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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 17th. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 17th of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • Thanks to all Newsreaders and listeners

  • RSGB releases Measuring Spectrum Pollution video

  • SDR book is surprise best-seller

Next weekend will see the final GB2RS news broadcast for 2017. The RSGB would like to thank the loyal band of news reading volunteers for their service to the amateur community throughout the year. We would also like to thank those that listen to the news each week and call in to the news readers after the broadcast. There will be no news reading on the 31st of December; normal service will return on the 7th of January.

The RSGB has released the video of the RSGB Convention lecture by Alwyn Seeds, G8DOH on Measuring Spectrum Pollution at VHF and UHF. Members can view it via the RSGB video portal. This lecture is the basis for the article in the January RadCom written in conjunction with John, G4BAO on the same subject. RSGB Members can find the video via the RSGB video portal, www.rsgb.org/videos  

Last orders for UK delivery at the RSGB shop is 10am on the 20th of December. RSGB Members should note that the RSGB Members’ Book Voucher runs out at the same time. An interesting story to come from the RSGB shop this week involves the new RSGB Software Defined Radio book. First detailed in the January RadCom, which has only just started arriving on doorsteps, over a third of the book’s print run sold within the first 24 hours. So, if you are thinking about using your voucher on this book, don’t delay. You can read all about the book on page 77 of the January RadCom.

The National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park will play host to the GB17YOTA callsign on the 30th and 31st of December, as part of Youngsters on the Air month. There will be an opportunity for licenced visitors to operate the station. If you are an RSGB Member, you can also print a voucher for free entry to Bletchley Park. Details for this are at https://thersgb.org/members/portal/bpvouchers/ All enthusiasts are welcome to the event, both young and old, licensed or not. If you need more information please email youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk 

Over the past few years, various members of the Contest Support Committee have been involved in producing a definitive list of past winners of the contest trophies. The collected information is not necessarily complete as some trophies have been awarded for almost 100 years. It is now available on the RSGBCC website at www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/trophies.pl. Please do take a look at that page. If you have won a trophy in the past and the information is missing or incorrect, please let us know. You can contact Jacqui, G6XSY by email to trophies@rsgbcc.org.

The South African Radio League will host the 2018 Youngsters on the Air – YOTA – Annual Camp. This annual event brings together young people from Region 1 and elsewhere for a week, creating an opportunity to learn all about different nationalities and cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill, and learn new amateur radio skills. Several articles on the UK 2017 event at Gilwell Park appeared during the year in RadCom and there are several videos on the RSGB website too.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 remains quite sparse so please, if you are a rally organiser – or know one – let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

John, N9MDH will be in Togo as 5V7JE until the end of May. Main activity will be digimodes on the WARC bands.

Volker, DJ8VW will be active as 5P8VW from Romo Island, IOTA reference EU-125, until the 23rd of December. He will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSLs are preferred via Club Log OQRS, as well as eQSL, Logbook of The World or via DJ8VW, either direct or via the bureau.

Georg, NZ1C will be active holiday style as TK/NZ1C from Corsica until the 24th of December. He will operate CW and FT8, with some SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via DD5ZZ.

Dirk, DF2XG is on the air as 3W9XG from Hai Phong in Vietnam while there on work assignment. Activity is in his spare time on the 10 to 40m bands using CW. QSL via operator’s instructions.

Vlad, UA4WHX will soon be on the air as 4L/UA4WHX from Georgia. Activity will be on the 17 to 40m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. His length of stay is unknown. QSL to his home callsign.

Ernest, J69Z is operating as 8P9JB from Barbados, NA-021, until the 2nd of January. Activity is on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL direct to his home callsign.

Mauri, AG1LE is on the air as E51DXX from Rarotonga, OC-013, until the 29th of December. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using SSB, PSK31 and FT8. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA, for Youngsters on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 17th, will see Durham & District ARS operating the callsign. This is followed from the 20th to the 22nd by Castle Rushen High School, then on the 23rd and 24th by Mid-Ulster ARC. A list of activations is on page 8 of the December RadCom.

2E0XLG will be on air for the 3rd Robin Hood Special Yuletide VHF Award activity from Earby in North Yorkshire on the 17th of December. Activity will be on 2m FM between 10am and 4pm. More details are online at www.robinhoodradio.uk.

Special event station YP2018HNY will be on the air from the 15th of December to the 15th of January to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via YO3KPA.

Alex, 5B4ALX is on the air as special event station 5B4XMAS from Cyprus until the 31st of December. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IZ4AMS.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon continues. There are no set operating times, just work as many Locator squares as you can. You can upload your log as many times as you like, while you build your score.

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

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is followed at 2000 to 2230UTC by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest, where all modes may be used. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Last week, the solar flux index nudged into the low 70s, although the sun remained spotless. The enhanced solar wind from a coronal hole pushed the K index to four, and it remained around three for long periods during the week. So these were far from ideal conditions for F2 layer DX on the higher bands, but there were good openings to be had.

Last weekend’s ARRL 10 metre contest benefitted from some extended Sporadic-E openings around Europe. The openings were possibly caused by strong jet stream activity over central and northern Europe. This is a reminder that it is worth checking 10 metres now and again to see if the band is open. Others have reported good mid- to late-afternoon openings on 40 metres, with Australasia and the Pacific being worked at times. This is classic mid-winter propagation and it is worth looking out for.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the low to mid 70s. Another Earth-facing coronal hole on the sun’s equator on Thursday will no doubt result in a high-speed solar wind stream. NOAA predicts this has the potential to push the K index up to five this weekend and Monday, with the possibility of depressed maximum usable frequencies and auroral conditions. The K index may settle again from Tuesday onwards. So the best advice is to concentrate on the long winter nights, with 40m possibly opening up from late afternoon and the potential for DX on 160, 80 and 40m through the night and at sunrise.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a cold end to the week, there will be a marked change as high pressure returns across the southern half of Britain during this weekend. Much of the country will have good conditions and the chance of fairly widespread Tropo at times during next week. The models are in agreement in developing a large high over Biscay, which could go on to produce lift conditions over the southern half of the UK and much of the continent. Windier conditions over northern areas will limit the Tropo activity over Scotland, but even here some enhancement of conditions is possible at times.

With the Geminids shower peak now over, we revert to more normal meteor scatter conditions until the January Quadrantids, with early mornings continuing to be the best time for making QSOs.

With Moon apogee and minimum declination on Tuesday, EME opportunities will be short and path losses high, so maybe it’s a good week to make some pre-Christmas QSOs using the various artificial satellites at our disposal.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 10th of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • Croatians get 5MHz plus Top Band extensions

  • RSGB Raspberry Pi lecture online

  • MSF maintenance shutdown

On the 24th of November, the Croatian Regulatory Authority published changes to the rules on amateur radio communications in the Republic of Croatia. According to these changes, Croatian radio amateurs now have access to the WRC-15 60m amateur secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP. They now also have access to the 160m band from 1810 to 2000kHz, with 1.5kW maximum power from 1810 to 1850kHz and 1kW between 1850 and 2000kHz.

The RSGB has released the video of the RSGB Convention 2017 Raspberry Pi lecture by Mike Richards, G4WNC. Members can view it via the RSGB video portal. Mike’s presentation includes a range of practical Pi projects to encourage people to get their Raspberry Pi out of the drawer and into use. These uses include a data modes terminal using FLDIGI and WSJT-X, a DVB-T dongle receiver and using the Pi to control things around the shack. Also released this week were Latest Developments in IOTA by the IOTA management team and 51LYC Brings Pukapuka Atoll OC-098 in North Cook Islands on the air by Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC. All three can be found via the RSGB video portal, www.rsgb.org/videos  

The MSF 60kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be shut down on the 14th of December from 1000 to 1400UTC. The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out safely. The MSF radio signal is a dedicated time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time, based on the NPL time scale UTC.

The Codebreakers’ Wall is a specially reserved area in the grounds of Bletchley Park for veterans, their families and supporters of Bletchley Park to have their names engraved into a brick to share with loved ones for many years to come. A digital version of the wall is now available soon so you can search for names, locate bricks in the Codebreakers’ Wall and discover the stories behind the bricks. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/codebreakers-wall to learn more.

A meeting was held on the 2nd of December between the President of IARU Region 1 and the President of the European Radio Amateurs’ Organisation. Also present were the Chair of IARU Region 1’s Spectrum and Regulatory Liaison Committee and the Secretary-General of EURAO. The meeting was held against a background of both IARU Region 1 and EURAO having Letters of Understanding with CEPT, enabling participation in the work of CEPT. Both organisations accepted that they had shared objectives, identified some specific areas for interworking and will continue a constructive dialogue into the future.

Due to a change in work circumstances and a significantly increased workload, Sara McGarvey, 2I0SSW has reluctantly decided that she needs to step down from her RSGB Board responsibilities and thus has tendered her resignation as an Elected Board member of the RSGB. The Chairman and Board would like to thank Sara for her contribution to the Society especially associated with YOTA 2017. Sara will be continuing with her Deputy Regional Manager role in Northern Ireland. Details of all the Board and Regional vacancies are in the January 2018 RadCom, along with information about the nomination process.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is still looking quite empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Lester, W8YCM is on the air until January 2018 as 6Y6Y from Westmoreland Parish at Negril, Jamaica, IOTA reference NA-097. Activity is holiday style on various HF bands. QSL direct to home call.

Elvira, IV3FSG is on the air as E44YL from Bethlehem until the 18th of December. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and various digital modes. QSL via IK3GES.

Rich, PA0RRS is operating as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, AS 015, until the 31st of January 2018. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and PSK. QSL to home call.

Ulmar, DK1CE is on the air as V5/DK1CE near Omaruru in Namibia until the 15th of December. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using CW and some SSB. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA, for Youngsters on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 10th, sees Mid Ulster ARC operating it. The King’s School Radio Club in Ottery St Mary, Devon takes up the mantle on Monday. Worcester Radio Amateurs Association are on the air on the 12th, followed by Aberystwyth & District ARS on the 13th and Swansea Radio Society on the 14th. Silcoates School radio club will bring it to life on the 15th and Durham and District ARS take to the airwaves on the 16th and 17th. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December edition of RadCom.

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's reunification, Hong Kong licensed radio amateurs are being allowed to use the special prefix VR20 on a voluntary basis until the 30th of June 2018.

DT23WOP from the Republic of Korea is on the air until February 2018 for the 23rd Olympic Winter Games. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL via HL1IWD.

The traditional Santa Claus Land station OH9SCL is operating during December from Finnish Lapland. Activity is mainly on 160 to 10 metres using all modes, including FT8. QSL via OH9AB.

Now the contest news

This weekend’s ARRL 10m contest ends its run at 2359UTC today, the 10th. Using CW and phone only, the exchange is signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations will also exchange their State or Province code.

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

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon continues. There are no set operating times, just work as many Locator squares as you can. You can upload your log as many times as you like, while you build your score.

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

Last week, the effects of the high-speed solar wind from another coronal hole saw the K index climb to five on Tuesday and remain relatively high throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The ionosphere took a hit and daytime maximum usable frequencies struggled to exceed 18MHz at times. By Thursday, conditions were starting to improve a little, but the HF bands were still noisy with a distinct lack of signals.

The solar disk also remained fairly unblemished by sunspots, other than one very tiny group of three that saw the solar flux index climb, if that is the right word, to 68. This will most likely be the trend for the next 18 months or so as we experience the end of solar cycle 24.

Daytime critical frequencies have been around 5-6 megahertz, which means 60 and 80 metres remain the best bands for UK-wide short skip in daylight. Night-time critical frequencies of around three megahertz mean 80m is largely closed to short skip, although both it and 40 metres are potentially open to longer distances.

This weekend, another coronal hole is rotating into an earth-facing position and NOAA predicts we may have disturbed geomagnetic conditions from Monday the 11th through to Wednesday the 13th. Conditions should then be more settled through to next weekend.

The solar flux index is predicted to continue to hover around the 68-70 mark and, with such a poor prognosis for HF propagation, it might be worth concentrating on night-time DX, or looking at using more efficient data modes, such as PSK or FT8 on the 20 and 30 metre bands during daylight.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week, the nights of the 13th and 14th see the peak of the Geminids, one of the largest meteor showers of the year. The Zenithal Hourly Rate, or ZHR, is an idealised number for the visually-observed meteors seen under a moonless sky with the radiant at the zenith. There will be many more radio meteor reflections observed than this number. The Geminids has a ZHR rate of 120, so look for plenty of good, strong meteor bursts on the lower VHF bands.

As well as the usual digimodes, SSB and CW QSOs can often be made in this shower, if you get your operating technique nice and slick. There is no moonlight on Wednesday night, so, if the skies are clear, go outside and take a look for bright meteors.

We are in a cold northerly weather pattern for this week and with minor troughs running south and small lows developing; this type of weather is very poor for Tropo. That leaves us just a hope for some rain/snow scatter on the gigahertz bands from some of the heavy wintry showers, which will be fairly commonplace near the coasts. More organised areas of rain and snow may affect some areas during the week. As usual, use the various radar visualisation tools online to track the precipitation.

Moon declination goes negative on Monday night and losses are rising as the Moon moves away. Due to this, EME opportunities will be shorter and signals lower.

And that’s all from the propagation team this week

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 3rd. December 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 3rd of December 2017

The news headlines:

  • SSTV from ISS this week

  • New AROS coordinator wanted

  • Book for January Advanced Distance Learning

ARISS has announced that the MAI-75 slow-scan TV system in the Russian Service Module of the International Space Station will be on the air starting on the 5th of December at around 1500UTC and continuing until the 6th of December at 0900UTC. Test images will be transmitted on 145.800MHz FM and should be available worldwide. SSTV activity on the 7th and 8th of December is scheduled to occur at times when the ISS is above Moscow. In the past images have been sent in PD180 mode, with a 3-minute off-time between each image.

The Amateur Radio Observation Service is the RSGB’s confidential advisory and reporting service. It is intended to assist radio amateurs and others who may be affected by problems which occur within the amateur bands or which develop on other frequencies as a result of amateur transmissions. The AROS Coordinator runs a team of volunteer observers and liaises with Ofcom’s enforcement team. They also oversee Intruder Watch, the RSGB's Monitoring System. The current coordinator, Mark Jones, G0MGX is stepping down from the role after several years’ invaluable service. The RSGB is looking for a volunteer, who must be an RSGB Member, to fill the vacancy. The role requires patience and tact, as well as managing the coordination of the team of AROS volunteers. Further information about AROS can be found on the RSGB’s website, www.rsgb.org/aros. 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 by email to m0phi@rsgb.org.uk.

The next Advanced Distance Learning run by the Bath-based team course is due to start on the 26th of January, aiming for an exam in early July. The course is free but students must provide their own textbook and calculator, and arrange their own exam when the time comes. Guidance is provided by the course team. A £30 deposit is required to secure a place on the course and the deposit is refunded to those who see the course through. Deposits from students who did not complete the course, and generous donations from students who did, have so far raised over ten thousand pounds for charities like the RCF, Wireless for the Blind and RAIB. Places are limited in number and the last three courses have been full well before the start date. So, if you are interested in joining, contact Course Leader, Steve, G0FUW via email to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk.

The RSGB Youth Committee is delighted to have the callsign MX0RYC re-allocated by Ofcom. This callsign was used during the youth DXpedition in Wales in 2015. It will be used by the Youth Committee for our outreach activities. You can follow what they do on twitter @theRSGByouth. 

Hull, the UK’s City of Culture, is now in its final month. Humber Fortress DX ARC has held the NoV GB0HCC for most of the year, with Hull & District ARS also helping out. They have worked most continents during the year. The next UK City of Culture will be announced next month and they would encourage the radio clubs in the chosen city to join forces and make it a year to remember. If anyone would like more information about how they set the event up, please email john.cunliffe@hfdxarc Those involved would like to thank Ofcom for extending the GB0HCC NoV throughout 2018 to be operated by Humber Fortress DX ARC on club nights.

Long-standing RSGB QSL Bureau member Lynne Constantine, G6CQG, passed away last week after a long illness. The Bureau says the final round of deliveries for 2017 to some sub-groups may be delayed as a result.

With the successful completion of the Canada C3 Expedition via the Northwest Passage, which culminated with the arrival of the Polar Prince in Victoria, British Columbia, the CG3EXP special event callsign has been retired. The Polar Prince will continue to carry an Ultimate 3 WSPR beacon as the ship returns to the East Coast via the Panama Canal. The vessel’s WSPR system will identify as VE0EXP. The CG3EXP WSPR beacon transmitted on 20, 30, and 40 metres. Anyone with an HF receiver and the free WSPR application may be able to receive the VE0EXP signal and track the vessel’s location on WSPRnet.

The RSGB’s Emerging Technology Coordination Committee develops and enhances the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications systems and promotes the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. This committee performs a key role in the enjoyment of amateur radio by large numbers of RSGB Members. After many years of service to the society as the Chair of the ETCC, John McCullagh, GI4BWM, has decided that it is now time to retire from this role. The position of Chair of the ETCC Committee is offered for an initial period of up to three years. RSGB Members who wish to be considered for appointment to this important role should write to RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The RSGB has just released three more RSGB Convention 2017 lectures that link with the Strategy. You’ll find them all on the video portal, www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos. Board Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW explains more about the Strategy itself, President Nick Henwood, G3RWF gives a progress report on the “Breaking the mould – clubs and groups for the 21st Century” project and Youth Committee Deputy Chair Milo Noblet, M0ILO summarises the successful YOTA 2017 event and a brief look at how we will be building on it.

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

We have no rallies in the diary before Christmas. But, on the 29th of December, the Yeovil Amateur Radio Club Table Top Rally will take place at Sparkford Village Hall, Church Road, Sparkford, Somerset BA22 7JN.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is still looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Hartwig, DL7BC will be operating as FY/DL7BC/p near Cayenne in French Guiana until the 7th of December. QSL direct to home call.

John, N9MDH is on the air as 5V1JE from Lome in Togo until the end of May 2018. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via Logbook of the World.

The Kuala Lumpur DX Team will be active as 9M4IOTA from Langkawi Island, IOTA reference AS-058, in West Malaysia until the 4th of December. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on 80 to 10 metres. QSL direct to 9M2OOO.

Olof, G0CKV is operating as 3B9HA until the 12th of December 12 from Rodrigues Island, AF-017. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using CW and possibly FT8. He will be a Single Op/All Band entry in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to M0OXO.

Andre, ON7YK is operating as C5YK from Kerr Serign, in The Gambia, until the 30th of January 2018. Activity is on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres using mostly digital modes, with a focus on FT8, and some CW. QSL via operator's instructions.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is GB17YOTA on the air for Youngster on the Air month. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Today, the 3rd, sees the Wessex Contest Group operating the call. On Tuesday, Carrickfergus ARG take over, then Southampton University Wireless Society on Wednesday. Chertsey Radio Club will working with 6th Staines Scout Group on Thursday and this will ensure that anyone who missed JOTA last week will have a chance to go on air and complete their communicators badges. On Friday, the callsign transfers to Hilderstone Radio Club. Over the weekend Worksop ARS will operate on Saturday and Mid-Ulster ARC next Sunday. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December edition of RadCom.

GB2ROR will be on the air from BBC Broadcasting House, London on the 7th of December on 40m HF and 2m VHF in memory of Radio 4 announcer Rory Morrison, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2013. The radio station will coincide with the annual BBC staff bake-off organised each year by Radio 4's Susan Rae in aid of Rory’s charity. The operator will be Jonathan, M5AEO.

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m contest ends its run at 1600UTC today, Sunday the 3rd. Using CW only, the exchange is the usual signal report. US and Canadian stations also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

The RSGB 144MHz AFS contest takes place today, the 3rd. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 2m band and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. It is immediately followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC, in which all modes may be used. The exchange is the same: signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the ARRL 10m contest runs from 0000UTC on the 9th to 2359UTC on the 10th. Using CW and phone only, the exchange is signal report and serial number. American and Canadian stations will also exchange their State or Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4DDK on Friday the 1st of December.

HF propagation for last week’s CQ Worldwide CW contest was fair to middling. There was a 10 metre opening on Saturday, but otherwise the money bands were 20 and 15 metres during the day, with 40 and 80 metres coming into their own after sunset. The predicted poorer geomagnetic conditions on Sunday didn’t really materialise, but it was interesting to see how quiet the bands were on Monday – after the contest had finished. It is amazing how contest activity can really show that the HF bands are actually open!

Otherwise, last week the solar flux index remained in the low 70s while geomagnetic conditions were mainly settled. Tuesday and Thursday saw the K index climb to four and five respectively, the latter event probably caused by a glancing blow from a relatively-weak coronal mass ejection (CME).

As we head into December you will find that 20 metres now opens later and closes earlier, often around or before sunset. But the lower bands really start to deliver, with 40m and 80m offering long periods of DX after dark. Top Band, as 160 metres is often known, can also offer DX for those equipped for 1.8MHz.

