeshire from 14 to 21 June. They will be working on all bands using SSB, CW and digital modes, experimenting with antennas, working QRP and the more energetic members of the group operating SOTA and Pedestrian HF Mobile. Details are on QRZ.com

To honour their Founder, Walter, G3ESP, Wakefield and District Radio Society will be putting GX3ESP on the air several times during June, with a special airing from the club portable site on the 28th and 29th using the callsign GX3ESP/P. QSL is via EQSL. More details can be obtained from Dave, G4CLI on 07748 221 855 or via email to g4cli@wdrs.org.uk.

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

Look for Geoff, MM5GAC/P to be active from Islay, EU-008 between 15 and 27 June.

K9EL will once again be active stroke FS from St Martin, NA-105, between 9 and 27 June. Operations will take place on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Jay, K2TTT will be active holiday style as C6ATT from New Providence Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas until 21 June. He will be using the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via K2TTT.

A team of ten Belgian operators will be active as ZA/ON6NB from Albania until 15 June. They will operate SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY on the 6 to 80m bands with four stations. QSL via ON4ANN, direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

CW National Field Day runs until 1500UTC on the 8th. Using the 1.9 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1200UTC today, the 8th. From outside the SEANET region, which is CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, work only the SEANET region. Using SSB and CW on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es Contest finishes its 24 hours at 1300UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number locator and member number.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC today. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2139UTC. All modes count and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW leg of the 80m Club Championships is on Wednesday from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The Practical Wireless 2m Low Power Contest on Sunday 15th starts at the same time as the RSGB 2m Backpacker contest, 0900UTC, but runs for longer. There seems no reason why someone entering the 3W section of the RSGB contest cannot enter the other; just carry on for up to three more hours for the PW event. The PW contest finishes at 1600UTC and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator – as is the Backpackers exchange, which finishes at 1300UTC.

Also next Sunday, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2030UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 30th of May to Thursday the 5th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 6th of June.

Several small sunspot groups were visible every day but none were really very active, in fact, solar activity was very low on the 30th, the 2nd and again on the 5th. However, on the 3rd an M class solar flare occurred. In total only six C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels struggled to increase, a slight increase from 102 units on the 30th to 111 by the 5th. The average was 105 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 5th was 138 units, that's four units down on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B2.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day and the average Ap index was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 280 and 390 kilometres per second. Particle densities were moderate every day with peaks to 51 particles per cubic centimetre, for example on the 2nd. Bz varied between minus and plus 10 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 4 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to continue at low levels, however, later in the week activity may increase with the return of an old active region. Solar flux levels are expected to increase later in the week to the 120's. Geomagnetic activity could start at unsettled levels due to a recurring coronal hole but then decline to quiet levels for the remainder of the week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to the east coast of North America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1600 and 2000 hours. Sporadic E is expected to take place on most days. Openings to 144MHz possible in any larger openings.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st June 2014

May 30, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Contest Committee proposes rule changes

  • Cuban amateurs get 5MHz endorsement

  • Worked ALL bands speaker for Technical Dinner

As part of an initiative to consult with the contesting community over topics of mutual interest, the Contest Committee has published a white paper containing eighteen proposals and suggestions for changes to the RSGB contest rules for 2015. Six of the proposals apply to both HF and VHF contests, eight apply to HF contest and the remaining four only apply to VHF contests. The white paper is available at www.rsgbcc.org/whitepaper2014.pdf and comments on any of the proposals and suggestions are invited. All comments will be reviewed by the RSGB Contest Committee and the revised rules for all RSGB contests will be published by the date of the RSGB Convention in October, earlier if possible. The revised rules will take effect on 1st January 2015. Please send your comments to committee@rsgbcc.org no later than 14 August.

Cuba’s Ministry of Communications has begun issuing licence endorsements for experimental operation on 60 metres, although use of the band is on a secondary basis. Its principal use will be during emergencies. Cubans who are granted an endorsement will be allowed to transmit between 5418 and 5430kHz on CW, SSB and PSK-31. They may only contact other Cuban stations; no international contacts are allowed. Maximum power output is 50W or 10W for Novice operators and up to 100W may be authorised in emergencies. Despite these restrictions, Cuban amateurs would appreciate listener reports.

