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RSGB GB2RS broadcast for 11/08/2019

August 9th, 2019


Sunday 11th August 2019


The news headlines:

  • Record numbers visit NRC

  • YOTA 2019 in Bulgaria

  • ILLW next weekend


The RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park experienced record numbers of visitors in July. Before last month, the highest number of visitors was 10,713 in August 2018. July 2019 saw 10,860 visitors to the NRC, with several days seeing over 500 visitors through the door. If you’re interested in becoming an NRC volunteer you should be passionate about meeting people, feel confident explaining the hobby, as well as operating the NRC’s radio station, GB3RS. You should be a licensed amateur, an RSGB Member and be prepared to work a minimum of one (preferably two) days per month. You will be joining a team of enthusiastic, friendly and dedicated volunteers and full training will be given. Travel expenses are paid to volunteers living within reasonable travelling distance and NRC volunteers enjoy numerous benefits associated with volunteering at Bletchley Park. Please email for further information.

Up to 80 young radio amateurs, primarily from IARU Region 1 but including participants from other parts of the world, will gather in Bulgaria from today, the 11th of August for the ninth annual Youngsters on the Air Summer Camp. Special callsign LZ19YOTA will be on the air during the week-long event, hosted by the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs. Activities will include kit building and an opportunity to visit the surrounding region, including the Acom amplifier factory. QSL LZ19YOTA via the bureau to LZ1BJ. You can read about the experiences of the British team at

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend runs from 0001UTC on Saturday the 17th August to 2359UTC on the 18th. The event came into being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award, run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. ILLW now attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. To see a list of this year’s special event stations, go to and this week’s propagation report has details on which lighthouses you are likely to be able to hear and work.

The RSGB Convention takes place in Milton Keynes from the 11th to the 13th of October. Dave Sumner, K1ZZ will open the convention with his talk on Our Global Amateur Radio Community. Dave is the Secretary for the IARU and has recently written a very thought-provoking article in the ITU’s magazine on the value of radio amateurs around the world, see Nobby Styles, G0VJG will speak about his DXpedition to Wallis Island and RSGB Members can read a brief account of this in the September RadCom. To book weekend packages or day tickets and to read more about the RSGB Convention, go to The Early Bird discounts have been extended until the 1st of September.

Region 1, Scotland South and Western Isles, has a number of vacancies for Deputy Regional Representatives. District 13, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, District 16, the Borders, and District 17, Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, are all vacant. If you would like to know more about the role and what it entails, contact the Regional manager for Region 1, Tony Miles, MM0TMZ by email to

The DXCC Most Wanted entities list has been updated on Club Log. The complete list contains 340 entities, with the top five most wanted being North Korea, Bouvet Island, Crozet Island, Scarborough Reef and San Felix Islands. The list is available at

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

Today, the 11th sees the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest take place at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset BH21 3DA. A talk-in station will be on S22. There is car parking on site and doors are open from 10am to 4.30pm. Admission is £4, which includes parking. There will be trade stands with indoor and field pitches and a car boot area. Lectures will take place during the day. No dogs are allowed, except Guide dogs, which is a condition set by the landowner. More from Tony Baker, G3PFM on 0774 347 5018.

Next Sunday, the 18th of August, the Rugby ARS Rally will take place at Princethorpe College, Princethorpe, Rugby CV23 9PY. Admission is £3 and the NGR for sat navs is SP395710. Doors open from 10am to 4pm, with traders having access from 8.30am. There is a car boot area. Catering is available on site. Details from Steve, G8LYB on 07956 855816.

Now is the time to let us know your rally and event plans for 2020. To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to – the earlier you tell us the better. We need to know four months in advance to get your info into RadCom, and do our best to give you free publicity for as many months as possible.

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

A group of mainly German amateurs will activate TO5M from the St Pierre and Miquelon Islands, IOTA reference NA-032, until the 18th of August. They will be on all bands from 160 to 6m on SSB, CW and FT8. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

A team of ZS operators will activate Robben Island, AF-064, from the 15th to the 20th of August. They will use the callsign ZS9V. Look for them mainly on 10, 15 and 20m SSB. Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. QSL manager is M0OXO.

Gil, IZ2DLV is active as 8Q7GB from Nika Island, AS-013, until the 18th of August. Activity is holiday style on the 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15m bands using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via Logbook of The World or ClubLog.

Members of the DX Punta Maya Group will be active as T45FM from the Punta Maya Lighthouse, NA-105, in Cuba from the 15th to the 19th of August. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. An emphasis will be on the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. QSL via RW6HS.

