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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 21st. May 2017.

Posted on May 19th, 2017



Sunday 21st May 2017

The news headlines:

  • Brits join CQ Hall of Fame

  • Philip Willis joins RSGB Board

  • Licencing portal suffers glitch

Two Britons have been inducted into the prestigious CQ Magazine Hall of Fame this weekend. David Honess, M6DNT and Tim Peake, KG5BVI join 16 others entering the Hall, bringing the total to 310. David, M6DNT developed the AstroPi project, which sent two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station as platforms for students on Earth to write and run their own computer code in space. British astronaut Tim, KG5BVI was very active in the ARISS programme whilst aboard the International Space Station, contacting numerous schools via amateur radio and operating the ISS end of the AstroPi project.

To bring the Board to full strength, the meeting on 13 May unanimously endorsed the co-option of Philip Willis, M0PHI as a Board Director. Philip has a wide range of experience, including chairing the Training and Education Committee.

The RSGB understands that there has been an issue with Ofcom’s online licencing system this week. At the time this bulletin was written the details and extent are unclear, but the problem appears to affect a number of new licensees, and those upgrading following a recent exam pass. Ofcom engineers are working to fix the system, and it is hoped that the online licensing portal will soon be fully operational again. An ongoing programme of upgrade and maintenance work is likely to lead to further, planned outages, which will be publicised as the details become available.

In the Europe to North America Summit-to-Summit event last Saturday, the 13th of May, a total of 36 European summits and 18 North American summits were activated. Despite abysmal radio conditions with deep fading and high band noise levels, several trans-Atlantic QSOs were made, including some summit to summit contacts. Overall everyone enjoyed the event and many are already looking forward to the next event on the 18th of November, when it is hoped that conditions will be significantly improved.

Mexican telecoms regulator IFT, the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, has approved amateur operation on the new WRC-15 60m amateur Secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. Maximum power permitted is 20W EIRP. Separately, the Icelandic authorities have decided to extend the experimental license privileges for radio amateurs in the 5MHz band until the 31st of December. The privileges are for 5260 to 5410kHz, with 100W EIRP. Mode of emission: CW, USB, PSK-31 and other digital modes. Currently 25 TF licensees have permits for 60 metres.

Several papers for the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 2017 general conference are now online. These include C3, General Matters; C4, HF; C5, VHF and microwave; and C7, EMC. They can be downloaded under the heading ‘conference papers’ at There is also an RSGB Forum on these and other papers at

Bletchley Park opened a new exhibition this week, celebrating the centenary of Bill Tutte’s birth. In World War Two he was an elite codebreaker and renowned mathematician. Due to the secrecy surrounding his work, his contribution is sometimes overlooked, but his successes were on a par with those of Alan Turing. After the War, Tutte worked on many civilian projects including graph theory, which laid foundations on which today’s internet search engines are built. Full details of the exhibition, which is free with admission to the Park, can be found at RSGB Members can download a free admission pass to Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

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

The 34th Dunstable Downs RC Annual National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place today at Stockwood Park, London Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 4LX. Entry is £3, including car park fee. All the usual facilities will be there. See for details.

Next Sunday the Durham & District ARS Radio Rally takes place at Bowburn Community Centre, County Durham, DH6 5AT. The venture has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors are open from 10.30am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy, talk in and catering on site, plus an RSGB bookstall. More details from Michael, G7TWX on 0782 692 4192 or by email to

Also next Sunday the Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim BT57 8QG. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and catering on site. Contact Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK on 07544 923 956 or email

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

HC2AO, R4WAA and RZ3FW will be active from Salango Island, IOTA reference SA-033 and Puna Island, IOTA SA-034, from the 21st to the 30th of May. They will be active as HD2RRC/4 and HD2RRC/P, operating mostly on 20, 30 and 40m. QSL via RZ3FW, ClubLog OQRS or direct.

Members of the Bavarian Contest Club will be active from Aruba Island, IOTA SA-036 as P44X for the CQ WW WPX CW Contest. They will be in the MO category. QSL via DO4MX.

Pekka, OH2TA and Matti, OH2BH will be active again from Albania from the 23rd to the 30th of May as ZA/OG1N. Operation will be on HF bands including activity in CQ WW WPX CW Contest. QSL via home calls or per operator’s instructions.

Also active from Albania from the 25th to the 29th will be Henning, OZ1BII, as ZA/OU2I. He too will operate on the HF bands and take part in CQ WW WPX CW contest next weekend, in the SOAB LP Category. QSL via home call, ClubLog OQRS, or LOTW.

