GB2RS

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for August 29th 2021.

August 27, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 29th August 2021

The news headlines:

  • G QRP Convention details announced
  • RSGB releases more Online Convention info
  • Farnham WebSDR to close

 

The G QRP club has released a detailed agenda for its Online Convention 2021, taking place on the 4th and 5th of September. The event comprises a series of online presentations and knowledge-sharing meetings where people can share ideas and ask questions. You can find all the details at gqrp.com.

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. Andrew Barron, ZL3DW will present an entertaining talk about Software Defined Radio that re-evaluates what we mean by SDR. The talk is technical, but not too technical; no maths – well, not much – no software code and no vector diagrams. It is suitable for those who want to learn more about software-defined radio. Ray Novak, N9JA from Icom is well-known in DXing circles. He will look at the question of would you like to be on a DXpedition that doesn’t break the bank? He will help you get interesting ideas on how to have fun as if you were on a DXpedition to a rare entity because your next amateur adventure could be as close as your local park. 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 popular amateur radio WebSDR at Farnham is to close in a few weeks due to a change of site ownership. It is hoped to eventually relocate to a new site, and the operators are asking for help to identify a suitable location. More at farnham-sdr.com.

Ron White, G6LTT has been co-opted as RSGB Regional Representative 9, London and Thames Valley, until the RSGB 2022 AGM. He can be contacted by email to rr9@rsgb.org.uk. Other appointments include Martin Hallard, G1TYV who takes up the role of District Representative 52, Central and East Birmingham and Leigh Preece, M5GWH, District Representative 55, Staffordshire.

The Cambridge Repeater Group Foxton Rally is still going ahead on Sunday the 19th of September, however, there will not be a Bring & Buy. Car Boot traders are welcome. See cambridgerepeaters.net for details.

If you are planning a visit to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park, please note that the RSGB will continue asking visitors to wear a face mask or shield, unless exempt. This policy is in the interest of volunteer and visitor safety, as there is limited airflow and it can get crowded in the theatre and technology areas. The RSGB is actively looking to recruit additional volunteers to join the team, particularly for the weekends. If you think this could be of interest to you, contact Martyn, G0GMB via email to martyn.baker@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 pandemic.

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 organisers of the Torbay Amateur Radio Society are very pleased to be able to confirm that the annual communications rally is going ahead today, 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. Gates open for the public at 9 pm. There is free car parking, a Bring and Buy and indoor and outdoor stalls are available. More at hunts-hams.co.uk.

The online G-QRP Convention takes place on the 4th and 5th of September. See gqrp.com.

The annual Telford HamFest takes place on the 5th of September, at the Harper Adams University campus near Telford, Shropshire. In addition to the usual wide range of traders and exhibitors, there will be presentations by three prominent speakers covering topics such as EME, antennas and RTTY. The event opens at 10.15 am, with talk-in via GB4THF. Details can be found at telfordhamfest.org.uk.

Now the DX news

A group will be active as TM3U from the Saint Marcouf Islands, IOTA reference EU-081, until the 3rd of September. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on the 80 to 6m bands. They also plan to be active on the QO-100 satellite. All QSOs will be uploaded to Club Log and confirmed automatically via the bureau; direct cards should be sent to ON8AZ. See eu081.be for updates.

Matt, AF2F will be active again as AF2F/W4 from Hatteras Island, NA-067 until the 4th of September. He will operate CW and FT8 on the HF bands, and Q65 on 6 metres. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS.

Paco, EA7KNT plans to be active as D4SAL from Sal, AF-086, in Cape Verde until the 5th of September.

Now the Special Event news

Nigel, M0NJW will be active as GB1SAK between the 3rd and the 5th of September during the St Anne’s Kite Festival. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS. This special event station will run from the beach using a long wire supported by a kite flying at a maximum of 60m above the ground.

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.

Members of Leyland & District Amateur Radio will be activating a disused 1950s passenger liner on the 4th and 5th of September. The TSS Duke of Lancaster is beached on the River Dee Estuary, North Wales. The group will operate as GB1DOL with a mixture of SSB, CW, FM and FT8 on HF and the 2m band. Details are on QRZ.com.

Members of the Air Training Corps from Surrey Wing will be operating GB80ATC at their Annual Field Day at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge on the 4th of September. This marks the 80th anniversary of the Air Training Corps. The station plans to be operating on the 2m band using FM and on the 80 to 12m bands depending on conditions. Operations will be between 9 am and 4 pm.

