GB2RS
RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 17th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 17th 2021.

October 15, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 17th of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB online Convention available to re-watch
  • AMSAT Colloquium
  • Exercise Blue Ham underway

 

The RSGB is delighted that its 2021 Online Convention was watched by people across the world, many of whom have since thanked the Society for the excellent content and professional production. The streams have received hundreds more views since Saturday and people are enjoying the 15 presentations. If you weren’t able to watch the event live, the two streams are available on the Society’s YouTube channel. You can also see the extra content and interviews that were broadcast from the RSGB National Radio Centre between presentations at youtube.com/theRSGB. The individual presentations will be released in due course so look out for announcements shortly.

AMSAT-UK will be holding their annual International Space Colloquium on Sunday the 24th of October. The online Zoom webinar will run from 10.45 am to approximately 4 pm. With speakers from the UK, Europe and North America, each 30-minute presentation will include a 5 minute Q and A session. A full programme and registration details are available at amsat-uk.org under the Colloquium tab. You don’t have to be a member of AMSAT-UK to attend, and the event is free of charge.

The second day of the RAF Air Cadets Blue Ham Radio Communications Exercise is today, the 17th of October. They are contacting radio amateurs on the shared section of the 5MHz bands. A Blue Ham participation certificate is available to those who contact 15 or more special Cadet callsigns during the exercise. Just search for exercise blue ham to find out more information.

The next Amplitude Modulation Amateur Radio Society club net will be held today, the 17th, at the new time of 1700UTC on 3.625MHz. The control station will be Robert, GW6GBY using the club callsign GC5AMS and Andy, G4FCI will also be assisting by listening for any weaker stations depending on conditions. If you are interested in joining the group, look at the qrz.com page for G5AMS.

Jamboree On The Air is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world communicate with each other via amateur radio. JOTA 2021 ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 17th. You can find out more at jotajoti.info.

On United Nations Day, the 24th of October, the historic Alexanderson alternator in Grimeton, Sweden, with callsign SAQ, is scheduled to send out a message on 17.2kHz using CW. The live stream on YouTube starts at 1425UTC, with tuning at 1430. The transmission begins at 1500UTC. They are planning to carry out some test transmissions on the 22nd of October between 1100UTC and 1400UTC. Just search for SAQ Grimeton to find out more.

 

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

Today, the 17th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally is at the Driffield Show Ground, YO25 3AE. Doors open at 10 am and parking is free. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and a car boot area. Catering will be available on site.

Also today, the 17th, the Hack Green Radio Surplus Hangar Sale is at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Nantwich. Doors open at 10 am and there will be equipment, components and amateur radio gear on sale.

On the 20th of October, the Lothians Radio Society Surplus Sale will take place at St. Fillans Church, 8 Buckstone Dr, Edinburgh EH10 6PD. Everyone attending should be double vaccinated unless medically exempt. Doors open from 7.15 pm and the sale will begin at 8 pm sharp. Details from the club’s website.

Looking ahead, the Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 7th of November at Holsworthy Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10 am.

Several rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised. The Galashiels Rally, scheduled to take place on the 24th of October is cancelled. The Bushvalley ARC rally due for the 7th of November has had to be cancelled. Finally, the Bishop Auckland RAC rally due to be held on the 28th of November is now planned for 2022.

 

Now the DX news

John, W2GD will be active as P40W from Aruba, SA-036, between the 18th and 25th of October. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct only to N2MM.

A team will be active as 3DA0WW from Eswatini, or Swaziland, until the 26th of October. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 using Fox & Hound mode on the 10 to 160m bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or direct to YL2GN.

 

Now the Special Event news

From the 25th of October, British Railways ARS members Mark, G1PIE and Pam, 2E1HQY will be operating GB0LMR as part of the 55th anniversary year. Operations will be from Preston in Lancashire and 40m will be the main band. More at brars.info.

From the 6th of October through to the 2nd of November, West of Scotland ARS will be running a special event station GB4GDS, celebrating 90 years of the Guide Dog Association. More information about the station can be found at www.wosars.club.

Dundee ARC will be active as part of the Jamboree On The Air weekend. They will be using HF and VHF, so if you hear them please give them a call.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be active as GB75CV until the 29th of October to celebrate its 75th anniversary. QSL via Club Log's OQRS and Logbook of The World only.

 

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

This weekend, the Worked All Germany contest ends its 24-hour run at 1500UTC today, the 17th. Using SSB and CW on the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations will also send DOK.

Today, the 17th, there are four contests taking place. The first is the 50MHz AFS contest, between 0900 and 1300UTC, using all modes and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Stations in the UK and Commonwealth Dependencies also exchange the first two letters of their postcode.

The second contest is The UK Microwave Group 24 to 76GHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 40m Daytime Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC and is the third contest on the 17th. It uses CW and SSB and the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations will also send their County code.

Finally, for today, the second Rolling Locator, or RoLo, contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. It is CW-only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is the signal report and the rolling locator.

On Monday, the eighth FT4 Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 80m band. The exchange is a report and a 4-character locator.

The 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 1900 and 2130UTC on Tuesday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, the UK EI Contest Club DX SSB contest runs between 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report, which is optional, serial number and your district code.

 

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 15th of October.

Last week saw a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation with good conditions at times, but horrendous conditions mid-week after a coronal mass ejection saw the Kp index shoot up to six. Matter from the CME, which was accompanied by an M1.6 solar flare on the 9th of October, hit the Earth in the early hours of the 12th. A geomagnetic storm then ensued and the widespread visible aurora was reported at high latitudes.

On Tuesday MUFs were affected adversely with maxima over a 3,000km path down from 28MHz to less than 14MHz at times during the day.

By Thursday, and with the Kp index back down to between zero and two, signals had recovered to near-normal levels, with a maximum daytime critical frequency of 7.125MHz being recorded on the Chilton Digisonde, which equates to more than 27MHz over a 3,000km path.

This does go to show that we can expect more CMEs, and poorer conditions at times, as we head towards the solar maximum in a few years’ time.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 85-90 with a maximum Kp index of four on the 19th.

So make the most of the Autumnal HF conditions and work as high in frequency as you can to minimise D-layer absorption.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The coming week’s weather will change to mixed and unsettled, with little chance of Tropo propagation, caused by periods of rain, showers and strong winds. At best we can hope for some rain scatter activity.

The exact time when these changes of type occur in our weather patterns is one of the hardest for the models to get right, but at the moment most suggest Sunday night into Monday.

Since the autumn is typically a good season for auroras, perhaps some warbling auroral notes will return again after last week when plenty of auroral QSOs were reported on 144MHz. Sadly for the UK, they were almost exclusively for the more northerly Nordic countries. A few northern UK stations, namely G4KUX, MI0XXZ and GM4VVX reported a few auroral CW QSOs on the 12th.

The 21st sees the peak of the Orionids meteor shower with a ZHR of 15. Orionids are pieces of Comet 1P/Halley, famously known as Halley's comet. Add this to two small meteor showers, the Epsilon Geminids with a ZHR of three peaking on the 18th, and the Leonis Minoris with a ZHR of two peaking on the 24th, next week should be good for meteor scatter enthusiasts.

Moon declination goes positive again on Monday so we’ll see the Moon reaching higher elevations at its zenith. Path losses are still increasing as we are past perigee.

A seasonal reminder from the team to do your end of summer check on those antenna ropes and fixings before we see too many windy days.

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

 

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 10th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 10th 2021.

October 8, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 10th of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • School ISS contact this Tuesday
  • RSGB exam booking system is live
  • New 2x1 callsigns for Australia

 

At 1112UTC on 12 October, GB4MHN will be calling the International Space Station to enable ten deaf children to speak to a NASA Astronaut. The children at the Mary Hare School for deaf children in Newbury will be assisted by Lloyd, M5LDF and other members of Newbury and District Amateur Radio Society. The children will each ask a question to the astronaut and the reply will then be interpreted into subtitles and sign language. The event is made possible by ARISS, which heads up the radio contacts for space agencies NASA and ESA. The ISS signal can be received on the 2m band or watched live at live.ariss.org.

The RSGB's new exam online booking system is now live. On the first page, you choose whether you are an individual who wants to book a remote invigilation exam or a club that wants to book an exam for candidates at the club premises. Clubs will be able to choose whether to book and pay for their candidates, or just book the date and time then receive a link that candidates will use to pay for their own exams. You can find the new booking process and an FAQ to help you at rsgb.org/exam-bookings.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will commence the release of brand new 2 x 1 Australian contest callsigns at 10 am, 13 October 2021. The contest callsign template comprises the VK, VJ or VL prefix followed by one number then one letter. There are a number of rules governing the application for a short contest call and they will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The RAF Air Cadets are planning to run the next Blue Ham Radio Communications Exercise on the 16th and 17th of October. They hope that radio amateurs can put some time aside to join in with the cadets and staff on the shared section of the 5MHz bands. A Blue Ham participation certificate is available to those who contact 15 or more special Cadet callsigns during the exercise. Just search for exercise blue ham to find out more information.

As part of the day of lectures for the British Amateur Television Club CAT21 day, Ian, GM3SEK is giving a talk on the application of the RSGB-Ofcom Calculator to microwave bands and QO-100 satellite operation on Saturday the 16th of October at 1.30 pm. Registration is not required and full details of the day and how to view can be found at batc.org.uk/live/cat21.

Jamboree On The Air is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world communicate with each other via amateur radio. JOTA 2021 runs for the full 48 hours of the 16th and 17th of October. You can find out more at jotajoti.info.

Members of the BBC’s radio club, The London BBC Radio Group, have been granted an exceptional all-year Special Event callsign to help celebrate the BBC’s centenary year in 2022. Ofcom will permit GB100BBC to operate throughout the year, starting at midnight on New Year’s Day, from the headquarters station in Broadcasting House, London. Operating slots will then be allocated for use by individual members and local groups of operators, from their home QTH, or BBC premises throughout the UK.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

The second part of the BATC Convention for amateur TV will take place on the 16th of October. It will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. Just search for BATC CAT21 and follow the link for the live stream.

Essex CW Amateur Radio Club will hold a CW Boot Camp on the 16th of October in Witham. You can find out more by searching on the internet for Essex CW ARC and clicking their Boot Camp link.

On the 17th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally is due to be held at the Driffield Show Ground, YO25 3AE. Doors open at 10 am and parking is free. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and a car boot area. Catering will be available on site.

Also on the 17th, the Hack Green Radio Surplus Hangar Sale will be held at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Nantwich. Doors open at 10 am and there will be equipment, components and amateur radio gear on sale.

The Galashiels Rally, scheduled to take place on the 24th is cancelled, as previously publicised.

The Members of Bishop Auckland RAC have, sadly, had to cancel their annual rally due to be held on the 28th of November. It will now be planned for 2022.

Now the DX news

Nobby, G0VJG has cancelled his operation from the Maldives and will be active as 3B8/G0VJG from Mauritius, AF-049, until the 16th of October. He will operate SSB and digital modes on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS.

Robert, 3B9FR is a resident of Rodrigues Island, AF-017, and is now active again. He operates mainly CW, with some occasional SSB and FT8. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS.

Curtis, KC5CW will be active as FY/KC5CW from French Guiana until the 3rd of November. He will operate SSB, slow CW, PSK and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. He will upload his log to the Logbook of The World and Club Log.

Alex, VE1RUS and Pierre, VE3TKB will be active from VY0ERC, the Eureka Amateur Radio Club station located on Ellesmere Island, NA-008, between the 12th of October and the 22nd of November. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

From the 6th of October through to the 2nd of November, West of Scotland ARS will be running a special event station GB4GDS, celebrating 90 years of the Guide Dog Association. More information about the station can be found at www.wosars.club.

Dundee ARC will be active over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of October as part of the Jamboree On The Air weekend. They will be using HF and VHF, so if you hear them please give them a call.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

This weekend, the Oceania DX CW contest ends its 24-hour run at 0800UTC today, the 10th. Using the contest bands between 1.8 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 10th is the UK Microwave group’s 122 to 248GHz contest. Running from 0900 to 1700UTC, it uses all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the data leg of the 80m Autumn Series running from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC on Thursday. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the Worked All Germany contest running for 24 hours from 1500UTC on the 16th. Using SSB and CW on the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations will also send DOK.

Next Sunday, the 17th, there are four contests taking place. The first is between 0900 and 1300UTC the 50MHz AFS contest uses all modes and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Stations in the UK and Commonwealth Dependencies also exchange the first two letters of their postcode.

The second contest is The UK Microwave Group 24 to 76GHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 40m Daytime Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC and is the third contest on the 17th. It uses CW and SSB and the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations will also send their County code.

Finally, for the 17th, the second Rolling Locator, or RoLo, contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. It is CW-only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is the signal report and the rolling locator.

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

Solar activity has dipped a little over the last two weeks. From a solar flux high of 102 on the 20th of September, activity declined to the mid-80s and stayed there. That isn’t to say that HF activity has been poor. Far from it. There are numerous reports of DX being worked, including S9OK on Sao Tome and Principe. The Czech DXpedition, off the coast of western Africa, has been logged on many bands and continues to be popular. Ten metres has thrown up SSB contacts into Brazil, Chile and Uruguay for many, and openings to the Far East at times. Autumnal HF conditions are driving the DX, rather than the solar flux index. Maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are often above 24 or even 28MHz in the afternoons.

Next week is looking like more of the same, with NOAA predicting a solar flux index of 85, declining to 75 later in the week. Having said that, the STEREO Ahead spacecraft is highlighting two active regions due to rotate into view that may or may not develop into sunspots, so NOAA’s forecast may turn out to be pessimistic.

The good news is that a decline in coronal hole activity means the Kp index may remain low, perhaps down to two, which may result in continued settled geomagnetic conditions.

As always, we maintain that October is one of the best months for HF DX, so do make the most of it.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure this weekend should be producing good Tropo conditions for the southern half of the country, but probably peaking on Saturday the 9th. It is likely to return at times after mid-week as high pressure becomes more dominant over the country.

Remember that Tropo can be long-lasting, as opposed to brief Sporadic-E openings, and it is often better on higher frequencies, so if 2m feels good then look at 70cm and 23cm too. It is worth looking up on beaconspot.uk, checking out some of the useful beacons across DL, OZ, SM, SP, LY, YL, and ES and getting them in your rig memories. In the second part of the week Tropo is more likely to favour the western side of the UK and support paths south to France or Spain.

Other modes such as rain scatter, aurora and meteor scatter are worth checking and of course, you have a number of opportunities using the low earth orbit and geostationary satellites to keep you interested.

The Draconids meteor shower peaked on Friday and we have the small delta-Aurigids, with a low ZHR of two, peaking on the 11th.   

For EME enthusiasts, the SV5/HB9COG DXpedition to Rhodes is now over, with the team making QSOs on all bands from 432MHz up to 10GHz with just a lightweight 1.5metre portable dish and a single Yagi.

Moon declination reaches minimum on Tuesday with the Moon barely reaching 11 degrees elevation at its zenith that day. Path losses are still low but increasing.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 3rd 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 3rd 2021.

October 1, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention on 9 October

  • IOTA Contest 2021 logs are now online

  • New club online exam booking system

The RSGB Online Convention takes place on Saturday, the 9th of October. There will be two live streams of talks available all day, with a Q&A session at the end of each talk. After the event, on the RSGB YouTube channel, you can view the lectures as many times as you wish. You can read about the talks in the two streams at rsgb.org/convention. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary. We look forward to seeing you online with us.

The logs for the IOTA Contest 2021 island stations have been added to the IOTA database and are available for QSO matching. Record holders who have made IOTA contacts in an IOTA contest after 2003 can claim credit for them without submitting QSLs, provided that the contact details match. Go to iota-world.org. Once you have logged in, go to the My IOTA tab and select Add Contest QSOs.

Now that Covid-related restrictions are ending, from Wednesday the 6th of October clubs will be able to start booking online exams for groups of candidates using a new club online booking system. From the 1st of November, clubs will be able to start booking paper-based exams. All bookings must be made online. The RSGB expects to phase out paper exams in the future except where candidates have specific additional needs. Further details will be available in the coming weeks but you can see the full details on the RSGB website at rsgb.org and searching for examination announcements.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station. The primary goal is to promote the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics by organising scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, teachers, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. The ARISS Europe Board election has taken place and Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD has been elected as a Technical Counsellor.

From the 18th of November, the new Ofcom EMF regulations require compliance checking for all stations operating at above 110MHz. The RSGB EMF web page contains links to the requirements as well as tools and advice to help radio amateurs to comply. Two new items have been added to this web page, including a new version of the calculator that incorporates specific advice for VHF beams to help you show compliance. If you have already completed your checks using version 10a of the calculator they remain valid, however, the new version has additional guidance and may make compliance easier to demonstrate. For more information go to rsgb.org/emf.

Following a meeting of the RSGB Examinations Standards Committee at which Ofcom was represented, the current mandatory Foundation practical requirements are, with immediate effect, permanently removed. If clubs want to retain a practical element of training to support the learning of their candidates, either as demonstrations or hands-on, they are strongly encouraged to do so. Full details are on the RSGB website, just search for examination announcements.

On the 10th of October, the Northern California DX Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary. An HF Special Event will take place on the 9th and 10th. Using their callsign W6TI, they will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 15, 17, 20 and 40m bands. Activity will be between 1600 and 2359 UTC each day. A special QSL card will be available upon request. QSL details at W6TI on QRZ.com.

The September issue of RadCom Basics is now available online for RSGB Members. It covers a range of topics including how to enter a contest, building your own hotspot and a look at QRZ.com and Logbook of The World. You can subscribe to receive email alerts for future issues at rsgb.org/radcom-basics.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

Today, the 3rd of October, the Welsh Radio Rally is cancelled, as previously publicised.

Stirling and District ARS is holding an Open Day Extravaganza today, the 3rd of October, at their shack. Visitors will be available to operate from 11 am. The day includes a midday barbecue and there will be a Boot Sale on the grounds, with pitches are available for £10. At 2 pm there will be a talk by Gavin Nesbitt on How to Improve your QSO Count on VHF and above. An ARDF competition will take place around the Estate in the afternoon. The club is located at Unit 68, Bandeath Industrial Estate, Throsk, Stirling FK7 7NP.

The second part of the BATC Convention for amateur TV will take place on the 16th of October. It will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. Just search for BATC CAT21 and follow the link for the live stream.

Essex CW Amateur Radio Club will hold a CW Boot Camp on the 16th of October in Witham. You can find out more by searching on the internet for Essex CW ARC and clicking their Boot Camp link.

On the 17th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally is due to be held at the Driffield Show Ground, YO25 3AE. Doors open at 10 am and parking is free. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and a car boot area. Catering will be available on site.

