A reminder that the second of the RSGB’s special Tonight@8 events on the Ofcom Consultation will take place on Monday the 7th of August. This time 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. The Consultation also affects anyone who isn’t currently licensed but is thinking about taking their exams in the next couple of years. After a short introduction, a panel of RSGB experts will answer your questions on this important Ofcom Consultation. For this event, you can submit a question in advance by 6pm today, Sunday the 6th of August. Send a brief question with your name and callsign to firstname.lastname@example.org You can also ask a question on the night via the live chat. This is an important event – do join it live on Monday via the RSGB YouTube channel. To find out more about the Consultation and this event go to the RSGB website at rsgb.org/licencereview You can watch a recording of the first Tonight@8 event on the Ofcom Consultation via the RSGB’s YouTube channel.
The 2023 Youngsters on the Air, or YOTA, summer camp in Hungary began this weekend and lasts for a week. The four young people representing the RSGB are Alexander Du Rose, 2E0FMZ who is the Team Leader; Henry-James Robinson, M7HJR; Hannah Lee, M7YYQ; and Jake Saul, M7JNS. Each day, they will be sharing news of the activities they enjoy and the amateur radio skills they learn. Take a look at their updates over the coming week on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/yota-hungary and read their fuller report in the October issue of RadCom.
As part of the RSGB’s commitment to encourage youngsters into amateur radio and to support lifelong learning, the Society is providing resources and creating coding activities for people to get involved in throughout the month of September 2023. From the BBC Micro:bit to Node-RED and GNU Radio, there are some great activities you could try yourself with your club or arrange at a local school or community group. If you are an experienced coder, the Society would like you to support this initiative by passing on your enthusiasm to a local school or STEM club with the help of the suggested activities. If you are new to coding and have no idea what Python is or a Raspberry Pi, then the activities will set you on the path of discovery! Find out more on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/coding. If you would like to get involved, contact ESRG member John Hislop, G7OHO via email@example.com
The RSGB has responded to an Ofcom consultation on licensing Enhanced Long-Range Navigation, or eLoran, systems. This would use a new network of 400kW EIRP transmissions at around 90 to 110kHz to provide an alternative to GPS for Position, Navigation and Timing, or PNT. The response, which can be found on the RSGB’s Spectrum Forum webpages, focussed on the high levels of out-of-band emissions that would affect the weak signal 136kHz amateur allocation, as well as transparency on transmitter licensing. The consultation response can be viewed by visiting thersgb.org/go/sfpapers
Part 1 of the British Amateur Television Club’s Convention for Amateur TV 2023, or CAT 23, is taking place today, 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 are 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 is taking place today, Sunday the 6th of August. The venue is 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 are trade stands and a bring-and-buy area. On-site catering is available. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit klarc.org.uk
Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club’s 28th annual mini-rally night will take place on Friday the 11th of August. It will be held in the Community Centre, Main Hall, Port Seton from 6 pm to 9 pm. Tables will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. The entrance fee is £2 for everyone. Disabled access and food will be available. For more information email email@example.com
The Flight Refuelling Amateur Radio Society Hamfest will be held on Sunday the 13th of August from 9 am to 4 pm. The venue will be Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3DA. Admission is £5 and this includes parking. Talk-in will be on 145.550MHz. On-site catering, bar facilities and an RSGB Bookstall will be available. At the landowner’s request, no dogs, except guide dogs, are allowed on site. Indoor and field pitches are available and car-boot traders are welcome from 7 am. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit frars.co.uk or phone 07743 475 018.
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
9A66AA is the special callsign that Tom, 9A2AA will be using throughout 2023 to mark his 66th year in amateur radio. QSL via Tom’s home call.
9M8SOTA and 9M8BOTA are the special callsigns that 9M8HAZ and others will be using during 2023 while operating from various mountains and beaches in Sarawak, East Malaysia. QSL for both callsigns via 9M8HAZ directly, Logbook of the World and Club Log.
