Sunday 20 July 2014
The news headlines:
· ARRL marks its hundred years
· Get Set for the IOTA Contest
· AMSAT Colloquium next weekend
The American Radio Relay League, or ARRL, has been in existence for 100 years and this weekend has been celebrating its centennial with a convention in its home town of Hartford, Connecticut. Commencing on Thursday 17th there have been dozens of talks, visits to ARRL Headquarters, formal dinners and many more activities. The RSGB extends its fraternal congratulations ARRL on reaching this milestone.
The RSGB IOTA Contest takes place next weekend, 26 and 27 July. It is based on the RSGB Islands on the Air award programme, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is one of the most popular events in the calendar, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world. Amateurs will be travelling to islands around the globe and putting them on the air, making contacts with other islands and with those who are chasing islands. More details are in the Contest News section later in this broadcast.
Next weekend sees the satellite convention of the year – the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium. Held at the Holiday inn in Guildford, the event is suitable for anyone from interested beginner to expert. It is a great opportunity to hear about the latest developments and to chat with satellite designers and builders. There will be many prestige speakers over the course of the event, including QST magazine editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. He will giving a presentation on Saturday the 26th that includes a description of operations at the impressive ARRL Headquarters station in Newington, Connecticut. On Friday 25 July, the day before the Colloquium, there will be a Bring Your Own Boards CubeSat Workshop. This takes place in the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford. The day will include ad-hoc tours to the Surrey Space Centre cleanroom, ground station, and new CubeSat experimentation facilities. Details of both events can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/
After the great success of the International Museums Weekends there is another event to put on your calendar and support: Air Ambulance Week, from 27th September to 5th October. It is in support of Air Ambulances around the world and the sterling work they do. For more information and to register your participation, visit www.radio-amateur-events.org/ and click on Air Ambulance Week. Registration is free.
Several countries have announced new or amended amateur allocations recently. The latest news is that amateurs in Andorra have been granted access to frequencies between 5.275 and 5.450MHz. Maximum power is 100W PEP and signal bandwidths must not exceed 3kHz. In Spain, the allocation of six spot frequencies at 5MHz was due to expire at the end of this month. Following representations to the government by the Spanish national amateur radio society, URE, permission has been extended until 30 November 2015. The Spanish allocations do not coincide with the ‘common’ 5MHz channels, so those making contact with Spanish stations are reminded that their transmissions must remain within their own licenced sub-bands.
The results of the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship have been announced and the overall winner was the United States of America team, who gained an early lead and never looked back. Second was the Solvakian team and Germany came third. Full details of the results are online at www.wrtc2014.org. The British team came tenth with a total of 4158 QSOs and score of 6,008,327. The Americans had 4572 QSOs from which they scored 7,184,844 points. Congratulations to all 59 teams that took part – the lowest score was 3107 QSOs in 24 hours and a score of 3,382,155.
According to the International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System newsletter, the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency has taken action against a number of sports fliers who were using the 144-148MHz amateur band illegally. Agents visited a sports flying site and confiscated a number of transceivers and took legal action against several people.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The Finningley ARS Summer Rally takes place today at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The site is easily accessible from M180 junction 1 and 2. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy and an RSGB bookshop. Details from Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614 640.
Next Sunday, 27 July, the Horncastle Summer Rally takes place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Lincolnshire LN9 6DZ. There is free car parking, the event opens at 10.30 and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands, catering and disabled facilities. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.
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
Members of the Worked All Britain Awards Group will be operating GB4CGS, for Commonwealth Games Scotland, from different locations between 23 July and 3 August to celebrate the Commonwealth Games. A certificate will be awarded for working the station on 3, 6 or 9 of the 12 days that it will be active, with the certificate being endorsed as Bronze, Silver and Gold respectively. Full details are on the Worked All Britain website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk
In July 1914 Sigurjon Isfeld travelled from Gimli, Manitoba to deliver 100 Canadian husky dogs to Sir Ernest Shackleton in England for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. To recognise the centenary of the trip, VE4XSI will be on the air from Gimli from 26 July until 4 August. Operation will be on 7.200 14.250, 21.250 and 28.350MHz as band conditions dictate. See VE4XSI on QRZ.com for more information.
