This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 2nd. July 2017.

Posted on June 30th, 2017



Sunday 2nd of July 2017

The news headlines:

  • New places at YOTA 2017

  • Hongkongers celebrate with VR20 prefix

  • Youngsters to launch eclipse balloon

Two countries are no longer able to send representatives to the RSGB IARU Youth On The Air 2017 event. There are six places to fill, and all countries involved are being invited to nominate additional team members. If you’re a young radio amateur in the UK aged 15-25, are free from 5-12 August 2017, and might like to attend this fun-filled week, contact to find out more.

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunification with China, Hong Kong licensed radio amateurs are being allowed to use the special prefix VR20 on a voluntary basis from the 1st of July 2017 to the 30th of June 2018.

The two daughters of Winston, KI7CSK, Rebecca and Kimberley, are planning to launch a new high-altitude Balloon mission with APRS tracking for the North American solar eclipse on the 21st of August. The sisters will be working alongside other citizen scientists in a campaign called the Eclipse Ballooning Project, which will be gathering high-altitude data during the total phase of August’s eclipse. Video and photos from the flights will be shared with NASA and the world. The full story can be found at

Hundreds of radio amateurs have attended RSGB Conventions and had a great time. If you've never been, take a look at our new video at and find out why some people come back year after year. The dates for the 2017 event are the 13th to 15th of October and it takes place at Kents Hill Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Bookings are now open. For details go to

The RSGB’s latest vlog introduces the second member of the UK YOTA 2017 team – Jonathan Sawyer, 2E0UAR. He is 23 and belongs to the Reading and District Amateur Radio Club. You can view this and the previous vlog at The event doesn’t only include those young people attending the event at Gilwell Park: many clubs around the UK are putting on evens for young amateurs in their area.

The consultation on VHF-UHF UK Activity Contest future scoring schemes is now available. Online voting on this consultation will be available between 29 July and 20 August. RSGB Members who are active VHF/UHF contesters are encouraged to read the consultation document at and vote.

The IARU HF Championship takes place on the 8th and 9th of July. As well as being a contest for individuals around the world there is a team element, with teams representing national societies. For the past few years the callsign used by the RSGB HQ team has been GR2HQ and it will be on the air again this year. GR2HQ stations will be spread across the country, at some of the best equipped contesters’ QTHs. Those people open up their shacks to other top contesters, each forming a sub team. Each GR2HQ station concentrates on one band and mode, for example 80m SSB, but some of the bigger stations will be active on more than one band and mode. They are all linked live via the internet, so if you want to know what frequency any of them is on you can ask any of the others. So why might you want to do this? To make as many band and mode QSOs as you can, to qualify for one of the free awards. There are several available. See for details.

The latest RSGB Convention 2016 lecture to be released on video is by RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF. Entitled ‘DX fun without spending loads of money’, he talks about some of his solo overseas trips as an economy class DXer. It is in the RSGB video portal and is only available to RSGB Members. Go to to find out more.

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

The Barford Norfolk Radio Rally is on today, 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.

LAMFEST takes place on the 8th of July at Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8HJ. Doors open from 10am to 4.30pm and admission is £2. Tables are free. The event is entirely in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Contact Clair Marsh on 01226 361 700.

On the 8th of July, Stockport Radio Society Rally will be held at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport, Cheshire SK2 6QS. Doors open from 10am to 3pm. Admission is £2 and there will be catering on site. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. There will be a raffle held on the day. Contact Heather Stanley, M6HNS on 07506 904 422.

On the 8th and 9th of July the 2017 Microwave Round Table will be held at Finningley ARS, The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. The two-day event will have presentations, demos, test lab, and Buildathon of a nanowave optical transceiver. Updates are on and

On the 9th, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place at Penair School, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1TN. Car parking is available on site. Doors open 10.30am and admission £2. There will be traders, Bring & Buy and club stalls. Catering is available. Contact Ken, G0FIC 01209 821 073 for more information.

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

Gil, 4F2KWT will be active as 4G1L from Palawan Island, IOTA reference OC-128, between the 7th and 9th of July. He will operate CW and RTTY on the 30 and 20m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

John, G4IRN will be operating holiday-style from the Maldive Islands until the 6th of July. He plans to use 100 watts to wire antennas and his callsign will be 8Q7RN. QSL via Club Log OQRS. Logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Chris, W3CMP and Dale, N3BNA will be visiting Haiti until the 6th of July. In their spare time they will be operating as 4V1G, with a major focus on 6 and 4 metres. QSL via W3HNK.

