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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 23rd. July 2017

Posted on July 21st, 2017



Sunday 23rd of July 2017

The news headlines:

  • Youngsters on the Air flag handed to the RSGB

  • Ofcom’s licensing portal offline until Monday

  • New 23cm IARU Region 1 record claimed

Last weekend, the IARU Region 1 International Youth meeting took place at the HAM Radio exhibition in Friedrichshafen. An enthusiastic group of young people and youth workers attended. Then on Saturday afternoon the official YOTA flag was brought to the RSGB accompanied by the loud cheering of a group of youngsters. With a ceremony at the RSGB booth, the flag and Morse key where handed over from the Austrian youngsters to the British youngsters. YOTA UK is only 2 weeks away when we are looking forward to welcoming more than 80 participants from around 30 IARU member societies.

Ofcom has informed the RSGB that over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of July their payment system is getting upgraded. As a result of this the online licensing portal will be down until Monday the 24th of July at 6am.

Terry M0VRL reports that on the 14th of July he completed a QSO of 2662km, from IO70PO to IL28FC, with Pedro EA8AVI in the Canary Islands that breaks the UK and Region 1 23cm tropo records. Terry runs an Icom IC-910X, a Gemini 23 power amp and a 67 element Wimo Yagi. Pedro runs an Icom 910X to a 23 element Tonna Yagi. Reports of 51 both ways were exchanged on SSB. The QSO was completed at 2021UTC with an exchange of reports and locators.

Paul Whatton, G4DCV has been appointed as Chair of the RSGB’s Training and Education Committee . Paul previously held the post of Vice Chair within TEC and is the Project Leader for the Train the Trainers scheme, which recently trained its 200th tutor.

On the 28th July, Ofcom will be opening the radio monitoring station at Baldock to visitors as part of the IET’s Engineering Open House Day. It’s part of the IET’s engineer a better world campaign to showcase engineering as a career. Places are limited so people need to book a place. Further information can be found at

The Orkney 5MHz Beacon, GB3ORK, is back on the air on 5290kHz after repairs and an upgrade by Andy, G4JNT. Its new synthesiser now transmits JT9A, in addition to the original sequence of stepped power levels. On 50MHz, the Mid-Cornwall Beacon, GB3MCB, has been reconfigured to join the IARU Region-1 Synchronised Beacon Program. It sequentially transmits on its new frequencies of 50.005 and 50.443MHz, sending both CW and the PI4 digital mode. For the shared 50.005 frequency, its callsign is modified to GB3MCB/S to assist reception reports. 

Ofcom have updated their guidance notes relating to the UK Amateur Radio Licence. The new edition dated July 2017, replaces the previous April 2016 version and includes changes associated with the introduction of the new Ofcom online licensing system last summer. The document should be read in conjunction with the licence, and is intended to help licensees understand and comply with the licence terms and conditions. The 26 page, 240KB pdf document can be downloaded from the Ofcom website at

DXCC card checking will be available at the National Hamfest in September this year. Thanks to the UK Six Metre Group who will be hosting Fred, G4BWP on their stand.

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 9th and 17th of September, with the focus on supporting and generating donations for flying medical services around the world. Registration will be mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a registration number which will be listed on this website. The registered number needs to be quoted by each station regularly. Register at

The latest 2016 RSGB Convention lecture to be added to the RSGB Members' area is The new world of amateur satellites by Graham Shirville, G3VZV. You'll find this, other convention lectures and a host of other exciting videos in the RSGB video portal The 2016 Convention lectures are a Members’ benefit, but the other videos are available for anyone to view.

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

Today, 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.

The Chippenham & District ARC Rally takes place on the 30th of July at Kington Langley Village Hall, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. Talk in will be on S22, 145.550MHz. There are disabled facilities and on site parking. Doors open 10am to 1pm. Entry is £2, with under 16s free. Car boot pitches are £6 for cars/vans payable on entry, tables inside £8 each. Access available from 7am for set up. Hot food and drinks are available on site. Details from Brian 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

A large team from Cockenzie and Port Seton ARC will be active from the Isle of Tiree, EU-008, from the 28th to the 30th of July. They will participate in the IOTA Contest as GM2T, and might be on the air as MM0CPS before the contest. QSL via GM4UYZ either direct or via the bureau, Club Log, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Iain, G4SGX will be active as GM4U/P from the Isle of Jura, EU-008, from the 28th of July to the 1st of August. QSL via his home callsign.

