The news headlines: • Tonight@8 events on the Ofcom amateur radio consultation • Bar-coded stamps • GB2RS in Morse code
The RSGB is holding two special live Tonight@8 events focused on the Ofcom amateur radio consultation, and it encourages all radio amateurs to take part. On Monday the 31st of July the session will look at contests, operating and callsign policy, in an event that might be of particular interest to Full licensees. On Monday the 7th of August, the focus will be on Foundation and Intermediate topics including callsign and exam changes, as well as the Consultation clauses that might lead to new opportunities for outreach activities for everyone. Instead of the usual webinar style, these events will be forums where, after a short introduction, a panel of RSGB experts will answer your questions. Questions can be submitted on the night of the event via live chat, or you can send in a question in advance. Advance questions can be by email or a short, clear video of you asking your question. In either case, please keep the question short and include your name and callsign. Send questions, by 12 noon on the Friday before the event, to email@example.com and find out more about the events and the consultation on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/licencereview From tomorrow, the 31st of July, you should not apply non-bar-coded stamps with Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s image to any mail. In doing so the sender or recipient may have to pay a surcharge. This news is highlighted to radio amateurs who use stamped-addressed QSL card envelopes. Please ensure all stamped-addressed envelopes have valid bar-coded stamps on them. This only applies to stamps with Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s image on them and does not apply to stamps which have other pictures on them. These can continue to be used. Royal Mail will exchange all non-barcoded stamps with new bar-coded ones for free. To do this, download a form from the Royal Mail website, complete it and include it alongside the stamps that are being returned. For more information, and to download a form, visit royalmail.com/sending/barcoded-stamps GB2RS newsreader Graham, G4JBD has developed an online tool which plays Morse code based on the current GB2RS News script at a variety of different speeds. To help simulate a realistic HF-operating environment, the system can be set to include man-made band noise, or QRM, and/or natural band noise, or QRN. To try the system for yourself, visit thersgb.org/go/gb2rsmorse The July 2023 edition of RadCom Basics is now available and includes more topics to inspire those who are new to amateur radio and those who want to refresh their skills and knowledge. This edition includes the stories of the winner and runner-up in the RSGB Construction Competition Beginners’ category; Part 2 of ‘Repairing circuit board tracks’; a design for a simple multi-band vertical HF antenna; Part 6 in the ‘Basic fault-finding series; and an account of Lee, G4EJB’s recent visit to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. To view RadCom Basics visit rsgb.org/radcom-basics The RSGB is also pleased to announce that a new edition of RadCom Plus, Volume 8, Issue 1, is out now. RadCom Plus is the RSGB’s digital technical supplement and RSGB Members can read it in HTML5 flipbook, PDF and Epub formats. This issue includes an article on a compact broadband active antenna for VHF and UHF and another on operating on the 30THz band. RadCom Plus can be accessed via rsgb.org/radcom-plus
And now for details of rallies and events Wiltshire Radio and Car Boot Sale is taking place today, Sunday the 30th of July at Kington Langley Village Hall and Playing Field, Kington Langley, Wiltshire SN15 5NJ. The event starts at 9 am and finishes at 1 pm. There is a £3 entry fee. Indoor tables are sold out, but there is plenty of Car Boot space available. Admittance for car booters is £10, and for vans, it is £15. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Part 1 of the British Amateur Television Club’s Convention for Amateur TV 2023, or CAT 23, will take place on Sunday the 6th of August at Midland Air Museum, Coventry. It is a meet-up, show and tell, test and fix-it, and bring-and-buy event from 10.30 am to 4 pm. There will be full ATV and Microwave test facilities available for QO-100, 5.6GHz FM, Portsdown, MiniTiouner, Ryde, and power amplifiers and preamps. King’s Lynn Amateur Radio Club’s 33rd Great Eastern Radio Rally will take place on Sunday the 6th of August. The venue will be Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 4EL. The doors open to visitors at 9 am and admission is £2.50. The doors open to traders from 7 am. An outdoor pitch costs £8 and an indoor table costs £10. Car parking is free. There will be trade stands and a bring-and-buy area. On-site catering will be available. For more information email email@example.com or visit klarc.org.uk Now the Special Event News DR45HAAN is the special callsign for DARC's Ortsverband Haan to celebrate its 45th anniversary. The station will be active until the 30th of September. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the bureau and direct cards via DL7ET. Special callsign LX90RTL is in use to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Radio Luxembourg’s first long-wave broadcast. It will be used by various LX operators until the end of the year. Listen for the callsign on the HF bands on SSB, CW, digital modes and via satellite. All QSOs will be confirmed automatically via the DARC bureau. The logs will be uploaded to Club Log, Logbook of the World and eQSL on a regular basis. For more information see QRZ.com
