RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 24th. May 2015.

May 22, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • Nepal amateur radio earthquake relief response again suspended

  • Certificate for Exam Secretary Carol, M6MUP

  • South Africans get 1kW plus new 8 metre band

Amateur Radio emergency operations on 20 metres, resumed in the aftermath of the second Nepal earthquake, have now been suspended again, according to Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, the Amateur Radio Society of India National Coordinator for Disaster Communication. He said he discussed the situation on the 17th of May with Satish Kharel, 9N1AA, and that the decision was based on the fact that all systems in the affected region are quoted as working normally.

RSGB Exam Secretary Carol Meredith, M6MUP, has been awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club for the “hard work, support and ‘extra mile’ she goes to support both Exam Secretaries and candidates alike”. About 3,000 amateur radio examinations are held each year and Carol processes all of the paperwork. Part of her job is advising candidates whether they have passed or not and, thankfully, in 80% of cases its good news! A photo of Carol receiving the Certificate can be seen on the RSGB Facebook page, www.facebook.com/theRSGB

Amateurs in the Republic of South Africa have been given a new 8 metre band, 40.675 to 40.685MHz, for propagation studies. The allocation is for up to 400W and all emissions are permitted except pulse and fast scan TV. At the same time, the power limits for most of the other amateur bands have been raised to 1kW for A licensees and the 160m band has been extended up to 2MHz.

RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL and General Manager Graham Coomber, G0NBI represented the RSGB at a garden party at Buckingham Palace recently. They were formally presented to the Society’s Patron, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT.

On Wednesday a super-secret US military unmanned spaceplane was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Also aboard the rocket were a number of CubeSats, some of which included amateur radio payloads. BRICSat-P, designed to test a novel propulsion system, carries an APRS transponder with a 145MHz uplink and 457MHz downlink. It also has a PSK32 transponder that has a 10m uplink and UHF downlink. The Planetary Society’s LightSail-A has a 9600bps FSK AX.25 packet radio downlink on 437.435MHz. Amateurs are asked to forward any data they collect from this satellite to the contact details at tinyurl.com/JD-lightsail. More information on all of the CubeSats aboard the launch can be found at tinyurl.com/20-may-launch

While on the subject of space, the RSGB understands that it is unlikely there will be any contacts with the Columbus module station on the International Space Station until after a crew change, which will probably occur in June or July.

This year’s International Museums Weekends take place on 20/21 and 27/28 June. More information about the event, including how to register, can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Fans of Laurel and Hardy will be delighted to learn that Furness Amateur Radio Society are planning a special event station to commemorate what would have been Stan Laurel’s 125th birthday. He was born on 16 June 1890 in Ulverston – then in Lancashire, but now Cumbria. Special special callsign GB125SL will be on HF SSB from 1 to 28 June. Main activations, with a high power HF station, will be on the 16th, Stan’s birthday, plus the weekend of the 27th and 28th. More information, including some interesting facts about Stan Laurel, are at www.fars.org/gb125sl.php

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

We have no information on any rallies taking place today.

Next Sunday the Black Country Radio Rally takes place at Portway Lifestyle Centre, Newbury Lane, Oldbury, West Midlands B69 1HE. There is talk-in, car parking, and the opening time is 9.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups, catering, disabled facilities and an RSGB book stall. For information, email Martin via radio-circle@live.co.uk.

Advance notice now about the Newbury Radio Rally on the 21st of June at the Newbury Showground. Access to the Showground will be affected by essential roadworks that will be taking place at M4 junction 13. Diversions will be in place, and details will appear nearer the time on the Newbury and District ARS website, www.nadars.org.uk.

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

Now the special event news

On the 29th of May 1815, over 6,000 British cavalry gathered for an inspection beside the river Dender before the battle of Waterloo. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the inspection and the crossing of the river to battle, the Belgian Amateur Radio Society, UBA, will operate special event station OT200GBN. On Friday the 29th, operation will be in CW on 80 to 10m from the nearby town of Schendelbeke. On Saturday the station moves to Onkerzele and switches to SSB. A special QSL card is available.

Pentland Firth Radio Hams are operating GB2GEO today for Geoparks On The Air weekend. The station is at Durness in the North West Highlands Geopark, WAB square NC46. Operations commence at 10am and will be on the HF bands as conditions permit. For further information contact Rona Morrison on 07801 535 320.

Members of the RNARS London Group are in their final week of operating GB70VE, Victory in Europe, from the Bridge Wireless Office of HMS Belfast. Details are at www.GB2RN.org.uk and you can read about HMS Belfast in the June RadCom.

25 May marks the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in the St Lawrence River. The vessel collided with a freighter and sank just 14 minutes later, taking the lives of 1012 of the 1477 people on board. Nathan, KC9HYY will be active as KC9HYY/EOI, for Empress of Ireland, from 0000UTC on the 25th of May until 2359 on the 2nd of June. Please look for Nathan on bands 10m-40m operating SSB and various modes of digital, including PSK31, RTTY and JT65. Details are at QRZ.com/db/kc9hyy.

PA125VVG is on the air until 7 June to celebrate Vincent Van Gogh. Activity is on HF and VHF in different modes. A special QSL card is available direct or via the Bureau. EQSL and LoTW are not being used. More information, including details of a special Award, are online at QRZ.com/db/pa125vvg

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Paulo, CT1FJZ, is currently active from the Congo Republic as TN/CT1FJZ. He has been active so far on 20 metres SSB. No other information or length of stay is available. QSL via the home call. 

Alan, G3XAQ will be active from Brusubi, The Gambia, as C56XA, from 16 May until 4 June. Operation will be holiday-style on the HF bands and will include a Single-Op, All-Band, Low-Power entry in the CQ WPX CW Contest on 30 and 31 May. QSL via G3SWH

A DXpedition from Italy led by Stafano, I2YSB, is expected to be in Nairobi, Kenya, using the special call 5Z0L. They are staying until 31st May and operations are expected to feature 6m band quite heavily, at it has only recently been authorised in Kenya. There will be three stations in total, active from 80m to 6m. A real time online log is at www.i2ysb.com/joomla5/

Lastly, G8OFQ has announced he will be active stroke HC8 from the Galapagos Islands from July 1st to September 30th. Operations will be on 160 through 6 metres but no times or modes have been mentioned. QSL via HA3JB.

Now the contest news

On Sunday the 24th of May, 3rd 70MHz Cumulative runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Also on Tuesday, the SHF UKAC takes place from 1900 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UKEI Contest Club 80m Contest SSB leg takes place on Wednesday from 2000 to 2100UTC. Operating on 80m SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character Locator: no RS report should be sent.

The weekend of the 30th and 31st sees the CQWW WPX CW 48 hour contest from 0000 to 2359UTC. Using all of the HF contest bands, CW only, RST and serial number form the exchange.

Finally, next Sunday sees the UKuG contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is RST plus serial number and Locator.

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

This week has been a mixed bag in terms of solar activity. As predicted, the beginning of the week was unsettled with the Kp index hitting six on the 19th.

The solar flux index started the week at 120, but by Thursday it had declined to around 106. Next week it is expected to remain in the range 100-110, with the Kp index ranging around two to three. In other words, solar activity will be subdued, but geomagnetic conditions will remain quite settled. This means that the lower HF bands, including 14MHz and 18MHz should be quite lively, but other than Sporadic-E openings we shouldn't expect too much from 21MHz and above.

We are now heading towards summer propagation conditions, where maximum useable frequencies during the day will be lower than they are in winter. But twenty metres, in particular, may stay open longer in the evening. It is possible that by the summer solstice 14MHz may remain open all night.

This is mainly due to a change in the chemical composition of the ionosphere, with more diatomic than monatomic elements that are harder to ionise. These summer doldrums are only alleviated by the prospect of strong Sporadic-E openings, although these will be mostly short skip.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week we underestimated the potential for stations in the South and West for the intense area of ducting from Portugal down the West coast of Africa. There were some good tropo contacts reported from the UK and Ireland via its Northerly extension.

The weather patterns for this week seem to be locked into a persistent pattern of high pressure to the southwest of Britain with a ridge of high pressure extending eastwards across southern Britain and Biscay. We’ll be more optimistic about their potential for the Southern UK with the possibility of tropo openings over southern Britain and down the west coast of France towards northern Spain or perhaps as far as the Canaries and Azores.

Some weather models show a more active low arriving over the UK later in the week, which may remove the chance of tropo and perhaps replace it with thundery showers and hence offer rain scatter opportunities on the higher bands.

We are well into the Sporadic-E season now, and Brazil was worked on 50MHz as far East as JO02 and North to IO93 last week, so check 6m and 4m for Es in the late morning and late afternoon and around 2000 for Sporadic-E enhanced Trans Equatorial propagation to South America.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 17th. May 2015.

May 15, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB AGM prize photos now available

  • Brits inducted to CQ Hall of Fame

  • Business Radio Interest Group notes posted by Ofcom

Photographs from the RSGB AGM are now available for Members to view in the new photo archives section of the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/photo-archive. Members and clubs receiving prizes can download the relevant images for their club newsletters or other local publicity. Usage permission details are on the site. The RSGB photo archive contains images of amateur radio history stretching back over 100 years and the online content is expanding on a regular basis.

The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals who have made significant contributions to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet. UK interest in the 2015 inductees include Olof Lundberg, G0CKV, a leader of the communications satellite industry for a quarter of a century, who has been inducted into the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. At the same time, Michael Wells, G7VJR, the founder of Club Log, has been installed into the DX Hall of Fame. Congratulations to both and all the other inductees whose details appear online at www.cq-amateur-radio.com

Ofcom has now posted the files from the Business Radio Interest Group meeting on the 30th of April at which John Regnault, G4SWX gave a short presentation on the first six months of progress with the 146MHz experimental amateur allocation. Reduced Bandwidth Digital Amateur Television was a topic that interested many of the attendees and John played a couple of video clip examples with help from Noel, G8GTZ and colleagues from BATC. The files are at tinyurl.com/brig300415

Amateur radio relief activity in Nepal had begun to wind down before a magnitude 7.3 earthquake again shook parts of the Himalayan nation on the 12th of May, collapsing buildings and killing dozens in a region that’s still trying to recover from the much stronger earthquake on the 25th of April. The latest quake revived the ham radio effort. Although there is no apparent need for amateur radio emergency communications at this time, everyone is reminded that IARU Emergency Centres of Activity along with 14.210MHz may be in use, so please listen carefully before transmitting. There is however no need to call and ‘keep a frequency clear’ as this may affect communications that are happening local to the disaster area eg in Afghanistan and India.

Kenwood UK has launched new Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay in touch with those interested in the their product range, including information on new products and firmware released when available. They will also include general amateur radio news. For Twitter the details are kenwoodhamradio, all one word, and for Facebook its Kenwood Ham Radio, three words.

The Bath-based radio training team have been running classroom courses for over 15 years but in 2011 they started running distance learning courses for the Advanced exam. The courses have since proved to be far more popular than the Team ever envisaged, with hundreds signing up to join. Not all of those who start complete the course but, so far, the average pass rate is over 85%. The June exam should see the number of successful candidates pass the 300 mark. The Team are now enrolling students for their next course that will run from July to the December exam. A £30 deposit is taken to secure a place on the course, and the deposit is refunded to those sit the exam. Those that do not finish the course agree to donate their deposit to charity. In reality, many of the successful students also donate their deposits and the Team has so far raised over £4,000 for radio-related good causes. Recent donations include the Radio Communications Foundation, RAIBC and the British Wireless for the Blind Fund. Further details can be obtained from Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by e-mailing G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

Kandersteg International Scout Centre is a not-for-profit campsite situated in a small Swiss Alpine village. It gives Scouts and Guides from around the world the chance to experience international friendship. They are looking for any robust PMR-type hand portable radios that can be used on a daily basis. If you can help, please contact programme@kisc.ch

Last week Sarah Brightman announced that she is postponing her trip to the International Space Station. However, planning for Major Tim Peake’s forthcoming mission is progressing well. He is planning to contact selected schools via amateur radio during his stay on the ISS. The first stage of the selection process ended recently and an announcement is expected soon of the shortlist from which the final choice will be made.

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

The Dayton Hamvention ends its 3-day run today. The RSGB has been represented by the President, John Gould, G3WKL, plus an RSGB book and Membership stand. Details are at www.hamvention.org

Today, the 17th of May, the 32nd Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for all the necessary information.

Also today, the 17th of May, the Weston Radio Rally will be held at the Old Pumping Station, Westonzoyland, Somerset TA7 0LS from 10am to 7pm. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as events for all the family at the Steam on the Levels event. More details from Mark, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

The Rochdale & District ARS Summer Flea Market Indoor Sale is on the 23rd of May at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitor gaining access 15 minutes early. Admission is £2.50, with under 12s free. Details from Dave, G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

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

Now the special event news

Mark, G3ZRR has organised GB50LBC to celebrate the London Borough of Croydon's 50th birthday. Starting from about 16th May, he intends to operate the station at venues throughout the borough, during the Council’s 50th anniversary. The idea is to include Croydon’s parks, educational establishments, Scout, guide, military and Cadet Force installations.

On the 18th of May, the paddle steamer The Medway Queen will be towed from Gillingham Kent to Ramsgate harbour to take part in the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, Operation Dynamo. The Medway Queen is one of the Dunkirk Little Ships and she carried over 7000 allied troops to safety. A joint venture with Bredurst Receiving and Transmitting Society and Hilderstone Radio Club will operate a special event from the ship as part of the 75th commemoration event. An HF station will be operational from the 23rd to 31st of May.

2015 is the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and one of the 25 barons who signed it was John de Lacy from Pontefract. In recognition of this, Pontefract & District ARS will be operating GB800MC from the 20th of May to the 16th of June, mainly at weekends, but hopefully also midweek if circumstances allow. Full details are on QRZ.com.

5B70VE is the special callsign that members of Pafos Radio Club will use in May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the end of World War II. QSL via 5B4AHO.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Iain, G4SGX will operate holiday style as FG/G4SGX from Guadeloupe until the 19th of May. He will use dipoles on an EU-facing beach on 40, 30, 20 and 15m CW. QSL via his home callsign and Logbook of The World.

Three Japanese operators will be on Niue Island, OC-040, until the 25th of May. Look for the callsigns E6ZS, E6NZ and E6TE on all bands from 160 to 6m CW, SSB and RTTY.

The Camb-Hams group is activating Mull, EU-008, as GS3PYE/P until the 21st of May. They are on the 80 to 10m bands using SSB, CW, RTTY, and PSK, and also on 6m, 4m, and 2m, plus satellites AO-7, VO-52, FO-29, SO-50, and AO-73. The group also hopes for short trips to Iona, EU-008 and Treshnish Island, EU-108. QSL via Club Log OQRS or the bureau.

Hans, DK3PZ, will be active as SM7/DK3PZ from Oland, EU-037, until the 23rd of May. He will be on the air on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct, bureau or via eQSL.

BA4TB and BD4TR are members of the Chinese rescue team deployed in Nepal after the earthquake. In their spare time they are active as 9N7TB and 9N7TR on the HF bands. QSL via home calls.

Alan, G3XAQ will be active holiday style as C56XA from The Gambia until the 4th of June. He will operate CW on the HF bands, and will participate in the CQ WW WPX CW Contest. QSL via G3SWH.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hours of operation at 1400UTC today, the 17th. This contest is part of the VHF Championship series. With 6- and 24-hour sections for Single-Op Fixed and Single-op Open stations, plus an Open section for multi-op stations, there are convenient categories for everyone. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 17th, the first of this year’s 144MHz Backpacker events runs for four hours, the first three of them overlapping the final three hours of the 24-hour contest. Taking place between 1100 and 1500UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest takes place today, the 17th, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 7th June 2015. 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, via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

Also today, starting at 1200UTC and running for three hours, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs along similar lines to their 80m contest in January using SSB and CW only. Exchange a signal report and serial number, with EIs and GIs also giving their county.

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

Thursday sees the CW leg of the popular 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Sunday the 24th of May, 3rd 70MHz Cumulative runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

It looks like we got the HF forecast for last week about right. The Kp index stormed up to six on Wednesday 6th, remaining at four for the whole day. This was due to an enhanced solar wind stream above 700 km/s and a southward-facing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field. This negative Bz means the solar wind coupled more easily to the earth's magnetic field, allowing charged particles to flow towards the polar regions. The end result was visible and radio aurora and depressed maximum usable frequencies worldwide.

The estimated maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path at noon on Monday, based on the Chilton ionosonde data, was 20.1MHz. But at noon on Wednesday it was just 18.4MHz.

The solar flux index was in the range 150-167, which would have brought lots of DX if it had not been for the geomagnetic disturbance.

With the sun currently peppered with lots of spots, next week may be a mixed bag. NOAA/USAF predicts a solar flux index of 145, declining to 115 by the end of the week. The geomagnetic prediction is for more settled conditions, which may lead to better conditions on the higher HF bands, although solar flares and incoming solar particle streams may have a sting in their tail.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

An intense area of ducting from Portugal down the west coast of Africa brought transatlantic reception of the Cape Verde 144MHz beacon in the Caribbean (PJ4) on the 6th of May. While still present, this will sadly be out of range for most UK stations who will have to put up with mainly poor tropo again.

Of course, if Sporadic-E enables UK stations to couple into this duct, it could be a different story. Early in the week, stations in the south might take advantage of ducting in the Bay of Biscay area. To compensate, 50 and 70MHz Sporadic-E is really taking off now with stations in the UK working Israel on 50MHz last Thursday lunchtime.

Be on the lookout for more frequent openings, with lunchtime and early evenings generally the best time in this early part of the season.

There are no meteor showers this week. The moon reaches maximum declination this week so for EME operators there will be longer moon windows with increasing losses as the week progresses.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 10th.. May 2015.

May 8, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th May 2015

The news headlines:

  • BATC special edition covers digital ATV

  • TX Factor Episode 8 arrives

  • Greek amateurs plan high altitude balloon launch

The British Amateur Television Club has just published a special edition of CQ-TV devoted to reduced bandwidth digital amateur television. A lot has been happening, particularly on the new 1MHz allocations at 70 and 146MHz. The CQ-TV RB-TV Special contains a round-up of recent on-air tests, a new Award and exciting details of DigiThin, a new homebrew digital ATV transmitter based on a Raspberry Pi. It provides remarkable image quality in a very narrow bandwidth. Full details, including a free download of the CQ-TV RB-TV Special, are at www.batc.org.uk/cq-tv/

Episode 8 of TX Factor is now available for download. It features interviews with Don, G3XTT, the editor of PW magazine and Dave Stockley, G4ELP, who runs Icom UK. There’s a trip round Broadcasting House with help from Jim, G4AEH and Jonathan, M5AEO and also a chance to win a FUNcube Dongle Pro+ courtesy of its inventor, Howard Long, G6LVB. Go to www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/ for full details.

AEOLUS team, a group of Greek radio amateurs, will make a second attempt to send a payload carrying amateur radio equipment to the stratosphere. The special callsign granted for this is J43VHF and the flight name is AEOLUS-2WAY. The balloon launch is scheduled for the 10th of May at 0800UTC. Radio amateurs will be able to communicate with the control station, J43VHF, on 144.220MHz USB. Another possibility is 7.120MHz LSB. The control team will have an uplink to the HAB in the 23cm band. The balloon’s 150mW APRS beacon will be operating as J43VHF-11 on 438.100MHz, though at 1200bps instead of the 9600bps more commonly used at UHF. For more details look for J43VHF on QRZ.com

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that a new FUNcube communications package, based on the British-designed FUNcube-1, has been selected as a major payload for the Nayif-1 CubeSat mission. This 1U mission is intended to provide Emirati students with a tool to design and test systems in space. It is being developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology in partnership with American University of Sharjah. It is expected that this payload will provide a large amount of valuable environmental data from space together with a new, enhanced, UHF to VHF linear transponder. The launch is scheduled to take place towards the end of this year.

Thanks to the efforts of the Computer Association of Nepal-USA, a repeater that the group had donated to Tribhuvan University in Nepal was released from customs on the 5th of May and now is at the University in the care of Sanjeeb, 9N1SP. As Nepal responds to the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, amateur radio has been playing a key role in the recovery effort. This role has been to provide communication for responders working in more remote regions as well as to help in locating missing people. It also has served to convey information about casualties.

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group have entered for the 2015 Aviva Community Fund awards and need as many votes as possible for their Solar Power Project to get a funding award, so they are asking you to help. The Group runs six beacons and five repeaters, and needs to offset their electricity bill by using solar power. One of the repeaters is for the Cornwall Search and Rescue Team and the Aviva Fund entry highlights the rescue team using this repeater. Everyone has ten votes, and you can give them all to this project by following the link on their website at www.gb3nc.org.uk before voting closes on the 30th of May. 

