GB2RS

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 22nd 2021.

August 20, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 22nd August 2021

The news headlines:

  • Latest Convention details released
  • Members’ free entry to Bletchley resumes
  • Megacycle Ride reaches northern Scotland

The RSGB has announced further details of its online Convention, which will be held on Saturday the 9th of October. The event will be streamed live on the Society’s YouTube channel. Dan, M0WUT will be focusing on hand-soldering techniques that will allow you to tackle all but the most challenging of components. If levels of interference at home are a problem, Michael, G0POT will look at taking your station out into the countryside and how to make it effective. Whether you're new to amateur radio or have been enjoying it for years, do put the 9th of October in your diary. You can find more information at rsgb.org/convention.

The RSGB is delighted that it can now resume its RSGB Members’ free entry voucher for Bletchley Park, which also gives entry to the RSGB National Radio Centre. Visitor arrangements have changed and you will need to pre-book a date and time slot for your visit via the Bletchley Park website. You will need your visitor ticket and your RSGB entry voucher to hand in when you arrive. Please follow carefully the instructions on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/bpvoucher so you can enjoy your visit to Bletchley Park and the RSGB NRC.

Kevin, G0PEK and Lauren, 2E0HLR commenced their Megacycle 2021 ride at the start of August and have now reached the North of Scotland. This weekend they are active using GB5CWL at Cape Wrath. They plan to finish their cycling challenge on Thursday the 26th of August. While radio activity has been limited during the ride, they have been using the challenge to raise funds for the RNLI. For more information look for Megacycle DXpedition on Facebook.

Part two of the BATC Convention will take place on the 16th of October. It will be a day of free online talks about amateur television. More information is at batc.org.uk.

The International Air Ambulance Week will take place between the 4th and the 12th of September 2021. The event covers two weekends, giving amateurs a great chance to get involved. Details can be found at radio-amateur-events.org.

The National Museum of Computing on the Bletchley Park site will be holding another Electrojumble on Sunday the 19th of September from 11 am to 3 pm. Although entry to the event is free, admission will be by pre-booked ticket. For more detailed information and booking details please visit tnmoc.org.

The QSL Bureau sub-manager for the G4T-Z group has retired. A replacement volunteer to distribute cards to this active sub-group is urgently needed. If you have time, a little space, some basic computer skills plus the desire to help your fellow members, the bureau would like to hear from you. You can find out more by emailing QSL@rsgb.org.uk.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

Today, the 22nd, a Grand Field Day Out will be held at Willesborough Windmill, Ashford, just off M20 junction 10.

As previously publicised the Milton Keynes ARS Rally, originally due to be held on the 29th of August, is cancelled. The organisers look forward to welcoming visitors again in 2022.

The Organising Team & Club Committee of the Torbay Amateur Radio Society are very pleased to be able to confirm that the annual communications rally is going ahead this year on the 29th of August. The event is being held at the Newton Abbot Racecourse site. Further details are at tars.org.uk.

The Huntingdonshire ARS Rally will take place on bank holiday Monday, the 30th, at Ernulf Academy, St Neots PE19 2SH. More at hunts-hams.co.uk.

Now the DX news

Elvira, IV3FSG will be active as 5X3R from Uganda until the 2nd of September. QSL via IK2DUW direct; the log will be uploaded to Club Log.

A team will be active as EJ7NET from Gola Island, IOTA reference EU-121, until the 25th of August. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via EI6FR, direct only.

Pasi, OH3WS will be active as OJ0WS from Market Reef, EU-053, until the 28th of August. He will operate CW only. QSL via the bureau to OH3WS.

Bill, K9HZ will be active as J68HZ from St. Lucia, NA-108 until the 8th of November. He operates FT8, CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World, which is preferred, eQSL or direct to K9HZ. He will also upload his log to Club Log.

Now the Special Event news

Today, the 22nd is the final day of the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. Many lighthouses, lightships and associated places will be activated for this annual event.

Moray Firth Amateur Radio Society will be operating as GB0CSL from the Covesea Skerries Lighthouse, Lossiemouth, with the kind permission of the lighthouse trustees. GB0ELH will be active from near the Beachy Head Lighthouse. North Bristol Amateur Radio Club will run GB0AVL from Avonmouth Community centre, close to the Avonmouth Lights.

Today, the 22nd, members of Colchester Radio Amateurs are operating GB0BRO to support the reopening of the British Resistance Organisation Museum. Activity will be on 80, 30 and 20m SSB, FT8 digital and PSK31.

The Shropshire Linux User Group is celebrating 30 years of the Linux operating system with GB4TUX from the 4th of September. The call will be activated from the Telford Hamfest on the 5th of September.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic. August is the month of the traditional summer holiday so there are no RSGB HF contests this month.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the World Wide Digi DX contest. It runs from 1200UTC on the 29th to 1200UTC on the 30th. It uses FT4 and FT8 on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 29th, the UK Microwave group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 20th of August.

We had another week of low sunspot numbers but generally settled geomagnetic conditions. The solar flux index generally stayed in the range of 73-75, which is nothing to get too excited about. The Kp index hit a maximum of three but was more often at zero or one.

Maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path have struggled to exceed 18MHz during daylight hours and 14MHz has probably been more usable. Thirty metres, and sometimes 20 metres, have remained open long after dark, but we are seeing those bands closing earlier as we leave Summer and head towards Autumn. But this does mean that we are also heading for an upturn in ionospheric propagation as the chemical make-up of the ionosphere changes from molecular to atomic components, which are easier to ionise.

Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same, with a solar flux index in the range 72-74. It also predicts a rise in the Kp index to four on Tuesday the 24th, which could see MUFs decline. This may be due to a high-speed stream from a coronal hole, stretching down towards the solar equator and currently rotating into an Earth-facing position.

It’s the North American SSB QSO party this weekend, so perhaps a good opportunity for a trans-Atlantic phone contact. Again, 20 metres would be best during daylight hours, with an occasional opening on 15 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Last week’s spell of indifferent summer weather partially supported Tropo conditions due to a weak ridge close to southern areas, but it remained more unsettled in the northwest. This Tropo saw a few stations in Southern England managing to launch signals into the almost ever-present Tropo ducting down to the Canaries caused by the Azores High phenomenon. Even some lucky stations east of the Meridian in JO02 square worked the 3,000km or so path to the Canaries and Madeira, EA8 and CT3 respectively, on 144MHz FT8. This is very rare on Tropo alone and usually is the privilege of stations much further south and west.

Early in the coming week, a high-pressure area is signalled to return to northern areas initially, with improving Tropo prospects soon extending to the whole country in the early part of next week. Some models suggest the return of low pressure towards the end of the week, with some rain scatter to be had from this on the microwave bands.

There have been a few Sporadic-E examples continuing into the second half of August and, although becoming harder to find now, it is still worth checking the clusters and beacons. Last week, some activity on 10m even extended well past midnight.

We are still close to the broad-peaked Perseids meteor shower, so continue to monitor for improved meteor scatter conditions. The shower radiant might still enhance the usual peak of random meteors around dawn.

Moon declination goes positive again on Wednesday so we’ll see lengthening Moon windows and higher peak Moon elevation as the week progresses. Path losses will rise steadily as the Moon goes out to apogee, its farthest point from Earth, a week on Monday, the 30th.

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

 

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