This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for April 14th 2019.

Posted on April 12th, 2019


Sunday 14th April 2019


The news headlines:

  • Artistic SSTV from Iceland

  • ML&S sponsors Radio Caroline

  • GB2RS Manager Ken Hatton, G3VBA, SK


Until the 29th of April, as part of an art installation in Iceland by Lucy Helton, KD2MFV, SSTV images will be transmitted by TF3JA. The images, appropriated from the Reykjavik Museum of Photography’s collection, are of Icelandic glaciers photographed many years ago. Amateur radio operators who receive these transmissions are being asked to print out the images received and post them back to Lucy, using instructions on the website In exchange, when she has assembled the printed pieces to reconstruct the whole image transmitted, QSLs of the completed images will be sent back to the participating amateurs. Each single transmission consists of 12 SSTV images and five different glacier images will be transmitted over 15 days. Look for USB signals on 14.230MHz at 1300, 1800 and 2300UTC.

Over the Easter Weekend of the 18th to 21st of April, Martin Lynch of ML&S is sponsoring broadcasts transmitted from Radio Caroline in memory of his old employee Graeme Platts, G4XOF, who passed away last November due to cancer. One of Graeme’s last ‘bucket list’ visits was to the ship itself arranged by Martin. The history of Radio Caroline is an interesting one being one of the most famous Pirate Radio Stations in the 1960s. There are several radio amateurs on the ship and the full history can be seen on their website. Listen on 648kHz AM or via their website,

Sad news next. Ken Hatton, G3VBA, the GB2RS Manager, became silent key at the end of last week. He was appointed as GB2RS Manager on the 1st of January 2014, taking over from Gordon Adams, G3LEQ. Ken will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park will be holding its first-ever ElectroJumble on Sunday the 21st of April. Over the years they have accumulated many pieces of electronic apparatus and components that are surplus to requirements. Items for sale will include test equipment, military items, domestic radios, telecommunication equipment and vintage components. Details can be found via

The IARUMS Region 1 Newsletter for March 2019 is now available at The Monitoring System report includes details of intruders on the amateur bands from Richard, G4DYA, the Intruder Watch Coordinator who runs the RSGB Monitoring System.

GB2DAY is on the air for its final day today, the 14th, to promote the opening of the Teleprinter Building at Bletchley Park, which houses a fantastic D-DAY exhibition entitled Interception / Intelligence / Invasion. The new exhibition is open as part of the general admission to Bletchley Park museum, located near Milton Keynes. RSGB members can gain free access to Bletchley Park and the National Radio Centre by downloading and printing a voucher from the RSGB website. See for instructions.

The RSGB has released a vintage silent black and white video of an Amateur Radio Direction Finding field day. The video, called D/F Field Day North of the Thames, May 18th 1947, was filmed at Chipping Barnet. It has been added to the many amateur radio videos that can be viewed on the Society’s YouTube channel,

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

We have been asked to clarify definitively that the Andover rally is on the 28th of April and NOT on the 18th, as has been reported incorrectly by some non-RSGB sources.

Today, the 14th, the West London Radio & Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames TW16 5AQ. A talk-in station will be on air. Car parking is free and doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy as well as special interest groups and lectures. Catering is available on site. More details from Paul, M0CJX on 08451 650 351.

Also today, the 14th, the Hack Green Bunker Rally will be held at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Hack Green, near Nantwich, Baddington, Cheshire CW5 8AL. It is a sale of electronic equipment, amateur gear, components, military radio items and vehicle spares. Doors open 10am, and there will be refreshments available onsite. Contact 01270 623 353 for more information.

The Ripon Radio Rally, on the 14th, will take place in Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, HG4 2PT. Doors open at 10am. Refreshments will be available on site. Information and a table booking form are at

There are no rallies in the diary for Easter weekend. The next ones are on the 28th at Blackpool and Andover.

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.

And now the DX news from 425 DX News and other sources

Mart, DL6UAA will be on the air as OH0UA from the Aland Islands, IOTA reference EU-002, until the 19th of April. He will operate on CW and digital and QSLs go via his home callsign.

Chris, VK3FY and Dindo, DU1UD will be active as 4E8T from Tawi Tawi Island, OC-174, from the 19th to the 23rd of April. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 40 to 20m bands. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS.

Evert, PA2KW will be active as 5T2KW from Nouadhibou, Mauritania until the 19th of April. Operating as a guest at the QTH of 5T5PA, he will use CW and maybe some SSB. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, preferred, and Logbook of The World.

