This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 20th. August 2017.

Posted on August 18th, 2017



Sunday 20th of August 2017


The news headlines:

  • Anomalous callsigns issued

  • Listen to ICQ Podcast YOTA Special

  • Solar Eclipse QSO Party on Monday


Ofcom has informed the RSGB that a small number of two-letter suffix call signs have been issued in error recently. These short-form call signs are anomalous and stem from an IT problem, which Ofcom is addressing. We understand that although these call signs are not invalid, per se, licensees who have been issued with one should contact Spectrum Licensing at Ofcom on 0300 123 1000 or to discuss changing it for a normal format callsign.

There is a special ICQ Podcast about YOTA 2017. It can be downloaded from and is well worth a listen. Among other things you’ll hear interviews with some of the young people who took part, sharing their infectious enthusiasm for amateur radio. If you worked the special event station GB17YOTA then you may be eligible for an Award. Check out for details. Finally, for a quick summary of what happened, go to for the YOTA 2017 Daily Diary videos.

On Monday a solar total eclipse will sweep across the USA and many radio experiments will be conducted, taking advantage of the expected anomalous propagation conditions. The August RadCom described the Solar Eclipse QSO Party that will take place from 1400 to 2200UTC on Monday the 21st. Activity will be on several bands from 160m to 6m. Stations outside the USA are warmly encouraged to participate, and full details are at

The Malta Communications Agency has authorised a Secondary allocation covering 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with 15W EIRP, adding to the growing number of countries with a 60m allocation.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This year’s event takes place on the 29th and 30th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like a big RSGB bookstall, traders, flea market and Bring and Buy, the winners of the Club of the Year, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ from the 13th to the 15th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and demos, and the chance to rub shoulders with the giants of amateur radio. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your ticket for this flagship event at a lower price. Details, including a provisional Programme, are at – and don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

No 6m GB2RS reading took place on Sunday the 6th of August because both current Newsreaders were unavailable. They have asked if any other volunteers might consider acting as standby Newsreaders for future occasions. The reading takes place at 9am via GB3WY, near Wakefield, so you’ll need to be within its range. If you can help, please email with your details. GB3WY has recently undergone significant upgrades to increase its range. Reception requests are sought, which should be emailed to

The RSGB annual Construction Competition is open for entries and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October. The aim of the competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. The competition can be entered by individual Members or groups of Members. The closing date is the end of September and any project that you have built may be entered, other than one that was a previous winner in this completion. Details are at online at

On Wednesday the 23rd, Kenwood will present a Webinar on their TH-D74 D-Star, FM and APRS dual band handheld transceiver. Participants will get the opportunity to ask questions by email, Facebook and Twitter, for instance on the radio’s GPS, or Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The webinar starts at 7pm UK time, that’s 1800UTC, and you can find full details on the Kenwood website via

Finally, advance notice that on Saturday the 2nd of September, a team from Hi-Impact will be launching a high altitude balloon from a site in Welshpool. The launch will be at noon, UK time, and it will transmit telemetry on 434.650MHz USB, 50 baud, 425Hz shift, 7N2 format. Its callsign will be HIIMPACT.

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

The Rugby ATS Radio Rally takes place today, the 20th, at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby, CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3. Sellers can gain access from 8am. There will be a car boot area. Catering is available on site. Details from Tony, G0OLS on 0775 968 4411.

Next weekend, the Milton Keynes ARS Rally takes place on Sunday the 27th at The Irish Centre, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley MK2 2HX, just opposite Dobbies Garden Centre. Doors open at 10am. Contact Tim Cowell, G6GEI on 07976 262 497 or email for more information.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 28th, the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally takes place at Ernulf Academy, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 7am for traders and 9am for the public. Admission is £3, with free parking. Catering including hot meals and drinks are available on site. There will be an RSGB bookstall. More from Malcolm, M0OLG on 01480 214 282 or by email to

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 great Solar Eclipse QSO Party mentioned earlier is sure to bring some interesting DX, if only because of the sheer number of stations expected to be experimenting with the anomalous propagation conditions. Listen out for them on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 and 6m. Other bands are not being used.

