This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for December 9th 2018.

Posted on December 7th, 2018


Sunday 9th December 2018

The news headlines:

  • Watch an ISS contact on Friday

  • Turkey gets 60m and 6m

  • RSGB responds to CEPT Wireless Power report

An amateur radio contact with the International Space Station, facilitated by ARISS, is planned for Friday the 14th of December. The contact with Kenilworth school is scheduled for 1255UTC and will be streamed from around noon at

Turkey’s telecom regulator, BTK, in a government gazette notice on the 29th of November, released two new amateur radio allocations. They are the new WRC-15 60m band, at 15W, plus an all mode 6m allocation of 50 to 52MHz, with a power limit of 75W.

The RSGB has made a submission to a CEPT regarding its Draft Report on Wireless Power Transmission for Electric Vehicles. This is the latest step as part of ongoing work by RSGB and IARU that is preparing for WRC-19 next autumn. A copy of the submission can be found at

There will be no GB2RS Script for Sunday the 30th of December. The last news reading for 2018 will take place on Sunday the 23rd of December, with normal service resuming on Sunday the 6th of January. Individual Newsreaders may choose to run a net instead of the news during their slot on the 30th, though this must be under their own callsign, not GB2RS.

CWops is accepting nominations for the Advancing the Art of CW award for 2019. The purpose of the award is to recognise individuals, groups, or organisations that have made the greatest contribution toward advancing the art or practice of radio communications by Morse code. Nominations may be made by anybody, not limited to CWops members. Email nominations to with a copy to Nominations must be received by the 1st of March 2019. Details are under the About tab at

Youngsters on the Air month, or YOTA, runs throughout December. The next clubs to activate the GB18YOTA callsign will be Southampton University Wireless Society on the 12th, Durham & District ARS on the 14th, then the RSGB’s National Radio Centre will be operating the station on the 15th and 16th. Young people are welcome at the NRC where they will have the opportunity to experience amateur radio using the state of the at GB3RS station at the NRC. 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

The GB3LEX 10GHz beacon was switched off at 1450UTC on the 29th of November. This is to enable investigations to identify the cause of a fault reported by a local user. Details of its switch on will be announced when more is known of the fault.

The RSGB has released a video of the YOTA 2018 event held between the 8th and 15th of August in South Africa. The event welcomed 74 young radio amateurs from all over the world, including participants from seven African countries. This video, filmed and edited by Peter Barnes, M0SWN, shows the highlights of the event, and accompanies the official blog at

Worked all Postcodes is an award scheme announced by radio dealer Moonraker. Participants need to work as many postcodes as possible using a maximum of 10W, any mode, on the 70, 144, 430 and 1296MHz bands. Wednesday will be activity night and awards will be available for different numbers of postcodes. This all starts on the 2nd of January 2019 so keep an eye on the Moonraker blog for more information.

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

Members of the British Vintage Wireless Society are holding a Swapmeet and Auction today, 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 can be found at

We have no rallies in the diary for the weekend of the 15th and 16th of December.

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

Cezar, VE3LYC and Adrian, KO8SCA are scheduled to operate as TX0M from the new IOTA, Morane Atoll, OC-297, until the 10th of December. They will then change to TX0A from Maria Est Atoll, OC-113, from the 12th to the 16th of December.

Tom, N9EAW will be active holiday style as HQ9T from Roatan Island, NA-057, in Honduras, until the 18th of December. He will operate SSB and slow CW on the HF bands. QSL direct to N9EAW.

Ben, DL6RAI is on the air as P4/DL6RAI until the 27th of December. Activity is holiday style on the low bands, with some activity in various contests. QSL via Logbook of the World.

Now the special event news

4O18YOTA is on the air from Montenegro during December for Youngsters On The Air. QSL via OQRS.

E71YOTA is also operating during December as part of YOTA from Bosnia-Herzegovina. QSL via OQRS.

ES9YOTA, in Estonia, is another station that will get young people on the amateur bands. QSL via OQRS.

Members of the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society are QRV as ET3YOTA during December as part of YOTA. QSL via N2OO.

Special event station C4XMAS is on the air from Cyprus during the festive season. Activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via IZ4AMS.

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 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.

The ARRL 10m Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 9th. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with American and Canadian sending their State or Province code.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 2nd MGM Contest on the 6 and 2m bands takes place next weekend, the 15th and 16th of December, starting at 1400UTC and running for 24 hours. This is the second in the series of this brand new concept contest dedicated to MGM modes. The first leg in April was well received all over Europe. The now-popular FT8, MSK144, FSK441 and other MGM modes are all allowed in this contest, with the emphasis on DX and with multipliers for each new 4 character locator square. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator. Visit for more information.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 7th December.

We had a new sunspot group, Region 2729, appear this week, although it is a member of the weakening Solar Cycle 24. The region formed fairly quickly in the sun’s southwest quadrant and at the time of writing was producing only very minor B-Class solar flares. It is unlikely to do too much for the solar flux index though, which was at 70 on Friday morning.

The Independent reported that the Northern Lights might be seen in the UK on Wednesday the fifth, but this proved to be over-optimistic. Meanwhile, the Daily Express said the Earth could be “plunged into darkness, with the solar wind having the power to affect satellites, knocking out GPS navigation, mobile phone signals and satellite TV”. The reality is that the large solar coronal hole MAY cause the K index to rise, but the effects were more likely to be felt late on Friday the 7th and the weekend. Next week, NOAA has the K index at two, thanks to a lack of coronal holes, and the solar flux index at 68.

We’d like to reiterate that this is a good season for low-band propagation though, with 160 and 80 metres coming into their own. Even 40m can be open to longer distances, even before sunset, so do keep an eye on the lower bands.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The Es’Hail 2 satellite launch went well and the bird is slowly moving to its final geostationary slot at 26 degrees East. Stations are already reporting reception of the commercial beacons with amateur equipment so check social media and the AMSAT site for details.

The night of Thursday the 13th and morning of Friday the 14th of December sees one of the largest meteor showers of the year, the Geminids. With a zenith hourly rate of around 120 the shower can give excellent meteor scatter reflections on the low VHF bands up to 144MHz, and for EME-class stations even on 432MHz. 144MHz stations with a small Yagi and a quiet site should be able to work plenty of stations using the MSK144 digimode.

The weekend starting this period off will have windy and unsettled weather, so there may be no Tropo around. Active systems like these may provide a few heavy showers to add rain scatter to the propagation on offer. The glimmer of hope with the next week is likely to be the appearance of a weak ridge of high pressure until mid-week. The second half appears to be a slide back into low-pressure weather, especially in the northwest of Britain, although high pressure remains just to the east. This may allow paths across the North Sea for a few more days, but none of these indicative weather types look to be really stand-out affairs.

Meanwhile, the Moon is at minimum declination today and reaches apogee this Wednesday, so concentrate on meteor scatter rather than the short Moon windows and high losses that will characterise this week on EME.

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