If you are using a VOACAP-based propagation prediction program, the predicted smoothed sunspot number for December is 13 using the McNish and Lincoln method. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the low 70s, but we may be set for poor geomagnetic conditions at times. The K index is predicted to reach a peak of six some time from Monday to Thursday, due to a large coronal hole rotating into an Earth-facing position. Expect the possibility of pre-auroral enhancements, but ultimately depressed maximum usable frequencies and auroral conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weekend starts with a cold northerly pattern with wintry showers in eastern coastal regions giving some rain scatter. But this will soon fade as high pressure becomes more dominant by Sunday and through a large portion of next week. This is potentially good Tropo news for the RSGB 144MHz AFS contest on Sunday the 3rd, especially for stations in the west and south. As the high develops, the subsidence inversion may provide some extended paths, especially midweek as the high starts to decline. The favoured areas will be over southern and southwestern UK, but many places could do well for a time, especially if we have some overnight mist and fog, which in December can last well into the morning. Later in the week it will turn more unsettled again so it’s unlikely the Tropo will last to the following weekend.

Now to meteor scatter. The Geminids have a broad peak, culminating on the 13th and 14th of December. This is usually one of the best showers of the year, with a maximum Zenithal Hourly Rate, or ZHR, of 120. This week, in the run-up to the maximum, we can expect many useful reflections. Also remember that the minor shower, Puppid/Velids, with its low ZHR, will peak around Saturday the 9th. Early December has a number of other weak showers, so the meteor scatter enthusiasts should see some nice reflections throughout the week.

Sunday's full moon is known as the Cold Moon and is also a Super Moon. It is the only visible Super Moon of 2017. The moon will be closest to earth so it will appear large in the sky. As it is at perigee path losses will be at their lowest, enabling smaller EME stations an ideal opportunity to work other small stations.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 26th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • New FM repeater satellite

  • ITU-R celebrates 90 years

  • SDR pioneer dies

A new easy-to-use amateur radio satellite was launched last weekend and was switched on for general use on Thursday. AO-91, also known as RadFxSat and Fox-1B is a Cubesat that carries an FM transponder. The uplink is on 435.250MHz FM, plus or minus Doppler, with a mandatory 67Hz CTCSS tone for access. The downlink is on 145.960MHz FM. The present position of the satellite can be seen www.n2yo.com and all amateurs are invited to listen out for the bird. The northernmost point of its orbit periodically passes roughly over Bedford, meaning that it will give good service over the whole of the British Isles, Europe, and beyond. Full details about the satellite are on the AMSAT-UK website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611A. By coincidence, another AMSAT mission, FUNcube-1, also known as AO-73, celebrated its fourth birthday in space this week. It has travelled well over 500 million miles in orbit since launch and been received tens of thousands of times.

On the subject of birthdays, the International Telecommunications Union celebrated 90 years of ITU-Radiocommunications Study Groups on the 21st of November. A 90th anniversary celebration issue of the ITUNews magazine can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611B Also, ITU HQ station 4U1ITU will be active in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Sad news now. One of the pioneers of software defined radio, Dr Vanu Bose, died suddenly at the age of just 52 on the 11th of November. He gained his PhD at MIT, founded, and was CEO of Vanu, Inc. His company made much early progress in SDR, including developing the first SDR GSM mobile phone base station. Later developments included solar-powered mobile phone base stations. Dr Bose donated many of these to Puerto Rico this year to replace infrastructure destroyed by the hurricanes.

The recent RSGB VDSL Survey highlighted the growing problem with RF noise radiated from phone lines carrying VDSL2 broadband services. Backed by the RSGB Legacy Fund, members of the RSGB EMC Committee are researching and developing RF digital signal processing techniques to identify and, hopefully, help mitigate VDSL RFI. The first stage, which is currently underway, is analysing files recorded by amateurs around the country and submitted via the VDSL Survey. The team will report progress as it happens.

The RSGB Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, or ETCC, develops and enhances the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications systems, and promotes the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. The Chair of the ETCC, John McCullagh, GI4BWM, has decided to retire from his role, after many years of invaluable service. RSGB is therefore seeking a volunteer, who must be an RSGB Member, to take over the position. The position of Chair of the ETCC Committee is offered for an initial period of up to three years. Anyone interested in this important role should, in the first instance, write to Steve Thomas, M1ACB, RSGB General Manager, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk, providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The RSGB telephone system suffered some problems this week. Some calls went unanswered and we may have lost some messages that were left. The RSGB apologises for anyone inconvenienced by these issues.

This weekend sandwiches between so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These relatively new traditions see discounts from all kinds of sellers, including the RSGB Bookshop. If you are an RSGB Member and have kept the RSGB up to date with your email address, you will also have received an extra discount voucher. All RSGB Members are encouraged to visit http://thersgb.org/members from time to time to make sure all their details are up to date.

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

Today, the 26th, the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6DB. The venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering facilities and a bar are on site. Doors open at 10.30am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, under 14 free of charge with adult. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

Next Saturday the Souths Lancs ARC Winter Rally takes place at Bickershaw Village Community Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. There are a limited number of pitches available. Doors open to the public at 9am, and admission is £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR, on 01942 735 828.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

This is another very good week for DX, with teams around the world activating unusual places for the CQ WW contest this weekend. Many are operating for several days before and after the contest, giving the opportunity for lots of interesting contacts. Keep an ear on the bands and your eye on the propagation tools – you might be surprised what you bag. There are far too many DXpeditions to list them all, but here is a small sample.

John, W2GD is on the air as P40W from Aruba, SA-036 until the 28th of November. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL direct to N2MM.

A group of operators will be on the air from Ghana as 9G5W until the 29th of November. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via S59ZZ.

Oliver, F6ARC is active holiday-style as FG/F6ARC until the 29th of November from Guadeloupe, NA-201. He is on various HF bands, CW only. QSL via FE11DX.

UA4CC is on the air until the 30th of November from Montenegro as 4O7CC. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes, including FT8. QSL to home call.

LU3YK, LU7VB, LU8YD and LU9VEA will be active as HC8LUT from San Cristobal Island, SA-004 from the 29th of November to the 8th of December. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using mainly SSB, but also PSK31, JT65, WSPR and FT8, plus satellite activity on FM and other modes. QSL via IK2DUW and LoTW, logsearch on Club Log.

Now the special event news

The main Special Event Station news is the start of the very special special event station GB17YOTA. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Sandringham School radio club starts the ball rolling on Friday the 1st of December, handing over to RSGB Region 7 Youth Committee representative Will Davies, 2W0WOD, on Saturday. Next Sunday sees the Wessex Contest Group taking up the call. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December RadCom.

Very few special event stations seem to be on the air this week. Ofcom reported that no UK special event stations gave their consent to be publicised in the month of November. When an application is made for a Special Event callsign the applicant signs a confirmation that the Special Event Station is in support of an event which is of special significance, and will be open to viewing by members of the public. So there is logic in ticking the box to permit Ofcom to tell RSGB about your event, so that we can publicise it in GB2RS, in RadCom, and on the RSGB website.

Now the contest news

This weekend sees the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest, which started at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning and runs to 2359UTC on Sunday night. This CW-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RST plus CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 2200 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz to 10GHz bands, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

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

On Thursday the Autumn Series continues from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 80m band, CW. The exchange is signal report plus serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon kicks off on Friday, running until the end of December. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report plus locator.

Next weekend sees the ARRL 160m contest running from 2200UTC on Friday until 1600UTC on Sunday. Using CW only, the exchange is the usual signal report. US and Canadian stations also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Finally for this week, the RSGB 144MHz AFS contest takes place next Sunday. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 2m band and 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 24th of November.

The Solar Flux Index remained in the 70s last week, reflecting the continued absence of sunspots. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled at the beginning of the week, but improved as the effects of a coronal hole passed. We were left with a mixed bag of HF propagation, with fair conditions at times and poorer ones at others.

Highlights were the J5T DXpedition to Guinea-Bissau, and the Polish TO2SP DXpedition to St Barthelemy, with many radio amateurs filling much-wanted band slots. Other DX stations were on the air from around the world as they prepared for this weekend’s CQ Worldwide CW contest. Speaking of which, conditions seem likely to be fairly settled on Saturday 25th, but another earth-facing coronal hole looks as though it could threaten the ionosphere on Sunday 26th.

Saturday might be the best day for working DX in CQ Worldwide, whereas Sunday may be a little more unpredictable. If our prediction is correct, and solar matter impacts the Earth, there is the possibility of an initial HF enhancement, but then declining maximum useable frequencies as the K index rises. Otherwise, expect 20 and 15 metres to be the main HF bands for DX, with good 10m openings being very thin on the ground.

Recently, some days have also seen some Sporadic-E responses on the ionosonde data, which can make a difference for local near vertical incidence skywave activity on 80m in the evening, when the foF2 ionisation is usually insufficient for inter-G nets. Since this may be related to jet stream activity, and there will be plenty of that this week, it’s certainly worth a check. You can monitor the ionosphere using the daily graphs available on www.propquest.co.uk

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The charts in both the primary longer-range models seem to be locked into a low-pressure story for next week, which can mean quite windy and often colder weather too. There is little of cheer for the VHF/UHF bands in this pattern, except perhaps the odd bit of rain scatter as showers run down the coasts on northerly winds. Both models do suggest a build-up of higher pressure to the west of Ireland later next week and this may give some prospects for Tropo as we move into the following week. But otherwise it is looking like thin pickings for weather-related propagation this time.

However, we are now into the build-up to what is often one of the better meteor showers of the year. The Geminids has a broad peak, culminating on the 13th and 14th of December, but there are normally many meteors throughout the shower period giving useful reflections. Unlike many meteor showers the Geminids is associated with the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, rather than a comet.

Minor shower Puppid Velids also starts around the end of this weekly report, with a peak around the 9th of December. Moonlight may affect shower visual sightings, but will not affect radio reflections. Talking of moonlight, the moon is waxing gibbous this week with the half moon this evening, Sunday, and the full moon is next Sunday.

As we move into the latter half of the week the moon-path degradation is very low and better suited to smaller EME station operations. For those early birds, the morning moon will favour paths to the west, whilst the early and later evening moon will be better for paths to the east of the UK.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 19th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • New videos from RSGB

  • New frequencies for Germany and Columbia

  • Prepare for YOTA Month

The RSGB has released three new videos of talks from the 2017 Convention. They all link with the RSGB Strategy and you can find them at www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos. In the first video, RSGB Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW explains about the Strategy itself. The second video features RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF, giving a progress report on the Clubs and Groups for the 21st Century project. Finally, Youth Committee Deputy Chair Milo Noblet, M0ILO provides a summary of the successful YOTA 2017 event and a brief look at how the RSGB will be building on it.

German amateurs have been allocated 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a Secondary basis with a maximum power of 15W EIRP. Their 6m band has now been permanently extended to 50.03 to 51MHz. Almost on the other side of the world, Columbian amateurs are gaining new allocations at 2200m, 630m and 6m. Thanks to the efforts of the Columbian national amateur radio society LCRA and their strategic partner Liga Radio Bogotá, the bands 135.7 to 137.8kHz, 472 to 479kHz and 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz will shortly go live. Activation awaits the Colombian Communications Ministry granting the privileges by administrative act.

GB17YOYA will be on the air almost every day in December. The call sign marks YOTA Month, December, and will be used in rotation by clubs up and down the country. Several other countries will also be running their own YOTA Month stations. GB17YOTA will have a special QSL card and will be uploading logs daily to Clublog. Full details of all participating countries can be found at www.ham-yota.com and there is more information on GB17YOTA in the December edition of RadCom.

Now is the time to consider whether you could help your fellow radio amateur. In the coming weeks and months RSGB will be releasing details of various volunteer vacancies. These include joining the RSGB Board, becoming a Regional Manager, or taking a position in one of the many committees that are essential to the services RSGB provides to, and on behalf of, its Members. Some of the positions are appointments; some, such as the Board and Regional Managers, are filled through an election process. RSGB encourages any amateur from any walk of life to consider whether you can add something back into the hobby you enjoy. More details of the openings will be published in RadCom and via GB2RS.

ITU-R Working Party 5A met in Geneva recently to prepare for World Radiocommunications Conference 2019, WRC-19, by considering an allocation of the frequency band 50-54 MHz to the amateur service in Region 1. The Working Group consists of a mix of radio amateurs from all three IARU Regions, administrations from all over the world and other interested parties like meteorologists and military. The RSGB was represented by Murray Niman, G6JYB.

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

Today, the 19th, the Plymouth Radio Club Radio Rally will be held at Harewood House, Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. There is car parking available and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open from 10am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.50am. Admittance is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, a Bring & Buy and RSGB book stand. A raffle will take place on the day. Catering is available on site. Information from David Beck, 2E0DTC on 0777 766 4822.

Also on the 19th, the 40th Coulsdon ATS Electronics Radio Bazaar will be held at the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £1.50. Car parking and disabled facilities are available. There will be a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Catering will be available on site. Details from Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6DB. The venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering facilities and a bar are on site. Doors open at 10.30am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, under 14 free of charge with adult. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Olof, G0CKV will be active again as 3B9HA from Rodrigues Island, IOTA reference AF-017, from the 23rd of November to the 12th of December. He will operate CW, with main activity during the CQ WW DX CW Contest and focus on the low bands at other times. QSL via LoTW and M0OXO's OQRS http://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/

Nick, G3RWF will be active again as 5X1NH from Uganda on the 20th to the 30th of November, with main activity during the CQ WW DX CW Contest. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, LoTW, or via home call.

Mike, AJ9C will be on the air as YN2CC in Nicaragua from the 21st to the 29th of November. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to his home call.

The Italian DXpedition Team is active as J5T from Bubaque Island, AF-020, until the 26th. They expect to have four stations on all HF bands to 28MHz, using CW and SSB, plus RTTY on one band. There will not be any FT8 operations. Subject to the availability of internet connection, the real time log will be available at: http://win.i2ysb.com/logonline and you can QSL via I2YSB direct, OQRS or LoTW.

Eberhard, DL7JLL is on the air as VP8JLL from the Falkland Islands, SA-002, until the 25th. QSL to home call.

Bud, AA3B will be active as V26K from the 22nd to the 27th of November from Antigua, NA-100. Activity will be on the HF bands using primarily CW and possibly RTTY on the 27th. QSL direct to home call.

A group of operators are on the air J5T from Bubaque Island, IOTA AF-020, until the 26th. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY with three stations on the air at once. QSL via I2YSB.

Members of the Yaguarete DXers Group are active as 5K0T from San Andres Island, IOTA NA-033, until the 25th. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via LU1FM.

Harald, DF2WO is QRV as 9X2AW from Kigali, Rwanda until the 30th of November. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via M0OXO.

A group of operators will be QRV as 9G5W from Kokrobite, Ghana from the 20th to the 29th of November. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via S59ZZ.

A92AA and A61M will be on the air as 5T1A and 5T1R respectively, from Nouakchott, Mauritania from the 20th of November to the 20th of December. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using SSB and FT8. QSL via operators' instructions.

Tom, KC0W is active as 3W9CW from Con Son Island, IOTA AS-130, until November 28. QSL direct to his home call.

Now the special event news

Indian special event station AU2JCB will be on the air from the 23rd of November until the 11th of December. This is to celebrate the 159th anniversary of the birth of India's great scientist and inventor, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using SSB, plus FM on 10 and 6 metres. QSL direct to VU2DSI.

Special event station W1P will be on the air from the shack of K1WCC on the 24th of November. The station commemorates the loss of the 200 lives when the steamship Portland went down in 1898. Activity is likely to be around 3.997MHz from 1300UTC, moving to around 14.260MHz when the band opens. QSL with SASE direct.

Now the contest news

On Sunday the 19th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

On Wednesday the Autumn Series continues from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend sees the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest. Starting at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning and running to 2359UTC on Sunday night, this CW-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RST plus CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

Last week saw the solar flux index stay steadfastly in the mid-70s thanks to a lack of visible sunspots on the solar surface. But by Thursday one had appeared over the limb and was designated sunspot 2687.

Geomagnetic conditions were mostly settled in the first half of the week, but a minor G1 geomagnetic storm commenced on Wednesday as an elevated solar wind stream moved past our planet. This continued into Thursday, with the Kp index hitting four at times. This had a slightly detrimental effect on the ionosphere, with maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path struggling to exceed 21MHz at times.

Next week. NOAA forecasts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-70s. But we may have unsettled geomagnetic conditions on the 20th to the 22nd, due to yet another high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole. The hole is very much Earth-facing as it is right on the solar equator. It therefore has the potential to create unsettled and auroral conditions and a high K index. The end of the week may therefore be better for HF DX, although, as always, be prepared for surprises.

To end on a positive note, this time of year is ideal for long-distance propagation on the lower bands and members of CDXC report lots of DX on 40m and 80m. For example, K6MYC in California has been worked by many hams in Europe from about 40 minutes before our local sunrise to about 30 minutes afterwards. Admittedly Mike does have 40 acres, seven 89-foot towers and a three-element beam for 80 metres, which helps!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We start with a weak area of high pressure and hence just a chance of some Tropo, especially in the south of the UK and extending into the near continent and down across Biscay. Tropo can be amplified overnight and during the mornings, particularly in the misty mornings of autumn, but overall, this event looks marginal at best.

The second phase of weather propagation will come after midweek when the pressure falls away as low pressure takes up position. There could be some coastal showers giving a chance of rain scatter on the microwave bands, principally on the western side of the country. In the east, there may still be some residual Tropo since high pressure is likely to remain close by, although much weaker.

The new moon was on the 18th, so for the early part of next week the moon will still be close enough to the sun to make EME contacts a little more difficult. The moon will also appear in the direction of the Milky Way so the sky noise temperatures will be particularly high. This coincides with low moon declination at this time of year. This is not so good for the microwave EME operators, who tend to prefer the moon to be higher in the sky. But for those who do EME on the VHF bands, and without antenna elevation, the low moon may help.

The Leonids meteor shower peak has just passed, but there may be some useful ‘tail-end’ meteors from the dust of associated comet Temple-Tuttle. The November Taurids is a minor meteor shower with a broad peak of around 10 days, but at a low rate. There may just be enough meteors around to make operating meteor scatter worthwhile, as long as you have patience.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. November 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 12th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • Extra frequencies for Argentinian amateurs

  • Confine contesting to the band plans

  • Second G2BVN Memorial Trophy awarded

Amateur radio operators in Argentina are to gain access to the 60m and 630m bands, and some of their other bands are being extended. The new allocations will be effective in 90 days. The new allocations are 472 to 479kHz for the 630m band and 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz for the 60m band. Top Band has been extended to 1800 to 2000kHz, 80m is now 3500 to 4000kHz and, finally, the 30m band allocation is now 10.100 to 10.150MHz.

The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors has announced five Excellence Awards that are presented to individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to amateur radio. Receiving Yasme Foundation Excellence Award are the Dayton Amateur Radio Association for the new Dayton Hamvention; Paul, KD4STH, and Bill, WB8ELK for heir work in amateur radio high-altitude ballooning; Nathaniel, W2NAF, and Magda, KM4EGE for creating and leading the organisation that sponsored the Solar Eclipse QSO Party; the WSJT Development Team and Dale, VK1DSH for in the ITU-R Working Party 5A. To read more about the contributions that warranted the award, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112A

The RSGB VHF Contest Committee would like to remind contesters to follow the relevant band plans. The high level of activity in the 144MHz UK Activity Contests means that finding a frequency to operate on within the normally used frequency segment for SSB of 144.150 to 144.399MHz can be very difficult. Entrants are reminded that the rules explicitly require adherence to the RSGB Band Plan. Stations using SSB below 144.150MHz or between 144.400MHz and 144.500MHz during the 144MHz UKAC are liable to be penalised. The VHFCC reserves the right to penalise both parties in a QSO made outside of the band plan. However, the 144.500MHz to 144.794MHz segment of the 2m All Mode section can also be used during the UKAC. The VHFCC recognises that this is not normally in use during SSB contests, but if people would like to try calling CQ in a quieter part of the band, why not try it taking care to avoid the designated calling frequencies and centres of activity for other modes such as SSTV, ATV talk back, digital voice and data. Up to date versions of the band plans are online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112B

IARU Region 1 awards two G2BVN Memorial Trophies. One, to Colin Thomas, G3PSM, has already been announced. The second has been awarded to Professor Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC. Many know Wolf from the work he does managing the DokuFunk archive that collects and archives historic pieces, including QSL cards.

The permanent special event station GB2RAF, based at the RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum in Norfolk, will be off the air until the 14th of April 2018. This is due to the Museum closure until March 2018 for its winter break.

Spain's amateur satellite group AMSAT-EA has released an English language edition of their November newsletter. It covers the recently activated linear transponder SSB/CW satellites CAS-4A and CAS-4B, upcoming DXpeditions and an article on the QBITO satellite. The translation was made by Fernando, EC1AME. Download the newsletter from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1112C

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

As we announced some time ago the Great Northern Hamfest, originally planned for today, the 12th of November, has been cancelled.

On the 18th, the Rochdale & District ARS Traditional Radio Rally will take place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Rd, off the A680 Edenfield Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50, with those under 12 years free. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders, a junk stall and amateur radio sellers. Traders can set up from 8am. There will be refreshments available including bacon and sausage butties. Contact Dave, G3RIK by email to rally@radars.me.uk.

On the 19th the Plymouth Radio Club Radio Rally will be held at Harewood House, Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 2AS. There is car parking available and the venue has disabled facilities. Doors open from 10am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 9.50am. Admittance is £2. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, a Bring & Buy and RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place on the day. Catering is available on site. Information from David Beck, 2E0DTC on 0777 766 4822.

