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RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for March 31st 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 31st March 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Join the Cricket World Cup Marathon

  • Fierce storm delays Bouvet Island DXpedition

  • 5MHz Newsreader wanted

 

The RSGB is hosting an international amateur radio marathon event on the HF bands to celebrate this year’s Cricket World Cup, which is being held in England and Wales. The marathon will run from the 30th of May to the 14th of July. The RSGB Contest Club is looking for more volunteers to help co-ordinate the special event callsigns, but now is also a great time to join the list of operators and sign up so that you will be ready to operate. Full details are at www.rsgb.org/cricket and if you want to get involved, email contestclub@rsgbcc.org.

The much-anticipated 3Y0I Bouvet Island DXpedition has run into difficulties before having a chance to approach the island. Winds as high as 170km/h, that’s 105 mph, caused damage to their ship, the MV Atlantic Tuna, which is now heading back to Cape Town for assessment and repairs. The team is stressing that this setback represents a postponement, not a cancellation. Despite losing both antennas in the storm, E51DOM/mm is now back on the air and giving a taste of what signals from Bouvet could – and will – be like.

A vacancy has arisen for a GB2RS newsreader on the 5MHz team. Transmissions are on a rota basis, each Sunday afternoon at 1500 UTC, on 5398.5kHz USB. If you are interested, please contact the RSGB GB2RS News Service Manager, Ken Hatton, G3VBA, via email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk. Note that a Full licence is required for 5MHz operation.

Would you like to help shape the direction of the RSGB in the future? Then why not stand as a Director and become a Board member? Details of what’s involved can be found on pages 6 and 7 of the January 2019 RadCom. For an informal discussion, please contact the Chairman, Ian Shepherd, G4EVK, via email to g4evk@rsgb.org.uk, by Monday the 15th of April at the latest.

British Summertime started at 1am this morning. with the clocks jumping forward to 2am. Domestic clocks should now read one hour ahead of UTC.

At the RSGB AGM on the 27th of April there will be a fascinating talk on the world’s first geostationary amateur radio satellite, Es’hailsat-2, also known as QO-100. Noel Matthews, G8GTZ and Dave Crump, G8GKQ will explain the history of the project, its space launch in February 2019, the equipment you need to work it, plus a demonstration of listening to the satellite via the internet. See www.rsgb.org/agm for details.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the AGM, we would like to remind RSGB Members that they can vote online on the various Resolutions. Details of these are in the April issue of RadCom and on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm2019.

Advance notice now of a couple of major events in the coming months. This year’s International Marconi Day will take place on the 27th of April. Stations are invited to help celebrate Marconi’s birthday by operating from sites that are closely associated with him, or from which he himself operated. For more information, or to register your station, go to www.gb4imd.co.uk. Separately, SOS Radio Week will take place throughout May. The event highlights the amazing work of the RNLI and honours the volunteer Watchkeepers of the National Coastwatch Institution. Individual amateurs and clubs are invited to register as official SOS Radio Week stations. For more information see www.sosradioweek.org.uk

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

Today, the 31st, the first British Amateur Television Club Regional Convention takes place in Bristol. It will be hosted by North Bristol ARC at SHE7 building, Braemar Crescent, Filton, Bristol BS7 0TD. Doors open from 10am to 4pm. There will be a full day of talks & demonstrations, with a test bench available for visitors’ projects. Further information is at https://forum.batc.org.uk or from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098 

Also next Sunday, the Pencoed Radio Club Table Top Sale takes place from 9.30am at Pencoed Rugby Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Refreshments are available on site. Details from Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Next Saturday, the 6th of April, the GMDX convention takes place at the King Robert Hotel, Whins of Milton, Stirling. Registration commences at 10.30am, with the GMDX AGM taking place shortly thereafter. The Convention includes a series of excellent lectures on DX and technical subjects, followed by the famous DX Dinner from 8pm. Details are at www.gmdx.org.uk

Next Sunday, the 7th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally takes place at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Cambridge CB22 6RN. There will be a talk in station and car parking is free. Doors open 9.30am and entry is £2. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. A burger van has been booked for on-site catering. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972 724 or see www.cambridgerepeaters.net

Also next Sunday, the thirty-fifth Yeovil ARC QRP Convention takes place at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission is £3. No dogs can be admitted except Guide Dogs. The event is supported by the RSGB, RAFARS and BYLARA. There will be club stands as well as new and secondhand stalls. Two talks are scheduled: A Remarkable Very Young Lady Radio Amateur and An Introduction of Mag Loops. Refreshments will be available on site. Contact Bob Harris, G8UED via wjh069@gmail.com or see http://Yeovil-arc.com.

Now, advance notice that the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will be holding its first-ever ElectroJumble on Sunday the 21st of April. Over the years they have accumulated many bits and pieces that are surplus to requirements. Items for sale will include test equipment, military items, domestic radios, telecommunication equipment and vintage components. Details can be found via www.tnmoc.org

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Dagmar, DM7PQ / E51NPQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ / E51AUZ will be active holiday-style from Rarotonga, IOTA reference OC-013, in the South Cooks from 2-11 April. They will operate CW only.

Darek, SP3DX will be active as 8Q7DM from Lankanfinolhu Island in the Maldives, AS-013, from the 1st to the 7th of April. Activities will be on 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10m, SSB and FT8. QSL via SP3DX.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Norfolk Island Act, the VI9NI Team of VK3QB, VK3HJ, VK2PN and VK3BDX will be active from Norfolk Island, OC-005, from the 1st to the 14th of April. They will operate on 160 to 17m, FT8, CW and SSB. QSL via VK4FW.

Harald, DF2WO will be on the air again as XT2AW from Burkina Faso, from the 7th to the 26th of April. He will operate on 160 to 10m, using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via M0OXO direct, OQRS.

Now the special event news

The Windmill Amateur Radio DX Group will put GB1RY on the air on the 6th and 7th of April. Operating from RAF Ramsbury near Marlborough in Wiltshire, they are taking part in Airfields on the Air. Many other stations are expected to take part in the event, for which you will find full details at www.rafars.org/rafaota/

Pontefract & District ARS will operate GB4SL to mark the visit of cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. He will give a talk in Pontefract on the 6th April; the special event station will be on the air for 28 days around this date. Gennady Padalka has spent a record 879 cumulative days in space, over five missions from 1985 to 2015. More information on the talk, for which tickets are still available, can be found at www.space-lectures.com

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

This weekend sees the CQWW WPX SSB contest that started at 0000UTC on Saturday and ends at 2359UTC today, Sunday. This SSB-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday it’s the RSGB 80m CW Club Championships. Running from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 3.5MHz band only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Tuesday is busy on two metres. From 1800 to 1855UTC it’s the 144MHz MGMAC, using machine-generated modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and your 4-character locator. Also from 1800 to 1855UTC, the 144MHz FMAC uses FM only, exchanging signal report, serial number and locator. From 1900 to 2130UTC it’s the 144MHz UKAC, using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the UKEICC 80m contest from 1900 to 2000UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The 24-hour SP DX contest runs from 1500UTC next Saturday. Using CW or SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SP stations also send their Province code.

Next Sunday the RSGB RoLo HF Championship event takes place. Starting at 1930 and ending at 2030UTC, this SSB contest uses the 80m band only. The exchange is signal report plus the locator you received.

Also next Sunday, the First 70MHz contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange.

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

Last week the predicted increased Kp index from a coronal hole didn’t amount to much. The coronal mass ejection from the Sun a few days earlier wasn’t quite Earth-facing so we dodged the bullet. Other than that, conditions have been quite settled with a maximum Kp index of three caused by an enhanced solar wind. This was due to a co-rotating interaction region, or CIR, on the Sun, followed by the onset of an isolated, negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream. Elevated solar wind conditions are expected to continue until Friday 29th March, before declining.

The Sun has remained spotless after sunspot group number 2736 left the visible disk and looks set to continue. As we head into April. NOAA has the Sun remaining settled with a solar flux index at 70 and the Kp index sitting at two or three. This means reasonable radio conditions, just in time for the CQ SSB WPX contest this weekend. And don’t forget that if you don’t like contests there are always the WARC bands, although 17m may struggle to open at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks as though we continue into next week with high pressure dominating much of the country, especially south western areas. This should continue to provide some Tropo, but slowly becoming less noticeable as the week progresses. Various models show low pressure close to northern Scotland at times, so this region is less likely to benefit from any Tropo.

There is a possibility of a few sharp showers, particularly at the end of next week – it is April, after all! These can be good for rain scatter propagation on the GHz bands.

The Moon is at apogee today, its furthest point from the Earth, so EME path losses will start to fall. Declination is negative and goes positive again on Friday, so we’ll see Moon windows lengthening with rising moon elevations and decreasing path losses.

There’s still a while to wait before we see the return of Sporadic-E, so work on your antenna systems for when it restarts. Remember that Sporadic-E can be a great opportunity for VHFers to improve their Morse skills. Give your brain a workout while the rest of the world is staring at computer screens and clicking a mouse.

Finally, there’s always plenty of DX opportunities on the satellites. While we have our marvellous geostationary, QO-100, there are still the low orbit birds to challenge you.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for March 24th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th March 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Australians set new microwave records

  • Bouvet Island DXpedition now en route

  • Smithsonian Institution callsign revived

 

The Wireless Institute of Australia, WIA, reports that new records have been set on the 47GHz and 122GHz bands. Operating 47GHz mobile, David, VK5KK and Wayne, VK5APN set a new record of 20.8km on the 11th of March 2019. At 122GHz, Matt, VK2DAG and David, VK2JDS set a new VK2 state record of 100m. Although this is some way short of the world record, the 122GHz band is fiendishly difficult and has serious attenuation challenges due to an atmospheric oxygen resonance.

The much-anticipated 3Y0I Bouvet Island DXpedition is presently at sea en route to its destination. They set sail from Cape Town on the 19th on board the MV Atlantic Tuna. All being well the team expects to land at the remote Antarctic island around Tuesday 26 March and hopes to be on the air before the end of the month. Whilst en route they plan to operate as E51DOM/mm.

Historic American callsign NN3SI is being reactivated under the aegis of the Smithsonian Institution Amateur Radio Group. Although presently lacking a permanent station location and unable yet to support guest operation, the group’s president, John Weise, N4NPG, told ARRL “This this is the start to Amateur Radio slowly coming back at the Smithsonian. We expect to begin operating holiday-style starting in April.”

The deadline for applications to become a team member or the team leader for YOTA Bulgaria 2019 has been extended until Sunday the 14th of April. Full details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2403A

News now of new videos from the RSGB. Two new videos from the 2018 RSGB Convention are now available to Members on the RSGB website. These are the LF Forum run by Dave Pick, G3YXM and David Bowman, G0MRF, and the Dwingeloo story by Dick Harms, PA2DW. RSGB Members can find these new releases and many other recordings via www.rsgb.org/videos. As part of the same move, two more videos from the 2018 RSGB Convention are available on the RSGB’s YouTube channel. First, Jim Bacon, G3YLA revisits his specialist subject, Sporadic-E. Second is the untold IOTA story and announcement of the new IOTA groups by Roger Balister, G3KMA. These and many more can be found via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2403B

RSGB Members are reminded that every vote counts in the online polls ahead of the 2019 AGM. Members will find the Resolutions and other details in the April issue of RadCom and on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm2019 The AGM takes place on the 27th of April in Birmingham.

Regrettably, the Train the Trainers course planned for the 30th March in Cambridgeshire has had to be cancelled. The organisers apologise for any inconvenience.

Finally, a reminder of the start of British Summertime next weekend. The clocks go forward one hour at 1am on Sunday the 31st, jumping to 2am. Consequently, clocks set to BST will read one hour ahead of UTC times.

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

Today, the 24th, the Hamzilla Radio Fest and Electronics Fair, hosted by Dover Amateur Radio Club, takes place. Located at the Discovery Science Park, Gateway House, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9FF, doors are open from 10am to 4pm. There will be a bring & buy, lectures, an RSGB Bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Aaron, M0IER on 0771 465 4267.

The Callington Radio Rally also takes place today at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £2. There will be a bring & buy and trade stands. Catering is available on site. There is ample free parking in the adjacent car park. The rally is organised jointly by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington ARS. More information Roger, 2E0RPH on 0785 408 8882.

Finally for today, the 24th, Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim BT57 8QG. Doors open from 11am and admittance is £3. More details by email from stephen769@talktalk.net

Next Sunday, the 31st, the first British Amateur Television Club Regional Convention takes place in Bristol. It will be hosted by North Bristol ARC at SHE7 building, Braemar Crescent, Filton, Bristol BS7 0TD. Doors open from 10am to 4pm. There will be a full day of talks & demonstrations, with a test bench available for visitors’ projects. Further information is at https://forum.batc.org.uk or from Shaun, G8VPG, on 01225 873 098 

Also next Sunday, the Pencoed Radio Club Table Top Sale takes place from 9.30am at Pencoed Rugby Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Refreshments are available on site. Details from Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

The Robinson Crusoe Island DXpedition, XR0ZRC, on the Juan Fernandez Islands, IOTA reference SA-005, reports that their log uploads are being hampered by a very poor internet connection. The Russian Robinson Club also says they are suffering with S9 noise on the lower frequencies and may have to relocate the entire low bands operation.

Kasimir, DL2SBY will be active as 6Y5KB from Jamaica, IOTA reference NA-097, from 28 March to 10 April. He plans to operate CW, SSB, FT8 and possibly RTTY on 80-6 metres. QSL via LoTW, or direct only to home call. He no longer uses the bureau.

A team from ARI Modena will be active as IG9MO from Lampedusa Island, AF-019, from 28 March to 2 April. They will operate on SSB, CW and digital modes on the HF bands, and will participate in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via IK4ALM.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as XV9JK from Thu Island, AS-157, Vietnam from 10-16 March. He will operate SSB mainly on 17 and 20 metres; in case of bad propagation, he will operate FT8 on 40 and 30 metres. He might be QRV as XV9JK/p from mainland Vietnam on 6-8 March. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, or via home call.

Dagmar, DM7PQ / E51NPQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ / E51AUZ will be active from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cooks. The will work holiday style from 9-11 March and again on 2-11 April. They will be on the air from Manihiki, OC-014, from 13-25 March, and from Aitutaki, OC-083, on 27-31 March. They will operate CW only.

Now the special event news

From the 25th March to the 1st of April David, G4YVM will be running GB5EEE, Europe Europe Europe. Operating from Salisbury, he will be mostly CW. This is one of several special event stations planned to be on the air around the 29th of March to mark the intended date of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, from an historical rather than political viewpoint. Other callsigns planned include GB3XEU on 6m and 4m SSB and JT data, GB4QEU on HF SSB, GB2BRX on HF, and GB1UK on VHF FM and SSB.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The UK EI Contest Club DX CW contest ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 24th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday also sees the SHF UKAC. Running from 1930 to 2330UTC and using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the report is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wed it’s the UKEICC 80m contest from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

The 80m Club Championships take place on Thursday. Running from 2000 to 2130UTC, it’s SSB-only on the 3.5MHz band. Signal report and serial number form the exchange.

Next weekend sees the CQWW WPX SSB contest. Starting at 0000UTC on Saturday and ending at 2359UTC on Sunday, this SSB-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 22nd March.

The Sun burst into life this week, with two new sunspots and solar flares aplenty. But before you get too excited the spots are from the outgoing solar cycle 24.

Sunspot 2736 erupted on Wednesday with a C4-class solar flare. The Earth-directed explosion sent ionisation rippling through Earth’s upper atmosphere and caused a Dellinger fade-out over parts of Europe and Africa.

A Dellinger fade-out or sudden ionospheric disturbance, SID, is an abnormally high ionisation or plasma density in the D region of the ionosphere. The SID results in a sudden increase in radio-wave absorption that is most severe in the upper medium frequency and lower high frequency ranges.

The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection, CME, into space, which might deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field. Although the bulk of the CME was not Earth-bound, be prepared for increased Kp indices and/or aurora on or around Saturday 23rd. Meanwhile tiny sunspot 2735 also appeared, helping to push the solar flux index to 77. Conditions were mixed this week, with Tuesday being lousy and Wednesday being fair.

Dean Pesnell, Project Scientist of the Solar Dynamics Observatory, said this week that solar minimum is now likely to be some time in 2020 – he didn’t want to be drawn on exactly when. He added that the indications are that Solar Cycle 25 will be similar to 24, so we are not heading for a Maunder Minimum.

Next week NOAA has the solar flux index at 69, but the K index is predicted to hit five between March 26 and 29. Conditions should then be more settled for the weekend.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s a good Tropo theme again, with at least one model keeping the large area of high pressure over the country for most of the coming week. However, being centred over the country, the inversion will probably be at a low height, say around 1km or less, and there will be drier air near the surface, so look for overnight lifts, especially if there is any fog.

Another model is less enthusiastic at the end of next week, allowing low pressure to the north of Britain to bring a cold front south. This would produce rather windy weather and bring Tropo to an end. This cold front could be quite active with heavy rain along it, so perhaps an opportunity for some microwave rain scatter.

The Moon is heading for apogee a week today, and its declination is negative and falling all week. The coming week will therefore see shortening Moon windows, low moon elevations and increasing losses for EMEers. The Moon up is in the early hours in Europe.

With still a month to go until the Lyrids meteor shower we’ll have to rely on random meteors around dawn for the best chance of meteor scatter DX.

Remember that if the weather fails to produce propagation there’s always aircraft reflection to fall back on for VHF DX, especially on the lower GHz bands. Just Google aircraft scatter to learn about this fascinating mode.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for March 17th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th March 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • George Dobbs, G3RJV, silent key

  • RSGB AGM online voting is open

  • Train the Trainers in Cambridgeshire soon

 

It is with great sadness that we learned this week of the death of George Dobbs, G3RJV, founder of the GQRP club and well know for his writing in SPRAT, RadCom and Practical Wireless. An obituary for George will appear in the May edition of RadCom. Our thoughts are with his family and many amateur friends worldwide at this difficult time.

Voting is open for the RSGB 2019 AGM that takes place on the 27th of April in Birmingham. Members will find the Resolutions and other details in the April issue of RadCom and on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm2019.

There is a Train the Trainers course being organised and hosted by Huntingdon Amateur Radio Society for the 30th March in Buckden, St Neots, Cambridgeshire. For more information or to reserve a place, contact the organiser, David Howlett, via email to secretary@hunts-hams.co.uk

Keith Bird, G4JED, Regional Representative for Region 10, is looking to recruit a volunteer for the post of District Representative for the East Sussex area. The prime duties in this annual and renewable post will be to liaise with the clubs and individuals in that area. There are opportunities to assist others and develop your own ideas to promote interest in amateur radio with the help of a team within Region 10. Anyone wishing to step into these roles should contact Keith, G4JED, via email to rr10@rsgb.org.uk

Greece is the latest newcomer to the 60m band. A ministerial decision dated the 26th of February published in the Greek government gazette of the 5th of March. This introduced a new Frequency Allocation Table, which authorises Greek radio amateurs to use the WRC-15 band on a secondary basis at 15W EIRP.

