Sunday 30th April 2017
The news headlines:
AGM changes in RSGB Board
G3LTF appointed Honorary Vice President
RSGB representation at Lord Rix funeral
At the RSGB AGM held last Saturday, the 22nd, in Cardiff, Sara McGarvey, 2i0SSW, was elected to the RSGB Board of Directors. Steve Hartley, G0FUW, stood down as Chairman but has been co-opted by the Board to oversee YOTA 2017 and the introduction of the RSGB’s new Strategy, which was launched at the AGM. Graham Murchie, G4FSG, was elected by the Board as their Chairman. Also at the AGM, Mick Senior, G4EFO was re-elected as Region 10 Manager.
We’re delighted to announce that Peter Blair OBE, G3LTF has been elected by the RSGB Board as Honorary Vice-President. Peter has been an inspiration to over three generations of radio amateurs, not only by his own achievements but also by communicating his enthusiasm and technical expertise to thousands of others around the world. In his lifetime no-one has better demonstrated how amateur radio and professional engineering can be combined to reach the highest levels in both fields together. You can read more about his professional and amateur radio careers on the RSGB website.
RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF will represent the RSGB at the memorial service for Brian Rix, G2DQU at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden on the 3rd of May at 3pm. Known formally as The Lord Rix, Brian Rix, Baron Rix, Kt, CBE, DL, G2DQU, he passed away on 20 August 2016 and you can find an obituary on the RSGB website.
We have been informed that the Ofcom amateur radio licencing portal is down for maintenance from 6pm on Thursday 27th April until 8.30am on Tuesday the 2nd of May.
The US Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard will sponsor the traditional military/amateur radio communication tests on the 13th of May to mark the 66th annual Armed Forces Day, which takes place on the 20th. The Armed Forces Day message will be transmitted via Military Standard radioteletype modes. Software is available to demodulate the military serial PSK waveform, and detailed instructions can be downloaded. A short practice transmission will be sent at 1930 and 2330UTC on the 6th, 7th, 10th and 12th of May on 13.506.5MHz USB and 17.443MHz USB. Military FSK is Baudot at 850Hz, 75 baud, low mark, and 2000Hz centre. Most RTTY programs can be set to decode this mode. To achieve low mark while receiving in USB, select reverse shift. Full details, including the necessary downloads are at https://tinyurl.com/lh74wew
Starting next Saturday, the 6th of May and running for three months, the UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon is taking place. Using all modes on the 50MHz band he exchange is your 4-character locator. For full details of this event, go to www.uksmg.org and use the 6m operating tab to click on 6m contests.
The RSGB Board Proceedings for the 17th of March have been released. RSGB Members can read the RSGB Board proceedings on the RSGB website.
RSGB Club insurance and Beacon and Repeater insurance has now been renewed for the year to April 2018. Club insurance certificates can be downloaded from the RSGB website, where your Membership Services login will be required. Beacon and repeater insurance costs £10 and you may renew on the RSGB shop. Please allow a couple of days after renewal for your certificate to be dispatched. In both bases the RSGB has changed the brokers to CaSE Insurance. Cover remains the same as in previous years but the insurer is now Aviva.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, Sunday the 30th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at the Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. There will be a talk in station and car parking is free on site. Attractions include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area and RSGB bookstall. The usual burger van will be in attendance. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM, on 0794 197 2724.
Also today, the 30th, the West London Radio and Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access ten minutes earlier. There will be trade stations, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and on-site catering. Details from Paul, M0CJX, on 0845 165 0351.
On Bank Holiday Monday, the 1st of May, the 33rd Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2, with under 14s free when accompanied by an adult. There is ample free car parking on site, with catering available too. There will be trade & club stands and the usual Bring & Buy. Details from: Viv Watson, G7AWG, on 01752 823 427.
The Southern Electronics & Radio Fair, planned to take place on Saturday the 6th of May, has been cancelled.
On Sunday the 7th of May the Dambusters Hamfest will be held at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall, Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PL. This is an outside event with limited room inside. Entry is £3 per person and accompanied under 12s are free. The admission charge also allows visitors to enter the museum. The venue is all on one level with access to all buildings for wheel chairs etc. There is full catering on site, with hot food van and the NAFFI. There will be an RSGB bookstall. For details please contact Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.