Also on the 19th, the 40th Coulsdon ATS Electronics Radio Bazaar will be held at the Oasis Academy Coulsdon, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1ES. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £1.50. Car parking and disabled facilities are available. There will be a Bring & Buy and a flea market. Catering will be available on site. Details from Andy Briers, G0KZT on 0772 986 6600.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.

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

Tom, KC0W will be active as 3W9CW from Vietnam between the 17th and 30th of November. He will operate CW and FT8 on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct only, and logsearch on Club Log. He does not use Logbook of The World.

Harald, DF2WO will be active again as 9X2AW from Kigali, Rwanda between the 15th and the 30th of November. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Jacek, SP5APW will be active as DU1/SP5APW from Busuanga Island, IOTA reference OC-090, from the 16th to the 23rd of November. He will operate SSB, some PSK31 and RTTY on the 40, 17 and 20m bands. QSL via his home call either direct, via the bureau or Logbook of the World; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

A large team from Slovenia will be active as TK/ homecall from Corsica, EU-014, between the 20th and 29th of November. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via S50C.

Now the special event news

As part of the church's annual festival remembering St Hilda, the Special Event Station GB5SH will again be run from St Hilda's Church, Hartlepool TS24 0DA on Saturday the 18th of November and Sunday the 19th of November. Operation is expected to be on 80 and 40m bands, with some operation on 2m.

GB1BSW will now take place on the 18th of November between 10am and 5pm, after being postponed due to bad weather. Members of Wrexham Amateur Radio Society will operate the station from the Brymbo Heritage Project, which is on part of the old Brymbo Steel Works.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Monday the Autumn Series data leg will take place between 1900 and 2030UTC. Using the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Also on Tuesday, the IRTS Evening Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations sending their county.

On Thursday, the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000. This is also followed by the UKAC, running from 2000 to 2230UTC, using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the second 1.8MHz contest runs between 1900 and 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.

On Sunday the 19th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

As forecast, last week saw auroral conditions and the Kp index rise to six as the result of incoming solar material from yet another coronal hole. The Aurora Borealis was even visible from Northern England and Scotland. Coronal holes are lower-energy areas on the Sun with open magnetic field lines that allow tonnes of material to escape and form a high-speed solar wind. Very prevalent at this point in the solar cycle, every indication is that this phenomenon will continue at least until 2019.

The unsettled geomagnetic conditions were a double-edged sword. Maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path climbed to more than 28MHz as the solar material first hit on Tuesday. But by Wednesday, at times the ionosphere was struggling to support signals much above 14MHz over the same distance. This continued well into Thursday.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the total absence of sunspots may continue, with the solar flux index around the 70 to 75 mark. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be better than last week, but still unsettled at times, with a maximum Kp index of three. This means MUFs may reach 28MHz at times, although 18 and 21MHz may be more reliable. However, there is evidence of more coronal holes on the SDO spacecraft’s extreme ultra-violet imagery, which suggests we have more of a bumpy ride than the NOAA figures predict.

For newcomers, this month continues to be a good one for long-haul DX on the higher bands so do keep a look out on 14MHz and above.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This Friday night and Saturday morning, the 17th and 18th of November, sees the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower. The shower is active throughout November and, with a peak zenith hourly rate of 15, it is one of the larger showers of the year. The shower radiant, the point in the sky from where the meteors seem to emerge, lies in the constellation Leo. It occurs when the Earth passes through the debris left by the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Use your favourite search engine to find the DL1DBC Virgo realtime meteor prediction page to find the best time and beam directions to work meteor scatter on VHF using this shower.

It’s hard to get too excited about the prospects for Tropo over the next week or so, apart from a chance of some weak high pressure over the southern half of the country. This may not amount to much of a lift for VHF operators, so that just leaves us with some options for rain scatter on the GHz bands. This will, like previous weeks, be due to heavy showers that form over the seas around the British Isles at this time of year. They are worth seeking out both day and night – just follow the bright echoes on the weather radars.

Moon declination goes negative at Moonset on Tuesday and losses are climbing this week. There is still plenty of time for EME contacts this lunar cycle before the Moon gets to apogee, its furthest point away, and its maximum southerly declination on Tuesday 21st.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. November 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 5th of November 2017

The news headlines:

  • Contest opinions sought by IARU

  • 10GHz beacon back on the air

  • Want to host Train the Trainers?

IARU Region 1 has a new contest working group that is responsible for organising the future Region 1 contests. They want to know the opinion of the contester or the contest teams who send their log to the robot or to the national contest manager. They also want to hear from those who just give away points and do not send their log. As many people as possible are invited to give their views. The survey takes about 15 minutes to answer and will close on the 30th of November. To start a survey, go to tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105A

The GB3LEX 10GHz beacon situated in Leicestershire was returned to service on the 15th of October. It is running at its licensed power using a new PA that became available thanks to the late G4HUP. Reports would be appreciated via the website at www.leicestershirerepeatergroup.org.uk, via the DX cluster or on Beacon Spot.

The RSGB is looking for enquiries from clubs interested in hosting Train the Trainers during 2018. There are currently four slots available, spread over the year. We would be particularly interested in hearing from clubs in areas not yet served by an event. These include, for example, the North Wales and Flint area; the Midlands, within a 30 mile radius of Birmingham; the Penrith and Dumfries area, and the Bath and Salisbury area. For more information please contact David Evans, G0EVA by email to g0eva@aol.co.uk

The RSGB has released the first of its Strategy video updates. This short video was filmed by the TX Factor at National Hamfest. Top RSGB representatives talk about some of the ways the Society is engaging with radio amateurs, representing amateurs nationally and internationally, and also developing even better ways of communicating with them. Take a look at www.rsgb.org/strategy-videos – more videos will be released in due course.

The EMC Committee would like to thank all 1,200 radio amateurs who took part in the VDSL RFI survey. The results have been analysed and were presented at the RSGB 2017 Convention. To see the PowerPoint presentation, watch the video of the Convention lecture or take part in the survey go to the EMC Committee pages on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105B. There is still time to take part in the survey, so please do complete it if you haven’t already.

IARU Region 1 has released a new version of its VHF handbook. You can get a copy from the Resources section of the IARU website, via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1105C

The Spanish State Official Newsletter carried the new National Frequency Allocation Chart that contains some good news for Spanish radio amateurs. It included the new global 60m Secondary allocation, 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz, that was agreed at ITU WRC-15.

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

Today, the 5th of November, the West London Radio & Electronics Show, also known as the Kempton Rally, will take 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 ten minutes earlier. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall, RSGB Regional Team representatives, 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.

Also today, the 5th, the Bush Valley Radio Rally takes place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady BT49 9DF. Talk-in will be on 145.400MHz. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3, with a free draw ticket. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments are available on site. Tables are free and should be booked with Jack on 0788 529 2545.

The Fog on the Tyne rally takes place on the Saturday the 11th of November at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Car parking is available and the entrance is on Whitehall Road. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be traders and RSGB bookstand and a junk stall. Catering will be available on site. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 07990 760 920.

As we announced some time ago the Great Northern Hamfest, originally planned for the 12th of November, has been cancelled.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Chas, NK8O will be active again as 5H3DX from Zinga, Tanzania from the 7th of November to the 4th of December. In his spare time he will operate CW and some PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via NK8O, direct only, see QRZ.com for instructions, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Members of the Mediterraneo DX Club will sign 9U4M from Burundi until the 17th of November. They will operate all bands from 10 to 160m using SSB, CW and RTTY. The QSL manager is IK2VUC.

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY will be operating as 3B8HC until the 18th of November from Mauritius, IOTA reference AF-049. Activity will be holiday style on the 80 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL direct to NI5DX.

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ are on the air as as 3XY3D/p from Kassa Island, AF-051, during the month of November. Activity is on the 10 to 40 to 10m bands using mainly CW. QSL via F5OZC.

Sergio, IZ3NXC will be operating as 9A/IZ3NXC from Pag Island, EU-170, from the 7th to the 9th of November. Activity will be on he 10 to 80m bands using SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IK3GES.

Now the special event news

Many amateur radio operators will use the 630m band on the 11th of November during a special operating event to commemorate the 1906 Berlin Treaty. On the 3rd of November of that year the Treaty made 500kHz the International Distress Frequency. Canadian and authorised US radio amateurs will operate from 472 to 479kHz, using CW. Some stations are expected to offer cross-band contacts, transmitting on 630m and listening on 160, 80, and 40m. Experimental operators, including WD2XSH stations and others who don’t yet have UTC approval, will operate in the 472-479kHz band or just outside of it, and there may be some operation on 500kHz proper. The Maritime Radio Historical Society will activate its KSM/KPH transmitter at Bolinas, California with special messages and bulletins.

Now the contest news

Ending its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 5th, the Marconi CW contest takes place. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 200UTC. It is followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the 11th, the Club Calls contest, otherwise know as the 1.8MHz AFS, takes place from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using CW and RTTY on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and club information.

Next weekend is the WAE DX RTTY contest running from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2359UTC on the 12th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week saw more settled geomagnetic conditions and, although there were few sunspots, the ionosphere was able to offer DX contacts. The CQ Worldwide contest saw 15 metres and even 10 metres providing openings at times. With the solar flux in the low 70s it was the seasonal upturn, due to change in ionospheric chemistry, that was mostly responsible for the better conditions.

There is also evidence that coronal hole activity may be responsible for an increase in the ionospheric electron count. This shouldn’t be confused with the effects of a coronal mass ejection, when the earth is effectively blasted with a high-speed solar wind, which can lower ionisation levels and depress maximum usable frequencies.

NOAA issues what are called ALTEF3 warnings when energetic electron levels exceed a certain event threshold. HF propagation enthusiasts might want to experiment and see if these coincide with higher maximum usable frequencies and openings when the solar flux index remains otherwise low.

Solar activity is predicted to remain at very low levels next week with no visible Earth-facing sunspots at the time of writing. However, another coronal hole will become geoeffective and NOAA predicts that its effects could see the K index rise to five or even six from Tuesday the 7th to Friday the 11th.

Look out for the possibility of initial ionospheric enhancements, but also the likelihood of unsettled conditions and depressed maximum usable frequencies thereafter. However, an increased solar wind can often bring unpredictable ionospheric effects, so do check the upper HF bands for openings all week and keep an eye on the live ionosonde data at propquest.co.uk.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The enhanced Tropo of last week saw some good VHF and microwave bands DX, but it will decline quickly as a cold front moves south and destroys the subsidence inversion. This weekend has a colder northerly flow controlling the weather. This means strong shower development around the coasts, especially of Scotland, Northern Ireland and eastern England.

These showers are driven by the warmth of the surrounding seas, whose temperatures change little from day to night. This can provide a 24-hour run of potential rain scatter on the microwave bands. You can track the showers on any rainfall radar to get the beam headings you need.

The next item for attention could well be the return of high pressure in the south late in the week, but this is not supported by all weather models, so check the charts after midweek for signs of a ridge building from the Azores high towards Biscay and southern UK.

The Moon reaches perigee on Monday and maximum declination on Wednesday. This brings low losses and long moon windows for EME, coinciding with microwave bands activity from Cape Verde this weekend until Tuesday.

There are no significant meteor showers this week, but the big Leonids shower is less than two weeks away, so focus on checking all your systems. You can continue to look around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. October 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 29th of October 2017

The news headlines:

  • Check you’re back on GMT

  • New IOTA website live

  • Fox-1 satellite launches soon

Today, October 29, at 2am, the UK reverted to Greenwich Mean Time, or UTC, by going back one hour to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime. The mornings will also be lighter, however the evenings will be darker but better for AM DX. Sunday the 25th of March 2018 is when the clocks will go forward again at 1am and British Summer Time begins.

The new Islands on the Air website and the software system that will run the IOTA programme in the future are now fully up and running. Users will be redirected from the old site to the new one and can log in using their existing credentials. Go to www.iota-world.org to learn more about the programme.

The next AMSAT satellite Fox-1 is scheduled to launch on the 10th of November at 0947UTC. It will carry a FM transponder with an uplink on 435.250MHz with a 67.0Hz CTCSS and a downlink on 145.960MHz. It will launch on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The Scottish Microwave Round Table will take place on Saturday the 4th of November at the Museum of Communication, Burntisland, Fife. There will be four talks on such subjects as a 10GHz station, 13cm SOTA, a 10GHz beacon and modifications to the DB6NT G2 transverters. The GM round of the UK Microwave Group Projects trophy will also take place. Booking is still open so go to www.gmroundtable.org.uk/registration to find out more.

On the 22nd of October, at 1546UTC, Alex, ZS6EME recorded the first-ever digital EME QSO with HB9Q on 10GHz. This is the first microwave EME QSO on such a high band from South Africa. They used the new digital mode QRA64D, while using only 50 watts at the feed of his 1.5 metre dish. Later, on the 23rd, Alex completed 10 more EME QSOs on 10GHz. On the 24th, he was able to make the first-ever South African digital EME QSO on 5.7GHz with PA3DZL at 1156UTC, as well as 7 more QSOs on 5.7GHz. Congratulations.

If your radio club is thinking of visiting Bletchley Park with a group of 12 or more in 2018, bookings are now being taken including an offer that comes with a private guided tour and more. Go to https://bletchleypark.org.uk/visit-us/groups to make your booking. If you’re not planning to go as part of a group, remember that RSGB Members can download a free Bletchley Park admission voucher from the RSGB website. Don’t forget the National Radio Centre is open Wednesday to Sunday every week. If you want to operate GB3RS, please bring a copy of your licence with you.

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 28th and 29th.

On the 5th of November the West London Radio & Electronics Show, also known as the Kempton Rally, will take 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 ten 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.

Also on Sunday the 5th, the Bush Valley Radio Rally takes place at the United Services Club, 8 Roe Mill Road, Limavady BT49 9DF. Talk-in will be on 145.400MHz. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3 with a free draw ticket. There will be traders and a Bring & Buy. Refreshments are available on site. Tables are free and should be booked with Jack on 0788 529 2545.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Two Canadian amateurs will operate as VY0ERC from the Eureka Amateur Radio Club station on Ellesmere Island, IOTA reference NA-008, until the 10th of November.

Jean-Paul, HB9ARY will be active as 3B8HC from Mauritius Island, AF-049, between the 4th and 18th of November. He will operate SSB and slow CW on 80-10 metres, with a focus on 80m. QSL via NI5DX, direct only, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Alain, F5OZC will be active from Guinea until the 1st of December. Look for 3XY3D/P to operate mainly CW from Kassa Island, AF-051, from the 2nd of November to the 1st of December. QSL via F5OZC, direct or via the bureau.

Luc, F5RAV and Gerard, F5NVF will be active as 3XY4D from Conakry, Guinea until the 6th of November. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on 80-10m. QSL via F5RAV, direct only.

Peter, DC0KK will be active as 4S7KKG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, from the 1st of November to the 25th of March. He operates mainly CW and digital modes. QSL via his home call, either direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World or OQRS on Club Log.

Thomas, OZ1AA will be active as 4W/OZ1AA from Dili, OC-148, in Timor Leste between the 1st and the 7th of November. He will be using 40-10 metres with a focus on CW and some FT8. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via OZ1ACB.

Babs and Lot will be active as CT8/DL7AFS and CT8/DL7ZG respectively from Sao Miguel, EU-003, in the Azores until the 10th of November. They will operate mainly SSB and digital modes on 80-10 metres. QSL via DL7AFS, direct or via the bureau, and Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

Hull is the UK’s City of Culture throughout 2017. Hull & District Amateur Radio Society has had the special event callsign GB17HCC on the air regularly and over 500 QSOs have been made so far. QSLs received via the RSGB Bureau will be replied to once all QSLs have been received.

Now the contest news

This weekend from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359UTC on the 29th, the CQ World Wide DX SSB contest takes place. Using all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

Next weekend from 1400 on the 4th to 1400UC on the 5th, the Marconi CW contest takes place. Using the 144MHz band only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Last week was once again a mixed bag, with good HF openings at times, and depressed maximum usable frequencies at others. Quieter geomagnetic conditions on Sunday and Monday saw good openings up to and including 28MHz. But the arrival of solar material from a coronal hole on Tuesday saw much more unsettled conditions. An initial pre-auroral enhancement saw the good HF openings continue, but then there was bit of a roller coaster as the MUF rose and dropped as the K index fluctuated. In amongst this there was DX to be had with HK3C in Columbia and HP3SS in Panama romping in on 10 metres.

The daytime critical frequency was often above 7MHz, giving good inter-G contacts on 40 metres, although it often dropped back down, leaving the band only open to Europe.

Next week it currently looks like the sun is going to be more settled with no sign of coronal hole activity, at least in the first half of the week. There are currently two small sunspots visible on the solar surface and the prediction is the solar flux index will be in the high 70s or low to mid 80s.

If our prediction about the coronal holes is correct there should be settled HF ionospheric conditions for most of the week, with maximum usable frequencies at their seasonal norms. This means we could see openings up to and including 28MHz, although 14-24MHz may be more reliable. The lower bands should also offer some good DX with 40m and 80m coming into their own after dark. Hopefully this will be good news for the CQ World Wide SSB contest, which takes place this weekend, the 28th and 29th.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Moving into November often brings some settled high pressure weather and this year is no exception. There is likely to be a high pressure focus over southern UK from time to time for much of the week. So this is a good week to check your VHF station out and try some of those Tropo paths, especially south towards the continent and across Biscay towards Spain, the Azores and Canaries.

There will be periods when the weather turns more unsettled with a cooler northerly, especially down the North Sea. Showers at this time of the year can be quite active as a cold northerly air flow crosses the relatively warm water of the North Sea, so raising the possibility of rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Moon declination goes positive again on Thursday and it is moving towards perigee a week today. Path losses will fall throughout the week so it’s time to start your EME activities again for another cycle.

Last week saw a few 50MHz Sporadic-E reports, so don’t give up completely on that mode, especially as we now have low-signal digital modes in our VHF DX toolbag.

There are no significant meteor showers this week, so focus on the early mornings around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. October 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 22nd of October 2017

The news headlines:

  • New NoVs for 146-146MHz

  • Anniversary GB2CW transmission for G3UKV

  • Jamboree on the Air still active today

All current 146 to 147MHz band Notices of Variation expire on Tuesday the 31st of October. Ofcom has agreed that the band will be made available for another year. However, to continue to use the frequencies you must obtain a new NoV. These are available, free of charge, from the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/nov

Martyn, G3UKV will be making his 500th GB2CW transmission this coming Thursday, the 26th of October. He made his first transmission under GB2CW in February 2007, and comes on 80m on a frequency of 3605kHz every Thursday at 9am local time. He would welcome as many call-ins following the half hour Morse transmission as possible to celebrate the occasion.

This weekend will see many international callsigns on the air for the 60th Jamboree on the Air, where amateur radio and the Scouting movement get on the air. This year they are expecting around 1 million participants from around 150 countries. If you hear these young people on the air, please give them a call.

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB member who is currently (or will be starting) teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level and is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. There are two workshops in the near future, one at Worksop ARC on the 18th of November and the other in Southend on Sea on the 9th of December, Please send an email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com or nigel.m0ich@gmail.com respectively if you wish to take part.

There is a possibility that due to a combination of readers holidays, work commitments and the need for urgent antenna work at the QTH of MI1AIB, there may be no DMR readings of GB2RS for Region 8 on some Sundays during October and possibly early November. Other readings of GB2RS will take place as normal.

Amateur radio’s two newest bands came to life in the United States on Friday the 13th of October. Both the 472 to 479 kHz band and the 135.7 to 137.8kHz band are now available to US radio amateurs who have completed the application process.

The PJ7T DXpedition to St Maarten has been suspended. Hurricane Irma destroyed 95% of the infrastructure on the island and it will impossible to complete the DXpedition successfully. The team of Argentinian operators are looking at a different island and details will be announced later.

The RSGB has release 12 lectures from the 2016 Convention on to its YouTube channel. See www.youtube.com/theRSGB

Videos of the talks given at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, held as part of the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes last weekend, are being made available on YouTube. The first is An introduction to Amateur satellites by David Johnson, G4DPZ and Carlos Eavis, G3VHF. The other presentations are expected to be uploaded in the coming days. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tj2rUsNpPs

The Bath-based Distance Learning course for the Advanced exam has achieved an 85% pass rate with over 500 passes to date. The Bath-based distance learning team will be running another Advanced amateur radio course from January until June. Weekly work packages are sent out to students who complete the studying at home and submit answers to revision questions and exercises via the internet. Some video tutorials and demonstrations are included in the course material and links to other useful resources are also provided. To enrol contact Steve, G0FUW, via e-mail to g0fuw@tiscali.co.uk

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

Today, the 22nd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at The Volunteer Hall, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Doors open 11.15am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a bring and buy and refreshments. Admission is £2.50 – and please note that round pounds are no longer acceptable.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 28th and 29th. On the 5th of November, the Kempton Rally will take place at Kempton Park racecourse and the Bush Valley rally at the United Services Club in Limavady.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Keith, GM4YXI and Chris, GM3WOJ will be active as VK9CZ from Cocos-Keeling, OC-003, from the 24th of October to the 7th of November, including the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. They will operate SSB, CW and some RTTY on the 10 to 160m bands with two stations. QSL via N3SL and Logbook of The World, logsearch on Club Log.

