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RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 23rd 2019.

June 21st, 2019


Sunday 23rd June 2019


The news headlines:

  • 2m crosses the Atlantic

  • SAQ transmission next weekend

  • Update on 144 MHz and 23cm threats


An historic contact was made on Sunday the 16th of June 2019, when the Atlantic was spanned for the first time on 144MHz. D41CV on Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa managed to work FG8OJ in Guadeloupe on 144.174MHz using FT8. The distance was 3,867km. This was bettered on the 18th with QSOs between Cape Verde and Puerto, KP4. The distance was 4,458km. There was also a QSO with WP4G at 4,358km. The propagation mechanism was tropospheric ducting and the path has been predicted as being workable for a long time.

The annual SAQ VLF transmission on Alexanderson Day on 17.2kHz from the Alexanderson Alternator will take place Sunday the 30th of June. Two transmissions are scheduled. Tuning will start at 0830UTC for the message at 0900UTC, then 1130UTC for the transmission at 1200UTC. Both transmission events will be broadcasted live on YouTube. QSL reports to SAQ should be via the new reception report form, via the SM bureau or direct by postal mail, not by email. SK6SAQ will be operating on 7.035kHz or 14.035MHz CW or 3.755kHz SSB. QSL instructions are on the website. QSL details and other information are on the websites and

The IARU was represented this week at the meeting of CEPT Project Team A, which is one of the groups leading WRC-19 preparations and has just finished in Prague on Friday the 21st. Of particular interest were discussions on two proposed Agenda items for WRC-23, concerning the sharing of the 1240-1300MHz band with the Galileo satellite navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144MHz amateur band, for future primary aeronautical applications. The meeting considered views that the Galileo issue did not currently warrant a WRC23 Agenda item and should be first investigated within CEPT. However, regarding new aeronautical frequencies including 144MHz, the proposal was unfortunately not strongly opposed by other administrations; this has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT-CPG meeting in August. The IARU and RSGB views with grave concern any proposal to include the global amateur and amateur satellite 144MHz primary band in the proposed aeronautical agenda item; and will be making every effort to fully protect amateur radio interest and seek the support of regulators in this regard. More details can found at and on the RSGB’s own special focus page at

A newly-digitised classic film of the 25th Anniversary Congress of the IARU has been uploaded to the RSGB YouTube channel. Taking place in 1950, the Congress was attended by many well-known amateurs from around the world. The silent film also includes some marvellously authentic street scenes – and some decidedly odd motor vehicles. You can find it in the Film Archive section at, where you’ll also be able to find the Bulletin report from August 1950 on the same event.

Former Colliery Sites on the Air takes place on the 25th of June from 7 to 9pm. It’s easy to take part and there are very few rules: all you need is a 2m handheld. For full details visit

The latest edition of Six News is now available for UK Six Metre Group members to download from The printed edition has been sent out to those members who take it but all members are able to access the digital version.

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

Today, the 23rd of June, the Newbury Radio Rally and Boot Sale takes place at Newbury Showground, next to M4 Junction 13. There will be talk-in on S22. Car parking is free. Traders can gain access from 8am and visitors at 9am. Admission is £2.50, car boot sale pitches are £12.50. There’s a huge radio, electronics and computing boot sale, plus demo marquee with amateur radio on air, plus clubs and national society stands. There’s catering on site. Contact Phill, G6EES on 0777 150 4738 or by email to

The Houghton-le-Spring ARC radio rally takes place on Saturday the 29th of June at Dubmire Royal British Legion Club, Britannia Terrace, Fencehouses DH4 6LJ. Doors open 10.15am, or 10am for disabled visitors. Admission is free. Donations welcome to the Royal British Legion Club. Hot drinks will be available and a licenced bar will be open from 11am. More from Amanda, M6LXK, on 0778 715 5745.

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

John, AD8J will return to Dunbar Rock near Guanaja Island, Honduras, IOTA reference NA-057, until the 6th of July. He will be active holiday style as AD8J/HR9. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8 the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to home call.

Giuseppe, IW1EGO will be active as ID9/IW1EGO from Vulcano Island, EU-017, until the 30th of June. QSL via his home call.

