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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • Examinations Standards Committee chair wanted

  • UK YOTA 2017 team announced

  • ISS contact deadline approaches

Following the sudden and unexpected sad loss of the recently-appointed Examinations Standards Committee Chair Dave Powis, G4HUP, the RSGB Board is again seeking to appoint a suitably qualified replacement. The Committee oversees all aspects of the examinations. More details are on the RSGB website, but if you require further information or an informal chat about the role you can contact the responsible RSGB Director Ian Shepherd, g4evk, via email to g4evk@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is delighted to announce that the members of the UK YOTA 2017 team are Peter Barnes, 2E0UAR and Jonathan Sawyer, M0JSX. Peter is 19 and a member of Thornbury and South Gloucestershire ARC. Jonathan is 23 and belongs to the Reading and District ARC. You will be able to read more about them in the May issue of RadCom, which should arrive around Easter. Congratulations to them both.

The deadline for schools or informal educational institutions and organisations to submit proposals to host amateur radio contacts next year with International Space Station crew members is fast approaching. All applications must be in by the 5th of April. Organiser ARISS anticipates that contacts will take place between the 1st of January and the 30th of June next year. Anyone interested should contact the RSGB liaison Ciaran Morgan via email to ciaran.morgan@rsgb.org.uk for assistance with the application process.

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017, as described in RadCom. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form at www.rsgb.org/attendagm

The new Bletchley Park website has officially launched. It includes details of a booked event happening on the 2nd of April between 2 and 4pm. Visitors can experience an intimate Q&A session with Bletchley Park Veterans in celebration of the Off Duty exhibition that gives a look into the recreational activities the Codebreakers and their colleagues enjoyed outside of work. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ and click on the What’s On tab. RSGB Members can gain free admittance to Bletchley Park using an individualised voucher that you download from the www.rsgb.org home page.

The 2016 RSGB Convention lecture The rise & rise of 5.7GHz EME by Peter Blair, G3LTF has been released for RSGB Members to view. Just log in and then go to the online video portal www.rsgb.org/video

Amateurs in the UK have been very fortunate in having early access to 5MHz, with 5 spot frequencies 15 years ago and more than 70kHz of spectrum made available in 2013. This was a result of close cooperation with Ofcom and the MoD, who is primary user on the band. The UK currently has an arrangement that gives us more spectrum and a higher power allowance of 100W at 5MHz, however it does not cover all of the WRC-15 band of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. The Society played a very active role in the WRC-15 process and continues to work with Ofcom to gain access to all of the WRC-15 band, however this is not expected to change in the foreseeable future as there are on-going assignments within the band. The RSGB will implement the IARU Region 1 band plan for 5MHz within the segments allocated to us. In common with other Region 1 societies with allocations greater than 15kHz, we will recommend that frequencies within the WRC-15 band that are allowed under the UK Amateur Radio Licence only be used for international contacts, or for stations with no other option.

All radio amateurs are invited to participate in Portugal's National SOTA Day on the 1st of April. This is not a contest. Diplomas, sent electronically, will be available to activators, chasers and SWL registered on the SOTA database and after the upload of their logs. More information from Pedro, CT1DBS/CU3HF by email to diasotaCT@gmail.com.

The Palestine, E44CM DXpedition that took place in November 2016 has now been approved for DXCC credit. Follow the usual procedures or, for new participants, go to www.arrl.org/dxcc

At 1am today, the 26th of March, the clocks were turned forward one hour, signalling the start of British Summer Time. It means that there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings. Most radio amateurs leave their shack clocks to GMT or UTC but some programs may need the time changed.

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

Today, the 26th of March, the Callington Radio Rally will take place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands. Catering is available on site and there is ample free parking in the adjacent car park. The rally is organised by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information, including booking details, from Roger on 07854 088 882.

Next weekend, on the 2nd of April, The Hack Green Hangar Sale will take place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open 10am. It is a sale of amateur gear, electronic equipment, computers, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Refreshments are available on site. More details from Lucy Siebert on 01270 623 353 or by email to lucy@hackgreen.co.uk

An advance notice and an apology now. The Ripon Rally on the 23rd of April didn’t appear in last month’s RadCom, for which the editorial team apologises. The rally does appear correctly on the RSGB website. It will be held at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 2PT on Sunday 23 April. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2 on the door, with under 16s free. Enquiries can be made via email to rally@ripon.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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.


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

A group of radio amateurs from Sweet Lake City in the Netherlands will be in Liechtenstein from the 1st to the 8th of April. Using the HB0 suffix to their callsigns they will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. All QSLs are via PE1FLO.

W2APF will be on Nevis Island in the Caribbean, IOTA reference NA-104, until the 1st of April. He will be using the callsign V47JR and will be active on the 6 to 80m bands using CW and SSB. This is a holiday style operation and QSLs go via the home callsign.

Richard, G3RWL will be reactivating his 8P6DR callsign from Barbados, NA-021, until the 20th of April. He will be on CW and RTTY on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Tim, NL8F is on the air as T2TT on Tuvalu, OC-015, until the 13th of April. Activity is on the various HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7RO.

Laurent, F5IXR is on the air as TZ5XR in Mali until 2019. Activity is on 40, 20, 17, 12 and 10 metres using mostly CW. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

A Canadian-led DXpedition-style event will activate the 100 hectare WWI battle site, Vimy Ridge as it is the centenary of the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. A commemorative amateur radio station will go on the air from the summit of Vimy Ridge on the 1st of April and continue until dusk on the 9th. Seventeen operators, drawn from the ranks of Canadian and French contesters and DXpedtioners, will run two stations 24 hours per day, using SSB, CW and digital modes on 160 through 10 metres. The radios will be Elecraft K3s and KPA 500s with Spiderbeams, verticals and dipoles for antennas. www.v100vimy.ca

South Kesteven ARS will put GB5ROC on the air on the 2nd of April from Post 62, Buckminster, the Royal Observer Corps Cold War Nuclear Bunker, operating as a part of Britain on the Brink.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359 today, the 26th. Using all contest bands from 160 to 10m, the exchange is signal report and serial number. In this contest everyone can work everyone.

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

On Wednesday, the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using the 80m band only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is a busy one. The SP DX contest runs from 1500UTC on the 1st to 1500UTC on the 2nd. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SP stations send their Province code too.

On the 2nd, running from 0900 to 1200UTC, the Frist 70MHz contest takes place. Using all modes on the 70MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 2nd, but from 1900 to 2030UTC, the RoLo 1, or Rolling Locators, contest takes place. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the locator you received.

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

Last week’s predicted geomagnetic storm materialised on cue, sending the K index up to five on Tuesday. The storming continued right through Wednesday into Thursday. There was an initial ionospheric enhancement late on Tuesday, but it didn't last long. Maximum useable frequencies were then adversely affected on Wednesday with noisy bands and even 20 metres struggling to open at times. The culprit was a high-speed stream from a solar coronal hole, which impacted the Earth at speeds in excess of 650 kilometres per second, triggering an aurora. The time around the equinoxes can often bring more auroral activity.

The sun has been otherwise quiet, with only one tiny sunspot group coming around the limb.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the low 70s, but geomagnetic disturbances will continue. The K index is predicted to rise sharply on Tuesday due to yet another high speed stream from a coronal hole. This may push the K index up to six, prompting auroral conditions yet again.

Poor conditions may then continue, so look out for an initial positive phase, which could occur early in the week, but then expect disturbed conditions with lower maximum usable frequencies for the remainder. As always, polar HF paths may be the worst hit, while North-South paths could remain less affected.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The high pressure we hinted at last week is now building over northern Britain and should dominate the weather for much of the coming week.

The prospects for tropospheric openings look good, especially across the North Sea into northern Germany and the Low Countries. Weather models seem to follow a theme that the high declines later in the week with low pressure and the potential for gigahertz bands rain scatter for western areas by next weekend.

As we move towards April, there will be a chance of some early season Sporadic-E within southern Europe. This is not ready for us yet, but a sign of good times ahead, given another three weeks or so. Now is the time to be checking those 10m, 6m, 4m and 2m beams and beacon lists.

Moon declination goes positive this week, meaning increasing windows of moon visibility. With perigee on Thursday, losses will become lower as the week progresses, making it a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • High volume of calls to Ofcom

  • 90th RSGB AGM in Cardiff

  • Yasme Foundation supports YOTA 2017

Ofcom Spectrum Licensing is currently experiencing a high volume of calls about licensing issues. Email enquiries can take up to four weeks and telephone answering can also be delayed at peak times. Please use the online portal for licence activities and consult the Information for Radio Amateurs and Frequently Asked Questions before calling or emailing. See www.ofcom.org.uk for further information

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. Details of this are at www.rsgb.org/AGM2017. Whilst the RSGB encourages Members to vote electronically via the ERS website at www.ersvotes.com/rsgb17, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website at www/rsgb.org/attendagm

The RSGB is delighted to announce that the Yasme Foundation have become a Super Supporter of the YOTA 2017 event at Gilwell Park in August. The Yasme Foundation makes supporting grants to individuals and organisations providing or creating useful services for the amateur radio community. Regardless of originality or novelty, Yasme supports these programs in order to further the development of amateur radio around the world. If you would like find out more about the YOTA 2017 event, go to www.rsgb.org/yota

The DXpedition to Bangladesh will use two different callsigns during its 12-day operation. S21ZED will be used until the 22nd of March, with S21ZEE used for the last 5 days, the 23rd to the 27th. This is to comply with Bangladeshi regulations. The DXpedition team asks that stations not work the second call sign on the same bands/modes, if they already have worked the first.

Results for the 80 Metres Evening Counties Contest held on the 21st of February have now been published, see www.irts.ie/results for the details. Congratulations to the winners. The leading stations outside Ireland were Dave, 2E0KVJ, SSB only, and Mike, G3VYI, mixed mode.

Some countries in the Northern Hemisphere that includes most of North American and some of the Caribbean, who observe Daylight Saving Time changed their clocks on the 12th of March at 2am. The UK will switch to British Summer Time on the 26th of March. Of course, most radio amateurs don’t change their UTC clocks anyway. Although you may have to change the settings on some computer programs.

A Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Research Paper available for download. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area, around 200km radius, without any intermediate human-made infrastructure. It is therefore especially suited for disaster relief communication, communication in developing regions and applications where independence of local infrastructure is desired, such as military applications. It uses frequencies between around 3 and 10MHz. Entitled Radio communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation: an overview, it has been written by Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès and Ben A. Witvliet. Download at https://tinyurl.com/k8e583l

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

Today, the 19th, the 32nd Wythall Radio Club Rally is at Wythall Park, Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Parking is available on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £4. There will be a Bring & Buy, a RSGB bookstall as well as lectures. Catering will be available on site. Contact Mike, on 0797 674 4479.

On the 26th of March, the Callington Radio Rally will take place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands. Catering available on site. Ample free parking in the adjacent car park. Rally organised by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information and bookings from Roger on 07854 088 882.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

SP5EAQ and SP7DQR are on the air as T2AQ and T2QR in Tuvalu until the 4th of April. Activity is on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and CW. QSL via SP7DQR. In addition, Tim, NL8F will be active as T2TT from the 23rd of March to the 13th of April. His activity will be on various HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7RO.

Kazik, SP6AXW is on the air as 9N7XW until the 31st of March from Nepal. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Ed, WA1ZAM will be active as PJ7PL until the 3rd of April from Sint Maarten. Activity will be on the 10 to 30m bands using SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.

John, W5JON and Cathy, W5HAM are on the air as V47JA and V47HAM, respectively, from Calypso Bay in St Kitts and Nevis until the 5th of April. Activity is on 6 to 150m bands, including 60m, using SSB. This includes an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

Kaku, JA6REX and Toshiya, JH6HZH will be active as V633KS and V633ZH, respectively, from Chuuk Island in Micronesia, IOTA OC-011, until the 3rd of April. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with a focus on the low bands. QSL to home calls.

Now the special event news

GB0WM will be on the air from Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton for British Science Week today, the 19th of March. Operated by South Kesteven ARS.

GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

Look for special event station II0CXX to be active until the 31st of May on Saturdays during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe Net, at 1000UTC on 7165kHz. This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the passing of Arthur A Collins, W0CXX, founder of the Collins Radio Company, who became a Silent Key in 1987. QSL via IK0IXI only direct: no bureau and no eQSL.

Now the contest news

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its run at 0200UTC today, the 19th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

The Russian DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 19th. Using CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code.

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

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000to 2130UTCng SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend it’s the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. Running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 25th and using all bands from 1.9 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. In this contest everyone can work everyone.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of March.

Despite zero sunspots and a solar flux index of only 70, there was good DX to be had last week. This was helped by more settled geomagnetic conditions over a period of days, thanks to a lack of coronal hole activity. The RSGB Commonwealth Contest saw UK amateurs making contacts into all parts of the world, although these were primarily on 7, 14 and 21MHz. This pattern will no doubt predominate over the next few years until we get past solar minimum.

A group of UK amateurs have been operating from Ghana as 9G5X and have shown how this part of the year can give good north-south propagation. They have been audible on 20 and 15 metres, and there are even reports of very weak openings to the UK on 10m.

A look at the Solar Dynamic Observatory's extreme-ultraviolet image of the sun on Thursday showed a coronal hole on the sun's equator, which is rotating to be geo-effective in a few days.

NOAA predicts solar material from the hole may hit us midweek, so look out for an elevated K index. This can be a double-edged sword, resulting in enhanced conditions during the initial phase, before maximum usable frequencies decline with noisy conditions follow.

The solar flux index is predicted to remain in the low to mid 70s.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There were some good Tropo openings last week, but this is unlikely to last. By this weekend the high will have declined as lows move in from the Atlantic and they will dominate the weather for much of the coming week. Interestingly, there are signs of high pressure returning at the end of the week, but this is handled very differently in different weather models. One only brings the high as far in as Ireland, while another model develops a fully-fledged high over Scotland by next weekend. This is clearly an uncertain signal, but at the moment the week looks much less productive for Tropo than last week.

As we come very close to April, the seasonal ‘April showers’, this week should offer some good chances for rain scatter on the GigaHertz bands. There is the possibility of VHF auroral activity mid week if the K index rises as predicted.

With negative Moon declination all this week, windows are short and the moon is at low elevation. Today is apogee so losses are at their highest, but decreasing as the week goes on.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • New video blog uploaded

  • Talk to Cadets in Exercise Blue Ham

  • Latest news on RSGB AGM

The RSGB has just launched its first video blog, or vlog, to share what is happening behind the scenes in preparation for YOTA 2017, the amateur radio youth event planned for the summer. It features the Youth Committee Chair, Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ. Look out for more vlogs in the coming weeks, where you will hear from other people involved in making this international event a reality. Go to www.youtube.com/theRSGB

The Cadet signals exercise known as Exercise Blue Ham is due to take place on 5MHz on the 18th and 19th of March, then again on the 25th and 26th. Not only will they be speaking to other Cadet groups, they welcome calls from amateurs too – but only make contact on amateur licensed frequencies. Full details are at http://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. Details of this are at www.rsgb.org/AGM2017. Whilst the RSGB encourages Members to vote electronically via the Electoral Reform Society website at www.ersvotes.com/rsgb17, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website at www/rsgb.org/attendagm

The next episode of the UK's only TV show dedicated to all things radio, TX Factor, is released on the 17th of March. Go to www.txfactor.co.uk for details. Factor is sponsored by the RSGB and Martin Lynch & Sons. In amongst the item on Episode 15, Bob discovers the fun to be had remotely controlling his Icom IC-7300 over the internet using Icom’s proprietary software interface and shows you how to set it up. The IC-7300 was reviewed in the August 2016 RadCom. Mike and Bob meet two youngsters who are passionate about amateur radio and find out how they are making more people, both young and old, aware of the delights of our hobby. TX Factor is available to stream to your phone, tablet, computer or smart TV.

With the significant increase in numbers of 70cm digital voice repeaters that have inputs at the low end of the band, the ETCC have been reminded to highlight the power restrictions that apply to 430-432MHz. The maximum peak envelope power in this part of the band is 40W effective radiated power for Full and Intermediate Licensees and 10W ERP for Foundation licensees. Given that many modern mobiles can run 50W or more to high gain collinear aerials it is very easy to exceed these levels so please take care to keep your power to the minimum required and certainly never above the limits mandated in your licence.

The talk Being the DX, QRP by Dominic Baines, M1KTA is the latest 2016 RSGB Convention lecture available for members to view via the new video portal at www.rsgb.org/video. It joins Contesting from VY2ZM on Prince Edward Island by Jeff Briggs, VY2ZM; Developments in IOTA, update on electronic QSLing and the future by Roger Ballister, G3KMA and Advances in amateur television by Noel Matthews, G8GTZ.

Following a request from the RSGB, Ofcom has kindly agreed an increased power level of 50 watts ERP for new 146-147MHz Notice of Variation applications. The band is only available to holders of a Full Licence and all other NoV terms remain unchanged, including antenna height and geographical restrictions. New applicants or existing NoV holders can use the online application system at www.rsgb.org/nov to get the new NoV free of charge.

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

The Dover Radio Club Rally takes place today, the 12th of March, at Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield, near Dover CT163LY, Talk in will be on GB3KS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. More details from Aaron, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

Due to a clerical error the Grantham Radio and Electronics Rally is incorrectly listed in RadCom as being in May. We apologise for the confusion and confirm that the Grantham rally is, in fact, today, the 12th of March, at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XQ. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open 9am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 has more information.

On Saturday the 18th of March the Laugharne Radio Rally will be held at the Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton Street, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 1pm, with disabled admission 15 minutes early. Entry is £3. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 0199 4427 581.

On Sunday the 19th, the 32nd Wythall Radio Club Rally is at Wythall Park, Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Parking is available on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £4. There will be a Bring & Buy, a RSGB bookstall as well as lectures. Catering will be available on site. Contact Mike, on 0797 674 4479.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

S21GM and S21KW will be on the air from Bangladesh between the 15th and the 27th of March. Using the 160 to 10m bands, the team will operate CW, SSB and RTTY.

The F6KOP expedition team will be in the Ivory Coast signing TU7C until the 19th of March. They will be active on all HF bands CW, SSB and digital. QSL via F1ULQ or the Web page OQRS.

A multinational team will travel to Niger and activate 5U5R until the 20th of March. They will be on all bands from 160 to 10m on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL to EA5RM.

The EI DX Group will be signing 9N7EI from Nepal until the 20th of March.

Now the special event news

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven will host a variety of special events today, the 12th of March, to support the local charity of Samaritans of West Cumbria. In addition to the scheduled beacon exhibits on display, members of the RSGB will operate GB1SWC. As well as live tracking of the International Space Station and interactive demonstrations such as a Morse code game, there will be sending and receiving of television pictures and digital information over radio waves. More information is on QRZ.com.

