Sunday 14th September 2014
The news headlines:
Updating the Amateur Radio Licence
Learn how to Solder Surface Mount Devices
Looking ahead to the National Hamfest
The current form of the amateur licence has been around for several years and Ofcom is keen to ensure that it continues to meet its regulatory needs. A consultation paper entitled Updating the Amateur Radio Licence has now been issued, and all amateurs are encouraged to read it carefully and respond to Ofcom by 20th October. It is a 35-page, 264KB PDF. The RSGB has put together a brief commentary to help illustrate some of the more significant changes proposed and, additionally, we have opened a discussion forum in which any amateur can participate. The RSGB will use contributions to the forum to inform its response to Ofcom. Go to http://rsgb.org/licencereview
If you are interested in learning how to solder surface mount devices then the sessions taking place at the RSGB Convention on Saturday 11 October may be of interest. Run by Dave Powis, G4HUP there will be practical workshops all day, at which you can put into practice the tips and ideas discussed in his presentation at the start of the day. Opportunities for hand placement and soldering of SMDs will be provided, as well as the equipment for solder paste dispensing and reflow soldering, under expert guidance. Each session is around 45 minutes and can be pre-booked by contacting Dave via www.g4hup.com/SMD2014.htm
National Hamfest takes place on 26 and 27 September at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground. This year several traders are bring new products that will be shown for the first time. Details of many of these new products are in the September and October issues of RadCom. There is also a large car boot area as well as the inside trade hall. Visitors will have the opportunity to ask questions of several RSGB committees and Ofcom will also be there. See www.nationalhamfest.org.uk for details.
Slow Scan Television appears to be once again operational from the International Space Station. On 6th September the ISS Slow Scan Television experiment was activated from the Russian Service Module on 145.800MHz FM. This followed an unsuccessful test back on 27th August when only the carrier was detected but no SSTV audio tones were heard.
Clubs and Groups are reminded that they need to send in their bids to host the G14YOTA callsign during December, which has been designated IARU Region 1 Youngsters On The Air month. Applications have been received from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and the Isle of Man with a number of Clubs, schools and universities aiming to put youngsters on the air. Full details on how the month will work and how to apply to use the special callsign are on the RSGB website, just search for 'YOTA month' and you will find all you need. Closing date for bids is 22nd September, just a week away, so get working on those applications!
The RSGB Convention takes place between the 10th and 12th October and will be held at the Kent’s Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. It is, once again, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, whom the RSGB thank for their continued support of the event. The latest lecture schedule is available on the RSGB website. Select the ‘About Us’ drop down menu on the www.rsgb.org main site for Convention details. Visitors should note that tickets for the Technical Dinner on Saturday evening are now sold out. Gala Dinner tickets for the same evening are still available. Weekend packages and Pick and Mix options should be booked on the RSGB website, see www.rsgbevents.org. Day tickets with no other bookings will only be available on the door.
Ofcom have advised that there are expected to be LTE test transmissions over the next few months in the 2.3GHz band. LTE transmissions are the wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones. The tests will be in the central London area and will be up to 38dBW ERP. If licensed radio amateurs should become aware of unusual transmissions, they are asked to bear this in mind.
A report on 2012 trials in the United Kingdom that used 3.613MHz for 24kHz bandwidth high-speed data and video transmissions is now available to the public. It notes that by using modern modulation techniques an SSB channel can support a raw data rate of 12,800 bits per second and wider transmissions can support proportionally faster data rates. More information on this experimentation can be found in a very fascinating article with the long title of Wide Band High Frequency Communications 2012 UK Trials Summary prepared by James Alexander of Rockwell Collins Corporation. You can find it at tinyurl.com/hf-video-testing
The 2014 D-Star QSO Party will run from 000UTC on 19th September to 2359UTC on the 21st. The goal of the Party is to communicate through as many D-Star repeaters as possible around the world during the period. All operators who submit an approved log will be eligible for the prize drawing with 10 lucky winners randomly selected to each win a prize. Full details of this event is on the web at http://www.d-staruk.co.uk/
Sochi hosts the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from the 10th to 12th October and a series of 11 special event stations will be active from tomorrow, the 15th until 15th October on all bands and modes. All the callsigns begin with UE16.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The TARS 50th annual Communications Fair takes place today, 14th September, at Newton Abbot Race Course, Devon TQ12 3AF. The event is indoors and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as an RSGB bookstall. Doors open at 10am and admissions is £2. Details from Mike Dixon on 01803 557 941.
