Saint Patrick’s Day stations will be running from midday on the 16th of March to midday on the 18th of March. For further information and to register as a participating station go to stpatricksaward.com.
The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, has released its World Radio Conference-23 booklet. It provides easy access to the WRC-23 agenda and pertinent resolutions. It can be freely downloaded in all 6 languages of the ITU via the IARU Region 1 website at iaru-r1.org.
The Cornish Radio Amateur Club will be running this year’s International Marconi Day on the 23rd of April. Anyone wishing to register as an official station should please email email@example.com.
The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo takes place this weekend. Saturday’s lectures start at 1600 and Sunday’s at 1500UTC. The Expo platform will remain open until the 10th of April for viewing presentations on-demand. Go to qsotodayhamexpo.com for more information.
GB3YA in Cwmbran is now operational on 145.7125MHz with input 600kHz lower at 145.1125MHz. Initial tests show that stations as far away as Bath and Newbury are able to use the repeater. The repeater keeper says, ‘please, all feel free to use it'.
And now for details of rallies and events
Today, the 13th, the Hamzilla Radio Fest takes place at the Discovery Science Park, Gateway House, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9FF. Those who bought tickets and tables for 2021 will have had their bookings carried forward to Hamzilla 2022. Tickets from £3 and tables £12. More at www.hamzilla.uk.
The Callington ARS Rally takes place on the 27th of March. It will be held in the Town Hall at Callington in Cornwall.
Please send your rally and event news as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publicise your event for free in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online.
Now the DX news
Paul, G8AFC will be operational from Pereybere on the north coast of Mauritius island as 3B8HE until early April. He will principally use SSB on the 7, 14 and when propagation permits, the 28 and 50MHz bands. Operation will be mostly during the daytime as propagation dictates and occasionally in the evenings. QSL details are on QRZ.com
Don, K6ZO will be operating as D60AB [ Pron: Dee Six Zero A B] from the 16th to the 18th of March from the Comoros islands. QSL direct to his home callsign.
Diya, YI1DZ will be transmitting as Z81D from Juba in South Sudan until the 11th of September. Activity will be holiday style. QSL via OM3JW.
Now the Special Event news
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Humwick Primary School will be operating GB4HJS for Science Week. On Thursday and Friday, St Andrews Primary School also in Sunderland, will be operating GB2SPS for Science Week. Both stationswill operate using data modes on HF as well as using the VHF & UHF bands. More on both of these special event stations from Ian, G7MFN by email to email@example.com.
Two special event stations, GB1900HA and GB1900HW, will run throughout the year to commemorate 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall. Austin, M0MNE in South Shields and Roy, M0TKF in Hexham will be operating the stations from near Hadrian’s Wall and will be active on the HF and VHF bands in voice, CW and digital modes. QSL via Logbook of the World and Club Log’s OQRS. See QRZ.com for more information.
Now the contest news
When operating in any contest, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following all relevant pandemic-related government rules. For RSGB Contests, until further notice, all logs received from stations located in the Russian Federation or Belarus will be treated as check logs.
The second 70MHz Cumulative Contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC today, the 13th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The RSGB Commonwealth Contest ends its 24-hour run at 1000UTC today, the 13th. This is one of the longest-running contests in the HF contesting world. It is CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
The 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Tuesday from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place between 2000 and 2130 UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
Also on Wednesday, the 1296MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs between 1700 and 2100 UTC. The exchange is callsign and your 4-character Maidenhead locator.
Thursday sees the all-mode 70MHz UK Activity Contest take place between 2000 and 2230UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend the BARTG HF RTTY Contest takes place from 0200UTC on the 19th to 0159UTC on the 21st. Using the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is serial number and time in UTC.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 11th of March 2022.
We may not have had a large number of sunspots this week, but at least the Sun was consistent. We started the week last Sunday with a sunspot number of 116, and by Thursday it was still at 115. This sounds worse than it actually was as there were six sunspot groups active on Thursday, including newly-assigned active region 2965, which is coming into view off the east limb.
As we predicted, last weekend was characterised by unsettled geomagnetic conditions with a maximum Kp index of five across Saturday and Sunday. This affected HF a little, but there were still some good UK scores put in for the ARRL DX International SSB contest, with Andy, M0NKR making 812 contacts in just seven hours on 40, 20 and 15 metres. He also reports working many USA west coast stations on 15 metres, which appeared to be the money band.
NOAA predicts that next week we will have a decline in solar activity with a predicted solar flux index of 110 falling to 100 by the end of the week. From a geomagnetic point of view, it may be a repeat of last weekend. NOAA says that it predicts a maximum Kp index of four this weekend, then we may have quieter conditions next week. But then it predicts an elevated Kp index the following weekend (19th to the 21st) of up to four again.
Finally, don’t forget we have the Commonwealth Contest this weekend, which is a great opportunity to work some choice DX stations with no competition from non-Commonwealth entities - this doesn’t happen very often!
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
This first weekend sees a continuation of the unsettled weather type, especially in western areas, but there is a large area of high pressure just out of reach over central Europe. This looks as though it could edge towards the eastern side of the UK as we move into the new week and may give some Tropo to the east into the Baltic regions.
The problem is that there is a chance of some, much colder, air moving in from the east with a chance of some wintry showers. Although the main feature is likely to be the strength of the winds, bitter cold is not really conducive to good Tropo.
The other modes can still play a role, so check the solar data for high K indices, indicating a chance of aurora, as well as the usual early morning random meteor scatter. Perhaps start to dust down your techniques for Sporadic-E as we head into the second half of the month. We are not there yet, but maybe it is worth the occasional look at 10m.
The Moon’s declination is positive until next Saturday, and path losses are falling with perigee still more than a week away. 144MHz sky noise is low all week, creeping to just over 300 Kelvin next weekend.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.