GB2RS

This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 20th. May 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th May 2018

The news headlines:

  • Grab your R series callsign NOW
  • YOTA 2018 team announced
  • Guide to Ofcom online licensing portal

 

There is still just time to get yourself the unique “R” Notice of Variation that is being used to celebrate this weekend’s royal wedding. All grades of licence can apply; it is valid only from the 19th to the 21st of May. Full details of how to apply for the free NoV, and how to use it, are online at rsgb.org/rwrsl and you MUST sort out the NoV BEFORE using the “R”.

Congratulations to the young radio amateurs who have been chosen to represent the UK at YOTA 2018 in South Africa this summer. Peter Barnes, M0SWN will be the UK team leader, whilst Benjamin Chalmers, M0NBA, Nathan Prentice, 2I0NTP and Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ will form the UK team. On their return they will be helping to arrange events to encourage more young people to get involved in amateur radio.

The February edition of RadCom included a helpful article by Ofcom about their Licensing Portal, Registration and Revalidation, which are all on the Ofcom website. The RSGB has now made the article available on its website as an easy reference for everyone, whether or not they are an RSGB Member. You can download it directly from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0520A

As mentioned last week, the RSGB QSL Bureau is attending Dayton Hamvention® this weekend, meaning the office is unstaffed. This, plus an expected influx of cards from Dayton will make them very busy for a while afterwards. All Members, clubs and special event stations are asked to delay sending any other cards to the Bureau until after the 3rd of June, to give them a chance to catch up.

We apologise but due to the ongoing serious illness of a key staff member, plus the scheduled absence of several others, it has not been possible to prepare Local News this week.

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

Today, Sunday, the Sarcom Braehead Radio Electronics Rally is at Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4. Talk-in is available. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and family attractions. There will be lectures on the day. Catering and a licensed bar are on site. There will be a raffle. More information from Andrew Hood, GM7GDE, on 0782 593 2488, or email radiorally@scotlandmail.com.

Also today the 35th Dunstable Downs Radio Club amateur radio car boot sale takes place at Stockwood Park, London Rd. Farley Hill, Luton LU1 5PP. All the usual facilities will be there, and further details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

Next Saturday, the 26th, the RADARS Flea Market Indoor Sale takes place at St Vincent de Paul’s, Caldershaw Road, off Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale, OL12 7QR. Doors open to the public at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50, with those under 12 years free. For traders it’s £5 per pitch if you have your own tables, otherwise £10. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders and amateur radio sellers. Refreshments available including bacon and sausage butties. Details from Robert, M0NVQ, on 0777 811 3333 or email rally@radars.me.uk.

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

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

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

SV2CLJ will be on the air holiday style in Malta, IOTA reference EU-023, at the shack of Savas, 9H1AE. Activity will be from the 24th to the 31st of May on all modes from 80m to 2m. QSL to home call.

II1ITR will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the so-called Red Tent, an Italian airship that set out to explore the North Pole. Beginning on the 25th of May and continuing to the 25th of June, the plan is to work on all bands and all modes. QSL and other information is available at QRZ.com.

Thomas, F4HPX will be active as FR/F4HPX from Reunion Island, AF-016, from the 25th of May to the 15th of June. He will operate on 40, 20 and 15m, mainly SSB and possibly FT8. QSL via home call, Logbook of the World, eQSL, ClubLog OQRS or QRZ LogBook.

The Canary Islands, AF-004 will be the temporary home of Juan, EA8RM for the CQ WW WPX CW contest on the 26th and 27th. QSL via EB7DX or Logbook of the World.

HR9/W1UE, HR9/N2WQ, HR9/K1XM and HR9/KQ1F are presently active from Roatan Island, Honduras, NA-057. They will operate as HQ9X in the CQ WW WPX CW Contest on the 26th and 27th, then go back to their individual calls until the 29th. QSL via home calls, or QSL HQ9X via KQ1F or Logbook of the World.

The Cayman Islands, NA-016 play host to Frank, K3TRM, who will be active on HF as ZF2RM throughout the summer months. QSL via home call.

Members of Far Eastern Group of the Russian Robinson Club, RW0LZ, R0LZ and UA0LCZ will be active as R0LS/P from Skrebtsov Island, AS-066, from the 24th to the 28th. They are planning to use 3.507, 7.007, 10.107, 14.017, 18.077, 21.017, 24.897 and 28.017MHz. QSL via R0LS.

Randy, WW6RG will be active as VQ9RA from Chagos Islands, Diego Garcia, AF-006, from 23rd to the 24th. He will operate QRP on 14.190 and 21.280MHz SSB. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

As noted last week, Cray Valley Radio Society is using the unique callsign GR9RW until the 23rd to mark the Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Harry and Ms Megan Markle. Activities will be from HF to UHF and full details are at www.cvrs.org.

Celebrating the 50th birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederiks of Denmark, the Experimental Danish Radio amateurs association, or EDR, will operate OZ50HRH/xx and 5P0HRH/xx, plus OX50HRH and OX5HRH from Greenland. Running from 0000UTC 20 2359UTC on the 26th of May, they plan to use all bands and modes, including FT and JT digital. All two-way contacts and SWL reports are valid for awards; details are on QRZ.com.

On the 26th of May GB4COM will be on the air to mark the open day of the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The RSGB 144MHz May Contest finishes its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, Sunday. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today is the 144MHz Backpackers #1 contest, which runs from 1100UTC to 1500UTC. All modes can be used on the 2m band and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UKuG mm-Wave contest takes place today on all bands from 24-76GHz from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 1830UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Note that different bands are in use at different times.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships takes place on the 3.5MHz band from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend’s big event is the CQ WW WPX CW contest. Running from 0000UTC on Saturday the 26th to 2359UTC on Sunday the 27th, this CW-only event uses all the HF contest bands from 1.8-28MHz. Exchange a signal report and serial number.

Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest takes place next Sunday from 0600UTC to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, signal repost, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

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

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

Last week continued with zero sunspots after the 13th and a solar flux index of around 70. NOAA had forecast poorer geomagnetic conditions from Thursday the 17th. The solar wind speed, as measured at the ACE spacecraft, did increase on Thursday morning but the K index hadn’t got above three by Thursday afternoon.

Overall, HF conditions were average with daytime critical frequencies tending to be in the range 4 to 5MHz. This translates to an F-layer maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 15-17MHz. This means that the most reliable daytime DX band remains 20 metres, 14MHz.

As we move towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions the higher HF bands are remaining open later. The 30 and sometimes even 20 metre bands are staying open longer after sunset, although 20m is still closing by late evening.

Sporadic-E is still bringing some interest to the upper HF bands, particularly 10 metres, but you can see the short-skip effects down to 20 meters as well.

The FT8 frequency of 28.074 MHz is now a good first check point for band openings. The 10m beacons are also worth checking because SR5TDM, a three watt low-power Polish beacon on 28.215MHz, was audible during the week. You can find a 10 and 6m beacon list by searching on the web for G3USF beacons.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70. A lack of coronal hole activity means the K index may only reach a maximum of two.

In summary then, it’s more of the same for HF!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The charts show a lot of high pressure over the next week and this means a good chance of some Tropo. The best paths will be over the surrounding seas, especially the North Sea at first. There may be a trend for drier air to remove some of the low-level moisture after this weekend, so paths won’t necessarily be good all of the time. The overnight conditions under high pressure can also produce temporary nocturnal lifts over land, but these paths tend to decay quickly after sunrise, when the heating breaks down any surface inversion.

Since it looks like a largely dry spell of weather, there may be a shortage of rain scatter clouds about for the microwave bands. All is not lost and there is some hope that Sporadic-E will continue to put in an appearance now and again. However, one of the main ingredients, a strong jet stream over Europe, may be hard to find in this fine, settled weather. This means the fall-back option of upper ridge patterns may be the trigger to watch. Check the daily Sporadic-Eblogs on Propquest.co.uk to see the current location of jet streams and ridges.

The moon is past perigee, but losses are still low and will fall as the week progresses. Similarly, declination is falling but still in double figures until Wednesday, so another good week for EME with moon visibility from late morning through to after midnight most days.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 13th. May 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th May 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Thousands watch CubeSat deployment
  • 2x1 calls for Norwegian clubs
  • 2017 CQ WW CW contest logs to be re-scored

 

Three CubeSats were deployed on Friday from the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo aboard the International Space Station. The satellites were Irazu from Costa Rica, 1KUNS-PF from Kenya and UBAKUSAT from Turkey. All of them carry amateur radio telemetry payloads; UBAKUSAT also carries a linear transponder for SSB and CW. Details of the beacon and transponder frequencies can be found via the amsat-uk.org website. The deployment was broadcast live from the ISS via YouTube and was watched by thousands of people.

The Norsk Radio Relae Liga, RSGB’s counterpart in Norway, has been given the responsibility to issue new 2x1 contest callsigns to that nation’s amateur community. The first 27 calls were issued in mid-April at the country’s biggest rally, Norsk Hammeting, and last five years. With few exceptions the new callsigns are available only to clubs and an admin fee of approaching £100 is payable, which is passed on to the country’s communications regulator, NCA.

A change in scoring methodology for handling duplicate contacts in the CW weekend of the 2017 CQ World Wide DX Contest led to an inconsistency with the standards by which logs submitted for the SSB weekend of the same contest were scored. After considerable discussion and debate among members of the CQ WW Contest Committee and consultation with CQ management, it was decided to restore the original scoring methodology and to re-score all CW logs for the 2017 CQ WW DX contest. Updated scores will be published online on the CQ website and on the CQ World Wide DX Contest website, but the re-scoring is not expected to result in any changes to the order of finish.

Next weekend is the Dayton Hamvention®, mentioned in more detail later. The RSGB QSL Bureau is attending, which will of course mean they are out of the office for some time. This, plus an expected influx of cards from Dayton will make them very busy afterwards. All Members, clubs and special event stations are asked to delay sending any other cards to the Bureau until after the 3rd of June.

Also next weekend, on 19 and 20 May, Albania’s Open Source conference, OSCAL 18 takes place in Tirana. Daniel Pocock, M0GLR / VK3TQR hopes to run a prominent amateur radio demonstration station at the event. No callsign has been announced but information on the plans is online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0513A

CQScotland.com will be providing free electronic kits for accompanied school-age children attending the Scottish Electronics and Radio Convention. It takes place at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, on the 20th of May. A dedicated construction area will be set up, and help will be on hand so children should leave with a fully working project. Alternatively, it may be built at home with a parent. The kits and construction session is sponsored by the RSGB and Antex Electronics Ltd.

Finally, Darenth Valley Radio Society announces that they still have places for their Foundation course starting on the 9th of June. More information can be obtained from Mike, G8AXA, via email to g8axa@yahoo.co.uk.

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

Today, the 13th, the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place at Share Centre, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh BT92 0EQ. Access in NI is from the M1, A5 & A4, or via the M/N3 from the RoI. Doors open at 11.30am. Details from David, GI4VHO, on 0784 291 0076, or online at www.learc.eu.

Next Thursday the Dayton Hamvention® opens its doors from 8am at Greene County Fair & Exposition Center, Xenia, Dayton, Ohio, USA. The event runs until Sunday afternoon. There will be trade stands and the usual huge flea market as well as special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. A lecture programme will take place each day. There are multiple catering outlets and family attractions on site. US exams are available, and there is a door raffle. Details by email to international@hamvention.org or online at www.hamvention.org.

Next Sunday the Sarcom Braehead Radio Electronics Rally is at Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and entry is £4. Talk-in is available. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, flea market, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and family attractions. There will be lectures on the day. Catering and a licensed bar are on site. There will be a raffle. More from Andrew Hood, GM7GDE, on 0782 593 2488, or email radiorally@scotlandmail.com.

Finally for next weekend, the 35th Dunstable Downs Radio Club amateur radio car boot sale takes place on Sunday at Stockwood Park, London Rd. Farley Hill, Luton LU1 5PP. Please note that the date was printed incorrectly in the April RadCom but correctly in the May edition. All the usual facilities will be there, and further details are online at www.ddrcbootsale.org

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

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

Take, JG8NQJ/JD1 will be on the small Japanese atoll of Minami Torishima from mid-May to mid-August. This is Islands on the Air reference OC-073 and a separate DXCC entity.

Chris, VK3QB, Brenton, VK3YB and Luke, VK3HJ will be active as VK9LI from Lord Howe Island, OC-004 until the 18th of May. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on 160 to 17 metres. 

A team of 6 US operators will be QRV from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands from the 13th to 25th of May. This is OC-013 for IOTA.

OM3RM will be active as CT9ABN from Madeira, AF-014, on the 19th to 29th May. He will be QRV on 80 to 10 metres and will be CR3DX in CQWPX CW.

A number of stations should be active on May 12th to 13th from Liechtenstein, including several flora and fauna sites.

EJ7NET, from Inisheer Island, EU-006, will be active from the 19th to 23rd of May. The operators are EI5IQ, EI6FR, EI7DSB, GM3YEH, GM7WCO and HB9DGV. They plan to be active on HF and 6 metres.

The Castres DX Gang will operate TM5FI from Ratonneau Island in the Frioul Archipelago, EU-095, until May 16th. They will be QRV from 80 to 6m, using SSB, CW and digital modes.

The C8T operation from Mozambique continues until May 15th. And the 3B9RUN operation on Rodrigues Island (AF-017) continues until May 16th. They should operate SSB and FT8 on 80-10 metres.

Members of Camb-Hams are on the island of Islay, EU-008 until the 20th of May, operating on multiple bands.

Now the special event news

Many stations are on the air for some or all RNLI SOS month. Details of all registered stations are online at www.sosradioweek.org.uk and there are free awards available for working or even just hearing them.

This weekend is Mills on the Air and many special event stations are active. As mentioned last week, the May RadCom contains a list of some of the callsigns to listen out for.

If you apply for a Special Event Notice of Variation from Ofcom, please remember to tick both boxes that ask about publicity, otherwise the RSGB won’t be told about your event and thus we can’t promote it for you.

Next weekend will see a raft of special callsigns on the air to celebrate the Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Harry and Ms Megan Markle. Cray Valley Radio Society lead the pack with GR9RW, believed to be the first-ever use of the GR9 prefix. Operation will be from the 19th to the 23rd, on HF to UHF.

A reminder that all UK radio amateurs – Foundation, Intermediate and Full – are entitled to apply for a Notice of Variation to change their Regional Secondary Locator to ‘R’ between the 19th and 21st of May. Please note that you MUST apply for the NoV, which is free, via rsgb.org/rwrsl before going on the air with the ‘R’. For example, 2W1xxx would be able to sign 2R1xxx and M6xxx would be MR6xxx. This very rare prefix is likely to be in very high demand from stations around the world, so get your NoV as soon as you can and prepare for the DX to start calling you next weekend.

Now the contest news

Today, the 13th, the RSGB 70MHz CW contest, VHF CW Championship event, takes place from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW only on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and postcode.

Also today the Worked All Britain 40m Phone contest runs from 1000UTC to 1400UTC on the 7MHz band. Using SSB only, participants should exchange signal report, serial number and their WAB area.

Tuesday sees the RSGB 1.3GHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using all modes on 23cm, your signal report, serial number and locator form the exchange.

On Wednesday the RSGB 80m Club Championships data leg runs from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using data modes only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Thursday is busy on 4m, with the RSGB 70MHz FMAC running from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, immediately followed by the all-mode 70MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130 UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the RSGB 144MHz May Contest takes place. Running for 24 hours from 1400UTC on Saturday the 19th until 1200UTC on Sunday, all modes are permissible on the 2m band. Signal report, serial number, locator and postcode should be exchanged.

Finally for next Sunday, the UKuG mm-Wave contest takes place on all bands from 24-76GHz from 0900UTC to 1700UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Our forecast last week was pretty much spot-on, with poor geomagnetic conditions plaguing us from Sunday the 6th. But before this, there was a pre-auroral HF enhancement on the Saturday that surprised many people. Steve, PJ4DX, on Bonaire in the Caribbean worked the UK on 17 metres and also made contact with Martin, M0BCT on 10 metres. He reports that Stephen, G7BXU, using a 5/8-wave vertical in Reading was also S9+ on 12 metres. Alas, things couldn’t last and we then went into a full geomagnetic storm, complete with a high K index, noisy bands, lower maximum usable frequencies and lots of fading. At this point in the solar cycle pre-auroral enhancements are worth looking out for. They are usually triggered by the first arrival of solar coronal hole material, but are difficult to predict accurately, so keep an eye on the bands.

Now to next week’s predictions, and a lack of Earth-facing coronal holes on the Sun as of Thursday 10th May, means this weekend may be more settled geomagnetically. Expect 20 and perhaps 17 metres to provide some good F-layer openings, and for the conditions to last until at least mid-week. NOAA then predicts the K index could rise to perhaps six on Thursday the 17th, probably due to a recurring coronal hole that has not yet rotated into view at the time this report was being prepared. This may be the coronal hole that caused the poor conditions 27 days earlier, around the time of International Marconi Day. So look for a possible pre-auroral enhancement from Wednesday evening or Thursday, followed by poorer F-layer HF conditions thereafter. The good news is that Sporadic-E is supporting strong short skip on 28MHz at times, with lots to work on FT8, CW and SSB.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

There have been some reasonable Tropo conditions recently, but mainly limited to coastal and sea paths. A UK amateur television record-breaking 5.6GHz contact using low power video senders was made last Wednesday, between the Norfolk and Yorkshire coasts, using a shallow surface duct. This can be a relatively-common feature in the summer, but they can be very shallow; climbing the cliffs may just make you too high.

This coming week, with high pressure nearby, there will continue to be options for more Tropo, but keep in mind that nocturnal cooling inversions that give some good overnight Tropo soon disperse after sunrise. Looking for the high-microwave-band beacons overnight often shows them appearing after a hot day.

Tropo is not guaranteed this week since the high pressure is rather weak and often replaced by shallow areas of low pressure with an attendant risk of thundery showers, giving some possibility of rain scatter on the microwave bands.

The Sporadic-E season is well under way. We need to look at the location of jet streams within Europe this week, which can influence the location of Sporadic-E. A north-westerly jet stream over the Pyrenees could help paths to EA and CT. As usual the best advice to capture Sporadic-E is to remember to check 10m and 6m when you get home from work. Checking beacons, the Reverse Beacon Network and clusters should be your first tasks before having your evening meal!

The moon reaches perigee, its closest point to Earth, on Thursday and maximum declination on Friday, so it’s a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 6th. May 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

The news headlines:

  • NHS amateur radio callsign launches
  • Tim Duffy, K3LR to speak at RSGB Convention
  • Get a special callsign letter for the Royal Wedding

 

GB1NHS is the new National Health Service amateur radio station. The RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park is hosting the launch event on Tuesday the 8th of May. National Radio Centre Coordinator Martyn Baker, G0GMB, will make the initial transmission using the call sign at 10.45am and the event will run to 2pm. The launch is part of the NHS #EndPJparalysis campaign, a 70-day mission to get patients up, dressed and moving while in hospital. The long-term aim of the station is to promote, through the medium of amateur radio, NHS initiatives that lead to patients receiving excellent care, faster recovery and living longer, healthier lives. For further information see www.GB1NHS.net

The RSGB is delighted to announce that Tim Duffy, K3LR has agreed to be the Keynote and after-dinner speaker at its 2018 Convention in October. Tim is amongst the leaders, if not the leader, in the field of amateur radio contesting. He will be talking about his contest station but also, as he puts it, focusing on ‘keeping ham radio fun and alive’. Bookings for the RSGB Convention are now open. Visit the RSGB website for more information and to book your tickets. You’ll find details at www.rsgb.org/convention

UK radio amateurs wishing to celebrate the royal wedding can apply for a Notice of Variation to do so. The RSGB has agreed with Ofcom an NoV to authorise the temporary use of the Regional Secondary Locator R after the United Kingdom call sign prefix. So M1ACB could use MR1ACB, 2E1GKR could use 2R1GKR and GW1MFG could use GR1MFG – note that the celebratory letter R replaces the usual Regional Secondary Locator. Exact details are given in the NoV documentation. You must apply for the Notice of Variation before using the R, and it will only be valid between the 19th and the 21st of May 2018. To apply for the Royal Wedding Regional Secondary Locator Notice of Variation, visit the RSGB web page www.rsgb.org/rwrsl – the NoV is free and open to all UK licensees.

Also to celebrate the Royal Wedding, Ofcom has issued the unique Special Event callsign GR9RW to the Cray Valley Radio Society. It will be in operation between the 19th and the 23rd of May. This is believed to be the first time that the GR9 series has been officially activated in the UK. GR9RW will primarily use SSB and CW on its two HF stations, plus FM on the VHF / UHF station. A very special QSL card will be sent on request and cards can also be requested via OQRS. For further information see the Cray Valley Radio Society website, www.cvrs.org

In a landmark step, the Irish regulator Comreg has agreed to amateur access, on a Secondary basis, to an extensive amount of VHF spectrum including 30-49MHz and 54-69.9MHz. In addition, their existing 4m band has been widened to the full 69.9-70.5 MHz CEPT range. It is expected that this will facilitate a number of innovative developments, including digital amateur television and new or realigned VHF propagation beacons. The RSGB congratulates its IRTS colleagues on their success, which dates back to a 2016 consultation input.

The FIFA World Cup Marathon is being organised by the Russian national radio society. Over 20 FIFA nations will be active between the 1st of June and the 15th of July. UK nations will be participating with three different special event callsigns. GB18FWC will be on the air from the RSGB National Radio Centre on the 4th and 20th of June and also on the 12th of July. On the 13th to the 15th of July it will be hosted by the HF Contest Committee Chair. MB18FIFA will be hosted by the Aberystwyth Radio Club on the 12th of June, and by the Dundee Radio Club on the 10th, 13th and 14th of July. The Russian publicity also shows GB18FIFA will be on air from Scotland from the 30th of June to the 15th of July and the same call may also be active from Northern Ireland from the 1st to the 28th of June. GB18FIFA has not been organised by RSGB. Further details about the World Cup Marathon will be published soon on the RSGB’s FIFA World Cup event webpage, www.rsgb.org/fwc

There won’t be a news broadcast from Germany today because both newsreaders are unavailable.

