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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 23rd September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Railways on the Air this weekend

  • Planning Permission guide update for RSGB Members

  • RSGB Operating Advisory Service pages online

This weekend is Railways on the Air and many clubs will be operating special event stations from railway related sites around the country. It celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway that took place on the 27th of September 1825 – the first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Darlington to Stockton. Bishop Auckland ARC coordinates this event. You can find a list of the participating callsigns at https://rota.barac.org.uk/

The RSGB’s Planning Advisory Committee will be launching its latest Planning Guide for Members at the National Hamfest on Friday the 28th of September. Now in its 9th edition and edited by PAC Chairman John Mattocks, G4TEQ, this popular guide draws on John’s many years as a professional Planning Inspector and the work of the RSGB Planning Advisory Committee. The guide has been updated to reflect recent changes in the planning system and includes advice on making planning applications, enforcement notices and also appeals for amateur radio aerials and masts. A limited number of printed copies of the new RSGB Planning Guide will be available from the RSGB Planning booth at the National Hamfest. It will be available as a downloadable pdf for RSGB Members from the 28th September on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.rg/pac

The Operating Advisory Service, OAS, is an RSGB volunteer-run service that provides guidance to licensed radio amateurs in the UK and Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It helps promote good practice, and advises on you how to manage problematic behaviour and poor operating practice on the amateur bands. The initial OAS pages are now on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/oas

Reg Woolley, G8VHI is looking for an additional newsreader to help when he is unavailable due to his work shift pattern. His newsreading covers the Midlands area and he uses both 2m and 70cm. If you are interested, please drop an email to gb2rs@rsgb.org.uk

The National Hamfest takes place in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY. On Saturday the 29th, the National Club of the Year trophies 2017 will be presented, with thanks to Waters & Stanton for their sponsorship of this competition. Details and tickets from www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The RSGB Board has decided to make changes to the way in which Nominated Board Directors are appointed. The RSGB Board is made up of 8 Directors – one is the elected President and four are directly nominated and elected by Membership ballot. A further three Directors are nominated by the RSGB Nominations Committee for endorsement by the Membership at the AGM. The role of the committee is to identify areas where the knowledge and skills of the Board members may need further support and to find suitable candidates; primarily they are looking for business skills and not those directly associated with amateur radio. Full details are on page 10 of the October RadCom. If you feel you have skills that could be of benefit to the RSGB Board, please get in touch by email to company.secretary@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention Visitors will be pleased to know that Jim Bacon, G3YLA will be speaking with a lecture entitled Sporadic-E revisited – is it any clearer? Sporadic-E is a complex propagation mode so Jim will start with a review of where we are with current understanding of Sporadic-E, ideal for the many newcomers to amateur radio. VHF Baluns – Fact and Fancy by Ian White, GM3SEK shows how our ideas about HF baluns have changed dramatically in recent years. Now Ian extends those ideas into the VHF-UHF spectrum, taking a critical look at some long-established methods for feeding Yagi antennas and identifying a new list of Do’s and Don’ts for modern conditions.

Keith Haynes, G3WRO has recently decided for personal reasons to step down as an RSGB Board Director. Keith was co-opted to the Board following his proposal by the Nominations Committee, and took on the liaison responsibilities for the RSGB Awards and Regional Team. We wish Keith well for the future and thank him for his contribution to the RSGB in the many roles he has undertaken.

Those attending the RSGB Convention Gala dinner on Saturday the 13th can reserve tables for groups. Please email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with the names and callsigns, if appropriate, of those wishing to share a table, and the organisers will take care of the details.

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

On the 28th & 29th of September the National Hamfest is at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. The venue has free car parking and has disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and a huge RSGB bookstall. There will also be representatives from the RSGB Services and committees. Morse proficiency test will be available. The venue has catering outlets and a seating area. Details are at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

On Sunday the 30th of September the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale takes place at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables are £10 each, on a first come first served basis. Doors open 8am for sellers, 9.30 for buyers. Admission is £2. Hot and cold drinks are available, with hot food available in the morning and at lunchtime. More from Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Also on the 30th, the Belgium Amateur Radio & Computer Rally takes place at Louvexpo, in La Louvière. There is direct access from the motorway and it is 50km south of Brussels. Open from 9am, there is talk-in on local FM repeaters on 145.600MHz. There is 4000m² exhibition space, trade stands from UK, Holland, Germany & France and a flea market. Details at www.on6ll.be

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Chris, VE6CMV will be active in the CQWW RTTY contest on the 28th and 29th September as VO2VC, which CQ Zone 2, Labrador. He will be operating in the low power, single op, on 20m only using a delta loop antenna and 100W. Outside of the contest he will be active from the 27th of September to the 4th of October on 80 to 6m SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL to his home call VE6CMV as per QRZ.com

Victor, WB0TEV and Scott, K5PS will be active as V31VP and V31CQ respectively from Blackman Eddy in central Belize from the 27th of September to the 2nd of October. They will operate SSB and RTTY and will participate in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest. QSL V31VP via Club Log’s OQRS, or via WB0TEV direct or via the bureau; QSL V31CQ via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or via K5PS direct or via the bureau.

Stu, K4MIL will be active as KG4SS from Guantanamo Bay from the 25th September to the 9th of October. He will operate RTTY including in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest, FT8 in Fox & Hound mode and CW. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to K4MIL.

The NB-DX Team will be active as HB0/ON4ANN from Liechtenstein from the 24th to the 28th of September. QSL via M0URX’s OQRS.

Now the special event news

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF, GB100RAF will be operating from the Air Defence Radar Museum at RAF Neatshead in Norfolk today, the 23rd. QSL cards require an SAE only to RAFARS, RAF Cosford, WV7 3EX.

North Bristol ARC has been invited by Avon Valley Railway to set up a two stations on the 23rd, one station from within an operational train. The main HF station will be using GB0AVR on the 20, 40 and 80m bands. A portable station will operate from the train using QRP on 20 and 17m as well as via GB3BS and GB7BS.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One condition for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Over this weekend the UK and EI Contest Club Contest DX ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and district code.

Today, the 23rd, the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UJK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2230UTC using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK and EI Contest Club contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

On Thursday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 29th to 2359UTC on the 30th the CQWW DX RTTY contest takes place using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is RST and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On the 30th the UK Microwave Groups contest runs from 0600 to1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of September 2018.

First, the sunspot reported a few weeks ago as possibly being from the new sunspot cycle 25 was in fact from cycle 24. Although it had a reverse magnetic polarity signature than other cycle 24 spots, scientists now say that its low solar latitude means it was not from the new cycle. Scientists are also now predicting that sunspot minimum may be in September 2019, so we can expect poor conditions to last for some time yet.

Over this last week the solar flux index was pegged pretty much at 68. Geomagnetic conditions were mainly settled in the latter half of the week with the K index zero at times. Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 68-69. Geomagnetic conditions are forecast to be poor on Sunday the 23rd and Monday the 24th due to a small coronal hole that will contribute to the high speed solar wind. Expect the K index to reach at least four, with conditions improving as the week progresses.

We are now moving into the autumnal propagation season so we can expect to see modest rises in maximum usable frequencies, perhaps passing 18 and even 21MHz at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend looks to be in the grip of unsettled weather with more strong winds possible. One model puts a deep low over southern England today with the potential for very strong winds in the south. Another model doesn’t develop this strong feature, so check the forecasts regularly and make sure your antennas are secure.

There is better news for the coming week as high pressure is expected to return to bring more settled conditions, giving a chance for Tropo to develop. The overnight and early morning autumn mists are a good weather clue for Tropo conditions since they indicate cool moist air near the surface, overlain by warmer drier air above. It’s this contrast of moisture which is the major contribution to changes in the refractive index of the air and hence ducting or Tropo.

The moon is past apogee now and declination goes positive on Tuesday meaning increasingly longer moon windows and decreasing EME path losses as the week progresses.

There’s a light meteor shower peaking next Saturday. The daytime Sextantids is not well known to visual observers as its radiant lies close to the sun, meaning trails are only visible during the last couple of hours before dawn. Meteor rates are very low so nothing to get excited about from a meteor scatter point of view.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 16th. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs prepare for Hurricane Florence

  • IARU plan for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference

  • Details on more RSGB Convention lectures

CNN reports the American Radio Relay League has sent seven amateur radio kits to South Carolina to assist with emergency communication ahead of Hurricane Florence. The group used the same kits in Puerto Rico last September when Hurricane Maria knocked out power to most of the island. Short wave radio was key to communicating in Puerto Rico. The ARRL 2018-Hurricanes page provides information and news summarising the preparations and response by amateur radio volunteers who are supporting emergency communications at www.arrl.org/2018-Hurricanes

The Administrative Council of the International Amateur Radio Union held its annual in-person meeting on the 8th and 9th of September in Seoul, Republic of Korea. With the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference of the ITU now little more than a year away, the efforts of two dozen IARU volunteers to defend amateur radio’s frequency allocations against commercial pressures and to seek worldwide harmonisation of the 50 to 54MHz band are reaching a critical stage. With these challenges in mind the Council reviewed its strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations and approved the action plan for implementation during the remainder of 2018 and 2019. Full information on the meting at www.iaru-r1.org

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Our thanks to the principal sponsor, Martin Lynch & Sons. Saturday and Sunday is packed with a diverse range of lectures for all levels of expertise and interest. Magnetic Loop Antennas offer the amateur radio enthusiast a compelling option for chasing DX and having access to all the HF band's when restricted by size and height of antenna system at your QTH says Rael Paster, M0RTP. He will give construction tips, tricks and traps and how to automatically tune a magnetic loop along with a look at FT8 and WSPR performance achieved with Magnetic Loop antennas in the last year. Dick Harms, PA2DW will describe the enormous restoration project of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope and the subsequent amateur radio activities. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System reports that two long-time broadcast intruders on the 40m band are gone. Radio Hargeisa in the Republic of Somaliland on 7.120MHz, and Radio Ethiopia on 7.140MHz, departed the band during the last week of August.

The RSGB has placed the video of the 2017 Convention lecture ZL7G DXpedition: Planning, Logistics, Operating and Beer by Chris Duckling, G3SLV on the Members-only section of the RSGB website. Go to http://rsgb.org/zl7g

Icom Inc will be holding a D-Star QSO party between 0000UTC on the 22nd of September to 2359UTC on the 24th. The format of the party will be the same as in previous years with the goal of encouraging D-Star operators to communicate with as many other operators across the world via D-Star repeaters. The prizes on offer this year have not been announced yet, so keep an eye out for the latest updates on the D-Star QSO Party 2018 website at www.icom.co.jp/world/dqp

The International Amateur Radio Union has announced that the theme for World Amateur Radio Day, which takes place on the 18th of April. It will be ‘Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society’.

A Buildathon is taking place at the National Hamfest in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September at the George Stephenson Pavilion, Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. Details and tickets from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

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

Today, the 16th, is the second day of the British Amateur Television Club Convention at the Midlands Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Rowley Rd, Baginton CV3 4FR. Details at ww.batc.org.uk

Weston super Mare Radio Society is holding its annual rally on Sunday the 16th of September at the Campus Community Centre in Worle, near Junction 22 of the M5. There are 58 tables with many of the well-known traders in attendance. It is open from 10am until 3pm and tickets are £3 with accompanied under 16s free.

Advance notice now for the Galashields Radio Rally due to take place on the 21st of October. Held in the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD13JX, doors open at 11.15am with disabled visitors gaining access at 11am. There will be traders a Bring & Buy and refreshments available on site. Admission is £2.50. Our apologies for missing this information in RadCom.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Alex, IW5ELA will operate mainly CW as 7Q7ELA from the 17th to the 26th September. It will be a ‘suitcase operation’ while touring Malawi. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau. Logsearch on Club Log.

Tina, HB0/DL5YL and Fred, HB0/DL5YM will be active from Masescha, Liechtenstein from the 20th of September to the 6th of October. They will operate CW, some SSB and RTTY during the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest. QSL via their home calls, either direct or via the bureau.

Torsten, DL4APJ and Peter, DJ2AX will be active as JW/DL4APJ and JW/DJ2AX from the JW5E club station in Longyearbyen, Svalbard EU-026, from the 20th to the 25th of September. QSL via their home calls.

Gabor, HA3JB will be active as 8Q7IP the Maldives, AS-013, from the 19th to the 30th of September. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8 on the 6 ti 80m bands and will participate in the CQ WW RTTY Contest. QSL via HA3JB.

Steve, G4EDG will be active as ZD9CW from Tristan da Cunha, AF-029, from the 20th of September to the 22nd of October. He will operate CW and RTTY with some SSB on the 15 to 40m bands and possibly 80m. QSL via Logbook of The World or via LZ1JZ.

Now the special event news

Celebrating 100 years of the RAF, GB100RAF will be operating from the Air Defence Radar Museum at RAF Neatshead in Norfolk on the 22nd and 23rd. QSL cards require an SAE only to RAFARS, RAF Cosford, WV7 3EX. If you are taking part in the GB100RAF award scheme, GB100RAF will be worth 25 points.

North Bristol ARC has been invited by Avon Valley Railway to set up a two stations on the 22nd and 23rd, one station from within an operational train. The antenna for the moving train will be challenging due to a maximum vertical clearance from carriage to a bridge being only 12 inches and the horizontal clearance is only 24 inches due to two way traffic on the line. The main HF station will be using GB0AVR on the 20, 40 and 80m bands. A portable station will operate from the train using QRP on 20 and 17m bands as well as via GB3BS and GB7BS.

Loughton & Epping Forest ARS will be activating GB2RGM for Railways on the Air operating on the 22nd of September.

Celebrating the 88th Saudi Arabia National Day on the 23rd of September, the Saudi Amateur Radio Society will be active as HZ88ND, 7Z88ND and 8Z88ND from the 16th to the 30th of September. QSL via HZ1BF.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website. Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. One of the requirements for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The 2018 Africa All Mode International DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 16th,. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24-hour period. There are no mandated breaks in operating time required.

Today, the 16th, the Second 70MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 16th, the UK Microwave Group’s contest takes place from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC today, the 16th. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just your serial number. On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using CW on the 80m band the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd, the UK EI Counties Contest DX runs from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and district code

Next Sunday, the 23rd, the Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 14th of September.

Last week started with stable solar conditions, but very low activity.

After 14 days without sunspots, two small, new spots turned up. Sunspot number 2721 existed for Sunday and Monday, then disappeared by Tuesday. Sunspot number 2722 popped up on Wednesday and Thursday, and was gone by Friday. Neither of these spots has disappeared altogether. They can hide below the visible disc of the Sun and may reappear before they rotate to the far side.

Warnings of increased geomagnetic activity were announced by the Space Weather Centre and indeed the A-index and the K-index rose significantly, to 35 and 6 respectively. These index figures were the result of a major geomagnetic storm that peaked at 2135UTC on Tuesday evening.

Solar wind picked up and reached a maximum of 624 kilometres per second at 0438UTC on Wednesday. The magnetic field carried by the solar wind disrupted that of the Earth and disturbed propagation conditions.

Maximum useable frequencies for long-skip distances generally varied between 15 and 18MHz, with a short burst when it reached 21MHz at 1900UTC on Monday.

Workable DX paths were open, as confirmed by reception of some of the International Beacon Project transmitters on 14.1MHz. Found on the frequency were beacons in the Far East, South Africa, Venezuela and USA. The strongest of the beacons, but admittedly not big DX, was CS3B in Madeira, whose carrier level was still audible down at the QRP 100 milliwatt level.

An interesting propagation event to look forward to next weekend is the equinox on the 23rd of September. This is the time, plus or minus a few days, for operators to take advantage of greyline propagation on the low HF bands of 1.8 and 3.5 MHz between the ultimate DX path – United Kingdom to New Zealand. There isn’t time here to explain greyline working, but many propagation books cover this interesting topic. Good luck with the DXing.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather patterns this coming week look distinctly autumnal with some unsettled weather on the charts and some quite strong winds at times. There are some fleeting periods of high pressure in the south with the attendant chance of Tropo giving some lift conditions, especially in the foggy early mornings.

The windier spells may test your antenna guy ropes, with one model suggesting a small low crossing the country just before mid-week. Obviously it's too far ahead to be certain which model has called this correctly, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s turning unsettled as we move towards the second half of the month.

With the moon at maximum negative declination early this week, and Apogee on Wednesday, the Moon will only get low on the Horizon for a few hours a day and EME path losses will be at their highest.

With the windy conditions predicted, and no major meteor showers it’s probably a week for catching up with some indoor system improvements.

There’s always the artificial satellites to keep VHFers interested so update the prediction software and have a go.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 9th. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Brazil gets 60m and other new bands soon

  • South Africans’ YOTA report

  • Exciting Buildathon opportunity

ANATEL, the Brazilian telecoms regulator, has produced an updated band plan, effective in a couple of months, which releases 60m to their amateurs. This is the WRC-15 Secondary allocation 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 25W EIRP for Class A operators. In addition they have been granted another two new bands, 135kHz with 1 watt EIRP and 472kHz with 5 watts EIRP. The 160m band in Brazil will be expanded from 1850kHz, making it now 1.8 to 2MHz, and the 80m band will become 3.5 to 4MHz. The new frequencies are expected to come into operation in the week beginning the 26th of November.

The September 2018 issue of the South African national society amateur radio magazine, Radio ZS, reports on the Youngsters on the Air event, usually known as YOTA, that was recently held in South Africa. You can read all about the proceedings by downloading the newsletter from the front page of the SARL website, www.sarl.org.za The RSGB YOTA 2018 Team posted its experiences of each day at www.rsgb.org/yota2018

A Buildathon is taking place at the National Hamfest in Newark on the 28th and 29th of September. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. As a bonus, the Hamfest organisers are offering free entry to those who book for the Buildathon, so the £5 covers entry to the Hamfest too. The project is a Poldhu Kits ‘Redruth’ receiver. Help, technical expertise and all necessary equipment will be provided on the day. Many thanks to Poldhu Kits for their help in providing the kits. Buildathon tickets can be purchased from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

A small team is representing the UK in South Korea for the ARDF World Championships. We’re pleased to report that John Marriott, M0OJM came in third in the M70 Foxoring event.

The RSGB National Radio Centre is an amazing resource for amateur radio. Last year it showed our hobby to 26,000 people. We have been raising the profile of the NRC via social media, events, presentations, extra equipment, Bletchley Park signage, RadCom articles and extra opening days. As a result, visitor numbers are growing beyond all expectations. In August, volunteers showcased amateur radio to an incredible 10,713 visitors, smashing all previous records. The RSGB is very grateful for all the hard work, time and enthusiasm of the entire volunteer team to make this possible, and of course NRC Co-ordinator, Martyn Baker, G0GMB.

The RSGB Convention takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. Saturday and Sunday is packed with a diverse range of lectures for all levels of expertise and interest. Dan McGraw, M0WUT will take a look at the design process of converting a HF WSPR transceiver personal project into an open-source electronics kit. Don, N1DG, was one of the team leaders of the Baker Island DXpedition in July. He’ll describe the planning process, setbacks and solutions of activating this tiny uninhabited atoll, 2000 miles south-west of Hawaii. You can see the whole Convention lecture programme at www.rsgb.org/convention

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 8th and 16th of September. A free series of Awards will be available for those who support the event. All information and registration details are at www.radio-amateur-events.org/IAW/Registration.htm

The RSGB Board would like to thanks Chris Burbanks, G3SJJ for the sterling work he has done in revitalising the RSGB Awards scheme. A vacancy has now arisen for a volunteer to manage the Society’s award programmes. To carry out this role you will need good administration and computer skills. Most of the communications will be by email. The workload is not usually high and can be flexibly managed. If you are an RSGB Member and interested in applying, or would like to find out more, contact the Board Liaison Member for Awards, Keith Haynes, G3WRO, via email to g3wro@rsgb.org.uk

The 22nd of September marks the 100th anniversary of the first wireless transmission between Australia and the United Kingdom. The Wireless Institute of Australia will hold an on-air event that will run throughout September. Complete information can be found on www.wia.org.au/newsevents/marconi100/about/

The deadline to nominate someone for the RSGB G5RP Trophy is fast approaching. This annual award is open to anyone who has recently started and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone, you have until the 14th of September. Please send your nomination to RSGB HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, via email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk The award will be presented this year during the RSGB Convention on the 12th to the 14th of October.

Finally, a reminder to respond to the important Ofcom consultation that concludes this week. Our responses may shape Ofcom’s preparations for the next World Radio Conference, WRC-19, on subjects including the future of 6m and the microwave bands. The deadline is 5pm on Thursday. RSGB guidance and further information is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-A

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

Over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of September the British Amateur Television Club holds its Convention at the Midlands Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Rowley Rd, Baginton CV3 4FR. Details at ww.batc.org.uk

The Fog On The Tyne rally will take place on the 15th of September at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham NE8 4LH. There is a car park entrance on Whitehall Road. The nearest metro station is Gateshead, or use Go-Ahead routes 53 or 54. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £2, including a raffle ticket. There will be traders, an RSGB bookstand and a junk stall. Details from Nancy Bone, G7UUR, on 0799 076 0920.

Weston super Mare Radio Society is holding its annual rally on Sunday the 16th of September at the Campus Community Centre in Worle, near Junction 22 of the M5. There are 55 tables with many of the well-known traders in attendance. It is open from 10am until 3pm and tickets are £3 with accompanied under 16s free.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Oliver, DK7TX will be active as SV8/DK7TX between the 9th and 15th of September from the islands of Paxoi, Vido and Kerkyra/Corfu, which all count for IOTA group EU-052. QSL via his home call.

Harry, JG7PSJ will be active as WH0RU from Saipan, OC-086, between the 12th and the 18th of September. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 40 to 10m. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to JG7PSJ.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as 3W9JK from Cham Island, AS-162, from the 15th to the 22nd of September, and then as 3W9JK/p from Hoi An in mainland Vietnam between the 22nd and 27th. He will operate SSB on the 20 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log OQRS, or via SP5APW.

Christian, OE3DEC will be active as 8Q7EC from the Maldives, AS-013, between the 14th and the 23rd of September. QSL via Club Log OQRS, or via his home call either direct or via the bureau.

Manfred, DL5FAB will be active as FY/DL5FAB from French Guiana until the 18th of September. He will operate CW and FT8 from the Radio Amateur Club de Kourou. QSL via the bureau to DL5FAB, or via eQSL.

Now the special event news

Bury Radio Society will be holding a special event station from a moving train carriage being pulled by the Flying Scotsman on the 15th of September this year. Look out for further info here and on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts or see www.buryradiosociety.org.uk/

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can only do so if you tell us what you’re doing, in advance! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. The lead time for RadCom is about three months; it’s much less for GB2RS. One of the requirements for getting a special event callsign is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The WA DX SSB contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EU stations work non-EU only.

Today, the 9th, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Please note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

That 2m Counties contest is followed immediately by the IRTS 70cm Counties contest, from 1300 to 1500UTC. Again using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also give their county.

On Monday the 80m Autumn Series contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2018 Africa All Mode International DX Contest takes place next weekend. The objective of this all-mode contest is to stimulate contesting from Africa. It runs from 1200UTC on the 15th to 1200UTC on the 16th of September. Both single and multi-operator stations may operate for the entire 24-hour period. There are no mandated breaks in operating time required. Full details are at www.sarl.org.za/#Contest

Next Sunday, the 16th, the Second 70MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday, the UK Microwave Group’s contest takes place from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC next Sunday. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just your serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 7th of September.

The Sun was spotless for most of last week and no spots are expected to rotate into view over the next few days. This will keep flux levels low, and working frequencies will remain depressed. Maximum useable frequencies may struggle to include the 18MHz band. Warnings of a rising Kp index have been issued, and geomagnetic disturbance may increase as next week progresses. This would bring difficult conditions to the bands. It is also expected that the unsettled period will continue over this weekend due to the persistence of a negative polarity coronal hole.