Also on the 17th, the Hack Green Radio Surplus Hangar Sale will be held at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Nantwich. Doors open at 10 am and there will be equipment, components and amateur radio gear on sale.

The Galashiels Rally, scheduled to take place on the 24th is cancelled, as previously publicised.

Now the DX news

Rich, WA5LFD will be operating portable from North Padre Island, IOTA reference NA-092, until the 30th of November. His bands of interest are 6 and 2m, but he will also be on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL preferably via Logbook of The World.

One of many stations celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty System is Tamas, HA6LT. He will be active as HA60ANT until the 31st of December. Listen out for other stations with ANT in the special event callsign.

Ken, K4ZW is operating as EY8/K4ZW until the 7th of October while on a work assignment in Tajikstan. QSL to home his home callsign.

Pasi, OH3WS will be operating as OJ0WS from the 3rd to the 9th of October. Activity will be on the HF bands and on 160 meters using CW only. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the Special Event news

From the 6th of October through to the 2nd of November, West of Scotland ARS will be running a special event station GB4GDS, celebrating 90 years of the Guide Dog Association. More information about the station can be found at www.wosars.club.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

This weekend there are two higher frequency contests. They have the same exchange of signal report, serial number and locator. The 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs for 24 hours ending at 1400UTC today, the 3rd of October. The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs for the same period.

The 24-hour Oceania DX SSB contest ends at 0800UTC today, the 3rd. Using the contest bands between 1.8 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. There are multiple categories to enter and there are new trophies this year for female operators both in and outside Oceania. Read more at oceaniadxcontest.com.

The Worked All Britain DX contest will take place today, Sunday the 3rd of October, from 0500 to 2300UTC. There will be a multiplier point for every DXCC country worked as well as for each WAB square worked. Contacts can be made on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands. The full rules are on the WAB website and entries must be with the contest manager by the 13th of October.

The DX Contest runs from 0500 to 2300UTC today. Using CW and SSB on the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday, the CW leg of the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest takes place from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday, the IRTS 80m Evening Counties contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. Using CW and SSB the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI operators also send their County codes.

The 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest takes place on Wednesday between 1900 and 2100UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

The UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs between 2000 and 2100UTC on Wednesday. Using SSB, the exchange is your 6-character locator.

Next weekend, the Oceania DX CW contest runs for 24 hours, ending at 0800UTC on the 10th. Using the contest bands between 1.8 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 10th, is the UK Microwave group’s 122 to 248GHz contest. Running from 0900 to 1700UTC, it uses all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Life is starting to get a bit more interesting in terms of the Sun and HF propagation. This week we have seen more sunspots, a coronal mass ejection and some minor solar flares, so the Sun is definitely waking up. The solar flux index passed 100 on Thursday, reaching 102. This is high enough to allow 10 metres to open up, which will no doubt be helped by the move into Autumn HF conditions as well. There have been widespread reports that 10m is becoming more active, especially on FT8, so don’t miss out on any choice DX that is around.

Argentina and Brazil have both appeared on FT8 in the afternoons. Robert, 3B9FR on Rodriguez Island has been worked on 10m CW. SSB is seeing some activity as well, with Gary, G0FWX reporting on the 10 Metre UK Net Facebook group that he worked ZT1T and ZS1F in South Africa.

As we’ve said before, now is a good time for North-South paths to open up on HF so make the most of them. Propquest shows that 15 metres, and 12 metres, are now often opening reliably during daylight hours, so make the most of all the higher HF bands, that is 15, 12 and 10 metres.

Predicting what will happen next week is tricky. NOAA places the SFI in the high 70s, but this could easily be exceeded if this current crop of sunspots continues. NOAA also predicts unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the fifth, when the Kp index could rise to four. Unsettled geomagnetic conditions are also forecast for this weekend.

As always, solar flares could temporarily shut down the HF bands at any time during daylight hours and are hard to predict. And any associated CME could cause problems on HF, perhaps two to three days later.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Unsettled weather at this time of the year is typical and quite often due to the migration south of the jet stream across the Atlantic and into western Europe. This brings deep lows and active weather fronts and heavy showers, all good for rain scatter operation, as highlighted by the excellent rain scatter conditions during last week’s SHF UKAC contest. Incidentally, the jet stream can still be useful for ‘out of season’ Sporadic-E, particularly for digital modes up to 6m or to 10m for CW/SSB.

This unsettled weather lasts through to the middle of next week, then there are some diverging opinions from the models. One evolution brings high pressure in from the Azores after Wednesday, so there is a chance of Tropo to end the week. Another model output suggests that the low pressure remains until the delayed high arrives next weekend.

There are, of course, auroral and meteor scatter possibilities to check out and autumn is a favoured season for auroral activity.

The 8th of October, at around 1830UTC, brings the peak of the Draconids meteor shower, with a respectable ZHR of 10 expected. Every now and again the Draconids produce spectacular storms and huge outbursts as in 2011 where the ZHR was 300. This is unlikely this year as the shower’s parent comet, 21P Giacobini-Zinner, made its closest approach to the sun in September 2018.

Moon declination is positive until Wednesday and EME path losses are at their lowest with perigee on Friday. There is DX interest with the SV5/HB9COG DXpedition to Rhodes still active until Tuesday.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 26th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 26th 2021.

September 24, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 26th of September 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention on 9 October
  • Transatlantic centenary events
  • Please keep emergency frequencies clear

 

There are less than two weeks to go before the RSGB Online Convention on the 9th of October. There will be two live streams of talks available all day with a Q&A session at the end of each talk. After the event, on the RSGB YouTube channel, you can view the lectures as many times as you wish. Allan, EA3HSO will talk about the JW0W DXpedition that was a mini-Arctic radio adventure. He is very active on the HF bands and an avid radio traveller and has taken part in several DXpeditions. He says that he loves pile-ups! Sean, KX9X is doing an Intro to Ham Radio Satellites, one of the fastest-growing areas of the hobby worldwide. It will be a beginner’s guide on how the satellites function, what equipment is needed and some help to make it easier for you to get started. Questions are welcome! You can read about the other talks in the two streams at rsgb.org/convention. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary.

The RSGB and the ARRL in the USA, are jointly celebrating the achievement of transatlantic communications by radio amateurs 100 years ago. In December 1921, the ARRL sent Paul Godley, who held the US callsign 2ZE, as their representative to listen for amateur signals from North America during the Second Transatlantic Tests. Godley set up his listening equipment in Ardrossan, on the west coast of Scotland. During the morning of 12 December in Scotland, Godley received the first transatlantic message from amateur radio station 1BCG in Connecticut. These successful Transatlantic Tests, and the ones that followed in the next few years, would spur technological advances and new wireless distance records spanning the globe. There are several events celebrating these significant milestones that heralded the dawn of two-way international amateur radio communications. You can read more at rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

The volcano on La Palmas in Spain’s Canary Islands erupted for the first time in 50 years on Sunday the 19th of September. In order to facilitate communications to and from that area, EMCOM-SPAIN is asking for the Emergency Centre Of Activity frequencies to be kept clear in case the situation gets worse. The frequencies are

3.760MHz, 7.110MHz, 14.300MHz and 21.360MHz.

The RSGB President, Stewart Bryant, G3YSX and Spectrum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB attended the online IARU Region 3 Conference, hosted by the Thai National Society. One of the reasons for the RSGB attendance was to help in the preparation for the IARU Region 1 Strategic Workshop in October. The RSGB report is on the Conference website, search for IARU Region 3 Conference.

Essex CW Amateur Radio Club will hold a CW Boot Camp on the 16th of October in Witham. You can find out more by searching on the internet for Essex CW ARC and clicking on the boot camp link.

British Railways ARS is celebrating its 55th anniversary. During this weekend’s Railways On The Air event they will be running GB0LMR and the following week GX4LMP will be on the air. There’s more information on qrz.com.

During the RSGB Online Convention on the 9th of October, we will be live streaming video from the National Radio Centre of real-time operations of GB3RS and GB4RS. Unlike last year when the NRC was entirely shut due to the pandemic, this year the visiting public will be able to watch proceedings. The Radio Room will need to be cordoned off due to the number of cameras and equipment required, but the public will be able to see what happens.

Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society’s face-to face-training will resume in October - at Danbury Village Hall CM3 4NQ. Foundation courses will be held in October and November and an Intermediate and Full course in December. See g0mwt.org.uk for full details.

For 100 days, until the 23rd of December, all OH and OH0 stations may use the OF prefix to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Finnish Amateur Radio League.

 

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

Weston-super-Mare Radio Society is holding its 6th Radio & Electronics Rally today, the 26th of September. It is in The Campus Community Centre, Highland Lane, Worle BS24 7DX, which is just off M5 junction 21. Over 60 tables have been booked and the doors will be open at 10 am. The entry fee is £3.

The 3rd of October Welsh Radio Rally is cancelled, as previously publicised.

The second part of the BATC Convention for amateur TV will take place on the 16th of October. It will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. Just search for BATC CAT21 and follow the link for the live stream.

On the 17th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally is due to be held in the Driffield Show Ground. Also on the 17th, the Hack Green radio Surplus Hangar Sale will be held at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Nantwich.

 

Now the DX news

Nobby, G0VJG expects to be active as 8Q7CQ from the Maldives, AS- 013, from the 28th of September to the 13th of October. He will operate SSB and digital modes on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS.

Paul, G4PVM will be active as GW4PVM from Holy Island, EU-124, from the 26th of September to the 1st of October. He will operate holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL; the QSOs will be uploaded to Club Log and made available for Club Log Matching on the IOTA website.

 

Now the Special Event news

GB8ROC will be operating from Scotland’s Secret Bunker, in Fife, on Thursday the 30th of September. Further activity may take place the following weekend. This is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the national stand-down of the Royal Observer Corps, and also to mark the 80th anniversary of the award of Royal title to the Observer Corps, in recognition of their services in the Battle of Britain. The operation will be on HF and VHF. QSL via the bureau.

GB4SRM will be on the air for Railways On The Air today, the 26th of September, from Locomotion at Shildon in County Durham. All are welcome and entry to the venue is free.

 

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

The 48-hour CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 26th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

The UK Microwave group contest runs today from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC today, the 26th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the seventh FT4 series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using the 80m band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Tuesday sees the SHF UK Activity Contest run from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK EI Contest Club 80m CW contest runs for just an hour from 2000UTC. The exchange is your 6-character locator square.

Next weekend there are several higher frequency contests. They all have the same exchange of signal report, serial number and locator. The 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs for 24-hours ending at 1400 on the 3rd of October. The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest runs for the same period. Saturday the 2nd of October sees both the 1.2GHz trophy and 2.3GHz Trophy contests run from 1400 to 2200UTC.

Also next weekend is the 24-hour Oceania DX SSB contest, ending at 0800UTC on the 3rd. Using the contest bands between 1.8 and 28MHz the exchange is signal report and serial number. There are multiple categories to enter and there are new trophies this year for female operators both in and outside Oceania. Read more at oceaniadxcontest.com.

The Worked-All-Britain DX contest will take place on Sunday the 3rd of October from 0500 to 2300UTC. Entries to be with the contest manager by the 13th of October. There will be a multiplier point for every DXCC country worked as well as for each WAB square worked. Contacts can be made on the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands. The full rules are on the WAB website.

Next Sunday, the 3rd of October, the DX Contest runs from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

 

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

This week saw the Sun more active with up to five sunspot regions in place. Two of the regions are quite large, pushing the solar flux index up to 89 on Thursday with a sunspot number of 76. That should be enough to get the ionosphere up and running and we are also seeing early Autumnal HF propagation starting to take off.

Gary, G0FWX reports working Central America and the Caribbean on 10 metres, namely Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Surinam. Brazil has also been logged, but we are still awaiting widespread reports of North American stations to be logged on 28MHz.

Geomagnetic conditions have been variable with the Kp index hitting four on Wednesday, thanks to material from a coronal mass ejection. This sent the solar wind speed up to more than 400km per second and it was still above 300km/s on Thursday.

There has been solar flare activity recently and we can expect it to continue. This could mean sudden ionospheric disturbances and HF blackouts if the flare is strong enough and occurs during daylight hours. There could also be associated coronal mass ejections to contend with.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-80s while the Kp index should eventually decline to two after reaching five this weekend. This is due to a coronal hole that is currently facing Earth. A high-speed solar wind stream flowing from this zone should reach Earth later this week and contribute to a geomagnetic disturbance at higher latitudes. 

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

As predicted last week, we had a mix of weak Tropo and rain scatter modes, with an isolated report of the Cornish 10GHz beacon GB3MCB being copied for an hour by G4DBN in East Yorkshire at 460km overland. 

This coming week the Tropo conditions will take a hit as low pressure becomes the dominant pattern for the coming week. This will take the form of active fronts crossing the country together with areas of showers, so at least there will be some rain scatter potential for the GHz bands.

At the moment, indications are that the return of any ridges, and hence Tropo, between the lows, will be temporary and limited in scope, so best to think of other options like meteor scatter or aircraft scatter and possibly aurora to provide the unconventional modes this week.

There is one small meteor shower due to peak this week. The daytime Sextantids with a ZHR of five is due to peak on the 27th, but the timing of this peak is often uncertain. The maximum may occur even a day earlier than expected, so be alert and continue to check the early morning for the best random meteor scatter conditions.

EME path losses are at their highest this week with apogee today, Sunday, but with peak Moon declination coming up on Wednesday there is plenty of Moon visibility for Moonbounce enthusiasts. The Moon is at its zenith in the early morning.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 19th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 19th 2021.

September 17, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 19th of September 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention on 9 October
  • Join in with Exercise Blue Ham on 5MHz
  • New RSGB VHF UHF award

 

The RSGB Online Convention is taking place on the 9th of October. There will be two live streams of talks available all day with a Q&A session at the end of each talk. After the event, on the RSGB YouTube channel, you can view the lectures as many times as you wish. Callum, M0MCX from DX Commander is no stranger to YouTube videos. He will talk about An Obsession with Antennas, covering everything from very basic antenna modelling, through antenna shapes to achieving an impossible gain. You can watch a video trailer about the Convention and read about the other talks in the two streams at rsgb.org/convention. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary.

The RAF Air Cadets are planning to run the next Blue Ham Radio Communications Exercise on the 16th and 17th of October. They hope that radio amateurs can put some time aside to join in with the cadets and staff on the shared section of the 5MHz bands. A Blue Ham participation certificate is available to those who contact 15 or more special Cadet callsigns during the exercise. Details will be on the alphacharlie.org.uk website.

The RSGB has introduced a new VHF UHF award. It is intended to encourage people to use their new handheld and the substantial bandwidth we have at VHF and UHF. There are five levels of awards available for progression. Full details as rsgb.org.uk/awards

Another casualty of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is the 2021 Tokyo Ham Fair, scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd of October. Due to the latest wave of infection this summer, the Japanese national society, JARL, has reluctantly decided to cancel the Ham Fair. They hope that the Tokyo Ham Fair will be back in 2022 under safer conditions.

The recently formed Amplitude Modulation Amateur Society has announced the date of its very first monthly AM net. It will take place today, Sunday the 19th of September, at 1830UTC on 3.625MHz. Robert, GW6GBY will be the net controller, using the callsign GC5AMS from the historic transmitter site at Criggion. Members and non-members are welcome to join in, using AM. More information is on QRZ.com under G5AMS.

Next week, after a few months of normal eclipse periods, FUNcube-1, AO73, will re-enter full sunlight for about two months. It has been in continuous transponder mode for some time now and AMSAT-UK has decided that, during this sunlight period, FUNcube-1 should operate in continuous high-power telemetry mode. The change will be made within the next few days. FUNcube-1 has now been in orbit for almost eight years and the telemetry indicates that all systems, including the battery and solar panels, appear to be operating as well now as they did immediately after launch.

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring Service newsletter, dated August 2021, is now available. Generally, August showed a very similar situation to previous months. Well-known intruders were regularly present in the 7MHz band. From time to time, an intermodulation artefact of 13855kHz and 13710kHz was heard on 14000kHz. Also, several over the horizon radar systems were active almost daily. You can read the full report, including the UK report from Richard, G4DYA, at iaru-r1.org.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

Today, the 19th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held in Foxton Village hall, Hardman Road, Foxton CB22 6RN. Please be aware that there will not be a Bring & Buy, but car boot traders are welcome. Visitors are recommended to wear face masks for the indoor section. Doors open at 9.30 am and entry is £3.

Weston-super-Mare Radio Society be holding its 6th Radio & Electronics Rally on the 26th of September. It will be held in The Campus Community Centre, Highland Lane, Worle BS24 7DX, which is just off M5 junction 21. Over 60 tables have been booked and the doors will be open at 10 am. The entry fee is £3.

The 3rd of October Welsh Radio Rally is cancelled, as previously publicised.

Now the DX news

SP9FIH and SP6CIK will be active as D60AC and D60AD respectively, from the Comoros archipelago, IOTA reference AF-007, until the 2nd of October. They will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8 on the 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10m bands. The preferred method of QSL is via Club Log’s OQRS, otherwise use their home callsigns.

Look for JI3DST/5, JR8YLY/5 and JR8YLY/p using FT8 from Shodo Island, AS-200, until the 23rd of September and again between the 25th and 28th September. All QSOs will be uploaded to Club Log and made available for Club Log Matching on the IOTA website.

Stian, LB5SH will be active as OY/LB5SH from the Faroe Islands, EU-018, until the 20th of September. He will operate mainly SSB and FT8, possibly with some CW during the SAC Contest. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB2BB for the Battle of Britain until the 20th of September.

Riviera Amateur Radio Club will be running GB8BB in September in commemoration of those who served in the Battle of Britain. Apologies for the error last week, this is the 81st anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

GB8ROC will be operating from Scotland’s Secret Bunker, in Fife, on Thursday the 30th of September. Further activity may take place the following weekend. This is to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the national stand-down of the Royal Observer Corps, and also to mark the 80th anniversary of the award of Royal title to the Observer Corps, in recognition of their services in the Battle of Britain. The operation will be on HF and VHF. QSL via the bureau.

GB4SRM will be on the air for Railways On The Air on the 25th and 26th of September from Locomotion at Shildon in County Durham. All are welcome and entry to the venue is free.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

Today, the 19th, is the 70MHz Affiliated Clubs Contest, running from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 70cm Counties contest runs from 1300 to 1330UTC today, the 19th. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI stations also give their County.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest is also today, but running from 1330 to 1500UTC. Details and exchange are the same as for the 70cm contest.