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

Today, the 6th, the Thorpe Camp Hamfest, formerly known as the Dambusters Hamfest, takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall Thorpe, Lincoln LN4 4PL. Details are on the Thorpe Camp website, http://thorpecamp.org oryou can contact Anthony on 0795 665 4481.

As announced last week the Southern Electronics and Radio Fair, planned for 6 May 2017, has had to be cancelled—details at www.serf.org.uk.

Bank Holiday Monday sees the Dartmoor Radio Rally at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock PL19 8DD. There’s ample free parking and doors open at 10.30am – or 10.15 for disabled visitors. Under 14s are free when accompanied by an adult. There will be trade and club stands, the usual Bring & Buy, plus on-site catering. Details from Viv Watson, G7AWG, 01752 823 427, or email vivwatsondrc@aol.com.

Next Sunday, the 13th, the Lough Erne Amateur Radio Rally takes place at Share Centre, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh BT92 0EQ. Access in NI is from the M1, A5 & A4, or via the M/N3 from the RoI. Doors open at 11.30am. Details from David, GI4VHO, on 0784 291 0076, or online at www.learc.eu.

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

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

Depressed summer propagation is on the way so DXpedition activity is on the wane, but there are still operations to chase.

Ari, OH3KAV will be active as OH0KA from the Aland Islands, IOTA reference EU-002, from the 6th to the 11th of May. He plans to focus on CW and FT8 operation on 5MHz. 

Col, MM0NDX, Max, IK8LOV and Bjorn, ON9CFG will be active from Buyukada Island off the coast of Turkey, IOTA AS-201, from the 7th to the 11th of May. They will operate on 80 to 2 metres as TC0AX.

Jim, KM7R will be active as E51KMR from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, in the South Cook Islands from the 8th to the 11th of May. He will operate mostly SSB from E51JD’s station.

A team of Belgian operators will be active as GB9OSA from the Isle of Wight, EU-120, from the 8th to the 13th of May. They will operate two stations, mainly SSB and digital, on 160 to 6 metres.

Johannes, DF5AU will be active as P4/DF5AU from Aruba, SA-036, from the 8th to the 13th of May.

A group of operators from Reunion Island will be visiting Rodrigues Island, AF-017, active as 3B9RUN from the 11th to the 16th of May. They will operate SSB and FT8 on 80 to 10 metres.

Gerard, HR5/F2JD in Honduras will be going QRT on May 10th so be quick if you need this one. 

And last but not least Chris, VK3QB, Brenton, VK3YB and Luke, VK3HJ will be active as VK9LI from Lord Howe Island, OC-004, from the 11th to the 18th of May. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on 160 to 17m.

Now the special event news

May is RNLI SOS week month and many stations will be on the air for part or all of the month from RNLI-related locations, such as lifeboat stations, up and down the country. Details of all the registered stations taking part can be found online at www.sosradioweek.org.uk and there are a variety of free awards available for working or even just hearing the registered stations.

Next weekend is Mills on the Air and there will be many special event stations on the air for this popular event. The May RadCom included a long list of participating stations; some that didn’t make that list include GB1DW at Drapers Mill, Margate, run by Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club; Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society running GB2DWM at Duloe Windmill, St Neots; and GB2WTM at Woodbridge Tide Mill, operated by members of Felixstowe & District Amateur Radio Society.

A brand new event, Pubs and Clubs on the Air, or PACOTA, takes place next weekend, the 12th and 13th. There is a list of confirmed stations on the event website, www.g6tw.org.uk/pacota and for further information, hints or tips, email pacota@g6tw.org.uk

Finally, whilst on the subject of special events, we were pleased to learn that the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, home of the Chelsea Pensioners, has been granted the permanent special event callsign GB4CP. Great Britain 4 Chelsea Pensioners went live on the 2nd of May. The Chelsea Pensioners will be on the air as often as possible, as soon as some initial shack and aerial issues have been ironed out, and a special QSL card is being developed. To find out more about the Chelsea Pensioners, all of whom are British Army veterans, visit www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk

Now the contest news

The ARI International DX contest ends its 24-hour run today, the 6th, at 1200UTC. Using CW, Phone, RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, signal report and serial number forms the basic exchange, with Italian stations also sending their Province code.

Also ending its 24-hour run today, at 1400UTC, is the 432MHz-248GHz Trophy. Using all modes on the 432MHz to 248GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the UKuG Low Band contest runs from 0800UTC to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. 

Also today, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200UTC to 1400UTC. Using SSB and CW on 7MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their County.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships take place from 1900UTC to 2030UTC, SSB only, on the 3.5MHz band. Signal report and serial number form the exchange.

Tuesday is busy on 70cm, with the 432MHz FMAC running from 1800 UTC to 1900UTC, FM only. It’s immediately followed, from 1900UTC to 2130UTC, by the 432MHz UKAC, which uses all modes on the band. The exchange for both events is the same: signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday is similarly busy, down on 6m. At 1800UTC the 50MHz FMAC kicks off, using FM only, until 1900UTC. Then it’s over to the 50MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130OUC, using all modes. Again, the exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday the RSGB 70MHz CW contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW only on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and postcode. This is a VHF CW Championship event.

Finally for next weekend, the Worked All Britain 40m Phone contest runs from 1000UTC to 1400UTC on the 7MHz band. Using SSB only, participants should exchange signal report, serial number and their WAB area.

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

The sun remained spotless last week and the latest projections place sunspot minimum sometime around mid-2019. NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center says solar cycle 24 is declining more quickly than originally forecast, but expect the current solar conditions to last for at least another 12 to 18 months.

On the bright side, quieter geomagnetic conditions this week helped counter the low solar flux to provide the odd surprise. There has been F2-layer 20 metre propagation to the USA reported in the afternoons, but it was accompanied by rapid fading due to the maximum usable frequency just skirting 14MHz at times.

There were other highlights last week. We are starting to see Sporadic-E making an appearance. The FT8 frequency of 28.074MHz has shown some activity at times and special event station OE100WMA in Austria made a brief appearance on 10m CW on Wednesday morning. The good news is that Sporadic-E should strengthen as the weeks go on, so do monitor the higher HF bands.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 68, so F2 layer propagation will favour the lower bands, plus 20 and occasionally 17 metres. The lowest the solar flux index got down to during the last solar minimum was 65, in 2007 and 2008.

Another coronal hole became Earth-facing on Thursday, so we may expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions from Saturday 5th. Its extended elongated shape means these could last until Tuesday or Wednesday, with a maximum K index of five. After a positive initial positive phase we may expect subdued maximum usable frequencies, poor HF conditions and noisy bands as the geomagnetic storm develops. Thursday the 10th, through to Saturday the 12th of May, look to be more settled and may offer the best opportunities for DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After some very wet weather recently, we have high pressure making a welcome return. This will be centred over Biscay, across to southern Scandinavia as an elongated ridge. This should give many areas a chance of Tropo, probably favouring paths to the southwest and south across Biscay to Spain, but they may also be some options to the east, although not as solid. The ridge should last for much of next week, so there is plenty of time.

As mentioned earlier, the Sporadic-E season has started for FT8 and is putting in the odd appearance for CW and SSB. Since the present set of openings have tended to be associated with the location of jet streams in the upper atmosphere, it makes sense to see what the charts offer for next week. Sadly, there is a marked lack of jet stream activity in the nearby region of Europe, which we may need for Sporadic-E paths from the UK. Indeed, it may be a thin week, unless one of the other possible weather triggers, a strong ridge pattern, is enough to do the trick, but it's not often something we see early in the season. Check the beacons and clusters for band reports and the Sporadic E blog on propquest.co.uk, which may give some useful pointers.

For meteor scatter operators, the Eta Aquarids shower peaked before dawn today, but the shower really favours the southern hemisphere. The smaller Eta-Lyrids peak on Wednesday.

The Moon reached minimum declination and apogee yesterday. Declination only goes positive next Saturday, so EME windows will be short, but lengthening, and losses will fall as the week progresses. 

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. April 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29 April 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • RSGB AGM
  • Sunday Times letter response
  • BARS operating at Royal Mint

 

Illness of a key RSGB staff member means that it has not been possible to prepare Local News again this week, for which we apologise. We hope to be able to present Local News again next week. Details of many club events can be found in the April and May editions of RadCom, supplemented by the link to the May edition of the RSGB Affiliated Clubs Newsletter at the end of this bulletin and the Events List on the RSGB website: http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/events/

 

At the RSGB AGM held in Birmingham last Saturday, the 21st of April, Simone Wilson, M0BOX and Mark Jones, G0MGX were elected to the RSGB Board of Directors whilst Philip Willis, M0PHI was endorsed as a Nominated Director. Graham Murchie, G4FSG stood down as Chair after serving in the role for four of his five years on the Board, and both Steve Hartley, G0FUW and Alan Messenger, G0TLK finished their terms on the Board. Ian Shepherd, G4EVK was appointed as the new RSGB Board Chair.

 

Following a letter in the Sunday Times earlier this month which suggested that amateur radio aerials affected nearby Wi-Fi, the RSGB submitted a full response. The Society is delighted that not only did the paper print one of the points it made, but it also included a valid comment by another radio amateur who referenced the RSGB. The RSGB understands from the newspaper that to publish responses like this is unusual. You can read the short piece online: tinyurl.com/the-times-response

 

Members of the Barry Amateur Radio Society will be active from 'Her Majesty's Royal Mint' at Llantrisant, South Wales on the 1st and the 2nd of June. They will be using the call sign GB4RME (Radio Monitoring & Espionage) to assist at the launch of a new 10p coin featuring James Bond. They will be displaying a WWII spy radio set used by the SEO in France as well as teaching the public Morse Code and showcasing Data Modes. During the event they will have a QSO with the National Radio Centre (NRC) based at Bletchley Park.

 

The RSGB has received one nomination for President and so is pleased to announce that Dave Wilson, M0OBW has been duly elected as RSGB President until the 2020 AGM. The Society would like to place on record its thanks to Nick Henwood G3RWF for the excellent work he has done during his term as President. Dave's term of office will start on the 12th of May.

 

The WIA Annual Radio and Electronics Convention will be held on the 18th to the 20th of May. For information about the programme see the event website: www.wia.org.au/convention

 

RSGB Club insurance and Beacon and Repeater insurance has now been renewed for the year to April 2019. Club insurance certificates can be downloaded from the RSGB website; please use your Membership Services login to obtain a copy of your certificate. Beacon and repeater insurance remains at £10 and you may renew on the RSGB shop. Please allow a couple of days after renewal for your certificate to be dispatched.

 

Chertsey Radio Club are using a long-distance road trip to raise money for the children’s ward at Saint Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey. James Preece, M0JFP will leave the UK on the 12th of June and drive 1,500 miles from the UK through France to Benidorm in Spain, arriving on the 18th. He will be working a lot of radio over the week including Satellites, HF and some local repeaters. To find out more email chertseyradioclub@hotmail.com

 

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

Today, the 29th, the Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition Blackpool Rally takes place at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Car parking is available and a talk-in station will be on the air. The doors will open at 10.15am for disabled visitors and 10.30am for the general public. As well as trade stands there will be a Bring and Buy, and special interest groups. An RSGB book stall will be present. For more information contact Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761608 or e-mail dwilson@btinternet.com  The event’s web site is www.narsa.org.uk

The Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally takes place today at the America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. This event was rescheduled from the 4th of March, due to snow. The rally opens at 10.30am, with disabled access and Bring and Buy booking-in from 10.15am, although the event may open earlier if the weather is bad and all the exhibitors are ready. Admission is £2 and there is on-site catering. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198374, or e-mail g3zvi@yahoo.co.uk

Next Sunday, the 6th of May, the Thorpe Camp Hamfest (formerly the Dambusters Hamfest) takes place at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall, Thorpe, Lincoln LN4 4PL. For more information please go to the events page on http://thorpecamp.org or e-mail secretary@thorpecamp.org or call Anthony on 07956 654481.

 

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

 

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

Cezar, VE3LYC should be starting today from the Duff Islands in the Temotu part of the Solomon Islands. He will be active until the 3rd of May. This is OC-179 for IOTA. The operation has been partly supported by the RSGB DXpedition fund.

Harry, JG7PSJ will be active as JD1BMH from Chichijima (AS-031), in the Ogasawara Islands until the 4th of May. He will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on 40 to 10m. Makoto, JI5RPT will be active as JD1BLY from the same island on the 2nd to the 4th of May.

YL operators Kay, WA0WOF (A52YLE) and Mio, JR3MVF (A52YLM) will be active as A52YL from Bhutan until the 6th of May.  They will operate SSB and CW on 80-10 metres. JH3AEF and JA3IVU will also be active as A52AEF and A52IVU in their spare time. The team will be QRV on 80-6 metres CW, SSB and digital modes.

Chris, VO1IDX will be active as 6Y5IDX from Jamaica (NA-097) from the 29th of April to the 6th of May. He will operate SSB and FT8 on 80-10 metres.

A very large team of Indonesian operators will be active from Tinabo, one of the Taka Bonerate Islands (OC-242) until the 1st of May, and from Salayar Island (OC-236) on 1st to the 2nd of May. They will be QRV on 15 to 40 metres.

The First Class CW Operators' Club (FOC) will be celebrating its 80th anniversary with a month-long event throughout May. It features a large number of special 'FOC' suffix call signs from all around the world, many of them containing the number 80. Points are scored by making CW QSOs with individual FOC members and the special call signs, once per band, and certificates will be available depending on participants’ positions in the final table on ClubLog. Detailed information can be found at www.g4foc.org/foc80

A Russian Robinson Club team will be active as C96RRC from Mozambique Island (AF-088) from the 29th of April to the 3rd of May.

A large, mainly Belgian, group will be active as C8T from Mozambique on the 2nd to the 15th of May. They will operate SSB, CW and RTTY on 160-10 metres with four stations. A fifth station will operate 2m EME, 60m and extra digimodes on all bands.

 

Now the special event news

SOS Radio Week 2018 takes place between the 1st and the 31st May with stations operating to celebrate the work of the RNLI. Details including the list of participating stations can be found at http://www.sosradioweek.org.uk

Welland Valley Amateur Radio Society will be active as GB4GW between the 1st and the 28th May to commemorate the end of the Great War. See QRZ.com for more information.

Grey Point Fort ARS in Northern Ireland will be active as GB9RAF between the 4th and the 31st of May to mark the centenary of the creation of the Royal Air Force. See QRZ.com for more information.

GB0GLS will be active on the 5th of May on the 80m, 40m and 20m bands, with the possibility of additional activity on 17m and 2m, to commemorate the work of the Gilnahirk Listening Station in Northern Ireland. See QRZ.com for more information.

 

Now the contest news

The RTTY leg of the Polish DX Contest continues until 1200 UTC today, Sunday the 29th of April. The bands for this are 3.5MHz to 28MHz. The contest exchange is a signal report and serial number. Polish stations also give their Province code.

The RSGB 144MHz FM Activity Contest takes place on Tuesday the 1st of May from 1800 to 1900 UTC, on FM only. It is followed immediately by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest, from 1900 to 2130 UTC, the latter being on all modes. The contest exchange for both is the same; a signal report, serial number and your Locator.

Starting Saturday the 5th of May, the UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Marathon runs continuously for three months on the 50MHz band. It is basically an exercise in collecting as many Locator squares as possible during the main months of the Sporadic-E season.

The ARI has its International DX Contest next weekend, starting at 1200 UTC on Saturday the 5th. CW, SSB and RTTY are the modes for this event, the bands being 3.5MHz to 28MHz. Exchange a signal report and a serial number. Italian stations also give a 2-letter Province code. In this contest there are no points for working your own country and a differing number of points for working your own Continent, other Continents, and Italy. There are no single band entries and only one power category – high. Multipliers are DXCC entities (except Italy and Sardinia), plus Italian Provinces.

The RSGB 432MHz Trophy contest and 10GHz Trophy contest each run from 1400 to 2200 UTC on Saturday 5th. The RSGB 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy Contest starts at the same time but continues for 24 hours. In all three of these contests the exchange is a signal report, serial number and your Locator.

On Sunday the 6th the UK Microwave Group has another in its series of Low Band contests, on the 1.3GHz to 3.4GHz bands. The contest exchange is a signal report, serial number and your Locator.

Also on Sunday the 6th, the IRTS is holding its 40m Counties Contest. The running times for this are 1200 to 1400 UTC, and SSB and CW are the modes. Exchange a signal report and serial number. Stations in Ireland – both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland – also give a 3-letter county code.

 

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

Last weekend’s poor HF conditions, which made for a quieter than normal International Marconi Day on the 21st, were largely caused by incoming material from a large solar coronal hole. A lack of sunspots didn’t help either.

The incoming solar wind pushed the K index up to six at one point, but conditions settled as the week went on. By Thursday the 26th the K index was down to zero or one.

A small sunspot group pushed the solar flux index to a maximum of 77 and the sunspot number to 34. But even this had declined to 69 and 17 by Thursday.

As a result maximum usable frequencies struggled to exceed 14MHz at times and skip on the lower bands, particularly 40 metres, tended to be longer.

The Space Weather Prediction Centre says we might expect another geomagnetic disturbance this weekend due to a high-speed solar wind stream.

But after that, next week’s geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be fairly settled with a maximum K index of two. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the low to mid seventies.

One positive is that the lower solar flux means D layer absorption is also weakened. This means 40m is often open to paths around Europe during the day – do take a look at the band as it is often open to France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, for example, when 20m is largely closed.

Putting this all together, we might expect slightly better daylight HF conditions next week with band openings on 40, 30 and up to 20, with occasional surprises on 17 metres.

We are still seeing a slight uplift in the critical frequency after sunset, and the ionosonde data show that 20 metres may remain open to DX over a 3,000km path until about 21:30 UTC.

As always, these are predictions and you need to get on the air to find out if they come true!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The pressure will remain low close to the British Isles and therefore Tropo is unlikely to feature much, other than transient openings around dawn. With heavy showers and thunderstorms in the forecast, it could be a good spell for rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands, so radar sites such as Patrick TK5EP’s SCP map will be your friend for setting up QSOs. Just Google it.

Sporadic E is coming into its time now, and there have already been some openings across Europe using FT8.

Be prepared for some more traditional openings for CW and SSB signals soon. The earlier FT8 events have been linked to the positions of jet streams, but it’s very hard to be precise, since they happen most days.

For the CW and SSB signal levels it is likely that the first place to check out will be along the lines of jet streams, especially where they intersect with mountain ranges like the Alps and Pyrenees. The upper air forecast charts do show a good deal of jet stream activity over the next week, so it’s time to set up a listening watch on the beacons and clusters.

Moon declination is negative and falling all week, reaching minimum next Saturday. This coincides with apogee, so peak Moon elevations are at a minimum and losses are highest at the same time.

This is a week to check out your antenna and receiver performance using Sun-to-cold-sky noise measurements as the Sun is getting to a good maximum elevation now.   

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. April 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22 April 2018

The news headlines:

  • RSGB 2018 Convention
  • British Island Waterways on the Air
  • Radio amateur interview on BBC

 

Illness of a key RSGB staff member means that it has not been possible to prepare Local News again this week, for which we apologise. Details of many club events can be found in the April edition of RadCom, supplemented by the Events List on the RSGB website: rsgb.org/events/ Thank you to everyone who sent event details for the May and June RadCom; event information sent to radcom@rsgb.org.uk by the published deadline will appear in those editions.

 

Bookings for the RSGB 2018 Convention are now open. The event takes place from the 12th to the 14th of October and there will be topics to cater for all tastes and at all levels across the five lecture streams. The event will also include a buildathon, a construction competition and an opportunity to visit the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park during the day on Friday the 12th.  AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the Convention again this year. To book go to the RSGB website: www.rsgb.org/convention

 

British Island Waterways on the Air (BIWOTA) will be on the weekend of the 25th to the 27th August this year. The event is open to all boaters, cyclists, walkers and other users of the canals, towpaths and riverbanks for work or recreation. It is also a good chance for WAB enthusiasts to get some rare WAB squares. If you are interested in taking part, register online: www.nharg.oeg.uk/biwota

 

James Patterson, M1DST – a member of Swindon & District ARC – was interviewed recently on BBC Wiltshire about amateur radio. He discussed whether it still has a place now we have modern technology and the Internet. He has produced an edited version of his interview which he has posted on his website: tinyurl.com/bbc-wiltshire-interview He gave a presentation at the RSGB 2017 Convention on "M1N-the-Middle, a flexible hardware control add-on for your K3" which you can watch in the Society’s video portal: www.rsgb.org/videos

 

The RSGB has agreed to participate in the FIFA World Cup Marathon which is being organised by the Union of Radio Amateur of Russia (RRC). The Marathon is set to run from the 1st of June to the 15th of July. There will be two call signs available for use on a rotation basis: GB18FWC, for stations in England; and MB18FIFA, for stations in the home nations who did not qualify for the World Cup finals. Applications for the call signs are open now. An application form and more information can be found on the RSGB website: rsgb.org/fwc The deadline for applications is 23.59 on the 29th of April 2018.

 

Norway's communications regulator Nkom is consulting on changes to the amateur radio regulations. Among the planned changes is allowing 1 kW output at VHF/UHF for EME or Meteor Scatter operation. The previous limit for the VHF/UHF bands had been 100 or 300 watts. The consultation ends on the 2nd of May.

 

 

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

Today, the 22nd April, The Cambridge Repeater Group Rally takes place today at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge, CB22 6RN. There is free car parking and a talk-in station. Doors open at 9.30am, with traders gaining access from 7.30am. Entry is £2. In addition to trade stands there will be a Bring and Buy, plus an RSGB book stall. Catering will be available on site. For further information contact Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972724, e-mail rally2018@cambridgerepeaters.net or see www.cambridgerepeaters.net

 

Next Sunday, the 29th of April, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally takes place at the America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. This event was rescheduled from the 4th of March, due to snow. The rally opens at 10.30am, with disabled access and Bring and Buy booking-in from 10.15am, although the event may open earlier if the weather is bad and all the exhibitors are ready. Admission is £2 and there is on-site catering. Details from Pete, G3ZVI, on 07714 198374, or e-mail g3zvi@yahoo.co.uk.