The West Kent ARS Radio & Electronics Fair will be held at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9XB today, 14th September. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB Bookstall. Contact Dave, G4OTV, by e-mail to email@example.com for more information.
The Five Bridges Cluster and the Angel club are jointly hosting a Workshop for Examination Invigilators at 7.30pm on Monday 15th September. All current and potential exam invigilators are welcome to discuss best practice. The meeting will be held at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR on 07990 760920.
We have no details for rallies next weekend, the 20th and 21st, the next in the diary is the National Hamfest. This takes place on Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th. The two day show is brought to you by the RSGB in association with the Lincoln Short Wave Club, to whom the RSGB offer its thanks for the work involved. Taking place at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY doors open for the main hall at 10am and 9.30am for the outside and car boot area. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, large RSGB bookstall, RSGB committees and special interest groups. Details at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now for the news of special events
Throughout September, Pontefract and District ARS will be remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain by using the callsign GB4BOB.
The Royal Engineers Association Radio Branch will be running GB1WWR in remembrance of World War One from Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent today, 14th September. This is the Corps Memorial and Veterans weekend.
PA70OMG will be on the air until 21st September to commemorate Operation Market Garden by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne division on 17th September 1944.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
Nigel, G3TXF and Paul, ZS1S will be on Gough Island, AF-030, until 3rd October. Nigel will operate as ZD9XF on CW and Paul will sign ZD9ZS on SSB.
Four Australian operators will sign VK9NT from Norfolk Island, OC-005, until 21st September. Look for them on all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB and CW.
EA5IDQ will be on the air signing 9H3JA from Malta, EU-023 between 18th and 25th September. Activity will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using SSB and the digital modes. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.
Five operators will be on the air as BO0D from Tungyin Island, AS-113, until 20th September. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via the BV Bureau.
Now the contest news
The SSB leg of the Worked All Europe Contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 14th, after 48 hours on the air. The contest is on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number and EU stations work non EU stations only.
The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO Phone contest takes place today, 14th September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 5th October. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT by e-mail to email@example.com.
On Tuesday, the 16th, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Sunday 21st, the second 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also on Sunday 21st, this time from 1700 to 2100UTC the BARTG Sprint 75 takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just the serial number. Note all contacts are 75 baud.
Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 5th to Thursday the 11th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday the 12th of September.
On the 4th two large sunspot regions rotated into view and between them they produced numerous C class solar flares everyday and one M class solar flares on the 6th and the 9th and two on the 11th. On the 10th activity increased to high when a X1 class flare occurred, the first since the 11th of June. Solar flux levels increased from 144 units on the 5th to 164 by the 8th, the average was 155 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 11th was 129 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B9.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for the 11th, which increased possibly due to the arrival of a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun on the 9th. The Ap index on the 11th was 13 units. The quietest day was the 8th with an Ap of 5 units. The average was Ap 8 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds 330 and 490 kilometres per second. Particle densities increased to around 40 particles per cubic centimetre on the 6th, 10th and the 11th, the remaining days densities were low. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day.
Now the solar forecast for the coming week. At least for the first half of the week the two active sunspot regions will still be visible before rotating out of view. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but there is a good chance that activity could increase at least till midweek. Solar flux levels should be around the 150's for most of the week but could start to decline by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be low, however, if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection takes place this would increase activity. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 25MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 12MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 27MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1200 hours UTC.
And that’s all from the propagation team for another week.