Foyle & District ARC will be operating GB5SPD on the 17th of March between 9am and 6pm from 159 Victoria Road, Bready, Strabane, Co Tyrone BT82 0DZ. More details from Philip, MI0MSO on 07849 025 760.

Grey Point Fort ARS will operate a St Patrick’s Day Award station on the 16th to the 18th of March from 10am to 6pm. Check out the website stpatrickaward.webs.com for details.

West Tyrone ARC will operate GB1SPD on the 17th of March between 9am and 5pm from the Ulster American Folk Park, 2 Mellon Road, Omagh BT78 5QU. More from Philip, MI0MSO on 078 4902 5760.

Look for special event station II0CXX to be active until the 31st of May on Saturdays during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe Net, at 1000UTC on 7165kHz. This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the passing of Arthur A Collins, W0CXX, founder of the Collins Radio Company, who became a Silent Key in 1987. QSL via IK0IXI only direct: no bureau and no eQSL.

Now the contest news

The 80th Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1000UTC today, the 12th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. HQ stations also send HQ.

Today, the 12th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 12th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 2nd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

On Tuesday from 1900 to 2000UTC the 432MHz FM Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Then between 2000 and 2230UTC it’s the 432MHz UK Activity Contest. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday from 1900 to 2000UTC the 70MHz FM Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following that, from 2000 to 2230UTC, the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest runs from 0200UTC on the 18th to 0200UTC on the 20th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

From 1200UTC on the 18th to 1200UTC on the 19th the Russian DX contest uses CW and SSB only. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code.

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

In the last report we said the ongoing disturbed geomagnetic conditions may have settled, with a predicted K index of two. Unfortunately, this didn't happen as early as expected and the beginning of the week saw a K index up as high as five. This had an adverse effect on maximum useable frequencies, with a very unsettled ionosphere. Daytime MUFs seldom allowed the bands much higher than 20 metres to be used. This was also not helped by an absence of sunspots.

The slightly better news is that on Thursday a look at the sun in extreme UV light showed there were no earth-facing coronal holes on the sun's equator, although there are some around its poles. This means that we can hope for a few days of lower K indices this weekend, and hopefully more settled HF conditions for the Commonwealth Contest.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 70s next week. To put this in perspective, the solar flux index never gets below 65 at sunspot minimum, so conditions are not good. NOAA also predicts conditions may be geomagnetically unsettled again from mid week, with a potential maximum K index of five either Wednesday or Thursday. So look for better DX conditions at the beginning of the week, and then the potential for a pre-auroral opening on the upper bands just as the K index rises, although this is harder to predict.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It looks like the early part of this week could bring some Tropo over the South and Central part of the UK, extending in to the North Sea up to Norway, so keep an eye on the bands and put out some CQ calls to generate interest. There is the possibility of VHF auroral activity mid week if the K index rises as predicted.

The winter minimum in meteor activity continues until the April Lyrids, so stick to the best time for random meteor scatter contacts, around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon’s declination goes negative on Monday so Moon windows are shortening. The Moon is also heading out to apogee next Sunday so losses will be high and increasing as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • Speak now on RSGB future

  • Repeater NoVs now due

  • 80th Commonwealth Contest next weekend

The consultation on the RSGB's future direction ends today, Sunday the 5th of March, so don't miss out on your chance to give feedback. Go to the consultations page on the RSGB’s website and let your voice be heard. See www.rsgb.org/consultations

The RSGB's ETCC reminds Repeater Keepers that if they are not in possession of a valid Notice of Variation to their amateur licence on the 1st of April 2017, they must close their repeater or gateway down, as they will be operating outside the terms of their licence. If you do allow your NoV to expire, Ofcom have advised that a completely new application will be required. Your NoV can be renewed on the ETCC website at ukrepeater.net where further information is available. Please contact your local repeater manager if you have any difficulties or queries.

The 80th Commonwealth Contest will take place over next weekend, the 11th and 12th of March. A number of special prizes and awards have been organised to celebrate what is now the longest running CW DX contest in amateur radio. See the March RadCom for details. It is expected that there will be a number of Commonwealth DX stations active.

The North American 4m Trans-Atlantic licence for WG2XPN has been renewed for another two years. The trustee of WG2XPN advises that the beacon is still operating 24/7 using its usual operating parameters; 70.005MHz CW, GPS locked, ERP 3kW from a Yagi aimed at 60 degrees true North from grid square FM07fm. The QTH is 1280m ASL. The beacon has been heard via multi-hop E-skip in the UK and other locations in the EU over the past few years. QSL reports are encouraged via the DX cluster or beaconspot.eu

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the ARI, the main Italian amateur radio association, many Italian club stations will be on air on all bands and all modes until the end of the year. These stations can be easily detected from the prefix IQ. They will give a letter and number that shows the Region and the club station involved. Each month two Italian Regions will be on air. More information on the event, and the associated award, can be found in English at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0303.

Quantum Amateur Radio & Technology Society is pleased to announce that their new System Fusion / WiRES-X gateway, 31369, MB6IOK-ND, is now live, as is their associated room of 41369, MB6IOK-Ormskirk, alias Quantum Tech Club. The gateway is free for all to use and is operating on 431.1625MHz with no CTCSS or digital squelch codes required. The gateway is operating under an NoV assigned to Derek Hughes, G7LFC and is, at present, on an attended basis, which means that the gateway will not be switched on 24/7, but should be available most evenings. Further details about the gateway will be posted at www.mb6iok.uk, a website that is currently under construction.

Amateur radio operators in Uruguay now have access to 60m. General and Superior licence holders have Secondary access to 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. The range 5351.5 to 5354.0 is for CW and Digimodes, 5354.0 to 5366.0 is all modes and 5366.0 to 5366.5 is more CW and digimodes. The maximum power is 15W EIRP for General licensees and 25W EIRP for Superior licensees.

The 60th anniversary of the world's oldest amateur radio beacon is being marked by running the NAC-contests from the OZ7IGY QTH at JO55wm, with the call sign OZ7IGY. Specific frequencies and other details can be found at www.oz7igy.dk/event-log

Stations are being encouraged to prepare for the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations, when many amateurs worldwide will turn the bands green as they celebrate on air as part of the St Patrick Award. With many stations already registered to take part from the 16th to the 18th of March, you can find out more information or register by going to http://stpatrickaward.webs.com/

The UK Six Metre Group will be holding a short formal 2016 AGM via Skype on Sunday the 12th of March at 5pm. Any paid-up UK Six Metre Group member is entitled to join the meeting but please notify the group of your intention to do so by sending an email to chairman@uksmg.org as soon as possible, so that the right online conferencing arrangements can be put in place.

The local telecommunication authority in Hong Kong, OFCA, has now allocated 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis. The maximum power permitted is 15 watts EIRP.

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

Today, the 5th of March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will take place in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Bring & Buy book-in starts at 10.15am. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

Due to a clerical error the Grantham Radio and Electronics Rally is incorrectly listed in RadCom as being in May. We apologise for the confusion and confirm that the Grantham rally is, in fact, next Sunday, the 12th of March, at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XQ. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open 9am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 has more information.

The Dover Radio Club Rally takes place on the 12th of March at Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield, near Dover CT163LY. Talk in will be on GB3KS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. More details from Aaron, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Members of the Tifariti Gang and DX Friends will be active in the Republic of Niger as 5U5R in a multi-national DXpedition between the 9th and 21st of March. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands including 30, 17 and 12m using CW, SSB and RTTY, with at least four stations on the air at the same time. Note that no amateur operation on 6m is permitted in Niger. QSL via EA5RM or the OQRS on their web page after the DXpedition goes QRT. Details are at www.dxfriends.com/5u5r/index.php

Members of the EI DX Group will be in Nepal from the 8th to the 20th of March. The 11-man team will run up to five stations from 80 to 10m on CW, SSB and digital. Nepal is currently number 91 Most Wanted DXCC in the world. Operating from a QTH at 5,600 feet above sea level, the team are looking forward to intense pile-ups. For full information, please visit their website, https://9n7ei.com

Members of the Six Gs Team will be on the air as 9G5X from the 7th to the 21st of March. Activity will be on 160 to 10m using CW, SSB and RTTY, with three stations active. QSL via M0OXO.

A group of operators will be operating as C6APY from Little Harbour Cay in the Bahamas, IOTA reference NA-054, until the 11th of March. Activity will be on 40 to 15m using CW and SSB, with up to three stations active simultaneously. QSL via M0OXO.

Frank, DJ5NQ is on the air as E51ANQ from Rarotonga, IOTA OC-013, until the 24th of March. Activity is on 20m using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Francois, F4HLT is operating as FT3YL from the Dumont d'Urville Station, Terre Adelie on Petrels Island in Antarctica, IOTA AN-017, until the 1st of February 2018. Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB and various digital modes in his spare time from 0900 to 1100UTC and after his work duties. QSL via F6KPQ.

Now the special event news

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven will host a variety of special events throughout the weekend of the 11th and 12th of March to support the local charity, Samaritans of West Cumbria. In addition to the scheduled beacon exhibits on display, members of the RSGB will operate GB1SWC. As well as live tracking of the International Space Station and other interactive demonstrations such as a Morse code game, there will be sending and receiving of television pictures and digital information over radio waves. More on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 5th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

The 144/432MHz contest ends its 24 hours of operation at 1400UTC today, the 5th. Using all modes on the 144 and 432MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC today, the 5th. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, in any mode, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

The 80th Commonwealth Contest runs from 1000UTC on the 11th to 1000UTC on the 12th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Headquarters stations also send HQ.

On Sunday the 12th the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 12th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 2nd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

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

We were pleased to get the HF propagation prediction pretty much spot on last week. While Monday and Tuesday were reasonably settled, Wednesday saw the effects of solar material from a large coronal hole as it hit the Earth. The K index leapt to five around lunchtime and there were reports of HF openings up to 10 metres. This was probably a pre-auroral enhancement, but it didn't last too long.

By late Wednesday the K index had continued to climb to six. And on Thursday morning this had taken its toll on the ionosphere; the maximum usable frequency was down to less than 14MHz, with unsettled conditions all day. Next week, NOAA predicts a solar flux index in the low 70s and a K index of two, thanks to a respite from coronal hole activity.

Interpreting this, we can say that HF conditions should be better than they were in the latter half of last week. Expect maximum usable frequencies to reach perhaps 21MHz at times. After a few days with a low K index we may even see some better DX. This time of year favours North-South paths, such as the UK to South Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Paths to Cape Town may even reach 28MHz around 1400UTC for well-equipped stations if geomagnetic conditions are quiet. That is, with a low K index. In contrast, paths to the Caribbean may struggle to reach 21MHz.

As we are now into March, users of propagation prediction software like VOACAP and VOAProp should be using the new smoothed sunspot number, 28.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This week starts as unsettled as the last, but without the extremes of Storm Doris! We had some rain scatter last Tuesday but, true to form, it was just about gone by the start of the SHF UKAC contest. This just highlights the need to operate on the GHz bands more than one day a month, unless you just want to work the same people and no DX.

This week we have regular small lows drifting across the country and producing more areas of rain or heavy showers. In fact, as we move towards the equinox, the chances of heavier showers developing increases and, although this may mean potential thunder and lightning, it does improve the prospects for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

This takes us up to midweek, after which there is a hint of higher pressure over Biscay and France, possibly bringing slightly better Tropo prospects to southern areas. But some longer-range models bring a return of unsettled weather after a day or so.

We are still in the period until April with no meteor showers, so stick to the best time for random meteor scatter contacts, which is around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon reaches its highest declination on Tuesday and losses are still low in the early part of the week, so it’s another good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • YOTA 2017 – find out more

  • Long path propagation SOTA event

  • Review of Contesting seeks your thoughts

There is now a dedicated section on the RSGB website that contains everything you need to know about YOTA 2017, www.rsgb.org/yota You can discover more about the history of the event and who will be taking part this year; read the latest news and announcements; meet the team involved in making YOTA 2017 a reality; and learn how you could become one of our ‘Super supporters’. The section has just been redesigned to make the information easier to find, so take a look and find out more! Plans for YOTA 2017 are progressing and you can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

Mike, 2E0YYY, Andrew, VK1AD and Ed, DD5LP are planning another long path propagation SOTA Summit to Summit event for 11 March starting at 0630 UTC. Activity will be SSB or CW on 20 metres and going by the last action in October 2016, over 30 summits are expected to be active concurrently over Europe, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Japan. Check reflector.sota.org.uk for details.

RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is writing a report on the implementation of the 2015 Review of Contesting. A questionnaire forms an important part of the input to this report, but there will also be feedback from clubs, groups and individuals as well as factual analysis of performance where possible. The questionnaire is now available on the RSGB website on the ‘Consultations’ page. It will be live until the 19th of March. All those interested in the future of contesting are urged to complete it. Whether or not you are a Member of the RSGB, the Society is asking for your help and input.

The CRS-10 mission carrying vital amateur radio equipment to the International Space Station launched at 1439UTC on the 19th of February. Included was an ARISS Ericsson 2 meter VHF radio. This radio will replace the Ericsson radio that failed a few months ago. The VHF radio is used for school group contacts and amateur packet radio in the Columbus module. Once the Dragon vehicle is berthed to ISS, the Ericsson will be unstowed and, at some point, installed in Columbus, replacing the UHF radio that is now supporting APRS packet and some school contacts.

The RSGB Board Proceedings for the December 17 meeting have been released. Members can read the RSGB Board proceedings on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org.uk

The GM DX Convention 2017 will be held at the King Robert Hotel, Whins of Milton, Stirling, on the 1st of April. Lectures include Chris, G3SVL speaking about the ZL7G Chatham Island DXpedition and SDR “with knobs on” by John, G3WGV.

The RSGB has added more to the new video page for Members. Go to www.rsgb.org/video to see more from the 2016 RSGB Convention. They are freely available for you to download but please read the RSGB’s conditions of use first.

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

The Rainham Rally takes place today, the 26th of February, at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. The new venue is larger with on site parking for 250 cars and is located a couple of miles from the M2, Junction 3. A talk in station, GB4RRR, will operate on 145.550MHz. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. Details from Trevor Cannon, on 0771 767 8795.

Also on the 26th is the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables will be £10 each (first come first served) Doors open at 8am for sellers and the setting up of tables. Buyers will be allowed in when the doors open at 9.30am. Entry fee £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time. Hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar (non alcoholic drinks till lunch time). Table bookings are through Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

The Lagen Valley ARS Rally and Hamfest takes place on the 4th of March in the Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough, County Down BT26 6AR. Doors open at 11am. All the usual traders are expected to attend.

On the 5th of March the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will take place in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Bring & Buy book-in starts at 10.15am. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Elvira, IV3FSG will be in Burkina Faso until the 13th of March. She will sign XT2SE on CW, SSB and Digital. QSL Manager is IK3GES.

Steve, M1ACB, Rob, M0VFC and John, M0IDA will be active on the FM and SSB amateur radio satellites from Berry Islands in the Bahamas from the 4th to the 10th of March and will be using hand-held antennas. Since the FM satellites will only cover part of the USA they’ll also be using SSB on FO-29 to reach the British Isles and Europe. They will be operating from Little Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands, IOTA NA-054, Grid Square FL15do.

Lot, DJ7ZG and Babs, DL7AFS are operating from Antigua as V21ZG until the 26th of March. They will be on SSB on all bands 80m to 6m including 60m. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and QSLs can be obtained through Club Log OQRS.

Mike, W0MU and Jonathan, G0DVJ will be on the air from Belize until the 28th of February. They are using the callsigns V31MU and V31DV and can be found on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to the home calls.

A group of operators are operating as VP6EU from Pitcairn Island until the 5th of March. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via DK2AMM.

Jonathan, KK7PW will be in Uganda until the 7th of March. He has been issued with the callsign 5X1O and will be on the air early mornings/ late evenings on 40, 20, 15 and 10m on CW, SSB and Digital. His QSL Manager is EA5GL.

Now the special event news

GB0SMD will be operating from the historic church of St Margaret of Antioch on Saturday the 4th of March from 10am-4pm. Operation will be on HF using the 10 to 80m bands and a special QSL card will be produced.

PA2017BP is on the air until the 20th of March to commemorate Lord Baden-Powell who founded the Scout Movement, also known as the Boy Scouts. QSL to PA3EFR.

Throughout 2017, Canadian Radio Amateurs may use special callsign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. Those whose regular callsigns start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix, VE will be able to use the CG prefix, VO will be able to use the CH prefix and VY will be able to use the CI prefix.

Now the contest news

With HF conditions now so poor, the CQWW 160m DX CW Contest that ends its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 26th, might be even livelier than usual. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with V stations sending State and VE stations sending their Province.

The REF (French) Contest runs for 36 hours ending at 1800UTC today, the 26th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department or overseas prefix.

Also today, the 26th, the first 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes within the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the UK EI CC on 80m from 2000 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL International DX contest from 0000UTC on the 4th to 2359UTC on the 5th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

Also next weekend it’s the 144/432MHz contest from 1400UTC on the 4th to 1400UTC on the 5th. Using all modes on the 144 and 432MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next week, the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 5th. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, any mode, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Last week was a mixed bag as far as HF propagation is concerned. We had a solar flux index that got as high as 83, but this was tempered by unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. The planetary K index hit four on Wednesday due to incoming plasma from a large solar coronal hole. And it varied from between zero and three for a lot of the week.

The good news is that there is quite a large sunspot group in the north-west quadrant of the Sun that should be pretty much earth-facing by the time you read or hear this report. The bad news is that there is another coronal hole rotating into position. While Sunday the 26th and Monday the 27th will merely be unsettled with a predicted K index of three, Tuesday the 28th and the rest of the week are predicted to be very unsettled with a possible K index of six. These unsettled conditions could continue through to the end of the week.

At the moment we are seeing maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of about 6.6MHz. This means 40m is largely useable for contacts beyond 100 kilometres and we have daytime maximum useable frequencies exceeding 21MHz.

Looking on the bright side, next week we enter into March and head towards the spring Equinox. This can be a good time for the higher HF bands, with better conditions on North-South paths.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

I hope you managed to keep all the antennas intact and storm Doris passed uneventfully. The unsettled weather will continue through much of the coming week with no signs of any significant Tropo to look forward to.

There is one brief period on Sunday when mild, windy and cloudy weather may give suitable conditions for a slight lift, in the region between a warm front and cold front. Given the speed that the weather systems are moving, it will be a short visit and soon gone. That leaves us with slow-moving low pressure nearby, but without large shower clouds at this time of year, GHz bands rain scatter will be limited.

There are no major meteor showers this week, but remember that the best time for random meteor scatter contacts is around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon reaches perigee on Friday, and its declination goes positive on Tuesday, so EME path losses are low and Moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses.

