Sunday 8th January 2017
The news headlines:
Happy New Year from RSGB
GB2RS 5MHz time change
Act now to get elected
The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind everyone that the deadline for news items is 10am on Thursday mornings and we welcome your news every week. Please send all information to firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to include your FULL club name, RSGB region, event details and – most importantly – contact details. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website on Friday afternoons.
Due to ongoing propagation changes, the team of 5MHz GB2RS Newsreaders has decided to revise the time of the Sunday afternoon GB2RS News bulletin in order to try and optimise reception conditions. The new transmission time will be 1500UTC. Please note that this is UTC and not local time, which is to cater for seasonal propagation and clock changes. The transmission frequency remains unchanged at 5398.5kHz USB. It is hoped to commence the change from the 22nd of January transmission.
This is the time of year when we call for volunteers to step forward for election at the RSGB AGM, which will take place at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff on 22 April 2017. In 2017 the RSGB will be looking to appoint one elected Board Director, one nominated Board Director and five Regional Managers. Regions 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 are open for volunteers whether the current Regional Manager is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies, together with nomination forms, are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/elections2017 or paperwork can be obtained by post from the General Manager at RSGB HQ. Completed papers, with their supporting signatures, must be received by noon on 1 February 2017.
On Friday the 27th of January there is a free-to-attend, invitation-only, event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS entitled The Evolution Of Television From Baird To The Digital Age. It is a series of talks in ‘celebration’ of the first public demonstration of television in January 1926 at 22 Frith Street by John Logie Baird. Registration, with coffee, will be from 10.30am. To request an invitation ticket, go to www.ieee-ukandireland.org/baird The event will be associated with the formal unveiling on the previous afternoon of an IEEE History Milestone Plaque to be mounted in Frith Street.
As of 1400UTC on the 15th of January, the ARRL’s Logbook of The World will no longer accept contacts that have been digitally signed by versions of TQSL earlier than version 2.0. Users of earlier versions are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible, as older TQSL versions contain uncorrected defects and display inaccurate error messages. The current versions of TQSL for Windows, OS X, and Linux are available online. This action does not affect data already uploaded to LoTW; all QSOs remain in the LoTW database in perpetuity.
The 14th IARU World High Speed Telegraphy Championship will be host by Hungarian radio amateur society, MRASZ. It will take place from 13 to 17 September 2017. All information regarding the event can be found on the web page of the championship, www.hst2017.org
The new Radio Amateur HF Propagation Prediction tool, as mentioned previously in RadCom, is now fully available. The URL is www.predtest.uk New features include various colour schemes for the plots allowing users with colour preferences to make the best viewing choice for themselves. If you have any comments or suggestions please email Gwyn Williams, G4FKH, via email@example.com.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
The Red Rose Winter Rally, organised by West Manchester Radio Club, takes place on the 15th of January at Lowton Civic Centre, Hesketh Meadow Lane, WA3 2AH, just off the A580 East Lancs Road. Doors open at 11am and car parking is free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Further details from John, on 07870 161953.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
A group of Brazilian operators will be active as ZZ8P from Poldros Island, IOTA reference SA-072, between the 14th and 18th of January. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB and the digital modes. QSL via PT2GTI, direct, by the Bureau, Club Log or Logbook of the World.
Steve, G0SGB will be active as ZC4SB from various locations within Cyprus, AS-004, between the 11th and 25th of January. He will operate SSB and CW mainly on 80, 40 and 20 metres. QSL via his home callsign, direct only.
JH6WDG is on the air as T88AQ from Koror Island, IOTA OC-009, until the 13th of January. Activity is on 160 to 6m using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.
DJ2EH will be on the air as TG9/DJ2EH in Guatemala from the 10th to the 24th of January. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and RTTY. QSL to his home callsign.
Rich, K8NDS will be operating as V31RF from the 9th of January to the 6th of February. Activity will be on 40, 20 and 17 metres using SSB. QSL via operator’s instructions.
Now the special event news
GB2KW will be on the air from the 1st to the 28th of January using vintage KW Electronics Ltd equipment. See the GB2KW listing on QRZ.com for full information.
Humber Fortress DX ARC in Hull has organised a year's multi club activation to celebrate Hull as the UK City of Culture 2017. Ofcom have kindly granted the callsign GB0HCC for the whole year using the standard NoV format of 28 days; each club will apply for the relevant 28 day portion of the year, to follow on from the previous club. Humber Fortress will be starting the year off. Look for them on the 40 and 80m bands.
Canadian radio amateurs can use special callsign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 2017. Those whose regular callsigns start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix, VE will be able to use the CG prefix, VO will be able to use the CH prefix and those with VY will be able to use the CI prefix.
Now the contest news
The UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon continues on 6m until the end of January. Details are on the UKSMG.org website.
The ARRL RTTY Roundup runs for 30 hours until 2359 on the 8th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with US stations sending their State and Canadians their Province.
Today, the 8th, the CW AFS takes place from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 and 7MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Tuesday the Low Power 432MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also on Tuesday the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday it’s the 50MHz UK Activity Contest, which runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Saturday, the 14th, the SSB AFS contest runs from 1400 to 1800UTC. Using SSB only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of January.
Firstly, a happy new year to all. We’ve got off to a bad start with a massive coronal hole on the sun that has rewarded us with dire predictions for the period up to the 8th of January. We can expect the K index to hit four or five at times with a consequent lowering of maximum useable frequencies and noisy HF conditions. This is not being helped by a complete lack of sunspots, depressing the solar flux index into the low 70s.
As a result daytime critical frequencies over the UK are struggling to exceed five to six megahertz at times. This means that 60 and 80 metres are often the best bands for inter-G working, with 40 metres mainly being reserved for long-skip contacts into Europe.
On longer distance contacts, although 20 metres is the best all-round band, we are often seeing longer-range 17m openings around lunchtime and early afternoon. However, we are still in the winter Sporadic-E season. Although these openings can be short-lived and unreliable, it is worth checking the 10 metre beacons every now and again.
Over the next week the K index is predicted to dip to around two or three, with the solar flux index remaining in the mid seventies.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
At the start of next week we have high pressure over the near continent, so perhaps some weak tropospheric openings into Europe may appear for southern stations. It will need some moisture at the surface underneath the inversion to make conditions work, so look for mist and fog or a blanket of cloud to show the presence of moisture near the inversion. Remember, it’s the contrast of moisture across the inversion that allows the duct to work.
Deepening lows will then cross to the north of Scotland and drive colder, drier air south again, along with very strong winds at times. This will effectively finish any Tropo after midweek.
In view of the active lows later in the week, there will also be some strong jet stream activity at times, which is always worth noting as a potential marker for some of the rarer mid-winter Sporadic-E.
The short, but intense, Quadrantids meteor shower is past its peak, so continue to look for the dawn peak in random activity. We are now heading into the winter minimum for meteor activity. Moon declination is high all week and losses are low, with perigee on Tuesday. So it is a good week for EME.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.