Bromsgrove and District ARC will be running a World War One commemoration station, GB1WWO, on all bands from 25 July to 4 August.
Chester and District Amateur Radio Society will operate GB100GW for Great Britain 100 Great War from Leasowe Lighthouse near Morton Wirral from 25 July until 7 August. During busy periods M0MTC will also be used.
Wirral and District Amateur Radio Club will be on the air as GB100CMM for Great Britain 100 Cheshire Military Museum from Chester. Operations commence on 1 August and continue until 7 August.
Burton upon Trent Amateur Radio Club is holding a special event at the National Brewery Museum on 2 and 3 August with the callsign GB2ALE. The event is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of one of the club’s founders, Mr FVA Smith, XSR, receiving a message from the Marconi spark transmitter at Poldhu on the eve of World War 1, announcing the mobilisation of French and Belgian troops. A re-enactment will be attempted at various times over the weekend. Main operations will be on all HF bands and there will be talk-in available on 2m. Full details are at www.burtonarc.org
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
Many stations are likely to be on the air from exotic locations next weekend for the RSGB Islands on the Air contest. Here is a sample of those who are likely to be active.
Members of the Union De Radioaficionados De Tenerife will be active as EA8URT from the Canary Islands, AF-004, during the contest on 27 and 28 July. QSL direct as instructed on QRZ.com or via the bureau.
IW2NEF will be active from Zanzibar Island, AF-032, probably using the call 5H1NE, from 22 July until 6 August. Activity will be holiday style on SSB only. QSL via IK2DUW.
OM3RM will be operational portable stroke 9A from Vis Island, EU-016, during the contest. This as a Single-Operator All-Band Mixed entry. QSL via OM3RM.
PS8RV will be active as ZY8D from Caju Island, SA-072, from 25 to 27 July and taking part in the contest. Operation will be on HF but modes have not been announced. QSL via the information provided on QRZ.com.
Now the contest news
Today, 20 July, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.
Also today, the 70MHz Trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.
Finally for today, the UK Microwave Group is holding the 24 to 248GHz Contest from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Tuesday sees the 50MHz UKAC from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using all modes on 6m, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.
The 80m Club Championships Data leg is on Thursday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Operating on 3.5MHz and data modes only, the exchange is RST and serial number.
The big news for next weekend is the RSGB IOTA contest. The duration is 24 hours, starting at 1200UTC on Saturday 26, that’s 1pm UK time, and it finishes at the same time on the 27th. Operation is on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands, using both CW and phone. The exchange is RST, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain and EU-115 for Ireland Full information is on the RSGB Contest Committee website at www.rsgbcc.org
Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group 5.7-24GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC on Sunday 27th. All modes are valid and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.
Now the solar report and forecast for the period July 11 to 17, prepared on July 18 by Martin Harrison, G3USF.
Solar activity retreated from the levels of recent weeks. Though C-class flares were reported on most days they had no marked impact on propagation. On the 16th and 17th no flares were reported and the solar disc was almost blank. The solar flux, which touched the 200 mark on the 8th, had declined to only 89 by the 17th. The average for the week, 118, was 59 units down on the previous week. The less volatile 90-day average, at 133, was three points down. The X-ray flux level was also down – from an average of C1.0 to B6.
However, happily for HF operators, the geomagnetic field was never more than slightly unsettled. The highest daily Ap reading was 9 and the average was 6. Solar wind speeds ranged between 288 km/sec on the 13th and 474km/sec on the 14th. Particle densities were consistently low and Bz varied around plus 5 and minus 4 nanoTeslas. HF propagation was at predicted levels but VHF Sporadic-E occurred only occasionally: the summer season is now clearly behind us – though there could still be brief openings.
Now the solar forecast. The low level of solar activity of recent days is expected to continue during the first part of the week, with few flares of consequence and generally quiet geomagnetic levels. However, by next weekend, the solar flux should be recovering some of the ground lost during the sharp decline of recent days. Daytime MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to be in the vicinity of 24MHz, while darkness lows will be about 14MHz. Paths to eastern North America should have a maximum usable frequency – that’s a 50 percent of a contact – around 23MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency, there should be a 90 per cent chance of success, will be 17MHz.
And that’s all for another week from the propagation team.