GB2RS
RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 16th 2022.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 16th 2022.

January 14, 2022

GB2RS News

Sunday the 16th of January 2022

The news headlines:

  • SpaceX launches amateur satellites

  • NASA recognises ARISS in pictures

  • CW expert on BBC radio

SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-3 mission launched on Thursday carrying 105 satellites including several amateur radio payloads. The Tevel mission comprises eight satellites, each with an FM transponder with an uplink on 145.970MHz and downlink plus beacon transmissions on 436.400MHz. The EASAT-2 and Hades CubeSats also have 2m to 70cm transponders, with Hades also carrying a camera module that downlinks pictures in Robot 36 format. More details can be found on the AMSAT-UK.org website.

NASA has recognised Amateur Radio on the International Space Station as a science education and research programme. Two images of ARISS activity are among those singled out by the space agency as some of the Best Space Station Science Pictures of 2021. ARRL Representative to ARISS International Rosalie White, K1STO, said the recognition is significant because it shows that NASA considers what ARISS does to be within the realm of science education and research. You can see the photos at thersgb.org/gb2rs/015

RSGB GB2CW Coordinator Roger Cooke, G3LDI of Norfolk ARC was interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk this week to talk about Morse code in celebration of Learn your name in Morse Code day. Roger has also written a book about Morse Code which you can get from the RSGB Shop. You can listen to his interview at thersgb.org/gb2rs/014 where it begins at 1:54:27 It will be available for a further three weeks.

Recent changes in the Regional Team and RSGB Board have brought new members to the RSGB Nominations Committee. Tony Miles, MM0TMZ joins the Committee as the Regional Forum Nominee and David Hills, G6PYF is the Nominated Director representative. We’d like to welcome them to their new roles.

If you couldn’t join the RSGB’s Tonight@8 webinar on amateur radio software construction this week, you can catch up on the RSGB YouTube channel. Heather Lomond’s talk has inspired people to try something new, so take a look and perhaps make something yourself for the RSGB Construction Competition. There are four entry categories – Beginners, Construction Excellence, Innovation, and Software – and there is a monetary prize for the winner of each section. Full details are on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/construction-competition and the closing date is the 1st of March.

Due to the recent resignation of Andy Mace as an RSGB Board Director, there are now two elected Board Director vacancies as well as eight Regional Representative roles to be filled. The online nomination process is still open and completed papers, with supporting nominations, must be received by 2359UTC on 31 January 2022.

Although the Bletchley Park museum is open, the RSGB National Radio Centre remains closed for the time being. It is hoped to re-open the NRC in the near future and we will make further announcements on GB2RS and via social media.

And now for details of rallies and events

The next rally we have on our calendar is the Red Rose Rally on the 6th of February.

Lincoln Short Wave Club has announced that they are postponing the Wragby Rally until March or April due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

Also responding to concern over the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, organisers of the International DX Convention in Visalia, California have called off this year’s event that was due to take place in April.

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. There are already over twenty rallies on the calendar for 2022.

Now the DX news

As previously announced, the planned D6 Comoros DXpedition has been postponed due to the pandemic. Also, the HD8M DXpedition team has cancelled its trip to the Galapagos Islands that was scheduled for March.

Alex, UG1A will be active in his spare time from Vostok Base in Antarctica as RI1ANC until the beginning of February. Activity will be mostly CW. QSL via RN1ON, CL OQRS, direct, or via the bureau. 

Ferdy, HB9DSP is operating his first DXpedition as 5Z4/HB9DSP from Malindi, Kenya until the 27th. Operations are on 20, 15 and 10 metres using mainly SSB with some FT8.

Jacques, F6HMJ is QRV in Senegal as 6W7/F6HMJ until the 22nd of February. Activity is from 40 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via home call.

Mario, IK1MYT is on the air from Lusaka, Zambia as 9J2MYT until June. Activity is on 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10 metres using SSB. QSL via IZ3KVD, or Club Log OQRS.

Now the Special Event news

GB1900HA and GB1900HW will run throughout 2022 to commemorate 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall, the Northern frontier of the mighty Roman Empire.  Austin, M0MNE and Roy, M0TKF will be operating the stations from near Hadrian’s Wall on HF and VHF in voice, CW and digital modes. QSL Via Logbook of the World and Club Log OQRS.  See QRZ.com for more info

Now the contest news

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

The RSGB AFS Datamodes contest takes place today, the 16th, from 1300 to 1700UTC. It uses the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 1.3GHz UKAC, which takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the all-mode 70MHz UKAC from 2000 to 2230UTC. The signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Next Saturday it’s the AFS 80 and 40m SSB contest, which runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also, next Saturday is the Marconi QSO Party Day, organised by The Marconi Club ARI Loano. Running from 0900 to 1800UTC on the 80, 40 and 20m bands, CW only, entrants should call CQ MCD and exchange signal report and serial number.

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

We had a week of relatively low, but stable, sunspot numbers, which affected the maximum usable frequencies available. Having said that, the SFI was above 100 all week, but we didnt get the surge in numbers that we really needed for good reliable ionospheric propagation. MUFs over a 3,000km path often exceeded 28MHz, but this mainly occurred over the lunchtime period. And critical frequencies often exceeded 7MHz, again mainly over lunchtime, which makes 40 metres a good inter-G band when this occurs. So if you have got used to ignoring 7MHz for around-the-UK contacts, you could be in for a nice surprise. Forty-metre skip often starts long but gets progressively shorter as the critical frequency increases. Keep an eye on Propquest.co.uk for a graph of how propagation during the day develops.

If NOAAs predictions are to be believed we could soon get that much-needed surge in activity. From 17 January the SFI is predicted to go up to 120 for around eight days. This may give a much-needed uplift in HF propagation. However, it does also bring the risk of solar flares, coronal mass ejections and geomagnetic disturbances. A large coronal hole is also threatening to cause a disturbance this weekend with a Kp index of five. If that happens expect degraded MUFs and poor DX, especially on northerly paths for the following two to three days.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Its been a while since there was a long-lasting region of high pressure over the country and this current period of high pressure seems likely to hang around for the whole of the coming week and produce some good prospects for Tropo. This will either be due to an elevated temperature inversion due to the high, and extending over long distances for Tropo DX, or due to regional surface night-time inversions when night frost and fog forms and can produce local and somewhat temporary tropo enhancements.

These things are not that simple in reality, since the high centre tends to drift around; this alters the flow over the British Isles from a moist southwesterly, which is good for Tropo, to a colder north-westerly, which is bad for Tropo, when the high is displaced a little west. This may happen in the second half of next week.

We are just leaving the midwinter window for Sporadic-E, so all that remains are some chance auroras and random meteor scatter to play with during the coming week. The Moon is at maximum declination today, but path losses are still high and falling after Fridays apogee. 144MHz sky noise is low all week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 9th 2022.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 9th 2022.

January 7, 2022

GB2RS News

Sunday the 9th of January 2022

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year

  • Board and Regional volunteers wanted

  • GB100BBC marks BBC Centenary

 

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

The RSGB is calling for volunteers to fill roles in its Board and Regional Team. There are Elected Director vacancies, as well as eight Regional Representative roles to be filled. The online nomination process is open and completed papers, with supporting nominations, must be received by 2359UTC on the 31st of January 2022. You can find out about applying for the roles or nominating someone via the Society’s website at rsgb.org/election

Celebrations to mark the BBC's Centenary began at noon on the 1st of January. The London BBC Radio Group was granted an extended Special Special Event radio licence by Ofcom, to operate GB100BBC throughout 2022. The amateur radio activity is one of many events organised to celebrate 100 years of the BBC, which began broadcasting from Savoy Hill in 1922.

The RSGB HF Contest Calendar for 2022, with all the rules for our contests, has been published. Go to rsgbcc.org/hf and click on the HF pages tab. For VHF and up contests, click on the VHF pages. Please put all your favourite contests into your diary for this year.

The WSJT development group has released an updated version of WSJT-X, version 2.5.4, that it’s calling a “bug fix”. The primary fix repairs a defect that caused occasional crashes when contacting stations with non-standard callsigns. It also allows MAP65’s “best-fit Delta Phi” solution to be displayed to the user.

The RSGB’s 2022 Tonight@8 webinar series starts on Monday the 10th of January with a look at amateur radio software construction by Heather Lomond, M0HMO. There is still time to be inspired and create something for the RSGB Construction Competition! You can join the free webinar and ask questions on the RSGB YouTube channel. For more information see the Society’s website rsgb.org/webinars

The Belgian IARU society, UBA, is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. There will be 64 different special event stations active until the 28th of February. Each special event station will be using the prefix ON75 followed by a three-letter suffix. Full details on QRZ.com under the callsign ON75DIG.

Members of the DXpedition planned for Comoros Islands, AF-007, in January 2022 have now postponed their operation due to the current Covid situation. They are planning to travel later in 2022 when, they say, hopefully, things get quieter again.

The EZNEC antenna modelling software by Roy Lewallen, W7EL is now available for free download. The software is available from https://eznec.com/

And now for details of rallies and events

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. There are already over twenty rallies on the calendar for 2022.

Now the DX news

W2APF will be active as VP2MDX from Montserrat, IOTA reference NA-103, from the 9th of January to the 18th of February. He will operate CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via W2APF.

Now the Special Event news

To mark 100 years of British broadcasting, the BBC will be putting on special events throughout 2022. As part of the celebrations, GB100BBC will be on the air. View the GB100BBC page on QRZ.com for more information.

Now the contest news

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

The ARRL RTTY Round-up runs until 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations, also sending their State and Canadians their Province.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and your 6-character locator.

On Wednesday the 432MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

The 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC on Thursday. The exchange is signal report, serial number and your 6-character locator.

It is the Worked All Britain 160m contest on Saturday the 15th of January, from 1900 to 2300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. The full rules are available on the WAB website.

The RSGB AFS Datamodes contest takes place on Sunday the 16th of January from 1300 to 1700UTC. It uses the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Welcome back to the GB2RS HF Propagation News. And we start the year on a bit of a downer, with the solar flux index back in the 80s. On Thursday the 6th, the SFI was at 84 with two active sunspot regions. This is probably going to be a short-lived lull in solar activity as we know that more active regions are coming back around the Sun in due course.

The Kp index has mainly been low over the past week, reaching a maximum of four on the third, but generally being in the range of zero to three. We may get an elevated Kp index this weekend due to an Earth-facing coronal hole and its associated high-speed solar wind stream.

