RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 27th July 2014

July 25, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th July 2014

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters on the Air was great success

  • Commonwealth Games requires four channels on 2m

  • First transatlantic Opera decode achieved on 6m

Youngsters on the Air 2014 was a huge success. Initial reports speak about how well run it was and how friendly the 60 young people were. But more importantly, the RSGB-sponsored UK delegation was continually praised for its punctuality, good manners, enthusiasm, competitiveness, good operating standards, technical expertise. In short they were everything expected of ambassadors for the UK and also for the RSGB. The boys really did lead in every field. A full report on the event is planned for the next edition of RadCom.

Following negotiations with the RSGB to minimise the impact on radio amateurs, Ofcom has announced that it will temporarily authorise up to four 25kHz channels, between 144.000MHz and 144.100MHz, for the period 22 July to 4 August 2014, to support the operation of the Commonwealth Games. The frequencies to be used specifically exclude the CW calling frequency at 144.0500MHz. Usage of this spectrum will be in the vicinity of Glasgow Commonwealth Games venues and will be limited to handheld equipment operating on a maximum of 5W ERP. Ofcom emphasises that use of Primary Amateur spectrum is only for the specified time period and does not constitute a change of usage. Ofcom are aware of the very short notice and will authorise this usage on a non-interference, non-protection basis. Amateurs in the Glasgow area are requested to avoid these frequencies until 4 August. Full details, including the centre frequencies and precise area affected, are online at www.tinyurl.com/glasgow2m

The first transatlantic decode of an Opera beacon on the 6m band occurred at 14:27 on 21 July. David Gaytko, WD4KPD, located in Washington, decoded transmission from Graham Brown, G0NBD, at a range of 3664 miles. The signal to noise ratio was -18dB and the mode in use was Opera OP1, with a 60 second Tx time.

The UK 2m transatlantic beacon GB3WGI has recently been permitted a higher power by Ofcom. Located at Derrygonnelly, Northern Ireland, the beacon now has an ERP of 1000W, beaming on a heading of 280°.

The Brendan Awards Committee has named Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, to receive the first Triennial Brendan Medal. This award is for his work on setting up and maintaining his 2 metre trans-Atlantic beacon system. The medal was presented to Justin by Irish Radio Transmitting Society President Séamus McCague, EI8BP, during the recent ARRL Centennial Convention in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ofcom has recently published a Call for Inputs on promoting investment in the Internet of Things. The document is informative and may have some practical implications for the shared sections of the 433MHz and 2.4GHz bands. Details are at http://goo.gl/jbfIId

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Irish Arms have created a full weekend of event for the long weekend from Friday 1st August to Monday 4th August. The highlight will be the firing of a Vickers Sons & Maxim 6 inch breech loading coastal gun at about 12.30 on the afternoon of Monday 4th August. The gun is dated 1897, so is 117 years old, and has not fired since 1939. It was restored by members of Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society over the past three years. In addition to the firing of the gun there will be activities over the weekend including military vehicles and a visit by the current Department of the Environment Minister and his dignitaries on Monday to take part in the firing of the gun.

The July/August 2014 issue of the free professional publication Sat Magazine features stories on TechDemoSat, UKube-1 with its FUNcube-2 boards and DX-1. Also included is the publication OSCAR News produced quarterly by AMSAT-UK. The publication is available for download in PDF format at tinyurl.com/july-2014-satmag

The BBC is staging another of their series of World War 1 At Home events on 1 and 2 August in the City Square, Dundee. Keep an eye on the RSGB website for details.

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

The Horncastle Summer Rally takes place today 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.

Next Sunday, 3 August, the 25th King’s Lynn Arc Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, PE30 4DZ, where there is talk-in on S22 and free car parking. Opening time is 10am and admission it £2. There are trade stands, a car boot sale and catering. Camping is available by prior arrangement. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701 or see www.klarc.org.uk.

Also next Sunday is the Lorn Radio Rally, at Crianlarich Village Hall. Opening time is 10.30 and admission is £2. There’s a bring and buy, RSGB bookstall and free tables for traders. Contact Stewart, MM1AVR, on 07708 016 522 or email gm0lra@freeuk.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 e-mail details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Bredhurst Receiving & Transmitting Society will be operating GB4FWW, for First World War, from Thursday 31 July until 9 August. Activity will be on HF SSB, 2m FM & SSB.

On Friday 1st August Pontefract and District ARS will be celebrating Yorkshire Day by operating GB0YD from the Towton, War of the Roses, Battlefield.

GB2CS will be on the air from 1-8 August for Cheshire Scouts and Guides. The station will be located at the Cheshire County Agricultural Showground in Tabley, near Knutsford. Operation will be on HF, VHF, UHF, IRLP, D-Star and Echolink, and will be staffed by amateurs involved in scouting in Cheshire. At the international jamboree there will be Scouts and Guides represented from many countries from Europe, as well as USA, Canada, Egypt and Africa.

Next Sunday sees the start of a very unusual special event callsign, GB1418WAR, commemorating the 1914-1918 First World War. Activity will be from Top Band to 28MHz, mainly on SSB but with some CW. QSL via M0OXO.

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

JH1NBN will be active as C21BN from Nauru, IOTA reference OC-031, between 27 July and 16 August. Operations will be on 80 to 6 metres SSB using simple antennas with 100 watts. QSL via his home callsign.

YB3MM will be on the air as 4W stroke NB3MM from Timor Leste between 31 July and 5 August. Operation will be on 30, 20, 17, 15 and 12 metres using mainly SSB with some CW and PSK31. QSL IZ8CCW direct, by the bureau or OQRS.

WM2W and N0TW will be active as C6AMW and C6ATW respectively from the Bahamas, NA-080, between 1 and 4 August as part of the 10-10 Summer QSO Party. QSL via N0TW.

ON6DSL will operational stroke SV9 from Crete, EU-015, from 1 to 10 August. His mode of operation will be SSB using QRP at 5 watts into a home built antenna. QSL via his home callsign to the UBA Bureau.

Now the contest news

The RSGB IOTA contest is in progress this weekend, coming to a close at 1pm UK time today. 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

Also today, the UK Microwave Group 5.7-24GHz contest takes place from 0600 to 1800UTC. All modes are valid and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the RSGB 70MHz UKAC from 1900-2130UTC, with all modes of operation valid. RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Next Saturday sees the RSGB 4th 144MHz Backpackers contest, from 1300-1700UTC. Operating all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is RST, serial number, locator and postcode. Partially overlapping this is the RSGB 144MHz Low Power contest, which operated from 1400-2000UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is also RST, serial number, locator and postcode.

The VHF part of the 43rd Alpe Adria VHF/UHF/SHF contest takes place on Sunday 3 August. Entry categories include a low power high altitude class for those above 1600m ASL and below 5W. Operations are on CW and SSB from 0700-1500UTC and full details are at http://www.alpe-adria-contest.net/

On Sunday 3rd August the CW contest RoPoCo 2 is on the air from 0700-0830UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is RST and full postcode received.

The RSGB 432MHz Low Power contest is on Sunday 3rd. Operating from 0800UTC until 1200 on all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, Microwave Field Day takes place on Sunday 3rd from 0900-1700UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 and 10GHz bands, RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Now the solar report and forecast for the period July 18th to 24th, prepared on July 25th by Martin Harrison, G3USF

The Sun had another quiet week, with solar activity very low. Spots were few and there were six successive days when no solar flares were reported until a, small C-class occurred on the 24th. After last week’s precipitate drop, the solar flux was more stable. It began the week at 89 units and ended at 104, averaging 93. The 90-day average was 129 units on the 24th - a drop of 4 points. The X-ray flux was down from an average of B6.0 to B1.7

The one bright spot was that geomagnetic activity again remained low, with the Ap index in single figures every day, averaging only 4 units. Apart from the occasional spike, particle densities were consistently low. Solar wind speeds were below average, ranging between 270 and 355km/sec. Bz showed little daily variation, mostly ranging between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas. There were occasional sporadic-e opening, sometimes reaching 70MHz, and, more frequently, 50MHz.

Now the forecast. In the course of the coming week the more active face of the Sun should be beginning to turn towards us, bringing the return of areas that produced considerable activity during the last rotation. The solar flux should see a steady increase, possibly into the 130s. It seems likely that the flare count will increase, with solar activity at times up to moderate level. Geomagnetic activity will mostly remain low. Daytime MUFs at equal latitudes are expected to be in the vicinity of 24MHz, while darkness lows will be about 14MHz. Paths to Japan this week should have a Maximum Usable Frequency, with a 50% chance of success, of 20MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency with a 90 per cent prospect of a contact, will be about 14MHz. The path should be best between 0600 and 1200UTC.

There remains a fair possibility of sporadic-e on 28MHx and the lower VHF bands.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 20th July 2014

July 18, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

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 radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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.

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 13th July 2014

July 11, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 13th July 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  •  2m signals cross the Atlantic
  •  UKube-1 successfully launched
  •  Software developers at the RSGB Convention

 

 

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication on 2m has gone unclaimed for years. A new attempt to span the Atlantic is underway. Operating as VC1T on 144.155MHz, the signal from the Brendan Quest team using the FSK441 transmission mode was heard and decoded by John Regnault, G4SWX, in Suffolk on 6 July at 1341UTC. The stations continued to try to make it a complete two way contact for something over the next four hours but nothing was heard from G4SWX or any European station. Even if a two-way contact is not achieved the team is eligible to be awarded the Brendan Plate. For more information go to www.brendanquest.org

The UKube-1 amateur radio satellite was successfully launched on 8 July from Kazakhstan. Its 145.84MHz beacon signal was received by the satellites control team at 1916UTC. UKube-1 carries a set of AMSAT-UK FUNcube boards that provide an educational beacon for use by schools and a linear transponder for amateur radio communications. The FUNcube educational BPSK beacon on 145.915MHz is also operational but the transponder is not expected to be available until the primary mission has been completed. Further information at http://amsat-uk.org/

The RSGB Convention takes place on 10 to 12 October at Kent’s Hill, Milton Keynes. There are some very exciting lectures and workshops planned. On Saturday, a workshop and show-and-tell session for programmers developing logging software, data modes, computer control systems, SDR, remote control and other innovations in radio software has been arranged. All are welcome and if you would like time in the session to discuss your software, contact Michael Wells, G7VJR in advance. Jim Bacon, G3YLA will be bringing delegates up to date on the latest 2014 season of Sporadic-E and revealing the results of some new techniques to try to second guess the phenomenon. He will also introduce a new item to the amateur radio community from the world of weather and propagation with a review of current research to examine the effects of climate change upon the ionosphere. Does global warming mean that DX is hotting up or is a DX Ice Age coming? Weekend packages that can be tuned to the individuals are available from the RSGB website at www.rsgbevents.org/index.html

According to the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand new rules to govern amateur radio include the opening of the 6m band from 50 to 54 MHz; the expansion of two meters to 146.5 MHz and giving Thai advanced class license holders privileges that will allow power output levels of up to 1kW. Additional spectrum will also be authorised in the 160 and 80 meter bands with more club stations and contest callsigns to be issued as well.

The RSGB’s Youngsters on the Air event at Wolverhampton on 19 and 20 of July has been granted a NoV to use the callsign GB1YOTA on site. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, satellite working, digital modes, Intermediate practical assessments and Centenary PSK receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest, all of which have been arranged by young amateurs, for young amateurs. Bookings for YOTA UK are still being taken via the RSGB Shop and you can follow YOTA UK on Twitter using @yota_uk

On 26 and 27 July, the village of Codford near Warminster in Wiltshire will be commemorating the centenary of the start of WW1. This event will fill the village hall and its adjacent recreation field with a rich mixture of memorabilia and other exhibits from the time, including a full-scale section of a front-line trench. In the trench dugout will be an earth-mode telegraph station, which will communicate with a similar station on the far side of the field. Reproduction telegraph equipment is being constructed by members of the Trowbridge and District ARC, but there is a critical shortage of CW operators to demonstrate the stations. Any willing volunteers would be most welcome. Please contact G0GRI via the Trowbridge and District ARC website at www.radioclubs.net/trowbridgedarc/

GB3SSS is back on air on its spot frequency of 144.407MHz. The beacon keeper has requested that reception reports should go to www.beaconspot.eu. Beaconspot.eu presents an accurate picture of microwave and VHF/UHF beacons in Europe, plus 6m beacons worldwide. Data may be retrieved for a particular beacon, for analysis and maps show beacon distribution by band, and spots coverage of every beacon.

The Philippine Amateur Radio Association will hold its 2014 PARA Kids Day on 19 July. It is an opportunity to introduce youngsters to the fun world of amateur radio. Based on similar initiatives in other countries it is a family oriented event aimed at introducing youngsters aged 15 or under to amateur radio and how it can benefit them in the future.

The level of public liability cover provided under the RSGB insurance policy offered free to affiliated clubs and RAYNET groups has been doubled from £5m to £10m with immediate effect. See the RSGB website for full details.

 

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

The McMichael Rally and Car Boot Sale will take place today, 13 July, at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Car parking is free and admission is £2, with gates opening at 9.30am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete, G8FRC on 01189 695 697.

Next weekend, on 20 July, the Finningley ARS Summer Rally will be held at the Hurst Radio Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sand toft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The site is easily accessible from the 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.

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

 

Now for the news of special events

GB1YOTA will be on the air on 19 and 20 of July from the RSGB’s youth event in Wolverhampton. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, Satellite working, Digital Modes, Intermediate Practical Assessments and Centenary PSK Receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest

On 20 July, Chorley and District ARS will be operating the call GX7WAB celebrating 45 years of the Worked all Britain Awards scheme the club will be on 40 meters upwards. The club will be transmitting from the Angelzarke view point, near Chorley. More info on qrz.com

Between 21 July and 3 August, the Stirling and District Amateur Radio Society is hosting the special event station GA14CG to celebrate the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, Scotland. Visitors are most welcome to the station between the hours of 10am and 4pm daily and licensed amateurs who visit are welcome to operate. The activation will consist of 3 HF stations and 2 VHF stations and activity is expected from 1.8MHz through 144MHz; using SSB, CW and Data. Skeds can be arranged on request. QSLing is preferred via Logbook of The World and e-QSL. If you require a paper card, you may request a card direct or via the bureau using Club Log OQRS. More information, including an option to book an operating slot,

 

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

PD7YY will be operational stroke OZ from Langeland Island, EU-172, between 19 and 25 July. This will be a holiday style operation on the HF bands. QSL via PD7YY direct or via the bureau. No electronic QSLs will be available for his operation. 

OE3GEA and OE5OHO will be active stroke FP from Miquelon Island, NA-032, between 16 and 22 July. Operation will be holiday style on the 10 to 40m bands using mostly CW with low power and wire antennas. QSL via their home callsign.

HP2BWJ will be operational as H92G from Isla Grande, Panama on 19 and 20 July. Listen out for him on the 10 to 40m bands and QSL via HP2BWJ.

 

Now the contest news

Apologies from the GB2RS script team for getting the time of NFD incorrect last week. Thankfully all those entering will have taken a good look at the rules before competing and will have noted the correct time.

The IARU HF Championship ends its 24 hour activity at 1200UTC today, 13 July. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and ITU zone number. For stations in the UK, the number is 27.

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

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

Next Sunday, 20 July, the Low Power Contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 and 7MH bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

Also on 20 July, the 70MHz Trophy runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Finally for 20 July, 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.

 

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 4th to Thursday the 10th of July, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 11th of July.

For three days from the 6th eleven sunspot regions were visible, though most were small there were at least a couple of large and magnetically complex regions. Saying that, solar activity only increased to moderate levels on the 8th, 9th and the 10th when a single M class solar flare took place on each day. The largest solar flare was a M6 on the 8th that was associated with a non Earth directed coronal mass ejection. Solar flux levels increased from 188 units on the 4th to 201 by the 6th and again on the 8th, levels then declined to 177 units by the 10th. The average was 194 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 10th was 137, that's five units up on last week. X-ray flux levels averaged C1 units and varied little day to day. Geomagnetic activity was quiet day and the average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between a slow 260 kilometres per second to a normal 420 kilometres per second. Particle densities increased to 24 particles per cubic centimetre on the 9th. Bz never varied between more than minus and plus 8 nanoTeslas throughout the period.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to rotate into view as the large sunspot groups rotate of the solar disc. Solar activity should only be at low levels and solar flux levels are expected to decline sharply and be around 110 units by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at unsettled levels for the first half of the week due to a recurring coronal hole, activity should then decline to quiet levels for the remainder of the week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. 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 1200 and 1500 hours UTC. Sporadic-E is expected to take place most days.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 6th July 2014

July 4, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 6th July 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Special callsign granted for YOTA event
  • Germans gain limited 70MHz band
  • Latest RSGB Convention news

 

The Youngsters on the Air event at Wolverhampton on 19 and 20 of July has been granted an NoV to use the callsign GB1YOTA on site. The YOTA team are most grateful to Ofcom for the permission. The YOTA UK event has been timed to coincide with the IARU Region 1 YOTA gathering in Finland and it is hoped that GB1YOTA will be able to make contact with the Finnish station. Activities at the UK event include workshops on Summits on the Air, Satellite working, Digital Modes, Intermediate Practical Assessments and Centenary PSK Receiver building, a barbecue and an ARDF contest, all of which have been arranged by young amateurs, for young amateurs. Bookings for YOTA UK are still being taken via the RSGB Shop and you can follow YOTA UK on Twitter using @yota_uk

The German Federal Network Agency has approved the use of 70.000 to 70.030MHz by German Class A radio amateurs until 31 August. DARC report the restrictions are similar to those for the 50MHz band, ie 25 watts EIRP, all transmission modes, maximum bandwidth 12kHz and horizontal antenna polarisation. This means that in Germany, for the first time since 1957, opportunities exist for 4m working within the amateur radio service.

The RSGB Convention takes place on 10 to 12 October at Kent’s Hill, Milton Keynes. There are some very exciting lectures and workshops planned. Following his talk on surface mount devices, Dave Powis, G4HUP will be running a practical workshop through the day where you can assemble one of his introductory SMD kits, such as the panoramic adapter tap or latching relay driver, and use the reflow oven to solder the parts on the board. Details of how to book your slot during the day will be available closer to the event. Another popular lecturer who is returning to the Convention is Dr Colin Forsyth, a Research Associate in the Space Plasma Physics Group at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory. His talk this year, entitled Alphabet Soup: The Science Behind Space Weather Indices, will explain how the complex interaction between the Sun and the Earth gives rise to the highly variable and charged layer in the atmosphere known as the ionosphere. Weekend packages that can be tailored to the individual’s needs are available from the RSGB website at www.rsgbevents.org/index.html

Many stations have been receiving the telemetry transmitted by FUNcube-1, which has now been in orbit for over 220 days. Since launch, data has been received by more than 650 stations around the world and the online Data Warehouse received its one millionth packet of information in June. The FUNcube team are immensely grateful to all the schools, colleges, radio amateurs and other listeners who are providing this data and want to encourage everyone to continue to listen to FUNcube-1 and to upload the data to the Warehouse. The FUNcube records show that there were three stations who uploaded the same one millionth packet to the Warehouse. They are G0EID, OM3BC and DL3SER.

The BBC News website recently reported that Samsung is to stop producing plasma televisions by 30 November. Samsung said falling demand meant it would instead focus on producing curved and ultra-high-definition TVs. Other manufacturers including Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi and Pioneer have also pulled out of plasma TV manufacture in recent years. A number of plasma TV models from various manufacturers have been found to emit wide band RF noise, so decreasing the number of sets in circulation may lead to a welcome noise reduction in the long term.

