This is the combined RSGB podcast in iTunes format, compiled by Ed VK2ARE. Please note as the complete text will not be visible on an iPhone/iPOD (limit on device), to read the complete text please go to http://gb2rs.podbean.com.
Sunday 2nd October 2011
The news headlines:
RSGB Convention next weekend
GPS disruption tests due in East Anglia
Help wanted to count Draconids meteors
The RSGB Convention takes place next weekend, 7 to 9 October at Horwood House, near Milton Keynes. Booking for room packages closes today, 2 October, but day tickets, priced £6.50, are available for either Saturday or Sunday. Lectures run from 9.30am to 5.45pm on Saturday and 9am to 3.30pm on Sunday. See www.rsgb.org.uk/rsgbconvention for details.
Ofcom has announced that multiple jammers will be disrupting the SatNav GPS system around Stanford, East Anglia, between 0900 and 1730BST from 3 to 7 October. There will be multiple jammers, land based, within 5km of N52° 31.0’ E000° 45.0’ using 24MHz band signals centred around 1575.42MHz. It is stressed that Safety of Life operations will at all times take precedence over exercise activities. For further in formation contact InfoGPS.Notices@ofcom.org.uk.
The British Astronomical Association is organising a meteor watch exercise for the coming Draconids shower, between 7 and 9 October. It would be interesting to compare meteor scatter counts against activity reported by visual observers up and down the country. The Draconids are not normally a large event but are subject to occasional outbursts and there has been speculation that this year could produce one of these. Observations are requested across the three days of 7, 8 and 9 October. Preferably these would be around-the clock, but if this is not possible, between 1500 and 2300UTC on the three days. Counts in 15-minute bins will be appropriate for most of the time but on the evening of 8 October, most likely between 1800 and 2100UTC, the rates may be changing very quickly and so it would be advantageous to have the counts in 5-minute bins. It is very important that receiver settings and antenna alignment are kept constant throughout the period of observation. If possible, the beam of the antenna should be directed towards the mid-point of the great circle path joining the transmitter and receiver locations. Paul Hyde, G4CSD the BAA Coordinator for the Radio Astronomy Group, will be consolidating the observations into a single report which will be sent to all participants. Please contact him by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to submit reports.
The T32C DXpedition to Kirimitati now has 10 Yaesu FT-450 transceivers and eight linear amplifiers on the island, along with the hardware to put up gain antennas for 10 through 80 metres, and a big vertical for 160m. They also plan to install Beverages for receiving. Operation should be in full swing by this weekend and they aim to post any breaking news on the DXpedition website, www.t32c.com.
The Central Scotland Mini Convention is a new event planned for June 2012. It will be held at the Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Livingston. Planned attractions include traders' tables, a bring and buy stall and a programme of talks. Further details will be posted at http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/cshrc when they become available.
In under a year the AMSAT-UK FUNcube Yahoo Group has achieved over 2000 members. The group was created by Rob Styles, M0TFO at the end of October 2010. Its purpose is to provide support for the AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite and the FUNcube Dongle software defined radio package. There are two talks at this year’s RSGB Convention on the Funcube satellite and the FUNcube dongle by Graham Shirville, G3VZV and Howard Long, G6LVB respectively.
The 54th Jamboree On The Air will take place on 15 and 16 October. This year's theme is Peace, Environment and Natural Disasters. Within this year's JOTA, an emergency communications exercise will take place on Saturday, 15 October, 2011 in the afternoon, European time zone. This simulated emergency test will include the Headquarters station, HB9S, of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, which will be operated by amateurs from 5 different countries.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The RSGB Convention takes place at Horwood House near Milton Keynes on 7 to 9 October. Five lecture streams are available on both Saturday and Sunday, totalling 65 lectures to choose from. There is also a Partners Programme for those not interested in the radio events of the weekend, with a trip to Stowe Landscape Gardens and Milton Keynes. Both UK and US exams are available over the weekend. See www.rsgb.org/rsgbconvention for full details.
The Autumn Militaria & Electronics & Radio Amateur Hangar Sale takes place on 9 October at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8AL. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. There will be civil, military and vintage radio equipment plus vehicle spares and more. Contact Rod Siebert, 01270 623 353.
Now for the news of special events
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of HMS Belfast's arrival in the Pool of London, in October 1971, the London Group of the RNARS will be active as GB40HMSB between 1 October and 31 December. A commemorative QSL card will be available in the New Year.