Finally, the BARTG Sprint PSK63 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC today. The exchange is just the serial number.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the data leg of the 80m Autumn Series take place from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend is the 48-hour CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest, ending at 2359UTC on the 26th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

The UK Microwave group contest runs next Sunday from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 70MHz contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC next Sunday, the 26th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

After last week’s very active Sun, we have had a quieter week with little solar activity. As of Thursday, there were zero sunspots and the solar flux index had declined to 75, pretty much as predicted. The upside is that the Sun has been quiet geomagnetically with a maximum Kp index of three over the past week. This means the ionosphere has not been adversely affected.

HF conditions have been adequate rather than exceptional, with FT8 F2-layer openings on 10 metres as well as some late-season Sporadic-E. Brazil has been logged in the late afternoons on 10m FT8, as have a few other stations from the Caribbean and South America. We haven’t seen much of the long-awaited Autumnal trans-Atlantic DX on 10 metres, but it is still early days. We may not see this until later in the month or even early October.

At the moment it isn’t looking too good for next week either. NOAA predicts the SFI will be in the range 76 to 78. This could, of course, change if we have a sudden outburst of sunspots. Geomagnetically, NOAA predicts more of the same with the Kp index at two to three. Propquest shows that the predicted maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path is likely to just touch the lower end of 21MHz at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The continuation of the mixed weak Tropo and rain scatter modes seems to be the way to go during the period to next weekend. At the moment the primary Tropo period comes along for the first half of next week, before being eroded from the west as Atlantic fronts move in. The preferred Tropo directions are probably east across the North Sea and south into northern France. The other modes such as meteor scatter and aurora and of course, the most reliable of DX modes, aircraft scatter, are always worth checking out.

Now international air travel is getting frequent again, the dip in aircraft scatter opportunities that we had at the height of the pandemic, should be reducing, so check the beaconspot.uk website for the latest on VHF and up beacons and monitor them to see some interesting propagation, and set up some skeds on VHF and up via the ON4KST.info chat.

Look on www.airscout.eu to download an excellent aircraft scatter path prediction program from Frank, DL2ALF.

No meteor showers this week, and random meteor activity will be declining from the August/September peak, but keep checking in the early morning for the best random meteor scatter conditions.

Time to put the EME system back in the dish for this month as we return to positive Moon declination on Tuesday. Losses are still low but increasing this week. The Moon is up from early evening to the early hours.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 12th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 12th 2021.

September 10, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 12th of September 2021

The news headlines:

  • IARU Region 1 awards medals
  • RSGB Convention trailer released
  • Electrojumble at Computing Museum

IARU Region 1 has announced the recipients of the Region 1 Medals. They are six people who have each made a very significant contribution to the IARU Region 1’s work over the years. Hilary Claytonsmith, G4JKS, is an EMC Committee member and, until recently, its Secretary for nearly 25 years. She has been an IARU representative in the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute during discussions on power line technology. The EMC Committee is a forum for progressing the Region’s work on EMC matters and much of its success is due to Hilary’s early work. Hilary is also a past President of the RSGB. Dave Court, EI3IO led the Spectrum and Regulatory Liaison Committee through the period of WRC 19 that resulted in the Region-wide allocation to the amateur service of a 2MHz segment at 50MHz. Other medal recipients were Peter, HB9CET, Tore, LA9QL, Jacques, ON4AVJ and Hans, ON6WQ. You can read more about the six medallists online at iaru-r1.org.

The RSGB Online Convention is taking place on the 9th of October. The Society has just released its video trailer for the event that will give you a taste of what to expect. There will be two streams of talks available all day as well as after the event on the RSGB YouTube channel. Steve, G0KYA, chairman of the RSGB’s Propagation Studies Committee, will look at what we can expect from the upcoming solar maximum in his talk Solar Cycle 25 – the good, the bad and the downright ugly. He looks at the good and not so good aspects, including better propagation on the higher HF bands, but greater risks of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. You can watch the video and read about the other talks in the two streams, at rsgb.org/convention. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary.

The National Museum of Computing on the Bletchley Park site will be holding an Electrojumble on Sunday the 19th of September from 11 am to 3 pm. Although entry to the event is free, admission will be by pre-booked ticket only. For more detailed information and booking details please visit tnmoc.org and scroll to upcoming events.

The early 1920s saw the dawn of international amateur radio. A series of significant milestones led, over some five years, from no amateur transmission ever having been heard on another continent, to intercontinental two-way communications becoming commonplace. The RSGB will commemorate these historic events by encouraging everyone to get on the air to make QSOs, focusing on December 2021 and December 2022. Full details of how you can participate will be published via the Society’s communications channels over the coming months. There will be features and photos in RadCom but you can also read the fascinating story on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

Last week RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB was invited to speak online to Stockport Radio Society members. His presentation explained the framework of the RSGB, looked back at the challenges and successes of 2020, and also highlighted the need to support the thousands of new licensees who have joined in the last year. He answered a wide range of questions and was joined by RSGB Board Director Dave Wilson, M0OBW. You can watch the presentation on the Stockport Radio Society YouTube channel.

Sadly, the GENESIS-L and GENESIS-N amateur radio satellites were among several lost following the failure of the Firefly Alpha rocket during launch. An anomaly occurred about two minutes into the mission, causing controllers to destroy the launcher in flight. The anomaly has yet to be explained.

This week, the RSGB passed the fantastic milestone of 4,000 candidates passing their Foundation licence via remote invigilation. In 2020 the Society implemented remote invigilation in stages for all three licence levels, to enable people to become involved with amateur radio and progress despite the pandemic. The RSGB is delighted that 1,241 candidates have since passed the Intermediate exam and 544 have gained their Full licence. Thanks are due to the small team of remote invigilators and congratulations to all those successful candidates.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on Club Log. The full list contains 340 entities, with the top three being North Korea, Bouvet Island and Crozet Island. There have been no changes at the top of the list.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

Today, the 12th, the Caister Lifeboat Rally takes place at Caister Lifeboat station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Doors open at 9.30 am. There will be a raffle and the onsite café will be open. The museum will also be open.

Also, today the 12th, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally takes place in America Hall, De la Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30 am and admission is £2, with under-16s free. Visitors are encouraged to wear a face-covering when inside.

Next Sunday, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held in Foxton Village hall, Hardman Road, Foxton CB22 6RN. Please be aware that there will not be a Bring & Buy, but car boot traders are welcome. Visitors are recommended to wear face masks for the indoor section. Doors open at 9.30 am and entry is £3.

Looking ahead, the Weston-super-Mare Rally will take place on the 26th of September in the Campus Community Centre BS24 7DX. Doors open at 10 am and entry is £3.

Now the DX news

Gabor, HA3JB will be active as 5H1IP from Zanzibar Island, IOTA reference AF-032, between the 17th and 29th of September. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or direct to HA3JB.

Adrien, F4IHM will be back in Niger until the 22nd of October and will be active as 5UAIHM in his spare time. He operates CW and SSB on the 40 and 20m bands. QSL via F4IHM, direct or via the bureau.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as 9X2AW from Kigali in Rwanda between the 13th and 28th of September. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via M0OXO and Logbook of The World.

Klaus, DL8DZL will be active as DL8DZL/P from Usedom Island, EU-129, until the 21st of September. He will operate CW and SSB on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

Now the Special Event news

International Chocolate Day is on the 13th of September. EG5DIC will be on the air to mark International Chocolate Day until the 19th of September. Using CW, SSB and FT8 on the 10 to 80m bands, and there is a downloadable award available.

Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB2BB for the Battle of Britain from the 10th to the 20th of September.

Riviera Amateur Radio Club will be running GB8BB in September in commemoration of those who served in the Battle of Britain. This year is the 80th anniversary.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic.

This weekend, the WAE DX SSB contest ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. European stations work non-European stations only.

Today, the UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432 UK Activity Contest at 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the CW leg of the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 1900 and 2130UTC on Thursday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday is the 70MHz Affiliated Clubs Contest, running from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 70cm Counties contest runs from 1300 to 1330UTC next Sunday, the 19th. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI stations also give their County.

The IRTS 2m Counties Contest is also next Sunday, but running from 1330 to 1500UTC. Details and exchange are the same as for the 70cm contest.

Finally, for next Sunday, the BARTG Sprint PSK63 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. The exchange is just the serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 10th of September.

What a difference a week makes! Last week we were looking at a virtually spotless Sun and we said that NOAA predicted the SFI would decline into the low 80s. But this week we have had an explosion of sunspot activity. As a result, the SFI has gone up to 100 with a sunspot number of 87. Just to recap, that doesn’t mean that there are 87 sunspots, as groups count for 10 and sunspots count for one. In any event, it shows that the cycle is progressing nicely.

The solar wind pushed the Kp index up to four on Wednesday, but this didn’t seem to impact MUFs too much.

HF conditions are definitely improving, probably by a combination of seasonal changes and the increased solar flux. There were extensive openings to South America and the Caribbean this week on 21MHz and we can expect these to improve as the month goes on. It was good to work the Dominican Republic on 15m FT8 as well as numerous Brazilian and Argentinian stations. It will be interesting to see if we get 10m openings to North America in late September, which normally requires an SFI of more than 100 to make them reliable.

Next week NOAA predicts the SFI will reduce to around 85 again as active regions 2863 to 2869 rotate out of view. There are signs of another group that will come into view, but we may not get the high SFI that we have experienced this week. The good news is that geomagnetic conditions are likely to remain settled due to a lack of coronal holes, as long as we don’t get any coronal mass ejections.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

For newer licensees, last weekend was possibly the first experience of a decent Tropo opening coinciding with a major European SSB/CW contest. The European 144MHz contest showed what the band is capable of, without the help of a computer, with SSB QSOs from Scotland down to the Czech Republic.

This week on VHF and above it's very much a little bit of Tropo, a little bit rain scatter, and a little bit flat band. The weekend is seeing the end of the unsettled conditions with high pressure returning for a while for the start of the new week. A couple of further showery incursions and rain in the northwest around midweek and just a hint that further high-pressure ridging may return at the end of the week. So, in terms of propagation interests, it feels like a mix of Tropo and some GHz rain scatter at times, with periods of no particular preference, and of course, always a small chance of some aurora or meteor scatter, so keep your options open.

Random meteor activity is still high and the September Epsilon-Perseids are still active until the 21st of September, so keep checking in the early morning for the best MS conditions.

With the Moon at minimum declination on Tuesday, peak moon elevations drop to 11 degrees and the Moon is only above the horizon for around six and a half hours. It reached perigee on Saturday so path losses will be low but increasing.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 5th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 5th 2021.

September 3, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 5th of September 2021

The news headlines:

  • Prof Cathryn Mitchell to headline Convention
  • Newbury children to contact ISS
  • IARU responds to European Commission

 

The RSGB is delighted to announce that Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Online Convention on the 9th of October. Her talk, Radio technology and space science – a perfect partnership, will explore the connections between radio and space and will look at the many ways that everyone can get involved. Cathryn is the Academic Director of the University of Bath Doctoral College and recipient of the 2019 Edward Appleton Medal. She was recently inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame. You can read more about the talk, and all the others in the two streams, at rsgb.org/convention. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary.

A group of children at the Mary Hare School for deaf children in Newbury will be talking to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station in October, using amateur radio equipment set up with the help of Newbury and District ARS. The children will each ask a question to the astronaut who will then answer the question live over amateur radio. The reply will then be interpreted into subtitles and sign language for the children to understand. More details when the October date is announced.

The IARU Region 1 Political Relations Committee, PRC, has responded to two recent European Commission consultations to promote the amateur radio viewpoint. In the case of the consultation on ‘Designing mobile phones and tablets to be sustainable – ecodesign’, the PRC responded with a written submission. It is expected to set a precedent for all wireless equipment needing to be 'greener' in due course. In the second instance, the consultation on the Delegated Act under the Radio Equipment Directive on the subject of ‘Internet-connected radio equipment and wearable radio equipment, the IARU response was one of 26 received by the Commission. The Delegated Act aims at strengthening the security of internet-connected devices, most of which are expected to be part of the Internet of Things, and of wearable radio equipment. However, the IARU has concerns as to how the Act will be implemented and how it might affect amateur radio.

On Monday 6 September the RSGB starts its autumn Tonight @ 8 webinar series. Gavin Nesbitt, MM1BXF will introduce meteor scatter communications. These free webinars are live-streamed on the RSGB YouTube channel and you can ask questions during the presentations via live chat. For more information about this and other webinars in the series go to rsgb.org/webinars

Roger Castle-Smith, G3IOT is presenting an IET webinar at 7 pm on the 8th of September. It is about the Broadcast Group of the Diplomatic Wireless Service that had its origins in the Political Warfare Executive at the beginning of World War Two. This illustrated talk will look at the transmission of black propaganda and associated activities during WWII. There will be many pictures and descriptions of the equipment and aerials used at these stations. Also covered will be an introduction to the progress of amplitude modulation techniques that enabled transmitters to become more compact. This lecture will last for two hours, with a 10-minute break at around halfway. To sign up for the event, which is open to anybody, not just IET members, go to events.theiet.org. Scroll down to 08 Sep and click on the one that mentions Aspidistra, then follow the registration instructions.

Churches and Chapels on the Air is taking place on Saturday the 11th of September. Most activity will take place on the 80 and 40m bands in SSB from 10 am to 4 pm local. For anyone intending to put a station on at their local church or chapel, do ensure that permission is obtained and any Covid guidance is observed. A list of CHOTA stations is at wacral.org.

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 4th and 12th of September. The focus is on supporting and generating donations for flying medical services around the world. The event covers two weekends, giving amateurs a great chance to get involved and support the event. For full details, including how to register, search for ‘amateur radio air ambulance week’ on the internet.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

The annual Telford HamFest takes place today, the 5th of September, at the Harper Adams University campus near Telford, Shropshire. The event opens at 10.15 am, with talk-in via GB4THF. Details can be found at telfordhamfest.org.uk.

Next Sunday, the 12th, the Caister Lifeboat Rally will be held at Caister Lifeboat station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Doors open at 9.30 am. There will be a raffle and the onsite café will be open. The museum will also be open.

Also, on the 12th, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will take place in America Hall, De la Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW.

Now the DX news

Tina, HB0/DL5YL and Fred, HB0/DL5YM will be active from Liechtenstein from the 5th to the 28th of September. Usually, they operate CW, RTTY and some SSB on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via home calls, direct or bureau.

Claudio, HB9OAU will be active holiday style as SV5/HB9OAU from the Greek island of Karpathos, IOTA reference EU-001, until the 17th of September. He will operate SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via his home call, both bureau and direct.

Now the Special Event news

GB2SCC will be activated at St Cynllo's Church in Coed Y Bryn as part of CHOTA this year. They expect to be active mostly on 80m and 40m SSB between 10 am and 4 pm from IO72TB, with perhaps some 20m, 17m and 15m SSB excursions if conditions permit. QSL will be via the bureau.

Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club will be operating GB2BB for the Battle of Britain from the 10th to the 20th of September.

Riviera Amateur Radio Club will be running GB8BB in September in commemoration of those who served in the Battle of Britain. This year is the 80th anniversary.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic.

This weekend is a busy one for contests. The SSB Field Day ends its 24-hour run at 1300UTC today, the 5th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day ends its 24-hour run at 1300UTC today, the 5th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy Contest ends its 24-hour run at 1300UTC today, the 5th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours this weekend ending at 2359UTC today, the 5th. It is SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, although ladies can just send 00.

Today, the 5th, the fifth 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO contest takes place today, the 5th of September, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The full rules are on their website. Entries to be with the contest manager by the 15th of September. Mobile and portable categories have resumed, but the organisers ask that participants please act sensibly.

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

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the 50MHz UK Activity Contest run from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the WAE DX SSB contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2359UTC on the 12th. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. European stations work non-European stations only.

On Sunday the 12th, the UK Microwave group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 3rd of September.

Well, NOAA got the solar flux index prediction wrong last week. The SFI actually ended up higher than the prediction, thanks to active region 2860, which grew as the week went on. NOAA also issued a G1 or Minor, and G2, or Moderate, geomagnetic storm watch for the 1st and 2nd of September, just days after two CMEs occurred on the 28th of August. The first was associated with an M4 X-ray flare or R1-Minor Radio Blackout. The second CME was associated with a filament eruption. As of 1800 on Thursday it looks like this may have been overcautious as no disturbance had occurred. Active region 2863 has now rotated into view, but on Thursday it still looked quite small and non-threatening.

There are signs of HF propagation improving as we move to more autumnal ionospheric conditions. Antoine, 3D2AG and Dominik, 3D2USU in Fiji were both logged on 17 metres this week and ZS1OIN in South Africa was noted on 15 metres. Chris, G3SJJ reports working Chile on 15 and 20 metres, along with Uruguay, Peru and Puerto Rico on 20m.

The equinoxes are typically very good for North-South paths so we can expect conditions to improve as the month wears on. Propquest shows that the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path is generally struggling to reach 18MHz during the day.

Next week NOAA predicts the SFI will decline into the low 80s, due to a lack of serious sunspot activity. It also predicts a maximum Kp index of two. However, a large equatorial coronal hole was Earth-facing on Thursday, so we may expect a geomagnetic disturbance and higher Kp index across this weekend, due to the incoming plasma from the high-speed solar wind.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The prolonged spell of high-pressure weather has produced some strong lift conditions across the country and surrounding seas. Unfortunately, it seems the high will probably suffer some knocks during the coming week and there will be some rain or showers. However, there is a good chance the high will fight back, to some extent, and there may be further Tropo periods during the week. The rain events are unreliable with marked changes in outcome from run to run of the forecast models but may provide occasional opportunities for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The main Sporadic-E season has pretty much finished and, although occasional outliers can still provide activity into September, the events may be very brief. Of course, random meteor scatter and auroral propagation modes are always possible. For one reason or another, it is good to periodically check the VHF/UHF beacons; they are there for this very purpose. Perhaps now is a good time to update your VHF/UHF beacon list by looking at the real-time, updated lists at www.beaconspot.uk to ensure you are there for the next chance opening!

Random meteor activity is still high and there is just one small meteor shower again this week. The September Epsilon-Perseids have a low Zenithal Hourly Rate of five. It is active from the 5th to the 21st of September, reaching a maximum on the 9th at 1100UTC.

Moon declination goes negative again on Wednesday so we’ll have decreasing peak elevations shortening Moon visibility windows. It reaches perigee on Saturday so path losses will be getting lower all week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 29th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 29th 2021.

August 27, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 29th August 2021

The news headlines:

  • G QRP Convention details announced
  • RSGB releases more Online Convention info
  • Farnham WebSDR to close

 

The G QRP club has released a detailed agenda for its Online Convention 2021, taking place on the 4th and 5th of September. The event comprises a series of online presentations and knowledge-sharing meetings where people can share ideas and ask questions. You can find all the details at gqrp.com.

