Time is running out to respond to Ofcom’s consultation “Updating the amateur radio licensing framework”. The deadline is Monday the 4th of September. The RSGB will be sending its own formal response, but Ofcom is interested in the views of every radio amateur. This is the biggest review of amateur radio licensing and callsign policy in a generation and your response will count. Please remind your amateur radio friends and colleagues to make time to send in their response so their views are heard too. The RSGB has information, videos and guidance on its website at rsgb.org/licencereview
Have you booked for the RSGB 2023 Convention yet? The ‘early bird’ booking price has been extended to the 14th of September, so join hundreds of others at this fantastic amateur radio event over the weekend of the 13th to the 15th of October. The keynote speaker will be Colonel John Doody who will discuss his radio communication experiences across the frequency spectrum from HF, VHF, SHF and satellite communications from 1965 to the present day. Colonel Doody is a retired officer of the UK Royal Corps of Signals, the author of “From Stripes to Stars” and he served at GCHQ and the former Communications-Electronics Security Group for ten years as Head of Information Assurance Customer Services. John has a wealth of knowledge across the whole spectrum of cyber security, information assurance, cryptography and radio communications. The rest of the Convention programme is nearly complete and includes expert speakers on a wide range of amateur radio topics. From portable contesting and SOTA, to antennas, radio astronomy, and developments in electronic equipment to detect RF electrical interference, you will be spoilt for choice! More details will appear in the October issue of RadCom and the RSGB will be publishing the draft programme on its website soon. For more information and to book go to rsgb.org/convention
Have you just passed your Foundation licence? Or are you an established Foundation licence holder who is looking for a new challenge? The RSGB has just launched a new range of Foundation Awards that are available to UK Foundation licence holders from September 2023. There is an HF Award, a VHF Award and a third Award where you can choose to use a mix of any bands permitted by the licence, but you need to gain a larger number of contacts on a greater number of bands. These Awards give you plenty to choose from whatever you enjoy within amateur radio. For more information see the RSGB website at rsgb.org/foundation-awards
The RSGB’s autumn Tonight@8 programme kicks off at 8pm on Monday the 4th of September with a presentation on MINOS Contest Logging Software by Peter Burton, G3ZPB. Peter will look at what MINOS does in terms of contest logging, installation and set-up, plus how to get hands-on when using it in a contest. You can find out more about the presentation and Peter on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/webinars and you can join the presentation and ask questions live on the RSGB YouTube channel at youtube.com/theRSGB
Air Ambulance Week 2023 is taking place across the UK from Monday the 4th to Sunday the 10th of September. Lots of amateur radio stations will be on the air to help raise awareness of the lifesaving work that is carried out by the UK’s air ambulance charities, so please give them a call. More information about Air Ambulance Week 2023 can be found by visiting airambulancesuk.org
The popular Churches and Chapels on the Air event, also known as ‘CHOTA’, will be taking place next Saturday the 9th of September from 10am to 4pm. All bands and all modes will be in use. For more information about the event, and to see a list of registered stations, visitwacral.org or email John, G3XYF at email@example.com
And now for details of rallies and events
Telford Hamfest is taking place today, Sunday the 3rd of September. The venue is Harper Adams University campus near Telford, Shropshire, TF10 8NB. Talk-in is available on 145.550MHz FM. Further details are available at telfordhamfest.org.uk If you have any questions, contact Martyn, G3UKV on 01952 255416 or John, M0JZH on 07824 737716.
Dartmoor Autumn Radio Rally is taking place today, Sunday the 3rd of September. The venue is Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6AL. The usual bring and buy, trader stands and refreshments are available. The doors open at 10am and admission is £2.50. Free parking is available. For more information email Roger via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07854 088 882.
Caister Lifeboat Radio Rally will take place on Sunday the 10th of September. The venue will be Caister Lifeboat station, Caister on Sea, NR30 5DJ. The doors will be open from 9am to 2pm. Access for traders is available from 8am. Admission is free. Inside tables cost £10 each. Outside tables cost £5 each. Contact Zane, M1BFI via email on email@example.com or phone 07711 214 790.
The Angel of the North Amateur Radio Club Rally will be held on Saturday the 16th of September. The venue will be Whitehall Road Methodist Church, Whitehall Road, Bensham, Gateshead, NE8 4LH. The doors are open to traders from 7.30am and tables cost £6. The event will be open to the public from 10am to 2pm and admission will be £2.50. Bacon butties and hot drinks will be available to purchase. There will be a bring-and-buy and a raffle on the day. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Now the Special Event News
Special callsign VI7ALARAis active on the HF bands until the 8th of November to mark the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association's meeting in Hobart this year. QSL via Club Log's OQRS. For more information visit alara.org.au
OQ95RCL is the special callsign in use throughout 2023 by Radio Club Leuven, ON4CP to celebrate its 95th anniversary. QSL via Logbook of the World, eQSL, the bureau, or direct to ON3AR.
