Sunday 19th March 2017
The news headlines:
High volume of calls to Ofcom
90th RSGB AGM in Cardiff
Yasme Foundation supports YOTA 2017
Ofcom Spectrum Licensing is currently experiencing a high volume of calls about licensing issues. Email enquiries can take up to four weeks and telephone answering can also be delayed at peak times. Please use the online portal for licence activities and consult the Information for Radio Amateurs and Frequently Asked Questions before calling or emailing. See www.ofcom.org.uk for further information
The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. Details of this are at www.rsgb.org/AGM2017. Whilst the RSGB encourages Members to vote electronically via the ERS website at www.ersvotes.com/rsgb17, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website at www/rsgb.org/attendagm
The RSGB is delighted to announce that the Yasme Foundation have become a Super Supporter of the YOTA 2017 event at Gilwell Park in August. The Yasme Foundation makes supporting grants to individuals and organisations providing or creating useful services for the amateur radio community. Regardless of originality or novelty, Yasme supports these programs in order to further the development of amateur radio around the world. If you would like find out more about the YOTA 2017 event, go to www.rsgb.org/yota
The DXpedition to Bangladesh will use two different callsigns during its 12-day operation. S21ZED will be used until the 22nd of March, with S21ZEE used for the last 5 days, the 23rd to the 27th. This is to comply with Bangladeshi regulations. The DXpedition team asks that stations not work the second call sign on the same bands/modes, if they already have worked the first.
Results for the 80 Metres Evening Counties Contest held on the 21st of February have now been published, see www.irts.ie/results for the details. Congratulations to the winners. The leading stations outside Ireland were Dave, 2E0KVJ, SSB only, and Mike, G3VYI, mixed mode.
Some countries in the Northern Hemisphere that includes most of North American and some of the Caribbean, who observe Daylight Saving Time changed their clocks on the 12th of March at 2am. The UK will switch to British Summer Time on the 26th of March. Of course, most radio amateurs don’t change their UTC clocks anyway. Although you may have to change the settings on some computer programs.
A Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Research Paper available for download. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area, around 200km radius, without any intermediate human-made infrastructure. It is therefore especially suited for disaster relief communication, communication in developing regions and applications where independence of local infrastructure is desired, such as military applications. It uses frequencies between around 3 and 10MHz. Entitled Radio communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation: an overview, it has been written by Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès and Ben A. Witvliet. Download at https://tinyurl.com/k8e583l
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, the 19th, the 32nd Wythall Radio Club Rally is at Wythall Park, Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Parking is available on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £4. There will be a Bring & Buy, a RSGB bookstall as well as lectures. Catering will be available on site. Contact Mike, on 0797 674 4479.
On the 26th of March, the Callington Radio Rally will take place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands. Catering available on site. Ample free parking in the adjacent car park. Rally organised by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information and bookings from Roger on 07854 088 882.
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 email@example.com.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
SP5EAQ and SP7DQR are on the air as T2AQ and T2QR in Tuvalu until the 4th of April. Activity is on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and CW. QSL via SP7DQR. In addition, Tim, NL8F will be active as T2TT from the 23rd of March to the 13th of April. His activity will be on various HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7RO.
Kazik, SP6AXW is on the air as 9N7XW until the 31st of March from Nepal. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.
Ed, WA1ZAM will be active as PJ7PL until the 3rd of April from Sint Maarten. Activity will be on the 10 to 30m bands using SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.
John, W5JON and Cathy, W5HAM are on the air as V47JA and V47HAM, respectively, from Calypso Bay in St Kitts and Nevis until the 5th of April. Activity is on 6 to 150m bands, including 60m, using SSB. This includes an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via operators' instructions.
Kaku, JA6REX and Toshiya, JH6HZH will be active as V633KS and V633ZH, respectively, from Chuuk Island in Micronesia, IOTA OC-011, until the 3rd of April. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with a focus on the low bands. QSL to home calls.
Now the special event news
GB0WM will be on the air from Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton for British Science Week today, the 19th of March. Operated by South Kesteven ARS.
GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to email@example.com
Look for special event station II0CXX to be active until the 31st of May on Saturdays during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe Net, at 1000UTC on 7165kHz. This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the passing of Arthur A Collins, W0CXX, founder of the Collins Radio Company, who became a Silent Key in 1987. QSL via IK0IXI only direct: no bureau and no eQSL.
Now the contest news
The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its run at 0200UTC today, the 19th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.
The Russian DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 19th. Using CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code.
On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000to 2130UTCng SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Next weekend it’s the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. Running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 25th and using all bands from 1.9 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. In this contest everyone can work everyone.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of March.
Despite zero sunspots and a solar flux index of only 70, there was good DX to be had last week. This was helped by more settled geomagnetic conditions over a period of days, thanks to a lack of coronal hole activity. The RSGB Commonwealth Contest saw UK amateurs making contacts into all parts of the world, although these were primarily on 7, 14 and 21MHz. This pattern will no doubt predominate over the next few years until we get past solar minimum.
A group of UK amateurs have been operating from Ghana as 9G5X and have shown how this part of the year can give good north-south propagation. They have been audible on 20 and 15 metres, and there are even reports of very weak openings to the UK on 10m.
A look at the Solar Dynamic Observatory's extreme-ultraviolet image of the sun on Thursday showed a coronal hole on the sun's equator, which is rotating to be geo-effective in a few days.
NOAA predicts solar material from the hole may hit us midweek, so look out for an elevated K index. This can be a double-edged sword, resulting in enhanced conditions during the initial phase, before maximum usable frequencies decline with noisy conditions follow.
The solar flux index is predicted to remain in the low to mid 70s.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
There were some good Tropo openings last week, but this is unlikely to last. By this weekend the high will have declined as lows move in from the Atlantic and they will dominate the weather for much of the coming week. Interestingly, there are signs of high pressure returning at the end of the week, but this is handled very differently in different weather models. One only brings the high as far in as Ireland, while another model develops a fully-fledged high over Scotland by next weekend. This is clearly an uncertain signal, but at the moment the week looks much less productive for Tropo than last week.
As we come very close to April, the seasonal ‘April showers’, this week should offer some good chances for rain scatter on the GigaHertz bands. There is the possibility of VHF auroral activity mid week if the K index rises as predicted.
With negative Moon declination all this week, windows are short and the moon is at low elevation. Today is apogee so losses are at their highest, but decreasing as the week goes on.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.