Sunday 1st March 2015
The news headlines:
GB2RS broadcast from Germany to QSY
Train the Trainers days in May and June
RSGB response to Ofcom UHF consultation
Starting next Sunday, the 8th of March, the GB2RS transmission at 1000 on 40m from Germany will change frequency. Currently on 7.150MHz, the new frequency will be 7.127MHz. This change is being made to accommodate contest activity that competes for spectrum on the band. Our thanks go to G3SIB/DJ0OK and M0DXM/DJ2XB for their continued support of the GB2RS news service. The 1030 reading of the news from Stornaway by GM3JIJ will continue on 7.150 as normal.
RSGB Train the Trainers days are for you if you are delivering training for the amateur examinations and do not already have a professional educational background. The purpose is to give you some insights in how to prepare and deliver your material, to improve the learning skills of your class and hopefully inject some fun into the experience for everyone. Train the Trainers days are available to RSGB members and there is no charge. Places at each venue are limited so apply soon if you are interested. The next Train the Trainers day is on May 9th, in Norwich. In order to book a place, please email David, G7URP at firstname.lastname@example.org. A further Train the Trainers day will be held in Badsworth, Yorkshire on 13th June. To book for that location, please email email@example.com
The RSGB has prepared a response to Ofcom’s call for input on a strategic review of the UHF spectrum at 420-470MHz. You can read the response, in full, in the News section of the RSGB website.
On the 26th February, GB2RAF at RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum made contact with GB8ORE, a station commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the radar located at the Birth of Radar Memorial Stone in Northamptonshire. This contact on 40m SSB at 1504UTC was rather special as the Museum Curator exchanged a greetings message to and from Eddie Izzard, who was a special guest at the Memorial Stone. The contact was made possible by Terry, G4PSH and Brian, G8GMU. The event was reported on the local news.
IARU Region 1 has released issue 65 of the VHF-UHF-microwave Newsletter. It covers WRC-15, which could affect a number of amateur radio bands such as the 5MHz, 5GHz, 10GHz, 24GHz and 77GHz bands. You can read the newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/IARU-R1-VHF-65
Radio amateurs from Poland have created a diploma commemorating the SSTV activity from the International Space Station that celebrated the 80th anniversary of Gagarin's birthday. For more information contact the coordinator via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As a subject please mention SSTV3ISS, your callsign and locator.
A group of German radio amateurs have taken over a former broadcast transmitter and have been granted a commercial licence for 10kW on 6070kHz. As part of their programming, they will be broadcasting GB2RS News. For more detail please go to their website at www.channel292.de.
During March, April and May, the Union of Radio Amateurs from Andorra, URA, will be arranging a series of events to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the organisation. For further information, visit www.ura.ad and click on 35th anniversary. There is an English version of the website.
The Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group tell us that 70cm beacon GB3MCB on is back on the air on its new frequency of 432.470MHz. It is using an 8 element Yagi at 1050 feet ASL beaming north east towards the centre of the UK from IO70OJ. Reports are welcome at www.gb3nc.org.uk or at www.beaconspot.eu
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, 1st March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will be held in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Entry is £2 and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198 374.
Also on 1st March the British Vintage Wireless Society is holding a Swapmeet and Auction at Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD. Doors open at 9.30am, with tickets on sale from 9am. The event is for members only so contact Mike Barker on 01380 860 787 for more information.
Next weekend, on the 8th, the 30th Wythall Radio Club Rally will be held. It is at a new venue this year, the Wythall Radio Club HQ at Wythall Park, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access half an hour earlier. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, catering and a licensed bar. Contact John on 07428 055 931 for more details
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please e-mail details to email@example.com.
Now the special event news
This weekend, listen out for GB0PAS on air for the Pontefract Astronomy Society.
GB100BVU will be on the air from Llandudno celebrating 100 Years of St Dunstan's from the 6th to the 14th March.
If you have news of any future special event stations, please e-mail details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
The DXpedition to Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA reference SA-005, in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago is scheduled to run until 4th March. The multi-national team comprises of 23 operators from 7 countries using the callsign 3G0ZC.
ZD8D will be on the air from Ascension Island, AF-003, until 6th March. The three operators will focus on the LF bands.
FP/KV1J will be active until 10th March from Miquelon Island, NA-032, and QSLs go via his home callsign.
Michael PA5M will be signing 3XY5M from Guinea in West Africa until around 10th April.
Marcel, PD5MVH will use the special callsign PD38EU from Ameland Island, EU-038, from until 14th March, including the ARRL DX SSB Contest. QSLs go via PD5MVH wither direct or via the bureau.
Howard, WA2NHA will be on the air from Aruba, SA-036, from 1st to 15th march with a CW only station using the callsign P4/WA2NHA. QSL via WA2NHA.
Now the contest news
This weekend is the CQ WW 160m DX contest. It started at 2200UTC on Friday 27th and ends its 48 hour run today, the 1st. It’s SSB only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.
On Monday, the data leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Tuesday, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend the 144/432MHz contest runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 7th. Using all modes in both bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also next weekend is the ARRL International DX contest running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 7th. It is an SSB contest using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and transmitted power, with American and Canadian stations sending their State or Province code.
The first in this year’s series of five low band contests organised by the UK Microwave Group takes place on Sunday 8th from 1000 to 1600UTC, Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of February.
We are now into March with the spring equinox just a few weeks away. With equal illumination on both hemispheres, this is traditionally a good time for north-south contacts on HF, such as UK to South Africa and South America. A detailed analysis using VOACAP Online shows a few more factors to consider when planning what bands to use.
In February, a path from the UK to the eastern seaboard of the US had a twelve per cent maximum chance of success on 10m. But in March you may need to drop down to 12m to make the contact. It is a similar story on paths to the west coast of the US.
In other words, 10m propagation to the United States is now on the wane as we head towards summer. But on paths to South America, 10m should be open with an 80-85% probability of success, pretty much as it was in February.
If you are using a VOACAP-based prediction program don't forget to change the smoothed sunspot number to 62, down slightly from last month.
Finally, we are not in the summer HF doldrums just yet so there is still plenty of DX to be worked. And don’t forget the Commonwealth Contest on 14th and 15th March.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
This next week the windy and generally unsettled theme continues, but there are some quite positive signals for a large high to develop over Ireland from midweek and slowly drift eastwards to be over the country by next weekend.
These winter cold highs are not such strong providers of tropo initially, since the air near the surface is also very dry at first. However, as the high edges away to the east and declines slightly, there is a good chance of some moisture getting trapped under the temperature inversion, especially over western Britain as the weekend approaches.
This may give another period of tropo to get March off to a good VHF/UHF start. As March goes on, the chance of early Sporadic-E events increases, as do the very rare North-South propagation on 50MHz from the extreme South West of the UK.
We are still in the January to April lull in meteor showers, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts on the lower bands in the early mornings and aircraft scatter on the higher bands.
The Moon’s declination is falling all next week so UK EME operators will get increasingly shorter moon windows and losses will reach a maximum on Thursday and Friday.
And that's all this week from the propagation team.