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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 3rd. September 2017.

Posted on September 1st, 2017
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 3rd of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Report VDSL interference NOW

  • ARDF team heads to Lithuania

  • Valve Workshop at Computing Museum

 

For three years the RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating the problems of interference from VDSL broadband on the HF amateur bands and lobbying for action to reduce the problem. It has a lot of historic data, but both Ofcom and Openreach contend that 150 reports from 50,000 amateurs are not indicative of a major problem when there are 9.5 million VDSL installations deployed. RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions, which indicate the presence and strength of interference. Please fill in the survey with your current readings, even if you have reported them before, and encourage your friends to do so. The EMC Committee plans to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October and then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action. The survey closes on 30 September. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this RFI. You could make the difference.

The RSGB Direction Finding team, which is entirely self-funded, is flying out to Lithuania this weekend for the 21st Region 1 ARDF Championships. There is a strong team in the M50 category, that is men aged from 50 to 59, with individuals competing in the M60 and M70 categories. Four separate competitions make up the Championships. There are Classic races on 2m and the other on 80m, where five transmitters send in sequence on a common frequency. FoxOring competitors receive a map giving approximate locations of the very low power transmitters, which are only audible for 100m or so. They use a combination of orienteering and radio direction finding skills to find the hidden transmitters. The event runs from Tuesday to Sunday and you can follow progress by looking for ardf2017 in your favourite search engine.

A Valve Workshop will be held on the 14th of October at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB. If you have a basic knowledge of electronics and can read an electronic circuit diagram then they will show you how electronics started for its first 50 years. Find out about valve history, how to handle and test valves and how valves are used in amplifiers, radios and computers. Full details, including those on a project for purchase can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309B

The RSGB HF Contest Committee plays a key role in the enjoyment of amateur radio by many RSGB Members. It is responsible for deciding the HF contesting strategy, organising the HF contesting calendar, setting the rules and providing clarification of the rules to the contest adjudicators. The current Chair of the committee, Nick Totterdell, G4FAL, is approaching the end of his agreed term and has stated that he is not seeking to be reappointed. Any RSGB Member may volunteer to take over the position of Contest Committee chair, which is a three-year appointment. If you would like to be considered, please write to RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of your amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The cross-band voice repeater aboard the International Space Station has been set up by the Russian team to help get telemetry from their satellites. Although some amateurs report communicating via the repeater, ARISS would like to remind amateurs that it has not officially been activated for amateur contacts. When the ARISS voice repeater is active and authorised for general amateur voice contacts the uplink frequency is 437.800MHz FM, downlinking on 145.800MHz FM downlink. Meanwhile, if you would like to try receiving the Tanusha telemetry, technical details are on the Southwest State University Space Activity page at http://eng.swsu.ru/space

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY on 29 and 30 September. The site will open at 9.30am each day, with the exhibition hall opening 30 minutes later at 10am. If you want to operate the Hamfest Special Event Station, GB17NH, run by Camb-Hams, please bring your current licence with you.

The new Islands on the Air programme website is planned to launch officially in early September, when the current RSGB-sponsored website will be taken offline. According to IOTA IT Manager Johan Willemsen, PA3EXX, the new website is presently undergoing fine tuning. Software developers should be aware that the change to a new website may affect any application using data from the current www.rsgbiota.org website.

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ from the 13th to the 15th of October. Discounted ticket will continue on sale until 8 October. Under 21s get free admission with suitable identification, although those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Weekend packages or mix and match deals are still at www.rsgb.org/convention and you can also see a provisional programme there.

Thames Amateur Radio Group is pleased to be hosting the RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 9th of December. Training open to candidates from any club and is delivered free to RSGB Members but the Group will be asking for a £5 donation per candidate towards hall hire, buffet lunch and refreshments. To book contact Nigel.m0ich@gmail.com

The ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Labor Day, the 4th of September, and there will be no ARRL bulletin or code practice transmissions that day.

The top-level domain name .radio is now available to the radio industry and amateur radio enthusiasts. It is reserved for individuals and companies with active interest in the radio sector. The .radio domain can be used for web and e-mail addresses and is managed by the European Broadcasting Union with support from other world broadcasting unions. There is a cost for individual radio amateurs. For details, visit https://register.radio/

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

The Telford Hamfest takes place at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire today, Sunday the 3rd of September. There will be trade stands, a flea market and special interest groups. Lectures will be from Dave, G3YXM on 21 years of LF, Dom, M1KTA on QRP and making antennas when in DX and Paul, M0XPD on The Little Rigs That Could. The evening before, at the Holiday Inn, Telford, the G QRP Buildathon will take place, led by RSGB Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW, who will also be at the G QRP Convention. Details are at www.telfordhamfest.org.uk and www.gqrp.com/convention.htm

The Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally takes place on Saturday the 9th of September at Caister Lifeboat Station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Doors open to the public at 9.30am. There will be a raffle and there is a cafe and gift shop on site. Contact Zane on 0771 1214 790 for more details.

The British Amateur Television Convention takes place next Saturday and Sunday at Finningley Amateur Radio Society, The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX.

