This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 30th. July 2017.

Posted on July 28th, 2017



Sunday 30th of July 2017

The news headlines:

  • 146-147 MHz digital TV progress

  • Exam Chair steps down

  • One week to YOTA 2017

Slides and video are now available on the Ofcom website from the latest RSGB and BATC presentation to Ofcom’s Business Radio Interest Group. The meeting was held on the 30th of June. Ongoing advances in Reduced Bandwidth TV by radio amateurs at 146 to 147MHz were presented by VHF Manager John Regnault, G4SWX. The video clip shows robust reception of colour digital video transmissions over 15km on 146.5MHz with a reduced bandwidth of just 470kHz. You can view the presentation at

Alan Betts, G0HIQ has recently chosen to step down from his long-standing and much-valued role as Chair of the Examination Group. He will continue as part of the Group and to contribute to the examination system in numerous ways, not least being the lead tutor at his local amateur radio group. The RSGB thanks Alan for his 15 years as Chairman and the incalculable help he has provided in shaping the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exams, and look forward to benefiting from his experience in the future.

It is just one week until YOTA 2017 when we will welcome 80 young radio amateurs from across the world. Father-and-daughter-team Kevin, G0PEK and Lauren, M6HLR will speak to YOTA teams during the week about their experiences on the UK hills and mountains. Following that, team members will build a portable antenna and take it up the nearest official summit. Before the event, 11-year-old Lauren plans to have just finished activating all 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District – a great achievement that will give her lots of experiences to share. Our latest vlog features . You can see our latest VLOG – which features Kevin and Lauren – and all the other YOTA vlogs and info on the RSGB website,

A vacancy has arisen or a Deputy Regional Manager in District 132, which is the South Nottinghamshire South Derbyshire area of Region 13. If you are an RSGB Member who resides in or around that area and are interested in finding out more about this role, please contact the Regional Manager, Jim, G0EJQ by email to

The end of the Early Bird discount for bookings at the RSGB’s Convention is fast approaching. The deadline is the 18th of August and the event takes place on the 13th to the 15th of October. The provisional programme is now available on the website, so visit for all the latest information.

The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the UK Six Metre Group will be held at 10am on the 5th of August. It takes place in conjunction with the G3WOS 50MHz barbecue in Farnborough, Hampshire. For full details of the barbecue part of the day visit

Chertsey Radio Club is raising money to help purchase a simple UK Business Radio Licence for The National Autistic Society. For full details of how they are doing this, go to where you will also find details of how and why the Business Radio Licence will be useful.

The Polar Prince has been making its way northward along the Labrador Coast visiting communities and places of interest. It is interesting to access the live camera feed to observe the coastline at While daytime propagation at this time is limited, the CG3EXP beacon receptions are being uploaded by the receiving stations at a rate of up to 800 in a 12-hour period. Some of these stations have requested QSL cards and TCA columnist Robert Mazur, VA3ROM, has volunteered to be the CG3EXP eQSL Manager. eQSL cards are available via the online eQSL service or on request via direct email sent to To join the stations that are using WSPR to track the Canada C3 Expedition in the remaining 95 days of the voyage, you only need a standard SSB HF receiver, an inexpensive USB sound adapter and a PC running WSPR 2.0 software. You can download the software free from

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

The Chippenham & District ARC Rally takes place today, 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 and vans, payable on entry. Tables inside are £8 each. Access is available from 7am for set up. Hot food and drinks are available on site. Details from Brian by email to

The 28th King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place on the 6th of August at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4DZ. Car parking on site is free and talk in will be provided on 145.550MHz. Doors open at 9am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as tables inside. On site catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701, 0794 683 8656.

The Lorn Radio Rally is on the 6th of August at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands as well as a Bring & Buy. There will be a raffle drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details, 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

Roly, ZL1BQD will be active as 5W0RR from Samoa, IOTA reference OC-097, until the 15th of August. He will operate mainly JT65 and possibly the new FT8 mode. QSL via ZL1BQD.

Janez, S53V will be active as 9A8CV from Krk Island, EU-136, in Croatia until the 3rd of August. QSL via eQSL, or direct to S53V

Alan, KE4TA will be on the air as 9X0TA from Kimihurura, Kigali, starting on the 5th of August and remaining for the next three years. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. He is currently active on 20 and 17 metres using SSB and digital modes as well as some CW. QSL via N4GNR.

Several operators will be on the air as TX5EG from Hiva Oa Island, OC-027, until the 6th of August. Activity will be on the 80 to 12m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK. QSL via F6BCW.