The RSGB has announced further details of its online Convention, which will be held on Saturday the 9th of October. The event will be streamed live on the Society’s YouTube channel. Andrew Barron, ZL3DW will present an entertaining talk about Software Defined Radio that re-evaluates what we mean by SDR. The talk is technical, but not too technical; no maths – well, not much – no software code and no vector diagrams. It is suitable for those who want to learn more about software-defined radio. Ray Novak, N9JA from Icom is well-known in DXing circles. He will look at the question of would you like to be on a DXpedition that doesn’t break the bank? He will help you get interesting ideas on how to have fun as if you were on a DXpedition to a rare entity because your next amateur adventure could be as close as your local park. Whether you’re new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary. You can find more information at rsgb.org/convention.

The popular amateur radio WebSDR at Farnham is to close in a few weeks due to a change of site ownership. It is hoped to eventually relocate to a new site, and the operators are asking for help to identify a suitable location. More at farnham-sdr.com.

Ron White, G6LTT has been co-opted as RSGB Regional Representative 9, London and Thames Valley, until the RSGB 2022 AGM. He can be contacted by email to rr9@rsgb.org.uk. Other appointments include Martin Hallard, G1TYV who takes up the role of District Representative 52, Central and East Birmingham and Leigh Preece, M5GWH, District Representative 55, Staffordshire.

The Cambridge Repeater Group Foxton Rally is still going ahead on Sunday the 19th of September, however, there will not be a Bring & Buy. Car Boot traders are welcome. See cambridgerepeaters.net for details.

If you are planning a visit to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, please note that the RSGB will continue asking visitors to wear a face mask or shield, unless exempt. This policy is in the interest of volunteer and visitor safety, as there is limited airflow and it can get crowded in the theatre and technology areas. The RSGB is actively looking to recruit additional volunteers to join the team, particularly for the weekends. If you think this could be of interest to you, contact Martyn, G0GMB via email to martyn.baker@rsgb.org.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.

As previously publicised, the Milton Keynes ARS Rally, originally due to be held on the 29th of August, is cancelled. The organisers look forward to welcoming visitors again in 2022.

The organisers of the Torbay Amateur Radio Society are very pleased to be able to confirm that the annual communications rally is going ahead today, the 29th of August. The event is being held at the Newton Abbot Racecourse site. Further details are at tars.org.uk.

The Huntingdonshire ARS Rally will take place on bank holiday Monday, the 30th, at Ernulf Academy, St Neots PE19 2SH. Gates open for the public at 9 pm. There is free car parking, a Bring and Buy and indoor and outdoor stalls are available. More at hunts-hams.co.uk.

The online G-QRP Convention takes place on the 4th and 5th of September. See gqrp.com.

The annual Telford HamFest takes place on the 5th of September, at the Harper Adams University campus near Telford, Shropshire. In addition to the usual wide range of traders and exhibitors, there will be presentations by three prominent speakers covering topics such as EME, antennas and RTTY. The event opens at 10.15 am, with talk-in via GB4THF. Details can be found at telfordhamfest.org.uk.

Now the DX news

A group will be active as TM3U from the Saint Marcouf Islands, IOTA reference EU-081, until the 3rd of September. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on the 80 to 6m bands. They also plan to be active on the QO-100 satellite. All QSOs will be uploaded to Club Log and confirmed automatically via the bureau; direct cards should be sent to ON8AZ. See eu081.be for updates.

Matt, AF2F will be active again as AF2F/W4 from Hatteras Island, NA-067 until the 4th of September. He will operate CW and FT8 on the HF bands, and Q65 on 6 metres. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS.

Paco, EA7KNT plans to be active as D4SAL from Sal, AF-086, in Cape Verde until the 5th of September.

Now the Special Event news

Nigel, M0NJW will be active as GB1SAK between the 3rd and the 5th of September during the St Anne’s Kite Festival. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS. This special event station will run from the beach using a long wire supported by a kite flying at a maximum of 60m above the ground.

The Shropshire Linux User Group is celebrating 30 years of the Linux operating system with GB4TUX from the 4th of September. The call will be activated from the Telford Hamfest on the 5th of September.

Members of Leyland & District Amateur Radio will be activating a disused 1950s passenger liner on the 4th and 5th of September. The TSS Duke of Lancaster is beached on the River Dee Estuary, North Wales. The group will operate as GB1DOL with a mixture of SSB, CW, FM and FT8 on HF and the 2m band. Details are on QRZ.com.

Members of the Air Training Corps from Surrey Wing will be operating GB80ATC at their Annual Field Day at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge on the 4th of September. This marks the 80th anniversary of the Air Training Corps. The station plans to be operating on the 2m band using FM and on the 80 to 12m bands depending on conditions. Operations will be between 9 am and 4 pm.

The Alabama Contest Group will operate a Special Event commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks. It will run from the 5th of September at 0000UTC to the 12th of September at 2359UTC. The callsign will be K4A and there will be special QSL cards available. QSL with SASE to Bob Beaudoin, WA1FCN.

9Y59IND will be on the air to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago’s 59th Independence Day. Running until the 12th of September, it will operate HF SSB, FT8, EME, DMR and D-Star. A schedule of activities can be found at 9y59ind.info.

Riviera Amateur Radio Club will be running GB8BB in September in commemoration of those who served in the Battle of Britain. This year is the 80th anniversary.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic.

This weekend is the World-Wide Digi DX contest. It runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 28th to 1200UTC on the 29th. Using FT4 and FT8 on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Today, the 29th, the UK Microwave group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday, the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

Also on Wednesday, the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your 6-character locator.

On Saturday, the CWops CW Open contest runs for the full 24 hours. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is serial number and your name. There are three 4-hour sessions to this contest.

Next weekend is a busy one for contests. The SSB Field Day runs from 1300UTC on the 4th to 1300UTC on the 5th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day also runs for 24 hours from 1300UTC on the 4th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy Contest also runs for 24-hours from 1300UTC on the 4th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours next weekend from 0000UTC on the 4th. It is SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, although ladies can just send 00.

The 2nd Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge will take place on the 4th and 5th of September. Session 1 is 0800 to 1159UTC on the 4th; Session 2 is 1600 to 1959UTC also on the 4th; Session 3 is 0000 to 0359UTC is on the 5th. This contest uses the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80m bands. CW, phone and digital contacts are permitted. Full details at foxmikehotel.com/challenge.

Next Sunday, the 5th, the fifth 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO contest will take place on the 5th of September from 1000 to 1400UTC. The full rules are on their website. Entries to be with the contest manager by the 15th of September. Mobile and portable categories have resumed, but the organisers ask that participants please act sensibly.

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

We had another week with a quiet Sun, but it wasn’t as settled as you might think. Yes, the solar flux index was in the low- to-mid-80s, but the Sun started to get very active. The first event on Sunday saw a prominence eruption off the west limb that flung a coronal mass ejection, or CME, into space. Another eruption near active region 2859 also launched a large amount of plasma into space, but luckily it was not headed towards Earth. So, by Thursday, we had two large sunspot groups visible, with perhaps region 2860 looking more and more active as it grows. Any potential CME activity occurring as a result of any solar flare this weekend will likely end up hitting the Earth.

DX was a little sparse, but there were some nuggets to be had. Josep, EA3BT, on holiday in Tanzania, was workable on 15m as 5I3B and Pasi, OJ0W, on Market Reef, supplied CW QSOs for many stations on a mix of bands including 80 metres. Gary, G0FWX on the 10 metre UK Net Facebook group reported hearing Australia on 10m FT8 last week. Gary said: “I started working VKs in the middle of September on SSB last year, but this is a good sign”.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid-70s with mainly settled geomagnetic conditions. Friday the third is the exception when the Kp index is set to rise to four.

Maximum usable frequencies are starting to rise a little thanks to seasonal changes, with 18MHz and even 21MHz often open during the daytime. These openings will likely firm up as we head towards mid-September and head into Autumn ionospheric conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure looks very likely to dominate the weather charts for the coming week and will continue the Tropo-themed weather pattern of the last few days. Unlike Sporadic-E, Tropo tends to be long lasting but is usually better overnight and across sea paths like the North Sea or across Biscay to Spain and beyond to EA8. Don’t forget to try modes other than FM and FT8, such as SSB or CW – and do call CQ if the band is quiet.

Sporadic-E itself is looking less exciting as we head to the end of the current summer season. Fleeting events can still happen, and 10m will carry the most traffic with just the odd foray onto 6m on a good day.

Meteor scatter via random meteors is usually at its best in August, so keep looking around dawn to benefit from the pre-dawn enhancement. This is caused by the dayside of the earth rotating into the flux of meteors in the orbital plane.

There is just one small meteor shower this week, peaking on the 1st of September. The Aurigids have a low Zenithal Hourly Rate of just six.

The Moon reaches apogee on Monday so path losses will be at their highest for the month. On the positive side, peak declination occurs on Thursday so we have high peak elevations over 60 degrees meaning less ground noise at VHF and long Moon visibility windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 22nd 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 22nd 2021.

August 20, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 22nd August 2021

The news headlines:

  • Latest Convention details released
  • Members’ free entry to Bletchley resumes
  • Megacycle Ride reaches northern Scotland

The RSGB has announced further details of its online Convention, which will be held on Saturday the 9th of October. The event will be streamed live on the Society’s YouTube channel. Dan, M0WUT will be focusing on hand-soldering techniques that will allow you to tackle all but the most challenging of components. If levels of interference at home are a problem, Michael, G0POT will look at taking your station out into the countryside and how to make it effective. Whether you're new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary. You can find more information at rsgb.org/convention.

The RSGB is delighted that it can now resume its RSGB Members’ free entry voucher for Bletchley Park, which also gives entry to the RSGB National Radio Centre. Visitor arrangements have changed and you will need to pre-book a date and time slot for your visit via the Bletchley Park website. You will need your visitor ticket and your RSGB entry voucher to hand in when you arrive. Please follow carefully the instructions on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/bpvoucher so you can enjoy your visit to Bletchley Park and the RSGB NRC.

Kevin, G0PEK and Lauren, 2E0HLR commenced their Megacycle 2021 ride at the start of August and have now reached the North of Scotland. This weekend they are active using GB5CWL at Cape Wrath. They plan to finish their cycling challenge on Thursday the 26th of August. While radio activity has been limited during the ride, they have been using the challenge to raise funds for the RNLI. For more information look for Megacycle DXpedition on Facebook.

Part two of the BATC Convention will take place on the 16th of October. It will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. More information is at batc.org.uk.

The International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 4th and the 12th of September 2021. The event covers two weekends, giving amateurs a great chance to get involved. Details can be found at radio-amateur-events.org.

The National Museum of Computing on the Bletchley Park site will be holding another Electrojumble on Sunday the 19th of September from 11 am to 3 pm. Although entry to the event is free, admission will be by pre-booked ticket. For more detailed information and booking details please visit tnmoc.org.

The QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T-Z group has retired. A replacement volunteer to distribute cards to this active sub-group is urgently needed. If you have time, a little space, some basic computer skills plus the desire to help your fellow members, the bureau would like to hear from you. You can find out more by emailing QSL@rsgb.org.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

Today, the 22nd, a Grand Field Day Out will be held at Willesborough Windmill, Ashford, just off M20 junction 10.

As previously publicised the Milton Keynes ARS Rally, originally due to be held on the 29th of August, is cancelled. The organisers look forward to welcoming visitors again in 2022.

The Organising Team & Club Committee of the Torbay Amateur Radio Society are very pleased to be able to confirm that the annual communications rally is going ahead this year on the 29th of August. The event is being held at the Newton Abbot Racecourse site. Further details are at tars.org.uk.

The Huntingdonshire ARS Rally will take place on bank holiday Monday, the 30th, at Ernulf Academy, St Neots PE19 2SH. More at hunts-hams.co.uk.

Now the DX news

Elvira, IV3FSG will be active as 5X3R from Uganda until the 2nd of September. QSL via IK2DUW direct; the log will be uploaded to Club Log.

A team will be active as EJ7NET from Gola Island, IOTA reference EU-121, until the 25th of August. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via EI6FR, direct only.

Pasi, OH3WS will be active as OJ0WS from Market Reef, EU-053, until the 28th of August. He will operate CW only. QSL via the bureau to OH3WS.

Bill, K9HZ will be active as J68HZ from St. Lucia, NA-108 until the 8th of November. He operates FT8, CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World, which is preferred, eQSL or direct to K9HZ. He will also upload his log to Club Log.

Now the Special Event news

Today, the 22nd is the final day of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Many lighthouses, lightships and associated places will be activated for this annual event.

Moray Firth Amateur Radio Society will be operating as GB0CSL from the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse, Lossiemouth, with the kind permission of the lighthouse trustees. GB0ELH will be active from near the Beachy Head Lighthouse. North Bristol Amateur Radio Club will run GB0AVL from Avonmouth Community centre, close to the Avonmouth Lights.

Today, the 22nd, members of Colchester Radio Amateurs are operating GB0BRO to support the reopening of the British Resistance Organisation Museum. Activity will be on 80, 30 and 20m SSB, FT8 digital and PSK31.

The Shropshire Linux User Group is celebrating 30 years of the Linux operating system with GB4TUX from the 4th of September. The call will be activated from the Telford Hamfest on the 5th of September.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic. August is the month of the traditional summer holiday so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the World Wide Digi DX contest. It runs from 1200UTC on the 29th to 1200UTC on the 30th. It uses FT4 and FT8 on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 29th, the UK Microwave group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 20th of August.

We had another week of low sunspot numbers but generally settled geomagnetic conditions. The solar flux index generally stayed in the range of 73-75, which is nothing to get too excited about. The Kp index hit a maximum of three but was more often at zero or one.

Maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path have struggled to exceed 18MHz during daylight hours and 14MHz has probably been more usable. Thirty metres, and sometimes 20 metres, have remained open long after dark, but we are seeing those bands closing earlier as we leave Summer and head towards Autumn. But this does mean that we are also heading for an upturn in ionospheric propagation as the chemical make-up of the ionosphere changes from molecular to atomic components, which are easier to ionise.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with a solar flux index in the range 72-74. It also predicts a rise in the Kp index to four on Tuesday the 24th, which could see MUFs decline. This may be due to a high-speed stream from a coronal hole, stretching down towards the solar equator and currently rotating into an Earth-facing position.

It’s the North American SSB QSO party this weekend, so perhaps a good opportunity for a trans-Atlantic phone contact. Again, 20 metres would be best during daylight hours, with an occasional opening on 15 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week’s spell of indifferent summer weather partially supported Tropo conditions due to a weak ridge close to southern areas, but it remained more unsettled in the northwest. This Tropo saw a few stations in Southern England managing to launch signals into the almost ever-present Tropo ducting down to the Canaries caused by the Azores High phenomenon. Even some lucky stations east of the Meridian in JO02 square worked the 3,000km or so path to the Canaries and Madeira, EA8 and CT3 respectively, on 144MHz FT8. This is very rare on Tropo alone and usually is the privilege of stations much further south and west.

Early in the coming week, a high-pressure area is signalled to return to northern areas initially, with improving Tropo prospects soon extending to the whole country in the early part of next week. Some models suggest the return of low pressure towards the end of the week, with some rain scatter to be had from this on the microwave bands.

There have been a few Sporadic-E examples continuing into the second half of August and, although becoming harder to find now, it is still worth checking the clusters and beacons. Last week, some activity on 10m even extended well past midnight.

We are still close to the broad-peaked Perseids meteor shower, so continue to monitor for improved meteor scatter conditions. The shower radiant might still enhance the usual peak of random meteors around dawn.

Moon declination goes positive again on Wednesday so we’ll see lengthening Moon windows and higher peak Moon elevation as the week progresses. Path losses will rise steadily as the Moon goes out to apogee, its farthest point from Earth, a week on Monday, the 30th.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 15th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 15th 2021.

August 13, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 15th August 2021

The news headlines:

  • Amateurs help with forest fire comms
  • Latest Online Convention news
  • Morse Texting girls make video

Radio Amateurs from the Algerian National Society ARA are assisting their Government in the response to forest fires, where 65 people have lost their lives already. An ARA team was dispatched to the scene of the incident, where communications networks were already weak, to communicate emergency needs between the mobile station in the area and the crisis unit in Tamda via the ARA HQ station. Frequencies reported in use are 7110kHz, 3650kHz and 14300kHz. Please take care not to affect emergency operations on those frequencies.

The RSGB has announced further details of its online Convention, which will be held on Saturday 9 October. The event will be streamed live on the Society’s YouTube channel and there is a great line-up of expert speakers to inspire you. Whether you're new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the date in your diary. You can find out more information from the website at rsgb.org/convention

Milly, Alice and Caitlin, the three girls featured in the August issue of RadCom, have made a video about Morse Texting. It will be shown at the QSO Today online conference on Sunday 15 August at 5 pm BST. Access to the Exhibitor area is free but does require registration. You can see a complete list of over 90 speakers and purchase tickets at qsotodayhamexpo.com.

For a number of years, the RSGB has been operating a very successful Morse Competency Scheme. Until he recently became SK, Philip Brooks, G4NZQ ran the scheme’s administration. It relies on the services of approximately 28 Morse Assessors dotted up and down the country to carry out the actual tests/assessments. The Society would like to appoint someone to take on this important role. Ideally, applicants should have an interest in Morse code. For further information see the full description on the RSGB volunteers’ web page, rsgb.org/volunteers

The G-QRP Club has released the agenda for its Online Convention 2021, which takes place on the 4th and 5th of September. The event comprises a series of online presentations and knowledge-sharing meetings. It’s free to G-QRP Club members; others are charged. For more information and to view the full event schedule, visit gqrp.com/convention.htm

The QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T-Z group has retired. A replacement volunteer to distribute cards to this active sub-group is urgently needed. If you have time, a little space, some basic computer skills plus the desire to help your fellow members, the bureau would like to hear from you. You can find out more by emailing QSL@rsgb.org.uk.

Dudley and District club plans a nine-week Foundation course that commences on the 10th of September. For details, email exams@dadars.club.

The RSGB held its 2021 AGM online in April and members were invited to send in questions for RSGB Board Directors before the AGM. These questions were answered during the event. In successive issues of RadCom, the RSGB is sharing the Q&A so that everyone can see the topics discussed and the answers given. You can also read them on the Society’s website and if you missed the event, you can still view the whole of the AGM on the RSGB YouTube channel.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

The Dartmoor Radio Rally takes place today at its new venue, The Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton. Devon, PL20 6AL. Free parking is available on site. Doors open at 10 am and admission is £2.50. There will be the usual Bring & Buy, trade stands and refreshments.