F6HTJ, the keeper of the F5ZAL VHF beacon, has added 30 seconds of Opera OP05 to his 2m beacon. The beacon is on 144.4745MHz USB and reports are welcome. When strong tropo conditions exist, the CW beacon has been received in south G, EI, ON, DL, HB, I8, IG9 and 9H. See www.f8bsy.com/ref66/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1210

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 operating event will take place on 12 July beginning at 1200UTC and concluding on the 13th at 1200UTC. WRTC2014 pits fifty-nine two-operator amateur radio teams, representing 32 countries, in a battle of operating skill and strategy from identical locations and using identical antenna systems. More about this year’s event is at www.wrtc2014.org 

Chris Stubbs, M6EDF gave a talk on high altitude balloons at Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society on 1 July and launched a high altitude helium balloon as part of his demonstration. The balloon, called CARS-1, contained a GPS receiver and 434.3MHz transmitter and was tracked by amateurs in several countries. It was last heard of at 0645 the following morning as its battery ran flat. It was at an altitude of 5.4km northwest of Paris, and it is believed that it may well have continued flying for some time. A full report, including a video, can be found on the www.essexham.co.uk website.

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication on 2m has gone unclaimed for years but that could change within the coming days. The Brendan Quest team, VC1T, is currently running 750W into a 98 foot long 43-element Yagi at about 25 feet above average terrain at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, and hopes to achieve 2m transatlantic communication. A detailed operating schedule, operating procedure and the modes that will be used can be found online at www.brendanquest.org, along with a full description of the monster antenna they’re using.

The BBC will mark the centenary of World War One with events running from 2014-2018. This summer, as part of the season, BBC Learning will create eight large-scale inspirational Great War events which will take place throughout the UK, reflecting the dramatic impact the war had on local families and communities. The WW1 At Home Live Events will reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, including communications demonstrations. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on 12 and 13 July at the Wolverhampton & Black Country Show.

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

Today, 6 July, sees three rallies taking place: the 51st Cornish Mobile Rally, the 18th Red Rose QRO Festival and the Barford Norfolk rally.

The Cornish Mobile Rally is at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Steve on 01209 844 939.

The Red Rose QRP Festival takes place today in Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and doors open at 11am, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Les Jackson, G4HZJ, on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Rally will be held today, 6 July, at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy.

The Stockport Rally will take place on Saturday 12 July at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6QS. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and tables are available at £10 each. More information from Bernard, G3SHF on 01625 850 088, daytime, or Nigel, G0RXA on 0161 428 8413, evenings.

The McMichael Rally and Car Boot Sale will be on Sunday 13 July at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Car parking is free and admission is £2, with gates opening at 9.30am. There will be trade stands and a car boot area. Details from Pete, G8FRC on 01189 695 697.

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

Now for the news of special events

GB4JPJ will be on the air today, 6 July, celebrating the birthday of John Paul Jones the founder of the modern US and Russian navies. Members of the public as well as visiting amateurs are very welcome to attend with free entry to the John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, Arbigland, Kirkbean, DG2 8BQ on the day.

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

K2QBV will be active as E51QBV from Rarotonga Island, IOTA reference OC-013, between 8 and 21 July. QSL via his home station address.

G0SGB has announced plans to activate all of the Madeira Islands Lighthouses from 12 to 22. The Madeira Islands are located in the eastern Atlantic Ocean about 540 miles southwest of Lisbon, Portugal. G0SGB says he will be operational on all bands as conditions allow. He says that each QSL card will depict the Lighthouse he is at when a QSO takes place. Your QSLs should go direct only to G0SGB.

AG6OU should once again be active as XW6OU from Vientiane, Laos. His operation should be on 20m, mainly SSB. The exact length of his stay is not known but if you make contact, QSL via E21EIC direct or electronically using eQSL.

Dmitry, RM2A will be visiting several Fijian islands until 13 July. While in Fiji he will sign 3D2ML. QSLs go via his home call.

Laurent, F8BBL will use the special callsign TK14CC from Corsica, EU-014 until 19 July while on holidays there. Operation will be mainly CW on 80 – 6m.

Alexander, UA3IPL will be active as JW/UA3IPL from Spitsbergen until 28 August. QSL Manager is RW6HS.

Now the contest news

This weekend, the RSGB VHF NFD takes place, ending at 1500UTC today after 24 hours of operation. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, 6 July, the 3rd 144MHz Backpackers contest running from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, on 12 and 13 July, the IARU HF Championship takes place from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and ITU zone number. For stations in the UK, the number is 27.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 27th of June to Thursday the 3rd of July, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 4th of July.

NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft, which can see the far side of the Sun and make 3D images of incoming coronal mass ejections, have made my job of forecasting solar activity for GB2RS much easier. Later this year, the twin probes will pass directly behind the Sun and will have to be turned off. Operations could be curtailed for more than a year. The reason has to do with STEREO's high gain antenna. Ironically, when the antenna points too close to the Sun, it overheats. As the probes pass behind the Sun, they can't point their antennas at Earth without heat-sensitive components becoming dangerously hot. This engineering problem was not anticipated when STEREO was launched in 2006. However, it might be possible to avert a complete blackout using the antenna's side-lobes. Tests in July will evaluate this possibility: let’s hope they are successful.

Several large sunspot regions returned to the solar disc during the period. These regions produced several major flares on their last rotation. Only one M class solar flare took pace, and this was on the 1st. Numerous C class solar flares took place every day, 58 in total. Solar flux levels increased from 104 units on the 27th to 178 by the 3rd. The average was 141 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 3rd was 132 units, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B4.6 to B9.6 units by the 1st. The average was B7.5 units. Several large coronal mass ejections took place but none headed our way. As a result the geomagnetic field was quiet every day and the average Ap index for the period was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 300 and 390 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low but increased to 26 and 28 particles per cubic centimetre on the 28th and the 29th respectively. With a quiet geomagnetic field, Bz showed only minor variations with fluctuations up to of minus 9 and plus 6 nanoTeslas. It was a good week for Sporadic-E, daily at up to 70MHz, and at times peaking to over 100MHz.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the active side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity is expected to be moderate on some days with also a small chance that activity could increase to high. Solar flux levels should be in the 170s for most of the week but levels could start to decline later in the week. Providing no coronal mass ejections head our way then geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day except for the 11th, when a small recurring coronal hole could increase activity. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate will be around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1500 and 2000 hours. Sporadic-E is expected most days with openings up to 70MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 29th June 2014

June 28, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 29th June 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Ofcom starts consultation for World Radiocommunications Conference 2015
  • New Intruder Watch Co-Ordinator appointed
  • Get your entry in to the RSGB Construction Competition

 

Ofcom has just started a consultation on the key issues to be considered at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015, or WRC. These conferences are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands. Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs. The next conference takes place in Geneva from the 2 - 27 November 2015. It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests, including amateur radio use of parts of the spectrum. Ofcom’s consultation sets out the main issues to be discussed at the conference and the emerging UK position. Full details can be found at tinyurl.com/ofcom-wrc15

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Vaughan Ravenscroft, M0VRR has been appointed as Intruder Watch Co-ordinator, succeeding Chris Cummings, G4BOH, to whom the RSGB expresses thanks for his years of service to the amateur radio community. Vaughan took up his duties on 27 June and may be contacted by e-mail to iw@rsgb.org.uk

Throughout the year, many local radio clubs hold construction competitions. Those RSGB Members who enter should remember that the RSGB’s annual construction competition will be judged at the RSGB Convention in October. Winners in each category will be awarded prizes and the best overall entry will be awarded the Pat Hawker MBE, G3VA Trophy. There are four categories: Designer, for an original project, Craftsman, for projects such as kits, Beginner, for those new to amateur radio and Junior, for young Members. All the information can be found at www.rsgb.org/main/rsgb-annual-construction-competition/

The RSGB’s Islands on the Air programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Saturday sees a range of talks from the IOTA Contest to DXpeditions in Panama, Austral Islands and Corsica amongst the programme. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

Two pieces of sad news now. Former GB2RS News Reader Martyn Phillips, G3RFX / ZB2FX passed away on the morning of 20 June 2014 after a short illness. He started broadcasting GB2RS in 1995 and made 1273 transmissions from his well-equipped shack. We also understand that Wes Wysocki, SP2DX passed away suddenly at the age of 82. He was the Polish Society’s IARU Liaison Officer for ten years until 2010 and a member of General Conferences of the IARU Region 1. He persuaded Poland to join the ARISS Programme and was always a supporter of our activity within the framework of the ARISS initiative. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.

Italian amateurs again have access to 70MHz until 19 December 2014. All Italian stations are authorised except those 30km or less from the Italian border with Austria, Switzerland and France. They are allowed to use 70.1, 70.2 and 70.3 with 25kHz of bandwidth, all modes, with 50W ERP.

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

This weekend sees the Hamtronic Show taking place in Germany. The RSGB President and Chairman of the Board are attending the event and there is a large RSGB bookstall as well as an IOTA presence.

Today, 29 June, the West of England Radio Rally takes place at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098.

On Saturday 5 July, the Bangor & District ARS Rally will be held in Donaghadee Community Centre, County Down BT21 0HB. Doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. The venue is just 50m from the harbour and parking is available. More from Peter, MI6NID, on 028 9188 9 018.

Sunday 6 July sees three rallies taking place. The 51st Cornish Mobile Rally, the 18th Red Rose QRO Festival and the Barford Norfolk rally.

The Cornish Mobile Rally will be held at Penair School, St Clements, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Steve on 01209 844 939.

The Red Rose QRP Festival takes place in the Formby Hall, Alder Street, Atherton, Manchester M46 9EY. There is free car parking and doors open at 11am with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634.

The Barford Norfolk Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am and admission is £1.50. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy.

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

Now for the news of special events

Riviera ARC will be running GB8AFD on 29 June for National Armed Forces Day. The plan is, weather permitting, to run datamodes on HF. They may also be active on 2m FM.

Causeway Coast & Glens ARC will be holding an on the air event from 1 to 7 July to help raise funds for a memorial or statue to commemorate Rifleman Robert Quigg, who won a Victoria Cross on 1st July 1916. They plan to use the 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m bands using phone and digimodes.

On Sunday 29 June, Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB0AFD at the Armed Forces Day event at Alexander Park, Hastings, from early morning until around 4pm using the 10, 20 and 40m bands.

GB4JPJ will be on the air on 5 and 6 July celebrating the birthday of John Paul Jones, the founder of the modern US and Russian navies. Members of the public as well as visiting amateurs are very welcome to attend on the day, with free entry to the John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, Arbigland, Kirkbean, DG2 8BQ.

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

F5LMJ will be operational as TO5MJ from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, between 7 and 17 July. Activity will be on the 10 to 40m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes.  Paper QSLs go via his home callsign or electronically using Logbook of the World. 

DO3MY will be operational as 6V1W from Senegal from July until September. His activities will be on the HF bands only. QSL via his home callsign.

N5NU will be living in Santiago, Chile until August and is sometimes active stroke CE3 or CE5 depending on his exact location. His home station is a QRP radio running 5 watts to a dipole. Listen out for him mainly on 15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

John, W5JON and his wife Cathy, W5HAM will be QRV from their home at Calypso Bay on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, NA-104, until early August. Look for the callsigns V47JA and V47HAM. Logs for both calls will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

JJ8DEN is planning to operate from the Svalbard archipelago, EU-026, midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, from 27 June to 3 July as JW/KH0PR. Details on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

This weekend, several contests are scheduled. The first is the UK Microwave group’s contest on the 5.7, 10 and 24GHz bands. It runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

From 0900 to 1200UTC it’s the 50MHz CW contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, at 1400 to 1600UTC it’s the 4th 70MHz Cumulative. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, 5 and 6 July, the RSGB VHF NFD takes place from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 50 to 1296MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday 6 July, the 3rd 144MHz Backpackers contest running from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 20th to Thursday the 26th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 27th of June.

By the 24th only three sunspot regions were visible and these were only producing the occasional C-class solar flares most day. In fact, on the 22nd and the 25th solar activity declined to very low levels when no C class solar flares took place. In total 10 C class solar flares took place during the period. Solar flux declined from 102 units on the 20th to 94 by the 24th. The average was 97 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 26th was 133 units, that's four units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined slightly to B1.6 units and the average was B2 units. Geomagnetic activity quiet everyday, the most disturbed day was the 20th with an Ap index of 9 units. The average was Ap 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 400 kilometres per second on the 20th to 500 by the next day, speeds then declined to 300 kilometres by the 25th. Particle densities were moderate to high most days with a peak of 50 particles per cubic centimetre on the 25th. Bz showed only modest fluctuations throughout the period with minus 7 and plus 8 nanoTeslas recorded on the 20th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week should see the more active side of the Sun coming into view. Several active sunspot groups are expected to rotate into view. Solar activity is expected to be mostly low but could increase to moderate on the occasional days. Solar flux levels should increase and be in 130s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet with the Ap index in single figures every day. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to South America 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 1400 and 2200 hours. Sporadic-E should take place on most days.

And that’s all for another week from the propagation team

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 22nd June 2014

June 20, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

 

Sunday 22nd June 2014

 

The news headlines:

 

  • Key ARRL speaker at AMSAT-UK Colloquium
  • Schedule announced for 2m Transatlantic attempt
  • Ofcom to legalise AM and SSB CB on Friday

 

QST magazine Editor and ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY will be giving a presentation to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, which takes place at the Holiday Inn in Guildford on Saturday on 26 July. Steve will talk about the satellite operations at the ARRL Headquarters station in Connecticut. The Colloquium is open to all and further details can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society’s Brendan Trophy for the first two-way transatlantic amateur communication has gone unclaimed for years. A determined effort is being made this summer by the Brendan Quest team in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. Using 750W to a thirty metre long 43-element 3m Yagi at 6 to 8.5m above ground level, the VC1T team hope to achieve Transatlantic communication on 2m, one of the few remaining amateur radio distance records. The detailed summer operating schedule has now been released at www.brendanquest.org/ and describes how VC1T will be using WSJT, CW and SSB between 4 and 12 July. It is important that EU operators follow the operating protocol closely to increase the chance of success. Full details, including details of the monster antenna, are on the website.

Ofcom have announced amendments to Wireless Telegraphy regulations that will enable AM and SSB Citizens Band operation on 27MHz from Friday 27 June. The permitted frequencies are the 40 CEPT Harmonised channels, which are the same as the American 40 channels. The power limits are 4W ERP for AM and 12W ERP for SSB. The full Ofcom statement can be found at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/proposal-wireless-telegraphy-exemption-2014/statement/

Thursday 19 June saw the successful launch of the FUNcube-3 satellite from Dombarovsky near Yasny in the Russian Federation. It was one of 12 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads and part of a constellation of 37 satellites on the aboard the Dnepr rocket. Described as a fast-track mission to provide a transponder-only payload on a 2U CubeSat, FUNcube-3 is part of the precursor programme for the forthcoming QB50 mission. The satellite carries a FUNcube inverting 400mW SSB/CW linear transponder with 70cm input and 2m output, plus a telemetry beacon on 145.815MHz. A second QB50 precursor satellite, QB50p2, has beacons on 145.880 and 145.840MHz, plus a 70cm to 2m FM transponder that is expected to be switched on in the coming months. More details can be found at http://funcube.org.uk/

International Museums Weekends stations are on the air this weekend. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a short wave listeners.

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor, on 4 to 6 July. One of the talks that is sure to be interesting is the afternoon lecture by the Russian Robinson Club. There are almost 100 guests already booked for the Saturday Gala Dinner, with overseas guests featuring prominently and 20 countries and 5 continents are represented. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

The BBC will mark the centenary of World War One with events running from 2014-2018. This summer, as part of the season, BBC Learning will create eight large-scale inspirational Great War events that will take place throughout the UK, reflecting the dramatic impact the war had on local families and communities. The WW1 At Home Live Events will reflect on the dramatic impact the war had on families and communities, as well as helping people to explore their own relatives' links to the war. The family-friendly events will include hands-on activities, performances and interactive sessions. People can also learn about how medicine and communications were transformed during the war, including demonstrations of how carrier pigeons were an invaluable resource for sending messages. Several amateur radio clubs are taking part in these events with special event stations or hands on Morse demonstrations for visitors. The next event is on 28 June at Woolwich Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day.

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

Today, 22 June, the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, otherwise known as the Ipswich Radio Rally, is being held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. Entry is £2, from 9.30am. Visitors can expect trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and a RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046 846.

The LAM Communications Rally will take place today, 22 June and is in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Held at Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley, S74 8HJ, visitors will find car parking and admission to the Heritage Centre free, with entry to the rally £2. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as catering facilities. Information from Clare Marsh, by e-mail, to sales@lamcommunications.net.

Next week the German Hamtronic show takes place from Friday to Sunday at Messe, Friedrichshafen. There will be a large RSGB book stall plus major manufacturers, other trade stands and a huge flea market. A series of lectures also take place, and there is catering plus evening entertainment. Details at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de.

Next Sunday sees the West Of England Radio Rally at the Cheese & Grain, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. There is car parking, the opening time is 10am and admission is £2.50. There are trade stands, catering, disabled facilities and an RSGB book stall. Details from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098 or online at www.westrally.org.uk.

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

Now for the news of special events

Today, 22 June, Stockton & District ARG are putting GX4XXG/P on the air from Hartlepool Gun Battery from 10am till 4pm. They plan to work on the 40m, 20m, 17m, 15m and 2m bands.

Also today, Bromsgrove and District ARC are operating GB1AMB from 9am to 5pm for International Museums Weekend. Operating from part of the Avoncroft Museums site, the club will also be participating in WAB 50MHz Phone contest.

South Tyne Amateur Radio Society is operating GB4SRF today, from Segedunum Roman Fort in Walsend. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 6m, 2m and 70cm. Details are on QRZ.com.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be operating GB2CM from Crossness Museum in Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ today. Operation will be on HF and 2m.

West Manchester Radio Club are running GB0PIT from the Astley Green Colliery Museum, Higher Green Lane, Tyldesley, M29 7JB today, 22 June, from 1.30pm to 5pm. Operations are planned on the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 2m bands.

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum today, using the 10 to 80m bands.

Riviera ARC will be running GB8AFD on 28 & 29 June for National Armed Forces Day. The plan is, weather permitting, to run SSB on HF on the 28th and datamodes on HF on the 29th. They may also be active on 2m FM.

Causeway Coast & Glens ARC will be holding an on the air event from 1 to 7 July to help raise funds for a memorial or statue to commemorate Rifleman Robert Quigg, who won a Victoria Cross on 1st July 1916. They plan to use the 10m, 12m, 15m, 17m, 20m and 40m bands using phone and digimodes.

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

W5JON will be operating as V47JA from his holiday home at Calypso Bay on St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-014, from 25 June to 6 August. He plans to be active on 160 through to 6m bands on SSB including operation on 60m. Paper QSLs go direct only to W5JON at his callbook address. Electronic QSLs are via Logbook of the World.

Matti, OH4SS will be operational stroke OH0 from Brando Island, EU-002, between 28 to 30 June. Activity will probably be only on 40, 17 and 15 meters on SSB only. QSL direct only, via OH4SS.

ON6KE has announced that he will be active stroke T F from Iceland, EU-021, between 27 June and 4 July. His operation will be low power holiday style, mostly in the early mornings and evenings on the HF bands using CW, SSB and JT65. Equipment is a FT-817ND and magnetic loop antenna. QSL only electronically using Logbook of the World or eQSL.

