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 27th May 2012
The news headlines:
NoV issued for new 2m transatlantic propagation study
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee QSO Party Award reminder
RSGB responds to Ofcom’s consultation on proposed Wireless Telegraphy Act Regulations
On 18 May, Ofcom issued a NoV for another propagation beacon to test the possibility of a 144MHz transatlantic path from the UK. Located at Lough Navar Forest in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, at 349m ASL it will have a clear take off over the sea. GB3WGI will radiate on 144.487MHz towards North America, initially with an ERP of 100 watts relative to a dipole, with plans to increase this if licensing allows. This beacon was made possible due to the generous donation of a transmitter by Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, the man behind the US 70MHz beacon, and NoV holder, Gordon Curry, GI6ATZ, who is providing the site and site services. This NoV is particularly welcome from Ofcom in what is clearly a busy Olympic year and the VHF weak signal community in the US and the UK thank them for their efforts. No date is yet fixed for the installation of the beacon, but plans are well under way and an announcement will be made in due course.
Amateurs are reminded that the Q special prefix runs until 10 June and that contacts with stations using this special prefix count to the award for those who wish to apply for their Queen's Diamond Jubilee QSO Party Award. Full details, including how to apply for a Q prefix, are on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/jubilee
This week the RSGB responded to Ofcom’s consultation on proposed Wireless Telegraphy Act Regulations. It has made a formal input to the Ofcom consultation on proposed new Regulations to provide Ofcom with powers to take action in cases of interference from non wireless telegraphy apparatus. Whilst the immediate proposal is to implement the new Regulations in time for the Olympic Games, the action by Ofcom highlights the point that the Society has advocated on many occasions – the need for Ofcom to have statutory powers in cases of serious interference to the spectrum from non-WT apparatus. Ofcom has indicated that it intends to prepare Regulations for ongoing application after the Olympic Games and part of the RSGB response emphasises the need for such powers. The text of the RSGB response can be found online at www.rsgb.org/news/articlelinks.php?id=0362. The consultation remains open until 28 May 2012.
Today, 27 May, William Williams, GW8TGS will be an Olympic Torchbearer as part of the team carrying the Flame through Aberystwyth around 1814BST. Having taken part in several charity runs and raising over £15,000 for charity, William, GW8TGS was nominated by the Rotary Club of Aberystwyth for his fund raising and his other voluntary work. William says he feels honoured to be taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend is held in August every year. So far registrations are going well, with Australia on 42 entries ahead of its rival Germany, with 36 registrations. There are 215 entries from 30 countries and the numbers are rising each week. Among those activating ten lightships are Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, and the USA. The basic objective of the weekend is to increase awareness of lighthouses and lightships and their need for preservation and restoration, and at the same time to promote amateur radio and foster international goodwill. International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend is on 18 and 19 August and registration is available on the website www.illw.net.
2012 is the Centenary of the Wireless Institute of Australia being established in the State of Queensland, Australia. A special Centenary callsign, VK100WIQ, will be activated from 1 June through to 31 July by way of the WIA affiliated radio clubs in Queensland. There is also a Centenary QSL card and a Centenary award available. Details of the QSL card and award can be found at www.wia.org.au.
Cuban amateurs have received permission to use more digital modes on the airwaves. In addition to PSK31, QPSK31, AMTOR, PACKET and RTTY, Domino Contestia, Olivia, MFSK, JT65 and almost all variants of PSK have been added. Another important step is that they have now have access to the national society’s internal network using packet radio nodes and have permission to use packet gateways in cross bands.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
GB2RS has not received any details of rallies taking place this weekend, 27 and 28 May.
The Central Scotland Mini Ham Radio Convention will take place 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, Lincs, 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 finishes today, 27 May. EI2GEO will be on the air from Tankardstown on the Copper Coast Geopark in Co. Waterford. Activity will mainly be on HF.
Coventry Amateur Radio Society will put GB50CCC on the air until 19 June for the Coventry Cathedral Celebration.
Chorley and District Amateur Radio Society will be on air over the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend with the club call MX0ISN. A special QSL card is being produced for this event and details are on qrz.com.
South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society will be operating GB0GMO from Grantham Museum on 1 and 2 June to mark the re-opening of the museum. They will be using voice modes on all bands from 6m to 40m and also on 2m from 10am to 4pm when the museum is open. A special QSL card will be available either direct or via the RSGB bureau.