Also next Sunday, the 29th of April, the Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition Blackpool Rally takes place at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. Car parking is available and a talk-in station will be on the air. The doors will open at 10.15am for disabled visitors and 10.30am for the general public. As well as trade stands there will be a Bring and Buy, and special interest groups. An RSGB book stall will be present. For more information contact Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761608 or e-mail to dwilson@btinternet.com  The event’s web site is www.narsa.org.uk

The organisers of the Southern Electronics & Radio Fair in Eastbourne, due to be held on the 6th May, have advised that the event has been cancelled. More information can be found at: serf.org.uk

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

 

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

Brian, GW4DVB, should be active from Palm Island in the Grenadines as J88PI until the 29th of April. This is NA-025 for Islands on the Air.

Cezar, VE3LYC and Bernhard, DL2GAC plan to be active as H44R from Mbanika Island in the Solomon Islands from the 22nd to the 25th of April. This is OC-168 for IOTA. Cezar will move on to the Temotu part of the Solomons around the 29th of April.

Pasi, OH3WS, is expected to be active from Market Reef as OJ0W for about 1 week from the 27th of April. This is EU-053 for IOTA.

Giulio, IW3HVB, should be active on 144 & 1296 MHz EME from Mauritius as 3B8MB until the 27th of April. Sergei, R4WAA, has the same QRT date from Nepal where he is 9N7WA.

Alex, W1CDC, will be active as V47CDC from St. Kitts (NA-104) from the 23rd of April to the 5th of May.  He will operate CW only on 80-10 metres.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

GB4AMT will be active using CW on the HF bands from the 20th April to the 17th May to remember HMS Amethyst. Details are on QRZ.com

GB4TDY will be active from Low Bentham, North Yorkshire on “as many bands as possible” between the 27th and the 30th of April to celebrate the 3rd Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. Details are on QRZ.com

Activity continues by the Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society as GB106TBC until the 29th of April to mark the 106th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

There will be a Field day at Galleywood Common in support of Gt George's Day on the 23rd of April from 12pm-6pm. They will be on air with the call sign GB1STG. For further information contact Charlie Davy, M0PZT on 07882 043 521 or look online: tinyurl.com/gb1stg-st-georges-day

 

 

Now the contest news

The British Amateur Radio Teledata Group’s Sprint 75 Contest takes place from 1700 to 2100 UTC today on the 3.5MHz to 28MHz bands. All activity is on 75 bauds RTTY and the contest exchange is a serial number only.

On Tuesday the 24th April the RSGB SHF UK Activity Contest takes place from 1830 to 2130 UTC. Please note that activity on different bands is at different times. Exchange signal reports, a serial number and your 6-figure Locator.

On Wednesday the 25th April the UK and EI Contest Club has a CW session of its 80m series. The contest exchange for this event is the first four digits of your Locator. This is the final session of the 2017-2018 series.

The RSGB 80m Club Championship series continues on Thursday the 26th April, with a data modes session that runs from 1900 to 2130 UTC. RTTY and PSK63 are the modes. The contest exchange is a signal report and serial number.

The RTTY leg of the Polish DX Contest takes place for 24 hours next weekend, the 28th to the 29th of April, starting at 1200 UTC on the Saturday. The bands for this event are 3.5MHz to 28MHz. the contest exchange is a signal report and serial number. Polish stations also give their Province code.3.5MHz to 28MHz bands. All activity is at 75 bauds and the contest exchange is a serial number only.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Thursday the 19th of April.

The sun remained spotless this week, other than the hint of a new sunspot coming around its limb as this report was being written. 

The solar flux index reflected this, sitting around the high 60s, although it did reach 71 on Thursday morning. Geomagnetic conditions were quiet at the beginning of the week, but a solar wind stream from a large solar coronal hole was predicted to hit Earth later on Thursday the 19th. This normally means noisy HF bands, and depressed maximum usable frequencies (MUFs) after a possible initial positive phase.

We are now seeing a shift towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions in the northern hemisphere. At this time there is a chemical change towards more diatomic molecules in the F2 layer and fewer monatomic species. The diatomic molecules are more difficult to ionise and as a result MUFs can suffer.

Coupled with the lack of sunspots, we are now seeing daytime MUFs struggling to get above 16-17 Megahertz at times, despite the quiet geomagnetic conditions.

The upside is that night-time MUFs are staying higher, with seven Megahertz possibly staying open to DX over a 3,000km path through the night. A phenomenon that has been spotted is that the MUF is sometimes rising again for a short period after sunset. It might be worth checking 14MHz around 2000hrs UTC as this has showed itself a few times on the ionosonde data.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 69 and geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quieter from Monday onwards after the weekend's high K indices.

These settled conditions could bring better DX from Tuesday or Wednesday, once the ionosphere has settled. As we'll explain in the VHF section, you may still have to wait a week or two before the start of the summer Sporadic E season.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week ended with high pressure near southern areas declining during the weekend as low pressure moved in from the Atlantic towards northern areas.

There may be slightly enhanced Tropo conditions around at first but these could weaken as the low takes over. This could introduce showery weather with a prospect for rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

The 2018 Sporadic E season is nearly here! It usually starts with a few fleeting SSB and CW signals across southern Europe, possibly not within range of UK stations, but with new digital modes, we might be lucky this early.

Since the location of Sporadic E geographically can be influenced by the position of the jet stream, there may be some possibility of paths from the UK to the south-east into the Balkans and east to the Baltic states. The other possibility, based on expected jet stream positions, might be from Spain down to the Canaries.

Anyway, before it all kicks off, it is worth making that list of useful beacons on 10m or 6m so that you can quickly find the openings – just Google “G3USF beacons”. Also, use the www.propquest.co.uk website to find the daily jet stream positions.

Now we are in April, meteor activity is picking up again. The first significant shower, the Lyrids, peaks today, April 22nd, sometime between 1000 and 2100 UTC.

Moon declination is still positive, but decreases all week, going negative (that is, South) this coming Friday. Losses will also increase as the Moon heads out to apogee, its furthest point from Earth. It’s another good week for EME then, with long windows and high Moon elevations.  

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. April 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15 April 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • International Marconi Day
  • FIFA World Cup Marathon
  • Radio amateur honoured

 

Illness of a key RSGB staff member means that it has not been possible to prepare Local News again this week, for which we apologise. Details of many club events can be found in the April edition of RadCom, supplemented by the Events List on the RSGB website: rsgb.org/events/ Thank you to everyone who has sent event details for the May RadCom; all event information sent to radcom@rsgb.org.uk by the published deadline will appear in that edition.

International Marconi Day (IMD) is a 24-hour amateur radio event that is held annually to celebrate the birth of Guglielmo Marconi on 25 April 1874. The event is usually held on the Saturday closest to Marconi’s birthday and this year it will be held on the 21st April from 0000UTC to 2359UTC. Registered Stations must operate from a site which has a connection with Marconi. Find out more via the event website: gx4crc.com/gb4imd

The RSGB has agreed to participate in the FIFA World Cup Marathon which is being organised by the Union of Radio Amateur of Russia (RRC). The Marathon is set to run from the 1st of June to the 15th of July. There will be two call signs available for use on a rotation basis: GB18FWC, for stations in England; and MB18FIFA, for stations in the home nations who did not qualify for the World Cup finals. Applications for the call signs are open now. An application form and more information can be found on the RSGB website: rsgb.org/fwc The deadline for applications is 23.59 on the 29th of April 2018.

Markus Vester, DF6NM has been honoured as one of the Inventors of 2017. As a Principal Key Expert at Siemens, he has worked on MRI systems since the pioneering days. Markus says, “I have to say that such an award shouldn't be regarded as a solitary achievement, but rather also as an appreciation of the fine people and bright minds I am allowed to work with. Like many engineers who are also radio amateurs, work and play have never been completely separate aspects of my life. Inspiration tends to flow both ways between the two.”

A reminder that next Wednesday, the 18th of April, radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show their capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide. It is a great opportunity to put on a local event, so do share details with us if you’re planning something. You can find out more about World Amateur Radio Day on the IARU website: www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

The latest RSGB 2017 Convention video has been released for members to view. “Ionosonde data – see what you hear” by Jim Bacon, G3YLA shows some ways that the band conditions can be visualised to help operators make maximum use of the conditions available. It details how plotting the near real-time ionosonde data can reveal why the band sounds the way it does and is especially useful in determining the reasons why the local nets on 40m and 80m appear to fade as they do, or an 80m CC contest appears to go long skip. Take a look at the presentation in the RSGB video portal: rsgb.org/videos

Steve Hartley, G0FUW has been appointed as the new Chair of the RSGB Legacy Committee and he will begin the role after the AGM. He takes over from current RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF who has done excellent work with the committee over the last seven years. The RSGB Legacy Fund, thanks to the generosity of donors, has resources available to encourage and develop amateur radio. Some interesting projects have already been supported but the committee is keen to receive more good proposals. For more information including the application form and guidelines see the RSGB website: rsgb.org/legacy-committee

In a week when the Kings High School for Girls in Warwick had an amateur radio contact with the ISS, the RCF is delighted to announce that Arkwright scholar Tim Hare, M6HTJ, has just passed his Intermediate exam. Tim passed his Foundation licence in preparation for the Tim Peake ISS contact with the City of Norwich School in 2016. He and fellow Arkwright Scholar Luke Andrews are both now keen to progress to their Full licence. Further information about RCF projects and how you can support the charity can be found on the RCF website: https://commsfoundation.org/

The RSGB knows that many radio amateurs are becoming concerned about the data protection changes that come into force in late May and how those changes will affect their clubs and societies. The RSGB has been preparing for the new law and explains more about it for its Members on the Society’s website: rsgb.org/gdpr

Have you voted yet in the RSGB elections? If not, please take a few minutes to go to rsgb.org/agm and make sure your voice is heard. There are four Board candidates and you can see their personal statements on the AGM web pages. The deadline for receipt of votes is 23:59 on Thursday the 19th of April 2018.

 

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

Today, the 15th, The West London Radio & Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk-in station and on-site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, RSGB book stall and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and on-site catering. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 0845 165 0351, e-mail info@radiofairs.co.uk or see www.radiofairs.co.uk.

Also, the Yeovil ARC QRP Convention takes place at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. It is supported by RSGB, RAFARS and BYLARA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission £3. Guide dogs are permitted, but not pets. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stands. Programme details of the talks that will be taking place can be found on the event’s website, http://yeovil-arc.com/QRPconvention.php

Next Sunday, the 22nd of April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally takes place at Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge, CB22 6RN. There is free car parking and a talk-in station. Doors open at 9.30am, with traders gaining access from 7.30am. Entry is £2. In addition to trade stands there will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB book stall. Catering will be available on site. For further information contact Lawrence, M0LCM on 07941 972724, e-mail rally2018@cambridgerepeaters.net or see www.cambridgerepeaters.net

The organisers of the Southern Electronics & Radio Fair in Eastbourne, due to be held on the 6th May, have advised that the event has been cancelled. More information can be found at: serf.org.uk

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

 

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

Bodo, DF8DX will be active as DU1WQY/1 from Palawan Island in the Philippines which counts as OC-128 for Islands on the Air from the 15th to the 18th of April.

Oleh, KD7WPJ will be active as E51BCP from Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands from the 15th to the 20th of April. Apparently, he also plans some SOTA activity on the island. This one counts for OC-013 for IOTA.

Ken, KH6QJ will be active again as T32AZ from Kiritimati – pronounced Christmas – Island in East Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) from the 17th to the 24th of April. This is OC-024 for IOTA.

Grant, VK5GR will be active as YJ0AG from Efate (OC-035 for IOTA) in Vanuatu from the 17th to the 29th of April.

The St Brandon Island 3B7A DXpedition has a few more days to run and will probably go QRT on Tuesday,  17 April so there is only one day left to catch Andy, VK5MAV/9 from Cato Reef (OC-265).

VE7ACN/VE2 will go QRT from Harrington Island in Quebec - NA-084 for IOTA - on Tuesday, 17 April.

Arthur/4X4DZ, Alex/4Z4AK, Hilik/4X6YA and Jan/4X1VF will be active with the special call sign 4X0BG between 1000 UTC, April 20th and 2200 UTC, April 21st 2018. Activity is during Israel's 70th anniversary celebration from "Ben Gurion's Hut" (Holyland Square E27BS, WFF 4XFF-058) in the desert. The group will also participate in the Holy Land Contest.

And finally a challenge as Sho, JA7HMZ will be active again as V63DX from Pohnpei (OC-010) in Micronesia from the 18th to the 24th of April. He will focus on working Europe on 160 metres FT8.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

A number of stations involved in International Marconi Day will be active on the bands next weekend. Details of the stations registered can be found at: gx4crc.com/imd-stations/

GB4AMT will be active using CW on the HF bands from 20th April to 17th May to remember HMS Amethyst. Details are on QRZ.com.

Reg G8VHI will be active again today as G6RAF to help celebrate the formation of the Royal Air Force 100 years ago.

Now the contest news

The First 50MHz Contest takes place this morning, Sunday the 15th of April, from 0900 to 1200 UTC. Exchange signal reports, a serial number, your 6-figure Locator and the first two letters of your Postcode. All modes can be used, but most activity will be on single sideband.

The Worked All Britain Data Contest takes place today, Sunday the 15th of April. There are four separate periods, from 1200 to 2200 UTC. The modes are RTTY and PSK, and the bands are 3.5MHz to 14MHz. Exchange signal reports, a serial number and your Worked All Britain reference, which are the first, second third and sixth digits of your Ordnance Survey reference.

On Tuesday the 17th of April the RSGB 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130 UTC. Exchange signal reports, a serial number and your 6-figure Locator.

On Thursday the 19th of April the 70MHz FM Activity Contest takes place from 1800 to 1900 UTC. It is immediately followed by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest, which takes place from 1900 to 2130 UTC. In each of these events the exchange is a signal report, a serial number and your 6-figure Locator.

Next Sunday, the 22nd of April, the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group’s Sprint 75 Contest takes place for four hours on the 3.5MHz to 28MHz bands. All activity is at 75 bauds and the contest exchange is a serial number only.

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

The predicted unsettled geomagnetic conditions arrived on Tuesday and continued with the K index hitting five on Wednesday. This was due an elongated coronal hole on the Sun, with the escaping plasma causing the solar wind to pick up in both speed and density. The wind peaked at more than 550 kilometres per second and widespread visual aurora were reported at high latitudes.

There was a brief ionospheric enhancement on Tuesday evening that saw the critical frequency rise to more than 5 MHz, with the predicted MUF reaching 18 MHz around 1900 UTC. But maximum usable frequencies struggled to get to 14 MHz on Wednesday during the subsequent ionospheric storm. This shows that we can get a brief ionospheric enhancement as the solar material first hits, so it is worth watching the bands.

Otherwise, the sun remained spotless with the solar flux index sitting in the high sixties.

Next week the solar flux index will remain around 67 and HF propagation will largely be dominated by solar wind effects again. NOAA predicts reasonably settled conditions for the first half of the week, but unsettled conditions again from around the 19th. 

As we’ll describe in the VHF section, Sporadic E may start to show quite soon, and this can affect all the upper HF bands with strong, but often brief short-skip propagation into Europe.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The cold misty weather across the northern North Sea into the Baltic may have set up a few Tropo paths, but so far it has seemed fairly quiet. This initial phase of the Scandinavian high will decline over the weekend, but early next week the high will rebuild over the North Sea. It will be better placed and could be more useful during the rest of the week for Tropo along the east coast, say from East Anglia to North-East Scotland and eastwards across the North Sea to the Low Countries.

There will also be some occasional thundery developments, mainly in the lead up to this weekend with a hint of potential rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands.

It is mid April and the 2018 Sporadic E season beckons, so it is worth repeating a few basic rules to help those who have never worked it before. Start by checking the European beacons on 10m and 6m during the morning and late afternoon. A classic opening will usually have two phases, one say from 1000 to 1200 UTC and a second in the late afternoon and early evening from 1600 to 1900 UTC. Of course it can happen at other times, so put 10m and 6m in your shack routine during these summer months. Keep QSOs brief, so report and locator will do in these transient events.

April also brings increased meteor activity. The first significant shower, the Lyrids, peaks on the 22nd of April, some time between 1000 and 2100 UTC.

Moon declination is positive and increasing this week and the Moon is at perigee again on Friday at 368,717km from the earth. It is a good week for EME then, with long windows and high Moon elevations, meaning low ground noise with low path losses.  

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 8th. April 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 8 April 2018

 The news headlines:

  • Shorter than normal news this week
  • Next UK ARISS contact coming soon
  • RSGB at Maker Faire UK

Illness of a key RSGB staff member means that it has not been possible to prepare Local News this week, for which we apologise. Details of many club events can be found in the April edition of RadCom, supplemented by the Events List on the RSGB website, http://rsgb.org/events/rsgb-events-site/calendar/ Thank you to everyone who has sent event details for the May RadCom; all event information sent to radcom@rsgb.org.uk by the published deadline will appear in that edition but we are running late on acknowledging entries received after last Thursday for GB2RS and RadCom.

On or just after Monday the 9th, the date and time for the next UK ARISS contact will be revealed. The contact is between the Kings High School for Girls in Warwick and the International Space Station. It is expected to take place in the week commencing the 16th of April, but for operational reasons the precise date and time cannot be decided until very close to the event.

Maker Faire UK is one of the largest hands-on exhibitions for those who enjoy experimenting with all forms of technology, making and crafting. Members of the RSGB's Training & Education Committee, supported by the Youth Committee, will be attending Maker Faire UK on the 28th & 29th of April at the Life Science Centre in Newcastle. We will broadcast more details nearer the time but Maker Faire UK opens at 10am each day and tickets are available at https://makerfaireuk.com

Have you voted yet in the RSGB elections? If not, please take a few minutes to go to www.rsgb.org/agm and make sure your voice is heard. The deadline for receipt of votes is 23:59 on Thursday the 19th of April 2018.

The British Amateur Television Club has announced that its 2018 convention, CAT 18, will take place at the Midland Air Museum on the weekend of the 15th and 16th September 2018. More information will be available via the BATC website.

The RSGB is pleased to welcome Dr Martin Sach, G8KDF to the role of Chair of the EMC Committee. Martin has a strong background in electronic engineering and communications. He has been the EMC Vice Chair for some time and is thus well-acquainted with current issues in the Committee’s areas of interest. Martin replaces Dr John Rogers, M0JAV who was Chair for over six years. Members will have seen the results of John’s recent efforts on VDSL RFI, working with BT and Ofcom. His RadCom articles and Convention presentations show what evidence can be gathered by any amateur driving around with straightforward equipment. We thank him for all he has done.

Adding to the existing guidance at tinyurl.com/radcompix, Royal Photographic Society Licenciate Alan Messenger, G0TLK, has published some tips on how you can take better pictures of amateur radio events and portable activity this spring and summer. You can find them at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0804A and his site also has guidance on image editing and generally taking better pictures.

We learned recently from QRP Labs that the first EU to USA contact on 136kHz was achieved by Chris, 2E0ILY and Paul, N1BUG. They used the slow, Morse-like mode DCFW, which uses a small frequency shift to indicate ‘dit’ or ‘dah’. They used a 60 second dot-equivalent and a 0.25Hz frequency shift, leading to a far higher signal to noise ratio than pure Morse – but at the expense of speed. The successful system was running at about one word per hour and it took four nights to complete the contact. More details are at www.n1bug.com/LFMF/ 

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

Today, the 8th, the Ripon & District ARS rally and surplus equipment sale takes place at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am. Contact David Cutter, G3UNA, via email to rally@ripon.org.uk.

Next Sunday, the 15th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stations, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and catering on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 0845 165 0351, info@radiofairs.co.uk or www.radiofairs.co.uk.

Also next Sunday, the Yeovil ARC QRP Convention takes place at Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. It is supported by RSGB, RAFARS & BYLARA. Doors open at 9.30am and admission £3. Guide dogs are permitted, but not pets. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy and club stands. Many talks will take place; programme details are on the website, http://yeovil-arc.com/QRPconvention.php

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

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

The St Brandon DXpedition 3B7A is going strong. Eight experienced operators are running five stations with monoband antennas. St Brandon, IOTA reference AF-015, is number 27 on the Club Log Most Wanted list. Operations will continue until the 17th of April. 

Pedro, ON7WP is active as C5WP from The Gambia until the 13th of April. He is mainly using FT8. Details of how to work him and QSL are on QRZ.com.

Zorro, JH1AJT, Jin, JF1IST and Champ, E21EIC are in Bhutan until the 11th. Activity is on 160m to 6m, CW, SSB and FT8. QSL to JH1AJT. OQRS will be available at Club Log after his return to Japan.

Tony, 3D2AG will be active from Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu, OC-015, as T2AR from the 14th to the 21st of April. Operations will be from Top Band to 6m, including 60m, plus 2m meteor scatter. QSL via 3D2AG.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

Next Friday to Sunday K4S will be on the air on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres, supporting the Shark’s Tooth Festival in Venice, Florida. QSL via Jack Sproat, W4JS and include two US dollars – you will get a card and a genuine shark’s tooth as a memento. See QRZ.com for more information.

W2E, standing for Water to Electricity, is planning operations on 7.045, 7.245, 14.045 and 14.245MHz on Friday, marking Earth Day at Great Falls National Historical Park, New Jersey. Activities will include a demonstration of amateur radio to hundreds of students and visitors. Guest operators will include STEM students from local schools. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The SP DX contest ends its 24-hour run today, the 8th, at 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, signal report and serial number forms the exchange, with SP stations also sending their Province code.

Today also sees the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest 2, which runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3GHz to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

It is a busy week ahead, with five RSGB contests scheduled. Starting on Tuesday from 1800UTC to 1900 UTC, the RSGB 432MHz FMAC contest takes place. Using FM only on the 70cm band, the exchange is serial number and locator.