Now the DX news
Today, the 3rd, is the last chance to work Matt, AF2F while he is active as K4H from Hatteras Island, NA-067. He is using CW and FT8. QSL via Club Log's OQRS.
Christo, LZ3FN and Thomas, SV2CLJ are QRV from Skyros Island, EU-060, in Greece, as SV8/LZ3FN and SV8/SV2CLJ. They are operating on the 80 to 2m bands using CW, SSB and digital modes until the 7th of September.
Now the contest news
IARU Region 1 Field Day and RSGB SSB Field Day both started at 1300UTC on Saturday the 2nd of September and end at 1300UTC today, the 3rd of September. Using SSB on the 80 to 10m bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
The 144MHz Trophy Contest started at 1400UTC on Saturday the 2nd of September and ends at 1400UTC today, Sunday the 3rd of September. Using All modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The All Asian DX Contest started at 0000UTC on Saturday the 2nd of September and ends at 2359UTC today, Sunday the 3rd of September. Using SSB on the 160 to 10m bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is serial number and age.
Today, the 3rd of September, the Worked All Britain 2m QRO Phone Contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using phone, the exchange is signal report, serial number and Worked All Britain square.
Today, the 3rd of September, the 5th 144MHz Backpackers Contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Monday the 4th of September, the Autumn Series SSB Contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Tuesday the 5th of September, 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 5th of September, 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 6th of September, the 144MHz FT8 Activity four-hour Contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 2m band, the exchange is report and four-character locator. Also on Wednesday the 6th of September, the 144MHz FT8 Activity two-hour Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 2m band, the exchange is report and four-character locator. Stations entering the four-hour contest may also enter the two-hour contest.
On Wednesday the 6th of September the United Kingdom and Ireland Contest Club 80m Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB on the 80m band, the exchange is your six-character locator.
The Worked All Europe DX SSB Contest runs from 0000UTC on Saturday the 9th of September to 2359UTC on Sunday the 10th of September. Using SSB on the 80 to 10m bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Sunday the 10th of September, the UK Microwave Group 24 to 76GHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on 24 to 76GHz frequencies, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Thursday the 31st of August 2023
We had another week of relatively settled solar conditions. The Kp Index never really got above three and the Solar Flux Index flattened to be below 140. Solar flares were nominal with only minor C-class events occurring and with no Earth-directed coronal mass ejections.
The solar wind speed remains low as does its density. The all-important Bz has headed south at times meaning it more easily couples to the Earth’s magnetic field, but the solar wind’s low speed and density means we have not suffered from geomagnetic disturbances.
As a result, ionospheric conditions were quite good with much DX romping in on 21MHz, including Mongolia on FT8 during the afternoon.
On the 10m band Vlad, 9Q2WX in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Robert, 9N7AA in Nepal, were both logged around lunchtime on CW. At the same time, Ravi, S79VU in the Seychelles could be heard on SSB.
The Chilton and Fairford Digisondes remain down, but Dourbes remains online which is still driving propquest.co.uk
Daytime maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path are currently peaking above 28MHz at times, although you may find 21 and 24MHz more usable. Daytime critical frequencies remain above 7MHz making the 40m band very useful around the UK.
Next week, NOAA predicts that the Solar Flux Index will remain in the range of 140 to156. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet, apart from an excursion between September the 6th to the 8th when the Kp index could rise to three.
And now the VHF and up propagation news
There will be some GHz bands rain scatter on offer as we end this current week, but it’s ‘all change’ by the weekend. The prospects for VHF and UHF, then, are looking very promising indeed, especially good for those out working portable in the 144MHz Trophy Contest today, the 3rd of September.
After lots of uncertainty in the forecast during the last week, there is now plenty of support from the models that the high-pressure version is the favoured outcome. This should be very encouraging for 2m band contesters hoping to get some enhanced Tropo propagation.
Paths across the southern North Sea to Denmark and southern Sweden look good throughout. It would also be worth looking to the south across the Channel and, for some southwestern parts of the UK, down across Biscay to Spain.
There are two very useful websites that detail the expected Tropo prospects using the weather forecast model data to calculate the vertical changes in the refractive index of the air and hence Tropo. These are dxinfocentre.com and tropo.f5len.org
Remember that Tropo improves as you move from HF to 2m, to 70cm and 23cm. So, give CW or SSB a try and don’t just stay on FT8 or over-crowded repeater channels during lift conditions. These enhanced Tropo conditions will likely extend well into next week, but with a chance of low pressure bringing unsettled weather back to the south by the end of next week.
The daily Sporadic-E blogs have finished for this year, but the jet stream charts will still be available on propquest.co.uk and of course, random meteor scatter and chance aurora are still there if you are lucky.
For EME stations, Moon declination is positive again but reaches maximum late at night initially moving to early morning as the week progresses. Last Wednesday’s perigee means path losses are still low but increasing daily. 144MHz sky noise is low, rising to moderate by next weekend.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean or
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean App.