The big question is what happens next? Will we see a return to those glorious days just before Christmas where the SFI was 140? The likely answer is yes we will, but knowing quite when we will get there is difficult. NOAA predicts that the SFI will climb past 100 on the 12th of January, reaching a maximum of 120 a few days later. Returning active regions 2907 and 2908 should appear at the beginning of the week, but we don’t know just how active they still are.

Meanwhile, MUFs over a 3,000km path are reaching 21MHz most days and there are occasional 28MHz openings, especially around lunchtime. So keep an eye on the higher bands, which may spring some surprises, especially with low-signal modes like FT8. And the low bands, such as 160, 80 and 40m are still worth looking at and will continue to be for the next month or so.

Let’s hope we have more positive news next week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There have been hints of Sporadic-E recently in digital modes on 10m and 6m, which is quite often seen around this time of the year. There is probably one more week in this window of opportunity before the lean months begin and little activity until well into April. In this case, we still have some powerful winter jet streams nearby so that's one box ticked for Sporadic-E.

Tropo is not likely to feature until after the weekend when we see a high-pressure building behind a cold front on Sunday. By Tuesday there should be some first signs, initially in the south, but models suggest a more widespread distribution to include northern areas as the high develops during the week.

Keep alert for auroras, and random, non-shower, meteor scatter is always a good banker for some DX. The Quadrantid meteor shower has peaked so we are entering the quiet period for meteor activity until the Lyrids on the 22nd of April.

The Moon has positive declination again, peaking next Sunday, but path losses reach their highest at apogee on Friday. 144MHz sky noise is low but increasing, reaching 500K next Saturday.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 26th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 26th 2021.

December 22, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 26th of December 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Last News of 2021

  • Covid closes National Radio Centre

  • Several days of SSTV from the ISS

 

This is the final GB2RS news reading for 2021 and we start with seasonal greetings to all newsreaders and listeners, both over the air and via other platforms, and not forgetting viewers of the ATV broadcast, which is available via several repeaters and kindly streamed via the batc.tv website, as well as those who receive this news via TX Factor or podcasts. We would like to take this opportunity once again to thank all those who read the news, in whatever format, for their tireless dedication to their fellow amateurs. A full GB2RS service will resume on the 9th of January. A Local News for the 2nd of January will be available on the RSGB website.

In light of the rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases and the high transmission rates, the RSGB has reluctantly decided to close the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park temporarily until further notice. The situation will be reviewed in the New Year and announcements about re-opening made via GB2RS News, the RSGB website and social media. During the closure, the RSGB Members’ voucher for free entry to the NRC will be taken offline. We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience the closure may cause, but believe it to be in the best interests of the well-being of both volunteers and visitors. During this time the NRC weekday 80m net will be reactivated. The net takes place at 1030UTC on weekdays around 3.727MHz, plus or minus interference. Martyn, G0GMB, the NRC Coordinator, and the NRC volunteers look forward to speaking to as many amateurs as possible over the next few weeks.

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station team will support Slow Scan TV transmissions from the International Space Station over the festive period. The images will be related to lunar exploration. Transmissions should be available worldwide on 145.800MHz FM, using SSTV mode PD120. Transmissions are set to start on the 26th of December at about 1825UTC and end on the 31st at about 1705UTC. The signal should be receivable on a handheld transceiver with a quarter-wave whip antenna. Use the widest filter for 25kHz channel spacing. For more information, go to ariss-sstv.blogspot.com.

It is the final week of activation for GB21YOTA for Youngsters on the air. Today, the 26th, and again on the 28th, M0YTE will supervise M7FED using the callsign. On the 27th and 29th, Hilderstone Radio Society will be on the air. Then, on the 30th M0BOY will supervise M7OMY operating the YOTA callsign. Finally, on the 31st, it is M0YTE and M7FED operating on the last day of Youngsters on the Air for this year.

The Sudan Amateur Radio Association supports their National Day on Saturday the 1st of January from 0000UTC to 2359UTC with amateur radio activities. Some amateur clubs team up to make a big splash with lots of actions, radios and antennas, offering a variety of modes to experience. For others, the National Day provides an opportunity to coach a smaller group of amateurs and to just have fun talking on the radio. You can email sudanamateur195662@yahoo.com for more details.

RSGB HQ is closed for the holidays until 8.30 am on the 4th of January. During that time, if you need information about amateur radio, exams or RadCom you’ll find lots of information on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org. You could also contact your Regional Representative if you need local help, you can find their contact details on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/regional-team.

And now for details of rallies and events

Unless cancelled by Covid, the Sparkford Wireless Group Rally is due to take place on the 2nd of January at Davis Hall near Yeovil, BA22 7QX. There is free car parking; doors open from 9.30 am to 1 pm and admission is £2. Direct any enquiries to wjh069@gmail.com.

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. There are already over twenty rallies on the calendar for 2022.

Now the DX news

Tom, OE1TRI will be active holiday style as 8Q7TR from the Maldives, AS-013, from the 28th of December to the 3rd of January. He will run 20W on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m using SSB and FT8. QSL via OE1TRI; he does not use Club Log or Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Medway ARTS is putting GB6NU on the air on the 1st of January, celebrating their founder, the late Bill Nutton, G6NU. This is the first of several planned MARTS 2022 Centenary year celebrations. Further details of this event can be found on the GB6NU QRZ page.

To mark 100 years of British broadcasting, the BBC will be putting on special events throughout 2022. As part of the celebrations, the staff amateur radio club, the BBC Radio Group, will be active throughout the year using the special callsign GB100BBC. Ofcom has kindly permitted operation from club members’ home stations, as well as from BBC premises around the UK, and locations associated with BBC broadcasting such as transmitter sites. In addition to online QSL options, a traditional commemorative QSL card will be available via the bureau. View the GB100BBC page on QRZ.com for more information and look for GB100BBC on all bands and modes. Operations will commence on New Year’s Day from the club shack in Broadcasting House, London.

GB120MT is being operated by Chelmsford ARS to mark the first successful reception in Newfoundland from the Marconi transmission at Poldhu in Cornwall. The station will be on the air at various times until the 1st of January 2022.

During the month of December, Welland Valley ARS is running special call signs GB1XMS, GB2XMS, GB5XMS and GB9XMS to celebrate Christmas and say farewell to 2021. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Now the contest news

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

The Christmas Cumulatives take place between the 26th and the 29th of December from 1400 to 1600UTC each day. Using the 50 to 432MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 26th of December, the DARC Christmas Contest runs from 0830 to 1100UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations also send DOK (club code) or NM (non-member).

The Worked All Britain Christmas Party runs from the 26th of December to the 6th of January. Using all modes on any band, the exchange is your WAB book number.

On the 1st of January, the IRTS 80m Daytime Counties contest runs from 1700 to 1800UTC. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations, also sending their County.

On Saturday the 8th, the CW AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The first session of the EUCW 160m CW Party is also on the 8th from 2000 to 2300UTC, with the second session on the 9th at 0400 to 0700UTC.

The ARRL RTTY Round-up runs from 1800UTC on the 8th of January to 2359UTC on the 9th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations sending their State and Canadians their Province too.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Wednesday the 22nd of December

Given that this report has to last two weeks it is difficult to be precise in terms of actual HF conditions. What we can say is that we are in turbulent times, with the solar flux index going up and down, and geomagnetic conditions subject to fluctuations as coronal holes and coronal mass ejections come and go.

The NOAA forecast for the next two weeks is that the solar flux index may reduce as we go past Christmas, initially to the 90s and ultimately to the 80s as we head towards the 28th of December. NOAA also predicts we may have unsettled geomagnetic conditions on or around the 28th of December, possible due to the return of a coronal hole and its associated high-speed solar wind stream. This is very much a guesstimate as this recent crop of sunspots arrived with very little warning. In other words, anything could happen over the next two weeks. At the time of writing, there were two active regions on the Sun about to turn to be Earth-facing on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft imagery, but we will have to wait and see how they develop.

What we do know is that mid-Winter is the best time for low-band propagation, so keep an eye on Top Band, 80 metres and 40 metres, which can all show signs of DX activity from afternoon onwards at this time of year. Meanwhile, the higher bands have come into their own with the SFI above 100. If it continues, do check on 12 and 10 metres as they can provide the lowest D-layer absorption and best DX, with some real surprises every now and again. For example, 10m has given quite a few contacts into Australia recently. And 12m has shown good conditions into the mid-west of the USA in the late afternoon before sunset.

So until our regular bulletins start again in the New Year, have a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year and good DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The good tropo conditions just lasted until the 23cm UK Activity Contest last Tuesday, then a gradual advance of milder Atlantic air with weather fronts, rain and strong winds set the tone for the rest of the week.

The general thrust of the milder air is limited and a battle between cold air to the north and mild to the south will split the country in two over the Christmas weekend. There will be snow in some places for Santa and probably not a lot of VHF propagation to distract him! As a long shot, it can sometimes be productive to beam parallel to a weather front, in this case, East to West.

In the week between Christmas and New Year, there will be a period of calmer conditions with frosts and a weak ridge of high pressure; so a possible tropo window before the whole pattern returns to mild Atlantic unsettled conditions, but probably with snow on the leading edge.

Finally, to restate last week’s mention; this time of the year can produce surprising out of season Sporadic-E and, with some strong winter jet stream activity, it’s worth a look. Favoured options are to Spain on Boxing Day and more generally to the south and south-east in the second half of the week towards the end of the month. Of course, there’s always a chance of aurora and meteor scatter to keep you amused if the Sporadic-E doesn’t materialise.

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks overnight from the 2nd of January to the 3rd and can produce a ZHR of 50-100 with some big fireballs. The peak of activity is extremely narrow, lasting only a few hours.

The Moon still has positive declination until the day after Boxing Day and perigee is on New Year’s day, bringing lowest path losses. This day also has high 144MHz sky noise so EME is a bit of "swings and roundabouts" through the holiday period.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 19th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 19th 2021.

December 17, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 19th of December 2021

The news headlines:

  • GB2RS Christmas arrangements

  • Volunteers sought for Board and Regions

  • Comoros DXpedition postponed

Next Sunday, the 26th, will see the final GB2RS script for 2021. The deadline for news is being brought forward to 10 am on Tuesday the 21st of December, instead of the usual Thursday. The news reading on the 26th is optional, as the RSGB appreciates that not all newsreaders will be available, but the script will be on the RGSB website so all can see it. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the newsreaders who read the news on a variety of platforms for their service to their fellow amateurs throughout the year. We’d also like to remind amateurs that there has been a long-standing convention to keep 145.525MHz free of traffic at 10 am on Sundays, to allow the news reading to go ahead without interference. Thank you to all those who listen on Sunday mornings, and the other times that the news is read, to those who call in afterwards to speak to the newsreaders, and to everyone who listens via platforms. There will be no script prepared for broadcast on Sunday the 2nd of January 2022 due to RSGB HQ being closed. Newsreaders may, of course, choose to run a net at their normal transmission time, but under their own callsign only.

