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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 25th. June 2017.

Posted on June 23rd, 2017


Sunday 25th of June 2017

The news headlines:

  • Maintenance takes SAQ off the air

  • Asteroid named after radio amateur

  • What would you ask an astronaut?

There will be no Alexanderson Day over-the-air VLF transmission on the 2nd of July from SAQ, the Alexanderson alternator station in Sweden. SAQ periodically schedules transmissions with the nearly century-old behemoth that operates on 17.2kHz from the World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station. SAQ said the event was cancelled due to ongoing maintenance work at the site. The station will still observe Alexanderson Day with activities that include two startups of the Alexanderson alternator and a ‘local’ transmission. These events will be streamed via YouTube. The site will be open to visitors.

The International Astronomical Union has named a celestial body after a radio amateur. Space physicist and radio amateur Asta Pellinen Wannberg, SM3UHV, is a professor at the Department of Physics at Umeå University. She has made a ground-breaking effort to use scattering radar when studying meteors that are activated when small particles penetrate the atmosphere. The name given is Asteroid 11807 Wannberg.

There’s just six weeks to go before the RSGB host the IARU Region 1 Youngsters on the Air activity week. Activities during the week will include Summits on the Air, ARDF, construction, and operating a special event station – amongst many other topics. We are still looking for volunteers from RSGB affiliated clubs to help with various aspects of the event, particularly mini-bus drivers on some days. If you can help, please send an email to – whether you can offer just a day or maybe more.

YOTA teams across the world have been invited to submit questions for the planned contact with the International Space Station during YOTA 2017. Linking with the theme of the amateur radio event, questions should focus on communications, which can include amateur radio, mobile phones, data links, satellites, etc. YOTA team members have been asked to try and think of questions no-one else has asked before. What would you ask? We won’t know when the ISS contact will take place until one week before the event, but the plan is to have it streamed live over the internet so people everywhere will be able to watch the buildup and the contact itself. Please email any suggested questions to

The RSGB is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Anthony Kent, G8PBH, as Chair of the RSGB Examinations Standards Committee. Tony obtained his callsign, G8PBH, in 1978 and has been active on the bands continuously since. His interests in that time have included home construction, mobile and portable operation and, most recently, DX chasing. His favourite band is 6m and, in particular, the Sporadic-E mode of propagation on that band. He uses mostly SSB and data modes. Tony is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

For those attending the HAM Radio show in Friedrichshafen, Germany between the 14th and 16th of July, Saturday is Summits on the Air – or SOTA – day. Starting at 12 noon there will be a get-together, lecture, activation and the annual dinner, so check for details.

A paper by IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, for the Landshut Conference in September, that the longer term financial outlook for Region 1 is poor. It says that the general fund will be entirely depleted by 2021, and total reserves exhausted by 2023, rendering IARU Region 1 insolvent. The paper suggests a number of changes to address the problem, including refocussing the YOTA programme and devolving some activity or increasing participant contributions. You can download the paper from

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

The West Of England Radio Rally takes place today, the 25th of June, at the Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. Doors open from 10am to 2pm, with admission priced at £3 for adults and children under 14 free. There will be inside & outside traders, free car parking, a café, RSGB bookstall and disability facilities. Details from Shaun, G8VPG on 01225 873 098.

Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society’s 50th Annual Rally will be held on Saturday the 1st of July in Donaghadee Community Centre, The Parade, Donaghadee, County Down BT21 0HB. The venue is signposted, easily found, and has free parking. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, bookstall and RSGB stand. Refreshment will be available. Doors will open at 11.30am and admission is free in celebration of the 50th anniversary. RSGB president, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, will be attending. Further details from Harry Squance, GI4JTF, on 0777 594 2174.

The 1st Houghton Le Spring ARC Rally will be at the Dubmire Royal British Legion Club, Britannia Terrace, Fencehouses DH4 6LJ on the 1st of July. Doors open from 10.30am until 3pm. Entry is free. There will be traders, club and private stands. Tea & coffee will be available, and a licensed bar will open from 11am. Details from Ken, on 0795 146 0290.

The Barford Norfolk Radio Rally is on the 2nd of July at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Talk-in is on S22 and car parking is free. Doors open at 8am for traders and 9am for visitors. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale, a Bring & Buy, raffle, repeater group representatives and catering. Entry costs £2 per person, with under 16s free. Contact for details.

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

Members of the Chinese Radio Amateurs Club are taking part in a DXpedition to Yongxing Island in the Xisha Archipelago from the 26th of June to the 2nd of July. The callsign will be B7CRA and they will operate on the 80m to 6m bands using CW, SSB and digital. The IOTA reference is AS-143 and the QSL Manager is BA4TB.

Sookun, HL1AHS will operate as VK9AA on Christmas Island, OC-002 until the 1st of July. He will be on all bands 80m to 10m CW, SSB and digital. The QSL Manager is HL2UVH.

Eddy, DM5JBN will be active as 9A/DM5JBN from the islands of Hvar, EU-016, from the 28th of June to the 2nd of July, and Brac, EU-016, between the 4th and the 9th. He operates mainly CW and RTTY. QSL via his home call, direct or bureau, plus Logbook of The World and eQSL.