The Dayton Hamvention committee has announced their awards for 2019. Of particular interest is Pietro Begali, I2RTF, the 2019 recipient of Hamvention’s Technical Achievement Award. He is best known for designing and producing high-quality Morse keys and paddles. Chris Janssen, DL1MGB/KO2WW, is the winner of Hamvention’s 2019 Special Achievement Award. He served as president of World Radiosport Team Championship 2018, guiding more than 300 volunteers who put on the successful competition in Germany.

From the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter come reports that Russian over-the-horizon radar has caused severe problems on 14MHz. Sometimes three signals were active at the same time, each system with 14kHz bandwidth and many splatters. The transmitter is located north of Penza in Western Russia. The German PTT filed an official complaint and the Dutch PTT has been informed.

JVC Kenwood UK has appointed Martin Lynch & Sons as the sole UK distributor for Kenwood amateur radio products. ML&S has earned more Kenwood Amateur Radio Dealer of the Year awards than any other dealer. The sole distributorship for the UK reflects the continued support and commitment, says Kenwood UK. JVC Kenwood is committed to the amateur radio market and will continue to design and manufacture amateur radio equipment.

The RSGB has now released a new Intermediate training book to support the new amateur radio exam syllabus that starts on the 1st of September. The Intermediate Licence Manual For Radio Amateurs has been fully revised, reordered and contains all of the information required for those seeking to upgrade from their Foundation callsign. Go to www.rsgbshop.org for full details.

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

Today, the 17th, the 34th Wythall Radio Club Hamfest takes place at the Club HQ, Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 9.45am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. There is free on-site parking and admission is £4. There are four halls of traders including a Bring & Buy and a club stand. A selection of refreshments will be available all day and bar facilities within Wythall House open from midday. Contact Ian Reeve, M0IDR on 01386 839 655.

The Hamzilla Radio Fest and Electronics Fair, hosted by Dover Amateur Radio Club, takes place on the 24th of March. Located at the Discovery Science Park, Gateway House, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9FF, doors are open from 10am to 4pm. There will be a bring & buy, lectures, an RSGB Bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Aaron, M0IER on 0771 465 4267.

The Callington Radio Rally takes place on the 24th at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £2. There will be a bring & buy and trade stands. Catering is available on site. There is ample free parking in the adjacent car park. The rally is organised jointly by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information and bookings from Roger, 2E0RPH on 0785 408 8882.

Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim BT57 8QG on the 24th of March. Doors open from 11am and admittance is £3. More details from stephen769@talktalk.net

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Cezar, VE3LYC will be active as VE3LYC/KL7 from Little Diomede Island, IOTA reference NA-150, between the 18th and 26th of March. Plans are to operate CW and SSB on the 40 to 17m bands QSL via Club Log’’s OQRS, or via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.

Alex, 5B4ALX will be active as E6ET from Niue, OC-040, from the 18th of March to the 2nd of April. He will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8 on 160, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 10 and 6 metres. He will operate FT8 using a multi answer protocol with a focus on 20m during his day and 40/60m during his night, 0700 to 1700UTC. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World, or via IZ4AMS, either direct or via the bureau.

Dagmar, DM7PQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ will be active as E51NPQ and E51AUZ respectively holiday style from Manihiki, OC-014, North Cooks until the 25th of March, and from Aitutaki, OC-083, South Cooks between the 27th and 31st of March. They will operate CW only.

The EI DX Group DXpedition to Togo is on the air until the 26th of March. The plan is to operate as 5V7EI on all bands from 160 to 10m on CW, SSB and digital. QSL manager is M0OXO OQRS.

The Italian DXpedition team will be in Uganda until the 25th of March. They will operate as 5X3C on CW, SSB and RTTY. For QSOs on FT8 they will use the callsign 5X3E. QSL manager is I2YSB.

Now the special event news

Today, the 17th, Army, Sea and Air Cadet Units in the UK will be carrying out Exercise Blue Ham 19 as part of a weekend of activity. Operating on the 5MHz shared band, operation is expected from 8am to 5pm. QSO exchange details can be found at https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham and amateurs may claim a certificate by contacting 10 or more stations over the weekend and submitting a copy of their log sheet.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The Russian DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 17th. It uses CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations also sending their Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its 48 hour run at 0200UTC on Monday the 18th of March. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

IRTS News reports that there is an evening IRTS Counties Contest on Tuesday 19th March from 2000 UTC. It is a one-hour contest, on 80 metres, for SSB and CW. See www.irts.ie/contests for details and the full rules.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the UK EI Contest Club DX CW contest runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 23rd. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

Now the propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 15th of March

There is life in the old dog yet! The lone spotted region on the visible disk of the Sun managed to produce a minor C1.3 flare on the 8th of March. Although not a noteworthy event as far as peak X-Ray strength, the flare was associated with an eruption and what appears to be a faint coronal mass ejection. Much of the plasma was likely reabsorbed, but some did manage to escape the Sun when viewing coronagraph imagery, courtesy of the STEREO Ahead spacecraft. This wasn’t directed at Earth and we seem to have missed it.

This week has been characterised as relatively settled with the Kp index mainly in the zero to two range. There have been no sunspots since the disappearance of the sunspot we mentioned last week. So overall, not good conditions for radio, as was witnessed by last week’s Commonwealth Contest. The consensus was that it was one of the worst yet. Nevertheless, some high scores were presented. Stars like 3B8XF, ZF2CA and 9J2BO, plus many VK and ZL stations were worked from the UK.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain at about 79. The Kp index will also remain relatively settled at two to three. The next big unsettled session is due on March 26, thanks to a coronal hole, with the Kp index predicted to hit five. So look out for aurora and make the most of the settled conditions this week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a week or more of very unsettled weather with strong winds testing your antennas, its shaping up to be much quieter in the coming week as high pressure returns.

After this weekend, the pressure will start to build over the south of the country and develop a strong ridge. High pressure will drift northeast from the Azores and across the southern Britain, to finish over Germany by the end of the week. The effect of this will be a welcome return of Tropo lift conditions, although not especially strong all the time. A good visual indicator may be a layer of stratocumulus cloud at 1 to 2km above the ground, which will be at the height of the temperature inversion formed by sinking air within the high. These can extend over hundreds of kilometres to give paths well into northern Europe.

It could be a good week to test the other modes on VHF and UHF. Try a CW or SSB QSO for a change and, if calling CQ, remember to say what square you are in.

The Moon reached peak declination last week and is at perigee on Tuesday, so it’s a good week for EME with low path losses and high elevations.

There are no meteor showers this week, so again we’ll have to rely on random meteors around dawn for the best chance of meteor scatter DX.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for March 10th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th March 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Amateur Radio Development Leader required

  • Contact Cadets on 60m in Exercise Blue Ham

  • DXCC Most Wanted list updated

 

The RSGB is looking to recruit to a voluntary leadership position in the newly-formed Amateur Radio Development Committee. The post holder will play a key role in contributing towards meeting strategic priorities under Strategy 2022, especially Growth, Participation and Diversity. As well as leading on existing elements within the committee, the Chair will develop two new areas that will include the recruitment of project leads. Full details can be found at www.rsgb.org/volunteers

Next weekend, the 16th and 17th of March, Army, Navy and Air Cadet units in the UK will be carrying out Exercise Blue Ham 19. Operating on the 5MHz shared band, the expected period of operation will be from 8am to 5pm both days. QSO exchange details can be found at https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham Amateur operators may claim a certificate if they contact 10 or more stations over the weekend and submit a copy of their log sheet.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on Club Log. It contains 340 entities. The top five most wanted are P5 North Korea, 3Y/B Bouvet Island, FT5/W Crozet Island, BS7H Scarborough Reef and CE0X San Felix Islands. Scarborough Reef and San Felix Islands switched places in the 4th to 5th position. The complete DXCC Most Wanted entities list is available at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

A note for your diary next. Voting opens for the RSGB 2019 AGM on the 13th of March. Members will find the Resolutions and other details in the April issue of RadCom and, after the 13th of March, on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm2019. The 2019 RSGB AGM takes place in Birmingham on Saturday the 27th of April.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station US team will offer two very unusual items in its first-ever auction. JVC Kenwood generously gave a brand new TS-890S, signed by astronauts, and the ARRL donated the limited edition 2019 ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications box set, again signed by astronauts. Bidding starts on the 8th of April at 1200UTC and ends on the 14th of April at 2200UTC. More auction details will be posted at www.ariss.org

Finally, it is with great sadness that we learned this week of the death of Jim Stevenson, G0EJQ. He was RSGB Region 13 Representative. He passed away unexpectedly on Monday the 4th of March. An incredibly enthusiastic amateur and an unique, irrepressible character, Jim will be missed by a large number of people both inside and beyond his Region. An obituary for Jim appears on page 95 of the April RadCom, which will begin arriving on Wednesday this week.

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

Today, the 10th of March, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road , Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XW. Doors are open from 9.30am to 3pm and admittance is £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and Special Interest Groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Kevin Burton, G6SSN, 07793 142 483.

Cardiff University Amateur Radio Club has gained a callsign, GW4CDF, in time for the Microwave Roundtable event on the 16th of March. Held at the Cardiff University Engineering Department, Newport Road, Cardiff, you can find more details of the Roundtable at www.cardiffars.org.uk/events/2019/roundtable/

Next Saturday, the 16th, the Laugharne Rally will take place at Laugharne Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton Street, Laugharne, Wales SA33 4QG. Doors open at 10am. Details from Matthew on 0739 882 5024.

Next Sunday, the 17th, the 34th Wythall Radio Club Hamfest takes place at the Club HQ, Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 9.45am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. There is free on-site parking and admission is £4. There are four halls of traders including a Bring & Buy and a club stand. A selection of refreshments will be available all day and bar facilities within Wythall House open from midday. Contact Ian Reeve, M0IDR on 01386 839 655.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Richard, G3RWL will be active as 8P6DR from Barbados, IOTA reference NA-021, between the 13th of March and the 17th of April. He will operate CW and RTTY on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World or via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau.

Hans-Martin, DK2HM will be on the air as E51HMK from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cook Islands between the 14th and the 22nd of March. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World, eQSL, or via his home callsign, direct or bureau.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as XV9JK from Thu Island, AS-157, in Vietnam between the 10th and the 16th of March. He will operate SSB mainly on the 17 and 20m bands; in case of bad propagation, he will operate FT8 on 40 and 30 metres. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, or via his home callsign.

Dagmar, DM7PQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ will be active holiday style as E51NPQ and E51AUZ respectively from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cooks until the 11th of March, from Manihiki, OC-014, in the North Cooks on the 13th to the 25th of March, and from Aitutaki, OC-083, in the South Cooks from the 27th to the 31st of March. They will operate CW only.

Andy, DK5ON will be active as PJ2/DK5ON from Curacao, SA-099, between the 14th and the 30th of March. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, or via his home call either direct or bureau.

Now the special event news

As part of British Science Week, Frodsham C of E school will be operating GB2OVE on the 12th and 13th of March, from 12noon to 3pm on both days. If you hear the young people on the air, please give them a call.

The James Clerk Maxwell Radio Society will be operating from Parton Kirk, Parton Village, near Castle Douglas, DG7 4NE over this weekend. They will use the call GB2JCM and the activities are part of British Science Week. Feel free to come along and join them, just bring your licence with you.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The RSGB Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1000UTC today, the 10th. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, with the exchange signal report and serial number. HQ stations also send HQ.

Today, the 10th, the second 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz contest takes place today, the 10th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. Entries need to be with the Contest Manager by the 31st. The exchange will be RS plus serial number plus WAB square. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships CW leg runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 50MHz Machine Generated Mode Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the BARTG HF RTTY Contest runs from 0200UTC on the 16th to 0200UTC on the 18th of March. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

Also next weekend is the Russian DX Contest. Running from 1200UTC on the 16th to 1200UTC on the 17th, it uses CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations also sending their Oblast code.

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

The Sun sprouted a new sunspot this week bringing the sunspot number to 17 and the solar flux index to 73. The sunspot number represents 10 for a group and one for each of the sunspots in that group. Geomagnetic conditions were more settled over the week, with the Kp index hitting one and two. This was due to lack of coronal hole activity. Looking at the extreme UV image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, shows we can expect relatively calm conditions, at least for the coming week.

NOAA still has a geomagnetic warning out until the tenth of March, but it is hard to see why. We can expect the solar wind speed to remain average over that time, but there are no Earth-facing coronal holes to push the K index to four or higher.

Now that we are in March we can expect to see better HF conditions, with good opportunities for North-South paths, such as the UK to South Africa and UK to South America. Look for openings on 17 and perhaps even 15m, which you might normally expect to be closed at this time of year.

The charts at Propquest show that 20m is open most days, with occasional openings on 17m. But do look out for fleeting openings on 15m, especially around lunchtime.

And finally, good luck in the Commonwealth Contest this weekend, which often throws up excellent opportunities to work some DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s shaping up to be a quiet propagation week, driven by low pressure, which will be located to the north and east of the British Isles. This implies a colder, north westerly weather pattern. At this time of the year it’s hard to get too excited about Tropo in such disturbed weather conditions.

We’re not far away from the traditional season of April showers, with a chance of some heavy ones, perhaps with hail and thunder, which may provide an opportunity to try some rain scatter on the GHz bands. But in this thundery weather it’s worth considering whether to disconnect your antennas before going off to work.

High pressure is displaced well to the south-west of the UK, so if there are any Tropo prospects, they’ll be marginal and confined to the south-west and into western France and Biscay.

There is a small meteor shower, the Gamma Normids on Thursday, but in general we’ll have to rely on random meteors around dawn for the best chance of meteor scatter DX.

It’s a good week for EME with rising Moon declination peaking on Friday, and falling losses as we approach perigee a week on Tuesday.

Of course, when all other propagation modes fail there are always the satellites. As well as the well-established low earth orbit satellites, we now have a geostationary transponder, Oscar-100 available for use 24/7. Google Goonhilly Web SDR to find the online receiver, and have a listen before you commit your efforts to operating via this new one.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for March 3rd 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd March 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Commonwealth Contest next weekend

  • Suggest talks for RSGB Convention 2019

  • Ham radio artwork returns to Tate Gallery

 

The Commonwealth Contest, RSGB’s longest-running contest, takes place for 24 hours over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of March. As mentioned in the Propagation Report, you should not expect much propagation on the upper HF bands, but some hardy travellers will undoubtedly activate countries that don’t appear on the air every day, so make the most of it.

Planning has begun for the 2019 RSGB Convention, which will take place from Friday the 11th to Sunday the 13th of October, at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. The organising committee would like to encourage suggestions for this year’s lectures, please email convention@rsgb.org.uk, in particular, if you are able to suggest a presenter, as well as a topic. The RSGB Convention is generously sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons.

The artwork Ten Minute Transmission, featuring the Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver and the International Space Station is again on display at the Tate Gallery in London. Made of wire and attached to the TS-2000, this sculpture receives radio signals from the ISS and transmits them into the gallery space. The title of this work, Ten Minute Transmission refers to the period of time when the ISS can be contacted as it flies past. Although the ISS orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it only passes close enough to the artwork to receive any signals just twice a day. See www.tate.org.uk for other details about the exhibit.

Two videos of 2018 RSGB Convention lectures are due for release to Members this week. Sam Jewell, G4DDK speaks about the Iceni, a high performance 70cm transverter for the constructor, and James Patterson, M1DST gives an introduction to 3D printing for the radio amateur. Go to www.rsgb.org/videos to view these two very interesting talks – and many others too.

Stations taking part in the St Patrick Award will be on the air from noon on the 16th of March to noon on the 18th of March. This year a new Digital Award has been added, covering such modes as FT8, DMR, D-Star, JT656 abd Echolink etc. To claim it you must have made 20 contacts with a registered St Patricks Day Station. For more information go to https://stpatrickaward.webs.com/.

The provisional results for the last IARU Region 1 145MHz Contest have been published. In the Multi Operator 145MHz section G8P was placed third, operating from JO01QD, and G8T was placed 9th, operating from JO01KJ. Full results can be found at www.iaru-r1.org

Cwmbran and District ARS now have a new local SSTV repeater. Classed as a ‘regenerative node’, it will relay/repeat a received image. MB7TR is situated in Cwmbran and maintained by Peter, MW0RPB. It operates on 144.500MHz using FM and outputs in the Martin1 SSTV mode. To get it to repeat your transmitted image, which incidentally can be transmitted in any SSTV mode, on 144.500MHz in FM, you transmit your CW ident, then a 1750Hz tone burst for around 1-2 seconds and key off. Finally you listen and wait for MB7TR to reply with its CW ident and this signifies it is ready so you can transmit your SSTV image. Those using the repeater wish to thank Peter for all his work on this.

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

Today, the 3rd of March, the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place at America Hall, De la Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled customers gaining access at 10.15am. Admission is £2, with under 16s free. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy, and catering will be available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

Next Sunday, the 10th of March, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road , Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XW. Doors are open from 9.30am to 3pm and admittance £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and Special Interest Groups. Catering is available on site. Contact Kevin Burton, G6SSN, 07793 142 483.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Don, G3XTT will be active as C56DF from the Gambia on from the 5th to the 12th of March. Main activity will be during the RSGB Commonwealth Contest on the 9th and 10th, but he hopes to do some operating also before and after the contest. This will be a CW-only operation, low power with wires from a rooftop apartment. It is unlikely there will be space for 80 or 160m antennas. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or direct to his home call.

Ali, EP3CQ will be on the air as 6O1OO from Somalia until the 24th of March. Usually he operates FT8 on the 20m band; his activity is limited to his spare time. QSL direct with details on QRZ.com.

Dom, M1KTA will be active as C6AKT from Eleuthera Island, IOTA reference NA-001, in the Bahamas between the 8th and 16th of March. He will operate CW on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands, and will participate in the Commonwealth (BERU) Contest. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, or via his home call.

Dagmar, DM7PQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ will be active as E51NPQ and E51AUZ respectively from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cooks between the 9 and 11th of March, holiday-style. They will operate CW only.

Look for KG4SC and KG4AS to operate SSB, CW, FT8 and possibly other digital modes from Guantanamo Bay between the 6th and 13th of March. QSL as per instructions on QRZ.com.

Now the special event news

TC10GITRAD is the special callsign for the Giresun Radio Amateurs and Nature Sports Association to celebrate their 10th anniversary. It will be active until the end of the year. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL, direct or via the bureau.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

This weekend, the 144/432MHz contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes on both bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 3rd. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American and Canadian stations also give their State or Province.

Today, the 3rd, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championship runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. This is the data leg and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It runs concurrently with the Machine Generated Mode Activity Contest. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. These are immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for this one is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club event will be on the 80m band between 2000 and 2100UTC. The exchange is your four-character locator.