We’d like to remind Members that the RSGB is looking for volunteers for roles in the Regional Team and on the Board. The deadline for completed nominations is 23:59 on 31 January 2022. There are eight vacancies for Regional Representatives and one for an elected Board Director. You can see further details about the roles and about how to apply at rsgb.org/election

The Comoros Islands DXpedition that was to take place sometime between mid-to-end January in 2022 has been postponed. The Covid situation makes it safer for the team not to travel now. It should take place later in 2022.

Having listened to feedback, the RSGB is delighted to announce that from the January 2022 issue onwards, it has been making RadCom available online for Members to read in the same week that the hard copy arrives through the letterbox. The January 2022 RadCom is now online at rsgb.org/radcom

Have you ever thought of becoming a GB2RS Newsreader? The team to the northwest of Manchester is looking for someone to join them, to broadcast on Sunday morning and/or evening on 2m and 4m. Applicants must be members of the RSGB and hold a Full or Intermediate licence. For more information, please contact the northwest team via Annick, M0HDE, email annickmorris@gmail.com. For general guidance about joining the GB2RS service, please contact the GB2RS Manager, Steve, G4HPE, via gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.

To mark 100 years of British broadcasting, the BBC will be putting on special events throughout 2022. As part of the celebrations, the staff amateur radio club, the BBC Radio Group, will be active throughout the year using the special callsign GB100BBC. Ofcom has kindly permitted operation from club members’ home stations, as well as from BBC premises around the UK, and locations associated with BBC broadcasting such as transmitter sites. In addition to online QSL options, a traditional commemorative QSL card will be available via the bureau. View the GB100BBC page on QRZ.com for more information and look for GB100BBC on all bands and modes. Operations will commence on New Year’s Day from the club shack in Broadcasting House, London.

The winners of the RSGB and ARRL 160-Meter Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party are Rick Niswander, K7GM and Bob Barden, MD0CCE. They receive a quaich, a traditional Scottish drinking cup representing friendship, from the GMDX Group of Scotland. For more information see the RSGB website.

Gwyn Williams, G4FKH has decided to stop running the Predtest.uk website. It will cease on the 22nd of December 2021. The site has been running for a few years now after Gwyn worked with numerous programmers to give a more user-friendly and graphical output to the ITU’s ITURHFPROP propagation prediction program. Predtest has been a very useful tool in the HF user’s armoury, allowing point-to-point and area coverage predictions among others. The RSGB Propagation Studies Committee would like to thank Gwyn for all his hard work on Predtest over the years. Users are being encouraged to move over to James Watson’s Proppy tool, which offers a similar experience to Predtest and is also based on ITURHFPROP. You can find Proppy at soundbytes.asia/proppy/ Alternatively, VOACAP.com offers a similar experience and is based on the well-known VOACAP software.

RSGB HQ will close for the Christmas and New Year period from 4.30 pm on the 23rd of December. It opens again at 8.30 am on the 4th of January. During that time, if you need information about amateur radio, exams or RadCom you’ll find lots of information on the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org.

And now for details of rallies and events

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. There are already over twenty rallies in the calendar for 2022.

Now the DX news

Chris, ZS1CDG plans to be active as 7P8GOZ from Lesotho between the 20th and 26th of December. He will operate holiday style on 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using FT8. QSL via Logbook of The World or his home call.

Brad, VK2BY will be active as HS0ZNR in north-eastern Thailand until the 21st of January. QSL direct to VK2BY and Logbook of The World.

Victor, WB0AA will be active as V4/WB0AA from St Kitts, NA-104 between the 22nd and the 30th of December. He will operate CW and SSB on the 10 to 160m bands. QSL via his home call and possibly Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

GB120MT is being operated by Chelmsford ARS to mark the first successful reception in Newfoundland from the Marconi transmission at Poldhu in Cornwall. The station will be on the air at various times until the 1st of January 2022.

Now the contest news

There are no RSGB HF contests at all this month. When operating in any contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following pandemic-related government rules.

The Stew Perry Top Band Challenge ends its 24-hour run at 1500UTC today, the 19th. It is CW only and the exchange is your 4-character locator.

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

The Christmas Cumulatives take place between the 26th and the 29th of December from 1400 to 1600 each day. Using the 50 to 432MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 26th of December, the DARC Christmas Contest runs from 0830 to 1100UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations also send DOK or NM.

The Worked All Britain Christmas Party runs from the 26th of December to the 6th of January. Using all modes on any band, the exchange is your WAB book number.

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

After a period with zero sunspots, we’re pleased to announce that the drought is over. There are now at least five active groups on the solar surface and this could even increase over the coming days. The solar flux index had leapt up to 103 from 89 on Thursday and could go even higher. This puts us in the fun zone for 10 metres and it will be interesting to see what is workable over the next week.

There is an increased risk of solar flares during this time and we have already seen some C- and M-class events. Solar flares and their associated coronal mass ejections are generally detrimental to HF propagation, with flares causing short-lived blackouts and CMEs causing a lowering of MUFs a few days later.

On Thursday the solar wind speed had increased to more than 500 kilometres per second and with a negative interplanetary magnetic field, or Bz, the Kp index had climbed to three as a result. Let’s hope it doesn’t climb much higher.

The US Air Force predicts that the Solar Flux Index will remain above 100 until perhaps Wednesday the 22nd, when it may decline to the high 90s. But we really are in uncharted territory at the moment so keep an eye on SolarHam.com for regular updates.

And finally, this week is a good time to contact Santa Claus in Lapland. OF9X is on the air in the Arctic Circle over Christmas and has been spotted on 80, 40, 30, 20 and 10m so far. He will be operating CW, SSB and FT8. The DX cluster is probably the easiest way of knowing where the station is on the bands at any one time. Good luck with making contact!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The welcome return of high pressure and tropo conditions from the middle of the past week should last through to the middle of the coming week. This means there will be plenty more chances for further enhanced propagation on VHF/UHF bands and hopefully for the SHF UKAC on 23cm on Tuesday evening. The position of the high is such that even Scotland will enjoy some of the tropo and paths to the south across Biscay and into northern Spain are worth investigating.

From mid-week, there are signs that the Atlantic weather systems will break through again, which will take away the Tropo options. One intriguing set of charts shows a front across the middle of the country with mild air to the south and cold air to its north on Christmas Day. Plenty of excitement potential there, but at such long lead times it’s no more than one of many possible outcomes at present.

For a little extra joy this Christmas, we are moving into a time of year that can offer surprise winter Sporadic-E, that’s mid-December to mid-January. Little predictability is available for these events, but do make use of the Propquest charts at propquest.co.uk to get a hint of your chances; focus upon the jet stream maps, the NVIS tab to see the foEs values and the EPI index for mapped distribution of any possible hot spots.

Last week’s Geminids meteor shower produced some excellent QSOs up to and including 70cm for the well-equipped stations. The tail end of the shower should continue to make meteor scatter interesting.

The Moon is at peak declination meaning plenty of time for EME contacts but with yesterday’s apogee path losses are at their highest. 144MHz sky noise will be low this week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 12th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 12th 2021.

December 10, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 12th of December 2021

The news headlines:

  • Lincoln hams help TV program

  • Exams Committee report published

  • WSJT-X core developer goes SK

In the December issue of RadCom, page 14, we reported on the television programme outlining the design, specification and crews of the WW2 Lancaster bomber. The production company asked Lincoln Short Wave Club to help with a CW sequence during which their anchorman, Guy Martin, would familiarise himself with the vintage Marconi R1155/T1154 and send a short message in Morse using a ‘bathtub’ key. The programme is available to view next Sunday, the 19th of December, on Channel 4 at 9 pm.

The RSGB Examinations Standards Committee has published its 2021 annual report that covers activities in 2020. Despite the challenges of Covid, the Committee was quick to support proposals for changes to the exam system, such as approving online remote invigilation and the suspension of practical assessments. This allowed people to continue to take exams and get involved in amateur radio during the lockdown. The total number of exams administered by the RSGB Exams Department in 2020 increased by 41.9% compared to the previous year. You can read the report on the Committee’s page on the RSGB website.

Sad news now. From Joe Taylor, K1JT, we learned that Bill Somerville, G4WJS, died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was only about 65 years old. Bill was the first to join Joe in 2013, forming a core development group for WSJT-X. He helped to bring the overall programme structure more nearly up to professional standards. Moreover, he devoted countless hours to programme support, patiently answering users’ questions on WSJT-related forums. You can read a fuller obituary on the RSGB website. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.

This month marks the Centenary of the first amateur radio signals crossing the Atlantic. Signals from the USA were received by Paul Godley, 2ZE, at a specially prepared receiving setup at Ardrossan in Scotland. A commemorative sked has been organised for the 12th of December at 0155 UTC between ARRL CEO, David Minster, NA2AA as the W1AW operator, and the Ardrossan station operating as GB2ZE. RSGB President Stewart Bryant, G3YSX will be present in Ardrossan for the sked, as will be Board Director Len Paget, GM0ONX and General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB. The RSGB representatives will also visit the new exhibition at the Heritage Centre at Ardrossan that celebrates these transatlantic achievements. From the 1st to the 26th of December, all UK and Crown Dependency licensees may add the suffix /2ZE to their amateur callsign to mark the centenary. Learn more on the story at rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

The ARRL and the RSGB jointly sponsored the 160m Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party that ran between 0200 and 0800UTC today, the 12th. Certificates and prizes are available. For more details go to rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station has received schedule confirmation for an ARISS radio contact with astronauts. This will be a telebridge contact via amateur radio between astronaut Matthias, KI5KFH onboard the ISS and students in Germany. The downlink frequency for this contact is 145.800MHz narrowband FM and may be heard by listeners in Europe that are within the ISS footprint. The ARISS radio contact is scheduled for Monday the 13th of December at 0951UTC.

The RSGB has been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December for Youngsters on the air. Today, the station will be operated by the Radio Society of Harrow using G3EFX. On Friday evening, M0YTE will operate the callsign and next Saturday M0SDV will put the callsign on the air. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com.

And now for details of rallies and events

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. If you don’t tell us, we can’t publicise your event.

Now the DX news

Ferdy, HB9DSP has had to postpone his December trip to Kenya and now plans to be active as 5Z4/HB9DSP around mid-January. DJ6TF and DL7BO have also had to postpone their December trip to Zimbabwe and now plan to be active as Z21A and Z22O in early February.