And now the HF DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
DL8KX and DD8ZJ will be active as 9H3KX from Gozo Island between 8 and 14 October. Their operation will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via DL8KX either direct or via by the bureau.
There is a joint US/Australian trip to Vanuatu until 12 October. The callsign will be YJ0VK. They will be on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and RTTY/PSK31. QSLs go via VK2CA.
DK0RZ will be on the air from Hallig Hooge, which is IOTA reference EU-042, on 5 to 8 October. They plan to operate CW, SSB and PSK31. QSL via the bureau.
DJ7RJ will be operating as FR/DJ7RJ from Reunion Island, which is IOTA reference AF-016, between 4 and 26 October. He will operate CW and SSB on 10 to 160m, with a focus on the low bands using a 500 watt amplifier into an inverted L antenna. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.
A group of operators from the Workington Radio Club and the Sands Contest Group will be active as MS0WRC from the Isle of Tiree until 8 October. QSL via G0MTD, direct or bureau.
Now the contest news
The IARU 432MHz-248GHz Contest runs until 1400UTC on 2 October. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The 21/28MHz Contest takes place today, Sunday 2 October. The planned deletion of this event from the contest calendar may have contributed to the substantial increase in entries in all sections last year. They are hoping for similar results this year. Taking place from 0700 to 1900UTC and using CW and SSB on the two bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and district.
Tuesday 4 October sees the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest taking place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On the 8th and 9th, the CW legs of the Oceania DX and the EU Sprint take place. The Oceania DX is from 0800 to 0800UTC and the EU Sprint from 1600 to 2000UTC. Being a sprint, of course there’s a QSY rule. It says that if you make a QSO as a result of calling CQ or QRZ, you then have to QSY a minimum of 2kHz before you can make another QSO. And please don’t forget that the exchange includes both callsigns.
And now the solar factual data for the period from the 19th to the 25th of September, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on the 26th of September.
After several warnings about a sudden increase in solar activity, this week it happened with a bang. Solar activity started the period at low levels with large C class solar flares on the 19th and the 20th. On the 21st, a large new sunspot group was rotating into view, and it produced an X1 solar flare on the 22nd. Activity continued to increase and on the 24th a further X1 class solar flare took place, along with a number of large M class flares, and not all from the same group because two small groups produced weaker M class flares. Strong sudden ionospheric disturbances and large coronal mass ejections accompanied many of the large solar flares. Solar flux levels increased steadily during the period from 141 units on the 19th to 158 by the 23rd. The figure for the 24th was 190, however, this was measured at the usual delay that coincided with a large solar flare taking place at the same time, so the figure is what we call ‘flare enhanced’, a more realistic figure would have been around the mid 160’s, but the figure of 190 will be recorded which makes that the highest daily figure for this cycle. The next day the figure was 169. The average was 157 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 25th was 108, that’s five units up on the previous week. X-ray flux levels increased from B7.1 units to C2.7 by the 25th. The average was C1. Geomagnetic activity was quiet all week with the Ap index into the low single figures every day. The average was Ap 4 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds vary between 300 and 450 kilometres per second. Densities were low throughout and the Bz varied no more that minus 5 and plus 6 nanoTeslas during the period.
And now the solar forecast. This week still should see the active side of the Sun looking our way, at first anyway, but by next weekend solar activity should decline as the large sunspot group rotates out of view. Solar flux levels should decline to around the 120’s later in the week. Geomagnetic activity should be quiet at first but, due to a coronal hole, activity should increase by next weekend. A warning though, at any time this week a coronal mass ejection could arrive and with it geomagnetic activity will increase significantly. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz for the south and 27MHz for the north, though these levels should decline as the week progresses and will be much lower if any large scale magnetic storms take place. Darkness hour lows should about 12MHz. This week the Five Star DXers Association DXpedition to Christmas Island in the Pacific with the callsign T32C will be under way. Hopefully by now the pile ups will be somewhat smaller. If the solar flux levels remain high then best time to try to work them on 28MHz will be between 0930 and 1130 short path and around 0900 on the long path. Failing that, 14MHz will be open from around 0730 through till around midday on the short path and from 0600 on the long path. With it being a polar path, quiet magnetic conditions are almost essential and any medium sized disturbances will make it all the more difficult to work them. Next week we will have the LF bands forecast.
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.