Sunday 22nd January 2017
The news headlines:
Apply now for YOTA Camp
Call for RSGB election candidates
New Cubesats in orbit
The RSGB’s Youth Committee have already received some great applications from young members to be part of the UK team at this year's YOTA summer camp, which will be held at Gilwell Park. Around 100 young radio amateurs will be attending representing over twenty countries, including the UK. If you are between 14 and 25 you can apply to attend but you need to hurry as the deadline for applications is the 31st of January. The attendance fee is £50 but all transport, food and accommodation is included. The RSGB YOTA 2017 web page www.rsgb.org/yota contains more details of the event and information on how to apply. There is also a vacancy for the UK Team Leader, who needs to be over 18 and have good experience of leading teams of young people. Any RSGB Member interested in that role should send details of their knowledge, skills and experience to email@example.com
The RSGB is calling for volunteers to step forward for election at the RSGB AGM. In 2017 the RSGB will be looking to appoint one elected Board Director, one nominated Board Director and five Regional Managers. Regions 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 are open for volunteers, whether the current Regional Manager is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies, together with nomination forms, are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/elections2017 or paperwork can be obtained by post from the General Manager at RSGB HQ. Completed papers, with their supporting signatures, must be received by noon on the 1st of February 2017. The AGM takes place at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff on the 22nd of April 2017.
Several CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were placed into orbit on the 16th of January from the International Space Station. Satellites carrying amateur radio payloads included ITF-2, with a downlink of 437.525MHz, Waseda-Sat-3, with downlinks of CW and FM telemetry on 437.29MHz, AOBA-Velox-3, with downlinks of GMSK telemetry on 437.225MHz and TuPOD that will transmit AFSK on 437.200MHz.
You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter
A meeting has taken place in the past week in CEPT, which included agenda items considering matters of interest to amateur radio at WRC19. The discussions made progress on matters concerning sharing between the amateur service and other services in the 50-54MHz band, broadcasting, wind-profilers and mobile users, but there remains much still to do and IARU will continue to work on these studies with administrations and others to establish the optimum future sharing scenarios. See www.iaru-r1.org/ for more information
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
There are no rallies in the diary for this 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. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking on site. Entry is £2. The venue is all on one level and so is suitable for less able visitors. There will be hot drinks and snacks available, including bacon butties. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.
On Friday the 27th of January there is a free-to-attend, invitation-only, event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS entitled The Evolution Of Television From Baird To The Digital Age. Registration, with coffee, will be from 10.30am. To request an invitation ticket, go to www.ieee-ukandireland.org/baird
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
Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is on the air as TO7D and FG/F6ITD from La Desirade Island, IOTA NA-102, until the 9th of March. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.
DF3FS, DJ7JC, DL8JJ and DJ9RR will be operating as TU5MH from the Ivory Coast from the 22nd of January to the 2nd of February. Activity will be on 80 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DJ5BWD.
Rich, PA0RRS is on the air as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, IOTA AS-015, until the end of January 2018. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using CW, RTTY, JT65, JT9 and some SSB. QSL to his home callsign.
Dave, G1OCN and Carol, 2E1DQZ will be using the callsigns VP8CLE and VP8DKW from the Falkland Islands during the second half of January. QSL directly to G1OCN.
The callsign OA0MP has been issued by the Peruvian authorities for use from the ‘Machu Picchu’ Antarctic Base on King George Island in the South Shetlands until the 31st of March. Two members of the scientific team will operate during their spare time on 20m and 40m SSB. QSL via OA4O.
Now the special event news
Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th for SOS Weekend from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard, using all bands.
Special event station 9H2017EU is on the air until June 2017 to mark the 2017 Maltese European Union Presidency. QSL direct to 9H1SP.
Now the contest news
On Tuesday the SHF Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the UK EI CC 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4 character locator.
The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest runs for 48 hours from 2200UTC on Friday to 2200UTC on Sunday. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.
The BARTG RTTY Sprint runs from 1200UTC on the 28th to 1200UTC on the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note that for 2017 there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 20th of January.
We saw a couple of sunspots last week, but they weren’t enough to make a major difference to HF propagation. This was due in part to a raised K index, thanks to solar material from a recurrent coronal hole. NOAA released a geomagnetic storm warning for the 18th and 19th. The solar index remained in the high 70s, while the K index hit four around mid week.
While many people are bemoaning the poor conditions, there are highlights. Seventeen metres is opening reliably to DX on many days with strong signals to the East during late morning and weak openings to the west in the afternoon. Andy, M0NKR also reports there have been some good 80m openings to the US and Canada in the early hours. Eighty metres was also good for inter-G work late afternoon on Thursday the 19th.
Next week, NOAA predicts that the poor geomagnetic conditions are likely to continue, with the K index hitting four at times, although the 25th and 26th should be slightly more settled. The solar flux index will be in the range 77 to 80, so propagation is likely to be more of the same. We recommend concentrating on the lower bands, but don’t give up on HF as we may get occasional HF openings up to, perhaps, 18 or 21MHz at times – please don’t miss them!
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
We have just finished another week with high pressure on the chart, and it has produced some enhanced tropo conditions at times. But this has been less than might be the case if there were some moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere. The better areas have been the north-west where moisture from the Atlantic and Biscay has improved the contrast across the inversion and given better tropo.
So what of next week? The high is going to last for just a few more days, until midweek, when the next sequence of Atlantic lows and fronts will cross the country. This will bring windier weather and some rain and destroy any tropo-producing inversions from our resident high, which will collapse quickly. In summary, a good start to the week, but poor for VHF/UHF tropo later.
We are now in the winter meteor activity minimum, where zenithal hourly rates are low and there are no major showers, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn.
The Moon is at apogee today and reaches minimum declination on Thursday, so we have maximum losses and short, low-elevation moon windows all week. This week would be a good one to look to the artificial satellites for your VHF DX contacts.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.