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the Technical Dinner speaker at the RSGB Convention in October will be Brian Justin, WA1ZMS. Brian is the only amateur in the world to have logged a QSO on all amateur bands in his home country's allocations from 160m through to 403GHz, including Experimental Licensing on 630m and 4m. He operates 8 FM repeaters, 4 propagation beacons, is active in VHF Contesting and is a very aggressive SSB contest operator on the HF bands each year during the ARRL's annual Field Day event. The RSGB Convention will take place from 10 to 12 October in Milton Keynes; details and bookings at www.rsgb.org/convention

Several international special event stations will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day as well as those in the UK detailed later in the news. More than 5000 ships and 13,000 aircraft were involved at the time. In France, TM70JUN will be on the air from 6 to 20 June. Modes will be SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY and JT65 on HF and 6m. Special event station TM70BMC will operate from Mont Canisy on 5 to 8 June. W9D will be active on SSB, CW, and AM on HF to 6m on 6 to 8 June from the First Division War Museum in Winfield, Illinois. Finally, VC3JUNO will be on the air from 6 June to 31 July from Canada. Juno was the code name for the beach where Canadian forces landed.

To celebrate Museum Ships Weekend, on 7 and 8 June, IY4EY will be on the air near to Marconi’s yacht Elettra that is kept at the Museum of Villa Griffone in Bologna, Italy. The vessel was launched 110 years ago and the event aims to highlight the historical value of Elettra, which was the mobile laboratory of Marconi. Many important experiments were carried out on board. The event is supported by Princess Elettra Marconi and her son. More details at www.arifidenza.it

The ARRL’s DXCC desk has announced that the ZA/IZ4JMA 2013 and 2014 operations from Albania and the 2014 XW7T operation from Laos have both been approved for DXCC credit. 

Looking ahead, Churches and Chapels on the Air is scheduled to take place on 13 September. Organiser John, G3XYF has asked all those taking part to register their stations with him, by e-mail to g3xyf@btconnect.com

Another new event is Boat Lifts on the Air. The Mid Cheshire club is close to the Anderton Boat Lift and contacted clubs around Europe who also were in similar locations. So far three stations will be joining GB0ABL on the air on 14 September, including two from Germany and one from Poland. The inaugural event will use the 40m band primarily for SSB, the 30m band primarily for data and CW and the 20m band as secondary for all modes.

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

Today, 1 June, Spalding and District ARS are holding their rally at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding PE11 2EF. There will be a talk in station on S22 and free car parking for visitors. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands and a car boot area. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

The Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention will take place next Saturday, the 7th, at Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Livingston EH54 6DG. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining entry 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, lectures and an RSGB bookstall.

The 13th Junction 28 QRP Rally will take place on 8 June at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. It is organised by South Normanton Alfreton and District Amateur Radio Club in association with the G QRP Club. Doors open at 10m and there will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments. More from Anya, 2E0BQS on 0115 930 7322.

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 e-mail details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today, 1 June, the radio club of Binche will be on the air with ON44WAR from Belgium. The radio station will be located near the museum dedicated to the Belgian Resistance of World War Two and close to Hitler’s bunker. Radio transmissions will be made in phone as well in CW using vintage radio sets on the 40m band. QSL via ON7RY.

The Duxford Radio Society, based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, will be operating GB2IWM on 6 June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day. They will be operating on most HF bands using mainly military radios from 0900 to 1700UTC. Visitors are welcome.

Other stations on the air to commemorate D-Day include HMS Belfast that will be active until 30 June as GB70DDAY. On 6 June, HMS Belfast will make a special memorial contact with the GB2IWM station at IWM Duxford. GB70DDL will be on the air from 1 to 28 June. The station will be operated by Riverway ARS in conjunction with the Stafford and Rugeley Sea Cadets from the Sea Cadet HQ in Stafford. The station will operate on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes.

Riverway ARS will also be operating portable from four Royal Observer Corps Nuclear Bunkers until 9 June. GB1SNB from Shenstone, GB6GNB from Gonsall, from Rugeley and GB4SNB from Standon. See QRZ.com for more information.

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

Shoji, JA7MHZ is on the air from Pohnpei Island in Micronesia, IOTA OC-010, until 5 June. He is using the callsign V63DX and QSLs go via his home callsign.

Lisa, KJ6GHN is now operational stroke KH9 from Wake Island, OC-053. She is currently working on Wake and will be there for the next few years. Her station is an Icom 718 and has been mainly operating PSK on 15 metres. QSL via the address on QRZ.com but she asks that those wanting a card to be patient mail only comes twice a month. She does upload to Logbook of the World and Club Log, and also accepts bureau QSLs. 