ATDI is running its annual competition that will give engineering graduates and undergraduates the opportunity to show their knowledge as well as the chance to win valuable prizes, including paid internships at ATDI. The theme of this year's contest is white space network deployments. The competition opened on the 1st of May and will be judged by an international panel of experts. First prize is 10,000 euros, a one-year licence for ATDI's leading planning and modelling software, an internship with ATDI and an opportunity to become an ATDI certified trainer. Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries. All the information you need to enter is at www.atdi.co.uk/student-competition/

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

The British Vintage Wireless Society National Vintage Communications Fair takes place today, the 10th of May, at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way, Leamington Spa CV31 1XN. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm and admission is £8, with under-14s free. Early entry from around 9am is available for £25.

Today, the 10th of May, the 34th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally takes place in the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0EQ, Northern Ireland. Doors open at 11.30, and there will be a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands and special interest groups. Details from Michael on 028 6862 1436.

The Dayton Hamvention takes place next weekend from the 15th to 17th of May in Ohio, USA. The RSGB will be represented with a bookstall. QRP columnist George Dobbs, G3RJV will receive the Technical Excellence Award 2015. Details at www.hamvention.org

On the 17th of May, the 32nd Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Boot Sale will take place at Stockwood Park, Luton. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for all the necessary information.

Also on the 17th of May, the Weston Radio Rally will be held at the Old Pumping Station, Westonzoyland, Somerset TA7 0LS from 10am to 7pm. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as events for all the family at the Steam on the Levels event. More details from Mark, M0VLN on 01278 786 684.

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

Now the special event news

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th of May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be today, the 10th of May, to coincide with the yacht club’s VE Day anniversary events

Saturday the 9th of May marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB, until this afternoon, the 10th. Operations will be on all bands, as conditions allow, on SSB and CW, and a special QSL card is available.

GB2RWM will take part in the National Mills on the Air weekend today, the 10th of May, from 10am to 4pm from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED.

Mark, G3ZRR has organised a special event station, GB50LBC, to celebrate the London Borough of Croydon's 50th birthday. Starting from about 16th May, he intends to operate the station at venues throughout the borough, during the Council’s 50th anniversary. The idea is to include Croydon’s parks, educational establishments, scout, guide, military and cadet force installations.

Special callsign PA125VVG will be activated between the 11th of May and the 7th of June to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the passing of Vincent van Gogh. All of the QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau; direct cards should be sent to PA1CPA. See QRZ.com for more information and award rules.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A team of 13 operators will be active as YB5M from Pasumpahan Island, which has been confirmed to count for IOTA group OC-262, from the 14th to 17th of May. They plan to be QRV on 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSLs are via Logsearch and OQRS on Club Log. Further information is on the web at www.yb5m.com

Hans, DK3PZ will be active as SM7/DK3PZ from Oland Island, EU-037, from the 16th to 23rd May. QSL via his home callsign, with the bureau being preferred along with eQSL.

Three members from the DX Interceptors ARC will be active as MT0IXD from the Isle of Man, EU-116, from the 8th to 11th of May. They will operate SSB, CW and RTTY on 80-10 metres with two stations. QSL via M0OXO and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

IK5BCM and IU5BLZ will be active as IE9B from Ustica Island, EU-051, until the 16th of May. They will operate SSB, CW and digital modes on 80-10 metres. QSL via IU5BLZ, direct or bureau, plus Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Dan, N8YSZ will be active holiday style as C6ASZ from Long Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas until the 16th of May. Plans are to be QRV on 40-10 metres, with a focus on digital modes and SSB. QSL via N8YSZ, with bureau and Logbook of The World preferred.

TM2BIG will be on the air from Stagadon Island, EU-105 from the 14th to 18th of May. They will operate SSB and RTTY on 40-6 metres with three stations. QSL via F4FET, direct or bureau or OQRS on Club Log.

Now the contest news

Today, the 10th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

On Wednesday it’s the data leg of the popular 80m Club Championships. It runs from 1900 to 2030 and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours over the weekend of 16-17th. This contest is part of the VHF Championship series. With 6- and 24-hour sections for Single-Op Fixed and Single-op Open stations, plus an Open section for multi-op stations, there are convenient categories for everyone. Running from 1400 to 1400UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday 17th the first of this year’s 144MHz Backpacker events runs for four hours, the first three of them overlapping the final three hours of the 24-hour contest. Taking place between 1100 and 1500UTC the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday from 1000-1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 7th June 2015. 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, via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

Also next Sunday, starting at 1200UTC and running for three hours, the IRTS 40m Counties Contest runs along similar lines to their 80m contest in January using SSB and CW only. Exchange a signal report and serial number, with EIs and GIs also giving their county.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 8th of May.

This last week has not been a good one for HF. On Sunday 3rd there were solar flares and an earth-facing coronal mass ejection, with further flares on Tuesday. Later on Tuesday evening there was a massive X-class solar flare that blocked out HF in the Pacific region. This was followed on Wednesday by a geomagnetic disturbance, with the Kp index hitting five. These combined to give poor HF conditions at times, despite the solar flux index rising to 136.

Looking ahead, large sunspot region 2339 was coming around the eastern limb of the sun at the time of writing. This was the region that brought the X-class flare, so we may be in for a rough ride next week.

The solar flux index is predicted to be in the range 140-150, but we can expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions, especially in the latter half of the week when the Kp index could hit five again. This may help depress maximum usable frequencies and generally disrupt long-range HF paths. The good news is that we are now in the Sporadic-E season, which may bring good short skip on the upper HF bands, especially 28MHz, but more of that later.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week, expect fairly flat tropo conditions. There will be a weak ridge of high pressure close to Southeast England at first, which may provide some slight enhancement to the near Continent, but it’s not expected to last long.

Last week we saw some Sporadic-E from the UK, but at the time of writing this was very marginal. It’s widely accepted that weather events play a role in determining some of the locational properties of Sporadic-E. To keep up to date with possible weather triggers for Sporadic-E, the RSGB Forum discussion group contains a section called Radio Propagation Questions. In there you will find the threads, Jet Stream Weather Charts For Es Research – Chart Drawer, containing daily postings of jet stream weather charts plus commentary, and Jet Stream Weather Charts For Es Research – Discussion for your feedback and questions. These charts may help you to look in the right directions for the DX. It’s not a forecast of Sporadic-E, but a new tool to encourage further research and discussion, so feedback is welcomed.

This resource can be found at www.rsgb.org, go to the main site and then select Forums.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 3rd. May 2015.

May 1, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd May 2015

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs provide Nepal emergency comms

  • New online magazine RadCom Plus launched

  • QB50p1 CubeSat tests successful

The situation in Nepal, hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake last weekend, seems to be getting worse as time passes. Many people are still buried in collapsed buildings and caught in rubble from landslides, and there are fears that the death toll will continue to rise. Amateur radio has been active throughout the emergency and many relief teams who travelled to the area from India, Turkey, China and many other countries have radio amateurs as part of their teams. Nets have been established on HF to support Nepal. Operators have been involved in passing health and welfare messages for families, and sending SSTV images to assist the relief effort. The IARU is collating information, and posts frequent updates on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org, which is also shared directly with RSGB and linked to our Twitter feed. The RSGB via the Region 1 AROS has been working with the relevant authorities to monitor and remove DQRM on the frequencies being used for this emergency. Whilst the emergency frequency of 14.300MHz has now been closed, all amateurs are asked to give priority to any emergency traffic.

The first edition of the new RSGB online magazine RadCom Plus is now available to RSGB Members via the RSGB website at rsgb.org/radcom-plus. It contains construction projects for a high performance 2m masthead preamp, a 1.8 to 146MHz Z-match and a PLL that provides an accurate and stable frequency source. There are theoretical articles on research into predicting Sporadic-E; how screening stops stages interacting and oscillating, and a detailed exploration of the common mode choke. There are over 40 pages of detailed technical reading, with many photographs and diagrams to help you understand or build the various projects. Feedback and discussion of the articles is welcome to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

AMSAT-NL says that an initial series of tests of the FUNcube transponder payload aboard the QB50p1 CubeSat have been successfully completed. QB50p1 is one of two QB50 precursor spacecraft that were launched from Yasny in Russia in June 2014. The primary science payloads are still being extensively tested but it has now been possible to undertake a short test of the transponder payload as well. After spending ten months in space, the transponder was commanded ‘on’ for short periods during each of the three morning passes over Europe on Monday 27th April. A number of FUNcube team members in the Netherlands and in the UK were standing by to run through a predefined test plan. The transponder has a similar performance to that of FUNcube-1 but the passband is nominally 5kHz wider by design. More information about the QB50 project can be found at https://www.qb50.eu/

Christian, OZ8CY has decided to stand down from his role as Chairman of the IARU Region 1 EMC Committee. Christian has held this role for 22 years and the Region 1 President, Don Beattie, G3BJ, would like to place on record IARU's gratitude to him for all his work over that extended period and wish him well for the future. As a result of this change, the Region 1 Executive Committee has decided to appoint Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE, currently vice-chairman of the Committee.

Registration for the RSGB’s VHF National Field Day on 4th and 5th July is now open. The online registration form is available via the VHF pages of the RSGB Contest Committee website, www.rsgbcc.org

RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL, would like to thank all those contesters who have volunteered to join the group set up to review aspects of contest management, following disquiet about the adjudication of a RSGB contest. The review has now started and should complete its final session on 1st August.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free download in pdf format from the RSGB 5MHz webpage or tinyurl.com/q7uqrqw. This copy, Number 13, features 5MHz news from the Czech Republic, UK, Uruguay, South Africa and Australia, plus 5MHz Eclipsed, the official ITU Agenda booklet for WRC15, the HB9AW RX Project and Readers’ Feedback.

Several ANZAC commemoration stations remain on the air until 8th May. Listen out on the HF bands for VK100ANZAC, VI2ANZAC, VI4ANZAC and VI5ANZAC. Please check the cluster for operating and propagation such as DX Summit, VK-logger and others. More information can be found on the WIA website, www.wia.org.au

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

Today, the 3rd, the Scottish Highland Radio Rally takes place at Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre, Muirton, Aviemore PH22 1SF. Doors are open from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. More details from Roy, GM4VKI on 01563 850 976.

Also today, the 3rd, the Dambusters Hamfest takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby, Lincs LN4 4PE. Talk in will be on S22 and GB3FR and admission to the Hamfest is £3. Doors open 10am. E-mail tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 4th, the Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon. PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2, with free car parking. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups. More details from Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on his new number, 01822 840 723.

To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of VE day, North Norfolk Amateur Radio Group will be holding an event on the 9th of May under the banner Radios That Helped Win The War. This will be based on their own collection of WW2 military radios, many of which will be operational using the call GB2VE. The event is at East Runton village hall, near Cromer in North Norfolk. To enhance the day, other owners of WW2 radios are invited to bring them along. B2 and other spy radios would be especially welcome. As there will be limited space, it is recommended that booking of tables to display visitors’ radios is done well in advance as it will be on a first come basis. Tables, and entry to the event, are free. For further information see www.nnarg.co.uk

The British Vintage Wireless Society National Vintage Communications Fair will take place on the 10th of May at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, The Fosse, Fosse Way, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1XN. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm and admission is £8, with under-14s free. Early entry from around 9am is available for £25.

On 10th of May, the 34th Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club Annual Rally takes place in the Share Centre, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0EQ, N Ireland. Doors open at 11.30, and there will be a Bring & Buy as well as trade stands and special interest groups. Details from Michael on 028 6862 1436.

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

Now the special event news

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th of May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be on the 8 to 10th May to coincide with the yacht club’s VE Day anniversary events

Saturday the 9th of May will mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB, from the evening the 8th until the afternoon of the 10th. Operation will be on all bands, as conditions allow, on SSB and CW, and a special QSL card is available.

This year also marks 70 years since the liberation and the end of WWII for Denmark. The callsign OZ5MAY will be on the air on the 4th and 5th of May in memory of those in the Resistance who risked their lives. Activity will be after 1730UTC. There is also a certificate associated with the callsign. For details go to www.ddxg.dk/awards/underground.htm

GB2RWM will take part in the National Mills on the Air weekend on 10th May from 10am to 4pm from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED.

Unfortunately, the Bedworth Lions Club event supported by The Coventry Amateur Radio Club with GB4BLC that was due to take place on the 9th May has been cancelled.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The DX Interceptors will be on the air from Scarlett Point on the Isle of Man as MT0IXD from the 8th to 11th of May on the 80 to 10m bands. Two HF stations will be combined with homebrew hex beam and multiband vertical dipole and a dipole antenna for 80 to 30m. Modes will be CW SSB and Data. People are encouraged to add any band or mode requests on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/MT0IXD. QSL via M0OXO and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

Dan, N8YSZ will be active holiday style as C6ASZ from Long Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas from the 9th to 16th of May. Plans are to be on the air on the 10 to 40m bands with a focus on digital modes and SSB. QSL via N8YSZ; bureau and Logbook of The World are preferred.

TM2BIG will be active from Stagadon Island, EU-105, on 14th to 18th May. They will operate SSB and RTTY on the 40 to 6m bands with three stations. QSL via F4FET, direct, via the bureau or OQRS on Club Log.

Dave, GM0LVI will be active as GM0LVI/p from the Isle of Barra, EU-010, until 9th May, and from Tanera Mor, EU-092, on 25th to 31st July. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

Now the contest news

Starting on Saturday the 2nd of May and ending on the 2nd of August, the UK Six Metre Group’s Marathon is a contest without fixed operating times. The object of the exercise is to work as many locator squares as possible across three months of the Sporadic-E season. Entrants can upload their logs repeatedly during the Marathon, to update the online League Table. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at midday on Sunday the 3rd. This event is unusual in that there are sections for single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. For non-Italians the exchange is a signal report plus serial number, but Italians give a signal report and a 2-letter Province code – and there are 110 to collect. There are no points for working your own country but 1 point for working your own continent, 3 for other continents and 10 points for working Italy. There are no single band entries and only one power category – high! Multipliers are DXCC entities, except I and IS0, plus Italian Provinces.

The UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest ends today, Sunday 3rd. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also ending today, at 1400UTC, is the RSGB 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy.

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

Next weekend, on the 10th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 1st of May.

What a difference a week makes. Last week we said the solar flux index was predicted to hit the 130s. This week, apart from one tiny spot in the lower western quadrant, the sun is now looking very bare. At the time of writing the solar flux index was 104, and the USAF prediction for the bank holiday week is for an SFI of 100 at the beginning, rising to 135 at the end. The maximum predicted K index is two.

While not stunning, this could bring reasonably settled conditions and some DX on the lower HF bands. Please note that as we have now entered May you should be using the latest smoothed sunspot number of 60 with your VOACAP-based prediction programs. That is down very slightly on last month.

This week we have a reminder to check the bands regardless of what the predictions suggest. Chris, G0DWV worked a string of stations in the USA on 12m on Monday at around 1730UTC, even though the VOACAP Online prediction was quite pessimistic.

And finally, we are now entering the Sporadic-E season so keep an eye on ten metres for openings out to around 1000-1500 miles, especially mid-morning, afternoon and early evening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Early next week expect flat tropo conditions with large areas of low pressure nearby to the west of Britain and frontal troughs moving into Western Europe. But there are indications of high pressure building again towards the end of the week, and this may produce some enhanced conditions later.

Earlier this week we had Sporadic-E over the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Western Poland, a classic start-of-season cluster, which correlated very well with a southerly jet stream over that part of Europe. There is every reason to hope that the Sporadic-E season has started from our latitudes and with jet streams pushing across the Pyrenees and Alps there is a possibility that these weather ‘triggers’ will be producing the necessary wind shear in the upper atmosphere and hence the chance of some Es.

Check the late morning and late afternoon for 10 and 6m beacons to get to the bands as they open. A lot of ingredients need to be right for Es to happen, so it’s a ‘heads-up’ and not a promise!

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks around Wednesday May 6th with a small broad peak, so look out for enhancements to the usual random MS conditions.

The Moon reaches its lowest declination on Wednesday so short Moon windows for EME, but with low loss on the GHz bands.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 26th. April 2015.

April 24, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th April 2015

The news headlines:

  • Emergency nets support volcano disaster relief

  • Kenyan amateurs gain 6m band

  • Can you help identify Portishead equipment?

Southern Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted this week for the first time in more than 40 years, forcing the evacuation of an area of some 12 miles around the volcano. Approximately 5,000 residents have been relocated and ash, which measures nearly seven miles, has been reported from as far away as Argentina. IARU Region 2 reports that emergency nets are in operation primarily on 7050kHz, with 14250kHz and 3738kHz as alternate frequencies. They have requested that other users keep those frequencies clear for emergency traffic.

Following representations by the Amateur Radio Society of Kenya, the Communications Authority of Kenya has allocated 50 to 52MHz to the amateur service. Authorisation is on a Secondary, non-interference, basis and has been made possible by the migration of television services from analogue to digital. Permitted power is 150 watts DC input or 400 watts PEP for A3E and J3E emissions.

A film production company is looking for help from radio amateurs, particularly those who had a career in the maritime industry. A large portion of their film’s props are themed around radios, transmitters, receivers and all the other equipment that is related to maritime radio. Portishead Radio Station is one of the sets that is being re-created. There are a series of photos on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/deepwater. They are looking for help to identify the equipment in use. If you can assist, please send an email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s Twitter name has been changed to @theRSGB. Follow us at that account for regular amateur radio news, images, events and Member offers. Take a look at the profile header picture and see the winning photo from our Twitter photo competition, submitted by Adam, MM0KFX. Congratulations to Adam and to the two runners-up, Vaughan, M0VRR and Charles, M0OXO. The RSGB Youth Committee has also changed its Twitter name this week. You can follow them @theRSGByouth to find out what they’re getting up to in amateur radio.

One of the participants in the just-ended DX0P DXpedition to Spratly Islands was airlifted from Pag Asa Island after suffering a medical emergency. Chito Pastor, WW6CP, became ill just as the DXpedition was starting to wrap up on the 20th April and was evacuated on the 23rd. We wish him well. The DXpedition operated for about 5 days, logging around 5000 contacts.

RSGB Train the Trainers days are for you if you are delivering training for the amateur examinations and do not already have a professional educational background. The purpose is to give you some insights in how to prepare and deliver your material, to improve the learning skills of your class and hopefully inject some fun into the experience for everyone. The next Train the Trainers day is on the 9th of May, in Norwich. You can still book a place on the RSGB Train the Trainers day in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June. To book, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk.

The window to apply for ARRL Centennial Points Challenge and W1AW Worked All States awards has been open for a month now, and the initial rush of applications has been processed. Participants’ Centennial Points Challenge logs must already have been submitted via Logbook of The World (LoTW) – the cut-off date was January 22 – but the League will continue to accept award applications indefinitely. With little to no backlog in the queue, it’s anticipated that processing will be prompt. The ARRL Centennial QSO Party and W1AW/portable activities in 2014 resulted in more than 3.5 million Centennial event contacts recorded in LoTW. W100AW operation accounted for some 70,000 contacts.

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

Today, the 26th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place in Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 10am, with traders gaining access from 7am. Admission is £2 and there will be a Bring & Buy and RSGB bookstall. More information from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Next weekend on the 3rd, the Scottish highland radio Rally will take place in Aviemore Primary School and Community Centre, Muirton, Aviemore PH22 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. More details from Roy, GM4VKI on 01563 850 976.

Also on the 3rd, the Dambusters Hamfest takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby, Lincs LN4 4PE. Talk in will be on S22 and GB3FR and admission to the Hamfest is £3. Doors open 10am. E-mail tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

On the 4th, which is bank holiday Monday, the Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, Devon. PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2 with free car parking. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups. More details from Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on 01822 852 871.

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

Now the special event news

The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be airing the Club callsign MN0VFW / P today, the 26th, from Navan Fort, Armagh, Northern Ireland. They will be active on HF SSB and 2m FM from the Club's exhibition trailer that will be parked up in the Visitors Centre carpark. Visitors are welcome. 

Members of Barry Amateur Radio Society will be operating from Flatholm Island, EU-124, until the 27th April. Operation will be mainly HF but they also anticipate satellite operations using limited portable equipment during the stay. QSL via MW0DHF.

G8ALB intends to operate GB0PAW from the Wirral in support of Parkinson’s Awareness Week today the 26th. The station will operate from approximately 10am to 4pm on 80, 40, 30 and 10m as well as 2m and 70cm.

Terry, G4POP will operate GB4FED, a special event call sign for VE day. It will be active between the 1st and 28th May from The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham on Crouch, Essex. The main activity will be on the 8 to 10th May to coincide with the yacht clubs VE Day anniversary events

Saturday 9th May will mark the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Guernsey after five years of occupation by the German forces. To commemorate this historic event, Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be operating a special event station from the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, Guernsey using the callsign GU70LIB from the evening the 8th until the afternoon of the 10th. Operation will be on all bands SSB and CW as conditions allow and a special QSL card is available.

The Lusitania Radio Club will be running a special event station with the callsign EI100MFA to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania on 7th May 1915. The station will operate from 6th to 10th May from a site near the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse, County Cork or from the Lighthouse itself.