The Alabama Contest Group will operate a Special Event commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks. It will run from the 5th of September at 0000UTC to the 12th of September at 2359UTC. The callsign will be K4A and there will be special QSL cards available. QSL with SASE to Bob Beaudoin, WA1FCN.

9Y59IND will be on the air to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago’s 59th Independence Day. Running until the 12th of September, it will operate HF SSB, FT8, EME, DMR and D-Star. A schedule of activities can be found at 9y59ind.info.

Riviera Amateur Radio Club will be running GB8BB in September in commemoration of those who served in the Battle of Britain. This year is the 80th anniversary.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following any government recommendations during the pandemic.

This weekend is the World-Wide Digi DX contest. It runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 28th to 1200UTC on the 29th. Using FT4 and FT8 on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Today, 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.

On Wednesday, the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

Also on Wednesday, the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your 6-character locator.

On Saturday, the CWops CW Open contest runs for the full 24 hours. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is serial number and your name. There are three 4-hour sessions to this contest.

Next weekend is a busy one for contests. The SSB Field Day runs from 1300UTC on the 4th to 1300UTC on the 5th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The IARU Region 1 Field Day also runs for 24 hours from 1300UTC on the 4th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy Contest also runs for 24-hours from 1300UTC on the 4th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest runs for 48 hours next weekend from 0000UTC on the 4th. It is SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your age, although ladies can just send 00.

The 2nd Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge will take place on the 4th and 5th of September. Session 1 is 0800 to 1159UTC on the 4th; Session 2 is 1600 to 1959UTC also on the 4th; Session 3 is 0000 to 0359UTC is on the 5th. This contest uses the 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80m bands. CW, phone and digital contacts are permitted. Full details at foxmikehotel.com/challenge.

Next Sunday, the 5th, the fifth 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 144MHz QRO contest will take place on the 5th of September from 1000 to 1400UTC. The full rules are on their website. Entries to be with the contest manager by the 15th of September. Mobile and portable categories have resumed, but the organisers ask that participants please act sensibly.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 27th of August.

We had another week with a quiet Sun, but it wasn’t as settled as you might think. Yes, the solar flux index was in the low- to-mid-80s, but the Sun started to get very active. The first event on Sunday saw a prominence eruption off the west limb that flung a coronal mass ejection, or CME, into space. Another eruption near active region 2859 also launched a large amount of plasma into space, but luckily it was not headed towards Earth. So, by Thursday, we had two large sunspot groups visible, with perhaps region 2860 looking more and more active as it grows. Any potential CME activity occurring as a result of any solar flare this weekend will likely end up hitting the Earth.

DX was a little sparse, but there were some nuggets to be had. Josep, EA3BT, on holiday in Tanzania, was workable on 15m as 5I3B and Pasi, OJ0W, on Market Reef, supplied CW QSOs for many stations on a mix of bands including 80 metres. Gary, G0FWX on the 10 metre UK Net Facebook group reported hearing Australia on 10m FT8 last week. Gary said: “I started working VKs in the middle of September on SSB last year, but this is a good sign”.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid-70s with mainly settled geomagnetic conditions. Friday the third is the exception when the Kp index is set to rise to four.

Maximum usable frequencies are starting to rise a little thanks to seasonal changes, with 18MHz and even 21MHz often open during the daytime. These openings will likely firm up as we head towards mid-September and head into Autumn ionospheric conditions.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

High pressure looks very likely to dominate the weather charts for the coming week and will continue the Tropo-themed weather pattern of the last few days. Unlike Sporadic-E, Tropo tends to be long lasting but is usually better overnight and across sea paths like the North Sea or across Biscay to Spain and beyond to EA8. Don’t forget to try modes other than FM and FT8, such as SSB or CW – and do call CQ if the band is quiet.

Sporadic-E itself is looking less exciting as we head to the end of the current summer season. Fleeting events can still happen, and 10m will carry the most traffic with just the odd foray onto 6m on a good day.

Meteor scatter via random meteors is usually at its best in August, so keep looking around dawn to benefit from the pre-dawn enhancement. This is caused by the dayside of the earth rotating into the flux of meteors in the orbital plane.

There is just one small meteor shower this week, peaking on the 1st of September. The Aurigids have a low Zenithal Hourly Rate of just six.

The Moon reaches apogee on Monday so path losses will be at their highest for the month. On the positive side, peak declination occurs on Thursday so we have high peak elevations over 60 degrees meaning less ground noise at VHF and long Moon visibility windows.

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

 

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