JG8NQJ is returning to Minami Torishima and will be active as JG8NQJ/JD1 until mid-August. He operates only CW and is employed at the local weather station while on the island. Minami Torishima counts as OC-073 for the Islands on the Air Award as well as being a separate entity for the DXCC programme.

An expedition to the South Kuril Islands takes place from 18 – 25 June. The callsign will be RI0F and the actual location will be Anuchina Island. The IOTA reference is AS-062 and QSL Manager is RX3F.

Now the contest news

The 50MHz trophy Contest ends its 24 hour operation at 1400UTC today, the 22nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest finishes at 2359UTC today, having run for 48 hours. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, exchange RST and your age, although YL ops may send 00.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place today, 22 June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 13 July. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.

The IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place this afternoon, the 22nd, from 1400 to 1700UTC. Using both SSB and CW, in this contest you exchange a signal report and serial number.

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

Several contests occur next weekend. The first is the UK Microwave group’s contest on the 5.7, 10 and 24GHz bands. It runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 29th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

At 0900 to 1200UTC on the 29th it is the 50MHz CW contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, at 1400 to 1600UTC on the 29th it’s the 4th 70MHz Cumulative. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 13th to Thursday the 19th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 20th of June.

Solar activity started at moderate levels when a single M class solar flare took place on the first four days of the period, however, from then the active sunspot regions rotated out of view. From the 17th, solar activity was low. In total 52 C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels declined from 153 units on the 13th to 111 by the 18th and the 19th, the average was 126 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 19th was 137, that's two units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from C1.2 units on the 14th to B2.5 by the 19th. The average was B7.2 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet at first with the Ap index in single figures but on the 18th a coronal hole disturbance occurred. The Ap index was 15 units on that day. The average was Ap 9 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 340 kilometres per second to 500 by the 17th. Particle densities were moderate most days and varied between 10 and 28 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus and plus 10 nanoTeslas on the 18th, which was the most disturbed day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to rotate into view. Solar activity is expected to be mostly low but on the occasional day increase to moderate levels. Solar flux levels may dip to around 100 units around midweek before increasing next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly low but during the second half of the week a small recurring coronal hole disturbance is expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be about 21MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency of around 20MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 15MHz. The best time to try this path will 0600 and 1000 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 15th June 2014

June 13, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Licence revalidation figures

  • International Museums Weekend in full flow

  • Noise Measurement Campaign on the RSGB website

Ofcom have advised the RSGB that 22,000 of the 83,000 licences on their database have yet to be revalidated, including 206 club licences. By the end of this month, all licence holders who have yet to revalidate will have been contacted by Ofcom. If you have not revalidated yet, now is the time to do it. The preferred method is using Ofcom’s online service via the Ofcom website, www.ofcom.org.uk, or by e-mail to amateur.validations@ofcom.org.uk. This can be done at any time. If you need assistance in the process, Ofcom staff are available to help on the telephone but please be patient during times of heavy workload.

International Museums Weekends stations are on the air both this weekend, the 14th and 15th, and next weekend the 21st and 22nd June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a short wave listeners.

The Noise Measurement Campaign, started in August 2013, now has a dedicated webpage on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/hfnoise

The Campaign is an attempt to monitor the HF background noise and to display the results for different locations around the country. Anyone can submit measurements. The project is aimed at making people more aware of their local noise environment and, in some cases, understanding the contributions from Power Line Adapters, RF emanations from switch-mode PSU’s, Plasma TV’s, etc. Whilst the current display is proving helpful, it is hoped that more may be able to be done later with the data, possibly in conjunction with the RSGB Noise Floor Study, details of which are also on the RSGB website.

Development of the page was funded through the RSGB Legacy Committee, using a bequest generously provided by the late Ken Rowell, G5RL. Information about the Campaign can be found on the new web page along with additional links for further information.

On Monday, June 9, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was shown equipment developed in 2012 by Dave Akerman, M0RPI. The Raspberry Pi payload he developed transmitted Slow Scan Digital Video on 434MHz from a High Altitude Balloon that achieved an altitude of over 30km and had a radio range of up to 700km. For the full story see http://amsat-uk.org

To mark the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, special event stations will be on the air until the end of July. Also, listen for special World Cup-related prefixes. Twelve stations are on the air with ZX14 prefixes and 15 other stations are using the prefix ZY14. For an award, work four key stations, five special stations and 25 other stations from Brazil for the bronze level award. Silver and Gold awards are also available. For more information go to www.labre.org.br/

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Following the opening by RSGB President, John Gould, G3WKL, the first talk is by Ghis Penny, ON5NT on the CW5F DXpedition to Timoteo Dominguez Island. There are almost 100 guests already booked for the Saturday Gala Dinner, with overseas guests featuring prominently and 20 countries and 5 continents are represented. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those on the day.

There are several ways for radio amateurs to enjoy GB2RS. As well as the regular Sunday broadcasts from a host of volunteers, to whom the RSGB is most grateful, you can also read the news online, have it delivered to your e-mail or download the Podbean Podcast provided by Jeremy Boot, G4NJH. Now you can also receive the news via the streaming news service from TX Factor called TX Talk. Look out for the podcast each week uploaded to both iTunes and the lounge as well as on http://gb2rs.podbean.com. TX Factor is a brand new series of high definition TV shows covering all aspects of the hobby and information can be found at www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/

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

The 27th Newbury Radio Rally takes place today, 15 June, at the Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. Car parking is free and entry is £2.50. Gates open at 9am. There will be a huge radio, electronics and computing boot sale including a demonstration marquee with displays of amateur radio on air, air traffic radar, plus clubs and national society stands. Contact rally@nadars.org.uk.

The South Lancs Summer Rally takes place on 21 June at the Bickershaw Labour Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Traders have access from 7.30am and the doors open for the public at 9am. Entry is £2 and there will be a Bring and Buy, special interest groups alongside the usual trade stands. More information from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

On 22 June the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, otherwise known as the Ipswich Radio Rally will be held at the Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, A14 Eastbound, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0DD. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. Visitors can expect trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and a RSGB bookstall. Details from Kevin, G8MXV on 07710 046 846.

The LAM Communications Rally will take place on 22 June and is in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Held at Building 21, Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley, S74 8HJ, visitors will find admission to the Heritage Centre and CP free with entry to the rally £2. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and there will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy as well as catering facilities. Information from Clare Marsh, by e-mail, to sales@lamcommunications.net.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Several local club members will be running a special event station from Thurnham Castle in Kent today, 15 June, using the callsign GB4TCK. 

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum on 15th, 21st and 22nd June using the 10 to 80m bands.

On 21 June, Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB1JSS to celebrate the Summer Solstice from Galleywood Common, Chelmsford, CM2 8TR. There will be stations on HF, 50MHz and 144MHz as well as an amateur satellite station and a Top Band station using a kite antenna. All radio amateurs and listeners are welcome to attend.

South Tyne Amateur Radio Society is operating GB4SRF on 21 and 22 June from Segedunum Roman Fort in Walsend. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 6m, 2m and 70cm. Details on QRZ.COM.

South East Northumberland ARC is putting MX0HML on the air on 21 June from Memorial Hall, St Michaels Avenue, New Hartley, Northumberland, NE12 8QG from 11am in conjunction with a fete to promote amateur radio in the area. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 2m and 70cm. The RSGB Deputy Regional Manager for the area will be attendance to answer any questions.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be operating GB2CM from Crossness Museum in Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ on 22 June. Operation will be on HF and 2m. A display about amateur radio will be a feature of the station with members on hand to explain the hobby.

Nuneaton and District Amateur Radio Club will be operating from The Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre in Nuneaton on 21 June under the callsign GB4CCH. Planned operation will be on 2m FM and 40m SSB on or around 7.143MHz.

West Manchester Radio Club are running GB0PIT from the Astley Green Colliery Museum, Higher Green Lane, Tyldesley, M29 7JB on 22 June from 1.30pm to 5pm. Operating is planned on the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 2m bands.

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

ZL1GWE will be active as 5WZ1JM from Savaii, Samoa until 23 June. He’s reported to be operating on the 10 to 40m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

JA3IUY will be active as AH0CI from the Saipan Rental Shack in the Northern Mariana Islands, OC-086, on 21 and 22 June. Operations will be on all bands and modes. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

OK1QQ will be on the air as SV5/OK1QQ from the island of Kos, EU-001, from 16 to 26 June. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Look out for two new Palestinian calls on the air soon. Husband and wife, Walaa and Mai, have been issued with the callsigns E41WT and E41MT. Their QSL manager will be KB9GSY.

Now the contest news

The RSGB 2m Backpacker contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 2m Low Power Contest runs for 7 hours today, the 15th, ending at 1600UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 15th, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2030UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Thursday the 19th is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

The 50MHz trophy Contest takes place from 1400UTC on the 21st to 1400UTC on the 22nd. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX Contest takes place for 48 hours over the weekend of 21st-22nd from 0000 to 2359UTC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, exchange RST and your age, although YL ops may send 00.

The Worked All Britain 50MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 22 June, from 0900 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 13 July. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk. Participants should be ready to quote your Locator in addition to your WAB Area, as this contest coincides with the RSGB 50MHz Trophy contest.

The IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place in the afternoon of the 22nd from 1400 to 1700UTC. Using both SSB and CW, in this contest you exchange a signal report and serial number. As with all IRTS Counties contests, there are awards for those outside of EI.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 6th to Thursday the 12th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 13th of June.

Several large sunspot regions appeared and some were complex enough to produce large solar flares. Solar activity started the period at moderate levels on the 6th when a M1 class solar flare occurred. Later, on the 10th and the 11th activity increased to high when a single X class solar flare took place on both days. Also, on the 11th 3 M class flares took place and six on the 12th. In total 60 C class solar flares took place and 10 M class flares during the period. Solar flux levels increased from 133 units on the 6th to 175 by the 12th. The average was 156. The 90 day solar flux average on the 12th was 139, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B3.7 units on the 6th to peak at C1.1 units by the 12th. The average was B7.3 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but started to increase late on the 7th to peak the next day with an Ap index of 37 units. This was due to a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier. The rest of the period was quiet and the average was Ap 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 320 kilometres per second on the 7th to 650 by the 8th and again on the 11th. Particle densities increased to 31 particles per cubic centimetre on the 7 and 94 on the 8th. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the 11th and between minus 17 and plus 21 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day which was the 8th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun is expected to rotate out of view. Until then solar activity is expected to be low to moderate. Solar flux levels are expected to decline and by next weekend to be around the 130's. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet provided that no Earth directed coronal mass ejections heads our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be around 14MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. Sporadic-E is expected most days with double hop Sporadic-E openings on 50MHz possible also on this path.

And that’s all for another week from the propagation team

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 8th June 2014

June 6, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Get ready for the International Museums Weekends

  • IOTA 50th Anniversary celebration next month

  • Swiss 5MHz beacon goes on the air

International Museums Weekends are on the air again for the weekends of 14th/15th and 21st/22nd June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ including a list of the stations registered. Please listen for these stations and give them a call. An award certificate can be obtained for 5 and 20 stations worked or 10 heard by a SWL.

The RSGB’s IOTA programme is celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference at Beaumont House, Windsor on 4 to 6 July. Full details of the conference are in the July RadCom that will arrive with Members next week, or can be found on the website www.rsgbevents.org. Visitors will be interested to know that DXCC card-checking is being provided by Lionel, G5LP on the Saturday. He has asked that those bringing their cards for checking should e-mail him via g5lp@lppsltd.co.uk before the event. Anyone considering attending as a day visitor should note that pre-booked tickets from www.rsgbevents.org attract savings over those purchased on the day.

Although the 60m band has not been released for amateur radio in Switzerland, the Sursee Amateur Radio Club has obtained the necessary authorisations for a 5MHz experimental beacon project. HB9AW became operational on 5291kHz at 0000hrs on 1 June. The transmission commences with the callsign HB9AW in CW, followed by five 2-second dashes. The dashes are each accurately attenuated in the EIRP power sequence 10 watts, 5 watts, 1 watt, 100 milliwatts and then 10 milliwatts. It currently repeats every 5 minutes, commencing on the hour. Transmissions come from JN43BA on a half-wave dipole, configured for high-angle radiation as an NVIS ‘fountain’ type antenna. It is at a height above ground of 0.12 of a wavelength and a reflector is placed beneath the antenna. The aim of the system is to explore the propagation conditions on 5MHz in the hills and valleys of Switzerland in relation to its possible suitability as an emergency communications band. An online form on the Sursee Amateur Radio Club’s website accepts reception reports.

The next ARRL Kids Day operating event sponsored by the Boring Oregon Amateur Radio Club is planned for Saturday 21 June. Kids Day is not a contest but rather a twice yearly way for licensed amateurs to share the fun and excitement of our hobby with those who could be the next generation of licensees. Kids Day runs from 18:00 to 23:59 UTC. To take part you just need to invite non-ham youngsters to your station, with, of course, their parental consent and approval. Once the event begins simply call "CQ Kids Day". If you make contact, the preferred exchange would be your guest’s name, age, location, and favourite colour. More information including a free printable certificate can be found on the web at www.arrl.org/kids-day.

If you' are a user of Google's Chrome browser, then QRZ.com has published a free browser extension that will let you highlight and right click on any callsign, on any web page from any website and instantly perform a QRZ lookup. The new app is now available now in the Chrome Web Store. Just search for Right Click QRZ.

July 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time that amateur signals from the UK reached other parts of the world by bouncing off the moon, a technique now known as moonbounce or earth-moon-earth, EME. In the July 1964 edition of Radio Communications the RSGB announced that at 20.20 GMT on June 13, 1964, G3LTF at Galleywood, Essex, and KP4BPZ in Puerto Rico, made contact on 430 Mc/s by bouncing their signals off the moon. Signal reports were RST459 both ways. A further contact took place one hour later. KP4BPZ was fortunate in having the 1000ft radio-telescope dish aerial at Arecibo, Puerto Rico at his disposal. G3LTF’s equipment included a 15ft dish aerial and an AF139 transistor preamplifier for reception. Power input to the PA was 150 watts. What is more remarkable is that Peter, G3LTF is still active on moonbounce and is one of the world’s leading pioneers. The RSGB offers Peter, G3LTF our heartiest congratulations on this 50th anniversary of his achievement.

Congratulations to the GB2RS Podcast team. They have now received 100,000 hits on their news recordings on Podbean. Each week the news is uploaded to both iTunes and the lounge as well as on http://gb2rs.podbean.com. Thanks to Jeremy and his team for their service to amateur radio every week, along with all our other news readers who read the news in various modes on the amateur bands.

Advance notice now of two events planned for 27 September. International Air Ambulance weekend will be run in support of the many Air Ambulance services around the world and particularly those in the UK, which are donation funded. More details on the event, its aims and a registration form to take part for free can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org

Railways on the air weekend takes place every year on the weekend closest to 27 September. This date celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway, which took place on 27 September 1825. The first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Darlington to Stockton. Bishop Auckland Amateur Radio Club coordinates this event. Now in its seventh year, the 2014 event will take place on 27 and 28 September. For more details please visit www.rota.barac.org.uk

We all know that Coronal Mass Ejections on the sun have a definite impact on radio propagation here on Earth, but few outside the solar science community have ever seen one close up. Now, thanks to video released by NASA, we can. The video was taken by NASA's sun-observing Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph or IRIS spacecraft and radioed back to Earth. It shows a large sheet of solar material erupting from our parent star that quickly consumes a field of view comparable to the size of five Earths wide and seven and a half Earths tall. Go to tinyurl.com/NASA-IRIS-CME.

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

The 13th Junction 28 QRP Rally will take place today, 8 June, at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. It is organised by South Normanton Alfreton and District Amateur Radio Club in association with the G QRP Club. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments. More from Anya, 2E0BQS on 0115 930 7322.

The Rochdale and DARS Summer Flea Market takes place on 14 June at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 6BU. Doors open at 10.15am and admission is £2.50. Details from G0PUD on 0161 285 1600.

The 27th Newbury Radio Rally takes place on 15 June at the Newbury Showground, next to M4 J13. Car parking is free and entry is £2.50. Gates open at 9am. There will be a huge radio, electronics and computing boot sale including a demonstration marquee with display of amateur radio on air, air traffic radar, plus clubs and national society stands. Contact rally@nadars.org.uk.

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

Now for the news of special events

Many stations are on the air to commemorate D-Day. They include HMS Belfast, which will be active until 30 June as GB70DDAY. GB70DDL will be on the air from 1 to 28 June. The station will operate on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes.

Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2HBT from Two Tree Island, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2GB throughout June as 19 June will be the 70th anniversary of the collision of two American Air Force 379th Bombardment Group B-17 Flying Fortresses. For more information, please check GB2HBT on the QRZ.com website.

Crawley ARC will be activating a station from the Gatwick Aviation Museum on the 14th and 15th and 21st and 22nd for International Museums on the Air Event. They will be using the 10 to 80m bands.

The Portable Operating Group will be operating MC0POG from various locations around Pembrokeshire from 14 to 21 June. They will be working on all bands using SSB, CW and digital modes, experimenting with antennas, working QRP and the more energetic members of the group operating SOTA and Pedestrian HF Mobile. Details are on QRZ.com

To honour their Founder, Walter, G3ESP, Wakefield and District Radio Society will be putting GX3ESP on the air several times during June, with a special airing from the club portable site on the 28th and 29th using the callsign GX3ESP/P. QSL is via EQSL. More details can be obtained from Dave, G4CLI on 07748 221 855 or via email to g4cli@wdrs.org.uk.

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

Look for Geoff, MM5GAC/P to be active from Islay, EU-008 between 15 and 27 June.

K9EL will once again be active stroke FS from St Martin, NA-105, between 9 and 27 June. Operations will take place on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Jay, K2TTT will be active holiday style as C6ATT from New Providence Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas until 21 June. He will be using the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via K2TTT.

A team of ten Belgian operators will be active as ZA/ON6NB from Albania until 15 June. They will operate SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY on the 6 to 80m bands with four stations. QSL via ON4ANN, direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

CW National Field Day runs until 1500UTC on the 8th. Using the 1.9 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1200UTC today, the 8th. From outside the SEANET region, which is CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, work only the SEANET region. Using SSB and CW on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es Contest finishes its 24 hours at 1300UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number locator and member number.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC today. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2139UTC. All modes count and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The Practical Wireless 2m Low Power Contest on Sunday 15th starts at the same time as the RSGB 2m Backpacker contest, 0900UTC, but runs for longer. There seems no reason why someone entering the 3W section of the RSGB contest cannot enter the other; just carry on for up to three more hours for the PW event. The PW contest finishes at 1600UTC and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator – as is the Backpackers exchange, which finishes at 1300UTC.

Also next Sunday, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2030UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 30th of May to Thursday the 5th of June, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 6th of June.

Several small sunspot groups were visible every day but none were really very active, in fact, solar activity was very low on the 30th, the 2nd and again on the 5th. However, on the 3rd an M class solar flare occurred. In total only six C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels struggled to increase, a slight increase from 102 units on the 30th to 111 by the 5th. The average was 105 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 5th was 138 units, that's four units down on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B2.5 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day and the average Ap index was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 280 and 390 kilometres per second. Particle densities were moderate every day with peaks to 51 particles per cubic centimetre, for example on the 2nd. Bz varied between minus and plus 10 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 4 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to continue at low levels, however, later in the week activity may increase with the return of an old active region. Solar flux levels are expected to increase later in the week to the 120's. Geomagnetic activity could start at unsettled levels due to a recurring coronal hole but then decline to quiet levels for the remainder of the week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 23MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to the east coast of North America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 21MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 16MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1600 and 2000 hours. Sporadic E is expected to take place on most days. Openings to 144MHz possible in any larger openings.