P40X will be active from Aruba, SA-036 until the 5th of August. They will participate in the IOTA Contest. QSL via DL8UD, direct or via the bureau; the log will be uploaded to Club Log.

Dieter, DF2SD will be active as OZ/DF2SD from Fano Island, EU-125, until the 4th of August, including participation in the IOTA Contest. 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.

Bill, VK4FW will be active holiday style as 3D2T from Viti Levu, OC-016, in Fiji until the 27th of July. He will operate mainly CW on 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 metres. QSL via his home callsign.

Juri, ES8GP will be active as ES0GP from Manilaid Island, EU-178, from the 24th to the 31st of July, IOTA Contest included. QSL via ES8GP, direct or via the bureau.

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.

Until 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

GB1AFV will be operated by Scunthorpe Steel ARC starting the 30th of July commemorating the first use of wireless in a British armoured fighting vehicle at the 3rd Battle of Ypres on the 31st of July 1917. Based on the radio club’s room at the Appleby-Frodingham Sports Club, Brumby Hall, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire DN16 1AA, there’s lots of interesting information on

Chester & District RS will be running a Special Event Station, from the Visitor Centre at Llyn Brenig Reservoir on the 29th of July to publicise amateur radio and the work of Welsh Water. The callsign of the station will be GB2DWR.

South Essex ARS will put GB2BOX on the air from Boxted Airfield Museum, Langham Lane, Langham, Essex CO4 5NW for Airfields On The Air on the 30th of July. Admission to the museum is £3, children free.

GB4RME will operate from inside the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The special event station will operate from the 30th of July until the 5th of August. More information available on

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2230UTC using the 2.3GHz and up bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the data leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The RSGB’s flagship HF contest, the IOTA Contest, takes place on the weekend of the 29 and 30th. Please note that this year there are changes to the rules, so make sure you check before entering. The 24 hour run starts at 1200UTC on the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference.

On Sunday the 30th the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 5.7 and 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of July.

Last week, space-weather was dominated by sunspot number 2665 that was twenty times larger than any recent sunspot - the largest since number 2529 in April 2016. It disappeared on Wednesday as the Sun’s rotation took it out of our view. Solar flux held at 92 before fading back to the low seventies.

Conditions were unsettled due to C2 and C3 flares. Strong geomagnetic storms occurred. The south-pointing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field reached a maximum negative value of minus 23 nanotesla.

Maximum useable frequencies rose briefly to just over 24MHz for the longer paths. Stations in Japan were worked from Europe around mid-day on 18MHz. European and Russian activity was plentiful on 28MHz for most days in the week. Many stations in the International Beacon Project network were copied on 14 and 18MHz. It is always worth listening on their spot frequencies as indicators of conditions. At 2300UTC on Thursday the 14 and 18MHz bands were still open to USA. The W1AW Morse practice runs were copied on both bands. South America produced a contact from Peru on 14MHz at 2330.

NOAA is forecasting more of the very low solar activity we have become used to. Propagation we may enjoy is likely to be disrupted by further flares. Moderate geomagnetic storms continue to threaten. At the closing of this HF report there are no visible sunspots on our side of the sun and the solar flux is 70.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week saw record breaking Tropo from South West UK down to the Canary Islands with 144MHz and 432MHz QSOs and a claimed new 1.3GHz Region 1 record of 2662km. At this time of year, fortunately placed stations in the South West can couple in to the ducts caused by the ‘Azores High’ giving some super DX. The rest of the country did not fare as well but next week there may be some brief spells with a ridge of high pressure near to southern areas, but not looking like a strong feature. Tropo is an option, but relatively weak and typically found overnight and first half of the morning, before the sunshine warms out any overnight temperature inversion. A weak area of low pressure covers much of Britain at first with some scattered showers, possibly heavy and thundery will give options for more rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Sporadic-E has found new legs recently with some good openings across Europe and beyond. It is still within the prime time for Es and should provide days of activity well into August. As usual the best times are late morning and late afternoon and early evening.

Moon declination is positive but falling and goes negative on Friday, with losses increasing as the week progresses. We are still a week or more away from Apogee so use the early part of the week for best results on EME.

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