It’s a good week for EME, apart from today and Monday when the sun and moon are within a few degrees of each other giving high solar noise, especially at VHF where antenna beam widths are wide.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • RSGB publishes band plan

  • Plan your Museums on the Air station

  • RSGB new video page

The RSGB has published the 2017 Band Plans in RadCom and online. These consolidate earlier changes made in June 2016 and just add one important change with respect to UK usage of 5MHz. For the 60m band a new footnote has been added that states that internal UK-only contacts should now be conducted outside of the new WRC-15 range in line with the IARU Region 1 band plan for that narrow segment. Full details can be found on the On The Air/Operating section of the RSGB website.

It’s not too soon to start planning your International Museums Weekends scheduled for later this year. The dates for your diary are the 17th and 18th then the 24th and 25th of June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ Also at this address are details of the International Air Ambulance Week in September. Registration, for both events, is now open.

The RSGB has launched a new video page that brings its full range of videos together in one place. Go to www.rsgb.org/video to see promotional films about amateur radio, RSGB convention lectures and videos commemorating special events. They are freely available for you to download but please read the RSGB’s conditions of use first.

Sad news that Dave Powis, G4HUP became a silent key on the 9th of February. Dave was a well-respected tutor and mentor and a very active member of several radio clubs, mentoring many candidates to gaining their amateur radio licences. He joined the Examinations Standards Committee in 2007 and spent much of 2016 working with the Exam Group on revising the licence syllabuses. Late in 2016 he became RSGB Exam Standards Committee Chairman and was just beginning to bring his newest ideas to bear. He also was well-known for the excellent surface mount soldering classes at the RSGB Convention in recent years. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this difficult time.

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, in Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant. The HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state. Fallen's experiments will be carried out between the 19th and 22nd of February.

The RSGB has appointed Youth Committee Deputy Chair, Milo Noblet, 2E0ILO as the UK team leader for YOTA 2017. He will lead the UK young amateurs during the IARU Youngsters on the Air 2017 summer camp that the RSGB is hosting at Gilwell Park in August. Plans for YOTA 2017 are progressing and you can help the RSGB to make the YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a mysterious ‘foghorn’ that is a Chinese over-the-horizon burst radar is operating in the amateur radio bands. The mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14MHz is often jumping with the signal frequency modulated on pulse with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts. The latest IARUMS newsletter also reports strong splatter from Radio France International on 7,205kHz down to 7,186kHz. The French REF has informed RFI and French telecommunications authorities. Full details on these and other interference matters can be found at www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2017/news1701.pdf

The Indian Space Agency has successfully launched the amateur radio satellite Nayif-1 along with 103 other satellites, a record for a single launch. The PSLV-C37 lifted off at 0358UTC on the 15th of February. Nayif-1 started transmitting about an hour after launch and radio amateurs in the west of the USA reported the first signals. Ken, GW1FKY reports he received his first frames of data when the satellite came in range of the UK at 1007UTC.

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

The Radioactive Fair at Nantwich takes place today, the 19th of February at the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details by email from stuart@multimediacontrols.com.

There has been an unavoidable change to the venue for the Rainham Rally on the 26th of February. It will now be held at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. The new venue is larger with on site parking for 250 cars and is located a couple of miles from the M2, Junction 3. A talk in station, GB4RRR, will operate on 145.550MHz. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. Details from Trevor Cannon, on 0771 767 8795.

Next weekend on the 26th of February the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club Rally takes place at Wyong Racecourse, Howarth St, Wyong NSW 2259, Australia. Billed as the largest event in Australia. More information at www.ccarc.org.au

Also on the 26th but much closer to home is the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables will be £10 each (first come first served) Doors open at 8am for sellers and the setting up of tables. Buyers will be allowed in when the doors open at 9.30am. Entry fee £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time. Hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar (non alcoholic drinks till lunch time). Table bookings are through Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ will be in the Los Islands, IOTA AF-051, until the 26th of February. The Los Islands are off the coast of Guinea in West Africa and the callsign being used is 3XY3D.

A European team will sign VP6EU from Pitcairn Island in the Pacific until the 5th of March. More information can be found on www.pitcairn2017.de

A team of German operators will be active as XX9D from Macao until the 26th of February. They will be on CW, SSB and RTTY with 3 stations active 24/7. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ are on the air as 3XY3D from Kassa Island, IOTA AF-051, until the 26th of February. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using mainly CW with some SSB. QSL via F5OZC.

Eric, SM1TDE will be transmitting as 5X8EW from Entebbe from the 23rd to 26th February. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using CW. QSL to home call.

Michael, DF8AN will be on the air as CE0Z/DF8AN from Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA SA-005, from the 21st to the 24th of February. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Operators from the Darwin Amateur Radio Club will on air using the callsign VI8BOD from the 18th of February to the 28th of March to remember the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia in 1942. QSL Manager is M0URX and QSL cards can be requested on the M0URX OQRS. More information can be found by searching VI8BOD on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 19th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and transmitted power level. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

On Tuesday the 21st, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Irish Radio Transmitter Society 80m Counties Contest takes place on the evening of 22nd. Work EI and GI stations only between 2000 and 2100UTC. There are SSB-only and CW/SSB sections, with CW QSOs attracting twice as many points as SSB QSOs.

On the 23rd of February the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

With HF conditions now so poor, the CQWW 160m DX CW Contest that commences at 2200UTC on Friday the 24th might be even livelier than usual. Running for 48 hours and using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with V stations sending State and VE stations sending their Province.

The REF (French) Contest runs for 36 hours over the same weekend on SSB from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department or overseas prefix.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the first 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of February.

Last week brought mostly settled conditions and the HF bands benefitted as a result. With a solar flux index in the mid 70s, and a K index never higher than two before Thursday, it was an opportunity for the ionosphere to shine.

The maximum useable frequency was often just above 21 Megahertz at times, bringing DX in from many parts of the world, including TL8TT in the Central African Republic. Other highlights included RI1ANR in Antarctica, 4JT4K Azerbaijan, and CE2AWW in Chile, all on 17 metres.

More settled conditions also brought better conditions at the bottom end of the spectrum with some very strong openings to the United States on 80m at dawn.

Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index should be around the 80 mark. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be settled at first, perhaps declining from around Wednesday the 22nd to give a K index of around four at times. Once again this is due to ongoing solar coronal hole activity.

We recommend getting your DXing in over the weekend and in the first half of the week, as conditions may be more unsettled as the enhanced solar wind impacts the Earth. At this time of year, HF favours diagonal paths across the equator, such as the UK to South America. This will start to shift towards more north-south paths, such as the UK to South Africa, as we head towards the spring equinox next month.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The predicted high pressure has become dominant over the south of Britain, and may help us with some limited Tropo in the first half of this week before declining after midweek. The reason for the decline is that a large low will become resident to the north-east of Britain and bring some rain and windier weather as the high gets nudged away to the south. So, this is not the best week for Tropo, although there are limited prospects in the first half of the week.

You could monitor the various rain radar websites to help predict short rain scatter openings on the Gigahertz bands. Look at beacon signals on an SDR waterfall display for their characteristic broader signals, offset in frequency from the main carrier. Don't expect too much from this rain as winter does not produce the sort of DX that we see in summer thunderstorms.

There are no major meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon apogee on Sunday means peak path losses. Combined with low declination, reaching a minimum on Wednesday, it’s a week of short daytime windows at low elevation for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • RSGB responds to Ofcom consultation

  • Convention lectures on YouTube

  • Slow Scan TV from ISS

The RSGB has responded to the Ofcom Proposed Annual Plan 2017/18 consultation. The response highlights areas of the plan, including EMC and Spectrum, where the RSGB believes that Ofcom should improve its focus and resources. A copy of the response can be seen on the RSGB website.

We’re delighted that a number of lectures from the RSGB Convention 2015 are now on the RSGB’s YouTube channel, by kind permission of the presenters. You can see Clean Up Your Shack by Ian White, GM3SEK; Navassa Island K1N by Glenn Johnson, W0GJ; What Makes The Pings Go Ping by John Worsnop, G4BAO and Engineering The Gemini Range of LDMOS VHF Power Amplifiers by Chris Bartram, GW4DGU. Please note that the presenters retain the copyright of their content and their slides. Do join the hundreds of people who have already subscribed to the RSGB channel so you're the first to see videos as they're added. You can find the videos at www.youtube.com/theRSGB

Slow-scan television transmissions are planned from the International Space Station on Monday and Tuesday. The SSTV images will be transmitted as part of the MAI-75 Experiment on 145.800MHz FM. They will be made using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver, located in the Russian ISS Service module. It is thought they may use the PD-180 SSTV format. The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on the 13th from 0925 to 1800UTC and the 14th from 1125 to 1630UTC.

RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is writing a report on the implementation of the 2015 Review of Contesting. A questionnaire forms an important part of the input to this report, but there will also be feedback from clubs, groups and individuals as well as factual analysis of performance where possible. The questionnaire is now available on the RSGB website on the ‘Consultations’ page. It will be live until the 19th of March. All those interested in the future of contesting are urged to complete it. Whether or not you are a Member of the RSGB, the Society is asking for your help and input. The President also welcomes offers of assistance, or requests to talk or meet. Contact him via president@rsgb.org.uk The report will be completed by early April.

ClubLog has updated their latest 'DXCC Most Wanted List' as of the 31st of January. The information is derived from QSOs uploaded to ClubLog. Currently there are 339 entities listed, see https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

A new PDF of Examination Announcements has been published. Its contents include Challenges and Appeals, Practical Assessments and feedback on Advanced exams in 2016. The document can be downloaded from the Clubs and Training section of the RSGB website.

As part of the Society’s drive to improve communications across the organisation, the Chairman of the Board is going to investigate suggestions that the RSGB is not responding in a timely manner to comments received via Have Your Say. He will report his findings to the Board by the 17th of March.

On the 13th of February, ITU will join the global celebrations for World Radio Day, the day set aside to celebrate the unique power of broadcast radio. The ITU continues working to enable innovation in radio communications as well as ensuring that transmission standards and spectrum are available for digital radio in MF, HF and VHF broadcasting bands, and that there are approved international regulatory frameworks in place to allow for a smooth migration from analogue to digital radio. For full details of activity put World Radio Day into your favourite search engine and click on the many results you will find.

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have confirmed that the Nayif-1 CubeSat, which has a full FUNcube payload, is now scheduled for launch at 0358UTC on the 15th. The flight, C-37, will carry a total of 104 satellites into orbit. As with previous missions carrying FUNcube payloads, AMSAT-UK would very much like to receive as many reports as possible from stations around the world, especially shortly after launch. Telemetry, using 1k2 BPSK to the FUNcube standard, will be on 145.940MHz. The linear transponder uplink will be on 435.045 to 435.015MHz and the downlink on 145.960 to 145.990MHz. Full details are at http://amsat-uk.org/

Thinking Day on the Air will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February. This is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen at www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk/ For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to liz@guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Lots of people have views on what the RSGB should or should not do. Here is your chance to have your say. The RSGB Board has been working with strategy expert Chris Deacon, G4IFX, the Leadership Team and Headquarters Staff to develop a strategy for the next 5 years. That work has been boiled down into a one-page document with a narrative to explain the context and background. We would now like your views. The draft strategy and narrative are online at www.rsgb.org/strategyreview and you will also find a link to an online survey where you can express your views. If you need a paper version of the questionnaire, please call the RSGB General Manager’s office on 01234 832 700.

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

The Harwell ARS Radio and Electronics Rally takes place today, the 12th of February, at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. Talk-in will be available using G3PIA on 145.550MHz. There is free parking nearby, with disabled parking next to the Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10am. Admission is £3, with children under 12 free. There will be radio and electronics stalls, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Book Stall. Refreshments will be available all day. Details for both traders and visitors from Ann, G8NVI, by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com.

The Radioactive Fair at Nantwich takes place on the 19th of February at the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details by email from stuart@multimediacontrols.com.

There has been an unavoidable change to the venue for the Rainham Rally on the 26th of February. It will now be held at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. This new venue will host the usual traders and exhibitors, with light refreshments available during the event. It is easy to find, just a couple of miles from the M2, and also larger, with on site parking for 250 cars. The date and time of the rally remain unchanged at 10am on Sunday the 26th of February. Talk-in will be available on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Pista, HA5AO returns to Lesotho until the 26th of February. He will reactivate his 7P8EUDXF callsign that he aired last October. This is a spare time operation and QSLs should go via OQRS to HA5AO.

Michael, DF8AN will operate as CE0Y/DF8AN from Easter Island, IOTA reference SA-001, until the 17th of February. He will be on CW and digital modes. He then goes to Juan Fernandez Island, SA-005, from the 21st to the 24th where his callsign will be CE0Z/DF8AN. QSLs go via his home call.

Tim, LW9EOC will operate from San Andres, NA-033, between the 13th and 27th on the low bands and WARC bands using CW, SSB, RTTY as 5J0NA. He will also participate in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via LW9EOC and via the Bureau.

A DXpedition to the Arctic is due to set off on the 14th of February. RT9K/9 plans to operate from IOTA groups AS-121, AS-104, AS-068 and AS-054. Each activation is supposed to run for 4 to 5 days. Using the 40 to 10m bands, operation will be on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via RX9KM, ClubLog OQRS.

Yuri, VE3DZ will be active as 6Y2T from Jamaica, NA-097, from 14 to 21 February, including an entry in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

The 14th of February marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the UK's first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex. A team from Chelmsford ARS will be making operating GB952MT from the 12th to the 14th to mark this occasion. Details are on QRZ.com.

Until the 19th of February, Chertsey Radio Club is running special event callsign, GB5QE, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 65 Jubilee.

Operators from the Darwin Amateur Radio Club will on air using the callsign VI8BOD from the 18th of February to the 28th of March to remember the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia in 1942. QSL Manager is M0URX & QSL cards can be requested on the M0URX OQRS. More information can be found by searching VI8BOD on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW WPX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. It takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is just the serial number.

The PACC contest ends its 24 hour runs at 1200UTC today, the 12th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. PA stations also send their Province.

On Tuesday the 14th the Low Power 432MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following that, the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Championship from 2000 to 2130UTC. This time it’s the data leg, and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following on is the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL International DX contest, from 0000UTC on the 18th to 2359UTC on the 19th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and transmitted power level. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

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

Last week, the hoped-for settled geomagnetic conditions materialised, but could have been better. After Monday, the K index settled down to one or two for the rest of the week.

HF conditions have been variable, rather than outstanding. There have been some 15 metre openings at times, but 20 and 17 metres have been more consistent. The lower bands, such as 80 and 40 metres, have also been proving how good they can be in the winter, offering DX at times.

The daytime critical frequency has been reaching around 6MHz, meaning 40m is open to slightly longer skip of 500 to 1,000 kilometres. Sixty metres has been better for day-time inter-G contacts. The estimated night-time MUF over a 3,000km path has been staying above 7MHz through the night.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the 70s, moving higher towards 80 around the eighteenth.

Geomagnetically-settled conditions should continue until around the fourteenth, when the K index is predicted to rise to four, due to recurrent coronal hole activity. But this should be relatively short lived.

We will be moving towards spring-time HF conditions in a few weeks, so make the most of the better low-band conditions while you can.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

With high pressure over the North Sea and the nearby continent, we might expect some enhanced Tropo conditions on paths across to Denmark and northern Germany later this weekend, but nothing major.

Some weather models bring the high a bit closer at the end of next week. This may limit the Tropo by lowering the temperature inversion and bringing very dry air from the continent, degrading the inversions’ ability to generate Tropo. So, a slightly better week than last, but much of the time there will be no major Tropo event.

Even with poor Tropo conditions, it’s worth investigating the VHF, UHF and GHz bands. There are always DX opportunities at VHF and above using aircraft scatter – up to 800km if you have the right equipment to take advantage of short duration paths. Digimodes or fast CW are required.

We are in the winter minimum of meteor activity, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

Moon declination is falling, going negative on Tuesday, and losses are increasing. With apogee only a week away, the best conditions for EME contacts will be early this week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom Licensing System update

  • Consultation on RSGB future

  • Online exams FAQ launched

Ofcom updated its Licensing System for radio amateurs on 30 January. Changes include the ability to request a Notice of Variation for standard Special Event Stations; a Verify My Details button, which prompts users to confirm or update their personal details annually after login; a display showing the date your personal details were last verified; and some accessibility improvements with larger system icons. It remains a licensing requirement to validate your details at least every five years.

Lots of people have views on what the RSGB should or should not do. Here is your chance to have your say. The RSGB Board has been working with strategy expert Chris Deacon, G4IFX, the Leadership Team and Headquarters Staff to develop a strategy for the next 5 years. That work has been boiled down into a one-page document with a narrative to explain the context and background. We would now like your views. The draft strategy and narrative are online at www.rsgb.org/strategyreview. There is also a link to an online survey where you can express your views. If you need a paper version of the questionnaire, please call the RSGB General Manager’s office on 01234 832 700.

Further to December's announcement regarding online Advanced exams, a new document, entitled Online Advanced Exams, has just been placed on the RSGB website. You will find it under the Examination Announcement tab, which is in the Training part of the website. The document includes more detail regarding timing of the pilot phase of the project and also includes an FAQ section that hopefully answers most of the questions that Exam Secretaries and Candidates are likely to raise. For more details contact the RSGB Examination Quality Assurance Manager Dave Wilson, M0OBW, via email to eqam@rsgb.org.uk

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first France-to-US moonbounce contact, special callsigns TM8DO and TM1BF will be on the air until the 11th of February on 2m and 70cm EME using JT65. The original contact was between F8DO in France and W6DNG in California on the 27th of January 1967. TM8DO will be on 144.21MHz and 432.060MHz, and TM1BF will operate on 144.128 MHz. Stations will transmit in sequence. Real-time information and skeds may be arranged via the N0UK (A) and (B) or HB9Q chatrooms.

The RSGB Convention this year will be held on 13-15 October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. We are starting to identify speakers for the Convention and would particularly like to develop the HF and DXpedition content further. If you have suggestions for any topics or speakers you would like to hear, please email an outline suggestion to convention@rsgb.org.uk

Plans for YOTA 2017 at Gilwell Park are progressing. The IARU YOTA team had a very difficult job in selecting the countries to be represented; they had more applications than can fit into the venue. To allow as many as possible to take part they decided to reduce the size of each Team to three, including a young Team Leader. This resulted in twenty seven Region 1 countries and Japan being offered places. It seems the Japanese team will be looking at how the YOTA camp works to see if the idea can be exported to Region 3. The IARU team also raised the minimum age for attendance at YOTA camps to fifteen and asked that all Team Leaders be under thirty years of age.