AF6WU and AF6KJ will be active as V31WU and V31DV, respectively, from Caye Caulker, Belize, NA-073, between 9 and 15 June. Activity will be on the HF bands using SSB and PSK31. QSL both callsigns via AF6WU, direct, by the Bureau, Logbook of the World or eQSL.

PA3FYM will be active with an unusual callsign, 7QNL, from Malawi until 9 June. He plans to be on 10 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via PA1AW; logsearch on Club Log.

Jay, K2TTT will be active holiday style as C6ATT from New Providence Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas from 7 to 21 June. He will be on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via K2TTT.

E20HHK/p will be on the air from Nu Island, AS-145 on 7 and 8 June. QSL via E21EIC.

OH3WS will be active as OJ0W from Market Reef, EU-053 from 2 to 7 June. He will operate CW and some SSB on the HF bands. QSLs via OH3WS, direct or bureau please.

A team of ten Belgian operators will be active as ZA/ON6NB from Albania from 6 to 15 June. They will operate SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY on the 6 to 80m bands with four stations. QSL via ON4ANN, direct or bureau.

Now the contest news

On Monday 2 June the 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is 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.

Next weekend is a busy one for contests. It’s CW National Field Day that runs from 1500UTC on the 7th until 1500UTC on the 8th. Using the 1.9 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest runs for 24 hours on 7th and 6th, starting at 1200UTC. From outside the SEANET region, which is CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, work only the SEANET region. Using SSB and CW on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es Contest also runs for 24 hours on the 7th to the 8th, starting at 1300UTC. It is held at the peak of the Sporadic-E season, although that doesn’t guarantee favourable conditions. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number locator and member number.

Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC on the 8th. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 23rd to Thursday the 29th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 30th of May.

Solar activity was low every day except for the 24th when the only M class solar flare took place, increasing activity to moderate levels. Only 24 C class solar flares occurred during the period. Solar flux levels declined from 118 units on the 24th to 99 by the 28th, which is the lowest level since last September. By the next day levels had increased to 101 units. The average was 109 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 29th was 142 units, that's five units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B4.9 units on the 24th to B2.5 by the 28th and the average was B3.5 units. Geomagnetic activity started at unsettled levels on the 23rd with an Ap index of 19 units. This was due to a small coronal hole. Activity then declined to quiet levels for the remainder of the period and the average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 570 kilometres per second on the 23rd to 280 by the 27th. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase to 22 particles per cubic centimetre on the 27th, and 16 on the 28th and the 29th. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the 23rd, which was the most disturbed, and between minus 3 and plus 1 on the quietest day. Although Sporadic-E occurred it was rather poor for late May.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. The slightly more active side of the Sun is expected to be rotating into view. Solar activity is expected to mostly low with C class solar flares taking place on most days. Solar flux levels should increase as the week progresses and be around the 120's next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet at first but from midweek activity is expected to increase in response to a recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours are expected to be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success of around 20MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 15MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1300 hours. Sporadic-E is expected to take place most days, with opening up to 70MHz. There is a slight chance of openings up to 144MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 25th May 2014

May 23, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs help disaster relief in Serbia

  • AM nets to mark D-Day landings

  • Horizon balloon chosen to promote maths and science

The Serbian Radio Association is carrying out disaster relief communications in flooded areas. The control station uses the callsign YU0S. Operations are on VHF and in the 80m band, with 3760kHz ±QRM being the main frequency in use. All radio operators are asked to keep this frequency clear. It is expected that the nets will be closed by this weekend. Zoran, YU1EW, who coordinates the disaster relief communications, reports that they have everything they need for now and that they can handle the situation.

On Friday June 6, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, the Vintage & Military Amateur Radio Society are organising amplitude modulation radio nets on 80m, 60m and 40m for operators of vintage military wireless sets that would have been in use at that time. The AM nets will be open to all amateurs and joining stations are encouraged to undertake a little research beforehand, in order to provide a description of how their equipment type was used in Operation Overlord, and other information such as naming any known military, naval and air force units that operated the sets, their role in Overlord, or anecdotes about the hectic life of the operators. The schedule is 8am on 3615kHz, 12 noon on 7143kHz and 4pm 5317kHz for 5MHz NoV holders.

The UK Department for Education has selected the Horizon balloon project to feature in the department’s Yourlife campaign to promote studies in math and science. Pupils at the Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall built the payload that transmitted FSK RTTY telemetry data on 434.075MHz. The weather balloon reached an altitude of close to 115,000 feet before bursting. The payload then safely parachuted back to Earth, where the students were able to retrieve some stunning still images and video taken in near-space. The telemetry transmitter could be received over most of the British Isles and radio amateurs were able to track the balloon’s progress from the transmitted GPS data. The Horizon team used a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to receive the signal from the balloon and dl-fldigi software to decode it. Among those supporting the project were Yaesu and Rapid Electronics.

