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