Paulo, PV8DX has released a video describing the new TubeSat Tancredo-1 and shows reception of the 437.200MHz downlink by Drew, KO4MA. Tancredo-1, mounted in a TuPOD Deployer, was ejected from the International Space Station on the 16th of January. The satellite is a STEM project built by middle school students in Brazil. The video is in Portuguese but try enabling the YouTube Closed Caption subtitles and use the Auto-translator to get English. See https://youtu.be/8tvSp0eNPww

On the 2nd of February, RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF was interviewed about amateur radio on BBC Radio Northampton. Nick explained that amateur radio is not only alive and well, but flourishing among people of all ages. It was a prelude to the documentary on Frank Wright, a schoolmaster at Bugbrooke school, who more than 100 years ago taught boys and girls to send and receive Morse messages. This was at a time when rural children were expected to leave school barely literate. Business houses, shipping companies and the military were seeking out young people from Bugbrooke to staff their wireless cabins and run their communications. The documentary will be available on iPlayer after broadcasts on the 5th and 6th. Listen to Nick, G3RWF at about 44 minutes into the recording. See www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04p017c#play

QSL bureau sub manager for the G7 group, Chris Flanagan, G7NRO, changed his address some time ago. The Post Office divert on his mail has now expired. Some Members are still using his old address to send collection envelopes. The Post Office divert on his old address has expired, so unless you use the correct address he will not receive your mail. Whatever your callsign series, this is perhaps a timely reminder to check the details of your QSL sub manager. Details can be found under the ‘Operating’ drop down on the main RSGB website.

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

Today, the 5th of February, the 32nd Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island SS8 0JA. Public access is at 10.30am. There is free parking and the venue has disabled facilities including space outside the main doors for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes, will be available on site. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

The Ballymena Amateur Radio Club Rally takes place on Saturday the 11th of February at Ahoghill Community Centre, 80 Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill BT42 1LA. There is free parking on site. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy and a prize draw. Light refreshments will be available. Details from Hugh, GI0JEV on 0282 5871 481.

The Harwell ARS Radio and Electronics Rally takes place on the 12th of February at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. Talk-in will be available using G3PIA on 145.550MHz. There is free parking nearby, with disabled parking next to the Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10am. Admission is £3, with children under 12 free. There will be radio and electronics stalls, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Bookstall. Refreshments will be available all day. Details for both traders and visitors from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com.

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

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

A team of US operators will be meeting at Guantanamo Bay, IOTA reference NA-015, at various times between the 10th and 24th of February. Bill, KG4WV, Jim, KG4AW and Keith, KG4DY will start on the 10th. Keith will stay until the 17th. Don, KG4ZK will join the team on the 17th and will leave on the 24th with Bill and Jim. The team is there to do some antenna repairs as well as give exams for new hams and upgrades. When not working, activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB, PSK and RTTY. QSL via the operator's home callsign, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

Harald, DF2WO will be in Kigali, Rwanda until the 11th of March. He will use the callsign 9X2AW. QSLs go via M0OXO.

A group of Italian operators will activate TL8TT from the Central African Republic until the 14th of February. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 10m. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Paul, HB9ARY is operating as 3B8HC from Pointe aux Sables in Mauritius, AF-049, until the 15th of February 15. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via NI5DX.

Tim, N4UM, Mike, K4RUM and Bob, N4BP will be on the air as C6ARU, C6AUM and C6AKQ, respectively, from Abaco Island, NA-080, from the 7th to the 21st of February. Activity will be on 160 to 6 metres using CW and some RTTY. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Now the special event news

Members of the Paphos Radio Club are operating a special event station H2017PFO throughout 2017 for Europe's Capital of Culture in 2017. Activity is on the HF bands using all modes. QSL direct to 5B4AIE.

Members of the Bulgarian Radio Club Blagovestnik are operating as LZ235SIR during February for All Saints 2017. QSL via the bureau.

The 14th of February marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the UK's first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex. A team from Chelmsford ARS will be making operating GB952MT from the 12th to the 14th to mark this occasion. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

Today, the 5th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the Low Power 144MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Following that at 2000 to 2230UTC the 144MHz UK Activity Contest takes place. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2350UTC on the 12th, the CQ WW WPX RTTY contest takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is just the serial number.

The PACC contest takes place from 1200UTC on the 11th to 1200UTC on the 12th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. PA stations also send their Province.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 3rd of February 2017.

Last week’s prediction about geomagnetically-disturbed conditions turned out to be correct, with the K index soaring to five during the week. This resulted in visible aurora at high latitudes, as local midnight is often the time when aurorae and disturbed conditions hit their peak. There were three small sunspot groups visible on the solar surface on Thursday, but these only pushed the solar flux index to 76.

Next week, NOAA predicts similar solar parameters, with the solar flux index in the seventies. Sunday the fifth may be geomagnetically unsettled, but we should then get a better period of quiet conditions. This may allow the ionosphere to recover, with the possibility of better DX openings from the 6th. Expect daytime maximum usable frequencies over 3,000 kilometres to peak at around 15 metres at times, with 17 and 20 being more reliable.

Daytime critical frequencies may peak around 7MHz, although the 5MHz band will be more reliable for intra-UK contacts. Night-time critical frequencies may exceed 3.5MHz at times, offering the potential for DX on 80 and even 40 metres. A settled polar ionosphere can sometimes be a good indicator for the lower bands.

Bob, MD0CCE reported good Top Band openings to the USA on many occasions last month. The evening of the 24th of January also provided one of the best 160m openings to JA he had heard in two years. The high-latitude K index had been zero or one for each of that day’s three-hourly periods, which suggested a settled ionosphere for polar paths.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It is looking like another week of unsettled weather with low pressure systems dominating the charts, bringing some wet and windy weather at times. There is unlikely to be much enhanced Tropo on offer, but there could be rain scatter opportunities on the GHz bands. Last week saw rain scatter on 3.4 and 10GHz with signals from beacons, but sadly no UK activity to go with it.

Even light rain can provide enhancement if you look carefully for it, so make a noise on the GHz bands.

On the positive side, there is a hint of a weak ridge of high pressure over south-eastern parts of Britain later in the week, but it is too far ahead to get excited about just yet. It does seems that the 2m UK activity contest on Tuesday evening is more likely to occur under a trough of low pressure.

With just a few very minor meteor showers this week, activity continues to be low but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn.

With perigee, or closest approach of the moon on Monday and maximum declination on Wednesday, it’s a good week for EME with low losses and long moon windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • What makes a club great?

  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium talks online

Thinking Day on the Air 2017 will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February. This is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding, from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member, to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen at www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk/station-list.html and stations who are not on the list can submit their details via the form at the bottom of that page. It’s not too late to organise a Thinking Day station between your radio club and local guides. For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to liz@guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Recently, amateurs have found many new ways of getting together to share their hobby – and ways of spicing up very traditional clubs with innovative ways of doing things. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF, has got Board support to highlight some of the best things which are going on. Whether you are a long established club, a group meeting in a pub, a special interest group or even a virtual club, he would like to know what is special about your way of linking amateurs with a shared enthusiasm. The RSGB Board would then like to share those ideas more widely. If you have a major success, something special to mention or would like to help with this project, please contact Nick Henwood via email to president@rsgb.org.uk

PA3WEG has made the talks given at AMSAT-UK Colloquium between 2008 and 2012 available on YouTube. The videos were made by members of the British Amateur Television Club. Watch the videos at www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/playlists

On Sunday the 5th of February, the Vintage and Military ARS will be displaying equipment of interest to the vintage enthusiast at the Canvey Island rally. This will be VMARS’ tenth year of attendance. Stuart, G0TBI and Peter, G7DXV will be manning the stand and look forward to seeing members and non members alike.

The RSGB Board has asked the current RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, to conduct a short consultation leading to a report on progress made since the Presidential Contest Review of 2015. He will look at its original aims, the progress that has been achieved so far and suggestions for future priorities and action. There will be an online member questionnaire in addition to discussion with the Contest Committees and other groups wishing to make an input. Further details will be published on the RSGB website and the intention is to report by early April. The Board wishes to thank the volunteers of the Contest Committees for their continuing hard work and commitment on behalf of members to make contesting both enjoyable and challenging.

Special event station VE100VIMY/VE5 will be on the air from the 29th of January to the 4th of February, commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought in France in April 1917. QSL via N7RO. You can find out more about the callsign and the commemorations that will take place in France in April at http://ve100vimy.ca/

Looking ahead now to the summer and the YOTA youth camp to be hosted by the RSGB at Gilwell Park. Young people from all around IARU Region 1 will meet to enjoy radio and exchange ideas with like-minded youngsters. You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter

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

The Horncastle Winter Rally takes place today, the 29th, at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking. Entry is £2. The venue is all on one level and so is suitable for less able visitors. There will be hot drinks and snacks available including bacon butties. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

On the 5th of February, the 32nd Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island SS8 0JA. Public access is at 10.30am. There is free parking and the venue has disabled facilities including space outside main doors for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes, will be available on site. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Peter, HA3AUI will be visiting Guinea-Bissau and Senegal between now and early March. Callsigns to look for are J5UAP and 6W2SC. Operation will be on CW and QSLs are requested directly to his home call.

A group of German operators will activate TU5MH from the Ivory Coast until the 2nd of February. They will have three stations and will be on 80m to 10m on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log OQRS and logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

A group of operators will be on the air as 9M4LI from Lalang-Lalang Island, IOTA AS-072, from the 3rd to the 5th of February. Activity will be on various HF bands and modes. QSL direct to 9W2NDQ.

An expedition by members of a Dominican Republic club will put Beata Island on the air until the 1st of February. The callsign will be HI1UD and the IOTA reference is NA-122. The QSL Manager is W2CCW.

A group of operators will be operating as TL8TT from Central Africa from the 1st to the 14th of February. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. RTTY will be restricted to 20 metres. QSL via operators' instructions.

Manu, F5LIT is on the air as YB9/F5LIT from Bali, IOTA OC-022, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 20, 17 and 15 metres using SSB. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air today, the 29th, for SOS Weekend. Operation will be on all bands from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard.

H2017PFO is a special call issued to the Paphos Radio Club to celebrate Paphos sharing the honour of being European Capital of Culture for 2017 with Aarhus in Denmark. QSL via 5B4AIE

Special event station DB20ENERGY is on the air until the end of 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the German company DB Energie. QSL via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest ends it 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 29th. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests for 2017.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Sunday the 5th of February, the 432MHZ AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of January.

Last week saw a flurry of sunspots appear that pushed the solar flux index to 87 on the 22nd. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled last weekend, but this week has largely seen a respite, with the K index often being one or even zero. This resulted in good conditions with the maximum useable frequency hitting at least 21MHz over 3,000km at times. There were reports of good openings on many bands, and a higher daytime critical frequency meant that 40 metres often opened up for contacts within the UK around the lunchtime period.

At the time of writing, sunspot group 2629 continues to develop, but according to NOAA the solar flux index will decline to the high 70s.

Unfortunately, next week will be largely unsettled with the K index predicted to hit four or five from Tuesday the 31st of January to Sunday the 5th of February. Not surprisingly, this is due to another coronal hole on the sun’s surface.

On the bright side, 80 metres has been showing some good intra-UK openings outside of the mid-day absorption periods. It has also provided some good DX during the night and around the dawn greyline time, when it can open up to North America. These won’t last forever so make the most of them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The middle of last week saw the beginning of the end of the high, which gave some modest lift conditions for some. All is changing now that the Atlantic fronts are beginning to move in and it looks like there will be a sequence of fronts and low pressure systems throughout the coming week. This will put paid to any extension of the lift conditions and much of the new week will be uneventful from a Tropo perspective.

Look out for rain scatter on the GHz bands though if the weather brings any heavy showers.

Don’t complain that you never get good VHF conditions on a Tuesday evening during the activity contests. You severely reduce your chances of DX if you limit yourself to the same day every week or month. Remember that there are six other days and nights and there are always aircraft scatter contacts to try on 432MHz and upwards to 10GHz.

The winter meteor activity minimum continues, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn. Moon declination goes positive on Wednesday and it’s coming in towards perigee, so moon windows will get longer and losses will fall as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Apply now for YOTA Camp

  • Call for RSGB election candidates

  • New Cubesats in orbit

The RSGB’s Youth Committee have already received some great applications from young members to be part of the UK team at this year's YOTA summer camp, which will be held at Gilwell Park. Around 100 young radio amateurs will be attending representing over twenty countries, including the UK. If you are between 14 and 25 you can apply to attend but you need to hurry as the deadline for applications is the 31st of January. The attendance fee is £50 but all transport, food and accommodation is included. The RSGB YOTA 2017 web page www.rsgb.org/yota contains more details of the event and information on how to apply. There is also a vacancy for the UK Team Leader, who needs to be over 18 and have good experience of leading teams of young people. Any RSGB Member interested in that role should send details of their knowledge, skills and experience to yota@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is calling for volunteers to step forward for election at the RSGB AGM. In 2017 the RSGB will be looking to appoint one elected Board Director, one nominated Board Director and five Regional Managers. Regions 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 are open for volunteers, whether the current Regional Manager is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies, together with nomination forms, are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/elections2017 or paperwork can be obtained by post from the General Manager at RSGB HQ. Completed papers, with their supporting signatures, must be received by noon on the 1st of February 2017. The AGM takes place at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff on the 22nd of April 2017.

Several CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were placed into orbit on the 16th of January from the International Space Station. Satellites carrying amateur radio payloads included ITF-2, with a downlink of 437.525MHz, Waseda-Sat-3, with downlinks of CW and FM telemetry on 437.29MHz, AOBA-Velox-3, with downlinks of GMSK telemetry on 437.225MHz and TuPOD that will transmit AFSK on 437.200MHz.

You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter

A meeting has taken place in the past week in CEPT, which included agenda items considering matters of interest to amateur radio at WRC19. The discussions made progress on matters concerning sharing between the amateur service and other services in the 50-54MHz band, broadcasting, wind-profilers and mobile users, but there remains much still to do and IARU will continue to work on these studies with administrations and others to establish the optimum future sharing scenarios. See www.iaru-r1.org/ for more information

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 21st and 22nd. The next rally is the Horncastle Winter Rally on the 29th at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking on site. Entry is £2. The venue is all on one level and so is suitable for less able visitors. There will be hot drinks and snacks available, including bacon butties. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

On Friday the 27th of January there is a free-to-attend, invitation-only, event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS entitled The Evolution Of Television From Baird To The Digital Age. Registration, with coffee, will be from 10.30am. To request an invitation ticket, go to www.ieee-ukandireland.org/baird

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is on the air as TO7D and FG/F6ITD from La Desirade Island, IOTA NA-102, until the 9th of March. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

DF3FS, DJ7JC, DL8JJ and DJ9RR will be operating as TU5MH from the Ivory Coast from the 22nd of January to the 2nd of February. Activity will be on 80 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DJ5BWD.

Rich, PA0RRS is on the air as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, IOTA AS-015, until the end of January 2018. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using CW, RTTY, JT65, JT9 and some SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Dave, G1OCN and Carol, 2E1DQZ will be using the callsigns VP8CLE and VP8DKW from the Falkland Islands during the second half of January. QSL directly to G1OCN.

The callsign OA0MP has been issued by the Peruvian authorities for use from the ‘Machu Picchu’ Antarctic Base on King George Island in the South Shetlands until the 31st of March. Two members of the scientific team will operate during their spare time on 20m and 40m SSB. QSL via OA4O.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th for SOS Weekend from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard, using all bands.

Special event station 9H2017EU is on the air until June 2017 to mark the 2017 Maltese European Union Presidency. QSL direct to 9H1SP.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest runs for 48 hours from 2200UTC on Friday to 2200UTC on Sunday. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint runs from 1200UTC on the 28th to 1200UTC on the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note that for 2017 there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests.

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

We saw a couple of sunspots last week, but they weren’t enough to make a major difference to HF propagation. This was due in part to a raised K index, thanks to solar material from a recurrent coronal hole. NOAA released a geomagnetic storm warning for the 18th and 19th. The solar index remained in the high 70s, while the K index hit four around mid week.

While many people are bemoaning the poor conditions, there are highlights. Seventeen metres is opening reliably to DX on many days with strong signals to the East during late morning and weak openings to the west in the afternoon. Andy, M0NKR also reports there have been some good 80m openings to the US and Canada in the early hours. Eighty metres was also good for inter-G work late afternoon on Thursday the 19th.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the poor geomagnetic conditions are likely to continue, with the K index hitting four at times, although the 25th and 26th should be slightly more settled. The solar flux index will be in the range 77 to 80, so propagation is likely to be more of the same. We recommend concentrating on the lower bands, but don’t give up on HF as we may get occasional HF openings up to, perhaps, 18 or 21MHz at times – please don’t miss them!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have just finished another week with high pressure on the chart, and it has produced some enhanced tropo conditions at times. But this has been less than might be the case if there were some moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere. The better areas have been the north-west where moisture from the Atlantic and Biscay has improved the contrast across the inversion and given better tropo.

So what of next week? The high is going to last for just a few more days, until midweek, when the next sequence of Atlantic lows and fronts will cross the country. This will bring windier weather and some rain and destroy any tropo-producing inversions from our resident high, which will collapse quickly. In summary, a good start to the week, but poor for VHF/UHF tropo later.

We are now in the winter meteor activity minimum, where zenithal hourly rates are low and there are no major showers, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn.

The Moon is at apogee today and reaches minimum declination on Thursday, so we have maximum losses and short, low-elevation moon windows all week. This week would be a good one to look to the artificial satellites for your VHF DX contacts.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Enter now for Club of the Year

  • RSGB Convention 2017

  • SOS Radio Week imminent

There’s still time to enter the RSGB’s Club of the Year 2016 competition. As last year, the RSGB will be judging entries for National Club of the Year in two categories. First is clubs with fewer than 25 members and, second, clubs with 25 or more members during 2016. There will be separate prizes for each category. The theme of the competition is Promoting Amateur Radio. Please use the entry form at http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/national-club-of-the-year/ which must be sent to your Regional Manager by 28 February 2017. Once again, we are indebted to Waters and Stanton for their generous sponsorship of this competition.

The RSGB Convention this year will be held on the 13th to 15th of October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. We are starting to identify speakers for the Convention and would particularly like to develop the HF and DXpedition content further. If you have suggestions for any topics or speakers you would like to hear, please send an outline to convention@rsgb.org.uk In addition, AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention this year.

SOS Radio Week starts at 0000UTC on the 21st of January and concludes at 2359UTC on the 29th. The event is open to everyone to take part in and you can still enrol as a registered station and get on the air to raise awareness of the work of Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If you work any of the registered SOS Radio Week stations then you can apply for the Worked SOS Radio Week award. Various levels of award are available. Further details are available at www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

The RSGB’s Commonwealth Contest is one of the longest-running contests in the HF contesting world, having started as the BERU contest in the 1920s. It promotes contacts between stations in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies, Commonwealth and Mandated Territories. The 80th Commonwealth Contest will take place on the 11th and 12th of March, for the 24 hours starting at 1000UTC. The RSGB is delighted to have received a letter from our Patron, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT congratulating us on this special contest anniversary and wishing everyone well who takes part. Further information about the contest rules are on the contest website www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2017/beru2017.shtml

S50A reports that the Slovenian telecoms regulator has given permission for use of the 60m band in Slovenia. First of all a temporary three-month licence is being issued to all Slovenian amateurs who apply for it. The allocation is 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP.