Alex, UT5UY and Roman, UR0MC will be active as 4S7AYG from Sri Lanka, AS-003 until the 31st of October. QSL via M0URX's OQRS at www.m0urx.com/oqrs/ and Logbook of The World.

Ilya, R3XA will also be active as 4S7KLG from Sri Lanka, AS-003, until the 30th of October including an entry in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. He will operate mainly CW. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via EA5GL; logsearch and OQRS on Club Log.

John, W2GD will be active as P40W from Aruba, SA-036, until the 31st of October. Main activity will be during the CQ WW DX SSB Contest; before and after the contest he will operate some CW and be active on the 160, 30, 17 and 12m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct only to N2MM.

Now the special event news

Today, the 22nd, Watcombe Radio Club is running JOTA station GB3TBS for Torbay Borough Scouts at the Torbay District Scout Camp in Torquay from 10am to 1pm.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be operating JOTA and Jamboree on the Internet, JOTI, with Bangor West Explorer Scouts today, the at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU.

Perth Repeater Group is running a JOTA event with 1st Perthshire Pitlochry Scout Group today, the 22nd, 9am to 6pm. Operations will be at Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5BX.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is taking part in JOTA today, the 22nd, supporting the Coventry Minotaur Unit. GB0CMU will be on the air from The Scout Headquarters, Partidge Croft, Coventry.

Mid Ulster ARC will operate GB4PS today, the 22nd, for JOTA from 10am to 3pm from Portadown Scout Hall, 118 Mahon Road, Portadown BT62 3SF

Now the contest news

The Worked All Germany contest ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today. Using CW and SSB on 80 to 10m, the exchange is RST and serial number, with DLs sending DOK.

The 50MHz AFS contest takes place on 6m from 0900 to 1300UTC today, the 22nd. All modes can be used, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also starting at 0900UTC today, the UK Microwave Group 24-76GHz contest runs until 1700UTC. All modes can be used on the bands between 24 and 76GHz. RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

The RoLo 2 contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC today, the 22nd, using CW only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is RST plus the rolling locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. 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 Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 80m band, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

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

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 28th to 2359UTC on the 29th, the CW WorldWide DX SSB contest takes place. Using all bands between 1,8 and 28MHz the exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

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

The latter half of last week saw more settled geomagnetic conditions with the Kp index declining to one and even zero. This helped the HF bands enormously and there were openings up to and including 12 metres. The upper bands were full of signals, reflecting the better HF conditions associated with Autumn. Higher critical frequencies also meant that 40m, or 7MHz, was often open around the UK during daytime.

The solar flux index was in the low 70s as the sun’s disk was devoid of sunspots. A coronal mass ejection occurred on the far side of the sun, but it wasn’t directed towards Earth and so didn’t cause problems. This does suggest though that we could have sunspot, solar flare and coronal mass ejection activity in about week’s time. Next week it looks like we could suffer the effects of more coronal hole activity. The extreme ultra-violet image from the solar dynamics observatory or SDO spacecraft showed another equatorial coronal hole rotating into an earth-facing position for the weekend.

The enhanced solar wind from this could hit the Earth sometime around Monday the 23rd or Tuesday the 24th, with its effects lasting until a couple of days thereafter.

As always, this could bring short-lived ionospheric enhancements, so keep an eye on the higher bands, but ultimately the Kp index may rise and maximum useable frequencies could decline.

At the moment, the effects of coronal holes rather than sunspots are driving ionospheric conditions on the HF bands.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The week will start with a deep low moving across the UK, with strong winds and possibly some rain scatter options for the GigaHertz bands. Although the pattern remains unsettled in the north until later next week, there are signs that high pressure will begin to exert some influence in the second half of the week over southern areas. This means that from midweek, there is a possibility that southern UK, across to the continent and south past Biscay and Portugal towards the Azores, could experience some Tropo conditions to round the week off.

Remember that there’s always aircraft scatter to make DX QSOs on the UHF and microwave bands. A group often congregates on 1296.165MHz and the ON4KST microwave chat on a Wednesday evening to experiment with digital mode QSOs. This so-called “digifest” is usually announced on social media and the UKmicrowaves reflector.

The Moon reaches apogee on Tuesday and maximum negative or southerly declination on Wednesday, so losses are at maximum and moon windows at their shortest. This makes it a good week to try your hand at using the man-made satellites that are available for VHF stations to use.

There is just one minor meteor shower of little note this week, so focus on the early mornings around dawn for the best chance of QSOs via random meteor scatter.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. October 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 15th of October 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • BBC DG to open G8BBC shack

  • Upcoming Train the Trainers courses

  • Exercise Blue Ham on 5MHz

On Wednesday the 18th, BBC Director General Tony Hall will cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new G8BBC radio shack at Broadcasting House, London. The station, home of the recently formed London BBC Radio Group, will move on from test transmissions to full operation following a watch period of a few months during which the Master Control Room at BH were checking for any interference issues. It is hoped that the Director General will be able to pass a greetings message over the air to GB3RS at the RSGB's National Radio Centre in Bletchley Park, or GB2RN on HMS Belfast, depending on propagation conditions on the day. G8BBC will be active on HF bands and VHF, and hopes to expand operations further in the near future. 

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB Member teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level. It is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. Courses must be pre-booked. One is planned for the 18th of November at Worksop Amateur Radio Club. Contact Steve Hambleton, by email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com to book your place. Then on the 9th of December there will be a training session at Thames Amateur Radio Group in Southend on Sea. Email nigel.m0ich@gmail.com to book a place.

Cadet Radio Exercise BLUE HAM 17-2 is an HF radio exercise on the MOD/Amateur shared 5MHz band. It takes place on 21-22 and 28-29 October from 0800 to 2000UTC. Feedback received from previous Exercises has resulted in changes to the scoring system. Details are at https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

The RSGB Examination Standards Committee Report 2017 is available for download. It includes a submission about the Air Cadets Organisation Foundation equivalent exam. A comparison of the 2016 RSGB exam passes with the RCF figures for 2015 shows a fall in the number of passes at both Foundation and Intermediate levels. You can download the full 2017 Examination Standards Committee Report from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715a

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of the first of October. The top ten entities remain unchanged, with the top three being P5, North Korea, also known as DPRK, 3Y/B, Bouvet Island, and FT5/W Crozet Island. The complete DXCC Most Wanted lists is at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715b and island-chasers will be pleased to hear that a team is planning to activate Bouvet Island, IOTA reference AN-002, early next year. We will report more news as it becomes available.

British Railways Amateur Radio Society is holding its AGM on Saturday 28th October at the Brunswick Inn at 1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU. This is almost opposite the railway station car park. Starting with an informal chat at noon, the AGM will commence at 1.15pm. The AGM is in a private, ground floor room. Ian G4EAN, the BRARS secretary, says that the BRARS committee is hoping that a good number of members will attend. For more information contact Ian Brothwell, G4EAN, via email to g4ean@brars.info or on 0115 926 2360. Membership of BRARS is open to anyone with an active interest in amateur radio and details are at www.BRARS.info

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

Today, the 15th, the Holsworthy ARS Rally takes place at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There is free car parking on site, with disabled access. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Howard, M0MYB by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com for more details.

Today also sees the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally at Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. There is car parking at the venue. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under-14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place. There is catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, 01964 533712 or by email to R106221@aol.com

A WADARC Junk Sale takes place on Wednesday 18th October starting at 7.30pm in the Jubilee Hall, Lancing Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing. There will be NO ENTRANCE FEE to non-WADARC members. All are welcome. The sale will include items from the estate of the late Bryan Philips, G3GVB. Most items can be viewed in advance on the club website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1715c

On Saturday the 21st Carrickfergus Amateur Radio Club is holding its rally at Downshire Community School, Downshire Road, Carrickfergus BT38 7DA. Doors open 11am and admission is £3. Light refreshments will be available. All will be welcome. Details from Elizabeth Forde, via email to elizabethforde64@yahoo.com.

Next Saturday also sees Yeovil Amateur Radio Club’s 71st anniversary event at Sparkford Village Hall, Sparkford, Nr Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7ED. Admission is free and light refreshments will be available. There will be displays, computer controlled radio, SDR, Morse, spy sets and more. Ex members are welcome. For more information contact Bob on 01963 440 167.

Next Sunday, the 22nd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at The Volunteer Hall, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Doors open 11.15am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, a bring and buy and refreshments. Admission is £2.50 – and please note that round pounds are no longer acceptable.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Janusz, SP9FIH, will be active again as E44WE from Palestine on 18-29 October. He will be active on 30, 15, 12 and 10m SSB, PSK63 and RTTY. He will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest on 15m. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or SP9FIH. See www.e4.dxpeditions.org for more information.

Flavio, IW2NEF will be active holiday style as 3B8/IW2NEF from Mauritius Island, IOTA reference AF-049, on the 16th to the 23rd of October. QSL via IK2DUW.

Martti, OH2BH and others will be active as 4S7BHG from Sri Lanka from 25 October to 1 November. They will focus on the low bands, and will participate in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest. QSL via OH2BH.

Steve, N6SJ will be active as A52SJ from Paro, Bhutan from the 12th to the 19th of October and again for one night on the 26th of October. This will be a Top Band-only operation, with activity on 1826.5kHz CW, or 1840kHz FT8 if conditions are marginal. QSL via home call; log search on Club Log.

Now the special event news

On 21st October, Members of Wrexham Amateur Radio Society will put on a Special Event Station during the open day at the Brymbo Heritage Project. Using the callsign GB1BSW they will be active on HF and VHF, looking for contacts in this country and all around the world. Feel free to pop along and have a go at talking to the world without wires, whether or not you’re licenced.

Solihull Amateur Radio Society will be running two Jamboree on the Air stations on 21 October. GB1NSS will be on the air for Nelson Sea Scouts in Solihull and GB0SDB will be active in Birmingham.

From the 20th to the 22nd Watcombe Radio Club is running JOTA station GB3TBS for Torbay Borough Scouts at the Torbay District Scout Camp in Torquay. Celebrating 60 years of Jamboree on the Air, the station will operate on Friday, before the official start of JOTA, from 7am to midnight. Saturday hours will be 9.30am to 8pm and on Sunday it’s 10am to 1pm. Scouts are expected to attend all three sessions and pass greetings messages. There will also be an amateur television station thanks to local members of the British Amateur Television Club. The first event in 1957 included an ATV station so this seems rather appropriate.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be operating JOTA and Jamboree on the Internet, JOTI, with Bangor West Explorer Scouts. Activity will be from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU. There will be a talk-in station and attractions include family activities and special interest groups. Contact Stephen McFarland, GB0GPF, on 028 9263 4315 or email greypointfort@hotmail.co.uk.

Perth Repeater Group is running a JOTA event with 1st Perthshire Pitlochry Scout Group next Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Operations will be at Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5BX. Contact Martin Hobson, GS0PRG, on 01796 472 140 or email martin.hobson@btinternet.com.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society is taking part in JOTA next Saturday and Sunday, supporting the Coventry Minotaur Unit. GB0CMU will be on the air from The Scout Headquarters, Partidge Croft, Coventry.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX CW Contest ends its 24 hour run at 0800UTC today, the 15th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday it’s the 1.3GHz UKAC from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band, RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series Data leg takes place from 1900-2030UTC. Using data modes only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is RST and serial number.

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

The Worked All Germany contest takes place from 1500UTC Saturday to 1500UTC Sunday. Using CW and SSB on 80 to 10m, the exchange is RST and serial number, with DLs sending DOK.

Next Sunday sees three events. The 50MHz AFS contest takes place on 6m from 0900 to 1300UTC. All modes can be used, and the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Also starting at 0900UTC next Sunday, the UKuG 24-76GHz contest runs until 1700UTC. All modes can be used on the bands between 24 and 76GHz. RST, serial number and locator forms the exchange.

Finally for this week, the RoLo 2 contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on Sunday 2030UTC, using CW only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is RST plus the rolling locator.

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

Last week saw a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. At the beginning, quiet geomagnetic conditions saw the HF bands alive with DX. With the K index hovering between zero and one, the ionosphere was showing what it can do during a typical Autumn day. There were openings up to and including 12 metres, with DX being worked as far afield as India, Cocos Keeling Island, the Falkland Islands, and Sao Tome and Principe off the west coast of Africa.

Unfortunately, and as we predicted, it didn’t last as a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole, moving at more than 500 kilometres per second, impacted the earth on Wednesday the 11th. This sent the K index soaring to five and, after a brief ionospheric enhancement, maximum useable frequencies started to plummet.

By Thursday the MUF over a 3,000km path was struggling to exceed 14MHz as the geomagnetic storm continued. However, another pre-auroral enhancement, probably due to a surge in the incoming solar wind stream, saw 10 metres open to DX briefly on Thursday afternoon, with Saudi Arabia booming in.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the range 74 to 80, reflecting where we are in the declining solar cycle. Ionospheric conditions may be unsettled this weekend following the final throes of the coronal hole solar wind stream, but should then improve.

Geomagnetic conditions are forecast to be quite settled after Tuesday the 17th, with a maximum K index of two. If correct this means that reliable HF DX may return, giving good openings up to 21MHz, perhaps even 24MHz, for the rest of the week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We are stuck in a very unsettled weather pattern and it seems like the north-west of the country is most likely to experience the more disturbed weather conditions with strong winds and a risk of gales. None of these things are good for Tropo, but we may see some good options for rain scatter on the gigahertz bands.

We have nearby high pressure over the continent and this should be a player at first over this weekend. It will decline early next week and any temporary Tropo is only likely to be available from southern Britain, favouring paths towards the Continent.

Meteor scatter conditions should be better this week, with the Epsilon-Geminids shower on Wednesday and the larger Orionids, peaking sometime in the early hours of Saturday. Interestingly, the Orionid meteor shower is one of the showers created by debris from Comet Halley.

You’d better get your QSOs in with the 3DA0MB eight-band EME DXpedition to Swaziland early next week. Moon declination goes negative again on Wednesday and the moon reaches apogee on Thursday, with highest losses. As the sun and moon are close on Thursday, noise will also be an issue on VHF. At least it’s a daytime moon and gigahertz band dish feed changes can be done without a torch!

More details of 3DA0MB are available on the HB9Q logger and moon net.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 8th. October 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 8th of October 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Foundation and Intermediate exams going online

  • Please keep emergency frequencies clear

  • Two Train the Trainers courses announced

An online option for Full examinations was launched in March 2017. Clubs, exam centres and candidates have all given very positive feedback. A recent Exam Group meeting approved the roll-out of online Foundation and Intermediate exams. From the 1st of November, the RSGB HQ Exams Department will accept applications for online Intermediate exams and, from the 2nd of January 2018, you will be able to apply for an online Foundation exam. To bring consistency to the application process, a notice period of ten working days will apply to every exam from the 1st November, regardless of level or whether it is online or paper-based. All examinations, both online and paper, will still be held at Exam Centres and invigilated in exactly the same way as now. When applying for an exam you must state whether electronic, paper or a mix of examination type is required. Online exams reduce paperwork for invigilators and provide immediate feedback to the candidates. More online administrative tools are in the pipeline to assist Examination Secretaries. Applications for paper examinations will continue as before.

Tropical Storm Nate is now threatening to dump flooding rains over portions of Central America, according to the National Hurricane Center. An amateur radio emergency net has been activated in Costa Rica. Amateurs not involved in the storm emergency are asked to avoid interfering or operating near storm nets. The frequencies likely to be used are 3.752MHz, 7.24MHz and 14.302MHz. 40m is the main HF band for traffic. Other nets active in the region could be using 7.117MHz, 7.090MHz and 7.098MHz.

Train the Trainers is free to any RSGB Member teaching at Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level. It is especially designed for anyone who does not already have a professional background in teaching. Courses must be pre-booked. Each has a maximum of 25 places, allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. One RSGB Train the Trainers event is planned for the 18th of November at Worksop Amateur Radio Club. Contact Steve Hambleton, by email to g0eaksteve@gmail.com to book your place. On the 9th of December there will be a training session at Thames Amateur Radio Group in Southend on Sea. Email nigel.m0ich@gmail.com to book a place. Courses run from 9am to 5pm, with a break for you to eat your own packed lunch. Tea and coffee are provided.

GB17YOTA returns this December for YOTA month. Applications are coming in from clubs across the country so apply soon if you want to be involved. Allocations will be made by the end of October. Email yota.month@rsgb.org.uk to find out more or to receive the application form.

The VHF Contest Committee has opened a consultation to help set the rules for the 2018 series of contests. Through its earlier consultation, it has already agreed to change the scoring system for the UK Activity Contests to the Nordic System, but this exercise asks some wider questions. If you are a VHF Contest participant, please find a few minutes to complete the survey. It is online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0810A and remains open until 2359UTC on the 29th of October. Your help will be much appreciated.

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

Today, the 8th, the 44th Blackwood ARS rally will be held at Rougemont School, Newport, Gwent NP20 6QB. There is free parking on site, including disabled spaces. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and a Bring & Buy. A raffle will be held. There are talks and lectures during the day, and catering is available on site. Contact Mike Rackham, GW4JKV, on 01495 226 149.

The RSGB Convention, sponsored by Martin Lynch & Sons, takes place on Friday to Sunday of this week, the 13th to the 15th. If you haven’t already pre-booked, tickets will still be available on the door at Kent’s Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kent’s Hill Park, Milton Keynes MK7 6BZ. There are talks for all interests and a full programme is available on the website, www.rsgb.org/convention

Next Sunday, the 15th, the Holsworthy ARS Rally takes place at Holsworthy Community College, Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6JD. There is free car parking on site, with disabled access. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Howard, M0MYB by email to holsworthyarc@gmail.com for more details.

On Sunday the 15th, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally will be held at Floral Hall, 7 The Esplanade, Hornsea HU18 1NQ. There is car parking at the venue. Doors open at 10am and admission is £2, with under-14s free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstand. A raffle will take place. There is catering on site. Details from Rick, M0CZR, 01964 533712 or by email to R106221@aol.com

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Jose, EA5IDQ will be active as S9CQ from Sao Tome, IOTA reference AF-023, from the 12th to the 21st of October. He will operate SSB and RTTY on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via his home call, either direct, via the bureau or Logbook of The World.

Craig, VK5CE will be active as VK5CE/8 from North Island, OC-198, on the 12th to the 15th of October. He will operate SSB on 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres with a large array of vertical and beam antennas. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or via VK5CE, either direct or via the bureau. The log will be uploaded after the DXpedition, as Craig won’t have phone or internet access while on the island. See https://oc198.wordpress.com for details.

John, MM0VEG will be active as 8Q7BI from the Maldives, AS-013, until the 16th of October. He will operate exclusively on 20 metres, using SSB if conditions are good, or PSK31 if they are poor. QSL via his home call, direct or bureau, and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

Nicola, I0SNY will be active on the HF bands as BY1DX/I0SNY until the 18th of October. QSL via IZ3KVD direct or 9A5URI via the bureau.

Stan, LZ1GC will be active as H40GC from Temotu Province, Nendo, OC-100, until the 20th of October. He is on CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 160 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, his home call either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World. See www.c21gc.com/ for more information.

Now the special event news

Members of the Scarborough Amateur Radio Society will again be attending the North Yorkshire Moors Railway annual World War II weekend at Pickering. This year the event is on the 13th, 14th and 15th of October. All are welcome to come along to the marquee in the station yard, where period radio equipment will be on display. Special event station GB2YMR will also run throughout the weekend on 40 and 80 metres.

Now the contest news

The Oceania DX SSB contest ends at 0800UTC today, the 8th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Ending at 1900UTC today, the 8th, is the Worked All Britain HF Phone contest. Using the 14 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number, WAB area and Book number.

Today, the 8th, the DX Contest runs from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

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

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

Next weekend, from 0800UTC on the 14th to 0800UTC on the 15th, the Oceania DX CW Contest uses the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week saw sunspot activity remain fairly stable, with the solar flux index hovering in the upper 80s. There were no solar flares and so no associated coronal mass ejections either. On the whole, geomagnetic conditions were a little more settled than they have been of late and other than a K index of four on Monday the dial sat mostly between one and three.

These more settled conditions, coupled with the expected seasonal uplift in ionospheric propagation, meant there was DX to be had. Maximum usable frequencies climbed to more than 24 MHz at times, although 21MHz was perhaps a little more reliable.

A quick look at the International Beacon Project frequency on 21.150MHz saw the South Africa, Israel and New York beacons audible at times. The Russian and Madeira beacons also made a good showing on both 14.100MHz and 18.110MHz. The five watt ED6YAJ beacon in Majorca on 28.235MHz was even audible for hours on Thursday, with few other signals on the band. Beacons are always useful tools to get a quick snapshot of HF conditions.

Critical frequencies over the UK have struggled to get much above 6.2MHz at times, which means 80 and 60 metres remain the main bands for near vertical incidence skywave or short skip contacts around the UK.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline further into the low 70s as the current crop of sunspots rotate off the disk. Stormy geomagnetic conditions are predicted for Wednesday the 11th to Sunday the 15th of October, thanks to a recurrent coronal hole. If this comes to pass we would expect the best DX to occur in the first half of the week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The next week or two looks very much like an autumn sequence of unsettled weather, with low pressure dominating the charts throughout this week and next. There may be brief periods when a ridge puts in an appearance in southern Britain, but this is likely to be transient and not a strong Tropo signature. Of course, such conditions become a test of all those summer antenna jobs, so this is a good time to check that all the ropes and guys are secure.