And that’s all for another week from the propagation team

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 1st June 2014

May 30, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st June 2014

The news headlines:

  • Contest Committee proposes rule changes

  • Cuban amateurs get 5MHz endorsement

  • Worked ALL bands speaker for Technical Dinner

As part of an initiative to consult with the contesting community over topics of mutual interest, the Contest Committee has published a white paper containing eighteen proposals and suggestions for changes to the RSGB contest rules for 2015. Six of the proposals apply to both HF and VHF contests, eight apply to HF contest and the remaining four only apply to VHF contests. The white paper is available at www.rsgbcc.org/whitepaper2014.pdf and comments on any of the proposals and suggestions are invited. All comments will be reviewed by the RSGB Contest Committee and the revised rules for all RSGB contests will be published by the date of the RSGB Convention in October, earlier if possible. The revised rules will take effect on 1st January 2015. Please send your comments to committee@rsgbcc.org no later than 14 August.

Cuba’s Ministry of Communications has begun issuing licence endorsements for experimental operation on 60 metres, although use of the band is on a secondary basis. Its principal use will be during emergencies. Cubans who are granted an endorsement will be allowed to transmit between 5418 and 5430kHz on CW, SSB and PSK-31. They may only contact other Cuban stations; no international contacts are allowed. Maximum power output is 50W or 10W for Novice operators and up to 100W may be authorised in emergencies. Despite these restrictions, Cuban amateurs would appreciate listener reports.

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the Technical Dinner speaker at the RSGB Convention in October will be Brian Justin, WA1ZMS. Brian is the only amateur in the world to have logged a QSO on all amateur bands in his home country's allocations from 160m through to 403GHz, including Experimental Licensing on 630m and 4m. He operates 8 FM repeaters, 4 propagation beacons, is active in VHF Contesting and is a very aggressive SSB contest operator on the HF bands each year during the ARRL's annual Field Day event. The RSGB Convention will take place from 10 to 12 October in Milton Keynes; details and bookings at www.rsgb.org/convention

Several international special event stations will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day as well as those in the UK detailed later in the news. More than 5000 ships and 13,000 aircraft were involved at the time. In France, TM70JUN will be on the air from 6 to 20 June. Modes will be SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY and JT65 on HF and 6m. Special event station TM70BMC will operate from Mont Canisy on 5 to 8 June. W9D will be active on SSB, CW, and AM on HF to 6m on 6 to 8 June from the First Division War Museum in Winfield, Illinois. Finally, VC3JUNO will be on the air from 6 June to 31 July from Canada. Juno was the code name for the beach where Canadian forces landed.

To celebrate Museum Ships Weekend, on 7 and 8 June, IY4EY will be on the air near to Marconi’s yacht Elettra that is kept at the Museum of Villa Griffone in Bologna, Italy. The vessel was launched 110 years ago and the event aims to highlight the historical value of Elettra, which was the mobile laboratory of Marconi. Many important experiments were carried out on board. The event is supported by Princess Elettra Marconi and her son. More details at www.arifidenza.it

The ARRL’s DXCC desk has announced that the ZA/IZ4JMA 2013 and 2014 operations from Albania and the 2014 XW7T operation from Laos have both been approved for DXCC credit. 

Looking ahead, Churches and Chapels on the Air is scheduled to take place on 13 September. Organiser John, G3XYF has asked all those taking part to register their stations with him, by e-mail to g3xyf@btconnect.com

Another new event is Boat Lifts on the Air. The Mid Cheshire club is close to the Anderton Boat Lift and contacted clubs around Europe who also were in similar locations. So far three stations will be joining GB0ABL on the air on 14 September, including two from Germany and one from Poland. The inaugural event will use the 40m band primarily for SSB, the 30m band primarily for data and CW and the 20m band as secondary for all modes.

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

Today, 1 June, Spalding and District ARS are holding their rally at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding PE11 2EF. There will be a talk in station on S22 and free car parking for visitors. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands and a car boot area. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

The Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention will take place next Saturday, the 7th, at Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Livingston EH54 6DG. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining entry 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, lectures and an RSGB bookstall.

The 13th Junction 28 QRP Rally will take place on 8 June at Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7BD. It is organised by South Normanton Alfreton and District Amateur Radio Club in association with the G QRP Club. Doors open at 10m and there will be trade stands, special interest groups and refreshments. More from Anya, 2E0BQS on 0115 930 7322.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today, 1 June, the radio club of Binche will be on the air with ON44WAR from Belgium. The radio station will be located near the museum dedicated to the Belgian Resistance of World War Two and close to Hitler’s bunker. Radio transmissions will be made in phone as well in CW using vintage radio sets on the 40m band. QSL via ON7RY.

The Duxford Radio Society, based at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire, will be operating GB2IWM on 6 June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day. They will be operating on most HF bands using mainly military radios from 0900 to 1700UTC. Visitors are welcome.

Other stations on the air to commemorate D-Day include HMS Belfast that will be active until 30 June as GB70DDAY. On 6 June, HMS Belfast will make a special memorial contact with the GB2IWM station at IWM Duxford. GB70DDL will be on the air from 1 to 28 June. The station will be operated by Riverway ARS in conjunction with the Stafford and Rugeley Sea Cadets from the Sea Cadet HQ in Stafford. The station will operate on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes.

Riverway ARS will also be operating portable from four Royal Observer Corps Nuclear Bunkers until 9 June. GB1SNB from Shenstone, GB6GNB from Gonsall, from Rugeley and GB4SNB from Standon. See QRZ.com for more information.

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

Shoji, JA7MHZ is on the air from Pohnpei Island in Micronesia, IOTA OC-010, until 5 June. He is using the callsign V63DX and QSLs go via his home callsign.

Lisa, KJ6GHN is now operational stroke KH9 from Wake Island, OC-053. She is currently working on Wake and will be there for the next few years. Her station is an Icom 718 and has been mainly operating PSK on 15 metres. QSL via the address on QRZ.com but she asks that those wanting a card to be patient mail only comes twice a month. She does upload to Logbook of the World and Club Log, and also accepts bureau QSLs. 

AF6WU and AF6KJ will be active as V31WU and V31DV, respectively, from Caye Caulker, Belize, NA-073, between 9 and 15 June. Activity will be on the HF bands using SSB and PSK31. QSL both callsigns via AF6WU, direct, by the Bureau, Logbook of the World or eQSL.

PA3FYM will be active with an unusual callsign, 7QNL, from Malawi until 9 June. He plans to be on 10 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via PA1AW; logsearch on Club Log.

Jay, K2TTT will be active holiday style as C6ATT from New Providence Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas from 7 to 21 June. He will be on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via K2TTT.

E20HHK/p will be on the air from Nu Island, AS-145 on 7 and 8 June. QSL via E21EIC.

OH3WS will be active as OJ0W from Market Reef, EU-053 from 2 to 7 June. He will operate CW and some SSB on the HF bands. QSLs via OH3WS, direct or bureau please.

A team of ten Belgian operators will be active as ZA/ON6NB from Albania from 6 to 15 June. They will operate SSB, CW, PSK and RTTY on the 6 to 80m bands with four stations. QSL via ON4ANN, direct or bureau.

Now the contest news

On Monday 2 June the 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Next weekend is a busy one for contests. It’s CW National Field Day that runs from 1500UTC on the 7th until 1500UTC on the 8th. Using the 1.9 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia Network Contest runs for 24 hours on 7th and 6th, starting at 1200UTC. From outside the SEANET region, which is CQ Zones 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, work only the SEANET region. Using SSB and CW on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es Contest also runs for 24 hours on the 7th to the 8th, starting at 1300UTC. It is held at the peak of the Sporadic-E season, although that doesn’t guarantee favourable conditions. Using all modes on the 50MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number locator and member number.

Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC on the 8th. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 23rd to Thursday the 29th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 30th of May.

Solar activity was low every day except for the 24th when the only M class solar flare took place, increasing activity to moderate levels. Only 24 C class solar flares occurred during the period. Solar flux levels declined from 118 units on the 24th to 99 by the 28th, which is the lowest level since last September. By the next day levels had increased to 101 units. The average was 109 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 29th was 142 units, that's five units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B4.9 units on the 24th to B2.5 by the 28th and the average was B3.5 units. Geomagnetic activity started at unsettled levels on the 23rd with an Ap index of 19 units. This was due to a small coronal hole. Activity then declined to quiet levels for the remainder of the period and the average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 570 kilometres per second on the 23rd to 280 by the 27th. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase to 22 particles per cubic centimetre on the 27th, and 16 on the 28th and the 29th. Bz varied between minus 12 and plus 15 nanoTeslas on the 23rd, which was the most disturbed, and between minus 3 and plus 1 on the quietest day. Although Sporadic-E occurred it was rather poor for late May.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. The slightly more active side of the Sun is expected to be rotating into view. Solar activity is expected to mostly low with C class solar flares taking place on most days. Solar flux levels should increase as the week progresses and be around the 120's next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet at first but from midweek activity is expected to increase in response to a recurring coronal hole. MUFs during daylight hours are expected to be around 22MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to Japan should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success of around 20MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 15MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1300 hours. Sporadic-E is expected to take place most days, with opening up to 70MHz. There is a slight chance of openings up to 144MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 25th May 2014

May 23, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs help disaster relief in Serbia

  • AM nets to mark D-Day landings

  • Horizon balloon chosen to promote maths and science

The Serbian Radio Association is carrying out disaster relief communications in flooded areas. The control station uses the callsign YU0S. Operations are on VHF and in the 80m band, with 3760kHz ±QRM being the main frequency in use. All radio operators are asked to keep this frequency clear. It is expected that the nets will be closed by this weekend. Zoran, YU1EW, who coordinates the disaster relief communications, reports that they have everything they need for now and that they can handle the situation.

On Friday June 6, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, the Vintage & Military Amateur Radio Society are organising amplitude modulation radio nets on 80m, 60m and 40m for operators of vintage military wireless sets that would have been in use at that time. The AM nets will be open to all amateurs and joining stations are encouraged to undertake a little research beforehand, in order to provide a description of how their equipment type was used in Operation Overlord, and other information such as naming any known military, naval and air force units that operated the sets, their role in Overlord, or anecdotes about the hectic life of the operators. The schedule is 8am on 3615kHz, 12 noon on 7143kHz and 4pm 5317kHz for 5MHz NoV holders.

The UK Department for Education has selected the Horizon balloon project to feature in the department’s Yourlife campaign to promote studies in math and science. Pupils at the Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall built the payload that transmitted FSK RTTY telemetry data on 434.075MHz. The weather balloon reached an altitude of close to 115,000 feet before bursting. The payload then safely parachuted back to Earth, where the students were able to retrieve some stunning still images and video taken in near-space. The telemetry transmitter could be received over most of the British Isles and radio amateurs were able to track the balloon’s progress from the transmitted GPS data. The Horizon team used a Yaesu FT-817 transceiver to receive the signal from the balloon and dl-fldigi software to decode it. Among those supporting the project were Yaesu and Rapid Electronics.

Some changes have taken place on QRZ.com. The callsign database now fully supports secondary callsigns, ie ones that include a slash plus a modifier as either a prefix or a suffix to the primary call. This feature is available to all QRZ users and can be accessed by simply editing your callsign, or by using the My Account choice from the main QRZ menu. Users had asked for Logbook of the World integration and this is now available to all Logbook subscribers. It means that if you're a Logbook of the World user you can push your QRZ logs directly to Logbook of the World with just a couple of clicks of your mouse. A Quick Start Guide for QRZ LoTW operations is available by typing LoTW Certificate Import Quick Start Guide into your favourite search engine.

NASA Television will broadcast pre-launch activities for the next three crew members flying to the International Space Station, followed by extensive live coverage of their launch and docking to the orbital laboratory, on 28 May. The astronauts will launch at 1957UTC. The crew is scheduled to dock less than six hours later. NASA TV launch coverage begins at 1900UTC at nasa.gov/nasatv

The ARRL has announced that there is to be no change to the DXCC status of the Crimea area and the annexation does not lend Crimea status as a new DXCC entity. The Awards Committee concluded that a QSL with a callsign issued by Ukraine and showing the entity name as Ukraine counts as Ukraine, while a QSL with a callsign issued by Russia and showing the entity name as Russia counts as Russia. A QSL that satisfies neither condition does not count for either entity, the committee said.

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

We have no details of any rallies over this Bank Holiday weekend.

The 24th Annual Waters and Stanton Open Day takes place today from 10am to 4pm in Hockley. There will be a variety of talks and presentations including What’s New from Elecraft and new bhi products.

On 1 June, Spalding & District ARS will hold their rally at the Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding PE11 2EF. There will be a talk in station on S22 and free car parking for visitors. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands and a car boot sale area. More details from John, G4NBR on 07946 302 815.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, HMS Belfast will be active from 24 May until 30 June as GB70DDAY. On 6 June, HMS Belfast will make a special memorial contact with the GB2IWM station at IWM Duxford.

The South Eastern Amateur Radio Group will be on the air as EI2GEO from the Copper Coast Geopark in Tankardstown, County Waterford over this weekend to coincide with European Geoparks week. Activity will be mainly HF SSB and CW.

GB70DDL will be on the air to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings from 1 to 28 June, operated by Riverway ARS in conjunction with the Stafford and Rugeley Sea Cadets from the Sea Cadet HQ in Stafford. Operation will be on all HF bands using SSB, CW, PSK and other digital modes. Activities will be put on during the month for members of the public to see the station in operation and the work of the Sea Cadet Unit. Riverway ARS will also be operating /p from four Royal Observer Corps Nuclear Bunkers from 30 May to 9 June. The stations are GB1SNB from Shenstone, GB6GNB from Gonsall, from Rugeley and GB4SNB from Standon. See QRZ.com for more information.

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

A team of 16 operators from Malaysia will be on the air as 9M2MI from Undan Island between 30 May and 1 June, IOTA reference AS-097. Activity will be on 10 to 40 metres using CW and SSB. QSL only direct to 9M2YOT.

N6TJ will be active as ZD8Z from Ascension Island, IOTA AF-003, between 26 May and 3 June. Operations will be on the HF bands. QSL via AI4U, direct or by the Bureau.

Fred, VK3DAC will be active from Norfolk Island, OC-005, as VK9DAC until 27 May. He hopes to work many island chasers as well as activating Mount Bates for Summits on the Air enthusiasts.

A number of Japanese operators will visit the South Cook Islands, NA-044. Callsigns to look for are E51AVE, E51KJW, E51JQY and E51MCA. Activity will be on 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY.

Remco, PA3FYM is on the air as 7QNL until 9 June while working for a charity project in Malawi. Activity is on 6 to 80m using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via PA1AW.

Arno, 9G5ZZ is on the air until June 1 from Ghana. Activity is on 10 to 40m and possibly 80m, using mostly CW. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest. QSL via DL1CW.

Advance notice now to look for Geoff, MM5GAC/P to be active from Islay, EU-008, between 15 and 27 June.

Now the contest news

Today, 25 May, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW leg of the CQWW WPX Contest will keep the HF bands busy for the whole 48 hours this weekend. Expect the CW segments of the bands to be packed until 2359UTC tonight, the 25th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Microwave Group contest takes place today from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 24GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Also on Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands and all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the solar report for the period from Friday the 16th of May to Thursday the 22nd, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday the 23rd

Papers from a recent NASA workshop on solar cycle 24 suggest that we are at or close to solar maximum and that this will be among the weakest peaks on record. By all conventional measures this has been an extremely quiet cycle. However, the analysis adds that most major events, such as large flares or major magnetic storms, tend to come during the declining phase of a cycle. So there can still be interesting times ahead as we move towards solar minimum at the end of the decade. A fuller report is at the www.spaceweather.com page for 19 May.

Turning to the present, this week’s figures may give the impression that the decline is already under way – but they are no more than normal daily variation. Solar activity was low or very low, with only minor C-class flares. The solar flux declined from 139 to 111, averaging 122 units – a drop of 36 on the previous week. The less volatile 90-day average was down two to 148. The X-ray flux was also down, from an average B6.8 to B4.0. Geomagnetic activity was mostly low, with the Ap index averaging only 5 units, though the period ended with an unsettled Ap of 9. Particle densities were mostly in single figures, but there were brief spikes to 80 units per cubic centimetre on the 21st and 70 on the 22nd. Bz showed relatively little daily variation, mostly between plus and minus 5 nanoTeslas. Solar wind speeds reported by the ACE spacecraft were also mostly below average, ranging between 276km/sec and 429km/sec.

Finally, the forecast for the week ahead. Overall, the present pattern appears likely to continue. Solar activity will be predominantly low, with C-class flares on most days and, possibly, the occasional M-class flare. There are currently no indications of Earth-directed coronal mass ejections, though these can emerge with little warning. The solar flux seems unlikely to drop much below current levels and there could be a modest revival by next weekend.

MUFs at equal latitudes should be in the region of 24MHz, while darkness lows are expected to be about 14MHz. Paths to Australia should have an MUF – that’s a 50 percent chance of a contact – of 25MHz. The Optimum Working Frequency, at which there should be a 90 percent chance of success, will be about 21MHz. The path should be best between 0600 and 1200UTC. VHF Sporadic-E should occur on most days, with openings up to 70MHz on several days. Propagation at 144MHz cannot be excluded but is a very long shot.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 18th May 2014

May 16, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • Happy 100th Birthday, ARRL

  • KickSat burns up without deploying Sprites

  • Sign up for the Advanced distance learning course

The American Amateur Radio Relay League was formed on 18 May 1914, exactly 100 years ago today, and the RSGB sends its fraternal congratulations. By coincidence, today is the final day of the Dayton Hamvention, where ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, will host a party, complete with a cake, to wish the ARRL a happy 100th birthday.

KickSat, the KickStarter-funded amateur satellite project, has re-entered and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere without releasing its payload of Sprite micro-satellites. The satellite suffered an unexpected computer glitch on 30 April that caused the deployment countdown timer to reset. It proved impossible to correct the problem, meaning the timer did not trigger in time to release the hundred-plus Sprites before re-entry.

Enrolment is about to start for the next Advanced distance learning course run by the Bath-based team. The course will run from July and work towards the December exam. Weekly work packages will be delivered using the Edmodo virtual learning environment. Remote tutor support will be available throughout the course and lots of revision questions will be provided. These courses have been running for three and a half years and the Team are expecting to pass the milestone of 250 passes very soon. For more details contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, by email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

The International Radio Union has announced that Timothy S Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA and Ole Garpestad, LA2RR have been re-elected as as IARU President and Vice President, respectively, for the five-year term beginning 9 May 2014. Rod Stafford, W6ROD, continues to serve as IARU Secretary; he is appointed by the American Radio Relay League in its capacity as the IARU International Secretariat.

The third episode of the only UK TV show dedicated to amateur radio is now available to view at www.txfactor.co.uk. This edition covers kite aerials, a visit to the Military Wireless Museum in Kidderminster and a report from the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally to find out what people expect from a rally in the 21st century. The show is free to view, compatible with a wide variety of platforms and is available for clubs to download and show at their meetings.