Immediately following that on Tuesday is the 432MHz UKAC contest, which runs from 1900UTC to 2130 UTC. Using all modes on 70cm only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 80m Club Championship runs from 1900UTC to 2030 UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 6m FMAC takes place from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, FM only on the 50MHz band. It is immediately followed, from 1900UTC to 2130UTC by its all-mode counterpart, the 6m UKAC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

In memory of the first human in space, the Yuri Gagarin International DX Competition takes place from 2100UTC on Saturday the 14th to 2100UTC on the 15th. There are numerous categories, including SWL, and it will pay to check the contest rules at http://gc.qst.ru/en/section/32 for details. Operation is CW only on the 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21 and 28MHz bands, plus amateur satellites on any band. The exchange is signal report plus your ITU Zone number, which is 27 for the UK.

The First 50MHz contest takes place next Sunday from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the 6m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and your postcode.

Also next Sunday the WAB Data contest takes place from 1200UTC to 2200UTC. Using RTTY and PSK on the 3.5 to 14MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that this contest is split into four operating periods – details are on the Worked All Britain website.

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

Last week saw a continued lack of sunspots as we journey towards solar minimum sometime in 2019–2020. The solar flux index hovered around 68-69, which is only about two to three points above what we can expect when it hits its lowest point. Unfortunately, we are likely to be repeating this sentence quite a lot over the next 12 months or so!

There were no solar flares reported and geomagnetic conditions were relatively calm, with a maximum planetary K index of two. This was due to a lack of earth-facing coronal hole activity, but that isn’t going to last. Next week, the solar flux index is likely to remain around 68, but we can expect unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the potential for depressed maximum usable frequencies and noisy bands, from the 11th to 15th, as a large coronal hole on the solar equator become geo-effective.

Despite the low solar flux, the current settled conditions means there may be good DX to be had up to 18MHz, and possibly even 21MHz, over this weekend.

It is still a little too early for reliable Sporadic-E openings on 24 and 28MHz and we may need to wait until the end of April or early May, but do check.

Looking more generally, we are starting to see a shift towards more summer-like ionospheric conditions in the northern hemisphere. Daytime maximum usable frequencies may be lower than they were in winter, and east-west HF paths are likely to be worse. But the good news is the HF bands may stay open longer in the evening.

We are already seeing 20 metres remaining open until around 2100 UTC on 3,000km paths, and 40m and 80m continue to be worthwhile evening bands as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like another week of uncertain fortunes, although unlike last week, there is at least the hint of high pressure to the northeast of Britain, favouring some potential Tropo conditions from the north of the country to southern Scandinavia and the Baltic. The south of Britain may just be far enough away from the high to see some heavy April shower activity and possible rain scatter on the microwave bands, especially in the southwest.

Now another mention for Sporadic E, which at times of thin HF propagation can liven up 10m, and of course the more traditional 6m bands. The weather patterns can influence this by the distribution of jet streams, and daily charts are available on www.propquest.co.uk along with occasional commentary.

The long winter meteor minimum is drawing to a close soon, with the April Lyrids coming up on the 22nd, so get prepared for better reflections. We’ve just passed minimum Moon declination for the month. Apogee, the point where the moon is furthest away from Earth, is today, so losses are at their maximum and Moon windows are short. We are a week away from declination going positive again, but conditions will slowly improve throughout the week. 

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 1st. April 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 1 April 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Apply for a place at Youngsters on the Air
  • World Amateur Radio Day coming soon
  • RSGB clarifies AGM issues

 

Youngsters on the Air 2018 takes place from the 8th to the 15th of August this year in South Africa, hosted by the South African Radio League. Applications are now invited from anyone aged between 15 and 25 to join Team UK and go on this amazing amateur radio adventure. RSGB is also looking for a team leader, aged between 18 and 30. The application deadline is 30 April. More information as well as the application form is available at www.rsgb.org/yota2018

Every 18th of April, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show their capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide. It is a great opportunity to put on a local event, so do share details with us if you’re planning something. You can find out more about World Amateur Radio Day on the IARU website, www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

The RSGB has been asked to clarify three issues relating to its AGM, which is to be held on 21 April 2018 in Birmingham. These relate to Special Resolutions, voting by proxy and the President’s role. Further details can be found on the AGM 2018 Calling Notice page of the Society’s website, www.rsgb.org/agm The clarifications are not changes and do not affect any votes that have been cast already. If you haven’t yet voted please make your voice heard – details of how to vote electronically or to request a paper form are on the same AGM web page. Deadline for receipt of votes is 23:59 on Thursday the 19th of April 2018.

CQScotland.com will be providing free electronic kits for accompanied school-age children attending the Scottish Electronics and Radio Convention. It takes place at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, on the 20th of May. A dedicated construction area will be set up, and help will be on hand so children should leave with a fully working project. Alternatively, it may be built at home with a parent. Pre-register your interest now at www.CQScotland.com to receive your free entry tickets and further information. Parents unable to attend may enter a free draw for kits at the event website.

The RSGB Board has appointed Steve Nichols, G0KYA, as a member of the Nominations Committee. Steve is Chair of the Propagation Studies Committee. The Nominations Committee considers candidates for Nominated Board Director and makes recommendations to the Board. Steve replaces John McCullagh, GI4BWM who has stepped down as a Committee Chair and so is no longer eligible to be a member of the Nominations Committee. The RSGB would like to thank John for his work for the Society.

The RSGB assists HF DXpeditions to the rarer countries through a fund supported each year from the proceeds of the RSGB Convention raffle, as well as income from legacies and donations. The Society is looking to appoint a fifth trustee for the HF DXpedition Fund who, given the increasing number of applications, will also act as Secretary to the group. Applicants should be enthusiastic HF DXers with an interest in DXCC and IOTA. RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment should contact RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk, with details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

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

We have no rallies listed for this weekend.

Next Sunday the Ripon & District ARS rally and surplus equipment sale takes place at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am. Contact David Cutter, G3UNA, via email to rally@ripon.org.uk.

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

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

Mike VE7ACN will be operating portable VE2 from Havre Aubert Island in the Madeleine Islands group for one week from April 2nd. This is NA-038 for IOTA.

A large French DXpedition to St Brandon Island in the Indian Ocean should get on the air towards the end of the week on most HF bands and modes. Team members depart Mauritius on the 3rd and 5th of April and will be active as soon as possible. They plan to go QRT by the 17th.

The Brazilian group callsign PR2CI will be active from Ilha das Couves – just west of Rio de Janeiro and SA-071 for IOTA - on 6-8 April. They will be on 80-10 metres SSB, CW and digital modes.

Tony, 3D2AG, should be starting up from the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu around April 8th as T2AR for about 1 week. This is OC-015 for IOTA.

The Irish DX team in Malawi QRV as 7Q7EI is expected to close down around April 3rd.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

Today, the first of April, marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air force. Members of the RAFARS will be active today from RAF Cosford as GB100RAF to mark this historic occasion. The call will be used at many events during 2018, so there will be lots of chance to work them. For more information look at RAFARS.org

Many other special event stations are on the air today, and in some cases all week or all month, to mark the centenary of the RAF’s founding. One example is GB0RAF, which will be on the air from RAFARS HQ at Barnard Castle, Wolverhampton. GB0WY is a RAFARS special event station, on the air today and next Sunday from Royal Air Force Wyton, Huntingdon.

Starting on the 2nd and running throughout April, ‘special special’ callsign GB106TBC will be on the air to mark the 106th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic. Operating from Grey Point Fort, the QSL manager is MI0MOD.

II4MAR will be on the air throughout April to commemorate the Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi, whose work was so crucial to the hobby we enjoy today. Further details and award regulations are at www.arifidenza.it

Now the contest news

The UKEICC DX CW contest concludes its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, Sunday. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, on CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District Code.

Also ending at the same time is the Russian WW MultiMode contest. Using all modes on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations also sending their Oblast code.

Running from 0900UTC to 1200UTC today, Sunday the 1st, the RSGB First 70MHz Contest takes place. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The RSGB RoLo 1 contest takes place today from 1900UTC to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and the locator received.

Monday sees the RSGB 80m Club Championships from 0900UTC to 1200UTC. Using CW on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also on Monday the IRTS 70cm Counties contest is on the air from 1200UTC to 1300UTC. Using FM or SSB on the 432MHz band, the exchange is signal report plus serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their county.

Immediately after that, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1300UTC to 1500UTC. Using FM or SSB on the 144MHz band, the exchange again is signal report plus serial number, with EI and GI stations also sending their county.

Tuesday is busy, too, with the 144MHz FMAC taking place from 1800UTC to 1900UTC, FM only, followed by the 144MHz UKAC from 1900UTC to 2130UTC. This one is all modes on the 2m band. The report for both is the same: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the UKEICC 80m contest, which runs from 1900UTC to 2000UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your four-character locator.

Running from 1500UTC next Saturday to 1500UTC on Sunday, the SP DX contest uses CW and SSB on all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. Signal report and serial number forms the exchange, with SP stations also sending their Province code.

Finally, next Sunday sees the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest 2, which runs from 1000UTC to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3GHz to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Monday 26th March.

As we move into April it is time to think about updating the latest smoothed sunspot number if you are using a VOACAP-based propagation prediction program.

There are a number of different methods used to smooth or average sunspot numbers, but VOACAP recommends the adjusted SSN from the Solar Influences Data Centre in Belgium. So we’ll settle for an SSN of eight. This tells us that solar activity is very low and the predicted solar flux index of 68-70 for this week basically says we are likely to continue to have no sunspots at all. But that doesn’t mean we will have no HF propagation. We can expect to see daytime openings up to 18MHz, with occasional openings on 21MHz as well. It is a little too early for the main Sporadic-E season, so openings on 12 metres and 10 metres will be few and far between, but not impossible. This time of year does favour North-South paths for F2 layer openings on the higher bands so do check 12 and 10 metres.

The good news is that the NOAA longer-term forecast for next week is for quieter geomagnetic conditions. This often involves crystal-ball gazing as the Solar Dynamics Observatory cannot see around the edge of the sun, but quieter geomagnetic conditions, shown by lower K indices, could spell better conditions on the HF bands.

Eighty metres remains a mainly night-time band and 40 metres may provide 24-hour contacts, with longer paths opening up after dark. It might also be a good time to try a new mode such as FT8, which is getting rave reviews for its ability to secure DX contacts with low power and compromise antennas.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week is a rather long-range Tropo forecast due to the Easter break and this week’s GB2RS deadline having been brought forward.

In the run up to Easter, it’s been very unsettled again, so there is little chance of enhanced Tropo. There will be periods of wet and windy weather and some risk of snow in the north. This Easter weekend there is a hint of a weak high developing over Scotland, which will transfer east over the North Sea. The end result is that the UK is still under low pressure with rain or April showers and early signs that there may be more significant low developing towards the following weekend with a chance of severe gales. It’s a long way off, but it is a flag to check the forecasts carefully as we get closer. In the odd quieter days beforehand, it may be worth checking those mast guys before the end of the second week.

So what modes are options? You can try rain scatter on the microwave bands from April showers, Sporadic-E on 10m and 6m, especially on weak signal digital modes at the end of next week as strong jet streams arrive, but sadly no strong signal for Tropo.

Moon declination is negative again and at minimum next Saturday. Apogee is only seven days away so losses are high and increasing and moon windows are shortening.

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

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 25th. March 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th March 2018

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for SOS Radio Week

  • Next deadline brought forward

  • HMS Belfast heard on Radio Four

 

This year's SOS Radio Week starts in a little over five weeks’ time. It runs from the 1st to the 31st May, in line with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute's own Mayday fund-raising events. SOS Radio Week aims to raise awareness of the RNLI through amateur radio and, optionally, raise money. This can be for a specific lifeboat station, or for the RNLI's MayDay fund. This year, the RNLI is hoping to raise £750,000 to fund vital kit that will keep volunteer lifeboat crews safe. There is an SOS Radio Week award scheme for working registered stations. Registered stations can be individuals or groups operating on any band or mode. It's not too late to register for SOS Radio Week. Visit www.sosradioweek.org.uk for further details.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we have to bring forward the deadline for the next GB2RS News. Please send all information for next week’s broadcast by the end of Monday 26th May – that’s tomorrow. We sincerely apologise for having to make this one-time change at such short notice.

HMS Belfast was featured on Radio Four last week. Paddy O'Connell included a short piece on the Broadcasting House programme last Sunday, the 18th. The sounds of the Bridge Wireless Office and even the automatic antenna tuner were heard for the first time on national radio. Volunteer Jonathan Kempster was instrumental in getting their special special event call sign, GGCN, mentioned and explained. A recording of the broadcast is available on the BBC Radio Four Broadcasting House website. The HMS Belfast segment is about twenty minutes into the programme.

The national 5MHz team has received the terrible news that one of its most dedicated mainstays, Tony Lord, G8DQZ, passed away last week. He was a GB2RS Newsreader on 5MHz for many years and instrumental in the UK 5MHz Experiment, which led to the band being made available to UK and, latterly, more countries around the world.

The RSGB Youth Committee is looking for motivated young people to volunteer as Youth Regional Representatives. This role includes implementing the RSGB Youth strategy, providing a point of contact for young members within their region, attending occasional outreach events, and working closely with the Regional Team. Reporting to the Youth Committee Chair, Representatives will also be invited to attend an annual physical meeting in addition to teleconferencing. Expenses will be reimbursed in line with RSGB policy. If you are interested, please contact Youth Committee Chair, Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ, via email to youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk and include a contact phone number.

Starting on Easter Monday, the 2nd of April, the RSGB is extending the National Radio Centre opening to six days a week. It will now be open every day except Tuesdays. The NRC opening hours are 9.30am to 4pm in winter and until 5pm in summer, the same hours as its host, Bletchley Park.

An interactive presentation at the National Radio Centre highlights the importance of the role of the Voluntary Interceptors in the Second World War, and the crucial involvement of the RSGB. A new web page highlighting the role of Voluntary Interceptors is at tinyurl.com/gb2rs-0326A and there is a commemorative plaque mounted in the reception area of the NRC.

Advance news now that Kent RAYNET is looking for volunteers to help support the Long Distance Walking Association’s 100-mile coastal walk between the 26th and 29th of May, ending in Dover. Whether you are licensed or not, could you bring technical, organisational, radio or telephone skills to help the event? For more information see www.kentraynet.org/ldwa or contact info@kentraynet.org if you think you might be able to help.

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

Today, the 25th, the Callington Radio Rally takes place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. There is ample adjacent free parking. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands, and catering is available on site. The rally organised jointly by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information from Roger on 0785 408 8882.

Also today the Wythall Radio Club Hamfest takes place at Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Free on-site parking is available. Doors open at 10am, with access for disabled visitors from approximately 9.30am. Admission £4.50. There will be four separate halls of traders, including club stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Ian Reeve on 01386 839 655.

Finally for today, the Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally is at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road BT57 8QG. There is on-site parking and on-site disabled parking. Doors open from 11am to 4pm, with disabled guests gaining access at 10.45am. Admittance is £3. Light refreshments will be available including tea, coffee, sausage rolls and sandwiches. There will be a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and trade stands. Contact Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK, on 0754 492 3956.

We have no rallies listed for next weekend.

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

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

Many normally-quiet locations will be on the air this weekend taking part in the CQ WW WPX SSB contest, so look for strong signals from unusual places.

Gab Barison, HB9TSW, who is in the Swiss Air Force will be in Pristina, Kosovo, from the 29th of March to the 19th of April as part of a NATO mission. He will be active as Z68BG in his spare time, especially evenings and Sundays. He’ll be running 100W CW to a ground plane on 80 to 17 metres. He uses Logbook of the World.

Champ, E21EIC will be active from Laos, from the 27th to the 31st of March. He will operate as XW1IC on the HF bands. QSL via home call, OQRS, and Logbook of the World.

Gerard, F2VX will be active as FM/F2VX from Martinique Island, NA-107, until the 18th of April 2018. He is working on HF bands. QSL via F2VX.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

From Monday 26th March until Sunday 8th April, Paul, MI1AIB will be operating GB8BKY and GB8EGT for this year’s RAFARS Airfields On The Air event. GB8BKY for the former RAF Ballykelly is from his home QTH, whilst GB8EGT, for the former RAF Eglinton will be from his work QTH, courtesy of City of Derry Airport. Operations will be mostly holiday style, and notified by the usual social media outlets whenever possible.

Chris Clark, W6CBC, will be activating K2BSA/6 at Camp Emerson Leadership Camp in Idyllwild, California from the 24th to the 26th of March. This leadership camp will prepare new unit leaders with the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops curriculum, and introduce and demonstrate Radio Scouting to these new leaders. More information is at www.k2bsa.net.

Now the contest news

The CQWW WPX SSB contest ends its run at 2359UTC today, Sunday the 25th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday UKAC SHF contest takes place from 1830UTC to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Note that different bands are in use at different times.

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

Next weekend the bands will be fairly busy. The UKEICC DX CW contest takes place from 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday. Using all the contest bands from 3.5 to 28MHz, on CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District Code.

Also from 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday, the Russian WW MultiMode contest takes place. Using all modes on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations also sending their Oblast code.

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

Last week was once again dominated by unsettled geomagnetic conditions, which didn’t help HF propagation.

The K index rose to five on Monday the 19th after a solar wind stream from a coronal hole, flowing faster than 550 kilometres per second, triggered a moderate G2 geomagnetic storm at higher latitudes. This can occur due to process called magnetic reconnection after charged particles that have collected in the magneto tail behind the Earth are violently accelerated back towards us after opposing magnetic fields connect. As a result, widespread visible aurora were reported across parts of Scotland. A rare phenomenon called “Steve” – a Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement – was also seen during displays of the Aurora Borealis. A Steve is a very narrow auroral arc, aligned east-west, and extending for hundreds or thousands of miles. The net effect was largely suppressed maximum usable frequencies with the Fairford ionosonde showing that even 18MHz was struggling to open during daylight on Tuesday.

By Wednesday the ionosphere still hadn’t recovered and the daytime critical frequency were still around the 5MHz mark. However, north-south paths remained reasonable, with Andy M0NKR reporting contacts into Equatorial Guinea, Congo and Cameroon via 12 metres on Monday.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 68, and HF propagation will once again be dominated by geomagnetic effects. However, the K index is predicted to be no higher than three all week, so conditions could be better than they have been.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We will have another week with less than enthusiastic weather support for an enhanced Tropo mode, with only the brief nearby approach of a ridge of high pressure close to southern Britain around midweek. Once again its low pressure that predominates and therefore Tropo looks hard to find. There is hope that showers developing in the unsettled weather spells will give some rain scatter opportunities on the microwave bands, especially since heading into April means there is the prospect of some quite strong convection. This can create heavy rain or hail showers, perhaps even thunderstorms. Check the forecasts to make sure you don’t go off to work and leave the antennas plugged on those showery days.

There have been a handful of 10 metre Sporadic-E QSOs in the last week. They seem to be associated with strong jet stream activity. It will be worth making a daily check of the upper air charts on propquest.co.uk in the weather section to see if there is any potential for Sporadic-E related to jet stream wind-produced turbulence, and check the clusters for reports of short-skip on 10 metres.

It is a good week for EME, with Moon declination at maximum today and perigee tomorrow, leading to lowest path losses and long moon windows.

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

 

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 18th. March 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th March 2018

The news headlines:

  • First individual amateurs in Tunisia

  • Nearly 100k QSOs for Z60A

  • New exhibition at Bletchley Park

The first individually-licenced amateurs in Tunisia are now able to get on the air. Of the ten people who passed the first exam, five were able to attend a special ceremony to receive their documents personally. President of the National Frequencies Agency, Ashraf Chaabane and the amateur radio committee president Mehdi Hmem spoke about the hard work of all involved. Starting from a decree, a dossier was established and exams were developed. The RSGB’s sister organisation in Tunisia, ARAT, was instrumental to making all of this happen and helping drive the process of getting individuals on the air. You can learn more at http://amateurradiointunisia.org

Before shutting down on the 12th of March, Z60A in Kosovo had logged 98,450 contacts during its celebratory operations to hand out a new one to the madding crowd. The 30-day-long initial activation of the newest DXCC entity encountered 30,541 individual callsigns in 174 DXCC entities. Mission Goodwill Kosovo expressed appreciation to the 28 operators from various countries near and far who turned out to handle the pileups. The Z60A logs will shortly be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) and QSL cards will be printed soon.

Opening on 24 March, a new, permanent exhibition at Bletchley Park will tell the story of the Bombe machines that helped break the Enigma code in the actual location that housed the machines. Hut 11A: The Bombe Breakthrough explains in detail the challenges posed by Enigma and explores how Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and others devised a machine to help solve it. Details are at ww.bletchleypark.org.

John Mattocks, G4TEQ, the Chair of the RSGB Planning Advisory Committee, has written a response on behalf of the Committee to the Law Commission review of Planning Law in Wales. The response can be seen on the RSGB website, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0318A

A 3U CubeSat, HuskySat-1, is planned for launch later this year. It will fly with the ELaNA XXIV mission to a high inclination low earth orbit. HuskySat-1 will host a 30kHz wide 2m to 70cm linear transponder, and also send high-rate telemetry on 24GHz. The majority of the systems, including a pulsed plasma thruster, are being developed in a modular form by an interdisciplinary team at the University of Washington.

The next Train the Trainers course is in St Neots on Saturday 16 June, hosted by the Huntingdonshire Amateur Radio Society. The course runs from 9am to 4.30pm. To book a place contact Mervyn Foster, G4KLE, via email to g4kle@nordicwalkingcambridgeshire.com

A new RSGB video, Tips & Tricks for New and Existing Trainers, has just been launched. It shows the RSGB 2017 Convention talk by Derek Hughes, G7LFC and Alison Hughes, M6COV. They introduce the Train the Trainers course, its contents and also some of the people who have either been on the course or hosted one. See for yourself why this course has excellent reviews from those who attend. You’ll find it at the RSGB online video portal, www.rsgb.org/videos, which has recently been expanded and now hosts over 80 videos to browse in one easy-to-find place.

