Sunday 12th February 2017
The news headlines:
RSGB responds to Ofcom consultation
Convention lectures on YouTube
Slow Scan TV from ISS
The RSGB has responded to the Ofcom Proposed Annual Plan 2017/18 consultation. The response highlights areas of the plan, including EMC and Spectrum, where the RSGB believes that Ofcom should improve its focus and resources. A copy of the response can be seen on the RSGB website.
We’re delighted that a number of lectures from the RSGB Convention 2015 are now on the RSGB’s YouTube channel, by kind permission of the presenters. You can see Clean Up Your Shack by Ian White, GM3SEK; Navassa Island K1N by Glenn Johnson, W0GJ; What Makes The Pings Go Ping by John Worsnop, G4BAO and Engineering The Gemini Range of LDMOS VHF Power Amplifiers by Chris Bartram, GW4DGU. Please note that the presenters retain the copyright of their content and their slides. Do join the hundreds of people who have already subscribed to the RSGB channel so you're the first to see videos as they're added. You can find the videos at www.youtube.com/theRSGB
Slow-scan television transmissions are planned from the International Space Station on Monday and Tuesday. The SSTV images will be transmitted as part of the MAI-75 Experiment on 145.800MHz FM. They will be made using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver, located in the Russian ISS Service module. It is thought they may use the PD-180 SSTV format. The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on the 13th from 0925 to 1800UTC and the 14th from 1125 to 1630UTC.
RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is writing a report on the implementation of the 2015 Review of Contesting. A questionnaire forms an important part of the input to this report, but there will also be feedback from clubs, groups and individuals as well as factual analysis of performance where possible. The questionnaire is now available on the RSGB website on the ‘Consultations’ page. It will be live until the 19th of March. All those interested in the future of contesting are urged to complete it. Whether or not you are a Member of the RSGB, the Society is asking for your help and input. The President also welcomes offers of assistance, or requests to talk or meet. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org The report will be completed by early April.
ClubLog has updated their latest 'DXCC Most Wanted List' as of the 31st of January. The information is derived from QSOs uploaded to ClubLog. Currently there are 339 entities listed, see https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php
A new PDF of Examination Announcements has been published. Its contents include Challenges and Appeals, Practical Assessments and feedback on Advanced exams in 2016. The document can be downloaded from the Clubs and Training section of the RSGB website.
As part of the Society’s drive to improve communications across the organisation, the Chairman of the Board is going to investigate suggestions that the RSGB is not responding in a timely manner to comments received via Have Your Say. He will report his findings to the Board by the 17th of March.
On the 13th of February, ITU will join the global celebrations for World Radio Day, the day set aside to celebrate the unique power of broadcast radio. The ITU continues working to enable innovation in radio communications as well as ensuring that transmission standards and spectrum are available for digital radio in MF, HF and VHF broadcasting bands, and that there are approved international regulatory frameworks in place to allow for a smooth migration from analogue to digital radio. For full details of activity put World Radio Day into your favourite search engine and click on the many results you will find.
AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have confirmed that the Nayif-1 CubeSat, which has a full FUNcube payload, is now scheduled for launch at 0358UTC on the 15th. The flight, C-37, will carry a total of 104 satellites into orbit. As with previous missions carrying FUNcube payloads, AMSAT-UK would very much like to receive as many reports as possible from stations around the world, especially shortly after launch. Telemetry, using 1k2 BPSK to the FUNcube standard, will be on 145.940MHz. The linear transponder uplink will be on 435.045 to 435.015MHz and the downlink on 145.960 to 145.990MHz. Full details are at http://amsat-uk.org/
Thinking Day on the Air will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February. This is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen at www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk/ For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to email@example.com
Lots of people have views on what the RSGB should or should not do. Here is your chance to have your say. The RSGB Board has been working with strategy expert Chris Deacon, G4IFX, the Leadership Team and Headquarters Staff to develop a strategy for the next 5 years. That work has been boiled down into a one-page document with a narrative to explain the context and background. We would now like your views. The draft strategy and narrative are online at www.rsgb.org/strategyreview and you will also find a link to an online survey where you can express your views. If you need a paper version of the questionnaire, please call the RSGB General Manager’s office on 01234 832 700.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The Harwell ARS Radio and Electronics Rally takes place today, the 12th of February, at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. Talk-in will be available using G3PIA on 145.550MHz. There is free parking nearby, with disabled parking next to the Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10am. Admission is £3, with children under 12 free. There will be radio and electronics stalls, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Book Stall. Refreshments will be available all day. Details for both traders and visitors from Ann, G8NVI, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Radioactive Fair at Nantwich takes place on the 19th of February at the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details by email from email@example.com.
