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Sunday 16th October 2011
The news headlines:
RSGB pre-releases RadCom pages
2012 Bath Buildathon announced
Successful launch for Indian CubeSats
In advance of the Extraordinary General Meeting announced last week, the RSGB has pre-released the RSGB Matters section of the November RadCom. The pages set out the background to the EGM and are being sent by email to all affiliated clubs. The Society encourages all Members to read the information and help shape the future of the RSGB. RadCom is being printed this weekend and is due to be delivered to UK members by next Monday, 24 October.
The date of the 5th Bath Buildathon has been confirmed as Saturday, 7 January 2012. For those that are not familiar with the concept, the basic idea is for a group of radio enthusiasts to lock themselves in a room for a day and build a radio project under the watchful eye of a few experienced mentors. These events are ideal for intermediate students or other licensed amateurs who have never raised solder smoke in anger before. This year the event will cost £60 to include a 20m SSB superhet receiver kit, room hire, tea and coffee, etc. The Bath Buildathon Crew will be providing all tools and test equipment required and no previous experience is needed, just a bucket load of enthusiasm! Booking forms for the Buildathon are available by email from G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk or by post from G0FUW, who is QTHR in the Yearbook and on QRZ.com.
Amateur satellites SRMSAT and Jugnu were successfully launched by an Indian rocket from Sriharikota in the early hours of Wednesday 12 October. The satellites are in near-equatorial orbit and cannot be received in the UK, but will be providing useful science for the Indian university teams that built the CubeSats. The SRMSAT web page is at http://srmsat.in.
The RSGB Convention that took place in Milton Keynes over the weekend of the 7-9 October was the largest in the event's history. The five streams of lectures were well attended and there was standing room only in some lecture rooms.
Following the creation of a Youth Co-ordinator portfolio during the Region 1 General Conference at Sun City in August, the Region 1 Executive Committee has appointed Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, to the role. Lisa will be working with the Youth Co-ordinators from the various member societies to promote amateur radio amongst young people in Region 1. Lisa’s contact details will be made available under the Youth section of the IARY Region 1 web site, www.iaru-r1.org.
Lilford District Scouts in Leigh, near Wigan, are looking for a volunteer Foundation tutor who could run a course sometime between mid-November and February. Whilst the Scouts cannot offer any payment beyond limited assistance with transport costs, they do have a well-equipped venue and plenty of enthusiasm. Ideally, they would like to have some new Foundation licensees in time for the next JOTA. If you can help, please contact Carl Thorp, 2E0LVO, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long-standing software developer George Murphy, VE3ERP, has hung up his keyboard and is retiring from further development on HAMCALC. For those who are unfamiliar with the software, HAMCALC is a collection of useful calculators for amateur radio use, widely used throughout the amateur community. The latest version of HAMCALC can be downloaded at www.cq-amateur-radio.com.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, Sunday 16 October, the Blackwood and District ARS Rally takes place at Coleg Gwent, Risca Road, Cross Keys NP11 7ZA. There are trade stands, a Bring and Buy and special interest groups. The rally opens at 10.30 and costs £2. Talk in is on S22. Contact Dave, GW4HBK, on 01495 228 516.
Also Today, Sunday 16 October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Club rally is at Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea, East Yorks HU18 1NQ. Opening at 10.30, there are trade stands, a Bring and Buy, RSGB bookstall and special interest groups including RAFARS. Details from Rick, M0CZR, by email to R106221@aol.com.
The Galashiels and District ARS radio rally takes place on Sunday 23 October at The Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 3JX. Opening time is 11.30, admission is £2.50 and there are trade stands, a Bring and Buy and other attractions. Details from Jim, GM7LUN on 01896 850 245.
The Callington Amateur Radio Society Rally is on Sunday 23 October at Callington Community College, Launceston Road,Callington, Cornwall PL17 7DR. The opening time is 10am, admission is £2 10am, £2, and there are trade stands, a Bring and Buy and other attractions. Contact John, G4PBN, on 01822 835 834.
Now for the news of special events
As this is JOTA weekend, there are numerous Scout special event stations on the air. The October RadCom contains a list of over 20 special event stations that have issued for the event.
And now the HF DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
The T32C DXpedition is going strong from Christmas Island. On 10 October the team announced they had broken the 100,000 QSO barrier. The team hopes to set a few new records before the end of the event. There is still time to work the DXpedition, which is covering as many band and mode slots as it can with the limited equipment at its disposal.
Now the contest news
Today, Sunday 16 October, the Second 50MHz Contest takes place from 0900-1200. Operation is all mode on the 50MHz band and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.
Tuesday 18 October sees the UHF UKAC from 1900-2130. Operation is all mode on 23cm; RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.
And now the solar factual data for the period from the 3rd to the 9th of October, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on the 10th of October.
Several sunspot groups were visible every day with up to eight on the 4th and the 5th. Most groups were small and inactive but several produced C class solar flares every day. Solar activity was low every day. Most flares were small and were not associated with sudden ionospheric disturbances or coronal mass ejections. Solar flux levels declined from 130 units on the 4th to 118 by the 8th. The average was 124. The 90 day solar flux average on the 9th was 114 units, that’s two units up on the previous week. X-ray flux levels varied little and the average was B4.1 units. Geomagnetic activity was quiet every day except for the 5th which increased to an Ap index of 20 units in response to a glancing blow from a coronal mass ejection that departed the Sun on the 2nd. A small coronal hole disturbance arrived on the 9th when the Ap index was 13 units. The average was Ap 8 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 480 kilometres per second to 290 by the end of the period. Particle densities were around the 20 particles per cubic centimetre for a three day period starting from the 5th. Bz varied between minus 5 and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus 10 and plus 11 nanoTeslas on the 5th. On the 20th several UK operators and a number of continental stations, enjoyed an unexpected opening to West Africa on 50MHz. 28MHz was also in excellent shape on a couple of afternoons, with MUFs at times well over 30MHz and low-power beacons as far as the West Coast of North America being copied across much of Europe.
And now the solar forecast. This week the more activity side of the Sun is expected to return into view. Solar activity may not be as high as the last rotation but moderate levels could take place on some days. Solar flux levels are expected to be in the 120’s for most of the week. With no coronal holes expected during the coming week, geomagnetic activity is expected to be at quiet levels. Only a coronal mass ejection heading our way will increase activity and there maybe a slight chance for this to happen. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 30MHz for the south and 27MHz for the north. Darkness hour lows should be about 10MHz. Paths this week to Australia 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 0800 and 1300 hours. The long path should be open around 0800 and again at 2100 hours, but the MUFs will be around 21MHz.
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.