A special event station will be run on the 2nd to 4th May from a narrow boat at the Loughborough wharf. GB2LWW will be part of the Loughborough Wharf Weekend to celebrate the saving of the wharf basin from being filled in and built on. All are welcome aboard the dandelion disabled boat, where teas and coffees will be served.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Mark, M0TVV will be operating holiday portable from the 2nd to the 14th May as EA5/M0TVV on the 10, 20 and 40 metre bands QRP portable. This will be his first time operating outside the United Kingdom under his new Full licence and he hopes to be able to be on the air as often as possible during his two week stay in Murcia in Spain. Calls will be welcome.

Dave, WJ2O will be in Nicaragua until 30th April. He will operate as YN/WJ2O from the station of YN2N.

A group of 4 Australian operators will be active from Norfolk Island as VK9NT until to 4th May. They plan to be QRV on all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB and CW. QSLs can be requested by using the Club Log OQRS facility.

Gordon, G3USR will be operating holiday style from Freeport on Grand Bahama Island from until 27th April. His callsign will be C6AGM. He requests that QSLs are sent directly to his home call.

Two German amateurs will be active from Armenia until 5th May. Look for EK/DL7UCX and EK/DK7AO on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY.

Now the contest news

The 24 hours of the SP DX RTTY Contest ends today at 1200UTC today, the 26th. Non-SP stations can work anyone and there are multiples for DXCC entities and continents worked. The exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code.

The BARTG Sprint 75 runs for four hours this evening, the 26th, from 1700 to 2100UTC. All activity is on 75 baud RTTY. The contest exchange is a serial number only.

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.

Also on Tuesday is the SHF UK Activity Contest, again taking place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using the 2.3GHz band and up, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting on Saturday 2nd May and ending on the 2nd August, the UK Six Metre Group’s Marathon is a contest without fixed operating times. The object of the exercise is to work as many Locator squares as possible across three months of the Sporadic-E season. Entrants can upload their logs repeatedly during the Marathon, to update the online League Table. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The Italian National Society ARI International DX Contest runs for 24 hours from midday on Saturday 2nd. This event is unusual in that there are sections for Single-op CW, SSB, RTTY, mixed, and Multi-single. For non-Italians the exchange is a signal report plus serial number, but Italians give a signal report and a 2-letter Province code, and there are 110 to collect. There are no points for working your own country but 1 point for working your own continent, 3 for other continents and 10 points for working Italy. There are no single band entries and only one power category – high! Multipliers are DXCC entities (except I and IS0), plus Italian Provinces.

The UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest is on Sunday 3rd. It coincides with the RSGB events taking place the same weekend. The 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. The 432MHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC and, finally, the 10GHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. The exchange is the same for all contests, signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4DDK on Friday the 24th of April

Last week we said that the NOAA prediction was for a solar flux index of up to 135, but we thought this was pessimistic. We were proved right as the SFI soared to 154 on the 21st. However conditions remained very unsettled with the Kp index hitting four at times and with many M-class solar flares.

This week looks like it will be very similar with the predicted solar flux index around 135, but with continued unsettled geomagnetic conditions due to coronal mass ejections and high-speed solar wind streams.

On HF, this is a good month to look for long path openings to Australia. Peter, VK6APZ can often be heard around 0900-1000UTC around 18.120MHz, just before his sunset. This is at a time when there is no 20m opening and casual listeners could miss the opening on 17m. A similar opening to New Zealand can occur on 17m or 15m at around 0700UTC.

Propagation can vary dramatically, even on adjacent bands, and it is worth playing with a prediction tool like VOACAP Online to see where paths might exist.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This week starts with low pressure back on the charts and unsettled weather over the country for much of the week. This will mean a return to mainly flat tropo conditions until midweek. Towards the end of the week a new high will drift east and may provide some limited tropo enhancement as it reaches the UK by Friday.

There will probably be some large showers and thunderstorms in the first half of the week, so rain scatter will be a possibility; a good hint is to follow the more intense echoes from the various rainfall radars on the web.

The Es season has already produced some limited activity on 10m and 6m and should only grow in coming weeks. In view of the potential for jet streams to contribute to the locational properties of Es, this next week offers some good jet stream potential, suitable for Es paths into Europe and Scandinavia.

After last week’s Lyrids meteor shower it’s back to random meteors, the early morning being the best time.

Moon declination is falling and moving away this coming week, meaning increasing losses for EME. But moon windows are still long in the UK.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 19th. APRIL 2015.

April 17, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th April 2015

The news headlines:

  • FUNcube-1 fails but gets restarted

  • Saturday 25th April is International Marconi Day

  • Amateurs to mark ANZAC day next weekend

On the evening of 15th April, amateur satellite FUNcube-1 stopped transmitting. During a later pass over Europe, PA3WEG commanded it back to nominal mode with full automatic mode switching. A restart has now taken place so the satellite, also known as AO-73, is transmitting telemetry once again.

Saturday 25th April is International Marconi Day, when special event stations connected to the inventor get on the air all over the world. The Cornish Radio Amateur Club offers two special Award Certificates for working authorised International Marconi Day Award Stations. One is for Transmitting Stations and the other for Short Wave Listeners. The Award Classes and required standards to be achieved are summarised on the internet at www.gb4imd.com

ANZAC day is commemorated on 25 April each year, with 2015 being the 100th anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli. Listen out for the VK100WIA broadcast from Canberra. In Australia eight different ANZAC callsigns are to be on air. Additionally, radio amateurs are able to substitute their normal VK prefixed with AX on both 25th and 26th April. The New Zealand ANZAC callsigns will be on the air for a month. In Turkey, look out for TC100 stations on the air.

The RSGB AGM is taking place on 25th April at 12 noon in the Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, Russell Square, London WC1H 0DG. Doors will be open from 11am until 11.45am for registration and refreshments will be available. Lunch will be available from 1pm at a small charge. All business will be concluded by 4pm. The proceedings will be recorded and made available on the RSGB website. Please pre-register your attendance online at www.rsgb.org/attendagm to help with calculating numbers.

Beacon and repeater insurance arranged via the RSGB is due for renewal on the 29th April. The RSGB is in discussions with the insurers on the renewal terms for the forthcoming year and will advise all current policy holders via email when they are available. The emails will include a link to the RSGB shop to renew. If you do not have any insurance at the moment and wish to purchase it than you may do so via the RSGB website.

Following the report in last week’s GB2RS on the HB9AW 60m propagation beacon success, news has now come in that the HB9AW club are looking for participation from amateurs across Europe to set up a network of unified receiving stations. Each of these stations consists of a loop antenna, an SDR receiver and a data collection computer that sends back the received signal strength information to a central server in Switzerland via the internet. By using standardised stations, the data becomes comparable and will give a more accurate picture of 60 metre propagation across Europe. The complete receiving station costs 220 Swiss Francs, that’s around £160. Those willing to help can find all details on the club website at www.HB9AW.ch

A film production company is looking for help from radio amateurs, particularly those who had a career in the maritime industry. A large portion of the films props are themed around radios, transmitters, receivers and all the equipment that is subsequently related to maritime radio. Portishead Radio Station is one of the sets that is being re-created. There are a series of photos on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/deepwater they are looking to identify the equipment in use. Separately, we have received another request for any information on the Marconi Kestrel transmitter/receiver and the Shannon Mark 3. If you can help with any of these requests, please send an email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

The amateur radio section of ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Documentary Archive Radio Communications QSL Collection will operate OE15M for International Marconi Day. The operation will be from 0000UTC on 24th April to 2359UTC on the 26th. As this is an official International Marconi Day station, contacts made on 25th April are valid for the IMD Award. QSL via OE1WHC via the bureau.

The 432MHz beacon GB3ANG, located just north of Dundee, changed frequency on 13th April to 432.453MHz to comply with the new IARU Region 1 432MHz band plan. The opportunity was taken to replace the old beacon transmitter built by GM8BJF that had been in continuous service for 33 years. The other beacons located at GB3ANG on 70, 144 and 1296MHz remain the same. The installation was done by the beacon keeper, GM4ZUK, with the kind assistance of GM4FEI.

Finally, some news of nets for current and ex Services personnel and their supporters. The Tri-Service Net takes place on Sunday mornings at 9am on 5.403MHz and on Tuesday evenings at 7pm on 5.3985 or 5.395MHz. The Northern Net is at 10am on Sundays on 7.065MHz. RN Nets takes place on Sunday mornings at 8am on 3.667MHz and on Mondays at 7pm on 3.743MHz or 7.065MHz. The DX Net is on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 14:30UTC on 21.410MHz, followed by a CW session. The Stand Easy net is on Wednesdays at 2pm on 7.088MHz. The G0DLH Memorial Net is at 8am on Saturdays on 3.743MHz AM or 7.088MHz. Finally, the Bubblies Net runs every Monday to Saturday morning at 10.30am on 7.065MHz.

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

Today, the 19th, the Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale will be held at Wildhern Village Hall, near Andover, Hampshire SP11 0JE. Doors open at 9am for sellers and 10am for buyers. Email arac@arac.org.uk for more details.

Also today, the 19th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. As well as trade stands there will be a Bring & Buy and special interest groups plus a RSGB bookstall. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Next weekend, on the 26th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place in Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 10am, with traders gaining access from 7am. Admission is £2 and there will be a Bring & Buy and RSGB bookstall. More information from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

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

Now the special event news

Members of Barry Amateur Radio Society will be operating from Flatholm Island, EU-124, from the 24th to 27th April. GB4MBC operations on 25th April will be part of the International Marconi Day operations. Operation will be mainly HF but they also anticipate satellite operations using limited portable equipment during the stay. QSL via MW0DHF.

One of the war graves and memorials for fallen Australians is Polygon Wood in Belgium. To honour those at Polygon Wood, a commemorative callsign OP0PPY will be activated on 25th April, ANZAC Day. See QRZ.com for more details.

Chelmsford ARS will operate GB1STG on St George’s Day, 23rd April, from Galleywood Common, CM2 8TR from 10am to 4pm. operation will be on 40 and 20m.

G8ALB intends to operate GB0PAW from the Wirral in support of Parkinson’s Awareness Week on the 20th to 26th April. The station will operate from approximately 10am to 4pm each day on 80, 40, 30 and 10m as well as 2m and 70cm.

Vince, VK7VH will be operating the Anzac commemorative callsign VI7ANZAC for 7 days, commencing 25th April.

VI4AE2 will operate from the 25th to 30th April to honour of the only Australian naval vessel to serve in the Dardanelles and to breach the Sea of Marmara, the submarine HMAS AE2. More details on QRZ.com.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the IARU, the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society will be active with 9K90IARU until the end of April.

On 25 April, Chelmsford ARS will operate GX0MWT from the historic 2MT Marconi broadcasting hut at Sandford Mill, CM26NY. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

9M2RDX and others will be active as 9M4TI from Redang Island, IOTA reference AS-073, in West Malaysia from the 23rd to 26th April. They will operate CW, SSB and BPSK on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via 9M2RDX, direct only.

Dave, WJ2O will be active as YN/WJ2O from Nicaragua on the 22nd to 30th April. He will operate CW only with a focus on 6m, 160m and the WARC bands. QSL via N2ZN.

Aaron, VA1AXC is will operate as CY0/VA1AXC until the first week of June while on work assignment on Sable Island, IOTA reference NA-063. He is generally active using SSB mainly on 20, 17 and 15 meters, and possibly 60 meters, in his spare time. QSL via JE1LET.

Alexander, HB9FDT is on the air as D44TDK from Sal Island, IOTA referenceAF-086, until 24th April. Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the contest news

Today, the 19th, the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2015 YU DX Contest takes place this weekend in two sections. The first session ended at 0459 today, the 19th, and the second session is from 0900UTC to 1659UTC. The object is to work as many YT and YU stations as possible using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules are online at www.yudx.yu1srs.org.rs/2015/

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

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

For 24 hours over the weekend of 25th and 26th, the SP DX RTTY Contest takes place. Non-SP stations can work anyone and there are multiples for DXCC entities and continents worked. The exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code.

The BARTG Sprint 75 runs for four hours on the evening of Sunday 26th from 1700 to 2100UTC. All activity is on 75 baud RTTY. The contest exchange is a serial number only.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4DDK on Friday the 17th of April

The last week saw some very unsettled conditions in terms of geomagnetic disturbances, just as we predicted. The 14th, 15th and 16th were particularly bad, with the planetary K index hitting five and the solar wind speed exceeding 600 kilometres per second, sparking reports of visible aurora.

The solar flux index leapt up to 155 on the 16th, thanks to a number of sunspot groups appearing on the western limb of the sun. NOAA has the solar flux index forecast for next week in the range 115-135, but it could go higher than this. Continue to expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions with a strong risk of solar flares and associated coronal mass ejections.

On International Marconi Day, the 25th, your best bet to work the UK-based stations is probably 40 metres, 7MHz. If 7MHz doesn't work for you, after dark, revert to 80m or 3.5MHz. There will be lots of Italian stations to work and 20 metres, 14MHz, will be the best band during the day. Look at 7MHz after sunset. To work the stations on the east coast of the USA and Newfoundland, again, 20m or 17m, which is 18MHz, are optimum.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The long run of high-pressure dominated weather is set to continue, although there are indications of a more unsettled theme at the end of the week.

The main area of high pressure will be focused near northern Scotland and this will mean the feed of air across the country, especially in the south, may be dry and less likely to produce good lifts despite the high pressure. However, there are indications that some moister air will flow around the top of the high at times, so it is definitely worth checking the VHF/UHF bands for enhanced conditions.

The Sporadic-E season is under way now and may provide openings on 10m and 6m on occasions during the week. Late morning and late afternoon are the best times to look.

For EME, throughout the coming week the sky temperature is relatively low, but with degradation rising as the moon moves away from the earth towards its apogee. The Moon will be highest in the sky on the afternoons of the 22nd and 23rd.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts the Lyrids meteor shower will peak on the night of the 22nd of April, through to the morning of the 23rd. This is the first significant shower of the spring season.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 12th. April 2015.

April 10, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th April 2015

The news headlines:

  • New Licences

  • World Amateur Radio Day

  • HF National Field Day

All Amateurs are reminded that, if they have not received their new licence from Ofcom by next Tuesday, 14th April, they should either check that their licence details on the Ofcom online portal are correct or contact Ofcom by e-mail on ARL2015@ofcom.org.uk

On Saturday 18th April, radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day 2015. It was on 18th April 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was founded in Paris. The primary purpose of World Amateur Radio Day is to highlight amateur radio and its benefits to countries and communities. Special event stations will be on the air over the 18th and 19th April weekend to highlight World Amateur Radio Day and the IARU’s 90th anniversary. Special event stations will include A43WARD in Oman, KP4FD in Puerto Rico, AU2ARD & VU2MQT in India, W4SNC in the US and CS2015WARD in Portugal

Registration for the RSGB’s HF NFD is now open. From this year, registration will be performed online via the RSGB Contest Committee website. Registration remains open until 10th May. All regulars, previous entrants and first timers are welcome.

The RSGB AGM is taking place on 25th April at 12 noon in the Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, Russell Square, London WC1H 0DG. Doors will be open from 11am until 11.45am for registration and refreshments will be available. A Society bookstall will be open from 11am to 12 noon and again during lunch. Lunch will be available from 1pm at a small charge. Please pre-register your attendance online at www.rsgb.org/attendagm to help with calculating numbers. All business will be concluded by 4pm. The proceedings will be recorded and made available on the RSGB website. There is a link on the front page of the RSGB website and the Society would encourage all those attending to register online.

ANZAC day is commemorated on 25 April each year, with 2015 being the 100th anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli. An official opening broadcast on ANZAC Day from Canberra will primarily involve the national societies of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. The VK100WIA broadcast will be heard at 4.30am New Zealand time on HF if possible, and via the Internet if propagation conditions do not allow a contact. All ANZAC-suffixed callsigns are expected to remain silent until after the broadcast. In Australia eight different ANZAC callsigns are to be on air. Additionally, radio amateurs are able to substitute their normal VK prefixed with AX on both 25th and 26th April. The New Zealand ANZAC callsigns will be on the air for a month. In Turkey, look out for TC100 stations on the air.

Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, has issued an invitation to UK school pupils to contact him via amateur radio whilst he is in space. Tim will launch to the International Space Station in November of this year and will spend 6 months working and living on the ISS. UK school pupils will be able to contact him whilst he is on board the ISS via a scheduled amateur radio link-up. Schools throughout the United Kingdom are being invited to host one of a limited number of these in-flight calls, which will include space workshops. Eligible institutions are invited to apply in order to register their interest. Stage 1 application forms, available from the European Space Education Resource Office website at http://tinyurl.com/ariss-timpeake must be returned no later than Friday 24th April.

HB9AW, a 60m beacon project, is a CW transmitter that sends its callsign at 10W followed by 5 dashes. Each dash is sent for 5s. The first dash is sent at 10W, the second at 5W, then at 1W, at 100mW and the fifth dash at 10mW. The frequency is 5291kHz, occupying a narrow bandwidth of about 100Hz. So far just over 2000 reports have been received from all over Europe, and the 60m beacon has also been heard in America. Reports can be simply entered at the projects website www.hb9aw.ch

A few places are still available on the RSGB Train the Trainers course being run in Norwich on Saturday 9th May. The course will be held at the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club. Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB member who is currently teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level and is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. For further details or to book a place, please e-mail David, G7URP via radio@dcpmicro.com

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

The 31st Yeovil QRP Convention takes place today, 12th April, at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There will be talk-in on S22 and the doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as a lecture stream. More details from Steve, G7AHP, on 01803 666 407.

Also today, the 12th, the 52nd Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open from 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. The RSGB understands that roadworks to improve the A585 Windy Harbour junction may impact travel to the rally. We have been advised that the best route is to use M55 junction 4, not junction 3, in order to avoid temporary signals and a 30mph speed limit. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Next weekend, on the 19th, the Andover Radio and Computer Boot Sale will be held at Wildhern Village Hall, near Andover, Hampshire SP11 0JE. Doors open at 9am for sellers and 10am for buyers. E-mail arac@arac.org.uk for more details.

Also on the 19th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. As well as trade stands there will be a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

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

Now the special event news

Leicester Radio Society will be running a special event station on HF from about 10am until 5pm using GX3LRS at the Hobbies and Pastimes Steam Day today, 12th April. This takes place at the Abbey Pumping Station, LE4 5PX.

One of the war graves and memorials for fallen Australians is Polygon Wood in Belgium. To honour those at Polygon Wood, a commemorative callsign OP0PPY will be activated on 25th April, ANZAC Day. See qrz.com for more details.

Today, 12th April, Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be taking part in Airfields on the Air from Coventry Gliding Club Husbands Bosworth Airfield Leicestershire, as GX2ASF/P.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The DX0P DXpedition to Spratly Island will take place from the 15th to 20th April. The operators will arrive on site on the 14th and take down will be late afternoon on the 20th. Full details at www.DX0P.ORG

Brian, GW4DVB will be operating a mini DXpedition using callsign J88PI from Palm Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is IOTA reference NA-025 from the 13th to 21st April. He will be using an Elecraft KX3 and KXPA100 power amp for 100W into a 10m vertical antenna and an off centre fed dipole. Details, including QSL information, at www.g4dvb.co.uk/

The Puerto Rico Field Day Group once again will be on the air, this time as KP4FD/IARU, to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day on Saturday, 18th April.

Amine, 7X2VB will be on the air as 7U7WARD from the 17th to 19th April to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day.

Charlie, VK3ZD is active as VK9NW from North West Island, OC-142, in the Coral Sea until 20th April. Activity will be mainly on 20 metres, but also on 40 and 15 metres. QSL via home call direct, eQSL or LoTW.

Dino, VE7NX will be active as P4/VE7NX from Aruba, SA-036, until 24th April. He will be working mostly CW, but may switch to SSB if needed. QSL via VE7NX.

Now the contest news

Today, 12th April, the first 50MHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain Data contest takes place today, 12th April, from 1200-2200UTC. This is on 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands and the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 3rd May. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

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

On Sunday the 19th the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2015 YU DX Contest takes place next weekend in two sections. From 2100UTC on the 18th to 0459 on the 19th, then from 0900UTC to 1659UTC on the 19th. The object is to work as many YT and YU stations as possible using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules at www.yudx.yu1srs.org.rs/2015/

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4DDK on Friday the 10th of April.

Last week we said that the sun was virtually clear, but spots have a habit of popping up from nowhere. This is exactly what did happen, pushing the solar flux index to a high of 126. Geomagnetic conditions were relatively settled, helping to improve HF propagation. This high declined as the week went on and was down to 106 at the time of writing. So once again the western edge of the sun is looking blank.

This week NOAA has its solar flux index prediction at around 135 with geomagnetic conditions remaining settled for the first half of the week an A index of only five. Conditions may deteriorate later in the week with the A index increasing to 20 on the 16th. There remains a chance of moderate flares and radio blackouts.

The optimum working frequency on paths from the UK to South Africa will be 28MHz, with a reliability of around 90% from noon to late afternoon. Ten metres may also open to Brazil with a reliability of about 75%, although 24MHz may be better.

Sixty metres, or 5MHz, and forty metres, or 7MHz, remain the bands of choice for HF contacts around the UK, with 80m, or 3.5MHz, taking over after sunset.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week’s tropo lift provided some activity on the VHF and UHF bands. These openings are not that frequent, but this time of year can be useful as large areas of sea fog around the coasts provide ideal 'tropo bridges’ into the Continent.