At the Laugharne Radio Rally next Saturday there will be a series of talks about getting started on 10GHz. Places are strictly limited so advance booking is recommended. Details are on the Events page of the UK Microwave Group at www.microwavers.org

We know that GB2RS News is widely appreciated, but we were amazed to learn that last weekend Steve, M5BXB reported hearing M0MBD’s 2m GB2RS broadcast from in Hainault, Essex via his remote station in the Canary Islands. Newsreader Dave De La Haye, M0MBD says it’s not unusual for the odd French station to pop up and say hello when propagation allows, and last December Johan, ON3POJ called in when he was taking signal reports. Dave would like to thank everyone who gives signal reports after GB2RS broadcasts, as it really does show that people are listening – and not always where you think they might be!

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

We start with an apology to Dunstable Downs Radio Club, whose rally date appears incorrectly in the April edition of RadCom. It will actually take place on Sunday the 20th of May at Stockwood Park in Luton.

Today, the 18th of March, the Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Hack Green, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. This will be a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio items and vehicle spares. Doors open 10am and there will be refreshments available onsite. Contact 01270 623 353, for more information.

Next Saturday, the 24th, the Laugharne Radio Rally and Microwave Symposium takes place at the Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton Street, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45. Entry is £3. Details from Matthew, on 07936 152 846.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the Callington Radio Rally is at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. There is ample adjacent free parking. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands, and catering is available on site. The rally organised jointly by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information from Roger on 0785 408 8882.

Also next Sunday the Wythall Radio Club Hamfest takes place at Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Free on-site parking is available. Doors open at 10am, with access for disabled visitors from approximately 9.30am. Admission is £4.50. There will be four separate halls of traders, including club stands and a Bring & Buy. Information from Ian Reeve on 01386 839 655.

Finally for next weekend, on Sunday the 25th the Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally is at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road BT57 8QG. There is on-site parking and on-site disabled parking. Doors open from 11am to 4pm, with disabled guests gaining access at 10.45am. Admittance is £3. Light refreshments will be available including tea, coffee, sausage rolls and sandwiches. There will be a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and trade stands. Contact Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK, on 0754 492 3956.

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

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

The Tifariti Gang is on the air as TN5R from the Republic of the Congo until Monday. Activity is from Top Band to 10 metres on SSB, CW and RTTY. See www.dxfriends.com/tn5r for logsearch, OQRS and more.

Mike, OE6MBG plans to be active holiday style as FG/OE6MBG from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, until the 20th of March. He will operate mainly SSB and CW with a focus on 80 and 40 metres, plus possibly 10 metres for Europe. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Members of the EIDX Group will be active as 7Q7EI from Malawi from the 21st of March to the 3rd of April. They will operate on 160 to 10m using CW, SSB and RTTY. They particularly plan to be active in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest next weekend. QSL via M0OXO direct, OQRS or Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

Special Event Station news for April did not arrive in time to be included in the printed edition of RadCom, but the information can now be found on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/SES-0418

M0TRJ will be operating GB60OT until next Sunday as part of the Radio Amateur Old Timers' Association diamond jubilee celebrations. QSL via the bureau or e-qsl.

Marking the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, N4H will be on 20m and 40m SSB next Saturday, the 24th. Times are planned to be from 1500UTC to 2300UTC.

K0SEK will be on the air next weekend from Pittsburg on the 24th and 25th from 1400UTC to 2300UTC. Using 7.242, 14.250 and 18.140MHz, this is the first of seven special event stations celebrating the history of mining in south east Kansas. See www.sekarc.net/p/sek-mining.html for certificate and QSL information.

Now the contest news

The Russian DX Contest concludes at 1200UTC today. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Russian stations also send their Oblast code.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest is running this weekend, ending at 0200UTC on Monday the 19th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UKAC takes place from 2000UTC to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Thursday sees the 80m Club Championships from 2000UTC to 2130UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend the CQWW WPX SSB contest runs from 0000UTC on Saturday to 2359UTC on Sunday. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

The Commonwealth Contest, held last weekend, proved an ideal opportunity for UK stations to work some choice DX without the massive pile-ups you might get in other contests. Despite a large, elongated coronal hole on the Sun triggering a geomagnetic storm on the night of the ninth, there was still HF DX to be had, including Singapore, Mauritius, the Cayman Islands, Zambia and much more. Poor HF conditions meant that 20 metres was mainly the highest DX band of choice, but there was also plenty worked on 40 and 80m.

Geomagnetic disturbances continue to plague us. The equinox times are more prone to the solar wind coupling into the Earth’s magnetic field, due to something called the Russell-McPherron effect. Stronger magnetic storms tend to occur in March and September as the Bz interplanetary magnetic field is more likely to point southwards and couple with the Earth, resulting in auroral conditions. On a more positive note, with more and more daylight every week, 80m is now staying open longer into the evening, as is 20 metres.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be around 70 to 72, but poor geomagnetic conditions with a predicted K index of five are forecast for this weekend, and perhaps again around the 21st and 22nd. When geomagnetic conditions are more settled the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path often just exceeds 21MHz. But when the K index rises this is often depressed to around 14MHz.

Don’t forget that March is a good month for working North-South paths on the higher bands, say 18 and 21MHz, while East-West paths can be better on 14MHz and below.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’ll be windy and unsettled at first this weekend as a taste of winter returns, but there is some hope of a more traditional piece of VHF weather coming along as we move into the next week. The high pressure will begin to make its presence felt over the Highlands this weekend and then drift southwards, giving all areas of the country a chance to enjoy some Tropo enhancements. By the end of next week low pressure will start to bring a return of unsettled weather. Other propagation modes are possible, but the high pressure developing means any snow showers may not have a great vertical extent, so might not be particularly suitable for microwave rain scatter.

We are getting closer to the new Sporadic-E season, but this usually makes its first appearance well to the south across the Mediterranean, say between Cyprus and the Balkans or from Spain to Italy, as we move into April. We are still in the annual period of no meteor showers until the return of the Lyrids on April 22nd. The best time for random meteor scatter QSOs is in the early mornings as the Earth is rotating in to the flux of random meteors.

The Moon’s declination goes positive today and losses will fall all week meaning improved EME conditions as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 11th. March 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th March 2018

The news headlines:

  • Changes to Scotland GB2RS readings

  • RAYNET active during recent extreme weather

  • National Radio Centre open six days a week

Due to antenna damage at the station of GB2RS news reader Jon, GM3JIJ in Stornoway, the news will be read by Jim, GM4NTL from Dumfries at 12.30pm on 3.640MHz each Sunday until the antenna repairs are completed. We thank Jim for stepping in to cover this news reading and hope that Jon can swiftly repair his antennas.

RAYNET groups around the country were activated during the heavy snowfall last weekend. Cardiff & District RAYNET were called in to assist with the transportation of key personnel, such as community care workers, as well as assisting stranded motorists to reach safety. Lothian & Fife RAYNET groups provided a communications net for the local 4x4 Response group, passing over 800 messages during their sixty-five hours of continuous operation. Glasgow & Clyde RAYNET assisted Scotserve, a voluntary medical response group, who were transferring staff to and from the children’s hospital in Glasgow, by giving them updates on local road conditions. In West Devon, a network was set up on the usual frequency with twelve operators responding and available within 40 minutes. Virtually all the rest of the group came online within a further 30 minutes. Cornwall Group linked up with them within this time to give a good continuous cover either side of the River Tamar in Devon and Cornwall plus the three operators already covering North Devon. Kent County RAYNET members with 4x4s turned their hand to transport as the County Emergency Centre sought help for stranded health and care workers. Altogether, they drove a total of 350 miles ferrying district nurses and care home staff around Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone and the Isle of Sheppey. Further details on RAYNET’s activities and how to join can be found at www.raynet-uk.net

The RSGB is planning to open the National Radio Centre on a regular basis, every Monday, starting on Monday the 2nd of April which is Easter Monday. This now means that the National Radio Centre, inside Bletchley Park is open to the public six days a week. The National Radio Centre attracts around 26,000 visitors a year and numbers for February are showing an increase over last year. The RSGB are extremely grateful to the existing volunteers and new members of the team who have enabled this growth. Don’t forget RSGB Members can download a free entry voucher from the RSGB website.

Last week, on the 1st of March, an attempt to hack the Echolink computer for GB3NC was made. Because of the attempted hack, there is no Echolink facility currently on the repeater, as a re-engineer of the machine is being conducted. Assuming the re-engineer is successful, it is hoped to restore the facility within the next couple of weeks. Further information from Roger, G4OCO, via www.gb3nc.org.uk

Denby Dale ARS invite registrations for this year's Mills On The Air weekend that takes place over the weekend 12 and 13 May. Please visit www.g4cdd.net and follow the links.

Once again during the weekend of the 17th and 18th of March, the Cadet Forces will be operating on the UK 5MHz band using the allocated frequencies for the purpose of Exercise Blue Ham. All the usual live logging and map plotting will take place on the Alphacharlie web portal that will allow participants to see up to date information. Upon conclusion of the exercise, amateurs who have met the requirement for number of contacts can submit their log sheet to the Blue Ham Ex Co-Originator for a certificate to be issued. Please note this year the exercise has different QSL exchange information plus, for the first time, PSK31 mode will be in use, all the details can be viewed on https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

The D2TI DXpedition to Tigres Island, AF-108, has been cancelled due to a whole host of ongoing factors. The Russian team had hoped to be active mid-March for about a week.

The 91st RSGB AGM takes place on the 21st of April in Birmingham. Voting starts next week and all the relevant information is in the April RadCom that should arrive with UK Members next week and overseas Members shortly after that. RSGB Members have until the 19th of April to cast their votes, or do so in person at the AGM.

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

Today, the 11th of March, the Dover Radio Club Rally will be held in Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield CT16 3LY. There will be a talk-in station. Doors open from 10am and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from Aaron Coote, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

On the 18th of March the Hack Green Bunker Rally will take place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Hack Green, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. This will be a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio items and vehicle spares. Doors open 10am and there will be refreshments available onsite. Contact 01270 623 353, for more information.

The Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally planned for the 4th of March was been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The organisers have re-scheduled for the 29th of April.

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

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

Hartwig, DL7BC will be active again as FY/DL7BC/P from French Guiana until the 26th of March.

Dom, M1KTA will be active as C6AKT from Eleuthera Island, NA-001, in the Bahamas until the 17th of March. He will operate QRP CW on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via his home callsign.

Ben, DL1RNT will be active holiday style as PJ2/DL1RNT from Curacao, SA-099, until the15th of March. He will operate mainly CW on the HF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

An Italian DXpedition Team will be operating as TJ3TT from Cameroon from the 15th to the 29th of March. Six operators will be transmitting on the 10 to 160m bands using CW and SSB with three stations; RTTY will be used on 20 metres only. QSL via I2YSB and eventually Logbook of The World. More information at www.hamradioweb.net

Ten German operators will be active as XR0YD from Easter Island until the 15th of March. They will be on all bands from 10 to 160m using CW, SSB and Digital. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

A large multi-national team led by Hrane, YT1AD will sign 9M0W from the Spratly Islands until the 13th of March. Activity will be on all bands from 6 to 160m using CW, SSB and Digital. Direct QSLs should be sent to YT1AD.

Iain, G4SGX is operating from Belize until the 16th of March. His actual location will be Ambergris Caye which counts as NA-073 for the IOTA Award. The callsign to look for is V31GX. He will be mainly on CW with possibly some FT8. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Now the special event news

The Radio Amateur Old Timers' Association will be operating GB60OT during 2018 as a part of its diamond jubilee celebrations. GB60OT will be active from the 17th to the 25th of March operated by Simon, M0TRJ.

GB0WM will be on the air from Woolsthorpe Manor as part of British Science Week on the 17th and 18th of March. Woolsthorpe Manor, Water Lane, Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, Grantham NG33 5PD is the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton. Entrance fees will apply at this National Trust property.

Several stations will be on air next weekend as part of the St Patrick’s Award, full details can be found at http://stpatrickaward.webs.com/ Two of those stations are GB9SPD that will be active from Kircubbin, County Down BT22 2RP and GB1SPD that will operate from the Ulster American Folk Park, 2 Mellon Road, Omagh BT78 5QU.

Now the contest news

The Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1000UTC today, the 11th. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 29MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with HQ stations also sending the letters HQ.

Today, the 11th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz contest takes place from 1800UTC to 2200UTC today, the 11th of March. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries must be with the contest manager by the first of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 70MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC, then the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using CW only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend the BARTG HF RTTY Contest runs from 0200UTC on the 17th to 0200UTC on the 19th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

Also next weekend, the Russian DX contest runs from 1200UTC on the 17th to 1200UTC on the 18th. Using CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with Russian stations sending the Oblast code too.

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

Quieter geomagnetic conditions helped improve HF propagation this week. At times the K index was actually zero, thanks to a respite from the continual coronal holes on the sun that have caused disruption. The solar flux index continued to hover around the high 60s due to a lack of visible sunspots.

Despite this there was plenty of DX to be had. Chris, G0DWV with a well-equipped station, reports working nearly every state in the US during last weekend’s ARRL International DX Contest. Others were busy chasing 3C3W in Equatorial Guinea, XR0YD on Easter Island, 3D2EU on Rotuma Island and S01WS in Western Sahara among others. This just shows that quiet geomagnetic conditions can benefit DX hunting, even if there are zero sunspots.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be between 68 and 72, and we may have quiet geomagnetic conditions until around the 15th when the effects of a large coronal hole may see the K index rise to four or five. The unsettled conditions are predicted to last until the 19th.

The near real-time critical frequency and computed MUF charts at propquest.co.uk show that 20 and 17 metres remain the best daytime DX bands, with occasional openings on 15m. Eighty and 60 metres remain the best bands for inter-G working.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week will bring little in the way of Tropo, with low pressure and windy conditions at times throughout the week. If we were another month ahead in our journey into Spring, the other item on the agenda would be Sporadic-E. Sadly we’re not, so this month it’s very much a long shot.

Since jet streams are involved in Es, we are in fair shape in this unsettled weather type, but the jet stream is still well south of us. This favours paths across the Mediterranean, rather than any within reach of the UK.

This is all a bit speculative really, and in this sense if anything does occur, it’s more likely to be of benefit to those low-signal digital modes like FT8, rather than more traditional CW or SSB.

Of course we’re never completely without hope of getting Gigahertz bands rain scatter in such unsettled weather. Now land temperatures are picking up we are testing those April showers, which are more likely within reach overland.

Today the Moon is at apogee and minimum declination so EME path losses are at their highest and Moon windows shortest. We are seven days away from positive declination so this week is probably best spent checking your antennas after the cold weather.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 4th. March 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th March 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Candidates invited for RSGB Presidency

  • Arkwright Day at the National Radio Centre

  • Major SOTA activations next Saturday

 

The RSGB has open elections for its President. Unfortunately no nominations have been received for 2018 to 2020 and the post is now being re-advertised. The closing date is 2359UTC on the 26th of April. If an election is required, details will be published in the June edition of RadCom, available in mid-May. The current President Nick Henwood, G3RWF has agreed to continue until the process is complete. A new video featuring Nick talking about the role of President is now on the website. On our new President’s page you can also find out what three former Presidents gained from the role. Further details and nomination forms at www.rsgb.org/nominations

Next Saturday, the 10th of March, the RSGB National Radio Centre will be hosting students from the Arkwright Scholarship Trust for amateur radio training and Foundation exams. This will mean restricted public access to the National Radio Centre, and the radio station GB3RS will not be available for use by visiting radio amateurs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but at the last event, reported in the May 2017 RadCom, more than a dozen young students gained a Foundation pass to enter our hobby. Further information about the Arkwright Trust can be found at www.arkwright.org.uk RSGB Members may download a free single-day access voucher for Bletchley Park from the Members area of the RSGB website. Ordinary, paid entry tickets to Bletchley Park are valid for up to 12 months and details can be found at www.bletchleypark.org.uk

The Summits on the Air event Summit to Summit Europe to Australia and beyond takes place on the 10th of March. Over 30 SOTA activators are planning to climb to summits in Europe, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The event will start around 0630UTC next Saturday. For anyone wanting to join in, either as an activator on a summit or from a home station, discussions can be found at reflector.sota.org.uk

A second beta version of WSJT-X version 1.9.0 has been released. This is to allow further field testing of the new FT8 DXpedition Mode, designed to enable DXpeditions to make FT8 contacts at very high rates. The team is inviting the amateur radio community to participate in a public test run of FT8 DXpedition Mode. Test times and frequencies are Tuesday the 6th of March at 2300UTC on 14.080MHz; on the 7th at 0000UTC on 10.141MHz, at 0100UTC on 7.080MHz and 0200UTC on 3.585MHz. Frequencies are not the conventional FT8 operating frequencies and are subject to change, subject to conditions. Last-minute changes will be posted on the internet.

The Big Bang at Discovery Park is a free education event organised by the STEM HUB, a part of the Canterbury Christ Church University. It takes place on the 9th of March. Its aim is to inspire a love of STEM subjects. Students from local schools have access to a range of hands-on experiences such as interactive exhibits, workshops and shows run by local companies and organisations. Hilderstone Radio and Electronics Club is setting up a stand at the event with various activities run by girls from the STEMettes Club, with some help from club members. The STEMettes Club is a girls-only after school club at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school in Broadstairs. Amongst many activities the girls will demonstrate the snail Morse key, designed by Trevor, G4WKJ and constructed from a cable tie. Also they will show the 555 timer circuit they built on a breadboard with a variable frequency and Morse key, then show how two of them can be made into a simple telegraph system.

Over 80,000 QSOs were logged by the recent DXpedition by Z60A in the new DXCC entity of Kosovo. Local operator Z61DX is now a regular on the bands. Another station to look for is Z68M, who will be in Pristina until the 6th of March. The operator of Z68M is Mome, Z32ZM and QSLs should go via Club Log OQRS.

NBC News recently produced a video on Hawaii’s amateur radio operators and the role they could play in a national disaster. Take a look at https://youtu.be/dO09aMGMizM

Plans appear to be on track for the 3B7A DXpedition to Saint Brandon Island, expected to start in early to mid-April. The 3B7A team said that 700 kilograms of gear is now on its way to Mauritius, where it will join the generators and stock of fuel on the boat to Saint Brandon Island on the 3rd of April with two team members. A second vessel departing on the 5th will transport the other operators. 3B7A will not be active on 60m nor on 6m EME. The DXCC entity of Agalega and Saint Brandon Islands is the 28th most wanted.

The ARRL has asked the US regulator to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on the 75, 40, and 15m bands, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on the 80, 40, 15, and 10m bands. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.

After issuing the ministerial decree allowing Tunisians to acquire their individual licences in September, and the first amateur radio exam in December, the Tunisian Regulator has delivered the first licences.

The web hosting company that provides the RSGB radiclubs.net service is shortly to cease providing us with that service. In January 2016 the RSGB had already announced the intention to close the facility, which is only now used by a small number of clubs. Recent events beyond our control have forced the issue and radioclubs.net will close down for good on the 29th of March 2018. Full details are at www.rsgb.org/radioclubs-closedown

Finally, the recent adverse weather conditions might affect some events planned for the next week or so, including rallies, club events and even special event activations. Before you travel anywhere, please take the time to check that the event will still be occurring as planned.

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

We start with news that the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally planned for today, the 4th, has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The organisers say that they hope to re-arrange the event for later in the year when conditions are better. We will of course let you know details as soon as they become available.

Today, the 4th, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally is planned for the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XQ. There is car parking on site and talk-in will be available, but you are advised to take special care while driving in any adverse weather conditions. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB book stall. Contact Kevin, G6SSN on 0779 314 2483 for more information.

On the 11th of March the Dover Radio Club Rally will be held in Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield, CT16 3LY. There will be a talk-in station. Doors open from 10am and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details from Aaron Coote, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

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

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

Mark, XE1B is on the air from Socorro Island, IOTA reference NA-030, in the Revilla Gigedo Archipelago, until the 15th of March. He is using the callsign 4B4B and is active on the 160 to 6m bands, SSB only. This is quite a rare DXCC entity and the first activation since 2011. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

A group of operators are operating as XR0YD from Easter Island, SA-001, until the 15th of March. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via DL4SVA.

A large group of operators will be on the air as 9M0W from Layang Layang Island, IOTA AS-051, from the 6th to the 13th of March. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via YT1AD.

Michael, G7VJR is operating as YJ0GB from Efate Island in Vanuatu, IOTA OC-035, until the 19th of March. Activity is holiday style on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via M0OXO.

Operators YL2GM, YL1ZF and YL2KL are on the air as 3C3W from Bioko in Equatorial Guinea, IOTA AF-010, until the 27th of March. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to YL2GN.

Now the special event news

EI50AOM will be on the air throughout March to remember the 61 lives lost after the crash of an Aer Lingus Viscount airliner in the Irish Sea 50 years ago. QSL via EI2KA, direct with $2 and self-addressed envelope, or via the bureau. The log will be uploaded periodically to Logbook of The World for non-paper confirmations.

II4CAO will be on the air during March to commemorate the Italian scientist Temistocle Calzecchi Onesti. He demonstrated in experiments in 1884 through 1886 that iron filings contained in an insulating tube will conduct an electric current under the action of an electromagnetic wave. Further details and award regulations at www.arifidenza.it

Now the contest news

The 144/432MHz contest ends its run at 1400UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes on 2m and 70cm, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 4th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. US stations also send their State and Canadians their Province.

Today, the 4th, the UK Microwave Group First Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 2.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using data modes only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 50MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC, then the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend the Commonwealth Contest runs from 1000UTC on the 10th to 1000UTC on the 11th. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 29MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with HQ stations also sending the letters HQ.

On Sunday the 11th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1200 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz contest takes place from 1800UTC to 2200UTC on Sunday the 11th of March. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries must be with the contest manager by the first of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

As we move into March, HF conditions should be well under way to being more Spring-like. As the days gets longer and the nights get shorter, the LF and MF bands can become less attractive and the HF bands can show a little more life for a little longer into the evening. March is also good month for north-south paths such as UK to South Africa and South America.