Some changes have taken place on QRZ.com. The callsign database now fully supports secondary callsigns, ie ones that include a slash plus a modifier as either a prefix or a suffix to the primary call. This feature is available to all QRZ users and can be accessed by simply editing your callsign, or by using the My Account choice from the main QRZ menu. Users had asked for Logbook of the World integration and this is now available to all Logbook subscribers. It means that if you're a Logbook of the World user you can push your QRZ logs directly to Logbook of the World with just a couple of clicks of your mouse. A Quick Start Guide for QRZ LoTW operations is available by typing LoTW Certificate Import Quick Start Guide into your favourite search engine.

NASA Television will broadcast pre-launch activities for the next three crew members flying to the International Space Station, followed by extensive live coverage of their launch and docking to the orbital laboratory, on 28 May. The astronauts will launch at 1957UTC. The crew is scheduled to dock less than six hours later. NASA TV launch coverage begins at 1900UTC at nasa.gov/nasatv

The ARRL has announced that there is to be no change to the DXCC status of the Crimea area and the annexation does not lend Crimea status as a new DXCC entity. The Awards Committee concluded that a QSL with a callsign issued by Ukraine and showing the entity name as Ukraine counts as Ukraine, while a QSL with a callsign issued by Russia and showing the entity name as Russia counts as Russia. A QSL that satisfies neither condition does not count for either entity, the committee said.

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

We have no details of any rallies over this Bank Holiday weekend.

The 24th Annual Waters and Stanton Open Day takes place today from 10am to 4pm in Hockley. There will be a variety of talks and presentations including What’s New from Elecraft and new bhi products.

On 1 June, Spalding & District ARS will hold their rally at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding PE11 2EF. There will be a talk in station on S22 and free car parking for visitors. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands and a car boot sale area. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

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

Now for the news of special events

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, HMS Belfast will be active from 24 May until 30 June as GB70DDAY. On 6 June, HMS Belfast will make a special memorial contact with the GB2IWM station at IWM Duxford.

The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group will be on the air as EI2GEO from the Copper Coast Geopark in Tankardstown, County Waterford over this weekend to coincide with European Geoparks week. Activity will be mainly HF SSB and CW.

GB70DDL will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings from 1 to 28 June, operated by Riverway ARS in conjunction with the Stafford and Rugeley Sea Cadets from the Sea Cadet HQ in Stafford. Operation will be on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes. Activities will be put on during the month for members of the public to see the station in operation and the work of the Sea Cadet Unit. Riverway ARS will also be operating /p from four Royal Observer Corps Nuclear Bunkers from 30 May to 9 June. The stations are GB1SNB from Shenstone, GB6GNB from Gonsall, from Rugeley and GB4SNB from Standon. See QRZ.com for more information.

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

A team of 16 operators from Malaysia will be on the air as 9M2MI from Undan Island between 30 May and 1 June, IOTA reference AS-097. Activity will be on 10 to 40 metres using CW and SSB. QSL only direct to 9M2YOT.

N6TJ will be active as ZD8Z from Ascension Island, IOTA AF-003, between 26 May and 3 June. Operations will be on the HF bands. QSL via AI4U, direct or by the Bureau.

Fred, VK3DAC will be active from Norfolk Island, OC-005, as VK9DAC until 27 May. He hopes to work many island chasers as well as activating Mount Bates for Summits on the Air enthusiasts.

A number of Japanese operators will visit the South Cook Islands, NA-044. Callsigns to look for are E51AVE, E51KJW, E51JQY and E51MCA. Activity will be on 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY.

Remco, PA3FYM is on the air as 7QNL until 9 June while working for a charity project in Malawi. Activity is on 6 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via PA1AW.

Arno, 9G5ZZ is on the air until June 1 from Ghana. Activity is on 10 to 40m and possibly 80m, using mostly CW. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via DL1CW.

Advance notice now to look for Geoff, MM5GAC/P to be active from Islay, EU-008, between 15 and 27 June.