Eric, KV1J will be on the air as FP/KV1J from Miquelon Island, IOTA NA-032, from the 4th to the 18th of July. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using primarily SSB and RTTY with some CW and other digital modes. He plans to be active on the linear satellites as well as the upcoming IARU, NAQP RTTY, and CQ VHF contests. QSL to home call.

Gary, K9AW is on the air as J68GD from St Lucia until the 16th of July while on holiday. Activity is on the 10 to 80m bands. This includes being an entry in the upcoming IARU HF World Championship contest. QSL to his home callsign.

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.

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

II2FIST will be active until the end of the year, CW only, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the FIST Club, the International Morse Preservation Society. QSL direct or via the bureau via IZ2FME.

Chertsey Radio Club will be running special call sign GB8SSD until the 2nd of July at 1159UTC to celebrate 33 years since Space Shuttle Discovery’s initial flight.

GB0IS will be on the air as part of a meet and greet at the traditional fun day, the Theydon Bois Donkey Derby on the 9th of July. Operations will be VHF/UHF only.

Mid Ulster ARC will operate a special event station at Coney Island from the 8th to the 30th of July. Operation will be from 9am to 5pm and the address is Maghery Country Park, Co Armagh BT71 6NS.

The commemorative callsign OF100HQ will be on the air during the IARU HF World Championship event July 8-9 to mark Finland’s 100th anniversary.

Now the contest news

The RSGB VHF National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 2nd, using the 50 to 1296MHz bands. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, 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.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships will run from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using CW only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHZ FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is followed immediately from 1900 to 2130UTC by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest, when all modes are available. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the IARU HF Championships running from 1200 to 1200UTC. It’s SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and ITU zone, which for the UK is 27.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 30th of June.

This week NASA confirmed that we are heading for solar minimum, with the low point expected in 2019-2020. It also said that this may bring more long-lived coronal hole activity. This should come as no surprise to radio amateurs as we have been reporting near-minimum solar flux index levels and the ongoing effects of coronal holes for many months. Last week, the solar flux index hovered around the low 70s, but geomagnetic conditions were relatively settled with a K index in the range zero to two.

Nevertheless, as we are in the summer HF doldrums, F2 layer maximum usable frequencies for amateurs often struggled to get above 18MHz during daytime.

A quick listen on the 14.100MHz International Beacon Network frequency on Thursday afternoon showed RR90 coming in from Russia and OH2B from Finland, and that was about it. OH2B was also audible on 18.110MHz. However, some better-equipped stations reported they had worked the B7CRA IOTA DXpedition in China on 20m, so there is always DX to be had if you know where to look.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid 70s and geomagnetic conditions should be settled. A view of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet showed no earth-facing coronal holes, so make the most of the quieter conditions and continuing Sporadic E openings.

It might also be an opportunity to head for the hills and try some portable HF DXing, with the added benefit of lower noise levels.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The coming week starts with low pressure nearby over Scandinavia and another low moving towards northwestern Britain. In the south of the country a weak high may give some Tropo conditions at the end of the weekend and for part of next week, although there is a chance it will collapse before mid-week. The principal Tropo directions are to the south into France and northern Spain.

We had some good rain scatter on 10GHz last week with paths open across southern England and over to Northern France, but sadly little UK activity to take advantage of it. The tendency for low pressure in the north, and perhaps later in the south, will mean that more rain scatter should be possible in any summer thundery showers.

The Sporadic-E season still offers opportunities for the bands from 28 to 144MHz to suddenly spring into action. Prime times to check are late morning and again late afternoon and early evening. A 144MHz opening is likely to be a rare event, but 28, 50, and 70MHz openings are commonplace at this time of the year.

An encouraging number of UK stations turned out for the UK Microwave Group’s 10GHz contest and a few took part in the Dubus moonbounce contest on the band. There are a growing number of UK stations active on moonbounce above 1GHz, where there is good activity and plenty of DX to work.

The upcoming week has negative Moon declination and high losses due to its apogee, or furthest point from Earth, on Thursday, so activity will be lower, making it a good week to further optimise those EME systems using solar noise.

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