Last week saw a mixed bag, propagation-wise, with a K index of 5 on Tuesday the 27th, but there were otherwise calmer geomagnetic conditions later in the week. There were some HF highlights, including TY1TT in Benin being very audible on Tuesday on 20m. There were also some loud east coast US CW stations on 20m near sunset, which bodes well.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the high 70s next week and geomagnetic conditions will be largely settled due to a predicted lack of coronal hole activity. As this report was being prepared, there were some coronal holes, but only at the solar poles. This means their associated high-speed solar wind may not be Earth-directed. So a solar flux index of 78, settled geomagnetic conditions and equinox-type propagation could throw up one or two surprises on 20, 17 or 15m, hopefully just in time for the Commonwealth Contest on the weekend of the 10th and 11th. But we will have to wait a few more weeks yet before the start of the Sporadic-E season, so 10m openings may be more elusive.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week saw some good snow scatter propagation on the microwave bands, coinciding – for once – with the SHF UKAC contest. Paths up the eastern side of the UK were particularly good as the snow barrelled in from the continent.

The cold, Siberian blast from the East last week is being displaced by slightly less cold weather from the south. These transitions can often involve strong winds, ruling out any tropo propagation, at least to begin with. Many weather models get us into positive daytime temperatures next week, with a complex pattern of weak lows around Britain. Not exactly ideal for tropo either, even though winds will be lighter. However, with such large amounts of snow on the ground, there will be periods when it’s very misty, and warmer air overlaying the cold snow fields could produce slightly lifted conditions for limited paths.

The long winter wait for the return of Northern hemisphere Sporadic-E season continues, so the best opportunity for DX on the lower VHF bands still lies in early morning random meteor scatter contacts.

Last week’s lunar perigee and high declination brought good EME conditions, but declination went negative again today and the Moon is heading out to its apogee next Sunday. Get your EME contacts in early this week, as path loses will increase and Moon windows shorten as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 25th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 25th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • New RSGB ETCC Chair appointed

  • Bodleian talk on What is Wireless

  • NRC to open 6 days a week

 

The RSGB is delighted to announce that Andrew Barrett, G8DOR has been appointed as the new Chair of the Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, or ETCC, for an initial period of three years. Andrew is the current Vice-Chair. The ETCC functions to develop and enhance the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications networks and to promote the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. They receive, vet and advise on all proposals in respect of analogue or digital voice repeaters, TV repeaters and data communications systems, passing the finalised documents to Ofcom for issue. The RSGB would like to thank John McCullagh, GI4BWM for the enormous level of work that he has put into the role of ETCC Chair for over 12 years, particularly in his work with Ofcom.

A forthcoming lecture at the Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford may be interesting to radio amateurs. Jacob Ward, a Bodleian Libraries Byrne-Bussey Marconi Fellow will be speaking on What is Wireless and will explores what happened to ‘wireless’, from after World War II to the birth of the ‘new’ wireless in the 1980s and 1990s, by exploring the imagination and imagery associated with wireless communications by its biggest proponents: the Marconi Companies. The talk takes place on the 6th of March from 5.30 to 6.30pm and is a free public event. All are welcome. Tickets can be reserved via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0225-A

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the National Radio Centre, located at Bletchley Park, will now also be open on Mondays. Starting from Easter Monday, the 2nd of April, the NRC will now be open six days a week, closing only on Tuesdays. NRC opening times run in accordance to the Bletchley Park museum, 9.30am to 4pm in winter and to 5pm in summer. Bletchley Park admission details are at www.bletchleypark.org.uk. RSGB Members can gain free access to Bletchley Park, including the National Radio Centre, by downloading a voucher from the Membership Services area of the RSGB website, www.rsgb.org/bletchley-park-voucher

An international amateur radio team that postponed a December 2017 DXpedition to the disputed Spratly Islands now plans to be on the air in early March from Layang Layang Island, also known as Swallow Reef, under Malaysian call sign 9M0W. The IOTA reference is AS-051. The operation will be on the air on 160 to 6m using CW, SSB and digital modes. While the Royal Malaysian Navy maintains a presence on the reef, ownership of the Spratlys has also been asserted by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines in addition to Malaysia. The Spratlys are Number 56 on Club Log’s DXCC Most-Wanted List.

Another RSGB 2017 Convention presentation has been added to the video portal for RSGB Members to view. The talk is by Ian White, GM3SEK, and called VHF-UHF DX – the Game of Decibels. In a talk aimed at all technical levels, Ian explains that decibels are the ‘currency’ in which we measure our station's performance. We can count our gains and losses, save our decibels or throw them away, and eventually find our own answers to the age-old question, “what is one decibel really worth?” Ian explains why we use decibels; why 1dB can be worth more to VHF-UHF DXers than almost anyone else; and how ‘counting the decibels’ can point us to the next station improvement. Take a look at www.rsgb.org/videos for this and many other talks.

Richard Lamont, G4DYA has been appointed to the joint role of Amateur Radio Observation Service and Intruder Watch Coordinator. Richard has been a broadcast engineer with the BBC, an editor of radio magazines and a company director. He also knows his way around the ITU Regulations. The RSGB welcome him to his new role. Richard succeeds Mark Jones, G0MGX who we thank for putting a great deal of time and energy into these activities over the last five years.

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

Today, the 25th, the BRATS Medway Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. Admittance is £2.50. There is free parking and talk in on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Details from Hugh, G0BRC, on 0782 583 8877.

Also on the 25th, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 8am for sellers and 10am for buyers. Entry is £2. Tables are £10 each on a first come first served basis. Refreshments are available on site. To book, contact Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Next Saturday, the 3rd of March, the Lagan Valley ARS Rally will be held in the Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough BT26 6AR. Doors open from 11am to 3pm, with admittance £3. Everyone is most welcome to attend. There will be lots of radio equipment, both new and second hand. Tea, coffees and sandwiches will be available. There will be a Bring & Buy, RSGB Book Stall and Special Interest Groups. More details from Andrew Mulholland, MI0BPB on 07802 824 615.

Next Sunday, the 4th, the Grantham ARC Radio and Electronics Rally will be at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham NG31 7XQ. There is car parking on site and talk-in will be available. Admission is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB book stall. Contact Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 for more information.

Also next Sunday, the 4th, the Exeter Radio & Electronics Rally takes place at America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. There will be traders, a Bring & Buy, and catering is available on site. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled guests and those booking in to the Bring & Buy having access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

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

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

A group will be operating from Rotuma Island, IOTA reference OC-060, from around the 23rd of February until the 16th of March. The callsign will be 3D2EU. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 10m using CW, SSB and digital. Rotuma is located about 650km north of Fiji and counts as a separate entity for DXCC purposes.

Gerhard, OE3GEA is making progress on his trip around islands in the Pacific. He will be operating as FO/OE3GEA from French Polynesia from the 25th of February to the 10th of March, using the 30 to 10m bands. QSL via OE3GEA, direct or via the bureau.

Two South Korean amateurs will be operating from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam as XV9HL. They will be on the air from the 26th of February until the 6th of March. Look for them using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSLs go via HL1AHS.

Bernhard, DK7TF and Jurgen, DH6ICE will be active as XV9DLH from Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, AS-128, starting on the 24th of February. QSL via DK8ZZ.

Jim, WB2REM and Mark, WY1G will be in Nicaragua from the 26th of February until the 6th of March. They will use the callsign H7DX on CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Now the special event news

March 2018 sees the 80th anniversary of the launch of HMS Belfast and, to mark the event, the RNARS (Affiliated) London (HMS Belfast) Group have been granted the unusual callsign of GB80GGCN. Golf Golf Charlie November was the marine callsign of HMS Belfast. The special event call will last from March through to May. Visitors to HMS Belfast are able to see the operators using the call in the Bridge Wireless Office. Listen for them across the bands. A special QSL card will be available, and full details are on QRZ.com.

Special callsign II2RR is active until the 31st of December to mark the 70th anniversary of the first issue of RadioRivista, the Italian Society’s monthly journal. QSL via IK2VU.

Now the contest news

The CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 25th. It’s SSB only; the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations also sending their State and Canadians their Province.

The French REF Contest ends its 36 hour run at 1800UTC today, the 25th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their département number or overseas prefix.

Today, the 25th, the first 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

Next weekend the 144/432MHz contest runs from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on 2m and 70cm, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARRL International DX Contest runs for 48 hours next weekend from 0000UTC on the 3rd to 2359UTC on the 4th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and transmit power. US stations also send their state and Canadians their Province,

On Sunday the 4th the UK Microwave Group First Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 2.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Despite warnings in the popular press that a massive solar flare was likely to cause chaos on Earth, we managed to survive! In the event, a coronal mass ejection, which was linked to the solar flare, caused the K index to rise to five on Monday 19th, but conditions became more settled from Tuesday onwards. There was DX to be had if you looked for it. For example, ET3AA in Ethiopia has been very audible on 18MHz around lunchtime. Otherwise, the Sun has been more settled, with no visible sunspots and a solar flux index of 68 on Thursday – that’s just two points above what we can expect at absolute solar minimum.

As this report was being prepared a large coronal hole was visible, stretching from one solar pole to the equator. This might suggest we could have unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Earth from around Sunday 25th, although the NOAA figures don’t support this. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 70, so we can expect maximum usable frequencies to remain similar, with daytime band openings up to 17m and occasionally 15m. With night-time critical frequencies remaining around 3MHz, bands much above 40m remain mostly closed to DX.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s a cold, high-pressure story this week, and although technically this is a very strong high, the air underneath the temperature inversion that these highs produce is cold and dry. This is not particularly good at changing the refractive index of the air across the inversion and implies that this is not really the best option for Tropo. It is better than flat conditions, and could possibly help out early in the mornings. A night of surface cooling gives a very low-level temperature inversion near the ground that could lead to a temporary improvement in Tropo.

In the second half of the week it is likely that low pressure tracking westwards across southern Britain will bring the prospect of snowfall and perhaps icing on antenna wires and beam elements. It is always worth checking the tensions are good and shake off any ice build-up in this sort of weather.

We are still a month or so away from the return of Northern hemisphere Sporadic-E, so the best opportunity for DX on the lower bands still lies in early morning random meteor scatter contacts.

The Moon is at maximum declination today so, combined with low path losses with perigee this Tuesday, it is a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 18th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 18th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • International DMR Talkgroup for Universities

  • Amateur becomes Havard President

  • QSL Bureau volunteers wanted

Paul Thieme, President of the Purdue University Amateur Radio Club, W9YB in the United States wants to hear from UK university amateur radio clubs that have linked DMR repeaters. Recently, his club has been working with Brandmeister worldwide officials to create a DMR talkgroup specifically for university amateur radio operators. In the States they have about half-a-dozen universities so far on this system and they would like to encourage universities from other countries that have DMR repeaters to join as well. Please contact Paul if you’d like to link up with this group, via email to thiemep@purdue.edu

A radio amateur, Lawrence Bacow, KA1FZQ has been selected to become the 29th president of Harvard University. He was selected from among a field of some 700 candidates and will take office on the 1st of July.

The RSGB QSL Bureau is seeking to appoint a new volunteer for the MW and 2W sub group, due to the retirement of the current sub manager. This is an active and growing QSL group, involving around 15-20,000 QSL cards, delivered in 3 to 4 batches for sorting and distribution each year. Prospective volunteers will need to have some time, a little space for storage and basic spreadsheet skills. As part of re-organisation, some M0 groups are being consolidated. All calls in the M0A to M0F will shortly become one QSL sub group under a new sub manager, yet to be appointed. If you are interested in taking on the new M0A-F sub group, or the MW-2W group please register your interest by emailing qsl@rsgb.org.uk

As the 3Y0Z Bouvet DXpedition was sadly cancelled due to bad weather and engine trouble on the transport vessel, another DXpedition has re-started their plans to visit the island. According to the web page, operators Dominik, 3Z9DX, Stanislaw, SQ8X, Leszek, SP3DOI, Branko, YU4DX and Frans, J69DS have a landing permit issued by the Norwegian Polar Institute. No dates of activity are mentioned, but the permit is valid until February 2019. See https://bouvetoya.org/ for more details as the plans progress.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog. The list contains 340 entities and the top 10 entities seem to have changed with the addition of Kosovo. The top spot still goes to North Korea, followed by Bouvet Island, Crozet Island and the Republic of Kosovo. The complete DXCC Most Wanted entities list is available at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php Club Log author Michael Wells, G7VJR, says that he has completed the Great Hardware Shuffle for the online service. The free, web-based tool can produce DXCC league tables, expedition tools, log-search services, and most-wanted lists, see www.clublog.org

The IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a North West African military Thales-3000 system on 13,998.4kHz was causing interference in the amateur radio 20m band and that in the amateur radio 40m band Radio Myanmar has been heard on 7200kHz and Radio Hargeisa from the Republic of Somaliland on 7120kHz. You can read more at www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2018/news1801.pdf

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

The Radioactive Rally will take place today, the 18th of February, at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and an RSGB book stall. A raffle ticket is included with the entrance programme, and additional tickets can be purchased. Catering is available on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the BRATS Medway Radio Rally takes place at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. Admittance is £2.50. There is free parking and talk in on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR. There will be trade stands and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Details from Hugh, G0BRC, on 0782 583 8877.

Also next Sunday, the 25th, the Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale will be held at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 8am for sellers and 10am for buyers, entry is £2. Tables are £10 each on a first come first served basis. Refreshments are available on site. To book contact Madeline Roberts on 0773 837 5775.

Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Members of Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, led by Headmaster Alan, G4DJX are in The Gambia operating as C5DX, with the visit ending on the 18th. Students have run a couple of pile ups at the time of writing and are doing well. QSLs go to G4DJX and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Scott, NE9U will be on the air as PJ4/NE9U from the island of Bonaire, IOTA reference SA-006, until the 24th of February. QSLs go to his home callsign.

Arnaud, JG1XMV plans to operate holiday-style from various islands as FK/JG1XMV. From the 17th of February to the 3rd of March he will spend three or four days each on Grande Terre, IOTA OC-032, plus Lifou and Mare, both IOTA OC-033. Check his QRZ.com entry for schedule updates. Arnaud will be accompanied by Yves, FK4RD. QSL via JK1XMV either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

George, K5KG will operate as VP2MKG from Montserrat, NA-103, until the 27th of February. QSL via his home callsign.

Michael, DF8AN will be on the air on Easter Island, SA-001, as CE0Y/DF8AN from the 21st to the 28th of February. Activity will be on the HF bands, concentrating mainly on RTTY, PSK, JT-modes and FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

The 5th Paddock Wood Guides will taking part in GirlGuiding London & South East England’s Impact Big Sleepover on the 24th and 25th of February near Sittingbourne, Kent. A special event station will operate on the 25th, GB5PWG for Paddock Wood Guides.

GB4UKG, representing UK Guiding, will be on the air from Abermule School, Montgomery, Wales on the 25th of February. The station will be on HF bands 40m and up, conditions allowing, and 2m VHF. The operator is Jon, M5AEO.

Special event station 9K57NLD is on the air until the 28th of February to mark Kuwait's 57th National and Liberation Day. QSL via ClubLog.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 18th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Tx power. US stations will also send their State, and Canadian stations their Province.

On Tuesday, the IRTS 80m Counties Contest takes place from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number with ET and GI stations ending their County too. There are SSB-Only and Mixed-Mode SSB/CW sections, with double points for CW QSOs in the mixed-mode section. See www.irts.ie/contests for permitted frequencies, the power limit and other rules.

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

On Thursday it’s the turn of the 80m Club Championships from 2000 to 2130UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CQ WorldWide 160m DX contest runs from 2200UTC on the 23rd until 2200UTC on the 25th. It’s SSB only; the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations also sending their State and Canadian stations their Province.

The REF Contest runs from 0600UTC on the 24th to 1800UTC on the 25th. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department number or overseas prefix.

Next Sunday, the 25th, the first 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Sunspot group 2699 threw a surprise last week when it unleashed a C-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection. While we have got used to having coronal hole activity, CMEs have been less prevalent over the last few months. The CME and a coronal hole solar wind stream were predicted to reach Earth by Thursday the 15th of February. NOAA said the combined effects could generate minor, G1 class storming at higher latitudes, with a chance for isolated G2 storming as well, and issued an aurora alert for high latitudes.

The ACE spacecraft showed an increase in both solar wind density and speed from about 8am on Thursday, but ionospheric effects appeared minimal. But the full effects were seen later on Thursday evening when the K index rose to four.

NOAA predicts that next week the solar flux index will fall back to around 70, due to a lack of new sunspots. Geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled at the beginning of the week due to the ongoing effects of the CME, but should be more settled later in the week. The maximum usable band over a 3,000km path still tends to be 17 metres, with occasional openings on 15 metres and higher.

Daytime critical frequencies are still around 5MHz, so 40 metres is still mostly closed to the UK during the day. Night-time critical frequencies are mostly in the range 2-3MHz, so again 80 metres closes to UK contacts after dark.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The return of high pressure means that Tropo will play a part this week. Conditions should be good across the southern half of Britain and well into the continent at times. Models show some hint that more disturbed weather could bring it to a close later next week.

There is some talk of a sudden stratospheric warming, which changes the stratospheric flow to look more like a summer pattern. There is a thought that this can lead to out of season Sporadic-E, and therefore well worth checking the clusters for activity on 28 and 50MHz.

You can keep an eye on digimodes activity on 50 and 144MHz by monitoring the operational frequencies for the different digital modes. Just use Google or look at posts on dxmaps.com to find these frequencies. This can act as a good real time guide for propagation, but remember to call CQ on the bands even if it seems quiet. If you don’t transmit, you won’t work the DX!

Moon declination goes positive this Monday and path losses will fall all week, as the Moon comes closer. This will give steadily improving EME conditions as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 11th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 11th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Gordon Adams, G3LEQ, SK

  • Four countries add 5MHz band

  • RSGB Convention 2018 news

Sad news to start this week. Gordon Adams, G3LEQ passed away quietly last week. Gordon had held many posts within amateur radio including serving his fellow amateurs as the GB2RS News Service Manager for many years. He was also the RSGB Spectrum Director and a prime mover of the 5MHz experiment when that started. He was the IARU Region 1 Emergency Communications Co-ordinator too, among many other roles. Our thoughts are with his family and many amateur radio friends at this difficult time.

Lots of news this week for the 5MHz band. Following extensive discussions with their regulator, Czech amateurs can access both the new WRC-15 60m Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz and their existing twelve 60m channels. The WRC-15 allocation is available on an individual permit basis, with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. The New Zealand national society has negotiated a licence to allow limited operation by ZL amateurs on 60m on a trial secondary basis with no interference to Primary users. Operation centres on 5353kHz and 5362 to 5364kHz, with a maximum output of 10dBW EIRP. The Icelandic telecoms regulator will now permit access to the new WRC-15 60m allocation from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP, but has ended the previous experimental licence privileges. Argentinean amateurs may now use the new WRC-15 Amateur 60m Secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz, with a regional maximum power limit of 25W EIRP.

Detailed planning has now started for the 2018 RSGB Convention in October. The organisers plan the usual broad mix across the five streams with topics to cater for all tastes and at all levels. AMSAT-UK will be organising some of the lectures, as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the Convention again this year. The Convention organisers are keen to hear suggestions for talks to be given at the event. Please email any ideas to convention@rsgb.org.uk

A new exhibition opens at Bletchley Park on the 16th of February that showcases some of the many stories of life and work at Bletchley Park during WW2. It uses the Bletchley Park’s Oral History collection and the Roll of Honour to allow Veterans to tell their own stories through photographs, quotes and audio points. The National Radio Centre, also at Bletchley Park, is open Wednesdays to Sundays and, if you bring your current and valid licence with you, there is an opportunity to operate the GB3RS station.

Nominations are now open for the CQ Amateur Radio Contest and DX Halls of Fame. These recognise those amateurs who have made major contributions to contesting and DXing, respectively. Nominations to any of the halls of fame may be made by individuals, clubs or national organisations, and must be submitted by the first of March to be considered. A maximum of two people may be inducted into the Contest and DX halls of fame each year. There is no set maximum for inductees into the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame. Nominations may be emailed to hall-of-fame@cq-amateur-radio.com

Speaking on behalf of the WSJT-X Development Team, Joe Taylor, K1JT, has issued a progress report on the team’s efforts to develop an FT8 DXpedition mode. Details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0211a. Joe said the basic goal of FT8 DXpedition Mode is to enable DXpeditions to make FT8 QSOs at the highest possible rates, and the WSJT-X Development Team has been working with members of the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team, ahead of its mid-summer operation, to work out the wrinkles.

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

Today, the 11th of February, the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 8AY, which is 3 miles from the Milton Interchange on the A34. Doors open from 10am and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There is free car parking, with disabled parking and facilities. There will be traders, special interest groups and an RSGB book stand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk-in is on 145.550MHz using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com

The Radioactive Rally will take place on the 18th of February next weekend at Nantwich Civic Hall, Cheshire CW5 5DG. There is free car parking and the doors open at 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, as well as traders and an RSGB book stall. A single raffle ticket is included with the entrance programme, additional tickets can be purchased. Catering is available on site. Contact Stuart Jackson on 07880 732 534.

Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

OH2IS will be in Martinique, IOTA reference NA-107, from the 18th to 28th of February. He’ll be focusing on the low bands as FM/OH2IS using a full size 40m metre and top loading for 80m. On the higher bands he will have dipoles.

Dick, AD7AR will be active as 5W0LR from Samoa, OC-097, until the 22nd of February. He will operate CW and FT8, with some SSB if conditions are good, mainly on the 15 to 40m bands. QSL via Logbook of the World, or direct to his home callsign or logsearch on Club Log.

Henning, OZ1BII will be active as D44EE from Sao Tiago, AF-005, in Cape Verde from the 15th to the 20th of February. He will operate CW only on the 160 to 10m bands, with some activity on the WARC bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log OQRS, eQSL, or via his home call sign either direct or via the bureau.

