This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 2nd 2018.

Posted on November 30th, 2018


Sunday 2nd December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Listen for YOTA stations

  • Intro to Amateur Radio workshops at Bletchley

  • High Altitude Balloon news

YOTA month has just started. The first club to activate the GB18YOTA callsign was Aberkenfig Radio Club in Bridgend on the 1st of December. Sandringham School Amateur Radio Club, with help from Verulam ARC, will activate it on Monday the 3rd. On the 5th, it’s the turn of Swansea Radio Club, then Silcoates School on the 6th and Hilderstone Radio Club on the 8th. If you hear these stations and others around the world taking part in YOTA month, please take the time to contact the young people.

The RSGB is still taking bookings for the Introduction to Amateur Radio workshops running in association with Bletchley Park on the 15th and 16th of December. These workshops will give an introductory insight into the world of amateur radio, as well as a chance to see the RSGB’s National Radio Centre. So spread the word to any friends, family members, colleagues who might be interested in finding out more about our amazing hobby. Full details, including booking information and prices, can be found at

On the 6th of December, a team from Hi-impact on the Wirral will launch another high altitude balloon, in conjunction with pupils from St Bridget's Primary School in West Kirby. Once again they will launch from Welshpool. They are hoping as many local amateurs and SWLs as possible will assist in feeding the data into HABHUB, using the DL-FLDIGI software. They will be launching at around 10.45am using a licence-exempt transmitter with the callsign STBRIDGET on 434.650MHz USB and RTTY, 50Baud, 425Hz shift, 7 bits, no parity, 2 stop bits.

Two more 2018 RSGB Convention lecture videos are available on the Members’ section of the RSGB website. Don Greenbaum, N1DG talks about the KH1/KH7Z Baker Island DXpedition and Bo Hansen, OZ2M lectures on P14, the digital mode for beacons, and why it is a success. To view the videos go to

SpaceX has announced that the SSO-A, SmallSat Express mission carrying AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff is now scheduled to launch today, the 2nd of December, at 1831:47UTC. It was previously scheduled to launch on the 28th of November but was been postponed due to extreme high-altitude winds at Vandenberg Air Force Base. In addition to Fox-1Cliff, the SSO-A mission will carry several other amateur radio satellites, including FUNcube on ESEO, JY1-SAT, K2SAT, and ExseedSat. The launch window extends for approximately 30 minutes. Fox-1Cliff has uplinks at UHF and L-band, and downlinks on VHF.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet & Auction on the 9th of December at Royal Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire SN4 8EN. Doors open at 10am and the auction starts at around 1pm. More details of BVWS membership at

To get your event into RadCom and GB2RS, please send details as early as possible to – we need to know at least three to four months in advance to get your information into RadCom.

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

Steff, HB9FXL will be in Cambodia until the 14th of December. Look for him with the callsign XU7AKB on SSB on all bands from 40 to 10m. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alain, F8FUA will be active as XT2BR from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso between the 2nd and 11th of December. He plans to operate CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via F8FUA either direct or via the bureau and Logbook of The World.

Several Russian operators will sign H7/homecall from Big Corn Island in Nicaragua until the 7th of December. Also look for YN4RRC from the same location. The IOTA reference is NA-013. QSLs for the H7 Russian operation go via RZ3FW.

Remo, HB9SHD is active as H44SHD from Uepi, in the Solomon Islands, OC-149, until mid-December. He operates FT8 and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Martin, PT2ZDX will be active PS6I from Itaparica Island, SA-023, until the 7th of December. QSL direct to F4BHW.

Now the special event news

SX60RAAG will be active until the 31st of December to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Radio Amateur Association of Greece. QSL via Logbook of The World, eQSL or Club Log's OQRS. Logsearch and downloadable awards can be found at

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

Now the contest news

The ARRL 160m contest ends its 40 hour run at 1600UTC today, the 2nd of December. It uses CW only. The exchange is just the signal report, although American and Canadian stations will also send their ARRL or RAC section number.

Also today, the 144MHz Affiliated Societies contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon began on the 1st of December and runs until the end of January. There are no specific operating periods. Just work as many Locator squares as you can, when you can, using any mode on the 50MHz band.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL 10m Contest that runs from 0000UTC on the 8th to 12359UTC on the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 30th November.

The CQ Worldwide CW contest last weekend showed that you can work DX with zero sunspots. Reports show that stations as far west as Arizona and California, plus the Caribbean, were workable from the UK on 20 metres, plus there were reports of some limited F2-layer openings on 10 metres. Chris, G0DWV even reported an afternoon greyline opening to Japan on 80m using a four-square antenna array for the band.

The sun remained spotless last week and geomagnetic conditions were very settled, which no doubt helped the HF DX. The Kp index never rose above two and was often at zero for long periods. However, at the time this report was being prepared there was still an alert out for potentially-unsettled conditions on Friday 30th and across the weekend due to ongoing coronal hole activity.

NOAA predicts that next week will see the solar flux index pegged at 68 again. Conditions should be a little more settled geomagnetically with a maximum K index of three for most of the week. Conditions may be a little worse on Friday the 7th and Saturday the 8th due to a high-speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole that will become Earth-facing again.

This is a good time to start to think about the lower bands. Eighty and 160 metres are starting to come into their own with the longer nights. If you have never worked the USA on 80m then it might be worth looking around UK sunrise. There is often transatlantic SSB activity around the top of the band, especially 3790-3800kHz, in the early morning.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is a distinctly unsettled look to the charts again for the next week. This means that Tropo will not be a big player and the only weather-related DX option is probably limited to some occasional rain scatter on the microwave bands. During the winter months, rain scatter is most likely around the coasts than inland. Last Tuesday’s SHF UK Activity Contest saw the west of the UK missing out as the rain moved east just before the contest started, leaving a disturbed troposphere in its wake. This highlights the fact that good propagation rarely waits for you if you only operate during contests. Rain scatter paths from East Anglia to the North remained good throughout.

Other options might include some aurora on VHF if we are lucky. ‘Space Weather Woman’ Doctor Tamitha Skov tweeted last week that we might reach solar storm levels at the beginning of December due to the coming fast solar wind. So be on the lookout for that.

There are three small meteor showers this week – use Google to find the Make More Miles on VHF website for details. And remember that the big Geminids shower is only two weeks away now.

Moon declination goes negative today, so Moon windows will be shorter and of lower elevation as the week progresses. Note that the Sun will be very close to the Moon on Friday.

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