Part 1 of the British Amateur Television Club Convention, CAT 21, will commence on the 21st of August at the Midland Air Museum, Rowley Road, Coventry CV3 4FR. There will be lectures, discussions and fix-it sessions on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, followed by the BATC General meeting on Sunday afternoon. The intention is that all lectures will be streamed online. Details can be found at forum.batc.org.uk.

On Sunday the 22nd, a Grand Field Day Out will be held at Willesborough Windmill, Ashford, just off junction 10 of the M20.

Now the DX news

Yann, F1SMB is activating several French Polynesia islands as FO/F1SMB. From the 15th to the 17th of August he is on Rangiroa, IOTA reference OC-066; for 17th to the 20th he moves to Fakarava, OC-066 and finally, on the 20th to the 23rd, it’s Tahiti, OC-046. He operates QRP SSB and FT8, mainly on 40m and 20m. QSL via F1SMB and eQSL, according to operator’s instructions.

AM1CCB is the special callsign for URE Burgos to mark the 800th anniversary of Burgos Cathedra, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The callsign is active until the 18th of August. QSL via the bureau, LoTW, eQSL, or direct.

Massimo, HB9TUZ will be active as HI9/HB9TUZ from Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, NA-096, until the 30th of August. He will operate SSB on 40 to 10m. QSL via eQSL only.

Special callsign 6E0D will be active until the end of August to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the fall of the capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan, on the 13th of August 1521. QSL via LoTW, or direct to XE1EE.

Special callsigns R20RTA, R20RTM, R20RTP, R20RTRN and R20RTT will be active until the end of August to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network, created on 13 August 2001. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Now the Special Event news

Next weekend is International Lightships and Lightship weekend. Many lighthouses, lightships and associated places will be activated for this annual event.

Moray Firth Amateur Radio Society will be operating as GB0CSL from the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse, Lossiemouth, with the kind permission of the lighthouse trustees. Activity will be on HF and VHF, with details listed at www.mfars.club and on QRZ.com under GB0CSL.

GB0ELH will be active over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd August 2021 for the International Lighthouses and Lightships Heritage Weekend from near the Beachy Head Lighthouse. They will be operating on an ad-hoc basis from HF through to 23cm. QSL by email only to canavp@gmail.com. Full details are on the QRZ.com page for GB0ELH.

North Bristol Amateur Radio Club will run GB0AVL from Avonmouth Community centre, close to the Avonmouth Lights. They intend to operate from 9 am to 5 pm on both days. Details are at nbarc.org.uk.

Other special event calls we know of in relation to the weekend include GB2RL for Roker Light, Sunderland; GB5HCL, Hurst Castle Lighthouse; GB0TLH, Teignmouth Lighthouse and GB0ALK for the Association of Lighthouse Keepers. There are many more, worldwide.

Next Sunday, members of the Colchester Radio Amateurs are holding a special event called BRO On The Air, using the callsign GB0BRO. The aim is to support the reopening of the British Resistance Organisation Museum and to celebrate, belatedly, the 80th Anniversary of the formation of the British Resistance Organisation in June 1940. Activity will be on 80,30 and 20m SSB, FT8 digital and PSK31.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe. August is the month of the traditional summer holiday so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

The first of the Worked All Europe DX contests of the year ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, Sunday. This is the CW leg. Europe works non-Europe only in this German-run series. Exchanging QTCs, that’s reports of previously held contacts, can significantly boost your score, although not everybody chooses to do it. See the rules to learn how QTCs work. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 5th 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Thursday sees the 70MHz UKAC from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

We had another week of minimal sunspot numbers, a low solar flux, but quiet geomagnetic conditions. As a result, DX was a little harder to find. We did have a low-level C-class solar flare on August the 9th that erupted from a plage region on the Sun. Whether this was a precursor to a sunspot appearing we will have to wait and see.

HF conditions have been a little lacklustre with maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to get above 18MHz a lot of the time. Sporadic-E has helped a little, but that is also starting to decline now that the bulk of the season is over.

The best DX may be occurring overnight. Laurie, G3UML reports working Anguilla on 3.799MHz at 0109Z this week – the top 10kHz on 80 metres is often a good DX watering hole. He also reports very good conditions to South America on 20m up to around 2300hrs local and huge signals on 40m from the eastern US. On Thursday morning he also logged K7GI in Arizona on 40m at a genuine S9+. Meanwhile, Colin, G3VCQ reports that signals from Japan on 40m in the early evening have been good too. This may be due to the quiet geomagnetic conditions, which allow the ionosphere to settle. The lower SFI means that higher bands may not be open during the day, but the lower bands can come into their own after dark.

As of Thursday, there were no coronal holes on the Sun’s equator so we may expect the good conditions to continue over this weekend. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will start next week in the low 70s. There may be a slight increase to the mid-70s as the week goes on. We may expect slightly unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 16th with a Kp index of three, but after that, it should settle again to one or two.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The end of last week saw some reasonable Tropo conditions over southern areas extending south into the near continent and down across Biscay to Spain. This area of enhanced lift conditions will be displaced to just affect southwestern parts of the UK and southern Ireland as we move into the new week.

The main change is a return to a more unsettled northwesterly weather type with showers in the first half of next week, so some rain scatter options should be available. By about midweek the next change comes in the form of high pressure returning to northern areas and perhaps more widely later. This is potentially useful for Tropo again, although not as good as that at the end of last week.

Last week’s Perseids meteor shower has probably added some useful new long-lived metallic ionisation into the mix as fuel for Sporadic-E. The coming week shows that jet streams are still present, so maintain your watch list of 10m and 6m beacons to check. The Perseids are a relatively broad-peaked shower, so there will still be some good meteor scatter moments through the coming week as well as the best random meteors around dawn. The Kappa Cygnids shower is active and should peak around the 18th, but with a ZHR of just three, it’s a small one.

Moon declination is negative this week so Moon windows will be short. Minimum declination is very close to Tuesday’s perigee where we have the lowest path losses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 8th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 8th 2021.

August 6, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 8th August 2021

The news headlines:

  • Nominate someone for G5RP Trophy
  • Prepare for CHOTA
  • Visitors flock to NRC

The G5RP Trophy is an annual RSGB award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2021, send your nomination to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, via email to hf.manager@rsgb.org.uk to arrive no later than Friday the 10th of September.

Churches and Chapels on the Air is taking place on Saturday the 11th of September. Most activity will take place on the 80 and 40m bands, SSB, between 10 am to 4 pm. If you are intending to put a station on at their local church or chapel, please ensure permission has been obtained and any Covid rules in force are observed. Please send details of your CHOTA station to John, G3XYF via email to jhwresdell@gmail.com. A list of CHOTA stations should be available at wacral.org.

The RSGB National Radio Centre is seeing amazing visitor numbers. In July they welcomed 7,682 visitors and, on the last Saturday in July, there were 639 in a single day. The RSGB continues to put emphasis on the well-being of visitors and volunteers; visitor numbers are carefully monitored. The RSGB is also asking visitors and volunteers to continue to wear a face-covering or face shield, use the hand sanitiser stations frequently and respect social distancing within the NRC. At this time, we are still not permitting visiting radio amateurs to use the GB3RS station.

The next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will take place on the 14th and 15th of August. Tickets include entry for the Live two-day period as well as the 30-day on-demand period. Access to the Exhibitor area is free but does require registration. You can purchase tickets and see a complete list of over 90 speakers at qsotodayhamexpo.com.

In July, Steve, G0FUW gave a talk that covered the history of Amateur Radio Exams in the UK and the 2019 Exam Syllabus. Steve is well-known for his involvement with Bath Based Distance Learning. The talk was given online to the Bath & District Amateur Radio Club. Go to YouTube and search for Bath & District Amateur Radio Club and you can view the video.

On the 12th of December 1921, Paul Godley, 2ZE received the first complete and verified amateur radio short wave transatlantic message ever sent, from 1BCG based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Godley finally settled on Ardrossan as the site to conduct his reception experiments. The Crocodile Rock Amateur Group is celebrating the centenary of Paul Godley’s success, in collaboration with North Ayrshire Council. GB2ZE and GB1002ZE will be operating throughout December. They would welcome volunteers for all aspects of the centenary celebrations. To volunteer please contact Bob, GM0DEQ via email to robert@gm0deq.force9.co.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

As previously publicised, the Flight Refuelling Hamfest that was originally scheduled for today, the 8th, is cancelled.

The Cockenzie & Port Seton Mini Rally scheduled for the 13th of August is also cancelled.

The Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place on the 15th of August at The Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton. Devon, PL20 6AL. Free parking is available on site. There will be the usual Bring & Buy, trade stands and refreshments. Doors open at 10 am and admission is £2.50.

Part 1 of the British Amateur Television Club Convention will take place of the 21st of August at the Midland Air Museum, Rowley Road, Coventry CV3 4FR.

On the 22nd, a Grand Field Day Out will be held at Willesborough Windmill, Ashford, just off junction 10 of the M20.

Now the DX news

Bruno, IW5BBV will be active as CN2BBV while touring Morocco until the 30th of August. He will operate SSB mainly on the 40 and 20m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Frans, DJ0TP will be active as TK/DJ0TP from Corsica, IOTA reference EU-014, until the 14th of September. QSL via Logbook of The World, or via the bureau to his home callsign.

Bruce, ZL1AAO will be active holiday style as E51AAO from Rarotonga, OC-013, in the South Cook Islands from the 9th to the 19th of August. He will operate SSB on the 40 and 20m bands. QSL via his home callsign and Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Today, 8th of August, Welland Valley ARS will be running GB5HAW from the Harborough At War event at the Market Harborough Show Ground LE16 7QB.

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe. August is the month of the traditional summer holiday so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

The Machine Generated Modes contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using the 50 and 144MHz bands, the exchange is your report and 4-character locator.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, the first of the Worked All Europe DX contests of the year runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 14th to 2359UTC on the 15th. This is the CW leg. Europe works non-Europe only in this German-run series. Exchanging QTCs, that’s reports of previously held contacts, can significantly boost your score, although not everybody chooses to do it. See the rules to learn how QTCs work. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 15th, is the 5th 70MHz Cumulative contest that runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The last week looked like we were back at solar minimum again! With the solar flux declining to 71, and the sunspot number at 14 on Thursday, it hardly looks like things are improving. This was coupled with news from NASA that they have revised their projections for Solar Cycle 25.

NASA heliophysicists at the High-Altitude Observatory, based at the University Of Colorado, now predict the peak of Solar Cycle 25 will top out at a value of 195, plus or minus 17. This is based upon the new scale for calculating smoothed sunspot numbers. For reference, Solar Cycle 21 peaked at an SSN of 233 on the new scale, while Solar Cycle 23 peaked at an SSN of 180 on the same scale. They also now agree that the dramatic run-up in sunspot activity we experienced late last Autumn was an outlier. In other words, they are saying that Cycle 25 may not yet have properly started. Or at least, we are not seeing a dramatic start, but only time will tell if they are right.

Maximum useable frequencies remain subdued, partly because of the low solar flux and partly because we are still in the summer doldrums. With the daytime critical frequency mainly in the range 5 to 6MHz, this means the 40m band remains closed to near-vertical incidence skywave or short skip. Daytime MUFs over 3,000km struggle to get much above 18MHz.

Laurie, G3UML reports OA4DX in Peru has been CQing on 30m using CW around midnight, nice if you fancy working a fairly rare one. Thirty metres can be a good band after dark if you like digital modes or CW.

Amateurs looking to work around the UK during the day are better off looking at 60 metres, the 5MHz band, or perhaps just waiting until nightfall when the absorbing D-layer dissipates and 80m comes alive.

There is a chance of unsettled geomagnetic conditions across this weekend, thanks to a high-speed solar wind from a coronal hole.

Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the mid-70s. Geomagnetic conditions look set to remain mainly quiet, apart from a period around August 10th and 11th when the Kp index may rise to four.

So, in conclusion, we think the main message is to make the most of any Sporadic-E as the season is now past its peak. And if you want to work DX stay as high in frequency as you can during the day, perhaps 17 or even 15 metres, or look at 30m and 40m after dark for some occasional surprises.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The basic pattern of unsettled weather looks like continuing into the coming week. This means that rain scatter QSOs should be worth a look for the GHz operators. It is hard to see any significant Tropo coming out of this weather pattern except perhaps for a time around the middle part of the week when high pressure to the south of Britain may give some Tropo conditions from southern areas into the continent.

The other mode of choice, even in August, is still going to be Sporadic-E and this spell of unsettled weather is very good for providing strong summer jet streams, which can be important in the formation process of Sporadic-E. Overall, the positioning of the jet streams looks better at the end of this week and into the beginning of next week, whereas later next week the jet stream strengths will probably be weaker.

As we move into the middle of August, the peak of the Perseids meteor shower is approaching in the second half of the week. This is potentially good for Sporadic-E since meteors are the source of the ionisation comprising Sporadic-E, but obviously, also a good thing for meteor scatter activity. Thursday the 12th and Friday the 13th sees the peak of the shower, so with a ZHR of 100 and some big fireballs, not only will MSK144 and FSK441 digimodes produce excellent results with modest stations, fast CW and SSB with slick operating will also bring QSOs for those larger stations.

Moon declination goes negative next Thursday so Moon windows will shorten as the week progresses. Perigee is still nearly a fortnight away, but path losses will continue to decline.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 1st 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 1st 2021.

July 30, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 1st August 2021

The news headlines:

  • SSTV sked from ISS
  • New interlinked GB2RS broadcast
  • Amateur on University Challenge

 

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station are planning to transmit Slow Scan TV images on 145.800MHz FM using the SSTV mode PD-120. The transmissions will be made from RS0ISS in the Russian ISS Service module. The dates are planned as the 6th of August from 1050 to 1910UTC and the 7th of August from 0950 to 1555UTC. As always, these dates and times could change depending on operations onboard the ISS. The signal should be receivable on a handheld with a quarter-wave whip. If your rig has selectable FM filters try the wider filter for 25kHz channel spacing. You can find ISS pass times at amsat.org/track.

We’re always seeking new ways to bring you GB2RS each week, and now we have news of an interlinked broadcast. John, G4TRN and Sean, G7NJX have interlinked GB3ZB and GB3FI to extend their 70cm broadcast to both sides of the Mendips. Thank you to them and all the other newsreaders who bring the news to listeners week by week.

Nikolas, M0IPY, who is Chair of Cambridge University Wireless Society, will be appearing in the Emmanuel College team on University Challenge. The programme airs on Monday the 2nd of August at 8.30 pm. Why not watch and cheer his team on! Nikolas also recently took part in the VHF NFD in Cambridge. You can find out more details from the BBC website.

Kevin, G0PEK and Lauren, 2E0HLR will be taking part in the Megacycle DXpedition as they cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats. It starts today, the 1st of August, and they hope to be home by the 28th. They will be carrying radio equipment on the bikes and operating VHF bicycle mobile and APRS along much of the route. Some HF QRP operations may be possible too. You can follow their progress on the Megacycle DXpedition Facebook page.

The British Amateur Television Club Convention will take place, on the 21st of August only, at the Midland Air Museum. This event will be a meetup, show & tell and Bring & Buy event with full test facilities. On the 16th of October, part 2 of the BATC Convention will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. You can read more at batc.org.uk.

Today, the 1st of August is Yorkshire Day and for many of the participants of the Hambleton ARS daily net, it will be a double celebration. It is the 500th consecutive day of operation of their daily net on 2m FM. The net is open to any amateur or listener and was started to keep amateurs in the area in touch during the Covid lockdown. So far, 87 different stations have been logged since it started. A special Yorkshire themed ‘Cabin Fever’ award is available for any station taking part in the net, issued via email by Tim, G0TYM. SWL Reports are welcome and should be sent to hambletonars2020@gmail.com. The net starts at 11 am on the 2m calling frequency and usually moves to S18 if clear.

Many stations will take to the airwaves between the 2nd and 15th of August to celebrate the 4th anniversary of FT8. Commemorative stations will use callsigns with FTDMC or FTDM in the suffix. Logs will be uploaded to the Logbook of The World and eQSL systems and paper QSL cards will be available. A list of stations due to take part can be found at ft8dmc.eu/anniversary.

The AMSAT Engineering and Operations Teams has announced that the satellite known as AO-109 is now open for amateur use. Users are advised to use efficient modes such as CW or FT4 for making contacts, as there are issues with the satellite that make SSB voice contacts difficult. AO-109 is an inverting linear transponder. The uplink is 145.860MHz to 145.890MHz and the downlink is 435.760MHz to 435.790MHz. Later, there will be 1200 baud PSK telemetry on 435.750MHz, but that is still non-operational.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

News of a cancelled rally first. The Galashiels Rally, planned for the 24th of October, has been cancelled for this year.

The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned for today, the 1st of August, at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, SNl5 5NJ. Doors are open from 9 am to 3 pm and admission is free. Details are at chippenhamradio.club.

Also today, the 1st of August, the radio operators of Cornwall are holding the 1st Cornwall Antenna Build-Off. This is a free event. As well as the Build-Off there are Bring & Buy tables available as well as refreshments. For details search @g5xdx on Facebook or email G5XDX@gmx.co.uk.

The King’s Lynn ARC radio rally will go ahead today, the 1st of August, at Gaywood Community Centre, King’s Lynn PE30 4EL. Doors open at 9 am and the entry is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and car boot pitches outside. Catering is available on site. See klarc.org.uk.

The Flight Refuelling Hamfest, originally scheduled for next weekend, is cancelled for 2021, as previously publicised.

Now the DX news

Yann, F1SMB will be active as FO/F1SMB from several French Polynesia islands in August. Between the 2nd and 6th of August, he will be on Moorea, IOTA reference OC-046, and between the 6th and the 10th, it will be Tahaa, OC-067. He will operate QRP SSB and FT8 mainly on 40m and 20m. QSL via F1SMB for SSB contacts and eQSL for both SSB and FT8 contacts.

Hal, W8HC will be active holiday style as FS/W8HC from St. Martin, NA-105, until the 6th of August. He will operate CW and FT8 on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Massimo, HB9TUZ will be active as HI9/HB9TUZ from Las Terrenas, NA-096, in the Dominican Republic throughout August. He will operate SSB on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via eQSL only.

Now the Special Event news

On the 7th and 8th of August, Welland Valley ARS will be running GB5HAW from the Harborough At War event at the Market Harborough Show Ground LE16 7QB. It is a two-day 1940s and World War II living history show. There will be trade stands, static military vehicle displays, battle re-enactments with smoke and pyrotechnics galore. There will also be a home front area that will host static displays and a marquee. This is where the WVARS will be located. They will be on air from the 6th of August when they set up.