Scott, NE9U will be active as PJ4/NE9U from Bonaire, SA-006, until the 24th of February. QSL via Logbook of the World, or via NE9U, either direct or via the bureau.

John, W5JON will be active as V47JA from St Kitts, NA-104, from the 13th of February to the 16th of March. He will operate SSB on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via W5JON, direct only, and Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. Guides and Scouts are taking part from the UK, Canada, USA, the Netherlands and possibly other countries. A list of known stations is displayed on the website, www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk and if your station isn’t listed, please send in details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is helping the Quedgeley Brownies for Thinking Day on the Air. Listen out for GB4QBP.

EI100MCV will be active until the 31st of December to mark the Centenary of the 1918 sinking of RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea. MCV was the original call sign of the vessel. The intention is to use all bands, operating on or close to frequencies ending with 18, for example 1918kHz, 3518, 3618 and 3718kHz and so on. Further details can be found on www.QRZ.com

Members of the International Amateur Radio Contest DX Club will be active with special callsign 4U0R from the Vienna International Centre, Austria, for World Radio Day between the 13th and 20th of February. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via UA3DX, direct, by the Bureau or Club Log OQRS.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide WPX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC today, the 11th. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Ending at 1200UTC today, the 11th, is the PACC contest. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations also exchanging their Province.

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

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 70MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC, then the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the data leg of the 80m Club Championships, running from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend the ARRL International DX contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 17th to 2359UT on the 18th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Tx power. US stations will send their State and Canadian stations their Province.

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

Sunspot region 2699 provided us with a small increase in solar activity last week. It also produced a number of minor C and M-class flares as the solar flux index rose to around 77. More significantly, quieter geomagnetic conditions, thanks to a lack of coronal holes, meant the K index remained fairly low and the bands were quite settled. This brought band openings up to 21MHz at times, with the FOC Marathon last weekend giving an ideal opportunity to see just how far CW signals can travel. North American stations from as far afield as California, Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia were audible in the UK. Roger, G3LDI says he had 855 QSOs with 102 DXCC entities on all bands up to and including 10 metres.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 70. Geomagnetic conditions should remain settled until around Friday the 16th, when the K index could rise to a maximum of four or five due to incoming material from solar coronal hole activity.

As we are now in February it is worth looking at some propagation predictions. For the path from the UK to New York, Predtest.uk tells us that we can expect a maximum usable frequency of about 18.9MHz around 1400UTC with a maximum 10% chance of success using 100W to a dipole and SSB on 17 metres.

If you use CW your chance of success increases to 40%, and you get a similar or slightly better probability if using one of the newer digital modes such as FT8, which can copy signals down below the noise level.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s looking like the changeable period of weather is locked in for another week, with a series of fronts crossing the country and low pressure north of Scotland for much of the time. This will make it rather breezy at times, especially in the north.

For VHF/UHF propagation, the absence of high pressure rules out tropospheric openings, while on the microwave bands, rain scatter from heavy showers is probably going to be rather random and infrequent, as the seas gradually cool down and are less able to generate the heavy showers.

There is always the chance of an occasional aurora to lift spirits for a very exotic mode of operation and, with some strong jet stream activity, it’s not totally out of question that some Sporadic-E may develop, although such things are very rare at this time of the year. Stick to random meteor scatter QSOs in the early morning for your regular dose of VHF DX.

The Moon is at minimum declination and apogee today, so we have maximum EME path losses and low peak Moon elevations of less than 20 degrees in the UK.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 4th. February 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 4th February 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • ARISS APRS packet not working

  • Nominate for the Golden Antenna Award

  • RSGBCC log upload practice site opened

 

An unidentified anomaly involving the radio serving the ARISS APRS Packet System on board the International Space Station has led to the system not functioning. A similar problem has occurred on other occasions and solutions that resolved the problem proved to be only temporary fixes. The system may return to service as it has in the past or it may have finally failed completely. ARISS sees the delivery of the interoperable radio system as the true solution to securing ARISS packet operation. Current target period for delivery and installation of the replacement system is autumn 2018. In the meantime, ARISS continues to investigate the problem and seek opportunities to resolve the issue. The ARISS team knows many amateur radio operators really enjoy using the ARISS APRS packet system, and thanks everyone for understanding the issues involved with not having it available.

For almost 50 years, the German town of Bad Bentheim has organised the Dutch-German Ham Convention. During this event the Golden Antenna is awarded for outstanding humanitarian performance, recognising the importance of the hobby during or after disasters. Nominations for this year’s Golden Antenna award should be submitted by 1 June, by email to juerriens@stadt-badbentheim.de and for more information on the Dutch-German Ham Convention see www.dnat.de

The RSGB Contest Support Committee has produced a facility to enable entrants to practice uploading logs for HF and VHF contests to the RSGB Contesting Committees website. This facility accepts logs formatted for the 80m Club Championship Contest and UK Activity Contest. The practice facility uses the same robot that is used for all RSGB HF and VHF contests and provides a very realistic experience, including giving feedback on any errors found in the ‘dummy’ log. This facility is accessed via the Information link on the RSGBCC website, www.rsgbcc.org where you can then scroll down and click on Log Test Facility. The HF Log Upload Test and VHF Log Upload Test links go to separate pages.

Have you seen the RSGB’s new web page about the National Radio Centre? It gives a brief overview of the centre, introduces some of the great volunteers who help to explain amateur radio to visitors at the Bletchley Park site and also links through to the full NRC website. The centre needs more volunteers so take a look and see if you could help. The website is www.rsgb.org/nrc

The VDSL interference survey set up by the RSGB EMC Committee has now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted their results. Following the survey, Ofcom is now investigating levels at six locations close to Baldock. We'll keep you posted of further outcomes.

In 2018 the Youth Contesting Program of Region 1 of the IARU is offering young amateurs the opportunity to take part in a contest from so-called Top Gun stations. There is still time to apply for a place with these contest stations. ES5TV is offering a place in the ARI International DX contest in May and 9A1A in the CQ M International DX contest also in May. The application deadline is the 1st of March. EC2DX has a place in His Majesty King of Spain contest in June with an application deadline of 1st of April. Finally, 4O3A is offering a place in the CQWW RTTY contest in September, with an application deadline of 1st of June. Go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0204A and click on the Apply Here link.

There is still time for RSGB Affiliated clubs to enter the Club of the Year competition, kindly sponsored by Waters and Stanton. As last year, the RSGB will be judging entries in two categories: clubs with fewer than 25 members and clubs with 25 or more members during 2017, and there will be separate prizes for each category. Please use the entry form on the RSGB website Club of the Year pages, which must be sent to your Regional Manager by the 28th of February 2018. Regional winners will be announced at the RSGB AGM on the 21st of April in Birmingham. The RSGB Board will judge the national winners, which will be announced at the National Hamfest in September.

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

The Canvey Radio Rally takes place today, the 4th of February, at Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS80JA. Doors open at 10.30am and admittance is £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. For more details contact Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

The Ballymena ARC Rally takes place on the 10th of February at Ahoghill Community Centre, 80 Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill BT42 1LA. Doors open 10.30am. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments will be available on site and a raffle will take place. Details from Hugh Kernohan, GI0JEV on 028 2587 1481.

On the 11th of February the Harwell Radio & Electronics Rally will be held at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, Oxon OX11 8AY, which is 3 miles from the Milton Interchange on the A34. Doors open from 10am to 3pm and admittance is £3, with under 12s free. There is free car parking, with disabled parking and facilities. There will be traders, special interest groups and an RSGB book stand. Refreshments will be available all day. Talk in is on 145.550MHz using G3PIA. Details from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com

The 2018 Scottish Braehead Radio & Electronic rally, run by ASRA, will be taking place on the 20th of May. The website booking system is now open and they would like to invite any trader or club interested in having a table this year to visit the website www.asrarally.com/book For more details email info@asrarally.com

Please do not just assume we know about events. Make sure your rally or event information gets into future editions of GB2RS News, into RadCom and on the RSGB website by emailing details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

At the time of writing this week’s script, the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island DXpedition team is now at anchor off Bouvet Island, but weather and sea conditions have not reached the point where the team can begin transporting equipment and personnel ashore. Apparently, winds are 35 to 40 knots, the ship is pitching and rolling up to 30 degrees and it is around 0 degrees Celsius. Once they get ashore, the team of operators will be operating as 3Y0Z until the 28th of February. Activity will be on the 160 to 2m bands with multiple stations using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8, with EME on 6 and 2 metres. QSL via N2OO.

Chuck, W0DLE is operating as 3W9DLE from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam until the 30th of April. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Dick, AD7AF will be on the air as 5W0LR until the 22nd of February in Samoa. Activity will be on the 40 to 15m bands, and possibly 80m, using primarily CW and FT8 with some SSB, depending on band conditions. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Tim, N4UM, Bob, N4BP and Mike, K4RUM will be on the air as C6ARU, C6AKQ, and C6AUM, respectively, from Great Abaco Island, in the Bahamas, IOTA reference NA-080 from the 6th to the 20th of February. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands, with a focus on CW. QSL direct to his home callsigns.

Giovanni, IK5BCM, Giuseppe, IK5CBE and Giovanni, IK5CRH are operating as D68I until the 10th of February. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IK5CRH.

Chris, F4EBK is on the air as DU3/F4EBK from Baliuag on Luzonin the Philippines, IOTA OC-042, during the month of February. Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is helping the Quedgeley Brownies for Thinking Day on the Air. Listen out for GB4QBP.

Now the contest news

Today, the 4th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 432MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

There’s a similar evening on Thursday with the 50MHz FM Activity Contest from 1900 to 2000UTC and the 50MHz UK Activity Contest using all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Next weekend, the 10th and 11th, the CQ World Wide WPX RTTY contest runs for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 10th. Using RTTY only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also next weekend, from 1200UTC on the 10th to 1200UTC on the 11th is the PACC contest. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with PA stations exchanging their Province details too.

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

Solar activity remained at very low levels last week, with one barely-visible sunspot group pushing the sunspot number to a maximum of 13 and the solar flux index to 69. Geomagnetic conditions were largely settled, with some coronal hole activity pushing the K index to three at times.

Despite the low SFI, there was band activity up to at least 21MHz. Z60A in Kosovo came up to a 59 on 15 metres CW on Wednesday and the FT8 frequency, 21.074MHz, revealed varying amounts of activity. So the message is that despite a low solar flux index it does pay to check the upper bands regularly. The FT8 frequencies are a good starting point, as are the International Beacon Project frequencies.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around the 70 mark. Geomagnetic conditions should be slightly unsettled, with a maximum K index of three throughout the week, rising to four on Saturday 10th due to ongoing coronal hole activity.

All eyes and ears will be on Bouvet Island this week as the 3Y0Z DXpedition gets underway. Described as the most remote island on Earth, Bouvet is 1000 miles north of Antarctica and a near north-south 7400km path from the UK. But it won’t be an easy one as signals are likely to be fairly weak unless you have a beam. Checking with the VOACAP online software shows 17m or 15m might offer the best chance of a daytime contact, with 17m peaking around 1600-1800UTC. 40m and 30m offer the best chance of an evening or night time path. By next week we should have a better idea of how strong they are.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week we are in a cold northerly with heavy wintry showers around the coasts, sometimes driven a fair way inland at times. We therefore have the prospects of rain scatter on the microwave bands, and you can track the showers on one of the many weather radars out there on the web.

The pressure has remained low through this weekend, but high pressure returns early next week. It’s unlikely that this will produce good enough inversions to produce much Tropo. In any event, this is soon replaced by more unsettled weather after mid-week. This will mean wet and windy weather at times and unlikely to do much for VHF/UHF conditions.

Random meteor rates are still low and there are no showers due until the Lyrids shower at the end of April. EME conditions will decline this week as Moon declination goes negative today, meaning shorter Moon windows in the Northern hemisphere. Path losses will increase all week as we approach apogee a week today. So, it’s looking like a good week to do some VHF DXing on the various artificial satellites. Look on the AMSAT-UK website for details.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 28th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • Two Chinese amateur CubeSats launched

  • New RSGB EMC Committee Chair sought

Thinking Day on the Air 2018 will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th of February. A list of known stations is displayed on the Station List page of the website www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk There is a form on the page for stations to submit their details to be added to the list, and a Yahoo group for exchanging details or arranging skeds. Currently, as well as UK stations, Guides and Scouts are taking part from Canada, USA, and the Netherlands. Please send in station details via the website or to lizowl@gmail.com

On Friday the 19th of January two satellites carrying amateur radio payloads were launched. Both were developed by amateur students in Hunan province, China. The satellites, QuanTuTong-1 and Xiaoxiang-2, are 6U CubeSats. They will operate in the 435, 2400, 5650 and 5830MHz Amateur-Satellite Service bands. 5650MHz is used for uplinks and 5830MHz for downlinks. Currently only the 435MHz band telemetry beacons are known to be activated. A further three TY satellites using 5GHz are expected to be launched later in the year. Further details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0128A

John Rogers, M0JAV is stepping down as Chair of the RSGB EMC Committee after seven years’ invaluable service. The EMC Committee helps and advises members who have EMC problems, lobbies regulators and guides standards to protect the spectrum. It also investigates emerging EMC threats and updates members on these and other EMC matters. The RSGB is are looking for a volunteer, who must be an RSGB member, to fill the vacancy for an initial period of up to three years. To find out more about the role, or to apply, please send details of your amateur radio experience to RSGB Board Director Philip Willis, M0PHI via email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk

Two more lectures from the RSGB 2017 Convention have been published on the RSGB website. These are the talk by James Patterson, M1DST, on M1N-the-Middle, a Flexible Hardware Control Add-On For Your K3, and Antenna Selection For The 6G DXpeditions by Mike Chamberlain, G3WPH. Both of these excellent presentations are available in the Convention lectures section of our online video portal, www.rsgb.org/video

The RSGB Board has agreed to a Youth Committee proposal to send a UK team to YOTA 2018, which will be held in South Africa. Further details, including how to apply, will be available in due course.

Newton Le Willows Radio Club in St Helens, Merseyside is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers from 9am to 5pm on Saturday the 3rd of March. To book a place contact Lee, M0LGL via email to m0lgl@nlwarc.co.uk

Have you seen the RSGB’s live news page? It brings together its main news feed as well as its regular updates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in one easy-to-find place. You don’t need a social media account to see it, so take a look at www.rsgb.org/live for more information.

Cubetto is a friendly wooden robot that can teach children the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play. On the 18th of February the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will host its second Cubetto event. Under parental supervision, it will explain and explore new modules, blocks, and activities that four to seven-year-olds can undertake, to increase their early years knowledge of basic coding. Whilst the activity itself is free, you will need an entry ticket to the National Museum of Computing. For details, see tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0128B

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

On the 27th of January the Horncastle Radio Rally will take place at Banovallum School, Mareham Road Entrance LN9 6DA. Entry will be £2. The venue is indoors, on one level, with all the usual attractions including bacon butties. There is free car parking on site. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

The Canvey Radio Rally takes place on the 4th of February at Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS80JA. Doors open at 10.30am and admittance is £3. There will be trade stands, RSGB bookstall and special interest groups. Catering is available on site. For more details contact Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please do not just assume we know about your event.

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

Johannes, PA5X and Gerben, PG5M are going to activate Ibu Island, of the Cabo Delgado District group, IOTA reference AF-061 from the 28th of January until the 5th of February as C8X and C81G. Operations will be on 80 to 10m, including 60m, on CW, SSB, and FT8. QSL for C81G via PG5M or ClubLog, C8X via PA5X.

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is going to sign as FG/F6ITD and TO7D from the 29th of January to the 15th of March from Guadeloupe, NA-102. He plans to operate with a focus on the low bands on SSB and FT8. QSL via LoTW, ClubLog OQRS or direct.

Rick, NE8Z will be active from Ecuador from the 20th of January to the 10th of February. He will operate CW and SSB on 40 to 6m as HC1MD from Tumbaco, Pichincha Province; as HC1MD/HC2 from Punta Blanca, Santa Elena Province; and as HC1MD/HC7 from Papallacta, Napo Province. QSL via LoTW, or direct to K8LJG.

Hermann, HB9CRV will be active CU8FN from Flores Island, EU-089, from 22 January to 16 February. He will operate FT8 on 160-10 metres. Hermann and Antonio, CU8AS will participate in the CQ WW 160 Meter CW Contest as CR2W. QSL for CR2W and CU8FN via LoTW, or via HB9CRV, direct or bureau.

Emmanuel, F5LIT will be active as YB9/F5LIT from Bali, OC-022 from the 30th of January to the 10thof February. Operations will be on 20 and 15m SSB. QSL via F5LIT, LoTW.

Now the special event news

The fifth and final Robin Hood VHF Award activity in January will take place on Sunday the 28th of January, with MX0YHA located in North Yorkshire, SD94 and MX0PHX located in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, SK41. Activities will be on 2m FM between 10.30am and 4pm. Further Robin Hood Award special activities are planned for late February. More information at www.robinhoodradio.uk.

Simone, IS0AFM is using special callsign IR0FOC from Cagliari, Sardinia throughout 2018 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the First Class CW Operators' Club. QSL via LoTW or direct to IS0AFM.

II4HRZwill be on the air in February celebrating the work of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. Throughout 2018, twelve commemorative radio stations with special callsigns will operate in turn throughout the year, each celebrating a specific scientist. Further details and award regulations at official website www.arifidenza.it

On Thursday 1 February Welland Valley Amateur Radio Society commences its month-long operation of GB1FWW from Main Street, Great Bowden. For more information contact Peter D Rivers, G4XEX, on 01858 432 105.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest ends it 48 hour run at 2200UTC on the 28th. Using CW only on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations sending their State and Canadian stations sending their Province. Remember that D-Region absorption will render the band pretty much useless during daylight hours.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint ends its run at 1200UTC on the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number.

On Wednesday the 31st the UKEICC 80m contest takes place from 2000UTC to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 4th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest takes place from 0900UTC to 1300UTC. Using all modes on the 432MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

News last week that the Republic of Kosovo (Z6) has been added to the DXCC list of current entities meant that QSOs with the new prefix were in demand. With Z60A on the air from Pristina until February 4th, there has been a sudden interest in propagation paths to the country! VOACAP Online shows that Z60A should be a fairly easy catch from the UK propagation-wise, although the massive pile-ups are causing problems. At around 2,000km from central UK, 30, 20 and 17 metres are the favourite bands to contact Z6 during daytime, with a 90-100% probability of a propagation path at times. This falls to 70-80% on 15 metres. At night, 80 and 40m come into their own, with again a more than 90% chance of a good path.These all depend upon having settled geomagnetic conditions, which were once again badly affected last week by the solar wind from a coronal hole on the Sun.

The K index rose to four on Wednesday evening, as a result of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) pointing south, enabling the solar wind to more easily couple with the Earth’s magnetic field. Next week NOAA forecasts that the solar flux index will be in the range 67-70 and we may expect more unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Sunday 28th. The rest of the week is predicted to be more settled.

At the moment, daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path are most reliable on 20 metres, with occasional openings on 17 and 15 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The windy weather of recent days caused the really poor Tropo conditions during last week’s SHF UK activity contest, but it is probably behind us for a while. A mild southwesterly flow from the Atlantic can sometimes provide enhanced Tropo conditions, especially if it is accompanied by a region of high pressure nearby, over the continent. This is a distinct possibility later this weekend as high pressure builds across France and into Germany. The slightly ‘lifted’ conditions, chiefly in the south, developing over this weekend will probably last until a cold front arrives on Monday night.

The mid-week period sees low pressure to the east of Britain with a colder northerly flow and a return of flatter conditions, although there could be some rain scatter to the east over the North Sea on the microwave bands.

The last part of the week is split between high pressure building again over southern areas towards next weekend, and other models keeping the colder showery northerly option.

Random meteor rates are low this time of year and there are no showers due until the Lyrids shower at the end of April.

The Moon is approaching perigee and is its closest to Earth on Tuesday. Its declination reaches maximum on Monday, so there should be good EME conditions all this week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 21st. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Neville Cheadle, G3NUG, silent key

  • GMDX Group sponsors new VHF-UHF DX contest

  • 15 new SOTA associations added in 2017

It is with great sadness that the RSGB reports that Eric Neville Cheadle, G3NUG passed away unexpectedly on the 14th of January. Neville was an amateur’s amateur. A gentleman of the airwaves, he was also a terrific and prolific operator. Chairman of Chiltern DX Club for many years, Neville was a keen contester and the driving force behind numerous DXpedition operations, many of which he went on himself. He was a long-time RSGB volunteer, including a Board member and organiser of the RSGB HF Convention. He will be missed around the world by his many amateur friends and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

The GMDX Group is sponsoring a new annual competition to promote VHF-UHF DX and contesting activity in the geographical north and west of the British Isles, and to give stations everywhere an opportunity to work those areas. The competition is based on the GMDX Celtic Knot Award, which is for working stations in GM, GI, GD, GW, Cornwall and EI. The Celtic Knot VHF-UHF Competition takes advantage of the activity created by the RSGB VHF-UHF UK Activity Contests. Entry for the Celtic Knot VHF-UHF Competition will be automatic. Simply operate in each UKAC in the normal way, submit a log, or checklog, and GMDX will do the rest. Full details, rules, frequently asked questions and the first update of the monthly progress ladders are already online at https://gmdxvhf.wordpress.com

Fifteen new SOTA associations were added during the year 2017, bringing the total to 136 worldwide. These included IA, Isole Africane d`Italia, VO1, Canada – Newfoundland, FG, Guadeloupe, VY1, Canada – Yukon and ZB2, Gibraltar. For any countries not yet represented, the SOTA Management Team is happy to provide advice and support in the aim of bringing qualifying areas into the global programme. Please get in touch via the page www.sota.org.uk/Contact

The DP0GVN WSPR beacon now is in operation from Antarctica. It is in the German Neumayer III Research Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. The installation is part of a scientific project of the Technical University of Munich in cooperation with the University of Bremen and the German national amateur radio society, DARC. The technology consists of a multiband WSPR receiver that can simultaneously monitor up to eight bands from 160 to 6 metres and feed several hundred receive reports per hour to WSPRnet. The 5W multiband transmitter also has been commissioned and is working into a vertical antenna.

