The final results of the third round of the Youngsters On The Air Contest in 2021 are now available. They can now be found on ham-yota.com/contest. Throughout the three legs of the contest, the organisers received nearly 700 logs from all over the world, including many from those under the age of 26. In 2022 the three sessions will be taking place on the 21st of May between 0800 and 1959UTC, then on the 23rd of July between 1000 and 2159UTC. The final round takes place in YOTA month, on the 30th of December between 1200 and 2359UTC.
On the 18th of April, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. You can read more about the event and download posters and other publicity material for any special event station you may be planning, from iaru.org.
Just a reminder that voting is still open in the RSGB AGM. There are three resolutions to vote for including the endorsement of two Nominated Board Directors. They have been put forward by the RSGB Nominations Committee but it is RSGB Members who choose whether or not to endorse them. The Society encourages all members to read the CVs and personal statements of the Nominated Directors and then follow the voting links to cast a vote. On the RSGB AGM web pages, you can also see the RSGB Report and Accounts and submit a question for the RSGB Board to answer at the online AGM. Go to rsgb.org/agm to find all the information and links you need. Please use your vote.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games start on the 28th of July. Over 5,000 athletes will converge on Birmingham and the surrounding area from an estimated 72 hosts to compete over 12 days as part of the Games. The RSGB is organising a number of activities to support the event, including a special event station on the grounds of the National Exhibition Centre. The Society wants to showcase amateur radio to the athletes and public for as much of the Games as possible and will need a large number of volunteers to operate the station and chat with visitors. Due to the location of the station, operators will only be able to access the Games by train and participants will be security checked as part of the accreditation process. If you’d like to help operate the station during the Games, contact RSGB Region 5 Representative Neil Yorke, M0NKE: email@example.com.
We have received news via Charles, M0OXO from Gennady, UX5UO, the Ukrainian QSL Printer used by many. Gennady says that he is OK and still trading. You can see more at ux5uoqsl.com.
The 2nd of April 2022 marked the 40th anniversary of the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. On that day in 1982, Bob, VP8LP, living at Goose Green, was hearing on a local VHF net that invading troops could be seen in the streets of Port Stanley. He was surprised to find that there was no mention of this by the BBC. Bob spoke to Laurie, G3UML in the BBC Ariel Radio Group radio room in the building next to Broadcasting House. This was probably the first confirmation of the invasion. Bob and Laurie have remained in touch ever since. On the 2nd of April this year, the two friends met up again on the air to relive their contact of 40 years previous, this time using the BBC centenary callsign GB100BBC. A feature about the original contact was broadcast on the 3rd of April during Radio 4’s ‘Broadcasting House’ programme. You can listen back to this via BBC Sounds. Laurie was also the guest presenter on last Tuesday’s RSGB webinar Tonight@8 in which he talked about his historic contact with VP8LP as well the recent reconstruction. You can watch the Tonight@8 presentation at rsgb.org/webinars.
Belgium's national society, the UBA, has joined other national Amateur Radio societies in banning amateurs from Russia and Belarus from their contests. See uba.be for full details.
And now for details of rallies and events
Please send your rally and event news as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publicise your event in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online.
Today, the 10th of April, the Lincoln Short Wave Club Spring Rally will be at Festival Hall, Caistor Road, Market Rasen LN8 3HT. Entry is £2 per person. The doors open at 10 am or 30 minutes earlier for disabled visitors. There is ample free car parking and refreshments will be available. Free Wi-Fi is available on site.
On the 24th of April, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held in Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge CB22 6RN.
Now the DX news
Max, ON5UR and Erik, ON4ANN are part of a 15-strong team operating from Svalbard, EU026, between the 19th and 26th of April. There will be five stations on all HF bands in different modes, CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8-FT4. They hope to be the first to activate EU026 on QO-100. More at dx-adventure.com.
Jean-Louis, F5NHJ will be visiting Noumea, New Caledonia, OC-032, until the 11th of June. He plans to be active holiday style as FK/F5NHJ and operate CW, SSB and digital modes. The log will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and eQSL.
Rick, HC1MD and Maria, HC1MM will be active as HD8MD and HD8MM respectively from Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, SA-004, on the 14th of April. They will operate CW, SSB, FT4 and FT8 on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World and K8LJG.
Bodo, DF8DX will be active as IS0/DF8DX from the main island of Sardinia, EU-024, until the 16th of April. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, via the bureau or direct.
A team of three will be active as VK9NT from Norfolk Island, OC-005, between the 14th of and 25th of April. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 10 to 160m bands. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS. Updates will be posted to VK9NT's page on qrz.com.