It’s worth monitoring the International Beacon Project frequencies, even though solar activity and flux is low. The Venezuelan beacon YV5B was heard on 14.100MHz at 2230UTC. Other DX beacons heard in daytime on that frequency included RR9O in Siberia and VR2B in Hong Kong. Another way to assess propagation conditions is to make routine listening checks of stations operating a continuous service. The mid- to lower-end of the HF spectrum is well served by the Russian RWM time service stations. These operate close to 5 and 10MHz. Their signal strength and fade characteristics are indicative of propagation conditions.

In spite of the doom and gloom regarding the state of the solar cycle and propagation conditions, there are instances of fair to medium DX to be found. These include XV1 in Vietnam and 3B9 Rodriguez Island on 14MHz around 1400UTC, and A5 Bhutan on 7MHz at 2330UTC. Optimism regarding the start of the next cycle may be slightly premature, but everyone is eagerly looking now for definite signs of the beginning.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

As the autumn season arrives and early morning mist and fog become part of the daily weather fare, then it's the season for Tropo. The coming week will offer some regions of high pressure, in the south initially, but perhaps more generally by the end of the week, so add Tropo to your operating list and get some activity going in the multimode end of the VHF/UHF bands. There will also be some heavy rain showers, particularly over northern Britain this weekend, so there is a chance of some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The disturbed geomagnetic conditions that are expected this weekend will make it worth checking the K index and 6m to 2m bands for signs of auroral propagation.

The moon was at perigee yesterday, its closest approach and declination is still positive until Tuesday, so the early part of the week should be best for EME. Today though, after about 1130 until moonset, the Sun and Moon are very close, meaning lots of sun noise in the antenna beamwidth.

The September Epsilon Perseids meteor shower takes place today within the boundaries of the constellation of Perseus. It occurs between the 5th to 21st of September with the small peak occurring today.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 2nd. September 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd September 2018

The news headlines:

  • Annual Reunion of Code Breakers

  • Respond now to Ofcom consultation

  • New Exams Standards appointment

Today, Sunday the 2nd of September, it’s the Annual Reunion of Code Breakers at Bletchley Park, including those who were Voluntary Interceptors. This event is organised by Bletchley Park and more can be seen at www.bletchleypark.org.uk

Preparations for the next World Radio Conference, WRC-19, are increasing. An important Ofcom consultation is nearing its conclusion, which includes key items on the future of 50MHz, wireless power and microwave bands. UK amateurs are encouraged to respond to Ofcom, highlighting the importance of current and potential innovations. The submission deadline is Thursday 13th of September. The RSGB has background on these topics on our WRC-19 Focus pages, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-A

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Mike Bruce, M0ITI, has been appointed to the RSGB Examinations Standards Committee with the role of Examinations Systems Review Manager. The responsibilities of this new role within ESC will be to manage the syllabus review and future updates; manage the question bank and interaction with exam system providers; and keep the RSGB exam web pages up to date with the changes. Mike obtained his full licence in 2013 and he has served on the RSGB Examinations Group since June 2016.

Following the recent announcement in RadCom, a collection of over 50 historic amateur licensing documents is now online. It is hoped that it is both illuminating and of interest. Some documents, such as the original 50MHz permits, are quite topical as we approach WRC-19. The current selection stretches back to 1946. Please feel free to contact he organisers if you have further historic material, as they attempt to fill in the gaps. To view the documents, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-B

The Yasme Foundation has announced the election of Marty Woll, N6VI as the newest Foundation Director. The Board of Directors now includes President, N0AX, Vice President, K4ZW, Treasurer, W6OAT, PB2T, OH2BH, K3ZO, W6RGG and N6VI. The Yasme Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organised to support scientific and educational projects related to amateur radio, including DXing and the introduction and promotion of amateur radio in developing countries. See www.yasme.org for more information on their work.

Saturday the 8th of September is the annual Churches and Chapels on the Air event. Activity will be mainly on 40m from 10am to 4pm using SSB. There is a list of stations taking part at www.wacral.org and to get your event on the list, send details to wacralweb@gmx.com

A new Buildathon has been announced for this year's National Hamfest. Aimed at the younger person and those who are newly or non-licensed, this activity is being sponsored by the RSGB Legacy fund. A place costs only £5, which is refunded as an RSGB book voucher if you complete the project on the day. As a bonus, the Hamfest organisers are offering free entry to those who book for the Buildathon so the £5 covers entry to the Hamfest too. The project is a Poldhu Kits ‘Redruth’ receiver. Help, technical expertise and all necessary equipment will be provided on the day. Many thanks to Poldhu Kits for their help in providing the kits. If you would like to attend or bring someone along to participate, Buildathon tickets can be purchased from www.rsgb.org/hamfestbuildathon

During the summer the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has been open seven days a week. It will revert to being closed on Tuesdays throughout September and the early part of October to enable essential maintenance work to be completed. The intention is to open on Tuesdays again in time for the school half term holiday in October. Meantime, the NRC will be open each day, apart from a Tuesday, from 9.30am to 5pm, which is in line with the Bletchley Park museum opening times.

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-C This edition includes 5MHz news from 8 countries, features the World of 5MHz, the Wikipedia 60m band page, CEPT, a section on whether you monitor the UK 5MHz beacons, useful propagation sites for 5MHz and reader’s feedback from G4DWV.

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 8th and 16th of September with the focus on supporting and generating donations for flying medical services around the world. Whilst amateur radio operators are encouraged to promote the donation causes, it is requested that any donations generated go to the station's chosen local or national cause. Registration is mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a registration number that will be listed on the event website. A free series of Awards will be available for those who support the event. All information and registration details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-D

The 22nd of September marks the 100th anniversary of the first wireless transmission between Australia and the United Kingdom. Messages were transmitted from the Marconi station at Waunfawr in Wales and were received by Ernest Fisk at Wahroonga near Sydney. As part of the Centenary celebrations, the Wireless Institute of Australia will hold an on-air event that will run throughout September. State and Territory special callsigns VI#MARCONI will be active on a roster basis. In addition, the Hornsby & District ARC will be active as VK100MARCONI. Complete information can be found via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0902-E

The AO73/FUNcube-1 satellite has been in space for almost five years and the original sun synchronous orbit has now changed slightly such that the spacecraft will no longer be in eclipse for 35 minutes every orbit. The eclipse period has already reduced and will again become zero on the 8th. This means the usual autonomous switching between transponder in eclipse and high-power telemetry when in sunlight will no longer be effective. It has been decided to have AO73/FUNcube-1 initially operate for alternate periods of one week in either Safe or Educational modes. Full details at www.amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2018, please send your nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention on the 12th to the 14th of October.

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

Today, the 2nd, the annual Telford HamFest takes place at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale, Telford TF8 7DQ. Numerous trader and exhibitor stands are booked and there will be a variety of presentations from guest speakers in the Darby Boardroom. There will be an RSGB Bookstand. Doors open 10am, admission is £4.50, with accompanied under 16’s free. On-site catering will be available and car parking facilities have been improved. Details from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255416.

The UKFM Group Western repeater group will be holding its AGM on the 3rd of September at 7.30pm in the North Cheshire Radio Club, Morley Green Social Club, Morley Green, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5NT.

The AGM and Get-Together of the Radio Amateurs Old Timers Association will be held at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Wednesday the 5th of September. It is RAOTA’s diamond jubilee year. The Get-Together will open at 11am and the AGM will commence at 1.15pm. All RAOTA members are welcome to attend and it will greatly assist or planning if members book places well in advance. Contact Ian Brothwell, G4EAN via GenSec@RAOTA.org

On the 8th of September Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally will take place at Tan Lane, Caister on Sea NR30 5DJ. Talk-in will be on S22 and doors open at 9am, with sellers gaining access at 8am. There is also a raffle and onsite café. The event has disabled access. Contact Zane on 0771 121 4790.

GB5SH will operate from St Hilda’s Church in Hartlepool as part of Churches and Chapels on the Air on the 8th and as part of Heritage Open Days on the 9th. It is expected that the station will be active mostly on the 40, 80 and 2m bands

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Hans, PA3HGT will be active as 3B8/PA3HGT from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049, between the 4th and 24th of September. He will operate SSB and possibly some digital modes on the 40, 20 and 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Claudio, HB9OAU will be on the air as SV5/HB9OAU from Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands, EU-001, between the 8th and 20th of September. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL; logsearch on Club Log.

The 19th annual Route 66 On The Air special event celebrates the historic US Highway 66. Twenty-one amateur radio stations using 1x1 callsigns from W6A through W6U will operate from cities along the route between the 8th and 16th of September. See http://w6jbt.org/ for information.

Richard, VE2DX will be on the air as TF/VE2DX from the 2nd to the 15th of September from Reykjavik on HF using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via VE2STN either direct or via the bureau.

Now the special event news

Today, 2nd of September, the Radio Club of Binche will operate as ON44WAR to commemorate the Belgian Resistance during WW II. Activity will be from 0700 to 1100UTC. CW transmissions on 7MHz from a Paraset will take place on the hour for 30 minutes, followed by SSB. QSL via ON7RY, direct, bureau or eQSL.

Today, the 2nd, Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2MFM, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW2. Activity will be from WW2 pillbox in Wat Tyler Country Park, near Basildon.

The RSGB Region 8 Team will host GB100RAF in the STEM Village, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, today, the 2nd of September at the 2018 Portrush Airshow, AirWaves. Mid Ulster ARC will provide their display trailer for the weekend and RAF ARS members will facilitate the GB100RAF callsign. QSL information for GB100RAF is via G8FC, the club call sign of HQ RAF ARS.

2018 sees Christ Church, Coventry, celebrate its 60th anniversary. Opened to replace the city-centre building bombed out during the war, the Festival of Britain design exhibits many unique architectural features. To coincide with both Churches on the Air and Heritage Open Day Quantum Amateur Radio & Technology Society will be running a VHF phone and HF FT8 special event station using the callsign GB6CCC. Visitors are welcome to not only visit the special event station but have a look around this magnificent building and climb the tower to see the vistas of Coventry. Further details are at www.g7lfc.radio.

XR208A, XR208B, XR208C and XR208D are the special callsigns for the Discolo DX Group to celebrate the 208th anniversary of the First Government Junta on the 18th of September 1810. It proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. They will operate SSB, PSK31 and FT8 on the HF bands throughout September. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau.

Philippe, F5PTA will be active as TM70ONU from Lyon in France from the 1st of September to the 27th of December, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. QSL via eQSL only.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but only if you tell us what you’re doing! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. Three months in advance is about right for RadCom. One of the requirements for special event callsigns is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 2nd of September, the RSGB’s SSB Field Day ends its 24 hours run at 1300UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also ending its 24 hour run today, this time at 1400UTC, is the 144MHz Trophy. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day ends its 24 hour runs at 1300UTC today, the 2nd. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU 144MHz contest also ends it 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 2nd. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest ends its run at 2359UTC on the 2nd. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, with ladies able to send 00.

Today, the 2nd, the 5th 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on 2m only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on today, the 2nd, the Worked All Britain 2m QRO Phone contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest takes place on 80m between 2000 and 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

The WA DX SSB contest takes place from 0000UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 9th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note EU stations work non-EU only.

Next Sunday, the 9th, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Please note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

It is followed immediately by the IRTS 70cm Counties contest from 1300 to 1500UTC. Again using SSB and FM the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI stations will also give their county.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 31st of August.

Just after we filed the Propagation Report last Friday we heard that a new large sunspot had just appeared. This pushed the solar flux index to 72, but more interesting was the fact that it appeared to have a reverse magnetic polarity to the rest of the spots in solar cycle 24. This means it may be the second spot seen of the new solar cycle 25. Time will tell, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that the new cycle is about to burst into life. We may still be at sunspot minimum for another 12 months or so.

Also last Sunday saw the Kp index rocket to seven due to the effects of an incoming high-speed solar wind stream. This was unexpected and caught space weather watchers unawares. It has now been linked to a coronal mass ejection that occurred earlier in the week that scientists didn’t think would impact the Earth. This just goes to show how hard it is to predict what the Sun is going to do one week in advance! The CME knocked the bands for six last weekend with a virtual total lack of signals across HF most of Sunday. With this information we are cautious about predicting what will happen over the next seven days!

What we can say is that the Sun is likely to remain fairly spotless, so the risk of solar flares is minimal. Sunspot number 2720, which did spark a number of flares on Friday 24th, has now rotated out of view, leaving a fairly blank canvas. Maximum usable frequencies are therefore due to return to seasonal averages, with 20 and perhaps occasionally 17 metres providing the most HF DX.

We are now moving towards the autumnal equinox so north-south paths may also start to improve, but we may have to wait another month or so for an improvement in east-west paths, such as UK to North America.

And now the VHF propagation news

Last Sunday’s 10GHz contest saw some excellent rain scatter propagation over the UK, with QSOs well up to the 400km mark. But the next spell of weather is looking much more settled with high pressure on the charts for much of next week. This could bring Tropo back on the agenda for most areas of the country at times. That makes it a good week to get down to the multimode ends of the bands on VHF and UHF. Remember, Tropo is a relatively long-lasting mode, so there is plenty of time to make the QSOs, unlike Sporadic-E, which can be very transient indeed. Also unlike Sporadic-E, Tropo tends to get better on higher frequency bands, so 23cm is better than 70cm, which is better than 2m. The Sporadic-E season is just about over for this year and, although there can be openings into early September, they are hard to find and usually short-lasting.

Our most predictable propagation source, the Moon, is at positive declination all week and reaches perigee early on Saturday morning so it’s a good week for EME tests, with long availability and low losses. The Moon follows a 28-day cycle, where the plane of its orbit moves from South of the equator or negative declination, to North and back. Its distance from the Earth changes from closest or perigee to furthest, apogee.

Currently maximum declination and perigee almost coincide, favouring stations in the Northern hemisphere, but this difference drifts slowly. By 2022 this situation will have reversed and Southern hemisphere stations will get this coincidence.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th August 2018

The news headlines:

  • FT8 in UK and EU contests

  • Petition launched to save WWV

  • GB3RS and GB7BP service interruption

Recently, the RSGB Contest Committee has seen some FT8 QSOs being claimed within contest logs. At present it is difficult to complete a full contest exchange using FT8, although an EU contest compatible version is under development. A, machine generated modes, or MGM-specific contest ran in April this year, with a set of rules structured to support all MGM modes with varying and limited exchanges. The initial reaction to this contest was positive and a second event will take place in December. At this time, FT8 and similar fast MGM modes will be kept inside a separate, more experimental, contest framework. However, the Contest Committee proposes increasing the number of these MGM contests during 2019. Consequently, from the first of September onwards, the allowed modes for RSGB VHF contests, except for the dedicated MGM events, will be SSB, CW, FM, AM, JT6M, ISCAT and FSK441.

US National Institute of Standards and Technology station WWV and sister transmitting stations are among the oldest radio stations in the United States, having been in continuous operation since May 1920. WWV has transmitted the official US Time for nearly 100 years. The US government are planning to close the NIST Radio Stations WWV, WWVB, and WWVH in 2019. An online petition has been set up at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0824-A to change that decision, though at the time of writing only about 7% of the necessary signatures to require a response from the White House had been gathered.

The GB3RS radio shack at the RSGB National Radio Centre will be off the air from Wednesday the 29th to Friday the 31st of August. During this time access to the demonstration radio room area will be limited. The reason is that significant maintenance work is being carried out on the tower that supports the station’s aerials. The D-Star repeater, GB7BP, will be off the air for the same period of time as it shares the same mast. The work is weather dependant but if there are any changes the RSGB will post details on its website. Separately, the NRC will be hosting a visit by a group of visually impaired students from Spain on Tuesday the 28th. Of August. Volunteers will be running a number of Morse activities for these visitors. On Sunday the 2nd of September, it is the Annual Reunion of Code Breakers at Bletchley Park, including the Voluntary Interceptors. This event is organised by Bletchley Park and more can be read at www.bletchleypark.org.uk

The next RSGB Train the Trainers session will be held on Saturday the 1st of September, from 9.30am to 5pm. It will take place at Wolverhampton Electricity Sports and Social Club, St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton WV3 0QH. This venue is the HQ of Wolverhampton Amateur Radio Soceity. For more information, or to book a place, please contact Ron Wellsted via email at ron@wellsted.org.uk

The Bath Radio Classes team will be running a Foundation course from the 12th of September. This will be their last using the current syllabus. Classes will be on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9pm at the Scout HQ in the centre of Bath. Cost will be about £60 including textbook, exam and room hire costs. An Intermediate course will follow in October. Full details from Steve, G0FUW via e-mail to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB Convention will take place at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ, from the 12th to the 14th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and a provisional programme is posted at www.rsgb.org/convention. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your packages for this flagship event at the lower price. Don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

The RSGB has released another presentation from its 2017 Convention on the Members’ Area video portal, which is to be found at www.rsgb.org/video. In his talk on HF Propagation at the Sunspot Minimum, RSGB Propagation Studies Committee Chair Steve Nichols G0KYA asks, and answers, the questions ‘When is it?’, ‘What can we expect?’, and ‘How can we make the most of the HF bands as we approach and pass sunspot minimum?’. Take a look at the video and, if it inspires you to go to the 2018 Convention, you can book online at www.rsgb.org/convention.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned for Astronaut Ricky Arnold, KE5DAU with a school in India, scheduled for Monday the 27th of August at approximately 08:06 UTC. The conversation will be conducted in English. The contact will be via a telebridge operated by ON4ISS in Belgium. The downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.8MHz FM.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This 10th anniversary event takes place on the 28th and 29th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like the big RSGB bookstall, traders stands, flea market and the Bring and Buy, the winners of the National Club of the Year 2017, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

Shefford and District Amateur Radio Society, which celebrates its 70th birthday in October, would like to hear from all current and past members to help mark the anniversary. Please contact the club via its website, www.sadars.co.uk

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

This weekend, the 25th and 26th of August, the Montrose Amateur Radio & Aviation Rally takes place at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, DD10 9BD. Doors open from 10am on both days and entry is free. If you want a table, which costs £5, contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933 as soon as possible. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, will run a Buildathon on the Sunday, funded by the RSGB Legacy Committee. Spaces are limited, so please email your interest to David, MM0HQD, via info@cqscotland.com

Today, the 26th, the Torbay ARS Annual Communications Fair takes place at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. It’s an indoor event with free parking and disabled facilities, and is accessible by public transport. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, RSGB Book Stall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike, G1TUU on 01803 557 941.

Also today, the Milton Keynes ARS is holding its 60th anniversary rally at the Irish Centre, Manor Field, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HZ. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Hot & cold food will be available. Contact Francis Hennigan, 2E0FMK, via email to rally@mkars.org.uk

On the 27th, Bank Holiday Monday, the Huntingdonshire ARS annual rally will take place at the Ernulf Academy, Barford Rd, St Neots PE19 2SH. Talk-in via GX0HSR will be on 145.550MHz. There’s free parking and admission is £3. Doors open at 9am, or 7am for traders. There will be an RSGB Book Stall as well as a Bring & Buy Hot meals and drinks are available on site as well as an ice cream van. Contact M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

On September the 1st, the evening before the Telford Hamfest, Steve, G0FUW is leading a Bath-style Buildathon in Telford at the Park Inn Hotel, TF3 4NA. This year features a design by Heather, M0HMO described as a HF Swiss Army Knife. It’s a small, digital, very portable device that will measure VSWR, RF power, DC voltage, resistance, continuity and HF frequency. It includes a GPS for latitude and longitude, Maidenhead locator and OS Grid reference for around £20. The Buildathon venue opens from 7pm and Heather recommends pre-booking for the project by calling her on 0780 254 8938 or via email to heather@myorangedragon.net . Bookings for an overnight stay can be made directly to the Park Inn Hotel on 01952 429 988, as soon as possible please; mention the GQRP Radio event for a concessionary rate. Further information is at www.telfordhamfest.org.uk

The following day, the 2nd, the annual Telford HamFest takes place at Enginuity in Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire TF8 7DQ. Numerous trader and exhibitor stands are booked and there will be a variety of presentations from guest speakers in the Darby Boardroom. There will be an RSGB Bookstand. Admission is £4.50 with accompanied under 16's free from 10am. On-site catering will be available and car parking facilities have been improved. Details from Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255416.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Nobu, JA0JHQ will be active as T88PB from Koror, Palau, IOTA reference OC-009, from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September. Main activity will be during the All Asian DX SSB Contest on the 1st and 2nd of September with some CW, especially on 30m, and possibly FT8 outside the contest. QSL via Logbook of The World, (preferred), or directly to JA0JHQ.

Jacques, F6HMJ will be active as SV8/F6HMJ from Ios (pronounced i-os) Island, EU-067, from the 27th of August to the 6th of September. He will operate CW and some SSB on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Laci, HA0NAR will be active from Guadeloupe as FG/HG0R between the 27th of August to the 7th of September on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log.

Now the special event news

The British Inland Waterways on the Air event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Paul, MI1AIB and Sharon, 2I0SHZ will be active with GB8BRM from Ballyronan Marina on the shores of Lough Neagh. This is Worked All Britain square H98. Activity will mostly be holiday style. QSL via MI1AIB. For more details of other stations taking part in the event, go to www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

In 1918 a group of amateur radio enthusiasts formed the Guildford Wireless Alliance. There has been at least one amateur radio society in Guildford ever since. Guildford & District Radio Society, Wey Valley Amateur Radio Group and the Guildford Repeater Group are jointly marking 100 years of amateur radio in Guildford. A special event station will be on the air until the 27th of August on HF, VHF and digital modes from the Guildford Model Engineers HQ, London Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1TU.

On the 1st and 2nd of September, the Radio Club of Binche will operate as ON44WAR to commemorate the Belgian Resistance during WW II, especially those of the Refuge B 40 in Waudrez, Belgium. Activity will be from 0700 to 1600UTC on the 1st and 0700 to 1100UTC on the 2nd. CW transmissions on 7MHz from a “Paraset” will take place on the hour for 30 minutes, followed by SSB. QSL via ON7RY, direct, via bureau or eQSL.

Over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of September, Thames Amateur Radio Group will be operating GB2MFM, commemorating the 73rd anniversary of the end of WW2. Activity will be from a World War 2 pillbox in Wat Tyler Country Park, near Basildon.

The RSGB Region 8 Team have been given the opportunity to showcase amateur radio by hosting GB100RAF in the STEM Village, that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, on the 1st and 2nd of September at the 2018 Portrush Airshow, “AirWaves”. Mid Ulster ARC will provide their display trailer for the weekend and RAF ARS members will facilitate the GB100RAF callsign. QSL information for GB100RAF is via G8FC, the club call sign of HQ RAF Amateur Radio Soceity.

We are very happy to publicise your event on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but only if you tell us what you’re doing! Please send details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk as early as possible. Three months in advance is about right for RadCom. One of the requirements for special event callsigns is that the station must be open to the public, so our free advance publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now on to the contest news

Today, the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 28th, the SHF UK Activity contest runs from 1830 to 2230UTC using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, the 1st and 2nd of September, it’s the RSGB’s SSB Field Day contest. It runs for 24 hours from 1300UTC Saturday to 1300UTC Sunday. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. This event includes a fixed station section and all sections have a maximum output power of 100W. Station inspections are possible, so portable stations need to register to qualify for an award. New for this year is a “Renewable Energy Portable” 6-hour section.

Also on the 1st and 2nd it’s the 144MHz Trophy, which runs from 1400 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day and 144MHz contests coincide with RSGB events, but due to new data protection regulations you now have to submit your own entry to the IARU contests. It cannot be done for you.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day runs from 1300UTC Saturday to 1300UTC Sunday, using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number. The IARU 144MHz contest runs from 1400UTC Saturday to 1400UTC Sunday. Again using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 1st of September the CWops CW Open Contest runs from 0000 to 2359UTC in three 4-hour sessions. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is a serial number and your name.