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe. August is the month of the traditional summer holiday so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

Today, the 1st of August, the 432MHz Low Power Contest runs from 0800 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest, running from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is a report and your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is the Machine Generated Modes contest, running for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 7th. Using the 50 and 144MHz bands, the exchange is your report and 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 30th of July.

Last week the Sun was bursting with sunspots, with a solar flux index in the high 80s. But, by Thursday, we were looking at a different picture, with zero sunspots and a solar flux index of 79. We also had a geomagnetic disturbance, thanks to the arrival of a high-speed stream from a coronal hole late on Wednesday. This pushed the Kp index to four, with the solar wind speed remaining elevated until at least late Thursday. The disruption triggered a short-lived ionospheric enhancement, with maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path reaching 25MHz at 2040UTC on Wednesday, according to Propquest and the Chilton Ionosonde data. But, by Thursday morning, MUFs were struggling to reach 14MHz.

Propagation earlier in the week had been quite good, with extensive openings to the Far East on 17m. Rodney, G0CBO reports working a host of stations, including Japan and Kazakhstan, using just 40W FT8 to a vertical. Steve, G0KYA worked 8N8OLP, the Tokyo special event station for the Olympics, using 50W FT8 to a quarter-wave vertical on 20m.

Next week, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Centre predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-70s. It also has the Kp index at a maximum of two or three, reflecting the lack of solar coronal holes. There is the possibility of a geomagnetic disturbance this weekend caused by material arriving from a small coronal hole on the Sun’s equator, but its effects are likely to be minimal and short-lived.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week provided some excellent rain scatter QSOs for GHz bands operators. The heavy showers across the South and East of the country coincided with not one, but two GHz contests. During the all-day Sunday, UK Microwave group event, many stations reported working into the North of England from the South and East Anglia via backscatter from a line of heavy showers extending from Ipswich down to Southampton.

The coming week looks very similar to the last one, with an unsettled weather pattern offering further heavy showers or thunderstorms and longer periods of rain. This will favour rain scatter, while there is little prospect of any high-pressure systems returning to produce Tropo.

Regarding Sporadic-E, the unsettled weather suggests there will be jet stream activity to help along any late-season interest. Remember that the season can extend into early September, so plenty of time to fill in any missing squares this year.

With positive Moon declination, this week we’ll have long Moon visibility windows, but with apogee on Monday, path losses will be at their highest.

Random or sporadic meteor rates are still high, but there’s a big shower on the way. Get ready for the largest shower of the year, the Perseids. This peaks on the 12th and 13th of August with a zenithal hourly rate of 100. Find out more about this shower next week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 25th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 25th 2021.

July 23, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 25th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • RadCom Basics latest issue
  • NRC Net to close
  • DARC reports survey results

 

The latest issue of RadCom Basics is now available from the RSGB website. In this edition, you can read about split frequency operation and more on logging and eLog, amongst other subjects. RSGB Members can read previous editions of RadCom Basics by going to rsgb.org/radcom-basics. You can register at the same address to receive notification of subsequent issues as they become available.

As life returns, we hope, to a degree of normality, the regular weekday National Radio Centre net will cease. Instead, at 10.30 am on 3.737MHz an informal gathering will take place for those that want to call in and have a QSO. The RSGB would like to thank Nigel, G4RWI, who ran the NRC 80m net every day in 2020 and on weekdays throughout 2021. There were over 400 nets with hundreds of callers and thousands of QSOs.

The German national society, DARC, has published the results of the amateur radio survey they conducted for the IARU. They had 550 respondents. The results are available via the DARC website, in German. There are some similarities with the RSGB’s survey, as well as opinions on FT8 and licensing.

On the third weekends of April and May, the IARU Region 1 organised the first 50MHz and 70MHz Machine Generated Modes-only contests. The official results are now published at iaru-r1.org. Congratulations to G4PLZ, who achieved top placing in both contests in the 6-hour section. His best DX on 50MHz was in excess of 1700km, and he achieved almost 1600km on 70MHz.

In line with Government advice, Bletchley Park has relaxed their requirement for mask-wearing and social distancing. Their visit-booking system is still in place. Whilst the RSGB acknowledges that the legal requirement of Covid precautions has been reduced, we wish to take a more cautious approach at the National Radio Centre. As space in the NRC is restricted and there is limited airflow, the wellbeing of visitors and volunteers is paramount. This means many Covid precautions such as face coverings and social distancing within the NRC will still be required. The GB3RS station is still unavailable for visiting amateurs, but we will bring you news when this situation changes.

As GB2RS continues to expand, it is a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to two new newsreaders. Leigh, M5GWH has joined the existing team in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Essex newsreaders have been joined by Richard, G0NAD. In addition to reading a brand-new broadcast on 70cm, Richard is also assisting with the 4m service in that area. And listeners in the north of England may like to note that the 145.525MHz broadcast from MM0JNL is now additionally covering Northumbria.

The QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T-Z group is retiring and a replacement volunteer to distribute cards to this active sub-group is urgently needed. If you are an RSGB Member with time, a little space, some basic computer skills plus the desire to help your fellow members, the bureau would like to hear from you. You can find out more by emailing qsl@rsgb.org.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

Finningley ARS Car Boot will be outdoor only on the 25th of July, with doors opening at 10 am. It is located near M18 junction 2, Doncaster. Admission is £3.

The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned for Sunday the 1st of August at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, SNl5 5NJ. Doors are open from 9 am to 3 pm and admission is free. Details are at chippenhamradio.club.

On the 1st of August, the radio operators of Cornwall are holding the 1st Cornwall Antenna Build-Off. This is a free event. As well as the Build-Off there are Bring & Buy tables available as well as refreshments. For details search @g5xdx on Facebook or email G5XDX@gmx.co.uk.

The King’s Lynn ARC radio rally will go ahead on the 1st of August at Gaywood Community Centre, King’s Lynn PE30 4EL. Doors open at 9 am and the entry is £2.50. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and car boot pitches outside. Catering is available on site. See klarc.org.uk.

Dartmoor Radio Rally has moved to the 15th of August at Yelverton War Memorial Hall.

Now the DX news

Brian, GW4DVB will once again be active as J88PI from Palm Island in the St Vincent and the Grenadines Island group, IOTA reference NA-025, until the 1st of August. Activity will be holiday style on the 40 to 6m bands using CW, SSB, SSTV and FT8. He will use a Yaesu FT-991A into a 10m vertical antenna, an M0CVO HW-40HP off centre fed dipole and possibly new antennas. QSL GW4DVB direct only, g4dvb.co.uk.

Laurent, HB9HKE will be active as TF/HB9HKE from Iceland until the 7th of August. His main trip will be for paramotoring, but operations will be on various HF bands using a wire antenna for 20m. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Jim, W6PQL will be active as CT8/W6PQL from Pico Island, EU-175, Azores until the 4th of September. He will operate FT8 on all bands and SSB on 20 metres. Between the 1st of August and the 3rd of September, he will operate 2m EME and Tropo. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to home call.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

The 24-hour Islands On The Air Contest ends its run at 1200UTC today, Sunday the 25th. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands on which contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your IOTA reference. Stations on the UK mainland are IOTA reference EU-005; a full list can be found at iota-world.org.

The UK Microwave Group Contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC today. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the 6th FT4 Series will run between 1900 and 2030UTC using the 80m band. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest takes place between 1830 and 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz and up bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked-All-Britain 144MHz Low Power Contest will take place on Saturday the 31st of July between 1400 and 1800UTC. The input power is limited to 10 watts and the full rules are on the WAB website. Entries are to be with the contest manager by the 10th of August. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but the organisers ask that entrants ‘please act sensibly’.

On Saturday, the Fourth 144MHz Backpackers Contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The 144MHz Low Power contest also takes place on Saturday from 1400 to 2000UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Next Sunday, the 1st of August, the 432MHz Low Power Contest runs from 0800 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 23rd of July

Sunspot numbers were down at the start of the week but increased dramatically as the week went on. By Thursday the solar flux index was up to 94 with a sunspot number of 86. There were six active regions visible on the Sun. Although many of these sunspots were quite small and not very complex, they all contributed to the higher solar flux, which is now nudging 100.

The region that was active on its last rotation, 2835, and was responsible for multiple coronal mass ejections, appears to have quietened. Nevertheless, the Sun may well be more active next week as some of the regions have produced low-level C-class flare activity over the past few days.  NOAA reports that solar cycle sunspot progression over the past several months has actually been ahead of the cycle 25 forecast. This may bode well for the future.

HF propagation remains dominated by Sporadic-E, with daily openings on the upper bands. F2-layer propagation is at seasonal levels, with openings up to 14 and sometimes 18MHz being recorded. We are not seeing much in the way of 21MHz F-layer propagation, but that will kick in as we head into Autumn. Thirty metres, or 10MHz, remains a band to check overnight with MUFs over a 3,000km path typically exceeding 10MHz.

Due to all this activity, NOAA has upped its forecast for the coming week. It now has the solar flux index at 85 next week, rising to 90. The geomagnetic prediction is for a maximum Kp index of 2, possibly due to a lack of coronal holes. However, it is too early to say whether we may have any solar flares and CMEs from the new regions currently rotating into view.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some very good days of Tropo recently, it seems that the picture will look very different in the coming week. The decline of the high pressure will be complete by this weekend and heralds a week of unsettled weather with showers or longer periods of rain. On the upside, this puts rain scatter back on the agenda for the microwave operators.

Sporadic-E is still a good contender for DX although heading into August usually thins out the activity. The meteor input to E layer ionisation should keep hopes alive of renewed openings. The jet stream placements are mainly favouring the path to the south into Iberia initially, before moving east later to open up other more eastern parts of Europe.

Around we go again into another lunar cycle with negative, but increasing declination, this week. This of course means that we’ll see the Moon for longer as each day progresses. Declination goes positive on Thursday, but losses will rise daily after last Wednesday’s perigee.

Random or sporadic meteor rates are approaching their annual maximum around now, and the Southern delta Aquarids meteor shower is under way. This has a broad ZHR peak of 25 running from the 26th of July through to the 31st. Note that in Europe, the shower radiant is only above the horizon during the night and early morning. There are some other minor showers peaking next week, so we should see excellent meteor scatter conditions.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 18th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 18th 2021.

July 16, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 18th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Survey results published
  • Build Off in Cornwall
  • New Full course from Distance Learning Team

 

The RSGB ran an amateur radio survey in May as part of its input to an IARU workshop. Over one thousand people responded and gave their views of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for amateur radio both currently and in the future. A summary of the responses has been published in the August RadCom. You can also read the summary on the RSGB website at thersgb.org/gb2rs/011.

On the 1st of August, the radio operators of Cornwall are holding the 1st Cornwall Antenna Build-Off. This is a free event, organised by Callum, G5XDX with the support of local stations and sponsored by PJ BOX. As well as the Build-Off there are Bring & Buy tables available as well as refreshments. For details of the event and competition rules please search @g5xdx on Facebook or email G5XDX@gmx.co.uk.

The Bath Based Distance Learning team is now planning another course for the Full level exam syllabus. The course will run from the end of August to December this year. Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly online tutorials. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required. There will be no charge for the training but applicants must work through a pre-course classroom and quiz to be eligible for a place. The deadline for course applications is the 4th of August. For full details, and an application form, email g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

The QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T to Z group is retiring and a replacement volunteer to distribute cards to this active sub-group is urgently needed. If you are an RSGB Member, have time, a little space and some basic computer skills, the bureau would like to hear from you. You can find out more by emailing qsl@rsgb.org.uk.

The callsign GB4RS is issued to the President of the Radio Society of Great Britain for the term of their office. Stewart Bryant, G3YSX is the current RSGB President and intends to use this call sign as often as possible. Listen out for him on the air.

As GB2RS continues to expand, it is a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to a new newsreader. Peter, G3XDS has started a 2m simplex reading in the Mansfield area, which improves coverage and is attracting a strong new audience. Michael, 2J0SZI who has delivered many a bulletin on Jersey over the years is retiring and we wish him all the best for the future.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

Finningley ARS Car Boot will be outdoor only with doors opening at 10 am on the 25th of July. It is located near M18 junction 2, Doncaster. Admission is £3.

The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned for Sunday the 1st of August at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, SNl5 5NJ. Doors are open from 9 am to 3 pm and admission is free. Details at chippenhamradio.club.

Dartmoor Radio Rally has moved to the 15th of August at Yelverton War Memorial Hall.

Now the DX news

John, MM0CCC, Gordon, MM0GPZ, Keith, GM4YXI and Chris, GM3WOJ will be active as GM7V during next weekend’s IOTA contest. They will operate as a Multi-2 station from Benbecula, which is EU-010. QSL via N3SL.

The C6AHA DX-pedition to the Bimini Islands, IOTA reference NA-048, appears to have been postponed until October this year. However, a smaller team is currently active from Bimini using the call sign C6AHB. They will operate until 21st of July.

Five operators from Cray Valley Radio Society will be active as GM3RCV from Ceann Ear Monarch Islands, EU-111, from the 22nd to 27th of July. They will take part in the IOTA Contest as MM8C. QSLs via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

Today, the 18th, the International Low Power contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend is the 24-hour Islands On The Air contest. It runs from 1200UTC on the 24th to 1200UTC on the 25th. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your IOTA reference. Stations on the UK mainland are IOTA reference EU-005; a full list can be found at iota-world.org.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 16th of July

The solar flux index remained in the 70s last week, reflecting the lack of decent sunspots. What spots we did have were both minuscule and un-noteworthy. The high-speed wind stream from a large solar coronal hole impacted the Earth a little later than predicted. In the end, it hit us during the late afternoon and early evening of Wednesday the 14th, pushing the Kp index to four. Its effects were felt during the evening’s RSGB’s 80-metre club championship contest with a noisy band, fading and compromised signals.

The good news is that the major outage of the server at the University of Massachusetts Lowell has now been fixed. This means that the ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website for the foF2 graphs is back and all services have resumed. To recap, Propquest gives us near real-time displays of the critical frequency over the UK and from this, it also extrapolates likely maximum useable frequencies over different path lengths.

Sporadic-E remains the most interesting mode for HF propagation, with extensive openings on the higher bands.

Next week NOAA predicts that the SFI will be in the high 70s and might even reach 81 during the middle of the week. At the moment, it does look like the Sun may be free of coronal holes, which bodes well for a settled ionosphere. The risk of solar flares also appears to be low.

Don’t forget that it is the RSGB’s Islands on the Air contest next weekend, which may throw up some interesting DX on HF.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

At the moment, you will find some lovely tropospheric ducting across the Mediterranean from east to west, typical for high-summer. Sadly, few UK visitors will be able to take advantage of it. Pascal, F5LEN produces a day-by-day Tropo ducting forecast. Just Google F5LEN Tropo to find it, and you will see that Tropo ducting is quite commonplace at this time of the year.

In view of a return to high-pressure weather at home, keep a lookout for good sea paths across the Irish Sea, North Sea and the English Channel. Tropo paths overland tend to fade quickly as the sun heats things up in the early morning, but often the sea paths remain active through the day.

The Sporadic-E season is still underway with occasional openings up to 2m and not just on FT8; CW and SSB are getting involved too. The jet streams are looking weaker in the coming week for European paths, but still worth checking out paths across the Atlantic later in the day or farther afield to the Far East in the early morning.

As ever, check the clusters and set aside a little time late afternoon for the best chance of getting into any Sporadic-E that might present itself.

May 2022 sees the point in the Lunar cycle where the closest approach of the Moon, perigee, coincides with minimum declination. It’s not until September 2026 that the highest declination coincides with perigee again. This all means that for the next few years, lowest EME path losses occur with the Moon at low declination and Moon visibility windows are short. This week, declination is negative and still falling, so Moon visibility windows will shorten. Path losses will continue to fall throughout the week until perigee on Wednesday.

There are no significant meteor showers until the Southern delta Aquarids at the end of this month. This shower has a broad ZHR peak of 25 running from the 26th of July through to the 31st of July. Until then, continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter opportunities.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 7th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 7th 2021.

July 9, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 11th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention goes online for 2021

  • YOTA contest second leg

  • National Radio Centre reopens

Despite hoping to meet face-to-face again this year, the RSGB Convention in October will again be online. This major indoor event takes many months to plan and, due to continuing Covid-19 uncertainty, the Society has to make the safety of attendees, volunteers and staff a priority. We are putting together another programme of excellent presentations across two streams that will provide information and inspiration no matter how long you’ve been a radio amateur. Look out for more details in RadCom, GB2RS and online in the coming weeks.

The Youngsters On The Air Contest is open to all radio amateurs and comprises three 12-hour sessions with the aim to boost on-the-air activity by younger radio amateurs and to support Youngsters On The Air. The second leg is on the 18th of July from 1000 to 2159UTC. In the first leg more than 100 entries were from contesters between 7 and 25 years old. Full details can be found at ham-yota.com.

The tree felling adjacent to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park was completed successfully and the NRC re-opened last Thursday as planned. It is open every day except Wednesday to pre-booked Bletchley Park visitors.

In April the G-QRP Club ran a survey to gauge support for a in-person Convention in 2021. The results showed that the vast majority are not yet willing to meet in person and would prefer another virtual Convention. The G-QRP Club Convention 2021 will be a virtual event over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September. The Committee are now working on matching up the wish lists of topics and suggested speakers.

If you are having problems with interference, the EMC help desk is there to help, and can be contacted by e-mail on helpdesk.emc@rsgb.org.uk. The helpdesk, coordinated by Ken, G3SDW, operates via e-mail, calling on many years of experience of dealing with interference problems. They do not carry out home visits except in very exceptional circumstances. This service is operated by volunteers in their own time and will be provided via e-mail. Requests to correspond via the telephone, especially to mobile numbers are to be avoided. Don’t forget, the RSGB do not have any powers of enforcement. If this is required you should contact the regulatory body, Ofcom. Locating the source of interference, particularly if it is outside your own premises, will require a certain amount of leg work. If you are unable to do this, you may be able to enlist the help of another amateur or local club.

The Summer 2021 AM QSO Party runs from 1800UTC on the 16th of July until 1800UTC on the 18th. This is an opportunity to make some QSOs using the AM mode on all the available HF bands from 160m to 10m. Dragon Amateur Radio Club will be operating portable from the island of Anglesey for this event using GB0AMC. The operators would welcome QSOs with people far and wide, so please do listen out for them. Details of the event can be found by searching for Summer 2021 AM QSO Party online.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

The East Suffolk Wireless Revival and McMichael rally & boot sale, both originally planned for today, the 11th, are not taking place this year, as previously publicised. Other rallies that have been cancelled due to the pandemic are the Rugby Rally originally planned for August, The National Hamfest planned for September and the Welsh Radio Rally planned for October.