Next weekend the RSGB Commonwealth Contest runs from 1000UTC on the 9th to 1000UTC on the 10th. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands with the exchange signal report and serial number. HQ stations also send HQ.

On Sunday the 10th, the second 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz contest takes place next Sunday, the 10th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. Entries need to be with the Contest Manager by the 31st. The exchange will be RS plus serial number plus WAB square. Full details at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

The settled Sun came to an abrupt end on Thursday when the Kp index rose to five as a result of an elongated coronal hole on its surface. This sparked high-latitude auroras. It brought to an end a period of settled conditions, with the Chilton ionosonde showing MUFs struggling to reach much above 14MHz on Thursday morning.

Before this there was DX to be had if you stuck with it. Chris, G0DWV reports working T31EU Central Kiribati on 40m CW at 1750UTC. Another DX station that was sought after was FH/UA4WMHX on Mayotte, off the coast of Madagascar, which was worked on many HF bands by Mike, G4DYC during the week. Both Hawaii and Peru were worked on 40m in the morning by Andy, M0NKR.

Next weekend is the Commonwealth Contest with lots of stations on, so make the most of it, but don’t expect much above 14MHz.

NOAA has the solar conditions settled until Friday the 8th of March, when it expects the Kp index to rise to four or more, due to a coronal hole. This should be relatively short lived as it should die down again shortly after. The solar flux index is pegged solidly at 71, so no surprises there.

As we head into March, expect conditions to improve slightly with better DX, although the lower bands may suffer with more daylight. This is a great time for north-south paths, such as the UK to South Africa, and UK to South America.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We’ve now seen the end of the extended Tropo weather we’ve been enjoying, and are now in a very unsettled Atlantic weather pattern. Weather systems moving towards the British Isles will bring stronger winds and periods of rain or showers.

It’s hard to pinpoint a good weather propagation mode in this pattern, other than some occasional GHz bands rain scatter from showers or the more active cold fronts that happen to pass by. As usual there are many good radar displays, which can allow you to pick the most intense echoes.

Without Tropo to boost activity, and still too early for traditional Sporadic-E, pickings may be thin. However, with such strong jet streams on the charts, especially across the Atlantic, there’s always a remote chance for a brief 28MHz path, but I wouldn’t take a day off work for it!

Meteor scatter conditions are still quiet until April, so just random meteors to keep us interested there.

The Moon is at apogee tomorrow and last Friday saw minimum declination. This week we have a daytime Moon and a week of lengthening Moon windows and falling losses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for February 24th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 24th February 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • IARU active at WRC-19 preparation

  • Enter the Club of the Year competition

  • Could you be RSGB Company Secretary?

 

The ITU Conference Preparation Meeting for WRC-19 has been running this week and will continue into next week. Taking place in Geneva, the IARU has been present for Agenda Items on 50MHz, Wireless Power and other matters of importance to amateur radio.

There is still time to put in an entry for the RSGB Club of the Year competition. Entries are welcome from all RSGB affiliated groups, and there is just one size category this year so the size of your club doesn’t matter. The theme is ‘Meeting RSGB Strategy 2022’. Entries must be received by the 28th of February. Clubs should read the rules at www.rsgb.org/main/clubs/national-club-of-the-year/ and send entries to their Regional Representative. The RSGB would like to thank Waters & Stanton for their continued sponsorship of this competition.

The RSGB looking to recruit an RSGB Member to the voluntary position of Company Secretary. The position plays a key role in the Society’s governance and provides vital support in the running of Board meetings and the Annual General Meeting. For full information on the role, please go to www.rsgb.org/volunteers. If you feel you have the necessary skills to fulfil this important role, or would like more information, email the Chairman of the Board via chairman@rsgb.org.uk and if you are applying for the position, please include a current CV.

For the first couple of days after KickSat-2 was deployed last November, nothing was heard from the satellite. But in February, Nico, PA0DLO reported receiving several short and weak telemetry bursts on 437.5077MHz. KickSat-2 was scheduled to deploy up to 104 tiny Sprite satellites into low Earth orbit. The Sprites then would transmit on 437.240MHz at 10mW. The Sprites, which are less than 2 square inches, are expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere within weeks. There is no news on whether these Sprites will be deployed.

Provisional results for the last IARU Region 1 50 to 70MHz Contest are now available on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org. Several UK stations are in the top ten in various categories. The 6 hour 50MHz category saw G4ZAP/P achieving 4th place and G0VHF/P got 10th place. In the multi-operator 50MHz section, the GJ8P stations achieved 5th place.

The ARRL has released version 11.7 of the Logbook of the World configuration file. This has added the ability to confirm QSOs made through the JO-97, FO-99 and QO-100 satellites. Users should receive a prompt to update their configuration file when opening recent versions of TQSL. The file can also be downloaded from https://lotw.arrl.org/lotwuser/config.tq6

The RSGB has changed the way it hosts the online version of RadCom. This uses HTML5 to display the pages and no longer requires Flash to be installed. Pages will also load faster. All this year’s editions are now available to Members in the new format at www.rsgb.org/radcom and we will be converting back issues from previous years in due course.

Car parking charges will be waived for The West of England Radio Rally on 16 June at Frome’s Cheese and Grain. Last year, Mendip District Council introduced Sunday charges in a number of car parks across Frome, including the exhibitors’ site. According to BBC News, the council has announced it will stop charging for the duration of the event.

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

Today, the 24th, the Rainham Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 5JB. Doors open 10am to 4pm and it’s £2.50 for adults, with free entry for children. There will be local and national traders, the BRATS kitchen, a BRATS Interactive Zone for Kids, BRATS Junk and a Talk-in Station on 145.550MHz using GB4RRR.

Also today, the 24th, the Red Rose Rally will be held at St Josephs Hall, Chapel Street, Leigh WN7 2PQ. Doors open at 11am. There will be trade, individual and club stands, including an RSGB bookstall, as well as a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details are at www.wmrc.co.uk.

Next Sunday, the 3rd of March, the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place at America Hall, De la Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled customers gaining access at 10.15am. Admission is £2, with under 16s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, and catering will be available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

George, W2AIV will be on holiday in Belize as V31GF until the 2nd of March. He will be on the 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands using SSB but will also try some slow CW. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Willy, ON4AVT will be active as 6W7/ON4AVT from Senegal until the 30th of March. He will operate PSK, CW, SSB and possibly FT8 on various bands including 60m. QSL via his home call, bureau preferred.

Roman, UT7UA is active as EM1UA and/or EM1U from the Ukrainian Research Station located on Galindez Island, AN-006, Antarctica. His licence is valid until 1 February 2020. QSL for both callsigns via UT7UA.

Gildas and Michel will be active as FG/F6HMQ and FG/F6GWV respectively from Guadeloupe, NA-102, until the 10th of March. QSL via their home calls. In the ARRL DX SSB Contest they’ll call TO3Z. QSL via F6HMQ.

Arnaud, JG1XMV will be on the air as FK/JG1XMV from New Caledonia until the 10th of March. He will operate SSB on the 40 to 15m bands from the main island, Grande Terre, OC-032. Updates will be posted on QRZ.com under FK/JG1XMV. QSL via JG1XMV either direct or the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Now the special event news

H31A is being used to commemorate 500 years of the foundation of Panama City, Panama. The station will be on the air at various times until the 15th of August. They will be operating on the 80 to 10m bands, particularly using digital modes, RTTY, PSK31 and FT8, and some SSB. For more information, please refer to QRZ.com. The QSL manager is HP1AVS.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 24th, the First 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW World Wide 160m DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 24th. Using SSB on the 1.8MHz band only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. American and Canadian stations will also send their State or Province.

The REF Contest ends today at 1800UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. French stations also send their département number or overseas prefix.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1930 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 Ireland Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. This is a CW leg and the exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships also has its CW leg between 2000 and 2130UTC. The exchange this time is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, the 144/432MHz contest runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 2nd to 1400UTC on the 3rd. Using all modes on both bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX contest runs for 48 hours next weekend from 0000UTC on the 2nd to 2359UTC on the 3rd. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American and Canadian stations also give their State or Province.

On Sunday the 3rd, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of February

The Sun played ball this week and matched our predictions. The Kp index soared to four on Thursday the 21st, thanks to ongoing coronal hole activity, but it was otherwise settled. There had been good conditions earlier in the week. The ARRL International DX Contest gave people contacts into nearly all the US states over the weekend of the 16th and 17th. Meanwhile, Chris, G0DWV worked a host of west coast US stations, including some in Oregon and Washington, via 40m long path late afternoon on Wednesday the 20th, although his beam helped a lot. This may have also been due to a pre-auroral enhancement, as the Kp index surged upwards later that evening.

Next week we can expect more of the same, with NOAA predicting the solar flux index at 68 to 70 again. Geomagnetic conditions will be settled to start with, but expect the Kp index to rise again from around the 27th due to recurrent coronal hole activity. We may expect the Kp index to hit four or five between the 27th of February and the 2nd of March, so expect subdued maximum usable frequencies after the potential for enhanced conditions before the geomagnetic storm bites.

As we head into March we can start to kiss goodbye to the long nights that have brought good 160m conditions. It’s time to say hello to better HF conditions, with excellent north-south paths, especially around noon and early afternoon. Eighty metres may also start to continue to be open to the UK after dark, with the critical frequency just managing to cover the whole band at times this week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

The large area of high pressure nearby to the east and south of Britain will continue to provide good Tropo conditions during the first part of the coming week. This long run of Tropo weather, pretty much since the start of the month, is typical of slow-moving winter highs, but eventually the Atlantic lows and their frontal systems will always break through. This time it seems the changeover starts from mid-week, as the pressure falls, and the quality of the lift conditions fade. It’s still too early to talk of Sporadic-E propagation, so that leaves the cupboard bare for other weather-related modes this week, but keep watch in case the odd aurora chances by.

Es’hailSat continues to surprise and activity is high, with reports of people copying narrowband signals with just an LNB pointed at the satellite and no dish! A 45cm Sky dish seems to give acceptable results receiving the narrowband transponder.

Moon declination is negative and falling this week so the Moon will be at low elevation for a short period each day and losses are increasing as we go towards apogee a week tomorrow.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for February 17th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 17th February 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • First Amateur Geostationary Satellite Transponder now active

  • Updated ITU document for Emergency Communications

  • Could your club host Train the Trainers?

 

The geostationary amateur radio narrowband transponder on the Es'hail-2 / QO-100 was made available for amateur experimental use on the afternoon of Tuesday the 12th of February. The 250kHz bandwidth transponder uses the 2.4GHz band for the uplink with the downlink in the 10.45GHz band and should provide communications over a wide portion of the globe. Potentially both Brazil and Thailand might be in range from the UK. Contacts have been made by running as little as 500 milliwatts of SSB to a 1.2m dish. You can listen to the Narrowband transponder from anywhere in the world by using the online WebSDR developed by AMSAT-UK and BATC that is located at Goonhilly, UK, see https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/

The ITU has updated a key recommendation for cross border usage of Emergency Communications Equipment. The new 2019 edition of ITU Recommendation M-1637 is clearer regarding countries facilitating the use of radio equipment that may be physically brought by visiting relief personnel into the territory where there is a disaster or emergency. The recommendation is intended to avoid delays due to customs procedures and type-approvals etc and facilitate the use of both professional, as well as amateur, radio equipment in such situations. URL for M1637-1 is www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-M.1637-1-201901-I

The RSGB is in the process of organising Train the Trainers courses for this year. If your club would like to host one then please contact tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk. Further details and the list of requirements for hosting the course can be found at www.rsgb.org/train-the-trainers.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, otherwise known as ARISS, has planned another slow-scan television weekend. Transmissions will run until today, the 17th of February, at 1725UTC. SSTV images will be transmitted on 145.80MHz using SSTV-mode PD120. These can be received using equipment as simple as a 2m handheld radio, a scanner that covers that band, or even an online WebSDR receiver. Transmissions will consist of eight images from the NASA On The Air celebration and four ARISS commemorative images. Received images can be posted and viewed online. ARISS offers an ARISS SSTV Award for those who receive and decode at least one SSTV image in the session.

A date for your diary now. SOS Radio Week 2019 will take place between 0000UTC on the 1st of May to 2359UTC on the 31st of May. Individual amateur radio operators and clubs are invited to register as official SOS Radio Week stations and operate during the month. Stations can be run under individual, club, or special event callsigns, from home or other locations. There are few restrictions at to what can be done when, how, or where, other than to warn participants not to operate within the vicinity of a lifeboat or Coastwatch station without clearing it with them first. For more information, visit sosradioweek.org.uk.

Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, will oversee the development and implementation phases of the ARRL's new Volunteer Monitors program. K4ZDH once handled amateur radio enforcement for the FCC Volunteer Monitors and will work in cooperation with the FCC. Volunteers trained and vetted by ARRL will monitor the amateur bands for possible instances of misconduct or to recognize exemplary on-air operation. Cases of flagrant violations or noncompliance will be directed to the FCC for action, in accordance with FCC guidelines. The program, aims to re-energise amateur radio enforcement efforts, although ARRL officials estimate that it will take 9 to 12 months before the first Volunteer Monitors begin filing reports.

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

Today, the 17th, the Radioactive Rally takes place at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and RSGB book stall. Catering is provided on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

Next Sunday, the 24th, the Rainham Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 5JB. Doors open 10am to 4pm and its £2.50 for adult entry with free entry for children. There will be local and national traders, the BRATS kitchen, a BRATS Interactive Zone for Kids, BRATS Junk and a Talk In Station on 145.550MHz using GB4RRR.

Also next Sunday, the 24th, the Red Rose Rally will be held at St Josephs Hall, Chapel Street, Leigh WN7 2PQ. Doors open 11am. There will be trade, individual and Club stands including an RSGB bookstall as well as a Bring & Buy. Anyone wishing to hire a table should contact Colin on rally@WMRC.co.uk. Catering will be available on site. Details on www.wmrc.co.uk

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Jean-Pierre, F6CTF will be active as 3W9JF from the island of Phu Quoc, AS-128, from the 19th of February to the 6th of March. Plans are to be mainly on the 80, 40, 20 and 17m bands. QSL via eQSL or direct to EA5GL.

A group of operators will be on the air as KP3RE from Culebra Island, NA-249, between the 22nd and 24th of February. They will operate SSB, CW and FT8 Fox & Hound mode on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL for this operation is via EA5GL.

Shabu, M0KRI is visiting Burundi until the 26th of February. He has been issued with the callsign 9U4RI and plans to operate on the 40 to 10m bands using SSB and CW. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

A group of mainly German operators will be active from Kanton Island in Central Kiribati until the 5th of March. Their callsign will be T31EU and they will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alan, G4DJX will be on the air as C5DX until the 23rd of February from the Gambia while here with a group of students. Activity will be in his spare time on the 40 to 10m band using only CW. QSL direct to home call.

Philip, HB9HFD will be active as D44TAQ from Sao Vicente, IOTA AF-086, in the Cape Verde islands from the 17th to the 22nd of February. Activity will be on the 40 to 10m bands using various digital modes. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

Members of Radio Club F6KMB will be active as TM6C until the 24th of March during the traditional Dunkirk Carnival. QSL via F6KMB.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2459UTC today, the 17th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American and Canadian stations will also send their State or Province details.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Then on Thursday it’s the 70MHz UK Activity Contest, also from 2000 to 2230UTC. Both contests use all modes and the same exchange of signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 24th, the First 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CW World Wide 160m DX contest runs for 48 hours from 2200UTC on the 22nd to 2200UTC on the 24th. Using SSB on the 1.8MHz band only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. American and Canadian stations will also send their State or Province.

The REF Contest runs from 0600UTC on the 23rd to 1800UTC on the 24th. Using SSB only on the 3,5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with French stations sending their Department Number or overseas prefix.

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

We had another spotless week as the Sun continued its decline into solar minimum. Geomagnetic conditions were varied with the beginning of week seeing the Kp index hitting one and two. But this didn’t last due to ongoing coronal hole activity, which saw the Kp index climb to three and four by Wednesday the 13th and Thursday the 14th.

To recap, coronal holes are lower energy areas on the Sun with open magnetic field lines. This allows the solar wind to flow out towards Earth. If the plasma’s ‘frozen in’ or embedded magnetic field has a south-facing component it is more likely to couple with the Earth’s, allowing the charged particles to enter the magnetotail. A magnetic recombination event can then see them accelerated back to the Earth’s magnetic poles, resulting in auroral displays and depressed maximum useable frequencies.

Coronal holes appear dark when the Sun is photographed in extreme ultraviolet light. Look for the images marked AIA 211 from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (or SDO) at solarham.com.

Next week NOAA predicts a solar flux index of around 72 with unsettled geomagnetic conditions around the 18th, 20th and 21st, due to yet more coronal hole activity.

Propquest.co.uk shows that the unsettled geomagnetic conditions can impact the critical frequency, which was topping out at around 4.5 to 5MHz during daylight at times. This means that 60 metres or the 5MHz band may struggle a little with NVIS, or near-local, signals.

Eighty metres may also struggle with close-in signals after dark as the critical frequency struggles around the 3-3.5MHz mark. The good news is that this should improve as the month moves on, which will no doubt be welcomed by participants taking part in the RSGB 80m Club Championships.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The Es'hailSat 2 transponders have gone live and the 10GHz narrow-band downlink is at least as strong as expected using a satellite LNB and a 60cm dish. The 2.4GHz uplink is really sensitive with easy access via a second feed on the same dish, a small Yagi or patch antenna and a few Watts. More in the main news about this.

Back on Earth, the large high has done well with enhanced Tropo conditions during last week, and although the theme of high pressure continues into next week there is one subtle difference – it's simply where the air over the country is coming from.

Recent air flow has been from the Atlantic down to the southwest of the British Isles, and as a result, it contains plenty of moisture. This means more cloud than is ideal, but the moist layer of cloud provides a great contrast to the dry air above the temperature inversion at the top of the cloud layer. This is what gives the Tropo conditions, since moisture is a big player in the value of the refractive index of the air and changes of the index are what produces the ducting.

As we move into next week, the flow of air round the high is coming from across the continent, so it will be drier and therefore may not be so useful for maintaining Tropo. At the very least, we should expect Tropo conditions to be more variable, despite the high pressure remaining in control.

Moon declination peaked yesterday and with perigee tomorrow it's another good week for EME. Peak Moon elevation is around midnight, moving into the early hours as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for February 10th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 10th February 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • New IOTA being activated for first time

  • Train the Trainers in Cambridgeshire

  • Next weekend it’s Thinking Day on the Air

 

A new Islands on the Air island, Inakari Island, EU192, is being activated by a small international team for the first time. It will be on the air until Monday the 11th of February at 0600UTC. Kataja/Inakari Island was added to the official IOTA list last year. Martti, OH2BH; Nigel, G3TXF; Niko, OH2GEK and Gerben, PG5M, will be travelling by snowmobile several kilometres over the frozen surface of Bothnian Bay to set up camp on the Finnish part of Inakari Island, where they will use an abandoned fisherman’s refuge. The Island is part of the Bothnian Bay National Park. The team will run two stations simultaneously on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 metres using CW and SSB. The callsign to look for is OH10X. QSL via PG5M using Club Log.