The Scottish Amateur Radio and Electronics Convention will be held on Sunday the 7th of May at Braehead Arena, Kings Inch Road, Glasgow, G51 4BN. Talk-in will be available on S22. The venue has disabled access and free car parking, including access to the Braehead Shopping Centre. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm. Entry is £4. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall and the GMDX group. There will be talks during the day. Club tables are £10, pre-booked only. For more information contact 0759 344 1518.
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 email full details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
A team of UK operators will operate as A25UK from Botswana until the 6th of May. Activity will be on all bands 160m to 10m SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via M0OXO.
Peter, DF7DQ will be in Vietnam from the 1st to the 10th of May. While there he will operate holiday style as 3W9DQ on 15 to 40m CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home call.
Ivan, LZ1PJ will be operating from Mahe, IOTA reference AF-024, on HF and 6m using CW only between the 2nd and the 10th of May. QSL via LZ1PJ either direct of via the Bureau or Logbook of the World.
Pasi, OH3WS, will be active as OJ0W from Market Reef, EU-053, on the 6th and 7th of May. Activity will be on the 20 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.
Now the special event news
A special event station GB0GLS has been licensed for operation from the 5th to the 11th of May 2017. Antrim and District ARC are collaborating with Mid Ulster ARC to hold a main activation day on Saturday the 6th of May from the site of the original ‘Y’ station at Gilnahirk Listening Station. Following publication of George Busby's book, Spies at Gilnahirk, there could be considerable interest for this special event, which marks the significance of Gilnahirk during the Second World War and, later, into the Cold War period. QSL cards will be issued upon request and details about the station are available on QRZ.com.
HB600NVF is on the air until the end of this year to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the patron saint of Switzerland. QSLs can be obtained from HB9JOE.
Now the contest news
On Monday the 80m Club Championship contest, SSB leg, takes place between 1900 and 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC and it is followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC, this time using all modes. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.
Next Saturday, the 6th, the 432MHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes on the band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also on the 6th, the 10GHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy runs for 24 hours starting at 1400UTC on the 6th. Using all modes on these bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Starting its 24 hour run at 1200UTC on the 6th, the ARI International DX contest uses phone and RTTY on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Italian stations also giving their Province code.
The UK Microwave Group low band contests runs from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 7th of May. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Finally for next weekend, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC on the 7th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also send their County.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 28th of April.
Last week saw some unsettled conditions due to the effects of a coronal hole. Its associated high-speed solar wind stream actually hit the Earth a day earlier than predicted, resulting in poor HF conditions during the International Marconi Day event on Saturday the 21st of April.
The planetary K index hit 6 the night before and we were left with noisy bands and poor propagation. HF openings were predominantly to Europe, although Australia and the US were worked by GB0CMS from Caister in Norfolk. While conditions improved slightly through the week the K index remained steadfastly high.
There were highlights though. The A25UK Expedition to Botswana was worked from the UK on bands as high as 10 metres. As this is a North-South path, signals didn’t have to go through the unsettled auroral oval.
There were a couple of sunspots that helped push the solar flux index to more than 80, but next week NOAA predicts the SFI will be around the mid to high 70s, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. The K index could hit five on Bank Holiday Monday, but then decline to three or four for the rest of the week.
We should soon start to see the start of the Sporadic-E season, which may bring good short-skip opportunities on the upper HF bands. Keep an eye on the 10 metre beacons from around 28.150 to 28.330MHz for openings.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
Low pressure will bring showery rain into western Britain later in the weekend, with prospects for GHz bands rain scatter. This will soon be replaced by a ridge of high pressure extending south from a large high over Scandinavia. The ridge may bring the possibility of some Tropo conditions towards the east across the North Sea.
That said, the quite strong easterly wind over southern areas may not be the best for good Tropo, since it is likely to be a dry flow and thus there may not be a good moisture contrast between the surface and the dry air above any temperature inversion. If Tropo turns out to be not such a strong player, there are good reasons to hope for some Sporadic-E as we move into the first week of May. This is usually regarded as the start of the main Sporadic-E season, so the main periods to check are late morning and late afternoon.
As we said earlier, start with 10m and then move higher in frequency as any opening develops. The openings can eventually reach 2m.
Moon declination is high and losses still low this weekend but declination falls and losses increase as the week progresses.
A week today, before dawn, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks, but the shower's radiant never gets very high above the horizon for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.