GB2RS

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 27th 2021.

June 26, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 27th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Covid-19 affects VHF NFD
  • Tree-felling to interrupt National Radio Centre
  • Durham is 13 Colonies bonus station

 

Covid restrictions are extending into July and this means that VHF NFD is taking place with more controls in place than the organisers were hoping for. It is still viable to run the contest on the 3rd and 4th of July, but it will require some additional precautions and control to be exercised by entrants. All entrants, group organisers and individuals involved must fully comply with all local Covid-19 restrictions and advice that apply at the time of the event. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing, meeting people outside of their household/bubble and travel restrictions. Any enclosed operating space such as a car, caravan or a tent without two open sides is treated as an indoor location and will be subject to the tighter limits on the number of people visiting that space for the duration of the contest. The rules are different in each of the devolved nations and are regularly changing. So please satisfy yourself that you are compliant with your local rules at the time of the contest.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on the 5th and 6th of July whilst a large tree is felled in the immediate vicinity. Booked entries to Bletchley Park itself are unaffected.

Durham & District ARS is participating as one of the bonus stations in the 13 Colonies Special Event. The event began in 2009 as a way of celebrating American Independence with the original 13 colony States of 1776. Since the UK was a major historical player in the Revolutionary War, GB13COL from England will present an added challenge. The event will run from 1300UTC on the 1st of July to 0400UTC on the 8th. The primary focus of the event will be the HF bands, including VHF & UHF for QSOs using SSB, CW, FM and various digital modes. There is also an opportunity to exchange QSL cards with all 13 Colony State stations, plus the bonus stations. For further information go to 13colonies.us.

A polite reminder now concerning the frequencies used each Sunday by the RSGB’s GB2RS News service. The News is intended for all radio amateurs and listeners, and a clear frequency ensures that it may be heard as widely as possible. The national frequencies on HF are 1990, 3643, 3650, 5398.5 and 7127kHz. Some of these frequencies carry a succession of broadcasts from more than one location. On VHF and up, the principal frequencies for more localised broadcasts throughout the day are 70.425, 145.525 and 433.525MHz. Most amateurs appreciate that no individual or organisation has ownership of any frequency on the amateur bands, it has always been ‘first come first served’. But, in the case of GB2RS, there is a restriction on how far the broadcast is allowed to move to avoid interference. So, whether you’re a club planning to set up a regular net, a contest station rapidly jumping frequencies, or someone just looking for a spot to call CQ, if it’s a Sunday please spare a thought for the RSGB’s volunteers who are trying to deliver the news. The full GB2RS frequency list and transmission times can be viewed at rsgb.org/gb2rsschedule and many webSDRs label the News spots on their waterfall displays. The RSGB would like to thank amateurs for respecting these frequencies.

The Youngsters On The Air Contest’s first round is complete and the claimed results have been posted on the YOTA website at contest.ham-yota.com. Worldwide participation was very good. In the YOTA-class categories, more than 100 entries were from contesters between 7 and 25 years old, and three entered as short wave listeners. There were more than 600 entries of participants above the age of 25, with the oldest participant at age 87. The next round will be on the 8th of July.

Today, the 27th is the final day of the three-day Ham Radio World event. Instead of physically meeting in Friedrichshafen participants are able to listen to lectures, look at exhibiting companies and view the virtual exhibition site. Go to www.darc.de and click on the Ham Radio World advert at the top of the page, then chose the English language option for more information.

The vintage Alexanderson alternator transmitter in Grimeton, Sweden, will conduct its annual Alexanderson Day transmission on the 4th of July using its usual callsign, SAQ. The CW transmission will be on 17.2kHz, CW. Startup and tuning for the first SAQ transmission will take place at 0830UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 0900UTC. Startup and tuning for the second SAQ transmission will take place at 1130UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 1200UTC.

Now the DX news

Loick, HB9HBY will be active again as HB0/HB9HBY from Liechtenstein from the 30th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8/FT4. QSL via EB7DX.

Jerome, F8FKJ is active as J20EE from Djibouti until mid-July. He operates CW. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Alex, AK4AM will be active as AK4AM/P from Atlantic Beach, Bogue Banks, IOTA reference NA-112, until the 3rd of July. He will operate SSB only with a focus on the 80, 40 and 20m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Gerard, G3WIP will be working as a doctor on St Helena until the 30th of September. He plans to be on the air in his spare time.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

The Boy Scouts of America Radio callsign K2BSA/8 will be on the air from the Trail To Eagle event. This takes place between the 29th of June and the 2nd of July. A QSL card is available when requested.

Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.

Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.

GB0UTA and GB5UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. 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. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

Today, 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 today, the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, 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.

On Monday, the 5th FT4 Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using the 80m band only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is the RSGB VHF National Field Day. It runs from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on the 50MHz to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Please note that with the current Covid-19 restrictions, teams with multiple operators should ensure they are following the regulations in their area.

Next Sunday, the 4th of July, is the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest. It runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. 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 25th of June.

We had another week that was largely dominated by Sporadic-E openings. It is worth pointing out that Sporadic-E can and does have a blanketing effect on HF signals, which can prevent them from reaching the F2 layer of the ionosphere. This means that predictions created by a program like VOACAP or ITURHFPROP can often be over-optimistic. VOACAP and ITURHFPROP do not take into account seasonal Sporadic-E and, in any event, the localised and changing nature of Sporadic-E clouds means it would be very hard to make monthly median predictions.

During the summer months, take computerised propagation predictions with a pinch of salt. While short-skip propagation may be better at times, longer distance signals may in fact be worse than the predictions.

Sunspot region 2833 has now rotated out of view off the Sun’s edge and we can expect the solar flux index to decline from the 80 reached on Thursday. The good news is that at least two returning regions, 2830 and 2831, will be turning back into view over the weekend. A lack of coronal holes means geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet over the next week. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 76-78 with a maximum Kp index of two.

Lastly, due to a major outage at the server in the States at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, there is no ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website foF2 graphs at the moment. The server has been subjected to a cyber attack and restoration of the academic services rightly takes priority; the graphs will be there as soon as the server is back online.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s another week of mixed fortunes for VHF/UHF users, with a tendency for high pressure over northern areas after the unsettled weather moves through during the tail end of this week. It eventually leaves an area of low pressure close to, or over, southern areas and this remains in place for much of the next week. Towards the end of the week, another low will drift south across eastern areas.

The best chance of Tropo is over Scotland and Ireland, while unsettled and potentially thundery weather will be a good source for some rain scatter activity in southern areas.

The Sporadic-E prospects are looking a bit quiet at first, but as a new upper-low moves into the southern UK and France, we should see prospects improve again into next week, particularly for paths to Iberia and the eastern Mediterranean.

Moon declination goes positive again on Friday, so peak Moon visibility windows and peak elevations will increase. Path losses will rise throughout the week.

The June Bootids meteor shower peaks today.

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

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