The strong jet stream at times over the coming week would have been useful for Sporadic-E in the summer season, but is of little value at this time of the year.

There are three minor meteor showers this week. The Draconids is today, the Southern Taurids on Tuesday and the delta-Aurigids on Wednesday. All of them have just single-digit zenithal hourly rates, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts on the lower VHF bands.

The moon reaches perigee on Monday and maximum declination on Thursday, so a good week for EME. Look out for OK1VVT, QRV from Morocco on 144MHz as CN2R, and OK1DFC in Ceuta operating from the QTH of EA9LZ, on 70, 23, 3 and 6cm. More details on the HB9Q logger and moon.net.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 1st. October 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 1st of October 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • IARU Conference report now online

  • Enter the RSGB Construction Competition

  • VDSL interference survey extended

 

The Report for the 24th Region 1 IARU General Conference, held in Landshut Germany from 16 to 23 September, is available on the Region 1 website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1001a The papers for C3, C4, C5 and C7 are also available in zipped format on this page.

The RSGB annual Construction Competition is still open for entries. The aim of the competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. The competition can be entered by individual members or groups of members where the build team will be treated as a single entrant. The closing date has been extended to 6 October and any project that you have built, other than one that was a previous winner in this competition, may be entered. Judging will take place at the RSGB Convention on the 14th of October. Full details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924c

The RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating VDSL broadband interference on the HF amateur bands for three years now. To increase the amount of evidence available, the Committee set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions. There are still lots of responses being received so the deadline has been extended; it will remain open this week. Please fill it in, or persuade your fellow amateurs to do so. If you have part-filled in the survey, you should be able to re-open and complete it, or you can make a new entry and the earlier version will be deleted. Thanks to everyone who has participated. Some people found they had VDSL RFI that they were previously unaware of. The survey results will be presented at the RSGB Convention and published on the RSGB website.

A valve workshop will be held on the 14th of October at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB. If you have a basic knowledge of electronics and can read an electronic circuit diagram then they will show you how electronics began, following its critical components for its first 50 years. Find out about valve history, how to handle and test valves and how valves are used in amplifiers, radios and computers. Full details can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309B

The RSGB has recently responded to two Ofcom consultations affecting amateur microwave bands, as part of its ongoing strategy to protect amateur spectrum. The latest input in a series regarding 5GHz has been made in relation to Ofcom’s consultation to liberalise Fixed Wireless Access channels. This would affect amateur narrowband and particularly satellite reception. Additionally, at even higher frequencies there has been a response to an Ofcom Call for Input regarding future fifth generation smartphone handset and base stations. In a marked change from current systems these are expected to use new frequencies in or near our 24 and 47GHz Primary amateur bands. Both consultation inputs were developed in the RSGB Spectrum Forum with assistance from special interest groups including UK Microwave Group and AMSAT-UK. Details can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1001b

Saturday the 7th of October will see the 1st DX Féile take place on Inis Mór Island, Aran Islands, for a DX filled-convention. DXpeditioners Kenneth, LA7GIA, Nigel, G3TXF and IOTA Deputy Manager Cezar, VE3LYC along with Declan, EI6FR and Jeremy, EI5GM will host a day of DX-related talks, followed by a dinner and social evening, amongst other activities. Two HF stations will be on the air for the weekend, signing EJ1D and giving IOTA reference EU-006. Early booking is advised due to limited availability. Full information is available on their website, www.dxfeile.ie

Do you have some spare time to support fellow radio amateurs? Are you passionate about the future of amateur radio? The RSGB currently has a number of volunteer vacancies within the Regional representation structure and would like to hear from you. There are Deputy Regional manager vacancies in Regions 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10 and 13. Details can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-1001c

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

The Hack Green Hanger Sale is on today, the 1st of October, at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open at 10am. Sales will include amateur gear, electronic equipment, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Refreshments are available on site. More details from Lucy Siebert on 01270 623 353.

Next Sunday, the 44th Blackwood ARS rally will be held at Rougemont School, Newport, Gwent NP20 6QB. There is free parking on site, including disabled spaces. Doors open 10am and entry is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, an RSGB bookstall and a Bring & Buy. A raffle will be held. There are talks and lectures during the day. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike Rackham, GW4JKV on 01495 226 149.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Witek, SP9MRO and Danuta, SP9PX will be active as 9H3I and 9H3QQ respectively from Malta, IOTA reference EU-023, until the 9th of October. They will operate CW, SSB and RTTY on the 12 to 40m bands. QSL both callsigns via SP9SX and Logbook of The World.

From the 6th of October, several amateurs will be active from Guantanamo Bay, NA-015. Henry, W2DZO will operate as KG4HH until the 9th, Jeff, KQ4LA as KG4LA until the 13th, Bill, W4WV as KG4WV until the 20th and Al, W6HGF as KG4HF until the 20th. QSL via their home callsigns. KG4LA and KG4HF will upload their logs to Logbook of The World.

Look for Tina, HB0/DL5YL and Fred, HB0/DL5YM to be active from Liechtenstein until the 7th. They will operate mainly CW, with some SSB and RTT on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via their home calls, direct or via the bureau.

The RI1F DXpedition team plan to be on the air from the never-before-activated Victoriya Island between the 1st and 7th, depending on weather and ice conditions. They will operate CW and SSB on all bands, including EME and satellite activity. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, where you should search for RI1F/EU-190. Victoriya Island is new one for IOTA, EU-190, but DXCC-wise is part of Franz Josef Land.

Oliver, DK7TX will be active as SV5/DK7TX from the Dodecanese islands of Kos, Kalymnos, Nisyros and Telendos, EU-001, between the 3rd and the 13th. QSL via his home callsign, direct or via the bureau.

A regular air service from Johannesburg to St Helena Island, AF-022, is due to start on the 14th and Bill, G0VDE hopes to be on the first commercial flight. He plans to be active as ZD7VDE for one week, and to operate SSB and some data modes. See www.sthelenadx.com/ for more information.

Now the special event news

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, special callsign R60SAT will be active from the 1st to the 8th. QSL via R4AS direct.

Now the contest news

The UK EI DX contest ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 1st. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District Code. Please note that the signal report is optional in this contest.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, it is immediately followed until 2130UTC by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest, where all modes are acceptable. 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 on the 80m band the exchange is your 4 character locator.

There is lots going on next weekend. On Saturday the 7th from 1400 to 2200UTC the 1.2/2.3GHz Trophy takes place. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

From 0800 on the 7th to 0800UTC on the 8th, the Oceania DX SSB contest uses the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

From 1400UTC on the 7th to 1400UTC on the 8th, the 432MHz to 245GHz contest takes place. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also from 1400UTC to 1400UTC on the 7th and 8th is the IARU 432MHz to 245GHz contest. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

From 1900 to 1900UTC on the 7th and 8th is the Worked All Britain HF Phone contest. Using the 14 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number, WAB area and Book number.

On the 8th, the DX Contest runs from 0500 to 2300UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

Last week was a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation. With the solar flux index just into the 90s, amateurs were able to take advantage of the improving autumnal conditions. At times, maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path were stretching up to and beyond 21MHz, with openings to the US being reported on 15 metres. But a geomagnetic disturbance due to a coronal hole on the sun saw the K index soar to six on Wednesday, with associated auroral warnings.

At noon on Wednesday the critical frequency over the UK managed to hit 8.125MHz, as measured at RAF Fairford. But an incoming solar wind stream above 600km/s, with a south-facing Bz magnetic component, took its toll. By late evening Wednesday predicted MUFs over 3,000km were below 14MHz. If the solar wind has a south-facing Bz magnetic component it is more likely to couple with the earth’s magnetic field and cause disruption. An even more unsettled ionosphere saw this continue on Thursday as the K index hit a very stormy seven.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 90s and geomagnetic conditions may be more settled. This could mean more fun on the HF bands.

As we move into October we can expect HF conditions to improve on east-west paths. Make sure you are using the latest smoothed sunspot number of 22 with VOACAP-based prediction programs for the best results.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weekend and beginning of the coming week looks likely to be affected by low pressure, with potentially windy conditions in the north. The unsettled weather will also mean that GHz bands rain scatter could be possible.

High pressure is set to move in towards midweek and should place Tropo at the top of the operating list through to the end of the week. Models differ slightly in the exact placement of the high, but most allow the centre to drift east across southern Britain, while leaving a linking ridge back to another large high north of the Azores. What this means for the VHF bands from the UK is some fairly good Tropo, especially into the near continent and across Biscay towards Spain and perhaps farther south. Unfortunately, northern Britain remains closer to low pressure and probably misses out on the main Tropo action, although recent activity from CMEs highlights the possibility of aurora if the sun continues to be disturbed.

There are no significant meteor showers, this week, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts on the lower VHF bands.

Moon declination goes positive again on Thursday, so expect lengthening Moon windows and falling losses this coming week as the Moon heads for perigee a week tomorrow.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 24th. September 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 24th of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • IARU honours Colin, G3PSM

  • Book for Convention Buildathon

  • 4m NoV procedure streamlined

 

We’re delighted to announce that RSGB Past President Colin Thomas, G3PSM has been given the prestigious Roy Stevens G2BVN Memorial Award by IARU Region 1. It is particularly appropriate, given that Roy was Colin’s mentor in his international work. Colin retires as Chairman of the External Relations Committee this year after a period of exemplary service to amateur radio, and in particular to the International Amateur Radio Union in Region 1. You can read the full story at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924a

Over the last few years the RSGB Convention has included a Buildathon, where attendees build a kit with help from mentors from the Bath Buildathon Crew. This year the kit will be an Arduino-based Morse tutor supplied by Kanga UK. The tutor is ideal for those learning Morse code or looking to improve their receive speed. It also makes an ideal Intermediate assessment project. All necessary tools and test equipment will be provided, and the Bath team will be there to assist. This year’s Buildathon at the RSGB Convention takes place on the 14th of October in Milton Keynes. Buildathon places cost no more than the kit, which is just under £40. Places can be booked online via the RSGB Shop Convention Booking Office. If you need any further details, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via email to g0fuw@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is pleased to announce that a more streamlined process is now available for digital experiments in the 70.5-71.5MHz range. Amateurs who successfully apply via the Ofcom Special Research Permit process are now able to confirm their details and download their Notice of Variation from the RSGB website in a similar manner to the 146-147MHz NoVs. Further details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924b

A video created by the RSGB was used by Don Beattie, President of IARU Region 1, at the IARU Conference in Landshut to spark discussion about the future of amateur radio. Filmed at YOTA 2017, five young radio amateurs from different countries explain what they think the future of amateur radio should look like. They are optimistic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Take a look at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924c to see the video he showed.

The GB2RS news team for Region 8, Northern Ireland, is appealing for new readers. You need to hold a Full licence and be an RSGB Member. For DMR broadcasts you will need to be able to access one of the TG8 / S2 enabled repeaters, currently GB7LY, GB7UL, GB7HB or GB3OM. If you’re interested, or want to know more, please contact RSGB Regional Manager Philip Hosey, MI0MSO via email to rm8@rsgb.org.uk or call him directly on 0784 902 5760.

DXCC card checking will be available at the National Hamfest, on the 29th and 30th of September at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground. Situated on the UK 6m Group stand, they can also check your documents for your Logbook of the World, so bring your licence and original photo ID such as photo driving licence or passport, with the same name on both. These documents don’t have to be sent to the USA. If you plan to bring a lot of cards, more than 25, please drop them off as soon as you arrive. Please note the paper application forms are no longer used: you must use the online tool to make your application and bring the resulting printout with the cards.

The RSGB annual Construction Competition is open for entries. The aim of the competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. The competition can be entered by individual members or groups of members where the build team will be treated as a single entrant. The closing date is the end of September and any project that you have built, other than one that was a previous winner in this competition, may be entered. Judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October. Full details are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924c

The IARU Region 1 Conference concluded on Thursday with the final plenary adopting a wide range of recommendations for current and future amateur radio, from HF to microwaves. Having made a substantial number of proposals, the RSGB was pleased to see many of these being adopted in some form in the final plenary. Note that those changes affecting band plans will be discussed in the forthcoming RSGB Spectrum Forum meeting, prior to the update of RSGB band plans in early 2018.

The RSGB Legacy Sub-Committee makes recommendations to the RSGB Board on requests for funding from the £180,000 Legacy Fund. The Board wishes to appoint a new Chairman of the Legacy Sub-Committee and also a further sub-committee member. Information about the fund is on the RSGB website and further details of these appointments are available from the General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk

Following the recent ARISS-Europe Board elections, four candidates were elected unopposed for a term of two years. Oliver, DG6BCE is chairman, Emanuele, I0ELE is technical director, Bertus, PE1KEH and Jean Pierre, F6DZP are counsellors. They take office on the 1st of October.

At the IARU Region 1 Conference, in recognition of their outstanding and ongoing contributions, Graham Shirville, G3VZV, Lisa Leenders, PA2LS and Gregg Mossop, G0DUB have been awarded the IARU Region 1 Medal for their work on Satellite Coordination, Youth and Emergency Communications respectively.

Doug Fraser has decided to stand down as DRM 21 in Region 2. We would like to thank him for his service to his fellow amateurs. There is now a vacancy in the area for an RSGB Member to take on the role of Deputy Regional manager. If anyone is interested in applying for the role of DRM 21, Highlands, please contact Andy Burns, MM0CXA via email to rm2@rsgb.org.uk.

The RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating VDSL broadband interference on the HF amateur bands for three years now. To increase the amount of evidence available, the RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions. The survey closes on 30 September and everyone is invited to contribute their findings, whether or not they believe they suffer VDSL interference.

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

The Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale is today, the 24th, at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 10am for the public and entry is £2. Refreshments, including hot food, will be available. Details from Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

The National Hamfest takes place this week on Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th of September at the Newark & Nottinghamshire Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY. The venue has extensive free car parking and disabled facilities. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area, flea market, special interest groups and a huge RSGB bookstall. There will also be representatives from the RSGB Services and Committees. Morse proficiency test will be available. The venue has catering outlets and a seating area. See www.nationalhamfest.org.uk for details.

The Hack Green Hanger Sale is on the 1st of October at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open 10am. Sales will include amateur gear, electronic equipment, components, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Refreshments are available on site. More details from Lucy Siebert on 01270 623 353 or by email to lucy@hackgreen.co.uk.

Finally, we understand that the Dambusters Hamfest that takes place in early May has changed its name and will henceforth be known as the Thorpe Camp Hamfest.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Hal, JR4OZR will be active as A35W from Tongatapu, IOTA reference OC-049, Tonga until the 26th of September. He will operate RTTY and FT8, and will participate in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest. QSL via JJ2VLY and Logbook of The World or logsearch on Club Log.

JA3KIO as T88XA and JA3JND as T88ON will be active from Koror, OC-009, Palau, until the 28th of September. QSL via home calls, direct or bureau.

JR1FKR as V63FKR and JH1MLO as V63MLO will be active from Pohnpei, OC-010, in Micronesia between the 27th September and the 2nd of October. They will operate SSB and RTTY. QSL via home calls, direct or bureau. They do not use Logbook of The World.

AT7M is the callsign for the IOTA DXpedition to St Mary Islands, AS-096. A large team will operate on all modes with a multi transceiver station from the 30th of September to the 1st of October. QSL via VU3NPI.

Now the special event news

Stations for Railways on the Air will be active this weekend including Coventry ARS from the Coventry Model railway club with GB6CMR. Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be activating GB2RGM at the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey, although public access is not permitted to the site. Riviera ARC will operate GB4BCR from Babbacombe Cliff Railway.

Enigma Reloaded takes place from the 22nd to the 30th of September. The main goal is to promote as much amateur radio activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in the outcome of World War II. From the 22th to the 29th, Italians and others registered as Activator Stations will ensure the activation of their radio stations in order to allow the participants to get their scores for the Enigma Award Contest. Full details are online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0924e

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest ends its 48 hours at 2359UTC on the 24th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and Zone, which is 14 for the UK.

Today, the 24th, the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC today, the 24th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. 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 Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4 character Locator square.

On the 30th of September and the 1st of October, the UK EI DX contest takes place between 1200 and 1200UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District Code. Please note that the signal report is optional in this contest.

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

Last week saw sunspot numbers decline, but geomagnetic conditions become more settled. This, plus the fact we are heading into autumn, resulted in better HF conditions, with 21MHz opening to DX for short periods. The CS3B Madeira and 4X6TU Israel beacons on 21.150MHz were both audible at times and Jim, G3YLA reports working S01WS in Western Sahara on the band.

Not to be outdone, the lower bands have also been active, with UK operators on the DXpedition to St Pierre and Miquelon being worked from the UK on 160, 80, 40 and 30 metres. The better critical frequencies and therefore higher MUFs mean 40 metres has also been open to shorter skip at times, perhaps with a minimum of about 500km.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index may increase slowly up to and beyond 100 once again. However, there is a strong possibility that geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled all week due to coronal hole activity and the potential for coronal mass ejections from the active sunspots that are predicted.

Currently, VOACAP Online suggests that reasonably-equipped UK stations have around a 50% chance of working New York on 20 metres CW from around 1800 to 2030hrs. This should improve to about 70% as we head into mid-October, with 17 and 15 metres both offering better reliability too.

With the better autumnal HF conditions coming, it is worth playing with the online tools at VOACAP.com and www.predtest.uk to get a better understanding of the best times to work various parts of the world on HF.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s been a good week for rain scatter on the GHz bands, with daily propagation over to the Netherlands and Belgium and intra-UK. Sadly this has not been matched by activity, but a few good QSOs were reported by those who were aware.

This week sees a welcome return of high pressure nearby, to the east of the UK. This will allow stations in the south and east of the country to enjoy slightly enhanced conditions. The position of the high would favour Tropo paths up the east coast and across the southern North Sea. This will probably be a brief period of Tropo before low pressure from the Atlantic drifts in towards the UK in the second half of the week. The high remains nearby over Scandinavia, with a ridge extending southwest across France into Spain. This may possibly offer some Tropo options to the south for stations on the south coast.

There is a low rate meteor shower, the daytime Sextantids, on Wednesday, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts.

The Moon is at maximum negative declination and apogee on Wednesday so losses are at their greatest and Moon windows short. So this is a good week to catch up on antenna maintenance for the autumn.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 17th. September 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 17th of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Latest RadCom Plus now available

  • Please keep clear of hurricane nets

  • Tunisia legalises individual amateur licences

 

The latest issue of RadCom Plus is now available. It contains features on vertical phased arrays, an APRS tracker and looks at how to get a professional finish to your home-made printed circuit boards. A tailored PDF version is available, as a trial for this issue, in addition to the ePUB version. Both of these options enable you to download RadCom Plus to read offline if you wish. For those who prefer to read it online you can still use the Flipbook version that is also available. RadCom Plus is a members’ benefit so just log into the RSGB membership portal and then you can access both versions from the RadCom Plus page of the RSGB website.

In view of the arrival of Hurricane Max on the coast of Guerrero, Mexico, the FMRE National Emergency Net has activated. The net is operating on 7.060 MHz and 14.120MHz so please avoid causing interference on or around those frequencies.

The Ministry of Telecommunications of Tunisia has approved and issued a decree organising amateur radio activity in Tunisia. It is now possible for Tunisian amateurs to apply, pass an exam and get their own amateur radio licences. Those who already have a foreign licence can be granted licences without passing an exam. Resident foreigners can also apply. See iaru-r1.org for full details.

Today, the 17th of September, sees the start of the IARU Region 1 Conference. Delegates will consider around 140 papers covering many aspects of the future of amateur radio. Amongst the latest inputs are RSGB papers on noise floor measurements and YOTA 2017. Watch out for media updates during the week.

The latest RSGB Convention promotional video is the About the RSGB section of the video portal on the RSGB website. You’ll hear a range of people explaining why they go to the Convention and see highlights of what you can expect during a Convention weekend. Tickets and weekend packages are still available; go to www.rsgb.org/convention to find out more.

Enigma Reloaded takes place from the 22nd to the 30th of September. The main goal is to promote as much amateur radio activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in the outcome of World War II. From the 22th to the 29th, Italians and others registered as Activator Stations will ensure the activation of their radio stations in order to allow to the participants getting their scores for the Enigma Award Contest. Full details are online at www.enigma-reloaded.it/index_eng.html

ML&S has launched a video of the new Kenwood TS-590sg 70th anniversary edition. It’s on their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfUcts3Fdl4

IARU Region 1, DARC and RSGB volunteers attended the latest CEPT meeting that is preparing for WRC-19. Key items of interest to amateur radio included 50-54MHz, high power wireless charging of electric vehicles and increased use of the 5GHz bands for Wi-Fi and transport.

RADIO DARC is the weekly magazine of the German Amateur Radio Club for radio amateurs and short wave listeners, with three broadcasts on 6070kHz for Europe. DARC will broadcast during the 24th IARU Region 1 Conference being held in Landshut, Germany. Until the 22nd of September 2017, RADIO DARC will report current news on the conference in six daily special short wave transmissions.