There has been an unavoidable change to the venue for the Rainham Rally on the 26th of February. It will now be held at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. This new venue will host the usual traders and exhibitors, with light refreshments available during the event. It is easy to find, just a couple of miles from the M2, and also larger, with on site parking for 250 cars. The date and time of the rally remain unchanged at 10am on Sunday the 26th of February. Talk-in will be available on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
Pista, HA5AO returns to Lesotho until the 26th of February. He will reactivate his 7P8EUDXF callsign that he aired last October. This is a spare time operation and QSLs should go via OQRS to HA5AO.
Michael, DF8AN will operate as CE0Y/DF8AN from Easter Island, IOTA reference SA-001, until the 17th of February. He will be on CW and digital modes. He then goes to Juan Fernandez Island, SA-005, from the 21st to the 24th where his callsign will be CE0Z/DF8AN. QSLs go via his home call.
Tim, LW9EOC will operate from San Andres, NA-033, between the 13th and 27th on the low bands and WARC bands using CW, SSB, RTTY as 5J0NA. He will also participate in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via LW9EOC and via the Bureau.
A DXpedition to the Arctic is due to set off on the 14th of February. RT9K/9 plans to operate from IOTA groups AS-121, AS-104, AS-068 and AS-054. Each activation is supposed to run for 4 to 5 days. Using the 40 to 10m bands, operation will be on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via RX9KM, ClubLog OQRS.
Yuri, VE3DZ will be active as 6Y2T from Jamaica, NA-097, from 14 to 21 February, including an entry in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via his home call.
Now the special event news
The 14th of February marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the UK's first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex. A team from Chelmsford ARS will be making operating GB952MT from the 12th to the 14th to mark this occasion. Details are on QRZ.com.
Until the 19th of February, Chertsey Radio Club is running special event callsign, GB5QE, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 65 Jubilee.
Operators from the Darwin Amateur Radio Club will on air using the callsign VI8BOD from the 18th of February to the 28th of March to remember the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia in 1942. QSL Manager is M0URX & QSL cards can be requested on the M0URX OQRS. More information can be found by searching VI8BOD on QRZ.com.
Now the contest news
The CQ WW WPX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. It takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is just the serial number.
The PACC contest ends its 24 hour runs at 1200UTC today, the 12th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. PA stations also send their Province.
On Tuesday the 14th the Low Power 432MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following that, the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Championship from 2000 to 2130UTC. This time it’s the data leg, and the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Thursday the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following on is the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend it’s the ARRL International DX contest, from 0000UTC on the 18th to 2359UTC on the 19th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and transmitted power level. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 10th of February.
Last week, the hoped-for settled geomagnetic conditions materialised, but could have been better. After Monday, the K index settled down to one or two for the rest of the week.
HF conditions have been variable, rather than outstanding. There have been some 15 metre openings at times, but 20 and 17 metres have been more consistent. The lower bands, such as 80 and 40 metres, have also been proving how good they can be in the winter, offering DX at times.
The daytime critical frequency has been reaching around 6MHz, meaning 40m is open to slightly longer skip of 500 to 1,000 kilometres. Sixty metres has been better for day-time inter-G contacts. The estimated night-time MUF over a 3,000km path has been staying above 7MHz through the night.
Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the 70s, moving higher towards 80 around the eighteenth.
Geomagnetically-settled conditions should continue until around the fourteenth, when the K index is predicted to rise to four, due to recurrent coronal hole activity. But this should be relatively short lived.
We will be moving towards spring-time HF conditions in a few weeks, so make the most of the better low-band conditions while you can.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
With high pressure over the North Sea and the nearby continent, we might expect some enhanced Tropo conditions on paths across to Denmark and northern Germany later this weekend, but nothing major.
Some weather models bring the high a bit closer at the end of next week. This may limit the Tropo by lowering the temperature inversion and bringing very dry air from the continent, degrading the inversions’ ability to generate Tropo. So, a slightly better week than last, but much of the time there will be no major Tropo event.
Even with poor Tropo conditions, it’s worth investigating the VHF, UHF and GHz bands. There are always DX opportunities at VHF and above using aircraft scatter – up to 800km if you have the right equipment to take advantage of short duration paths. Digimodes or fast CW are required.
We are in the winter minimum of meteor activity, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.
Moon declination is falling, going negative on Tuesday, and losses are increasing. With apogee only a week away, the best conditions for EME contacts will be early this week.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.