Celebrating Christmas and the New Year, special callsigns PH21XMAS will operate until the 3rd of January and PH22HNY will operate until the 31st of January. Both will use SSB and digital modes. QSL via the operator's instructions.

Mario, IK1MYT is active as 9J2MYT from Lusaka, Zambia until June 2022. He operates SSB on 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10 metres. QSL direct to IZ3KVD.

The S21DX operation from St Martin’s Island, Bangladesh, IOTA AS-140, has been brought forward and is now expected to take place until the 16th of December, in accordance with the operating permission granted by the licencing authority. S21AM and S21RC will run one station on the HF bands SSB and FT8; a second station will be on QO-100. QSL via EB7DX.

Now the Special Event news

Today, the 12th of December is the 120th anniversary of the very first wireless signals across the Atlantic by Marconi. Ofcom has licensed a number of special event stations to mark the event. Chelmsford ARS has been granted GB120MT, licenced up to New Year’s Day.

Special event station GB1002ZE will be operated by Crocodile Rock Amateur Group near Ardrossan. In addition to the radio celebrations, North Ayrshire Council have jointly created an exhibition surrounding this Centenary that will be hosted in the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Saltcoats. This exhibition is open until mid-December.

Kilmarnock and Loudoun ARC will operate GS2ZE, a commemorative station adjacent to the site of the original transatlantic experiment at Ardrossan. It will be on the air for 24 hours ending at 1200UTC today, the 12th.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the historic Transatlantic Tests of December 1921, members of the HB4FR Amateur Radio Club will be active as HB1BCG throughout December. 1BCG was the callsign of the Connecticut station whose message crossed the Atlantic Ocean to be received in Scotland. QSL via HB9ACA.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations. December is a quiet month for contests, indeed there are no RSGB HF contests at all this month.

The ARRL 10m contest runs for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC today, the 12th. Using CW and phone, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US and Canadian stations, also sending their State or Province code.

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

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

Next weekend it’s the Stew Perry Top Band Challenge. Running for 24 hours from 1500UTC on the 18th to 1500UTC on the 19th, it is CW only. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 10th of December

The predicted elevated Kp index that we talked about last week didn’t amount to much at the end of the day. The solar wind remained reasonably calm and the Kp index only peaked at three. This rapidly fell to one by Tuesday and stayed at one or two for the rest of the week.

Solar activity has also been quiet, with the solar flux index falling to the high 70s on Tuesday, where it remained until at least Thursday the 9th. In fact, on Thursday there were zero sunspots and an SFI of 77. Looking at the STEREO Ahead spacecraft data shows very little activity turning into view and, as a result, the NOAA forecast is for only a slight increase in the SFI to the low 80s, perhaps climbing to 87 by the end of next week. It is not surprising, therefore, that Propquest is showing that the extrapolated MUF over a 3,000km path is often below 21MHz during daytime.

The long-range forecast from the US Air Force is for the SFI to remain below 90, at least until the third week in January, so get used to operating in this low SFI domain for a while longer. The good news is that sunspots can appear at any time, so our forecast may be inaccurate. Let’s hope so!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We are fighting our way through a very disturbed weather pattern, and the unsettled pattern over this weekend will bring some rain scatter possibilities, but as it’s winter, these may not produce the DX as summer storms do. Often local rain overhead produces strong rain scatter signals from relatively local stations that seem independent of beam heading.

There are signs of high pressure returning during next week, so hopefully not long to wait for tropo now. There are signs that from Tuesday, a stronger build of pressure will occur. Initially, this will be over the south of the country but gradually extend to northern areas during the second part of the week. This will bring some good Tropo opportunities, especially into the near continent and across the North Sea to southern Scandinavia.

Meteor scatter and aurora is always worth checking, but the key one to focus upon this week will be the Geminids meteor shower that peaks on Monday night, the 13th to 14th. Expect plenty of strong bursts, especially in the early hours of the 14th.

Moon declination goes positive again on Sunday so the EME week will be characterised by lengthening Moon windows and increasing peak Moon elevations, which occur later in the evening. The Moon reaches apogee next Saturday so path losses will be at their highest. 144MHz sky noise will be low for most of the week.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 5th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 5th 2021.

December 3, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 5th of December 2021

The news headlines:

  • New online EMF calculator from RSGB
  • Sign /2ZE to mark Transatlantic Centenary
  • Centenary stations in ARRL 160m Contest

The RSGB has launched a new version of the Society’s EMF calculator, v11d, that is now available in a new browser-based version as well as the spreadsheet version. The web browser version does not require you to have Excel or another spreadsheet on your computer. It also has several great new features to make compliance checking simpler and quicker. You can find both versions on the RSGB EMF web pages or you can go directly to the new web app via rsgb.org/emccalculator.

This month marks the Centenary of the first amateur radio signals crossing the Atlantic. Signals from the USA were received by Paul Godley, 2ZE, at a specially prepared receiving setup at Ardrossan in Scotland. From the 1st to the 26th of December, all UK and Crown Dependency licensees may add the suffix /2ZE to their amateur callsign to mark the centenary. Learn more on the story at rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

The annual ARRL 160m Contest began at 2200UTC on Friday the 3rd of December and ends at 1559UTC today, the 5th. This 42-hour CW-only contest is the most similar to the original Transatlantic Tests. The RSGB is planning to activate special callsigns to commemorate the centenary of the Tests. Stations from the UK and Crown Dependencies will use up to seven different prefixes such as G6XX, GD6XX, GI6XX, GW6XX and so on.

One week later, the ARRL and the RSGB are jointly sponsoring the 160m Transatlantic Centenary QSO Party between 0200 and 0800UTC on the 12th. Stations participating will operate only on CW, trying to contact the two official callsign activations, W1AW and GB2ZE. At times the stations may listen for callers 1kHz above their transmitting frequency, to help those looking for them. They may also periodically ask for DX callers, only. Callsign and signal reports will be exchanged. The GMDX Group will award a quaich, which is a traditional Scottish drinking cup representing friendship, to the first stations in North America and the UK to complete contacts with both W1AW and GB2ZE during the QSO Party. A commemorative certificate will be available for download. Log submissions will not be required from participants. The official logs from W1AW and GB2ZE will be used to determine the winners and for certificates. For more details go to rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests.

It’s not too late to support December YOTA Month 2021. The RSGB has been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com. Today, the station will be operated by GM1DSK. On Monday, M0SCY takes over. Next Saturday, G0HRS will operate the station followed by G3EFX on the 12th.

There is also an award programme available for the YOTA event. Work as many YOTA stations on as many bands and modes as possible and be eligible for your Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum award, all of which are issued for free. This programme promotes radio activity on the airwaves and shows that there is and will be activity in the future. Visit events.ham-yota.com for more information about the award rules.

The Bath Based Distance Learning team has processed over 100 expressions of interest for their Intermediate course starting in January. Further details were published in the December RadCom. The closing date for applications is the 15th of December so if you are interested, please contact team leader Steve, G0FUW, for full details and an application form as soon as possible, via email to G0FUW@tiscali.co.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online. If you don’t tell us, we can’t publicise you.

Now the DX news

Ferdy, HB9DSP will be active as 5Z4/HB9DSP from Malindi, Kenya until the 16th of December. He will operate SSB and some FT8 on the 20, 15 and 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World and via his home call, with the bureau preferred.

DL2SBY will be active holiday-style from the Dominican Republic until the 14th of December. He will operate CW, FT8 and possibly some SSB as HI7/DL2SBY from Punta Cana, IOTA reference NA-096 and Bayahibe, NA-096. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct only to home call or Club Log’s OQRS. He no longer uses the bureau.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as XT2AW from Burkina Faso until the 20th of December. He will be operating on all bands and also via QO-100. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS and Logbook of The World.

DJ6TF and DL7BO will be active as Z21A and Z22O from Harare, Zimbabwe until the 15th of December. They will operate CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4 on 160-10 metres. QSL both calls via DJ6TF.

Now the Special Event news

Special event station GB1002ZE will be operated by Crocodile Rock Amateur Group near Ardrossan. In addition to the radio celebrations, North Ayrshire Council have jointly created an exhibition surrounding this Centenary that will be hosted in the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Saltcoats. This exhibition is open until mid-December.

Kilmarnock and Loudoun ARC will operate a commemorative station adjacent to the site of the original transatlantic experiment at Ardrossan. It will be on the air between 1200UTC on the 11th until 1200UTC on the 12th. The station, GS2ZE, will be used for the celebration except for the first hour of the 160m CW QSO Party and it will take part in the message relay as GB2ZE. GM2ZE is also expected to be operational on several bands from the station of Jason, GM7VSB, which is also adjacent to the site of the original Ardrossan experiment. An attempt will be made to re-enact Godley’s original successful reception of transatlantic signals exactly at the same time and date as 100 years ago.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the historic Transatlantic Tests of December 1921, members of the HB4FR Amateur Radio Club will be active as HB1BCG throughout December. 1BCG was the callsign of the Connecticut station whose message crossed the Atlantic Ocean to be received in Scotland. QSL via HB9ACA.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations. December is a quiet month for contests, indeed there are no RSGB HF contests at all this month.

The ARRL 160m CW contest ends its 42-hour run at 1600UTC today, the 5th. Using CW only on the 160m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. W and VE stations also send their ARRL or RAC section info. During the contest, the RSGB will activate special event 1920s vintage callsigns to commemorate the transatlantic tests.

Today, the 5th, sees the 144MHz AFS contest, running from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144Hz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest take place from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the ARRL 10m contest runs from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2359UTC on the 12th. Using CW and phone, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US and Canadian stations, also sending their State or Province code.

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

The last week was characterised by unsettled geomagnetic conditions, but a reasonable solar flux index of 92, falling to 86. Despite NOAA predicting that the Kp index would be around two, we had an excursion up to five on Tuesday. This was due to an enhanced solar wind stream containing a sector of southward Bz, which kicked up a minor, G1-class geomagnetic storm. The southward direction of the interplanetary magnetic field meant that it could more easily couple with the Earth’s magnetic field, allowing solar plasma to flood it. This continued until the end of Wednesday, with the Kp index finally returning to one on Thursday morning.

Last weekend was the CQ Worldwide CW contest and HF conditions were aided by a very low Kp index. This was beneficial, especially for signals going over the pole. As a result, many stations were able to put the North Pole Contest Group, KL7RA, in Alaska, into their logs on 20 metres, where their signal was reasonably free of polar flutter.

Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will start in the high 80s, but may tail off as the week progresses. Once again it predicts that the Kp index will be around two, but this is very dependent on there being no coronal mass ejections, which could add to the solar wind. A large coronal hole was Earth-facing on Thursday, which could possibly result in an elevated Kp index over the weekend and reduced maximum usable frequencies. Keep an eye on solarham.com for details.

And finally, the darker and longer nights mean the low bands can start to come alive, so don’t ignore 160, 80 and 40 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Testing times for antennas during this current spell of unsettled weather, which looks as though it will stay with us through all of the coming week. This means periods of wet and windy weather will bring a hint of rain scatter at times, but effectively rules out any tropo opportunities. Once again, it will be down to the slim chance of aurora and reliable random meteor scatter to liven up VHF operating.

The big Geminids meteor shower with a ZHR of 120+ is underway, but won’t hit its peak until the morning of the 14th of December. Predictions show a ZHR of 150 at peak, as ZHR has shown a slight increase over the last decades. It has reached 140 to 150 in recent years. The Geminids peak is broad, and close-to-peak rates persist for several hours. Expect several days of good meteor scatter activity in the days up to the 14th and expect it to decay fairly quickly after the maximum.

It’s an inconvenient period for EME enthusiasts, especially on the GHz bands, with the current phase of lowest path loss coinciding with the lowest declination continuing. Perigee was last Friday, so path losses will increase as the week progresses. With Moon declination at its minimum today, Moon windows will be short and it will not get above 15 degrees elevation until Wednesday. 144MHz sky temperatures are high during the early part of the week and combined with the low elevation, VHF EME will be a noisy affair. In all, it’s looking like a very good week to try some satellite operation!

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 28th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 28th 2021.

November 26, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 28th of November 2021

The news headlines:

  • Centenary of transatlantic amateur signals
  • RSGB features in ICQ Podcast
  • National Radio Centre holiday season openings

December 2021 marks the Centenary of the first amateur radio signals crossing the Atlantic. Signals from the USA were received by Paul Godley, 2ZE, at a specially prepared receiving setup at Ardrossan in Scotland. From the 1st to the 26th of December, all UK and Crown Dependency licensees may add the suffix /2ZE to their amateur callsign to mark the centenary. A programme of celebratory events will take place throughout December on both sides of the Atlantic; more details will be included in next week’s GB2RS News. Meanwhile, you can learn more about the story at www.transatlantic.org.uk

The team at ICQ Podcast invited the RSGB to have a chat with them in their latest episode. RSGB President Stewart Bryant, G3YSX talks about the IARU Region 1 workshop; ESC Chair Tony Kent, G8PBH gives an update on training and exams; whilst General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB and Comms Manager Heather Parsons discuss the recent online Convention and the way forward for the event. Go to icqpodcast.com and find episode 364. The RSGB section starts just after one hour and 29 minutes into the podcast.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has announced its opening times for the Christmas and New Year periods. The NRC will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, the Centre will close at 2 pm. See www.nationalradiocentre.com for useful info to help you plan your visit.

It's not too late to support December YOTA Month 2021. We need your help to get youngsters on the air and interested in radio communications. We have been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com. You can register your interest by emailing yota.month@rsgb.org.uk. You must be a Full licence holder or have a Full licence holder willing to supervise the activity.

Recently in the media spotlight was Dave Rowntree, M0IEG. Apart from being a radio amateur and a county councillor in Norfolk, Dave is the drummer for the rock band Blur and has recently signed a solo contract with record company Cooking Vinyl. The story in Music Week quotes Dave describing how he enjoyed tuning around the spectrum in his youth. You can read the report at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2811A

The German national amateur radio society DARC has studied the recent flooding disasters in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate and will use the information to help develop future plans. The DARC department for emergency and disaster radio aims to be able to support the population and independent helpers on-site in times of a prolonged communications failure. The aim is to build up a pool of material and helpers who can then set up and operate a temporary network with access to the internet, for example. The full report, in German, is on the DARC website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2811B

The RSGB understands that its sister society in Norway, the NRRL, is working to establish a beginners’ licence in that country, which presently has only one licence class. Hoping to target those as young as 12 or 13, the licence is proposed to permit 10 watts and to encourage newcomers to build their own equipment.

And now for details of rallies and events

As previously announced, the Bishop Auckland RAC rally, which was planned for today, has been cancelled.

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free.

Now the DX news

Take, JI3DST is operating from Shodo Island, IOTA reference AS-200, as JI3DST/5, JR8YLY/5, and JR8YLY/p until the 2nd of December. QSL via ClubLog OQRS and LoTW.

Lester, W8YCM is in Jamaica, NA-097 until January next year and will be on the air as 6Y6Y. QSL via W8YCM.

Peter, HB9DVG is on the air as A52CC from Phodrang in Bhutan until the 21st of December. Activity is in his spare time on the HF bands using SSB and FT8. QSL via N4GNR.

Brian, ND3F is active as C6AQQ on the HF bands until the 7th of December from New Providence Island, NA-001. QSL via EA5GL.

Elvira, IV3FSG is on the air as C92R from Mozambique until the 30th of November. Activity is in her spare time on the HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL direct to IK2DUW.

Bob, WX4G is active as V4/WX4G from Calypso Bay on St Kitts, IOTA NA-104, until the 2nd of December. Find him anywhere from 160 to 6 metres, including 60 metres, using CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4. QSL via LoTW.

Tom, DL7BO and Tom, DJ6TF will be on the air as Z22O and Z21A, respectively, from Harare in Zimbabwe, from the 2nd to the 15th of December. CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4 will be used from 160 to 10m. QSL both via DJ6TF.

Now the Special Event news

Throughout December, Crocodile Rock Amateur Group will operate “Special Special” Event Station GB1002ZE and Special Event Station GB2ZE. Activities will be from near Ardrossan, Scotland, marking the first amateur transatlantic communication a century ago.

Special event stations 8H13H, 8H13U, 8H13T, 8G13T, 8G13A, 8G13N, 8G13G, 8G13S, 8G13E, and 8G13L will be on the air until the 12th of December to commemorate the 13th anniversary of South Tangerang City, Indonesia. Activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB and FT8. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Friday the third of December is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, or IDPD. GB1NHS will be on the air in the UK and many other countries will see special event stations to mark the day. Members of Tanzania Amateur Radio Club will be active on the 3rd from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as 5H3ARC. They will operate on 20, 15, 10m and possibly other bands. QSL via 5H3ARC. In Bosnia & Herzegovina, radio club Tuzla will be active as E71AVW on 14MHz SSB from 10 am to 6 pm on the 3rd. Those on the air will include a group of blind and otherwise disabled amateurs. In Switzerland, HB9IPHA will be on the air from 0900 to 1600 UTC on the 3rd from Restaurant Pfaffenboden, Walchwil, locator JN47GC. Their activities will be on 40 to 10m.

Now the contest news

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

The CQWW DX CW contest concludes its 48-hour run at 2359UTC tonight, Sunday. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is a serial number, signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Monday the FT4 Series #9 takes place on the 80m band from 2000 to 2130 UTC. The exchange is signal report plus Locator.

The 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest takes place on Wednesday from 1900 to 2100  UTC. Using FT8 only on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

Wednesday sees the start of the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon. It’s not a contest, just an invitation to work as many people as possible on the 50MHz band using any mode. The exchange is signal report plus locator. The event ends on the 31st of January next year.

The ARRL 160m CW contest begins at 2200 UTC on Friday the 3rd and continues until Sunday at 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 160m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. W and VE stations also send their ARRL or RAC section info. During the contest, the RSGB will activate special event 1920s vintage callsigns to commemorate the transatlantic tests.

Sunday the 5th sees the 144MHz AFS contest, running from 1000 to 1600 UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday 26th November 2021.

We had yet another week with low solar activity. The solar flux index started the week at 79 and by Thursday had only climbed to 83. Ideally, we want the SFI to be above 100 to guarantee good 10m openings. Geomagnetically, the Sun has been quiet with a maximum Kp index of three. On Thursday it was at one for most of the day. Propquest says that the MUF over a 3,000km path has exceeded 28MHz at times, but was stuck below 24.9MHz on Thursday. As a result, 10m sounded very quiet indeed.

This weekend is the CQWW CW contest, which is bound to generate some interest across the bands. Do take a look, especially on 21 and 28MHz, where we can expect some good DX at times, albeit somewhat fleetingly.

NOAA has the SFI pegged between 82 and 85 next week as well. There are signs of a possible new sunspot building on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft imagery, but we will have to wait and see.

The Kp index may rise to three this weekend, but next week looks quite settled with a Kp index of two forecast. There are coronal holes on the solar surface, but these are relatively small at the time of writing and look non-threatening. As always, things can change quite quickly so don’t take out word for it. Keep an eye on solarham.com for updates and Propquest.co.uk for near real-time critical frequency figures.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The current unsettled spell of weather has curtailed any thoughts of Tropo for the period, which includes all of the coming week. This leaves rain scatter to discuss and these heavy showers, some wintry with hail or even thunder, may prove useful for the GHz bands. It is usually the case that showers can be quite vigorous early in the winter season, gaining their energy from the still relatively warm seas. This means that rain scatter paths will often involve showers running south or southeast over the North Sea or the Irish Sea, which online weather radars or lightning displays can locate easily.

Other modes are available, such as meteor scatter or aurora and it's well worth finding a good activity-logging website that displays these exotic paths to be there when the propagation is present. Most of the November meteor showers are past their peak, with the exception of the small November Orionids, active from the 13th of November to the 6th of  December, peaking on the 28th of November. 

The big Geminids meteor shower with a ZHR of 120+ is getting closer. It usually starts to build up from the beginning of December so watch out for improving meteor scatter conditions. Remember that the period around dawn is the best for random, ie non-shower, meteor scatter conditions.

For EME enthusiasts, Moon declination is still positive until Tuesday and reaches perigee on Saturday. Expect shortening Moon windows and lower peak elevations, but decreasing path losses as the week progresses. Next Saturday morning the Moon and Sun are close in the sky so expect high sky temperatures due to Sun noise, with levels reaching over 3,000 Kelvin at 144MHz on Sunday. 

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 21st 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 21st 2021.

November 19, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 21st of November 2021

The news headlines:

  • IARU presents award to Don, G3BJ
  • Make a date for Tonight @ 8
  • Amateur radio tops BBC News report

 

Former IARU Region 1 President and RSGB Past-President Don Beattie, G3BJ, was recently presented with the prestigious Michael J Owen Award by the IARU Administrative Council. The award recognises those outstanding volunteers whose exceptional service to the IARU reflect the spirit, hard work and dedication of the late Michael Owen. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH offered his congratulations to Don.