John, GW4SKA will be active as GD4SKA from the Isle of Man, EU-116, from the 29th of June to the 9th of July. He will operate only RTTY and JT65 on the HF bands. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS at or direct only to M0OXO.

Keith, G3TTC plans to operate holiday style as GM3TTC/P from several islands in IOTA groups EU-123 and EU-008 until the 1st of August. He says no paper QSLs please as IOTA credit will be given through Club Log matching.

Peter, LA7QIA will be active as JW7QIA from Spitsbergen, EU-026, Svalbard until the1st of July. He will operate CW, SSB and digital modes, with a focus on 6m. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

Dennis, G7AGZ will operate GB6BEN on the 50, 145 and 433MHz bands as he climbs Ben Nevis in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care around the 8th of July onwards. See for full details. QSL via the bureau and eQSL, with SWL reports welcome.

Burnham Beeches Radio Club celebrates its 80th birthday this year. As part of the celebrations GB8OBB will be active today, the 25th of June, from the historic Burnham Beeches woodland, located approximately 25 miles west of Central London The nearest postcode is SL2 3LB. The event is timed to coincide with the ARRL Field Day contest, so visitors should see and hear plenty of activity on the HF bands. Planned interactive activities for the public involve direction finding and Morse decoding.

GB2CM will be on the air from Crossness Engines Trust at Crossness Museum, The Old Works, Thames Water STW, Bazalgette Way, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ today, the 25th, from 10.30am to 4pm. The museum admittance is £7.

Leicester Radio Society will be running GB0APS from the Museums Leicester Vintage Festival for International Museums on the Air today, the 25th. Activity will be from 1pm to 5pm. Admittance to the museum is £3.50 and it is at Corporation Road, Leicester LE4 5PX.

GB2NWA is being activated at North Weald Airfield for International Museums Weekend. There will be multiple stations running a mixture of HF & VHF/UHF frequencies on the 25th.

Llanelli ARS will be running GB1BAF, for British Armed Forces Day. The event will run until the 27th of June. Activity will be on HF and 2m. QSL is via the bureau, see for details.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be taking part in Armed Forces Day today, the 25th, from 10am to 5pm at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU. All Museums will be open and the club station on the air using MN0GPF, GB0GPF and GN0URN. The Restored 6 inch coastal guns dated 1899 will be fired at 1 pm.

Durham & District ARS is participating as one of the bonus stations in the 13 Colonies special event. GB13COL will run 24 hours a day from 1300UTC on the 1st of July to 0400UTC on the 7th. The primary focus of the event will be the HF bands, as well as VHF and UHF using SSB, CW and digital modes for contacts. More info at and

Now the contest news

Today, the 25th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 25th, from 0900 to 1200UTC it’s the 50MHz CW contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. Using all bands between 2.3 and 10GHz the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, from 1400UTC on the 1st to 1400UTC on the 2nd, the RSGB VHF National Field Day will take place on the 50 to 1296MHz bands. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 2nd of July the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of June.

Last week the solar flux index remained steadfastly in the mid 70s. There was only one very minor S class solar flare, on Sunday the 18th of June. As predicted, geomagnetic conditions were unsettled on the Sunday, but improved as the week went on.

During a week when we had the solar solstice, HF conditions were subdued. This is pretty much par for the course this time of year. A change in the ionospheric chemistry with more diatomic molecules and fewer monatomic species means it is harder to ionise. So, paradoxically, despite having more sunlight, maximum useable frequencies are lower during summer days. But, as we keep saying, you may find that 20m remains open much later in the evening. If we had some sunspots it might have even remained open all night.

Next week NOAA predicts more of the same with the solar flux index in the range 70-74. Monday may be a little unsettled geomagnetically, but then the rest of the week should be better with a K index of around two.

At the moment, maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path are around 14MHz, with occasional openings up to 18MHz. After dark, 30m and 40m will remain the best bands for DX, with 20m probably closing in the late evening and usually before midnight. Sporadic-E openings on the higher bands should also remain prevalent as we head towards the end of June.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Sporadic-E is still the main DX mode through to August, and on the 16th of June we had one of the best events for a long time. Thousands of 144MHz QSOs were reported to the Make more miles on VHF website, including contacts from South Wales into the Balkans.

The best policy to catch Sporadic-E is to maximise your chances by checking the bands late morning and late afternoon or early evening to capture the traditional two peaks of activity. Also look for late-evening openings towards Iceland, Greenland and beyond. Check the beacons and clusters for signs of activity, remembering that an opening will build up in frequency as it develops – first 10m, then through 6m and 4m, to perhaps 2m.

Despite the heatwave, Tropo conditions didn’t seem to materialise last week, with no cluster reports of 144MHz or above Tropo QSOs over 600km from the UK.

Over the next week or so, it looks as if the changeover to low pressure will be completed and for much of the time there will be low pressure over Britain or nearby. This means that rain scatter will be the best GHz bands DX option. Tropo will not feature strongly again this week, but some short-lived overnight and dawn lifts are possible before the heat of the day breaks down any surface temperature inversion.

Today shows high and falling Moon declination, with low and increasing losses, so get your EME QSOs in the early part of the coming week.

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