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 20th May 2012
The news headlines:
RSGB appoints new General Manager
Poland gains two amateur bands
British amateurs inducted into CQ Hall of Fame
Graham Coomber, G0NBI has been appointed as General Manager of the Radio Society of Great Britain. His role will be to work with the Board to develop and implement the strategic vision and the changes needed to create a financially sound, membership responsive, Society. Graham is an active radio amateur, with interests in both the DX and contesting arenas. He has also worked for RAIBC and has an interest in WAB. He also holds the call SV0XBA.
Poland will soon join the growing number of countries with access to the 70MHz and 3.4GHz bands. From 2200UTC on 31 May, Polish amateurs will have access on a secondary basis to 70.1-70.3MHz and 3400-3410MHz, subject to a 20 watt EIRP power limit.
CQ magazine has announced its 2012 Hall of Fame inductees, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the CQ DX Hall of Fame. The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals, whether licensed or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet. The 2012 inductees include Richard Garriott, W5WKQ, the younger half of first US father-son team to travel in space. He worked Budbrooke Primary School in the UK from the ISS in 2010. Later that year, he visited the school to meet the pupils involved in the contact. Also honoured are British amateurs Rowley Shears, G8KW, silent key, founder of KW Electronics, who helped re-establish amateur radio in Germany after World War II and Louis Varney, G5RV, silent key, inventor of the G5RV antenna.
Would you like to see your children or grandchildren taking an interest in amateur radio? Then the volunteers of the Direction Finding committee have come up with an event that might interest you. For a child in the age range 8-15, or thereabouts, racing round a forest with a directional radio receiver hunting down hidden transmitters has an exciting appeal. On Sunday 24 June at Swinley Forest, Bracknell, the ARDF Committee will be running an introduction to DF for young people. The day will comprise some instruction on the use of a DF receiver, the sounds that the hidden transmitters emit and how to measure the bearing of the transmitter and plot this on a map. There will then be a group of four very low power transmitters to locate in a fairly small area by way of practice. This is followed by a full scale course over a distance of 2 to 3km in the beautiful Swinley Forest, part of the Crown Estate. More details were published in the May RadCom. There is a fee of £5 per child. To sign up go to the RSGB shop at www.rsgb.org/YoungPersonsEvent. At the checkout stage the name of an accompanying responsible adult has to be provided, along with contact details for more detailed information.
The Worked All Britain Awards Group has organised a special award to coincide with the passage of the Olympic flame around the country. Various amateur radio clubs around the UK will be operating from locations along the route used by the Torch Bearers for that particular day. They will use the callsigns G4WAB and G7WAB. The main call will be G4WAB, the exceptions for this being Shetland and Orkney, Jersey and Guernsey, when both callsigns will be used on the same day. There will be three versions of the award, depending on the number of stations worked: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The award will be issued as a PDF as standard, with the option of a paper version for those that require it. Full details of the cost, route and club stations are available on the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.co.uk.
Amateur radio satellite HORYU-2 was successfully launched on 17 May at 1639UTC and its signals have been received around the world. The satellite’s callsign is JG6YBW and radio amateurs are asked to listen for the telemetry downlink at 437.375MHz, plus or minus 9kHz Doppler shift. Telemetry is sent using 20wpm Morse or 1200bps AX25 FSK packet. There will be a monthly competition for those who send data received from the telemetry to the KIT server, via the free HORYU-2 telemetry analysis software. Details of the competition and software can be downloaded from http://kitsat.ele.kyutech.ac.jp/ by clicking on the English button.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The Dunstable Downs Radio Club Boot Sale takes place today, 20 May, at Stockwood Park, Dunstable. Entrance and car parking is £2 and the event opens at 9am. More information is at www.ddrcbootsale.org.
Advance notice now for the Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention on 2 June. It will be held at Crofthead Farm Community Education Centre, Templar Rise, Livingston EH54 6DG. Doors open at 10am, and there will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy as well as lectures and an RSGB bookstand.
On 3 June, the Spalding & District Annual Rally will take place at The Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding PE11 2EF. Doors open at 10am and there will be trade stands, free car parking and catering facilities at the event. More details from John, G4NBR, on 07946 302 815.
Now for the news of special events
The Geoparks communications weekend this year takes place on 26 and 27 May. South Eastern amateur radio group will again operate from Tankardstown on the Copper Coast Geopark in Co. Waterford. The callsign should be EI2GEO and activity will mainly be on HF.
GS5NB will be on the air from Ness Battery, Stromness, Orkney until 2000UTC on 21 May using the 10 through to 80m bands, operating SSB, CW RTTY and PSK. Run by Orkney Amateur Radio Club, it celebrates the official opening of this Scheduled Ancient Monument to the public after its restoration by Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership. QSL is direct only via GM0WED and LoTW. Full details are online at http://eu009.webplus.net and qrz.com.