A Train the Trainers course is being organised and hosted by Huntingdon Amateur Radio Society for the 30th of March. It will take place in Buckden, St Neots, Cambridgeshire. If you wish to reserve a place then please contact the organiser, David Howlett, by email to secretary@hunts-hams.co.uk He will be able to give you further details and take your booking.

Thinking Day on the Air takes place next weekend, the 16th and 17th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com If you hear these stations on the air, please give the young people taking part plenty of good contacts.

CQ Magazine has announced that nominations for the CQ Contest Hall of Fame are being accepted until the first of March. Individuals, clubs, and national organisations may submit nominations. Nominations should clearly indicate that they are for the Contest Hall of Fame and detail the reasons and basis for the nomination, which may be found at www.cq-amateur-radio.com Email submission is preferred, with a subject line of Contest Hall of Fame, to W2VU@cq-amateur-radio.com,

National Centers for Environmental Information scientists have updated the world magnetic model mid-cycle, as Earth’s northern magnetic pole has begun shifting quickly away from the Canadian Arctic and toward Siberia, an NCEI report said this week. The new model more accurately represents the change of the magnetic field since 2015. The alteration could have an impact on government, industry and consumer electronics. To read the full report, go to tinyurl.com/y8abnjag

The UK Six Metre Group is looking for a Membership Secretary. They say that the only qualifications are a thorough approach, good IT skills because their membership database is built using Microsoft Access, and the time to give the job regular attention. Plus, of course, a keen interest in the 6 metre bands! If you think you might be interested in getting involved, please get in touch by email to chairman@uksmg.org

Region 1 of the IARU has a Youth Contest Program where young people have the opportunity to take part in a contest from one of the top contest stations in the Region. So far, 9A1A, ES9C and 4O3A are signed up to support young amateurs, alongside LX7I, LZ9W, OZ5E and DP9A. An application form and more details can be found at www.ham-yota.com

This year’s RSGB Club of the Year competition has just one category for entrants and entries must be received by the 28th of February, so there’s still time to take part. See www.rsgb.org/main/clubs/national-club-of-the-year/ The RSGB would like to thank Waters & Stanton for their continue sponsorship of this competition.

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

Today, the 10th, the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will take place at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8AY, just 3 miles from Milton Interchange on the A34. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There will be traders, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Bookstand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk in is on 145.550MHz, using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI, by email to rally@g3pia.net

Next Sunday, the 17th, the Radioactive Rally takes place at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and RSGB book stall. Catering is provided on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Shabu, M0KRI will be on the air from Burundi between the 15th and the 26th of February. He will operate CW, SSB and PSK31 on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to M0KRI; logsearch on Club Log. Details are under the callsign 9U4RI on QRZ.com

Tom, K8BKM will be active as TO8T from Martinique, IOTA reference NA-107, between the 12th and the 19th of February, including an entry in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log or direct to K8BKM.

Makoto, JI5RPT will be on the air as JD1BLY from AS-031 in Ogasawara between the 15th and 17th of February. He will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on all bands including 630m JT9. QSL via his home call, direct or bureau; Log Search on Club Log.

Jim, WB2TJO will be active as 3D2JS from Taveuni Island, OC-016, in Fiji until the 10th of March. He operates mainly CW. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Armin, DK9PY will be active as FY/DK9PY from French Guiana until the 17th of February. He will operate CW only on various bands, and will participate in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via his home callsign.

Now the special event news

HS55RAST is active until the 31st of March in celebration of the 55th anniversary of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand. QSL via HS5NMF.

ZW85LABRE will be active until the 31st of March to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Brazil's IARU member society.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The CW WorldWide WPX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 10th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The PACC Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 10th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations sending their Province too.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. It’s the data leg and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 50MHz Machine Generated Mode Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using MGM only the exchange is signal report and 4 character Locator. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for this contest is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the ARRL International DX contest takes place for 48 hours between 0000UTC on the 16th to 2459UTC on the 17th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American and Canadian stations will also send their State or Province details.

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

Matter from a solar coronal hole pushed the Kp index to five in the early hours of Friday the 1st, eventually resulting in much reduced maximum usable frequencies as the ionosphere was depleted. Signals on Saturday the 2nd were noticeably poorer, with even 14MHz struggling. There were also reports of very visible aurora around the Arctic Circle. But the ionosphere recovered quite quickly and, as predicted, the rest of the week was much better.

There were some other HF highlights last week. Chris, G4IFX reported that New Zealand has been a regular on 5MHz FT8 on the long path in the mornings. Predtest shows that a path is currently possible, peaking at around 7am. Speaking of FT8, don’t ignore the higher bands, as 21 and even 28MHz often shows signs of life, with numerous European stations in particular being logged on 21MHz. The low bands also still continue to deliver results, Robert, G4TUK reports working Jeffrey, PJ2ND in Curacao and Ed, P49X in Aruba on 80 metres CW. Roger, G3LDI also worked numerous VK, ZL and W stations in the FOC Marathon on 80 and 40 metres. Make the most of 80m as the nights are slowly getting shorter!

Looking ahead, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain around 71-72 over the next week. Uncharacteristically, geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be relatively quiet over the next seven days with a Kp index of two. This means that this could be a reasonable weak for HF propagation, within the limitations of a very low solar flux index.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a very stormy end to last week with gales and potential antenna damage, you will be relieved to hear that it's looking like a much quieter week to come. From Monday the pressure will start to rise and will soon establish an area of high pressure over the British Isles, which will then slowly drift east to affect much of the continent and Scandinavia. The structure of the likely inversions is such that the western side of the UK and Ireland will enjoy the stronger Tropo, but is likely to affect paths in the east as well, although these may be negatively influenced by colder dry air from northern Europe later in the week. Overall, the Tropo prospects look better generally than during the last two weeks or so.

With positive Moon declination reaching its peak next Saturday it's a good week for EME, with long Moon windows and falling path losses as the week progresses.

With the announcement that the Es’hailSat2 transponders should go live this month, we wait with bated breath for a chance to work via amateur radio’s first geostationary satellite. The AMSAT website says that the 10GHz narrow-band downlink should be receivable with a satellite LNB and a 75cm dish. The 2.4GHz uplink should be sensitive to around five watts to the same size dish with a suitable feed.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for February 3rd 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 3rd February 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Enter Club of the Year

  • 50 years of Newsreading

  • Nominate for CWops Award

 

This year’s RSGB Club of the Year competition has just one category for entrants. As well as being open to clubs of all sizes, entries are welcome from all RSGB affiliated groups. The theme is ‘Meeting RSGB Strategy 2022’. Entries must be received by the 28th of February, so there’s still time to put in an entry. Clubs should read the rules at www.rsgb.org/main/clubs/national-club-of-the-year/ and send entries to their Regional Representative. The RSGB would like to thank Waters & Stanton for their continue sponsorship of this competition.

Victor Gracey, GI3WEM is stepping down as one of the GB2RS newsreaders for Northern Ireland after around 50 years of news reading. The RSGB would like to thank Victor for his service to his fellow amateurs and wish him well in his retirement. The RSGB is therefore looking to finds a replacement news reader in the area as soon as possible. Grant Smith, MI0AWL will continue as a back-up reader when necessary. If you are interested in this volunteer role, please contact the GB2RS Manager Ken Hatton, G3VBA, by email to gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk

CWops is now accepting nominations for the CWops Award for Advancing the Art of CW. The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals, groups, or organisations that have made the greatest contribution or contributions toward advancing the art or practice of radio communications by Morse code. Anyone can make a nomination and it should be emailed to awards@cwops.org with a copy to secretary@cwops.org. In order to be considered, a nomination must be received by the 1st of March. Details of what to include in your nominations can be found at https://cwops.org/

The RSGB’s EMC committee has updated its advice leaflet number 15 on VDSL Interference. This leaflet explains how to recognise VDSL interference and summarises the measures that people have found that helped to reduce the interference. It must be emphasised that these are things you can try and they are not guaranteed to eliminate the problem at all locations. Indeed in some locations none of these suggestions reduce the problem significantly. It can be found via the EMC publications page on the RSGB website or directly at http://rsgb.org/emcleaflet15 and inks to other EMCC publications on VDSL are also included.

There is still time to organise a Thinking Day on the Air station, which takes place over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of February. Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website, www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Six News 138 is now available for UK Six Metre Group members to download from their website. It contains forty seven pages of news and comment dedicated to 6m. Get it from www.uksmg.org

One area where the IARU and RSGB volunteers have been active is regarding concerns from Wireless Power Transmission, or WPT. The latest development is the recent approval and publication of CEPT ECC Report-289 on high power WPT for electric vehicles, EV. Following a major effort and numerous contributions to CEPT meetings, this has significant content regarding amateur radio and concerns on spurious emissions. Comments by IARU Region 1, RSGB and Ofcom were included during the final consultation stage. The report is a key element in ongoing work for WRC-19 Agenda Item 9.1.6 on WPT-EV. It can be downloaded, along with many other CEPT documents, from www.ecodocdb.dk/document/category/ECC_Reports

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

Today, the 3rd of February, the 35th SEARS Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at its new venue, Cornelius Vermuyden School, Dinant Avenue, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 9QS. Admission is £3 and doors open at 10am, or fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There is free car parking and easy, level ground floor access to two large halls. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and bacon butties will be available. There will be radio, computing and electronics traders and special interest groups. More details via email to tony@tonystreet.net.

If you are fortunate enough to be heading to Florida on holiday in the next week, you may be interest to know that the 73rd Orlando HamCation runs from the 8th to the 10th of February. Head for the Central Florida Fairgrounds and Expo Park, 4603 West Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida 32808, USA. There will be over 150 commercial sellers, over 200 swap table vendors and the largest tailgate area in the southeastern US. For details see www.hamcation.com

Next Sunday, the 10th, the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will take place at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8AY, just 3 miles from Milton Interchange on A34. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There will be traders, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Bookstand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk in is on 145.550MHz, using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI by email to rally@g3pia.net

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

PJ4/WW4LL and PJ4/NN9DD will be active from Bonaire, IOTA reference SA-006, between the 4th and 10th of February. They will operate FT8, RTTY and SSB on all bands, and will participate in the CQ WPX RTTY Contest on the 9th and 10th as PJ4Z. QSLs via Logbook of The World or K4BAI.

Mike, W1USN and Bob, AA1M will be active as /TI5 from Atenas in Costa Rica until the 13th of February. They will operate CW, SSB, some digital modes and possibly a few of the FM satellites. QSLs via Logbook of The World or via their home callsigns, either direct or via the bureau.

Bogdan, SP2FUD as and Zen, SP2GCJ will be active as XV9FUD and XV9ZT respectively from Vietnam between the 4th and the 18th of February. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on the 40 to 12m bands. QSLs via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, or via SP2GCJ.

A three-man team will operate from Manus Island, OC-025, in Papua New Guinea as P29VCX until the 5th of February. This will be followed by P29NI from Daru Island, IOTA OC-153, from the 6th to the 11th of February. QSL requests in each case should be sent directly to SM6CVX.

Now the special event news

Look for TM16AAW to be on air from the 10th to the 24th of February to celebrate the 16th Antarctic Activity Week. François, F8DVD will be operational from Mâcon in the east part of France using the 10 to 40m bands, mostly SSB. All info on this event on can be found on QRZ.com.

ARI Fidenza and the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation are running an award scheme based major Italian pioneers and their discoveries in wireless and radio technology. Running throughout the year, each month is dedicated to a specific scientist. February is celebrating Augusto Righi. Further details can be found at www.arifidenza.it

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 3rd of February, the 432MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships run from 2000 to 2130UTC. It’s the SSB leg and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC. Using FM only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Running concurrently is the 144MHz Machine Generated Mode Activity Contest, which has an exchange of signal report and 4-character locator. These contests are immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest, which runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for this contest is also signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Saturday the 9th, the first 1.8MHz contest takes place from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your District.

Next weekend sees two contests. The CW WorldWide WPX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 9th to 2359UTC on the 10th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The PACC Contest runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 9th to 1200UTC on the 10th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations sending their Province too.

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

Last week was a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. The solar flux index was a little higher at 74, helped by a sunspot group that has now rotated out of view. Geomagnetic conditions were very settled in the first half of the week with the Kp index often sitting at zero. It seems quite a while since the index was this low.

But that couldn’t last as a very large elongated coronal hole on the Sun’s equator threatened the Earth with an enhanced solar wind. This eventually came to fruition on Thursday afternoon, pushing the Kp index to three at first and then five overnight, bringing minor G1 geomagnetic storming at higher latitudes. At the time of writing this looks like it is likely to bring continued unsettled HF conditions across the weekend, complete with depressed maximum useable frequencies.

NOAA predicts a solar flux index around 72 next week as the solar minimum continues. The good news is that once the effects of this coronal hole disappear we can expect more settled geomagnetic conditions and a return to seasonal averages when it comes to maximum usable frequencies.

The low bands are still at their optimum, with 160, 80 and 40m providing good propagation opportunities. Sixty metres, or the 5MHz band, is also providing inter-G and European contacts during the day, as the critical frequency is often sufficient to support propagation on the band.

Higher up, 20 metres is still the best band for reliable DX, although it tends to open late and close early at the moment, with occasional openings on 17m and perhaps even 15m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking like a week to be getting on with those hardware and software projects in the warmth of the workshop while keeping an eye on the VHF DX clusters. Cold and unsettled would describe the first part of the week, with limited options for Tropo due to some wintry areas of low pressure. There are signs of a weak ridge of high pressure to the south of Britain at the start of the week, but this offers only marginal chances for paths to the south from southern England into the continent and Spain.

With the solar conditions, the weekend is looking likely to offer some chances of aurora due to the large coronal hole, so even if Tropo is not a strong contender, there are still some possible interests for VHF ops. For GHz bands enthusiasts, the snow showers early on may provide some rain scatter.

The Moon is at apogee on Tuesday and declination is negative, but rising all week. Moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses, but path losses will be at their highest.

One minor meteor shower occurs on the 8th, the Alpha Centaurids, but with a Zenithal Houry Rate of just six it’s not really a significant one for meteor scatter operation.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 27th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 27th January 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Three new bands for Indonesians

  • Listen to an ISS contact

  • Become an RSGB Board member or Regional Representative

 

The Indonesian national society, ORARI, reports new amateur radio regulations have been issued with top class licensees gaining new WRC-15 Secondary allocations at 136kHz, 472kHz and 5MHz.

An International Space Station school contact has been planned between David St-Jacques, KG5FYI and a school in Portugal. The event is scheduled for Saturday the 2nd of February at approximately 1523UTC. The conversation will be conducted in English and will be a direct contact operated by CS5SS. The downlink signals will be audible in many parts of Europe on 145.800MHz FM.

There is just under one week left for RSGB Members to make nominations for the Board and Regional Representative vacancies. These roles offer a great opportunity to help the RSGB develop and to promote amateur radio. For more details see tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0113A and please note that nominations close on the 31st of January.

Bulgarian amateurs have obtained some important changes to their licence. The age limit has been removed for getting a Class 2 licence, which permits up to 5W on VHF and UHF, plus HF on a club station. A Class A licence for all bands will full legal power can now be obtained at 14 years of age. The mandatory six month period between the Class 2 and Class 1 exams has also been removed and there has been a significant increase in the power allowed on most bands.

Ian Suart, GM4AUP has been appointed as the RSGB’s first Operating Advisory Service Coordinator. The Operating Advisory Service, OAS, has been established to help amateurs in various ways, especially those whose enjoyment is being hindered by the poor activities of others. These include giving practical guidance to individual Members, delivering talks to clubs, and sharing their own OAS experiences with the national OAS team. Working with him is a growing team of Regional Operating Advisors. The aim is to have at least one Advisor in every Region, assisting the Region’s volunteer team with OAS’s developing expertise. Please encourage any suitable candidate in your Region to apply for the Regional Operating Advisor role, by contacting Ian via email to oas@rsgb.org.uk

The Inter-MAI amateur radio slow scan television experiment on the International Space Station is scheduled to be activated between Wednesday the 30th of January and Friday the 1st of February. It appears that the experiment will only be active during a couple of orbits that overfly Moscow, rather than a continuous operation. Expected periods of activation appear to be between 1300 and 1900UTC, and should occur on the traditional 145.800MHz downlink frequency.

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

The Horncastle Amateur Radio and Electronics rally takes place today, the 27th of January, at the Horncastle Youth Centre, Cagthorpe Buildings, Willow Row, Horncastle LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2. Traders tables are £5 per 6ft table. There is free parking at the venue. The usual traders will be there and catering is available on site. Details from Tony, G3PZU, 01507 527 835, or by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk.

On the 3rd of February, the 35th SEARS Canvey Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at its new venue, Cornelius Vermuyden School, Dinant Avenue, Canvey Island, Essex SS8 9QS. Admission is £3 and doors open at 10am, or fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There is free car parking and easy, level ground floor access to two large halls. Tea, coffee, soft drinks and bacon butties will be available. There will be radio, computing and electronics traders and special interest groups. More details via email to tony@tonystreet.net.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Art, NN7A will be active as V31JZ/P from South Water Caye in Belize, IOTA reference NA-180, from the 31st of January to the 6th of February. He will operate mainly CW on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS or via NN7A either direct or via the bureau.

Mike, OE3MBG will be on the air as S79AA in the Seychelles, AF-024, until the 2nd of February. QSLs are via Club Log OQRS and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Heli, DD0VR will be active as C6A/DD0VR from the Bahamas, NA-001, and possibly other island groups as well until the 2nd of February. Usually he operates QRP on the 80 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via DD0VR, direct or bureau.

Rick, NE8Z will be active from Ecuador until the 6th of February. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 40 to 6m bands. Listen for HC1MD, HC1MD/HC2 and HC1MD/HC7 depending on his location. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to K8LJG.

HI1LT will be manned by members of the Loma del Toro DX Club until the 28th of January and will be located on Beata Island, NA-122, off the coast of the Dominican Republic. QSL manager is W2CCW.

Emmanuel, F5LIT will be active as YB9/F5LIT from Bali Island, OC-022, from the 27th of January to the 6th February. QSL via his home callsign, direct only, and Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

The Worked All Britain group Golden Anniversary year got off to a good start with GB50WAB starting in Northern Ireland, and GB9WAB in Leicestershire. GB50WAB will continue to run throughout the year from various locations, currently being aired from North Lincolnshire, and moves on to Hereford on the 29th. Other WAB GB special calls will also be run throughout the year, in addition to regular airings of the clubs calls, G4WAB and G7WAB. The month of February will see GB8WAB, operated by MI1AIB, and GB0ABG, operated by G4IAR. Keep an eye on www.worked-all-britain.org.uk for further information.