The All Asian DX contest takes place from 0000UTC on the 1st to 2359UTC on the 2nd. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, with ladies able to send 00.

On the 2nd of September, the 5th 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on 2 metres only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 2nd, the Worked All Britain 2 metre QRO Phone contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 24th of August.

This past week was characterised by low sunspot numbers and unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The K index hit three and four during the week due to yet another large elongated coronal hole on the Sun’s surface. But it wasn’t all bad news as there was DX to be had if you employed the right equipment. Roger, G3LDI reported working Hank, W6SX near the Yosemite region of California, USA, on 20 metres during a CWops contest in the early afternoon on Wednesday. Hank was using a basic wire antenna while Roger was using a SteppIR beam at height. Both were using their respective full legal power limits.

The TX5T DXpedition to the Austral Islands in the South Pacific proved to be a trickier one to work, but a number of G stations did manage to make the trip, with 40 and 80m contacts surprisingly making a show.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 66, which is about as low as it can get in any solar cycle. The better news is that there appears to be a lack of solar coronal holes for the time being, so geomagnetic conditions may be more settled, with a maximum K index of two.

Expect maximum usable frequencies to be in the 14 to 18MHz range, with the potential for occasional Sporadic-E openings on the higher bands, although we are now well past the summer peak.

It is perhaps still a little too early in the season to see the expected autumn upturn in F-layer HF conditions, but there is still DX to be had if you search for it. This may be a good time to attend to your HF antennas before the autumn, ready to make the most of potentially better DX conditions in a month or so.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It’s a much more unsettled flavour to the weather this week, with low pressure close to northern Britain. What's left of the high pressure will have moved into the continent and retreated back to the Azores. This will probably limit the Tropo activity compared with recent events although, as often is the case, it will be the south of the country mainly that might see any temporary Tropo at times. What that leaves us with is the prospect of some occasional microwave band rain scatter in the unsettled phase of our weather.

There remains the prospect of the dying embers of this year’s Sporadic-E season. It is always worth a check on the clusters and HF/VHF bands from 10 metres up to 4 metres but it is perhaps a bit late in the season to expect much on 2 metres. The unsettled weather will bring some jet streams into play over northwest Europe and that can be a good thing for turbulence and Sporadic-E.

Moon declination is still negative and path losses are high today, but by the time we get to next Saturday and Sunday’s GB6GHY EME activity from the 32-metre Dish at Goonhilly in Cornwall it will be positive and losses will be lower. The team plan to be active on 1st and 2nd September, concentrating on 3.4GHz on the 1st and 5.7GHz on the 2nd. Look for them on the HB9Q EME logger between about 0800 and 1200UTC, earlier if possible, and if you can elevate your dish to the Moon, take a listen. Their CW should be receivable on a 1m dish with a decent preamp.

And that’s all from the propagation team for this week and that's all from me until next week.

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Norway gets 1kW on 6m and other bands

  • Train the Trainers in Wolverhampton

  • Share your VHF NFD experiences

On the 8th of August, Norway got an updated amateur licence, allowing all Norwegian amateurs access to 50 to 52MHz with a power of 1kW. Other new privileges include permission for non-amateurs to operate an amateur station, under supervision of a licenced amateur, for training and educational purposes. On higher bands, amateurs received permission to use 1kW for EME and meteor scatter on 69.9 to 70.5MHz, 144 to 146MHz, 432 to 438MHz and 1240 to 1300MHz, all without any additional regulatory application.

The next RSGB Train the Trainers will be held on Saturday the first of September, from 9.30am to 5pm. It takes place at Wolverhampton Electricity Sports and Social Club, St Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton WV3 0QH. This venue is the HQ of Wolverhampton ARS. For more information, or to book a place, please contact Ron Wellsted by email to ron@wellsted.org.uk

RSGB VHF National Field Day weekend took place on the 7th and 8th of July, and a feature is planned in the next edition of RadCom. If your club participated in the event then it’s still not too late to send your contribution for the article. It’s a great way to promote your club’s activity. Please email your words, remembering that succinct is always good, plus some publishable pictures – the higher resolution the better – to radcom@rsgb.org.uk The deadline for the article is this Thursday, the 23rd of August. For information on sending suitable photos for publication, please see tinyurl.com/RadComPix

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ, from the 12th to the 14th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and demos, and the chance to rub shoulders with the giants of amateur radio. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your packages for this flagship event at a lower price. Details, including a provisional Programme, are at www.rsgb.org/convention – and don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

The YOTA 2018 UK team have been very busy at this year’s international youth event in South Africa. They are sharing their amateur radio activities on social media and on the RSGB website. Take a look at their blog at www.rsgb.org/yota2018 and follow them via @theRSGByouth on Twitter. They’re working on a video summary that the RSGB will release when they are back, and there will also be a feature in a forthcoming RadCom.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This 10th anniversary event takes place on the 28th and 29th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like a big RSGB bookstall, traders, flea market and Bring and Buy, the winners of the National Club of the Year 2017, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

Due to essential maintenance work on the aerial mast at the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, D-Star repeater GB7BP will likely be off air from Tuesday the 28th to Thursday the 30th of August. The maintenance work is weather dependant, so there may be a change to the date. If there is a change we will try to publicise it via the RSGB website and other online means. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned for Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO with a school in Germany on Wednesday the 22nd of August at approximately 0915UTC. The conversation will be conducted in German and will be direct, operated by DC1RSN. The downlink signals will be audible in many parts of Europe.

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

Today, the 19th, the Rugby Amateur Radio Society Rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and at 8.30am for sellers. Admission is £3. There is a car boot sale and catering is available on site. Contact Steve, G8LYB, on 0795 685 5816.

Next weekend, on the 25th and 26th, the Montrose Amateur Radio & Aviation Rally will take place at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, DD10 9BD. Doors are open from 10am on both days and entry is free. If you want a table, which cost £5, contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933 as soon as possible. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, will run a Buildathon on the Sunday. Spaces are limited, so please email your interest to David, MM0HQD, via info@cqscotland.com

On Sunday the 26th the Torbay ARS Annual Communications Fair will be held The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. It’s an indoor event with free parking and disabled facilities, and is accessible by public transport. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, RSGB Book Stall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike, G1TUU on 01803 557 941.

Also on the 26th, Milton Keynes ARS is holding its 60th anniversary rally at the Irish Centre, Manor Field, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK2 2HZ. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Hot & cold food will be available. Contact Francis Hennigan, 2E0FMK, via email to rally@mkars.org.uk

On the 27th, Bank Holiday Monday, the Huntingdonshire ARS annual rally will take place at the Ernulf Academy, Barford Rd, St Neots PE19 2SH. Talk-in with GX0HSR will be on 145.550MHz. There’s free parking and admission is £3. Doors open 9am, or 7am for traders. There will be an RSGB Book Stall as well as a Bring & Buy, Hot meals and drinks are available on site and there will be an ice cream van. Contact M0OLG on 01480 214 282.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

Four operators will be active as C4II from Agios, Georgios Island, IOTA reference AS-120, on the 25th to the 27th of August. They plan to operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands, and possibly on 6m.

Duby, 9A6DR is on the air as 9A6DR/P from Kolocep Island, EU-016, until around the 20th of October. In his spare time he is on the 40, 20, 10 and 6 metre bands. QSL via home call, direct or bureau.

A large multinational team of YL operators will be active as TM64YL from Noirmoutier Island, EU-064, from the 25th to the 31st of August. They will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8. QSL via F4GDI, direct or bureau.

Jacques, F6HMJ will be active as SV8/F6HMJ from Ios Island, EU-067, from the 27th of August to the 6th of September. He will operate CW and some SSB on the 40 to 10 metre bands. QSL via his home call.

Wey, K8EAB will be on the air as K4G from St George Island, NA-085, from the 20th to the 25th of August. QSL via Club Log for electronic IOTA credit (preferred), or direct to K8EAB.

Now the special event news

The International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend ends today, the 19th. More than 400 lighthouse and lightship activations in 40 countries will take part in this 25th anniversary of the event. The very first Northern Lighthouse Weekend was organised in 1993 by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group, with activity from 10 lighthouses in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club were one of the original 10 clubs involved and are back at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse with their original callsign of GB2LG. Colchester Radio Amateurs are taking to the air from The Naze Car Park, Old Hall Lane, Walton CO14 8LE. Bushvalley ARC will be participating from Rathlin East, West and Rue Point Lighthouses. Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be on the air as GB0TBW for Trinity Buoy Wharf. Carrickfergus ARG will be operating from the car park at Larne Leisure Centre. Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group will be taking part from inside the Harwich High Light using the callsign GB4HLH. For a full list of stations go to www.illw.net

GB100RAF is operating from Saturday the 18th to Friday the 24th of August from RAF Syerston, as part of the RAF Air Cadets Aerospace Camp, RAFAC, and in conjunction with the RAF 100 celebrations. Cadets will be mainly on 40m around 7.155MHz, ±QRM. All QSLs via G8FC please.

Pontefract & District ARS the club will be operating GB250CC to mark Captain Cook's First Voyage in Endeavour, starting on the 23rd of August. The big day will be the 25th, the actual day Cook sailed. This station will continue until September, although not every day.

GB4RNF will be on the air on the Friday the 24th of August from Boston Central Park, Lincolnshire.

The British Inland Waterways on the Air event takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the 25th to 27th. Paul, MI1AIB and Sharon, 2I0SHZ will be active with GB8BRM from Ballyronan Marina on the shores of Lough Neagh. This is WAB square H98. Activity will mostly be holiday style. QSL via MI1AIB. For more details of other stations go to www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

Spalding ARS is putting on a Special Event Station on the 24th of August for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fisherman. Operating from Boston Central Park, there will be other events taking place as well as the amateur station.

In 1918 a group of enthusiasts interested in the new hobby of amateur radio formed a group in Guildford and named it the Guildford Wireless Alliance and there has been at least one amateur radio society in Guildford ever since. Now, 100 years later, Guildford & District Radio Society, Wey Valley Amateur Radio Group and the Guildford Repeater Group are pleased to celebrate 100 years of Amateur Radio in Guildford. A special event station will be on the air from the 25th to the 27th of August on HF, VHF and digital modes. The venue is the Guildford Model Engineers HQ, London Road, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1TU.  Further details from Timothy Dabbs, G7JYQ, by email to sec.gdrs@virginmedia.com.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB HF contests in the month of August.

On Tuesday at 1900 to 2130UTC the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place with the exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of August.

Matter from a solar coronal hole sent the K index to four on two occasions last week. This adversely affected the ionosphere and on Thursday morning the maximum usable frequency over 3,000 kilometres was struggling to get much above 10MHz. Earlier in the week conditions had been much better. In fact, there were signs we are now moving towards more equinox-like HF conditions and away from the summer doldrums. Chris, G0DWV reports working a number of Japanese stations on 17 metres last week, while Andy, M0NKR worked as far west as Montana in the USA. Checking the bands before retiring on Wednesday evening, Steve, G0KYA was surprised to hear a loud XQ3SK in Chile at the bottom end of 20 metres at 2230UTC. This does bode well for HF over the coming weeks, as long as geomagnetic conditions can remain quiet.

There was one tiny visible sunspot group last week, which pushed the sunspot number to 12, but there are no signs of any others coming around the sun’s limb. Consequently, next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 68-70 again, with minimal or zero sunspots. It also predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 20th and 21st due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. Conditions should be more settled after that, so we may expect better HF conditions from Thursday onwards.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend a weak low over the country may lead to some short sharp scattered showers, setting up conditions for rain scatter on the microwave bands. The many weather radars available online will allow you to follow these large highly-reflective cumulonimbus clouds to set up those longer-range microwave paths.

Subsequently, southern Britain will have a ridge of high pressure pushing in from the Azores high and this will re-introduce the prospects of some Tropo, especially to the south into the continent and across Biscay to Spain or even beyond, as we’ve seen this last week. There will, however, be a tendency for lower pressure to the north of Scotland, keeping winds stronger and curtailing the chance of Tropo.

Lastly, Sporadic-E has been looking a bit thin recently, although a few openings were seen at the end of last week. Unfortunately, any favourable placements of jet streams this weekend will soon be displaced and the next week is showing only limited potential with a very weak upper air flow over Europe for much of this week.

The Moon is at minimum declination on Wednesday and is at its apogee of 405,700km on Thursday. This means the worst EME conditions of the lunar month this week, with highest path losses and very short, low-elevation moon visibility windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • More Newcomers on 5MHz – Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Early Bird deadline for the RSGB Convention approaching

  • ARISS contact for German school

The Ecuadorian telecoms regulator, ARCOTEL, has authorised operation on 5MHz under the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 25W EIRP. Bosnia & Herzegovina have also been authorised by their regulator, for 5MHz operation under the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with a maximum power of 15W EIRP.

The end of the Early Bird discount for bookings at the RSGB Convention is fast approaching. The deadline is the 18th of August and the event takes place on the 12th to the 14th of October. The provisional programme is now available on the website, so visit www.rsgb.org/convention for all the latest information. The RSGB Convention is generously sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons.

An ARISS contact is planned for a school in Germany with Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO on Tuesday the 14th of August at approximately 1256UTC. The exchange will be a direct contact operated by DN2DLR and be conducted in German. The downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.800 MHz FM.

The Perseids meteor shower will peak between the night of Sunday the 12th of August and the early morning hours of the 13th. You may be able to see around 60 meteors an hour during the peak. You can also catch glimpses of the Perseid meteors until the last week of August. See the Propagation Forecast to find out more about meteor shower activity on the VHF bands.

The 2018 UK High Altitude Society annual conference and general High Altitude Balloon get-together will be held at Cranfield University, Bedfordshire on Saturday the 18th of August. There will be usual broad spectrum of High Altitude Balloon talks from beginner to advanced. For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit https://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2018 Tickets cost £30, with a concession for students.

EARTH EX 2018 is an international cross-sector exercise sponsored by the Electric Infrastructure Security Council. This year’s EARTH EX event on the 22nd of August is a virtual international exercise opportunity. It supports the amateur radio capabilities of communities as, in the event of a grid emergency, radio communications may be the only form of communications able to assist in the restoration of critical lifeline infrastructures and provide support for mass care operations. To Register go to https://eiscouncil.org/EarthEx.aspx and select the Private Sector on the right and then select the Radio Communications lane. You will receive a confirmation e-mail that will be used to access the exercise anytime on the 22nd of August.

Please note that the new RSGB amateur radio exams syllabus will be released during the week commencing the 13th of August. Watch for the September RadCom that will give a fuller understanding of the milestones of the changeover. A companion document for tutors will be released at the same time. You can read the full announcement at https://tinyurl.com/newrsgbsyllabus

 

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. Any established HF DXer may make a nomination. The nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented at the RSGB Convention on the 12th-14th October. Please send nominations to HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September.

Advance notice now for the British Railways Amateur Radio Society AGM will be held at the Brunswick Inn in Derby on Tuesday the 23rd of October starting at 1.15pm. For more information about the AGM please go to www.BRARS.info and follow the link from the front page.

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

Today, the 12th, it’s the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest. This large event takes place at the Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk-in will be on S22. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4, which includes parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and a lecture stream during the day. More information from Tony Baker, G3PFM, on 0774 347 5018.

Next Sunday, the 19th, the Rugby Amaeur Radio Society Rally will be held at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and at 8.30am for sellers. Admission is £3. There is a car boot sale and catering is available on site. Contact Steve, G8LYB on 0795 685 5816.

Advance notice now. CQ Scotland.com, part of the Mid Lanark Amateur Radio Society, and funded by the RSGB Legacy Committee, will be at the Montrose Rally to be held on Sunday the 26th of August. A buildathon is planned for those new to electronics and amateur radio. Please consider bringing along family, neighbours and friends and help them solder up a fun free electronic project kit. Spaces must be limited, so please email your interest now to David, MM0HQD at info@cqscotland.com or visit www.CQScotland.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

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

TA1HZ will be travelling to Prishtina on the 17th of August and will be on the air as Z68HZ. He will be working mainly SSB and FT8. He will be back home on the 27th of August. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Roly, ZL1BQD will be active as A35RR from Togatapu, Tonga, OC-049, until the 17th of August. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or direct to ZL1BQD.

D73G ill be on the air from Hachiuja Island, AS-084, between the 15th and 18th of August. Plans are to be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes, including FT8 in DXpedition mode. QSL via 6L0NJ via the bureau.

A team of seven will be active as LR5D from Isla Martin Garcia, SA-055, between the 16th and 20th of August. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via LU4AA, direct or via the bureau.

Brandon, W0GPR will be active as OX/W0GPR during a scientific campaign to western Greenland until the 27th of August. When time allows he will operate SSB, FT8 and other digital modes on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to his home callsign.

Bo, OZ1DJJ will be active as OX3LX from Uummannaq Island, NA-134, from the 15th to the 29th of August. Bo is on the air in his spare time, typically around lunch and after dinner. QSL via OZ0J, Club Log's OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

The Deep Space Exploration Society will be operating a special event station until the 13th of August from the site of its 60 foot dish observatory in Colorado, USA. Calling as K0PRT and coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower, operation will be from 1400UTC to 2359UTC on 7.238, 14.253 and 50.160MHz. A special QSL is available. Details at http://dses.science/

Fareham & DARC will be operating GB0PKF for the Portsmouth Kite Festival on the 11th and 12th of August.

GB100RAF will be operating from Saturday the 18th to Friday the 24th of August at RAF Syerston, as part of the Aerospace camp of RAFAC (Air Cadets) and in conjunction with the RAF 100 celebrations. Cadets will be mainly on 40m around 7.155MHz ±QRM. All QSLs via G8FC.

The International Lighthouse and Lightships Weekend takes place on the 18th and 19th of August. Entries are rolling in daily including 55 from Germany, 46 from Australia and 40 from the USA; not forgetting Namibia with 2, Mexico with 1, Latvia 2 and Iceland and Gibraltar with 1 each. Colchester Radio Amateurs are taking to the air from The Naze Car Park, Old Hall Lane, Walton CO14 8LE operating across the bands on phone, FT8, CW and PSK, from early Saturday morning through to, provisionally, Sunday afternoon at 4pm. Bushvalley ARC will be participating from Rathlin East, West and Rue Point Lighthouses on VHF/UHF and HF Bands. Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be on the air as GB0TBW for Trinity Buoy Wharf. Carrickfergus ARG will be operating from the carpark at Larne Leisure Centre everyone is welcome to come along and join in the craic. There will be a barbecue on the Saturday. Harwich Amateur Radio Interest Group will be taking part from inside the Harwich High Light using the callsign GB4HLH. Activity will be from 8am until around 4pm on HF SSB and CW as well as 2m FM. For a full list of stations go to www.illw.net

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB HF contests in the month of August.

The Worked All Europe DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of this weekend. Europe works non-Europe only. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. You can significantly boost your score by exchanging reports of previously held QSOs, but not everybody chooses to do this. A web search for DARC WAE should find the rules, explaining how this works.

Today, the 12th, sees the fifth 70MHz Cumulative. Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, all modes can be used on the 4m band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to1900UTC, using FM only. It is followed by the 432MHz UK Activity Contest will all modes from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator for both events.

Thursday sees the 70MHz FM Activity Contest from 1800 to1900UTC, using FM only. It is followed by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest will all modes from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator for both events.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 10th August 2018.

The Sun remained spotless this week as the solar flux index stuck resolutely around the 70 mark. The tiny sunspot that made an appearance on the first of August didn’t come to much and had vanished by the third.

This underlines that we must be getting closer to sunspot minimum, although don’t expect to see any massive upturn until 2019.

Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled last week, although the effects of a coronal hole did send the K index to three on Tuesday the 7th.

Another equatorial-located coronal hole was rotating into position as this report was being written, so prepare for potentially unsettled conditions this weekend, the 11th and 12th.

Looking further ahead NOAA predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions around the 17th and again on the 20th and 21st due to coronal hole activity. The solar flux will remain around the 70 mark.

HF wise, conditions have been a little lacklustre with large parts of the bands devoid of signals, apart from the FT8 watering holes.

The 40, 30 and 20m bands still provide the most activity during daylight hours, with occasional openings on 17m metres. 80m and 40m are the “go to” bands after sunset, which of course is now getting earlier each day.

However, the ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk show there have been some consistent post-sunset HF openings up to 18MHz occurring around 2100UTC, so don’t write-off HF after dark.

And finally, don’t forget it is International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on the 18th and 19th of August.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last Sunday EI3KD worked D4Z on the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa on 144 MHz, at 4163km. This CW contact sets a new Region One Tropo record.

After all the tropo excitement, meteor scatter gets only secondary billing in the VHF news this week. The Perseids meteor shower’s broad peak hits maximum today so the VHF meteor scatter frequencies should be buzzing with meteor pings. Check out the ON4KST.info 50/70 and 144 MHz chats to see where the activity is and look upwards for shooting stars if you have dark skies

The next week looks likely to change our world of constant Tropo into a more unsettled weather type with low pressure systems and fronts moving towards the country. This will mean that rain scatter will come to the fore on the GHz bands. There could still be a little Tropo around, especially over sea paths in the south, but not very reliable ones.

Looking at Sporadic-E propagation, last week we continued to get evening digimode openings to the US. We will have a return to the unsettled weather, which implies the return of a jet stream pattern, mainly across northern Europe.

This will favour paths across to Scandinavia, whereas to the south we may have to rely upon either weaker jet streams or upper ridge patterns to come to our rescue.

August is still part of the Sporadic-E season, but it is not as widespread as earlier and perhaps harder to work.

Moon declination is high but goes negative on Wednesday so there are still plenty of EME opportunities available, with increasing losses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. August 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th August 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • New Exams Syllabus soon

  • YOTA 2018 gets under way

  • 71MHz activity thriving

The RSGB is pleased to announce that, following its formal approval by RSGB Board in July, the new syllabus will be released during the week commencing 13 August. This will link with the publication of the first set of project communications in RadCom to give a fuller understanding of the milestones of the changeover. The Society will also release a comparison document at the same time, enabling tutors to see at a glance what changes have been made between the old and new syllabuses.

This week sees the start of the 2018 Youth on the Air international event in South Africa, organised by the South African Amateur Radio League. The seven-day programme runs from the 8th to the 15th of August and involves around 80 young amateurs from around the world, including an RSGB-sponsored team of four from the UK. Activities will include building radio kits, a high-altitude balloon launch and even the chance to sit South African amateur radio exams. For more information see www.ham-yota.com

UK amateurs continue to make remarkable progress with innovative technology in the experimental 71MHz band. The BATC Forum reports contacts of reduced bandwidth digital amateur TV of between 59 and 87km, using the latest high efficiency video coding. This follows the initial short range contacts when simplified NoV access to 70.5-71.5MHz was introduced by Ofcom and the RSGB in June. See www.rsgb.org/nov for info.

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. Any established HF DXer may make a nomination. The nominee should be an up-and-coming HF DXer who has made rapid progress in the last year and has some real achievements to show, for example, a good total of new countries worked or some serious HF DXpedition activity. This prestigious RSGB award will be presented at the RSGB Convention on the 12th-14th October. Please send nominations to HF Manager Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 14th of September.

A key RSGB web server will be offline one night this week for essential third-party maintenance. Many RSGB services will be unavailable from 9pm on Tuesday until about 8.30am on Wednesday the 8th. If you are an RSGB Member planning to visit Bletchley Park on Wednesday the 8th of August, please make sure you download your free admission voucher before 9pm on Tuesday.

