GB2RS

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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 10th. September 2017.

Posted on September 8th, 2017
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 10th of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Keep hurricane frequencies clear

  • Report VDSL interference NOW

  • 100kW IARU news bulletins

 

Hurricane Irma is getting widespread news coverage and will affect many countries in the Caribbean. There are the usual American nets on 14.265 and 14.325MHz to gather information on the storm. Several other frequencies will be used and amateurs in IARU Region 1 are asked to please take steps to avoid interference with emergency operations. You can find out which frequencies are most used in which country on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org

The RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating VDSL broadband interference on the HF amateur bands for three years now. This has generated a lot of historic data. However, despite active lobbying, Ofcom and Openreach contend that the 150 or so reports from 50,000 amateurs do not indicate a major problem, when viewed from the perspective of 9.5 million VDSL installations. To increase the amount of evidence available, the RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions. These measurements indicate the presence and strength of interference. Please fill in the survey with your current readings, even if you have reported them before, and encourage your friends to do so. The EMC Committee plans to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October, then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action. The survey closes on 30 September. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this interference. Your report could make all the difference to cleaning up the bands.

Following a request from the Radio Society of Kenya, the Kenya state radio regulator has advised that a new 60m allocation has been granted between 5275kHz and 5450kHz on a secondary basis. All modes are permitted, with a maximum power of 400W PEP.

From the 16th to the 22nd of September, the IARU Region 1 Conference will take place in Germany. 130 delegates from the 96 member societies will discuss issues related to the amateur radio service. RADIO DARC will report current news on the conference in six daily special short wave transmissions. These will be made in partnership with the Austrian Broadcasting Transmitters Corporation. The programmes will be in English. In Western Europe, listen out between 1800 and 1830UTC on 9540kHz between the 17th and 22nd. The broadcast power will be 100kW.

Discount rates are available for taking the UK amateur radio exams at the RSGB Convention on 14-15 October. The Foundation and Intermediate, taken together on the 14th, are £45 instead of £60, while the Intermediate and Full exams on the 14th and 15th are £52 together instead of £70. For the adventurous and well-prepared, you can take all three exams for £73 instead of £97.50. Foundation and Intermediate candidates must have had their Practical Assessment signed off before the Convention. Those wanting to take an FCC test for an US licence can do so on the Sunday. Full details of all of these exam offers are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0910A and it is important to note that the booking deadlines are quite soon. The Advanced deadline is 22 September, while the Foundation and Intermediate must be booked by 29 September.

The Citrus Belt Amateur Radio Club of San Bernardino, California will host the 18th annual Route 66 On The Air special event between the 9th and the 17th of September. The event offers radio amateurs a chance to perhaps relive their own Route 66 memories and to celebrate the famed highway’s 91st anniversary. There will be 21 stations, two of them rovers, operating in or around the major cities along Route 66. Using the callsigns W6A to W6U, details of frequencies can be found at http://w6jbt.org Please be aware that some of the stations may have to move their operating frequencies to accommodate hurricane traffic. Radio amateurs who operate while driving on Route 66 may take part in the event by using the designations mobile 66 or /66 after their callsigns. Each participating club will issue its own commemorative QSL card to celebrate this event. Certificates are available.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog. The top three are P5, North Korea, 3Y/B, Bouvet Island and FT5/W, Crozet Island. The complete list is at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

The British Amateur Television Convention takes place this weekend at Finningley Amateur Radio Society, The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX.

The Torbay Annual Communications Fair is on today, the 10th of September, at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. There is plenty of free parking on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Entry is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. There will be a raffle held on the day. Details from Pete, G4VTO on 01803 864 528.

The Weston-Super-Mare Rally takes place on the 17th of September at The Campus, Highlands Lane, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 7DX. The venue has a large car park. Doors open from 10am and admission is £3 for adults. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an auction at the end of the day and lectures. There will also be amusements and activities for all the family including competitions, interactive displays and fun activities. Catering will be available on site. Enquiries to 01278 786 684.