The special call sign EI19RE will be active for the duration of 2019 to commemorate the establishment of the Dáil, the first Irish parliament.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Ending its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 27th, the CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest uses CW only. The exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is Zone 14. In addition US and Canadian stations send their State or Province.

Ending its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 27th, is the BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is simply the serial number.

The UK EI Contest Club contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC on Wednesday the 30th of January. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 4-character Locator.

Next Sunday, the 3rd of February, the 432MHZ AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and Locator.

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

This week we did get a new sunspot group, which pushed the solar flux index to 71 and the sunspot number to 18, reflecting one group with eight spots in it. But, as predicted last week, incoming matter from a solar coronal hole resulted in an elevated K index and poor HF conditions on Wednesday the 23rd. Because of this, maximum usable frequencies were depressed and struggled to reach much more than 14MHz at times. Late Wednesday afternoon even saw 40m closing early.

Despite a continued K index of four on Thursday, MUFs did manage to recover slightly and signals were heard on many HF bands. This included an opening around Europe and out as far as Israel and Cyprus on 10m FT8, which may have been due to a pre-auroral enhancement.

There were other highlights during the week. Andy, M0NKR reported working E51DWC on the South Cook Islands on 20m CW on Monday afternoon at about 5.30pm, which just goes to show you shouldn’t write the bands off.

Next week NOAA has the solar flux index remaining at 71, with generally quieter geomagnetic conditions, at least until the Thursday the 31st. This may then herald three days of unsettled conditions due to a recurrent coronal hole.

As always, don’t neglect the upper HF bands, especially at the onset of a geomagnetic storm, as these can often bring short-lived openings on the higher HF frequencies.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s shaping up to be another rather flat week for Tropo, although it’s always possible to get some limited surface ducting in the early mornings with this cold frosty weather and patchy fog. Much of the coming week is dominated by low pressure and, at times, brisk winds, which will rule out traditional Tropo options. That probably leaves, like last week, just a few chances of some rain scatter on the GHz bands. Snow however does act as a very good scatterer on these bands.

Keep a watch for the other exotic modes, like out-of-season winter Sporadic-E or some auroral QSOs. What about trying some flat condition path checks to see how your station is doing, by calibrating against a selection of beacons or repeaters, so that you have a baseline to compare against when the high pressure systems do return? Incidentally, you could even try a late New Year resolution to activate CW on the VHF/UHF bands. You never know, flat conditions can provide more than you think.

Moon declination is negative again and reaches minimum next Saturday. Moon windows will shorten as the week progresses and maximum Moon elevation will be in the early mornings, so it is a week for EME early-risers.

We are still in the doldrums as far as meteor showers go with just a couple of minor ones in February and March until the April Lyrids.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 20th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th January 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Showcase our hobby during British Science Week

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • AMSAT celebrates 50th birthday

 

British Science Week runs from the 8th to the 15th of March and is a fantastic opportunity to showcase radio communications in the 21st century to young people. The RSGB is encouraging clubs to develop relationships with their local school or community group. The theme for this year is ‘journeys’. Ideas for activities could include the journey from Marconi to Wi-Fi, or to ARISS contacts, or the journey of a radio wave from transmitter to receiver without wires. RSGB clubs are ideally placed to put on a local event. If your club already has a link with a local school, why not work with them to run an amateur radio-related event during BSW? The Radio Communications Foundation is keen to sponsor such events and can provide radio kits to build. These have already been used in primary and secondary schools with great success. More information is at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0120A

Thinking Day on the Air 2019 will take place over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk There is a form on the page for stations to submit their details to be added to the list, and an IO group for exchanging details or arranging skeds. Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

AMSAT’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated with AMSAT-DL special event callsign DL50AMSAT. The station will be on the air from Saxony on the Czech Republic border via satellites only, and will debut this weekend. Track the event on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #satelliteweekend

The latest versions of the UK Band Plans have been published. RSGB Members will receive a copy within the February edition of RadCom, and the information is freely downloadable from www.rsgb.org/bandplans

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention videos are now available for Members to view on the RSGB website. Convention favourite Ian White, GM3SEK can be seen speaking about VHF baluns, where he takes 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. Ray Burlingame-Goff, G4FON discusses the pitfalls of learning Morse and the work of the German psychologist Ludwig Koch that Ray used in his freeware training software. Drawing on his own experience and over ten years of feedback by users of his software, Ray offers practical advice on how you can move from simply working stations with a 5NN TU reply to effortless casual rag chewing with them. Go to www.rsgb.org/videos for these and many others.

Looking ahead a little, The St Patrick Award is asking amateurs to come and celebrate on the air for St Patrick’s Day on the 17th of March. The award will be running over 48 hours from the 16th at 12 noon until the 18th at 12 noon to follow the worldwide celebrations. This year a new Digital Award has been added covering such modes as FT8, DMR, D-Star, JT65, Echolink etc. To claim it you must have made 20 contacts with a registered St Patrick’s Day Station. For more information go to https://stpatrickaward.webs.com.

More than 80,000 contacts went into logs at Youngsters on the Air suffix stations and others participating in December YOTA month, with most operations in IARU Region 1. The final tally included 46,989 on SSB, another 28,064 on CW, some 3,814 on FT8, and the rest on various other modes. This year, as many as 44 participating stations made 82,938 QSOs in December. You will be able to read about events in the UK in the March RadCom. A full report can be read at www.iaru-r1.org/

There are a number of vintage radio and amateur radio related eBooks available for free download on the Project Gutenberg site. Among them is Letters of a Radio Engineer to his Son by John Mills. Written in 1922, in his letters the author teaches all about radio-telephony with simple explanations and “contain only what is important in the radio of to-day and those ideas which seem necessary if you are to follow the rapid advances which radio is making.” For details see www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=radio

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

The Horncastle Amateur Radio and Electronics rally is on the 27th of January. It takes place at the Horncastle Youth Centre, Cagthorpe Buildings, Willow Row, Harncastle LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2. Traders tables are £5 per 6ft table. There is free parking at the venue. The usual traders will be there and catering is available onsite. Details from Tony, G3PZU, 01507 527 835, or by email to tony.nightingale@yahoo.co.uk.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

KB8YRX will be active as 8P9CA from Barbados, IOTA reference NA-021, until the 4th of February. He will operate mainly FT8 on the 20m band. QSL via Logbook of The World or via his home callsign.

Saty, JE1JKL will be on the air as 9M6NA from Labuan Island, OC-133, East Malaysia between the 24th and 28th of January. Main activity will be on the 160m band, including participation in the CQ WW CW 160m Contest. QSL via Logbook of The World and Club Log’s OQRS.

Tino, HI3CC and a group from the Loma del Toro DX Club will be active as HI1LT from Isla Beata, NA-122, between the 20th and 28th of January. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via W2CCW.

Mat, DL4MM will be on the air as P4/DL4MM from Aruba, SA-036, between the 22nd and 30th of January. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8 with a focus on the low bands and pay special attention to Europe and Asia. He will participate in the CQ WW 160m CW Contest as P40AA. QSLs via Club Log’s OQRS is preferred or via DL4MM.

Nobu, JA0JHQ will be active as T88PB from Koror, OC-009, Palau between the 25th and 28th of January. He will focus on 160m CW, including participation in the CQ WW 160m Contest. QSL via Logbook of the World, preferred, or direct to JA0JHQ.

Now the special event news

Worthing & District ARC will be running a special event station to commemorate its 70th anniversary this weekend using callsign GB5WOR. The station will be on the air on all HF bands, plus possibly 2m and 70cm. Further details from the club website, www.wadarc.org.uk

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1930 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend from 2200UTC on the 25th to 2200UTC on the 27th, the CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest takes place. Using CW only the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is Zone 14. In addition US and Canadian stations send their State or Province.

Also next weekend, from 1200UTC on the 26th to 1200UTC on the 27th, the BARTG RTTY Sprint Contest will be held. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is simply the serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Marathon continues until the 31st of January. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 18th of January.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the Sun remained spotless this past week with a solar flux index stuck firmly around the 70 mark. Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled with a maximum planetary K index of four, although on average it was usually much lower than this, around one or two.

Many are bemoaning the poor HF conditions and it is not surprising. Although there are openings up to 21MHz at times, the 20 metre band is more likely to bring you reliable DX contacts than the higher bands. We can’t expect to see much action on 12 and 10 metres until the Sporadic-E season starts in early May.

The lower bands are still throwing up some surprises though and transatlantic contacts on 160m are still worth chasing if you are equipped for Top Band. Eighty, 40 and perhaps even 30 metres may also bring you some DX during darkness. As always, we encourage you to use the online tools at predtest.uk and propquest.co.uk to plan your activity.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with a spotless sun and a solar flux index of around 71. Geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet, until the 24th and 25th when material from a recurrent solar hole may push the Kp index to five, bringing the potential for aurora-like conditions and depressed maximum usable frequencies.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is unlikely to be much Tropo this week. A key feature of the weather is an area of low pressure which drifts southeast across the country from Greenland on Sunday to Iceland, then Scotland, and arriving over England by Wednesday. Looking at its origin, it will herald a spell of cold weather with a taste of winter for some areas. This may provide wintry showers in some places to give a chance of rain scatter on the GHz bands, but it’s not a great opportunity.

That leaves the last part of the week to consider, after the cold winter low has moved away into the continent. Models suggest a return of a ridge of high pressure, some models stronger than others. But it will be building in dry cold air, which is not good for creating a strong moisture contrast across the temperature inversion and thus not a great signal for Tropo.

So overall, probably a flat feel to the week regarding VHF/UHF weather propagation, but with the Eshailsat-2 geostationary transponder undergoing engineering tests as we write I’m sure many will be focussed on this.

The Moon reached maximum declination this morning and perigee is tomorrow, so it’s a good week for EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 13th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th January 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Volunteers invited for National Radio Centre

  • IARU Region 1 consolidates project groups

  • RSGB Board and Regional Representative nominations open

 

With over 55,000 visitors to the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park in 2018, we are looking to recruit new volunteers to engage with the public and give radio demonstrations. If you’re interested in becoming an NRC volunteer you should be passionate about meeting people, feel confident explaining the hobby, as well as operating the NRC’s radio station, GB3RS. You should be a licensed amateur, an RSGB Member and be prepared to work a minimum of one (preferably two) days per month. You will be joining a team of enthusiastic, friendly and dedicated volunteers and full training will be given. Travel expenses are paid to volunteers living within reasonable travelling distance and NRC volunteers enjoy numerous benefits associated with volunteering at Bletchley Park. Please email nrc.support@rsgb.org.uk for further information.

At the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Landshut in 2017, it was agreed to create three project groups to address issues of the future direction and growth in amateur radio across the Region. These groups have undertaken some of the planned work, but because of other commitments of the project leaders, progress has not been as rapid as the IARU Region 1 had hoped. It was decided to bring the three project groups together under a single project manager. Mark Jones, G0MGX, has agreed to take this role. Mark is already deeply involved in ‘future and growth’ issues in RSGB, where he is a Board Member. Mark can be contacted via email to mark.g0mgx.r1@gmail.com. We wish Mark every success in this key role.

RSGB Members are reminded that nominations are open for RSGB Board and Regional Representatives. Details are in the January RadCom and on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0113A. These roles offer a good opportunity to help the RSGB develop and to promote amateur radio. Nominations close on the 31st of January.

In America, the FCC is not processing any US amateur radio applications as the partial government shutdown approaches its fourth week. For radio amateurs, the shutdown means that while the Universal Licensing System continues to accept applications for all valid purposes, the FCC will not review or act upon them until the funding stalemate is resolved. Newcomers who have passed the required examinations will have to wait until the shutdown concludes to receive a callsign and authorisation to operate. License upgrades are also on hold.

Please note that the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed for a private event on Tuesday the 15th of January. Outside of this, volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors seven days a week, especially RSGB Members, who can download a free entry voucher for Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

On the 27th of December a Soyuz launch deployed two German satellites, D-Star ONE – Sparrow and D-Star ONE – iSat. The beacons have been successfully received from both satellites, which each carry a D-Star repeater. They uplink on 437.325MHz and downlink on 435.525MHz. The December Soyuz flight also deployed the UWE-4 1U CubeSat carrying a 70cm AX.25 digipeater, with an uplink/downlink frequency of 437.375MHz. AMSAT Germany has reported that in-orbit testing of the P4-A amateur radio transponders on Es’hail-2 has begun but amateurs should not attempt to transmit on the Es’hail-2 uplink. When all in-orbit testing has been successfully completed, the satellite will be moved to its final orbital position at 26° East and availability announcements will be made.

Club Log’s latest Most Wanted List, generated on the 28th of December, can be found at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php. The information is derived from the half-billion or so QSOs uploaded to Club Log and available for analysis. To improve quality, only QSOs that have QSLs confirmed are considered to be worked. The most wanted charts are rebuilt once per month, on average.

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

The next rally in the diary is on the Horncastle Amateur Radio and Electronics rally on the 27th of January. It takes place at the Horncastle Youth Centre, Cagthorpe Buildings, Willow Row, Harncastle LN9 6DZ. Doors open at 10am.

Advance notice now of the CW Boot Camp, which will be run by the GMDX Group. It takes place on Sunday the 10th of March at Stirling & District ARS, Unit 68, Bandeath Industrial Estate, Throsk FK7 7NP. This event is open to all however places are limited, so it is important that you pre-register your interest by email to gmdxgroup@gmail.com.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

A group of operators will be active as H33J from Volcan in the Chiriqui Province of Panama, between the 13th and the 31st of January. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands, with a focus on the low bands FT8. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or via JA1HGY.

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD will be active as FG/F6ITD from La Desirade Island, IOTA NA-102, in Guadeloupe from the 14th of January to the 13th of March. Activity will be on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. He will also be active as TO7D in various contests. QSL direct to his home call.

Willy, KB8YRX will be on the air as 8P9CA from Barbados between the 15th of January and the 4th of February. Activity will be focused on 20m and FT8. QSL to his home call.

Gerhard, OE3GEA will be on the air as HC8GET from Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands from the 13th to the 25th of January. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Worthing & District ARC will be running a special event station to commemorate its 70th anniversary. This will be on the weekend of the 19th and 20th of January, using callsign GB5WOR. The station will be on the air on all HF bands, possibly 2m and 70cm. Further details from the club website, www.wadarc.org.uk

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Sweden's National Society for the Active Visually Impaired will be active as SF50CG throughout 2019. QSL via SM0BYD.

Please send special event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 13th, the Datamodes AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using data only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Thursday sees the 70MHz UK Activity Contest, also from 2000 to 2230UTC. Both use all modes on the respective band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 19th the SSB AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also on Saturday the 19th, the Worked All Britain 1.8MHz Phone contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and the WAB square.

The UK Six Metre Group Marathon continues until the 31st of January. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 9th of January.

This week saw relatively-settled HF conditions after the effects of a geomagnetic storm that impacted Earth at the weekend had passed. The Kp index was mostly around one or two thanks to a reduced solar wind. A small solar coronal hole did become Earth-facing on Wednesday the 9th, but its effects, if any, won’t be felt until around Friday the 11th. The sun’s disk remained spotless, with the solar flux index around 71-72.

The Propquest.co.uk site shows that daytime critical frequencies remain around 3.5-5MHz, although there have been some high spots where it has hit more than 6MHz. These can spark short-term long-range HF propagation at maximum usable frequencies of more than 18MHz, so it is worth keeping an eye on the higher bands. Otherwise, the upper bands have been fairly lacklustre with mostly contacts around Europe, as can be expected at this point in the sunspot cycle.

Next week NOAA has the solar flux remaining around 70 with settled geomagnetic conditions, other than around the 16th when the K index may rise to four due to recurrent coronal hole activity.

A check with the new animation facility at predtest.uk shows that the upper HF bands currently favour one-hop contacts into Southern Europe with occasional openings to North Africa. Forty metres should be open to Europe both day and night with the possibility of some weaker longer paths opening up around sunset and after dark.

Eighty metres remains a good evening and night-time band, but make the most of it now as the nights are starting to get shorter.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weekend started with a residual high pressure area, by now displaced to the southwest of Britain. This means that the bulk of the country is under a weaker ridge. This will obviously favour the western side of the country, which is closest to the high, for any Tropo activity.

As the week progresses, the high weakens further and the pattern becomes more like a showery north-westerly with little chance of Tropo and rather more breeze, especially over the north and down the eastern side of the country. This type of weather can produce an opportunity for rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands as big reflective shower clouds drift past the coasts.

We are in the quiet period of the year for meteor activity with few major showers until April. There are, though, always opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts peaking around dawn when the earth is rotating towards the main orbital flux of meteoric particles.

Lunar declination is positive again, so moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses, and path losses will fall. Early in the week, moonrise will be around lunchtime, and getting later over the coming week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 6th 2019.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

We're back !! (after our 1 edition pause).

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL SUBSCRIBERS FROM THE GB2RS PODCAST TEAM.

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th January 2019

 

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year

  • Italian wireless pioneers award scheme

  • Download the latest 5MHz Newsletter

 

The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind everyone that we always welcome your news, by email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, and the deadline is 10am sharp on Thursday mornings. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website by 4.30pm each Friday afternoon.

ARI Fidenza and the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation has announced an award scheme based major Italian pioneers in wireless and radio technology, or the main artifices of those fundamental discoveries and practical achievements that have made possible the birth of wireless communications and subsequent progress in radio technology. Running from the 1st of January to the 31st of December 2019, twelve commemorative radio stations with special callsigns will alternate throughout the year. Each month is dedicated to a specific scientist. Further details can be found at www.arifidenza.it

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0106A This edition includes 5MHz news from 10 countries, features the latest number of CEPT countries on 5MHz, Exercise Blue Ham 100 and an article on Taking Care on 5357.

The RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park welcomed 55,232 people through the doors in 2018, introducing the vast majority of them to amateur radio for the first time. Well done to Martyn, G0GMB and his team of volunteers who keep the NRC running. Please note that the NRC will be closed for a private event on Tuesday the 15th of January. Outside of this, volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors seven days a week, especially RSGB Members, who can download a free entry voucher for Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

The final Advanced training course in Bath starts on Wednesday 30 January 2019. The course will run on Wednesday evenings at the Scout HQ in Grove Street, Bath, aiming for an exam in July. This will be the last amateur radio course in Bath for some time due to the work required to implement the changes to the syllabus. The Bath team expect to be closed down for at least 6 months, maybe a year. The final Bath Based Distance Learning course, which will run in parallel with the classroom course, is now full and has a record number of students. If anyone is looking to upgrade from Intermediate to Full, and can attend classes in Bath, please drop an email to the course leader, Steve Hartley, via G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Bobby Wadey, MI0RYL has been appointed to the position of RSGB Awards Manager, taking over from Chris Burbanks, G3SJJ. The Society would like to thank Chris for his work as the RSGB Awards Manager.