The Bristol 6m Repeater Net has been established to encourage 6m activity within the coverage area of the GB3ZY repeater, which extends into neighbouring counties and south Wales. It takes place at 9pm each Thursday and has successfully increased 6m activity both on the repeater and simplex. Everyone is welcome to join in. See www.radisol.com/bristol-repeater-net-GB3ZY/ for more information.

Whilst in a meeting with officials of the Niger telecoms regulator to discuss his 5U5R DXpedition, EA5RM was informed that 60m access in the country to all Niger amateurs was now possible under the WRC-15 allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz and its subsequent footnote. Activity is expected to be around 5360kHz using CW and SSB. Unfortunately access to 6m is not possible for the 5U5R DXpedition that takes place from the 8th to the 21st of March using all other bands and modes.

Due to ongoing propagation changes, the team of 5MHz GB2RS Newsreaders have decided to revise the time of the Sunday afternoon GB2RS News bulletin in order to try and optimize reception conditions. The new transmission time will be 1500UTC. The transmission frequency remains unchanged at 5398.5kHz USB. It is hoped to commence the change from the 22nd January transmission.

Norway is the first country in the world to start digital switchover from FM to DAB+. National FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland and progressing across the whole country throughout 2017. The final regions, Troms and Finnmark, will complete the process in December. Switzerland is planning for switch-over to begin in 2020 and a major promotional campaign to raise awareness starts this year. The North-Italian region of South Tyrol will start its FM switch-off in 2017.

To avoid the conflict of event’s dates with the General Conference of IARU Region 1, the dates of the next IARU High Speed Telegraphy world championship has been changed. The new dates are the 8th to 12th September. The venue remains unchanged. Detailed information can be found on the web page of the championship www.hst2017.org

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

The Red Rose Winter Rally, organised by West Manchester Radio Club, takes place today, the 15th, at Lowton Civic Centre, Hesketh Meadow Lane, WA3 2AH, just off the A580 East Lancs Road. Doors open at 11am and car parking is free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Further details from John, on 07870 161953.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 21st and 22nd. The next rally is the Horncastle Winter Rally on the 29th at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Between the 20th and 23rd January, JA2NQG, JH2BNL, JI2UAY will operate from Benjor Resort, Port Vila, on Efate Island, OC-035, as YJ0WW, YJ0AA and YJ0FM respectively. Activity will be on 160-10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will have two 500 watt stations and one 200 watt station into an Inverted L, dipoles, CrankIR and HB9CV. QSL go via Logbook of the World for YJ0AA, and all others via their home callsigns.

Peter, DC0KK is on the air as 4S7KKG from Moragalla, in Sri Lanka, IOTA AS-003, until the 1st of April. Activity is on 20 to 10 metres using mainly CW with some digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Darren, VK4FEDX is operating as H40DA from Nendo Island, IOTA OC-100, until the 17th of January. Activity is on 80, 40, 15 and 10 metres. QSL to his home call.

Operators Dale, N3BNA and Harry, N3FMO are on the air as HH8/N3BNA and HH8/N3FMO, respectively, until the 25th of January while in Naiti performing some humanitarian and radio work. Activity is in their spare time. QSL to home calls.

Members of the Peruano Radio Club of Peru are operating as OA0MP from the Machu Picchu Antarctic Base on King George Island, IOTA AN-010, until the 31st of March. Activity is mainly on 40 and 20 metres using SSB. QSL via OA4O.

Now the special event news

GB2SLS will be on the air from Sheringham Lifeboat Station on the 21st of January. Part of the SOS Radio Week activities.

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.

On Thursday, the 19th, the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000. Using FM only the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also on Thursday it’s the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Again the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the Worked All Britain 1.8MHz phone contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using SSB only on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and your WAB square.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of January 2017

The predicted poor geomagnetic conditions last week were not quite so bad, due to the incoming high speed stream from a coronal hole having a mostly north-facing Bz field. This was less likely to couple with the earth’s magnetic field and we didn't see the very high K indices and poor auroral conditions we expected. Nevertheless, HF conditions remained largely poor, not helped by a total lack of sunspots.

The good news is that a sunspot is now rotating into view on the edge of the sun’s limb, but it is too early to say what effect this may have on HF propagation.

Looking ahead, conditions on the 15th and 16th should be reasonably settled, but the effects of another coronal hole may be felt again between the 16th and the 23rd. NOAA predicts the K index could rise again to five after the weekend.

The solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s giving maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of 5 to 5.8MHz. This means 60m is best for daytime inter-G contacts, with 40m reserved for longer skip and contacts into Europe. For DX, don't expect to hear much above 20m, with occasional openings on 17m. There is still a slight chance of winter Sporadic-E, which could light up the higher bands.

The good news is that reports suggest 80m and 40m have both been open to DX at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week promises much on the pressure charts, but unfortunately may not live up to expectations. If you can keep the snow off the antennas, there may be some Tropo around, but it's not guaranteed despite high pressure being predicted. Heavy snow does produce good scatter propagation on the gigahertz bands though!

The growth of a large area of high pressure next week will see the right sort of weather features for Tropo on the VHF/UHF bands. As this high is growing in cold, dry air though, it may not be as good as you might expect.

Fairly shallow surface temperature inversions may give some limited enhancements, especially after overnight fog has formed. For a better chance of DX, we would need some moist Atlantic air to arrive under the main high pressure subsidence inversion at around 1,000 to 1,800 metres. This seems more likely over the north-western half of Britain towards the end of the week and will be evidenced by a sheet of stratocumulus cloud.

As we continue heading into the winter meteor activity minimum, continue to use the dawn peak in random activity for the best chance of meteor scatter QSOs.

Moon declination goes negative on Wednesday and losses are climbing with apogee just a week away, so get your EME contacts in early this week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 8th. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th January 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year from RSGB

  • GB2RS 5MHz time change

  • Act now to get elected

 

The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind everyone that the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week. Please send all information to radcom@rsgb.org.uk and remember to include your FULL club name, RSGB region, event details and – most importantly – contact details. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons.

Due to ongoing propagation changes, the team of 5MHz GB2RS Newsreaders has decided to revise the time of the Sunday afternoon GB2RS News bulletin in order to try and optimise reception conditions. The new transmission time will be 1500UTC. Please note that this is UTC and not local time, which is to cater for seasonal propagation and clock changes. The transmission frequency remains unchanged at 5398.5kHz USB. It is hoped to commence the change from the 22nd of January transmission.

This is the time of year when we call for volunteers to step forward for election at the RSGB AGM, which will take place at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff on 22 April 2017. In 2017 the RSGB will be looking to appoint one elected Board Director, one nominated Board Director and five Regional Managers. Regions 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 are open for volunteers whether the current Regional Manager is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies, together with nomination forms, are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/elections2017 or paperwork can be obtained by post from the General Manager at RSGB HQ. Completed papers, with their supporting signatures, must be received by noon on 1 February 2017.

On Friday the 27th of January there is a free-to-attend, invitation-only, event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS entitled The Evolution Of Television From Baird To The Digital Age. It is a series of talks in ‘celebration’ of the first public demonstration of television in January 1926 at 22 Frith Street by John Logie Baird. Registration, with coffee, will be from 10.30am. To request an invitation ticket, go to www.ieee-ukandireland.org/baird The event will be associated with the formal unveiling on the previous afternoon of an IEEE History Milestone Plaque to be mounted in Frith Street.

As of 1400UTC on the 15th of January, the ARRL’s Logbook of The World will no longer accept contacts that have been digitally signed by versions of TQSL earlier than version 2.0. Users of earlier versions are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible, as older TQSL versions contain uncorrected defects and display inaccurate error messages. The current versions of TQSL for Windows, OS X, and Linux are available online. This action does not affect data already uploaded to LoTW; all QSOs remain in the LoTW database in perpetuity.

The 14th IARU World High Speed Telegraphy Championship will be host by Hungarian radio amateur society, MRASZ. It will take place from 13 to 17 September 2017. All information regarding the event can be found on the web page of the championship, www.hst2017.org

The new Radio Amateur HF Propagation Prediction tool, as mentioned previously in RadCom, is now fully available. The URL is www.predtest.uk New features include various colour schemes for the plots allowing users with colour preferences to make the best viewing choice for themselves. If you have any comments or suggestions please email Gwyn Williams, G4FKH, via g4fkh@sky.com.

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

The Red Rose Winter Rally, organised by West Manchester Radio Club, takes place on the 15th of January at Lowton Civic Centre, Hesketh Meadow Lane, WA3 2AH, just off the A580 East Lancs Road. Doors open at 11am and car parking is free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Further details from John, on 07870 161953.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A group of Brazilian operators will be active as ZZ8P from Poldros Island, IOTA reference SA-072, between the 14th and 18th of January. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via PT2GTI, direct, by the Bureau, Club Log or Logbook of the World.

Steve, G0SGB will be active as ZC4SB from various locations within Cyprus, AS-004, between the 11th and 25th of January. He will operate SSB and CW mainly on 80, 40 and 20 metres. QSL via his home callsign, direct only.

JH6WDG is on the air as T88AQ from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, until the 13th of January. Activity is on 160 to 6m using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

DJ2EH will be on the air as TG9/DJ2EH in Guatemala from the 10th to the 24th of January. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.

Rich, K8NDS will be operating as V31RF from the 9th of January to the 6th of February. Activity will be on 40, 20 and 17 metres using SSB. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Now the special event news

GB2KW will be on the air from the 1st to the 28th of January using vintage KW Electronics Ltd equipment. See the GB2KW listing on QRZ.com for full information.

Humber Fortress DX ARC in Hull has organised a year's multi club activation to celebrate Hull as the UK City of Culture 2017. Ofcom have kindly granted the callsign GB0HCC for the whole year using the standard NoV format of 28 days; each club will apply for the relevant 28 day portion of the year, to follow on from the previous club. Humber Fortress will be starting the year off. Look for them on the 40 and 80m bands.

Canadian radio amateurs can use special callsign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 2017. Those whose regular callsigns start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix, VE will be able to use the CG prefix, VO will be able to use the CH prefix and those with VY will be able to use the CI prefix.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

The ARRL RTTY Roundup runs for 30 hours until 2359 on the 8th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations sending their State and Canadians their Province.

Today, the 8th, the CW AFS takes place from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the Low Power 432MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also 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 Thursday it’s the 50MHz UK Activity Contest, which runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the 14th, the SSB AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Firstly, a happy new year to all. We’ve got off to a bad start with a massive coronal hole on the sun that has rewarded us with dire predictions for the period up to the 8th of January. We can expect the K index to hit four or five at times with a consequent lowering of maximum useable frequencies and noisy HF conditions. This is not being helped by a complete lack of sunspots, depressing the solar flux index into the low 70s.

As a result daytime critical frequencies over the UK are struggling to exceed five to six megahertz at times. This means that 60 and 80 metres are often the best bands for inter-G working, with 40 metres mainly being reserved for long-skip contacts into Europe.

On longer distance contacts, although 20 metres is the best all-round band, we are often seeing longer-range 17m openings around lunchtime and early afternoon. However, we are still in the winter Sporadic-E season. Although these openings can be short-lived and unreliable, it is worth checking the 10 metre beacons every now and again.

Over the next week the K index is predicted to dip to around two or three, with the solar flux index remaining in the mid seventies.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

At the start of next week we have high pressure over the near continent, so perhaps some weak tropospheric openings into Europe may appear for southern stations. It will need some moisture at the surface underneath the inversion to make conditions work, so look for mist and fog or a blanket of cloud to show the presence of moisture near the inversion. Remember, it’s the contrast of moisture across the inversion that allows the duct to work.

Deepening lows will then cross to the north of Scotland and drive colder, drier air south again, along with very strong winds at times. This will effectively finish any Tropo after midweek.

In view of the active lows later in the week, there will also be some strong jet stream activity at times, which is always worth noting as a potential marker for some of the rarer mid-winter Sporadic-E.

The short, but intense, Quadrantids meteor shower is past its peak, so continue to look for the dawn peak in random activity. We are now heading into the winter minimum for meteor activity. Moon declination is high all week and losses are low, with perigee on Tuesday. So it is a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 25th. December 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th December 2016

The news headlines:

  • Season’s Greetings from the GB2RS team

  • New GB2RS broadcast in FreeDV

  • Final set of GB16YOTA activations

 

This is the final GB2RS news reading for 2016 and we start with seasonal greetings to all Newsreaders and listeners, both over the air and via the internet recordings, and not forgetting viewers of the ATV broadcast, which is available via several repeaters and kindly streamed via the BATC.TV website. We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those who read the news, in whatever format, for their tireless dedication to their fellow amateurs. RSGB HQ is closed from noon on Friday the 23rd until 8.30am on Tuesday the 3rd of January. There will be no news reading on the 1st of January and normal GB2RS broadcasts resume on Sunday the 8th of January.

RSGB GB2RS news is now also broadcast in FreeDV. The transmission starts at 8.50am on 3.640MHz ± QRM followed at 9am by the news. The post-news net is from 9.30 to 10am. The initial launch is by Matthew Phillips, G6WPJ in Suffolk JO01jx. FreeDV is a new mode for sending voice over HF and VHF frequencies using digital modulation of the voice. Currently to operate FreeDV stations will need to use a PC with suitable software or an SM1000 accessory with a transceiver capable of SSB operation. Full details of the software needed and station setup can be found here http://freedv.org/tiki-index.php

The special callsign GB16YOTA is on the air to introduce and promote amateur radio to young people. It will be operated from a variety of clubs and organisations throughout December. On the 28th and 29th Leicester Radio Club will be operating the callsign and on the 30th it will go on the air from the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. If you hear GB16YOTA on the air please give them a call, as you might well be giving a young person their first-ever taste of amateur radio.

The German telecoms regulator, BNetzA, has enabled access to the new WRC-15 60m amateur allocation to all German Class A licensees as of the 20th of December. The allocation is from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP and a maximum bandwidth of 2.7kHz. All modes are permitted and the German national amateur radio society, DARC, recommends the use of USB and the IARU Region 1 provisional band plan for 60m.

Separately, ComReg announced on 22 December that amateurs in the Irish Republic have access to the 5MHz WRC-15 band, with immediate effect. The allocation is 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz, on a secondary basis, all modes and 15W pep. IRTS recommend usage in line with the provisional IARU band plan.

The annual KW Days activity weekend takes place the 7th and 8th of January. It is a great opportunity for collectors, enthusiasts and all those with fond KW memories to get on the air. SSB activity centres are on 7.177, 3.777 and 14.277MHz but operators are encouraged to use KW gear on other bands. Vintage KW, AM and CW-only gear will be on the VMARS net channels.

A few weeks ago Leicestershire Repeater Group took their 10GHz beacon, GB3LEX, off the air. The beacon keeper, G3TQF, found that the PA stage has failed. A search is now on to find a replacement PA. Further info will be published at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk as it becomes available.

The Galileo satellite navigation system went live last week. First conceived in 1999, it will offer most users a 3D positioning accuracy of about one metre as receivers and additional satellites become available. In the past the system has caused concern as one of the new frequencies it uses is within the 23cm amateur band.

A pilot exercise will shortly take place for online Advanced examinations. These will be based at selected registered radio examination venues. The pilot phase will start mid-January 2017, with exams running from mid-February 2017. Further details will be announced early in 2017, including how centres can take part and what equipment is required. The RSGB appreciates that this option will not be for everyone as many radio examination venues don’t have internet access. In those cases the exam will still be available on paper. For more details see the RSGB website.

A longer version of this news report is available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/news. It includes information on the Ofcom UHF Spectrum Review, further information on the online Exams system, the new RSGB Product Development Group and the new EU EMC Directive 2014/30 coming into UK law.

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

Sila, AK0SK is on the air as 5Z4/AK0SK from Taveta in Kenya until the 6th of January. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Chris, ZS1CDG is operating as 7P8GOZ from Teyateyaneng in Lesotho until the 31st of December. Activity is holiday style on 20 metres using PSK31, and possibly 15 metres. QSL to his home callsign.

Milan, OK1DWC is on the air as E51DWC from Rarotonga Island, IOTA reference OC-013, until early next year. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.

JH0IXE will be operating as T8CW from Koror Island, OC-009, from the 26th of December to the 6th of January. Activity will be on 80 to 6 metres using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. QSL to his home callsign.

Several operators will be active as ZV2CV from Couves Island over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of January. Activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via PY2XIZ, direct, by the Bureau or Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

GB2KW will be on the air from the 1st to the 28th of January using vintage KW Electronics Ltd equipment. See the GB2KW listing on QRZ.com for full information.

OZ90EDR will be on the air in 2017 to celebrate the foundation of the Danish national society, EDR, on 15 August 1927. The QSL Manager is OZ1ACB.

Humber Fortress DX ARC in Hull have organised a year's multi club activation to celebrate Hull as the UK City of Culture 2017. Ofcom have kindly granted the callsign GB0HCC for the whole year using the standard NoV format of 28 days; each club will apply for the relevant 28 day portion of the year, to follow on from the previous club. Humber Fortress will be starting the year off, at 0001UTC until 0830UTC from the Cottingham Road Baptist Church. After the Church services have finished in the afternoon, about 1600, they hope to activate for a few more hours. Look for them on the 40 and 80m bands.

OZ100DVI will be put on the air from the 1st of January until the 31st of December by members of EDR HAM Radio Club of Skanderborg. It is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of the Danish West Indies. Look on QRZ.com for further information.

Santa Radio, OF9X, will be active until the 31st of December to promote the Christmas spirit on the radio spectrum. There are twelve ‘elves’ operating OF9X and they will identify themselves with a 3-letter identity. Work OF9X on as many bands and modes as possible to earn QSO points and work as many elves as possible to get multipliers. Your efforts will be rewarded by Santa Awards, see www.QRZ.com for details. QSL via OH2BH and Club Log OQRS.

Canadian radio amateurs can use special callsign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 2017. Those whose regular callsigns start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix, VE will be able to use the CG prefix, VO will be able to use the CH prefix and those with VY will be able to use the CI prefix.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

Christmas Cumulatives runs for 2 hours each day between the 26th and 29th of December. Between 1400 and 1600UTC on all bands from 50 to 432MHz the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain Christmas Party runs from the 26th to the 31st of December. Using all bands and modes the exchange is your WAB book number, with the aim to collect as many as possible.

The DARC Christmas Contest takes place on the 26th of December between 0830 and 1100UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands with CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German station will also send either DOK or NM.

On the 1st of January, the IRTS 80m Counties Contest runs from 1500 to 1700UTC. Using SSB and CW on the 3.5MHz band the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their County.

The 3rd of January sees two contests. The Low Power 144MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. The 144MHz UJ Activity Contest is from 2000 to 2230UTC, using all modes and with signal report, serial number and locator as the exchange.