There will be some IOTA activity from Djibouti in the coming weeks. Christian, EA3NT with MM0NDX and MM0OKG and will travel to Sept Freres Island, IOTA AF-059. They hope to be on the island from the 16th to the 18th of April using the callsign J20DX. This will be followed by activity from Moucha Island, IOTA AF-053, on the 18th and 19th of April signing J20DX/P. Dates may vary due to local conditions.

Now the special event news

A special event station to commemorate the Battle of Culloden will be on the air on the 16th and 17th of April from the Highland Astronomical Society, Culloden Battlefield, Culloden Moor, Inverness IV2 5EU. Using the callsign GB0BOC, the station will be on the air from 9am to 8pm.

GB0GKA, operated by Tony, G3ZRJ, and GB0GKB, operated by Larry, G4HLN, will be representing Portishead Radio during this year’s Maritime Radio Day. The event will run from 1200UTC on the 14th of April until 2200UTC on the 15th.

Special callsigns 4Z64EURO, 4X64S, 4X64O, 4X64N and 4X64G will be active from the 18th of April to the 18th of May for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel between the 14th and 18th of May. QSLs via Logbook of The World and eQSL. Certificates will be available for download, see 4Z64EURO on for the rules.

Please send special event details to, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK special event callsign stations must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.

Now the contest news

Today, the 14th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 and 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number locator and Postcode.

Also today, the 14th, the Worked All Britain Data Contest runs from 1000 to 2200UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz contest bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB number.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 23cm band the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the First Machine Generated Mode Contest runs from 1400UTC on the 20th to 1400UTC on the 21st. Using MGM on the 50 and 144MHz bands the exchange is signal report and four-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4DDK on Friday the 12th of April.

This has been a difficult time for HF. The solar wind has remained active and the Bz component exhibited several periods of prolonged southward deflection, meaning it more easily coupled with the Earth’s magnetic field. Solar wind speed ranged mostly from 425-475km per second and this was enough to keep the Kp index elevated, often to four. The net result was that conditions were pretty rotten, with even 14MHz struggling to open at times. However, the solar flux did increase to 78 thanks to the return of sunspot number 2738. This is large, but appears to be only producing very minor B-Class flares. An isolated C-Flare may also be possible.

Next week should be more settled, geomagnetically, with a maximum Kp index of two and solar flux of 74. If the solar wind drops we may expect fair HF conditions next week.

This current solar cycle had a peak average of 82 sunspots. The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel experts have just said the next may have a slow start, but is anticipated to peak with solar maximum occurring between 2023 and 2026, and a sunspot range of 95 to 130. This is well below the average number of sunspots, which typically ranges from 140 to 220 sunspots per solar cycle.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It seems that high pressure remains firmly in control to the north of Britain and over Scandinavia for much of the coming week. This would normally mean that Tropo should get a mention, certainly for eastern areas, but the air mass is fairly dry and therefore not ideal for producing the required change in refractive index needed for Tropo.

In the south and west there will be some spells of rain and a possibility of some rain scatter, but it will also be rather windy at times. There should be a trend later next week for a more moist and warmer flow to cross the North Sea and this could introduce extensive misty low cloud along the east coast. This is exactly what’s needed for better Tropo prospects in eastern areas.

We are rapidly approaching the Sporadic-E season and should start to see some paths on 10m and possibly 6m opening up within Europe. It is worth checking the clusters and beacons for band activity. Digital modes like FT8 will benefit first, but it is possible that SSB and CW will start to show in the second half of the month. The typical early paths are often out to the eastern Mediterranean and over the Pyrenees, usually just out of reach from the UK, but a good sign should they occur.

Although the Lyrids meteor shower does not peak until next week, the first indications of the shower will begin to be noticed around the 16th of April, probably with a gradual increase in the number of meteors encountered growing during the forthcoming week. Don’t expect great things this week, but do keep an eye on the ON4KST chat for reports of meteor bursts. Better still, keep listening on one of the more distant 6m, 4m or 2m beacons for the occasional ping.

As the moon declination decreases during the week, 144MHz moon background sky noise gradually increases. However, path degradation is low due to the moon’s closest approach, or perigee, on the 17th. Libration is also low on the 17th and this will help 1296MHz EME, as CW characters will be less ‘chopped’. The 17th would be good day to try EME.

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