Power Japan Plus has announced a new kind of rechargeable battery, the Ryden cell, based on what it calls dual carbon technology. Remarkable claims are being made for the 4 volt device, including a significant increase in capacity over lithium-ion, a recharge speed 20 times faster and a lifetime of 3,000 charge cycles. The patented technology is also said to be 100% recyclable. Although the main thrust of development seems to be towards batteries for electric vehicles, some of the cells in the company’s promotional videos appear ideally sized for amateur radio and other consumer applications.

Chris Stubbs, M6EDF plans to launch one of his Cheapo II 434MHz trackers on a 100g Pawan balloon from a school in Chelmsford at about 1.20pm on Tuesday. Listen out for it on 434.300MHz USB during its flight. It could have a radio range of up to about 300 miles. Full details of his high-altitude ballooning hardware and experiments are online at http://chris-stubbs.co.uk/

The free amateur radio software DXLab Suite has recently been upgraded with submission generators for several major awards programmes. It now provides comprehensive real-time award tracking and management for the DXCC, IOTA, Marathon, VUCC, WAS, WAZ, and WPX award families. The suite of software has many more features, details of which can be found at www.dxlabsuite.com

Lithuanian amateur radio satellite LituanicaSAT-1 is currently in Safe Mode, its control team reports, after suffering some power supply anomalies on the channel that supplies the FM beacon and onboard camera. More details on this and other amateur satellite news can be found at http://amsat-uk.org/

Next Sunday, 25 May sees the annual Open Day at Waters and Stanton at Hockley from 10am, in aid of British Wireless for the Blind Fund. There will be a number of trade exhibitors and a lecture stream that includes talk by Robert Snary, Murray Niman and Graham Somerville. The company suggests making it a family day out as there is nearby access to Hockley Woods and a number of local pubs and cafes.

The latest edition of the 5MHz Newsletter has had some problems with its online host and as a result has been obliged to change its download address. It can now be found at http://tinyurl.com/owbbggk

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

The 31st Dunstable Downs Radio Club National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place today at Stockwood Park, Luton. All usual facilities will be available to visitors. Details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

We have no details of any rallies over the Bank Holiday weekend. 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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Andy, M1LOL and Ray, M1REK will be active from the Isle of Muck, IOTA reference EU-008, from 24-31 May. They will be on the air on 80m to 10m using SSB and data modes using the callsign MM1REK/p. QSL direct or via the bureau, and more details can be found at www.m1rek.co.uk

King’s Lynn Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB0CRC from Castle Rising Castle in West Norfolk today. Operation is expected from Top Band to 70cm and QSL is via the bureau.

GB1ST will be active at Saltram near Plympton from today until 2000UTC on Friday 23rd to commemorate Saltram Telegraph, which was active around the time of the Napoleonic wars. Activity is expected from 80 to 10m plus 2m.

4X266POPE and 4Z266POPE will be active from 20 to 27 May to celebrate Pope Francis' visit to Israel. QSL both callsigns via 4Z1TL. 

Next weekend sees GB1LSF on the air from Lydford Saxon Fort as part of Castles on the Air weekend. Operated by Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group, activity is planned from Top Band to 70cm.

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

Imam Raharjo will be on the air as YB4IR/5 from today until the 25th from MIDAI ISLAND, OC-109, using the 40 to 10m bands on CW, RTTY and SSB. QSL via LoTW or OQRS.

Sergey, UT5UDX will be active as 6Y/UT5UDX from Jamaica, NA-097, from 20 until 30 May. He will participate in the CQ WPX CW Contest as 6Y3W. QSL via RA4LW.

DG5LAC will be active stroke EA8 from Fuerteventura Island, AF-004, until 23 May, operating on 80 to 10m on SSB. QSL direct or via the bureau.

5P1KZX is on the air using digimodes from North Jutland, EU-171, until 1 June. He says you can QSL “Any way you like”.

Now the contest news

Today is the second and final day of the 144MHz May Contest, which runs until 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The first 144MHz Backpackers contest runs today, the 18th, from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest also takes place today, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 8 June 2014. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website at www.worked-all-britain.co.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 9th to Thursday the 15th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 16th of May.

Several large and complex sunspot regions appeared during the period but none produced any sizeable solar flares. Solar activity was at low levels, with numerous C class solar flares taking place every day. The largest events were C8 class flares on the 10th and 14th. Solar flux levels increased from 152 units to 164 by the 11th before declining back to 152 by the end of the period. The average was 158 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 15th was 150 units, that's the same level as last week. X-ray flux levels showed little variation day to day and averaged B6.8 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day, except for a very week disturbance from a recurring coronal hole on the 11th, when the Ap index was 12 units. The average was Ap 7 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 320 and 420 kilometres per second. On most days particle densities were moderate, with 35 particles per cubic centimetre recorded on the 10th for example. Bz, both positive and negative values, remained in single figures every day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be rotating to view. Solar activity is expected to be low with C class solar flares taking place with only a small chance of any stronger flares occurring. Solar flux levels should decline to around the 130s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet except for a small disturbance that will take place just after midweek. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes are expected to be around 24MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to India should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 23MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 18MHz. The best times to try this path are 1000 and 1700 hours. Sporadic-E should take place on some days, with openings up to 70MHz possible.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 11th May 2014

May 9, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • Canadian amateurs gain 472kHz allocation

  • 2014 IARU conference papers available

  • FUNcube-2 set for July launch

Radio amateurs in Canada have a new allocation at 472 to 479kHz. The 7kHz of spectrum is available to amateurs on a secondary basis. Canadian amateurs also recently gained an allocation at 5MHz.

Papers for the 2014 IARU conference are now available on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org. The RSGB invites all amateurs to contribute to a consultation on the papers, which will inform its input at the conference in September. The consultation forum can be accessed via the front page of the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.

The FUNcube team have received confirmation that UKube-1, which is hosting the FUNcube-2 payload, remains scheduled for a Soyuz launch on 19 June. The team do not, as yet, have any lift-off times or orbital data for this launch but will make these available as soon as possible. It is believed that, immediately after deployment and activation, UKube-1 will commence transmitting a CW beacon and that this will be later followed by an AX.25, 1k2 BPSK beacon. Both beacons will be on 145.840MHz. The FUNcube-2 payload, with its telemetry downlink for educational outreach, is expected to be tested later.

The latest issue of the IARU R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports on action by the Ofcom Baldock Monitoring Station against an intruder in the 10MHz band. They report that Peter Jost, HB9CET, found illegal fishery traffic on 10123kHz USB daily. RSGB Intruder Watch Co-ordinator Chris Cummings, G4BOH, asked Baldock for assistance and, as a result, the British Coast Guard contacted the offenders to tell them that their phone traffic was illegal. A few days later the frequency was clean. After serving for 21 years as Intruder Watch Coordinator, Chris has decided that the time has come for him to hand over the reins of the important role and anyone interested in succeeding him is urged to contact the RSGB General Manager at gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is organising a get-together for its young Members. The event will take place on the weekend of 19 and 20 July in Wolverhampton and will link up with the Youngsters on the Air event in Finland. The Society is therefore calling this YOTA UK. The plan is to have a 'mini-convention' on the Saturday with activities linked to SOTA aerial building, satellite operating, receiver building, Intermediate practical work, a special event station and a barbecue. We also have a Direction Finding event planned for the Sunday and a further opportunity to operate the special event station. THE Society would like to see as many young Members in attendance as possible and hope to make YOTA UK an annual event. Full details of the programme are still being working on but if anyone would like further info, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via e-mail to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

GB2RS podcast recordings, read by Jeremy, G4NJH, are available from iTunes and The Lounge, which allow the broadcast to be heard on mobile devices and internet radios. The broadcast can also be heard by going to gb2rs.podbean.com with any browser from a PC or mobile device. The full text is included on this website. This service has been available at no cost for everyone for over 3 years and the website has had over 92,000 hits in that time. The archive in iTunes and on the website contains all editions from the last two years. The RSGB would like to thank Jeremy for his ongoing service to the Society.

Bill, G4KQJ has recently retired as a West Yorkshire newsreader after ten years of service to the Society. The RSGB and the GB2RS News Manager Ken Hatton, G3VBA, would like to thank Bill for his time and effort on behalf of the RSGB.

After the success of their trip to the Isle of Skye in 2012 and their G100RSGB activation in 2013, the Wessex Contest Group ARS will be operating from the Isle of Man, EU-116, until 17 May. The team intend to be on the air as MT0WCB on most HF bands between and 10 to 40m and on some VHF bands, notably 2m and 6m, with SSB, CW and some digi modes. They are taking sked requests by email to sked@mx0wcb.com and they will try their best to hook up on air. You can follow the team on twitter @mx0wcb or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WessexContestGroup

Tomorrow, 12th May, sees the opening of new and refurbished facilities at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. RSGB Members wishing to gain free entry to the National Radio Centre and the Park must download a voucher from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/bletchleyvoucher

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

The Lough Erne ARC rally takes place today, 11 May, at Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh BT92 0EQ. Doors open at 11.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Iain on 028 6632 6693.

The Dayton Hamvemtion takes place from 16 to 18 May in Ohio, USA. There will be an RSGB presence with a large book stand and subscription department.

The 31st Dunstable Downs RC National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place on 18 May at Stockwood Park, Luton. All usual facilities will be available to visitors. Details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Dengie Hundred ARS will be active on the HF bands, mainly 40m and 2m, with GB0SMA for the annual Stow Maries Vintage Fly-In today, 11 May, from 10am until 6pm each day. More information on QRZ.com

Farnborough and District Radio Society will be operating their Mills on the Air Station, GB2EM, from Elstead Mill, Surrey GU8 6LE. The Station will operate until 5pm on the 11th. Most operation is likely on 80 and 40m. Further details may be obtained from G4OQZ, QTHR.

GB6MW will be aired on 11 May by Cray Valley Radio Society at Meopham Windmill as part of National Mills Weekend. The station is located at Wrotham Road, Meopham Green, Kent DA13 0QA and will be active on HF, 4m and 2m.

Ruiton Mill, the home of Dudley & District Amateur Radio Society, will be active for Mills On The Air on 11 May with the callsign GB2RM. Operations will be on the HF & VHF bands.

Lincoln Short Wave Club plan to operate from two historic windmills on 11 May as part of Mills on the Air weekend. Heckington Windmill will see operations using the callsign GB2HWM and Ellis Mill will host GB5EM. Visitors are welcome from 10am to 4pm.

12 May 2014 would have been Tony Hancock's 90th birthday and Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB8TH from his birthplace at 41 Southam Road, Birmingham on that day.

Lincoln Short Wave Club will run GB5DAM as a Dambusters memorial from 2100 on the 16th to 0900 on the 17th.

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

JA1SVP and JR1GSE will be on the air from Palau, IOTA reference OC-009, as T88FA and T88TH respectively between 16 and 19 May. QSL each operator via their home callsign. 

ZS6AYU will be on the air from Botswana as A25GF between 16 and 18 May. Activity will be holiday style on 10 to 40 metres using CW only. He will also try 6m as time and conditions permit. QSL via ZS6AYU, direct or by the bureau.

OT4R will be active stroke HI7 from the Dominican Republic between 10 and 31 May. Operation will be on 10 and 20 metres SSB. QSL electronically via Logbook of the World; no paper QSL cards will be accepted for this operation. 

HB9MFM will be using the call J79WTA from Dominica until 8 June. His operation is holiday style on 10 to 160 metres using SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

Karl, DK2WV, will be on the air from Malawi until 21 May. While there he will use the callsign 7Q7VW on all bands 6 – 160 metres. QSLs go via his home callsign.

Rich, KE1B and Anna, W6NN will be QRV as V25M and V25N from the island of Antigua, NA-100, from 7 – 15 May. They hope to load their logs to Club Log in real time so it should be possible to check your contact immediately. Operation will be on 10 to 40m CW, SSB and RTTY, with emphasis on the WARC bands.

Haru JA1XGI, is celebrating his 50 years of amateur radio with a visit to the Pacific island of Pohnpei, OC-010, in Micronesia. He will use the special call V650XG until 15 May.

Now the contest news

Today, Sunday, 11 May, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

On Wednesdays the data leg of the 80m club championship takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, the 17th and 18th, is the 144MHz May Contest running from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday 18th it’s the first 144MHz Backpackers contest running from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone contest takes place next Sunday, 18 May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 8 June 2014. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website at www.worked-all-britain.co.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by e-mail to aebbooks@ntlworld.com

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 2nd to Thursday the 8th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 9th of May.

Every day a new sunspot region appeared, some small, some much larger and complex. Solar activity was low until a M1 class solar flare took on the 6th and the 7th, which increased activity to moderate. Meanwhile, at the opposite side of the Sun a large sunspot region was rotating into view and on the 8th activity increased to high when a M5 class flare took place. Solar flux levels increased from 132 units on the 4th to 148 by the 8th. The average was 139 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 8th was 150, that's four units down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B5.4 units on the 2nd to B8.3 by the 7th. The average was B6.9 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but on the 4th activity increased to unsettled levels with an Ap index of 16 units. This was probably due to a weak coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun several days earlier. Activity then declined to quiet levels until the 8th when activity increased again with an Ap index of 20 units. The average was Ap 9 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 300 and 400 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low on the 2nd but then increased to peak at 60 particles per cubic by the 5th. Bz varied between minus and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 12 and plus 8 nanoTeslas on the 8th.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate, with several sunspot groups capable of producing M class solar flares: the question is, though, will they? Solar flux levels should increase and be around the 150s for most of the week. Geomagnetic activity should be at 'active' levels for the next few days due to a coronal hole. Activity should then decline to quiet levels but the chance of a coronal mass ejection heading our way is possible all week. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 25MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 13MHz. These figures could be slightly lower if any geomagnetic activity continues for a number of days. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 21MHz. Sporadic E should take place on a number of days this week with openings on 70MHz possible.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 4th May 2014

May 2, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th May 2014

The news headlines:

  • New training resources list on RSGB website

  • Two amateurs to activate 27 Scottish Islands

  • Ofcom puts interactive RF spectrum map online

The RSGB website now has a new webpage designed to provide a comprehensive list of useful training resources for both trainers and students. It can be found at http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/training-resources. Anyone wishing to add further links or material should contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by e-mail to tec.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

Alex, G0DHZ, will team up with Andre, GM3VLB to spend three weeks activating Scottish Islands. Their list consists of around 27 separate islands and they will get to as many as possible in the three weeks. Operations will be on SSB and CW with 14257kHz as a regular spot for SSB. QSLs for GM3VLB should go direct and those for GM0DHZ will be via eQSL, to GM0DHZ, direct to G0DHZ or by the bureau.

Ofcom’s Interactive RF Spectrum Map is an easy way to browse and search how different spectrum bands are used in the United Kingdom. You can use the dashboard to find out how spectrum is being used, by sector and by product/application. The map covers spectrum from 8.3kHz to 275GHz and can be found at www.ofcom.org.uk/static/spectrum/map.html

The Marconi Radio Group will host the first of its special event stations at Ballycastle Beach on Thursday 1 May. Operating from 10am to 4pm, it will use the special callsign GB0GDI, for Giro d’Italia. The group are expecting major pileups as it is activated. The callsign will be in use throughout the Moyle area for until 28 May. Members of the public are very welcome to come along and take part or listen.

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the technical issue that has been affecting the RSGB Shop is now resolved. If you encounter any further problems using the RSGB Shop, or have any questions about the recent technical issue, please raise a support ticket with the RSGB Web and IT Helpdesk.

Further to last week’s news of Bletchley Park opening its newly-restored facilities on 12 May, the RSGB is pleased to announce that RSGB Members can download a free admission voucher from www.rsgb.org/bpvoucher.

Allen Harvie, VK3HRA is set to use amateur radio as he joins others on one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas. He will walk from Nepal to the Southern Everest Base Camp, travelling through the Sagarmatha National Park, which is on the World Wide Flora and Fauna list. Allen has gained a permit to take and operate a QRP radio. Due to weight and size constraints, only 20m CW will be possible, from 6 to 9 May, during local sunset to sunrise.

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

Today, 4 May, sees the Dambusters Hamfest at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby LN4 4PE. Talk-in is on S22 and via GB3FR and parking is free. Opening time is 10am, admission is £3 and pitches are free but limited in size if not pre-booked. There’s an RAF heritage centre on site and overnight camping is possible by appointment. Details from tcrm@hotmail.co.uk or online at www.thorpecamp.org

On Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May, the Dartmoor Radio Rally takes place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock PL19 8DD. There’s free car parking, opening time is 10.13/10.30 and admission is £2. You’ll find trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups, catering and more. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH on 01822 860 619.

The Lough Erne ARC rally will take place on 11 May at Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0EQ. Doors open at 11.30am and there will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Iain on 028 6632 6693.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Today and tomorrow, 4 and 5 May, Ballymena ARC will be transmitting using the callsign GN4KPT from Shanes Castle in Antrim as part of their participation in the Steam Traction Rally. Visitors are most welcome and for those who contact the station on the air, QSLs go via MI0RYL either direct or via the bureau.

Dengie Hundred ARS will be active on the HF bands, mainly 40m and 2m, with GB0SMA for the annual Stow Maries Vintage Fly-In on 10 and 11 May, from 10am until 6pm each day. More information can be found on QRZ.com

Farnborough and District Radio Society will be operating their Mills On the Air Station, GB2EM, from Elstead Mill, Surrey GU8 6LE. The station will operate from 9am on the 10th until 5pm on the 11th. Most operation is likely on 80 and 40m. Visitors are welcome to come along and see the station in operation. The Mill has an excellent restaurant serving meals all day and has just re-opened after the floods of December 2013. Further details may be obtained from G4OQZ, QTHR.

Special event station GB6MW will be aired on 10 and 11 May by Cray Valley Radio Society at Meopham Windmill as part of National Mills Weekend. The station located at Wrotham Road, Meopham Green, Kent DA13 0QA will be active on HF, 4m and 2m over the weekend. There will also be displays about amateur radio and training courses offered by the club.

Ruiton Mill, home of Dudley and District Amateur Radio Society, will be active in the Special Event Mills On The Air on the weekend of 10 and 11 May with the callsign GB2RM. Activity will be on the HF and VHF bands. The station is open to visitors all weekend and on the Saturday evening there is a club talk on SOTA by Richard, G3CWI.

Lincoln Short Wave Club intend to operate from two historic windmills on 11 May as part of the Mills on the Air weekend. Activity will be at Heckington Windmill using the callsign GB2HWM and at Ellis Mill with GB5EM. There are cafeteria facilities close to both mills, and visitors are welcome to visit the stations, which will be on the air from 10am to 4pm.

12 May 2014 would have been Tony Hancock's 90th birthday and Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB8TH from his birthplace at 41 Southam Road, Birmingham on that day.

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

F4FET will operate maritime mobile and portable from the Isle of Mull between 12 and 18 May. His activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct, via the bureau or using Club Log.

Members of the DX Plus Hellenic Radio Amateur Team will activate Levitha Islet in the Dodecanese Islands from 3 to 11 May. The callsign will be SX5LA and the IOTA reference number is EU-001. QSLs go via SV2FWV.

Stan, EI6DX, will be visiting French Polynesia in May. He will be active from Bora Bora, OC-067, between 7 and 18 May as FO/EI6DX. The equipment will include a K3, Acom 1000 and a CrankIR vertical. All QSLs via RX3RC (bureau or direct). It will be holiday style operation using CW and SSB on the 10 to 80m bands.