Now the DX news
Anton, RG0C will be active as RG0C/P from the Shantar Islands, AS-044, and surrounding area, until the 10th of August. He will operate low power CW on 20m. QSL via home call.
Mek, SP7VC and Kasia, SQ7OYL will be active as OY/SP7VC from Iceland until the 17th of August. Look for activity on the 20, 6, 4 and 2m bands.
Frans, DJ0TP will be active as TK/DJ0TP from the main island of Corsica, EU-014, until the 3rd of September. QSL via DJ0TP’s home call and Logbook the World.
Now the contest news
The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon ends its three-month run today, Sunday the 6th of August. Using all modes on the 6m band, the exchange is your four-character locator.
Also today, Sunday the 6th, 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. UK and Crown Dependency stations send the first two letters of their postcode.
On Tuesday, the 8th of August, the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. Using FM on the 70cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
This is followed by the 432MHz UK Activity Contest which runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 70cm band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the 9th of August, the 432MHz FT8 Activity four-hour Contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 70cm band, the exchange is report and four-character locator. Also on Wednesday the 9th of August, the 432MHz FT8 Activity two-hour Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. Using FT8 on the 70cm band, the exchange is report and four-character locator. Stations entering the four-hour contest may also enter the two-hour contest.
On Thursday the 10th of August, the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 6m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Thursday the 3rd of August 2023
The Sun continued to be very active over the last week with a large number of sunspots, numerous C- and M-class flares, and a coronal mass ejection or two.
A coronal mass ejection is predicted to hit Earth this weekend, which could see the Kp index rise, but this is not expected to be too extensive.
Active region 3380 expanded in both size and magnetic complexity, firing off numerous solar flares. Luckily it is now rotating out of view so is no longer a threat.
The Solar Flux Index remained above 170 all week with a sunspot number of 135 on Thursday. Don’t forget that this doesn’t mean there were 135 sunspots, as each group counts ten towards the total. Three sunspots in three groups equals thirty plus three, or thirty-three.
Geomagnetic conditions were mixed with one period giving a Kp index of four, and many when it was over three.
The main DX being chased this week wasn’t actually too far away. The 1A0C station at the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which confusingly is actually in Rome, gave amateurs plenty of opportunity to add to their band slot totals. The station was raising money for humanitarian charitable projects and was easy to work from the UK.
Next week NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Centre thinks the Solar Flux Index will remain in the 165 to 170 region. The Kp index shouldn’t rise above three, although that rather depends on whether we have any coronal mass ejections.
There are also signs that we are starting to leave the Summer HF doldrums. MUFs over a 3,000km path have occasionally gone over 28MHz at times. But we are still a long way from Autumn HF conditions, despite the weather!
And now the VHF and up propagation news
The unsettled weather is here for a little longer, but there may be an end in sight as we move through the second half of next week.
To begin, there will be areas of low pressure in control bringing rain or showers and more rain scatter on the GHz bands.
Midweek, the high edges in from the west and remains close to the southeast into the next weekend, but lows and weather fronts will probably return to the western areas by the end of the week. Nonetheless, this should be a period of Tropo for many areas, if only temporarily for western areas.
Meteor scatter could be good with a steady advance towards the peak of the Perseids on the 12th and 13th of August. It might even be warm enough to stand outside in the southeast and listen to the pings while watching the evening sky for meteor trails!
Aurora can’t be discounted either should the Kp index show higher values than, say, 5 and there have been a number of auroral contacts reported by Nordic stations over the last week.
In August there is still some Sporadic-E to be had as luckily the jet stream pattern is still quite busy giving ample triggers for Sporadic-E due to the turbulence they create. As often mentioned, a good time to check, if you are a busy person, is around teatime or late afternoon.
Moon declination goes positive on Saturday so Moon visibility windows will lengthen throughout the week. We are past perigee so path losses are rising again. 144MHz sky noise is low but rising, reaching moderate levels next weekend.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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