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 radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

The 7163 Group will be active as HD8M from Isabela Island in the Galapagos, IOTA reference SA-004, between the 14th and 21st of September. Activity is planned for the 160 to 6 metre bands using CW, SSB and digital modes, primarily FT8. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, direct to WB2REM with an SASE or via the bureau through KG0YL. Upload will be made to LoTW and eQSL after the DXpedition.

John, G4LTH will be operating as GM4LTH/P when he activates a number of Scottish islands from the 15th to the 18th of September. His route is subject to weather conditions. He will use a KX2, with an FT-817ND as a backup, plus dipoles for 80, 40 and 20 metres. He hopes to work as many stations as possible from these unusual locations, ranging from Eilean Mor Island to the Isle of Skye.

Frank, G8PQH will be active as G8PQH/p from the Isles of Scilly, EU-011, until the 16th of September. QSL direct via his home callsign.

Claudio, HB9OAU will be active as SV5/HB9OAU from Karpathos, EU-001, until the 22nd of September. He will operate SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Now the special event news

Rugby ARTS will operate GB0RRS until the 22nd of September to celebrate the historic Rugby Radio Station, which operated from 1926 to 2007 at a site near Hillmorton, Rugby.

On the 16th and 17th of September Chatham Historic Dockyard will again be hosting their 1940s weekend. During the event Brian, G0TAR and some Medway ARTS members will be operating GB2CAV from the ship’s radio room.

On the 16th of September at Cordwainers Community Garden, Hackney, East London GB2LUH will be on the air for the London Urban Harvest. GB2LUH will be active on HF and 2m FM to promote the event and encourage people to visit their local community garden and take part.

GB1BOB will be on the air on the 15th and 16th of September commemorating the hard work and sacrifices of all those who fought in or served during the Battle of Britain.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX SSB contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 10th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note EU stations only work non-EU stations.

On Monday the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the 432MHz UK Activity contest that uses all modes until 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2nd 70MHz contest take place on the 17th from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 17th. Using the 24 to 26GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest is on the 17th from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 8th of September.

Last week the sun caught everyone out. While NOAA predicted the solar flux index would be in the mid 70s, the sudden appearance of a large number of sunspots pushed it up to 183 on Tuesday, although it had calmed down to 122 by Wednesday. This had a major impact on the bands, with openings up to 10 metres being reported, though many or all of these may have been due to Sporadic-E. To be fair to NOAA, these spots were only just appearing around the edge of the sun as last week’s report was being prepared.

Unfortunately, this new sunspot activity also resulted in numerous X-class solar flares, their associated coronal mass ejections and a proton storm. The K index was pushed up to five on Tuesday and four on Wednesday and Thursday, impacting HF conditions adversely. Next week the larger spots will have rotated off the sun’s visible surface, so the question is: what will follow them?

At the time of writing it looks like the Sun may calm down a little, although there is evidence of some new spots growing. NOAA predicts the solar flux index may decline into the 80s or 90s by the end of the week, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions from around the 13th to the 17th.

The good news is that each week we edge closer to better autumnal HF propagation, so expect higher maximum usable frequencies and better DX. October should be even better, so make sure your antennas are ready.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After last week’s class X9.3 solar flare, keep your beams to the north and look for any auroral propagation on six, four and two metres. The big sunspot group will have rotated off the sun’s visible surface by now, but, as we said, it may not be the last one we see during this period.

The 2017 Sporadic-E season struggled into the first week of September, but we sense we must be near the end now. That leaves Tropo as the next best option for some DX at VHF. Unfortunately, for much of the next week the UK weather pattern is dominated by low pressure, bringing unsettled and windy weather – so Tropo also looks like a non-runner. Such changeable weather, often showery, may produce some rain scatter on the GHz bands, otherwise it’s thin pickings for weather-related propagation modes.

With only minor meteor showers this week, continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts.

We have positive Moon declination all this week. So, combined with low losses as we approach perigee on Wednesday, it’s a good week for EME with long morning and daytime Moon windows.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week.