The 4th sees the UK EI CC take place on 80m from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The EUCW 160m CW Party takes place in two sessions on the 7th and 8th of January. On the 7th it’s between 2000 and 2300UTC and on the 8th it’s between 0400 and 0700. For details of the exchange it’s best to check out the website, www.eucw.org/eu160.html

The ARRL RTTY Roundup runs from 1800UTC on the 7th to 2359 on the 8th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations sending their State and Canadians their Province.

Finally, on the 8th the CW AFS takes place from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of December.

This week we have an extended propagation bulletin that takes you through to January 8th.

HF propagation will continue to be relatively lacklustre, with the solar flux index staying in the mid to high 70s.

Geomagnetic conditions have been unsettled at times, thanks to recurrent coronal hole activity. We will have a fairly quiet week from Christmas to the New Year, with the K index predicted to be mostly two. Unsettled auroral conditions are then predicted to return from the 2nd to the 8th, when the K index could reach five.

We expect the low bands of 160, 80, 60 and 40 metres to be the ones to concentrate on, especially early in the morning, late afternoon and at night. During the day, 20 and 30 metres should bring some DX, with 17 metres opening at times. There is also a chance of some winter Sporadic-E on the higher bands.

After sunset the ionosphere can settle and the MUF may rise again after about 2030, bringing some DX on 40 metres. The MUF can then fall again around 0330 until after sunrise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like a white Christmas for some northern hills, but that's about it, since the rest of the country will have mild, wet and windy weather. This means no Tropo to get excited about in the short term, but by about Tuesday there will be a build of pressure over the continent. This may bring some good Tropo prospects for the southern half of the UK as we head towards the New Year.

Paths across the southern North Sea and Biscay look best, with some options into the continent at times. This high may strengthen towards New Year’s Eve, so northern Britain may share some of the spoils late in the week.

Since we have a very strong jet stream in the vicinity over Christmas there could be some Winter Sporadic-E, so check the 10, 6 and 4 metre beacons. Two metre Sporadic-E may be a big ask for Santa!

The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks in the week after New Year, so until then, continue to look for the early morning peak of random activity to make meteor scatter contacts.

Christmas day sees the Moon at apogee and by Thursday we are at maximum negative declination, so there are high losses and short moon windows all this week.

And that’s all from the propagation team. Hope you have a great Christmas and good DX in 2017.

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 18th. December 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th December 2016

The news headlines:

  • GB16YOTA news

  • Christmas GB2RS arrangements

  • Transatlantic commemoration successful

The special callsign GB16YOTA is on the air to introduce and promote amateur radio to young people. It will be operated from a variety of clubs and organisations throughout December. Today, Sunday the 18th, Stirling & District ARS will be on the air and this is followed by Durham & District ARS on the 19th and 20th. The 21st sees the callsign being operated by Chertsey Radio Club and then it moves to Wales on the 22nd with Aberystwyth & District ARS. If you hear GB16YOTA on the air please give them a call, as you might well be giving a young person their first-ever taste of amateur radio.

We start with seasonal greetings to all Newsreaders and listeners, both over the air and via the internet recordings, and not forgetting viewers of the ATV broadcast, which is available via several repeaters and kindly streamed via the BATC.TV website. Next week, the RSGB will prepare a short GB2RS news script for Sunday the 25th of December, Christmas Day. Newsreaders may not be reading it on air but you can read the script on the RSGB website from the afternoon of Friday the 23rd of December onwards. There will be no GB2RS script for Sunday the 1st of January 2017. Normal broadcasts will resume on Sunday the 8th of January.

Last week we mentioned the special event to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first transatlantic contact between Greenwich, Connecticut, and Ardrossen, Scotland on the 12th of December. The commemorative contact between Greenwich and Ardrossen took place at 1531UTC with US operator Dave Patton, NN1M and Scotland operator Jason O’Neill, GM7VSB. The original 1921 message was exchanged successfully. The event was widely reported in Scotland on both radio and television as well as in a number of newspapers. Congratulations to all involved.

During the festive season Bletchley Park is open to visitors daily except 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January. The RSGB would like to extend its thanks to the amazing work by the volunteer team who keep the National Radio Centre open throughout the year. Meanwhile, GCHQ has generously donated £15,000 to the Bletchley Park Trust. The money was raised from the sales of a special edition of the book Prof: Alan Turing Decoded written by his nephew, Sir Dermot Turing. The donation, presented to Bletchley Park recently, will help fund the Oral History Project. This involves staff and volunteers visiting surviving veterans all over the country, to record their memories and observations of life at Bletchley Park.

The first Bath Buildathon took place in 2008, making the next one the 10th in the series. This year the team have selected a Kanga 40m Sudden receiver kit that will come with a pre-drilled box and all the fittings. There are a number of Intermediate students already booked in but there is room for more to join in the fun, even if they are not Intermediate students. The event will take place in the centre of Bath on Saturday 7 January and will run from 9.30am to 5pm. The cost of the day, including the kit and all parts, will be £40. Further details can be had from Steve, G0FUW, via e-mail to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports that one of China’s HF over the horizon radars has been transmitting on 6.999MHz, impinging on the very low end of the 40 metre band. Military ALE transmissions have also been heard from Kyrgyzstan on 7050kHz. IARU Monitoring also reports that the Australian Jindalee Operational Radar Network has been heard on 10.131MHz in the amateur 30 metre band; Amateur Radio is secondary on 30 metres. Radio Eritrea appeared in November on 7180kHz, together with white noise from Ethiopia. The frequencies 7146.5, 7175, and 7185kHz were reported to be in use as well. Reports of amateur radio band intruders may be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System logger, at http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

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

We know of no more rallies for 2016. If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as soon as possible.

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

Matt, VK1MA will be active holiday style as VK9NM from Norfolk Island, IOTA reference OC-005, from the 19th to the 26th of December. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL only.

The Holy Land DX Group will be active as 4X07W from around 0700UTC on the 23rd of December until noon on the 24th. They will operate SSB and CW with two stations from the Israel National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Beit Guvrin. QSL via 4Z5LA.

Robert, DU7ET operates as 4F7OC from Negros Island, WLOTA 3568, between the 15th of December and the 15th of January. QSL via DU7ET.

During the weekends in December and January, members of the radio clubs PueblaDX and AREPAC plan to activate IOTA groups NA-221 and NA-224 with the call XF2L. QSL via XE1SOV.

Now the special event news

The Liechtenstein Radio Amateur Society, AFVL has been celebrating its 30th anniversary during 2016. The special event station HB0AFVL is available on the air until the end of December and contacts can be confirmed by a special QSL card.

Now the contest news

The Stew Perry Top Band Challenge runs for 24 hours until 1500UTC today, the 18th. Using CW only on the 180m band the exchange is your 4 character locator.

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.

Finally, a reminder that the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 16th December.

This week we have a slightly different approach to the HF propagation news. We want to help you and your family contact Santa's elves in Lapland, Finland.

The station Oscar Foxtrot Nine X-ray is once again on the air this Christmas from Santa Claus land in the Arctic Circle. Twelve elves are operating OF9X, which stands for ‘Old-Father-Nine-Christmas’, near the city of Oulu in Finland for the entire month of December. To work the elves at OF9X, the best starting point is the DX Cluster or Reverse Beacon Network to see where they are operating. They have been spotted on many bands and modes over the past week. The HF predictions suggest 20m or 17m both give a good possibility of a contact with a probability of greater than 90% during the hours of daylight. Even 15m may be possible around midday. 7MHz, 40m should also give a high probability for the whole 24 hours, while 80m and 160m may also be open during the hours of darkness in the UK. But get in quick, because NOAA is predicting unsettled geomagnetic conditions from December 19th to the 23rd due to a recurrent coronal hole.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We’ve had some useful Tropo recently, but this will decline early next week as low pressure becomes the dominant force on the weather charts in the lead-up to Christmas. The high pressure that brought us some good Tropo in the south and east will be eroded by a large deepening low near Iceland and subsequent lows further south and close to Britain in the latter part of the week. These lows may bring very strong winds to some areas and if you are leaving your station over the Christmas period, make sure you’ve checked the forecast and, if necessary, made your antennas safe before leaving.

December often sees a minor uptick in Sporadic-E activity so keep alert on the low VHF bands and watch the 10m beacons for signs of this propagation mode.

With the Geminids meteor shower past its peak, we look forward to the Quadrantids shower after Christmas. Until then, continue to look for the early morning peak of random meteor activity to make MS contacts.

Moon declination goes negative towards the end of the week and losses are climbing as the Moon goes out to apogee next Sunday. Get on in the early part of this week to catch the end of this month’s lunar cycle.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 11th. December 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th December 2016

The news headlines:

  • GB16YOTA operating news

  • Celebrating first amateur transatlantic signals

  • Hams provide Indonesian earthquake comms

The special callsign GB16YOTA is on the air to introduce and promote amateur radio to young people. It will be operated from a variety of clubs and organisations throughout December. Today, Sunday the 10th, the CDXC will be putting the callsign on the air, on the 13th it’s with Otley ARS, from the 14th to the 16th Castle Rushden School will be operating, then the callsign moves to Northern Ireland with Mid Ulster ARC on the 18th. Finally for this week it’s off to Scotland next Sunday, the 18th, with Stirling and District ARS. If you hear GB16YOTA on the air please give them a call, as you might well be giving a young person their first-ever taste of amateur radio.

Today, the 11th of December, a special event will commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first transatlantic contact between Greenwich, Connecticut, and Ardrossen, Scotland. On that day in 1921, a radio signal from a Radio Club of America test station 1BCG in Greenwich was received in Ardrossen as part of a series of ARRL transatlantic tests. The special event will begin at 1200UTC today, the 11th, and end at 0300UTC on the 12th. It will include an attempt at a two-way contact between N1BCG in Greenwich and GB2ZE, operated by Jason, GM7VSB, in Ardrossen. It is hoped the contact will take place during the afternoon of 11 December on 20m, if conditions allow. N1BCG operation will be on AM on 75 and 40 metres; CW and SSB on 40 metres, CW on 30 metres, and CW and SSB on 20 and 17 metres.

The earthquake in Indonesia on Wednesday struck at 5am local time. It has been reported that it took two hours for the Ham Radio Group to reach the earthquake damage zone with emergency communications. 7.110MHz is being used for emergency traffic, and amateurs are asked to avoid interference during this emergency.

Research from the University of Surrey and Augmented Optics Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, has developed technology that could revolutionise the capabilities of appliances that have previously relied on battery power to work. The research has discovered new supercapacitor electrolytes that exhibit capacitance values that are between one and ten thousand times higher than conventional supercapacitor materials. This could translate into very high energy density supercapacitors, making it possible to recharge devices in just a few seconds.

The International Amateur Radio Union has issued an update on preparations for the World Radio Conference in 2019. The IARU’s prime roles are to work in the areas of spectrum privileges gaining or retaining spectrum for the amateur radio services and making sure that our spectrum remains available for use and free from serious human-made interference. For full information on the work in progress, go to www.iaru-r1.org

Vintage radio enthusiasts are invited to participate in an on-air Vintage Radio Weekend on the 17th and 18th of December. This activity is open to everyone who has a classic transmitter or receiver, or who is interested in owning one. Activities can be on any band and mode, and at any time. All participants may download a free self-service VRW Award Certificate from www.phoenixarc.org.uk, where there is also additional information.

Santa Radio, OF9X, will be active until the 31st of December to promote the Christmas spirit on the radio spectrum. There are twelve ‘elves’ operating OF9X and they will identify themselves with a 3-letter identity. Work OF9X on as many bands and modes as possible to earn QSO points and work as many elves as possible to get multipliers. Your efforts will be rewarded by Santa Awards, see www.QRZ.com for details. QSL via OH2BH and Club Log OQRS.

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

We know of no more rallies for 2016. If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible.

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

Eric, KH6EB works on an uninhabited Hawaiian island, OC-019, for ten days every month. He is located at the base camp that supports the state’s efforts to restore the island. He is there between the 12th and 21st of December. During his free time in the evenings and mornings, around 1600 to 1700UTC, 0300 to 0500UTC and 0600 to 0900UTC, he is on 20 metres. QSL direct to KH6EB, via Logbook of the World and eQSL.

Chris, VK3FY will be active holiday style as 3D3FY from the Fijian Islands, OC-016 until the 14th of December. He will operate SSB and CW on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL via M0OXO.

Akira, JH0CKF will be on the air as T88MZ on Koror Island, OC-009, from the 13th to the 16th of December. He will be on the HF bands. QSL via JH0CKF either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of the World or Club Log OQRS.

Mikhail, VE7ACN will operate as VP5/VE7ACN from Grand Turk Island, NA-003, until the 19th of December. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via VE7ACN or logbook of the World.

The Radio Society of Sri Lanka's annual DXpedition to Hiyare Galle as 4S7RS will take place until the 13th of December using 160 to 10 metres on CW, SSB and digital modes.

Now the special event news

Dutch radio amateur Sascha, PD9Z will be operating PC16XMAS from the 6th to the 31st of December. The station is intended to maintain the spirit of friendship between amateur radio operators in the Christmas period – and to provide a nice QSL card! Operation will be on 160 to 10m, SSB and CW.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan on the 16th of December 1991, a large number of UP25 callsigns will be active during the whole of December. See http://kazakhstan25.hamlog.ru/ for logsearch and information on the award available.

Now the contest news

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

Next Saturday and Sunday, the 17th and 18th, the Stew Perry Top Band Challenge runs from 1500UTC to 1500UTC. Using CW only on the 180m band the exchange is your 4 character locator.

Finally, a reminder that the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 9th of December.

This past week had been reasonably settled, geomagnetically, with the K index generally being between zero and three at the beginning of the week. The noon-time critical frequency as measured by the Chilton ionosonde near Harwell on Tuesday was just over 6MHz, which meant 40m often struggled for contacts close in around the UK, but 15 metres was potentially open to DX at times. The critical frequency climbed higher during Tuesday afternoon, which meant that 12 metres may have been open. This also confirms that noon doesn’t always bring the highest critical frequencies.

We then had a succession of B-class solar flares on Wednesday. A large recurrent coronal hole moved across the Earth-facing side of the sun and became geo-effective from December 7th.

Enhanced geomagnetic activity, including minor (G1) storm conditions then occurred on Thursday when a high-speed solar wind stream passed Earth. Don’t forget you can get a short pre-event enhancement just as the plasma hits and the K index rises, but the prognosis for HF is then not good if we get prolonged storming.

NOAA predicts that the coronal hole effects will diminish after the weekend, leaving a more settled ionosphere for the rest of the week. Conditions may become more unsettled again from around December the 19th.

So Monday to Saturday next week may be the best times for working DX on the HF bands, but don’t forget to check the low bands for DX during late afternoon and through the hours of darkness as we are at an optimum time as we near the Winter solstice.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week sees one of the biggest meteor showers of the year. The peak of the Geminids is expected on Wednesday morning at around 0020UTC, with a zenithal hourly rate of around 120. All the low VHF bands will be affected, with EME-capable stations on 70cm also able to make meteor scatter QSOs.

There seems to be a common theme in the weather models for the coming week, which is that there is likely to be high pressure nearby to the south and east of Britain, over the continent. A series of low pressure systems will continue to pass by the northwest of the country with cloud, rain and periods of stronger winds. This means that any Tropo conditions are likely to be confined to the southern and eastern half of Britain, closer to the high pressure over the continent, which is the direction to look for any Tropo DX during the next week.

The latter part of the week will probably see a stronger development of high pressure over the south of Britain, maintaining the Tropo options into the following weekend.

Low losses and high declination this week make it a good one for EME contacts. E44QX should be QRV on the GHz bands from Jericho until Wednesday.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 4th. December 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th December 2016

The news headlines:

  • Sandringham kicks off GB16YOTA

  • RAIBC seeks readers

  • Shake-up for RSGB contests

Sandringham School in St Albans activated the special callsign GB16YOTA for the first time on the first of December. Over 100 students visited the station and a number of young licensees operated during the event. Although conditions were poor and copy was difficult in many cases, they made 97 contacts in 24 countries across the school day. Support was provided by members of Verulam ARC. The purpose of GB16YOTA is to introduce and promote amateur radio to young people. It will be operated from a variety of clubs and organisations throughout December. Today, Sunday the 4th, Worcester ARC has the callsign. On Monday to Thursday it’s operated by Aberystwyth and District ARS, moving to Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club on Friday. Next Saturday it’s at Silcoates, and CDXC will take up the callsign on Sunday the 11th. If you hear GB16YOTA on the air please give them a call, as you might well be giving a young person their first-ever taste of amateur radio.

RAIBC, the charity working for radio amateurs with disabilities, produces spoken word recordings of many publications. These include equipment manuals, radio magazines such as RadCom, licence documents, and much more. All recordings are made by volunteers. Only ordinary computer equipment is used, and all that is required is enthusiasm and a clear speaking voice. If you think you could find the time to record material for RAIBC, either on a regular basis or occasionally as needed, please contact the RAIBC Audio Manager, Ian Spencer, via email to audioman@raibc.org.uk or phone 004 922 451 657.

Starting in the New Year, some significant changes are being made to RSGB contests. This is as a result of the Presidential Review of Contesting and detailed consultation with the contest community. A summary of the changes is in the January edition of RadCom, which should start arriving with RSGB Members from Wednesday onwards. The RSGB Contest Committee website, www.rsgbcc.org is in the process of being updated to reflect the changes.

In the December RadCom Club Calendar, some club calendar information had events for January accidentally mixed in. Unfortunately this was not noticed until after the magazine had been printed, and we apologise for the error. The GB2RS Local News in December should not be affected, as it is extracted from our database in a different way.

Goran, SM7DLK and Torleif, SM6YOR, report that the Swedish Post & Telecom regulator has been issuing temporary, 6 month experimental licenses for 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP. This replaces the previous four 3kHz segments used in past years, which have now all expired. There is still no decision on whether Post & Telecom will implement the WRC-15 recommendation in their national band plan. It is considered unlikely to happen before January 2018, or until a new national band plan is released.

David Honess, M6DNT, has been given the prestigious Sir Arthur Clarke award for Space Achievement, Industry/Project Individual. David was the driving force behind the Astro Pi project, which saw two Raspberry P computers installed on the International Space Station whilst Tim Peake – also a Clarke award-winner – was aboard. The award was presented at the British Interplanetary Society’s Reinventing Space Dinner at the Royal Society.