RSGB Members are reminded that nominations are open for RSGB Board and Regional Representatives. Details are in the January RadCom and at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0106B These roles offer a good opportunity to help the RSGB develop and to promote amateur radio. Nominations close on the 31st of January 2019.

Until the 14th of January, 8,400 Scouts from every Australian state – plus representatives from 18 nations – will converge in South Australia to participate in the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree. One of the 150 activities on offer to the Scouts will be a chance to participate in amateur radio using VI25AJ and a Direction Finding course. About 2000 Scouts are expected to experience amateur radio over the 10 day period. They will be active on the HF bands both SSB and digital modes, Satellites, IRLP and Echolink. Full details such as operating schedules and frequencies will be available via the VI25AJ QRZ.com page. If you hear the callsign on the air, give the youngsters a call.

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

We know of no rallies happening in January.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Rich, PA0RRS is on the air as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, IOTA reference AS-015, until the 15th of February. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, RTTY, PSK and FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Mike, OE6MBG is operating as S79AA from Mahe, AF-024, until the 2nd of February. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands, plus 6m as conditions permit, using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Antoine, 3D2AG is on the air as T2AR from Funafuti until the 31st of January. Activity is on the HF bands, including 160m. QSL to his home callsign. In addition, Apinelu, T2AT is operating on the HF bands using FT8. QSL via N7SMI.

Bernie, W3UR and Becky, N3OSH will be on the air as V47UR from Calypso Bay, St Kitts Island, NA-104, from the 8th to the 20th of January. Activity will be holiday style on the 160 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

GB2KW is on the air at various times near Inverness until the 28th of January using vintage KW gear. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the new 50MHz MGM Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using machine generated modes only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 13th, the Datamodes AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using data only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Marathon continues this month until the 31st of January. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 4th of January.

A new sunspot appeared this week, although it belongs to outgoing cycle 24 and is therefore not a sign that the new cycle 25 is under way just yet. We may still have to wait until at least the autumn before that happens. Despite pushing the solar flux index up to 75 on Thursday we are still very much in the mid-winter doldrums, with bands opening late and closing early. Having said that, there have been reports of some early afternoon 17m transatlantic CW openings to the USA. 20m and 40m have often closed early, but it is worth checking both bands after dark – there has been some activity spotted on 40m around 11pm so it is worth looking.

A large solar coronal hole became Earth-facing on Thursday, which may cause some disruption to the bands at the weekend, potentially pushing the K index to four with depressed maximum useful frequencies. Once its effects have passed we should see more settled bands, with a maximum K index of two next week and a solar flux index of around 71.

Daytime critical frequencies are currently reaching a maximum of about 4.9MHz, meaning 80m remains the best band for daytime NVIS or close-in signals. Sixty metres or 5MHz may also be fine for inter-G signals, although you may struggle on 60 metres at times with stations closer than about 100km.

Over longer distances, 20 metres remains favourite, with possible occasional openings on 17m. Winter Sporadic-E may throw up some surprising openings on 12 and 10 metres, but these may be fleeting and hard to predict.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is still a large area of high pressure on the charts, and as is typical of such features they can be very persistent. This one is going for the ‘long game’ with another one to two weeks of high pressure weather to come. This means that Tropo will be the mode of choice, with variations mostly down to how moist the air near the surface is compared with the very dry air just above the temperature inversion. A big contrast in moisture means better ducting on VHF and UHF and the best sign of this is when you find mist and fog forming – bad for travelling but better for Tropo.

The position of the high is crucial and when we find a cold northerly flow pattern with the high just to the west, this tends to reduce the prospects for good Tropo, despite the pressure being fairly high; so expect variations in the scope and intensity of the openings as the high centre drifts around the UK.

Out of season Sporadic-E is always worth checking for during the depths of winter, especially with the big changes in the wind regime in the stratosphere at the moment.

The short and intense Quadrantids meteor shower last week usually ushers in a quiet period of meteor activity until early April so keep looking for the usual dawn enhancement of random meteors.

The Moon reached its lowest declination yesterday and apogee on Wednesday, so there are short moon windows with low elevations and high losses this week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 23rd 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Final GB2RS of the year

  • Last chances to work GB18YOTA

  • Worked All Britain turns 50

 

This is the final GB2RS news reading for 2018 and we start with seasonal greetings to all newsreaders and listeners, both over the air and via the internet recordings, and not forgetting viewers of the ATV broadcast, which is available via several repeaters and kindly streamed via the BATC.TV website, as well as those that get this news via TX Factor or podcasts. We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those that read the news, in whatever format, for their tireless dedication to their fellow amateurs. There will be no formal news reading on the 30th of December. Normal broadcasts will resume on Sunday the 6th of January.

Youngsters on the Air month, or YOTA, runs throughout December. Jamie, M0SDV will operate the station on the 28th and 29th of December. On the 30th it’s the turn of Telford & District ARS from the 2nd Wellington Scout HQ. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people involved.

2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Worked All Britain Awards Group. To mark the occasion, three new awards will be introduced for 2019 only. In conjunction with the new awards, GB50WAB will run throughout the year, along with a number of other regional special event stations. This commences on the 1st of January, with GB50WAB for two weeks from C62 in Northern Ireland, and GB9WAB for four weeks from SK51 in Leicestershire. For more information, keep an eye on www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

You can now read online the responses from the RSGB and other interested groups and individual amateurs to Ofcom’s Consultation, UK preparations for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019. Go to https://tinyurl.com/y8pcax46 for details.

As mentioned last week, Sweden’s Alexanderson alternator station SAQ is planning a Christmas Eve transmission on 17.2kHz. Tuning-up will start around 0730UTC and a message will be transmitted at 0800UTC. The event will be streamed live on the Alexanderson YouTube channel. Two amateur radio stations calling SK6SAQ will be active on the 24th on 7.035 and 14.035MHz CW, and 3.755MHz SSB.

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention videos are now available to Members on the RSGB website. Popular Convention speaker Jim Bacon, G3YLA deliver his talk on Sporadic-E revisited – is it any clearer? Roger Balister, G3KMA speaks about Islands on the Air matters, with the announcement of the new IOTA groups and the untold IOTA story. Go to the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/videos for these and many more.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. It will also be closed for a private event on Tuesday the 15th of January. Outside of these times, volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors seven days a week, especially RSGB Members who can download a free entry voucher for Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

RSGB HQ is closed for the Christmas and New Year period from 4.30pm on Friday the 21st of December. It opens again at 8.30am on Wednesday the 2nd of January. In the meantime, if you need information about amateur radio, exams or RadCom you’ll find lots of information on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org

The IARU has announced the next annual Youngsters On The Air summer camp, which will take place in Bulgaria, close to the capital city, Sofia. The Bulgarian Federation of Radioamateurs will be hosting the event. The RSGB plan to send a team to the event and applications for the UK team leader and team members will be invited in due course.

Worked all Postcodes is an award scheme announced by radio dealer Moonraker. Participants need to work as many postcodes as possible using a maximum of 10W, any mode, on the 70, 144, 430 and 1296MHz bands. Wednesday will be activity night and awards will be available for different numbers of postcodes. This all starts on the 2nd of January 2019 so keep an eye on the Moonraker blog for more information.

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

On the 28th of December the Yeovil ARC Table-Top Rally will take place in Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford BA22 7JN. There’s off road parking and entry is £2. Doors are open from 10am to 3pm. Light refreshments will be available on the day. More from Bob Harris, G8UED, on 01963 440167.

Should you happen to be in India at the end of the year, Hamfest India runs on the 29th and 30th of December in association with REVA University, Bangalore. It’s the largest gathering and festival of amateur radio operators in India. For details, see www.hamfestindia2018.com.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

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

Between the 25th and the 29th of December, 4X19HNY will transmit from Jerusalem, 4X2XMAS from Capernaum, 4X3XMAS from Caesarea and 4X9XMAS from Latrun. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL only.

Chie, 7L3PFH will be active as KH0TG from Tinian, Mariana Islands, OC-086, from the 26th of December to the 1st of January. She will operate CW and SSB on the 160 to 20m bands. QSL direct to JL1UTS.

Look for JI3DST/6, JS6RRR/6 and JL3YWN/6, operating from Tanega Island, IOTA reference AS-032, from the 26th of December to the 7th of January. Activity will be on the 80 to 6m bands using SSB, CW, RTTY, FT8 and FM. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS.

Now the special event news

The Canadian National Parks & Historic Sites on the Air scheme launches on 1st January 2019. Visit www.cnpota.ca for details of activations and how to participate.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

A large number of contests and activity parties take place over the next two weeks. Details here will be brief and those taking part should check the rules for details.

The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon runs until the 31st of January using all modes on the 50MHz band.

Between the 26th and 29th of December the Christmas Cumulatives takes place on the 50 to 432MHz bands.

The DARC Christmas Contest runs from 0830 to 1100UTC on the 26th using CW and SSB on 3.5 to 7MHz.

The Worked All Britain Christmas Party runs from the 26th of December to the 6th of January using all modes on all bands.

Between 1500UTC on the 29th and 1500UTC on the 30th the Stew Perry Top Band Challenge uses CW only.

New Year’s Day sees several contests. The 144MHz FM AC runs from 1900 to 1955UTC; the 144MHz Machine Generated Morse contest runs at the same time. The 144MHz UK AC follows at 2000 to 2230UTC.

Also on the 1st, the IRTS 80m Counties contest runs from 1500 to 1700UTC, using SSB and CW.

The UKEICC 80m SSB contest is on the 2nd of January from 2000 to 2100UTC.

The ARRL RTTY Roundup starts at 1800UTC on the 5th and runs until 2359UTC on the 6th of January. It’s data only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands.

The RSGB’s CW AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC on the 5th, using just the 3.5 and 7MHz bands.

The EUCW 160m CW Party runs from 2000 to 2300UTC on the 5th.

Finally, the EUCW 160m CW Party has its second session from 0400 to 0700UTC on the 6th of January.

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

As this report has to take you up until Sunday the 6th of January 2019 we can’t guarantee complete accuracy, but we’ll try to predict conditions for the Christmas period.

The solar flux index is pretty easy as it looks like it will remain at or near sunspot minimum-like conditions. The SFI will be in the range 69-72 with no real surprises. Geomagnetic conditions will in general be settled although NOAA predicts an elevated K index due to coronal holes around the 29th and 30th, and again on the 3rd to the 6th.

We may expect some winter Sporadic-E, with reports of 10m short-skip openings to Europe being received already. Otherwise, this is the time for low-band openings, with the winter solstice giving us the long, dark nights that favour 160 and 80m propagation. Forty metres can also often throw up some choice DX, especially in the late afternoon.

We’ve just heard that OF9X is on from Finland again over Christmas, featuring three operators aged 18 or under. According to www.predtest.uk, 20 and 30m may be optimum for a contact during the day, moving to 80m at night.

And finally, a reminder that Santa Claus and his ham radio elves are on from Romania and are fielding the largest team of activators in all the districts of YO. All you have to do is contact at least three different YP-XMAS callsigns and they will be able to issue an electronic award directly from Santa Claus. HF propagation to Romania is optimum on 20 metres during the day, but falls back at night. 40 metres, or more likely 80 metres will be the best bands for contacts after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like Tropo for Christmas, all because of a large high that will develop over the country from Christmas Eve onwards. This will bring a temperature inversion, which is good for Tropo, and it will cover a large part of the UK and continent. The temperature inversion changes the refractive index of the air over a short vertical distance and leads to a duct forming that can cause signals to travel long distances with low degradation in signal strength. Unlike Sporadic-E, which is a rapid transient propagation mode, Tropo is capable of providing long-lasting openings. So if Santa has brought you a new VHF/UHF radio for Christmas you could be in for a double treat with lots of activity to add those new squares into the log book.

The short but intense Quadrantids meteor shower peaks around 0200hrs on the 4th of January so you’ll need to be a night owl to hit the peak zenithal hourly rate of 80.

The Moon reaches maximum declination today and perigee on Monday so it is a good week for EME.

As a matter of interest, there is talk of a possible Sudden Stratospheric Warming event later this month when the winds in the stratosphere change dramatically over a day or so. This can lead to colder weather about two weeks later. Additionally, this change in the wind regime in the stratosphere may become part of an out-of-season pattern, which can favour winter Sporadic-E. It’s always worth a check over the Christmas and New Year period for short skip on 10m and 6m openings.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 16th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Kenilworth pupils speak to astronaut

  • SAQ to transmit on Christmas Eve

  • Call in to YOTA stations

 

Pupils at Kenilworth School in Warwickshire conversed with astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor aboard the ISS on Friday afternoon. The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station contact was facilitated by the ARISS volunteers and streamed live via the internet. Ten children asked around twenty probing questions, and we learned things like what the outside of the ISS smells like. Amateurs around the country were listening in to transmissions direct from the spacecraft and many posted their experiences to social media, both during and immediately after the contact.

Sweden’s Alexanderson alternator station SAQ has planned a Christmas Eve transmission on 17.2kHz. The transmitter will be tuned up starting at around 0730UTC, and a message will be transmitted at 0800UTC. The 200kW Alexanderson alternator is an electromechanical transmitter dating back to 1924. The event will be streamed live on the Alexanderson site YouTube Channel. Listener reports are invited via email or direct to Radiostationen Grimeton 72, SE-432 98 Grimeton, Sweden. Amateur radio station SK6SAQ will be active on Christmas Eve on 7.035 and 14.035MHz on CW, and 3.755MHz SSB. Two stations will be on the air most of the time.

Youngsters on the Air month, or YOTA, runs throughout December. The next clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be the RSGB’s National Radio Centre today, the 156th. This is followed by Castle Rushen High School Radio Club on the 21st and Chertsey Club on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The forms and paperwork for the various RSGB Regional and Board elections is now available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/nominations There are ten Regional vacancies, two elected Board Director vacancies, and two nominated Board Director vacancies. Volunteers are sought for all these roles. Details also appear in the January 2019 edition of RadCom.

Due to a change in working hours, Bill, G4IOD and Jasmine, G4KFP will no longer be able to read the news at 9.30am on Sundays, so replacements are being sought. At the end of the year, Bill will have read the news for 26 years and the RSGB would like to commend him on his service to his fellow amateurs. Ideally a small team of newsreaders covering the West Yorkshire area would mean that no single reader has to read each week. Contact radcom@rsgb.org.uk if you are willing to become part of the valuable news reading service.

Another call for volunteers, this time from Region 9. Regional Representative Tom, G0NSY is looking for District Representatives for the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas. If you live in those areas and are interesting in joining the regional team, contact Tom via email to RR9@rsgb.org.uk.

A reminder now that next week is the last GB2RS News broadcast of 2018. Transmissions resume on Sunday the 6th of January.

And finally, the RadCom editorial team apologises to David Jackson, G4HYY, his late brother G3ZMX and also to G4JYY, for errors made in recent Silent Keys listings in RadCom. We are pleased to report that G4HYY and G4JYY are alive and well, despite being reported to the contrary. We are very sorry for any distress caused and will print a correction in the February edition.

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

We have no rallies in the diary for the next two weekends. To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Elvira, IV3FSG is active as E44YL from Palestine until the 18th of December. She will operate SSB, RTYY and FT8. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or via IK3GES.

Harry, JG7PSJ will be active as JD1BMH from Chichijima, IOTA reference AS-031, from the 17th of December to the 2nd of January. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via JD1BMH via the bureau or JG7PSJ direct. Harry does not use Logbook of the World.

Ben, DL6RAI is active as P4/DL6RAI from Aruba, SA-036, until the 27th of December. He will focus on the 160 and 80m bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via his home call.

Anders, SM4KYN will be active as PJ2/SM4KYN from Curacao, SA-099, until the 14th of January. QSL direct to his home call.

Now the special event news

Several NASA Amateur Radio clubs will mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 between the 21st and 27th of December. Apollo 8 was launched on the 21st of December 1968, and splashed down 6 days later on the 27th. It was the first manned spacecraft to leave low-Earth orbit, orbit the moon, and return safely. Special event operation will be on various bands and modes, and participating stations will self-spot on the DX cluster as well as via Facebook and Twitter.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The second machine generated mode, or MGM Contest on the 6 and 2m bands takes place this weekend, ending its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 16th of December. This is the second in the series of this brand new concept contest dedicated to machine generated modes. The first leg in April was well received all over Europe. The now-popular FT8, MSK144, FSK441 and other machine generated modes are all allowed in this contest, with the emphasis on DX and with multipliers for each new 4 character locator square. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator. Visit www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/ for more information.

On Tuesday, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 14th December.

As we are approaching Christmas we have a festive twist to the HF propagation report this week.

Firstly though, this week saw a lack of sunspots with the solar flux index around 70. Geomagnetic conditions were better than they have been though due to lack of coronal holes, with the K index being two, one or zero as the week progressed. Next week NOAA says the solar flux index will probably be around 68 again, with quite settled geomagnetic conditions and a maximum K index of two, or perhaps three.

If you fancy something a little different, Santa Claus and his ham radio elves are on from Romania again in 2018 for the third consecutive year. The YP-XMAS callsigns are a tradition and the Romanian RadioClub Association, ARR, says it aims to give moments of joy to the radio community around the winter holidays. The Santa Claus story via radio waves was started by Finnish radio amateurs, beginning with OH9SCL in 1986 and, later, the OF9X team. It has been taken over in recent years by different colleagues from several European countries. In 2018, Romania is preparing for the largest team with activators in all the districts of YO. Google YP-XMAS for details, but all you have to do is contact at least three different YP-XMAS callsigns and they will be able to issue an electronic award directly from Santa Claus. HF propagation to Romania is probably best on 20 metres during the day, but falls back at night. 40 metres, or more likely 80 metres will be the favourite bands for contacts after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s a low pressure theme from one of the longer-range models, with an area of low pressure right over the country by the second half of next week. A second model is slightly more cautious in bringing the next low in after mid-week, but nonetheless doesn’t really leave room for any high pressure of significance. This all means that the weather influence is very limited during this coming week. No real signs of Tropo, but possibly a little microwave bands rain scatter, although it's not a very strong hint.

This mid-winter period can produce some out of season Sporadic-E, although it will be limited and fleeting. The best way forward is to monitor the clusters for signs of 10m activity, showing as short-skip signals from Europe.

The Geminids meteor shower is over now so while we wait for the next major one, the Quadrantids in January, it’s back to early morning sporadic meteors for our meteor scatter DX on the low VHF bands.