Finningley ARS Car Boot will be outdoor only with doors opening at 10am on the 25th of July. It is located near junction 2, M18 Doncaster, admission is £3. The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned for Sunday the 1st of August at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, SNl5 5NJ. Doors are open from 9am to 3pm with free admission. Details at chippenhamradio.club. Dartmoor Radio Rally has moved to the 15th of August at Yelverton War Memorial Hall, PL20 6AL.

Now the DX news

C6AHA will be active from the Bimini Islands, NA-048, in the Bahamas between the 14th and 21st of July. A large team will operate SSB, CW and FT8 with up to five stations. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via K4KSW.

A team of six operators will be active as RI0FM from Moneron Island (AS-149) on 15-31 July, IOTA Contest included. Plans are to operate CW, SSB and FT8 on various bands with two stations. QSL via UA3A.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

This weekend the IARU HF Championship ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 11th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone. For the UK that is 27.

On Tuesday, the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Wednesday sees the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championship from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC on Thursday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the 70MHz Trophy takes place from 1400 to 2000UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Next Sunday, the International Low Power contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

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

As predicted, the solar flux index declined this week, ending at 76 on Thursday. This was due to the large sunspot regions 2835 and 2836 having rotated off the Earth-facing portion of the solar surface. But make a note to check the SFI around July 21 onwards when, hopefully, they will make a return.

The sunspots’ departure has left us back in the solar doldrums again with only a minute spot, region 2839, being visible. Luckily, geomagnetic conditions have been quite settled with a maximum planetary Kp index of three last week. This meant that the ionosphere could settle, and we could make the most of the lower levels of solar radiation.

Night owls scored this week with 20m openings to the western states reported around 0500-0600UTC. Laurie, G3UML also reports working central North America on 20m from about 4 to 6.30am. Note that these were CW and SSB contacts.

This year’s Sporadic E season also continues to delight UK amateurs. While the best DX has been on 6m, and not part of this report, 10m is still providing a lot of activity. Make the most of it - if you don’t, you’ll likely regret it!

Next week, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Centre says the SFI will be around 80. Geomagnetic conditions will be mainly quiet, although a large coronal hole reaching up to the solar equator is rotating into an Earth-facing position. This will be facing us around Saturday the 10th so look for possible unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the possibility of depressed MUFs early next week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The current weather pattern places the British Isles in an unsettled region with heavy showers, longer periods of rain and occasional frontal rain bands crossing the country. This is clearly useful for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

There are weak suggestions that there may be a return of high pressure close to southern areas in the second half of the coming week, but other models continue the unsettled theme, and it's certainly not a given at the moment. Overall, it looks like Tropo is a possibility, but mainly in the south and perhaps only briefly.

That leaves Sporadic-E and, for this mode, there are some good pointers in that the main jet stream across the Atlantic is pointing right at northern Europe and this should be a reasonable orientation for Es from the UK into Europe at times. Of course, we ideally need many other elements to be right too, so as usual, the message is to check the bands, clusters and call CQ now and again.

Moon declination is positive and falling, going negative again on Friday, so Moon visibility windows will shorten. Path losses will continue to fall throughout the week.

There are no significant meteor showers until the end of the month, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter opportunities.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 4th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 4th 2021.

July 2, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 4th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • Join Monday’s Tonight @ 8

  • NRC closure for tree felling

  • GM0GMN to lead IPA Amateur Radio Section

Don’t forget to join the RSGB’s Tonight @ 8 webinar on Monday evening. RSGB EMC Chair John Rogers, M0JAV will explain how to assess your station against ICNIRP EMF levels. The EMC Committee has been working hard to help all radio amateurs understand more about how to comply with the new Ofcom licence conditions. So take this chance to hear from an expert and ask questions. Tonight @ 8 will take a break in August and then will be back with another great programme for the autumn. To find out more about this and previous webinars, go to rsgb.org/webinars.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on the 5th and 6th of July. This is due to the large tree in the immediate vicinity of the NRC being felled. It is planned to re-open on Thursday the 8th as usual. Note that the NRC is not open on Wednesdays.

Following the very sad passing of Regional Representative Tom Reilly, G0NSY, the International Police Association has appointed James, GM0GMN to lead their UK Amateur Radio Section. James is keen to make contact with current and former members of the group and to encourage new members. To contact James, see QRZ.com.

Following the update from Ofcom to their guidance What you need to know as an Amateur Radio user, the RSGB has updated its calculator to version rsgb10a. This can be found on the EMF pages of the website at rsgb.org/emf. Please treat this as a beta release and report any problems to m0jav@rsgb.org.uk. The main changes are to implement band dependent antenna gain and the low power compliance condition in line with Ofcom’s change to guidance. The other changes made by Ofcom to their calculator were already in the RSGB version.

Have you ever thought about taking up an awards challenge as part of your amateur radio activities? Whether you enjoy HF or VHF/UHF, the RSGB awards are open to everyone, whatever your age, licence level and personal interests. Along the way, you will learn more about propagation, experiment with equipment and make tweaks to your station to maximise performance. Awards encourage you to push yourself further. The RSGB has launched a new web page that highlights the stories of radio amateurs who enjoy chasing awards. Take a look and be inspired by them at rsgb.org/award-stories.

The GB2RS service is seeking a newsreader to cover the Western Isles of Scotland. You would be joining an existing team as a reserve reader and there are opportunities for more than one applicant to broadcast the News on Sunday using HF, VHF or UHF. You should be an RSGB Member and have good coverage of the region. If you want to find out more without obligation, please contact the GB2RS Manager at gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk.

A date for your diary now. The popular Churches and Chapels on the Air event will take place on the 11th of September. Most activity takes place on the 80 and 40m bands. Please register your station with organiser John, G3XYF, see QRZ.com.

And now for details of rallies and events

We heard from several rally organisers that their events will not be taking place this year. Rugby ATS regrets that it is not able to run its rally this year, but they look forward to seeing everyone next year on Sunday the 21st of August 2022. The organisers of the Welsh Radio Rally, which was due to take place in October, have said that it will return in 2022. They would like to thank the traders and visitors that have supported them over the years and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2022. Also cancelled are the East Sussex Wireless Revival and McMichael rally & boot sale, both originally planned for next Sunday, the 11th.

On a much brighter note for later this month, the Finningley ARS Car Boot bring & buy is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday the 25th of July. You can check for updates at g0ghk.com/cbr21 Finally, the Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned to go ahead on Sunday the 1st of August. Details of this one are at chippenhamradio.club.

Now the DX news

Ed, ES2TT will be active as ES2TT/0 from Saaremaa Island [sar-eh-mah], IOTA reference EU-034, on the 10th and 11th of July. He will operate CW and SSB on the 30 to 20m bands. QSL via his home call, direct or via the bureau.

Frank, K3TRM will be active as VP2V/K3TRM from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NA-023, between the 4th and the 17th of July. He will operate on the 40 to 6m bands using SSB, RTTY, FT8 and satellite. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, or via home call.

ZD7GB is the callsign issued to Gerry, G3WIP for use during his stay on St Helena Island, AF-022, until the 6th of September. In his spare time he will operate SSB, FT8 and FT4 on the 40 to 10m bands and via the QO-100 satellite.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

This weekend is the RSGB VHF National Field Day. It runs for 24 hours until 1400UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes on the 50MHz to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Please note that with the current Covid-19 restrictions, teams with multiple operators should ensure they are following the regulations in their area.

Today, the 4th of July, is the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest. It runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday, the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your report and 4-character locator.

On Thursday it is the turn of the 50MHz UK Activity Contest, running from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the IARU HF Championship runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 10th to 1200UTC on the 11th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone. For the UK that is 27.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

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

Well, NOAA certainly got the sunspot predictions wrong last week. It said that the solar flux index would be in the range 76 to 78 with a maximum Kp index of two. As it turned out, the SFI ended up way higher than this, peaking at 94 on Thursday. Active sunspot regions 2835 and 2836 ended up being bigger and more vigorous than predicted, pushing the sunspot number to a high of 53. This bodes well for the future and could mean that Solar Cycle 25 is now truly under way.

The CDXC group has reported 10m FT8 openings to China, Japan and South Korea, plus 10m and 12m openings to the Caribbean and South America.

Sporadic-E has started to tail off a little as we enter July and this is probably not helped by an increase in the Kp index to four on Wednesday night.

The major IT outage at the University of Massachusetts Lowell continues. This means there is still no ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website for foF2 graphs at the moment. Luckily, you can still access the live Chilton ionosonde data directly at ukssdc.ac.uk/ionosondes, although you may need to register. A check on Thursday showed that the critical frequency mid-morning over the UK was around 4 to 4.5MHz, meaning a maximum useable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 16.5MHz. Other than Sporadic-E openings, we can’t expect the MUF to rise much further until the Autumn.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline from around 92 to perhaps 85 next week, as regions 2835 and 2836 rotate off the visible face of the Sun. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain relatively calm with the Kp index at two to three.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Tropo opportunities have gradually diminished over the tail end of the week just gone. We had a super North-South duct up the East Coast on Wednesday evening allowing a close-to 700km 10GHz Tropo QSO between Keith, GM4ODA/P at IO99IV in Shetland and Neil, G4DBN in IO93NR, who’s almost at sea level on the Humber estuary.

We are now left with what is essentially a low pressure-driven weather pattern, with a small low crossing southern England early in the week. This will mean that periods of rain or heavy and possibly thundery showers are likely, so good for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The main development will see low pressure over the British Isles or just to the west. The accompanying upper air pattern suggests a jet stream becoming established just to the south, over the near continent. This is a perfect location for supporting Sporadic-E paths into much of Europe, should other factors be in favour.

The jet stream strength also looks to be a bit stronger again, which is another good sign. Just keep in mind that the band will seem dead if you don’t call CQ! Mid-morning and late afternoon to early evening are going to be the most profitable times to do that.

Moon declination is positive and rising again so Moon visibility windows will lengthen. With apogee on Monday, path losses will be high.

There are no significant meteor showers until the end of the month, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter opportunities.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 27th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 27th 2021.

June 26, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 27th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Covid-19 affects VHF NFD
  • Tree-felling to interrupt National Radio Centre
  • Durham is 13 Colonies bonus station

 

Covid restrictions are extending into July and this means that VHF NFD is taking place with more controls in place than the organisers were hoping for. It is still viable to run the contest on the 3rd and 4th of July, but it will require some additional precautions and control to be exercised by entrants. All entrants, group organisers and individuals involved must fully comply with all local Covid-19 restrictions and advice that apply at the time of the event. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing, meeting people outside of their household/bubble and travel restrictions. Any enclosed operating space such as a car, caravan or a tent without two open sides is treated as an indoor location and will be subject to the tighter limits on the number of people visiting that space for the duration of the contest. The rules are different in each of the devolved nations and are regularly changing. So please satisfy yourself that you are compliant with your local rules at the time of the contest.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on the 5th and 6th of July whilst a large tree is felled in the immediate vicinity. Booked entries to Bletchley Park itself are unaffected.

Durham & District ARS is participating as one of the bonus stations in the 13 Colonies Special Event. The event began in 2009 as a way of celebrating American Independence with the original 13 colony States of 1776. Since the UK was a major historical player in the Revolutionary War, GB13COL from England will present an added challenge. The event will run from 1300UTC on the 1st of July to 0400UTC on the 8th. The primary focus of the event will be the HF bands, including VHF & UHF for QSOs using SSB, CW, FM and various digital modes. There is also an opportunity to exchange QSL cards with all 13 Colony State stations, plus the bonus stations. For further information go to 13colonies.us.

A polite reminder now concerning the frequencies used each Sunday by the RSGB’s GB2RS News service. The News is intended for all radio amateurs and listeners, and a clear frequency ensures that it may be heard as widely as possible. The national frequencies on HF are 1990, 3643, 3650, 5398.5 and 7127kHz. Some of these frequencies carry a succession of broadcasts from more than one location. On VHF and up, the principal frequencies for more localised broadcasts throughout the day are 70.425, 145.525 and 433.525MHz. Most amateurs appreciate that no individual or organisation has ownership of any frequency on the amateur bands, it has always been ‘first come first served’. But, in the case of GB2RS, there is a restriction on how far the broadcast is allowed to move to avoid interference. So, whether you’re a club planning to set up a regular net, a contest station rapidly jumping frequencies, or someone just looking for a spot to call CQ, if it’s a Sunday please spare a thought for the RSGB’s volunteers who are trying to deliver the news. The full GB2RS frequency list and transmission times can be viewed at rsgb.org/gb2rsschedule and many webSDRs label the News spots on their waterfall displays. The RSGB would like to thank amateurs for respecting these frequencies.

The Youngsters On The Air Contest’s first round is complete and the claimed results have been posted on the YOTA website at contest.ham-yota.com. Worldwide participation was very good. In the YOTA-class categories, more than 100 entries were from contesters between 7 and 25 years old, and three entered as short wave listeners. There were more than 600 entries of participants above the age of 25, with the oldest participant at age 87. The next round will be on the 8th of July.

Today, the 27th is the final day of the three-day Ham Radio World event. Instead of physically meeting in Friedrichshafen participants are able to listen to lectures, look at exhibiting companies and view the virtual exhibition site. Go to www.darc.de and click on the Ham Radio World advert at the top of the page, then chose the English language option for more information.

The vintage Alexanderson alternator transmitter in Grimeton, Sweden, will conduct its annual Alexanderson Day transmission on the 4th of July using its usual callsign, SAQ. The CW transmission will be on 17.2kHz, CW. Startup and tuning for the first SAQ transmission will take place at 0830UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 0900UTC. Startup and tuning for the second SAQ transmission will take place at 1130UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 1200UTC.

Now the DX news

Loick, HB9HBY will be active again as HB0/HB9HBY from Liechtenstein from the 30th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8/FT4. QSL via EB7DX.

Jerome, F8FKJ is active as J20EE from Djibouti until mid-July. He operates CW. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Alex, AK4AM will be active as AK4AM/P from Atlantic Beach, Bogue Banks, IOTA reference NA-112, until the 3rd of July. He will operate SSB only with a focus on the 80, 40 and 20m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Gerard, G3WIP will be working as a doctor on St Helena until the 30th of September. He plans to be on the air in his spare time.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

The Boy Scouts of America Radio callsign K2BSA/8 will be on the air from the Trail To Eagle event. This takes place between the 29th of June and the 2nd of July. A QSL card is available when requested.

Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.

Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.

GB0UTA and GB5UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. See the QRZ.com entries for more information.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

Today, the 27th, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest also takes place today, the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 27th, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the 5th FT4 Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using the 80m band only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is the RSGB VHF National Field Day. It runs from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on the 50MHz to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Please note that with the current Covid-19 restrictions, teams with multiple operators should ensure they are following the regulations in their area.

Next Sunday, the 4th of July, is the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest. It runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

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

We had another week that was largely dominated by Sporadic-E openings. It is worth pointing out that Sporadic-E can and does have a blanketing effect on HF signals, which can prevent them from reaching the F2 layer of the ionosphere. This means that predictions created by a program like VOACAP or ITURHFPROP can often be over-optimistic. VOACAP and ITURHFPROP do not take into account seasonal Sporadic-E and, in any event, the localised and changing nature of Sporadic-E clouds means it would be very hard to make monthly median predictions.

During the summer months, take computerised propagation predictions with a pinch of salt. While short-skip propagation may be better at times, longer distance signals may in fact be worse than the predictions.

Sunspot region 2833 has now rotated out of view off the Sun’s edge and we can expect the solar flux index to decline from the 80 reached on Thursday. The good news is that at least two returning regions, 2830 and 2831, will be turning back into view over the weekend. A lack of coronal holes means geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet over the next week. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 76-78 with a maximum Kp index of two.

Lastly, due to a major outage at the server in the States at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, there is no ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website foF2 graphs at the moment. The server has been subjected to a cyber attack and restoration of the academic services rightly takes priority; the graphs will be there as soon as the server is back online.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s another week of mixed fortunes for VHF/UHF users, with a tendency for high pressure over northern areas after the unsettled weather moves through during the tail end of this week. It eventually leaves an area of low pressure close to, or over, southern areas and this remains in place for much of the next week. Towards the end of the week, another low will drift south across eastern areas.

The best chance of Tropo is over Scotland and Ireland, while unsettled and potentially thundery weather will be a good source for some rain scatter activity in southern areas.

The Sporadic-E prospects are looking a bit quiet at first, but as a new upper-low moves into the southern UK and France, we should see prospects improve again into next week, particularly for paths to Iberia and the eastern Mediterranean.

Moon declination goes positive again on Friday, so peak Moon visibility windows and peak elevations will increase. Path losses will rise throughout the week.

The June Bootids meteor shower peaks today.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 20th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 20th 2021.

June 18, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 20th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Latest rally news
  • Ofcom updates guidance
  • ARISS SSTV from ISS

 

The organisers of the Dartmoor Radio Rally have revised the date to the 15th of August. It will be held at the new venue of The Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton PL20 6AL. Doors open at 10 am. Details can be found at dartmoorradioclub.uk. The McMichael Rally Committee has announced that this year’s rally is, sadly, cancelled. It was due to take place on the 11th of July. They expect to be back in 2022. Keep checking the website for the latest information. With the recent change to the Covid restrictions, the organisers of the East Suffolk Wireless Revival have decided to cancel the event for 2021. This event is popularly known as the Ipswich Rally and was due to take place on the 11th of July.

Ofcom has updated the guidance document What you need to know as an amateur radio user and the Ofcom EMF calculator. The guide provides an overview of what you need to do to comply with Ofcom’s EMF licence condition and is much simplified from the earlier version. Links to all of the documents and calculators can be found at rsgb.org/emf.

A slow-scan television ARISS event is scheduled between the 21st and 26th of June. Transmissions from the ISS will be on 145.800MHz FM using PD120 SSTV mode. The SSTV images will be transmitted continuously. Transmissions will start at or about 0940UTC on the 21st and will end by 1830UTC on the 26th. Signals should be receivable on a handheld with a quarter-wave whip antenna. Use 25kHz channel spacing if available.

Since reopening just over two weeks ago, the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has welcomed more than 3,800 visitors. With the improved signage and Bletchley Park interactive map, the NRC is typically seeing close to 50% of the Park’s footfall. The RSGB would like to thank Martyn, G0GMB and the NRC volunteers for making this possible. The NRC is open every day, except Wednesdays, to pre-booked visitors to Bletchley Park.

Sad news next, particularly for those in Region 9, as Tom O’Reilly, G0NSY became Silent Key last week. Tom volunteered for the RSGB as Regional Representative 9, covering London and Thames Valley from 2016 and as a District Representative before that. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

The lecture programme for the weekend of the virtual Ham Radio World Weekend has been announced for the 25th to the 27th of June. Go to www.darc.de and click on the advert for the event at the top of the page. There are lectures in English and these can be seen by their English titles.

