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RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 7th 2019.

July 5th, 2019


Sunday 7th July 2019


The news headlines:

  • RSGB President writes to Ofcom

  • Bletchley youngsters’ hands-on radio

  • Microwave Manager addresses Spectrum Summit


In our next step in an ongoing effort to protect the 144MHz band, the RSGB President has written to Ofcom regarding the recent World Radio Conference WRC-23 aeronautical proposal. Our input summarises the basis for our deep concerns, but also includes an appendix highlighting the multi-faceted nature of amateur radio activity and innovation in this strategically important global Primary allocation. This comes in the run up to a key CEPT meeting in August, where its 48 member states – including the UK – will confirm their common positions for the World Radio Conference this autumn. The letter also includes requests regarding other WRC agenda items including 50MHz, 23cm/Galileo and Wireless Power. The RSGB anticipates being able to publish more details and supporting material in due course.

The RSGB invites young people, and an accompanying adult if the child is under 16 years, to join them at the National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park on the 6th of August for a fun and hands-on workshop where they can learn more about radio and electronics. The workshop offers a short introduction to wireless communications, radio propagation and electronic construction, before moving on to the construction of a medium wave radio receiver. The event is aimed at young persons aged 10 to 18. There is a choice of two sessions, a morning or afternoon workshop. Only 8 places are available on each session. Tickets cost £7 each and entry is by pre-booked ticket only. Details will be on the Bletchley Park website at

This week IARU expert and RSGB Microwave Manager Barry Lewis, G4SJH presented a key address to a panel session on ‘Keeping the Spectrum Clean’ at the 24th Annual Spectrum Summit in Germany that attracted 200 delegates from 34 countries. He said, “The amateur radio community struggles with an ever-growing level of electro-magnetic pollution that is crowding in across the radio spectrum from the lowest frequencies up into the VHF bands. In some frequency ranges, efficient and useful radio communication is becoming compromised. Aftermarket regulation and slowly evolving standards are struggling to be effective in keeping the spectrum clean for all users.” 

Professor Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG, academic director of the University of Bath Doctoral College and Trustee of the Radio Communications Foundation, has received the 2019 Edward Appleton Medal and Prize for her pioneering research in tomography and data assimilation. This revealed a completely new perspective on the ionosphere in response to extreme space weather. Read the full story at

An item of radio equipment was handed in after the Houghton-le-Spring Free Radio Rally. Please spread the word so the organisers can find the rightful owner, who can contact Ian Laidler, M0RZE on 07977 310 928.

IARU was represented at the recent meeting in Switzerland of CEPT Project Team D. This was the last of the CEPT project team meetings preparing European Common Proposals for a number of agenda items of the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference that takes place during November 2019. From an amateur radio standpoint, WRC-19 agenda item 1.1, which addresses the possibility of an allocation in Region 1 of the 50-54MHz frequency band, was the key issue to be resolved. PTD agreed the text for WRC-19 which, if adopted at the WRC, would see an entry in the international table of allocations for Region 1 and would allocate the 50 to 52MHz frequency band to the amateur service on a secondary basis. In addition a footnote to the international table was agreed which would permit individual CEPT countries to introduce a national primary allocation in the 50.0 – 50.5MHz sub-band. The final meeting of CEPT’s Conference Preparatory Group will take place in the week beginning the 26th of August and will finalise CEPT’s input to WRC-19. The IARU will attend the CPG to represent the views of the Amateur Service.

Visitors to the RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park in June numbered 9,041, which is almost 5,000 more than in June 2018. This gives a total for the first six months of 2019 of 45,588. The RSGB would like to thank the volunteers, who ensure that visitors feel welcomed and find the NRC team knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful. A reminder that the main SteppIR beam aerial is having its rotator replaced and feeder cable trays installed between the 8th and the 10th of July. There will be no radio demonstrations using GB3RS during those three days.

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

Today, the 7th of July, the Barford Norfolk Radio Rally will be held at Barford Village Hall & Green, Barford, Norwich NR9 4AB. Doors open at 9am, with talk in on S22. There will be trade stands, a car boot sale, a Bring & Buy, raffle, repeater groups, catering and free car parking. Entry is £2 per person, with under 16s free. Contact

Next Sunday, the 14th, the Cornish Radio Amateur Club Rally will be held at Penair School, St Clements, Truro TR1 1TN. Doors open from 10.30am to 4pm. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Mike Halloway on 01209 211 069.

Next Sunday, the 14th, the McMichael Radio Rally and Boot Sale will take place at Reading Rugby Football Club, Sonning Lane, Sonning on Thames RG4 6ST. Doors open 9.30am to 3.30pm, admission is £3. There will be trade stands and exhibition displays as well as a car boot area. Catering is available on site as well as a bar. More from Min, G0JMS on 07917 830 410.