The origins of Silicon Valley spring from the early efforts of amateur radio enthusiasts, according to a newly released video. Paul Wesling, KM6LH tells of the interesting events in San Francisco early in the 20th century, as early radio was being developed, and how hams designed new devices and equipment to address steamship traffic plying the Pacific Ocean. Their efforts before World War II, including extending the state of the art into the microwave region, formed the basis of what became Silicon Valley. The video is on YouTube and can be found via tinyurl.com/gb2rs-1204

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

The Bishop Auckland RAC Rally is on Sunday the 4th at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB. The venue has good car parking and disabled facilities. There will be the usual radio, computer and electronics as well as a Bring & Buy. Catering and bar facilities will be available on site. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2 with under 14s free of charge with an adult. Talk in will be on S22. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

We know of no more rallies for 2016. If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible.

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

Christian, IS0BWM can be heard from the club station 9H0HQ/3 in Kenge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He plans to stay in the Congo until Christmas Day, December 25th. Send QSL cards directly to his address in Sardinia.

Jurgen, DJ2VO and Martin, DL3KMS will be active from Bonaire Island, IOTA reference SA-006, from the 3rd to the 15th of December as PJ4/DJ2VO and PJ4/DL3KMS. They will operate on HF bands. QSL PJ4/DJ2VO via DJ2VO and PJ4/DL3KMS via DL3KMS.

Chris, VK3FY will be on the air as 3D3FY from Denarau Island, OC-016, from the 4th to the 14th of December. Activity will be on 80-6m, CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO.

W9ILY is on the air from Sint Maarten, IOTA reference NA-105, as FS/W9ILY until the 10th of December.

Now the special event news

Dutch radio amateur Sascha, PD9Z will be operating PC16XMAS from the 6th to the 31st of December. The station is intended to maintain the spirit of friendship between amateur radio operators in the Christmas period – and to provide a nice QSL card! Operation will be on 160 to 10m, SSB and CW.

The USS KIDD Amateur Radio Club will be operating W5KID on 7 December from Baton Rouge, USA, in observance of Pearl Harbor Day. Activity will be on 14.240, 14.060, 7.240 and 7.060MHz from 1530 to 2130UTC.

Remembering the same event, the USS Midway Museum Chip will be on the air from San Diego on 14.230, 7.250 and PSK31 on 14.070MHz from 1700 to 2359UTC on Saturday the 10th.

GB2MOP will be on the air from the Museum of Power from Friday the 9th. Details of the operation remain sketchy at the time this bulletin was written, but www.GB2MOP.org may have up to date information.

Now the contest news

The 144MHz AFS contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL 160m CW contest ends today at 1600UTC. Work the USA, US Territories and Canada. The only time there is a path is when it’s dark at both ends of the QSO so it’s unlikely that much activity will be in evidence from the UK as this edition is broadcast.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHz UKAC, which runs from 2200 to 223UTC. All modes are used on the 2m band and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Next weekend sees the ARRL 10m contest, running from 0000 on the 10th to 2359 on the 11th. Using CW or phone, the report is RST plus serial number, with Ws, VEs and XEs also sending their state or province code. There are a number of categories in this contest so it will pay to check the ARRL website for details.

Finally, a reminder that the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 2nd December.

Last week was a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. The solar flux index hovered around the 80 mark and the K index was poor at the weekend, although a little more settled later in the week.

Last weekend saw the CW leg of CQ Worldwide and the consensus was that conditions weren’t brilliant. We said that 20 and 15m would be the optimum HF bands with occasional 10m openings. This turned out to be true as Roger, G3LDI proved by only working 67 stations on 10 metres in 48 hours. Roger said that they were mostly weak and watery European contacts, despite using a three-element SteppIR. The days of extensive DX openings on 10m may, alas, be behind us for a few years.

Back to the Sun, there have been three visible sunspot groups, with region 2615 generating M-class solar flares. So watch out for potential coronal mass ejections and flare-induced blackouts or sudden ionospheric disturbances.

As we head into December, now is the best time for the low bands, especially Top Band and 80m. You may find that the evening critical frequency drops so much that 40m struggles to open to DX at times. With a typical critical frequency of around 3MHz at 2000hrs even 80m may struggle at distances less than 300-400km. Unfortunately, geomagnetic conditions are also predicted to be unsettled from December 7th to the 11th due to recurrent coronal hole effects.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure will continue to provide slightly improved tropo conditions on the VHF/UHF bands at the beginning of the week, but there is likely to be a slow decline later as pressure falls to the north of Britain. Although lift conditions could affect much of the country at first, these will become confined to the south by midweek and all gone soon after.

Don’t forget to try the multimode part of the bands with CW or SSB, and do call CQ and announce your activity in advance on email reflectors, DX chat such as ON4KST.info and social media if the bands seem quiet.

The Moon is at lowest declination today and path losses are still high, but declination goes positive late on Thursday 8th and losses are lower. Look out for GHz bands EME operation from Jericho from that day until the 13th of December by E44QX and E44HP.

The big Geminids meteor shower is now only a week away. The zenithal hourly rate for this shower is up to 120 meteors per hour, so it’s a really good one. We’ll have more information next week as to the best times to operate. Look at dl1dbc.net for Virgo, a Java real-time meteor tracking web page that may help you. Unfortunately it doesn’t run on all browsers: you may have to try more than one before you get it to work.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 27th. November 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters’ GB16YOTA on the air

  • Join the Innovations Working Group

  • Virtual Buildathon from Chertsey

Every December, the IARU organises Youngster on the Air month, which is a month-long activity specifically aimed at getting young people operating amateur radio. It is not a contest but there is an Award to chase. The UK station, GB16YOTA, will be put on the air by Sandringham School ARC on the 1st of December, Sidmouth ARS on the 2nd of December, and by Durham & District ARS on the 3rd. Worcester RAA will be operating the callsign on the 4th. If young amateurs cannot get to these stations to take part, they can still join in by working as many YOTA stations as they can during December. Last year about thirty countries took part and there is an IARU Award for working the YOTA special event stations. Further details are available at www.ham-yota.com/december-yota-month/

The RSGB is looking for people interested in joining the Society's new Innovation Working Group. The required qualifications are simply an open and inquiring mind together with an enthusiasm to look for the new and the different within amateur radio. See the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org

Chertsey Radio Club will be hosting a Virtual Buildathon starting in December. Bob, M6FLT will be building a kit over a couple of weeks, live on camera, and will be able to answer questions as participants follow him. The kit will be a Kanga Products Fox-3, 40m CW transceiver and k16 keyer kit. Participants buy the kit but there is no cost to join in with the session. You will need access to a laptop or tablet device and internet connection. Places and kits are limited for this first session so e-mail chertseyradioclub@hotmail.com for more details.

It’s with sadness that we report the passing of the long time G3M-P group QSL sub manager, Gordon Brown, G3MZV. He will be very much missed. The RSGB QSL Bureau is therefore in need of a replacement volunteer for a slightly enlarged and busy group, G3M-S. If you would like to help, have time, space and some basic computer skills, including the use of a spreadsheet, please email the bureau via qsl@rsgb.org.uk

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the October 2016 T31T DXpedition to Central Kiribati, Kanton Island, for DXCC credit.

The next Suffolk Radio and Electronics Development, or RED event takes place in Ipswich this week. Suffolk RED is run and supported by many of the radio clubs and amateurs in Suffolk and further afield. All enjoy the mix of practical, hands-on activities available at each event. Plans include HF and VHF operating, CW tuition, Raspberry Pi Python scripting, constructing a link dipole and Advanced tuition advice. It all takes place in a very social and relaxed environment. The event take place at 7.30pm on the 30th November at Hallowtree Scout Camp, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0JP.

If you're interested in 472kHz CW make sure you're around on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th December when there is a QSO Party starting around sunset, about 1700UTC.

The last formal stage of the RAYNET reunification process was completed at a meeting in November. The process of setting up RAYNET-UK is ongoing and the Emergency Communications Committee page on the RSGB website will be updated regularly with progress reports. Full details will be in the next edition of RadCom, which should arrive with Members on or after 7 December.

A storm is threatening Nicaragua and Costa Rica through the remainder of this week. The Nicaraguan Government has raised the alert level for parts of the country to prepare for the storm and the Radio Experimenters Club of Nicaragua has activated their National Emergency Network. The main frequencies involved are 7.098MHz and 3.798MHz but also includes 7.105 and 3.805MHz. The Radio Club of Costa Rica has also activated their Network on 7080kHz. All radio amateurs should listen carefully before transmitting and avoid causing QRM to emergency traffic on those frequencies.

The Summits on the Air Summit to Summit event between Europe and North America on Saturday the 19th of November was a great success. Several activators had their first-ever inter-continental summit to summit contact. Seventy-seven summits were activated and the consensus seems to be that from a propagation point of view the 17m band was the best.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon starts on the 1st of December and ends on the 31st of January 2017. There are no specific operating periods; just work as many Locator squares as you can during that period. All modes are allowed on the 50MHz band and the exchange should be your signal reports and locator. For all the details, check out www.uksmg.org

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

We are not aware of any rallies taking place today. The final rallies in the 2016 dairy take place next weekend, the 3rd and 4th of December.

The South Lancs Winter Rally is on Saturday the 3rd of December at Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. The venue has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors open at 9am, with traders gaining access from 7.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. There is a licensed bar and catering on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

The Bishop Auckland RAC Rally is on Sunday the 4th at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB. The venue has good car parking and disabled facilities. There will be the usual radio, computer and electronics as well as a Bring & Buy. Catering and bar will be available on site. Facilities. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2 with under 14s free of charge with an adult. Talk in will be on S22. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible.

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

Alan, K0AV will operate as ZD8V from Ascension Island, IOTA reference AF-003, until the 1st of December. Activity will be mainly on CW and QSLs go via the home call. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World.

Tim, NL8F and Paula, NX1P will be on Norfolk Island, OC-005 until the 3rd of December. They will use the callsign VK9NF and be active on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL Manager is N7RO.

Jim, WB2TJO will be on the air as 3D2JS from Taveuni Island, OC-016, from December 2016 to March 2017. Activity will be on the HF bands and 6m using CW, SSB and some digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Volker, DJ8VW will be operating as 5P8VW from Roemoe between the 26th of November until the 10th of December. He will use the 10 to 160m bands SSB, CW and JT65. QSL via DJ8VW direct of via the bureau or Club Log OQRS.

Look for K2SX, W1UU, W2LK and WA6O to be active as VP2V from Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, NA-023 until the 29th of November. QSL via their home callsigns.

Mike, GM0HCQ is active from on board the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross. Whilst in Antarctic and Falkland Islands waters he uses the call VP8CMH/MM, at all other times he uses GM0HCQ/MM. The ship is due to arrive at Rothera Base on Adelaide Island, AN-001, Antarctica on the 27th of November and depart on the 30th. If time allows, Mike will be on the air as VP8ROT. QSL for all callsigns via GM0HCQ, direct only, Logbook of the World and eQSL. You can follow the ship itinerary and Mike’s daily updates at www.gm0hcq.com

Now the special event news

Members of ARRL Headquarters staff will be on the air as W1T from the 28th of November to the 4th of December, in honour of Mark Twain’s 181st birthday. On the 30th of November, Twain’s actual birthday, the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut has granted permission for a special event station to be set up in the front yard of the house from 1400-2100UTC. All other W1T activity during the week will be conducted from other sites, as ARRL staff time permits. All bands and modes will be considered, including satellite operation. A special W1T QSL card will be available to commemorate the event. Complete information is available on the W1T listing is at qrz.com.

Now the contest news

The CQWW DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of this weekend, the 26th and 27th. It will undoubtedly keep the HF bands busy, although declining solar activity will probably mean patchy and short-lived propagation on 10m. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Tuesday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI 80m contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. It’s CW only on the 3.5MHz band and the exchange is your four character locator square.

The ARRL 160m contest runs for 42 hours, starting 2200UTC on Friday the 2nd of December. Because you need to work the USA, US Territories and Canada only, the only time there is going to be a path is when it’s dark at both ends of the QSO. This means you can expect to hear the better-equipped East Coast stations from about 2200 each night. Propagation will spread west as darkness falls across North America, but the band will close around dawn in the UK, when the D Region forms. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, with US and Canadian station also sending their ARRL or RAC section.

On Sunday the 4th of December, the 144MHz AFS contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 25th of November.

This week NOAA, and us, got the HF propagation prediction wrong. The figures suggested that last weekend would be unsettled geomagnetically, but in fact conditions were actually much better. The K index did eventually rise, but not until late Tuesday evening.

The prediction for this weekend, as you either read or hear this report, remains uncertain as the Earth succumbs again to the last of the, weaker than expected, plasma stream from a large recurrent coronal hole on the sun. NOAA has this weekend's solar flux index predicted around 80 and the K index at three or four, but geomagnetic conditions may improve slightly as we move into next week.

It is hard to say exactly how conditions will be for this weekend's CW leg of the CQ Worldwide contest. If we continue to be hit with solar plasma maximum usable frequencies may be impacted adversely. However, as contesters tend to use larger than average antennas and power levels you should find the bands open to DX, at least up to 21MHz. Short occasional openings on ten metres may also be possible, especially to the southern hemisphere, southern Europe and equatorial Africa. But we certainly won’t see the kind of conditions we have enjoyed during the last two or three CQ Worldwide contests.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have high pressure in attendance and conditions on the VHF and UHF bands are picking up well. This high should provide temperature inversions, both near the surface and aloft, due to descending air within the high pressure area. These temperature inversions are important in that they form discontinuities of the refractive index over short height spans and become the regions that can duct your VHF / UHF signals over long distances.

Tropo conditions provide DX on paths around the edges of large highs, so look for flat layers of low cloud or mist and fog, both visual signs of temperature inversions. Favoured paths are likely to be within the UK and across the North Sea into northern Europe. Things will probably change around midweek as low pressure moves down from Iceland. It is possible that the high may reassert itself late in the week, but this is a bit of a long shot.

The Moon is at apogee today so path losses are at their highest. Moon declination is still negative so with the Sun close to the Moon on Tuesday it is a poor week for EME.

We had a Leonid fireball meteor last week. While spectacular, a single rock doesn’t help meteor scatter conditions, so just hang in there for the major Geminids shower in a few weeks time.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 20th. November 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • FUNcube-3 goes live

  • 472kHz QSO parties soon

  • Russian intruder leaves 20m

The EO-79/FUNcube-3 satellite has transitioned to amateur radio service, now that its primary mission has been completed. AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have announced that the FUNcube U/V transponder has been activated with a regular schedule. Due to power budget constraints, the transponder cannot operate 24/7, so an orbit-specific schedule has been developed. The transponder will commence operation 27 minutes after the spacecraft enters sunlight and remain active for 25 minutes. This schedule may be modified in the weeks ahead, as experience dictates. The transponder uplink is 435.047 to 435.077MHz LSB; the downlink is 145.935 to 145.965MHz USB. The output power of the amateur radio payload is about 400mW.

If you're interested in 472kHz, there are two QSO Parties on the horizon. On the 26th and 27th of November it’s QRSS, and on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of December it’s the turn of CW. Starting with the sunset about 1700UTC, the organiser says that “we'll keep on QSOing until your eyes keep on closing”!

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System reports that the Russian military apparently responded positively to a complaint from German telecommunications authorities to eliminate an intruding signal on 20 metres. The Russian Navy RDL signal from Crimea had been transmitting on 14.180MHz, using F1B at 50 baud and 200Hz shift for several days. IARUMS said the transmissions were heard for the last time on the 31st of October.

The deep seated major earthquake of magnitude 7.5 that struck the South Island of New Zealand last Monday still has people cut off from road transport due to massive slips and damage. Amateur Radio Emergency Communications National Director Jeff Sayer, ZL4JS advises us that AREC offered its services, but were not needed as the civil infrastructure was coping well. AREC served well during the Christchurch earthquake of 2011, and the latest tremor brought back memories to many of that disaster.

The official rules for World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 to be held in Germany are now available. Noteworthy among the WRTC 2018 rules is permitting the use of spectrum or waterfall displays, and a prohibition on the use of second or sub-receivers. It will continue the two-operator, two-transmitter format of the earlier WRTCs so both stations will be permitted to transmit at any time to maximise their scoring. Also, only one computer is permitted to be attached to each radio, and PCs used in the effort must connect via wired Ethernet. See wrtc2018.de for full details of this event.

On the 13th of November, a new Greenlandic beacon, OX4M, went on the air from HQ90AL. The frequency is 70.047MHz, running 25W into a dipole radiating north/south. The beacon transmits PI4 + CW + carrier and also has a sister beacon OX6M on 50.047MHz.

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

Today, the 20th, the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held in the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. This is a new venue. Doors will open from 10am to 2pm. Admission is £1.50 and includes a tea or coffee. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. For more information email enquiries@catsradio.org

Also on the 20th, the Plymouth Radio Rally is taking place at Harewood House, Plympton, Devon PL7 2AS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall, Special Interest Groups and trade stands. Catering will be available on site. More information from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 01752 668 907.

The final rallies of the year are the South Lancs Winter Rally on the 3rd of December at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Then on the 4th it’s the Bishop Auckland RAC Rally at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High St, Spennymoor, Durham DL16 6DB.

If you have any rally or event information for 2017 that you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Tom, PA3TG, is operating as 5N/PA3TG from Nigeria until the 25th of November. He plans to be on 20m SSB and CW and on 30m CW in the evenings. QSL to his home callsign.

Felix, DL5XL will be returning to the German Antarctic Research Base Neumayer 3 this month and will be there until next February. His callsign will be DP1POL and he will mainly operate CW and digital modes. This activity will count as AN-016 for the IOTA programme. QSL Manager is DL1ZBO and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

A group of operators will be on the air as 8Q7SP from Dhiffushi Island, IOTA reference AS-013, in the Maldives from the 20th of November to the 3rd of December. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY, with several stations active. This includes an entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest next weekend. QSL via SP6FXY.

Yutaka, JA6GWX will be on the air as 9N7NZ from Kathmandu in Nepal from the 20th to the 27th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to home callsign.

Christian, IS0BWM will be on the air as 9Q0HQ/3 from Kenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo from the 20th of November to the 25th of December. Activity will be on the HF bands using SSB. QSL direct to home callsign.

Tim, NL8F will be on the air as VK9NF from Norfolk Island from the 22nd of November to the 3rd of December. QSL direct to N7RO.

Now the special event news

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will operate from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool TS24 0DA, today, the 20th of November. Operation is expected to be on the 40 and 80m bands and, to a lesser extent, on 2m.

Omani amateur radio operators can sign their A4 calls with /46 until the 30th of November in celebration of the 46th anniversary of the independence of Oman.

Now the contest news

The Essex CW Club Annual Activity Week ends today, the 20th of November. This is a friendly non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. The minimum exchange is non-members give RST and name with members adding their membership number. Full details of preferred frequencies and awards can be found on the Essex CW Club website, just use your favourite search engine.

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

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

Thursday sees the 80m Club Sprint take place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is serial number and name.

The CQWW DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of the weekend the 26th and 27th. It will undoubtedly keep the HF bands busy, although declining solar activity will probably mean patchy and short-lived propagation on 10m. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 18th November.