The Moon’s declination goes positive today and its orbit is bringing it closer all this week. Moon windows for EME will lengthen and losses decrease as the week progresses, so get active in next weekend’s 3.4GHz activity session.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 9th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Watch an ISS contact on Friday

  • Turkey gets 60m and 6m

  • RSGB responds to CEPT Wireless Power report

An amateur radio contact with the International Space Station, facilitated by ARISS, is planned for Friday the 14th of December. The contact with Kenilworth school is scheduled for 1255UTC and will be streamed from around noon at https://live.ariss.org

Turkey’s telecom regulator, BTK, in a government gazette notice on the 29th of November, released two new amateur radio allocations. They are the new WRC-15 60m band, at 15W, plus an all mode 6m allocation of 50 to 52MHz, with a power limit of 75W.

The RSGB has made a submission to a CEPT regarding its Draft Report on Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles. This is the latest step as part of ongoing work by RSGB and IARU that is preparing for WRC-19 next autumn. A copy of the submission can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yavpsnx6

There will be no GB2RS Script for Sunday the 30th of December. The last news reading for 2018 will take place on Sunday the 23rd of December, with normal service resuming on Sunday the 6th of January. Individual Newsreaders may choose to run a net instead of the news during their slot on the 30th, though this must be under their own callsign, not GB2RS.

CWops is accepting nominations for the Advancing the Art of CW award for 2019. The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals, groups, or organisations that have made the greatest contribution toward advancing the art or practice of radio communications by Morse code. Nominations may be made by anybody, not limited to CWops members. Email nominations to awards@cwops.org with a copy to secretary@cwops.org. Nominations must be received by the 1st of March 2019. Details are under the About tab at https://cwops.org

Youngsters on the Air month, or YOTA, runs throughout December. The next clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be Southampton University Wireless Society on the 12th, Durham & District ARS on the 14th, then the RSGB’s National Radio Centre will be operating the station on the 15th and 16th. Young people are welcome at the NRC where they will have the opportunity to experience amateur radio using the state of the at GB3RS station at the NRC. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The RSGB is still taking bookings for the Introduction to Amateur Radio workshops running in association with Bletchley Park on the 15th and 16th of December. These workshops will give an introductory insight into the world of amateur radio, as well as a chance to see the RSGB’s National Radio Centre. So spread the word to any friends, family members, colleagues who might be interested in finding out more about our amazing hobby. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

The GB3LEX 10GHz beacon was switched off at 1450UTC on the 29th of November. This is to enable investigations to identify the cause of a fault reported by a local user. Details of its switch on will be announced when more is known of the fault.

The RSGB has released a video of the YOTA 2018 event held between the 8th and 15th of August in South Africa. The event welcomed 74 young radio amateurs from all over the world, including participants from seven African countries. This video, filmed and edited by Peter Barnes, M0SWN, shows the highlights of the event, and accompanies the official blog at https://rsgb.org/yota2018

Worked all Postcodes is an award scheme announced by radio dealer Moonraker. Participants need to work as many postcodes as possible using a maximum of 10W, any mode, on the 70, 144, 430 and 1296MHz bands. Wednesday will be activity night and awards will be available for different numbers of postcodes. This all starts on the 2nd of January 2019 so keep an eye on the Moonraker blog for more information.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet and Auction today, the 9th of December, at Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. More details of BVWS membership can be found at www.bvws.org.uk

We have no rallies in the diary for the weekend of the 15th and 16th of December.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Cezar, VE3LYC and Adrian, KO8SCA are scheduled to operate as TX0M from the new IOTA, Morane Atoll, OC-297, until the 10th of December. They will then change to TX0A from Maria Est Atoll, OC-113, from the 12th to the 16th of December.

Tom, N9EAW will be active holiday style as HQ9T from Roatan Island, NA-057, in Honduras, until the 18th of December. He will operate SSB and slow CW on the HF bands. QSL direct to N9EAW.

Ben, DL6RAI is on the air as P4/DL6RAI until the 27th of December. Activity is holiday style on the low bands, with some activity in various contests. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

4O18YOTA is on the air from Montenegro during December for Youngsters On The Air. QSL via OQRS.

E71YOTA is also operating during December as part of YOTA from Bosnia-Herzegovina. QSL via OQRS.

ES9YOTA, in Estonia, is another station that will get young people on the amateur bands. QSL via OQRS.

Members of the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society are QRV as ET3YOTA during December as part of YOTA. QSL via N2OO.

Special event station C4XMAS is on the air from Cyprus during the festive season. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IZ4AMS.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

The ARRL 10m Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2nd MGM Contest on the 6 and 2m bands takes place next weekend, the 15th and 16th of December, starting at 1400UTC and running for 24 hours. This is the second in the series of this brand new concept contest dedicated to MGM modes. The first leg in April was well received all over Europe. The now-popular FT8, MSK144, FSK441 and other MGM modes are all allowed in this contest, with the emphasis on DX and with multipliers for each new 4 character locator square. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator. Visit www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/ for more information.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 7th December.

We had a new sunspot group, Region 2729, appear this week, although it is a member of the weakening Solar Cycle 24. The region formed fairly quickly in the sun’s southwest quadrant and at the time of writing was producing only very minor B-Class solar flares. It is unlikely to do too much for the solar flux index though, which was at 70 on Friday morning.

The Independent reported that the Northern Lights might be seen in the UK on Wednesday the fifth, but this proved to be over-optimistic. Meanwhile, the Daily Express said the Earth could be “plunged into darkness, with the solar wind having the power to affect satellites, knocking out GPS navigation, mobile phone signals and satellite TV”. The reality is that the large solar coronal hole MAY cause the K index to rise, but the effects were more likely to be felt late on Friday the 7th and the weekend. Next week, NOAA has the K index at two, thanks to a lack of coronal holes, and the solar flux index at 68.

We’d like to reiterate that this is a good season for low-band propagation though, with 160 and 80 metres coming into their own. Even 40m can be open to longer distances, even before sunset, so do keep an eye on the lower bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The Es’Hail 2 satellite launch went well and the bird is slowly moving to its final geostationary slot at 26 degrees East. Stations are already reporting reception of the commercial beacons with amateur equipment so check social media and the AMSAT site for details.

The night of Thursday the 13th and morning of Friday the 14th of December sees one of the largest meteor showers of the year, the Geminids. With a zenith hourly rate of around 120 the shower can give excellent meteor scatter reflections on the low VHF bands up to 144MHz, and for EME-class stations even on 432MHz. 144MHz stations with a small Yagi and a quiet site should be able to work plenty of stations using the MSK144 digimode.

The weekend starting this period off will have windy and unsettled weather, so there may be no Tropo around. Active systems like these may provide a few heavy showers to add rain scatter to the propagation on offer. The glimmer of hope with the next week is likely to be the appearance of a weak ridge of high pressure until mid-week. The second half appears to be a slide back into low-pressure weather, especially in the northwest of Britain, although high pressure remains just to the east. This may allow paths across the North Sea for a few more days, but none of these indicative weather types look to be really stand-out affairs.

Meanwhile, the Moon is at minimum declination today and reaches apogee this Wednesday, so concentrate on meteor scatter rather than the short Moon windows and high losses that will characterise this week on EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 2nd 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Listen for YOTA stations

  • Intro to Amateur Radio workshops at Bletchley

  • High Altitude Balloon news

YOTA month has just started. The first club to activate the GB18YOTA callsign was Aberkenfig Radio Club in Bridgend on the 1st of December. Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, with help from Verulam ARC, will activate it on Monday the 3rd. On the 5th, it’s the turn of Swansea Radio Club, then Silcoates School on the 6th and Hilderstone Radio Club on the 8th. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The RSGB is still taking bookings for the Introduction to Amateur Radio workshops running in association with Bletchley Park on the 15th and 16th of December. These workshops will give an introductory insight into the world of amateur radio, as well as a chance to see the RSGB’s National Radio Centre. So spread the word to any friends, family members, colleagues who might be interested in finding out more about our amazing hobby. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

On the 6th of December, a team from Hi-impact on the Wirral will launch another high altitude balloon, in conjunction with pupils from St Bridget's Primary School in West Kirby. Once again they will launch from Welshpool. They are hoping as many local amateurs and SWLs as possible will assist in feeding the data into HABHUB, using the DL-FLDIGI software. They will be launching at around 10.45am using a licence-exempt transmitter with the callsign STBRIDGET on 434.650MHz USB and RTTY, 50Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 bits, no parity, 2 stop bits.

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention lecture videos are available on the Members’ section of the RSGB website. Don Greenbaum, N1DG talks about the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition and Bo Hansen, OZ2M lectures on P14, the digital mode for beacons, and why it is a success. To view the videos go to www.rsgb.org/videos

SpaceX has announced that the SSO-A, SmallSat Express mission carrying AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff is now scheduled to launch today, the 2nd of December, at 1831:47UTC. It was previously scheduled to launch on the 28th of November but was been postponed due to extreme high-altitude winds at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition to Fox-1Cliff, the SSO-A mission will carry several other amateur radio satellites, including FUNcube on ESEO, JY1-SAT, K2SAT, and ExseedSat. The launch window extends for approximately 30 minutes. Fox-1Cliff has uplinks at UHF and L-band, and downlinks on VHF.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet & Auction on the 9th of December at Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. More details of BVWS membership at www.bvws.org.uk

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Steff, HB9FXL will be in Cambodia until the 14th of December. Look for him with the callsign XU7AKB on SSB on all bands from 40 to 10m. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alain, F8FUA will be active as XT2BR from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso between the 2nd and 11th of December. He plans to operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via F8FUA either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World.

Several Russian operators will sign H7/homecall from Big Corn Island in Nicaragua until the 7th of December. Also look for YN4RRC from the same location. The IOTA reference is NA-013. QSLs for the H7 Russian operation go via RZ3FW.

Remo, HB9SHD is active as H44SHD from Uepi, in the Solomon Islands, OC-149, until mid-December. He operates FT8 and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Martin, PT2ZDX will be active PS6I from Itaparica Island, SA-023, until the 7th of December. QSL direct to F4BHW.

Now the special event news

SX60RAAG will be active until the 31st of December to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Radio Amateur Association of Greece. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or Club Log's OQRS. Logsearch and downloadable awards can be found at http://sx60raag.hamlogs.net/

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m contest ends its 40 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 2nd of December. It uses CW only. The exchange is just the signal report, although American and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Also today, the 144MHz Affiliated Societies contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL 10m Contest that runs from 0000UTC on the 8th to 12359UTC on the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

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

The CQ Worldwide CW contest last weekend showed that you can work DX with zero sunspots. Reports show that stations as far west as Arizona and California, plus the Caribbean, were workable from the UK on 20 metres, plus there were reports of some limited F2-layer openings on 10 metres. Chris, G0DWV even reported an afternoon greyline opening to Japan on 80m using a four-square antenna array for the band.

The sun remained spotless last week and geomagnetic conditions were very settled, which no doubt helped the HF DX. The Kp index never rose above two and was often at zero for long periods. However, at the time this report was being prepared there was still an alert out for potentially-unsettled conditions on Friday 30th and across the weekend due to ongoing coronal hole activity.

NOAA predicts that next week will see the solar flux index pegged at 68 again. Conditions should be a little more settled geomagnetically with a maximum K index of three for most of the week. Conditions may be a little worse on Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole that will become Earth-facing again.

This is a good time to start to think about the lower bands. Eighty and 160 metres are starting to come into their own with the longer nights. If you have never worked the USA on 80m then it might be worth looking around UK sunrise. There is often transatlantic SSB activity around the top of the band, especially 3790-3800kHz, in the early morning.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is a distinctly unsettled look to the charts again for the next week. This means that Tropo will not be a big player and the only weather-related DX option is probably limited to some occasional rain scatter on the microwave bands. During the winter months, rain scatter is most likely around the coasts than inland. Last Tuesday’s SHF UK Activity Contest saw the west of the UK missing out as the rain moved east just before the contest started, leaving a disturbed troposphere in its wake. This highlights the fact that good propagation rarely waits for you if you only operate during contests. Rain scatter paths from East Anglia to the North remained good throughout.

Other options might include some aurora on VHF if we are lucky. ‘Space Weather Woman’ Doctor Tamitha Skov tweeted last week that we might reach solar storm levels at the beginning of December due to the coming fast solar wind. So be on the lookout for that.

There are three small meteor showers this week – use Google to find the Make More Miles on VHF website for details. And remember that the big Geminids shower is only two weeks away now.

Moon declination goes negative today, so Moon windows will be shorter and of lower elevation as the week progresses. Note that the Sun will be very close to the Moon on Friday.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 25th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd November 2018

The news headlines:

  • Share your love of radio

  • Black Friday book sale ends Monday

  • UKFM Group seeks opinions

Do you have friends or family members who are interested in getting into our amazing and varied hobby? Why not encourage them to book onto one of the RSGB’s brand-new workshops, An Introduction to Amateur Radio? Running in association with Bletchley Park, the workshops will take place at the RSGB’s National Radio Centre on the weekend of 15 and 16 December. They are open to anyone aged 17 and upwards. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at tinyurl.com/ya7exjva

The RSGB Shop is having a Black Friday sale between now and the end of Monday, the 26th of November. Members, and non- Members alike, will find great bargains on a large number of books. Check out www.rsgbshop.org for full details.

The UKFM Group (Western) repeater group is conducting an online survey about the Stoke-on-Trent 2m repeater, GB3VT, and its mode, which changed to D-Star from FM some years ago. The results of the survey will provide insight into whether changing the repeater’s mode should be considered. The survey is open until the end of New Year’s Eve. Please visit www.ukfmgw.co.uk for more information and a link to the survey.

Reg, G8VHI is still looking for a second reader for the GB2RS news reading at 8.30pm on Sundays. He starts a new work shift system in mid January and will not be able to broadcast every week. Please email radcom@rsgb.org and we will forward the details to Reg.

YOTA month is almost upon us. The first two clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be Aberkenfig Radio Club in Bridgend on the first of December and Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, with help from Verulam ARC, on the 3rd. If you hear this station and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

Most of the 2017 RSGB Convention videos, which were on the Members’ area of the RSGB website, have now been released onto YouTube. Go to https://tinyurl.com/ybwm7fu6 to view all the videos available.

RSGB Members who have signed up to receive RSGB Membership communications should have received a free RSGB book shop discount voucher this week. If you would like to sign up for this and similar emails from the RSGB, go to www.rsgb.org/rsgbmailing

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

Today, the 25th, the Bishop Auckland ARC rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6DB. This venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. Doors open at 10.30am, 10.15am for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, accompanied under-14s free. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics and bring and buy stalls as well as catering and bar facilities. Talk-in is on S22. Contact John, G4LRG, on 01388 606 396.

Next Saturday, the 1st of December, is the annual ML&S Hog Roast & Open Day at ML&S Ltd, Wessex House, Drake Ave, Staines TW18 2AP. Sponsored by Yaesu, Icom & Kenwood, the store will have its usual low prices, lecture streams and manufacturers on site. There will be bacon butties for the early birds and a succulent pig in a bun for lunch. Doors open 8am and close at 4pm. For details, see hamradio.co.uk/hogroast

Also on the 1st of December is the South Lancashire ARC Winter Rally at Bickershaw Village Community Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. Attractions include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups, car parking, disabled facilities, catering and a licensed bar. Admission is £2.50 and the doors open at 9am. More from Jason, G0IZR on 01942 735 828.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Norman Stewart will be active in Colombia from the 30th of November to the 31st of December. Operation will be on the 80 to 10m bands as time and band conditions allow. He will use the callsign HK3/MM0BMG. Note that the numeric part of the HK3 callsign may vary depending on the region of operation within Colombia. QSL via eQSL or MM0BMG.

Cezar, VE3LYC and Adrian, KO8SCA will be active as TX0A from Maria Est Atoll, IOTA reference OC-113, and as TX0M from Morane Atoll, a new IOTA, OC-297, during the first half of December. DXCC wise, both these atolls count for French Polynesia. The tentative schedule is to operate from Morane on the 6th to the 10th of December and from Maria Est on the 12th to the 16th of December. Plans are to operate SSB and CW with two stations on the 40 to 10m bands. The logs will be uploaded to Club Log when the operators return home. QSL via Clublog’s OQRS or via VE3LYC direct or via the bureau.

DK7TF and DH6ICE will be active as 4S7DLG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, until the 6th of December. They will operate mainly SSB and FT8. QSL via Logbook of the World or via DK8ZZ, either direct or via the bureau.

Look for 4W/HL1AHS and 4W/DS3EXX from Timor Leste, OC-148, between the 26th of November and the 3rd of December. They will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of the World or direct to their home callsigns.

KN4EEI and AA7JV will be active as C6AGU from Water Cay in the Bahamas, NA-001, until the 3rd of December. They will operate CW and FT8 mainly on the 160, 80 and 40m bands. They plan to operate during the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest and the ARRL 160m contests.

Santa’s Radio Club will be active as OH9S between the 1st and the 8th December from Finnish Lapland, some 200km above the Arctic Circle. Activity will be mainly on the 80m to 6m bands on all modes, FT8 included. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau and Logbook of the World; direct cards via ClubLog’s OQRS are preferred, or via OH9MM.

Now the special event news

The Radio Club de Nice will be active as TM8AB between the 24th of November and the 12th of December to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first trans-Atlantic amateur two-way contact between Leon Deloy, F8AB and Fred Schnell, 1MO, on the 28th of November 1923.

Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

The big contest this month, CQ Worldwide DX CW, ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 25th. Using all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Tuesday the 27th, the SHF UK Activity contest runs from 1930 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the Autumn Series of contest runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Starting on Friday at 2200UTC and ending on Sunday at 1600UTC, the ARRL 160m contest uses CW only. The exchange is just the signal report, although American and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Next Sunday, the 2nd of December, the 144MHz Affiliated Societies contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon begins on Saturday the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of November.

Last week saw relatively quiet geomagnetic conditions, thanks to a reduction in coronal hole activity. The Kp index never got higher than three, and was usually between zero and two for most of the week. We had a solar flux index high of 72 and a low of 69, which is in keeping with this point in the solar cycle. Speaking of which, a new sunspot with a reversed magnetic signature was spotted on 17th November. As it was at a high solar latitude we can probably associate it with the upcoming Solar Cycle 25. Unfortunately it quickly faded, but the spot marked the second such region in the Sun’s northern hemisphere in as many weeks, suggesting we could be in the early throes of the new solar cycle. Don’t get too excited though, as sunspot minimum is still predicted as being somewhere between September 2019 and early 2020.

Other news was the appearance of Sporadic-E on 10 metres. This gave many UK amateurs some relatively short skip contacts into southern Europe on November the 10th. On the 19th we also saw a short-lived F2-layer opening on 10 metres around lunchtime, which just goes to show it pays to watch the bands, and/or the near real-time graphs at Propquest.co.uk

Next week NOAA has the solar flux index around 68 with generally quiet geomagnetic conditions until Saturday the first, when the K index is predicted to rise to four or more. Therefore conditions for this weekend’s CQ Worldwide CW contest could be quite reasonable, at least on the bands up to and including 20 metres, with occasional higher band openings.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking a bit like a flat week for most VHF propagation modes, with high pressure parked to the north of Shetland. This leaves just a hint of Tropo, but confined to the far north across to Scandinavia. The rest of the country is under an easterly flow with a bit too much wind to allow any significant temperature inversions to develop.