A field-day style International Convention of CW Operators is taking place on the 24th to the 27th of August near Moscow, Russia. All radio amateur CW operators are invited. Participation is free but attendees must provide their own outdoor sleeping gear. Detailed information on this event, in Russian, is available at https://clck.ru/DoNR2 or you can contact the event’s ‘international liaison officer’ Ed, NT2X by email to red@escape.com 

Paraguay has joined the ever-growing list of countries that have released the 60m Secondary allocation agreed at WARC-15. The band 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz has been authorised at 25W EIRP. The original announcement, in Spanish, is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0308-B

The Nursing Times has run a feature on GB1NHS, the special event station to promote the 70th anniversary of the NHS and other national initiatives. The station was launched at the RSGB National Radio Centre on 8 May this year. You can see the Nursing Times article at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0308-C

Loughton & Epping Forest Radio Society will be running another of its highly successful Foundation courses on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of September. The course takes place at All Saints House in Chigwell Row, Essex, and concludes with the Foundation exam. There is parking available, and the venue is a short distance away from Hainault Tube Station on the central line. For more information contact Marc Litchman, M0TOC, via email to marc@lefars.org.uk or on 0748 480 4135.

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

Today, the 5th, the King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4DZ. There will be talk-in on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. 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. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701.

Also today, the Lorn Radio Rally takes place at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, for which tables are free but a raffle prize is appreciated, as well as a Bring & Buy. The raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from mm0elf@blueyonder.co.uk.

Friday the 10th sees the 25th Cockenzie & Port Seton Mini Rally Night, which takes place at the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton. Bring along your own junk and sell it yourself. Tables are on a first come first served basis. Entry is £2 and doors open at 6pm.

Next Sunday, the 12th, it’s the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest. This large event takes place at the Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. Talk in will be on S22. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4, which includes parking. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale and a lecture stream during the day. More information from Tony Baker, G3PFM, on 0774 347 5018 or see www.frars.org.uk.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Dariusz, SP9DLM will be active as 4S7DMG from Kalkudah, Sri Lanka, IOTA reference AS-003, from the 6th to the 14th of August. He will be on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. QSL via home call.

Alfredo Caviedes, will be active as HC1HC/8 from Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, IOTA SA-004 from the 7th to the 10th of August. Using an Elecraft KX3 transceiver and Buddipole antenna, he will operate QRP, mainly WSJT-X DXpedition mode, on WARC-79 bands and possibly 6m. QSL via NE8Z direct.

Hardy, DL7JLL will operate as A35JLL from the Kingdom of Tonga during August and September, mainly on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. From the 8th to the 15th of August he will be at Nuku Alofa. QSL via DL7JLL direct or by the bureau.

Roly, ZL1BQD, will be active as A35RR from Togatapu, IOTA OC-049, and possibly Vava’u, OC-063 between the 8th and 17th of August. Activity will be on 160 to 10m using mostly FT8 and JT65, with some CW possible depending on conditions. QSL via ZL1BQD.

Now the special event news

Today and Monday, Martello Tower Group continues operating GB5RC, celebrating five decades of offshore broadcasting. Operating from MV Ross Revenge, the home of Radio Caroline since 1983, activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 10m, SSB and various datamodes. Contact Keith, G6NHU, via email to g6nhu@me.com.

Deep Space Exploration Society will be operating a special event station from the 11th to the 13th of August from the site of its 60 foot dish observatory in Colorado, USA. Calling as K0PRT and coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower, operation will be from 1400UTC to 2359UQC on 7.238, 14.253 and 50.160MHz. A special QSL is available. Details at http://dses.science/

Welland Valley ARS will be operating another in its series of special event calls marking the end of the First World War. This month’s callsign is GB5FWW.

GB5RC will be on the air from Thursday the 3rd to Monday the 7th at Bradwell Marina as the Martello Tower group celebrate five decades of offshore broadcasting.

Fareham & DARC will be operating GB0PKF for Portsmouth Kite Festival on the 11th and 12th of August.

Advance notice now about International Lighthouse lightship Weekend, which takes place on the 18th and 19th of August. Following on from a very successful Maidens Island Lighthouse activation, Bushvalley ARC will be operational on Rathlin East, West and Rue point Lighthouses on HF, VHF and UHF. Details will be posted on the MN0GKL QRZ.com page and full information on the ILLW weekend is at https://illw.net

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing! As a rule of thumb, please send details for RadCom at least three months in advance.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB contests in the month of August.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon ends today, and participants have until Monday the 13th to upload logs.

The 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800UTC to 1200UTC today, the 8th. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FMAC and UKAC take place. Use FM only on the FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, then you can use all modes in the 144MHz UKAC until 2130UTC. Signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange for both.

On Thursday the 6m FMAC and UKAC take place. The FM-only 50MHz FMAC runs from 1800UTC to 1900UTC. It is followed immediately by the all-mode 50MHz UKAC, which runs until 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Europe DX CW Contest takes place for the entire 48 hours of next weekend. Europe works non-Europe only. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. You can significantly boost your score by exchanging reports of previously held QSOs, but not everybody chooses to do this. A web search for DARC WAE should find the rules, explaining how this works.

Finally for next weekend, next Sunday sees the 70MHz Cumulative #5. Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, all modes can be used on the 4m band. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 3rd August 2018

The solar flux index stayed around the 70 mark last week, although a new tiny sunspot did become visible on Tuesday. Unfortunately this had little real effect on the SFI, although it did push the sunspot number to 11. This can be misleading due to the way sunspot numbers are calculated. You score 10 for each group and one for each sunspot, so the leap from zero to 11 only means one spot has appeared.

We got the geomagnetic forecast correct last week, as conditions were quite settled. As many amateurs found in the IOTA contest, HF conditions were largely average, with a predominance of European signals. However, there were reports of some intercontinental DX, especially for better-equipped stations.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be pegged at 68, although we think it could rise a little above this due to the sun’s active region. The other news is another active region is heading around the sun and its effects may impact us in around a week’s time.

Geomagnetic conditions this week will be largely settled, but with the possibility of a slightly raised K index this weekend due to an equatorial coronal hole. Expect HF conditions to continue pretty much as they did in July, with daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 14MHz at times.

In Doctor Tamitha Skov’s weekly solar forecast on YouTube she said the new sunspot region could push conditions to the “top end of poor”, which sums up solar minimum! You can find out more about her work at www.spaceweatherwoman.com

The IOTA contest showed that there is still Sporadic-E activity around on 14-28 MHz, but it sometimes takes a contest to get people to take advantage of it.

Finally, as we are now into August you should be using the new smoothed sunspot number of five with your VOACAP-based prediction programs.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

There is a distinctly Tropo look about the weather charts this week as high pressure remains the dominant feature across the British Isles and nearby continent. This type of pattern can produce some long-lasting openings across the length of the high on the charts, preferably along one side rather than directly across the centre of the high, since this is where the inversion sinks very low and the duct can easily be cut short by high ground.

There will be a slight hiccup around mid-week in the south as a weak area of low pressure disrupts the high, bringing a risk of thundery showers to southern parts of the UK. It could mean a chance of rain scatter on the microwave bands though.

Sporadic-E isn’t over yet, but the position of jet streams do not look favourable. There is almost a total absence of Sporadic-E-producing jet streams within mainland Europe, except in a fairly limited band across northern Britain and the north Atlantic, so check the beacons and the clusters to find out which paths are open.

We are approaching the peak of the Perseids meteor shower around the 12th August so meteor scatter paths will be good either side as it is a broad peak.

This is a good week for EME as the moon is heading back towards its closest point to Earth, perigee, on August 10th. It also reaches maximum northerly declination on August 8th. Note that the sun and Moon are close on Saturday morning, meaning high sun noise.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • WRTC 2022 venue announced
  • Lighthouse 300 registered
  • Kraftwerk jams with astronaut on ISS

 

After the recent successful World Radiosport Team Championship in Germany it has been announced that the 2022 event will be hosted by Bologna in Italy. The invitation-only event pits the world’s greatest DXers against each other in over sixty teams. They compete with each other using similar stations in similar terrain to level the playing field. As far as possible, this means it comes down to a fair test of the operators’ sheer skill. The official website of the 2022 event is at http://wrtc2022.it/

The International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend takes place over the weekend of the 18th to the 19th of August. The event’s organisers have just announced the 300th lighthouse registration. It’s still a little short of the 2014 record, which was 544 lighthouses and lightships. However, there is still time and if you’d like to take part – either as an activator or a chaser – you will find the details at www.illw.net

Pioneering 1970s electronic music band Kraftwerk performed an extremely unusual duet last week, playing live on stage in conjunction with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst aboard the International Space Station. The event took place as part of Stuttgart’s Jazz Open Festival on the 20th of July. After introductions, they played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander Gerst had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesisers. You can find full details on Gerst’s blog via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2907A

As a result of work by the RSGB Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, in July Ofcom cleared two 23cm ATV repeaters for operation. GB3EY in Hull and GB3FT in Blackpool have received their NoVs. These are the first 23cm units to be cleared for several years. Separately, 23cm TV repeater GB3YT, or Yorkshire Television, is now back on the air following an extensive update of equipment. It has inputs on 70cm digital plus 23cm digital and analogue. You can find details of these – and all other UK repeaters – on the ETCC website at www.ukrepeater.net

The RSGB presently has several important volunteer vacancies. Candidates must be an RSGB member, be willing to agree to observe the Society's Code of Conduct and Ethos and support the Society's strategies. We can only give brief details of each vacancy in this broadcast but there are more details on the RSGB website or on request, and full details will appear in the September RadCom.

The RSGB has over 30 affiliated national clubs and societies and we have recognised the need for an Honorary Officer to act as a champion for these groups, and to develop a closer relationship to support them and the amateurs they represent. This position is offered for an initial period of up to three years. For more details please see www.rsgb.org/volunteers or contact Len Paget, GM0ONX, on 01563 534 383 or via email to gm0onx@rsgb.org.uk.

The Operating Advisory Service, OAS, is the RSGB’s new advisory and reporting service. It replaces the Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS. RSGB needs an Honorary Officer, who will be known as the Operating Advisory Service Coordinator. They will coordinate this service, including recruiting and training a team of volunteer Regional Operating Advisers. The role requires patience and tact, good communication skills and a willingness to help create and continue to improve this new service.

In support of the Operating Advisory Service Coordinator the RSGB is also seeking Operating Advisory Service Regional Operating Advisers from around the country. There will be notionally one per RSGB Region, and they will be the first point of contact to provide advice for the Regional Team. They will be proactive in disseminating advice through clubs, repeater groups and events where radio amateurs may be found. The Regional Operating Advisers will be supported by, among other things, an email group to help develop best practice and common presentation materials. To find out more about either of the OAS roles, please see www.rsgb.org/volunteers or contact RSGB Board Director Philip Willis, M0PHI, via email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk

British Inland Waterways on the Air takes place over the 25th to the 27th of August, the Bank Holiday weekend. It is open to all amateurs that use tow paths, rivers, lakes or reservoirs that are used for recreation. For more details see www.nharg.org.uk/biwota

Finally, the RSGB offers its congratulations to Radio Communications Foundation scholar Luke Andrews, who is now M0LLX. Luke passed all three exams since being selected as an Arkwright Scholar, and gaining sponsorship from the RCF. The RCF Trustees are grateful to Martin Atherton, G3ZAY, and the Cambridge University Wireless Society for their support.

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

Today, the 29th, the Chippenham & DARC rally, electronics fair & car boot sale takes place at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. Doors open at 9am, or 8.30 for disabled visitors. Admission is £2. There will be a car boot sale, catering, flea market, special interest groups, talk-in and trade stands. Sellers pay £10 per pitch, or the same per indoor table, and can set up from 7am. Details form Brian Tanner, G6HUI, on 0772 224 2741.

Also today, the Horncastle amateur radio rally takes place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6DZ. It’s all on one level, making it suitable for people with mobility problems. Hot food & drinks are available and there is room for traders outside. Entry remains £2. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

Next Sunday, the King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 4DZ. There will be talk-in on 145.550MHz and car parking is free. 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. Onsite catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701.

Also next Sunday, the Lorn Radio Rally takes place at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, for which tables are free but a raffle prize is appreciated, as well as a Bring & Buy. The raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from mm0elf@blueyonder.co.uk.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

With the IOTA Contest reaching its end today you’re sure to find the bands still busy with lots of exotic DX from rare locations.

Dave, G4BUO will be active as E51BUO from Rarotonga Island, IOTA reference OC-013, from the 30th of July to the 6th of August. He will operate on HF CW, using 100W and wire antennas. QSL via home call.

From the 5th to the 12th of August SP7IDX will be on the air from Vlore, Albania as ZA/SP7IDX. Activity will be on 40 to 10m, SSB and digital. QSL via LotW or direct to homecall.

Next weekend you can expect to find lots of activity from unusual places on VHF as there are three contests happening at the same time. More details of those later in this broadcast.

Finally, note that the planned CY9C DXpedition to St Paul’s Island, Nova Scotia, has been cancelled. It was due to run from the 1st to the 9th of August.

Now the special event news

Continuing the year-long Eleven Cities Marathon in Holland, PF2018HAR will be on the air throughout August from Harlingen in the Netherlands. You can email info@hamecc2018.eu to set up a sked.

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society and other clubs are running GB4SAS this weekend for the Sunderland Air Show. Operating from the Life Guard Station, Marine Walk, SR6 0PW, all bands from HF to 70cm will be in use from 10am on both days. Visitors are welcome.

ZM50MAUQ will be on the air throughout August to commemorate the 1968 fire aboard the SS Gothic, which resulted in the deaths of four passengers and three crew. Activity will be on 80, 40 and 20 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via ClubLog. There is a gripping account of the accident at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2907B

Celebrating five decades of offshore broadcasting, the Martello Tower group will operate GB5RC from the Radio Caroline ship the MV Ross Revenge from the 3rd to the 5th of August. Operation will be from three stations on 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m and 10m, running SSB and various datamodes. QSL direct to G6NHU or via the bureau to GB5RC. More details are at http://martellotowergroup.com

Members of the Carpathian Society of Transylvania will be active as YP27EKE during their hosting of the 27th Roaming Camp from the 30th of July to the 5th of August. Activity will be on the HF bands. They may also activate WWFF sites YOFF-0177 and YO/MC-031. QSL via YO6PIB

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing!

Now the contest news

The RSGB IOTA Contest draws to a close at 1200UTC today, Saturday. Using CW or SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain.

Also today, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the regular Straight Key Sprint Europe contest, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month. At this time of year it runs from 1900UTC to 2100UTC. You’ll find the rules on the www.skccgroup.com website but, in brief, it’s CW-only, using only a manual key, sideswiper or bug. All the contest bands can be used from 160 to 6m, and the website has some suggested centre frequencies. The exchange is a true signal report, a QTH code which you can find on the website, operator name and either your SKCC membership number or ‘none’.

Next Saturday is going to be very busy on 2m, with no fewer than three events taking place more or less simultaneously. The Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power Phone contest runs from 1400UTC to 1800UTC. Using all phone modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

Also next Saturday, the 144MHz Backpacker #4 runs from 1300UTC to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, signal report, serial number, locator and postcode forms the exchange.

Overlapping with that is the 144MHz Low Power contest, which takes place from 1400UTC to 2000UTC on Saturday. Conveniently, the exchange is the same – signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Next Sunday morning the 432MHz Low Power contest runs from 0800UTC to 1200UTC. Again, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of July.

The solar flux index hit 66 on Thursday 26th, which is probably the lowest it will go this sunspot minimum. At the time of writing the visible solar disk has been devoid of sunspots since June 27th, apart from the tiniest fleck that sent the sunspot number to 11 for one day on 12th July. We can probably expect more of the same through 2018 as we make our way through this low part of the current solar cycle.

Geomagnetic conditions were a little unsettled this week due to coronal hole activity, with the K index hitting four at times. Next week NOAA has the solar flux index pegged at 68 with reasonably-settled geomagnetic conditions.

This weekend is the RSGB Islands on the Air Contest, which may actually be over by the time you hear this. But for those of you who read GB2RS online or catch it on Saturday, expect 40m and 20m to be the money bands, with 7MHz coming into its own after dark. Fifteen metres and ten metres may struggle to open, other than through Sporadic-E openings, which are now becoming less prevalent as we move towards August.

Started in 1993, IOTA is now a major international event, attracting thousands of participants from all over the world. Radio amateurs will be travelling to islands around the globe, and putting them on the air, so it is an ideal opportunity to make some contacts.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather is breaking with some heavy thundery showers in attendance this weekend, so there’s the prospect of some rain scatter for the microwave bands. This will only be temporary as fine weather returns from Tuesday. That also means that although we are having a pause from the almost daily Tropo weather due to the recent high pressure, it will return from mid-week to give the prospect of some VHF DX paths across the North Sea to the Baltic and Scandinavia, or to the south across Biscay to Spain and western France. Sea paths are often the best under these summer Tropo conditions.

The Sporadic-E conditions have been a bit variable recently, but don’t worry about the change of month, as Sporadic-E can go right through to early September in a good year. However, we do really need a more changeable pattern of weather to bring us the useful jet streams, which can be good for Sporadic-E. There are some jet streams about, so you maximise the potential for openings by listening for the beacons and looking at the clusters. The peak times are typically late morning and late afternoon and early evening.

It is only two weeks to go until the Perseids meteor shower, the biggest of the year, so check out your equipment and be ready for some – literal – fireworks on the 12th.

The moon is past apogee again and declination goes positive on Thursday so EME conditions will pick up as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • WRTC 2018 results
  • Amateur innovation thrives
  • New CubeSats reach ISS

 

Last weekend’s World Radiosport Team Championship ended with a win for Lithuanian amateurs Gedas Lucinskas, LY9A and Mindis Jukna, LY4L, who scored nearly 5.7 million points from 5139 QSOs. The runners-up were Germans Manfred Wolf, DJ5MW and Stefan von Baltz, DL1IAO, who scored nearly 5.3 million points from just under 5000 QSOs. In all, the 63 two-person teams made well over a quarter of a million contacts and scored a total of over 250 million points over the 24-hour contest period. Congratulations to all who took part. A detailed report on the Championships is at www.wrtc2018.de/en

The August RadCom includes an editorial that shows how innovation is alive and well in the amateur radio community. There are now unprecedented opportunities for experimentation, with, for example software defined radio dongles available for under £10, dual band transceivers for £20, and much more. The options to dabble, hack and innovate have never been wider. The RSGB believes we may be at the dawn of a new era of amateur research and innovation. If you haven’t seen the editorial, you can read it in the Strategy section of the RSGB website, accessible via tinyurl.com/RC-editorials

Three new CubeSats have been taken to the International Space Station for deployment in August. The satellites, known as MAYA-1, BHUTAN-1 and UiTMSAT-1 were built in Japan by students from Malaysia, Bhutan, and the Philippines. Collectively known as the BIRDS-2 constellation, the CubeSats will transmit a CW beacon on 437.375MHz throughout their six month life. Each is also equipped with an APRS digipeater on 145.825MHz and two cameras for earth observation. more details on the project are online at http://birds2.birds-project.com/

Nigel Barker, M0HZR was recently appointed the new RSGB Examination Standards Manager. His interest in radio was sparked when, early on in his career, he spent two years working in an electronics workshop. Over the years he has always held technical roles, and is currently responsible for the server infrastructure of a major UK qualifications awarding body. He has been an invigilator at many RSGB examinations and is particularly interested in the part IT can play in supporting the amateur radio community.

The 2018 RSGB Examinations Standards Committee report has been released. It discusses the UK amateur radio exams system in detail, including pass statistics, ongoing work on the administrative system and comments on the question bank, among many other topics. The report can be freely downloaded from the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0722a

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

The Finningley Amateur Radio Society Rally takes place today at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There is free parking and the doors open at 10.30am. Admission is £3. There is a large traders’ area, inside and out, with everything from microwave components to QRP. Hot food and drinks are available all day. For ease of access it’s all on one level. Contact Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

Also today, the McMichael Rally is at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning-on-Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Talk-in will be on S22 and parking is free. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Tables and car boot spaces are £10. There will be trade stands and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar will be available on site. Due to venue rules, no dogs are allowed other than assistance dogs. Details from Andy on 0777 594 0016.

Next Sunday, the 29th, the Chippenham & DARC rally, electronics fair & car boot sale takes place at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, Church Road, Kington Langley SN15 5NJ. Doors open at 9am, of 8.30 for disabled visitors. Admission is £2. There will be a car boot sale, catering, flea market, special interest groups, talk-in and trade stands. Sellers pay £10 per pitch, or the same per indoor table, and can set up from 7am. Details form Brian Tanner, G6HUI, on 0772 224 2741.

Also next Sunday, the Horncastle amateur radio rally takes place at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6DZ. It’s all on one level, making it suitable for people with mobility problems. Hot food & drinks are available and there is room for traders outside. Entry remains £2. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Many DXpeditions will be on the air leading up to and during next weekend’s RSGB IOTA Contest. One list of announced operations is at www.ng3k.com/Misc/iota2018.html. It contains details of some 80 DXpeditions around the world. A lot of infrequently activated locations will be on the air, so even if you’re not taking part in the contest it’s a great chance to log some rare ones. Here are just a few examples of what’s going on.

YV7MAY will be on the air from Margarita, IOTA reference SA-012, running low power to Yagis on 40 to 10m.

SV9/I3MDU will be on Crete, EU-015.

MM0JTV/1 will be on Barra, EU-010, running low power.

A high power multi-op station will be on Malta, EU-023, calling 9H6YB. Operators will be G3XSV, G3TXF and G4AXX, who will start operating from the 25th as 9H3XSV, 9H3TKF and 9H3AXX.

EJ6KP is another multi-op DXpedition, this time by G3SHF, G0SYP, M0DCG, M1PTR and EI6KP, operating form Aranmore, EU-121.

Operating from the 21st to the 29th, WB8YJF/4 will be on the air from Ocracoke, NA-067.

Karel, OK2ZI will be active as 3B8/OK2ZI from Pointe aux Sables, Mauritius Island, IOTA AF-041, from the 26th July to the 4th of August. He will operate on 160 to 10m, CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via home call, ClubLog OQRS or LOTW.

Christian, M0UPL will be active as D44EK from Sal Island, AF-086, from the 23rd July to the 7th August. He will be using SSB on all the HF bands. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

Fort Purbrook ARC will be operating GB1PF, celebrating the Palmerston Forts. They will be at Fort Purbrook from the 29th to the 29th, working most bands from 80 to 2m, voice, CW and PSK.

W0WIT will mark the Winnebago Grand National Rally in Forest City, Idaho. Operating from the 22nd to the 26th, from 1300UTC to 0400UTC, DX activity is planned on 7.265MHz and 14.268MHz.

The 77th Annual Convention of the National Speleological Society will be celebrated as K7V on 7.195MHz and 14.285MHz from the 28th July to the 4th of August. Activity on the 28th and 29th will be from 1800UTC to 0200UTC; other days will be as time permits.

Marking the Ninth Annual Detroit Maker Fair, N8M will be operating CW and SSB on 80, 40, 20 and 10m on the 28th and 29th. Details are at www.k8utt.org

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send publicity information well in advance to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, on GB2RS, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, but can’t help you unless you tell us what you’re doing!

Now the contest news

The RSGB Low Power Contest takes place today from 0900UTC to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and power. It’s worth knowing that this is an HF Championship event.

Also today, the 70MHz Trophy contest takes place from 1000UTC to 1600UTC. All modes can be used, on the 4m band only, with signal report, serial number, locator and postcode forming the exchange. This is a VHF Championship event.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 1830UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes on 2.3GHz and up, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships data leg takes place. Running from 1900UTC to 2030UTC, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

There’s big contest news next weekend. The IOTA Contest runs from 1200UTC on Saturday to the same time on Sunday. Using CW or SSB on the 2.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference, which is EU-005 for mainland Great Britain.

Finally, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes place next Sunday from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 20th July.

