Sunday 20th June 2021
The news headlines:
- Latest rally news
- Ofcom updates guidance
- ARISS SSTV from ISS
The organisers of the Dartmoor Radio Rally have revised the date to the 15th of August. It will be held at the new venue of The Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton PL20 6AL. Doors open at 10 am. Details can be found at dartmoorradioclub.uk. The McMichael Rally Committee has announced that this year’s rally is, sadly, cancelled. It was due to take place on the 11th of July. They expect to be back in 2022. Keep checking the website for the latest information. With the recent change to the Covid restrictions, the organisers of the East Suffolk Wireless Revival have decided to cancel the event for 2021. This event is popularly known as the Ipswich Rally and was due to take place on the 11th of July.
Ofcom has updated the guidance document What you need to know as an amateur radio user and the Ofcom EMF calculator. The guide provides an overview of what you need to do to comply with Ofcom’s EMF licence condition and is much simplified from the earlier version. Links to all of the documents and calculators can be found at rsgb.org/emf.
A slow-scan television ARISS event is scheduled between the 21st and 26th of June. Transmissions from the ISS will be on 145.800MHz FM using PD120 SSTV mode. The SSTV images will be transmitted continuously. Transmissions will start at or about 0940UTC on the 21st and will end by 1830UTC on the 26th. Signals should be receivable on a handheld with a quarter-wave whip antenna. Use 25kHz channel spacing if available.
Since reopening just over two weeks ago, the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has welcomed more than 3,800 visitors. With the improved signage and Bletchley Park interactive map, the NRC is typically seeing close to 50% of the Park’s footfall. The RSGB would like to thank Martyn, G0GMB and the NRC volunteers for making this possible. The NRC is open every day, except Wednesdays, to pre-booked visitors to Bletchley Park.
Sad news next, particularly for those in Region 9, as Tom O’Reilly, G0NSY became Silent Key last week. Tom volunteered for the RSGB as Regional Representative 9, covering London and Thames Valley from 2016 and as a District Representative before that. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
The lecture programme for the weekend of the virtual Ham Radio World Weekend has been announced for the 25th to the 27th of June. Go to www.darc.de and click on the advert for the event at the top of the page. There are lectures in English and these can be seen by their English titles.
The Summer Sale in the RSGB Shop has started and will run until the 18th of July. Go to rsgbshop.org to find out more.
To increase participation in the FMH Portable Operations Challenge in September, parallel regional or local group competitions are being encouraged by Ed, DD5LP. Those who would like to do this for their group or region should send an email to email@example.com. The regional organiser’s callsign and the geographic area or group of people to be covered should be in the email. Full details of the Portable Operations Challenge can be found at foxmikehotel.com.
Slovenian Amateur Radio Union will celebrate the country’s 30 years of independence by issuing a special award. Between the 26th of June and the 31st of December, Slovenian amateur radio stations can add the number 30 into the suffix. For example, S50ZZ would become S5030ZZ. Search for Slovenia Contest Club using your favourite search engine and click on the Union Jack flag to read all the qualifying details in English.
Now the DX news
Michel, F6GWV and Gildas, F6HMQ will be active as TO11A from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, until the 5th of July. QSL via F6HMQ.
Paul, G4PVM will be active as GM4PVM from the Isle of Lismore, EU-008, from the 29th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.
A team will be active as 7D9BA from Lembongan Island, OC-022, between the 25th and 28th of June. They will operate CW, SSB, FT8/FT4 and some RTTY on the 80, 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to EA7FTR.
Now the Special Event news
Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 20th, and next weekend, the 26th & 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.
Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 20th and on the 26th of 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. The museum is Harlow Museum and Gardens and is next door to the clubhouse. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm each day. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.
GB0UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch. GB5UTA will be on the air during the same period on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. See the QRZ.com entries for more information.
Now the contest news
With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.
The 50MHz Trophy contest ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 20th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also this weekend, the All Asian DX contest ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 20th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and age.
The Worked-All-Britain 50MHz phone contest will take place today, Sunday the 20th of June, from 0800 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries to be with the WAB Contest Manager by 30th of June. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but please act sensibly.
Today, the 20th, the UK Microwave Group 122 to 248GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday it is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
Next Sunday, the 27th, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest also takes place on the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Sunday the 27th, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 18th of June.
A large coronal hole returned last week and started to become Earth-facing on Monday the 14th. The high-speed solar wind stream from the hole impacted the Earth on Tuesday evening, pushing the Kp index to five. Luckily, conditions returned to normal by late Wednesday and the Kp index was down to two or three thereafter. It now looks like we are free of coronal hole effects for the time being.
Sunspot-wise, region 2833 put in an appearance. Its effects on the ionosphere have been minimal with the solar flux index stuck at 76 on Thursday the 27th and the sunspot number at 11, representing one spot in one group.
HF propagation has been adequate rather than outstanding, with the real talking point remaining Sporadic-E. Conditions on 10 metres have been good with long, solid openings to Europe popping up each day. Do make the most of these, as F2-layer openings on 10m may be harder to find once the Sporadic-E season ends.
Next week NOAA has the SFI at around 80 and quiet geomagnetic conditions with a Kp index of two. We are still not seeing the ramp-up in sunspot activity that we would like, although fingers are crossed that this Autumn might be more positive.
In the meantime, make the most of the Sporadic-E openings, particularly on the higher bands such as 12 and 10 metres. These openings can affect lower HF bands too, although it is sometimes hard to distinguish them from F2-layer openings.
So please don’t ignore 15 metres and lower at this time and look for short-skip contacts on these bands as well.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
It looks like the majority of next week will see low pressure predominating with further periods of unsettled and potentially thundery weather. The pattern places the main area of low pressure over or just west of the UK, forcing a thundery showery southerly flow across the country. There will be some interludes when brief ridges of high pressure show up, especially in southeastern areas, but overall Tropo will not be high on the list. So, apart from some rain scatter prospects and the occasional extended sea path Tropo across the North Sea or English Channel, it will mostly be a week for chasing Sporadic-E.
The northern part of Europe and Scandinavia have a good jet stream flow and this extends into northern Russia, making it worth checking those DX paths into the Far East and Japan. The other region looking well favoured with jet stream patterns is to the south into Spain and Portugal.
We are in peak season for Sporadic-E, so keeping a regular routine of checking the bands mid-morning and early evening is the best procedure to follow.
The Moon is at perigee on Wednesday so path losses will be at their lowest. Sadly, with minimum Moon declination on Friday, visibility windows and peak Moon elevations will also be at their shortest and lowest of the month.
The June Bootids meteor shower peaks on Sunday 27th. This shower, although normally small, has a reputation for outbursts of activity. Until then, continue to look for the best random meteor scatter propagation around dawn.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.