On Monday 6 December, Tonight @ 8 will feature Noel Matthews, G8GTZ who will be presenting on the latest developments in the ever-evolving world of amateur TV. Noel will give an overview of ATV activity in the UK and, in particular, how the use of Reduced Bandwidth signals has enabled ATV QSOs on the lower VHF bands. This free webinar can be seen on the RSGB’s YouTube channel or on the special BATC stream and you’ll be able to ask your questions live.

Amateur radio was the lead item in a BBC News article on what made people happy during the pandemic. John Emery, 2E0HWE was pictured in front of his radio, microphone in hand, describing how he had made new friends thanks to amateur radio. You can read the full article at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1121

Galway Radio Club is running a DMR Challenge, which is open to all DMR operators. The DMR challenge requires nine tasks to be fulfilled. There is no time limit, so you can work on it in your own time. Rules and a log sheet may be obtained from Steve, EI5DD, whose email address is correct on QRZ.com. Those interested in digital radio can download a copy of the Digital Radio Operating Manual from the Galway Radio Club web page, www.galwayradio.com. The manual is packed with information about digital modes, information about repeaters and gateways, maps, and lists of EI, GI and UK Talk Groups.

It’s not too late to register your interest for December YOTA Month 2021. We have been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com. You can register your interest by emailing yota.month@rsgb.org.uk. You must be a Full licence holder or have one willing to supervise the activity.

Caradon Hill Repeater Group has upgraded the 70cm equipment at their site in Cornwall. GB3CH has changed to a 7.6MHz split, now operating on RU70 with 77Hz CTCSS. An Allstar node, number 43678, has been added to allow remote access. A new 70cm DMR repeater, GB7LK, has also been installed. Connected to the Phoenix DMR network, GB7LK uses channel RU65 and colour-code 5. The 2m voice repeater GB3JL continues to work well on channel RV63, using 77Hz CTCSS for access. For more information on the group and its repeaters, email gb3ch.repeater@gmail.com.

And now for details of rallies and events

Some rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised, including the Bishop Auckland RAC rally, originally due to be held on the 28th of November.

The next rally we have details for is the Sparkford Wireless Group Rally, due to take place on the 2nd of January at Davis Hall near Yeovil.

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free.

Now the DX news

Ali, EP3CQ is on the air as 6O1OO from Mogadishu in Somalia until the first week in December. Activity is mostly on 40, 30 and 20 metres using FT8 and FT4, but also CW and SSB. QSL direct to his home call.

Lee, DS4NMJ is QRV as DT8A as part of a scientific team on the King Se-Jong Korean Antarctic Base on King George Island, IOTA AN-010, until December 31. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via DS5TOS.

John Paul, KN6NNF is QRV as 5X3Z from Kubamitwe, Uganda. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using FT8. QSL via LoTW.

Damian, G4LHT is QRV as V31HT from San Pedro Ambergris Caye in Belize until the 29th of November. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using SSB and FT8. QSL via G4LHT.

Don, K6ZO will be QRV as D60AB from Comoros, IOTA reference AF-007, from the 22nd to the 29th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL direct to his home call.

Dario, KP4DO is QRV as FJ/KP4DO on St Barthelemy, NA-146, until the 24th of November. Activity is mainly on 20 metres, but also on 40, 17, and 10 as propagation permits. QSL direct to home call.

Ulmar, DK1CE is QRV as TZ1CE from Bamako in Mali until the 8th of December. Activity is on 160 to 6 metres using CW, possibly SSB, and FT8. QSL to home call.

Now the Special Event news

The Quantum Technology Club and Southport & District Amateur Radio Club will jointly run GB5LD to celebrate Lancashire Day on the 27th of November. The station is at St Marks Church Hall, Scarisbrick, near Ormskirk. New licensees are particularly invited to visit, bringing a copy of their licence so they can experience operating different modes. From 2.30 pm there will be a Lancashire Day net on 2m. Details are at www.quantumtech.club

Special event station AU2JCB will be on the air until the 14th of December to commemorate Jagadish Chandra Bose's birthday. Activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB, with FM on 10 metres and 6 metres. QSL direct to VU2DSI.

AM500ESP will be active until the 27th of November to commemorate Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. Activity will be on the HF, VHF and UHF bands using CW, SSB, SSTV and various digital modes. QSL via EA7URF.

E7BOSNIA is QRV from the ancient royal cities of Bobovac, Visoko, and Jajce until the 28th of November to celebrate Statehood Day of Bosnia and Herzegovina. QSL via the bureau.

Now the contest news

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

On Tuesday the SHF UKAC takes place from 1930 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is a serial number, signal report and locator.

Wednesday sees the UKEICC 80m CW contest, which runs from 2000 to 2100 UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 6-character locator.

The Autumn Series continues on Thursday with the CW leg on 80m from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange here is a serial number, signal report and locator.

Next weekend it’s the CQWW DX CW contest, running from 0000UTC on Saturday until 2359UTC on Sunday. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is a serial number, signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 19th of November 2021.

We had a week of lower sunspot activity, almost back to the days of sunspot minimum. The solar flux index ranged from 78 on Sunday 14th to 79 on Thursday 18th with a high of 80 on the 16th. So, nothing to write home about there. Geomagnetic conditions were mainly unsettled, with a maximum Kp index of four, mainly due to an enhanced solar wind from an expected coronal hole stream. There was a C-class solar flare event on the 13th, but this caused us little harm.

Despite the relatively low solar flux numbers the ionosphere has been quite respectable. Propquest shows that extrapolated MUFs over a 3,000km path have continued to exceed 28MHz around lunchtime and early afternoon. Next week NOAA’s space weather prediction centre has the SFI in the low to mid-80s with a maximum Kp index of two. It doesn’t seem to think that we will see a rise in sunspot numbers for at least another week.

Let’s hope that geomagnetic conditions remain settled for the CQ Worldwide CW contest next weekend, as this offers the best chance of DX even without higher sunspot numbers.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week is going to be one of weather contrasts, with a change to proper cold weather from midweek. We have seen some useful areas of high pressure giving some Tropo during the second half of the week just finishing.

This weekend a cold front will bring colder and more unsettled weather south across the country, but soon a new high will build in from the Atlantic for the beginning of next week, so perhaps a little Tropo again. It all changes midweek as a more active weather system moves south and will introduce very much colder air, with talk of wintry weather for some areas and strong northerly winds. This could mean some rain scatter conditions are possible, but overall fairly flat conditions otherwise.

With the Leonids meteor shower past its peak, all eyes will be on the upcoming Geminids, which start to build up from the beginning of December. With a ZHR of 120+, it’s a big one! Until then stick to the period around dawn for the best random meteor scatter conditions.

For EME enthusiasts, the Moon is at apogee today and reaches maximum declination on Tuesday so expect long Moon windows and high peak elevations reaching 64 degrees on the day. Path losses are also at maximum, getting lower as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 14th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 14th 2021.

November 13, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 14th of November 2021

The news headlines:

  • Bletchley filming will disrupt NRC days

  • Canadians mark transatlantic first

  • Newsreader ‘Jon Island Jon’ goes SK

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed to all visitors this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This is due to filming taking place at Bletchley Park and no visitors will be on-site during this time. Please check the Bletchley Park site before planning your visit. NRC staff and volunteers plan to re-open as normal on Saturday the 20th of November.

CF3BP will be operating from the York region near Toronto until the 12th of December. It will mark the anniversary of the first transatlantic amateur radio transmission from Canada by Edward Rogers Senior using the call 3BP. He was one of the few amateurs to successfully transmit across the Atlantic in an ARRL-sponsored test and the only Canadian to succeed, using a 500W spark gap transmitter. Operated by members of the York Region ARC, a schedule will be available at yrarc.org/cf3bp. You can also read more about the historical event at the same place.

The RSGB has learned, with sadness, that Jon Hague, GM3JIJ, has become a Silent Key. Jon was a member of the Society for 72 years. Affectionately known as ‘Jon Island Jon’ to his many on-air friends, he delivered the GB2RS News from his QTH at Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis for 26 years, his big signals covering the Highlands & Islands on 80m, 40m and 2m each Sunday. Our thoughts are with Jon’s family and many friends.

On Saturday the 13th of November, Barry ARS was featured in a programme on Channel 4 at 8 pm called Britain by Beach. The club was shown doing a recreation of Marconi and Kemp’s CW transmissions from Lavernock Point in South Wales. You can watch the episode on the Channel 4 website by searching for Britain by Beach.

The RSGB HF Contest Committee is going to use the information from a short survey to inform its planning. The committee is considering some changes to an existing contest and may introduce a new contest. Additionally, the RSGB VHF Contest Committee is finalising the VHF Contest rules for next year. It is not proposing major changes to the rules, but have a few areas where it would appreciate your feedback. You can answer both surveys, before the 17th of November, by going to thersgb.org/gb2rs/013/

The RSGB held its second online Convention on the 9th of October. A new video, RSGB 2021 Convention: Unwrapped, gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how we created the event. Months of planning went into this online event, which provided 15 presentations across two live streams throughout the day as well as regular content from the RSGB National Radio Centre. You can find it on the RSGB YouTube channel or on the Convention web page at rsgb.org/convention.

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, even as we head into the 2022 diary.

The next rally we have details for is in 2022. The Sparkford Wireless Group Rally is due to take place on the 2nd of January at Davis Hall near Yeovil. More dates for 2022 as we get closer to the end of the year.

Some rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised, including the Bishop Auckland RAC rally, originally due to be held on the 28th of November.

Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email radcom@rsgb.org.uk with details and we’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on the RSGB website and in GB2RS.

Now the DX news

TM60ANT will be on air from the 16th to the 30th of November to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty signature. Operated by François, F8DVD from Mâcon, JN26JH, operations will be on the 10 to 40m bands. Information about the event and the QSL route can be found on QRZ.com.

Robert, S53R is now stationed in Kathmandu, Nepal for the foreseeable future, and will be active as 9N7AA (a reissued callsign, previously used by UA3AA in 2014). He is waiting to move to a permanent residence and for part of his equipment to arrive. He says that for the time being only limited operation is planned, but the pace should pick up by end of November. QSL via LoTW, or direct to S57DX.

Oleh, KD7WPJ will be active as PJ7/UR5BCP from Sint Maarten, IOTA reference NA-105, from 18-24 November. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on 40 to 6m. QSL via KD7WPJ.