Coventry Amateur Radio Society will put GB50CCC on the air on 23 May to 19 June for the Coventry Cathedral Celebration.
The Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society will run a special event station at the HMS Collingwood open day on 26 May. It is expected that the call sign GB6COD will be used again. The station will be operational on all amateur bands from 1.8 to 430MHz. The Society headquarters station will be open to the public from 0930 to 1800 on the day. A number of demonstrations will be taking place using amateur radio and amateur television.
GB60VUL will be on the air from ex RAF and USAF Greenham Common today, 20 May. On 25 May, the callsign will be on the air as part of the birthday weekend for XH558 at 211 Squadron ATC in Newbury. On the air until 27 May, there will be an open weekend with a Vulcan exhibition and the GB60VUL special event station.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
André, GM3VLB is returning to the Orkney, EU-009 group, beginning 21 May. He plans to activate 5 islands, Muckle Green Holm, OI20, Linga Holm, OI21, Eynhallow, OI24, Faray, OI28 and Calf of Eday, OI29. Some are quite difficult to approach and to land on as well as being subject to very strong tidal current.
A group of operators from the Charente DX Group will be active as TM0CI from the Chausey Islands, which is IOTA reference EU-039, on 19 to 25 May. QSL via F5EOT, direct or bureau, see qrz.com.
The Castres DX Gang will be active as TM5FI from Ratonneau Island, which is IOTA reference EU-095, from 23 to 30 May. QSL via F5XX.
Until 23 May, XX9E is the callsign for the DXpedition to Coloane Island, Macau, which is IOTA reference AS-075. A large team will be active on 6 to 160 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY with at least three stations. QSL via EB7DX and LoTW. Further information at www.adxg.org/xx9/.
Now the contest news
This weekend, 19 and 20 May, there are overlapping events. The 144MHz May Contest takes place for 24 hours finishing at 1400UTC today, 20 May. The First 144MHz Backpackers overlaps the final three hours of it and then continues for another hour on its own, until 1500UTC. The exchange for the 144MHz contest is signal report, serial number locator and postcode, whilst the Backpackers exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Two events take place on Tuesday 22 May. The 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. The SHF UK Activity Contest takes place at the same time, 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place on 24 May from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
Next weekend, on 27 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 WPX Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of the weekend of 26 and 27 May. There are numerous entry categories, single/multi-band, single/multi-op, QRP/low/high-power, etc. Exchange a report and serial number.
And now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 11th to Thursday the 17th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday 18th of May.
The large solar flare producing the sunspot region mentioned in last week’s report remained visible till the 17th, when it rotated out if view. The group showed gradual decay from the 11th and produced several C class solar flares every day until early on the 17th, when it produced a M5 proton solar flare. A large coronal mass ejection also took place. Solar flux levels declined from 136 units on the 11th to 129 by the 15th. The average was 132 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 17th was 115 units, that’s two units up on last week. X-ray flux levels declined slightly from B6.1 units on the 11th to B4.3 by the 14th. The average was B5.1 units. Geomagnetic activity started at unsettled levels due to a coronal hole disturbance. The 13th was the most disturbed, with an Ap index of 14 units. From the 14th onwards, activity had declined to quiet levels. The average was Ap 9 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds decline from 650 kilometres per second on the 11th to 340 by the end of the period. Particle densities were low every day. Bz varied between minus 7 and plus 10 nanoTeslas on the 17th and between minus 2 and plus 3 nanoTeslas on the quietest day, the 14th. Sporadic-E took place most days on bands between 28 and 70MHz with reflections up to 100MHz on occasional days, but there are no reports yet of anything on 144MHz.
And finally the solar forecast. This week, the quieter side of the Sun is expected to be rotating into view. Solar activity is expected to be at low levels but, on occasions, there may be a small chance that activity could increase to moderate levels. Solar flux levels should decline and be around 110 units later in the week. Geomagnetic activity is expected to start at quiet levels but around midweek a recurring coronal hole disturbance is expected. This disturbance should be over by next weekend. MUFs during daylight hours at equal latitudes should be around 24MHz for the south and 21MHz for the north. Darkness hour lows should be about 13MHz. Paths this week to Australia should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of around 22MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be about 17MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 0900 and 1200 hours. Interestingly, the long path will be at its best around 2200 hours and the MUF could be up to 24MHz. Sporadic-E is expected on most days, with openings up to 70MHz on some days. If any intense openings take place then 144MHz could be reached.
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.