Last week, the solar flux index hovered around the 80 mark, with average sunspot counts reaching their lowest level in five years. With sunspot minimum predicted to be some time in 2018 or 2019, this is a taste of what we can expect for the time being.

But it wasn't all bad news, as geomagnetic conditions were quite settled midweek with the planetary K index at one or two. As a result the HF bands were alive. Malcolm, G3PDH reports hearing as far as Arizona on 20 metres and the Chilton Digisonde suggested openings on 21MHz were possible over a 3,000km path.

Unfortunately, coronal hole activity on the Sun may, once again, result in unsettled conditions this weekend, the 19th and 20th. Expect the K index to rise and maximum usable frequencies to decline, although we can sometimes get a pre-auroral enhancement as the solar plasma first hits.

NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will continue in the range 75-80, but the K index will likely be in the range four to seven at times. So long-range DX may be impacted adversely, especially on routes over the North Pole.

Geomagnetic conditions for the following week's CQ Worldwide contest are also predicted to be unsettled, although perhaps not as bad as this weekend. Trying to be positive, early December is looking better.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There would seem to be another week of low pressure in store for us and sadly, that means a limited chance of Tropo developing. For the latter part of the week, there is an indication from one of the models for high pressure to move in over the southern half of Britain. This represents a limited chance for Tropo later in the week, but another weather model refuses to select high pressure to end the week, so is not to be trusted this far in advance.

There will be some heavy rain and showers at times, so always a chance of some rain scatter on the gigahertz bands, especially around the coastal fringes where the showers will be heavier.

Last Monday’s so-called Supermoon, the closest perigee since the 1940s, produced improved EME signals, especially on the GHz bands, due to the low path losses. In the coming week losses are moderate, but increasing. Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and windows shorten, but there are still plenty of EME opportunities to be had.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, the Leonids are all but over but we now have the major Geminids shower to look forward to in a few weeks time.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 13th. November 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Changes on 60m in Portugal

  • Youngsters on the Air

  • Summit to Summit event on the 19th

Jose, CT1EEB reports from Portugal on changes to the 60m allocation in that country. These include some of the existing channels, plus the new WRC15 allocation. The new 60m band licence allows 5371.5kHz and 5403.5kHz A1A and J3E and 5351.5kHz to 5366.5kHz using A1A and J3E.

As many will know the RSGB is seeking support for the International Youth event – YOTA 2017 that is being held at Gilwell Park in August 2017. We are pleased to say that delegates to the RSGB Convention in October were very generous in donating hundreds of pounds to the appeal. We would like to thank everyone who gave – your support is much appreciated. Members have also started making personal donations to support the event. Anyone donating £15 or more is automatically sent one of the new YOTA supporters pin. The YOTA 2017 appeal still has a long way to go, so if you can help the event by donating a few pounds (or even a many) you can do so today by visiting www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

Following the success of the Australia-Europe Summit-to-Summit event in October, one between Europe and North America is now to take place from 1400 to 1700UTC on Saturday the 19th of November. So far, 27 stations in Europe, North America and even Africa have indicated their intention to participate. The aim of the event is to get as many Summit to Summit contacts as possible. These can be between North America and Europe or within the regions themselves. Home-based “chasers” will also be contacting the summit activators to gain points in the SOTA award scheme.

On the 27th of November, the largest amateur radio event in Portugal will take place in Lisbon. You need to be able to speak Portuguese to learn more from the ARVM website, but if you are holidaying in the area, it could be worth checking out. www.arvm.org/fr16.htm

ARISS Milestones, a video of a presentation by past ARISS-EU Chair Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, on the history of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is now available on YouTube. ON4WF delivered the 12-minute overview during the 6th Polish Nationwide Conference of ARISS Contributors and Supporters, held in Ostrów Wielkopolski on the 22nd of October. In the presentation, he noted that the primary objective of ARISS is educational outreach, by making it possible for students on Earth to speak with ISS crew members via ham radio, and get answers direct from space. You can view the presentation at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufuyki21G6M

Omani amateur radio operators can sign their A4 calls with /46 until the 30th of November in celebration of the 46th anniversary of the independence of Oman.

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

We have no traditional rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 12th and 13th November.

On the 19th, the Rochdale & District ARS Traditional Radio Rally takes place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Rd, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Talk-In will be on S22 and the doors are open from 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. The rally usually finishes around 3pm. The entry is £2.50 with under 12s free. Further details from Dave, G3RIK on 01706 633 400.

On the 20th, the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held in the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. This is new venue will open the doors from 10am to 2pm. Admission is £1.50 and includes a tea of coffee. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and a flea market. For more information email enquiries@catsradio.org

Also on the 29th, the Plymouth Radio Rally is taking place at Harewood House, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon PL7 2AS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall, Special Interest Groups and trade stands. Catering will be available on site. More information from Sheila Hart, 2E0YSH on 01752 668 907.

The Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally is being held again this year at Spennymoor leisure centre on Sunday the 4th of December, Anyone wanting a table please contact John on 01388 606 396 as soon as possible as there are not many left.

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

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

The 6V1IS team will be active until the 19th of November from Dakar. They will be operating /P from Ngor and Goree Islands which are IOTA AF-45 using all HF bands, including WARC and 6m using all modes. More information can be found at www.qrz.com/db/6v1is/

Eric, F6ICX is on the air as 5R8IC from Saint Marie Island, IOTA AF-090, until the 4th of February next year. Activity is holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using mainly CW with some SSB, RTTY and PSK63. QSL to home callsign.

Alan, G3XAQ will be on the air as 5X1XA from Kampala until the 28th of November. Activity is on the HF bands using CW. QSL via G3SWH.

Tom, DJ6TF and Reiner, DL7KL will be on the air as 5Z4/DJ6TF and 5Z4/DL7KL, respectively, from Diani Beach from the 15th of November to the 1st of December. Activity will be on 80 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL to their home callsigns.

John, W5JON will be on the air as V47JA from Calypso Bay, St. Kitts, IOTA NA-104, from the 15th of November to the 15th of December. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres, including 60 metres, using SSB. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Two special event stations will be on the air to commemorate an historic broadcast made in 1914 from The Eifel Tower, by Frank Wright, the founder of Northampton Club to pupils in Bugbrooke School. A listening station, run by Northampton Radio club, will be at Bugbrooke County Primary School. F5KTR will transmit from Paris, operated by GRAC Radio Club. A message, in Morse, will be sent on 40m saying ‘Frank Wright is here’ as close to 2pm on the 17th as possible, but phone will be used before and after. The special call GB0WFX will be in use from the school other than on the 17th and it is hoped that they will get plenty of QSOs.

GB4MTR will be on the air until the 28th of November, mostly Tuesday and Friday evening and weekends, to mark the 60th anniversary of the amateur 4m band. Bands of operation will be from 80m to 70cm, FM, SSB and some data modes. QSL via the bureau to M0XTA, or direct to G6UT, see QRZ.com, and eQSL.

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will operate from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool, TS24 0DA, on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th of November. Operation is expected to be on the 40 and 80m bands and, to a lesser extent, on 2m.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 13th. Using the 2.5 to 29MHz bands the exchange is the signal report and serial number.

Between 1000 and 1400UTC today, the 13th, the UK Microwave group Low Band contest will be on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On the 19th, the Second 1.8MHz contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

The Essex CW Club Annual Activity week runs from the 14th to the 20th of November. This is a friendly non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. Slower operators are especially made welcome. Whilst the object is operate as many radio amateurs as possible in a week, it is hoped that a QSO goes beyond just an exchange of RST and becomes a CW chat for as long a duration as you wish. The minimum exchange is non-members give RST and name with members adding their membership number. Full details of preferred frequencies and awards can be found on the Essex CW Club website, just use your favourite search engine.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 11th November.

Last week saw DX being worked on HF as more-settled geomagnetic conditions allowed the ionosphere to strengthen. There were reports of US stations being worked on 40m before midnight, and DX contacts on 20m, 17m and 15m across the globe.

The solar flux index remained in the high 70s, and the geomagnetic K index remained mostly at one or two. This resulted in a settled ionosphere that saw daytime critical frequencies rise to 7.1MHz in the early afternoon, and maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path climb to more than 25MHz.

Unfortunately, the good conditions couldn't last and NOAA issued a geomagnetic storm alert due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent, negative-polarity coronal hole. By the evening of Thursday the 10th, the K index had risen to four.

Next week the solar flux index should remain in the 70s/80s, but this weekend will be dominated by poor geomagnetic conditions, with lower maximum usable frequencies, noisier bands, and an increased chance of auroral conditions.

Geomagnetic conditions should improve around the 16th and hopefully bring better propagation, at least until the weekend of the 19th and 20th when coronal hole effects may kick in again. You can get an initial positive propagation phase when solar plasma first hits so watch the HF bands as the K index first starts to rise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s going to be another week of hard work to get much Tropo from the VHF/UHF bands. However, there is likely to be a weak ridge over northern France and southern Britain on Sunday and Monday, which will slowly decline thereafter. So if there is anything worthwhile, it looks like the southern half of the country and into northern France, the Low Countries and Germany offer the best Tropo options for the first half of the week.

The northern half of Britain will remain closer to low pressure and more unstable showery air, so unlikely to benefit from any Tropo enhancements this week.

Don’t forget that with a Yagi and a bit of power you can always work DX up to 800km using aircraft scatter on the higher VHF/UHF bands.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, Thursday sees the major shower for this month - the Leonids. It’s predicted to peak at around 10:30am so look out for enhanced conditions and an opportunity to try out the new MSK144 mode from K1JT’s WSJT-X 1.7 software.

Six metre activity on this mode seems to be on or around 50.280MHz

EME path losses are at their lowest at the moment with the Moon at perigee on Monday. Declination is at a maximum on Thursday, so, in all, a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 6th. November 2016.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th November 2016

The news headlines:

  • Download ITU Radio Regulation

  • Warning over out of band signals

  • RAYNET agreement

The 2016 ITU Radio Regulations have been released. They are available as a free download via the ITU website, in English and five other languages. You can download your copy of the ITU Radio Regulations via www.itu.int/pub/R-REG-RR-2016

It has been brought to the attention of the Amateur Radio Observation Service that software commonly used by UK licensees for the production of signals in both JT65 and JT9 modes, uses a default preset frequency of 5.357MHz (JT65) or 5.359MHz (JT9) in the 5 MHz band. UK licensees are reminded that, after applying the audio offset to the AFSK signal in JT65 mode, using these presets will, in the majority of cases, cause the transmission to fall outside of the upper band edge of the UK allocation of 5.354MHz to 5.358MHz. In the case of JT9, if the default of 5.359MHz is used all transmissions will be outside of the UK allocation. Many examples of this have been noted and it is imperative that these out of band transmissions cease in order that UK licensees remain within the terms of their Amateur Radio Licence.

At the RAYNET AGM held in Cambridge on the 29th of October, RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF and Cathy Clark, G1GQJ, Chairman of the Radio Amateur's Emergency Network, signed the agreement between the two organisations, for the reunification of RAYNET operations, as from 1 January 2017. Once the formalities associated with the change of name to RAYNET-UK are finalised, the merging of the emergency communications groups currently with the RSGB into this new entity will begin.

If your radio club is working with a school for British Science Week in 2017, make sure they know that grants of up to £700 are available for schools in challenging circumstances. Applications for creative cross-curricular events are welcome, especially events that reach members of the local community who don’t usually come to science events. Grants close on the 21st of November at 5pm. See www.britishscienceweek.org/ for details.

Following last week’s Spectrum Forum meeting over twenty reports on a wide-range of topics are now available in the Spectrum Forum section on the RSGB website.

Registration is now open for this year's Scottish Microwave Round Table, which will be held at the Museum of Communication, Burntisland from 9.30am on Saturday, the 12th of November. Organised by the Lothians Radio Society, there will be a program of talks, a constructors' contest and an equipment test facility. Microwave component and surplus items will also be on sale. Refreshments and lunch will be provided by the Museum. After the Round Table, there is an option of an evening dinner at the nearby Kingswood Hotel including the traditional musical break. Further event details and registration information can be found at www.gmroundtable.org.uk

The Bath Based Advanced Distance Learning team have opened enrolment for their next course, which will run from mid-January, aiming for exams in late June or early July. The course guides students through the RSGB Advance textbook with lots of revision questions, exercises and videos to watch. Students have access to an on-line tutor who will provide advice and can answer any questions that might arise. There are no charges for the training but students pay a refundable deposit which is paid in return for seeing the course through. Those that do not complete the course agree to donate the deposit to a radio-related charity. If you would like to know more, full details and enrolment forms are available from Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB has released a briefing paper on amateur activity at 47GHz. This was prompted by the band being in scope of ITU and CEPT studies for next generation, 5G smartphones. It is just one of the many examples of RSGB spectrum defence work from LF to the millimetre waves. The paper may be found on the Spectrum Forum section of the RSGB website www.rsgb.org Other emerging developments such as Wireless Power Transmission are also being monitored.

Repeater GB3CF has implemented a dual mode Fusion repeater using Yaesu equipment coupled with Arcom logic. Users can look forward to full internet connectivity soon. GB3LEX, the 10GHz beacon, has been taken out of service for investigation following reports that although it was audible locally, listeners further away were unable to hear it. Further info will be available in due course at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk or via G4AFJ on 01455 823344.

The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is looking for an additional member to focus on studies of abnormal VHF propagation. One of the tasks to be undertaken will be to study all information concerning exceptional contacts and reception reports in order to establish if there are patterns of linked propagation modes that might have previously been missed. A further aspect of the role is to be able to communicate the results of it to RSGB Members and beyond via presentations and articles in RadCom. A really good working knowledge of VHF propagation and communication skills are important for this role. If you are interested please email Steve Nichols, G0KYA, via email to psc.chairman@rsgb.org.uk including a brief resume of what you would bring to the role.

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

The West London Radio & Electronics Show will be held today, the 6th of November, at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. The venue has free car parking and disabled facilities. A talk-in station will be in operation. Doors open at 9.50/10am. There will be trade stands, a flea market, a Bring & buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A raffle will take place during the day and a lecture stream will be available. There are catering outlets on site. More information from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Today, the 6th of November the Bushvalley ARC Annual Rally will take place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry BT49 9DF. Doors open at 11am and the venue has disabled facilities. There will be a Bring & Buy, a talk-in station and trade stands. There will be catering on site and a raffle will be held on the day. More details from Jackie Doyle, MI0JPD on 0788 529 2545.

The UK FM Group Western are staging a Digital Radio User Guidelines session starting at 10am on Saturday the 12th of November at the Warrington Amateur Radio Club, Bellhouse Lane, Grappenhall WA4 2SG. To reserve a place contact the groups Membership Secretary, Kath Wilson, M1CNY on 01270 761 608 or by email to dwilson@btinternet.com

We have no traditional rallies in the diary for the weekend 12th and 13th November. The next ones are the Rochdale & DARS Traditional Radio Rally on the 19th and the 39th CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar on the 20th. Details in next week’s news,

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

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

The 6V1IS team will be active from the 7th to 19th of November from Dakar. They will be operating /P from Ngor and Goree Islands, IOTA AF-45, on all HF bands, including WARC and 6m using all modes. More information can be found at www.qrz.com/db/6v1is/ 

ZL1BQD will be active as E51RR until the 25th November from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m. QSL to the home call.

Maurizio, IK2GZU will be on the air as 5H3MB in Tanzania from the 7th of November to the 2nd of December. QSL to his home callsign.

Eric, F6ICX will be on the air as 5R8IC from Sainte Marie Island, IOTA AF-090, until the 4th of February 2017. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Alan, MW0YCC will be active as VP8DPJ while stationed at the British Antarctic Territory Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island, IOTA AN-001, until April 2018. QSL via operator's instructions.

Now the special event news

GB4MTR will be on the air until the 28th of November, mostly Tuesday and Friday evening and weekends, to mark the 60th anniversary of the amateur 4m band. Bands of operation will be from 80m to 70cm, FM, SSB and some data modes. QSL via the bureau to M0XTA, or direct to G6UT, see QRZ.com, and eQSL.

San Francisco Radio Club is celebrating their centennial year. The final event will be W6PW/100 on the 12th from 1600 to 2300UTC.

A special event on the 13th on the 630m band will commemorate the Berlin Treaty of 1906 that made 500kHz the International Distress Frequency. US Part 5 Experimental licensees and Canadian amateurs will operate in the 472-479 kHz band. They will also participate in cross-band QSOs with amateurs operating on 160, 80, and 40 meters. The Maritime Radio Historical Society will activate the KSM/KPH transmitter in Bolinas, California with special messages and bulletins.

Now the contest news

This weekend the Marconi CW Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 6th, using the 144MHz band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest will take place between 2000 and 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the IRTS Evening Counties Contest will run from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5MHz band the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations sending their county too.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Sprint runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is serial number and name.

On Saturday, the 12th, the Club Calls Contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club code.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 12th to 2359UTC on the 13th the WAE DX RTTY contest will be on the air. Using the 2.5 to 29MHz bands the exchange is the signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, G3NYK and G4BAO on Friday the 4th of November.

Last week, the solar flux index remained in the mid to high 70s, but HF propagation was once again dominated by variable geomagnetic conditions. The first half of the week, which included the CQ Worldwide contest, was very unsettled with the K index at high latitudes peaking at seven. This drove down maximum useable frequencies and impacted a lot of potential DX contacts. The second half of the week was a little more settled as a large coronal hole on the sun rotated away, but the K index was still four at times.

We should now see more settled geomagnetic conditions, at least until around the 8th or perhaps the 11th, depending upon which model you believe, when the K index will climb once again.

This is not expected to have much effect on LF, MF and HF over 2,000 to 3,000km paths, but may cause a reduction in signal levels particularly on longer, more northerly, paths that may persist for two or three days.

Otherwise, this is now a prime time for HF propagation, with worldwide contacts possible on all bands up to around 21MHz, with occasional openings on 12 and even 10 metres.

If you want a challenge, you still have a few days left to work the Six-Gs groups on Chatham Island who are operating as ZL7G.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some welcome Tropo last week, we start this week with a low pressure system over the North Sea and a showery northerly across much of the country. Apart from a chance of some rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands, the VHF/UHF prospects seem likely to be uninspiring at first.

Soon after the weekend, we should find high pressure building back in across north-west Britain and this will gradually migrate to southern areas, leaving space for low pressure and a brisk westerly wind to reach the north again by the end of the week. During this period, as the high moves south, there is a prospect of some limited Tropo, especially in the south and across the near continent.

For meteor scatter enthusiasts, start preparing for the major shower for this month - the Leonids. It peaks on Thursday, the 17th, at around 1030UTC. Otherwise, it’s back to early mornings for random contacts on the low VHF bands.

Moon declination is at a minimum today and losses are high, but reduce as the week progresses, dropping to a minimum next Sunday. Moon windows continue to lengthen as declination becomes positive again.

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

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