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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 7th. May 2017.

Posted on May 5th, 2017



Sunday 7th May 2017

The news headlines:

  • New D-Star software released

  • More countries get 60m

  • Ofcom website maintenance

The RS-RP3C gateway software or D-Star repeaters that is being rolled out across the globe is now available from Icom UK. The new software has significant improvements over its previous version. The software will be provided free of charge on CD to Repeater Keepers with Icom repeater hardware. For more information about D-Star, visit or for information on the software email

More countries are permitting access to the 60m band. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba has allocated 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with secondary status to Full licensees. The band has footnote 5.133B that limits the power in the Caribbean region of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to 25 watts EIRP. Amateurs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have access to a secondary allocation of 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with a footnote that says the maximum power permitted is 15W EIRP.

We have been informed that the Ofcom amateur radio licencing portal is down for maintenance from 6pm on Thursday the 5th until 9pm on Sunday the 7th.

SOTA operators have planned their next Europe to North America – Summit to Summit activity for Saturday the 13th of May between 1200 and 1800UTC. Likely bands are 20m and 17m CW and SSB. Alerts of which summits are expected to be activated, plus real time spotting, will be available at nearer to the date.

Bookings for the RSGB Convention are now open online at Whether you want to book a single day ticket or a weekend package, all options are available. Details on lectures will be available soon with a variety of subject matter from DXpeditions to the latest technology and space matters to contesting.

Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD has confirmed that the plans are in place for an ARISS contact during YOTA 2017 week in August. He will be visiting Gilwell Park soon as part of the preparations and the ARISS team from the Principia mission will be available to run the contact in August.

Bletchley Park is to celebrate the centenary of Bill Tutte's birth. There will be a series of lectures exploring the life and works of the renowned mathematician and codebreaker on the 14th of May from 10am to 3.30pm. Guest speakers include: Bletchley Park Research Historian Dr David Kenyon, BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera, Claire Butterfield from the Bill Tutte Memorial Fund, GCHQ Historian Tony Comer and Dr David Bedford, School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University. See the Bletchley Park website at for booking details.

The Camb-Hams will be active as GS3PYE/P from Islay Island between the 6th and 12th of May. Ten or more operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 80m to 4m as well as 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for moonbounce. The HF bands will be covered by four simultaneous stations while the 6m and 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit. EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m, primarily on JT65. All the up-to-date plans, progress and sked info will be online at

According to an article in Taipei Times, the National Communications Commission in Taiwan has proposed to abolish the amateur radio Morse code requirement and to permit operation on 432-440MHz on a secondary basis, among other changes to the amateur radio rules there. Although the NCC has approved the amendments, it must put them on public notice for two months and then make any changes it considers necessary, before they take effect.

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

Today, the 7th of May, the Dambusters Hamfest will be held at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall, Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PL. This is an outside event with limited room inside. Entry is £3 per person and accompanied under 12s are free. The admission charge also allows visitors to enter the museum. The venue is all on one level, with access to all buildings for wheel chairs etc. There is full catering on site, with a hot food van and the NAFFI. There will be an RSGB bookstall. For details please contact Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

The Scottish Amateur Radio and Electronics Convention takes place today, the 7th of May, at Braehead Arena, Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Talk-in will be available on S22. The venue has disabled access and free car parking, including access to the Braehead Shopping Centre. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm. Entry is £4. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall and the GMDX group. There will be talks during the day. Club tables are £10, pre-booked only. For more information phone 0759 344 1518.

The 36th Lough Erne ARC rally will take place on the 14th of May at the Share Centre, Smiths Strand, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0JZ. Doors open at 11.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. Details from Mark Mullaney, EI4HDB, by email to

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

Ivan, LZ1PJ will be on the air as S79J from Mahe Island in the Seychelles, IOTA reference AF-024, until the 10th of May. Activity will be on CW on the HF bands and 6m. QSL to his home callsign.