Now the contest news

Today, 4 May, the 432MHz to 248GHz trophy contest ends at 1400UTC, having been going for 24 hours. Using all modes on the bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave group low band contest runs today from 0800 to 1400. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Bank Holiday Monday sees the latest SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships taking place from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number.

Wednesday the 6th is the 144MHz UK Activity Contest running from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, 11 May, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 25th to Thursday the 1st of May, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 2nd of May.

Twenty seven minutes after the start of the period an X1 class solar flare took place, however, since then only a sprinkling of C class solar flares took place and then not on every day. Solar activity was high on the 25th due to the X1 flare but then declined to very low on the 27th, 29th and the 1st. Solar flux levels declined slightly to 118 units by the 27th but then increased to 126 units by the 1st. The average was 122. The 90 day solar flux average on the 1st was 154 units, that's two units down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined from B6.1 units on the 25th to B2.5 by the 28th. The average was B3.4 units. Geomagnetic activity start at quiet to unsettled levels but on the 30th activity increased due to a slow moving coronal mass ejection associated with the X1 class flare. The Ap index for the 30th was 20 units and the average for the period was Ap 10 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 550 kilometres per second on the 25th to a slow 260 kilometres per second by the 28th and the 29th. Particle densities were low except for the 30th, which increased to 34 particles per cubic centimetre and 55 on the 1st. Bz varied between minus 3 and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest day. Bz remained around minus 10 nanoTeslas for around 16 hours on the 30th, which produced a small disturbance during the afternoon which resulted in 50 and 144MHz auroral contacts across most of northern Europe but only a handful were reported from the UK. The first, scattered, sporadic E contacts of the season took place and you can expect more in the coming weeks, possibly extending to 70MHz.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the more active side of the Sun will rotate into view. At least two active regions are expected to be seen, one at the start of the week and the other next weekend. Solar flux levels should increase and be around 150 units by the end of the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be quiet every day. No coronal hole and coronal mass ejections are expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 27MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 14MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 25MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 20MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1100 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 27th April 2014

April 25, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th April 2014

The news headlines:

  • KickSat deployed – stand by for Sprites

  • TX-Factor to podcast GB2RS

  • 3100 miles on 472kHz for ZL1BPU

The Kickstarter-funded KickSat satellite is safely in orbit after its deployment on 17 April. Operating at an altitude of around 335km, an internal timer is currently counting down to release the dozens of Sprite micro-satellites that form its payload. This is due to occur around 2000 GMT on Sunday 4 May. KickSat transmits 1W of telemetry on 437.505MHz, whilst the large-postage-stamp-size Sprites will send 10mW on 437.240MHz and use digital codes to identify themselves.

The popular new video streaming show TX-Factor is to begin podcasting GB2RS News on a weekly basis, starting with this edition. TX News is a new service that allows users to stream the news file or have it emailed automatically every week. Full information can be found at www.txfactor.co.uk

472kHz signals from Murray Greenman, ZL1BPU have been heard at a range of over 3100 miles. Dereck Zeck, VK6DZ logged the transmissions in Elleker, western Australia. Activity on 630m is quite common between New Zealand and Australia, although generally over shorter paths.

A new 9-day International Air-ambulance Weekend event, IAW, has been announced by the new Amateur Radio Events Organisation. The inaugural event will commence on 27 September 2014 and is in support of the many air ambulance services around the world, particularly in the UK, that are funded by donations. More details on the event, it aims, and a form for free registration can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org

At 0032 GMT on 25 April an X1.3-class solar flare occurred, causing an HF blackout on the Sun-facing side of the Earth. Reports say that a coronal mass ejection was also produced but is not heading towards Earth, so there is no chance of a corresponding geomagnetic storm.

Bletchley Park has been undergoing major restoration work funded by the National Lottery, and the upgraded facilities will be open from 12 May. Admission to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has always been free to all but from 12 May RSGB Members will be able to download a voucher from the RSGB website that permits free entry to all the Bletchley Park Trust facilities.

A Multi-DF direction-finding competition is being held at Blake’s Wood in Danbury this afternoon, Sunday 27 April. Whether you are an absolute beginner or an expert, this is the event for you. There will be ten transmitters to find, ranging from easy to seriously hard. Equipment and tuition are available. The event starts at 1pm and the last transmission is at 4pm. After the event participants will be heading to The Bell public house, 128 Main Road, Danbury CM3 4DT.

The ARRL Centennial station W1AW has been very busy since it first hit the airwaves, often running solid pileups. At present W1AW/1 is on the air from New Hampshire and W1AW/2 from New Jersey. Starting at 0000 on April 30, operation will shift to W1AW/1 in Connecticut and W1AW/7 in Nevada. These will be active until 2359z on May 6. More information on the ARRL Centennial QSO Party is online at www.arrl.org

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

The Andover Radio Amateurs Club Spring Boot Sale is today, 27 April, in the Wildhern Village Hall, Andover. There will be trade stands as well as a car boot area. Doors open at 10am. Details, by e-mail, from Aracsec@hotmail.co.uk

The 30th Yeovil QRP Convention takes place today at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA, adjoining the central shopping car park. Doors are open from 9.30am to 3pm with lectures, trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Full details from Steve, G7AHP on 01803 666 407.

Next Sunday sees the Dambusters Hamfest at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Coningsby LN4 4PE. Talk-in is on S22 and via GB3FR and parking is free. Opening time is 10am, admission is £3 and pitches are free but limited in size if not pre-booked. There’s an RAF heritage centre on site and overnight camping is possible by appointment. Details from tcrm@hotmail.co.uk or online at www.thorpecamp.org

On Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May, the Dartmoor Radio Rally takes place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock PL19 8DD. There’s free car parking, opening time is 10.15/10.30 and admission is £2. You’ll find trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, catering and more. Contact Roger Hann, 2E0RPH, on 01822 860 619.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB2SOH will be on the air from the Isle of Scalpay, EU-010, in the Outer Hebrides, from today until 9 May. Operated by Elaine, 2E1BVS, Val, G6MML, John, G3WFK & Glenn, G6HFF, activity will be on various HF bands, using SSB and PSK31, subject to band conditions. Some own-callsign portable SOTA and WAB working will also take place.

GB35BYL will be on the air on 29 April from Chapmanslade Village Hall to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association. Operation will be around 7.175MHz, from 9am. Visitors and members are most welcome to visit the station or call in to the QSO party on the air.

3 May sees the start of SX5LA operating from Dodcanese, EU-001. Nine operators will be on the air from 160 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via SV2FWV.

DL4HTK and DO5AD will be on the air from Liechtenstein as HB0DRK and HB0YRK, respectively, between 4 to 18 May. Operation will be on 80-10m using CW, SSB, PSK and RTTY. QSL both callsigns via DL5DRK.

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

Camb-Hams will be operating GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Lewis, IOTA EU-010, until 3 May. Thirteen operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 80 to 4m plus 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for EME.

Take, JI3DST will be active as JI3DST/6 from Kuchino island, AS-049, from 29 April until 5 May. Operation will be on 40-2m, CW, SSB and digimodes. QSL direct or via JARL bureau.

Rocco, DG5AA, Rich, DK8YY and Dieter, DL1AWD are operating as 3D2RH until May 4. Activity is on 80 to 10m using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via DH7WW.

A group is activating B7CRA from rare Yongxing Island, China, AS-143, until May 10. Operations are on the HF bands and will vary at times. QSL via BA4EG.

In Indonesia a group of operators are on the air as YB8RW/p from Tahulanddang Island, OC-210, until April 28. QSL via YB9BU.

Dickson, EL2DT has been QRV on 20m using CW around 1930 to 2115z. QSL via operator's instructions.

Now the contest news

The SP DX RTTY contest runs from 1200UTC on 26 April to 1200UTC on the 27th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code too.

The BARTG 75 Baud Sprint runs for four hours on Sunday 27th from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number only.

The RSGB 432MHz – 248GHz Trophy contest runs from 1400 on Saturday 3rd until the same time on Sunday 4th. All modes are allowed; RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

The RSGB 432MHz Trophy and RSGB 10GHz Trophy are both on Saturday 3rd from 1400-2200. Operating on all modes on 70cm and 3cm respectively, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 18th to Thursday the 24th of April, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 25th of April.

Several large and magnetically complex sunspot regions were visible during the period but only one M class solar flare took place and that was a M7 on the 18th, however, numerous C class solar flares took place every day. Only one new sunspot region appeared during the week. Solar flux levels declined from 172 units on the 18th to 130 by the 24th. The average was 153 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 24th was 156, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and averaged B7.6 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but during the 19th a coronal mass ejection arrived that departed the Sun several days earlier. The Ap index for the 20th and the 21st was 21 and 22 units respectively. Quiet conditions returned from the 22nd. The average was 12 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 360 kilometres per second on the 18th to 760 by the 20th. Speeds then gradually declined to 380 kilometres per second by the 24th. Particle densities were moderate at around 18 particles per cubic centimetre for the first four days but then declined to below 10 particles per cubic centimetre for the rest of the period. Bz varied between minus 8 and plus 21 nanoTeslas on the most disturbed day and between minus 2 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the quietest day.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar flux levels are expected to decline to around the 110 mark but towards next weekend levels should start to increase. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet with no coronal hole disturbances and coronal mass ejections expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 26MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be about 14MHz. Paths this week to the Middle East should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 24MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 18MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1500 hours. Anytime now the start of the summer sporadic E season is expected to commence.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 20th April 2014

April 17, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th April 2014

The news headlines:

  • Longer opening hours for National Radio Centre

  • Welcome to new RSGB Regional Managers

  • STELAR grants available for educational computing

The RSGB is pleased to announce longer opening at the National Radio Centre based at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes. The NRC is a showcase for radio communications technology provides the opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with the history and technology of radio communications. It is now open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 4pm, and will also be open on Bank Holiday Monday. Our thanks to the team of volunteers who work so hard to keep the centre open and put GB3RS on the air every week.

Following the AGM on 12 April, the RSGB would like to welcome the new Regional Managers for Regions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12. They take up their posts immediately and details of their names and contact details can be found on the RSGB website at http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/regional-managers/

The RSGB Board would also like to welcome John Gould, G3WKL who took up his role as RSGB President and Steve Hartley, G0FUW who was elected to the board at the AGM. A recording of proceedings at the recent AGM will be available to download from the RSGB website in due course.

The education and science charity STELAR has been active in promoting radiocommunications in schools and colleges for over 20 years. The phenomenal success of the Raspberry Pi computer has opened up new opportunities and stimulated demand for educational projects linking communications systems, via computers. STELAR is seeking to support the very best of those ideas by making available grants to educational groups, with projects designed to stimulate experiments with radio linked computing. Educational groups can apply for funding to develop a project of their choice, by submitting ideas for consideration by 31 June. Groups should set out their aims and giving as much detail as possible. Successful entries will be notified during the Autumn term. Full details are on the STELAR website, www.stelar.info/contact

The British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association is celebrating its 35th anniversary on 29 April with the callsign GB35BYL. The station will operate from Chapmanslade Village Hall, High Street, Chapmanslade, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 4AP on 40m, around 7.175MHz, from 9am. Visitors and members are most welcome to visit the station or call in to the QSO party on the air.

QSL cards have been sent out to those radio amateurs who participated in the Juno Earth flyby experiment last October. The Juno team confirmed that more than 1400 radio amateurs participated, representing all seven continents.

The Amateur Radio Section of ORF, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Documentary Archives Radio Communications QSL Collection will operate OE14M from 25 to 27 April. It is an official International Marconi Day station and contacts made on 26 April are valid for the IMD Award.

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

On Wednesday, Crawley ARC is holding a used equipment sale in the club house. Doors open at 7pm and the sale starts at 8pm. All members and visitors are welcome.

The RADARS rally and surplus sale will take place today, 20 April, in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2TP. Doors open at 10am and there will be a talk in station. Stall holders can have access to the hall from 7.30am. Admission will be £2. Details from rally@ripon.org.uk

The Andover Radio Amateurs Club Spring Boot Sale will be held on 27 April in the Wildhern Village Hall, Andover. There will be trade stands as well as a car boot area. Doors open at 10am. Details, by e-mail, from Aracsec@hotmail.co.uk

The 30th Yeovil QRP Convention takes place on 27 April at Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA, adjoining the central shopping car park. Doors are open from 9.30am to 3pm with lectures, trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Full details from Steve, G7AHP on 01803 666 407.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

GB0STG will be on the air on 23 April to celebrate St George's Day from the church of St George and St Mary at Church Gresley, Derbyshire. Activities include Morris Dancers, a village quiz, a photographic exhibition and a display by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group, plus many other activities in and around the church. GB0STG will be operating on the 40m band from around 10am to 7.30pm, plus 2m and other HF bands if conditions permit. For more information please visit www.M0PHX.org.uk or see GB0STG on QRZ.com

Aldridge and Barr Beacon Amateur Radio Society, in the West Midlands, is running a Special Event Station to commemorate St. George’s Day on 23 April. Transmissions will run from 12 noon to 5pm using the callsign GB8STG. They plan to operate on 7 and 14MHz as well as 2m. QSL cards should be sent via the RSGB Bureau.

GB2SOH will be operated from the Isle of Scalpay, EU-010, on the Outer Hebrides from 27 April to 9 May by Elaine, 2E1BVS, Val, G6MML, John, G3WFK & Glenn, G6HFF. Operation will be on various HF bands, using SSB and PSK31, subject to band conditions. It is hoped that some portable SOTA and WAB will also take place during the two weeks of activation under their own callsigns, weather permitting.

Marconi’s wireless station on Brow Head near Crookhaven in West Cork operated from 1901 to 1914. Cork Radio Club members are on the air from the site on 26 April for International Marconi Day. EI5IMD will operate two stations on CW and SSB, and possibly a third on digimodes.

South Tyne Side Amateur Radio Society will be on the air from Souter Light house Whitburn Sunderland from 25 to 27 April for International Marconi weekend under the callsign GB2SJ. Operation will be on all HF bands as well as 2 and 6m and 70cm. All are welcome to call in both on the air and in person.

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

Wolfgang, OE1MWW will operate from Mahe in the Seychelles, AF-024, and he will use the call S79WK until 25 April. His activity will be mainly in the evenings, local time.

Michael, DF8AN will be travelling in the Caribbean and will be active from Montserrat, NA-103, as VP2MMN until 24 April, St Kitts, NA-104, as V4/DF8AN on 24 and 25 April and from Nevis, also NA-103, as V4/DF8AN on 25 to 29 April.

Members of Kilmarnock and Loudoun ARC will be visiting the Isle of Canna from 21 to 25 April. Using the callsign MM0KLR, activity will be from 160m to 2m using SSB, CW and digital modes. Canna is IOTA reference EU-008. QSL via the bureau and EQSL via MM0KLR and direct via MM0GHM.

Camb-Hams will be operating GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Lewis, IOTA reference EU-010, from 26 April to 3 May. 13 operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m as well as 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for EME.

Now the contest news

The IRTS 2m Counties contest take place on Easter Monday from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations giving their county too.

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

Also on Tuesday it’s the SHF UK Activity contest, also running from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz and higher bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 80m club championships Data leg runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Two data contests take place next weekend. The SP DX RTTY contest runs from 1200UTC on 26 April to 1200UTC on the 27th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code too.

The BARTG 75 Baud Sprint runs for four hours on Sunday 27th from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number only.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 11th to Thursday the 17th of April, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 18th of April.

The number of sunspot regions increased during the period. 11 were visible on the 16th. Several developed in size and magnetic complexity, though solar activity remained at low levels when only large C class solar flares took place. However, late on the 16th, a M1 class solar flare occurred. Solar flux levels increased from 136 units on the 12th to 184 by the 16th. The average was 151 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 16th was 155 units, that's one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B4.4 units to B8.7 by the 16th. The average was B6.1 units. Geomagnetic activity increased on the 12th and the 13th when the Ap index increased to 22 and 14 units respectively. Activity then declined to quiet levels for the remained of the period. The average was 10 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 430 kilometres per second to 290 by the 15th. Particle densities were moderate most days at around 20 particles per cubic centimetre but on the 13th increased briefly to 64 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 9 and plus 5 nanoTeslas on the most unsettled day and between minus and plus 4 nanoTeslas on the quietest days.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week will see most of the present active sunspot regions rotate out of view and solar activity is expected to remain at low levels but with a chance of increasing to moderate levels on some days. Solar flux levels are also expected to decline and be in the 140's later in the week. Geomagnetic activity should be quiet every day. No coronal hole disturbances are expected but if a coronal mass ejection heads are way then activity would increase. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 27MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to the east coast of North America should have a maximum usable frequency of about 24MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be around 19MHz.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 13th April 2014

April 11, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th April 2014

The news headlines:

Better access to interference help Important changes planned on the 13 and 9cm bands Ham radio software used in search for flight MH370