Last weekend’s IARU contest saw a lot of action on the HF bands, which just goes to show that it isn’t all about sunspots. In fact, we have now gone more than three weeks without sunspots, which has been described as almost a decade-class event. The last time the sun lost its spots for 21 consecutive days was in 2009. So, the moral is to make the most of what we have in terms of ionospheric propagation on HF.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with the solar flux index starting at around 72 and declining to 68 as the week goes on. This weekend may be unsettled geomagnetically as the result of an equatorial coronal hole on the sun. We have just had a run of settled conditions that have seen the critical frequency hover around the high 4MHz area, but never reaching 5MHz. As such, NVIS contacts around the UK during the day have been difficult.

Maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path this week are likely to remain in the 14-18MHz range. This is a pattern that we may see continue until the autumn.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We should be getting the hang of this high pressure pattern and the type of VHF conditions it brings by now. We have another week with similar characteristics coming up, so it’ll be no surprise to hear that Tropo will feature quite a lot, but perhaps not so much in the far north where low pressure will be nearby at times.

As usual, the south west of the UK down to Iberia will offer the best chance of DX. East coast stations should be able to take advantage of sea ducting over to the Continent.

There is a chance of one or two showers, so perhaps a glimmer of hope for some rain scatter. Failing that, it’ll be Sporadic-E that offers some excitement, although in recent days there’s been a weakness about it. This could be down to many things, including the placement and sparsity of weather triggers to generate the necessary turbulent wave motion that is part of the mechanism for making Sporadic-E. Let's hope that next week offers some improvement, although it’s looking a bit marginal.

The moon reaches minimum declination and apogee on Wednesday so Moon elevations will be very low and losses at their highest for EME. This is a week to try some satellite operation with a handheld antenna from the back garden or balcony!

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • New service to replace AROS
  • Ham-designed comms support cave rescue
  • International Youth at Sea begins

 

Following an extensive review of the Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS, the RSGB has decided to create a new service to provide guidance to operators who experience misuse of the amateur bands by others. This service will be known as the Operating Advisory Service, or OAS, and will replace AROS. The change will come into effect over the next few months. A new team of volunteers will promote good practice and take a detailed look at how to tackle problems such as on-air harassment, repeater abuse and the pirating of callsigns. They will develop written advice that will be published on the OAS pages on the RSGB website.

The dramatic rescue of twelve young footballers and their coach from a cave in Thailand was facilitated, in part, by communications technology developed by British radio amateur John Hey, G3TDZ. Ordinary radio signals don’t penetrate the solid rock surrounding caves, but very low frequency signals can do. Around the turn of the Millennium John designed a system that became known as the HeyPhone, which could penetrate some 800m of solid rock and provide reliable two-way voice communication. It used single sideband operating at 87kHz, with novel antenna techniques to couple the signals between units. The HeyPhone was featured in the January 2002 edition of RadCom. Unfortunately John became a silent key in 2016 but he saw his equipment used in countless cave rescue and other applications. You can read more about how his work helped save the Thai footballers on the Hackaday site, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1507A

A new cultural exchange-based radio activity, International Youth at Sea, has been organised by the Finnish Lighthouse Society, the Amateur Radio League of Finland, the OH-DX-Foundation and DX University. The first team will activate Market Reef Lighthouse as OJ0C, from the 21st to the 28th of July. The 2018 youth team members are Nuuti, OH1UBO; Elias, OH2EP; Otava, OH3OT; Mikael, OH3UAF; Pieter, ON3DI; Florian, OE3FTA, and Ilie, YO3IMD. They are all between 6 and 25 years old. They will be participating in daily workshops of safety and survival at sea in the remote lighthouse. In addition, they will become familiar with the latest digital modes and, most important, learning how operating the radio efficiently, providing OJ0C with contacts and handling pileups. Their instructors are Martti, OH2BH; Henri, OH3JR, and Pasi, OH3WS. QSL OJ0C via OH3JR.

The American Radio Relay League, ARRL, is beginning a process with the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, to try and keep non amateur radio satellites from using amateur band frequencies. The ARRL is working to protect amateur radio frequencies against exploitation by commercial entities. However, there are also ongoing discussions to try and define what constitutes commercial use. For example, if University staff build a Cubesat for educational use, does the fact that they were paid for their time mean it is a commercial endeavour? The arguments have the potential to become complex and may possibly spill over to other parts of the world. Cubesats usually fly over many countries as a natural part of their low-earth orbit, so it is possible that a frequency allocated in the USA might cause unexpected results elsewhere on the globe. You can read much more about these goings-on on the ARRL website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1507B

And, last but not least, a final call for the Train the Trainers course that takes place next Saturday at Sully, Vale of Glamorgan. Contact Glyn, GW0ANA via rm7@rsgb.org.uk to check for any last-minute availability.

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

The 22nd Red Rose QRP Festival takes place today, the 15th, at St Joseph's Hall, Mather Lane, Leigh, WN7 2PR. There is easy access from all major motorways plus the A580 and A579 etc. There is car parking, a Bring and Buy, refreshments, a bar and disabled access. Doors open at 11am, or 8.30am for traders and admission £2.50. Details from Les, G4HZJ, on 0779 626 4569.

Also today, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place at Penair School, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am, with admission £2. There will be traders, Bring & Buy, club stalls and car parking. Catering is available onsite. Contact Mike, G1NRF on 01209 211 069 for more information.

Next Sunday, the 22nd, the Finningley Amateur Radio Society Rally takes place at The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX. There is free parking and the doors open at 10.30am. Admission is £3. There is a large traders’ area, inside and out, with everything from microwave components to QRP. Hot food and drinks are available all day. For ease of access it’s all on one level. Contact Kevin, G3AAF on 0783 161 4640.

Also next Sunday the McMichael Rally is at Reading Rugby Football Club, Holme Park Farm Lane, Sonning Lane, Sonning-on-Thames, Reading RG4 6ST. Talk-in will be on S22 and parking is free. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. Tables and car boot spaces are £10. There will be trade stands and special interest groups. Catering and a licensed bar will be available on site. Due to venue rules, no dogs are allowed other than assistance dogs. Details from Andy on 0777 594 0016.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Renner, PY7RP will be active as PY0F/PY7RP from Fernando de Noronha Island, IOTA reference SA-003, until the 16th of July. He will operate on 160 to 6m, including taking part in the IARU HF Contest. QSL via home call direct, or OQRS.

Steve, KU9C will be active as KU9C/VP9 from Bermuda Islands, IOTA NA-005, until the 17th of July. He will operate on HF bands, including activity in IARU Contest, for which he will sign as VP9HQ.

The V6J Team will be active from Ta Island, Mortlock Islands, IOTA OC-254, from the 19th to the 31st of July. They will operate on the HF bands. QSL via JP3AYQ.

Members of SP3PET will be active as JW100PUT from Petuniabukta, Spitsbergen, IOTA EU-026, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Academic Ham Radio Club of the Poznan University of Technology. They will operate on 80, 40, 20, 2m and 70cm SSB and FM. QSL via SP3PET.

Roly, ZL1BQD is active from Papua New Guinea as P29RR throughout July. He is on the HF bands and will concentrate on using FT8. QSL via home call, direct.

Geoff, ZL3GA will be active as YJ0GA from Efate, Vanuatu, OC-035, from the 18th to the 25th. He will operate CW and FT8, plus some SSB, on 80-10 metres.

The EIDX Group is activating all of the Irish IOTAs in turn this summer, using the callsign EJ0DXG. This month EU-007 will be activated from the 20th to the 22nd.

Now the special event news

Warrington Amateur Radio Club is operating GB2TAC at Hooton Park today. On Tuesday there’s a club night with a talk, technical and practical sessions. Contact Jeff, G1DYN, via email to secretary@warc.org.uk.

Dundee Amateur Radio Club is having an equipment preparation session on Tuesday. From Thursday to next Sunday GB2BAJ will be on the air from Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, to support the Scouts attending the Jamborette. More information from Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but can’t help you unless you tell us about it!

Now the contest news

The IARU HF Championship concludes today at 1200UTC. Using CW and SSB on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which is 27 for the UK. The official RSGB team is using the callsign GR2HQ, and there are several stations dotted around the country. You get points for working each one – and, perhaps more importantly from the perspective of national pride – you give them points that count towards their overall position in the Championships.

Also as mentioned last week, the World Radiosport Team Championship is also in progress at the moment, ending on Sunday the 15th. There are various awards to be won in both events, and the bands are lively with DXpeditions to unusual places.

Tuesday sees the 1.3GHz UKAC, which runs from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz FMAC and UKAC take place. The FM-only 70MHz FMAC runs from 1800UTC to 1900UTC. It is followed immediately by the all-mode 70MHz UKAC, which runs until 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator. These 70MHz events provide a good opportunity to check out your 4m gear in advance of the 70MHz Trophy contest this coming weekend.

Next Sunday, the 22nd, the RSGB Low Power Contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 14MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and power. It’s also worth knowing that this is an HF Championship event.

Finally for next weekend, the 70MHz Trophy contest takes place from 1000UTC to 1600UTC on Sunday. All modes can be used, on the 4m band only, with signal report, serial number, locator and postcode forming the exchange. This is a VHF Championship event.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of July.

Summer Sporadic-E brought some unusual short-skip propagation to 20 metres this week, with contacts being enabled between parts of the UK. Signals between Southern England and Scotland were very loud mid-morning after Sporadic-E cloud settled over the British Isles on Monday. These UK openings are hard to predict, but can bring short-skip on paths between the extreme ends of the United Kingdom on frequencies up to and including 10 metres. Otherwise, F-layer propagation was a little lacklustre, with zero sunspots and slightly unsettled geomagnetic conditions bringing maximum useable frequencies down to 20m and lower at times.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-to-low 70s. We may expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend and Monday the 16th due to a coronal hole that became Earth-facing on Thursday the 12th. Another potentially-active region will begin to turn into Earth view this weekend. This is a plage, a brighter region of the Sun’s chromosphere typically found in regions near sunspots.

At the moment there are no visible sunspots to report in the region and solar activity may continue at lower levels.

Twenty metres remains the most reliable DX band during the day, although “most reliable” is a relative term! Forty and thirty metres are worth checking after dark. For more accurate predictions it is worth checking out voacap.com and predtest.uk, both of which can handle SSB, CW and FT8 predictions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weather charts are starting to show subtle changes this week as the high pressure of recent weeks is not quite so dominant. But it is still there in parts and should continue to provide some occasional Tropo.

The weakness of the high will allow some showers or weak fronts to become involved, but as this is not a widespread affair any rain scatter for the microwave bands will be fairly limited.

The unsettled part of the story will mean fronts and their associated jet streams might put in an appearance. There may be one jet stream over northwestern Britain for a brief time this weekend, and another one through the Mediterranean, but this is also a fairly weak pattern.

The end result is that Sporadic-E may not have all the weather ingredients in the right place and you’ll need to check the beacons and clusters for activity levels. Remember the season can last into late August on 6m, so there’s still time for further openings, even if this week underperforms.

There are no meteor showers this week so stick to the early morning random peak when the earth is rotating towards the orbital plane meteor flux for the best chances of meteor shower contacts.

We are now past Moon perigee and maximum declination for this lunar month. Declination is positive until Wednesday and losses will increase as the week progresses. This means EME conditions will be best in the first half of the week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 8th. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8th July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • World Radiosport Team Championship looms
  • RSGB NRC opens all week during holidays
  • Beware scam emails

 

The World Radiosport Team Championship takes place this week, running from Thursday the 12th to Monday the 16th. This invitation-only event pits the world’s elite contesters against each other in two-person teams. To level the playing field, all the contesters use similar stations with similar antennas, all within a relatively small geographical operating area to ensure no-one is aided or disadvantaged by local propagation conditions. We have more details on how you can take part in the Contests section of this bulletin. This year’s event takes place in Germany and you can find details of all parts of the event at www.wrtc2018.de

Starting from Tuesday the 17th of July, the RSGB National Radio Centre will be open seven days a week instead of the usual six. This is so everyone visiting the Bletchley Park site in the holiday season has a chance to experience the NRC. This arrangement will continue until the end of August. Increasing visitor numbers mean there are now a minimum of three NRC volunteers on duty at all times, thanks to an increase in the number of volunteers. Members of the RSGB can get free admission to Bletchley Park by downloading a voucher from the RSGB website. See www.rsgb.org/bletchley-park-voucher for details.

We understand that a poorly-worded online message has been circulating, purportedly from the ARRL, seeking donations supposedly to cover the medical expenses of a poorly child, ‘Dawn’. The ARRL has confirmed that this email is a scam, and describes as “despicable” the attempt to prey on the willingness of amateurs to help others in need. If the ARRL, RSGB or any other responsible organisation launches an appeal it will normally be announced on their websites, which you should NOT access by clicking on a link in an email.

You may remember that Chertsey Radio Club member James Preece, M0JFP was planning to take part in the Benidorm or Bust rally challenge. His 18-year-old Vauxhall Vectra successfully negotiated the 1500 mile drive. Sporting a large pirate flag in keeping with the car’s pirate radio theme, he carried an HF payload sponsored by Moonaker, and used car-to-car communication gear sponsored by Retevis. James raised several hundred pounds for the children’s ward in St Peters, Chertsey. Overall, the event attracted some 200 cars and raised a lot of money for the Benidorm charity Busy Bees, who help support battered women and abused children. You can find out more about the event at www.benidormorbust.co.uk Separately, James was interviewed by local TV station Get Surrey Talking TV about receiving the slow-scan TV transmissions from the International Space Station that we featured in last week’s broadcast. You can see a recording of the interview at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0807A

 

A reminder now that an RSGB Train the Trainers course will take place at Barry Amateur Radio Club from 10am on Saturday the 21st of July. For more information, and details of how to book a place, contact Glyn Jones, GW0ANA, via email to rm7@rsgb.org.uk

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

The Stockport Radio Society Rally takes place today, the 8th, at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6SQ. Car parking is available around the venue and a talk-in station will be on the air. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB book stall. Contact Nigel Roscoe, G0RXA on 0750 690 4422 or email info@g8srs.co.uk.

The 22nd Red Rose QRP Festival takes place next Sunday, the 15th, at St Joseph's Hall, Mather Lane, Leigh, WN7 2PR. There is easy access from all major motorways plus the A580 and A579 etc. There is car parking, a Bring and Buy, refreshments, a bar and disabled access. Doors open 11am, or 8.30am for traders and admission £2.50. Details from Les, G4HZJ, on 0779 626 4569.

Also next Sunday, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally takes place at Penair School, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 1TN. Doors open at 10.30am, with admission £2. There will be traders, Bring & Buy, club stalls and car parking. Catering is available onsite. Contact Mike, G1NRF on 01209 211 069 for more information.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Manfred, DL5FAB will be active as FY/DL5FAB/P from French Guiana until the 13th of July, operating on HF with CW and FT8. He is planning also to operate from one of the Salute Islands, IOTA reference SA-020. QSL via bureau or eQSL.

Bruce, 3W3B will be active as XW4XR from Laos from the 11th to the 22nd. He will operate on 40-10m, and hopefully 6m, CW, RTTY and JT65. QSL via E21EIC, LotW or direct.

Andre, NJ0F will be active as A25A from Botswana from the 13th to the 20th. He will be on 80 to 1m SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8. QSL via NJ0F direct, or ClubLog OQRS.

Gayle, K6GO and Mike, NA6MB will be active as ZF2GO and ZF2NA from Grand Cayman Island, IOTA NA-016, from the 11th to the 15th. Operating on 160 to 6m, they will also take part in the IARU HF Contest as ZF1A, the CARS HQ Station. QSL via K6GO.

Emil, DL8JJ will be active on HF as IS0/DL8JJ from Sardinia Island, IOTA EU-024, until the 13th. QSL via home call or LotW.

Now the special event news

FIFA Football World Cup marathon station MB18FIFA will be on the air on Thursday from the Aberwystwyth and District Radio Society. The station will be on the HF, 6m, 4m and 2m bands, and also working via satellites.

On Saturday, the 300th anniversary of the Founding of New Orleans will be marked by N30, operating FT8 on 40m and 20m from 1400UTC to 2300UTC. For more details see https://therareonesofneworleans.loga.us/

Another interesting call on the air is S590RTVS, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Radio and Television Corporation of Slovenia. It has been on the air since March and concludes at the end of December. A special QSL is available via the bureau. The log is being uploaded to LoTW and CLUBLOG on a regular basis.

Next Sunday, Warrington Amateur Radio Club is operating GB2TAC as part of Hooton Park Craft and Family Fun Day.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but can’t help you unless you tell us about it!

Now the contest news

The RSGB VHF and UHF National Field Day is in progress. Running from 1400UTC on Saturday to 1400UTC on Sunday, all modes can be used on all bands between 60MHz and 1.3GHz. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today also sees the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest, running from 1100UTC to 1500UTC, overlapping the last few hours of VHF NFD. The Backpackers contest uses all modes on the 2m band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the FM-only 432MHz FMAC runs from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UKAC, which ends at 2130UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Similarly, Thursday sees the FM-only 50MHz FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UKAC, ending at 2130UTC. Again, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

The IARU HF Championship is the big contest news next weekend. Running from 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday, it’s a CW and SSB event on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which is 27 for the UK. Competitors in the World Radiosport Team Championship will be taking part, and the organisers invite you to work as many of the teams as you can. In return, there are awards to be won, along with the respect and thanks of the organisers. You can track the progress of the Team Championships via the www.wrtc2018.de website, which also includes links to live-streaming video, daily reports and an online scorecard.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of July.

The 2018 Baker Island DXpedition has now concluded. As we said last week, the path from the UK to the Pacific is a difficult one, but plenty of UK amateurs did manage to make a contact with KH7Z. Twenty and seventeen metres did indeed prove to be the best bands, but on the whole it was only better-equipped stations with beams and linear amplifiers that made it. There were some exceptions – Ian, G4IIY in Cumbria managed the contact with 100W CW to a quarter wave vertical. With a solar flux index under 70 and a polar path it was never going to be easy, but a low K index representing settled geomagnetic conditions helped a lot.

A small equatorial coronal hole became Earth-facing on Thursday the 5th, so we can expect the possibility of unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday 7th and Sunday the 8th. Otherwise, NOAA predicts settled geomagnetic conditions for the rest of the week. The solar flux index is likely to remain around 68 for the first half of the week as the sun remains spotless, but is predicted to rise to around 75 in the latter half.

F2-layer MUFs continue to struggle much above 18MHz on 3,000km paths during the day, but can remain above 7 and even 10MHz at night. We can expect to see continued Sporadic-E, which can bring short-skip on all HF bands at times. Do keep an eye on 10 metres for Sporadic-E openings, especially the CW beacons that run from about 28.160 to 28.325MHz. And if in doubt, call CQ – you never know who might come back!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It's another week of high pressure, with a few minor adjustments to the weather maps. This may provide plenty of Tropo during the coming week, especially around the coast and across sea paths. Remember that the best time for overland tropo propagation is from sunset, and overnight until just after sunrise the following morning, so get on the bands after supper and before breakfast for the best chance of DX openings.

There will be a few showers in the next week, especially in the south and west, but these will be fairly well isolated, so any microwave band rain scatter options will be limited.

Sporadic-E is still available through July into August, and perhaps early September in some years, although it can be a bit fickle. Using the clusters and web sites, such as dxmaps.com or ON4KST.com, is a great way to get a flavour of activity and the paths currently on offer. The best times are usually late morning and late afternoon/early evening.

There are no major meteor showers this week, so get on early in the morning for the best random meteor scatter conditions. It’s worth noting that with tropo, meteor scatter and to some extent Sporadic-E, DX on VHF and up suits those who have to do a normal working day!

The new lunar month is under way again, with positive and rising declination and falling losses up to the Moon’s perigee on Friday morning. But be aware that the sun is close to the Moon early on Friday, so solar noise levels will be high. That said, it is a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 1st. July 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1st July 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Receive SSTV from the ISS
  • SAQ transmits today
  • IARU welcomes St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Amateur Radio Society

 

This weekend ARISS Russia is running a special slow-scan television event from the International Space Station. Unfortunately we learned the details too late to include in last week’s bulletin. The transmissions started around 0900UTC on Friday and continue until around 1830UTC today, Sunday the 1st. The cosmonauts will be sending images commemorating the various satellites that were deployed by hand from the ISS. Transmissions will be on 145.800MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode. You can check when the ISS is within range of your location via a number of websites, for example heavens-above.com. A simple 2m handheld and rubber duck aerial is sufficient to pick up signals strong enough to be decoded, albeit with some noise.

Today is Alexanderson Day, the day when Grimeton Radio Station in Sweden fires up its Alexanderson alternator to transmit as SAQ on 17.2kHz VLF. For those who don’t know the story, this is the last surviving high frequency alternator CW transmitter from the pre-electronic transmitter era. Built in the early 1920s, it was used as an early long-wave transatlantic wireless telegraphy station, staying in operation until the 1940s. During World War 2 it was Sweden’s only telecommunications link with the rest of the world. Now preserved as an historical site, the transmitter is operated once a year with brief test transmissions that can be heard all over Europe and beyond. This year’s transmissions start with tuning up at 0815UTC and transmission of a message at 0845UTC, with similar activations beginning at 1015UTC and 1215UTC. The transmissions will be broadcast live on YouTube. At the same time, amateur radio station SK6SAQ will be operating on one of 7.035MHz CW, 14.035MHz CW or 3.755MHz SSB. More information can be found at http://alexander.n.se/

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has welcomed the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Amateur Radio Society as its newest member-society, to represent St Kitts & Nevis. The Society does not claim to represent Anguilla, which is already represented in the IARU by the Anguilla Amateur Radio Society; the inclusion of Anguilla in their name dates back to an earlier time.

On Tuesday evening RSGB Membership Services will be offline from 5pm to about midnight. This is so that essential maintenance can take place. During this time all RSGB online services that require a Membership login will be unavailable. If you need a Members’ voucher to visit Bletchley Park or any other time-sensitive material, please make sure you do it before the system goes offline. The maintenance work is being done by a third-party service provider. Announcements will be made on the RSGB website and via social media if there is any variation to the planned schedule. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

A report on the Newbury Today website describes how nearly a thousand amateurs attended the Newbury rally last weekend. Alongside a very positive write-up there are some nice photos of the goings-on, ranging from microwave activities to a classic police command and control truck.

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

Today, the 1st of July, sees the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am, an hour earlier for traders, and there is talk-in on S22. Car parking is free. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, Bring & Buy, a raffle and representatives of repeater groups. Catering is available on site. Entry is £2 per person, with under 16s free. Pitches are £8, indoor tables are £10. Contact radio@dcpmicro.com for more information.

Next Saturday, the 7th, the Bangor & District Amateur Radio Society annual rally takes place at Donaghadee Community Centre, Parade, Donaghadee BT21 0HB. It’s just 100m from the harbour. There is free car parking, doors open at 11.30am and admission is £3. There are disabled facilities, Harry’s RSGB bookstall, traders, Bring & Buy, a raffle and refreshments. Contact Harry, GI4JTF, on 02890 422 762 or see www.bdars.com.

The Stockport Radio Society Rally takes place next Sunday, the 8th, at Walthew House, 112 Shaw Heath, Stockport SK2 6SQ. Car parking is available around the venue and a talk-in station will be on the air. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB book stall. Contact Nigel Roscoe, G0RXA on 0750 690 4422 or email info@g8srs.co.uk.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The big DX news is that the much-anticipated Baker Island DXpedition is now on the air. KH1/KH7Z is a major effort by the Dateline DX Association with multiple stations simultaneously on the air until next Sunday. Baker Island is IOTA reference OC-089. QSL via K4TSJ direct, ClubLog OQRS or LotW.

VE3IKV and W4TAA/VE3MMQ will be active as VQ5Z from Turks and Caicos Islands, NA-002, from the 1st to the 11th. They will operate on HF and 6m CW, SSB, FT8, MSK 144 and JT65a, and beacon on 50.107MHz. QSL via VE3IKV direct.

Roly, ZL1BQD will be active from Papua New Guinea, OC-034, as P29RR, from the 1st to the 26th. He will operate on HF, concentrating on FT8. QSL direct via his home call.