Icom Inc will be holding a D-STAR QSO party between 0000UTC on the 22nd and 2359UTC on the 24th of September. For more information visit the D-Star QSO Party website at www.icom.co.jp/world/dqp

SOS Radio Week is moving from January to May so that it, once again, falls in line with the RNLI’s own fund-raising event. Like the RNLI’s event, SOS Radio Week will actually last a month so stations can choose to operate on any of four or five weekends. You can register your station now for SOS Radio Week 2018, via the website www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

Thames Amateur Radio Group is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 9th of December from 9am to 5pm. Training open to candidates from any club and is delivered free to RSGB Members, but the organisers are requesting a £5 donation per candidate towards hall hire, buffet lunch and other refreshments. To book contact nigel.m0ich@gmail.com

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

The Weston-Super-Mare Rally takes place today, the 17th of September, at The Campus, Highlands Lane, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 7DX. The venue has a large car park. Doors open from 10am and admission is £3 for adults. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, lectures, and an auction at the end of the day. There will also be amusements and activities for all the family including competitions, fun activities and interactive displays. Catering will be available on site. Enquiries to 01278 786 684.

The WACRAL Conference and Fellowship Weekend takes place from the 22nd to the 24th of September at the Elim International Conference Centre, West Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4DF. Nick Henwood, G3RWF, the RSGB President, will be speaking on Where is amateur radio going?

The Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale is on Sunday the 24th at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road. Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 10am for the public and entry is £2. Refreshments including hot food will be available. Details from Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

The Belgium Amateur Radio & Computer Rally is on the 24th at Hall Louvexpo, rue Michel Debauque/Arthur Delaby, La Louvière, Belgium. It has direct access from the motorway, just 50km south of Brussels. Open from 9am to 4pm, there will be talk-in on local FM repeaters on 145.600MHz. There will be trade stands from the UK, Holland, Germany, France and a flea market. For details, see www.on6ll.be

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

David, G4NRT will be on the air as Z21NRT in Zimbabwe until the 29th of September. He will be on the 80 to 6m bands using SSB, CW and digital. QSL to his home callsign.

E6AG will be operating until the 25th of September on the island of Niue, IOTA reference OC-040. It will be holiday-style and QSLs go via Club Log OQRS to M0OXO.

JW/OM6TC will be on from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, EU-026, until the 20th of September. QSL to his home callsign.

A group of Russian amateurs will operate as A25BI, A25SP and A25BE from Kasane in north-eastern Botswana until the 25th of September and they hope to be on all bands from 160 to 6m using CW and SSB.

A number of Czech operators will operate at 5T5OK in Mauritania until the 29th of September. They will run 100W on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL manager is OK6DJ and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Al, K7AR will be operating as 5W0RA from Apia, Samoa, IOTA OC-097, from the 19th to the 29th of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and possibly FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Rugby ARTS will operate GB0RRS until the 22nd of September to celebrate the historic Rugby Radio Station, which operated from 1926 to 2007 at a site near Hillmorton, Rugby.

Today, the 17th of September Chatham Historic Dockyard will again be hosting their 1940s weekend. During the event Brian, G0TAR and some Medway ARTS members will be operating GB2CAV from the ship’s radio room.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be active from the Coventry Model railway club for railways on the air at Unit 3, Coventry Canal Basin Warehouse, Leicester Row, Coventry, CV1 4LH on the 23rd and 24th of September. The callsign likely to be GB6CMR but they are awaiting the NOV.

On the 23rd and the 24th of September, Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be activating GB2RGM at the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey for Railways on the Air. It has a narrow gauge railway that was used to transport explosives around the site. There is no public access during the activation.

Riviera ARC will operate GB4BCR as part of Railways on the Air on the 23rd of September. Babbacombe Cliff Railway is a funicular railway that takes people up and down the cliffs to Oddicombe at the bottom of the Babbacome Downs. e-QSLs will be available for this event.

Now the contest news

The 2nd 70MHz contest takes place today, the 17th, from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC today. Using the 24 to 26GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

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

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

Next weekend is the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest. It runs for 48 hours over the 23rd and 24th on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Sunday the 24th the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC on the 24th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

After the solar chaos of last weekend, things looked a little more settled at first. However, following last Sunday’s X8.2 solar flare, material from a coronal mass ejection impacted the Earth on Wednesday. The Solar Flux Index declined to 75 by Thursday, but we were seeing the geomagnetic effects of yet another coronal hole as this report was being written.

All this activity makes it hard to be precise about conditions next week, but NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 80s, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. Look for a low K index over a couple of days for the best results on HF.

It is worth pointing out that a better indicator of real-time HF conditions can be the smoothed or averaged smoothed sunspot number, which is currently 17 or 22 according to which method is used. Smoothed numbers are used by VOACAP and G4FKH’s own predtest.uk prediction tool.

Propagation Studies Committee member Marcus, G0IJZ reminds us that sunspot numbers and solar flux levels can be chaotic in the short term, but over the long term (that is, months), there is good correlation between the smoothed indices and ionospheric characteristics.

As we move into autumn, this can also be a good time to look for openings on the lower bands. Quite a lot of DX has been reported on 40m, especially around greyline times. The band is definitely worth checking.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Early last week we saw more of the predicted auroral propagation in the UK, so keep a check on the lower VHF bands in case the sun flares up again.

After a windswept and showery last week, there are signs that we start this weekend with the legacy of a cool northwesterly winds and scattered showers, possibly thundery. This means continuing good rain scatter on the GHz bands from any of the heavier showers.

Last week, the weather models were hinting at high pressure building by this weekend, but it has been knocked back to early in the coming week. It’s still on the agenda for the southern half of the country and possibly the north at times.

By the end of the week, there should be a large high near south-west Britain. This could bring Tropo into play for many areas by the time we get past mid-week and it looks good into the following weekend.

There are no meteor showers this week, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts.

Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are climbing as the Moon moves away from us, so get your EME contacts in early this week for the best results.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 10th. September 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 10th of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Keep hurricane frequencies clear

  • Report VDSL interference NOW

  • 100kW IARU news bulletins

 

Hurricane Irma is getting widespread news coverage and will affect many countries in the Caribbean. There are the usual American nets on 14.265 and 14.325MHz to gather information on the storm. Several other frequencies will be used and amateurs in IARU Region 1 are asked to please take steps to avoid interference with emergency operations. You can find out which frequencies are most used in which country on the IARU Region 1 website, www.iaru-r1.org

The RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating VDSL broadband interference on the HF amateur bands for three years now. This has generated a lot of historic data. However, despite active lobbying, Ofcom and Openreach contend that the 150 or so reports from 50,000 amateurs do not indicate a major problem, when viewed from the perspective of 9.5 million VDSL installations. To increase the amount of evidence available, the RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions. These measurements indicate the presence and strength of interference. Please fill in the survey with your current readings, even if you have reported them before, and encourage your friends to do so. The EMC Committee plans to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October, then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action. The survey closes on 30 September. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this interference. Your report could make all the difference to cleaning up the bands.

Following a request from the Radio Society of Kenya, the Kenya state radio regulator has advised that a new 60m allocation has been granted between 5275kHz and 5450kHz on a secondary basis. All modes are permitted, with a maximum power of 400W PEP.

From the 16th to the 22nd of September, the IARU Region 1 Conference will take place in Germany. 130 delegates from the 96 member societies will discuss issues related to the amateur radio service. RADIO DARC will report current news on the conference in six daily special short wave transmissions. These will be made in partnership with the Austrian Broadcasting Transmitters Corporation. The programmes will be in English. In Western Europe, listen out between 1800 and 1830UTC on 9540kHz between the 17th and 22nd. The broadcast power will be 100kW.

Discount rates are available for taking the UK amateur radio exams at the RSGB Convention on 14-15 October. The Foundation and Intermediate, taken together on the 14th, are £45 instead of £60, while the Intermediate and Full exams on the 14th and 15th are £52 together instead of £70. For the adventurous and well-prepared, you can take all three exams for £73 instead of £97.50. Foundation and Intermediate candidates must have had their Practical Assessment signed off before the Convention. Those wanting to take an FCC test for an US licence can do so on the Sunday. Full details of all of these exam offers are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0910A and it is important to note that the booking deadlines are quite soon. The Advanced deadline is 22 September, while the Foundation and Intermediate must be booked by 29 September.

The Citrus Belt Amateur Radio Club of San Bernardino, California will host the 18th annual Route 66 On The Air special event between the 9th and the 17th of September. The event offers radio amateurs a chance to perhaps relive their own Route 66 memories and to celebrate the famed highway’s 91st anniversary. There will be 21 stations, two of them rovers, operating in or around the major cities along Route 66. Using the callsigns W6A to W6U, details of frequencies can be found at http://w6jbt.org Please be aware that some of the stations may have to move their operating frequencies to accommodate hurricane traffic. Radio amateurs who operate while driving on Route 66 may take part in the event by using the designations mobile 66 or /66 after their callsigns. Each participating club will issue its own commemorative QSL card to celebrate this event. Certificates are available.

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on ClubLog. The top three are P5, North Korea, 3Y/B, Bouvet Island and FT5/W, Crozet Island. The complete list is at https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

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

The British Amateur Television Convention takes place this weekend at Finningley Amateur Radio Society, The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX.

The Torbay Annual Communications Fair is on today, the 10th of September, at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. There is plenty of free parking on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Entry is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. There will be a raffle held on the day. Details from Pete, G4VTO on 01803 864 528.

The Weston-Super-Mare Rally takes place on the 17th of September at The Campus, Highlands Lane, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 7DX. The venue has a large car park. Doors open from 10am and admission is £3 for adults. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an auction at the end of the day and lectures. There will also be amusements and activities for all the family including competitions, interactive displays and fun activities. Catering will be available on site. Enquiries to 01278 786 684.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The 7163 Group will be active as HD8M from Isabela Island in the Galapagos, IOTA reference SA-004, between the 14th and 21st of September. Activity is planned for the 160 to 6 metre bands using CW, SSB and digital modes, primarily FT8. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, direct to WB2REM with an SASE or via the bureau through KG0YL. Upload will be made to LoTW and eQSL after the DXpedition.

John, G4LTH will be operating as GM4LTH/P when he activates a number of Scottish islands from the 15th to the 18th of September. His route is subject to weather conditions. He will use a KX2, with an FT-817ND as a backup, plus dipoles for 80, 40 and 20 metres. He hopes to work as many stations as possible from these unusual locations, ranging from Eilean Mor Island to the Isle of Skye.

Frank, G8PQH will be active as G8PQH/p from the Isles of Scilly, EU-011, until the 16th of September. QSL direct via his home callsign.

Claudio, HB9OAU will be active as SV5/HB9OAU from Karpathos, EU-001, until the 22nd of September. He will operate SSB, RTTY and PSK on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Now the special event news

Rugby ARTS will operate GB0RRS until the 22nd of September to celebrate the historic Rugby Radio Station, which operated from 1926 to 2007 at a site near Hillmorton, Rugby.

On the 16th and 17th of September Chatham Historic Dockyard will again be hosting their 1940s weekend. During the event Brian, G0TAR and some Medway ARTS members will be operating GB2CAV from the ship’s radio room.

On the 16th of September at Cordwainers Community Garden, Hackney, East London GB2LUH will be on the air for the London Urban Harvest. GB2LUH will be active on HF and 2m FM to promote the event and encourage people to visit their local community garden and take part.

GB1BOB will be on the air on the 15th and 16th of September commemorating the hard work and sacrifices of all those who fought in or served during the Battle of Britain.

Now the contest news

The WAE DX SSB contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 10th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note EU stations only work non-EU stations.

On Monday the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the 432MHz UK Activity contest that uses all modes until 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

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

The 2nd 70MHz contest take place on the 17th from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 17th. Using the 24 to 26GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest is on the 17th from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using 75 baud RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is just the serial number

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

Last week the sun caught everyone out. While NOAA predicted the solar flux index would be in the mid 70s, the sudden appearance of a large number of sunspots pushed it up to 183 on Tuesday, although it had calmed down to 122 by Wednesday. This had a major impact on the bands, with openings up to 10 metres being reported, though many or all of these may have been due to Sporadic-E. To be fair to NOAA, these spots were only just appearing around the edge of the sun as last week’s report was being prepared.

Unfortunately, this new sunspot activity also resulted in numerous X-class solar flares, their associated coronal mass ejections and a proton storm. The K index was pushed up to five on Tuesday and four on Wednesday and Thursday, impacting HF conditions adversely. Next week the larger spots will have rotated off the sun’s visible surface, so the question is: what will follow them?

At the time of writing it looks like the Sun may calm down a little, although there is evidence of some new spots growing. NOAA predicts the solar flux index may decline into the 80s or 90s by the end of the week, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions from around the 13th to the 17th.

The good news is that each week we edge closer to better autumnal HF propagation, so expect higher maximum usable frequencies and better DX. October should be even better, so make sure your antennas are ready.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After last week’s class X9.3 solar flare, keep your beams to the north and look for any auroral propagation on six, four and two metres. The big sunspot group will have rotated off the sun’s visible surface by now, but, as we said, it may not be the last one we see during this period.

The 2017 Sporadic-E season struggled into the first week of September, but we sense we must be near the end now. That leaves Tropo as the next best option for some DX at VHF. Unfortunately, for much of the next week the UK weather pattern is dominated by low pressure, bringing unsettled and windy weather – so Tropo also looks like a non-runner. Such changeable weather, often showery, may produce some rain scatter on the GHz bands, otherwise it’s thin pickings for weather-related propagation modes.

With only minor meteor showers this week, continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts.

We have positive Moon declination all this week. So, combined with low losses as we approach perigee on Wednesday, it’s a good week for EME with long morning and daytime Moon windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 3rd. September 2017.

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

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 3rd of September 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Report VDSL interference NOW

  • ARDF team heads to Lithuania

  • Valve Workshop at Computing Museum

 

For three years the RSGB EMC Committee has been investigating the problems of interference from VDSL broadband on the HF amateur bands and lobbying for action to reduce the problem. It has a lot of historic data, but both Ofcom and Openreach contend that 150 reports from 50,000 amateurs are not indicative of a major problem when there are 9.5 million VDSL installations deployed. RSGB EMC Committee has set up a survey at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309A to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions, which indicate the presence and strength of interference. Please fill in the survey with your current readings, even if you have reported them before, and encourage your friends to do so. The EMC Committee plans to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October and then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action. The survey closes on 30 September. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this RFI. You could make the difference.

The RSGB Direction Finding team, which is entirely self-funded, is flying out to Lithuania this weekend for the 21st Region 1 ARDF Championships. There is a strong team in the M50 category, that is men aged from 50 to 59, with individuals competing in the M60 and M70 categories. Four separate competitions make up the Championships. There are Classic races on 2m and the other on 80m, where five transmitters send in sequence on a common frequency. FoxOring competitors receive a map giving approximate locations of the very low power transmitters, which are only audible for 100m or so. They use a combination of orienteering and radio direction finding skills to find the hidden transmitters. The event runs from Tuesday to Sunday and you can follow progress by looking for ardf2017 in your favourite search engine.

A Valve Workshop will be held on the 14th of October at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park MK3 6EB. If you have a basic knowledge of electronics and can read an electronic circuit diagram then they will show you how electronics started for its first 50 years. Find out about valve history, how to handle and test valves and how valves are used in amplifiers, radios and computers. Full details, including those on a project for purchase can be found at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0309B

The RSGB HF Contest Committee plays a key role in the enjoyment of amateur radio by many RSGB Members. It is responsible for deciding the HF contesting strategy, organising the HF contesting calendar, setting the rules and providing clarification of the rules to the contest adjudicators. The current Chair of the committee, Nick Totterdell, G4FAL, is approaching the end of his agreed term and has stated that he is not seeking to be reappointed. Any RSGB Member may volunteer to take over the position of Contest Committee chair, which is a three-year appointment. If you would like to be considered, please write to RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk providing details of your amateur radio and other relevant experience.

The cross-band voice repeater aboard the International Space Station has been set up by the Russian team to help get telemetry from their satellites. Although some amateurs report communicating via the repeater, ARISS would like to remind amateurs that it has not officially been activated for amateur contacts. When the ARISS voice repeater is active and authorised for general amateur voice contacts the uplink frequency is 437.800MHz FM, downlinking on 145.800MHz FM downlink. Meanwhile, if you would like to try receiving the Tanusha telemetry, technical details are on the Southwest State University Space Activity page at http://eng.swsu.ru/space

The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY on 29 and 30 September. The site will open at 9.30am each day, with the exhibition hall opening 30 minutes later at 10am. If you want to operate the Hamfest Special Event Station, GB17NH, run by Camb-Hams, please bring your current licence with you.

The new Islands on the Air programme website is planned to launch officially in early September, when the current RSGB-sponsored website will be taken offline. According to IOTA IT Manager Johan Willemsen, PA3EXX, the new website is presently undergoing fine tuning. Software developers should be aware that the change to a new website may affect any application using data from the current www.rsgbiota.org website.

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ from the 13th to the 15th of October. Discounted ticket will continue on sale until 8 October. Under 21s get free admission with suitable identification, although those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Weekend packages or mix and match deals are still at www.rsgb.org/convention and you can also see a provisional programme there.

Thames Amateur Radio Group is pleased to be hosting the RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 9th of December. Training open to candidates from any club and is delivered free to RSGB Members but the Group will be asking for a £5 donation per candidate towards hall hire, buffet lunch and refreshments. To book contact Nigel.m0ich@gmail.com

The ARRL Headquarters will be closed on Labor Day, the 4th of September, and there will be no ARRL bulletin or code practice transmissions that day.

The top-level domain name .radio is now available to the radio industry and amateur radio enthusiasts. It is reserved for individuals and companies with active interest in the radio sector. The .radio domain can be used for web and e-mail addresses and is managed by the European Broadcasting Union with support from other world broadcasting unions. There is a cost for individual radio amateurs. For details, visit https://register.radio/

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

The Telford Hamfest takes place at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire today, Sunday the 3rd of September. There will be trade stands, a flea market and special interest groups. Lectures will be from Dave, G3YXM on 21 years of LF, Dom, M1KTA on QRP and making antennas when in DX and Paul, M0XPD on The Little Rigs That Could. The evening before, at the Holiday Inn, Telford, the G QRP Buildathon will take place, led by RSGB Director Steve Hartley, G0FUW, who will also be at the G QRP Convention. Details are at www.telfordhamfest.org.uk and www.gqrp.com/convention.htm

The Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally takes place on Saturday the 9th of September at Caister Lifeboat Station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Doors open to the public at 9.30am. There will be a raffle and there is a cafe and gift shop on site. Contact Zane on 0771 1214 790 for more details.

The British Amateur Television Convention takes place next Saturday and Sunday at Finningley Amateur Radio Society, The Hurst Communications Centre, Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster DN8 5SX.

The Torbay Annual Communications Fair is on the 10th of September at The Racecourse, Newton Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 3AF. There is plenty of free parking on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.45am. Entry is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. There will be a raffle held on the day. Details from Pete, G4VTO on 01803 864 528.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Doug, W6HB will make a return trip to Rarotonga in the South Cook Islands, IOTA reference OC-013, until the 8th of September. This is mainly a holiday but he will get back on the air with his E51DLD callsign. Operation will be on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Hans, PA3HGT will be operating as 3B8/PA3HGT from the 5th to the 22nd of September in Mauritius, AF-049. Activity will be holiday style on the 40, 20 and 10m bands using SSB and possibly various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Tony, KQ2I will be on the air from Vanuatu, OC-035 using the callsign YJ0AT until the 13th of September. Tony is a CW-only operator and QSLs go via NR6M.

Alex, IW5ELA will be operating as A25AL in Botswana from the 7th to the 15th of September. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using mostly CW. QSL to his home callsign.

Members of the Radio Club of Djelfa will activate the island of Rachgoun off the Mediterranean coast of Algeria until the 10th of September. The callsign will be 7Y94I and the reference number for the Islands on the Air Programme is AF-094. QSL manager is 7X2DD.

GB5TAM is will be on the air from the HMS Tern Naval Air Station Museum on Orkney Island, IOTA EU-009, during the month of September. QSL via MM5DWW.

Now the special event news

Llanelli ARS will be running special event station GB1PCA, for Prostate Cancer Awareness, until the 28th of September. Activity will be on HF and 2m. QSL is via the bureau; details are on QRZ.com

Mid Ulster Amateur Radio Club will be active from the 9th to the 17th of September during International Air Ambulance Week using the call GB4UAS.

MN0GKL will be on the air on the 9th of September for Churches And Chapels On The Air from 10.30am to 4pm from Dungiven Parish Church, Main Street, Dungiven, Co Londonderry BT47 4LB. This event is part of the Dungiven Parish Church Vintage Fete. There will be lots of very interesting vintage tractors and cars on display, plus the usual fete stalls. Admission is £3.

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will operate from the 9th to the 17th of September for International Air Ambulance Week from Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn, Co Down BT19 1PU. The museums will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, and admittance is free.

The Museum Amateur Radio Station will be in operation from its premises at Kiln Corner, Kirkwall during the 27th Orkney International Science Festival between the 7th and 13th of September. Probable operating periods will be weekdays and Sunday afternoons between 2 and 4.30pm and Saturday morning between 10am and 12.30pm. Operation will be primarily on HF SSB.

Now the contest news

The RSGB SSB Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1300UTC today, the 3rd. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy contest ends its 24 hours at 1400UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Ending at 2359UTC today, the 3rd, the All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours, using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and age, though ladies can send 00.