All amateurs seeking advice on interference matters can now access the EMC Matters Forum via the main RSGB website. The forum permits the airing of EMC issues, discussion and suggestions for possible solutions. The EMC committee’s local volunteer advisers can also access the forum and help RSGB Members solve interference cases. In addition the forum will also provide a means for the EMC Committee to gauge the main interference problems affecting amateurs, from which policy can be formulated to address them with the appropriate regulatory or standards bodies. The forum, which is moderated by the Society, can be found at www.forums.thersgb.org/index.php?forums/emcmatters/ You will need to register, following the online instructions, before you can post. Following a consultation last year, Ofcom has decided it will remove from the Amateur Radio Licence all frequencies in the 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands that overlap with those planned for award for new civil uses. Specifically, this means 2350 to 2390 and 3410 to 3475MHz. Ofcom will give amateurs at least twelve months’ notice of this intention, but will also put in place a procedure to remove amateur access to adjacent frequencies if necessary in future. Amateur users of the 2310 to 2350MHz band are requested to register their use with Ofcom and provide contact details. Ofcom has been required by the MoD to ensure their systems are adequately protected from interference from amateur uses in both the release and adjacent bands and the statement contains guidance from Ofcom with which amateur users must comply, with immediate effect. Full details can be found on the Ofcom website. [Note to Newsreaders: if you are asked, the URL for the Ofcom document is http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/public-sector-spectrum-release/statement?utm_source=updates&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pssr-statement-apr14] US Navy personnel helping to look for missing Malaysia Air Flight MH370 are using the signal processing and analysis package Spectrum Laboratory by Wolf Buescher, DL4YHF, to analyse recently detected 37.5kHz ‘pings’ that may be from the missing plane’s flight recorder. The US Navy personnel are guests aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield. The software is the same package amateur radio experimenters used recently to detect transatlantic signals on 29kHz. The British Amateur Radio Teledata Group is pleased to announce that major changes have been put in place for all future BARTG contests. With the help of Mike, G0GJV and Pete, G4CLA, a Robot system of log submission is now in place. Simone, M0BOX has volunteered to become the BARTG Contest Manager. It is extremely important that all entrants to BARTG contests use the Robot for log submissions as no other method will be accepted. To upload your log, go to http://bartg.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/hfenter.pl, where you can also find information such as the BARTG contest calendar. NoV holders for the 5MHz band will know that these frequencies are a Secondary allocation, on the basis of non-interferences to other services. During the coming days there may be temporary increased usage of these frequencies by the Primary User. Amateurs must take particular care to ensure a frequency is not in use before calling CQ, and vacate any frequency if requested by the Primary User. Camb-Hams will be operating GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Lewis, which is IOTA reference EU-010, from 26 April to 3 May. Thirteen operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m as well as 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for EME. The HF bands will be covered by five simultaneous stations, while the 6m and 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the rest of the UK and Europe from the island’s northern tip in IO68 square. 2m and 23cm EME will be available with a portable low-ERP Yagi system, mainly focussed on JT modes. 2m and 70cm will be available for portable satellite operations. The group will be active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip. You can check on progress or interact with the operators via their blog at dx.camb-hams.com. Following a 48 hour test last weekend, the FUNcube-CubeSat team have concluded that although the battery temperature does reduce slightly during full time transponder operation, it remains within specification. It has been decided that in future the satellite's transponder should be activated at weekends. The plan is to activate the transponder between 1930-2230UTC on Friday evenings and deactivate it between 1930-2230UTC on Sundays. During the rest of the week the transponder will only be available when the satellite is in eclipse (darkness). This schedule is totally reliant on the availability of command stations, who will do their very best to ensure it is maintained. Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, was the guest of honour to reopen the restored 25 metre Dwingeloo radio telescope in the Netherlands. The dish will see some amateur radio use on 23cm. With the renovation complete, the radio telescope will be used by radio amateurs, amateur astronomers and by budding researchers. It has been used for several years by Dutch radio amateurs for EME work, including during the ARRL EME Contest. The American time station WWV is now conducting experimental broadcasts on 25MHz, a frequency they haven't used since 1977. Details can be obtained from http://wp.me/pn3uc-2oM Radio amateurs in Vietnam can now enjoy a wealth of new bands. Use of the 40m band has been extended up to 7200kHz and they also now have access to the 30m band. They have been permitted to use new frequencies on 80m up to 3900kHz and 160m from 1.8 to 2MHz. Finally, permission has been granted for the new 600m band, from 472kHz to 479kHz. And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week The Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place today, 13 April, at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. On sale will be electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Doors open at 10am and more information can be obtained from Lucy on 01270 623 353. The West London Radio & Electronics Show will be held at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ today, 13 April. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. The event also has a Bring & Buy as well as the usual trade stands. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351. Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to be held today, 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers. The RADARS rally and surplus sale will take place on 20 April in the Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2TP. Doors open at 10am and there will be a talk in station. Stall holders can have access to the hall from 7.30am. Admission will be £2. Details from 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 e-mail details to GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk. Now for the news of special events GB0STG will be on the air on 23 April to celebrate St George's Day from the church of St George and St Mary at Church Gresley, Derbyshire. Activities include Morris Dancers, a village quiz, a photographic exhibition and a display by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group, plus many other activities in and around the church. GB0STG will be operating on the 40m band from around 10am to 7.30pm, plus 2m and other HF bands if conditions permit. For more information please visit www.M0PHX.org.uk or GB0STG on QRZ.com. GB2SOH will be operated from the Isle of Scalpay, EU010, on the Outer Hebrides from 27 April to 5 May by Elaine, 2E1BVS, Val, G6MML, John, G3WFK &, Glenn G6HFF. Operation will be on various HF bands, using SSB and PSK31, subject to band conditions. It is hoped that some portable SOTA and WAB will also take place during the two weeks of activation under their own callsigns, weather permitting. And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources LW9EOC will be active as 5JZ0T from San Andres Island, IOTA NA-033, between 18 and 25 April. His operations will be on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via his home callsign. Wolfgang, OE1MWW will be on holiday at AF-024 until 25 April and will operate holiday style as S79WK with a KX3 and simple antennas. He will be maritime mobile until 19 April when he arrives as Mahe Island. QSL via OE1MWW either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World or eQSL. JA2NQG will operate as JD1AAI from Chichijima Island, AS-031, until 17 April. QSL via JA2NQG direct or through the bureau to JD1AAI. E20HHK/P will be on the air from Nu Island, AS-145, from 18 to 20 April. Budi, YF1AR, will be active as YF1AR/0 from Payung Besar Island and lighthouse on OC-177 between 18 and 20 April. Activity will be mainly 40m at night time and 20m during the daytime. He plans to operate with a 43ft vertical antenna on top of the lighthouse. QSL via N2OO. Now the contest news Today, Sunday 13 April has several contests taking place. The First 50MHz contests rums from 0900 to 1200UTC using all modes on the band. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode. On the same day from 1000 to 1600UTC the UK Microwave group contest runs on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. The Worked All Britain datamodes contest also takes place today, 13 April, from 1200 to 2200UTC. This is a new contest and there are separate categories for RTTY and PKS31. The exchange is signal report (RSQ), serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 4 May 2014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.co.uk. The first OK-OM DX SSB Contest ends today at 1200UTC, having been going for 24 hours. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Czech and Slovak stations also sending their 3 letter county code. Full details at http://okomdx.crk.cz/ Tuesday sees the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest take place between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. On the 18th, it’s the turn of the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number. April 19 sees the EU Spring Sprint take place from 1600 to 2000UTC on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands. In each Sprint you’ll have to engage in some band hopping, to make the most of changing conditions. Using SSB only, the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name. The IRTS 2m Counties contest take place on Easter Monday from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations giving their county too. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, it has not been possible to include a solar report with this edition of GB2RS. The information will be put on the RSGB website at the earliest opportunity. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 6th April 2014

April 4, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th April 2014

The news headlines:

  • Extended opening for National Radio Centre

  • Keep emergency frequencies clear for Chile

  • New spectrum released for Short Range Devices

The RSGB National Radio Centre, at Bletchley Park is now open 5 days per week from Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am until 4.30pm as well as bank holiday Mondays throughout the year. The volunteers look forward to meeting interested amateurs as well as members of the public. If you wish to operate the state of the art GB3RS station, please take your licence with you when you visit. For more information, please go to www.nationalradiocentre.com.

The Radio Club de Chile has been called to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile on 1 April. As we completed this news script, nets are operating on 7.055, 14.25, and 21.315MHz depending on propagation and time of day. The net controls are asking other radio amateurs to please keep these frequencies clear until further notice.

Ofcom has published a statement on the release of spectrum in the 870 to 876MHz and 915 to 921MHz bands for Short Range Devices, which can be used for machine to machine communications. The UK will be among the first countries in Europe to make this spectrum available. Read the statement at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/short-range-devices/statement/

International Amateur Radio Day is celebrated each year on 18 April to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the IARU in Paris in 1925. This year the theme is Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication. It is an opportunity for amateurs to show their expertise in digital and wireless communications to those in the community who have wireless communication interests, but haven’t looked into amateur radio yet.

This weekend, the FUNcube team are planning to command FUNcube-1 into full time transponder mode. It will be commanded into transponder mode on a suitable pass over the UK on the evening of 4 April. If all goes as planned, it will be left in transponder mode until the evening of 6 April.

Current beacon and repeater insurance arranged through the RSGB expires on 30 April. The contact point for all enquiries is repeater.insurance@rsgb.org.uk.

The rules for the UK radio exams are set out in the RCF booklet entitled Conduct of Amateur Radio Examinations, which is also referred to as EX500. It has come to our attention that a number of the RCF booklets in circulation are outdated and this has led to some confusion at Exam Centres. All Exam Secretaries are requested to check their copies and destroy any 2006 or 2012 versions. The current version was published in 2013 and is available to download from the RCF website, www.commsfoundation.org, or requested from Carol Meredith at RSGB Headquarters.

International Museums Weekend 2014 will take place on the two weekends of 14/15th and 21/22nd June 2014. Radio amateurs of clubs are encouraged to work with their local museums to put stations on the air. More details about the event and a registration form can be found at the events new website at www.radio-amateur-events.org/.

The British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association, BYLARA, is celebrating its 35th anniversary on 29 April. The callsign GB35BYL will be on the air from Chapmanslade Village Hall, High Street, Chapmanslade, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 4AP. Operation will be on 40m around 7.175MHz. The organisers hope to work as many people as possible from 9am and welcome visitors to the village hall.

DXers will be interested to know that the recently completed 3C0BYP operation from Annobon has been approved for DXCC credit. That DXpedition ran from 26 February to 6 March.  

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

Today, 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition takes place in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool from 10.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also today, the Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH, by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally for 6 April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place from 10am at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Greenisland Electronics Amateur Radio Society will hold an auction on 12 April from 12 noon at Knockagh Lodge, 236 Upper Road, Greenisland, Carrickfergus BT38 8RP. Contact David, GI4FUM, on 0771 3633 225.

The Hack Green Bunker Rally is from 10am on 13 April at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Items will include amateur gear, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Contact Lucy on 01270 623 353.

The West London Radio and Electronics Show will be held from 10am on 13 April at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. There is free car parking, a Bring and Buy and the usual trade stands. Contact Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Now for the news of special events

Riviera ARC is planning a station for Airfields on the Air on 6 April from the site of Little Haldon, outside Teignmouth, Devon. Look out for the station on the HF bands from 10 to 40m as well as 2m.

Dengie Hundred Amateur Radio Society will be active for Airfields on the Air on 6 April from Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex, using the callsign GB0SMA.

GB6RAF will be on the air from Rednal Airfield near Oswestry on 6 April, operated by RAF Air Cadets. The main band will be 7MHz, with other stations on 14 and 21MHz as time allows. Many Cadets on the air will be new to amateur radio and it is hoped that this event will spark interest in the hobby.

Bletchley Park was the central site of the UK Government Code and Cypher School that, during the Second World War, broke the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. A special event station will be on the air on 12 April to commemorate the first real-time breaking of Enigma messages. N7E will be using as many bands as possible and has skeds with GB3RS, the National Radio Centre station at Bletchley Park.

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

GM4YXI and GM3WOJ will be operational as A35X and A35V respectively from Tongatapu Island, Tonga, IOTA OC-049, until 18 April. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB, with some RTTY. QSL via N3SL.

Pete, F4GPK is on the air as 6W/F4GPK from La Somone in Senegal until 15 April. QSL to his home callsign.

ZS1LL will be on the air as A22LL from his farm in Lobatse, Botswana until 30 April. Activity will be on 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Pedro, ON7WP will be on the air as C5WP from Buntu in The Gambia from 8 to 12 April. Activity will be on the 6 to 80m bands using SSB and PSK. QSL to his home callsign.

Victor, CE1WFN will be on the air as CE0Y/CE1WFN from Rapa Nui, Isla de Pascua, IOTA SA-001, until April 17. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the contest news

The SP DX Contest ends at 1500UTC today, 6 April, having run for 24 hours. In it there are numerous entry categories, mainly for single ops. The exchange is signal report and serial number; SP stations give their single letter Province code.

On Monday between 1900 and 2030UTC the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

On Saturday from 1600 to 2000UTC, the EU Spring Sprint takes place. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands the exchange is both callsigns, serial number and name.

Sunday 13 April has several contests taking place. The First 50MHz contests rums from 0900 to 1200UTC using all modes on the band. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On the same day from 1000 to 1600UTC the UK Microwave group contest runs on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain datamode contest takes place next Sunday, 13 April, from 1200 to 2200UTC. This is a new contest and there are separate categories for RTTY and PKS31.The exchange is signal report (RSQ), serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 4 May 2014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.co.uk.

The first OK-OM DX SSB Contest takes place from 1200UTC on 12 April to 1200UTC on 13 April. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Czech and Slovak stations also sending their 3 letter county code. Full details at http://okomdx.crk.cz/.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 28th of March to Thursday the 3rd of April, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 4th of April.

New sunspot regions appeared every day, some of which produced solar flares of varying strengths. Solar activity was low on most days but increased to high on the 29th when a X1 class flare took place and again on the 2nd when an M6 class solar flare occurred. In total 58 C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels increased from 143 units on the 29th to 155 by the 2nd; the average was 150 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 3rd remained at the same level as last week at 159 units. X-ray flux levels increased from B5 units on the 28th to B9.1 by the 31st before declining slightly by the end of the period. The average was B6.9 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day. The most disturbed day was the 31st, with an Ap index of 8 units. The average was 6 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 490 kilometres per second on the 29th to 350 by the 1st. Particle densities were low every day except for the 29th and the 30th, which increased to 14 particles per cubic centimetre on both days. Bz never varied more than minus and plus 6 nanoTeslas during the period.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week the quiet side of the Sun is expected to be looking our way. Solar activity should be at low levels with only a small chance of activity increasing to moderate levels with a M class solar flare taking place. Solar flux levels are expected to decline to the 130s. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet with no coronal hole disturbances expected and a low chance of a coronal mass ejection heading our way. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz or slightly higher. Darkness hour lows should be about 14MHz. Paths this week to South Africa should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 36MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1000 and 1600 hours UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 30th March 2014

March 28, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th March 2014

The news headlines:

  • Summary of RSGB-Ofcom meeting published

  • 1MHz more amateur spectrum likely at 2m

  • D-Star repeater replaced by MotoRTBO in Dundee

RSGB Officers met with representatives of Ofcom on 15 March as part of a regular series of discussions. Among the principal items on the agenda were the review of amateur radio licence, the revalidation of licences, VHF spectrum release proposals, amateur radio on the ISS and the public sector spectrum release. For more details of the discussions you can go to the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org and click on the Ofcom-RSGB Forum link on the right hand side under the Latest News heading. The next meeting is scheduled for 12 June.

Ofcom have published a consultation paper that makes proposals for the release of VHF spectrum, including 146 to 147MHz for amateur radio use on a temporary non-protected and non-interference basis. Details of how the RSGB will formulate its response will follow. The consultation is open until 26 May and can be viewed at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/vhf-143-169mhz/.

On 4 March the GB7DD D-Star repeater in Dundee was shut down due to lack of use and has been replaced by a Motorola MotoTRBO DMR TDMA digital voice repeater provided by Martin, MM0DUN. GB7DD is the first DMR repeater on the air in Scotland and is a colour code 1 UHF repeater on 439.6625MHz with a -9MHz split. See www.gb7dd.co.uk for more information.

The RSGB has launched its 2014 Construction Competition, intended to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. Any RSGB Member is eligible to enter and there will be prizes in each category. The overall winner will be awarded the new Pat Hawker G3VA Trophy. Full details are online at www.rsgb.org/constructioncompetition/.

In the news broadcast of 23 March we incorrectly stated that GB4IMD would be active from Poldhu for International Marconi Day. GB4IMD is the callsign of the Cornish Amateur Radio Club, who will be active from Stithians Field on that Day. The Poldhu Amateur Radio Club will be operating from the Marconi site at Poldhu for International Marconi Day using their callsign GB2GM. We apologise for this confusion. All stations planning to participate are urged to register in advance. Full details are at www.gb4imd.com. 

The European CW group is launching a new on-air game called Snakes and Ladders from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. It is designed to promote activity on all bands and to encourage friendly contacts. Everyone taking part will be acknowledged and any station submitting six or more logs during the twelve months from April to March next year can receive a certificate of participation. Full rules are available in English and many other European languages from the Snakes and Ladders web page at www.eucw.org/sl.html.

The BAA Radio Astronomy Group will be holding its 2014 General Meeting on 17 May at the National Space Centre, Leicester, LE4 5NS. This year there are two keynote speakers. Professor Paul Cannon will address the issue of solar storms, their origin and consequences and Dr Klaas Wiersema will describe how new radio telescope technologies enable the exploration of the 'transient' radio universe, from the mysterious millisecond duration fast radio bursts to the energetic afterglows of gamma-ray bursts that are sometimes visible for years. Other presentations include an ultra-low cost Hydrogen Line radio telescope; the design of an Arduino-based magnetometer and experiments with a small SDR radio telescope. Tickets are £12 for BAA members, £15 for non-members, including free parking. Details at www.britastro.org/radio/.

Amateur radio will have its own geostationary transponders on-orbit by the end of 2016. This is thanks to the approval of a concept from by the Qatar Amateur Radio Society to include a pair Phase 4 amateur transponders part of the Qatar Satellite Company’s new communications satellite. It will carry a 250kHz wide linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations such as CW and SSB. Also on board will be an 8MHz wide transponder to be used for experimental digital modulation schemes and digital amateur television. Precise operating frequencies remain to be finalised. Both of the transponders will be feeding broad beam antennas to provide coverage over about a third of the Earth’s surface. This equates to Europe, Africa, along with parts of South America and Asia.

Icom has published a firmware update for the IC-7700 that is free to download. It follows a similar upgrade made to the IC-7800 last year and is aimed at providing sharpened performance and a greater user experience for operators. It can be downloaded from www.icom.co.jp/world/support/download/firm.

Richard, G3CWI completed his 16th talk since last June at the Bolton Wireless Club this week. If your club meets within a 2 hour drive of Macclesfield, he would be happy to come along to speak. His talks draw on his experience of portable operating from Antarctica to the Andes and from Patagonia to Pacific islands. Details of how to book are online at www.sotabeams.co.uk/book-a-club-talk/.

Radio amateurs in Thailand with a basic class licence have gained an extension to the 2m band to 146.500MHz and now have access to 28 to 29.7MHz as well. They were previously restricted to 2m FM. The PDF of the Thai regulators announcement can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/pmc3s9p.

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

On 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open at 10.30am, or 15 minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on 6 April, the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in the Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH, by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally, for 6 April the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 7am for traders and 10am for visitors, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally due to be held on 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates resulting in insufficient table bookings to offer a worthwhile rally, combined with potential bad weather causing site problems. A decision will taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Worcester Radio Amateur Association will put GB1PER on the air today, 30 March, for the annual Airfields on the Air operation. This will take place in the grounds of the former Royal Air Force base at Perdiswell, from where the Kings Flight was based during the Second World War. GB1PER will be on the HF bands only. The club's 60 foot tower will be in evidence on Bilford Road, putting Perdiswell alongside more famous participating RAF stations such as Scampton, Tangmere and Leeming. More details are on QRZ.com.

GB1BST, marking the start of British Summer Time, will be on the air today, 30 March, from Mount St Bernard Abbey in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire (SK41). The abbey is home to a community of Cistercian monks who have kindly given permission for the Special Event to operate from the abbey lawn. The station will be operated by the Phoenix Radio Group on the 40m, 20m and 2m bands plus others if conditions allow.

Riviera ARC are planning to run a club station in support of RAFARS Airfields on the Air event on 5 and 6 April. The intention is run from the site of Little Haldon, outside Teignmouth, Devon, which was a WW2 airfield, using the HF bands from 10 to 40m as well as 2m.

Dengie Hundred Amateur Radio Society will be active from Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex, using the call sign GB0SMA, for Airfields on the Air next weekend. Stow Maries Aerodrome is one of the best preserved World War One aerodromes in the UK, with 20 of the original buildings still intact.

II1SWL will be on the air from 5 to 13 April using the HF, VHF and UHF bands with SSB, CW and digital signals. It is to encourage those new to amateur radio as either operators or listeners to take part in the hobby. A special QSL card is available, either via the bureau or direct to IW1EHL.

GB6RAF will be on the air from Rednal Air Field near Oswestry in Shropshire on 5 and 6 April. It will be operated by RAF Air Cadets from 2364 sqn (Welshpool), 2416 sqn (Newtown) and 1165 sqn (Oswestry), along with cadets from a number of other squadrons from around the region. The main operating band will be 7MHz with another stations working on 14 & 21MHz as time allows. Many Cadets on air will be new to amateur radio and it is hoped that this event will spark interest in the hobby.

To commemorate the centenary of the 1914/1918 war, a special activation will take place throughout 2014 in various departments of France. Activity runs from 1 March 2014 until 31 December 2014. Certificates are available for contacting the various stations. Stations involved will have a TM callsign, such as TM02REF and TM8FDA. More detail can be seen on QRZ.com under TM02REF.