Tom, KC0W will be active from Zimbabwe from the 23rd of May to the 18th of June as Z25DX. He will operate on 80 to 6m, CW only. QSL via KC0W direct.

Thomas, OZ1AA will be active from Kenya on the HF bands, as 5Z4/OZ1AA, until the 15th of June 2017. QSL via OZ1ACB, ClubLog OQRS, or LOTW.

DF3MC and DL8JJ will be active from Faroe Islands, IOTA EU-018, from the 20th to 25th of May as OY/DF3MC, OY/DL8JJ, OY/DF3MC/P, OY/DL8JJ/P. They will operate on the HF bands.

JH1AJT, DJ9ZB, E21EIC and RA9USU will be active from Eritrea until the 29th of May as E31A, not as E31AA as announced earlier. They will operate on 160 to 10m CW, SSB and RTTY. Zorro, JH1AJT will be on Dahlak Island, AF-038, Dahlak Archipelago for a few days as E39DI, mainly on 160 to 40m. QSL via JH1AJT.

Now the special event news

Telford & District Amateur Radio Society is running its special event station GB1EMC from Eaton Manor today.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Le Havre, the city’s amateur radio club, F6KOH, will be putting TM500LH on the air from the 25th to the 31st of May. Operation will be using SSB, CW, SSTV and digital modes. A special diploma is available to all stations making 3 contacts. See for details.

Indianapolis 500 Special Event station W9IMS will be on the air from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club from the 22nd to the 29th of May. Details are on and a special QSL card is available.

Now the contest news

Today, the 21st, the 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1000 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 144MHz May Contest concludes at 1400UTC today, the 21st. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 1900 to 2230 using all modes on the 2.3-10GHz bands. The report is RST, serial number and locator.

The big event next weekend is the CQWW WPX CW contest, which runs from 0000UTC on Saturday morning to 2359UTC on Sunday evening. CW is the only mode to use, with activity on all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. RST and serial number forms the exchange.

Next Sunday sees two contests on higher bands. From 0600UTC to 1800UTC the UKuG contest is open on all modes on all bands from 5.7 to 10GHz. The 70MHz Cumulative #3 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC using all modes on the 70MHz band. The report for both contests is RST, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 19th May.

NOAA’s prediction that the solar flux index would tend towards 80 last week turned out be wrong, as it stayed steadfastly in the low 70s. However, the prediction of poor geomagnetic conditions turned out to be right, with the K index hitting four on Wednesday, with worse to come. Nevertheless, there was DX to be had and evenings on 20 and 30 metres are proving to be useful as the bands remain open later.

Daytime maximum useable frequencies tend to be lower during the summer than they are in winter, but higher at night. This is because there is more molecular nitrogen due to heating effects in summer, and as this is harder to ionise than monatomic oxygen the Total Electron Content, or TEC, is lower. However, the TEC of the night-time F layer in summer tends to be greater than in winter, which is why night-time maximum usable frequencies can be higher.

Next week the solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s, but we are in for a turbulent time thanks to another coronal hole. A high-speed solar wind stream could push the K index up to five or six at the beginning of the week, with depressed maximum usable frequencies and noisy bands. However, the latter half of the week should be more settled and the bands could recover.

Meanwhile, we are into the Sporadic E season, which is providing good short-skip openings from 7MHz upwards at times. The strongest signals may be found on 28 and 50MHz, where noise levels are lower.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This coming week we have an emphasis on low pressure, which means tropospheric openings may be hard to find, although there could be some end of night surface-based inversions with misty dawns. These could give short-lived lifts until the day’s heating breaks down any inversion.

Low pressure in the summer often produces some large showers or thunderstorms and these are often useful for rain scatter on the GHz bands. There are plenty of weather radars online that will show where these are.

Last week brought reports of rain scatter reception of the Bell Hill Microwave Beacon cluster across Southern UK and the GB3FNY and GB3CAM 10GHz beacons further north, but no reports of UK QSOs. By contrast, a large number of QSOs were reported from stations on the continent.

Sporadic-E has been putting in an appearance recently, so check for openings from 10m up to 2m. Check clusters and beacons and set aside a few minutes late morning and late afternoon to check the VHF bands.

Random meteor scatter continues on the low VHF bands, with the Cetids shower increasing the sporadic meteor background. Monitor and call on 50.280MHz and 70.280MHz with MSK144 mode to check activity.

Moon declination goes positive overnight so moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses. Losses fall to a minimum at perigee on Thursday, when the moon is at its closest point to Earth, but note that the Sun is close to the Moon that evening so the noise levels will be high for a while.

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