Eric, KV1J will be active as FP/KV1J from Miquelon Island, IOTA NA-032, from the 3rd to the 17th. He will operate on 160–10m SSB, RTTY, CW and FT8. QSL via home call or LotW.

Bo, OZ1DJJ will be active as OX3LX from Greenland from 1st to the 14th. It’s possible he might take a side trip for few days to NA-243. QSL via OZ0J.

Now the special event news

Lincoln Short Wave Club has GB2CWP on the air today from 10am for the East Kirkby Squadron Reunion.

As mentioned last week, Durham and District Amateur Radio Society is operating its special event station GB13COL all week as part of the 13 Colonies event.

Loughton & Epping Forest Amateur Radio Society is operating GB2NWA today for the Air Britain Fly-In at North Weald Airfield.

Welland Valley Amateur Radio Society continues its series of month-long special event station activations to mark the end of the First World War. Starting from today, they will be operating as GB5GW.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but can’t help you unless you tell us about it!

Now the contest news

Today is the Canada Day Contest, sponsored by Radio Amateurs of Canada. Running from 0000UTC to 2359UTC today, the 1st of July, all modes can be used on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6 and 2 metre bands. Stations in Canada send a signal report and province or territory. VE0s and stations outside Canada send a signal report and serial number.

On Monday the RSGB 80m Club Championships take place from 1900UTC to 2000UTC, CW only, on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is the usual signal report and serial number. July is the final month of this year’s series so it may pay to eke out a few more contacts to top up your score.

On Tuesday it’s the 144MHz FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, followed immediately after by the all-mode 144MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is a summer biggie: the RSGB VHF and UHF National Field Day. Running from 1400UTC on Saturday to 1400UTC on Sunday, all modes can be used on all bands between 60MHz and 1.3GHz. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, for next weekend, Sunday sees the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest, running from 1100UTC to 1500UTC, overlapping the last few hours of VHF NFD. The Backpackers contest uses all modes on the 2m band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 29th of June.

As predicted, the geomagnetic K index hit five last week, although it wasn’t until early morning on the 26th. Conditions then settled as the week progressed. The US Space Weather Prediction Center has the K index remaining low for the week commencing Sunday 1st July, so make the most of the settled geomagnetic conditions. Due to a lack of sunspots, the solar flux index may struggle to break 70 this week and may even be in the high 60s.

On a brighter note, the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition in the Pacific is underway. While it is not an easy path from the UK, especially in summer, there are opportunities for a contact this week. Forget about the low bands as we have no periods of mutual darkness. It looks like 20m, 17m and 15m are the favourite bands. There is a slight possibility of a brief long-path opening on 12m or even 10m on long path in the early evening. Best times, in terms of maximum probability, are 1000UTC short path on 20m, 1900UTC long path on 17m, and 2000UTC long path on 15m. As both the short and long paths pass through the poles, look for quiet days geomagnetically with a low K index. Needless to say, this is going to be tricky, but may be doable with higher power and a decent antenna. And don’t forget to try FT8, as they are trialling the new DXpedition mode.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s another week with roughly the same set of weather charts, so expect Tropo to be the mode of choice. Any sea path will perform well. Remember, the land paths are only usable under night-time conditions and early in the morning before the daytime heating destroys the temperature inversion.

Very often the UHF and microwave bands will perform best, so give them a try as well. Let’s hope that the recent excellent conditions stay around until next weekend’s VHF Field Day.

It’s another no-show for rain scatter, except for the extreme south where there is a risk, no more than that, of isolated thundery showers. That again leaves our high-summer mode, Sporadic-E, to play with. Like the past week, there will potentially be DX openings that make use of the meandering jet stream across northern latitudes to support paths to the Far East and North America. The more typical single hop paths within Europe are always a possibility and will depend upon the positioning of the ‘weather triggers’, which can be checked daily on propquest.co.uk

The moon’s declination is negative until Friday and losses are still high. EME windows are for insomniacs this week, with the Moon up in the small hours and getting later as the week progresses. 

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 24th. June 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th June 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • ITU chief declares Z6 prefix illegal
  • Ofcom equipment on auction
  • Curtis Keyer inventor goes SK

 

The Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union has said that authorising Kosovo Z6 callsigns is “unauthorised and illegal”. Houlin Zhao said, “ITU has not allocated call sign series Z6 to any of its member states. Consequently, the utilisation of callsign series Z6 by any entity without a formal allocation and consent of the ITU represents an unauthorised and illegal usage of this international numbering resource.” Kosovo is not an ITU Member State and is thus not eligible to receive a callsign block allocation from the ITU. More information is in the ITU Operational Bulletin no 1149, downloadable from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-ITU-1149

Ofcom is auctioning surplus equipment including vehicles, masts, test and radio communication equipment. The equipment is located at the Baldock Radio Monitoring Station and some of this may be of interest to amateur radio clubs, repeater groups or individual radio amateurs. It should be noted that bidding ends at noon on the 27th June and additional fees and charges apply above the hammer price, including commission and VAT. Details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-ofcom-auction

Many seasoned CW operators will remember fondly the Curtis Morse keyer chip. The ground-breaking device, which revolutionised electronic keyers, was developed in the late 1960s by John G Curtis, K6KU, who was more often known as Jack. Sadly, Jack became a Silent Key on the 4th of June. His legacy lives on in thousands of devices; most of today’s electronic keyers owe a debt of gratitude to him.

As summer winds on and Field Days get under way, the ARRL has drawn attention again to its Field Day Safety Officer Checklist. This brief document contains some useful points to consider before any portable operation. It can be downloaded freely from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-ARRL-safety

Region 1 of the International Radio Union has released an updated version of its HF Managers’ Handbook. It contains many changes agreed at IARU Region 1 conferences and meetings between 2008 and 2017. The structure has also been revised to make it more accessible. Whilst most home operators won’t need to read it, there is much useful information that illuminates the HF management policies in Region 1. The new book, version 9, can be downloaded via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-R1-HF-handbook

An RSGB Train the Trainers course will take place at Barry Amateur Radio Club on the Saturday the 21st of July. Running from 10am in the bowling green board room at Sully Sports and Social Club, this free course is intended for club Training Officers. It includes the latest information and techniques on training people for all levels of the amateur radio exams. For more information contact Glyn Jones, GW0ANA, via email to rm7@rsgb.org.uk and for more information at the venue see http://sullysportsclub.com/

The Indian Express newspaper has lauded the “invisible warriors who battle Mumbai monsoon” – amateur radio operators. Communications are often the first casualty during a disaster. Mumbai hams operate side by side with the paid crisis-management teams, they ensure that lines of communication between the agencies never break down. You can read the full report via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-Mumbai-monsoon

Chelsea Pensioners will air their permanent special event callsign GB4CP on Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm. Operating mainly around 145.500MHz, they will also be on 20m if possible.

Chippenham and District Amateur Radio Club will run a classroom-based Intermediate training course in July. Starting on the 3rd, the classes are made possible by the Bath Radio Classes team, who are volunteering their time as the trainers and assessors for the duration of the course. The exam will be on the 4th of September. For more information, or to apply for a place, see www.g3vre.org.uk

Thanks to the efforts of Geoff, G3TQF, the Leicestershire Repeater Group 10GHz beacon GB3LEX returned to service recently. Reports would be much appreciated to info@leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk via Beaconspot. Like most beacon and repeater groups it is entirely self-funded. You can find out more via the group website, www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk

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

The Newbury Radio Rally runs for the thirty-first time today, Sunday the 24th. It takes place at Newbury Showground in Berkshire, next to junction 13 of the M4 where it crosses the A34. There will be a display area of an amateur radio station, exhibits, special interest groups, clubs and societies. The grounds open to sellers at 8am and to visitors at 9am. There is free parking. Entry is £2.50 for visitors, £12.50 for a car boot seller pitch. There is on-site catering and disabled facilities. Discounted advance pitch bookings can be made via www.nadars.org.uk/rally.asp and for other details, email NewburyRally@nadars.org.uk

Next Saturday, the 30th, the Houghton Le Spring Amateur Radio Club Rally takes place at The Dubmire Royal British Legion Club, Britannia Terrace, Fencehouses DH4 6LJ, which is located between Durham and Sunderland. Doors open at 10.30am. Admission is completely free of charge. Tables are also free but space is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The Rally is open to trade, Clubs and private sellers and exhibitors. There’s free tea and coffee, and licenced bar opens at 11am. Donations will be welcome and will be given in their entirety to the hosts, Dubmire Royal British Legion Club. To book, or for more information, contact Ian, M0RZE by email to ianlaidler1956@gmail.com or 0797 731 0928.

Next Sunday, the 1st of July, sees the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am, an hour earlier for traders, and there is talk in on S22. Car parking is free. There will be trade stands, car boot sales, Bring & Buy, a raffle and representatives of repeater groups. Catering is available on site. Entry £2 per person, with under 16s free. Pitches are £8, indoor tables £10. Contact radio@dcpmicro.com for more information.

Send details of your event as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk to get it on GB2RS and in RadCom.

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

French club Radio Club Vendeen RCV is operating special callsign TM2GRR until the 5th of July for the 50th Golden Globe Race. Bureau QSLs via F6KUF please, or direct to F5OEV. There’s no eQSL or LotW.

The EIDX group is progressing towards its goal of activating all Irish IOTA groups. This summer, EJ0DXG will activate several more groups. In July they will be on Great Blasket Island, EU-007; August will see EU-121, Bere Island and the summer’s activities conclude on the 16th of September from Inishmore, Aran Islands, EU-006 as part of their DX Féile weekend. Working them from four different prefixes can earn you a plaque supported by dxwanted.net. As a bonus, EJ0DXG will be on the air from mainland Ireland, EU-115, until the end of September. Fans of 6m will note that some of the islands being activated are in rare Worked All Ireland squares. For more information search for Irish Islands IOTA Tour 2018.

Now the special event news

Paul, M0TVU will be operating GB0FWC for FIFA World Cup most evenings during the World Cup on 20 and 40m SSB, plus 2m FM and SSB. He says he has a humble station so please be patient when calling.

Next Saturday and Sunday, Loughton and Epping Forest ARS is operating GB2NWA for the North Weald Airfield Air Britain Fly-In.

Durham and District Amateur Radio Society is taking part in the 13 Colonies special event. They will be running GB13COL from Durham as one of the bonus stations. Starting at 1300UTC on 1 July and running 24 hours a day until 0400 on the 8th, the primary focus will be the HF bands. For further information regarding the 13 Colonies please visit the website, www.13colonies.net/

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but unless you tell us about it we can’t help.

Now the contest news

The UKuG High Band contest takes place today from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW only on the 6m band, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, the 70MHz Cumulative #4 is also today. All modes are valid on the 4m band, and the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UKAC takes place from 1830UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the 80m Club Championships from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz band, signal report and serial number forms the exchange.

As we’re in the Sporadic-E season, it seems timely to remind everyone about the UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Marathon, which runs until the 5th of August. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is your locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of June.

A glancing blow from a coronal hole sent the K index soaring to five on Tuesday the 19th. This hadn’t been predicted by NOAA as it looked like the high-speed solar wind stream might miss us. However, by Wednesday the ionosphere had calmed down and the index returned to a more settled Kp=1.

Much of the fun on the upper HF bands has been due to Sporadic-E this week, with multi-hop contacts being made across the Atlantic at times. There have also been reports of contacts into Argentina on 21MHz, which could have been be F2 layer or multi-hop Sporadic-E. If they were via the F2 layer, this could have helped by two large sunspot groups currently visible, which pushed the solar flux index to 82 on Thursday the 21st.

There have also been reports of some excellent 40 metre propagation to various parts of the world, but this may suit night owls as it favours the early hours after midnight.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index around 70, with settled geomagnetic conditions until the 25th. We may then see the effects of an equatorial coronal hole and its associated high-speed solar wind stream push the K index to five again with lowered maximum useable frequencies and noisy bands. So get your HF DXing in this weekend, or you may have to wait until later in the week for things to settle.

Sporadic-E will continue to bring short-skip fun on all HF bands up to 10 metres. Longer-range F2-layer propagation may peak at 14 or 18MHz as we continue in the HF summer doldrums.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There will be a large area of high pressure over, or near to, the British Isles until the end of the week, so tropo propagation will be a real prospect. It will favour paths down the Irish Sea or across Biscay to northern Spain. This direction is favoured over paths across the North Sea, where the air will be drier at lower levels and not so conducive to tropo. In the summer months night-time tropo is an option over land too, but soon fades as the sun warms the ground and destroys the surface temperature inversion. This high pressure means that you will not see any rain scatter on the microwave bands. That leaves Sporadic-E, which is still in full cry and offers two primary periods to check the bands; mid-morning and late afternoon, or early evening.

Weather features can play a part in the location of Sporadic-E and, based on the contribution of jet streams, it looks like paths to Scandinavia and south-east Europe could do well, as will paths to the south into Iberia. It’s also always worth looking to the Atlantic for paths to the Americas and the Caribbean with a jet stream present for much of the week.

The June Bootids meteor shower is active from the 26th of June until the 2nd of July. It peaks this Wednesday. Normally the shower is very weak, but occasional outbursts produce a hundred or more meteors per hour.

The moon reaches minimum declination and apogee on Thursday, so EME opportunities will be short with a low-elevation Moon and high path losses.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 17th. June 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th June 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Three balloons go up on Thursday
  • 70MHz experimental NoVs now easier
  • RBN adds FT8 spots

 

Three high altitude balloon launches will take place from a site in Welshpool on Thursday 21st of June, conditions permitting. Starting between 10.30 and 11.30am, the balloons will have a number of experiments on to look at various aspects of space flight. Involving a number of schools in the north west, the launches are by a team from Hi-Impact Consultancy, based on the Wirral, as part of their SpaceCamp event, and take place in association with AirProducts UK. The organisers ask as many amateurs and SWLs to get involved and track the flight using FL-DIGI. The balloons will transmit on 434.650MHz USB with callsign SPACECAMP. They use 50 baud RTTY, 450Hz shift, 7N2. Details about the flights will be posted via Twitter @hiimpactconsult and on www.facebook.com/hiimpactconsultancy

Following agreement with Ofcom, the RSGB is pleased to announce that a new much faster online process is now available for all Full Licensees to access the 70.5-71.5MHz experimental band. Applications can now be made online for a new, annually-renewable Notice of Variation. It works in a similar way to the 146-147MHz NoV. This replaces the previous Special Research Permit process  and is expected to spur digital innovation at VHF. Prospective applicants should ensure they read the supplementary information and must observe the NoV power and geographic restrictions. See www.rsgb.org/nov for details.

The Reverse Beacon Network is beta-testing a separate Telnet feed for FT8 spots. You can find it at telnet.reversebeacon.net port 7001. This is in addition to the existing feed on port 7000, which has been re-purposed as CW-only. Also, Aggregator version 5 has been developed as a beta that can handle FT8 spots received from WSJT-X. This will be available, with instructions, from the Reverse Beacon Network website.

Preparations for the next World Conference in 2019 have continued over the past few weeks with meetings at ITU in Geneva and CEPT Project Team D in Estonia. Volunteers from IARU and Member Societies have been engaged on two key agenda items of interest to amateur radio; regarding a potential 50MHz allocation for Region 1, and Wireless Power Transfer for charging electric vehicles. For the latter topic, the RSGB has provided further information on Wireless Power Transfer, including IARU briefing slides and links to Ofcom measurements, on our WRC-19 focus page at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0617A

The Chinese amateur satellite organisation, CAMSAT, has released more details about their satellites planned for launch later this year. CAS-5A will carry two HF and two VHF-UHF transponders. CAS-6 will include a CW telemetry beacon on VHF, a 20kHz wide UHF-VHF linear transponder and AX.25 4.8k baud GMSK telemetry. Meanwhile, two Russian CubeSats will be deployed during a spacewalk from the International Space Station. SiriusSat-1, callsign RS13S, will beacon on 435.570MHz and SiriusSat-2, callsign RS14S, will beacon on 435.670MHz.

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

The West of England Radio Rally takes place today at the Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. This, the fifteenth occurrence of the event will see inside & outside traders, free car parking, disabled access, a café, plus an RSGB bookstall. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and admission is £3, with accompanied under 14s free. Details from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098.

On Thursday Quantum Amateur Radio & Technology Society is holding a sell and swap night. It takes place from 8pm at Cottage Lane Mission, Cottage Lane, Ormskirk L39 3NE. Everyone is welcome to bring electronic, computer, amateur radio and Maker items to sell, give away or swap. There is free parking but see their website for details. Public admission is £3 and there are refreshments and pizza available. The organisers ask those planning to attend to say so in advance via www.quantumtech.club

Next Sunday the Newbury Radio Rally runs for the thirty-first time. It takes place at Newbury Showground next to junction 13 of the M4, where it crosses the A34 in Berkshire. There will be a display area of an amateur radio station, exhibits, special interest groups, clubs and societies. The grounds open to sellers at 8am and to visitors at 9am. There is free parking. Entry is £2.50 for visitors, £12.50 for a car boot sellers pitch. There is on-site catering and disabled facilities. Discounted advance pitch bookings can be made via www.nadars.org.uk/rally.asp and for other details, email NewburyRally@nadars.org.uk

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

John, W5JON will be operating as V47JA from St Kitts, IOTA reference NA-104, from the 22nd of June. Active on 160 to 6m, including 5MHz, he will be using SSB. QSL to home call or Logbook of the World.

The Cayman Islands, NA-016 play host to Lawrence, K8HTC operating as ZF2LT on HF from the 18th to the 24th of June. QSL to his home call.

Haru, JA1XGI will be active from Honiara, Solomon Islands from the 21st to the 27th. Operating as H44XG on 40m to 10m he will mostly be on CW, with some FT8 DXpedition mode. QSL to his home call.

Tatsuko, JJ1BDT will be active as T88YL from Koror Island, OC-009, from the 22nd to the 27th of June. She will operate on 40, 17 and 14m SSB. QSL via JR1FKR.

Now the special event news

Many stations are active around the world this weekend, and next weekend, for Museums on the Air. Some UK examples include GB4CTM from Coventry Transport Museum, GB1MSM from Manston Spitfire Museum and GB2RRM at Ramsey Rural Museum. Well over fifty stations have registered to take part. A comprehensive list is at www.radio-amateur-events.org/IMW/stations.htm

Next Sunday, Shoreham Coast Watch Special Event Station GB1SCW will be operating from the National Coast Watch Lookout on Shoreham Beach, BN43 5HY. This will be to mark the work of coastal watch communities. Activity will be centred on HF and VHF bands.

A large number of special event stations remain on the air worldwide celebrating FIFA World Cup 2018. Many awards are available for working various numbers and types of station. Details are at www.rsgb.org/fwc

Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the first American woman to fly in space, NN4ASA will be on the air from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. Operating from 0000UTC on the 18th until 2359UTC on the 24th, activity is expected on 7.195, 14.235 and 21.295MHz. A special QSL card is available.

Lincoln Short Wave Club is running GB6CGC next Saturday and Sunday from The Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth Airfield LE17 6JJ, commemorating the 65th anniversary of Coventry Gliding Club.

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but unless you tell us about it we can’t help.

Now the contest news

The All Asian DX contest finishes its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, Sunday. This CW-only event uses all the HF contest bands from 1.8 to 30MHz and the exchange is serial number plus the operator’s age.

Today is busy on 6m, with the WAB 6m Phone contest running from 0800UTC to 1400UTC. Using phone on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

Commencing at 0900UTC today and running to 1200UTC, the 50MHz CW contest has an exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for today, the 70MHz Cumulative #4 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the 1.3GHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it’s the 70MHz FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, followed immediately after by the all-mode 70MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday the UKuG High Band contest takes place from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW only on the 6m band, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Running from 1400UTC to 1600UTC, the 70MHz Cumulative #4 is also next Sunday. All modes are valid on the 4m band, and the exchange is the usual signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 15th June.

It was more of the same last week with virtually zero sunspots, but some Sporadic-E to keep us amused on HF. We say virtually zero sunspots as a group had just appeared over the sun’s limb, pushing the sunspot number to 16 as the time of writing. This represents 10 for the single group and six for the number of visible spots in that group.

On Thursday afternoon the solar flux index was just 74 as the sunspots have not yet moved into an earth-facing position to have any real effect. NOAA doesn’t think they will not do too much for HF propagation, estimating the maximum solar flux index as 75 on Thursday 21st. The good news is geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain fairly settled this week with a maximum K index of two.

As we head towards the summer solstice the upper HF bands are remaining open later, which is the norm. The Chilton ionosonde suggests that 20 metres may be remaining open on 3,000km paths until around 11pm. But with the current low solar flux you may find 30 metres more reliable after dark on distant paths.

Meanwhile, Sporadic-E continues to impress, but may decline slightly as we head into July. So make the most of it. For those not familiar with Sporadic-E, it can generate very strong, localised, but often fleeting openings on HF up to 2,200km on all bands up to 10 metres. Also look out for rarer multi-hop Sporadic-E that can take your signals even further afield, as we’ll discuss in the VHF section.

Don’t miss the Sporadic-E openings, as it may be some time before we see reliable 10m band propagation again once the season has ended.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks as though there will be plenty of opportunity to talk about tropospheric openings during the next week, but northern Britain will have to cope with occasional periods of low pressure and stronger winds. On the positive side this may offer some rain scatter on the microwave bands. It is worth checking for this over this first weekend, even in the south where we may have some heavy showers around.

Back to the Tropo now, and as a new ridge of high pressure builds in across southern Britain during next week, it will be a good option for longer VHF/UHF paths across Biscay and across the southern North Sea.

Stations in the far south-west should be alert for those rare but exciting openings down to EA8 and D4 if this tropo couples in to the Azores duct system.

Sporadic-E is still in full season, and last week saw many QSOs from the UK into the Caribbean on six metres on both digital and CW. With the Atlantic jet stream over the country and a strong upper ridge over the near continent, there are good reasons to hope for some Sporadic-E into Europe and at times across the Atlantic. It may well be the turn for paths to Scandinavia as the jet stream over the UK moves over the Norwegian mountains by mid-week. If time is limited, check on 10m and 6m late morning and early evening.

June is one of the best periods of the year for meteor activity, so keep looking for meteor scatter in between the Sporadic-E openings.

The moon’s declination goes negative on Thursday, and the Moon is heading away from us again, but EME conditions will continue to be good throughout the week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 10th. June 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th June 2018

The news headlines:

  • South Africans get 100kHz on 60m
  • UK prepares for WRC-19
  • Why not chase the HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award?

 

The South African regulator, ICASA, recently published their 2018 National Radio Frequency Plan. In this, amateur radio was allocated 100kHz on a shared basis in the 60 metre band. 5.350 to 5.450MHz is now available to all licensed radio amateurs on a shared, non-interference basis, with a power limit of 15W EIRP. The South African Radio League Council is working on the 60m band plan and will publish it as soon as possible so operation on 60 metres can start. Additionally, 5.290MHz has been allocated for WSPR beacons used in the SARL Propagation Research project.

As the next World Radio Conference approaches in 2019, Ofcom has launched a consultation regarding its positions and priorities on a range of Agenda Items. These include next generation 5G wireless broadband and Wi-Fi, small satellites, amateur radio at 50MHz and wireless power transfer. The Society's response will be coordinated by the RSGB Spectrum Forum, where views can be fed in via its members and affiliated groups. You can find details at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0610A

A new, and some might say oddly named SOTA-like awards programme has been launched to encourage chasing and activating a subtly different kind of summit. HEMA, the HuMPs Excluding Marilyns Award, is for summits or hilltops that have a prominence between 100 and 150 metres. The HEMA Activity Day is Saturday the 16th of June. Most activity will take place between 1000UTC and 1400UTC. Chasers and activators can get awards; it’s not a contest, but rather a bit of fun to get people operating portable. Further information is at www.hema.org.uk

The Chelsea Pensioners Radio Club, with permanent special event callsign GB4CP, will be on the air on the 12th, 19th and 26th of June from 4pm to 6pm. They will mainly be setting up chats on 2m FM, but also on 20m where possible. Visits may now be arranged, in advance only, which will include a tour of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, and a visit their radio shack. For more information email m0inu.cprc@gmail.com

The National Media & Infocommunications Authority of Hungary has updated its National Frequency Allocation Table. This, among other changes, initiates the WRC-15 60m allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz, with 15W EIRP maximum power. This replaces special 3-month permits that were discontinued in 2017.

