This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. January 2017.

Posted on January 13th, 2017


Sunday 15th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Enter now for Club of the Year

  • RSGB Convention 2017

  • SOS Radio Week imminent

There’s still time to enter the RSGB’s Club of the Year 2016 competition. As last year, the RSGB will be judging entries for National Club of the Year in two categories. First is clubs with fewer than 25 members and, second, clubs with 25 or more members during 2016. There will be separate prizes for each category. The theme of the competition is Promoting Amateur Radio. Please use the entry form at which must be sent to your Regional Manager by 28 February 2017. Once again, we are indebted to Waters and Stanton for their generous sponsorship of this competition.

The RSGB Convention this year will be held on the 13th to 15th of October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. We are starting to identify speakers for the Convention and would particularly like to develop the HF and DXpedition content further. If you have suggestions for any topics or speakers you would like to hear, please send an outline to In addition, AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention this year.

SOS Radio Week starts at 0000UTC on the 21st of January and concludes at 2359UTC on the 29th. The event is open to everyone to take part in and you can still enrol as a registered station and get on the air to raise awareness of the work of Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If you work any of the registered SOS Radio Week stations then you can apply for the Worked SOS Radio Week award. Various levels of award are available. Further details are available at

The RSGB’s Commonwealth Contest is one of the longest-running contests in the HF contesting world, having started as the BERU contest in the 1920s. It promotes contacts between stations in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies, Commonwealth and Mandated Territories. The 80th Commonwealth Contest will take place on the 11th and 12th of March, for the 24 hours starting at 1000UTC. The RSGB is delighted to have received a letter from our Patron, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT congratulating us on this special contest anniversary and wishing everyone well who takes part. Further information about the contest rules are on the contest website

S50A reports that the Slovenian telecoms regulator has given permission for use of the 60m band in Slovenia. First of all a temporary three-month licence is being issued to all Slovenian amateurs who apply for it. The allocation is 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP.

The Bristol 6m Repeater Net has been established to encourage 6m activity within the coverage area of the GB3ZY repeater, which extends into neighbouring counties and south Wales. It takes place at 9pm each Thursday and has successfully increased 6m activity both on the repeater and simplex. Everyone is welcome to join in. See for more information.

Whilst in a meeting with officials of the Niger telecoms regulator to discuss his 5U5R DXpedition, EA5RM was informed that 60m access in the country to all Niger amateurs was now possible under the WRC-15 allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz and its subsequent footnote. Activity is expected to be around 5360kHz using CW and SSB. Unfortunately access to 6m is not possible for the 5U5R DXpedition that takes place from the 8th to the 21st of March using all other bands and modes.

Due to ongoing propagation changes, the team of 5MHz GB2RS Newsreaders have decided to revise the time of the Sunday afternoon GB2RS News bulletin in order to try and optimize reception conditions. The new transmission time will be 1500UTC. The transmission frequency remains unchanged at 5398.5kHz USB. It is hoped to commence the change from the 22nd January transmission.

Norway is the first country in the world to start digital switchover from FM to DAB+. National FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland and progressing across the whole country throughout 2017. The final regions, Troms and Finnmark, will complete the process in December. Switzerland is planning for switch-over to begin in 2020 and a major promotional campaign to raise awareness starts this year. The North-Italian region of South Tyrol will start its FM switch-off in 2017.

To avoid the conflict of event’s dates with the General Conference of IARU Region 1, the dates of the next IARU High Speed Telegraphy world championship has been changed. The new dates are the 8th to 12th September. The venue remains unchanged. Detailed information can be found on the web page of the championship

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

The Red Rose Winter Rally, organised by West Manchester Radio Club, takes place today, the 15th, at Lowton Civic Centre, Hesketh Meadow Lane, WA3 2AH, just off the A580 East Lancs Road. Doors open at 11am and car parking is free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Further details from John, on 07870 161953.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 21st and 22nd. The next rally is the Horncastle Winter Rally on the 29th at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ.

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

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

Between the 20th and 23rd January, JA2NQG, JH2BNL, JI2UAY will operate from Benjor Resort, Port Vila, on Efate Island, OC-035, as YJ0WW, YJ0AA and YJ0FM respectively. Activity will be on 160-10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will have two 500 watt stations and one 200 watt station into an Inverted L, dipoles, CrankIR and HB9CV. QSL go via Logbook of the World for YJ0AA, and all others via their home callsigns.

Peter, DC0KK is on the air as 4S7KKG from Moragalla, in Sri Lanka, IOTA AS-003, until the 1st of April. Activity is on 20 to 10 metres using mainly CW with some digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Darren, VK4FEDX is operating as H40DA from Nendo Island, IOTA OC-100, until the 17th of January. Activity is on 80, 40, 15 and 10 metres. QSL to his home call.

Operators Dale, N3BNA and Harry, N3FMO are on the air as HH8/N3BNA and HH8/N3FMO, respectively, until the 25th of January while in Naiti performing some humanitarian and radio work. Activity is in their spare time. QSL to home calls.

Members of the Peruano Radio Club of Peru are operating as OA0MP from the Machu Picchu Antarctic Base on King George Island, IOTA AN-010, until the 31st of March. Activity is mainly on 40 and 20 metres using SSB. QSL via OA4O.

Now the special event news

GB2SLS will be on the air from Sheringham Lifeboat Station on the 21st of January. Part of the SOS Radio Week activities.

Now the contest news

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 19th, the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000. Using FM only the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also on Thursday it’s the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Again the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the Worked All Britain 1.8MHz phone contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using SSB only on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and your WAB square.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of January 2017

The predicted poor geomagnetic conditions last week were not quite so bad, due to the incoming high speed stream from a coronal hole having a mostly north-facing Bz field. This was less likely to couple with the earth’s magnetic field and we didn't see the very high K indices and poor auroral conditions we expected. Nevertheless, HF conditions remained largely poor, not helped by a total lack of sunspots.

The good news is that a sunspot is now rotating into view on the edge of the sun’s limb, but it is too early to say what effect this may have on HF propagation.

Looking ahead, conditions on the 15th and 16th should be reasonably settled, but the effects of another coronal hole may be felt again between the 16th and the 23rd. NOAA predicts the K index could rise again to five after the weekend.

The solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s giving maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of 5 to 5.8MHz. This means 60m is best for daytime inter-G contacts, with 40m reserved for longer skip and contacts into Europe. For DX, don't expect to hear much above 20m, with occasional openings on 17m. There is still a slight chance of winter Sporadic-E, which could light up the higher bands.

The good news is that reports suggest 80m and 40m have both been open to DX at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week promises much on the pressure charts, but unfortunately may not live up to expectations. If you can keep the snow off the antennas, there may be some Tropo around, but it's not guaranteed despite high pressure being predicted. Heavy snow does produce good scatter propagation on the gigahertz bands though!

The growth of a large area of high pressure next week will see the right sort of weather features for Tropo on the VHF/UHF bands. As this high is growing in cold, dry air though, it may not be as good as you might expect.

Fairly shallow surface temperature inversions may give some limited enhancements, especially after overnight fog has formed. For a better chance of DX, we would need some moist Atlantic air to arrive under the main high pressure subsidence inversion at around 1,000 to 1,800 metres. This seems more likely over the north-western half of Britain towards the end of the week and will be evidenced by a sheet of stratocumulus cloud.

As we continue heading into the winter meteor activity minimum, continue to use the dawn peak in random activity for the best chance of meteor scatter QSOs.

Moon declination goes negative on Wednesday and losses are climbing with apogee just a week away, so get your EME contacts in early this week.

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