After a couple of cold fronts over this weekend disrupt the lift, the coming week will see a return of high pressure in the south, but there are signs of this one being shorter duration and less developed, so take advantage when you can.

The countdown to the Sporadic-E season is under way and it is well worth checking 10m for beacon activity and then 6m, typically from mid April. Remember late morning and late afternoon are the two peak times in the day for Es.

Moon declination will increase during the week, which will increase available moon time for EME. Degradation will decrease as the moon waxes and also moves closer to the Earth at perigee.

The Lyrids meteor shower peaks on the 23rd. From Thursday expect the meteor count to slowly start rising.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 5th. April 2015.

April 2, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th April 2015

The news headlines:

  • New spectrum available for digital experiments

  • Website helps find training and exams

  • Amateurs to mark Gallipoli centenary

Ofcom has agreed the use of 70.5MHz to 71.5MHz by radio amateurs for digital experimentation. Use will be permitted only via a Special Research Permit. Additional information regarding the specific conditions are on the News section of the RSGB website. Further details of the application process will be published in due course.

The RSGB is pleased to announce the launch of a new service on its website. The UK Course and Exam Finder allows you to search for specific courses, or for exam centres, in your area. Please go to www.rsgb.org/find-courses and enter your town or postcode.

To mark the Centenary of the World War I battle at Gallipoli, three IARU member societies will remember the original Australian and New Zealand Army Corp and the Ottoman Empire soldiers who did battle at Gallipoli in Turkey. In Turkey at least two commemorative callsigns have been allocated. TC100GLB is for Battle of Gallipoli while TC100GP is the Centenary of Gallipoli. In Australia on ANZAC Day, the 25th April, there will be eight ANZAC-suffixed callsigns from each state or territory and the national capital of Canberra. The WIA website www.wia.org.au has nearly 40 events listed. All VK radio amateurs may also use the alternative callsign prefix AX on the 25th and 26th April. Across the Tasman Sea the NZART will have ZL100ANZAC on air for a month. A team of 20 DXers will be on air in DX-style from ANZAC Day.

Following disquiet about the adjudication of a recent RSGB Contest, the Board has asked RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL, to conduct a broad review of the key aspects of contest management. In addition the Board has asked the Contest Committee to suspend and then revisit the disputed results after the review has concluded. The Board has considerable confidence in the Contest Committee, and is sure that together with representatives of the contest community they will rise to the challenge of ensuring that RSGB Contests continue to be well respected and attract top contesters as well as new entrants. John would like to draw together a review team of up to 20 people with a range of interests within the UK contesting community. If you would like to be part of the review team, and have the time commitment for participating in this work, please contact John via g3wkl@rsgb.org.uk 

The RSGB’s EMC committee currently needs an advisor coordinator to moderate the emc-matters forum, help members with their EMC enquiries and collate short summaries to aid in other aspects of the work. The committee is also looking for a committee secretary to coordinate the meetings and minutes. If you already have specialist EMC skills you could help with the standards work, lobbying, lead some investigations or help with publications. For more details about what the committee does, visit the Technical section of the RSGB website plus if you can help, please contact John Rogers, M0JAV on 07836 731 544 or via email to emc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB has launched a photo competition. The winning photo will be used as the profile picture for the RSGB’s Twitter account that will be updated in a few weeks. There is only a short time to take part and the deadline for entries is 12th April, so please encourage your friends and colleagues in amateur radio to enter. We will launch it on Twitter and then on Facebook, but further details and the terms and conditions are on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/photocomp

The annual Mills on the Air weekend takes place on the 9th and 10th May. Any individual or club taking part should register their stations on the Denby Dale ARS website www.g4cdd.net or www.mills-on-the-air.net

Amateur Radio Roundtable is a live weekly amateur radio webcast that can be seen at W5KUB.com every week at 0100UTC on Wednesdays. The show covers all aspects of ham radio, such as balloon launches, satellite, go-kits, emergency communications, SDR, digital modes, DXing, homebrewing, and much more. To watch Amateur Radio Roundtable go to W5KUB.com, click on Live Events and sign in with your existing User Name and Password. If you don’t have a user name and password, just enter your call or name, leave the password blank and hit sign in.

The current IOTA Honour Roll and Annual Listings have been updated on the IOTA website. 168 participants have more than 1000 IOTA references confirmed, another 484 more than 750. Details at www.rsgbiota.org/info/

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

There are no rallies taking place over the Easter weekend, the 3rd to 6th April. The next is the 31st Yeovil QRP Convention, which will take place on 12th April at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There will be talk-in on S22 and the doors open at 9.30am. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as a lecture stream. More details from Steve, G7AHP, on 01803 666 407.

Also on 12th April the 52nd Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open from 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. The RSGB understands that roadworks to improve the A585 Windy Harbour junction may impact travel to the rally. We have been advised that the best route is to use M55 junction 4, not junction 3, in order to avoid temporary signals and a 30mph speed limit. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

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

Now the special event news

Bushvalley ARC will be active as GB8RAF from two locations for the RAF Airfields on the Air activation period until 12th April. The two weekends will be split between RAF Eglinton for one day and RAF Ballykelly for one day. More information is on QRZ.com.

West Manchester radio club is holding a special event on Bank Holiday Monday 6th April using the callsign GB2EFD. The event is being hosted by the Tyldesley Town Partnership at Astley Street Park, Astley Street, Tyldesley, Manchester M29 7BB. All are welcome to this local community event. Starting at 11am they will be working HF, 2m, 70cm and D-Star.

Leicester Radio Society will be running a special event station on HF from about 10am until 5pm using GX3LRS at the Hobbies and Pastimes Steam Day on 12th April. This takes place at the Abbey Pumping Station, LE4 5PX.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Anja, DH2AK and Torsten, DL1THM will be on holiday on Curacao Island, IOTA reference SA-099, until 23rd April. They will operate as PJ2/homecall, mostly on SSB/RTTY on the high bands. QSL via their home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

3A90IARU is the special callsign for the Association of Radio Amateur of Monaco to use until 30th June in celebration of the 90th anniversary of IARU. QSL via 3A2ARM, direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World.

Look for 5W0JY, 5W0KJ, 5W0MA and 5W0VE to be active from Apia, Samoa, OC-097, from the 9th to 15th April. They will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on all bands with a couple of stations. Individual QSL information is on QRZ.com.

Alex, IW5ELA will be active holiday style as TK/IW5ELA from Calvi, Corsica, EU-014, until the 9th April. He will operate mainly CW using the 10 to 40m bands. All of the QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau.

Now the contest news

Today, the 5th, the first RoPoCo contest takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz band you send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full postcode. In subsequent QSOs you send the postcode that you received in each of your previous QSOs. Should you receive a postcode that is obviously corrupted, which is not unusual, pass it on as received. This contest is all about logging accuracy and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces the error you won’t lose points. Bear in mind that some Continental postcodes also creep into the proceedings. This is a surprisingly challenging contest, with the same power limit for everyone – 100 watts.

Also on 5th April the first 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The first of this year’s SP DX Contests ends its 24 hour operation at 1500UTC today, the 5th. The modes in this one are CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. Only contacts with SP stations count for points. Send a signal report and expect to receive a signal report and single-letter Province code, with 16 to collect. There are lots of sections, mostly for single-op stations.

The CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place on 6th April from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest takes place on Easter Monday afternoon, the 6th, from 1300 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations also sending their county.

On 12th April the first 50MHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain Data contest takes place next Sunday, 12th April, from 1200-2200UTC. This is on 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands and the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 3rd May. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4DDK on Thursday the 2nd of April

First, as we are now into April, please ensure that you are using the correct smoothed sunspot number of 61 with your VOACAP-based propagation programs.

Over the past week the solar flux index continued in the range 120-130. The prediction for the coming week is for ‘more of the same’, with the SFI around 135-145. This may look a little optimistic as the current image of the sun shows no new sunspots appearing around the western limb. However, as recent experience has shown us, new sunspots can pop out of nowhere so time will tell.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be settled, which could bring good HF conditions.

As we move into April, HF conditions decline a little on the upper bands as we move towards summer. For example, on the path between the UK and New York, the optimum working frequency is now around 18MHz, whereas last month it was 21MHz. But on more southerly paths, such as the UK to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the optimum working frequency continues to be 24MHz.

The end of the month should see the return of Sporadic-E conditions, predominantly on 28MHz and 50MHz, although Sporadic-E affects all HF bands from 14MHz upwards.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

At long last there are indications of a prolonged period of high pressure over the British Isles, which will be great news for VHF and UHF folk, as well as good news for those having the Easter week off as holiday. The area of high pressure will probably produce sustained lift conditions after a few days, as a temperature inversion becomes established and produces the ducting conditions necessary for VHF and UHF openings.

As we said earlier, we are also near the start of the Sporadic-E season, especially in southern Europe and on the upper HF / lower VHF bands like 10m, and 6m, so it is always worth checking the beacons. This rule also applies for VHF / UHF tropo. Beacons are important tools, so thank you to the beacon keepers for a great resource.

For EME, the Moon declination decreases to a minimum on the 10th, with sky noise and degradation increasing during the coming week. There are no major meteor showers due in the coming week.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 29th. March 2015.

March 27, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Eclipse Experiment yields data

  • G3TXF wins Cass Award for ZD9XF DXpedition

  • Amateurs run community broadcast radio station

The RSGB’s solar eclipse radio experiments on 20th March were deemed a great success. Radio amateurs took part in a wide range of experiments on many bands, including a QSO party on 160, 80m and 40m. The use of the reverse beacon network and Morse code meant that the received signal to noise ratios of those taking part could be automatically logged. Other stations, including some in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, used WSPR, the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, to test propagation on paths around Europe. All this data is now available for RSGB Members to download and analyse themselves on the RSGB’s Radio Propagation Questions forum on the RSGB website. A lot of analysis can now be done to look at specific paths and times using the data that were collected and Propagation Studies Committee Chair, Steve Nichols, G0KYA, would like to thank everyone who took part in the experiments. A full report will appear in a future edition of RadCom.

The Cass Award encourages DXpedition operating excellence and the 2014 Single-Operator Cass Award has been won by Nigel Cawthorne, G3TXF. Congratulations Nigel. It was awarded for his DXpedition to the island of Tristan da Cunha as ZD9XF in September 2014 where he worked 9314 unique stations during the first 14 days of his one-man DXpedition. The award states that it demonstrated an outstanding effort to log as many DXers as possible and set a new Single-Operator Cass Award record. Club Log founder Michael, G7VJR presented Nigel with his plaque and prize at the CDXC Annual Dinner is on 21st March.

Community broadcast radio station Cambridge 105 is a voluntary organisation with over ten radio amateurs involved. On Good Friday, 3rd April, they are going back to the days of pirate radio and setting up a completely analogue studio on the Riverboat Georgina, moored on the River Cam. The day's music will cover the whole pirate radio era, from the 60s to early 90s when the final stations closed. However they have also teamed up with the DARC team who took over Deutsche Welle's short wave licence on 6070kHz and, for the duration of the broadcast, Cambridge 105 will be relayed across Europe on their 10kW transmitter in southern Germany, near Munich. Dom, M0BLF will be managing QSL cards for any SWLs who hear them on 6070kHz on the day. Anyone wanting to listen can do so on 105MHz FM, online at http://cambridge105.fm or, between 10am and 10pm on Good Friday, on 6070kHz.

Three more RSGB Train the Trainers days will take place in the coming months. Available free to any RSGB Member involved with training, these events are for those with no professional background in teaching. You will learn additional skills for working with a class and find the best way to help individuals understand the material. The next Train the Trainers day is on 9th May in Norwich. In order to book a place, please email David, G7URP via radio@dcpmicro.com. The second is in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June and is now open for bookings. To claim your place at this location, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk. Finally, another RSGB Train the Trainers day event will take place in Merthyr Tydfil, on Saturday 11th July. Please contact Jimmy, MW0EQL, via mw0eql@googlemail.com for bookings and further details.

The 2015 reunion of the Radio Security Service will take place at Bletchley Park on 10th May. Registration will be from 10am and the meeting starts promptly at 10.30am. The venue for the meeting will be in a different building this year, the Teleprinter Hall. Please contact rssreunion@aol.com for further information if you wish to attend.

To celebrate the 90th anniversaries of the International Amateur Radio Union and French national Society as well as the 150th anniversary of the International Telecommunications Union, several special event stations from different French areas or entities will be on the air. The first is TO90IARU that will be on the air from the 4th to the 18th April from Martinique.

Shortwave Radio in World War II is a 59-minute version of the 1944 film Voice of Victory that tells the story of how Hallicrafters developed the WWII SCR299 military shortwave radio from the pre-war HT-4 amateur radio set. You can watch Shortwave Radio in World War II: Voice of Victory 1944 Hallicrafters at www.tinyurl.com/GB2RS-329

The ITU deployed emergency telecommunication equipment to Vanuatu following the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 tropical storm that hit the archipelago on 13th March. They dispatched 40 satellite phones, 10 broadband global area network terminals and 35 solar panels to the island nation to support relief coordination efforts. Cyclone Pam slammed into the Vanuatu archipelago. Winds are estimated to have reached 250km/h, with gusts peaking at around 320km/h, causing damage to the infrastructure, impacting services such as electricity. The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all who had been there struggling to recognise damaged landmarks shown on TV news.

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

Today, the 29th, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2,. There will be a Bring & Buy. Details from Roger by email to 2e0rph@gmail.com

The Ripon Radio Rally will take place in Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT, 100m west of the High Skellgate traffic lights on the B6265 today, the 29th of March. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as refreshments available. The organisers warn prospective visitors that the Bring & Buy is upstairs, so if you can't carry it, don't bring it! Email rally@ripon.org.uk for further details.

There are no rallies taking place over the Easter weekend, the 3rd to 6th April. The next is the 31st Yeovil QRP Convention, which will take place on 12th April at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There will be talk-in on S22 and the doors open from 9.30am to 3pm. Admission is £3 and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as a lecture stream. More details from Steve, G7AHP, on 01803 666 407.

Also on 12th April the 52nd Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held at Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open from 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

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

Now the special event news

Bushvalley ARC will active as GB8RAF from two locations during the RAF Airfields On The Air activation period of 28th March to 12th April. They will be at RAF Ballykelly today, the 29th. The following two weekends will be split between RAF Eglinton for one day and RAF Ballykelly for one day. More information is on QRZ.com.

West Manchester radio club is holding a special event on Bank Holiday Monday 6th April using the callsign GB2EFD. The event is being hosted by the Tyldesley town partnership at Astley Street Park, Astley Street. Tyldesley, Manchester M29 7BB. All are welcome to this local community event. Starting at 11am they will be working HF, 2m, 70cm and D-Star.

The GM0RAY event organised by Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET Group for 5th April in Gourock has had to be cancelled.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Marc, DU9/ON5SM will visit the Philippines until 25th April operating from Mindanao, IOTA reference OC-130. Using a Kenwood TS480SAT and 300W PA, Signalink DIGImodem into a GB5RV, 6 band Hexbeam and a 10m vertical with CG3000 antenna tuner he plans to be as active as possible. A special QSL card for these contacts can be sent via the bureau to those who wish.

A short operation from the Brazilian island of Trindade, SA-010, will take place from 2nd to 4th April. Trindade is a separate DXCC entity and is normally inhabited by a small detachment of Brazilian naval personnel. The callsign will be PQ0T and they hope to be active on the 6 to 160m bands. QSL manager is PP5BZ.

The Pacific island of Nauru, OC-031, will be on the air until 4th April. A team of 4 operators will sign C21EU and be on 40 – 10m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSLs go via DL2AWG.

A holiday-style activation will be on the air until 2nd April from the Maldive Islands, AS-013, by Ben, DL1RNT, who will sign 8Q7NT. Operation will be mainly CW on 40 – 10m. QSLs go via the home call.

Keith, GM4YXI/GM5X and Chris, GM3WOJ/GM2V will be on the air from Weno Island, OC-011, as V6Z until 9th April. A part time entry in the CQ WW WPX SSB contest in the M/2 category is planned. QSL via N3SL.

Now the contest news

Please note that contest times are given as UTC, which is an hour behind local clock time in the UK now that British Summer Time came in at 1am on the 29th.

The second – and final – major American contest is the SSB leg of CQWW WPX running for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC tonight, the 29th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, on the 5th, the first RoPoCo contest takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz band you send a signal report plus, for your first QSO, your own full postcode. In subsequent QSOs you send the postcode that you received in each of your previous QSOs. Should you receive a postcode that is obviously corrupted, which is not unusual, pass it on as received. This contest is all about logging accuracy and as long as you aren’t the person who introduces the error you won’t lose points. Bear in mind that some Continental postcodes also creep into the proceedings. This is a surprisingly challenging contest, with the same power limit for everyone – 100 watts.

Also on 5th April the first 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The first of this year’s SP DX Contests takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of 4-5th, that’s the Easter weekend, from 1500 to 1500UTC. The modes in this one are CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. Only contacts with SP stations count for points. Send a signal report and expect to receive a signal report and single-letter Province code, with 16 to collect. There are lots of sections, mostly for single-op stations.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of March.

Last week’s solar eclipse was a great opportunity to try out some propagation experiments. Many listeners reported the enhanced reception of distant medium wave stations at the time of maximum eclipse as the D layer of the ionosphere became less absorbing. The other data are currently being analysed for a feature in RadCom.

This week has shown how hard it can be to accurately predict solar conditions. NOAA had indicated that it expected the solar flux index to be around 100-110. In fact, at the time of writing, it was edging towards 140, thanks to a host of new sunspots. These, coupled with relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions with the K index often around two, have brought excellent HF conditions with the bands wide open to many parts of the world.

This week, predictions place the solar flux index in the range 130-140, but with continuing unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The K index could reach as high as five on Sunday 29th, due to a particle stream from a recurrent coronal hole, and four towards the end of the week. This suggests that HF conditions could be variable, with auroral-type conditions at times, which could impact signals on polar paths. Maximum usable frequencies are likely to be depressed as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week is starting fairly windy and unsettled, with high pressure to the south of the UK, which is almost good enough, but unfortunately insufficient to develop a robust temperature inversion, and certainly not in the northern half of the UK; so expect initially marginal to flat tropo conditions.

Any hopes of slightly better conditions rest upon a weak ridge developing over southern England in the second half of the week. A recent model predicts a stronger high over Britain by Friday, with some prospect of lift conditions. So don’t give up on this week, and remember there’s always aircraft scatter to give us DX on the higher bands.

The 2015 Es season should be getting underway soon, typically in mid April from the UK on the lower VHF bands, and the 22nd to 23rd April Lyrids meteor shower is only three weeks away.

The Moon reaches apogee on Thursday meaning highest path losses and declination is decreasing giving shorter Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd. March 2015.

March 20, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd March 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB supports ISS work in schools

  • Technical Excellence Award for George Dobbs

  • GB3PY celebrating 40 years of UHF speech repeaters

The Radio Society of Great Britain has announced its participation in a programme designed to enthuse and encourage young people throughout the United Kingdom into Amateur Radio and a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, will launch to the International Space Station in November of this year and will spend six months working and living on board the ISS. Tim has issued a challenge to school pupils to contact him on board the ISS via Amateur Radio through a scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS contact.

The RSGB is delighted to announce that schools, who apply successfully to be part of this exciting programme, will be able to put forward students to represent them by making the radio call to Tim on orbit. These students will have to obtain their Full Amateur Radio Licence to be eligible to operate the radio and one lucky student at each ARISS Amateur Radio contact will be responsible for making contact with the Space Station.

The RSGB will assist schools taking part in this programme by providing training courses to help students obtain their Amateur Radio licence and, in partnership with ARISS, will provide all necessary technical support.

RadCom author and famous QRPer George Dobbs, G3RJV has been awarded the Dayton Hamvention Technical Excellence Award for a lifetime of work for QRP. He has helped many amateur radio operators build their own equipment as well as writing columns in both Practical Wireless and RadCom and books on the subject. Congratulations George. Other winners are Tim Duffy, K3LR who was awarded Amateur of the Year and Thomas Medlin, W5KUB who received the Special Achievement Award.

The UHF repeater GB3PY turns 40 years old in March and to celebrate this anniversary of the first ever UHF voice repeater in the UK being licensed, GB3PY will be using the callsign GB40PY for the rest of the year, with immediate effect. Ofcom have issued an NoV and Cambridgeshire Repeater Group will be running a number of events to commemorate the anniversary of PY's "birth".

Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu last weekend. Recovery is expected to take a very long time. The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all those who have been there in the past struggling to recognise damaged landmarks now being shown on TV news. Like other countries in the region very few local radio amateurs exist, and no communication has been heard from many islands.

The FUNcube team are pleased to announce that the Data Warehouse has received two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world. FUNcube-1 (AO-73) was launched on 21st November, 2013 and since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage.