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

N7QT, AB1UH, W4VAB and N7UN will be operational as 5J0X from San Andres Island, NA-033, between 2 and 14 April. Their activity will be primarily holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, SSB and PSK. QSL direct to N7QT.

A large group of operators will be active as DA0HEL from Helgoland Island, EU-127, between 3 and 12 April. They plan to have 3 to 4 stations on the air but no bands nor operating times have been announced. If you make contact, QSL to DF6QC via the bureau.

Guy, F5MNW will be active as FR/F5MNW from Reunion Island, AF-016, until 8 April. He will operate CW only. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The SSB leg of CQWW WPX ends at 2359 today, the 30th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands between 1.8 and 28MHz to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged.

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

Next Sunday, 6 April, the first 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday the 1st RoPoCo takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. It’s the SSB leg and the exchange is the signal report and the full postcode received.

The SP DX Contest runs for 24 hours next weekend from 1500UTC on the 5th to 1500UTC on the 6th. In it there are numerous entry categories, mainly for single ops. Multipliers in this one are the sixteen Polish provinces that are given a single letter of the alphabet for the purpose of this contest. The exchange is signal report and serial number with SP station giving the single letter Province code.

Now the solar report for the period from Friday 21st March to Thursday 26th March, compiled by Martin Harrison, G3USF, on Friday 27th March.

Solar activity was low throughout the week. C-class solar flares were reported every day, but there was only one smallish M-class flare. The solar flux began the period at 153 units, rose slightly, and then returned to 145, averaging 153. The 90-day average on the 27th stood at 159 – two points up on the week. A coronal mass ejection occurred on the 23rd, with the effects reaching Earth on the 25th, but it struck only the lightest of glancing blows, scarcely showed up on the daily Ap figures, and had a negligible effect on propagation. Indeed the daily index reached double figures on just one day – the 21st, when it was 10. For the week as a whole the average was only a modest 6.5 units. The X-ray flux showed little variation day-to-day, averaging B6.2 – a slight decline. Solar wind speeds reported by the ACE spacecraft ranged between 289km/sec on the 21st and 524km/sec on the 25th. Particle densities were generally low, apart for a spike to 10 particles per cubic centimetre on the 21st. Bz ranged between plus 7 and minus 5 nanoTeslas. Overall, low geomagnetic activity and relatively high solar flux levels made for consistently good conditions on the HF bands.

Finally, the forecast for the week ahead. Solar activity is expected to be low to moderate, with C-class flares on most days and the occasional M-class flare. A major X-class flare looks unlikely, as does any great increase in geomagnetic activity – though, as usual, the possibility of an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection cannot be dismissed. However, solar flux levels are expected to rise, possibly reaching the 170s. Aided by seasonal factors, MUFs at equal latitudes should again exceed 30MHz. Darkness lows are expected to be about 11MHz. Paths to India should have an MUF – that’s a 50 per cent chance of a contact – of 34MHz. The optimum working frequency, at which there should be a 90 percent chance of success, will be 28MHz. The path should be best between 0900 and 1400UTC.

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

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 23rd March 2014

March 21, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd March 2014

The news headlines:

  • YOTA UK July 2014

  • French amateurs gain 472kHz band

  • New RSGB Membership System

Having got the RSGB Youngsters on the Air Team lined up for their trip to Finland, a UK YOTA event has been given the go-ahead. This is planned to take place on the weekend of the 19 and 20 July. Other than having a date and knowing that a central place for young members to meet will be needed, the event is pretty much a blank page so please let the TEC Chairman know what kind of thing should be part of a YOTA UK event. Ideas to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk as soon as possible please. The RSGB would also like to have some of the older young Members involved in the organising, particularly those that have experience of leadership from Cadets, Scouts and/or Guides. If you are 'young', willing and able to help or know anyone that fits the bill, please get them to contact the RSGB via tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk. News will follow in due course on something very special for a Club-based activity for IARU YOTA month in December.

In changes to their licence conditions, French radio amateurs in both mainland France and the overseas territories in ITU Region 2 are now allowed to use the 472 to 479kHz band with 1 watt EIRP.

A new computerised membership system is being commissioned at the RSGB this weekend and will go live on Monday 24 March. This should have no impact on people using the website or shop, but please note that HQ staff will be familiarising themselves with the new system during the first few days of operation. This may lead to a short delay in actioning requests and orders.

SOS Radio Week in January saw many stations on the air raising money for the RNLI. If you worked one of the stations, don't forget to apply for the Worked SOS Radio Week award. Full details can be found on the website, www.sosradioweek.org.uk. Over £16,000 has been raised to date and the RNLI have asked whether the amateur radio community may be able to help with a forthcoming event they are running. Over the first bank holiday weekend in May, the RNLI will be running Mayday, four days of fun-filled activities to raise money and awareness for the RNLI. With this in mind, the SOS Radio Week Management Team has come with the idea of RNLI on the Air weekend. Anyone interested in taking part in ROAR should contact the event co-ordinator, Derek Hughes, G7LFC, via derek@g7lfc.co.uk.

Denby Dale ARS will once again be co-ordinating the annual Mills On The Air event over the weekend of 10 and 11 May. Full details of how to register, the stations taking part and how to claim a certificate are shown on DDARS website, www.g4cdd.net. If you would like to take part by running a station at a wind- or watermill or even an ancient steam driven mill, ask if they are taking part and would they like to have an amateur radio station as part of their event to promote awareness of the mill.

Stations around the world will be on the air for International Marconi Day on Saturday 26 April. It is not a contest; instead, it is an opportunity to make contact with historic Marconi locations around the world. Over 20 have confirmed to date, including GB4IMD at Poldhu and VO1AA in Newfoundland. Certificates are available for those who work the requisite number of sites. All stations planning to participate are urged to register in advance, and full details are at www.gb4imd.com.

Due to the falling membership, the Leicestershire Repeater Group has taken the decision to limit the hours of operation of the repeaters GB3CF, GB3GV, GB3LE and GB3UM to conserve funds. As a result, the repeaters are now switched off overnight between 10pm and 5am. The beacons GB3LEX and GB3LES continue to operate 24 hours a day. For further information or to join or donate to the group, see the website at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk

Rotherham has two radio nodes run by Bert, G4NJI. The first is an IRLP node on 145.2875MHz with a CTCSS tone of 71.9 and node number of 5200, Echolink number 135909. He also runs an Allstar node on 431.125MHz with a CTCSS tone of 71.9. The Allstar node number is 29368. Both modes are attracting an interesting number of contacts.

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

There are no rallies taking place over the weekend of 29 or 30 March. But the following weekend has several in the diary.

On 6 April, the 51st Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition will be held in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Doors open at 10.30am, or 15 minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will trade stands, a Bring and Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Details from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

Also on 6 April, the Devon and Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS Rally will be held in Callington Town Hall, New Road, Callington PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am. Information from Roger, 2E0RPH by e-mail to 2e0rph@gmail.com.

Finally for 6 April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will take place Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 7am for traders and 10am for visitors, with admission being £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring and Buy. Details from Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724.

Regrettably, the decision has been taken to cancel the 6th South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Rally, originally to be held on 13 April, due to the unfortunate clash of rally dates. A decision will taken in due course on whether to hold a rally in 2015. Support given by traders and the public to the South Gloucestershire Rally over the years is greatly appreciated by the Rally organisers.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

Worcester Radio Amateur Association will put GB1PER on the air on 29 and 30 March for the annual Airfields on the Air operation. This will take place on the grounds of the former Royal Air Force base at Perdiswell where the Kings Flight was based during the Second World War. GB1PER will be on the HF bands only. More details are on QRZ.com.

GB1BST, marking the start of British Summer Time, will be on the air on 30 March from Mount St Bernard Abbey in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire (SK41). The abbey is home to a community of Cistercian monks who have kindly given permission for the special event station to operate from the abbey lawn. The station will be operated by the Phoenix Radio Group on the 40m, 20m and 2m bands plus others if conditions allow.

The ARRL Centennial W1AW Worked All States operations that are taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states has moved location to Tennessee, W1AW/4, New Mexico, W1AW/5, and Guam, W1AW/KH2. During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state at least twice and most US territories and awards are available for working the station, see the ARRL website for details.

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

N5JC and N5JR will be active stroke HH2 from Haiti, NA-096, between 25 March and 1 April. Activity will be on the 6 to 160m bands with a focus on CW, RTTY and the 30, 17 and 12m bands. QSL both callsigns via N5JR direct, via the bureau or electronically using Logbook of the World.

Tynemouth ARC will activate the Isle of Arran, EU-123, as GB5DX from 26 March to 2 April. They will be on most of the HF bands and full details are on QRZ.com.

The West African country of Burkina Faso will be on the air until 26 March. Calls to look for are XT2AEF, XT2IVU and XT2VWT and they will be found on all bands from 10 to 80m.

The Andaman Islands, AS-001 will see a one-man expedition on the air from 23 – 30 March. The operator will be Krishna, W4VKU who will sign VU4K from Port Blair. Activity will be on 10 to 40m using SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the contest news

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

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

The SSB leg of CQWW WPX take place from 0000 on the 29th to 2359 on the 30th. Everybody works everybody, exchanging a report and serial number. Expect the contesting bands between 1.8 and 28MHz to be heaving and some large serial numbers to be exchanged.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 14th to Thursday the 20th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 21st of March.

Despite a large number of sunspot groups visible, up to nine on some days, solar activity was only at low levels with numerous C class solar flares taking place every day. On the 20th the only M class solar flare took place; this occurred from a new sunspot group that had just rotated into view. Solar flux levels increased from 136 units to 151 by the 20th. The average was 142. The 90 day solar flux average on the 20th was 157, that's one unit down on last week. X-ray flux levels declined at first but then increased to end the period at B8.2 units. The average was B6.7 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day. The most disturbed day was the 18th, with an Ap index of only 5 units. The average was Ap 3 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 590 kilometres per second on the 14th to 270 by the 19th. Particle densities were low at first but then increased to 50 particles per cubic centimetre on the 20th. Bz showed only modest fluctuations due to a quiet magnetic field and varied no more than minus 8 and plus 6 nanoTeslas.

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. The active side of the Sun will be looking our way. Due to two active sunspot regions rotating back into view during the second half of the week, solar activity could increase to moderate levels. Also, solar flux levels should increase and be around the 160s by next weekend. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels every day, provided no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections head our way. Right at the end of the period a small coronal hole disturbance is expected. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be well above 30MHz. Darkness hour lows are expected to be around 11MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 38MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 30MHz. The best time to try this path will be between midday and 1700 hours UTC.

And that’s all for another week from the propagation team

Listen Now:


RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLITEN FOR 16th March 2014

March 16, 2014

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th March 2014

The news headlines:

  • Licence Revalidation

  • IARU Contest Calendar

  • Renewal of Beacon and Repeater NoVs

Although the current amateur radio licence is known as a “licence for life”, all radio amateurs are required to revalidate their licence at least every five years. The process to do this requires every licence holder to contact Ofcom to confirm or update the details on the licence database. This process has been underway for some time and to date some 60% of licences have been successfully revalidated.

The quickest way to revalidate is to do so online via the Ofcom website, www.ofcom.org.uk, or by email to amateur.validations@ofcom.org.uk. This can be done at any time. If you need assistance in the process, Ofcom staff are available to help, but please be patient during times of heavy workload.

During the last IARU Region 1 C5 Interim Meeting in Vienna it was decided to try to get the organisers to align times and dates of their contest. An IARU Contest Calendar and has been compiled by Alex IV3KKW and can be found via the IARU Region 1 website at www.iaru-r1.org/. Corrections and updates should be e-mailed to iv3kkw@ari.it.

Ofcom has issued a web notice and written to the keepers of Beacons and Repeaters inviting them to renew their current NoVs, which are due to expire at the end of March. The exercise involves approximately 400 repeaters and 100 beacons. Applications for renewals can be made using the RSGB-ETCC online facilities, which can be found under the Operating heading of the main RSGB website. The system is currently open for repeater keepers and will be live for beacon keepers by the end of the weekend.

If you are a Keeper, your attention is drawn Ofcom’s request that you must ensure that your personal licence is also valid and that your list of closedown operators must be updated. Please note that ALL Repeater and Beacon NoVs are in scope for renewal, including those recently issued.

The resolutions to be considered at this year’s RSGB AGM have now been published in RadCom and on the RSGB website and voting is open. The ballot is being conducted by the Electoral Reform Society and all RSGB Members are encouraged to participate by casting their vote before 10th April. For those not attending the AGM, electronic voting is the preferred method and Members should go to www.votebyinternet.com/RSGB14 to cast their vote. Details on how to vote are available on the RSGB website and have been published in the April 2014 edition of RadCom.

A four meter port has been added to the 70cm repeater EI7MLR. The repeater, which is on RU76, 430.950MHz +7.6MHz, is licensed to the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and located at Mount Leinster, County Carlow. This port allows access to the repeater from the 4m band, on 70.400 MHz and a tone of 67Hz is required to access it. The output power is 10 watts into a folded dipole antenna. Reports, by e-mail, to sirnrepeaters@gmail.com.

The vanishing of the Malaysian Airline jetliner with 239 passengers on board is a mystery that nine nations are trying to solve. When flight MH370 disappeared from the air traffic control radar, the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society was asked to provide a communications link between the airport and the hotel where relatives were staying. MARTS provided a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary interference from the public services. An HF link was later added. During the call-out there were 11 volunteers at the Emergency Management Centre at Kuala Lumpur airport and 23 volunteers at the hotel, on a shift roster for the link.

The RSGB was saddened to hear of the death of the Politician Tony Benn on Friday 14 March 2014. In March 1965, Tony Benn was the Postmaster General when George Wallace MP asked a parliamentary question on reciprocal licensing for radio amateurs. In his reply, Tony Benn said, “Subject to certain conditions being met, I shall in future grant licences to engage in amateur transmissions in this country to licensed radio amateurs who are nationals of countries which are prepared to grant reciprocal facilities to UK licensed radio amateurs.” Initially permission was granted to visiting US amateurs, but this was the start of the arrangement to allow UK amateurs to operate their station during visits to other countries. Our thoughts are with Tony Benn’s family and friends at this time.

The data mode ROS weekend takes place on the HF bands from 0001UTC on 22 March until 2359 on 23 March and an award certificate is available. The call is CQ, CQ, ROS WEEKEND. The award requires 30 contacts logged or heard with only 1 QSO per band per day being allowed. You can download the latest version of the ROS data mode software from http://rosmodem.wordpress.com/ as well as view the full rules for the ROS weekend and award.

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

The Dover Radio Rally will be held today, 16 March, in the Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Rd, Whitfield, Dover, Kent CT16 3LY. Doors open 10am and admission is £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Tables cost £10. Details from Ian Keyser at ian.g3roo@googlemail.com.

The 2nd Laugharne Radio Rally takes place on 22 March at the Millenium Memorial Hall, Laugharne, SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 2pm. Entry is free as are the tables. More information from Matthew, GW6KOA on 01994 427 581.

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 GB2RS@rsgb.org.uk.

Now for the news of special events

West Tyrone ARC is taking part in the St Patrick Day celebrations on Monday 17 March running GB1SPD. They will be situated on the top floor of the Strule Arts Centre in the town centre operating on HF, VHF/UHF, Echo Link and digital modes between 11am & 5pm. Visitors are welcome.

Grey Point Fort will be running a special event station for St Patrick’s Day from 0001 to 2359UTC on 17 March. The Fort is situated on the shores of Belfast Lough, whose waters it once guarded, within Crawfordsburn Country Park. It will be operating as a fixed award station, part of the new St Patrick’s Day award scheme. You can find out more about the awards available at http://stpatrickaward.webs.com.

Russian special event station UE80HS will be on the air throughout March. This operation is being held to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Russia’s first astronaut Yuri Gagarin who was born on 9 March 1934. Gagarin was the first human to journey into space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of he Earth on 12 April 1961. If you work UE80HS, please QSL via RW6HS.

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

JF1CCH will be active as 8Q7TS from Hulhumale Island in the Maldives from 20 to 31 March. Operations will be on 10 through 40 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. There’s also a chance he may show up on 160 and 80m as well. QSL via his home callsign.

John, VK6HZ, will once again be active as VK6ARI from Rottnest Island, OC-164, between 23 and 30 March. Activity will be holiday style on 10 to 40 meters using SSB, PSK and RTTY, possibly CW. The antenna will be a Buddipole and activity will be around the usual IOTA frequencies. QSL via VK6HZ, direct or by the Bureau. Log will be uploaded to Club Log and Logbook of The World.

Two stations will be active from Chatham Island in the coming weeks. ZL7/OE2SNL will operate mainly RTTY and some CW. He will be there until 20 March. The second group of ZS1FJ, VE7NY and ZL1GMB will be joined by OE2SNL and will use the callsign ZL7AAA from 20 March to 1 April. This group will be on HF using SSB, CW and RTTY.

Gert, ZS6AYU will sign C91GR from Mozambique from 16 to 19 March. QSL to his home callsign.

Krish, W4VKU, will be active as VU4K from Port Blair between 23 to 30 March. Activity will be on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and RTTY. He will have a 2 element SteppIR + 30/40m, Acom 1000 and maybe a Butternut Vertical antenna. QSL via W4VKU and OQRS will be open in early April 2014. Realtime logs will be available via Club Log

Now the contest news

You will need to be up very early if you want to catch the start of the BARTG HF RTTY Contest: 2am, to be exact. It runs for 48 hours on the 15th to the 17th. Exchange signal report, a serial number and the time.

The Russian DX Contest ends at 1200UTC today, the 16th. There are lots of entry categories, mostly for single ops. An interesting twist is that it is permitted for a single-op station to make two single-band entries. Usually this would be to take advantage of bands that aren’t open at the same time. The exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations sending their Oblast code too.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone contest takes place today, Sunday 16th March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by 6 April 014. Full details of the rules and logsheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.co.uk or from the contest manager G3XKT by email aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

The 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC on 18 March. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the SSB leg of the 80m club championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 7th to Thursday the 13th of March, compiled by Neil Clarke on Friday the 14th of March.

 

Two large active sunspot regions between them produced in total 12 M class solar flares and numerous C class solar flares. The largest solar flare of the period was a M9 which occurred late on the 12th. However, solar activity was low on the 7th when only C class solar flares took place. Solar flux levels finished the period where they started at 148 units and showed little variation day to day except for the 11th which increased to 165 units. The average was 150 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 13th was 158, that's two units down on last week. X-ray flux levels increased from B5.4 units on the 7th to C1.4 by the 10th and the 11th before declining back to B7.3 units by the 13th. The average was B8.4 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet everyday except for a small disturbance that took place on the 13th. The most disturbed day was the 13th with an Ap index of 11 units. The average was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 420 on the 7th to a very slow 250 kilometres per second by the 12th. Speeds then increased and ended the period at 520 kilometres per second. Particle densities were low except for a brief increase to 14 particles per cubic centimetre late on the 12th and 20 the next day. Bz varied between minus 2 and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 8 and plus 9 nanoTeslas on the 13th.

 

Finally, the solar forecast for the coming week. This week solar activity is expected to be at moderate levels on most days with the return of a couple of active regions. Solar flux levels could decline to the 140 later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to be mostly quiet everyday, however, if an Earth directed coronal mass ejection heads our way then activity would increase. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be slightly above 30MHz. Darkness hour lows should be about 11MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 30MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 24MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0800 and 1200 hours UTC.

And that’s all for another week from the propagation team

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