The RSGB has released another 2017 Convention presentation into its online video portal. In his presentation SDR – the station of the future, John Linford, G3WGV looks at what software defined radio offers us as radio amateurs and what our stations might look like in a few years’ time. SDR is as much a disruptive technology as were the advent of semiconductors or synthesisers. It is said that in five years it will no longer be possible to buy a new radio that is not SDR based. The presentation is available via www.rsgb.org/videos

Services from GB3MCB, GB3NC, GB3HB and GB3NQ are liable to interruption next Saturday. Weather permitting, the Mid Cornwall Beacon and Repeater Group will be undertaking maintenance work on the mast.

The RSGB has now drafted in some additional effort to help produce GB2RS Local News, which is included in this week’s broadcast and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. We apologise for the interruption in service, caused by the ongoing illness of a key staff member. Please send your GB2RS and RadCom information to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, not to any other email address. As of Thursday the 7th of June we believe we were up to date with all incoming news, so if you haven’t had a reply to something sent before then, please re-send it to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Today, Sunday the 10th sees the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, also known as the Ipswich Radio Rally, at Kirton Recreation Ground, Back Road, Kirton IP10 0PW. The site is just off the A14 and there is free car parking. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, car boot sale, Bring and Buy, special interests groups, HF station GB4SWR on the air and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Contact Kevin, G8MXV, on 0771 004 6846 [www.eswr.org.uk].

Also today the Junction 28 Rally takes place at Bowls Hall, Alfreton Leisure Centre, Alfreton, Derbyshire. For details, contact Anya Lawrence on 01246 456 625 or email adylawri@btinternet.com.

Next Sunday the West of England Radio Rally takes place at the Cheese & Grain, Market Yard, Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BE. This fifteenth occurrence of the event will see inside & outside traders, free car parking, disabled access, a café, plus an RSGB bookstall. Open from 10am to 2pm, admission is £3, with accompanied under 14s free. Details from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098.

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

MD/ON6KX is on the air from the Isle of Man, IOTA reference EU-116, marking the TT Races. He will also be activating Snaefell, GD-001. See QRZ.com for more information.

Pasi, OH3WS will be active as OJ0W from Market Reef, EU-053, until the 16th He will operate on HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home call.

Kyle Chavis, WA4PGM will be active as VP9/WA4PGM from the Bermuda Islands, NA-005, until the 16th. He will operate on 160 to 6m, mostly CW, including activity in ARRL VHF Contest. QSL via home call direct, or LOTW.

Walter, HB9XBG will be active from Bora Bora Island, OC-067, as FO/HB9XBG until the 17th. Activity will be 20m SSB. QSL via his home call.

Grenada Island, NA-024 will play host to Nobby, G0VJG, probably operating as J3/G0VJG, from the 13th to the 27th. He will be on HF and 6m using SSB. QSL via G4DFI.

David, W9DR will be active from Turks and Caicos Islands, NA-003, from the 13th to the 25th as VP5/W9DR. He will operate on 6m only, CW and SSB, using a SDR transceiver, 1kW and a 5-element Yagi. He will beacon on 50.115MHz. QSL via home call, direct only.

Waldi, SP7IDX will be active on 40 to 10m in SSB and digimodes from Vannoya Island, EU-046, until the 20th as LA/SP7IDX. QSL via home call direct, bureau, or LOTW.

Now the special event news

Next weekend sees Museums on the Air, with somewhere in the region of fifty stations active in the UK and around the world. A list of registered stations can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/IMW/stations.htm and examples include GB4GLM from Gloucester Life Museum, GB2MOF from the Museum of Flight, East Fortune, GB3PIT at the Lancashire mining Museum and GB2NCM at National Coalmining museum in Wakefield.

Marking the 200th anniversary of the founding of Miamisburg, Ohio, Mound Amateur Radio Association will put W8M on the air at various times from the 13th to the 27th.

VE2SPEED is on the air until the 15th. Using mainly 3.525, 7.020, 14.030 and 14.340MHz, a special QSL card is available.

Saturday the 16th is ARRL Kids Day, an event designed to promote Amateur Radio to young people Running from 1800UTC to 2359UTC, listen out for stations calling CQ Kids Day. The suggested initial exchange is name, age, location and favourite colour. Frequencies in use are around 3.84, 7.28, 14.85, 18.14 21.38, 24.97 and 28.375MHz. More details are on the ARRL website, arrl.org

As mentioned in the last couple of week’s main news, there are a large number of special event stations on the air worldwide celebrating FIFA World Cup 2018. Many awards are available and details are at www.rsgb.org/fwc

If you’re planning a special event station, please remember to send advance publicity to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we are very happy to help publicise your event, for free, but unless you tell us about it we can’t help.

Now the contest news

The IARU ATV contest ends its run at 1800 today, Sunday. Using all forms of TV on all bands above 400MHz, the exchange is P-grade, serial number, your chosen 4-digit onscreen code, and your locator. Participation in this one can be relatively quiet so if you have any ATV gear it’s well worth digging it out; people have won sections with as little as a single contact.

The 144MHz Backpackers #2 contest takes place today from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Also starting today at 0900UTC, but finishing later at 1600UTC, is the PW 2m QRP contest. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, with a maximum power of 5W, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for this weekend, the UK Microwave Group millimetre-wave contest runs from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 248GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday it’s the 433MHz UKAC, running from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the 80m Club Championships from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 4m band gets an airing on Thursday, with the 70MHz FMAC running from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, FM only, then the 70MHz UKAC running from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. That uses all modes on the 4m band. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC Saturday to 2359UTC Sunday. This CW-only event uses all the HF contest bands from 1.8 to 30MHz and the exchange is serial number plus the operator’s age.

Sunday is busy on 6m, with the WAB 6m Phone contest running from 0800UTC to 1400UTC. Using phone on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

Commencing at 0900UTC and running to 1200UTC, the 50MHz CW contest has an exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, Sunday’s 70MHz Cumulative #4 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 8th of June.

Despite poor geomagnetic conditions, HF propagation for last weekend’s National Field Day was actually better than we forecast. Norfolk Amateur Radio Club even managed to contact New Zealand via the F layer on 40 metres. NFD was no doubt helped by Sporadic-E, which gave good propagation to Europe on most bands.

Speaking of Sporadic-E, there were some excellent openings on 10 metres earlier last week. Some of them were very short skip indeed, with reports of UK stations working the Netherlands and even the Orkney Islands.

If you haven’t been on 10 metres this season please do. In one morning a whole host of low power 5 watt beacons were audible from Austria, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Poland, along with FM repeaters from Switzerland, Poland and Germany. The rest of the band was full of CW, SSB and FT8 signals. This rather showed that you can have Sporadic-E openings despite a high-speed solar wind.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70 again, but geomagnetic conditions will likely be more settled than last week due to a lack of substantial Earth-facing coronal holes.

The most reliable HF band for F-layer propagation remains 20 metres, with occasional 17 metre openings. But all the bands from 40 metres to 10 metres are benefiting from Sporadic-E and short skip this month so don’t miss out.

There have also been some reports of multi-hop Sporadic-E, which can take your signal even further afield, but more of that in the VHF section.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It has been a classic first week of June for Sporadic-E, with CW, SSB and digital VHF QSOs to the Americas, although it has tailed off a bit now. Sporadic-E has been good so far this month so continue checking every day, mid-morning and late afternoon, or early evening if your time is limited.

The weather patterns remain much the same into the first part of next week, but with the addition of a few showers, possibly thundery in the south particularly. This could be good for rain scatter on the microwave bands.

There will be a change from the more settled high-pressure weather after midweek with Atlantic lows starting to roll in once again. These should bring some stronger jet streams into western Europe, especially towards the Pyrenees, perhaps boosting Sporadic-E into Spain and the central Mediterranean.

Tropo has also been a feature recently and will continue to provide for a while as high pressure remains close by over northern Britain. Sea paths have performed well and this will remain the case with paths across the North Sea once again proving a good route into Europe.

The first half of June is also one of the best periods of the year for meteor scatter. Last week, two broad-peak showers coincided, so look for meteor scatter in between the Sporadic-E openings.

The moon’s declination is positive and rising to a maximum and with perigee on Thursday, a good week for EME. Only on Wednesday, when the Moon and the sun are very close will Sun noise be a problem.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 3 June 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd June 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Threat to Belgian 70cm allocation

  • Schoolboy makes silicon chips at home

  • Details of FIFA World Cup stations

 

Amateurs in Belgium are facing severe restrictions on their 70cm band operations even though, unlike in the UK, it is a Primary allocation for amateurs. The Regulator is proposing to reduce amateur privileges in the middle of the band to just a few milliwatts, and to ban certain modes outright. These may include digital and analogue ATV, packet radio, and possibly others on the affected frequencies. We believe it is unprecedented for any Primary user being overridden and restricted in such a way. Details are on the website of UBA, the Belgian national society, at tinyurl.com/BelgiumUBA

We normally think of silicon chip fabrication as being a cutting-edge practice, requiring huge investments and hundreds of people. However, we learned recently of Sam Zeloof, a 17-year-old high school student in the USA, who is making his own chips in his garage. Using ingenuity and equipment purchased via eBay, including things like an electron microscope he bought for less than the cost of shipping, Sam can fabricate features down to about 2 microns, though he says contamination issues mean 10 microns is the practical limit for functioning devices – because, after all, he’s working in a garage, not a clean room. More details are on the IEEE Spectrum website, accessible via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0306A

The Russian National Society, RRC, has organised an amateur radio marathon to commemorate the FIFA World Cup finals. It runs from the 1st of June to the 15th of July. Five awards are available, some of which are achievable at several different levels. Most bands from Top Band to 70cm can be used, on all modes. A full list of participating stations, and details on how to apply for the awards, can be found at www.rsgb.org/fwc The UK is participating with special event stations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at various times throughout the event. Look out for GB18FWC, MB18FIFA, GB18FIFA and, first, GB18FWC, which kicks things off this Monday from the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. In addition, G6XX, GI6XX, GM6XX and GW6XX will be activated to represent the FIFA member countries. Any RSGB Member who holds a Full UK Licence and would be interested in activating one of those G6 callsigns can email ContestClub@rsgbcc.org for more information.

Enrolment for the latest Bath Based Distance Learning Course is now open. The course will run from July to December and includes weekly notes to guide students through the RSGB textbook, revision questions and mock exams. The course can be studied anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. In the last six years the team has helped nearly 600 amateurs gain their full licence and they have raised over £12,000 for charity. With the previously-announced syllabus change on the horizon, this may be the last course of this type for some time and places are expected to be in high demand. There is no charge for the tuition but a refundable deposit is taken to encourage active learning – the deposit is refunded to those who complete the course, at just the right time to pay for the exam. Full details can be obtained from Steve Hartley, G0FUW via email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

Planning for the RSGB Convention in October is ongoing and the number of talks that have been confirmed continues to increase. We are very pleased that Ian White, GM3SEK has agreed to present again this year as his talks have always been very well received. The latest announcements mainly cover the 'VHF and Up' and 'AMSAT' streams and can be found on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org/convention

Writing in the IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and microwave newsletter, Jacques, ON4AVJ, has highlighted significant threats to the amateur radio spectrum above 30MHz. These include Wi-Fi at 5.7GHz, mobile phones at 3.4GHz and even threats to bands like 6m. The report also highlights the need for amateurs to develop innovative digital methods on VHF and above. You can find the report at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0306B

Aboard the International Space Station, the HamVideo transmitter stopped working in mid-April. Tests started on the 1st of June to try and determine the fault. More information can be found at https://live.ariss.org/hamtv/

As part of the continuing development of the online RSGB Membership Services portal, the Society has introduced a Manage Preferences section where Members can choose to receive GB2RS email alerts and also Membership updates. In other parts of the portal they can update personal details, reset their password, renew Membership, read the digital version of RadCom and also download a free entry voucher to Bletchley Park. Members can login at www.rsgb.org/update.

A key staff member at RSGB remains unwell, meaning it has again not been possible to prepare Local News this week. However, additional effort has now been secured to help us catch up with the backlog and we expect to include Local News next week and in subsequent broadcasts. Thank you to everyone who has sent in club calendar information, which we will include in RadCom as normal. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope to re-start a normal GB2RS Local News service from next week.

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

Today, Sunday, the Spalding DARS annual rally takes place. It is at a new venue, Holbeach Community Sports Academy, Pennyhill Lane, Holbeach PE12 7PR. There is easy access off the A17, a large area for boot traders, and a modern hall for indoor traders. Doors open 9.30am, with admittance £2.50. There’s a car boot sale, catering, plus a flea market, RSGB book stall, special interest groups, trade stands and a prize draw. Contact Graham, G8NWC, 0775 461 9701, rallysecretary@sdars.org.uk.

Next weekend is very busy on the rallies front, starting with a brand-new event on Saturday the 9th. The Portsmouth Radio Rally will take place at Milton Village Hall, 182 Milton Road, Southsea, Portsmouth PO4 8PR. There is free on-street and disabled parking. Doors open at 12.30pm, with admission just £2. Tables are only £5, though this fee is waived for clubs, charities and so on. Any profits from the event will go to RAIBC. For more details contact Matthew, on 0793 615 2846, Matthew.twyman63@btinternet.com.

Sunday the 10th sees the East Suffolk Wireless Revival, also known as the Ipswich Radio Rally, at Kirton Recreation Ground, Back Road, Kirton IP10 0PW. The site is just off the A14 and there is free car parking. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands, car boot sale, Bring and Buy, special interests groups, HF station GB4SWR on the air and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Contact Kevin, G8MXV, on 0771 004 6846 [www.eswr.org.uk].

Also next Sunday the Junction 28 Rally takes place at Bowls Hall, Alfreton Leisure Centre, Alfreton, Derbyshire. For details, contact Anya Lawrence on 01246 456 625 or email adylawri@btinternet.com.

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

And now the DX news kindly compiled this week by G3ZAY from 425 DX News and other sources

Craig, VK5CE, will be active as VK5CE/6 from 4th to the 7th of June from East Lewis Island, which is IOTA reference OC-199. Then, from 8-11 June he will be on Direction Island, OC-140. QSL and other information is on QRZ.com.

K4D will be on the air from Dog Island, NA-085, until the 9th of June, as will S9ZZ from Sao Tome, AF-023.

Harald DF2WO will be starting up from Rwanda as 9X2AW on the 9th of June for about three weeks.

A group of five operators will activate TE6DX from Uvita Island in Costa Rica from the 7th to the 11th of June. This is NA-155 for IOTA.

SA6G/7 will be active from Ven Island, EU-137, from the 5th to the 12th of June, mainly on CW.

Laci, HA0HW, is active as SW8WW from Thassos Island, EU-174, until the 5th of June.

Now the special event news

Special event station YB50AR will be active throughout June to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Organisasi Amatir Radio Indonesia, ORARI, Indonesia's IARU Member Society. In addition to the HQ station, another 32 special callsigns will be active from the ORARI Subdivisions over the same period. All will have the YB50 prefix. Information on the ORARI Golden Anniversary Awards will be posted to www.orari.or.id.

Special callsigns with a 4X70 prefix are active until the 27th of June to celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary. Logsearch and an electronic certificate are available via israel70.iarc.org.

Lough Erne Amateur Radio Club will be running a special event station GB2MAC for on the weekend of 9th and 10th June. Planning to be on the air on all bands from 160m to 6m, they will also be monitoring GB3CP for anyone needing directions to visit, either just to see what is going on or, if you bring your licence, to operate. The station is usually up and running by 10am on the Saturday and ends on Sunday around 4pm. The station will be on the air overnight, with particular focus on 160 and 80m. QSL will be via the bureau and LOTW.

As mentioned in the main news there are a large number of special event stations on the air in the UK and elsewhere celebrating FIFA World Cup 2018. Many awards are available and details are at www.rsgb.org/fwc

Now the contest news

The UK Microwave Group Low Bands contest takes place today from 1000UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The RSGB CW National Field Day ends its 24-hour run at 1500UTC today, Sunday. Using CW only on all the HF contest bands from 1.8-28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also ending its 24-hour run today, but at 1200UTC, is SEANET. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, signal report and serial number forms the exchange.

And finally for this weekend, the UK Six Metre Group Summer event ends its 24 hours at 1300UTC on Sunday. All modes can be used on the 50MHz band; the exchange is signal report, serial number and UKSMG membership number.

On Monday it’s the 80m Club Championships Data leg from 1900UTC to 2000UTC. Using datamodes only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Tuesday sees the 144MHz FMAC from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, immediately followed by the 144MHz UKAC 1900UTC to 2130UTC. The first is FM-only, then the UKAC opens up to all modes on the 2m band. The exchange is the same for both, being signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Saturday at 1200UTC sees the start of the IARU ATV contest, which runs until 1800 on Sunday. Using all forms of TV on all bands above 400MHz, the exchange is P-grade, serial number, your chosen 4-digit onscreen code, and your locator. Participation in this one can be relatively quiet so if you have any ATV gear it’s well worth digging it out; people have won sections with as little as a single contact.

The 144MHz Backpackers #2 contest takes place next Sunday from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Starting at the same time next Sunday, 0900UTC, but finishing later at 1600UTC, is the PW 2m QRP contest. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, with a maximum power of 5W, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group millimetre-wave contest runs from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 248GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

A large coronal hole on the Sun didn’t affect the HF bands earlier in the last week as its associated high-speed solar wind stream hadn’t had time to reach Earth. However, this was probably the quiet before the geomagnetic storm as the solar material was predicted to reach us at around 450-500km per second sometime around Friday the first of June.

As the coronal hole is large, and on the Sun’s equator, it is perfectly positioned to deposit a mass of charged particles into the Earth’s magnetic field if its Bz magnetic component is south facing, so enabling coupling. The upshot is that this weekend is probably going to see very unsettled geomagnetic and possibly even auroral conditions. And in view of the hole’s elongated shape we may not see much respite until around Tuesday June 5th, or even Wednesday the 6th. So expect lowered maximum usable frequencies, noisy bands and poor conditions as the ionosphere is depleted – not really a good forecast for National Field Day weekend! After Wednesday the 6th June we can probably expect the bands to recover slowly.

The good news is that summer propagation conditions are just about with us, so expect the 20m HF band to remain open longer, perhaps even after sunset, although a lack of decent sunspots is not really helping. The high-speed solar wind may also adversely impact Sporadic-E formation, so for research purposes keep an eye on 10m over the weekend, but do hear what we have to say in the VHF section about Sporadic-E too.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Weather-wise it looks like more of the same with high pressure holding on over much of the country, with just the occasional spell when there are likely to be a few heavy thundery showers in the south, chiefly up to this weekend. So this week it’s time to dust off the Tropo bands at VHF and UHF and try for those unusually long distance paths, say across the North Sea or south-east into Europe. Remember that paths across the sea can be very reliable from coast to coast, but once a portion of the path crosses the land, the daytime heating can destroy the needed temperature inversions, so they will only work during the night time.

Apart from the odd bit of rain scatter from those early thunderstorms, the other mode of choice will be Sporadic-E. The season is coming to one of its fabled peaks in early June. Some say it’s to do with extra meteor showers, others not so convinced. Whatever provides the fuel, the weather triggers in the lower atmosphere are what probably controls the location.

In the coming week the main jet stream is out of reach well north of the UK. There may be some weaker jet stream segments towards Spain and, perhaps by midweek, a jet stream over the Norwegian mountains may be useful for a Scandinavian Sporadic-E opening.

The moon is at apogee, its furthest distance from earth today, and declination is negative but increasing. Moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses and losses will fall.

The Arietids meteor shower, the strongest daylight shower of the year lasts from late May until early July and peaks this Thursday. Look out for enhanced reflections.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 27th. May 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th May 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Opt in to GB2RS emails
  • Marconi’s Elettra on the air
  • NRC D-Star repeater back again

 

If you receive the GB2RS weekly email you will have seen that you need to opt in to keep receiving it in future. This is so that the RSGB complies with the new General Data Protection Act. The RSGB is delighted that a large number of people have done so already and they will receive the GB2RS email this week. If you are a Member and haven’t yet subscribed, go to www.rsgb.org/gb2rs-subscribe and fill in a few details so that the RSGB can confirm your membership and send you future GB2RS emails.

Marconi’s floating laboratory Elettra will be put on the air next weekend as part of the Museum Ships Weekend. Using the callsign II4AMP and sponsored by the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation, this is the sixth time the yacht has been activated in this way. For more information on Museum Ships Weekend see www.nj2bb.org/

GB7BP, the D-Star repeater in the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, has recently come back on the air. It had been inactive due to equipment problems. Many local amateurs have already used the repeater since it was reactivated and everyone is invited to listen in. RSGB Members can download a voucher from www.RSGB.org that permits free entry to Bletchley Park and thus the National Radio Centre. Amateur radio facilities at the NRC are in the process of being improved and if you bring a copy of your licence, you can try operating the world-class station GB3RS.

A formation of two satellites was launched on Monday on a lunar orbit mission. The 47kg microsatellites each carry two SDR VHF/UHF transceivers to provide command, telemetry, image transmission and a GMSK-JT4 repeater. The project is led by Harbin Institute of Technology and has low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and educational goals. More information and further links are on the amsat-uk.org website.

Darenth Valley Radio Society will be holding a Foundation Course on the 9th and 16th of June at the Crockehill Village Hall, Swanley, Kent. The cost of the course will be £55 including the exam fee. More details can be obtained by emailing training@darenthvalleyrs.org as soon as possible.

Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE was inducted into the CQ magazine Hall of Fame at the Hamvention in Xenia, USA last weekend. He is the only living Indian amateur in the elite group. He was recognised for his work designing and popularising the Bit-X low power, open-source transceiver semi-kits. He estimates that at least 15,000 of these exist around the world. Their low cost and simple construction opened up the world of amateur radio to a large number of people in a very affordable way. Congratulations to Ashhar Farhan on his induction. The only other Indian in the CQ Hall of Fame was Kalpana Chawla. In 1997 she became the first Indian woman in space, but sadly died in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Due to the ongoing serious illness of a key staff member, it has again not been possible to prepare Local News this week. We are taking steps to cover their absence and restore the full GB2RS service as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who has sent in club calendar information, which we will include in RadCom as normal. However, we are running significantly late on acknowledging those contributions.

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

Today, Sunday, the Durham District ARS Radio Rally is at Bowburn Community Centre, Durham Road, Bowburn, Co. Durham DH6 5AT. Doors open from 10.10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall, plus catering and a licensed bar on site. Contact Michael Wright, G7TWX, on 0782 692 4192, or email dadars@gmx.com.

The big rally news this week is the Ham Radio Show in Friedrichshafen, which takes place from Friday the 1st to Sunday the 3rd of June. The huge show will be the usual mix of trade stands, large flea market, special interest groups, a large RSGB book stall, stands from other IARU Member Societies plus lectures in various languages, and much more. Details are at www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.de.

Next Sunday the Spalding DARS annual rally takes place. It is at a new venue, Holbeach Community Sports Academy, Pennyhill Lane, Holbeach PE12 7PR. There is easy access off the A17, a large area for boot traders, and a modern hall for indoor traders. Doors open 9.30am, with admittance £2.50. There’s a car boot sale, catering, plus a flea market, RSGB book stall, special interest groups, trade stands and a prize draw. Contact Graham, G8NWC, 0775 461 9701, rallysecretary@sdars.org.uk.