Abie, AB1F will be active as VU2ABE from Shillong, in the Indian state of Meghalaya, between 6 November and 18 December. He will be QRV on 40, 20, 15 and 10m. QSL via home call, direct or bureau and LoTW; he will upload his log also to eQSL, QRZ and Club Log on a regular basis.

Now the Special Event news

OQ05PHI is the special callsign for the UBA Section de Philippeville to celebrate its 5th anniversary. It will be active until the 22nd of November. QSL via ON4PHI.

Celebrating Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, Welland Valley ARS will be active as GB0SA between 6 November and 3 December. QSL via G4XEX, LoTW and eQSL.

Now the contest news

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

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 14th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

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

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

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

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 12th of November.

This last week was a little more settled than the previous one. The solar flux index remained in the high 80s and geomagnetic conditions were mostly quiet, with a maximum Kp index of three. That isn’t to say that the Sun has been inactive – far from it. A long-duration M2.0 solar flare took place on the 9th of November around region 2891, which is now located behind the northwest limb. Its associated CME was luckily not Earth-directed, so it looks like we escaped that one. As a result of the settled conditions maximum usable frequencies have remained quite high. On Thursday lunchtime they were topping out at just over 28MHz over a 3,000km path.

Manubhai, VU2XO in India has been logged on 10m SSB on a few occasions and Stuart VK8NSB has also found his way into many logbooks according to the 10m UK Net group on Facebook.

The 10m Australian beacon VK8VF/B in Darwin has also been logged in Southern Ireland on 28.268MHz. According to the Propagation Studies Committee’s beacon listing on RSGB.org the beacon runs only 25W.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with the solar flux index rising from around 80 to perhaps around 90 as the week progresses. Geomagnetic conditions are currently predicted to be unsettled around the 15th when the Kp index could rise to four. But at this point in the cycle, it is hard to be precise as CMEs can disrupt the ionosphere approximately two days after a solar flare and CME event, and they are very hard to predict with any accuracy. The best advice is to keep an eye on solarham.com for news of solar events.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure will build in from Scandinavia as we move into early next week. This high should bring some Tropo opportunities but suffer a brief knockback midweek as a new low pushes a weakening front south. After this, a new high will build, but this time from the Azores High with a moister surface airflow and a better prospect for Tropo. The Tropo prospects will favour southern UK regions, whereas the north will remain closer to low pressure and be less likely to generate Tropo. Rain showers may again provide some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The Leonids meteor shower peaks this week, so obviously a good chance to test out those meteor scatter techniques using digimodes MSK144 and FSK441 if you’ve not tried them before. SSB and fast CW on the lower VHF bands will also be possible for well-equipped stations using the right techniques.

For EME enthusiasts, Moon declination goes positive again on Monday, but path losses are rising as we head for apogee a week today, the 21st. The Moon will be at 34 degrees elevation this evening, Sunday, at its zenith, getting higher as the week progresses.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 7th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for November 7th 2021.

November 5, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday the 7th of November 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB co-opts Director
  • Intermediate level distance learning course open
  • New RSGB Conventions videos published

 

The RSGB Board is pleased to announce that Richard Horton, G4AOJ has been co-opted as a Board Director until the 2022 AGM. He has served as the RSGB Honorary Treasurer since 2011 and the RSGB Board is advertising for Richard’s successor. Applications from financially-qualified candidates are invited and should be emailed in the first instance to board.chair@rsgb.org.uk For full details of both announcements see the RSGB Notices section of the Society’s website.

The next Bath Based Distance Learning course will be for the Intermediate level running from January to May 2022. The closing date is the 15th of December. All applicants must complete some pre-course work using BBDL systems. A Full licence course will run from August to December. More info from g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

The RSGB has just published the individual presentations in the ‘Learn more about’ stream from its online Convention. This means that you can now see all 15 presentations in the RSGB’s web video archive, or in the RSGB Convention 2021 playlist on the RSGB’s YouTube channel. The presentations are getting some great feedback so do take a look at youtube.com/theRSGB.

The 3Y0J Bouvet Island DXpedition team says that with its first deposit on its contract to have the SS Marama provide transportation to Bouvet, it has confirmed its plans to activate the second most-wanted DXCC entity in November 2022. You can follow the plans via the expedition’s website and the 3Y0J Facebook page.

At a recent meeting of the Examination Standards Committee, it was agreed that the current mock exam papers on the RSGB website should be replaced by a fresh set. There will now be one mock exam paper per licence level. These new papers are generated from the same, Exams and Syllabus Review Group-vetted, RSGB question bank as real exam papers, using the same question selection process. You can find the new mock exam papers for all three licence levels on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/mock-exams.

Ofcom has agreed to the RSGB request to extend the 146/147MHz Notice of Variation for a further year. However, it is made available on a non-interference basis and applicants should note that as the band is increasingly used by other users, the NoV is subject to a 30-day notice period of change or withdrawal. Full licence holders can apply for the 146/147MHz NoV via the RSGB website at rsgb.org/nov.

It's not too late to register your interest for December YOTA Month 2021. We have been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com. You can register your interest by emailing yota.month@rsgb.org.uk. You must be a Full licence holder or have one willing to supervise the activity.

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 Holsworthy Radio Rally takes place today, the 7th of November, at the Holsworthy Leisure Centre, Well Park, Western Road, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6DH. Doors open at 10 am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering will be available on site.

The next rally we have details for is in 2022. The Sparkford Wireless Group Rally is due to take place on the 2nd of January at Davis Hall near Yeovil.

Some rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised. These are the Bush valley ARC rally due for the 7th of November and the Bishop Auckland RAC rally due to be held on the 28th of November.

Now the DX news

David, F4FKT will be active as FT4YM and FT4YM/P from Antarctica until late February or early March. In his spare time, he will operate mainly SSB on the 20 and 40m bands from various bases. Updates will be posted to the Polar DX Group’s Facebook group. QSL via F5PFP.

Gunter, DK2WH will be active as V51WH from Namibia between November 2021 and March 2022. QSLs via DK2WH, direct or bureau. He does not use Logbook of The World.

Stan, K5GO will be active as ZF9CW from Cayman Brac, IOTA reference NA-016, until the 24th of March 2022. He operates mainly CW, with some SSB but no digital modes. QSLs via Logbook of The World, or direct to home call.

Now the Special Event news

OQ05PHI is the special callsign for the UBA Section de Philippeville to celebrate its 5th anniversary. It will be active until the 22nd of November. QSL via ON4PHI.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, OQ60ANT will be active until the 31st of December. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

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 Marconi CW Contest ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 7th. It’s CW-only on the 144MHz band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

The 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 2000 and 2230UTC on Thursday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the Club Calls 1.8MHz AFS contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC using CW and SSB. The exchange is signal report, serial number and your affiliated club information.

Next weekend, the WAE DX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 13th until 2359UTC on the 14th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 14th, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 5th of November.

What a roller coaster week we had. From great conditions on HF last weekend, to a severe geomagnetic storm this week, it has been hard to predict what’s coming next. The Kp index hit seven on Thursday, thanks to incoming plasma from a full halo coronal mass ejection produced by an M1.7 flare from active region 2891 on November 2nd. NOAA classed this as a strong G3 geomagnetic storm after the DSCOVR spacecraft clocked the incoming material at more than 700 kilometres per second. At this time the solar flux index had reduced from more than 100 to just 89.

The Propquest website shows just what effect this storm had on the ionosphere, with critical frequencies on Thursday morning down to the mid 3MHz range. This meant maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path were estimated to be down to around 11MHz. The day before at the same time, they were up above 6MHz with MUFs over 3,000km above 25MHz. This probably sets the scene for the rest of this solar cycle, as explained in Steve, G0KYA’s presentation Solar Cycle 25 – The good, the bad and the downright ugly during the recent RSGB conference, which is now available to view on YouTube.

Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the high 80s to mid-90s. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain calm, with a Kp index of two. However, as we warned last week this could well turn out to be over-optimistic, as a solar flare and any associated CME could easily push this up to five or higher. The best advice is to work the DX while it is there. At this time of year, and with SFI figures up in the 90s, you can expect the upper HF bands to come into their own, but only if geomagnetic conditions remain calm.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It still looks like a changeable pattern for VHF, but there are a few chances in there. The main theme continues to be that of unsettled weather with periods of rain interspersed by brighter showery interludes. This should provide further options for rain scatter on the GHz bands. There are a few fleeting options for Tropo, as weak ridges develop from high pressure over Biscay and the near continent, particularly during this first weekend. This is most likely across southern Britain and will probably favour paths to the near continent and across Biscay to Spain.

The recent solar activity gave a nice 144MHz aurora last Thursday, showing that it’s always worth checking for this exotic mode by keeping an eye on the space weather sites. Meteor scatter should also be on your watch list, since we are approaching the November Leonids, which peak mid-month around the 17th/18th. Now would be a good time to get some practice sessions going with digimodes if you’ve not tried it before. Until the shower peak, stick to the time around dawn to maximise your chances with random meteors.

For EME enthusiasts, path losses are low but rising after perigee last Friday, but with minimum declination today the Moon will be low in the sky at Zenith, getting higher as the week progresses.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 31st 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 31st 2021.

October 29, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 31st of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • Exams committee clarifies supervision
  • Have you changed to GMT?
  • Volunteer at the NRC

 

The RSGB Exam Standards Committee has clarified the licence conditions regarding the supervised operation of Foundation licence candidates. The full announcement can be found on the examination announcements page of the RSGB website, thersgb.org/gb2rs/012

Don’t forget that in the UK the clocks changed to UTC or GMT today. The clocks went back 1 hour at 2 am this morning, the 31st of October.

The RSGB National Radio Centre welcomes thousands of people through its doors each month. They need to expand the team of volunteers and are particularly looking for people who can be part of the team during the week. If you’re interested in becoming an NRC volunteer you should enjoy meeting people and be prepared to work a minimum of one, preferably two, days per month. Full training is given. Please contact NRC Coordinator Martyn, G0GMB for further information via nrc.support@rsgb.org.uk.

The RSGB online Convention’s keynote presentation is now available separately on the Society’s YouTube channel. This inspiring talk by Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG explores the connections between radio and space and also looks at the many ways in which everyone can get involved. The seven presentations from the Introduction to stream have also been uploaded individually so that it will be even easier to find the presentation you’d like to watch. That full day’s stream has received over 5,000 views already, with some great reviews. We’ll be releasing the Learn more about stream presentations next week. Go to youtube.com/theRSGB and choose the RSGB Convention 2021 playlist.