The IARU 144MHz contest ends at 1400UTC today, the 3rd, after a 24 hour run. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 5th 144MHz Backpackers contest ends its 24 hour run a 1500UTC today, the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 2m QRO phone contest is on today, the 3rd, from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

On Tuesday the 144MHz UK FM Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the UK Activity Contest, when all modes are available on the 144MHz band. The exchange is the same for both events: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.

Next weekend from 0000UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 10th, the WAE DX SSB contest takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange s signal report and serial number. Note EU stations only work non-EU stations.

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

Last week saw the solar flux index climb into the high 80s. Our prediction that the weekend’s ionosphere might be unsettled was partly correct, as the effects of a coronal hole pushed the K index to three on Sunday, but this quickly recovered. We are now seeing a shift from predominantly summer ionospheric conditions to autumnal. As the ionosphere starts to cool it experiences a shift away from predominantly diatomic molecules to more monatomic species. These are easier to ionise and, as a result, we can expect to see better conditions and potentially higher maximum usable frequencies as we move into September and October.

Roger, G3LDI reports that 15 metres was open to the US on Wednesday afternoon, which bodes well for the future. And G0KYA’s tests with 5W and WSPR on 20 metres resulted in him being picked up in Alaska around UK sunset, which was also very positive.

Now the bad news. A very large coronal hole on the Sun threatens to push the K index higher this weekend as a high speed solar wind impacts the Earth. This may result in noisy bands and suppressed MUFs, which could impact this weekend’s HF SSB Field Day operations.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the low to mid 70s next week. Once the coronal hole effects die away we may then get some more settled conditions. Either way, keep an eye on HF as you might be pleasantly surprised.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The end of the main Sporadic-E season is approaching rapidly now and, despite some 6m and 4m openings last Wednesday to Eastern Europe, such events will become much rarer in September. Check the beacons on 10m and perhaps 6m, but in general it’s back to meteor scatter for DX on the lower VHF bands now.

The prospects of Tropo should improve as we head into the quieter mellow days of autumn and high pressure becomes more commonplace. We should see a ridge of high pressure lasting until mid-week when the patterns flip to become dominated by low pressure. This means that Tropo will be worth investigating at first and with the ridge extending over much of the country most parts of the UK will get something out of this period. The changeover to low pressure-dominated weather patterns from mid-week is less useful, although if there are any significant spells of heavy rain or thundery showers, then rain scatter on the GHz bands is a possibility.

At this time of the year, very humid ex-tropical moisture from the States can become part of the train of low pressure systems that cross the Atlantic and make heavy rain more likely.

There are only minor meteor showers this week, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts

Moon declination is increasing again, going positive on Friday. Losses fall and Moon windows get later and longer as the week progresses, with the best operating times very late at night or early morning.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 27th. August 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 27th of August 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Abuse causes repeater shutdowns

  • UKAC Scoring vote result announced

  • Train the Trainers in West Dumbartonshire

 

The RSGB have been made aware that due to continuing and sustained repeater abuse, GB3DY at Wirksworth and GB3EE at Chesterfield have been required by Ofcom to close down for 14 days. The RSGB’s Amateur Radio Observation Service and the Emerging Technology Coordination Committee are working to formalise an agreed process for dealing with unfortunate situations like this and will be contacting all Repeater Keepers once this is finalised. The RSGB would emphasise that if a repeater is suffering abuse it is essential that users do no react or attempt to communicate with the abusers as doing so inevitably makes the situation worse. Guidance on combating abuse can be found on the ETCC website at www.ukrepeater.net/abuse.htm

The results of the vote on changes to UKAC scoring arrangements have been announced. 77% were in favour of the Nordic method, where the first contact with every new square attracts a bonus of 500 points. The B3 method, a variant of the current scheme with reduced overall bonus scores and some additional high bonus squares, received just 23% of the votes. The decision affects all UKAC events from 6m to 23cm and will be implemented in 2018. Full details of the results, including a frequently asked questions page, are on the RSGB website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2708a

Lomond Radio Club is hosting a Train the Trainers day on the 2nd of September at their radio shack in Renton, West Dunbartonshire. The RSGB will be providing instructors to inform volunteer trainers on the latest methods of presentation and updates on the many changes that are occurring in the hobby. The course is designed to suit all levels of training and presentation, ranging from those who are just thinking about starting training and those who have been giving courses for many years. Places are limited, so for further information please contact Barrie, GM0KZX on 01389 764 401 or Bill, MM0ELF on 01389 755 758.

The major papers and speeches from the HamRadio 2017 show in Friedrichshafen have been made available by DokuFunk. You can find the information on the website www.dokufunk.org along with material from 2016 and previous years.

At the National Hamfest on 29 and 30 September, the UK Six Metre Group has agreed to host Fred, G4BWP so he can facilitate DXCC checking. The National Hamfest takes place at the Newark & Nottingham Showground, Lincoln Road, Winthorpe, Newark NG24 2NY.

Mainstream media this week has told the story of an M6 amateur in the Bristol area taking an emergency contact, which helped rescue a young girl having a seizure in a remote part of Exmoor. A fuller report is on the BBC website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2708b or you can see the original Bristol Evening Post article at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2708c

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ from the 13th to the 15th of October. Extended Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention expire on the 31st of August so book now to take advantage of the lower rates. The Convention website www.rsgb.org/convention contains full details, including a provisional Programme. Under 21’s get free admission.

This year's International Air Ambulance event will take place from the 9th to the 17th of September. The event covers two weekends, giving amateurs a great chance to get involved and support the event. Registration is mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a registration number that will be listed on the website. Awards will be available for those who support the event. Claims for the awards will need to be made to the Award Manager by email to de3ear@darc.de including an excerpt from the log as proof of a valid claim. To register your special event station, go to www.radio-amateur-events.org/IAW/Registration.htm

The Radio Amateur Old Timers' Association is holding its AGM on Wednesday the 6th of September at the Brunswick Inn, 1 Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU. The meeting will commence with an informal get-together at noon and the AGM will commence at 1.30pm. For more information contact Ian, G4EAN by email to GenSec@RAOTA.org or 0115 926 2360. Membership of RAOTA is open to anyone with an active interest in amateur radio, see www.RAOTA.org for details.

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

The Milton Keynes ARS Rally takes place on today, the 27th, at The Irish Centre, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley MK2 2HX, just opposite Dobbies Garden Centre. Doors open at 10am. Contact Tim Cowell, G6GEI on 07976 262 497 or email renegade62@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 28th, the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally takes place at Ernulf Academy, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 7am for traders and 9am for the public. Admission is £3, with free parking. Catering including hot meals and drinks are available on site. There will be an RSGB bookstall. More from Malcolm, M0OLG on 01480 214 282 or by email to events@hunts-hams.co.uk

The Telford Hamfest takes place at the Enginuity Technology Centre, Coalbrookdale, Telford, Shropshire on Sunday the 3rd of September. There will be trade stands, a flea market and special interest groups. Lectures will be from Dave, G3YXM on 21 years of LF, Dom, M1KTA on QRP and making antennas when in DX and Paul, M0XPD on The Little Rigs That Could. The evening before, at the Holiday Inn, Telford, the G QRP Buildathon will take place. Details at www.telfordhamfest.org.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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Prefix hunters may be interested in the special event station ZY158CAT that is active from Brazil until the 30th of August. The station commemorates 158 years of the city of Catalao in the state of Goias. The QSL manager is PP2BO.

Peter, GW4UWD will be on the air as 9A/GW4UWD/P from Zlarin Island, IOTA reference EU-170, until the 2nd of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using only SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Doug, W6HB will be operating holiday-style as E51DLD from the South Cook Islands, OC-013, until the 8th of September. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using SSB only. QSL to his home callsign, but see notes on QRZ.com for more information.

Members of the Russian Lighthouse Society are on the air as ES/RX3AMI until the 31st of August from EU-034, EU-149, and EU-178. QSL via RX3AMI.

Bert, CX3AN will be operating as YJ0CX from Efate Island, OC-035, until the 3rd of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL to his home callsign. In addition, Tony, KQ2I will be on the air as YJ0AT from Efate Island until the 13th of September. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using only CW. QSL via NR6M.

Han, DS2GOO will be operating as DS2GOO/4 from Pogil Island, AS-085, until the 28th of August. Activity will be on 40 to 6 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Now the special event news

SGB4GHF will be on the air on the 2nd of September from 9.30am from Gloucester Life Museum, formerly the Gloucester Folk Museum, on Lower Westgate Street, Gloucester. Operating on the 80, 40, 20 and 15m bands as well as 2m, visitors are welcomed. The station will be run by Alan, G4MGW.

Now the contest news

Today, the 27th, sees the UKuG contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ITTS Counties contest takes place on 2m SSB and FM today, the 27th, from 1300 to 1500UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with all stations on the island of Ireland also giving their County.

Next weekend, the 2nd and 3rd of September, is a really busy one for contests with six different events taking place.

The RSGB SSB Field Day runs from 1300UTC on the 2nd to 1300UTC on the 3rd. Using SSB only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy contest runs from 1400UTC on the 2nd to 1400UTC on the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting at 0000UTC on the 2nd and finishing at 2359UTC on the 3rd, the All Asian DX contest uses SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, The exchange is signal report and age, though ladies can send 00.

The IARU 144MHz contest starts at 1400UTC on the 2nd and ends at 1400UTC on the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 5th 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1100UTC to 1500UTC on the 3rd. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The World All Britain 2m QRO phone contest is on the 3rd from 100 to 1400UTC. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

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

Last week saw the solar flux index touch 90 as large sunspot group 2671 rotated into the centre of the solar surface. But, unfortunately, the predicted unsettled geomagnetic conditions, caused by a high-speed coronal hole solar wind stream, pushed the K index up to six early in the week. This hampered DX by pushing maximum useable frequencies downward. The unsettled conditions continued until at least Wednesday the 23rd.

Sporadic-E did put in an appearance for last weekend’s International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, bringing short skip to the 40m band. This meant that many UK amateurs were able to contact special event stations on 7MHz that would have otherwise been unworkable, other than by ground wave. This was a good example of how Sporadic-E clouds over the UK can often bring advantages on the lower HF bands, such as 40, 30 and 20MHz, while we normally associate Sporadic-E with 28MHz and above.

This weekend there is a chance that a small coronal hole may threaten us with more unsettled geomagnetic conditions. Conditions may also be unsettled mid week due to the effects of another coronal hole, but could improve for next weekend’s HF SSB Field Day.

Next week sunspot 2672 will be fully facing Earth. This has already produced an M-class solar flare and a number of lesser C-class flares, so we may be in for a bumpy ride. However, NOAA predicts the Solar Flux Index will decline to the high 70s.

Maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path are still peaking around 17MHz during the day, with occasional DX openings on the 17m band.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

For this week there is still a chance of limited Tropo options as a ridge of high pressure develops over southern Britain. As usual for Tropo conditions it is the higher VHF, UHF and GHz bands that fare best and, unlike with Sporadic-E, the openings can be long lasting, especially over sea paths. Night-time is often best over the land, since there will sometimes be a shallow surface temperature inversion to add to the one brought by the high pressure, giving longer paths.

The second half of the week may see the return of low pressure in the north particularly, but it will increase the chances of some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Sporadic-E is now nearing the end of its main season and at the moment the jet streams look to be fairly weak, meaning Sporadic-E will struggle to make many appearances.

As we head into the week, a new Atlantic jet stream will appear over Scotland and Scandinavia, giving a chance of northern Sporadic-E paths into Scandinavia and across to the States. About this time there will also be a broad upper ridge over France and Germany, which may also help with Sporadic-E.

There are only minor meteor showers this week, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts. We have negative Moon declination this week and apogee on Wednesday. The moon doesn’t get above 20 degrees elevation after Monday and path losses will be high. For VHF operation, the low moon elevation means high ground noise in the beam of the antenna.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 20th. August 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 20th of August 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • Anomalous callsigns issued

  • Listen to ICQ Podcast YOTA Special

  • Solar Eclipse QSO Party on Monday

 

Ofcom has informed the RSGB that a small number of two-letter suffix call signs have been issued in error recently. These short-form call signs are anomalous and stem from an IT problem, which Ofcom is addressing. We understand that although these call signs are not invalid, per se, licensees who have been issued with one should contact Spectrum Licensing at Ofcom on 0300 123 1000 or spectrum.licensing@ofcom.org.uk to discuss changing it for a normal format callsign.

There is a special ICQ Podcast about YOTA 2017. It can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0818a and is well worth a listen. Among other things you’ll hear interviews with some of the young people who took part, sharing their infectious enthusiasm for amateur radio. If you worked the special event station GB17YOTA then you may be eligible for an Award. Check out tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0818b for details. Finally, for a quick summary of what happened, go to www.rsgb.org/yota-dd for the YOTA 2017 Daily Diary videos.

On Monday a solar total eclipse will sweep across the USA and many radio experiments will be conducted, taking advantage of the expected anomalous propagation conditions. The August RadCom described the Solar Eclipse QSO Party that will take place from 1400 to 2200UTC on Monday the 21st. Activity will be on several bands from 160m to 6m. Stations outside the USA are warmly encouraged to participate, and full details are at www.hamsci.org

The Malta Communications Agency has authorised a Secondary allocation covering 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with 15W EIRP, adding to the growing number of countries with a 60m allocation.

The National Hamfest is coming ever closer. This year’s event takes place on the 29th and 30th of September and is the UK’s largest exhibition and gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts. Among all the usual rally attractions like a big RSGB bookstall, traders, flea market and Bring and Buy, the winners of the Club of the Year, sponsored by Waters and Stanton, will be announced. You can get full details of the event and Fast Track advance entry tickets at www.nationalhamfest.org.uk

The RSGB Convention is at Kents Hill Park Training & Conference Centre, MK7 6BZ from the 13th to the 15th of October. There will be a vast array of talks and demos, and the chance to rub shoulders with the giants of amateur radio. Early Bird discounts for the RSGB Convention have just been extended to the 31st of August. So you still have a few days left to get your ticket for this flagship event at a lower price. Details, including a provisional Programme, are at www.rsgb.org/convention – and don’t forget, under 21’s get free admission.

No 6m GB2RS reading took place on Sunday the 6th of August because both current Newsreaders were unavailable. They have asked if any other volunteers might consider acting as standby Newsreaders for future occasions. The reading takes place at 9am via GB3WY, near Wakefield, so you’ll need to be within its range. If you can help, please email gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk with your details. GB3WY has recently undergone significant upgrades to increase its range. Reception requests are sought, which should be emailed to michael.g1xcc@outlook.com.

The RSGB annual Construction Competition is open for entries and judging will take place at the RSGB Convention in October. The aim of the competition is to encourage home construction, experimentation, design and innovation. The competition can be entered by individual Members or groups of Members. The closing date is the end of September and any project that you have built may be entered, other than one that was a previous winner in this completion. Details are at online at www.rsgb.org/construction-competition

On Wednesday the 23rd, Kenwood will present a Webinar on their TH-D74 D-Star, FM and APRS dual band handheld transceiver. Participants will get the opportunity to ask questions by email, Facebook and Twitter, for instance on the radio’s GPS, or Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The webinar starts at 7pm UK time, that’s 1800UTC, and you can find full details on the Kenwood website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0818c

Finally, advance notice that on Saturday the 2nd of September, a team from Hi-Impact will be launching a high altitude balloon from a site in Welshpool. The launch will be at noon, UK time, and it will transmit telemetry on 434.650MHz USB, 50 baud, 425Hz shift, 7N2 format. Its callsign will be HIIMPACT.

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

The Rugby ATS Radio Rally takes place today, the 20th, at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby, CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3. Sellers can gain access from 8am. There will be a car boot area. Catering is available on site. Details from Tony, G0OLS on 0775 968 4411.

Next weekend, the Milton Keynes ARS Rally takes place on Sunday the 27th at The Irish Centre, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley MK2 2HX, just opposite Dobbies Garden Centre. Doors open at 10am. Contact Tim Cowell, G6GEI on 07976 262 497 or email renegade62@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 28th, the Huntingdonshire ARS Rally takes place at Ernulf Academy, Barford Road, St Neots PE19 2SH. Doors open at 7am for traders and 9am for the public. Admission is £3, with free parking. Catering including hot meals and drinks are available on site. There will be an RSGB bookstall. More from Malcolm, M0OLG on 01480 214 282 or by email to events@hunts-hams.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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

The great Solar Eclipse QSO Party mentioned earlier is sure to bring some interesting DX, if only because of the sheer number of stations expected to be experimenting with the anomalous propagation conditions. Listen out for them on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 and 6m. Other bands are not being used.

If you’re quick, you may catch the activation of Robben Island, IOTA reference AF-064, which will be on the air as ZS9V until 21 August at 0000UTC. Bands in use will be from 80 to 10m and the operators are ZS1V, ZS1VDV, ZS1AN and ZS1REX. QSL manager is M0OXO, direct or OQRS.

Sao Miguel, EU-003, is being activated this weekend until 1900 today as CR1FF. Operators are CU2GC and CS8ABY. QSL direct via CS5NRA or via the bureau.

Kasado, AS-117 will be on the air next Saturday as JA4GXS/4. Bands in use will be 40, 20 and 17m, CW and SSB. QSL direct or bureau to JA4GXS.

Now the special event news

The 19th and 20th is International Lightships and Lighthouses weekend, with numerous special event stations active around the world. We gave details of a number of stations in last week’s bulletin, which we won’t repeat today. The official list of all 436 entrants, including around 25 UK Special Event Stations, is at www.illw.net

A wide range of special event stations are also expected to be on the air to mark, or experiment with, the solar eclipse that will cross the USA on Monday.

A special event station will be active from The Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre Open Day from 10am-4pm on 26 and 27 August. Contact Ewan Cameron, MM0BIX, on 01674 676 740 for more details.

Rugby Amateur Radio Transmitting Society will operate GB0RRS from 10am on Saturday 26th August until 12:00 on Friday 22nd October, celebrating Rugby Radio Station.

Now the contest news

The SHF UKAC takes place on Tuesday from 1900 to 2130UTC. Activity is on all modes on all bands from 2.3 to 10GHz. RST, serial number and locator form the exchange.

Next Sunday, the 27th, sees the UKuG contest from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is RST, serial number and locator.

Finally, the ITTS Counties contest takes place on 2m SSB and FM next Sunday from 1300 to 1500UTC. The exchange is RST and serial number, with all stations on the island of Ireland also giving their County.

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

Last week saw the solar flux index in the low to mid 70s. Geomagnetic conditions were generally quiet earlier in the week, with some choice DX to be had. Andy, M0NKR reported working the Marshall Islands in the Pacific on 20m CW at 0700UTC on Wednesday, while Del, W8KJP in Florida, USA, was heard by G0KYA on 40m CW at 2221UTC using a simple wire antenna. But the good conditions didn’t last and the ionosphere became disturbed on Thursday 17th due to the effects of a high-speed solar wind stream from a large high-latitude coronal hole on the sun. This had a very strong south-facing magnetic field component that meant it more easily coupled with the Earth’s magnetic field. The K index surged to five and remained like that for at least nine hours, driving maximum usable frequencies down to around 14MHz and causing very noisy bands. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the high 60s and, after an unsettled start, geomagnetic conditions may settle for the rest of the week.

Monday the 21st brings a total solar eclipse, which will be visible across the USA. A QSO Party is planned so many US stations may be active. The partial eclipse starts at 1546UTC and ends at 2104 UTC. Totality will move east across the US, starting at 1648UTC and ending in the Atlantic at 2001UTC. A feature on the eclipse appeared in the August edition of RadCom, but there is a lot more information on the web. It is not known whether any propagation effects will be observable from the UK, but it is a rare opportunity to check.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather crossing the country this weekend will contain some remnants of Hurricane Gert. This means some very warm and moist tropical air could produce some heavy rain. Gigahertz band rain scatter may be an option, but as the next high pressure builds in from the west towards mid-week, Tropo should become available. This should be to the south and south-west across southern UK and Biscay. The rest of the week will probably see high pressure remaining just to the west of the UK, so any Tropo will be biased to that side of the country, with showery activity over the east, closest to the low pressure over Denmark.

Sporadic-E is still looking viable, with a strong jet stream over the UK and near continent, although this may weaken after mid-week, meaning better Sporadic-E prospects before then. The end of the main Sporadic-E season is not far off now, so every event is worth chasing. Check beacons on 10m or look for short skip on 20m, then probe that direction on 6m for any Sporadic-E. If you don’t call, the DX may not know the band is open.