Now the contest news

Today, 25 May, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW leg of the CQWW WPX Contest will keep the HF bands busy for the whole 48 hours this weekend. Expect the CW segments of the bands to be packed until 2359UTC tonight, the 25th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Microwave Group contest takes place today from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands, 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 takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands and all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar report for the period from Friday the 16th of May to Thursday the 22nd, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday the 23rd

Papers from a recent NASA workshop on solar cycle 24 suggest that we are at or close to solar maximum and that this will be among the weakest peaks on record. By all conventional measures this has been an extremely quiet cycle. However, the analysis adds that most major events, such as large flares or major magnetic storms, tend to come during the declining phase of a cycle. So there can still be interesting times ahead as we move towards solar minimum at the end of the decade. A fuller report is at the www.spaceweather.com page for 19 May.

Turning to the present, this week’s figures may give the impression that the decline is already under way – but they are no more than normal daily variation. Solar activity was low or very low, with only minor C-class flares. The solar flux declined from 139 to 111, averaging 122 units – a drop of 36 on the previous week. The less volatile 90-day average was down two to 148. The X-ray flux was also down, from an average B6.8 to B4.0. Geomagnetic activity was mostly low, with the Ap index averaging only 5 units, though the period ended with an unsettled Ap of 9. Particle densities were mostly in single figures, but there were brief spikes to 80 units per cubic centimetre on the 21st and 70 on the 22nd. Bz showed relatively little daily variation, mostly between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas. Solar wind speeds reported by the ACE spacecraft were also mostly below average, ranging between 276km/sec and 429km/sec.

Finally, the forecast for the week ahead. Overall, the present pattern appears likely to continue. Solar activity will be predominantly low, with C-class flares on most days and, possibly, the occasional M-class flare. There are currently no indications of Earth-directed coronal mass ejections, though these can emerge with little warning. The solar flux seems unlikely to drop much below current levels and there could be a modest revival by next weekend.

MUFs at equal latitudes should be in the region of 24MHz, while darkness lows are expected to be about 14MHz. Paths to Australia should have an MUF – that’s a 50 percent chance of a contact – of 25MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency, at which there should be a 90 percent chance of success, will be about 21MHz. The path should be best between 0600 and 1200UTC. VHF Sporadic-E should occur on most days, with openings up to 70MHz on several days. Propagation at 144MHz cannot be excluded but is a very long shot.

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

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 18th May 2014

May 16, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • Happy 100th Birthday, ARRL

  • KickSat burns up without deploying Sprites

  • Sign up for the Advanced distance learning course

The American Amateur Radio Relay League was formed on 18 May 1914, exactly 100 years ago today, and the RSGB sends its fraternal congratulations. By coincidence, today is the final day of the Dayton Hamvention, where ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, will host a party, complete with a cake, to wish the ARRL a happy 100th birthday.

KickSat, the KickStarter-funded amateur satellite project, has re-entered and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere without releasing its payload of Sprite micro-satellites. The satellite suffered an unexpected computer glitch on 30 April that caused the deployment countdown timer to reset. It proved impossible to correct the problem, meaning the timer did not trigger in time to release the hundred-plus Sprites before re-entry.

Enrolment is about to start for the next Advanced distance learning course run by the Bath-based team. The course will run from July and work towards the December exam. Weekly work packages will be delivered using the Edmodo virtual learning environment. Remote tutor support will be available throughout the course and lots of revision questions will be provided. These courses have been running for three and a half years and the Team are expecting to pass the milestone of 250 passes very soon. For more details contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

The International Radio Union has announced that Timothy S Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR have been re-elected as as IARU President and Vice President, respectively, for the five-year term beginning 9 May 2014. Rod Stafford, W6ROD, continues to serve as IARU Secretary; he is appointed by the American Radio Relay League in its capacity as the IARU International Secretariat.

The third episode of the only UK TV show dedicated to amateur radio is now available to view at www.txfactor.co.uk. This edition covers kite aerials, a visit to the Military Wireless Museum in Kidderminster and a report from the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally to find out what people expect from a rally in the 21st century. The show is free to view, compatible with a wide variety of platforms and is available for clubs to download and show at their meetings.

Power Japan Plus has announced a new kind of rechargeable battery, the Ryden cell, based on what it calls dual carbon technology. Remarkable claims are being made for the 4 volt device, including a significant increase in capacity over lithium-ion, a recharge speed 20 times faster and a lifetime of 3,000 charge cycles. The patented technology is also said to be 100% recyclable. Although the main thrust of development seems to be towards batteries for electric vehicles, some of the cells in the company’s promotional videos appear ideally sized for amateur radio and other consumer applications.