Next Sunday, the 14th, the 23rd Red Rose QRP Festival will be held at St Joseph’s Hall, Mather Lane, Leigh, WN7 2PR. There is free car parking and the halls are all on one level. Doors open 10.30am. There will be a Bring & Buy, RSGB bookstall, refreshments and bar. Details from Colin, M0IQY on 0741 936 3131.

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 four months in advance to get your info into RadCom.

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

Saty, JE1JKL will be active as 9M6NA from Labuan Island, East Malaysia, IOTA reference OC-133 between the 11th and 16th of July. He will concentrate on the 6m band using FT8. QSL via Logbook of The World and Club Log’s OQRS.

Janusz, SP9FIH returns to Bethlehem in Palestine from the 6th of July to the 3rd of August. He will be using the 80 to 6m bands as E44WE. QSLs go via his home call.

David, DL7ZM will be active as 4L/DL7ZM from Georgia between the 13th and the 21st of July. He will be operating on 6 metres CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct only to AD0PY; he does not use Logbook of The World.

Dave, WJ2O will be active as MD/WJ2O from the Isle of Man, EU-116, between the 11th and 17th of July. QSL via N2ZN.

John, W2GD will be active as P44W from Aruba, SA-036, between the 11th and the 16th of July. He will operate primarily CW, with main activity during the IARU HF World Championship. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to N2MM.

Now the special event news

GB1CMS will be operating today, the 7th of July at a display of military vehicles and battle re-enactments located 7 miles south of Dorking in Capel, Surrey. A listening watch will be maintained on 51.60MHz and a full list of frequencies can be found via

Grey Point Fort ARS will be open for visitors during the Military Vehicle Weekend today, the 7th of July from 10am to 4pm. Visit them at Grey Point Fort, Fort Road, Helen’s Bay, Crawfordsburn BT19 1LD.

Gilwell Park also hosts GB2GP and has been getting Scouts on the air for over 50 years. To celebrate Scouting’s 100 years, GB100GP will be active between the 12th and 14th of July when Gilwell Park is open to Explorer Scouts and Ranger Guides.

Please send special event details to as early as possible so we can give you free publicity. It is a licensing condition that stations using a UK special event callsign must be open to the public.

Now the contest news

The RSGB VHF National Field Day ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 7th. Using all modes on the 50 to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 7th, the 3rd 2m Backpackers Contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships SSB leg runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz Machine Generated Modes Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. The exchange is signal report and four-character locator. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for this contest is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the IARU HF Championship runs from 1200UTC on the 13th to 1200UTC on the 14th. Using SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone, which for the UK is 27.

Don’t forget that the UK Six Metre Group Marathon runs until the 4th of August. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is just your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 5th of July.

Good news: this week saw two sunspots appear from the upcoming solar cycle 25. We know this due to their magnetic polarity and locations close to the solar equator. Unfortunately, the sunspots didn’t last very long before vanishing. But it is a start. Earlier this year, an international panel of experts predicted that solar minimum would deepen in 2019 and begin to rebound sometime next year.

Solar conditions continued to be calm, with a low solar flux and a quiet geomagnetic field. This allowed the ionosphere to recover somewhat and there was DX to be had if you chose the right mode and time. For example, T2AR on Tuvalu in the Pacific has been worked by quite a few stations in the UK, on both CW and FT8. The GB19 cricket stations have also been busy and will be active until the 14th of July, so make the most of the time left. KH7XS in Hawaii has also been heard in the UK at S9 on 20m SSB.

The Daily Express predicted doom and gloom for Friday the 5th of July when it said a huge solar storm would hit the Earth. At the time of writing, this seemed unlikely. Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the range 67-69, with settled geomagnetic conditions. We hope to get the tool back in action again soon, which has been out of action to a data centre fault in North America.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We start off with high pressure to the west of Britain and it should provide some Tropo conditions for most areas this weekend, but will decline next week and become confined to the western side of the country.

The main change in the pattern next week is that a trough of low pressure will become established over the North Sea and produce a gentle but cooler northerly flow over the country. This could produce some heavy showers, over eastern areas in particular, and offer a chance of some rain scatter on the microwave bands.

The Sporadic-E season is still performing for us with 144MHz openings to Italy, and there will be suitable jet streams present to make it an interesting prospect for next week. Check the bands late morning and again late afternoon or early evening to have the best chance of finding some Sporadic-E.

The Moon declination goes negative on Tuesday, and path losses will increase as the week progresses. EME conditions will be best early in the week. There are no major meteor showers this week so continue to look for best DX opportunities via random meteors around dawn.

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