Now the Special Event news
Final preparations for GB1BB are now underway at the Isle of Wight Radio Society. A crew of three young operators will, weather permitting, operate on 70cm through GB3IW; on 2m FM simplex; and on the 80m or 40m band using SSB. This Special Event Station is highly unusual in that it will be established on the Bramble Bank, a sand bar 3km north of Cowes, which is usually underwater. Twice a year, around the times of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, extreme spring tides uncover the bank and a small island appears for about an hour. Look out for GB1BB around 6 am or 6 pm, on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, or Tuesday the 19th of April. Activation will occur in only one of those time slots. G4ZUP/MM and G6RTE/MM may well be heard before and after the event. For the latest information and expected operating times, check iowrs.org.
Flight Refuelling ARS will be operating from the club station using GB2FRA to celebrate the club’s 40th anniversary. It is intended that the callsign will be used on all the bands and modes that are available from the club shack including 10GHz EME. Operations will run throughout April.
Medway Amateur Receiving and Transmitting Society will operate GB5MW between the 3rd and 30th of April to celebrate the society's centenary year. QSL via eQSL.
Now the contest news
Four contests are scheduled to take place today, the 10th of April.
The Spring 50MHz contest takes place between 0900 and 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next is the UK Microwave group Low Band contest running between 1000 and 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The Worked All Britain data contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC and from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your WAB reference.
Finally, the RoLo SSB contest runs between 1900 and 2030UTC. Using SSB on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is the signal report and the locator you received.
On Monday, the FT4 Series of contests runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is your 4-character locator.
On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest between 1900 and 2130UTC. The exchange for both is a signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday it is the 432MHz FT8 Activity Contest running from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your report and your 4-character locator.
On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The YUDX Contest runs from 0700UTC on the 16th of April to 0659UTC on the 17th. Full details can be found by searching for YUDX Contest.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 8th of April 2022.
We had another week of high-ish solar flux numbers, but this time we had relatively settled geomagnetic conditions that really allowed the ionosphere to play ball for radio amateurs.
The week started well with the SFI above 140, which then declined as the week went on and was at 117 on Thursday. The maximum Kp index was four on Sunday and Monday, which then declined to one and two as the week went on, before going back to four on Thursday. It looks like the faint CME generated by a filament eruption on the 3rd of April did not reach Earth, which was a bonus.
A new report from NASA has confirmed that Solar Cycle 25 is racing ahead of the official forecast and the gap is growing. Sunspot counts have now exceeded predictions for 18 straight months. The monthly value at the end of March was more than twice the forecast and the highest in nearly seven years. The Solar Cycle Prediction Panel predicted that Solar Cycle 25 would peak in July 2025 as a relatively weak cycle, but instead, the cycle is shaping up to be stronger.
Conditions have been quite good with many reports coming in of DX on the HF bands. John, G4BAO reports that 10m has been rocking this week. There have been daily morning openings to Asia and Australia, plus South America and the Caribbean later in the day.
And Chris, G1WSA reports 20m QSOs with N3SJL and then VK7RG. The interesting part is that Chris was only using a short Diamond HF20FX 1.2m whip on a mag mount on his car.
Next week, NOAA’s prediction has the solar flux at 115 for most of the time, perhaps rising to 120 as the week progresses. A small Earth-facing coronal hole might spell unsettled geomagnetic conditions this weekend, and NOAA forecasts unsettled geomagnetic conditions for the 11th and 12th with a predicted Kp index of four.
So possibly more of the same next week - try to make the most of the good HF conditions.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
Last week ended with a cold northerly wind, but with developing high pressure for the weekend a chance of some Tropo, although in cold and often dry air like this, it is rarely very effective.
As we move into the new week a slow-moving front drifts across the country from the Atlantic with some rain and perhaps a hint of rain scatter where the front breaks up into showery bursts of rain in southern Britain. The rest of the week will be largely controlled by slack ridges of high pressure, despite a temporary weak front reaching northwest Scotland for a time.
The weak ridging probably develops further into the Easter weekend with a region of high pressure over the country. Some models hold the new high farther south over France and may allow further fronts to edge into Scotland.
The usual bonuses of random meteor scatter and aurora are still in play given the right circumstances, as is the arrival of some early Sporadic-E as we move into the second half of April.
This could be aided by a very busy upper air pattern offering plenty of jet streams, which can be associated with Es formation regions. Check out 10m first and then 6m, especially for data modes.
Moon declination is at maximum this weekend and declining as the week goes on, so again, Moon windows are long and peak Moon elevation will be high. Apogee was last Thursday so path losses will decrease throughout the week. 144MHz sky noise is low all week, reaching a minimum of 174K on Monday.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.