South Lancs Radio Club will be on the air from Ashurst Beacon main car parking area airing the callsign MQ0SLR/P between 10am until 6pm on 2 June. Then on 3 June from 10am to 4pm they will be on the air from Shackerley Community Centre using MQ0SLR/P.
The Kent Weald Radio Club will be operating from the Headcorn Aerodrome, Kent for the duration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee week beginning on 1 June. The club will be using the special event callsigns GB1ER and GB1HA working the HF, VHF & UHF bands. Visitors are welcome to call in to see the operation. Further details are available from Patrick, G0UXG via e-mail to email@example.com.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
F5IRO has received his Ugandan callsign 5X5RO. He will be operating CW and PSK during his spare time until 8 June. QSL via F8DFP.
OK7MT, OK5MM and OK2PP will be operating stroke P4 until 31 May. They will use the callsign P40H in the WPX CW Contest that finishes at midnight tonight, 27 May. QSL via OK7MT.
European Football Championship 2012 On The Air is an activity organised by Polish and Ukrainian amateurs. From 1 June to 5 July there will be numerous special event stations active on the air. More detailed information can be found at http://efc2012.pzk.org.pl.
A multi-national group will operate from the Kingdom of Bhutan until 6 June. The callsign will be A5A. They will be active on all bands from 10 to 80m and will take part in the WPX CW Contest that finishes at midnight tonight, 27 May.
Craig, MM0SSG is now on the air from Luanda in Angola until around the end of October. Workwise he is employed on an offshore oil platform but he is active as D2SG when back on land. His QSL manager is GM4FDM.
Now the contest news
Today, 27 May, is the third 70MHz Cumulative contest taking 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 finishes at midnight tonight, 27 May, after a gruelling 48 hours. There are numerous entry categories, single/multi-band, single/multi-op, QRP/low/high-power, etc. Exchange a report and serial number.
The 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC on 29 May. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
NFD takes place next weekend, 2 and 3 June during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend. Incidentally, the Contest Committee considered changing the date of NFD so that it would not coincide with the Jubilee weekend, but decided not to because lots of other countries also have their Field Days on the same weekend. Running from 1500 to 1500UTC on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer E’s Contest runs for 24 hours on 2 and 3 June from 1300 to 1300UTC on the 50MHz band. Using all modes, exchange a signal report, serial number, locator and, if you are a member of UKSMG, your membership number.
The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest takes place on 3 June on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
And now the solar factual data for the period from Friday the 18th to Thursday the 24th of May, compiled by Neil Clarke, G0CAS on Friday 25th of May.
Five new sunspot groups appeared during the period, with eight groups visible on the 20th. Most sunspot groups were small and quiet. A couple of regions were large enough to produce small C class solar flares, 17 in total for the period. Solar activity was very low on the 20th, 21st and the 22nd. Solar flux levels declined from 132 units on the 18th to 116 by the 24th. The average was 125 units. The 90 day solar flux average on the 24th was 116 units, that’s one unit up on last week. X-ray flux levels varied little day to day and the average was B3.6 units. Geomagnetic activity started at quiet levels but on the 20th a small disturbance arrived, this relates back to the M5 solar flare from the 17th. The Ap was 11 units. More elevated conditions took place on the 22nd and 23rd when the Ap was 18 and 19 units respectively. This was due to a recurring coronal hole. The only quiet day was the 19th, with an Ap index of 5 units. The average was Ap 10 units. Solar wind data from the ACE spacecraft saw solar wind speeds increase from 320 kilometres per second on the 21st to 700 by the 23rd. Particle densities were low every day, however, on the 20th they increased to 11 particles per cubic centimetre. Bz varied between minus 4 and plus 6 nanoTeslas on the quietest day and between minus and plus 11 nanoTeslas during the coronal hole disturbance.
And finally the solar forecast. At first this week the quiet side of the Sun should be looking our way but from about midweek new active regions should be rotating into view. Solar activity is expected to be mostly low. Solar flux levels should increase and be in the 120’s by next weekend. Overall, geomagnetic activity should be mostly quiet every day. 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 14MHz. Paths this week to South America should have a maximum usable frequency with a 50 per cent success rate of about 28MHz. The optimum working frequency with a 90 per cent success rate will be around 21MHz. The best time to try this path will be between 1400 and 2100 hours. Sporadic-E is expected to take place most days with openings up to 70MHz at least. Openings on 144MHz are also possible on the occasional days with the favoured times during the mid morning and again in the late afternoon, but remember not exclusively.
And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.