Martin, MW0BRO will operate as A7/MW0BRO in Qatar. He will be there until the 18th of May and will be transmitting from the Qatar Amateur Radio Society club station in Doha. He plans to be mainly on CW on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Gab, HB9TSW will operate from Slatina Air Base in Pristina, Kosovo until the 23rd of May. He will use CW on 40m to 10m and the callsign Z68BG. QSOs with Kosovo do not count for the DXCC Award at the present time.

Harald, DF2WO is on the air until June 8 as D44TWO from the Cape Verde islands, AF-005. He is operating on the 80m to 6m bands with a hex beam and vertical antennas. QSL via M0OXO.

Doug, W6HB and Bruce, AD7MM will be operating as E51DLD and E51BAS respectively from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, until the 12th of May. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using SSB. QSL direct to their home callsigns.

Now the special event news

Burton Amateur Radio Club will be taking part in Mills on the Air on the 13th and 14th from Claymills Pumping Station, operating as GB3NFC on 40m, 20m and 2m FM and SSB.

Bangor District ARS will take part in Mills on the Air from Ballycopland Windmill, Millisle BT22 2DS on the 13th from 9am to 6pm.

South Essex Amateur Radio Society will operate from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED on the 14th from 10am to 4pm.

CS2POPE will be on the air from the 8th to the 14th of May to commemorate the visit of Pope Francis to Portugal.

GB2SMP will be on the air on the 14th of May from Solihull Mill Pool, Solihull as part of Mills on the Air.

Worthing and District Amateur Radio Club and High Salvington Mill Trust will be activating High Salvington Windmill for Mills on the Air 2017 under the callsign GB0HSM. The station will be operating on both Saturday the 13th of May and Sunday the 14th, when the Mill and grounds will also be opening to the visiting public.

Now the contest news

Ending its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 6th, the ARI International DX contest uses phone and RTTY on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Italian stations also giving their Province code.

The UK Microwave Group low band contests runs from 0800 to 1400UTC today, the 7th of May. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for this weekend, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC today, the 7th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also send their County.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the 43MHz UK Activity Contest, which runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. It’s FM only for the first contest and all modes for the second. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Championships Data leg from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 14th the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 40m phone contest takes place next Sunday, the 14th of May from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 4th of June. Full details are at

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 5th of May.

Last week saw the solar flux index in the mid-70s with only one sunspot group visible, slap bang in the middle of the disk. Conditions were more settled geomagnetically with the K index actually resting at zero at times on Wednesday and Thursday. This was due to a lack of coronal hole activity, although one did become almost Earth-facing on Wednesday, which meant there was a chance that a high speed solar wind stream could possibly hit the Earth around Friday 5th May.

The settled conditions helped the bands a lot with reports of Pacific and Alaskan openings from the UK on 20m in the mornings. However, maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path generally stayed around 14MHz, although there were occasional openings on the higher bands.

Sporadic-E openings should soon start to make an appearance, which will add some interest to otherwise flat bands. The C30P 10 metre beacon in Andorra has already been heard on 28.256MHz. A link to a full beacon list can be found on the RSGB website by searching for “HF Beacons”

Although normally associated with six and 10 metres, the effects of a Sporadic-E event can often be seen from 7MHz upwards.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the mid-70s and geomagnetic conditions will be mainly settled.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

As we said earlier, it’s May, and at last the Sporadic-E season is under way! There have been several openings across Europe and some paths hooking into parts of the UK, especially on 10m and 6m. The general rule for operating this mode is to start checking the beacons and clusters for signs of activity. As well as 10 metres, a six metre beacon list can also be found on the RSGB website.

It is often the case that the longest DX paths are when the band first opens, since the Sporadic-E layers gradually descend with time. The peak times are late morning and late afternoon/early evening.

We also have the chance of some Tropo next week with a ridge of high pressure over the country. The best paths appear to be oriented down the length of the country, and beyond over Biscay to Western France and northern Spain.

Most models suggest the high declining to leave space for low pressure to develop towards the end of the week and perhaps some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Moon declination goes negative today and losses are high as we approach apogee on Friday, so it is a week to concentrate on Sporadic E for DX opportunities.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is under way and should have peaked early Sunday morning, but continues through to the 20th of May. But remember that for the Northern hemisphere, the radiant is low in the sky.

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