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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 4th. June 2017.

Posted on June 2nd, 2017



Sunday 4th of June 2017

The news headlines:

  • Aeronautical Mobile circumnavigation begins

  • WSPR reports Canadian North West Passage

  • New GB2RS VHF SSB broadcast starts

On the 1st of June Brian Lloyd, WB6RQN left from Miami to recreate Amelia Earhart’s around-the-world flight on its 80th anniversary. He will be using HF SSB and automatic link establishment, ALE, from his single-engine plane named Spirit. He is communicating /AM while flying. The two month flight will follow Earhart’s historic route to circumnavigate the world at the equator. Using the callsign WB6RQN/AM while aeronautical mobile, he will operate on 14210.0kHz USB, 14346.0kHz USB, 18117.5kHz USB, or 7130.0 Hz LSB. His HF radio is a Mobat Micom-3 transceiver, with a maximum power of 125 watts. The antenna is under the fuselage. Brian Lloyd’s radio schedule is posted on the project’s website

An amateur radio WSPR, or Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network, beacon has been installed and activated on board the vessel Canada C3. The ship departed Toronto, Ontario, on the 1st of June on a 150-day expedition to Victoria, British Columbia, via the Northwest Passage as part of the Canadian Sesquicentennial celebration. This provides an opportunity to track the vessel on its 150-day sailing voyage around the Canadian coast, which is the longest coastline in the world. The WSPR beacon identifies as CG3EXP. A live tracking link, generated by the supplier of the tracking hardware, QRP Labs, has been activated, hosted by Jeff Milne, VE3EFF. It generates a series of dots, one for each Maidenhead grid square the vessel traverses. It can be found at and much more information about the project can be found by searching for Canada C3 on the Radio Amateurs of Canada website,

From today, 4th of June, there will be a news reading of GB2RS on 144.250MHz SSB at 8.30pm by G8VHI. These will be in addition to his reading on 145.525MHz, which is now transmitted from a vertical at 70 feet that is audible over a large part of UK. You can hear the broadcast from Manchester in the north to Lincoln also out to Cambridge and west to Telford. He will also transmit on 433.525MHz at 200 watts ERP with a vertical at 25 feet AGL and 144.250MHz SSB using a 2 times 4 element DK7ZB antenna fixed north west and east at 50 feet AGL running 400W ERP.

This week’s YOTA 2017 vlog features Sara, 2I0SSW. She was the UK team leader for YOTA 2016 in Austria and is part of the project team for this year’s YOTA event in the UK. Sara is co-ordinating the regional activities that will support the main YOTA 2017 week and that we hope will encourage even more young people to try amateur radio. Do you know what your region has planned? Detail and a link to the vlog are at

The Bath-based team who run Advanced distance learning classes are recruiting candidates again. Their next course will run from July to December with weekly study packages being circulated via a Virtual Learning Environment, which is like a private website. They provide additional notes to guide students through the RSGB textbook, some videos to watch and revision quizzes to check on progress. The team are awaiting news of their 500th successful candidate since they started in 2011. Throughout their history their average exam pass rate has been 85% or better. The team and students have also donated £9,000 to radio charities in the last five years. If you would like to know how to enrol, contact the course leader, Steve Hartley, G0FUW via e-mail to

Durham & District ARS would like to thank all the visitors who attended their first rally for making it a fantastic day. Special thanks go to the traders, clubs and the staff of Bowburn Community Centre.

There will be no Alexanderson Day 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 17.2 kHz 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.

More than two dozen QB50 constellation CubeSats have been deployed from the International Space Station, including three carrying amateur radio transponders. These included LilacSat-1, ON02CN, which includes a VHF/UHF FM to Codec2 BPSK digital voice transponder, APRS digipeater and a camera; X-CubeSat, ON01FR, and SpaceCube, ON05FR. LilacSat-1’s transponder’s FM uplink is 145.985MHz with a 67Hz CTCSS tone; the Codec2 9600 bps BPSK downlink is 436.510MHz. The uplink frequency for both X-CubeSat and SpaceCube is 145.860MHz with a 210.7Hz CTCSS tone. Downlinks are 437.020MHz for X-CubeSat and 436.880MHz for SpaceCube.

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

Today, the 4th, the Spalding and District ARS Rally takes place at The Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2EF. There is free car parking on site. Doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, an outside car boot area and there is catering on site. Details from John, G4NBR, on 0794 630 2815.

Also on today, the 4th, the 21st Red Rose QRP Festival will be held at The Rose Centre, also known as Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH. There is easy access from all directions including the M6, M61, M60 and A580. The venue has a large, spacious hall at ground level and free car parking. There are disabled facilities. Doors open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with children under 14 free. There will be trade and individual stalls as well as club stands, including the RSGB and G QRP. There will be a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. For details, contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634.

On Saturday the 10th of June, Antrim & District is holding its Bring & Buy Surplus Sale at Muckamore Community Centre, Ballycraigy Road, Antrim, Co Antrim , BT41 2DH. Doors open 12.30 to 5pm, with sellers gaining access from 12 noon. Entry is £2 for buyers and the table charge for sellers is £5. Refreshments are available and a raffle will be drawn on the day.

Next Sunday the 11th of June the Junction 28 Amateur Radio Rally will take place at Bowls Hall Alfreton Leisure Centre, Church Street, Alfreton DE55 7BD. Contact the rally secretary for details on 01159 307 322

Also on the 11th the East Suffolk Wireless Revival will take place at the new venue of Kirton Recreation Ground, Back Road, Kirton, IP10 0PW, just off the A14. Doors open at 9.30am, with free car parking and an entry fee of £2. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale, Bring & Buy, Special interests groups, GB4SWR HF station and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Contact Kevin, G8MXV, on 0771 0046 846.