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

The Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place today, 22nd March, from the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. It is a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. Details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

Reading & District Amateur Radio Club has one of their twice yearly junk sales on Thursday 26th March. The rules are on their website www.radarc.org

Next Sunday, the 29th, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2,. There will be a Bring & Buy. Details from Roger by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com

The Ripon Radio Rally will take place in Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT, 100m west of the High Skellgate traffic lights on the B6265 on Sunday 29th March. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as refreshments available. The organisers warn prospective visitors that the Bring & Buy is upstairs, so if you can't carry it, don't bring it! E-mail rally@ripon.org.uk for further details

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 the special event news

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be activating Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin Mountains on Sunday 22nd March. This field day type event, using the callsign MN0VFW, will allow members the opportunity to work stroke portable from the view point carpark. Those more willing and able will make the short trek to the top at 528m ASL to activate the actual summit. The SOTA reference is GI/SM 007. They plan to be on air between 10am and early afternoon on HF, VHF and UHF.

RAF Air Cadets from No2 Welsh Wing will have two stations operating on this year’s RAFARS Airfields on the Air. GB6RAF will be active on various dates until 29th March from RAF Hawarden in Flintshire using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m and 70cm. Then GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 30th March and 26th April from RAF Rednal in Shropshire using the 10 to 40m bands.

Woody's Top Youth Hostel in Lincolnshire will be the venue for the 2015 GB1BST Special Event Station, celebrating the start of British Summer Time. Operating from the 27th to 29th March the site is on the Greenwich Meridian between Louth and Horncastle. Radio operations are scheduled to start late on the 27th with test transmissions on the 40m, 20m, 17m and 2m bands, which will be used during the weekend event. GB1BST has been organised by the Youth Hostels Amateur Radio Group and the Phoenix Radio Group with help from several clubs in the region. Local radio hams are invited to visit the station, and to help run it over the weekend.

Riviera ARC will take part in Airfields on the Air on 28th and 29th March from the ex RAF airfield at Haldon just outside of Teignmouth using the callsign GB4AOA. The station will comprise a Kenwood TS-590S and an offset Carolina Windom. The station will concentrate mainly on 40m SSB and 2m FM. Special QSLs are available and contacts with GB4AOA count towards the RAFARS awards for this event.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Joe, LA5UF will operate from Easter Island, SA-001, as CE0Y/LA5UF until the 31st March. He hopes to be on the 10 to 40m bands using CW. QSLs should go directly to his home address.

Guy, F5MNW, returns to Reunion Island, AF-016, as FR/F5MNW until 14th April. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

Joe, LU1FM, will be active as 5J0B from San Andres Island, NA-033, until 4th April. Using the 6 to 160m bands on SSB and digital modes he will also be on during the WPX contest. QSL via LU1FM using ClubLog OQRS.

Hannes, OE1SGU, will be active as DU1/OE1SGU from Luzon Island, OC-042, between 24th March and 21st April. Operation will be holiday-style on the 6 to 40m bands using CW and digital modes. QSL via OE1SGU using Logbook of the World and OQRS.

Now the contest news

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its 48 hour run at 0200UTC on Monday 23rd. It is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Exchange a signal report, serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1200UTC on today, the 22nd. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. Running on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations adding the Oblast code.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK EI Contest Club 80m contest series continues on Wednesday 25th. This month it’s a CW session. These monthly one hour contests are different. They are timed to coincide with the hours of darkness over most of the UK, Ireland and Europe. They are open to all stations anywhere to enter, and the scoring is distance based. Taking place from 2000 to 2100UTC the exchange is just your 4-character locator.

The second – and final – major American contest is the SSB leg of CQWW WPX on 28th and 29th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged. Running from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359 on the 29th the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week we warned you of more potential solar flares and coronal mass ejections hitting the Earth and it looks like we were right. On Tuesday 17th a major geomagnetic storm took place, pushing the Kp index to eight.

The immediate reaction was an increase in signal levels on 10m with many Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian stations workable, albeit with QSB, as the maximum useable frequency headed towards 29MHz. Scotland was audible in southern UK on 10m too. Signals then turned auroral with characteristic Dalek-sounding USB signals and hissing CW on both 2, 6 and 10m. This was one of the best auroral openings on VHF for some time.

The following day the K index was still at five and MUFs were very depressed.

The other highlight of the week was the eclipse on Friday 20th. There were lots of radio activities planned, but at the time of writing it was too early to say what the outcomes were.

This week the solar flux index should remain in the range 100-110. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions will continue, with K indices of four forecast for Monday. Next weekend could be just as bad, so look out for pre-auroral enhancements on HF, followed by auroral conditions on 6m and 10m, perhaps even 2m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Watch out for further auroral conditions on VHF if the sun is still active.

We start the week with an area of high pressure over the south of the country declining, along with any lift conditions, as a cold front crosses from the west today. A new high will build from the west across northern Britain by midweek, but this may only produce a temporary lift as it sinks south and into the continent. Indeed other models are less enthusiastic about this second high. So some chances for lift conditions, but not a 'dead cert'.

The good news is that it’s not long to wait now for the new Es season to get under way, possibly from mid to late April, and definitely from May onwards, from the UK on 10m and 6m.

No meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings. The Moon’s declination continues to increase this week giving longer Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week with losses starting low but reaching maximum next weekend.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th. March 2015.

March 13, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio Licence published

  • Eclipse radio plans refined

  • RSGB Youth Committee news

Following the recent notification sent to licensees of the proposal to vary the Amateur Radio Licence, Ofcom has now published a Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio licence. The new licence document, which will have effect from 7th April 2015 has also been published on the Ofcom website. Licensees who received a notification dated 30th January are not covered by this. Their licences will be the subject of a separate Notice, which Ofcom will publish in the course of the next couple of weeks. The RSGB is informed that Ofcom will send new licences to all the above licensees in the week of 23rd March. Where Ofcom have an e-mail address (about 60,000 licensees) the licence will go by e-mail. In other cases, licences will be posted. If new licenses have not been received by 14th April please contact Ofcom via ARL2015@ofcom.org.uk or via the online licensing system. For more information please go to the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/novlicence

With the solar eclipse now less than a week away, we should start with an apology. When we last mentioned the various experiments we said that the UK would experience up to 89% totality. Of course, in Shetland, they will experience 97% totality. Our apologies to all those living there, we really hope that they have a cloudless day for their visual observations. The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is keen to make sure that everyone is aware of the activities taking place on the morning of Friday 20th March. The partial eclipse starts in the Midlands at about 0825UTC on the 20th and ends at 1041UTC. Maximum eclipse will be at about 0930UTC. This is a great opportunity to try some experiments to see how the sun’s ultraviolet output affects our ionosphere and how some radio waves are propagated. A wide range of experiments are planned and details can be found at http://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1515. There will be an RSGB QSO Party on 160, 80 and 40m, using CW and PSK63, as well as experiments using CW skimmers and WSPR. Other experiments will involve Opera transmissions on 477kHz and beacons. All radio enthusiasts are encouraged to take part.

Three young people have been chosen by the Youth Committee to represent the RSGB at the Italian YOTA event in July. They are Dan, M0WUT, Cristos, M0WCK and Ricky, MW6GWR. Sadly, the leader for the event has had to pull out and so the RSGB is looking for a replacement. You should ideally be a teacher or someone with experience in working with young people. E-mail youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk for further details.

A team of amateur radio astronomers from around the world have been making observations of hydrogen spectra using the G4NNS EME system near Andover as an L band radio telescope. By studying hydrogen spectra it is possible to gain insights into the shape and motion of our Galaxy. It is the unexpected motion of the galaxy that gave rise to the discovery of dark matter. As part of British Science Week, between the 13th and 22nd March, the observatory will be open twice daily for live observations and a presentation of how the galaxy's shape and motion can be revealed using radio astronomy. This event is free but as space in the shack is limited, it must be booked in advance by e-mail or phone . Contact brian-coleman@tiscali.co.uk or 01264 773342.

While World War 1 centenary activities began in 2014, the focus by the Australian community has always been on ANZAC Day, celebrated on the 25th April each year. ANZAC Day initially honoured the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, or ANZAC, soldiers who took part in WWI, and has since been extended to commemoratively reflect on all conflicts involving Australian and New Zealand forces. The Wireless Institute of Australia, WIA is supporting the many community events being held in Australia and the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, with its own ANZAC Centenary Award, special callsigns and other activities. The ANZAC 100 program coordinator is Fred Swainston, VK3DAC, who can be contacted via vk3dac@wia.org.au and further programme details are on the WIA website at www.wia.org.au

Lambda-Sat, the first Greek CubeSat, was released from the International Space Station on 4th March and its developers have invited radio amateurs around the world to listen for its signal and to file reports. The 1U CubeSat transmits AX.25-protocol UI packets at 1200bps AFSK on 437.462MHz. The 1W transmitter identifies as KK6DFZ. Lambda-Sat was constructed entirely by young volunteers from Greece, who travelled to Silicon Valley to participate in this project. More details are online at www.cyhams.org

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

The Dover Radio Rally will take place today, 15th March in Whitfield Village hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3LY. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at 12.30pm. The rally ends at 1pm. Entrance price for visitors is £2. Details are online at www.darc.org.uk.

The 40th Dutch National Radio Flea market takes place on 21st March at Rosmalen, just off the A59 motorway in Holland. Talk-in is available on PI4SHB, 145.500MHz, and the doors open at 9am. See www.radiovlooienmarkt.nl for details.

The Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on 21st March in the Millenium Memorial Hall, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. More from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

The Hack Green Bunker Rally takes place on 22nd March from the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. It is a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am. Details from Lucy on 01270 623 353.

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

Now the special event news

Farnborough and District Radio Society is celebrating half a century of support and promotion of amateur radio. G50FRS will be operating until 30th November this year. They run club nets every Monday on 1995kHz and Friday on 144.675MHz both at 8pm and welcome anyone to join in. 

GB0SGS will be on air on the 16th and 17th March from St. Georges School, Wrotham Kent as part of British Science Week. The station will be run by Kevin, G0PEK along with 9 year old Lauren, M6HLR. The two days will be split into two sessions of two hours each and have a theme of ‘how far can we instantly send a message?’ They plan to use PMR446 around the school field before moving on to 145MHz, 7 and 14MHz. Lauren will be keeping a diary of the event and reporting back to her own school who have also expressed an interest in running a similar project in the near future.

MX0YHA will be used by Kevin, M0XLT between the 15th and 30th March at Gargrave near Skipton, which is approximately 6 miles from the YHA youth hostels at Malham and Earby in the Yorkshire Dales.

RAF Air Cadets from No2 Welsh Wing will have two stations operating on this year’s RAFARS Airfields on the Air. GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 20th and 29th March from RAF Hawarden in Flintshire using the 10 to 40m bands as well as 2m and 70cm. Then GB6RAF will be active on various dates between the 30th March and 26th April from RAF Rednal in Shropshire using the 10 to 40m bands.

West Tyrone ARC will be running a special event station on 17th March to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. They will be located on the 3rd floor of the Strule Arts Centre, Townhall Square, Omagh, BT78 1BL. Operating from 10am until 5pm, the callsign for the day is GB1SPD.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Lukas, HB9EBT will be active as D44TEG from Sao Tiago, IOTA reference AF-005, from the 15th to 27th March. He will operate CW on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Marc, ON5SM will be active as DU9/ON5SM from Mindanao in the Philippines, OC-130, from 16th March to 25th April. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Bob, G3PJT, is in Grenada, NA-024, as J34G from the 12th to the 25th March using the 10 to 80m bands, mostly on CW. QSL via G3PJT, or Logbook of the World.

Watch out for Rob, N7QT, operating from Montserrat Island, NA-103, until the 25th March. He will be using the 10 to 80m bands on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7QT wither direct or via the bureau and Logbook of the World.

Chas, NK8O is on Bonaire Island, SA-006, from the 17th March until 13th April. He will be on the air as PJ4/NK8O with a QRP rig on 20-10m on CW, maybe also on 40m. QSL via Logbook of the World, eQSL.

Now the contest news

The Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hours run at 10am today, the 15th. As ever there are DXpeditions to some countries that you don’t hear on the bands every day, so for most of us – even if we are not making a serious entry – there are some new or rare ones to work. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, although HQ stations will also send HQ.

Today, the 15th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Africa All Mode International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 15th. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24 hour period. Using the 10 to 160m bands with CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules are at www.africadxcontest.org/

The 2nd Tesla Memorial HF Contest ends at 0800UTC today, the 15th. Everyone works everyone on the 80m band only using CW. Points are based on distance between stations. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Details at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place today, the 15th March, from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th April 2015. Details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs the SSB leg from 2000 to 2130UTC. The report is the usual signal report and serial number.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest starts at 0200UTC on Saturday 21st. It runs for 48 hours on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Exchange a signal report, serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest runs for 24 hours starting 1200UTC on Saturday 21st. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. Running on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations adding the Oblast code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of March.

Last week we said that the sun's surface was looking a little bare, but that was before sunspot region 2297 erupted. This new area has helped keep the solar flux index around 120-130, but has spawned a number of solar flares. This region has so far produced an X2.2 flare, along with four moderate M-class flares.

These had the effect of severely affecting the ionosphere on the sunlit side of the earth, causing massive absorption, especially on the lower HF bands. The Colorado Digisonde shows the X-class flare event on Wednesday 11th wiped its plots completely up to around 10MHz for about 30 minutes. At the time of writing no associated coronal mass ejection had hit the earth. Region 2297 will be with us for a while yet, so expect more flare activity and possible CMEs, which can have the effect of reducing maximum usable frequencies.

Looking ahead to next week, the solar flux index should remain around the 120 mark according to NOAA, with increasing risk of geomagnetic disturbances.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week, the somewhat enhanced VHF/UHF conditions are likely to continue, especially at first, with a seasonally typical large high over Scandinavia extending a ridge across the British Isles and giving some lift conditions in most areas.

The Scandinavian high will slowly decline and propagation will become flatter again over the UK as a more unsettled weather type takes over from midweek; probably with an early ‘April showers’ flavour so there may be some daytime rain scatter options available from afternoon cumulonimbus clouds.

Some models do keep the tropo hope alive by rebuilding a new high from the south-west temporarily. The (TEP) openings from Southern Europe on 50MHz continue in the early evening so stations in the extreme south-west of the UK should keep alert for any brief extensions northward.

Again, no meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings. The Moon is at minimum declination today, so there will be short but increasing Moon windows for UK EME operators in the coming week with losses at a minimum Wednesday through Friday.

Overall, it’s a week of opportunity for the VHF/UHF/Microwave bands. And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th. March 2015.

March 6, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th March 2015

The news headlines:

  • Places still available on Youth Dxpedition

  • Eclipse QSO Party announced

  • Commonwealth Contest prompts DXpeditioners

5 places remain on the DXpedition to Wales from the 23rd to 30th July, organised by the RSGB Youth Committee. If you are under 26 and an RSGB Member why not join the group and take part in a week of radio? It only costs £50 for the whole week and the RSGB will cover travel costs. To apply, or to find out more, please e-mail the youth coordinator, Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk by the 10th of March.

Recently, the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee announced the Eclipse Propagation Experiment for the morning of 20th March. The UK will experience up to 89% totality on that day, which is likely to reduce the effect of the D layer of the ionosphere above the UK. This could mean that stations may be heard on the lower HF bands that would otherwise be inaudible during the day. As part of the experiment, an Eclipse QSO Party is being organised for the 1.8, 3.5 and 7MHz bands. This is not a contest, but some of the RSGB Contest Committee software and web facilities will be used to collect and display activity reports. Any radio amateurs who are available are invited to take part – more details will be published over the next two weeks. Current information is at www.g0kya.blogspot.com

A number of RSGB members are heading off on trips for the Commonwealth Contest next weekend. Look out for G3LET as VY2GQ from Prince Edward Island, IOTA NA-029, G3VYI/VP9 from Bermuda, NA-005, G4CWI as ZF2CA from Cayman, NA-016, G3RWF as 5Z4LS from Kenya, G3XAQ as 5X1XA from Uganda and G3PJT as J34G from Grenada, NA-024. The contest is on the 14th and 15th of March.

Starting today, the 8th of March, the GB2RS transmission at 1000 on 40m from Germany will move to a new frequency of 7.127MHz. This change is being made to accommodate contest activity that competes for spectrum on the band. Our thanks go to G3SIB/DJ0OK and M0DXM/DJ2XB for their continued support of the GB2RS news service. The 1030 reading of the news from Stornaway by GM3JIJ will continue on 7.150MHz as normal.

The Chiltern DX Club holds its annual dinner on the 21st March at the Calcot Hotel, Reading, Berkshire. The event starts at 2pm with a session on remote operation. This will include talks and demonstrations on the reasons for setting up a remote station or operating your home station remotely. There is no charge for the afternoon event but numbers are limited so booking is essential. A three course dinner follows at 7:30pm with the after dinner talk being Nick, G3RWF with Tales of an Amateur Amateur. Again, booking is essential. All of the details are on the CDXC website at www.cdxc.org.uk

Spanish amateur radio society URE has told us that all Spanish licence holders have been granted a special prefix celebrating the 90th anniversary of IARU during April 2015. EA stations will use the AM prefix. EB stations will use the AN prefix. EC stations will use the AO prefix. ‘90’ will be added after the call area number. URE club stations in the mainland will share, not simultaneously, the call EG90IARU. URE club stations outside the mainland (6, 8 and 9 call areas) will share, not simultaneously, the call EH90IARU.

An interview is now available with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, co-team leader of the K1N Navassa DXpedition, made at the end of the DXpedition. Glenn spoke to DokuFunk on the experience of operating from one of the world’s rarest DX spots. The audio file is at www.dokufunk.org/navassa-e

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

Today, the 8th, the 30th Wythall Radio Club Rally will be held. It is at a new venue this year, the Wythall Radio Club HQ at Wythall Park, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 10am, or 9.30 for disabled visitors. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, catering and a licensed bar. Contact John on 07428 055 931 for more details.

A Science Week Convention will be held on 14th March from 2 to 6pm at St John the Baptist Church, Grainger Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Organised by The Five Bridges Cluster, the theme of the event is Amateur Radio in the Era of Social Media and Instant Communication. Speakers include RSGB President John Gould, G3WKL. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760 920, or e-mail nancybone2001@yahoo.co.uk.

The Dover Radio Rally will take place on 15th March in Whitfield Village hall, Sandwich Road, Whitfield, Dover CT16 3LY. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at 12.30pm. The rally ends at 1pm. Entrance price for visitors is £2. Details on the website www.darc.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 the special event news

Listen out for Science Week special event stations, usually working within schools or other educational establishments. If you hear these young people on the air, please give them a call.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Seven members of the Portable Operating Group, based in Stafford, will be operating from a base camp North Anglesey from the 7th to 14th of March. Using the club callsign MC0POG they will be operating all modes and some of the more energetic will be operating SOTA from various locations around the island.

Toshi, JA8BMK will be on the air as XV7BM in Vietnam until the end of March. QSL to his home callsign.

Nick, G3RWF will be active as 5Z4LS from Nairobi until 18th March. The preferred QSL route is via Club Log OQRS.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as 3W2JK from Con Son Island, AS-130 from the 11th to 17th March. He will operate SSB, PSK31 and RTTY on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Alan, G3XAQ will be active as 5X1XA from Uganda from the 11th to 18th March. He will operate CW mostly on the high bands and especially in the new SARL Africa DX Contest on 14th and 15th. QSL via G3SWH.

A team will be active as 9K2F from Faylakah Island, AS-118, from the 11th to 16th March. QSL via 9K2HN using OQRS on Club Log.

Now the contest news

This weekend the 144/432MHz contest ends its 24 hours run at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes in both bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest ends it 48 hours of operation at 2359UTC today, the 8th. It is an SSB contest using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and transmitted power, with American and Canadian stations sending their State or Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five low band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place today, Sunday the 8th, from 1000 to 1600UTC, Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday the 11th the 80m Club Championships is on the CW leg. Running from 2000 to 2130UTC, the exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The Commonwealth Contest runs for 24 hours from 10am on Saturday 14th. Last year the sunspot cycle was around its peak, conditions were good and the event enjoyed a record entry of 309 stations. As ever there are DXpeditions to some countries that you don’t hear on the bands every day, so for most of us – even if we are not making a serious entry – there are some new or rare ones to work. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands and CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number although HQ stations will also send HQ.

Next Sunday, the 15th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Africa All Mode International DX Contest runs from 1200UTC on the 14th to 1200UTC on the 15th. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24 hour period. Using the 10 to 160m bands with CW, RTTY and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Full rules at www.africadxcontest.org/

The 2nd Tesla Memorial HF Contest will be held on 14th and 15th March, from 1800UTC to 0800UTC. Everyone works everyone on the 80m band only using CW. Points are based on distance between stations. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Details at www.radiosport.org.rs/HFTeslaMemorial/

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, the 15th March from 1800-2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th April 2015. Details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

Last week saw the solar flux index remain in the range 123-130. The beginning of the week saw rather unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the planetary A index up to 23 at middle latitudes. Solar wind speeds remained elevated above 500km/s due to a geomagnetic storm that brought widespread aurora around the arctic circle.