Now the special event news

Advance notice now for British Inland Waterways on the Air 2019. This annual event takes place over the August bank holiday, the 24th to 26th of August. The event is open to all amateurs who are boaters, cyclists or who otherwise use the canals, rivers, towpaths or riverbanks for work or recreation. Many clubs and individual amateurs who are on or near the UK inland waterways obtain Special Event Station callsigns. Others operate mobile or portable stations using their own callsigns. If you are interested in registering your station for the event or for more information, please visit 

Bushvalley ARC is taking part in the lighthouse on the air event this year from Rathlin Island. The club has eight members travelling to the island to activate the three lighthouses there. The event runs from the 17th to the 18th of August. For live updates and frequencies please keep an eye on their Facebook page.

The FT8 Digital Mode Club is commemorating its 2nd anniversary and eight special event stations will be on air in a number of countries until the 24th of August. An FTDMC Anniversary Award can be earned, with various levels to the award. Full details of the participating stations, and the awards, are at

The bicentennial commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre incident in Manchester that happened on the 16th of August 1819 has two local clubs marking the event. South Manchester Radio Club is running GB200PLM for the next three weeks with information on Oldham ARC are organising a special event to take place during a picnic and unveiling of a memorial stone using GB2PL on UHF, VHF and some HF from the park’s Rotary Club Wheel area from about 11am on the 18th of August. QSL via the bureau and eQSL.

Please send special event details to as early as possible so we can give you free publicity. It is a licensing condition that stations using a UK special event callsign must be open to the public.

Now the contest news

Just a reminder that August is the month of the traditional summer holiday, so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

Today, the 11th, the 5th 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The WAE DX CW contest runs for 48 hours over this weekend ending at 2359UTC on the 11th. It’s CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, but EU stations must only work non-EU stations to count.

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

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 1900 to 2130UTC. 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 9th of August.

Matter from a solar coronal hole hit the Earth last week as predicted. However, we got the date wrong, as it actually impacted us on Monday and not Sunday, as it was moving slightly slower than we thought. This sent the Kp index up to five as the Earth’s geomagnetic field was disturbed and where it stayed for four consecutive Kp sessions, or 12 hours in total. There were reports of a pre-auroral enhancement on 10 metres, but overall HF conditions were down as a result.

Tuesday was characterised by reduced maximum usable frequencies, but by Wednesday the solar wind stream had calmed down and the ionosphere soon got back to its normal sunspot minimum doldrums. There was DX to be chased though, with the CY9C St Paul Island DXpedition off Nova Scotia being workable on the lower HF bands, especially 20m, and being very audible in the UK.

Next week NOAA predicts a calm Sun with a solar flux index of 67 and zero sunspots. After potentially unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend due to a coronal hole, the rest of the week should be fine, with a maximum Kp index of two or three.

Don’t forget that it is International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on the 17th and 18th, which should attract more than 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries. A full list can be found at, but please note that with ionospheric conditions the way they are you may struggle to work nearby UK lighthouses on 40m due to the low critical frequency, and 80m may be closed from mid-morning until late afternoon due to D-layer absorption. But feel free to try for the European stations and those further afield on 40 and 20m.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The next week or so is looking decidedly unlike summer with a tendency for low pressure, especially in the north. Wind, rain, thunder and no Tropo is hard to sell, but there are usually some positives even in bad weather! Let's start with a strong positive, which is a good jet stream pattern for Sporadic-E. In this case a marked upper trough crosses the country with segments of strong jet stream winds over the UK and near continent. In the closing weeks of the Sporadic-E season, a strong jet stream is a real bonus, so pursue the usual summer operating rules and check the 10m and 6m bands late morning and late afternoon.

Another positive is that the Perseids meteor shower is approaching its peak, so expect excellent meteor scatter conditions over the coming days. The broad peak of the 11th to the 13th of August may cause meteor ionisation, which is an important component in the formation of Sporadic-E.

Now the bad news. There is pretty much a total absence of high pressure, so it's unlikely that Tropo will feature much, if at all. Strong winds will remind us to check the antennas are in good shape for winter. Trying to end on a positive note, thunderstorms are useful if you are into GHz bands rain scatter from the large cumulonimbus clouds.

Moon declination is at its minimum, most negative, today, so the Moon will be very low in the sky at its zenith. Losses are still increasing as we approach apogee on Saturday, so it’s a poor week for EME.

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