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 group of Scottish amateurs who are members of Stirling & District ARS will operate as HB0/GM4UYE from Liechtenstein from the 1st to the 6th of June. QSL manager is M0OXO.

Thomas, F4HPX will operate holiday style as FR/F4HPX from St Denis on Reunion Island, IOTA AF-016, from the 4th to the 16th of June. He will use digital modes and possibly some CW.

John, G4IRN is on the air as 8Q7RN during the month of June from the Maldives, AS-013. His activity is on the HF bands. QSL to home call.

Members of the Castres DX Gang and IDRE will be on the air as TM5FI from Ratonneau Island, Frioul Archipelago, IOTA EU-095, from the 5th to the 12th of June. Activity will be on 80 to 10m using CW, SSB and various digital modes, with four stations active. QSL via F5XX.

Didier, F5PLR will be operating as HI9/F5PLR from Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic, NA-096, from the 6th of June to the 4th of July. Activity will be on 30, 20 and 15 metres. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Waldi, SP7IDX plans to operate holiday-style from Vannoya Island, EU-046, between the 1st and 10th of June. Transmitting as LA/SP7IDX on 40-10m using SSB and RTTY, the QSL route is via SP7IDX both direct and via the bureau.

Graham, MM0GHM will be signing his call /p and /m in a holiday-style activation of Arran, EU-123, between the 3rd and 17th of. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Now the special event news

GB1SCW will be on the air from Shoreham National Coastwatch Institute Lookout today, the 4th of June between 11am and 4pm. The location is near Shoreham Beach car park, postcode BN43 5HY. Due to its beach location, access for the disabled is restricted. Shoreham Fort will also be open for visitors. 

Today, the 4th of June, Coventry ARS will be supporting Youth Aviation Day by putting GB4YAD on the air from The Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire.

The resting place of the keel from Marconi’s floating lab, the yacht Elettra, will be the site of a special event, IQ4FE, in conjunction with the annual Museum Ships Weekend event today the 4th of June. A special QSL card will be sent.

Now the contest news

The CW National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 4th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The South East Asia NETwork, or SEANET contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 4th. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es contest ends its 24 hour run at 1300UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes on 6m, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and UKSMG membership number if you have one.

Finally for this weekend, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest is on 1000UTC to 1600UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC and it’s followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest, which uses all modes, from 1900 to 2130UTC. Both have the exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, the IARU ATV contest runs from 1200UTC on the 10th to 1300UTC on the 11th. Using the 432MHz and up bands the exchange is picture grade, four-digit code, serial number and locator.

The REF DDFM 6m contest takes place from 1600UTC on the 10th to 1600 on the 11th. Using SSB, CW and FM on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and four digit locator.

On Sunday the 11th, the 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Lasting three hours longer, from 0900 to 1600UC on the 11th, the Practical Wireless 2m QRP contest uses all modes on the band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Note the maximum power for this contest is 5 watts.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 2nd of June.

Last week the solar flux index declined from the low 80s to 74. The sun was spotless, but propagation was dominated by strong geomagnetic storming on Sunday the 28th of May. Sky watchers across many northern locations reported visible aurora. This was due to the south-pointing Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field, which coupled more strongly with the Earth’s, allowing solar particles to flow into the poles.

The K index soared to a high of seven on the 28th, bringing a brief HF enhancement before auroral conditions with suppressed maximum useable frequencies ensued. HF conditions were described as “abysmal” by one GB2RS reader – we thought you should know why!

Next week the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 70, although a new sunspot is heading around the eastern limb of the sun and has already been producing C-class solar flares.

A small solar coronal hole was also facing Earth on Wednesday. This may cause unsettled geomagnetic conditions around Friday the 2nd of June, and through this weekend. With National Field Day this weekend, this could potentially result in an elevated K index, noisy bands and subdued maximum usable frequencies. Otherwise, for field day we expect 20 metres to be the main daytime band, with occasional short-skip Sporadic-E openings on 7MHz to 28MHz. Forty metres may be good in the morning and evening, with 80 metres, and perhaps even 160m, coming alive at night.

We don’t expect much daytime F2 layer DX on 21MHz and higher, but do take a look.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The next week or so is dominated by a tendency for low pressure on the charts, mainly just to the northwest of Britain. This is expected to produce a showery south-westerly weather pattern, so good for rain scatter on the GHz bands, but it gives limited options for tropospheric openings. That leaves us to hope for some Sporadic-E propagation, especially for the 6m and HF CW NFD contests this weekend.

The good news is that we are firmly in the Sporadic-E season. Since one of the key weather contributors to Sporadic-E, jet streams, are likely to be present for much of the week, if we have low K index figures there should be some Sporadic-E to work on VHF bands from 10m through 6m and 4m, and perhaps even 2m. The jet streams are likely to be over the near continent during this contest weekend, albeit as a weak feature, but may offer a good direction for paths into Europe. There is also a slight bias towards Scandinavia and the Baltic. Later in the weekend a new Atlantic jet stream will reach Spain and may promote some Sporadic-E activity to Spain early next week, moving east to support paths to Italy and Balkans midweek onwards.

This is a poor week for moonbounce, with low moon declination in the northern hemisphere and high degradation, peaking Thursday and Friday. This may be a good time to check out your antenna and receiver systems on sun noise.

This week sees one of the summer low points in terms of meteor showers. There are no substantial showers forecast, with just the low count Northern June Aquilids due around the 10th June. But there are always random meteors to enhance those quiet days.

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