If you’re quick, you may catch the activation of Robben Island, IOTA reference AF-064, which will be on the air as ZS9V until 21 August at 0000UTC. Bands in use will be from 80 to 10m and the operators are ZS1V, ZS1VDV, ZS1AN and ZS1REX. QSL manager is M0OXO, direct or OQRS.

Sao Miguel, EU-003, is being activated this weekend until 1900 today as CR1FF. Operators are CU2GC and CS8ABY. QSL direct via CS5NRA or via the bureau.

Kasado, AS-117 will be on the air next Saturday as JA4GXS/4. Bands in use will be 40, 20 and 17m, CW and SSB. QSL direct or bureau to JA4GXS.

Now the special event news

The 19th and 20th is International Lightships and Lighthouses weekend, with numerous special event stations active around the world. We gave details of a number of stations in last week’s bulletin, which we won’t repeat today. The official list of all 436 entrants, including around 25 UK Special Event Stations, is at

A wide range of special event stations are also expected to be on the air to mark, or experiment with, the solar eclipse that will cross the USA on Monday.

A special event station will be active from The Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre Open Day from 10am-4pm on 26 and 27 August. Contact Ewan Cameron, MM0BIX, on 01674 676 740 for more details.

Rugby Amateur Radio Transmitting Society will operate GB0RRS from 10am on Saturday 26th August until 12:00 on Friday 22nd October, celebrating Rugby Radio Station.

Now the contest news

The SHF UKAC takes place on Tuesday from 1900 to 2130UTC. Activity is on all modes on all bands from 2.3 to 10GHz. RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Next Sunday, the 27th, sees the UKuG contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Finally, the ITTS Counties contest takes place on 2m SSB and FM next Sunday from 1300 to 1500UTC. The exchange is RST and serial number, with all stations on the island of Ireland also giving their County.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 18th August.

Last week saw the solar flux index in the low to mid 70s. Geomagnetic conditions were generally quiet earlier in the week, with some choice DX to be had. Andy, M0NKR reported working the Marshall Islands in the Pacific on 20m CW at 0700UTC on Wednesday, while Del, W8KJP in Florida, USA, was heard by G0KYA on 40m CW at 2221UTC using a simple wire antenna. But the good conditions didn’t last and the ionosphere became disturbed on Thursday 17th due to the effects of a high-speed solar wind stream from a large high-latitude coronal hole on the sun. This had a very strong south-facing magnetic field component that meant it more easily coupled with the Earth’s magnetic field. The K index surged to five and remained like that for at least nine hours, driving maximum usable frequencies down to around 14MHz and causing very noisy bands. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the high 60s and, after an unsettled start, geomagnetic conditions may settle for the rest of the week.

Monday the 21st brings a total solar eclipse, which will be visible across the USA. A QSO Party is planned so many US stations may be active. The partial eclipse starts at 1546UTC and ends at 2104 UTC. Totality will move east across the US, starting at 1648UTC and ending in the Atlantic at 2001UTC. A feature on the eclipse appeared in the August edition of RadCom, but there is a lot more information on the web. It is not known whether any propagation effects will be observable from the UK, but it is a rare opportunity to check.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather crossing the country this weekend will contain some remnants of Hurricane Gert. This means some very warm and moist tropical air could produce some heavy rain. Gigahertz band rain scatter may be an option, but as the next high pressure builds in from the west towards mid-week, Tropo should become available. This should be to the south and south-west across southern UK and Biscay. The rest of the week will probably see high pressure remaining just to the west of the UK, so any Tropo will be biased to that side of the country, with showery activity over the east, closest to the low pressure over Denmark.

Sporadic-E is still looking viable, with a strong jet stream over the UK and near continent, although this may weaken after mid-week, meaning better Sporadic-E prospects before then. The end of the main Sporadic-E season is not far off now, so every event is worth chasing. Check beacons on 10m or look for short skip on 20m, then probe that direction on 6m for any Sporadic-E. If you don’t call, the DX may not know the band is open.

Even though the Perseids shower is well behind us, random meteor rates are still at their highest of the year so don’t give up on meteor scatter just yet. Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are increasing so get your EME QSOs in early this week before the Moon gets too low in the sky.

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