The Summer Sale in the RSGB Shop has started and will run until the 18th of July. Go to rsgbshop.org to find out more.

To increase participation in the FMH Portable Operations Challenge in September, parallel regional or local group competitions are being encouraged by Ed, DD5LP. Those who would like to do this for their group or region should send an email to regionalcontestlist@gmail.com. The regional organiser’s callsign and the geographic area or group of people to be covered should be in the email. Full details of the Portable Operations Challenge can be found at foxmikehotel.com.

Slovenian Amateur Radio Union will celebrate the country’s 30 years of independence by issuing a special award. Between the 26th of June and the 31st of December, Slovenian amateur radio stations can add the number 30 into the suffix. For example, S50ZZ would become S5030ZZ. Search for Slovenia Contest Club using your favourite search engine and click on the Union Jack flag to read all the qualifying details in English.

Now the DX news

Michel, F6GWV and Gildas, F6HMQ will be active as TO11A from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, until the 5th of July. QSL via F6HMQ.

Paul, G4PVM will be active as GM4PVM from the Isle of Lismore, EU-008, from the 29th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

A team will be active as 7D9BA from Lembongan Island, OC-022, between the 25th and 28th of June. They will operate CW, SSB, FT8/FT4 and some RTTY on the 80, 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to EA7FTR.

Now the Special Event news

Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 20th, and next weekend, the 26th & 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.

Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 20th and on the 26th of 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. The museum is Harlow Museum and Gardens and is next door to the clubhouse. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm each day. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.

GB0UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch. GB5UTA will be on the air during the same period on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. See the QRZ.com entries for more information.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

The 50MHz Trophy contest ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 20th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also this weekend, the All Asian DX contest ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 20th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and age.

The Worked-All-Britain 50MHz phone contest will take place today, Sunday the 20th of June, from 0800 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries to be with the WAB Contest Manager by 30th of June. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but please act sensibly.

Today, the 20th, the UK Microwave Group 122 to 248GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 27th, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest also takes place on the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 27th, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

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

A large coronal hole returned last week and started to become Earth-facing on Monday the 14th. The high-speed solar wind stream from the hole impacted the Earth on Tuesday evening, pushing the Kp index to five. Luckily, conditions returned to normal by late Wednesday and the Kp index was down to two or three thereafter. It now looks like we are free of coronal hole effects for the time being.

Sunspot-wise, region 2833 put in an appearance. Its effects on the ionosphere have been minimal with the solar flux index stuck at 76 on Thursday the 27th and the sunspot number at 11, representing one spot in one group.

HF propagation has been adequate rather than outstanding, with the real talking point remaining Sporadic-E. Conditions on 10 metres have been good with long, solid openings to Europe popping up each day. Do make the most of these, as F2-layer openings on 10m may be harder to find once the Sporadic-E season ends.

Next week NOAA has the SFI at around 80 and quiet geomagnetic conditions with a Kp index of two. We are still not seeing the ramp-up in sunspot activity that we would like, although fingers are crossed that this Autumn might be more positive.

In the meantime, make the most of the Sporadic-E openings, particularly on the higher bands such as 12 and 10 metres. These openings can affect lower HF bands too, although it is sometimes hard to distinguish them from F2-layer openings.

So please don’t ignore 15 metres and lower at this time and look for short-skip contacts on these bands as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like the majority of next week will see low pressure predominating with further periods of unsettled and potentially thundery weather. The pattern places the main area of low pressure over or just west of the UK, forcing a thundery showery southerly flow across the country. There will be some interludes when brief ridges of high pressure show up, especially in southeastern areas, but overall Tropo will not be high on the list. So, apart from some rain scatter prospects and the occasional extended sea path Tropo across the North Sea or English Channel, it will mostly be a week for chasing Sporadic-E.

The northern part of Europe and Scandinavia have a good jet stream flow and this extends into northern Russia, making it worth checking those DX paths into the Far East and Japan. The other region looking well favoured with jet stream patterns is to the south into Spain and Portugal.

We are in peak season for Sporadic-E, so keeping a regular routine of checking the bands mid-morning and early evening is the best procedure to follow.

The Moon is at perigee on Wednesday so path losses will be at their lowest. Sadly, with minimum Moon declination on Friday, visibility windows and peak Moon elevations will also be at their shortest and lowest of the month.

The June Bootids meteor shower peaks on Sunday 27th. This shower, although normally small, has a reputation for outbursts of activity. Until then, continue to look for the best random meteor scatter propagation around dawn.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 13th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 13th 2021.

June 11, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 13th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • National Hamfest postponed to 2022
  • Kyrgyzstan amateurs get 5MHz band allocation
  • Volunteers sought for 100th-anniversary station

 

It is with much regret that the organisers of the National Hamfest have decided to postpone the event planned for the 24th and 25th of September 2021 until September 2022. A number of factors have made the organisation of the event impossible to predict this year. At this point, the organisers cannot reliably commit to successfully and safely holding an event that takes upwards of three months of continuous effort to organise. The organisers not only wish to act in a responsible way towards the large team of volunteers who staff the event and make it possible every year, but also the visitors and the partner organisations, all of whom make the event such a success each year. The organisers are looking forward to more certainty in 2022 and welcoming you to the event in September next year.

The national amateur radio society for Kyrgyzstan has announced that on the 4th of June, the national regulator made a 5MHz allocation available to amateurs. The WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz is available at a maximum power of 100W. Other secondary allocations made available at the same time were 472 – 479kHz at 1W, 122.25 – 12 GHz and 134 – 141GHz both at 100W.

To celebrate the first one-way amateur radio QSO across the Atlantic that took place on the 12th December 1921, the ARRL has joined with a group of UK operators who plan to re-create the event in December this year. To celebrate the centenary of Paul Godley, 2ZE’s success, in collaboration with North Ayrshire Council, special event stations GB2ZE and GB1002ZE respectively will be operating from the 1st to the 28th of December. Volunteers are sought to help. See GM0DEQ on qrz.com for email details.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed to all visitors between the 14th and 17th of June. This is because groundworks are taking place around the building blocking the fire escape. Normal opening hours will be resumed after the work is finished.

The RSGB’s Friendship on the Air Award is a new way of getting on the air, representing your club and having a proper chat with radio amateurs on the airwaves. It is a great way to start chatting to other radio amateurs if you are a new licensee. There are monthly and annual awards for individuals, clubs and the highest-scoring club in each region. If you have taken part already don’t forget to upload your logs. If you would like to get involved for the first time this month, you will find all the details at rsgb.org/friendship-award.

The inaugural Gateways On The Air Event takes place between the 12th and the 20th of June. The main aim is to increase communications through linked analogue and digital simplex gateways that are accessible to all licensed amateurs. More details can be found at gota.org.uk.

Murray Niman, G6JYB, the RSGB Spectrum Forum Chairman, gave a spectrum presentation and Q+A session via Zoom to Mid Ulster ARC. The presentation covered an overview of the functions of the RSGB Spectrum Forum, where do your frequencies come from and what they do for UK radio amateurs. The talk, and others, is now available on YouTube with the suffix /muarcmedia.

 

Now the DX news

Jun is active as XV9RH from Hanoi and will remain in Vietnam until the 26th of June. In his spare time, he operates CW and FT8 on the 20 to 10m bands. QSL via OE1JUN.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as XT2AW from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso starting on the 13th of June for three weeks. He will operate CW, FT8 and SAT modes; SSB will be used but only when conditions allow. QSL via M0OXO.

 

Now the Special Event news

GB0UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch. GB5UTA will be on the air during the same period on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. See the QRZ.com entry for more information.

 

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

This weekend is the Argentinian CW Group’s contest, running for 24-hours until 1500UTC today, the 13th. It uses the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands and entrants should observe the CW segments according to their national band plan. The exchange is signal report and CQ Zone. Full rules at contest.com.ar.

The IARU ATV contest ends its 30 hour-run at 1800UTC today, the 13th. Using the 432MHz and up bands, the exchange is picture quality, serial number, four-digit code and locator.

Today, the 13th is the Practical Wireless 2m QRP contest, which runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using phone only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also, today is the second 144MHz Backpackers contest that runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it is the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships. Running from 1900 to 2030UTC, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 50MHz Trophy contest runs from 1400UTC on the 19th to 1400UTC on the 20th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next weekend, but running for 48 hours is the All Asian DX contest. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and age.

The Worked-All-Britain 50MHz phone contest will take place on Sunday the 20th of June from 0800 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries to be with the WAB Contest Manager by 30th of June. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but please act sensibly.

Next Sunday, the 20th, the UK Microwave Group 122 to 248GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

 

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 11th of June.

The predicted geomagnetic disturbance we spoke about last week didn’t amount to much. The Kp index rose to four on Monday evening, but the disturbance was short-lived and it was back to one later on Tuesday. Region 2829 was the only sunspot group visible on the Sun later in the week. This pushed the solar flux index to 80, but we are still a long way away from the kind of activity needed for real F2-layer DX.

The good news was a lack of coronal hole activity, which allowed the ionosphere to settle. This means that daytime maximum useable frequencies were often above 14MHz, but below 18MHz at times. Nightime critical frequencies are around 3.75-4MHz, which translates to a maximum usable frequency of around 10-13MHz over a 3,000km path.

The better news was that Sporadic-E continued to provide excitement on the upper HF band with many reports of single and double-hop openings.

The 10m UK Net group on Facebook reports that 7X2VFK in Algeria was workable on SSB, plus there were 28MHz openings to the US, Canada and the Caribbean.

Next week NOAA predicts more of the same with the SFI in the mid-70s, although regions 2824 and 2826 will rotate into view next week.

Geomagnetic activity should generally be settled, although we may expect a Kp index of four on or around the 16th due to a high-speed stream from a returning coronal hole.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It is going to be another summer mix for the coming week. Some periods of high pressure with summertime Tropo overnight and throughout the 24 hours across adjacent seas. There will also be some frontal activity with weather systems affecting northwestern areas and decaying into isolated showers as they move southeast into the high pressure. 

This could mean that there are likely to be a few rain scatter opportunities again for the GHz bands. At present, the second half of next week looks a bit more unsettled with the possibility of thundery weather, especially in the south.

Sporadic-E has taken a bit of a pause lately or, at best, been rather ‘sporadic’ and the indications of jet stream patterns for next week suggests that favoured directions for openings will probably involve the UK across northern Europe and Scandinavia. 

This northern positioning of the jet stream pattern may be what is needed for the more exotic paths across to the Far East via northern Russia. There may also be some valuable second hop possibilities across the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean.

The basic rules are to check mid-morning and late afternoon and expect it to reach up to 144MHz if the conditions are favourable. The longest distances are often recorded at the start of a band opening so if you are working Es, remember to try the next higher frequency band.

With peak Moon declination passed, the week will feature shortening Moon visibility windows, lower peak elevation and falling losses as we approach perigee a week on Monday.

The Arietids meteor shower is declining now and the next one is the June Bootids peaking in a fortnight. This shower normally has a low ZHR of one or two but has a reputation for outbursts of activity. The last being in 1998 when the ZHR hit 100. Until then, continue to look for the best random meteor scatter propagation around dawn.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 6th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 6th 2021.

June 4, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 6th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • National Radio Centre re-opens
  • Dartmoor Rally should run in July
  • HF radio performance on Tonight@8

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park reopened last week in line with current Covid restrictions. The volunteers welcomed a fantastic 1,226 visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend and that number has continued to rise during the week. One young lad came with his father and they were both inspired to start studying for their Foundation licence. The RSGB would like to thank all the NRC volunteers who are making this experience possible for so many Bletchley Park visitors. The NRC is open daily, except Wednesdays, until further notice. Visitors to Bletchley Park need to pre-book and pay via their website so at present the Society is unable to offer its free entry voucher to RSGB Members whilst that system is in place.

The Dartmoor Radio Rally is due to take place on the 4th of July. In view of the uncertainties of Covid-19 restrictions that may be introduced at short notice, the organisers ask that visitors please check the website at dartmoorradioclub.uk before travelling.

The next Tonight @ 8 live webinar is on Monday the 7th of June. In a change to the advertised programme, Rob Sherwood, NC0B will talk about Transceiver Performance for the HF DX & Contest Operator. His presentation will explain the process that Sherwood Engineering go through to produce detailed performance figures for a wide range of transceivers, including details on the long-awaited new Elecraft K4D. You will be able to watch and ask questions live on the RSGB’s YouTube channel. For more information about this and other webinars in the series, go to rsgb.org/webinars.

IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs Chair, Barry Lewis, G4SJH, reports that efforts continue in defending the interests of amateur radio during preparations by CEPT for the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2023. Meeting on the 21st of May, the IARU worked with CEPT regional telecommunications organisations. The IARU put forward the agreed preliminary IARU positions for agenda items that could affect amateur radio. The IARU’s overall objective is to safeguard the allocations to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the co- and adjacent-frequency bands within the scope of each agenda item. 

HamSCI is looking for amateurs to make recordings of time-standard stations during the June 2021 solar eclipse across the Arctic Circle as part of a citizen science experiment. Researchers will use the crowd-sourced data to investigate the superimposed effects of auroral particle precipitation and the eclipse on HF Doppler shift. The experiment will run between the 7th and 12th of June. All participants will receive QSL certificates and updates as the data is processed. For more information and setup instructions, visit the June 2021 Arctic Eclipse Festival page at hamsci.org.

A date for the diary next. Electromagnetic Field will return to Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire from the 2nd to the 5th of June next year, 2022. Tickets will go on sale later this year. Electromagnetic Field is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things, including hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists and engineers.

The GB3CM repeater was fitted with a new antenna on the 24th of May. The first indications are quite promising with regards to coverage. The repeater is in IO71VW near Carmarthen. Signal reports will be very gratefully received, especially from those who used the repeater before the antenna change. You can send your report to Mark, GW8KCY via email to keeper@gb3cm.info.

Now the DX news

Bo, OZ1DJJ will be active as OX3LX from Greenland between the 8th of June and the 10th of July. He plans to operate mainly on the 6 and 4m bands from several locations along the southwest coast of Greenland. Operations will be in his spare time, which is typically around lunchtime, after dinner as well as early and late sessions at weekends. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or direct to OZ0J.

Lars, SM6CUK will be active holiday style as SA6G/7 from Ven Island, EU-137, between the 7th and 12th of June. He will operate CW on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via SM6CUK and Logbook of The World; logsearch on Club Log.

Gary, NC3Z will be active as VP2V/NC3Z from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NA-023, until the 14th of June. He will operate SSB and the FT modes. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Dragon ARC is running a VHF Day on Saturday the 12th of June from 10 am until 5 pm. They will operate on the 6, 4 and 2m bands using FM, SSB or AM. Club members will be using the callsign GB0VHF from Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey, locator IO73TI.

GB0UTA will be on the air between the 6th and the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. The u3a is an organisation that aims to help people learn, stay active and have fun in later life. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch of the u3a. See the QRZ.com entry for more information. 

The Queen’s official birthday is being celebrated with the callsign GB95QB from the 6th to the 13th of June. The operation will be on all available bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. The station will be run from the home of Nigel, G0GDA with assistance from members of Medway ARTS.

Denmark is taking part in the European Football Championship and a special event station will be on the air between the 11th of June and the 11th of July. 5P2UEFA/xx will be active on all HF bands with CW, SSB and digimodes. The extended suffix /xx will consist of a double-digit number and will be used in connection with the application for a diploma. You can find out about QSL cards and the diploma on QRZ.com under the callsign 5P2UEFA.

From 1600UTC on the 11th of June to 0800UTC on the 12th, Hawaiian amateurs will be taking part in the King Kamehameha Celebration. Using the callsign K6K, the main modes will be SSB, FM, FT-8 and Winlink. eQSLs will be available via Logbook of The World, please note no paper QSLs, please.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

Ending its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 6th is the SEANET contest. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CW National Field Day also ends its 24-hour run today, the 6th, at 1500UTC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Contest ends its 24-hour run at 1300UTC today, the 6th. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 6th, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the data leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place between 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend the IARU ATV contest runs from 1200UTC on the 12th to 1800UTC on the 13th. Using the 432MHz and up bands, the exchange is picture quality, serial number, four-digit code and locator.

Next Sunday, the 13th, is the Practical Wireless 2m QRP contest, which runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using phone only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also, next Sunday is the second 144MHz Backpackers contest, which runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

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

The Sun was pretty quiet over the last week, with few sunspots and a solar flux index in the mid-70s. From a peak of 82 on Sunday, the SFI declined to 75 on Thursday when there were just two small sunspot groups visible, regions 2827 and 2929.

As predicted, geomagnetic conditions have been mostly settled, with a maximum Kp index of three. The solar wind has buffeted Earth at times thanks to a string of small coronal holes on the solar surface. 

As we head towards the summer solstice we are seeing the HF bands remain open later in the evening. This is due to changes in the chemical make-up of the ionosphere. The 20m band currently remains open to DX over a 3,000km path until nearly midnight. In fact, if we had a few more sunspots we could even see 14MHz open 24 hours a day at times.

The main mode of interest remains Sporadic-E, with daily inter-Europe openings and occasional multi-hop openings to further afield. Make the most of these in June as conditions can decline as the season progresses.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid to high 70s again. It says that the Kp index should remain around two. We may expect disturbed geomagnetic conditions on Sunday and early next week due to a large coronal hole on the Sun’s equator that became Earth-facing on Friday.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It feels like a classic ‘summer combo’ this coming week, with periods where Tropo is the dominant mode as weak ridges of high pressure remain close by over the UK. Remember that the best conditions are often overnight and early morning since during the day the solar heating of the ground destroys any surface temperature inversion. In addition, you will also find that Tropo paths exist across the surrounding seas throughout the 24 hours, so /P from the clifftop or beach sounds ideal.

Mixed in with this hesitant high-pressure theme are occasional periods of instability releasing heavy showers, possibly with thunder and lightning. This is good for some because summer thunderclouds produce excellent prospects for GHz bands rain scatter.

Early June is prime time for Sporadic-E, and it’s been simmering nicely for a while now, so perhaps more of the same. In theory, all bands up to 144MHz come into play.

A point of observation regarding the jet stream patterns is that, perversely, they are not looking so favourable this coming week, which makes predicting paths very unwise. Check the daily blogs at Propquest.co.uk to see how things are developing.

We start another lunar month with positive and increasing declination giving lengthening daytime visibility windows, but with apogee on Tuesday, EME path losses are at their highest.

June the 7th sees the peak of the Arietids meteor shower. It actually lasts from May 22 to July 2, and with a ZHR of 30 it is one of the two most intense daylight meteor showers of the year.

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

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