Even though the Perseids shower is well behind us, random meteor rates are still at their highest of the year so don’t give up on meteor scatter just yet. Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are increasing so get your EME QSOs in early this week before the Moon gets too low in the sky.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 13th. August 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 13th of August 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • YOTA 2017 wraps up

  • Nominate an upcoming DXer

  • RSGB site adds dynamic updates

This weekend sees the end of a fabulous YOTA 2017 week. It has been action-packed and a great success. Eighty young radio amateurs from 26 countries have enjoyed trying out new aspects of amateur radio as well as making new friends. After a tense start at the ISS contact on Tuesday, twelve young radio amateurs were able to put their questions to astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA. It was truly a night to remember for all the participants, everyone present at the YOTA event itself, plus those watching from around the world via the BATC internet video stream. IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ and Hilary Claytonsmith, G4JKS visited the YOTA camp and were impressed by the skills and enthusiasm shown by the YOTA teams. You can see a snapshot of the huge range of activities that have been happening via the YOTA 2017 Daily Diaries at www.rsgb.org/yota-dd

The G5RP Trophy is an annual award to encourage newcomers to HF DXing. The award is not limited to youngsters or the newly-licensed; it is open to anyone who has recently discovered and made significant progress in HF DXing. If you are an established HF DXer and want to recommend someone to be awarded the G5RP Trophy for 2017, now is the time to send in your nomination. This prestigious award will be presented this year at the RSGB Convention on the 13th to 15th October. Please send nominations to Ian Greenshields, G4FSU, by e-mail to ian.greenshields@gmail.com to arrive no later than Friday the15th of September.

This week the RSGB has launched its new dynamic updates page. It brings together in one place the live RSGB Facebook, Twitter and YouTube content as well as the latest news feed. This week the news is focusing on YOTA 2017 but in the future it will show the RSGB’s latest breaking news.

From the 16th to the 27th of August, Medway Amateur Receiving and Transmitting Society will be holding their annual field event at Milton & District Scout Camp, Bexon Lane, Bredgar, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8HD. Over the two weeks the club will be on the air on the 80m to 70cm bands using their three callsigns G2FJA/P, G5MW/P and G8MWA/P. Anyone who contacts all three callsigns by SSB, data or CW over the two weeks will receive a commemorative certificate either by eQSL or email. On the weekend of the 19th and 20th of August there will be specialised demonstrations at the field using microwaves, antennas, WSPRlite and data. For further updates please visit www.marts.org.uk

Ofcom has issued frequency clearances for four microwave beacons. These are GB3FNM at Farnham on 2.3GHz, GB3LPC at Bampton on 3.4GHz, a move of GB3KEU to Finningley on 5.7GHz and a change to GB3KBQ in Taunton on 10GHz. These are all secondary allocations where RSGB supports and encourages activity.

The end of the Early Bird discount for bookings at the RSGB’s Convention is fast approaching. The deadline is the 18th of August and the event takes place on the 13th to the 15th of October. The provisional programme is now available on the website, so visit www.rsgb.org/convention for all the latest information.

Marcus Hazel-McGown, MM0ZIF has decided to step down as Regional Manager for Scotland South and the Western Isles. The RSGB would like to thank Marcus for his hard work during his term as Regional Manager. We are of course seeking a replacement Regional Manager and would welcome applications from anyone living in the Region who is keen to represent the Society and help support and develop amateur radio in the area. For further details, please contact RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk

YOTA 2017 ends this weekend and the 80 young radio amateurs from 26 countries will make their way home after a week of operating, visits and construction projects. A quick preview of the amazing CW transceiver that Hans, G0UPL designed for the YOTA teams to build is at www.rsgb.org/yota-vlogs There was lots of activity in the shack on GB17YOTA and, at the time this script was prepared, over 8,000 QSOs were in the log. They also had the first FT8 mode transatlantic contact on 6m on Thursday. More information is at www.rsgb.org/yota-dd

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

Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place today, the 13th of August, at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. There will be a talk in station on S22 and the venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands, a car boot area and indoor and field pitches for traders. Lectures will take place during the day. There is catering and a licensed bar on site. Camping is available, on Saturday night only, in an adjacent field. More information from hamfest@frars.org.uk

Next Sunday, the 20th, the Rugby ATS Radio Rally takes place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby, CV23 9PY. Doors open from 10am to 4pm and admission is £3. Sellers can gain access from 8am. There will be a car boot area. Catering is available on site. Details from Tony, G0OLS on 0775 968 4411.

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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Special station 4A2MAX from St Maximilian Maria Kolbe Temple in Monterrey on the 13th to the 19th of August. Activity will be on the HF bands and 6 metres SSB, CW and digital modes. Born in 1894, Father Kolbe, SP3RN died on 14 August 1941 at Auschwitz. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL and Club Log.

YB72RI is a special callsign celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia until the 17th of August. Activity takes place from all Indonesian provinces and ORARI districts, using YB72RI/0 to YB72RI/9. See YB2RI on QRZ.com for details.

Two Alaskan IOTA islands will be activated by Mike, VE7ACN. He will be operating as AL3/AA7CH from Hinchinbrook Island, NA-042, until the 15th of August and as NL6/AA7CH from Kayak Island, NA-157, from the 18th to the 28th. All QSLs to his Canadian call.

Alex, F4GHS will be operating holiday style from two different locations in the South Cook Islands until the 25th of August. He will use the callsign E51GHS. QSLs go via his home call.

Martti, OH2BH and Henri, OH3JR, signing as OJ0BH and OJ0JR, respectively, will be on the air until the 19th of August, using the new FT8 digital mode from Market Reef.

Now the special event news

Grey Point Fort ARS club station will be transmitting at the 204 NI Field Hospital Family Fun Day at Grey Point Fort today, the 13th of August. All the museums will be open with other attractions such as a climbing wall, military displays, stalls and a band. Everyone is welcome.

Llanelli ARS will be running GB1BPL for this year’s International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend from 0000UTC on the 19th until 2359UTC on the 20th. Activity will be on HF and 2m. QSL is via the bureau. Details on QRZ.com

Fareham & District ARC will be operating GB1GL from the Mary Mouse 2, an automated light vessel moored in Portsmouth Harbour as part of International Lighthouses and Lightships Weekend on the 19th of August. Two stations will be active on HF and VHF from 9am to 6pm. The Lightship is open to the general public for food and drink. The Shack will be in the wardroom on the foredeck if you would like to visit in person.

After being invited by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Humber Fortress DX ARC will be activating GB2SL on the 19th and 20th from Spurn Head Lighthouse for International Lighthouses and Lightships Weekend. This will be only the third activation in the last 10 years and coincides with the full renovation of the Spur High Lighthouse.

Loughton & Epping Forest ARS is all set to activate GB0TBW at the Trinity Buoy Wharf for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on the 19th and 20th. This lighthouse is the only lighthouse on the Thames. Visitors are most welcome and there are refreshments available on site. The postcode is E14 0JY, but space for parking is limited.

Colchester Radio Amateurs will be activating GB6NT at Naze Tower at Walton on the Naze on the 19th and 20th of August for International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Planned operation is 11am on the 19th to 5pm on the 20th using HF, VHF and UHF. All stations in the log will receive an eQSL card; paper cards will be QSLR only. Details are on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

The WAE DX CW contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 13th of August. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EU stations work non-EU stations only.

Today, the 13th, the fifth 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 11th of August.

Last week, the solar flux index continued in the mid 70s, with a single sunspot group making its way across the visible disk. Compare and contrast this with the same week last year, when there were actually five sunspot groups visible. This confirms, as it we didn’t know, that Solar Cycle 24 continues to decline. The current estimates for sunspot minimum place it around 2019 to 2020, so get used to more of the same.

The good news last week was that conditions were more geomagnetically stable, with the K index mostly around one after Monday the 7th. This meant that there was DX to be had, including some short-lived openings to the Far East on 20 and 30 metres around 1800hrs. Milton, ZP9CTS in Paraguay was also worked by Tony, G4CJC on Tuesday using the new digital mode FT8 on 10 metres.

Next week may start off unsettled due to another solar coronal hole, which became Earth-facing on Wednesday. This suggests unsettled geomagnetic conditions could occur from Friday the 11th and run in to this weekend. This could spark auroral conditions, but may ultimately result in depressed maximum useable frequencies.

Once the weekend is over, next week should be more settled and conditions may settle. Look for DX openings on 30, 20, and 17 metres, with occasional Sporadic-E openings on higher bands at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The big problem with multiple weather models is that they usually predict ridges of high pressure and troughs across the country at different times. It’s best therefore, to provide generalised operating guidance for the different weather types.

This week, the ridges of high pressure will tend to favour the south of the country for Tropo, principally into the continent and across Biscay to Spain. The troughs and lows usually bring rain scatter and there’s been some good examples with the heavy thundery downpours lately. Look for heavy rain, shown as bright colours on the many online rainfall radars, to get the best from any large storm events.

The Perseids passed their peak at the weekend, but activity will still be high over the next few days for meteor scatter enthusiasts.

Sporadic-E is still hanging on into the last part of the season with a few openings on most days, but not necessarily reachable from the UK. It’s quite likely that the unsettled weather currently bodes well for Sporadic-E, since the powerful upper atmosphere jet streams that drive the rainy weather are also good for Sporadic-E.

The lunar cycle continues on its predictable way. Now, and for the next few years, lowest path losses are coinciding with highest declination in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that Moon windows are longest when losses are at their lowest. This week should be good for EME, with falling losses as we move towards perigee and maximum declination on Friday.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 6th. August 2017.

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

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 6th of August 2017

 

The news headlines:

  • ARISS contact for YOTA 2017

  • RSGB comments on Ofcom VDSL report

  • 12-year-old activates all 214 Wainwrights

An International Space Station ARISS contact has been planned for astronaut Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA and the Youngsters on the Air event, which takes place at Gilwell Park this week. The ARISS contact is scheduled for Tuesday the 8th of August at approximately 1838UTC. This will be a direct radio contact, operated by GB4YOTA, and downlink signals will be audible in many parts of Europe on 145.800MHz narrowband FM. Paolo, IZ0JPA will operate the HamVideo transmitter. The Goonhilly receiver will be activated sometime on the 4th of August and will remain active over the weekend, continuing to track the ISS until the morning of the 9th. Two internet video streams will be available. The main YOTA event stream is at https://ariss.batc.tv/ and the ISS contact stream, starting at around 1740UTC on Tuesday, will be at https://ariss.batc.tv/hamtv You can also watch the ISS contact live on the RSGB’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/theRSGB

Ofcom published a research report that the RSGB contends came to the mistaken conclusion that no electromagnetic disturbance capable of causing harmful interference was found at three sites tested, all of which had reported interference from VDSL. The RSGB EMC Committee has analysed in detail the results obtained by Ofcom and converted them to standard units for this type of measurement. Ofcom results were then found to be within a few decibels of RSGB’s earlier measurements at these sites. We believe these constitute Harmful Interference and so we presented these results at a meeting with Ofcom in June 2017. Slides from presented by RSGB at the meeting are at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0608a Ofcom now proposes to conduct further tests at other sites using a different test setup. We are discussing with them test methods that will find what is and what is not receivable because of the VDSL RFI. Currently, Ofcom propose to measure only what is receivable despite the RFI.

Congratulations to Lauren, M6HLR, who completed the Wainwrights on the Air challenge this week. She has climbed all 214 Wainwrights within two years and been portable on amateur radio from each one. At just 12 years old she is the youngest person to complete the challenge. BBC News caught up with her on Monday after her 213th Wainwright and the programme aired after she completed the challenge on Tuesday. The BBC report is online at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0608b She is a great advocate for amateur radio and an enthusiastic role model for encouraging others of her age to get involved.

Online voting is now open to determine which scoring system will be used in the UKAC contests from 6m though to 23cm for 2018. Online voting on this consultation will remain open until 2359 BST on the 20th of August. Those eligible to vote are current RSGB Members who have taken part in an RSGB VHF, UHF or SHF contest in the past five years either as single operators, or as members of a multi-operator entry, as verified against the Contest Committee database. If you have changed your callsign since entering your last VHF Contest, please include both your old and new callsigns. The vote can be reached by going to www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UKAC_Vote

The MSF radio signal is a dedicated time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time, based on the NPL time scale UTC. The annual shutdown of the MSF time signal service to allow safe maintenance of the masts and antennas, including greasing of the stays, will take place between the 14th and the 31st of August. The service will be off-air from 8am to 7pm each day, including weekends. If the weather is unsuitable for work to be carried out, then the service will not be turned off. If the work is completed sooner than 7pm on any day, the service will be restored as soon as possible.

GB2RS newsreader Reg, G8VHI will be away on the 13th of August so there will be no 2m SSB transmission at 2030 on 144.250MHz. There will only be the 145.525MHz FM broadcast, with a slightly reduced coverage, as the reserve reader Jim, G4AEH will be reading. SSB will return on the 20th of August.

The Danish national society, EDR, celebrates its 90th anniversary in August. Danish radio amateurs will, throughout 2017, be active with OZ90EDR, OX90EDR and 5P90EDR. On the 15th August from 0000UTC until 2359UTC there will be extensive activity with these callsigns and the special Headquarters station, OZ90HQ, and also the Joker station, OV90EDR, will be active. On the 19th, OZ90HQ will be active again. After the 19th, the HQ station will go back to using OZ1HQ. All contacts on the 15th and 19th will be valid for the EDR 90 Anniversary Award. Read more about the award on www.OZ90EDR.dk

Alan Betts, G0HIQ recently stepped down as chair of the Examinations Group. His successor has been announced as Professor Peter Richmond, M0HBL. Peter has been interested in amateur radio since his schooldays and this interest in electricity and magnetism led to a career with Unilever looking into the effectiveness of washing powders and the nature of food. A lengthy career in research and general management followed, including a post in Trinity College Dublin applying his physics skills to problems in economics and social science, which continues to this day. On retirement, Peter obtained his licence and joined the Examinations Group. You can read more about Peter and the work of the Examinations Group at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0608c

Thames Amateur Radio Group is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 9th of December between 9am and 5pm. Training is open to candidates from any club and is delivered free to RSGB Members, but the club will be asking for a £5 donation per candidate towards hall hire, buffet lunch and refreshments. To book send an email to Nigel.m0ich@gmail.com

The annual Churches and Chapels on the Air event takes place on the 9th of September, between 10am and 4pm. Most operation is on 40m SSB. If you are putting a station on please register your event with John, G3XYF by email to g3xyf@btconnect.com A list of CHOTA stations will be on www.wacral.org

Ofcom has updated the conditions of the 2300-2302MHz microwave NoV. Operation from Jersey and Guernsey is now also permitted under the latest terms. As many of the existing 3-year NoVs are due to expire, all holders are encouraged to renew online, free, from www.rsgb.org/nov to benefit from the latest terms. Separately, Ofcom has issued frequency clearances for four microwave beacons. These are GB3FNM at Farnham on 2.3GHz, GB3LPC at Bampton in 3.4GHz, a move of GB3KEU to Finningley on 5.7GHz and a change to GB3KBQ in Taunton on 10GHz. These are all Secondary allocations where RSGB supports and encourages activity.

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

The 28th King's Lynn ARC Great Eastern Radio Rally takes place today, the 6th of August, at Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4DZ. Car parking on site is free and talk in will be provided on 145.550MHz. Doors open at 9am, with admission £2. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. There are amateur radio pitches outside as well as tables inside. On site catering will be available. Details from Ted, G4OZG, on 01553 768 701, 0794 683 8656.

The Lorn Radio Rally takes place today, the 6th of August, at Crianlarich Village Hall, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire FK20 8QN. Doors open at 10.30am and entry is £2. There will be trade stands as well as a Bring & Buy. A raffle will be drawn at 1.30pm. Catering is available on site. Details, by email, to lornradioclub@gmail.com

The 24th Cockenzie and Port Seton ARC Annual Mini Rally Night takes place on the 11th of August at Port Seton Resource Community Centre, South Seton Park, Port Seton, East Lothian EH32 0BQ. Doors are open from 6pm to 9pm and entry is £2. A raffle will be held on the night and refreshments will be available. Bring along your own junk and sell it yourself. There is no charge for a table but they are only available on a first come first served basis. More information from gm4uyz@csparc.com

Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest takes place next Sunday, the 13th of August, at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. There will be a talk in station on S22 and the venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £3.50. There will be trade stands, a car boot areas and indoor and field pitches for traders. Lectures will take place during the day. There is catering and a licensed bar on site. Camping is available, on Saturday night only, in an adjacent field. More information from hamfest@frars.org.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 full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Gianluca, IK4LZH and Teresa, IU4ICT will be active as 4O/IK4LZH and 4O/IU4ICT from Montenegro between the 6th and 15th of August. They will operate SSB on 40 and 20 metres. QSLs via Logbook of The World, eQSL or via IK4LZH, bureau preferred.

Alex, F4GHS will be active holiday style as E51GHS from Aitutaki, IOTA reference OC-083, between the 7th and 16th of August, then from Rarotonga, OC-013, until the 25th. QSL via his home callsign.

Giovanni, IK1WEG will be active as 9A/IK1WEG from Rab Island, EU-136, between the 7th and 19th of August. He will operate mainly CW on the HF and VHF bands. QSL via his home callsign, direct or bureau.

S9V will be active from Robben Island, AF-064, between the 9th and 13th of August. The team of operators plan to operate SSB and CW with two stations. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS; traditional QSLs direct only to M0OXO.

Geoff, G8OFQ will be working as a volunteer at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center on Isla Isabela, Galapagos, SA-004, until the 31st of October. He will be mostly on the air /MM from his yacht the Blue Aurora moored in Puerto Villamil. QSL direct only. He will upload his logs to Logbook of The World and Club Log.

Now the special event news

We start with details of Regional Youngsters On The Air activities. GB17YOTA will be a big signal on many bands this week, marking the RSGB international YOTA event at Gilwell Park. Listen out for them and give them a call – there will be a mixture of operators in the age range from 15 to 25 visiting from around the world.

Meirion ARS will be running a YOTA event over this weekend at Maes Y Neuadd, Talsarnau Gwynedd LL47 6YA. The event is being hosted by the 1st Porthmadog Scout Group who are holding a weekend YOTA camp where Explorer Scouts, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers will all be going for their communications awards. All visitors are welcome to this event and a talk-in station will be operating on 145.475MHz.

There will be a YOTA station in Sussex operating as GB2HAY from the Thursday the 10th to Saturday the 12th of August from noon to 6pm. The venue is Gummies, Beacon Hill Campsite, Tower Road, Faygate RH12 4SX. Contact Mick, G4EFO on 0785 526 8666, for more information.

Members of Bredhurst RATS will be activating Rochester Castle on the 11th and 12th of August and they believe it will be the first time the location has been activated.

Dundee Amateur Radio Club is holding a YOTA2017 Day on Saturday the 12th of August between 10am and 4pm from Monikie Scout Hut, Panmure Road, Monikie, Angus DD5 3QA. The 53rd Angus 1st Newbigging Scout Group will be joining them for a day of radio activity. Details from Jim, MM0DXD on 0772 032 1824.

Grey Point Fort ARS club station will be transmitting at the 204 NI Field Hospital Family Fun Day at Grey Point Fort on the 12th and 13th of August. All the museums will be open with other attractions such as a climbing wall, military displays, stalls and a band. Everyone is welcome.

Now the contest news

The 432MHz Low Power contest takes place today, the 6th, running from 0800 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on 70cm, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

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

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

The 144MHz Meteor scatter Sprint Contest takes place during the maximum of the Perseids meteor shower. Running from 2200UTC on Friday the 11th to 2159 on Sunday the 13th, you can find the necessary rules, scoring system and award details at www.mmmonvhf.de/ctestinfo.php

Running from 0000UTC on Saturday the 12th to 2359UTC on Sunday, the 13th the WAE DX CW Contest uses the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. Europe works non-Europe only and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 13th, the fifth 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G3SVW, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 4th of August.

Last week was characterised by reasonably settled geomagnetic conditions and a solar flux index in the low 70s. The settled conditions meant that, despite the ionosphere still suffering from the summer doldrums, there was HF DX to be had. Andy, M0NKR reports working Z81D South Sudan and TX5EG Marquesas Island on Monday as well as a string of North and South American stations on 20m in the early evening. This shows that at this point in the solar cycle quiet geomagnetic conditions can make all the difference.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid seventies, but we may suffer from the tail end of the geomagnetic disturbance that started on Friday the 4th. This is due to solar matter from a large Earth-facing coronal hole on the Sun. At the time this is being written we don’t know the magnetic characteristics or speed of the incoming solar wind stream so it is hard to be precise. Nevertheless, if its magnetic component is south-facing we can expect it to couple more easily with the Earth’s magnetic field and the K index could soar as particles are channelled towards the poles.

After a potential initial positive phase we might see maximum usable frequencies to decline and the bands to be noisy, perhaps until Tuesday the 8th. The good news is that a new sunspot has just rotated into view and the rest of next week is predicted to be more settled.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The unsettled weather of the past week will continue through this weekend and into the first half of next week. This means that, like last week, rain scatter is one mode of choice for the GHz bands. As Sunday’s UK Microwave Group contest showed, even light patchy rain can improve 10GHz propagation so be alert, check the beacons and announce activity.

Around the middle of next week there are signs that a weak ridge of high pressure will build towards southern Britain, offering a hint of tropo across southern UK and into the continent. Paths of maximum range are probably going to be across the ridge over Biscay to Spain, Portugal and perhaps even the Canaries or the Azores.

As we approach the end of the Sporadic-E season, August offers decreasing chances. That said, there have been some very good days well into the second half of the month, especially when the weather is more unsettled and is driven by strong jet streams. Subjectively, these late season events can pop up at odd times, quite often biased towards the middle of the day rather than the morning and evening splits of mid-season Sporadic-E.

EME path losses start to fall again this week and Moon declination is rising but stays negative until Friday. UK Moonrise gets later in the evening as the week progresses, so EME will be a late night or early morning activity all week.

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

 

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