The solar disk now looks quite bare compared with last week, and NOAA predicts the solar flux will decline to around 115 at the beginning of the week, rising to perhaps 130 at the end. In fact, the long-range forecast predicts these kind of numbers right through to mid April.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain fairly settled, with the Ap index lower in the second half of the week with a maximum of around five. This should bring reasonable HF conditions.

The Chilton Ionosonde at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford has been showing critical frequencies, where signals fired straight up are still just reflected back to earth, reaching highs of around 8-9.5MHz around lunchtime. This means that 7MHz remains useful for inter-G contacts during the day with maximum usable frequencies on a 3,000km path reaching 25MHz, and more than 28MHz on geomagnetically quiet days.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

With high pressure on the charts continuing to play a role throughout the next week, albeit with a few exceptions, the conditions for VHF/UHF tropo propagation look fairly good and certainly worth checking the bands from time to time. The exceptions are mainly due to a small low crossing the country on Monday and a weakening cold front on Thursday. Outside these two events, the pressure remains high and capable of producing lift conditions, especially in the southern half of Britain and into the continent.

Stations in southern Europe are enjoying almost daily 50MHz Trans-Equatorial propagation (TEP) openings in the early evening so stations in the extreme south west of the UK should keep alert for any brief extensions northward.

We are still in the January to April lull in meteor showers, so keep looking for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands.

The Moon’s declination continues to fall all next week so UK EME operators will get increasingly shorter moon windows with reducing path losses.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st. March 2015.

February 27, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st March 2015

The news headlines:

  • GB2RS broadcast from Germany to QSY

  • Train the Trainers days in May and June

  • RSGB response to Ofcom UHF consultation

Starting next Sunday, the 8th of March, the GB2RS transmission at 1000 on 40m from Germany will change frequency. Currently on 7.150MHz, the new frequency will be 7.127MHz. This change is being made to accommodate contest activity that competes for spectrum on the band. Our thanks go to G3SIB/DJ0OK and M0DXM/DJ2XB for their continued support of the GB2RS news service. The 1030 reading of the news from Stornaway by GM3JIJ will continue on 7.150 as normal.

RSGB Train the Trainers days are for you if you are delivering training for the amateur examinations and do not already have a professional educational background. The purpose is to give you some insights in how to prepare and deliver your material, to improve the learning skills of your class and hopefully inject some fun into the experience for everyone. Train the Trainers days are available to RSGB members and there is no charge. Places at each venue are limited so apply soon if you are interested. The next Train the Trainers day is on May 9th, in Norwich. In order to book a place, please email David, G7URP at radio@dcpmicro.com. A further Train the Trainers day will be held in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June. To book for that location, please email info@theradioclub.co.uk

The RSGB has prepared a response to Ofcom’s call for input on a strategic review of the UHF spectrum at 420-470MHz. You can read the response, in full, in the News section of the RSGB website.

On the 26th February, GB2RAF at RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum made contact with GB8ORE, a station commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the radar located at the Birth of Radar Memorial Stone in Northamptonshire. This contact on 40m SSB at 1504UTC was rather special as the Museum Curator exchanged a greetings message to and from Eddie Izzard, who was a special guest at the Memorial Stone. The contact was made possible by Terry, G4PSH and Brian, G8GMU. The event was reported on the local news.

IARU Region 1 has released issue 65 of the VHF-UHF-microwave Newsletter. It covers WRC-15, which could affect a number of amateur radio bands such as the 5MHz, 5GHz, 10GHz, 24GHz and 77GHz bands. You can read the newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/IARU-R1-VHF-65

Radio amateurs from Poland have created a diploma commemorating the SSTV activity from the International Space Station that celebrated the 80th anniversary of Gagarin's birthday. For more information contact the coordinator via email to koordynator.ariss@gmail.com. As a subject please mention SSTV3ISS, your callsign and locator.

A group of German radio amateurs have taken over a former broadcast transmitter and have been granted a commercial licence for 10kW on 6070kHz. As part of their programming, they will be broadcasting GB2RS News. For more detail please go to their website at www.channel292.de.

During March, April and May, the Union of Radio Amateurs from Andorra, URA, will be arranging a series of events to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the organisation. For further information, visit www.ura.ad and click on 35th anniversary. There is an English version of the website.

The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group tell us that 70cm beacon GB3MCB on is back on the air on its new frequency of 432.470MHz. It is using an 8 element Yagi at 1050 feet ASL beaming north east towards the centre of the UK from IO70OJ. Reports are welcome at www.gb3nc.org.uk or at www.beaconspot.eu

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

Today, 1st March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will be held in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Entry is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198 374.

Also on 1st March the British Vintage Wireless Society is holding a Swapmeet and Auction at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD. Doors open at 9.30am, with tickets on sale from 9am. The event is for members only so contact Mike Barker on 01380 860 787 for more information.

Next weekend, on the 8th, the 30th Wythall Radio Club Rally will be held. It is at a new venue this year, the Wythall Radio Club HQ at Wythall Park, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, catering and a licensed bar. Contact John on 07428 055 931 for more details

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 the special event news

This weekend, listen out for GB0PAS on air for the Pontefract Astronomy Society.

GB100BVU will be on the air from Llandudno celebrating 100 Years of St Dunstan's from the 6th to the 14th March.

If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The DXpedition to Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA reference SA-005, in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago is scheduled to run until 4th March. The multi-national team comprises of 23 operators from 7 countries using the callsign 3G0ZC.

ZD8D will be on the air from Ascension Island, AF-003, until 6th March. The three operators will focus on the LF bands.

FP/KV1J will be active until 10th March from Miquelon Island, NA-032, and QSLs go via his home callsign.

Michael PA5M will be signing 3XY5M from Guinea in West Africa until around 10th April.

Marcel, PD5MVH will use the special callsign PD38EU from Ameland Island, EU-038, from until 14th March, including the ARRL DX SSB Contest. QSLs go via PD5MVH wither direct or via the bureau.

Howard, WA2NHA will be on the air from Aruba, SA-036, from 1st to 15th march with a CW only station using the callsign P4/WA2NHA. QSL via WA2NHA.

Now the contest news

This weekend is the CQ WW 160m DX contest. It started at 2200UTC on Friday 27th and ends its 48 hour run today, the 1st. It’s SSB only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Monday, the data leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 144/432MHz contest runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 7th. Using all modes in both bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next weekend is the ARRL International DX contest running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 7th. It is an SSB contest using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and transmitted power, with American and Canadian stations sending their State or Province code.

The first in this year’s series of five low band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place on Sunday 8th from 1000 to 1600UTC, Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of February.

We are now into March with the spring equinox just a few weeks away. With equal illumination on both hemispheres, this is traditionally a good time for north-south contacts on HF, such as UK to South Africa and South America. A detailed analysis using VOACAP Online shows a few more factors to consider when planning what bands to use.

In February, a path from the UK to the eastern seaboard of the US had a twelve per cent maximum chance of success on 10m. But in March you may need to drop down to 12m to make the contact. It is a similar story on paths to the west coast of the US.

In other words, 10m propagation to the United States is now on the wane as we head towards summer. But on paths to South America, 10m should be open with an 80-85% probability of success, pretty much as it was in February.

If you are using a VOACAP-based prediction program don't forget to change the smoothed sunspot number to 62, down slightly from last month.

Finally, we are not in the summer HF doldrums just yet so there is still plenty of DX to be worked. And don’t forget the Commonwealth Contest on 14th and 15th March.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This next week the windy and generally unsettled theme continues, but there are some quite positive signals for a large high to develop over Ireland from midweek and slowly drift eastwards to be over the country by next weekend.

These winter cold highs are not such strong providers of tropo initially, since the air near the surface is also very dry at first. However, as the high edges away to the east and declines slightly, there is a good chance of some moisture getting trapped under the temperature inversion, especially over western Britain as the weekend approaches.

This may give another period of tropo to get March off to a good VHF/UHF start. As March goes on, the chance of early Sporadic-E events increases, as do the very rare North-South propagation on 50MHz from the extreme South West of the UK.

We are still in the January to April lull in meteor showers, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands.

The Moon’s declination is falling all next week so UK EME operators will get increasingly shorter moon windows and losses will reach a maximum on Thursday and Friday.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 21st. December 2014.

February 25, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st December 2014

The news headlines:

  • Christmas and New Year arrangements

  • Youngsters on the Air news

  • Island DXpedition to Iran announced for January

This is the penultimate GB2RS broadcast of 2014 and the RSGB sends its seasonal greetings to all listeners. There will be no news readings on 4 January. The RSGB HQ will close for the Christmas and New Year holiday at noon on 24 December. It will re-open on 5 January. The National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be open until the end of the day on the 22nd; it will re-open on 2nd January. We would like to thank those volunteers who continue to give their time to keep the NRC open and on the air.

December is Youngsters on the Air month and 37 stations will be operating all around Europe, Africa and the Middle East getting young people involved in amateur radio. There are even two stations from Asia and the Caribbean that are part of this event. In the UK, the callsign G14YOTA is moving around the country throughout December. Today, the 21st, Wirral & District ARS will operate the callsign and on the 27th and 28th it will be Wolverhampton ARS. If you hear young people on the air at these stations, please take the time to speak to them.

The Rockall DX Group are planning a new challenge for January – activating Kish Island, Iran, which is IOTA AS-166 and number 33 on ClubLog’s DXCC Most Wanted list. EP6T should be on the air from 16th January, operating from 160m to 10m. Emphasis will be on 160m, and the operation is expected to continue until 26 January. According to the ARRL, of Iran’s 80 million citizens only 13 are licenced amateurs, although 60 students have recently passed their exams and should be able to receive an EP callsign in the near future. Details of the EP6T DXpedition can be found at www.rockall.be

The RSGB Board is delighted to announce the co-option of Barrie Palin, G4AHK, to the vacant Nominated Director vacancy. Barrie is the chairman of the Bromsgrove and District Amateur Radio Club in the West Midlands and is active on the HF and VHF bands. He will initially take the lead role on the Board for the implementation of the Promotional Plan that is currently being finalised.

Scottish Memories is a monthly nostalgia magazine and in an upcoming issue they are planning to publish a wartime special feature focusing on World War Two. As part of this they are hoping to write a feature about the huge impact of radio on ordinary families during the war. Deputy Editor, Rachel Bellerby, would like to hear from amateurs who were involved in radio during the war years or whose family were. Please e-mail her via rachelb@warnersgroup.co.uk

There is a small group of RSGB Members in Poland who are trying to form a group so they can keep in touch and generally form a virtual radio club based around their common interest as Members of the RSGB. Anyone in Poland, any Polish radio amateurs living in the UK, or anyone who has a connection with Poland is invited to e-mail radcom@rsgb.org.uk, marking the e-mail RSGB-PL for SQ8PDP. All e-mails will be forwarded.

2015 will see a new IRTS award available, the Worked all Ireland Counties Award. It is designed to encourage activity and is based on working or hearing a combination of squares and counties in Ireland. The detailed rules are available atwww.irts.ie/wai15

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

The first rallies of the New Year are on 18th January when the Hatherleigh Rally will open in Devon at 10am and the Red Rose Winter Rally will open at 11am in Manchester. More details will be in 2015.

As a prelude to the move to larger premises in the New Year, ML&S will start a post-Christmas sale from 27 to 31 December. As well as the usual fare, there will be older kit that he doesn’t want to take with him, which sounds like a club junk sale night.


The latest list of rallies is on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/ukevents and if your rally isn't there, please e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

WW1USA will be on the air on 27th and 28th December to commemorate the Christmas Truce of 1914. Details are on QRZ.com.

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

Special callsigns in the format E50x have been issued to the seven resident amateurs in the Cook Islands, OC-194, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Self Governance. They may be used at the operator's discretion between 1st January and 31st December 2015.

RV3ARY is planning to operate from Mount Vinson in Antarctica between 24th December and 3rd January. He will use battery power and take Windom and Yagi antennas for 20 metres. Listen out or him on 7.045, 14.260 and 21.260MHz.

F2VX and F9IE will be active stroke FM from Martinique, NA-107, until 8th January. Operations will be on all HF bands using CW and SSB from FM5WD’s station. QSL via their home callsigns.

Bruce, 3W3B will be in Laos operating as XW4XR until 2nd January. He operates CW and RTTY and his QSL manager is E21EIC.

Nobuaki, JA0JHQ will sign JA0JHQ/VK9N from Norfolk Island, OC-055 until 22nd December. He expects to be mainly active on 17 and 15m SSB. QSLs go via the home call.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st and continues for two months. The Winter Marathon isn’t a contest in the traditional sense; it’s basically a way of promoting activity on 6m during the winter. There are no points for individual QSOs; just for working as many Locator squares as possible. You can claim the squares worked in any 6m contest over the period, as well as non-contest QSOs. The exchange is simply signal report and locator.

For anyone wanting a good excuse to disappear into the shack on Boxing Day – and the three following days – the Christmas Cumulatives run for 2 hours on the 26th to the 29th. 6m, 4m, 2m & 70cm are in use each day, so band hopping is essential if you want to do well. Operations take place from 1400 to 1600UTC each day and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The DARC Christmas Contest runs for 2½ hours on Boxing Day morning. There isn’t likely to be much propagation between the UK and Germany on 80m at this time of day, so 40m will carry most of the traffic for participating UK stations. Starting at 0830UTC the exchange is signal report and serial number, with DL stations sending DOK or NM.

Finally, the RAC Canada Winter Contest is on Saturday 27th from 0000 to 2359UTC. There are numerous entry categories and everyone can work everyone, but concentrate on working Canada because Canadian Provinces and Territories are where the multipliers are. Certificates are on offer to the winner of each category in each DXCC entity. You can use the 1.8 to 144MHz bands, either CW or phone. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with VE stations also sending their Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 19th of December

The sun remains peppered with a large number of spots. This has kept the solar flux index up in the 160s, even peaking at 192 on the 18th. This has also brought a lot of M and C class solar flare activity with associated short-term blackouts, although there have been no mammoth X-class events.

Continuing high solar wind speeds has kept the K index at 2 or 3, which has not helped HF conditions. But despite this there has been much DX to be worked, with 12m and 10m being wide open during daylight hours.

Christmas Eve sees a rare opportunity to hear the Swedish Grimeton SAQ VLF station, which will be transmitting a Christmas message in CW on 17.2kHz from 0800UTC. The massive 200kW Andersson alternator will be tuned up on air from 0740. The special event station SK6SAQ will also be on air from the site, with CW and SSB transmissions on 80m, 40m and 20m. All of these may be suitable for reception in the UK.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

Season’s greetings to all the VHF/UHF DXers from meteorologist Jim Bacon, G3YLA, who reports that, like last week, the weather is still not playing ball.

Low pressure will be nearby for the whole week and we’re unlikely to see much scope for high pressure driven lifts, but there are some hints that the south of the country may get onto the northern flank of a ridge over France, Biscay and Iberia later.

So in the south – look south, and perhaps in the north, looking north could work if the sun produces any significant auroral activity.

Last week’s Geminids meteor shower was a good one and not long to wait until the Quadrantids, which run from January 1st to 5th. It peaks on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th.

In the UK, it’s a daytime Moon, reaching its lowest declination today, but it will be at perigee – that’s the closest point – on Wednesday, meaning lowest path losses, but increasing moon time this week.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd. February 2015.

February 20, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd February 2015

The news headlines:

    Opportunities for enthusiastic young amateurs

    New SSTV transmissions from ISS

    More news on eclipse experiment

Applications for the IARU YOTA event in Italy this year close on 1st March. The RSGB is seeking four people to take part. Three participants must be under 26, plus a leader who can be over that age. The team will represent the RSGB at the IARU event, which will host 75 participants from all over IARU Region 1. There is a separate opportunity for a group of young people to take part in a DXpedition to the Brecon Beacons from the 23rd to 30th July. The cost to participants will be just £50 for the whole week. To apply, or to find out more about either of these events, please e-mail the youth coordinator, Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

A continuous SSTV transmission is planned from the International Space Station from 1030UTC on the 21st to 2130UTC on the 23rd. It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent on 145.800MHz FM, using the SSTV mode PD180, with 3-minute off periods between transmissions. One of the photos will show the commemorative diploma created by PZK, the national Polish Amateur Radio society, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module.

In last week's news, the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee announced the Eclipse Propagation Experiment for the morning of 20th March. The UK will experience up to 89% totality, which is likely to reduce the effect of the D layer of the ionosphere above the UK. This could mean that stations may be heard on the lower HF bands that would otherwise be inaudible during the day. As part of the experiment, an Eclipse QSO Party is being organised for the 1.8MHz, 3.5MHz and 7MHz bands. This is not a contest, but some of the RSGB Contest Committee software and web facilities will be used to collect and display activity reports. Any radio amateurs who are available are invited to take part and more details will be published over the next two weeks. Current information is at www.g0kya.blogspot.com

VLF enthusiasts are planning some experiments during the solar eclipse on March 20. A number of VLF observers will be paying particular attention to received signal strengths during this period and comparing results afterwards, with the aim of compiling reports. Of particular interest will be the NRK signal on 37.5kHz from Grindavik, Iceland. They are also interested in any results from other VLF (and LF) stations. Measurements should be prepared in a .CSV format and with accurate time stamps. The exact arrangements are still to be agreed but will probably involve measurements for the same period the day before and the day after the eclipse. For more information, or if you would like to participate in this study, please contact Paul Hyde, G4CSD via g4csd@yahoo.co.uk

The last major phase of the RSGB Events Planner project is now live on the RSGB website. It allows affiliated clubs to edit their existing events and, if necessary, remove them. If you want full information, type Manage Club Events into the search bar on the RSGB website.

Malta has allocated 70-70.5MHz to radio amateurs on a secondary basis and included it in the National Frequency Plan. There are quite a few local stations interested in being active on 4m.

The RSGB Training and Education Committee has organised another Train the Trainers event following on from the pilot course in Tamworth. The next event will be in Norwich on 9th May. In order to book a place, please email David via radio@dcpmicro.com. The RSGB subsidises the day so it is free to Members. It is aimed at those who help with training people for the exams but who are not themselves professional teachers or otherwise well-versed in teaching methods.

Bletchley Park is developing an exhibition of WWI Signals Intelligence that is due to open this summer and are trying to locate a WWI-era Marconi wireless set. If you knew of anyone or any collections that might have any Marconi equipment dating to this period, please e-mail radcom@rsgb.org.uk

The March edition of RadCom is now available online to Members. You will need your RSGB Membership Services login. Go to www.rsgb.org.uk, click on Publications then RadCom and follow the instructions.

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

Hull and District ARS is holding a Bring and Buy Auction today, the 22nd, in the Maurice Rawlings Centre, 41 Bean Street, Hull HU3 2PU. Doors open from 10.30am and the Bring and Buy starts at 12 noon. The auction starts at 1pm. There is talk-in on 145.400MHz.

Also today, the 22nd, the BRATS Rainham Radio Rally will be held in Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.30am. There will be trade stands and special interest groups in the hall. More from David, 2E0DCN by e-mail to dfilby191@yahoo.com.

Pencoed ARC is holding a table top sale today, the 22nd, at Pencoed RFC, The Verlands, Felindre Rd, Pencoed CF33 5PB, off the M4 at junction 35. Tables are £5 and sellers can gain access from 8.30am. Doors open for buyers at 9.30am and admission is £2. Refreshments will be available. More details from Madeline on 01639 885 126.

Next weekend, on 1st March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will be held in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Entry is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Peter, G3ZVI on 07714 198 374.

Also on 1st March the British Vintage Wireless Society is holding a Swapmeet and Auction at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD. Doors open at 9.30am, with tickets on sale from 9am. The event is for members only so contact Mike Barker on 01380 860 787 for more information.

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 the special event news

Australia and New Zealand are commemorating 100 years since the landing of troops at Gallipoli in WWI. This is a significant commemorative event and amateurs in Australia will have special event callsigns in operation for most of 2015. The next ANZAC event will continue until 3rd March, which is the Darwin Amateur Radio Club using VI8ANZAC.

World Cultural Heritage site Himeji Castle, in Japan, has undergone large scale repair works for more than four years. It will be re-opened for public access on 27 March. The Himeji Amateur Radio Club will run a special event station to commemorate this event. 8N3HC or 8N3HC/3 will be on the air from 1 March to 31 May using the 160m to 70cm bands with CW, phone or digital signals. QSLs should not be sent for this station.

GB8ORE, standing for Original Radar Experiment, will be operated on 26th February from the Birth of British Radar Memorial, Northampton Road, Litchborough. There is no postal address although the nearest postcode is NN7 4SE and the map reference is NGR SP650 557. Brian, G8GMU intends to operate mainly on 40m SSB with some 2m FM operation. You can contact Brian on 07801 862 686.

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

CV5A will be on the air from Flores Island, IOTA reference OC-151, between 21st and 23rd February. Activity will be on all high frequency bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

Two German amateurs will be on the air from Kenya as 5Z4/DF3FS and 5Z4/DL9OLI until 8th March. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and CW. QSLs go via DF3FS.

JH1NBN will operate as C21BN from the Pacific island of Nauru, OC-031, until 28th February. He will use SSB and QSL info is via his home callsign.