Now the DX news Today is the last chance to contact Giuseppe, IK5WWA who is active as IM0C from San Pietro Island, EU-165. He is QRV on the 40 to 2m bands. QSL via his home call. The IP1X team is active from Gallinara Island, EU-083, today, the 30th. They are operating CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands in the IOTA Contest. QSL via IU1JCZ, direct or via the bureau. For more details and updates check QRZ.com MD1U is active in the IOTA Contest today, the 30th, as part of a DXpedition to Scarlett Point Tower on the Isle of Man. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS page and Logbook of the World. For more information see QRZ.com Sunny, VU2CUW, a member of the 42nd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica, will be based at Maitri Station, Antarctica for around one year. In his spare time, he will be active as AT42I. QSL via VU2CRS. Ersoy, TA2OM has been active as 3C3CA from Bioko Island, AF-010, in Equatorial Guinea since October 2022. His current plans are to stay there until sometime in August. He uploads his log to Club Log and Logbook of the World on a regular basis. Now the contest news The RSGB IOTA, or Islands On The Air, Contest will end at 1200UTC today, the 30th of July, Using CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference. Today, the 30th of July, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz Contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on 5.7 and 10GHz frequencies, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. On Tuesday the 1st of August, the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. Using FM on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also on Tuesday the 1st of August, the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. On Wednesday the 2nd of August, the 144MHz FT8 Activity four-hour Contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 2m band, the exchange is a report and four-character locator. Also on Wednesday the 2nd of August, the 144MHz FT8 Activity two-hour Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 2m band, the exchange is a report and four-character locator. Stations entering the four-hour contest may also enter the two-hour contest. On Saturday the 5th of August, the EU HF Championship runs from 0000 to 2359UTC. Using CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands, the exchange is a signal report and the last two digits of the year you were first licensed. On Saturday the 5th of August, the 4th 144MHz Backpackers Contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and two-letter postcode. Also on Saturday the 5th of August, the 144MHz Low Power Contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and two-letter postcode. The Worked all Britain 144MHz Low Power contest takes place on Saturday the 5th of August from 1400 to 1800UTC. Please note that the maximum power that can be used in this contest has been increased to 25W. The exchange is a report, serial number and Worked all Britain square, if applicable. Entries should be submitted to the contest manager by the 15th of August. For full details of the rules please see the Worked all Britain website. On Sunday the 6th of August, the 432MHz Low Power Contest runs from 0800 to 1200UTC. Using all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and two-letter postcode. The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon ends its three-month run on Sunday the 6th of August. Using all modes on the 6m band, the exchange is your four-character locator. Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Thursday the 27th of July 2023 It was a mixed bag last week with periods of settled conditions, but two periods when the Kp index was above four. These unsettled geomagnetic conditions impacted HF, subduing signals and generally not helping at all. The cause was a coronal mass ejection, or CME, that passed Earth late on Tuesday the 25th of July. This triggered a minor G1 geomagnetic storm with the solar wind speed above 500km/s and the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field pointing south. By the early hours of Thursday morning, the Kp index was down to 2.33, but there was talk of another CME threatening to push it up again. We ‘dodged a bullet’ on the 24th of July when a large halo CME was observed leaving the Sun. It was so powerful that, despite taking place on the other side of the Sun, energetic proton levels streamed past Earth. By Wednesday lunchtime things were back to normal. By Thursday there were ten active regions visible on the Sun, with a solar flux of 167. Daytime HF conditions are still relatively poor, although the evenings are beginning to show an improvement. We probably won’t see a return to excellent HF conditions until September or October. Having said that, at 1230UTC on Thursday, there were openings on 15m FT8 to Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Anguilla, despite the predicted MUF over 3,000km being around 19MHz. In other words, make sure you actually listen to the bands! Next week NOAA predicts that the Solar Flux Index will be in the range of 155 to 170. The Kp index is forecast to be around two. There may be a blip on Wednesday the 3rd of August when it is forecast to rise to three. As always, this is likely to change if we get more solar flares and associated CMEs. And now the VHF and up propagation news The coming week is likely to continue its unsettled theme although, unlike last week, this time we may find a temporary ridge of high pressure building over southern England at the end of the week. It’s some way off and much could change before we get there, but there is a hint of some Tropo next Friday, perhaps lasting into the Saturday afternoon for the 144MHz Low Power Contest. The rest of this week and much of next will, however, stay firmly in the unsettled pattern with just rain scatter to console us. The Sporadic-E season often provides activity on the 6m band into the first week of September, so plenty of time to look for those chance QSOs. Last week saw a huge opening to Japan and a smaller opening to North America so there is still plenty to look for. The current spell of unsettled weather is driven by a strong jet stream across the Atlantic into northern Europe and maybe a positive sign for Sporadic-E paths that cross it, say to Iberia, round through Italy to the Balkans. Other modes are relatively-low probability when compared with Sporadic-E, but the disturbed solar conditions could make Aurora a contender on those occasions when the Kp index is above five. Meteor scatter activity continues to increase as we head into the August Perseids, which peak around the 12th and 13th of August. The Moon reaches minimum declination on Sunday, becoming positive again late next Saturday so there will be short Moon windows early in the week. Perigee is on Wednesday so path losses are low. 144MHz sky noise is high this coming weekend turning low late Monday.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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