The Quantum Technology Club, in West Lancashire, will be resuming Foundation licence training courses on the 11th of November. The training sessions will continue on the second and fourth Thursday of the month thereafter with a few exceptions for holidays. Different topics, as well as practical demonstrations and interactive sessions, will take place. Everyone is welcome; you do not have to be a member of the club to join. Please contact them via quantumtech.club before attending.

A new QSL sub-manager has been appointed for the G4TAA-ZZZ series. You can send your C5 sized stamped addressed envelopes using 2nd class stamps to Pete Rivers, G4XEX, whose details are on the RSGB website under the On The Air tab. Please remember to put your callsign and Membership number in the top left corner of each envelope.

Can you lend a generator? The Kilmarnock & Loudoun ARC Team at Ardrossan are trying to borrow a generator for an event in early December. They are looking to borrow a 240V generator with an output of 5 to 10kVA. Please email klarcinfo@gmail.com if you can help.

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 Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 7th of November at the Holsworthy Leisure Centre, Well Park, Western Road, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6DH. Doors open at 10 am. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and catering will be available on site.

The next rally we have details for is in 2022. The Sparkford Wireless Group Rally is due to take place on the 2nd of January in Davis Hall near Yeovil.

Some rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised. These are the Bush valley ARC rally due for the 7th of November and the Bishop Auckland RAC rally due to be held on the 28th of November.

Now the DX news

Remo, HB9SHD will be active as 8Q7RM from the Maldives, IOTA reference AS- 013, throughout November. He will operate mainly FT8, with some SSB and slow CW, on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via his home call either direct or via the bureau, Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of the World.

Richard, NN2T and Linda, KN4KJC will be active as C6AHB from the Bimini Islands, NA-048, until the 3rd of November. They will operate SSB and digital modes. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, or direct to NN2T.

Janusz, SP9FIH will be active as PJ7P from Sint Maarten, NA-105, until the 3rd of November. He will operate SSB, FT8 and RTTY on the 30, 15, 12 and 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS or via his home call.

Now the Special Event news

Until 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.

OQ05PHI is the special callsign for the UBA Section de Philippeville to celebrate its 5th anniversary. It will be active until the 22nd of November. QSL via ON4PHI.

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 SSB contest ends at 2359UTC today, the 31st, using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your Zone, 14 for the UK.

On Monday the data leg of the 80m Autumn Series runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also, on Monday is the Silent Key Memorial that runs from 0600 to 0900. It’s CW only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands. The exchange is a signal report and a silent key callsign.

Tuesday sees the 144MHz FM Activity Contest run from 1900 to 1955UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK EI Contest Club 80 contest takes place on Wednesday from 2000 to 2100UTC. It is SSB only and the exchange is your 6-character locator.

Also, on Wednesday is the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest. Running from 1900 to 2100UTC, the exchange is your report and 4-character locator.

Next weekend the Marconi CW Contest runs from 1400UTC on the 6th to 1400UTC on the 7th. It’s CW-only on the 144MHz band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Well, we had another topsy-turvy week, with the sunspot number going from a lowly 10 to a much more impressive 91. We started last week with a virtually spotless solar surface, but this week the Sun is peppered with spots, with five active regions in place on Thursday. The net result is the maximum usable frequencies have been climbing, with 3,000km-plus paths being reached at times on 24 and even 28MHz, according to the Propquest website.

There has been plenty of DX to be worked as well, with HD8R in the Galapagos Islands, VK9DX on Norfolk Island, both on CW, and 7P8RU in Lesotho making it into many amateur’s logs. The first two were on 30 metres, which is well worth a look. Special event station HS400OZ in Thailand has also been putting in an appearance on 30m FT8 and has been workable from the UK. With Solar Cycle 25 now well underway, it is always worth checking the higher bands too, such as 12 and 10 metres.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 85-96, starting the week at the higher end and then declining. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet, with a maximum Kp index of two. However, this could change if a coronal mass ejection occurs. For example, Region 2887, which was Earth-centric on Thursday, has unleashed one M-class and several C-class flares. A large flare, accompanied by a CME, could easily disrupt the HF bands for days.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The current spell of unsettled weather will become more widespread and affect much of the country during the first half of the coming week. There had been a hint of Tropo in the southeast last week, but we’ll have to wait for the second half of the week before there is a return of weak Tropo in the south as a transient ridge crosses the country. This will be replaced by further unsettled weather by the weekend. In propagation terms, this means that rain scatter on the GHz bands may be on offer again through much of the coming week. Otherwise, it is the chance of aurora or meteor scatter that could entice us onto the VHF bands.

The Orionids meteor shower is coming to an end and the Taurids are in progress, but with a ZHR of not more than five, there’s little to get excited about. We have to wait until mid-November for the Leonids, so stick to the time around dawn to maximise your chances with random meteors until then.

For EME enthusiasts, Moon declination is high early this week, going negative on Tuesday. Path losses are at their lowest with perigee on Friday but this coincides with low negative declination, meaning the Moon will be low in the sky at zenith. This trend of lowest declination getting closer to perigee reverses in June next year, but not until June 2026 will we see maximum declination coincide with perigee.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 24th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 24th 2021.

October 22, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 24th of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • Get on the microwave bands
  • Become an RSGB Director
  • SAQ Grimeton transmits today

 

Are you looking for a new challenge? The RSGB has just released an updated video that gives a short introduction to amateur radio on the microwave bands. It explains how microwave technology is involved in everyday life and highlights the opportunities as well as the challenges of this aspect of amateur radio. You can watch the video on the RSGB YouTube channel or on the RSGB’s microwave web page at rsgb.org/microwaves

The RSGB Nominations Committee includes representatives of the Board, Regional Team and the Committees who work together to select Nominated Directors to serve on the RSGB Board. The Nominations Committee is seeking a wide range of new candidates with skills that will complement the existing skills and knowledge on the Board. If you are an RSGB Member with the skills, time and energy to help lead the Society as a Board Director, please contact the Chair of the Committee via email to nominations.chair@rsgb.org.uk.

Today, the 24th of October is United Nations Day and 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 1430UTC. The transmission begins at 1500UTC. Just search for SAQ Grimeton to find out more.

The RSGB QSL bureau is continuing to search for a new sub-manager for the G4T to G4Z group. Members in this call group are encouraged to check the RSGB website for the latest information and not to send further collection envelopes until a new appointment is made. If you enjoy QSL cards, have space and time, plus some basic spreadsheet skills to record and distribute around 20,000 cards a year, plus a desire to support your fellow amateurs, email your interest to qsl@rsgb.org.uk.

Don’t forget that in the UK the clocks change to UTC or GMT next weekend. Clocks go back 1 hour at 2am on Sunday the 31st of October.

The WSJT development team has announced the General Availability release of WSJT-X version 2.5.1. This release mainly contains improvements and defect repairs related to Q65 and JT65 modes when used with non-standard and compound calls. Also included is a new feature for microwave aircraft scatter, and repairs for defects detected since the 2.5.0 release. Just type WSJT-X into your favourite search engine.

Eclipse and Frequency Measurement Festivals are worldwide citizen science campaigns in which amateurs and short wave listeners measure Doppler shift from their home stations, using their regular HF receivers. As the shadow of the moon passes across Antarctica on the 4th of December, it will generate travelling ionospheric disturbances that will, in turn, affect radio propagation. Data collection will run from the 1st to the 10th of December and the results will be made available for scientific analysis. All radio amateurs and short wave listeners are invited to join in, even those located far from the path of totality. In 2020, more than 100 individuals from 45 countries took part in eclipse festivals. For more information, go to hamsci.org.

The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors has announced that it will be giving a grant to the Seychelles Amateur Radio Association to establish a facility for its amateur radio club.

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 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 today, the 24th of October is cancelled. The Bush valley ARC rally due for the 7th of November has also 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

A team of four operators will be active as C5C from Kololi, in The Gambia between the 24th of October and the 19th of November. Expect activity on all bands using SSB, CW and FT8 in Fox & Hound mode, plus the QO-100 satellite. See QRZ.com for their planned operating frequencies. QSL direct to F5RAV.

Bart, PD1BAT will be working on Saba, NA-145, from the 30th of October to the 5th of November. In his spare time, he will operate as PJ6/PD1BAT on the 40 and 20m bands using FT8 and some SSB. QSL via his home call.

Miguel, EA1BP will be active as FM/EA1BP from Martinique, IOTA reference NA-107, from the 27th of October to the 5th of November, including an entry in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest as TO7O.  QSL via his home call; the logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World and Club Log.

Toni, EA5RM and a large multi-national team will be active as HD8R from San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, SA-004, from the 26th of October to the 7th of November. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 6 to 160m bands, plus RTTY on 20 metres, with at least four stations on the air simultaneously. QSL via EA5RM.

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 society’s 55th anniversary year. Operations will be from Preston in Lancashire and 40m will be the main band. More at brars.info.

Until 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.

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 UK EI Contest Club DX SSB contest ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 24th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report, which is optional, serial number and your district code.

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

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 6-character locator.

The 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on Thursday. Using SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend is the 48-hour CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. Ending at 2359UTC on the 31st, it uses the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

After a week of sunspots and DX fun it looks like we are back in the doldrums again. The Sun currently has just one sunspot visible, meaning the sunspot number is 11. This represents one sunspot in one group.

There has been DX to be had, mostly thanks to DXpeditions, including Guinea Bissau, J5T, The Kingdom of Eswatini, 3DA0WW, and Sao Tome and Principe, S90K. These have been relatively easy to work and brought much-needed excitement to the HF bands.

Geomagnetic conditions have been mixed, with the Kp index hitting four on Tuesday. This was the result of a large coronal hole that was Earth-facing earlier in the week. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will climb again to the high 80s, ending the week in the low to mid-90s. This is likely due to a large active region that is visible on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft’s imager and which should rotate into view over the next few days. This may bring a surge in activity again, which should be welcomed by HF operators.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a reminder of how unsettled Autumn can be, this weekend will see a weak and transient ridge crossing the country, and a possible brief Tropo window, especially to the east across the North Sea. Apart from that, the unsettled autumn flavour continues through the whole of next week and, as we have seen recently, that can mean some pretty wet and windy weather. Rain scatter on the GHz bands is, of course, an option in these conditions, but there is little else to bring cheer unless meteor scatter and aurora come into play.

Today the Moon is at apogee, so EME path losses are at their maximum. Moon declination reaches maximum positive declination again on Tuesday so we’ll see the Moon reaching its highest elevations at its zenith.

The Orionids shower is still active and the Leonis Minorids peaks today, so there’s still some interest for meteor scatter enthusiasts. The best time for reflections is, as always, around dawn.

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

 

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.

 

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