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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 16th. July 2017

Posted on July 14th, 2017



Sunday 16th of July 2017

The news headlines:

  • 40m GB2RS broadcasts back next week

  • Technical parameters from Ofcom for Wi-Fi on 5.7GHz

  • Latest episode of TX Factor out now

Today, the 16th of July, there will be no News broadcast on 40m from Germany because both newsreaders are attending the Ham Radio show at Friedrichshafen, Germany. They will resume reading on the 23rd.

Ofcom have issued a statement confirming the technical parameters for the extension of Wi-Fi in the 5.7GHz amateur band. Following extensive inputs, the RSGB welcomes the conservative approach that Ofcom are taking and look forward to this being properly enforced. The new regulations are effective from the 7th of August. Full details can be read at

The summer edition of TX Factor is out now and includes a trip to Norwich where Pete, M0PSX spends a day with the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club at their recent annual Field Day 'Radio Active'. He also chats to RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF about his Club Initiative. TX Factor goes digital as Mike, G1IAR gives Bob, G0FGX an introduction to operating on DMR, Yaesu Fusion and D Star. They also visit a Devon amateur who has set up a Fusion Gateway to find out how he went about it. The new episode of TX Factor, sponsored by the RSGB and ML&S, is available at and on You Tube and as it is professionally produced in HD looks great on a full size TV but works equally well on a PC, Mac, Tablet or smartphone.

Due to essential maintenance, the Ofcom Licensing Portal will be unavailable from 15:30 Friday, 14th July 2017 until 06:00 Monday, 17th July 2017

At this year’s RSGB Convention there will be the opportunity to sit the FCC tests for a US licence at 1pm on Sunday the 15th of October. Please contact Martin, G3ZAY at before the event if you would like to sit an exam. This is important as he wants to ensure there are enough exam papers available and that candidates have the correct paperwork.

The latest YOTA 2017 vlog features Steve Bunting, M0BPQ who is the Station Manager for GB2GP at Gilwell Park. During the YOTA camp there will be a five-band SES running from morning to night with the call sign GB17YOTA. The RSGB has provided an award for those who make contact, so listen out for the youngsters on air that week! You can see all the vlogs via

In further microwave-related news, Ofcom have also confirmed the final details for their forthcoming auction of 2.3 and 3.4GHz spectrum that was removed as part of the 2014 Licence Review. The auction documents include an information memorandum with considerable detail of amateur and Primary User usage in these bands. The auction link can be found at

The resurrected 25MHz signal of time and frequency standard station WWV is now emanating a 2kW signal from a circularly polarised turnstile antenna. It’s hoped that the latest antenna change to circular polarisation might be helpful to anyone studying propagation during next month’s total solar eclipse, which will be visible across the US. WWV has invited listeners’ comments and reports on its 25MHz signal by email to

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

Today, the 16th, the McMichael Rally takes place at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Talk in will be on S22. Parking is free. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £3. Tables and car boot spaces are £10. There will be trade stands and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar will be available on site. Due to venue rules, no dogs are allowed other than assistance dogs. Details from Andy on 0777 594 0016.

Next Sunday, the 23rd, the Finningley ARS Rally will take place at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. Doors open at 10:30am. There is free parking and a large indoor /outdoor traders area. Hot food and drinks are available all day. Admission is £3. Contact Kevin, G3AAF on 07831 614640.

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

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

The Kuala Lumpur DX Team will be active as 9M4IOTA from Pangkor Island, AS-072, in West Malaysia from the 22nd to the 24th of July. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on the 10 to 80m bands. QSL direct to 9M2OOO.

Philip, G4PWO will be active as 8Q7PW from the Maldives, AS-013 for two weeks starting on the 18th of July. He is likely to concentrate on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres using SSB if conditions are good, digimodes if bad. QSL via his home callsign via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL or log search on Club Log.

Four German operators will be active as P40X from Aruba, SA-036, from the 22nd of July to the 5th of August. QSL via DL8UD, direct or via the bureau; the log will be uploaded to Club Log.

Vlad, UA0LCZ will be active as R66IOTA from Popov Island, AS-066, from the 25th to the 30th of July. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

Dieter, DF2SD will be active as OZ/DF2SD from Fano Island, EU-125, from the 23rd of July to the 4th of August. He will operate SSB and digital modes on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World and eQSL, or via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

John, W5JON will operate as V47JA from the island of St Kitts until the 5th of August. He operates SSB on 160m to 6m. QSLs go to his home address in Texas.

Pierre, VE3KTB will be operating as VY0ERC from the Eureka Amateur Radio Club station located on Ellesmere Island until the 22nd of July. This will count as NA-008 for the IOTA award. QSL manager is M0OXO.

Now the special event news

Mid Ulster ARC will operate a special event station at Coney Island until the 30th of July. Operation will be from 9am to 5pm and the address is Maghery Country Park, Co Armagh BT71 6NS.

Between the 22nd and the 30th of July, a big Scout Jamboree will take place near the town Sonderborg in Denmark. The Scout Jamboree will be active with the special call sign OZ17SJ and the QSL Manager is OZ1ACB. No IRCs or paper cards please, use Club Log OQRS. More details at

Now the contest news

Today, the 16th, the 70MHz trophy contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today, the 16th, the Low Power contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC using CW on the 3.5 to14MHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC and is immediately followed by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC where you can use all modes. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 14th of July.

Sunspot number 2665 caught NOAA by surprise last week. As we wrote the last report it was only just rotating into view, but ultimately turned out to be very large indeed. It helped push the solar flux index up to 91 during the week, although it was the only sunspot group visible.

We got the geomagnetic prediction about right though with solar material from a coronal hole pushing the K index up to five on the Sunday the 9th. The unsettled conditions continued until midweek, but then started to calm down after that.

Otherwise, it was business as usual with the summer ionosphere as the upper bands struggled to open to F2 layer DX at times. Maximum usable frequencies were around 14 to 18MHz over a 3,000km path, although daytime summer D layer absorption meant that at times there was little DX to be heard.

Next week, NOAA has the solar flux index in the range 85-90 with the chance of unsettled geomagnetic conditions midweek due to coronal hole activity. So it looks as if this weekend may offer the best HF conditions.

As always, keep an eye on the 40, 30 and 20m bands in the early morning and late evening, as they may still bring the odd surprise. Sporadic-E openings are still possible on HF, but not as prevalent as they were in May and June.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The start of the week is dominated by weak high pressure over southern Britain, but it may provide some temporary night-time and early dawn Tropo. As midweek approaches, the models are keen to bring an area of thundery rain northwards from France into southern Britain, so rain scatter on the GHz bands is a good mode to look out for. The latter part of the week sees high pressure returning to bring the Tropo back, so again look for overnight lifts or perhaps some DX to the south across Biscay to northern Spain.

It's worth noting that in the high holiday season in the Mediterranean region, there is potential for Tropo on most days pretty much from one end of the Med to the other, so pack that VHF handheld. These paths are so long that some of the QSOs may get labelled incorrectly as Es rather than Tropo on the clusters. Usually Tropo lasts for extended periods, whereas Es will be very transitory.

On the lower bands, some minor meteor showers are active around the end of July, but they don’t peak this coming week.

We still have some time to go with the Sporadic-E season and weak jet streams mean some options on 10m, even if the higher bands are not well supported.

Moon declination is positive and increasing this week and with falling losses as we approach another perigee on Friday, there’s a good week in prospect for EME.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week