Chris Stubbs, M6EDF plans to launch one of his Cheapo II 434MHz trackers on a 100g Pawan balloon from a school in Chelmsford at about 1.20pm on Tuesday. Listen out for it on 434.300MHz USB during its flight. It could have a radio range of up to about 300 miles. Full details of his high-altitude ballooning hardware and experiments are online at http://chris-stubbs.co.uk/

The free amateur radio software DXLab Suite has recently been upgraded with submission generators for several major awards programmes. It now provides comprehensive real-time award tracking and management for the DXCC, IOTA, Marathon, VUCC, WAS, WAZ, and WPX award families. The suite of software has many more features, details of which can be found at www.dxlabsuite.com

Lithuanian amateur radio satellite LituanicaSAT-1 is currently in Safe Mode, its control team reports, after suffering some power supply anomalies on the channel that supplies the FM beacon and onboard camera. More details on this and other amateur satellite news can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/

Next Sunday, 25 May sees the annual Open Day at Waters and Stanton at Hockley from 10am, in aid of British Wireless for the Blind Fund. There will be a number of trade exhibitors and a lecture stream that includes talk by Robert Snary, Murray Niman and Graham Somerville. The company suggests making it a family day out as there is nearby access to Hockley Woods and a number of local pubs and cafes.

The latest edition of the 5MHz Newsletter has had some problems with its online host and as a result has been obliged to change its download address. It can now be found at http://tinyurl.com/owbbggk

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

The 31st Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place today at Stockwood Park, Luton. All usual facilities will be available to visitors. Details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

We have no details of any rallies over the Bank Holiday weekend. 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 e-mail details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Andy, M1LOL and Ray, M1REK will be active from the Isle of Muck, IOTA reference EU-008, from 24-31 May. They will be on the air on 80m to 10m using SSB and data modes using the callsign MM1REK/p. QSL direct or via the bureau, and more details can be found at www.m1rek.co.uk

King’s Lynn Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB0CRC from Castle Rising Castle in West Norfolk today. Operation is expected from Top Band to 70cm and QSL is via the bureau.

GB1ST will be active at Saltram near Plympton from today until 2000UTC on Friday 23rd to commemorate Saltram Telegraph, which was active around the time of the Napoleonic wars. Activity is expected from 80 to 10m plus 2m.

4X266POPE and 4Z266POPE will be active from 20 to 27 May to celebrate Pope Francis' visit to Israel. QSL both callsigns via 4Z1TL. 

Next weekend sees GB1LSF on the air from Lydford Saxon Fort as part of Castles on the Air weekend. Operated by Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group, activity is planned from Top Band to 70cm.

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

Imam Raharjo will be on the air as YB4IR/5 from today until the 25th from MIDAI ISLAND, OC-109, using the 40 to 10m bands on CW, RTTY and SSB. QSL via LoTW or OQRS.

Sergey, UT5UDX will be active as 6Y/UT5UDX from Jamaica, NA-097, from 20 until 30 May. He will participate in the CQ WPX CW Contest as 6Y3W. QSL via RA4LW.

DG5LAC will be active stroke EA8 from Fuerteventura Island, AF-004, until 23 May, operating on 80 to 10m on SSB. QSL direct or via the bureau.

5P1KZX is on the air using digimodes from North Jutland, EU-171, until 1 June. He says you can QSL “Any way you like”.

Now the contest news

Today is the second and final day of the 144MHz May Contest, which runs until 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The first 144MHz Backpackers contest runs today, the 18th, from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest also takes place today, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 8 June 2014. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website at www.worked-all-britain.co.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 9th to Thursday the 15th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 16th of May.

Several large and complex sunspot regions appeared during the period but none produced any sizeable solar flares. Solar activity was at low levels, with numerous C class solar flares taking place every day. The largest events were C8 class flares on the 10th and 14th. Solar flux levels increased from 152 units to 164 by the 11th before declining back to 152 by the end of the period. The average was 158 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 15th was 150 units, that's the same level as last week. X-ray flux levels showed little variation day to day and averaged B6.8 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, except for a very week disturbance from a recurring coronal hole on the 11th, when the Ap index was 12 units. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 320 and 420 kilometres per second. On most days particle densities were moderate, with 35 particles per cubic centimetre recorded on the 10th for example. Bz, both positive and negative values, remained in single figures every day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be rotating to view. Solar activity is expected to be low with C class solar flares taking place with only a small chance of any stronger flares occurring. Solar flux levels should decline to around the 130s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet except for a small disturbance that will take place just after midweek. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be around 24MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 23MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 18MHz. The best times to try this path are 1000 and 1700 hours. Sporadic-E should take place on some days, with openings up to 70MHz possible.

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

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