Dave, W9DR will be active as PJ5/W9DR from Sint Eustatius, NA-145, from the 25th of June to the 2nd of July. He will operate SSB, CW and FT8 on 6 metres only. QSL direct to home call.

Bruce, 3W3B will be active as XW4XR from Laos from the 26th of June to the 7th of July. He will operate CW, FT8 and RTTY on the 40 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or via E21EIC.

Now the special event news

GB1SCW, operated by members of Worthing & District ARC, will be on the air from the National Coast Watch Institution lookout at Shoreham By Sea, Sussex BN43 5HY today, the 23rd of June, using 40, 20 and 2m from 10am to 4pm. QSL via bureau or eQSL. More information on

Christian Vision for Men holds an annual event called The Gathering, attended by some 2000 men. Today, the 23rd, special event station GB0CVM will be operating on 80, 40 and 20 metres.

GB4SRC will be operating, mainly on 40m SSB and 2m FM, from the South East Big Bang STEMfest at the South of England Showground on the 26th of June. GB4SRC was the callsign used by the ARISS team in April 2016 at St Richard’s, one of the ten schools who earned the right to talk to British astronaut, Tim Peake. The station will be operated by St Richard’s College Radio Club, under the supervision of Phil, G3MGQ, who set up the radio club when the College asked the Hastings Electronics & Radio Club for help after that ISS contact.

Coventry ARS will be supporting The Nuneaton Armed Forces Day event, at Riversley Park, Nuneaton, Warwickshire on the 29th of June. Operating GB6AFD, mainly 40m SSB, 2m FM and digital modes, the event is open to the public from 11am. Further information from Brian G8GMU on 07801 86 26 86.

Please send special event details to as early as possible so we can give you free publicity. Remember, it’s a licensing condition that stations using UK special event must be open to the public.

Now the contest news

Today, the 23rd, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 23rd, the 70MHz Cumulative Contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. 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, the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 30th, the UK Microwave Group’s 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the two bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of June

The week was dominated by thunderstorms and rain. While not strictly HF propagation-related, this did cause havoc on the lower bands, with frequent static crashes. This was particularly noticeable in Thursday’s RSGB 80m Club Championship CW contest, where storms over the low countries made the contest hard going.

Other than that the week was once again marked by a lack of sunspots, but more settled geomagnetic conditions. The solar flux index was pegged at 67-68, with the Kp index fluctuating between one and two. F-layer propagation has generally seen maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path around 14-18MHz, although frequent Sporadic-E openings have seen this boosted to 28MHz and higher on short-skip paths.

As an example, the five watt IW3FZQ/B beacon on 28.227MHz in Monselice, Italy and ED4YAK/B on 28.251MHz in Henares, Spain were both booming in on Thursday at 0900UTC, with no other CW or SSB signals on the band.

Next week NOAA has the solar flux index remaining at 68-69, with generally calm geomagnetic conditions other than around Monday the 24th to Wednesday the 26th when it predicts the Kp index could rise to four.

At the time of writing most coronal hole activity was around the solar poles, which shouldn’t threaten the Earth.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The weekend starts with a weak high transiting across the British Isles, which could give some Tropo enhancements for southern stations, while the north remains closer to the old low and its showery weather type. Some models retain a tendency for higher pressure in the south and further possible Tropo.

The fact that showery weather is not far away and continues to put in appearances during the week ahead, means that rain scatter should again be an option for GHz band enthusiasts, especially for northern and western areas.

There have been a few active days recently for Sporadic-E and, in a jet stream sense, the coming week offers some useful directions for Sporadic-E paths. South to Spain and north-east into Scandinavia should be favoured. Additionally there is a broad upper ridge pattern over eastern Europe and this can produce good openings in the high summer. Remember the peak periods for Sporadic-E are late morning and late afternoon or early evening.

The Moon is at apogee today with declination rising and going positive on Wednesday, so EME conditions will slowly improve as the week progresses, with falling path losses and lengthening Moon windows.

As mentioned last week, the Bootids meteor shower peaks on Thursday but no unusually high zenith hourly rate is predicted for 2019.

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