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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. January 2017.

Posted on January 27th, 2017


Sunday 29th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • What makes a club great?

  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium talks online

Thinking Day on the Air 2017 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 and stations who are not on the list can submit their details via the form at the bottom of that page. It’s not too late to organise a Thinking Day station between your radio club and local guides. For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to

Recently, amateurs have found many new ways of getting together to share their hobby – and ways of spicing up very traditional clubs with innovative ways of doing things. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF, has got Board support to highlight some of the best things which are going on. Whether you are a long established club, a group meeting in a pub, a special interest group or even a virtual club, he would like to know what is special about your way of linking amateurs with a shared enthusiasm. The RSGB Board would then like to share those ideas more widely. If you have a major success, something special to mention or would like to help with this project, please contact Nick Henwood via email to

PA3WEG has made the talks given at AMSAT-UK Colloquium between 2008 and 2012 available on YouTube. The videos were made by members of the British Amateur Television Club. Watch the videos at

On Sunday the 5th of February, the Vintage and Military ARS will be displaying equipment of interest to the vintage enthusiast at the Canvey Island rally. This will be VMARS’ tenth year of attendance. Stuart, G0TBI and Peter, G7DXV will be manning the stand and look forward to seeing members and non members alike.

The RSGB Board has asked the current RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, to conduct a short consultation leading to a report on progress made since the Presidential Contest Review of 2015. He will look at its original aims, the progress that has been achieved so far and suggestions for future priorities and action. There will be an online member questionnaire in addition to discussion with the Contest Committees and other groups wishing to make an input. Further details will be published on the RSGB website and the intention is to report by early April. The Board wishes to thank the volunteers of the Contest Committees for their continuing hard work and commitment on behalf of members to make contesting both enjoyable and challenging.

Special event station VE100VIMY/VE5 will be on the air from the 29th of January to the 4th of February, commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought in France in April 1917. QSL via N7RO. You can find out more about the callsign and the commemorations that will take place in France in April at

Looking ahead now to the summer and the YOTA youth camp to be hosted by the RSGB at Gilwell Park. Young people from all around IARU Region 1 will meet to enjoy radio and exchange ideas with like-minded youngsters. 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,

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

The Horncastle Winter Rally takes place today, the 29th, at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking. 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 the 5th of February, the 32nd Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island SS8 0JA. Public access is at 10.30am. There is free parking and the venue has disabled facilities including space outside main doors for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes, will be available on site. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

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

Peter, HA3AUI will be visiting Guinea-Bissau and Senegal between now and early March. Callsigns to look for are J5UAP and 6W2SC. Operation will be on CW and QSLs are requested directly to his home call.

A group of German operators will activate TU5MH from the Ivory Coast until the 2nd of February. They will have three stations and will be on 80m to 10m on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log OQRS and logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

A group of operators will be on the air as 9M4LI from Lalang-Lalang Island, IOTA AS-072, from the 3rd to the 5th of February. Activity will be on various HF bands and modes. QSL direct to 9W2NDQ.

An expedition by members of a Dominican Republic club will put Beata Island on the air until the 1st of February. The callsign will be HI1UD and the IOTA reference is NA-122. The QSL Manager is W2CCW.

A group of operators will be operating as TL8TT from Central Africa from the 1st to the 14th of February. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. RTTY will be restricted to 20 metres. QSL via operators' instructions.

Manu, F5LIT is on the air as YB9/F5LIT from Bali, IOTA OC-022, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 20, 17 and 15 metres using SSB. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air today, the 29th, for SOS Weekend. Operation will be on all bands from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard.

H2017PFO is a special call issued to the Paphos Radio Club to celebrate Paphos sharing the honour of being European Capital of Culture for 2017 with Aarhus in Denmark. QSL via 5B4AIE

Special event station DB20ENERGY is on the air until the end of 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the German company DB Energie. QSL via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest ends it 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 29th. 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 ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests for 2017.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Sunday the 5th of February, the 432MHZ AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of January.

Last week saw a flurry of sunspots appear that pushed the solar flux index to 87 on the 22nd. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled last weekend, but this week has largely seen a respite, with the K index often being one or even zero. This resulted in good conditions with the maximum useable frequency hitting at least 21MHz over 3,000km at times. There were reports of good openings on many bands, and a higher daytime critical frequency meant that 40 metres often opened up for contacts within the UK around the lunchtime period.

At the time of writing, sunspot group 2629 continues to develop, but according to NOAA the solar flux index will decline to the high 70s.

Unfortunately, next week will be largely unsettled with the K index predicted to hit four or five from Tuesday the 31st of January to Sunday the 5th of February. Not surprisingly, this is due to another coronal hole on the sun’s surface.

On the bright side, 80 metres has been showing some good intra-UK openings outside of the mid-day absorption periods. It has also provided some good DX during the night and around the dawn greyline time, when it can open up to North America. These won’t last forever so make the most of them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The middle of last week saw the beginning of the end of the high, which gave some modest lift conditions for some. All is changing now that the Atlantic fronts are beginning to move in and it looks like there will be a sequence of fronts and low pressure systems throughout the coming week. This will put paid to any extension of the lift conditions and much of the new week will be uneventful from a Tropo perspective.

Look out for rain scatter on the GHz bands though if the weather brings any heavy showers.

Don’t complain that you never get good VHF conditions on a Tuesday evening during the activity contests. You severely reduce your chances of DX if you limit yourself to the same day every week or month. Remember that there are six other days and nights and there are always aircraft scatter contacts to try on 432MHz and upwards to 10GHz.

The winter meteor activity minimum continues, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn. Moon declination goes positive on Wednesday and it’s coming in towards perigee, so moon windows will get longer and losses will fall as the week progresses.

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