The RSGB has responded to a consultation in the Isle of Man regarding licensing additional spectrum in the 3.4GHz band for commercial use. This is immediately adjacent to the UK amateur allocation. Details of the consultation and the RSGB response can be found on the Spectrum Forum section of the RSGB.org website or via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0121-A.

The Australian licensing authority will permit all Australian radio amateurs to substitute the VK prefix with AX on Australia Day, the 26th of January. Australia Day commemorates the First Fleet’s arrival in 1788 at Sydney Cove and the establishment of a European settlement at Port Jackson.

W.I.T.C.H. Takeover takes place on Thursday, the 15th of February from 12 noon to 5pm at the National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB. This event will be a tie-in with a visit and speech by artist John Yeadon, creator of the paintings “Portrait of a Dead Witch” and “Portrait of a Live Witch”. The day will involve an in-depth speech from John Yeadon on the creation of his painting of the Harwell Dekatron, or W.I.T.C.H. computer, 35 years on, followed by the chance for visitors to get their hands dirty and create their own masterpieces with a variety of practical art activities for kids. Tickets cost from £8.67 and can be booked online via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0121-B

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

We have no details in the diary for any rallies this weekend. But on the 27th of January the Horncastle Radio Rally will take place at Banovallum School, Mareham Road Entrance LN9 6DA. Entry will be £2. The venue is indoors, on one level, with all the usual attractions including bacon butties. There is free car parking on site. Details from Tony, G3ZPU, on 01507 527 835.

To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please do not just assume we know about your event.

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

Brian, GW4DVB will be operating a small holiday DXpedition to Palm Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines, IOTA reference NA-025. He will operate from the 21st to the 28th January using the callsign J88PI. The equipment will be an FT-991A with 100W into a 10m vertical on the 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. QSL direct only to PO Box 20:20, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Wales CF72 9ZA. More information at www.g4dvb.co.uk/

Thomas, DL9OBQ is operating as 9Z4/DL9OBQ from Saint Augustine, Trinidad Island, IOTA SA-011, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 30, 17 and 15 metres using mostly CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Livio, IZ3BUR will be transmitting as J52EC from a mission in Cumura, in Guinea-Bissau, from the 24th of January to the 21st of February. QSL to his home callsign.

Mathias, DL4MM will be on the air as P4/DL4MM from Aruba from the 24th to the 31st of January. Activity is on the low bands. He will be active as P40AA in the CQ World Wide 160m CW contest. QSL to his home callsign.

Jeff, K8ND is operating as PJ2ND from the Signal Point station in Curaçao until the 5th of February. Activity is on the HF bands. He and Jim, W8WTS will be on the air as PJ2T in the CQ World Wide 160m CW contest. QSL PJ2ND via K8ND and PJ2T via W3HNK.

Rudi, DK7PE plans to be on the air as V5/DK7PE from Omarura in Namibia from the 24th to the 31st of January. Activity will be on the HF bands with an emphasis on 160 and 60 metres. This includes being an entry in the CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW contest. QSL to his home callsign.

Daniel, KD9HNL is operating as VP2MDH in Montserrat until the 29th of January. Activity is on various FM satellites. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

GB1LBC will be on the air from Silloth RNLI Lifeboat Station on the 27 and 28th of January, to raise awareness of the work the volunteer crews undertake in the coastal waters of the UK. Main operating bands will be 40m voice and 20m digital modes, mostly PSK and FT8. Other bands may be used if conditions allow. QSL information is on QRZ.com.

An increasing number of special event callsign applicants seem to miss the publicity tick box on the application form. If you do not tick the box on the second page of the form, Ofcom cannot pass your details to RSGB for publicity in the RadCom Special Events table, on the RSGB website, and in this section of GB2RS News. We would encourage all applicants to make sure they do tick the box that lets us help publicise their event.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The CQ WW 160m DX Contest runs for 48 hours, starting 2200UTC on Friday the 26th. Using CW only on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with US stations sending their State and Canadian stations sending their Province. Remember that D-Region absorption will render the band pretty much useless during daylight hours.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint runs from 1200UTC on the 27th to 1200UTC on the 28th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is serial number.

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

Last week saw unsettled HF conditions in the first half, but more settled ones later on. A high-speed stream from a coronal hole pushed the K index to four and five last weekend, and maximum usable frequencies were depressed until at least Thursday. The HF bands were often very lacklustre, with even 20m struggling to show much DX, although the E31A Eritrea DXpedition was audible at times on bands up to 15 metres. The lower bands were humming though, with Andy, M0NKR reporting that he had worked Hawaii, KH7 on 40 metres.

Daytime critical frequencies are currently hitting a maximum of about 5.5MHz, which means 40 metres is not open to close-in contacts. For inter-G work we suggest that 80 or 60 metres would be the best options. Daytime maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path, derived from Chilton Ionosonde data and available at propquest.co.uk, are currently between about 18-22MHz around mid-day.

The 4U1UN international beacon on 14.100MHz is currently being heard in the UK on most afternoons, although the higher frequency 18.110 and 21.150MHz transmissions are generally more elusive.

Next week, we have the effects of another coronal hole to contend with. The high-speed solar wind, which may exceed 500 kilometres per second, is expected to impact the Earth by Saturday 20th, and we may see the K index rising to five. After a potential short-lived enhancement, expect maximum usable frequencies to be adversely affected through to around Tuesday or Wednesday. The rest of the week should be more settled geomagnetically.

NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain hovering around the 70 mark, as the only sunspot visible is a tiny fleck, which looks very unthreatening.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather will continue into next week, but at least it may provide some strong rain shower activity at times, which is good for microwave band rain scatter. As a matter of interest, as the winter progresses, the seas cool and eventually maritime showers around the coasts become less significant for this propagation mode. We then have to wait for the land to warm in the spring and give us the familiar April showers!

The other VHF interest may involve some marginal Tropo conditions over southern Britain later in the week as high pressure builds across the near continent. The effects may mainly be confined to southern Britain, with paths to Europe and perhaps across the southern North Sea to the Baltic.

We are now in the annual low in sporadic meteor activity, which lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April. This means that random meteor scatter contacts will be harder to complete.

The Moon’s declination is increasing this week and it is coming closer after last week’s apogee. With positive declination from Tuesday and falling losses, conditions will get better for EME as the week progresses. Lowest losses coincide with next weekend, so get those antennas pointing at the moon.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 14th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Band Plans updated

  • RSGBTech and RSGBForum have moved

  • National Museum of Computing to host Raspberry Jam

The 2018 RSGB Band Plans can be found in the forthcoming February edition of RadCom, due to arrive with Members this week, and online. These incorporate changes from the 2017 IARU Region 1 Conference, along with UK usage changes. The main changes are in the 5MHz HF band, and the 50, 144 and 430MHz VHF/UHF bands. At 5MHz, the changes align with the flexible UK Usage plan and the lack of full access to the WRC-15 band. At VHF/UHF a number of new features accommodate digital modes and encourage experimentation. VHF DX and Contest enthusiasts should particularly note the changes in the 144MHz narrowband segment. At UHF, new designations for personal hot spots and reverse split repeaters have been introduced to accommodate growth in digital usage. Further information on the changes can be found in RadCom – and the online change notes, plus full band plans, are at www.rsgb.org/bandplans

The independent Yahoo! Groups RSGBTech and RSGBForum have moved to groups.io. Existing members of both groups, with working accounts, were automatically copied to the corresponding new groups. In addition, previous messages, files and so on held in each group were also copied to the new group location in order to maintain continuity of service. Anyone wishing to join RSGBTech or RSGBForum, should visit groups.io and search for the corresponding Group.

Raspberry Jams are something of a phenomenon. Independent and run by volunteers, they gather together people from all walks of life to celebrate the Raspberry Pi in particular, and digital making in general. The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park is holding a Raspberry Jam for younger people, who are just starting out with coding and creating their own projects. Running from 12 noon to 5pm on the 16th of February, tickets cost from £9.20 depending upon your age. Please note that this is not a ‘Drop-Off’ event: parental supervision is required at all times. Your ticket also gets you access to the whole of the museum, giving you the chance to find inspiration from the 70 years of computing that have come before. Tickets and details are available at https://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0114-A

Phil Cragg, G3UGK has indicated that he is standing down as Morse Competency Project Lead. The RSGB wishes to thank him for his work on behalf of the Training and Education Committee (TEC). The RSGB is now seeking a successor to take forward the Morse Competency Scheme, including proposed changes to make the scheme more accessible that are at an advanced state of preparation. If you feel you can assist in this capacity and wish to discuss it further, please contact TEC Chair Paul Whatton, G4DCV via email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System Newsletter reports that many Indonesian pirates were heard on the 30th of December in the 7.000 to 7.040MHz range, USB and LSB, active in 5kHz increments. Signals were reported to be rather strong in Europe. There were also Chinese over-the-horizon radars on 7 and 14MHz, emitting 10kHz wide bursts with durations of 3.8 and 7.6 seconds, and often jumping. A Russian military system was also reported, transmitting DSB on 7.030MHz from Crimea, covering about 5.6kHz for several days. Radio Eritrea and white noise jamming reported to be from Radio Ethiopia continue to be reported on 7.140 and 7.180MHz.

The Bouvet Island 3Y0Z DXpedition team has issued an invitation to follow the team while it’s on its way to the “most remote place on Earth”. The 3Y0Z team will be using a Garmin InReach SE satellite-tracking device that will enable others to follow the team’s travel route and progress in real time on a map. The device uses Iridium satellite technology and will send a waypoint along the route every 30 minutes. These will appear on the Bouvet MapShare website, as the team travels to Chile and eastward on the vessel Betanzos on the 10- to 12-day journey across the South Atlantic to Bouvet. See more at https://share.garmin.com/bouvet

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

Today, the 14th, The Red Rose Winter Rally will be held at The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park M41 7FJ. The venue is opposite the Trafford Centre and is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. The hall is all on one level with a large free car park. There is a café on site. Doors open at 11am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Further details from John on 0787 016 1953 or see www.wmrc.co.uk

We have no details in the diary for any rallies next weekend. The next rally on our list is the Horncastle Radio Rally on the 27th of January.

Please do not just assume we know about your event. The February RadCom lists every rally we have been told about, but we suspect there are some notable omissions. To get your rally or event information into future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Brian, GW4DVB will be operating a small holiday DXpedition between the 21st and 28th of January. Operating as J88PI from Palm Island situated near the southern tip of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The IOTA reference is NA-025. He will be using a Yaesu FT-991A with 100 watts into a 10m vertical on the 10, 15, 17, 20 and 40m bands, SSB only. QSL direct only to PO Box 20:20, Llanharan, Pontyclun, CF72 9ZA.

Rich, PA0RRS will be on Penang Island, West Malaysia using his 9M2MRS callsign until the 31st of January. The IOTA reference is AS-015 and QSLs go via his home call.

Thomas, DL9OBQ is on the air as 9Z4/DL9OBQ from Saint Augustine, Trinidad Island, IOTA SA-011, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 30, 17 and 15 metres, using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Steve, KG4LJB is operating as C6AJB from Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, IOTA NA-001, until the 20th of January. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 17 metres. QSL to his home call.

A group of operators will be on the air as E31A from the 14th to the 23rd of January. Activity will be on 160 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. The main objective of this trip is to support the Eritrean National Olympic Committee. QSL via JH1AJT.

Now the special event news

The GB1LBC will be on the air from Silloth RNLI Lifeboat Station on the 20th and 21st and the 27th and 28th of January, to raise awareness of the work the volunteer crews undertake in the coastal waters of the UK. Main operating bands will be 40m voice and 20m digital modes, mostly PSK and FT8. Other bands maybe used if conditions allow. QSL information is on QRZ.com.

MX0YHA in SD94 and MX0PHX in SK41 will be on air on the 2m band today, the 14th, for the Robin Hood January VHF Award. Details are online at www.robinhoodradio.uk

Members of the Norwegian national society are on the air with special calls LM90NRRL, LM90HQ and LM90C throughout 2018 to celebrate their 90th year as their national IARU Society.

Now the contest news

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

On the 18th the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 70MHz UK Activity contest that uses all modes from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

On the 20th the datamodes AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using only the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The Worked All Britain 1.8MHz contest takes place from 1900 to 2300UTC on the 20th of January. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 10th of February. Full details of the rules and log sheets are online at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 12th January.

Last week, we continued to suffer the effects of coronal holes on the Sun, which are very prevalent at this point in the solar cycle. On Wednesday, HF was very lacklustre with little on the bands and 20m closing around 4pm. Having said that, there were pearls to be found. The 6O6O DXpedition to Somalia has been worked by many UK stations on 20 and 15 metres and Japan has been heard on 40 metres.

In mid-Winter, it can pay to check out 80 metres too. The USA is often romping in on SSB at the top end of the band around sunrise. Even if you have a compromise antenna you may be able to hear the louder stations, such as Mitchell, KH6M in Naples, Florida. Just listen around 3.795MHz for the 80 metre DX nets from 7.00am onwards. Transatlantic signals will start to fade out after sunrise around 8am as the D layer starts to build.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain around 70, reflecting zero sunspots, but we may get some geomagnetic disturbances due to the ongoing effects of coronal holes. NOAA predicts the K index may rise to a maximum of four, bringing unsettled conditions this weekend. Unsettled conditions are also predicted for the following weekend of the 20th and 21st, so mid-week may be best for HF. As always, we recommend using tools, such as the International Beacon Network, DX Cluster, or Reverse Beacon Network, to get a real-time snapshot of conditions. Or best of all, get on the bands, tune around and call CQ! Overall, make the most of the low bands – 160, 80 and 40 metres – which are at their best this time of year.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There has been some Tropo over the last week, but the conditions are on the turn again as pressure falls and a cold front crosses the country after this weekend. Any remaining Tropo will be gone by Monday evening as the cold front arrives and introduces a cold, showery west to north-westerly across the country.

Much of the coming week will be rather windy with showers, so microwave bands rain scatter, satellites and aircraft scatter at VHF and above should be the modes of choice. There’s still plenty to keep DXers happy!

We are now entering the annual ‘low’ in sporadic meteor activity that lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April, so you’ll still need to work hard for meteor scatter contacts.

The Moon is at apogee on Monday and minimum declination on Tuesday, so EME opportunities will be short with low moon elevations and path losses at their highest of this month’s lunar cycle.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 7th. January 2018.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th January 2018

 

The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year to all

  • Jeff Smith, MI0AEX awarded MBE

  • Volunteer now for RSGB positions

 

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 the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week by email to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons by 4.30pm.

Congratulations to RSGB Past President Jeff Smith, MI0AEX, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to health, for founding Ards First Responders. The Ards Peninsula First Responders is a volunteer group who responds to life threatening emergency calls, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, serving the BT22 area.

This is the time of year when we call for volunteers to step forward for election at the AGM that will take place at Jurys Inn in Birmingham on the 21st of April. In 2018 the RSGB will be looking to appoint a President, two elected Board Directors, two nominated Board Directors and two Regional Managers. Regions 1 and 11 are open for volunteers whether the current RM is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies can be found on page 9 of the January 2018 RadCom. Completed papers with their supporting signatures, or electronic nominations, must be received at HQ by 2359UTC on 31 January 2018.

In 2017, a team led by Noel, G8GTZ and Brian, G4NNS made several visits to Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to use the 32m GHY6 dish for 3.4GHz and 5.6GHz EME operation. During one of the visits, Michael Portillo and the Great British Railway Journeys team visited and filmed a sequence including EME operation. The program schedule has now been confirmed and it will be shown on Friday the 12th of January at 6.30pm on BBC2. Described as “Going to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera”, the sequence will show Michael talking to Brian, G4NNS and operating his station under supervision to “talk to the moon” and hear his echoes coming back.

During the Winter Olympic Games, until the 28th of February, all South Korean licensed stations and operators may change the number in their call signs to 23.

History was made on Friday the 29th of December when what is believed to be the first ever Wainwrights on the Air activation and chase were made using Yaesu’s C4FM mode. Mark, M0NOM, activated Orrest Head using the more normal FM mode and also C4FM (commonly known as Fusion) simplex. Contact was made at around 1.30pm with Sue, G1OHH, who was at her home in Lancaster using DN/C4FM mode. Mark, M0NOM was using a Yaesu FT1 handset and Sue, G1OHH was using her FTM400XDE. Both Mark and Sue are members of the North West Fusion Group who aim to promote the use of the mode throughout the North West of England. The contact wasn’t specifically pre-arranged but made in the same way that operators would on FM. The group uses 144.6875 DN simplex as a frequency of choice and welcome any contacts on that frequency and mode. North West Fusion Group can also be found on Facebook.

The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society is inviting two youngsters from IARU Region 1 to join the A44A contest team. These two young radio amateurs will have the opportunity to join the CQ World Wide 160-Meter contest in SSB or CW in the beginning of 2018. The Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society will cover flight and accommodation costs for both youngsters. Apply online at www.iaru-r1.org as soon as possible if you are interested in taking part. A participant must be under the age of 26 years.

The RSGB assists HF DXpeditions to the rarer countries through a fund that is supported each year from proceeds of the raffle, which is held at the annual RSGB Convention, as well as income from legacies and donations. The Society is looking to appoint a 5th Trustee for the HF DXpedition Fund who, given the increasing number of applications, will also act as Secretary to the group. Details of duties can be found on the RSGB website under ‘volunteer vacancies’. Applicants should be enthusiastic HF DXers with an interest in DXCC and IOTA. RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment to this important role should contact Steve Thomas, M1ACB, RSGB General Manager, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

During January, Ofcom is holding public meetings in Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh to gain feedback on its proposed Annual Plan, which outlines Ofcom’s planned areas of work for the next financial year. Those with an interest in Ofcom’s work are encouraged to attend one of the meetings, which offer an opportunity to comment on Ofcom's approach to TV, radio, telecoms, postal and wireless communications services. Details are at tinyurl.comGB2RS-0107A

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

Next Sunday, the 14th, The Red Rose Winter Rally will be held at The George H Carnall Leisure Centre, Kingsway Park M41 7FJ. The venue is opposite the Trafford Centre and is easily accessible from junction 9 of the M60. The hall is all on one level with a large free car park. There is a café on site. Doors open at 11am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Further details from John on 0787 016 1953 or see www.wmrc.co.uk

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Pat, N2IEN will be on the air as A52PD from Bhutan until the 14th of January. QSLs go via NR6M.

Jim, WB2TJO is operating as 3D2JS from Taveuni Island, IOTA reference OC-016, until the 13th of March. Activity is on the 80 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and some digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Trung, W6TN is on the air as 3W9T from Vietnam until the 11th of January. Activity is on the 20 and 40m bands using CW. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Pat, N2IEN is operating as A52PD from Bhutan until the 14th of January. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands using mostly CW and various digital modes. QSL via NR6M.

Take, JA8DKJ is on the air as 8J8SSF from Hokkaido, IOTA AS-078, until the 12th of February during the Sapporo Snow Festival. QSL via the bureau.

Now the special event news

On the 7th of January, MX0YHA & MX0PHX will celebrate Russian Christmas from high ground in North Yorkshire and in the East Midlands. They will use the 2m FM band, as well as 40m and 20m if conditions allow. A special downloadable self-service QSL card is available: follow the links on www.phoenixarc.org.uk

Alex, UA1OJL is stationed at the Bellingshausen Base on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. Until the 31st of March he will be using the special callsign RI50ANO to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bellingshausen Base. QSL Manager is RN1ON, via Club Log OQRS.

Now the contest news

The ARRL RTTY Roundup ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 7th of January. Using the 2.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number. US stations send their State; Canadian stations send their Province.

The CW AFS contest takes place today, the 7th of January, from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed by the 50MHz UK Activity Contest using all modes. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 13th, the SSB AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 5th January.

Last week the solar flux index, or SFI, hovered around the 70 mark, reflecting the lack of sunspots. Given that the SFI doesn’t really fall below about 65-66 at sunspot minimum, this shows the distinct lack of solar activity at this time. This meant that the lower bands were the ones to see the most activity, with 80 and 40 metres showing just how well they can work during the winter. There were reports of the US being worked on 80 metres at sunrise and on 40 metres during late afternoon. Japan was also worked on 40 metres. This month will offer very similar propagation to December on the low bands so make sure you don't miss it.

There were also reports of Sporadic-E openings into Europe on the HF bands. Winter Sporadic-E can often bring strong short-skip openings from 40 up to 10 metres, as well as on the 6m band, as you will hear later.

The SFI is predicted to remain around 70 next week, so expect more of the same, propagation-wise.

Unsettled geomagnetic conditions are forecast for around the seventh and eighth, due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole. The 23th and 14th may also be unsettled, with a possible maximum K index of five, so look for auroral-type noisy conditions, and depressed maximum usable frequencies after a potential short-lived upswing after the enhanced solar wind hits.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The New Year starts with a hint of tropo promise as high pressure drifts across the north of the country this weekend. Conditions in such winter highs may not always deliver good results and this one could be a bringer of shallow surface inversions with only limited tropo lift potential. This high will soon be replaced by the return of low pressure and more unsettled conditions during next week, so look for rain scatter on the microwave bands.

Last week saw some good 50MHz Sporadic-E into Europe, mainly from western Britain and one reported path within Europe on 70MHz. This is a timely reminder that, although rare, Sporadic-E is possible outside of the traditional high summer season, so keep looking!

After last week’s short Quadrantids meteor shower we are entering the annual ‘low’ in sporadic meteor activity that lasts until the Lyrids shower at the end of April, so you’ll need to work hard for meteor scatter contacts for a while.

Moon declination goes negative on Monday and we are just a week away from its apogee, the point at which the moon is furthest from the Earth, so EME opportunities will be short and path losses will increase as the week progresses.

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

 

- Older Posts »