ZD8D will be on the air from Ascension Island, AF-003, between 24th February and 10th March. They will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, RTTY and SSB, with a focus on the low bands. QSL via DL9HO either direct or via the bureau.

F6HMQ and F6GWV will be on the air from Guadeloupe Island, NA-102, until 8th March, transmitting as FG/homecalls and as TO66R during the ARRL contest. QSL TO66R via F6HMQ and the others via home callsigns either direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The first in the 2014 series of 4m Cumulatives takes place this morning, the 22nd, from 1000UTC to 1200UTC. Between February and August there will be five sessions. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 48 hour ARRL International DX Contest ends at 2359 today, the 22nd. This is the CW leg, with the SSB leg next month. Work Ws and VEs only, exchanging a signal report and your transmit power. US and Canadian stations send State/Province code, instead of power.

The 36 hour REF French contest also takes place on SSB ending at 1800UTC today, the 22nd. Work France and French overseas territories only. Send a signal report and serial number. French stations send a 2-digit Department code instead of serial number.

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

Also on Tuesday it’s the SHF UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the CQ WW 160m DX starting at 2200UTC on Friday 27th and running for 48 hours. It’s SSB only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

While the solar flux index declined to the 120s this week, geomagnetic conditions became quite unsettled. The Kp index reached five around 18th February, spawning an aurora that was visible from northern parts of the UK. This didn’t help HF conditions, which had been sparkling recently due to a long period of quiet conditions.

For the next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 125-135. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled with the Kp index predicted to reach four at times.

This last week had seen excellent conditions on 12m, even way after sunset. Paths have been open to many western US states in the late afternoon, including New Mexico and Utah. If geomagnetic conditions manage to remain settled it may worth checking 12m again. Ten metres has also remained very lively despite the solar flux index declining from its earlier highs.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather in the week ahead is likely to be driven by deep low pressure systems from the Atlantic passing by the north of Scotland. It will often be windy and unsettled with blustery showers giving gusty winds at times, particularly in the north.

There are small signs for a weak ridge of high pressure over southern areas at the end of the week, but in all probability not a tropo-producing event.

So this may be time to look for random MS contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands without the distractions from VHF/UHF tropo openings. There is still a low probability of Sporadic-E openings this week and no meteor showers.

Thursday and Friday this week sees the moon at its highest declination, so UK EME operators will get long moon windows starting at lunchtime and extending into the early hours of the following day. This will be coupled with losses increasing, reaching a peak a week today, Sunday the 22nd.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th. February 2015.

February 13, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th February 2015

The news headlines:

  • Respond now to Ofcom interference consultation

  • Special callsigns for Cook Islands residents

  • Amateur experiments planned for solar eclipse

Ofcom’s consultation on updating interference regulations closes on Monday 16th February and all amateurs are encouraged to respond. The RSGB has prepared a response for your guidance. In general, the RSGB supports and welcomes the Ofcom proposals as the Regulations are a prime means of tackling interference to authorised radio communication services from non-radio apparatus. However, there are some difficulties with both the concept and the implementation and these are detailed in the full response. That document can be found at www.rsgb.org/interference-response.

Amateurs resident in the Cook Islands have been issued E50x callsigns instead of the usual E51XX to celebrate 50 years of Self Governance. The Cook Islands are IOTA reference OC-013. The seven residents may opt to use them for all or part of 2015 in place of their regular E51xx call signs. Visitors to the Cooks will be issued the standard visitor E51XXX callsigns. Dispatch of specially designed QSL cards won’t start until late March at the earliest.

On Friday 20th March 2015 a partial solar eclipse will be visible from the UK. The path of totality will pass north of the UK, but up to 89% of totality may be experienced, depending on where you live. As part of British Science Week, the RSGB has prepared a simple experiment using a portable medium wave radio and we’re encouraging schools and others to get involved. If you are a radio amateur, short wave listener or have more advanced equipment, there are other ways in which you could take the experiment further. You’ll find more information and a pdf outline of the experiment on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/eclipse-2015. The results will be shared with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and will also be published in RadCom.

If you have enjoyed chasing a contact with the K1N Navassa DXpedition you may be interested to hear a sat-phone interview with Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, co-team leader of the DXpedition. It was made on 9th February and he sums up the team’s experience so far. The audio file is online at www.dokufunk.org/navassa-e

Episode Seven of TX Factor is available from Friday 13th February. In this episode Nick, 2E0FGQ interviews a long-time radio amateur, Bob, G0FGX talks to a young amateur, there’s a report from the IOTA 50th anniversary convention and G0FGX tests a 3 element Yagi. To find out more about this episode, go to www.txfactor.co.uk

The International Amateur Radio Club of ITU will put 4U0ITU on the air as part of the World Radio Day celebrations. IARC will be using the callsign 4U0ITU for the rest of 2015, until the World Radio Conference, WRC-15, that runs from the 2nd to the 27th November. All QSOs will be confirmed. QSL information can be found on QRZ.com.

Slow scan TV should be transmitted from the International Space Station continuously from 1000UTC on Saturday 21st February until 2130UTC on Monday 23rd February. The transmissions, using the call sign RS0ISS, will take place on 145.800MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD180, with a 3 minute off time between transmissions. Further information is on the AMSAT-UK website at http://amsat-uk.org/

The Irish Radio Transmitting Society has been issued with the callsign EI150ITU to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 1865. The callsign will be used by a number of Irish amateurs throughout the year from each of the 26 counties. See QRZ.com for more details.

The RSGB is pleased to announce a new feature on the Society’s website. The Services Map provides an overview of every service the RSGB offers on a single page. You can find out more about each service by hovering your mouse over its name. So if you ever wondered about Notice of Variation Administration or the Club of the Year competition, the Services Map can be found at www.rsgb.org/service-map

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

Today, the 15th, the Radio Active Rally will take place in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. More information from Jayne on 07926 078 232.

Hull and District ARS is holding a Bring and Buy Auction on 22nd February in the Maurice Rawlings Centre, 41 Bean Street, Hull HU3 2PU. Doors open from 10.30am and the Bring and Buy starts at 12 noon. The auction starts at 1pm. There is talk-in on 145.400MHz.

Also on 22nd February, the BRATS Rainham Radio Rally will be held in Rainham School for Girls, Derwent Way, Rainham, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0BX. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.30am. There will be trade stands and special interest groups in the hall. More from David, 2E0DCN by e-mail to dfilby191@yahoo.com.

Pencoed ARC is holding a Table Top Sale on the 22nd at Pencoed RFC, The Verlands, Felindre Rd, Pencoed CF33 5PB, off the M4 at junction 35. Tables are £5 and sellers can gain access from 8.30am. Doors open for buyers at 9:30am buyers and admission is £2. Refreshments will be available. More details from Madeline on 01639 885 126.

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 the special event news

GB8ORE, standing for Original Radar Experiment, will be operated on 26th February from the Birth of British Radar Memorial, Northampton Road, Litchborough. There is no postal address but the nearest postcode is NN7 4SE. The station will be operating on mainly 40m SSB and some 2m FM. For further information Contact Brian, G8GMU on 07801 86 26 86.

Special event station 9K54NLD is on the air from Kuwait until 28th February 28 to mark the country's 54th National Liberation Day. QSL via 9K2MY.

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

CV5A will be on the air from Flores Island, SA-030, between the 21st and 23rd February. Activity will be on all HF bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

Three German operators will be active as ZD8D until 6th March from Ascension Island, AF-003. They will be on all bands from 40 to 160m SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via DL9HO and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Prefix hunters may be interested to work TM60TAAF, which is on the air to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. The station is located at the shack of Francois, F8DVD and is due to be on the air until the 17th, then 19th to 22nd and 27th and 28th of February. QSLs go via F8DVD.

Paul, G8AFC is on the air as 3B8/G8AFC from Mauritius, AF-049, until 2nd March. Activity is on the HF bands and 6 metres, primarily using CW. QSL via the operator's instructions.

IV3FSG and IK6CAC will be on the air as 5H1ES and 5H1OC, respectively, from Zanzibar Island, IOTA AF-032, from 18th February to 11th March. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to home calls.

Now the contest news

The first WPX contest of the year is the RTTY leg, which will end at 2359UTC tonight, the 15th, having been running for 48 hours. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

If RTTY isn’t your thing, the Dutch PACC Contest is held for 24 hours, ending at 1200UTC today, the 15th. Work Dutch stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. Dutch stations send a 2-letter Province code instead of a serial number. There are twelve Provinces, which act as multipliers to the score.

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

On Thursday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000UTC to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The first in the 2014 series of 4m Cumulatives takes place on the morning of Sunday 22nd from 1000UTC to 1200UTC. Between February and August there will be five sessions. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

For the whole weekend of 21st-22nd the ARRL International DX Contest will be keeping the HF bands busy from 0000UTC to 2359UTC, 48 hours later. This is the CW leg, with the SSB leg next month. Work Ws and VEs only, exchanging a signal report and your transmit power. US and Canadian stations send State/Province code, instead of power.

For 36 hours over the same weekend the REF French Contest also takes place on SSB, running from 0600 to 1800UTC. Work France and French overseas territories only. Send a signal report and serial number. French stations send a 2-digit Department code instead of serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of February.

This week the solar flux index declined slightly to be in the 130s, pretty much as predicted by NOAA. The observed sunspot number for the week also declined, being 76 on Thursday 12 February. Geomagnetic conditions were largely settled, with the A index keeping below 15 all week.

For next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with the solar flux index being in the range 145-155. Geomagnetic conditions may also be reasonably settled, with the A index predicted to remain below 15 again.

This week expect to see maximum usable frequencies pass 28MHz on paths to the US eastern seaboard and Midwest states, with a reliability of about 20-30%. On paths to the West Coast, including California, you may be better dropping to 21MHz or even 18MHz.

Finally, this week NASA launched the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite. This will succeed NASA's ACE satellite and provide solar wind alerts and warnings from its L1 orbital position – the neutral gravity point between the Earth and Sun, approximately one million miles from us. The satellite will typically be able to provide the Earth with a 15 to 60 minute warning time of a surge of particles known as a coronal mass ejection, or CME, which are associated with geomagnetic storms.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The next week will not provide quite the success of last, when stations used the tropo conditions brought by the large area of high pressure to work across northern Europe and into Sweden. That particular high has long gone now and our next opportunity comes from another high moving in from the Atlantic after midweek.

This does not look quite as widespread and will probably be more for southern areas of the UK, since there will be windier weather and weak fronts crossing Scotland later in the week.

Nonetheless, it’s still worth checking the VHF/UHF bands in the second half of the week for lift conditions, especially into Europe since, although one model retains the high pressure into the weekend, there are other solutions which bring strong lows across the country and any lift will be short-lived.

The moon is at its lowest declination today so EME operators will get short but increasing moon windows next week coupled with lowest losses on Thursday.

Still little chance of Sporadic-E openings this week and no meteor showers, so look for early morning random meteor scatter contacts on the lower VHF bands.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th. February 2015.

February 6, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th February 2015

The news headlines:

  • Investigating interference from VDSL

  • Work Navassa before it’s too late

  • New Yahoo UK 6m group

The EMC Committee is carrying out an investigation of the significance of interference to amateur radio from VDSL broadband. Where emissions occur from a normally working VDSL system the noise is continuous 24/7 and sounds like white noise. Occasionally, when the VDSL system is faulty or disturbed by large external signals, different emissions may be observed as the system attempts to re-connect and re-train. A request for information has been posted on the RSGB EMC Forum under Investigations New Technology. Please visit the forum and post observations there or alternatively send any information by email to emc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk – the intention of the investigation is to get a general picture of how often emissions occur, so please report emissions even if they don’t affect your particular amateur activity. Interference can occur whether or not you have VDSL broadband in your own home.

Time is running out to try and work Navassa Island, K1N, a small, uninhabited and disputed island in the Caribbean Sea. If you miss it this time it is likely to be at least 10 years before a further DXpedition is allowed. Please see their website for all information and day to day updates, which can be found at www.navassadx.com/

The UK 6m Group has a new Yahoo Group that it is encouraging 6m enthusiasts to join. It will keep participants up to date with the latest happenings on 6m. Further details are online at tinyurl.com/UK6MG-YG

World Radio Day marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by UN Radio in 1946, when it first transmitted "This is the United Nations calling the peoples of the world." World Radio Day seeks to raise awareness about the importance of broadcast radio. It will be marked at the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva on 13th February. The event will be broadcast live around the world from 1700 to 2000. This is part of a day full of events, particularly involving young people. For full details of the event, go to tinyurl.com/ITU-WRD

World Heritage Grimeton Radio in Sweden, callsign SAQ, will have a transmission with the Alexanderson alternator on VLF, 17.2kHz, to celebrate World Radio Day on 13th February. Tuning up from 1430UTC, a message will be sent at 1500UTC. No QSL-cards will be given this time and no List of Reports will be constructed but they will accept short Listener Reports by e-mail to info@alexander.n.se

The associated amateur radio station, SK6SAQ, will be active with a special callsign for the day. 7S6WRD will be on 7.035 and 14.035MHz using CW and 3.744MHz on SSB. QSL to 7S6WRD via the SM bureau.

Brian, WA1ZMS, licensee of the 3kW ERP 70.005 MHz WG2XPN beacon, reports the experimental licence has been renewed until 1st May 2017. The one-way only beacon operates on 70.005MHz with 3kW ERP from FM07fm. Brian suggests that European amateurs remember to point the beams West during the E-skip season and give a long listen on 70.005MHz.

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off the air for maintenance work from 2nd to 19th March between 0800UTC and 1800UTC. The service will be back on air overnight and at weekends.

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

Today, the 8th, the British Vintage Wireless Society Audio Jumble will take place in the Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission is £5, with early admission available from 9.30am for £10. Enquiries to 01892 540 022 between 8pm and 9pm only please.

Also today, the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Admission is £3, with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups as well as refreshments available. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379.

Next weekend, on the 15th, the Radio Active Rally will take place in the Civic Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5DG. Doors open at 10.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. More information from Jayne on 07926 078 232.

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 the special event news

An unusual callsign on the air for the past number of months is 4U20B. This station is located in Brindisi, Italy and commemorates the 20th anniversary of the UN Logistics Base there. The call will be used until July and the QSL manager is 9A2AA.

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

From the 13th to 16th February a team will be active as PC2D from Ameland Island, EU-038. They will be on all bands from 160 to 10m using SSB and CW. During their stay on Ameland Island they will participate in the Dutch PACC contest on the 14th and 15th with callsign PC2D. Outside the contest the individual callsigns are used. For more information about this DXpedition see the QRZ.com page of Frank, PC2D. Contest QSOs made with PC2D will be confirmed via Logbook of The World and via the bureau. QSOs with individual callsigns will be answered according to the QSL information detailed on QRZ.com.

It is the last week of operations from Guatemala by VE7BV/TG9, as operations finish on the 17th of February. It is a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Hrane, YT1AD has been visiting several Pacific islands. Look for him as 5W7A in Samoa, OC-097 from the 8th to 11th February, KH8/N9YU in American Samoa, OC-045 on the 11th and 12th and KH6/N9YU in Hawaii, OC-019 on the 13th and 14th. He will be operating all bands SSB and CW.

Four US operators will be active from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, NA-015, until 13th February. Calls to watch out for are KG4AS, KG4HI, KG4RQ and KG4YL. Activity will be on all bands 160m to 6m using SSB, CW and Digital.

Operators N4BP, N4UM and K4RUM will be on the air as C6AKQ, C6ARU and C6AUM, respectively, from Grand Bahama Island, IOTA NA-080, from the 9th to 24th February. Activity will be on the HF bands. This includes entries in the upcoming CQ WPX RTTY and ARRL DX CW contests. QSL to home calls.

Bernhard, DL2GAC is on the air as H44MS from the Solomon Islands, IOTA OC-047, until 30th April. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 6 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

Now the contest news

Today, Sunday the 8th, the 432MHz Affiliated Societies contest takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes in the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This is one of the qualifying events for the Super League.

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

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

The First 1.8MHz Contest is on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th running from 2100 to 0100UTC. There are CW-only, SSB-only and mixed mode sections for UK and non-UK stations. Please remember that on CW below 1850kHz UK Full licensees are allowed to run 400 watts and Intermediates 50 watts, whereas on SSB above 1850kHz Full and Intermediate licensees are limited to 32 watts. The exchange is signal report, serial number and district.

The first WPX contest of the year is the RTTY leg, which will be held over the entire 48 hours of the 14 and 15th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

If RTTY isn’t your thing, the Dutch PACC Contest is held for 24 hours over the same weekend on CW and SSB running from 1200UTC to 1200UTC. Work Dutch stations only, exchanging a signal report and serial number. Dutch stations send a 2-letter Province code, instead of a serial number. There are twelve Provinces, which act as multipliers to the score.

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

As reported last week, the 2015 K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island in the Caribbean is now under way. If you would like to revisit the HF propagation predictions for the DXpedition, refer to last week’s GB2RS propagation entry on the RSGB website. K1N has been audible on most bands and possibly loudest on 12m in the afternoon.

And now to the sun. The solar flux index has remained reasonably high, staying firmly in the 140s, although unsettled geomagnetic conditions saw the K index rise to 4 earlier last week. This was due to an elevated solar wind stream from a coronal hole, which brought widespread aurora to northern latitudes and had a detrimental effect on HF polar paths.

For the next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the range 120-130, with the possibility of unsettled geomagnetic conditions next Sunday, the 15th of February. It should therefore be a good week for HF until then.

Paths to South Africa should have a 90-95% probability of success on 12m, that’s 24MHz, this week around noon, dropping slightly to 91% if you are on 10m, or 28MHz.

If you are using a VOACAP-based propagation prediction program you should now be using a smoothed sunspot number of 63 for February.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This coming week should be a good one for getting some quality VHF/UHF DXing done.

For the first time since this service started, we have a large high pressure system over the country. It’s going to remain with us for the whole of the week and should bring improved VHF/UHF conditions to most areas of the country and into Europe. The high will probably generate at least two significant temperature inversions, which can trap a layer of cool, moist air underneath warm, dry air just above the inversion.

This changes the refractive index of the air and bends the radio signals as they pass through the interface. The main elevated subsidence inversion due to the high pressure will vary in height from about 2500m down to near the surface in the centre of the high.

The quality of this inversion will probably improve through the week and could provide extended elevated ducts, usually around the periphery of the high, rather than directly across the centre where the path may be ducted into the ground due to the lower inversion height.

The secondary inversion will be a night surface cooling inversion, very near the surface and may prove useful for shorter distances overnight and early morning inter-G working, but may decay or weaken as the temperature rises during the daytime.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st. February 2015.

January 30, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st February 2015

The news headlines:

  • SSTV transmissions planned from ISS today

  • Rare DXpedition to Navassa due imminently

  • New propagation film available to clubs

The Russian ARISS team plan to activate SSTV from the International Space Station today, Sunday 1st February. The expected SSTV mode will be PD180 on 145.800MHz with 3 minute off periods between transmissions. A total of 12 different photos will be sent during the operational period. This is the second series of pictures to be transmitted. The start time will be around 0900UTC and finish around 2130UTC.

Coming up in the next few weeks will be a DXpedition to the island of Navassa, IOTA NA-098. Navassa has not been on the air for 22 years and the authorities have said it will be at least another 10 years before a further licence is issued. This all suggests that there will be a huge demand for contacts with K1N when it comes on the air. Indications are that the DXpedition will take place during the first two weeks of February. Up–to-date information can be found on www.navassadx.com. A detailed propagation forecast for those wishing to work Navassa follows later in this bulletin.

Steve Nichols, G0KYA, chairman of the RSGB’s Propagation Studies Committee, has produced a 40 minute movie presentation for clubs entitled ‘Understanding HF Propagation’. This has been produced in response to requests for propagation talks, but where the distances needed to deliver the talk have proved a stumbling block. The presentation looks at the sun, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections and their effects on HF. It also looks at propagation prediction programs and where amateurs can get solar information. Steve says that the plan is for clubs to show the presentation, which includes movies and audio, with the option of a 20-30 minute Q&A session with Steve conducted via Skype. The presentation is available as an M4V file, either downloaded or sent on CD-ROM, or as a DVD. Any club interested can contact Steve via psc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB’s new Facebook Page is proving popular. Please do Like our Page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/theRSGB – over 1200 people have done so in the first week. You can get up-to-date news as well as information about events and Member offers in your newsfeeds as well as have the chance to comment on posts and ask questions. Photo Friday, where you can help us identify photos in the archives, has resulted in some new information coming to light, thank you. Two more photos went online on the 30th.

The RSGB has launched a new way to find out about, and post, amateur radio events in your area. It’s called UK Events Planner and displays upcoming radio events as markers on a map of the UK. You can search by postcode or place, and you can set distances from five miles to 100 miles. The UK Events Planner can be accessed by everyone. Go to www.rsgb.org/eventsplanner to try it out. If you are an RSGB affiliated amateur radio club you can post events directly on to the UK Events Planner.