The next changes will come as a large area of low pressure moves in from the Atlantic by mid-week, which will bring unsettled weather and remove any chance of Tropo, although it may introduce a possibility of some rain scatter on the microwave bands. Other options might include some aurora if we’re lucky and perhaps even some out-of-season Sporadic-E, like we saw on 10 metres on November the 10th with an opening to Corsica and southern France.

There is no meteor shower activity this week, but the December Geminids shower is not too far away!

With maximum declination today, the Moon is up for nearly 12 hours early this week, and with Monday’s perigee, path losses are at their lowest meaning it is a good week for EME.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 18th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th November 2018

The news headlines:

  • First geostationary amateur satellite success

  • New RSGB Convention videos on YouTube

  • Lithuania and Montenegro get 60m

On Thursday the 15th of November, a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle lifted off flawlessly at 2046UTC from Cape Canaveral. It was carrying the first amateur radio payload destined for geostationary orbit. About 32 minutes after launch, SpaceX reports the spacecraft was successfully deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit. Positioned at 25.5°E, the satellite will carry an amateur radio S-band and X-band payload capable of linking radio amateurs from Brazil to Thailand. The recent subject of an AMSAT-UK Colloquium presentation, Es’hail-2 carries two Phase 4 non-inverting amateur radio transponders operating in a 2.4GHz up and 10.45GHz down configuration. This offers a 250kHz bandwidth linear transponder intended for conventional analogue operations, plus an 8MHz bandwidth transponder for experimental digital modulation schemes and DVB amateur television. You can see the talk at www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention talks are now on YouTube. Using drones to measure antenna radiation patterns by Jenny Bailey, G0VQH looks at how antenna radiation patterns are difficult to measure because antennas are typically high above the ground. A practical method of measuring the radiation field around an antenna could be with a drone. This video deals with the CAA restrictions, drone selection, payload and operation as well as measurement antenna design and plotting the results. The second video is An Introduction to SDRs and GNU Radio by Heather Lomond, M0HMO. She gives an overview of what is in an software defined radio, the types of tasks they can do for us and how to get started with them, as well as an introduction to some digital signal processing techniques such as IQ Modulation, Filters, DDS and FFT demodulation. Go to rsgb.org/videos, click on the RSGB Convention lectures section and then the RSGB 2018 Convention icon to view these videos.

A new WSJT-X release candidate, version 2.0.0-rc4, now is available, and the version 2.0 Quick Start Guide has been revised and extended. The developers urge anyone upgrading to the new version to read the release notes thoroughly. The upgrade requires users to change operator settings, so the software may not work straight out of the box when upgrading from previous versions. The latest version of WSJT-X also removes compatibility with earlier versions of the software in certain circumstances. Full information is at https://sourceforge.net/p/wsjt/mailman/message/36465968/

It is vital that we contribute to the debate around spectrum use. Former RSGB President Graham Murchie, G4FSG recently made a presentation on behalf of all UK radio amateurs to the UK Spectrum Policy Forum, a body that advises the government. He also led the subsequent discussion, supported by RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB and RSGB Spectrum Forum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB. Topics included the shortage of practical skills in the radio arena, the social and economic aspects of spectrum use, and examples of where the RSGB is encouraging development of scarce skills and using them to good effect. You can see the presentations at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1811A

Lithuania and Montenegro are the latest countries active on 60m. Lithuania’s telecomms regulator has enabled the new WRC-15 Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz at 15W EIRP in its 2018 update to the country’s Frequency Allocation Table. The latest update to the Montenegro National Frequency Plan lists a new band at 5MHz, namely the WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP, which has been confirmed by national society, the Montenegro Amateur Radio Pool.

As from this Sunday, the 18th, at 1830UTC, Eddie, G0VVT will be reading GB2RS News on GB7ST slot 2 talk group 9, the DMR repeater in Stoke on Trent. At the same time, he will read the news on 433.525MHz and GB3SX, the 6m repeater in Stoke on Trent. Thanks go to Eddie and all the other news readers who give freely of their time to serve their fellow radio amateurs.

The RSGB has appointed Sara McGarvey, 2I0SSW into the new role of Youth Committee Champion. The role will include managing the UK attendance at the YOTA camp each year and YOTA Month every December.

The next Advanced Distance Learning course to be run by the Bath-based team is due to start on the first of February 2019, aiming for an exam in July or August. Course places are limited; the last four were completely filled well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact the Course Leader Steve, G0FUW, without delay, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

Now a date for next year’s diary. The RSGB AGM will be held on 27 April 2019 at Jurys Inn, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2HQ. The Society’s accounts and reports for 2018 will appear in the April 2019 RadCom.

Three of ITU-R Study Group 5 Working Groups meet in Geneva between the 5th and the 16th of November. Working Party 5A deals with the Land mobile service above 30MHz, wireless access in the fixed service and the amateur and amateur-satellite services. Working Group 5A1, responsible for amateur matters is chaired by Dale, VK1DSH. The main topic is to develop a technical report to support the work for World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 Agenda Item 1.1, considering an allocation of the frequency band 50 to 54MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The Working Group consists of a mix of radio amateurs from all three IARU Regions, administrations from all over the world and other interested parties like meteorologists and military.

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

The Nevada Radio and Waters & Stanton Open Day takes place today, the 18th. It is at Nevada Radio, 1 Fitzherbert Spur, Portsmouth PO6 1TT, and doors are open from 10am to 4.30pm. Major manufacturers will be in attendance to demonstrate their latest radios. There’s a free burger and coffee, between 11am and 2pm, for every attendee. The main warehouse will be opened to customers to wander around and pick up many one-off deals on the day, or pick through a large selection of vintage and used radio equipment. See www.nevadaradio.co.uk for more details.

Also today, the 18th, the 41st CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar is at Oasis Academy, Homefield Road, Coulsdon CR5 1ES. There is free car parking; doors open at 10am, with admission being £1.50. You’ll find trade stands, special interest groups, refreshments and more. Contact Andy, G0KZT, on 0772 986 6600.

The Plymouth Radio Rally takes place today, the 18th, at Harewood House, Church Road, Plympton PL7 1NH. Doors open at 10.30am and there’s a £2 entrance fee. For details, email d.beck123@outlook.com.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the Bishop Auckland ARC rally will take place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6DB. This venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. Doors open at 10.30am, 10.15am for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, accompanied under-14s free. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics and bring and buy stalls as well as catering and bar facilities. Talk-in on S22. Contact John, G4LRG, 01388 606 396.

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Nick, VE3EY will be active as 9Y4/VE3EY from Trinidad, IOTA reference SA-011, between the 19th and 26th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via VE3EY, Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Uwe, DL8UD will be active as HC5M from Cuenca in Ecuador between the 21st and 28th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. Outside the contest he will operate SSB and CW on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via DL8UD, direct or via the bureau.

A team will be active as J8NY from St Vincent, NA-109, between the 21st and 28th of November. They will operate all modes including FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands, and will participate in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via VE7NY and Logbook of the World.

Alex, K2BB and Pavel, UU0JR will be active as 5R8UM from Nosy Be, AF-057, Madagascar, between the 19th and 26th of November, including an entry in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. Plans are to use the 160 to 6m bands on CW, SSB, FT8 and JT65A. They will also give 6m EME a try. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Pierre, HB9AMO will be active as 5U9AMO from Niamey, Niger from the 20th of November to the 3rd of December. He will operate CW on the 160 to 10m bands, including participation in the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest. QSL via M0URX’s OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Rich, N0HJZ will be active as C6ARW from Grand Bahama, NA-080, between the 20th and the 28th of November. He will be competing in the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest; operation outside the contest will be on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL via Logbook of the World or direct to N0HJZ.

Audie, DU1ZDR and Gazelle, DU1ZDQ will be active as DZ1A/DU2 from Basco, Batan Island, OC-093, on the 19th and 20th of November. Main frequencies will be and 7055 and 14260kHz.

Now the special event news

We have no news of special events this week. Please send event details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 18th, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the Autumn Series contest runs from 2000UTC to 2130UTC. This is the SSB leg and is on the 80m band. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The big contest this month is the CQ Worldwide DX CW Contest over the 24th and 25th. Conditions are unlikely to be good, but at least CW is a narrowband mode so really weak signals should be more copyable than on other modes. It starts at 0000UTC on the 24th and runs until 2359UTC on the 25th. Using all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 16th of November.

The predicted bad geomagnetic conditions forecast for last weekend didn’t turn out to be quite so bad after all. The Kp index only rose to four on the tenth and then conditions settled again, despite a large coronal hole on the Sun’s surface. However, reports did come in of poor conditions on 80 metres on Monday evening during the RSGB 80m Autumn Series contest. A good guide to conditions for inter-G, or near vertical incidence skywave propagation, is always the ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk. The site showed that the critical frequency, which is the maximum frequency at which signals launched vertically into the ionosphere are returned, dropped as low as 3.16MHz on Monday evening. This so-called critical frequency, or FoF2, meant the ionosphere couldn’t support close-in 80 metre signals – they basically carried on out into space rather than being returned to Earth. This may be a trend we see in the evenings throughout the winter, especially with a solar flux index as low as 67 as we have been seeing. The only answer is to move to Top Band or make do with VHF and UHF.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with an SFI of around 68-70. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be more settled though with a maximum Kp index of two. This means daytime maximum useable frequencies are likely to be around 18 or 19MHz over a 3,000km path. There have been the occasional openings during the day up to 21 and even 28MHz, but these are likely to be fleeting and generally unreliable.

Night-time MUFs over a 3,000km path may struggle to reach 9-12MHz at times, with 40, or more likely 80 metres, being the highest reliable band for DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like a good Tropo spell coming up, especially over the eastern side of the country with some good paths across the North Sea to northern Europe and Scandinavia. This is due to a strong temperature inversion set up by a large area of high pressure over Scandinavia. As this high drifts away towards Iceland, the Tropo will decline and low pressure will take over for southern areas by mid-week. This could introduce some coastal showers, especially along the English Channel and over the southern North Sea, which may bring some chance of rain scatter for the microwave bands.

Today we should still be in the tail end of last night’s Leonid meteor shower so look for enhanced meteor scatter paths.

Moon declination goes positive tomorrow so the week will see increasingly long Moon windows and path losses will fall as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 11th 2018.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th November 2018

The news headlines:

  • India gets 60, 630 and 6000m

  • Join the Legacy Committee

  • Register for next Bath Distance Learning course

The Indian Government’s Telecommunications regulator has published a 2018 Update to the Indian National Frequency Plan, effective from the 25th of October. It lists new amateur bands at 5MHz, 472 and 136kHz. In more detail that means 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz as Secondary users with 15W EIRP. 472 to 479kHz is also as a Secondary user, this time with 1W EIRP. Finally, there’s 135.7 to 137.8kHz, again as a Secondary user with 1W EIRP. The regulations follows current ITU criteria for these bands.

The RSGB Legacy Committee considers applications to the Legacy Fund for project funding and makes recommendations to the Board. One of the current members is coming towards the end of his term of office and the RSGB is looking for a new Member to take his place. Most applications for funding are discussed via email exchanges and three meetings are arranged each year; these are generally carried out via Skype. Full information on the volunteer role can be found at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1111A

The next Advanced Distance Learning course to be run by the Bath-based team is due to start on the first of February 2019, aiming for an exam in July or August. The team will then look at the new syllabus and so there will be no Bath Distance Learning courses for 6 to 12 months. The course is free but students must provide their own textbook, calculator and arrange their own exam when the time comes. Guidance is provided by the course team. A £40 deposit is required to secure a place on the course, but this is refunded to those who complete the training. Deposits from students who did not complete the course, and generous donations from students who did, have so far raised over fourteen thousand pounds for charities like the RCF, British Wireless for the Blind and RAIB. Course places are limited; the last four were completely filled well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact the Course Leader Steve, G0FUW, without delay, via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

At the IARU R1 interim meeting in Vienna 2016 it was agreed to reorganise the VHF Handbook to make it more readable for all interested users. IARU Region 1 has now made version 8.12 of the VHF Handbook available as a free PDF download. You can now download it from https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1111B

Starting on Monday the 12th and running until Sunday the 18th, the Essex CW Activity Week is a friendly, non-contest style event to encourage CW operators old and new. Whilst the object is to work as many radio amateurs as possible in a week, it is hoped that QSOs will go beyond just an exchange of RST and become a CW chat for as long as you wish. Listen out for the club callsign GX1FCW, which will also be on the air during the activity week. The exchange is signal report and name for non members of the group. Members add their membership number. For full details, just search for Essex CW ARC.

More videos from the AMSAT-UK Colloquium part of the RSGB Convention, held at Milton Keynes on the 13th and 14th of October, are now available on the AMSAT-UK YouTube Channel. Among the presentations is one by Graham Shirville, G3VZV and Dave Crump, G8GKQ about the amateur radio transponders on the satellite Es’hail-2, which is expected to be launched into a geostationary orbit soon. To see what’s available, go to www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/videos

December is Youngsters on the Air month around the world and details of stations in the UK who will be operating GB18YOTA will be announced soon. The idea for this event is to show the amateur radio hobby to young people and to encourage youngsters to be active on the amateur bands. As part of YOTA month, Bob W9XY and Ken K4ZW will travel to Ethiopia to team up with the ET3AA club at the Addis Ababa University's Institute of Technology. You can let them know what bands and modes you need ET on by taking a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/982K53W

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend of the 10th to 11th of November.

On Saturday the 17th the RADARS Traditional Radio Rally will be at St Vincent de Paul’s, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Road (A680), 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. There is a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders and amateur radio sellers. Refreshments will be available, including bacon and sausage butties. Details from Robert, M0NVQ on 0777 811 3333.

The Nevada Radio & Waters & Stanton Open Day will take place on the 18th November. It is at Nevada Radio, 1 Fitzherbert Spur, Portsmouth PO6 1TT, and doors are open from 10am to 4.30pm. Major manufacturers will be in attendance to demonstrate their latest radios. There’s a free burger and coffee, between 11am to 2pm, for every attendee. The main warehouse will be opened to customers to wander around and pick up many one-off deals on the day, or pick through a large selection of vintage and used radio equipment. www.nevadaradio.co.uk has more details.

Next Sunday, the 18th, the 41st CATS Radio & Electronics Bazaar will be held at Oasis Academy, Homefield Road, Coulsdon CR5 1ES. There is free car parking; doors open at 10am, with admission being £1.50. You’ll find trade stands, special interest groups, refreshments and more. For more information contact Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

The Plymouth Radio Rally takes place on the 18th at Harewood House, Church Rd, Plympton PL7 1NH. Doors open at 10.30am and there’s a £2 entrance fee. David has all the details via email to d.beck123@outlook.com

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to radcom@rsgb.org.uk – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Ronald, PA3EWP, Martin PA4WM and Tom, GM4FDM will be on Tonga, IOTA reference OC-049, between the 13th and 27th of November. Operating as A35EU, they plan to operate three stations and use vertical antennas including VDAs using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct using OQRS Clublog, Logbook of The World or to Tom, GM4FDM via the bureau.

Dom, M0BLF, Rob, M0VFC and Dan, M0WUT will be active as VP2MUW from Montserrat, NA-103, from the 17th to the 23rd of November. They will operate SSB and CW on the 80 to 10m bands with three stations. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, direct or via the bureau.

Braco, E77DX will be active on the 160 to 10m bands as 8Q7DX from the Maldives, AS-013, until the 25th of November. QSL via Logbook of The World or OE1EMS.

A team will operate ZY6V from Santa Barbara Island in the Abrolhos Archipelago, SA-019, between the 14th and 19th of November. They will operate SSB, CW and FT8 in Fox & Hound mode on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World or direct to PY6HD.

Now the special event news

Many special event stations will be on the air to commemorate Armistice Day, today, the 11th of November. Listen out for GB1FB operated by members of the Museum of Communication Burntisland ARC and assisted by members of Glenrothes & District ARC. Poldhu ARC will be operating GB100MPD. Grey Point Fort ARS will operate GB1WWC and GB0GPF. The Radio Officers’ Amateur Radio Society will operate GB100WWI. The HMS Belfast Radio Group will operate GB100ARM. Chippenham & District ARC will be active with GB1WWI and Coventry ARS will be operating GB1BNS. Details are usually available on QRZ.com.

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 UK 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

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 24 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 11th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday the Autumn Series contest runs from 2000 to 2130UTC using data only on the 80m band. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday is the IRTS Evening Counties contest from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Stations in EI and GI also send their county.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 17th the Second 1.8MHz contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

Next Sunday, the 18th, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and Locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 9th of November.

The large geomagnetic disturbance that we predicted last week actually hit the Earth on Sunday evening and Monday morning, as the plasma cloud was moving slower than experts predicted. Nevertheless, its effects were dramatic, pushing the Kp index to six and sparking widespread visible aurora, even from parts of the UK.

The geomagnetic storm hit HF conditions on Monday with Propquest.co.uk showing maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 12 to 13MHz in the morning. Things did improve as the week went on, but conditions remained unsettled with the Kp index still hitting four on Thursday the 8th.

It would be good to be able to give you better news for next week, but another very large Earth-facing coronal hole on the Sun on Thursday means we can probably expect more unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th. NOAA agrees and predicts the Kp index could reach at least four, with the threat of suppressed maximum useable frequencies on HF. The better news is that conditions may then improve and we may see better HF propagation from Wednesday onwards.

There have been some HF highlights, however. Ron, G3SVW reports working Brian, 9J2BO in Zambia on 15 metres last Sunday, and Andy, M0NKR reports Andy, 5R8UP in Madagascar being active on 80m, which is a long haul from the UK for early November.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This weekend we are still under the influence of the large area of low pressure just to the northwest of Britain. This means a mild and rather breezy pattern of southwesterly winds and scattered showers, some likely to be heavy and perhaps thundery. Rain scatter will therefore be a possibility for stations on the microwave bands.

High pressure remains to the east of the UK and therefore Tropo will be only an occasional presence for the eastern side of the country, across the North Sea for example. This leaves us with the possibility of aurora due to disturbed geomagnetic conditions; the tip here is to follow the Kp index, which is a measure of how disturbed the Earth’s magnetic field is and thus indicates the prospects for aurora. Values greater than five or six should start to attract your interest.

As well as the smaller Northern Taurids meteor shower on Monday, the Leonids reach their peak next Saturday, and with a zenithal hourly rate, or ZHR, of 15 it’s one of the largest showers of the year. The Leonids occasionally produce a meteor storm with a ZHR of more than 1,000. The last one was 2001, but that’s not predicted this year. Look for enhanced reflections from today on the lower VHF bands.

The Moon is at minimum declination today and apogee on Wednesday so a poor week for EME.

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

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