The Torbay Annual Communications Fair is on the 10th of September at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. There is plenty of free parking on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Entry is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. There will be a raffle held on the day. Details from Pete, G4VTO on 01803 864 528.

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 radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Doug, W6HB will make a return trip to Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands, IOTA reference OC-013, until the 8th of September. This is mainly a holiday but he will get back on the air with his E51DLD callsign. Operation will be on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Hans, PA3HGT will be operating as 3B8/PA3HGT from the 5th to the 22nd of September in Mauritius, AF-049. Activity will be holiday style on the 40, 20 and 10m bands using SSB and possibly various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Tony, KQ2I will be on the air from Vanuatu, OC-035 using the callsign YJ0AT until the 13th of September. Tony is a CW-only operator and QSLs go via NR6M.

Alex, IW5ELA will be operating as A25AL in Botswana from the 7th to the 15th of September. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using mostly CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Members of the Radio Club of Djelfa will activate the island of Rachgoun off the Mediterranean coast of Algeria until the 10th of September. The callsign will be 7Y94I and the reference number for the Islands on the Air Programme is AF-094. QSL manager is 7X2DD.

GB5TAM is will be on the air from the HMS Tern Naval Air Station Museum on Orkney Island, IOTA EU-009, during the month of September. QSL via MM5DWW.

Now the special event news

Llanelli ARS will be running special event station GB1PCA, for Prostate Cancer Awareness, until the 28th of September. Activity will be on HF and 2m. QSL is via the bureau; details are on QRZ.com

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be active from the 9th to the 17th of September during International Air Ambulance Week using the call GB4UAS.

MN0GKL will be on the air on the 9th of September for Churches And Chapels On The Air from 10.30am to 4pm from Dungiven Parish Church, Main Street, Dungiven, Co Londonderry BT47 4LB. This event is part of the Dungiven Parish Church Vintage Fete. There will be lots of very interesting vintage tractors and cars on display, plus the usual fete stalls. Admission is £3.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will operate from the 9th to the 17th of September for International Air Ambulance Week from Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU. The museums will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, and admittance is free.

The Museum Amateur Radio Station will be in operation from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall during the 27th Orkney International Science Festival between the 7th and 13th of September. Probable operating periods will be weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm and Saturday morning between 10am and 12.30pm. Operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

Now the contest news

The RSGB SSB Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1300UTC today, the 3rd. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy contest ends its 24 hours at 1400UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Ending at 2359UTC today, the 3rd, the All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours, using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and age, though ladies can send 00.

The IARU 144MHz contest ends at 1400UTC today, the 3rd, after a 24 hour run. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 5th 144MHz Backpackers contest ends its 24 hour run a 1500UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 2m QRO phone contest is on today, the 3rd, from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

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

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 10th, the WAE DX SSB contest takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange s signal report and serial number. Note EU stations only work non-EU stations.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 1st of September.

Last week saw the solar flux index climb into the high 80s. Our prediction that the weekend’s ionosphere might be unsettled was partly correct, as the effects of a coronal hole pushed the K index to three on Sunday, but this quickly recovered. We are now seeing a shift from predominantly summer ionospheric conditions to autumnal. As the ionosphere starts to cool it experiences a shift away from predominantly diatomic molecules to more monatomic species. These are easier to ionise and, as a result, we can expect to see better conditions and potentially higher maximum usable frequencies as we move into September and October.

Roger, G3LDI reports that 15 metres was open to the US on Wednesday afternoon, which bodes well for the future. And G0KYA’s tests with 5W and WSPR on 20 metres resulted in him being picked up in Alaska around UK sunset, which was also very positive.

Now the bad news. A very large coronal hole on the Sun threatens to push the K index higher this weekend as a high speed solar wind impacts the Earth. This may result in noisy bands and suppressed MUFs, which could impact this weekend’s HF SSB Field Day operations.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the low to mid 70s next week. Once the coronal hole effects die away we may then get some more settled conditions. Either way, keep an eye on HF as you might be pleasantly surprised.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The end of the main Sporadic-E season is approaching rapidly now and, despite some 6m and 4m openings last Wednesday to Eastern Europe, such events will become much rarer in September. Check the beacons on 10m and perhaps 6m, but in general it’s back to meteor scatter for DX on the lower VHF bands now.

The prospects of Tropo should improve as we head into the quieter mellow days of autumn and high pressure becomes more commonplace. We should see a ridge of high pressure lasting until mid-week when the patterns flip to become dominated by low pressure. This means that Tropo will be worth investigating at first and with the ridge extending over much of the country most parts of the UK will get something out of this period. The changeover to low pressure-dominated weather patterns from mid-week is less useful, although if there are any significant spells of heavy rain or thundery showers, then rain scatter on the GHz bands is a possibility.

At this time of the year, very humid ex-tropical moisture from the States can become part of the train of low pressure systems that cross the Atlantic and make heavy rain more likely.

There are only minor meteor showers this week, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts

Moon declination is increasing again, going positive on Friday. Losses fall and Moon windows get later and longer as the week progresses, with the best operating times very late at night or early morning.

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