On 27th January, the East Yorkshire Repeater Group took delivery of a Yaesu Fusion DR-1XE repeater kindly sponsored by LAM Communications. This will be used to upgrade GB3HS on 145.65MHz. The recent change of site and antennas for GB3HS now allows access using just a 5W handheld in the centre of Hull and in Grimsby.

Ron Huntsman, G3KBR from Cambridge is one of the last surviving members of the production team who televised the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the Nazi architects of the Holocaust. Ron set up hidden TV cameras in the court room and fed the cables across the street suspended by a catenary wire to a rather rapidly-built TV recording studio in a nearby building. The trial and G3KBR’s technical role were featured in the 90-minute drama, ‘The Eichmann Show’, screened recently on BBC 2. It can be seen on BBC iPlayer with an accompanying 30-minute Learning Zone documentary until 19 February. More details are on the RSGB Facebook page.

A summary of matters discussed at the Ofcom-RSGB Forum meeting held on 13 January is now available on the RSGB website. Go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-374 for more details.

The RSGB Contest Committee has issued a rule change concerning the use of machine generated modes in the UK Activity Contest that comes into force from today, 1st February. The use of machine generated transmission modes, or MGM, are permitted in the AX section of all UK Activity Contests and in all sections of the 23cm UKAC and the SHF UKAC.

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

Today, the 1st, the 30th Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. More detail from Vic Rogers, G6BHE on 01702 308 562.

Next Sunday, the 8th, the British Vintage Wireless Society Audio Jumble will take place in the Angel Leisure Centre, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1SF. Doors open from 10.30am to 4.30pm and admission is £5, with early admission available from 9.30am for £10. Enquiries to 01892 540 022 between 8pm and 9pm only please.

Also on the 8th, the Harwell Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Admission is £3 with under 12s free. There will be trade stands, special interest groups as well as refreshments available. Details from Ann, G8NVI, on 01235 816 379.

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

WW1USA, the Amateur Radio Club of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, will be on the air on the 7th and 8th February. This is in commemoration if the Beginning of War from the Air. Go to http://ww1usa.org and look for the link to the background article regarding this event.

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

A group of mainly Polish operators will be activating several islands in the Caribbean. Until 3rd February they will sign J6/home callsign from St Lucia, NA-108; from 4th to 5th February they will sign J8/home callsign from St Vincent, NA-109; from 6th to 9th February they will sign J3/home callsign from Grenada, NA-024 and finally Martinique, NA-107 for 13th to 14th February. This is a sailing holiday so the operators will enjoy the travelling between the various locations.

There are two DXpeditions to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba coming up. VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 until 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on the 20, 17 and 15m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World. Then from the 6th to 13th February KG4RQ will be operating on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK63. See his QRZ.com page for details.

Karl, DK2WV returns to Malawi until 6th February where he will reactivate his 7Q7VW callsign. Operation will be all bands from 160 to 6m using SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via the home callsign.

Sean, EI2CR will be on the air from 4th to 7th February from Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, OC-086. Sean will operate using callsign KH0/EI2CR. Operation will be holiday style.

Now the contest news

On Monday, the 2nd, the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place between 2000 and 2130UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, on Sunday the 8th, the 432MHz Affiliated Societies contest takes place from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes in the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This is one of the qualifying events for the Super League.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 30th of January.

The 2015 K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island in the Caribbean is due to start shortly. Navassa is just west of Haiti and is a 4,600 mile sea path from the UK, beaming 270 degrees. Let’s look at the propagation.

On 160m, that’s 1.8MHz, and 80m, 3.5MHz, you will need a mutual dark path between you and Navassa, from around 2300 to 0725UTC. Look for a dawn or grey line enhancement at or around sunrise, from about 07:00 onwards.

On 40m, 7MHz, the time available to work K1N extends a little more, so you may hear them a bit earlier in the evening and some time after UK sunrise, perhaps even up to 0930 to 1000UTC.

On 30m, 10MHz, signals may be there for all 24 hours, although they will get stronger from about 2130 to 2200UTC and remain so throughout the night. Signals also get weaker from mid morning.

On 20m, 14MHz, the loudest signals may be around noon and from 2030 to 2230UTC. D layer absorption will make signals worse in the mid afternoon.

The time slots then get shorter as we head further up the HF bands. On 17m, that’s 18MHz, the best time is around noon to 1400UTC. On 15m, 21MHz, 12m, 24MHz and 10m, 28MHz, the best times are mid to late afternoon.

Steve, G0KYA takes a more detailed look at UK propagation to Navassa online at g0kya.blogspot.com

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The first part of this week is controlled by a winter low over the North Sea and some strong northwesterly winds over the British Isles. This is not a good omen for tropo enhancements on VHF and UHF.

The good news is that, although it remains cold, the second half of the week will see a trend towards transient ridges of high pressure and the tempting prospect of some lift conditions. This will mean some colder nights and there may be both surface temperature inversions overnight and morning, and longer lasting elevated inversions due to the high pressure. Paths to the south across Biscay and western France to Spain will be worth checking out.

For EME operators, next week the moon reaches apogee – its furthest point away – so we will see losses reaching their highest. Moon declination is falling and goes negative at the end of the week, giving increasingly shorter Moon windows.

We are still in the regular January to April gap between meteor showers, so look for the usual random meteor contacts in the early morning on 50 through to 144MHz. Sporadic-E openings are still very unlikely and there were no significant southern mainland European trans-equatorial QSOs reported to DXmaps.com.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 25th. January 2015.

January 23, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th January 2015

The news headlines:

  • RSGB launches corporate Facebook page

  • Thinking Day on the Air

  • RSGB publishes guidance on Ofcom interference consultation

The RSGB is delighted to announce the launch of its new Facebook Page. Please do Like our Page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/theRSGB. You can get up-to-date news as well as information about events and Member offers in your newsfeeds. You’ll also be able to see photos and videos and receive updates about special event stations, contests and much more. We know many people have been looking forward to this Page, which will provide an additional way to communicate with the Society. We’ll be starting the weekend, every week, with Photo Friday. We’ll take a look at two old photos and ask if you know who, what, when, where and why! See if you can help with the details and share some memories with others.

Stations planning to participate in Thinking Day on the Air on 21st & 22nd February are asked to send in a report, no matter how short, to Liz, M0ACL, via lizowl@gmail.com. Report forms will be available from the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk. It is hoped that this year there will be a station operating from the World Association on Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centre in London, and some stations on air from Brazil. If you are operating a station, please also send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk by 12th February for inclusion the Sunday 15th February GB2RS news script.

Further to our news story two weeks ago, the RSGB has now published its guidance to the Ofcom consultation on interference. More information on the consultation, and the work that the RSGB is doing to respond to it, can be found on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/conresponse. All amateurs are encouraged to respond to the consultation and details of how to do so are on the same RSGB webpage. The Ofcom consultation closes on Monday 16th February.

GB7SC is now operational from the south coast at Bognor Regis. It is on 439.4750 Rx and 430.475 colour code 3. GB7SC is the first digital repeater on the south coast connected to the world wide MARC network where two QSOs can go through the repeater system at a time. The repeater is also connected to the London and southern roaming group talk group 8, slot 2, where continuous coverage is obtained by the repeaters giving out a beacon signal and radios will lock onto the strongest beacon signal enhancing coverage. Coverage reports to the repeater keeper would be appreciated on talk group 9 slot 2.

In 2015, Romania has been a member of the IARU for 77 years and it is also the 90th anniversary of the IARU. Romania will be active with YO90IARU, YP90IARU, YQ90IARU and YR90IARU from 1st February to 31st December. Contact with these stations can count towards the IARU-90 diploma, details of which can be found at www.iaru-r1.org/

The websites for International Museums Weekends and International Air Ambulance Week are open for registration. Dates for the diary are 20th and 21st and 27th and 28th June for the Museums event and 19th to 27th September for Air Ambulance. More details about the events can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/

QRZ Logbook now recognises contact confirmations from ARRL’s Logbook of The World and users now can download their contacts from Logbook of The World directly into their QRZ Logbook. QRZ.com has posted an LoTW Dowload Quick Start Guide. The QRZ.com User Support Center can provide help with any problems or answer questions.

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

Today, the 25th, the Horncastle Winter Rally will take place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be free car parking and refreshments. More information from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

The GB3JS repeater group will be holding a table top and junk sale on 30th January at the Star Hotel, Great Yarmouth NR30 1HG, starting at 7pm. It’s free entry for buyers; tables cost £5 for traders and £2.50 for individuals. The junk sale starts at 8.30pm. Refreshments will be available and the bar and restaurant will be open. Talk in is via GB3JS. For further information, or to book a place, please visit www.gb3js.co.uk

The 30th Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will take place on 1st February at The Paddocks, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 0JA. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be trade stands and refreshments available. More detail from Vic Rogers, G6BHE on 01702 308 562.

And now a correction. The Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on Saturday 21st March and not Sunday 22nd as found in the latest edition of RadCom. Apologies to the organisers for the error.

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 25th, Chelmsford ARS will be on its second day operating GX0MWT in support of the RNLI SOS Radio Weekend. The stations should be on the air on HF and 144MHz using SSB, data and CW from 10.30am to 5pm from the Marconi Sailing club at Steeple in Essex on the river Blackwater.

Riviera ARC in Torquay will be running GB4TLB in support of SOS Radio Week. Plans are to be mainly active on 40m and 2m and depending on band conditions, they may also use 17m and 15m.

Edmund Spicer, M0MNG is taking part in the SOS Radio Week, active mainly on weekday evenings on 40m SSB, with some activity also on 2m SSB and FM in Southern England. More details can be found on his QRZ.com page.

Farnborough and District Radio Society is celebrating half a century of support and promotion of amateur radio. G50FRS will be operating until 30th November including the nets every Monday on 1995kHz at 8pm and Friday on 144.675MHz at 8pm. All are welcome to call and join in. For more information visit www.farnboroughradio.org.uk/

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society will be operating on 31st January from Marine Walk SR6 0PP for SOS weekend under the callsign GB2SLB. Operation will be on HF only.

The Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be continuing their support of SOS Radio Week for the RNLI by activating the Club callsign today, 25th January. MN0VFW will be on air from before sunrise to late afternoon on most bands as propagation allows. All local amateurs are encouraged to call in on 145.500 and say hello or to get directions to arrange a visit to the shack.

OU0POLIO will be on the air until 31st December 2016 using all band and all modes in celebration of the 110th anniversary of Rotary International. The activities will be from various QTHs and in various contests. QSL and other information is on QRZ.com

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

The Rockall DX Group are in Iran to put Kish Island, EP6T, on the air until 31st January. This is IOTA reference AS-166. They will have five high-powered stations on the air. QSLs go via M0URX.

VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 from Guatemala until 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

TC100GLB is to be operational until 30th April to commemorate the Battle of Gallipoli 100 years ago. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via TA1CM.

KC0W will be in Haiti operating stroke HH5 until 3rd February. This is a CW-only expedition on 160, 80 and 40m. QSLs go directly to his home callsign.

Jon, W5JON will be visiting his home at Calypso Bay on St Kitts, NA-104, until 1st March. QSLs go to his W5JON Texas address.

Richard, AD7AF will be active from East Kiribati as T32RL until 9th February. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest ends its 48 hours of operation today, the 25th, at 2200UTC. Work everyone. Non-US/VE stations send RST+ CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK, while US/VE stations send RST + State/Province code. This is the CW leg of the contest and the SSB leg takes place next month.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contests runs from 2000 to 2230UTC on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. Please note 13cm activity starts 30 minutes later than all the other bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This year the M5 multiplier rule is being replaced by M7. The difference will be that Locator squares containing UK stations will be worth two multipliers, whereas Locator squares containing non-UK stations will be worth one multiplier. Don’t worry if your logging program doesn’t score the contest correctly, because the entry robot on the RSGBCC web site will rescore it for you.

On 28th January the UK-EI Contest Club 80m event runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the band the exchange is your 4 character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of January.

Solar conditions were largely settled this week with the A index remaining firmly in single figures. NOAA’s prediction that the solar flux index would be around 130 last week appears to have been fairly spot on, with the SFI at 124 as this report was being prepared.

The prediction this week is for more of the same, although there are signs of a large new sunspot coming around the solar rim. This, sunspot region 2268, may provide some surprises as it appears to be quite large.

Now on to HF propagation. The short path to Japan could reach 28MHz around 8am this week, although the probability of success is only around three to five per cent. A better band at that time might be 15 metres, that’s 21MHz. Or you could look for JA on 17 metres, 18MHz, between 1500 and 1800UTC, with a maximum probability of around 60%.

Next week, we will take a closer look a propagation predictions for the much-awaited K1N DXpedition to Navassa Island near Haiti, which is due to start shortly.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist Jim, G3YLA reports that we did get a little tropo encouragement from a weak ridge of high pressure last week, but all of that is in the past and the next week is back to very breezy changeable weather, so largely flat VHF/UHF tropo conditions.

There is an occasional opportunity for a weak ridge in the south, in between lows, but these rarely deliver any substantial lift conditions.

There have been Southern Europe to South Africa 50MHz Trans Equatorial contacts in the last week so look out for propagation from the extreme Southwest of the UK.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination continues to increase throughout the coming week, giving longer Moon windows and after last week’s loss minimum, next week we’ll see a daily increase in loss.

Again, there are no significant meteor showers predicted and Sporadic-E openings are still very unlikely. So it looks like a good week to try aircraft scatter on the higher bands and random meteor scatter on 50 through 144MHz.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 18th. January 2015.

January 16, 2015
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th January 2015

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom confirms E error on website

  • Youth Team Leader needed for Tuscany trip

  • VK to G link on 477kHz

As many listeners will be aware, Ofcom is required to give all licensed radio amateurs notice that it intends to vary licences in line with its decisions following last year’s consultation. That process is underway and letters are being sent out in batches, although they were all printed at the same time. It has been brought to the RSGB’s attention that some amateurs have received a letter suggesting that their callsign now includes the Regional Secondary Locator, “E”. Ofcom have confirmed to the RSGB and on their website that this is due to a system error and not a change in policy or callsign.

The RSGB Youth Committee is seeking a highly motivated person to take on the role of a Team Leader for a youth event in Tuscany, Italy, to be held in July. It brings together 75 young radio amateurs from 15 member societies and previous events have included workshops on antenna building, satellites, ARDF, and robots as well as some on-air sessions and cultural visits. The team leader would be expected to contribute towards costs and would have to have their own travel insurance. The Society is looking for someone to lead the UK team, preferably a young teacher or other type of experienced youth leader. Contact Mike Jones, via youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk.

Using the new OPERA Dynamic MF/LF beacon mode, VK5CV transmitted at 1630UTC on 15 January using 477kHz and was spotted by G8HUH, receiving at -37dB. Data recovered from the PSK-Map database shows the capture to fit exactly with the OPERA Dynamic time signature. Opera Dynamic provides an additional 5 or 6dB gain over the conventional Opera Beacon and is automatically engaged should the decoder fail. The facility is linked to the OP8 477kHz and OP32 136kHz modes only. VK5CV reported using 50 watts carrier power to 160m inverted L with a base loaded variometer. Those involved say that this may have been one of the ‘Flash’ propagation events linked to the MF band; to date UK/EU to VK has yet to be achieved.

Following last year’s 5MHz amateur operation in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe, the Czech telecommunications regulator, together with the Czech Ministry of Defence, have agreed to changes in 5MHz permits for Czech radio amateurs. The number of 5MHz channels available under the new 2015 permit has been increased from 6 to 12 and a substantial number of these have been aligned internationally, primarily with the UK and also the US allocations.

Thinking Day on the Air takes place on 21st and 22nd February when Guides around the world will get on the air to contact one another as well as amateur stations worldwide. Liz Gaskell, G0RJX, may hold the honour of the longest continuous UK Thinking Day operation. Liz, a Girlguiding leader in Oxford, has been responsible for operating many different callsigns for Thinking Day and this year will be her 25th year. We would be very interested to hear from other 'veteran' operators. Contact radcom@rsgb.org.uk

A new repeater, GB3TS, was commissioned in December located at Warden Law, Sunderland. The frequencies are 433.175 and 434.775MHz with a CTCSS tone of 118.8Hz. Full details are on QRZ.com under the call sign GB3TS. Reports to the repeater keeper please, Ian G7MFN, via email to g7mfn@hotmail.co.uk

The ARRL Library is now online. This online library is a repository of educational presentations and oral histories. It will initially consist of three major areas. These will include PowerPoint presentations that may be used at club meetings, outreach efforts to the general public or other public presentations; PDFs of general educational material about amateur radio, and oral histories of radio amateurs describing their personal experiences with amateur radio. Visit www.arrl.org/library

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

Today, the 18th, the Hatherleigh Radio Rally will be held in the Hatherleigh Community Centre, Bowling Green Lane, Hatherleigh, Okehampton, Devon EX20 3HB. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. More information from Roger, 2E0RPH on 01822 852 871.

Also today, the 18th, the Red Rose Winter Rally is in The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park, M41 7FJ. It is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. Doors open at 11am and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from John on 07840 389 427.

Next weekend, on Sunday the 25th, the Horncastle Winter Rally will take place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £1.50. There will be free car parking and refreshments. More information 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

On 24th and 25th January, Chelmsford ARS will be operating GX0MWT in support of the RNLI SOS Radio Weekend. The stations should be on the air on HF and 144MHz using SSB, data and CW from 10.30to 5pm each day from the Marconi Sailing club at Steeple in Essex on the river Blackwater.

Riviera ARC in Torquay will be running a GB4TLB in support of SOS Radio Week. Plans are to be mainly active on 40m and 2m and depending on band conditions, they may also use 17m and 15m.

Edmund Spicer, M0MNG is taking part in the SOS Radio Week for the first time as a solo operator at his home QTH. He will be active mainly on weekday evenings on 40m SSB, with some activity also on 2m SSB and FM in Southern England. Working his station will count towards the SOS Radio Week award scheme. More details are on his QRZ.com page.

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

VE7BV will be active stroke TG9 from Guatemala between 22nd January and 17th February. He plans a holiday style operation on 20, 17 and 15 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

The Rockall DX Group travelled to Iran to put Kish Island, IOTA AS-166, on the air until 31st January. The callsign will be EP6T and they will have 5 high powered stations on the air. QSLs go via M0URX.

Tom, KC0W will be in Haiti signing HH5/KC0W until 3rd February. This is a CW-only expedition on 160, 80 and 40m. QSLs go directly to his home callsign.

Patrice, F5RBB and Mireille, F4FRL will be on the air from Monaco as 3A/F5RBB and 3A/F4FRL, respectively, from the 18th to 24th January. Activity will be on 20 and 15 metres using RTTY and PSK31. QSL via operators' instructions.

Now the contest news

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

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest takes place for 48 hours, starting 2200 on Friday 23rd. Single operator stations can operate up to 30 hours, while multi-op stations can operate up to 40 hours. Work everyone. Non-US/VE stations send RST+ CQ Zone, which is 14 for the UK. US/VE stations send RST + State/Province code. The SSB leg takes place next month.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest takes place for 24 hours, starting 1200UTC on Saturday 24th. The exchange is serial number only and operation is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Last year there were nearly 900 entrants to this event, which surely means the organisers have hit upon the right formula.

The Worked All Britain 1.8MHz Phone contest takes place next Saturday, 24th January, from 1900 to 2300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 14th February. 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 via email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 16th of January.

This week the solar flux index has been down a little compared with the pre-Christmas period. As the report was being prepared it stood at 142, with NOAA predicting it will decrease to 130 by the end of the week.

There are currently no new visible sunspots rotating into view on the sun’s surface, which explains the predicted reduction in solar flux. Geomagnetic conditions have been a little quieter too, with the Ap index keeping well below 20. This may continue next week as the current crop of sunspots appears quite stable.

Together this means we may be in for reasonably-settled HF conditions over the next seven days.

Paths to the eastern seaboard of the United States will have an 80% probability of success in the afternoon on 15m, that’s 21MHz. The more difficult trans-polar short path route to California will offer around 30% probability on 17m, that’s 18MHz, around 1600-1700hrs.

January remains a good month for DX on 160, 80 and 40 metres, although the higher solar flux indices and more unsettled geomagnetic conditions have meant that the lower bands have been suffering, compared with sunspot minimum.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Meteorologist Jim, G3YLA reports that the weather for the next week is dominated by a true winter pattern with frost and snow likely. On some of the calm, frosty nights with clear skies there is likely to be a strong surface temperature inversion developing that may give rise to some slight enhancements in VHF/UHF tropo performance.

Otherwise, it will be too windy generally, although there is a possible ridge of high pressure next weekend over north western Scotland and western Ireland and if that builds south eastwards we may benefit in the following week.

For EME operators, the Moon’s declination increases throughout the coming week, giving longer Moon windows, with losses reaching a minimum midweek. The moon is close to the sun on Tuesday, making Thursday and Friday the best days.

There are no significant meteor showers this week and Sporadic-E openings are very unlikely, but there’s still amateur satellites to use. A moderate station can make QSOs via FUNcube, so there’s always something to try at VHF and up.

And that's all this week from the propagation team.

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