Geoff, G8OFQ will be active as HC8/G8OFQ from Isabela Island, IOTA SA-004, from the 1st of August to the 30th of October. Activity will be on 160 to 6 metres. QSL to his home call sign.

Now the special event news

The Martello Tower Group will be operating as GB5RC from the 3rd to the 7th of August from the MV Ross Revenge, home of Radio Caroline. Moored in the Blackwater Estuary, GB5RC is celebrating five decades of offshore broadcasting and will be mainly operating on 80m, 40m, 20m, 2m and 70cm, with the capability to run 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m as well. For more details, please see

Sheffield Amateur Radio Club will operate GB0RFC from the Transport Club, Norton, from the 1st to the 28th of August, celebrating a centenary of this airfield. The site was chosen as an Aeroplane Repair Depot, becoming No 2 (Northern) Aeroplane Repair Depot in 1917.

GB8NCI will be on the air on the 5th and 6th of August from the National Coastwatch Institution station at Exmouth from 0900 to 1900UTC. Operating on the 40 to 10m bands using SSB and CW, choice of bands will be subject to propagation conditions. There will also be VHF operation. The GB8NCI station will be open to members of the public in the building adjacent to the NCI watchtower.

Denby Dale ARS will be running a special station for Yorkshire Day, on the 1st of August. GB6YD will be active from 10am at the club site at Farnley Tyas, and everyone is welcome.

SC40VIC may be of interest to prefix chasers. This is a special event station to celebrate the 40th birthday of the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. The station will be on the air until the end of 2017. The QSL manager is SM6JSM.

Members of the Barry ARS will be on the air with special event station GB4RME until the 5th of August from the Royal Mint at Llantrisant. Activity will be on 80 to 6 metres using CW, SSB, RTTY, JT65, and on various satellites. QSL via GW0ANA.

Now the contest news

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

Today, 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.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC and is immediately followed by the 144MHZ UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 5th the fourth 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The 144MHz Low Power Contest is also on the 5th, from 1400 to 2000UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power Phone contest takes place on the 5th of August from 1400 to 1800UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square for UK stations. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 26th of August 2017. Please note that the maximum power for this contest is 10 watts input to the antenna. Full details at

It’s the turn of the 432MHz band on Sunday the 6th with the Low Power contest running from 0800 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on 70cm, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 28th of July.

For most of last week there were no sunspots on the Earth-facing solar disc. A single small sunspot, number 2668, appeared on Tuesday, but had gone by Wednesday. Solar activity was very low and flux stayed at 69 and 70 all week. The K-index however was mainly at 3 and 4, and only briefly dropped to 1 by Thursday. The disruptive south-pointing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field reached a maximum negative value of minus 6 nanoteslas. The solar wind on that day impacted the ionosphere at 637 kilometres per second. The highest solar wind of the week, 707 kilometres per second, occurred on Monday.

Maximum useable frequencies for long paths were depressed throughout the period. Short range daytime propagation on 28MHz to several European countries was confirmed by the reception of numerous amateur station beacons, particularly from Spain. The 7MHz band proved its usual consistent role of being a main DX frequency at night-time. Many stations were on from Canada, USA and South America.

This weekend has been the Islands on the Air contest. Propagation may not have been conducive to high scores, although contests do have a habit of opening up bands thought to be closed.

Next week one or two old sunspots could rotate into view if they still exist. These were large on their first passage. If they do turn up, then we could see increased flux and a rise in maximum useable frequencies. Any solar flares arising may bring unsettled geomagnetic activity.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have a particularly unsettled period of weather over the country driven by low pressure systems crossing Britain until a weak ridge arrives at the end of the week. This means that GHz bands rain scatter is likely to be the best option for DX interest. It’s a good idea to use one of the many online weather radar displays to follow the heavier showers and point your dishes at them to look for beacons to alert you of possible rain scatter paths.

Staying with the unsettled part of the story, the strong jet stream, which is pushing all these lows across the country, will also be useful for Sporadic-E as it moves a bit farther into the continent, since the turbulence these jet streams create is one of the components for generating Sporadic-E.

The search for Tropo will be a fruitless one as low pressure and breezy weather tend to prohibit the development of useful temperature inversions required for a good lift.

We’re back to high EME losses this week as we approach Apogee on Wednesday and maximum negative declination on Friday. So there will be short Moon windows and poor conditions for EME in the coming week.

In all it looks like a week to do some nice, reliable, satellite operating, with the ‘birds’ unaffected by the vagaries of the weather and the lunar cycle.

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