This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for January 6th 2019.

Posted on January 4th, 2019

We're back !! (after our 1 edition pause).





Sunday 6th January 2019


The news headlines:

  • Happy New Year

  • Italian wireless pioneers award scheme

  • Download the latest 5MHz Newsletter


The news team and all the staff at RSGB HQ would like to wish our newsreaders, listeners and online readers a very Happy New Year. We would like to remind everyone that we always welcome your news, by email to, and the deadline is 10am sharp on Thursday mornings. The GB2RS script is uploaded to the RSGB website by 4.30pm each Friday afternoon.

ARI Fidenza and the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation has announced an award scheme based major Italian pioneers in wireless and radio technology, or the main artifices of those fundamental discoveries and practical achievements that have made possible the birth of wireless communications and subsequent progress in radio technology. Running from the 1st of January to the 31st of December 2019, twelve commemorative radio stations with special callsigns will alternate throughout the year. Each month is dedicated to a specific scientist. Further details can be found at

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page at This edition includes 5MHz news from 10 countries, features the latest number of CEPT countries on 5MHz, Exercise Blue Ham 100 and an article on Taking Care on 5357.

The RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park welcomed 55,232 people through the doors in 2018, introducing the vast majority of them to amateur radio for the first time. Well done to Martyn, G0GMB and his team of volunteers who keep the NRC running. Please note that the NRC will be closed for a private event on Tuesday the 15th of January. Outside of this, volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors seven days a week, especially RSGB Members, who can download a free entry voucher for Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

The final Advanced training course in Bath starts on Wednesday 30 January 2019. The course will run on Wednesday evenings at the Scout HQ in Grove Street, Bath, aiming for an exam in July. This will be the last amateur radio course in Bath for some time due to the work required to implement the changes to the syllabus. The Bath team expect to be closed down for at least 6 months, maybe a year. The final Bath Based Distance Learning course, which will run in parallel with the classroom course, is now full and has a record number of students. If anyone is looking to upgrade from Intermediate to Full, and can attend classes in Bath, please drop an email to the course leader, Steve Hartley, via

The RSGB is pleased to announce that Bobby Wadey, MI0RYL has been appointed to the position of RSGB Awards Manager, taking over from Chris Burbanks, G3SJJ. The Society would like to thank Chris for his work as the RSGB Awards Manager.

RSGB Members are reminded that nominations are open for RSGB Board and Regional Representatives. Details are in the January RadCom and at These roles offer a good opportunity to help the RSGB develop and to promote amateur radio. Nominations close on the 31st of January 2019.

Until the 14th of January, 8,400 Scouts from every Australian state – plus representatives from 18 nations – will converge in South Australia to participate in the 25th Australian Scout Jamboree. One of the 150 activities on offer to the Scouts will be a chance to participate in amateur radio using VI25AJ and a Direction Finding course. About 2000 Scouts are expected to experience amateur radio over the 10 day period. They will be active on the HF bands both SSB and digital modes, Satellites, IRLP and Echolink. Full details such as operating schedules and frequencies will be available via the VI25AJ page. If you hear the callsign on the air, give the youngsters a call.

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

We know of no rallies happening in January.

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

Rich, PA0RRS is on the air as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, IOTA reference AS-015, until the 15th of February. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, RTTY, PSK and FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Mike, OE6MBG is operating as S79AA from Mahe, AF-024, until the 2nd of February. Activity is on the 160 to 10m bands, plus 6m as conditions permit, using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Antoine, 3D2AG is on the air as T2AR from Funafuti until the 31st of January. Activity is on the HF bands, including 160m. QSL to his home callsign. In addition, Apinelu, T2AT is operating on the HF bands using FT8. QSL via N7SMI.

Bernie, W3UR and Becky, N3OSH will be on the air as V47UR from Calypso Bay, St Kitts Island, NA-104, from the 8th to the 20th of January. Activity will be holiday style on the 160 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the special event news

GB2KW is on the air at various times near Inverness until the 28th of January using vintage KW gear. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Please send event details to, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that 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

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, 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 new 50MHz MGM Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC, using machine generated modes 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.

Next Sunday, the 13th, the Datamodes AFS contest runs from 1300 to 1700UTC. Using data only on the 3.5 and 7MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Marathon continues this month until the 31st of January. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 4th of January.

A new sunspot appeared this week, although it belongs to outgoing cycle 24 and is therefore not a sign that the new cycle 25 is under way just yet. We may still have to wait until at least the autumn before that happens. Despite pushing the solar flux index up to 75 on Thursday we are still very much in the mid-winter doldrums, with bands opening late and closing early. Having said that, there have been reports of some early afternoon 17m transatlantic CW openings to the USA. 20m and 40m have often closed early, but it is worth checking both bands after dark – there has been some activity spotted on 40m around 11pm so it is worth looking.

A large solar coronal hole became Earth-facing on Thursday, which may cause some disruption to the bands at the weekend, potentially pushing the K index to four with depressed maximum useful frequencies. Once its effects have passed we should see more settled bands, with a maximum K index of two next week and a solar flux index of around 71.

Daytime critical frequencies are currently reaching a maximum of about 4.9MHz, meaning 80m remains the best band for daytime NVIS or close-in signals. Sixty metres or 5MHz may also be fine for inter-G signals, although you may struggle on 60 metres at times with stations closer than about 100km.

Over longer distances, 20 metres remains favourite, with possible occasional openings on 17m. Winter Sporadic-E may throw up some surprising openings on 12 and 10 metres, but these may be fleeting and hard to predict.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is still a large area of high pressure on the charts, and as is typical of such features they can be very persistent. This one is going for the ‘long game’ with another one to two weeks of high pressure weather to come. This means that Tropo will be the mode of choice, with variations mostly down to how moist the air near the surface is compared with the very dry air just above the temperature inversion. A big contrast in moisture means better ducting on VHF and UHF and the best sign of this is when you find mist and fog forming – bad for travelling but better for Tropo.

The position of the high is crucial and when we find a cold northerly flow pattern with the high just to the west, this tends to reduce the prospects for good Tropo, despite the pressure being fairly high; so expect variations in the scope and intensity of the openings as the high centre drifts around the UK.

Out of season Sporadic-E is always worth checking for during the depths of winter, especially with the big changes in the wind regime in the stratosphere at the moment.

The short and intense Quadrantids meteor shower last week usually ushers in a quiet period of meteor activity until early April so keep looking for the usual dawn enhancement of random meteors.

The Moon reached its lowest declination yesterday and apogee on Wednesday, so there are short moon windows with low elevations and high losses this week.

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