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

S9ZZ goes on the air next Friday from Sao Tome Island, IOTA reference AF-023. David, EB7DX will be active on 40 to 6m SSB, RTTY, FT8 and CW until the 9th of June. QSL via his home call.

The JW8DW Svalbard Islands operation, EU-026 ends on Monday. Operator LA8DW is on HF CW and SSB and you can QSL via Logbook of the World or bureau.

Kevin, K6TOP will be active again from Tortola Island, British Virgin Islands, IOTA reference NA-023, until the 1st of June. Calling as VP2V/K6TOP, he is running CW on 40, 30, 20 and 17m. QSL via NR6M direct or Logbook of the World.

Armin, DK9PY will be active as 6Y6N from Jamaica, NA-097, until the 2nd of June. He will operate on 160 to 10m from the station of 6Y5WJ station. QSL via his home call.

The long operation of 6O0X continues in Somalia. Baldur Drobnica is using 100W on the HF bands with an FD4 antenna. QSL via DJ6SI.

Elsewhere in Africa, David, VE7VR is active as A25VR from Botswana until the 3rd of June. He will operate on 40, 30, 20m, including activity in CQ WW WPX CW Contest. QSL via his home call.

VK4DX will be /P on Russell Island, OC-137, from the 1st to the 3rd of June. He will be on 80 to 20m SSB and CW. QSL direct, Logbook of the World or online QSL request.

Now the special event news

From the 25th of May until the 8th of June, Radio Club OK1KLV will activate the special call sign OL90ITALIA to honour the memory of the adventurous and tragic Polar expedition of the Airship ITALIA that in 1928 crashed near the North Pole. Activity will be on HF on various modes.

The 90th anniversary of Portishead Radio will be commemorated by three special event stations from the 1st to the 28th of July. GB0GKA will be run by Tony, G3ZRJ from near Tiverton. Larry, G4HLN will run GB0GKB from Burnham-on-Sea, whilst GB0GKC in Weston-super-Mare will be operated by Pete, G3TJE. All three are ex-GKA Radio Officers and the special callsigns reference the original Portishead calls.

Many stations will be on the air to mark the FIFA World Cup 2018. They generally start on the 1st of June and run to the 15th of July, and have easily-recognised football-related call letters. Examples include DT18FWC and DT18FIFA in Korea, LX18FIFA in Luxembourg, OM18FIFA and OM2018FIFA in the Slovak Republic, AO18FWC in Spain, plus many more. These unusual callsigns are sure to be popular on the air.

Now the contest news

This weekend’s big event is the CQ WW WPX CW contest, which ends at 2359UTC on Sunday the 27th. This CW-only event uses all the HF contest bands from 1.8-28MHz. Exchange a signal report and serial number.

Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes place today from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, signal report, serial number and locator should be exchanged.

Finally, for this weekend, the 70MHz Cumulative #3 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s CW National Field Day, running from 1500UTC on Saturday to 1500UTC on Sunday. Using CW only on all the HF contest bands from 1.8-28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also, next weekend, SEANET runs from 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, signal report and serial number forms the exchange.

Finally, for next weekend, the UK Six Metre Group Summer event runs from 1300UTC on Saturday to 1300UTC on Sunday. All modes can be used on the 50MHz band; the exchange is signal report, serial number and UKSMG membership number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 25th May.

A glancing blow from a high-speed solar wind stream caused the K index to rise to three on Wednesday. This was a little unexpected as it came from a polar coronal hole on the Sun that didn’t look like it would impact the Earth. This brought mixed blessings as an initial positive phase saw the maximum usable frequency over 3,000km exceed 18MHz. But conditions soon dropped back and 20 metres became the highest viable band for F-layer propagation.

Sporadic-E has been bringing some good short skip to the higher bands so do make the most of it, with the peaks generally around mid-to-late morning and again in the late afternoon and early evening.

The good news is we are seeing some sunspot activity, albeit very weak. At the time of writing there were two small visible regions and another coming around the sun’s limb. Nevertheless, NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain around 70.

Geomagnetic conditions are set to be settled this week, at least until Friday the 1st when NOAA has the K index rising again. This is due to another coronal hole, which may cause unsettled conditions over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd with a maximum predicted K index of six.

So better HF conditions may occur in the first half of the week, but the weekend might not be the best time for DX. A high-speed solar wind may also not be conducive to stable Sporadic E cloud formation either, although this is an area that needs some more research.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The next week carries on in similar fashion with low pressure close to southern Britain, offering a chance of rain scatter in any showers. The north of the country remains close to high pressure over Scandinavia with a chance of further patches of enhanced Tropo across the North Sea.

The southern half of the country will be nearer to low pressure over the continent and will have an enhanced risk of showers, some thundery. This will make rain scatter a possibility for the microwave bands.

Sporadic-E is amongst us and hopefully this next week will continue to provide options. However, since jet streams are often implicated in the formation of Sporadic-E, the news is not so good in that the main Atlantic jet stream is displaced well to the north of Europe.

The main operating rules are to check the clusters and beacons for activity, initially on 10m, but then upwards through 6m to 4m and 2m as the opening develops. Conditions may only happen for brief moments, so keep the overs short with report and locator in case the path fades.

Moon declination is negative this week, and apogee just a week away so losses are approaching their highest and moon windows will be at their shortest. This means low antenna elevations and increasing noise at VHF and UHF.

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

 

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 20th. May 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th May 2018

The news headlines:

  • Grab your R series callsign NOW
  • YOTA 2018 team announced
  • Guide to Ofcom online licensing portal

 

There is still just time to get yourself the unique “R” Notice of Variation that is being used to celebrate this weekend’s royal wedding. All grades of licence can apply; it is valid only from the 19th to the 21st of May. Full details of how to apply for the free NoV, and how to use it, are online at rsgb.org/rwrsl and you MUST sort out the NoV BEFORE using the “R”.

Congratulations to the young radio amateurs who have been chosen to represent the UK at YOTA 2018 in South Africa this summer. Peter Barnes, M0SWN will be the UK team leader, whilst Benjamin Chalmers, M0NBA, Nathan Prentice, 2I0NTP and Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ will form the UK team. On their return they will be helping to arrange events to encourage more young people to get involved in amateur radio.

The February edition of RadCom included a helpful article by Ofcom about their Licensing Portal, Registration and Revalidation, which are all on the Ofcom website. The RSGB has now made the article available on its website as an easy reference for everyone, whether or not they are an RSGB Member. You can download it directly from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0520A

As mentioned last week, the RSGB QSL Bureau is attending Dayton Hamvention® this weekend, meaning the office is unstaffed. This, plus an expected influx of cards from Dayton will make them very busy for a while afterwards. All Members, clubs and special event stations are asked to delay sending any other cards to the Bureau until after the 3rd of June, to give them a chance to catch up.

We apologise but due to the ongoing serious illness of a key staff member, plus the scheduled absence of several others, it has not been possible to prepare Local News this week.

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

Today, Sunday, the Sarcom Braehead Radio Electronics Rally is at Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4. Talk-in is available. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and family attractions. There will be lectures on the day. Catering and a licensed bar are on site. There will be a raffle. More information from Andrew Hood, GM7GDE, on 0782 593 2488, or email radiorally@scotlandmail.com.

Also today the 35th Dunstable Downs Radio Club amateur radio car boot sale takes place at Stockwood Park, London Rd. Farley Hill, Luton LU1 5PP. All the usual facilities will be there, and further details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

Next Saturday, the 26th, the RADARS Flea Market Indoor Sale takes place at St Vincent de Paul’s, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale, OL12 7QR. Doors open to the public at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50, with those under 12 years free. For traders it’s £5 per pitch if you have your own tables, otherwise £10. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders and amateur radio sellers. Refreshments available including bacon and sausage butties. Details from Robert, M0NVQ, on 0777 811 3333 or email rally@radars.me.uk.

Next Sunday the Durham District ARS Radio Rally is at Bowburn Community Centre, Durham Road, Bowburn, Co. Durham DH6 5AT. Doors open from 10.10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 10am. Admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy sale, trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall, plus catering and a licensed bar on site. Contact Michael Wright, G7TWX, on 0782 692 4192, or email dadars@gmx.com.

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

SV2CLJ will be on the air holiday style in Malta, IOTA reference EU-023, at the shack of Savas, 9H1AE. Activity will be from the 24th to the 31st of May on all modes from 80m to 2m. QSL to home call.

II1ITR will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the so-called Red Tent, an Italian airship that set out to explore the North Pole. Beginning on the 25th of May and continuing to the 25th of June, the plan is to work on all bands and all modes. QSL and other information is available at QRZ.com.

Thomas, F4HPX will be active as FR/F4HPX from Reunion Island, AF-016, from the 25th of May to the 15th of June. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m, mainly SSB and possibly FT8. QSL via home call, Logbook of the World, eQSL, ClubLog OQRS or QRZ LogBook.

The Canary Islands, AF-004 will be the temporary home of Juan, EA8RM for the CQ WW WPX CW contest on the 26th and 27th. QSL via EB7DX or Logbook of the World.

HR9/W1UE, HR9/N2WQ, HR9/K1XM and HR9/KQ1F are presently active from Roatan Island, Honduras, NA-057. They will operate as HQ9X in the CQ WW WPX CW Contest on the 26th and 27th, then go back to their individual calls until the 29th. QSL via home calls, or QSL HQ9X via KQ1F or Logbook of the World.

The Cayman Islands, NA-016 play host to Frank, K3TRM, who will be active on HF as ZF2RM throughout the summer months. QSL via home call.

Members of Far Eastern Group of the Russian Robinson Club, RW0LZ, R0LZ and UA0LCZ will be active as R0LS/P from Skrebtsov Island, AS-066, from the 24th to the 28th. They are planning to use 3.507, 7.007, 10.107, 14.017, 18.077, 21.017, 24.897 and 28.017MHz. QSL via R0LS.

Randy, WW6RG will be active as VQ9RA from Chagos Islands, Diego Garcia, AF-006, from 23rd to the 24th. He will operate QRP on 14.190 and 21.280MHz SSB. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

As noted last week, Cray Valley Radio Society is using the unique callsign GR9RW until the 23rd to mark the Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Harry and Ms Megan Markle. Activities will be from HF to UHF and full details are at www.cvrs.org.

Celebrating the 50th birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederiks of Denmark, the Experimental Danish Radio amateurs association, or EDR, will operate OZ50HRH/xx and 5P0HRH/xx, plus OX50HRH and OX5HRH from Greenland. Running from 0000UTC 20 2359UTC on the 26th of May, they plan to use all bands and modes, including FT and JT digital. All two-way contacts and SWL reports are valid for awards; details are on QRZ.com.

On the 26th of May GB4COM will be on the air to mark the open day of the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The RSGB 144MHz May Contest finishes its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, Sunday. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today is the 144MHz Backpackers #1 contest, which runs from 1100UTC to 1500UTC. All modes can be used on the 2m band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UKuG mm-Wave contest takes place today on all bands from 24-76GHz from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 1830UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Note that different bands are in use at different times.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships takes place on the 3.5MHz band from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend’s big event is the CQ WW WPX CW contest. Running from 0000UTC on Saturday the 26th to 2359UTC on Sunday the 27th, this CW-only event uses all the HF contest bands from 1.8-28MHz. Exchange a signal report and serial number.

Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes place next Sunday from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, signal repost, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Finally for next weekend, the 70MHz Cumulative #3 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 18th of May.

Last week continued with zero sunspots after the 13th and a solar flux index of around 70. NOAA had forecast poorer geomagnetic conditions from Thursday the 17th. The solar wind speed, as measured at the ACE spacecraft, did increase on Thursday morning but the K index hadn’t got above three by Thursday afternoon.

Overall, HF conditions were average with daytime critical frequencies tending to be in the range 4 to 5MHz. This translates to an F-layer maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 15-17MHz. This means that the most reliable daytime DX band remains 20 metres, 14MHz.

As we move towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions the higher HF bands are remaining open later. The 30 and sometimes even 20 metre bands are staying open longer after sunset, although 20m is still closing by late evening.

Sporadic-E is still bringing some interest to the upper HF bands, particularly 10 metres, but you can see the short-skip effects down to 20 meters as well.

The FT8 frequency of 28.074 MHz is now a good first check point for band openings. The 10m beacons are also worth checking because SR5TDM, a three watt low-power Polish beacon on 28.215MHz, was audible during the week. You can find a 10 and 6m beacon list by searching on the web for G3USF beacons.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70. A lack of coronal hole activity means the K index may only reach a maximum of two.

In summary then, it’s more of the same for HF!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The charts show a lot of high pressure over the next week and this means a good chance of some Tropo. The best paths will be over the surrounding seas, especially the North Sea at first. There may be a trend for drier air to remove some of the low-level moisture after this weekend, so paths won’t necessarily be good all of the time. The overnight conditions under high pressure can also produce temporary nocturnal lifts over land, but these paths tend to decay quickly after sunrise, when the heating breaks down any surface inversion.

Since it looks like a largely dry spell of weather, there may be a shortage of rain scatter clouds about for the microwave bands. All is not lost and there is some hope that Sporadic-E will continue to put in an appearance now and again. However, one of the main ingredients, a strong jet stream over Europe, may be hard to find in this fine, settled weather. This means the fall-back option of upper ridge patterns may be the trigger to watch. Check the daily Sporadic-Eblogs on Propquest.co.uk to see the current location of jet streams and ridges.

The moon is past perigee, but losses are still low and will fall as the week progresses. Similarly, declination is falling but still in double figures until Wednesday, so another good week for EME with moon visibility from late morning through to after midnight most days.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 13th. May 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th May 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Thousands watch CubeSat deployment
  • 2x1 calls for Norwegian clubs
  • 2017 CQ WW CW contest logs to be re-scored

 

Three CubeSats were deployed on Friday from the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo aboard the International Space Station. The satellites were Irazu from Costa Rica, 1KUNS-PF from Kenya and UBAKUSAT from Turkey. All of them carry amateur radio telemetry payloads; UBAKUSAT also carries a linear transponder for SSB and CW. Details of the beacon and transponder frequencies can be found via the amsat-uk.org website. The deployment was broadcast live from the ISS via YouTube and was watched by thousands of people.

The Norsk Radio Relae Liga, RSGB’s counterpart in Norway, has been given the responsibility to issue new 2x1 contest callsigns to that nation’s amateur community. The first 27 calls were issued in mid-April at the country’s biggest rally, Norsk Hammeting, and last five years. With few exceptions the new callsigns are available only to clubs and an admin fee of approaching £100 is payable, which is passed on to the country’s communications regulator, NCA.

A change in scoring methodology for handling duplicate contacts in the CW weekend of the 2017 CQ World Wide DX Contest led to an inconsistency with the standards by which logs submitted for the SSB weekend of the same contest were scored. After considerable discussion and debate among members of the CQ WW Contest Committee and consultation with CQ management, it was decided to restore the original scoring methodology and to re-score all CW logs for the 2017 CQ WW DX contest. Updated scores will be published online on the CQ website and on the CQ World Wide DX Contest website, but the re-scoring is not expected to result in any changes to the order of finish.

Next weekend is the Dayton Hamvention®, mentioned in more detail later. The RSGB QSL Bureau is attending, which will of course mean they are out of the office for some time. This, plus an expected influx of cards from Dayton will make them very busy afterwards. All Members, clubs and special event stations are asked to delay sending any other cards to the Bureau until after the 3rd of June.

Also next weekend, on 19 and 20 May, Albania’s Open Source conference, OSCAL 18 takes place in Tirana. Daniel Pocock, M0GLR / VK3TQR hopes to run a prominent amateur radio demonstration station at the event. No callsign has been announced but information on the plans is online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0513A

CQScotland.com will be providing free electronic kits for accompanied school-age children attending the Scottish Electronics and Radio Convention. It takes place at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, on the 20th of May. A dedicated construction area will be set up, and help will be on hand so children should leave with a fully working project. Alternatively, it may be built at home with a parent. The kits and construction session is sponsored by the RSGB and Antex Electronics Ltd.

Finally, Darenth Valley Radio Society announces that they still have places for their Foundation course starting on the 9th of June. More information can be obtained from Mike, G8AXA, via email to g8axa@yahoo.co.uk.

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

Today, the 13th, the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place at Share Centre, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh BT92 0EQ. Access in NI is from the M1, A5 & A4, or via the M/N3 from the RoI. Doors open at 11.30am. Details from David, GI4VHO, on 0784 291 0076, or online at www.learc.eu.

Next Thursday the Dayton Hamvention® opens its doors from 8am at Greene County Fair & Exposition Center, Xenia, Dayton, Ohio, USA. The event runs until Sunday afternoon. There will be trade stands and the usual huge flea market as well as special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A lecture programme will take place each day. There are multiple catering outlets and family attractions on site. US exams are available, and there is a door raffle. Details by email to international@hamvention.org or online at www.hamvention.org.

Next Sunday the Sarcom Braehead Radio Electronics Rally is at Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4. Talk-in is available. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and family attractions. There will be lectures on the day. Catering and a licensed bar are on site. There will be a raffle. More from Andrew Hood, GM7GDE, on 0782 593 2488, or email radiorally@scotlandmail.com.

Finally for next weekend, the 35th Dunstable Downs Radio Club amateur radio car boot sale takes place on Sunday at Stockwood Park, London Rd. Farley Hill, Luton LU1 5PP. Please note that the date was printed incorrectly in the April RadCom but correctly in the May edition. All the usual facilities will be there, and further details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

To get your rally or event information into GB2RS News, RadCom and on the RSGB website, email details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Take, JG8NQJ/JD1 will be on the small Japanese atoll of Minami Torishima from mid-May to mid-August. This is Islands on the Air reference OC-073 and a separate DXCC entity.

Chris, VK3QB, Brenton, VK3YB and Luke, VK3HJ will be active as VK9LI from Lord Howe Island, OC-004 until the 18th of May. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on 160 to 17 metres. 

A team of 6 US operators will be QRV from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands from the 13th to 25th of May. This is OC-013 for IOTA.

OM3RM will be active as CT9ABN from Madeira, AF-014, on the 19th to 29th May. He will be QRV on 80 to 10 metres and will be CR3DX in CQWPX CW.

A number of stations should be active on May 12th to 13th from Liechtenstein, including several flora and fauna sites.

EJ7NET, from Inisheer Island, EU-006, will be active from the 19th to 23rd of May. The operators are EI5IQ, EI6FR, EI7DSB, GM3YEH, GM7WCO and HB9DGV. They plan to be active on HF and 6 metres.

The Castres DX Gang will operate TM5FI from Ratonneau Island in the Frioul Archipelago, EU-095, until May 16th. They will be QRV from 80 to 6m, using SSB, CW and digital modes.

The C8T operation from Mozambique continues until May 15th. And the 3B9RUN operation on Rodrigues Island (AF-017) continues until May 16th. They should operate SSB and FT8 on 80-10 metres.

Members of Camb-Hams are on the island of Islay, EU-008 until the 20th of May, operating on multiple bands.

Now the special event news

Many stations are on the air for some or all RNLI SOS month. Details of all registered stations are online at www.sosradioweek.org.uk and there are free awards available for working or even just hearing them.

This weekend is Mills on the Air and many special event stations are active. As mentioned last week, the May RadCom contains a list of some of the callsigns to listen out for.

If you apply for a Special Event Notice of Variation from Ofcom, please remember to tick both boxes that ask about publicity, otherwise the RSGB won’t be told about your event and thus we can’t promote it for you.

Next weekend will see a raft of special callsigns on the air to celebrate the Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Harry and Ms Megan Markle. Cray Valley Radio Society lead the pack with GR9RW, believed to be the first-ever use of the GR9 prefix. Operation will be from the 19th to the 23rd, on HF to UHF.

A reminder that all UK radio amateurs – Foundation, Intermediate and Full – are entitled to apply for a Notice of Variation to change their Regional Secondary Locator to ‘R’ between the 19th and 21st of May. Please note that you MUST apply for the NoV, which is free, via rsgb.org/rwrsl before going on the air with the ‘R’. For example, 2W1xxx would be able to sign 2R1xxx and M6xxx would be MR6xxx. This very rare prefix is likely to be in very high demand from stations around the world, so get your NoV as soon as you can and prepare for the DX to start calling you next weekend.

Now the contest news

Today, the 13th, the RSGB 70MHz CW contest, VHF CW Championship event, takes place from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW only on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and postcode.

Also today the Worked All Britain 40m Phone contest runs from 1000UTC to 1400UTC on the 7MHz band. Using SSB only, participants should exchange signal report, serial number and their WAB area.

Tuesday sees the RSGB 1.3GHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using all modes on 23cm, your signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange.

On Wednesday the RSGB 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using data modes only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Thursday is busy on 4m, with the RSGB 70MHz FMAC running from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130 UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the RSGB 144MHz May Contest takes place. Running for 24 hours from 1400UTC on Saturday the 19th until 1200UTC on Sunday, all modes are permissible on the 2m band. Signal report, serial number, locator and postcode should be exchanged.

Finally for next Sunday, the UKuG mm-Wave contest takes place on all bands from 24-76GHz from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 11th of May.

Our forecast last week was pretty much spot-on, with poor geomagnetic conditions plaguing us from Sunday the 6th. But before this, there was a pre-auroral HF enhancement on the Saturday that surprised many people. Steve, PJ4DX, on Bonaire in the Caribbean worked the UK on 17 metres and also made contact with Martin, M0BCT on 10 metres. He reports that Stephen, G7BXU, using a 5/8-wave vertical in Reading was also S9+ on 12 metres. Alas, things couldn’t last and we then went into a full geomagnetic storm, complete with a high K index, noisy bands, lower maximum usable frequencies and lots of fading. At this point in the solar cycle pre-auroral enhancements are worth looking out for. They are usually triggered by the first arrival of solar coronal hole material, but are difficult to predict accurately, so keep an eye on the bands.

Now to next week’s predictions, and a lack of Earth-facing coronal holes on the Sun as of Thursday 10th May, means this weekend may be more settled geomagnetically. Expect 20 and perhaps 17 metres to provide some good F-layer openings, and for the conditions to last until at least mid-week. NOAA then predicts the K index could rise to perhaps six on Thursday the 17th, probably due to a recurring coronal hole that has not yet rotated into view at the time this report was being prepared. This may be the coronal hole that caused the poor conditions 27 days earlier, around the time of International Marconi Day. So look for a possible pre-auroral enhancement from Wednesday evening or Thursday, followed by poorer F-layer HF conditions thereafter. The good news is that Sporadic-E is supporting strong short skip on 28MHz at times, with lots to work on FT8, CW and SSB.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

There have been some reasonable Tropo conditions recently, but mainly limited to coastal and sea paths. A UK amateur television record-breaking 5.6GHz contact using low power video senders was made last Wednesday, between the Norfolk and Yorkshire coasts, using a shallow surface duct. This can be a relatively-common feature in the summer, but they can be very shallow; climbing the cliffs may just make you too high.

This coming week, with high pressure nearby, there will continue to be options for more Tropo, but keep in mind that nocturnal cooling inversions that give some good overnight Tropo soon disperse after sunrise. Looking for the high-microwave-band beacons overnight often shows them appearing after a hot day.

Tropo is not guaranteed this week since the high pressure is rather weak and often replaced by shallow areas of low pressure with an attendant risk of thundery showers, giving some possibility of rain scatter on the microwave bands.

The Sporadic-E season is well under way. We need to look at the location of jet streams within Europe this week, which can influence the location of Sporadic-E. A north-westerly jet stream over the Pyrenees could help paths to EA and CT. As usual the best advice to capture Sporadic-E is to remember to check 10m and 6m when you get home from work. Checking beacons, the Reverse Beacon Network and clusters should be your first tasks before having your evening meal!

The moon reaches perigee, its closest point to Earth, on Thursday and maximum declination on Friday, so it’s a good week for EME.

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

 

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