Sunday 17th March 2019
The news headlines:
George Dobbs, G3RJV, silent key
RSGB AGM online voting is open
Train the Trainers in Cambridgeshire soon
It is with great sadness that we learned this week of the death of George Dobbs, G3RJV, founder of the GQRP club and well know for his writing in SPRAT, RadCom and Practical Wireless. An obituary for George will appear in the May edition of RadCom. Our thoughts are with his family and many amateur friends worldwide at this difficult time.
Voting is open for the RSGB 2019 AGM that takes place on the 27th of April in Birmingham. Members will find the Resolutions and other details in the April issue of RadCom and on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/agm2019.
There is a Train the Trainers course being organised and hosted by Huntingdon Amateur Radio Society for the 30th March in Buckden, St Neots, Cambridgeshire. For more information or to reserve a place, contact the organiser, David Howlett, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Bird, G4JED, Regional Representative for Region 10, is looking to recruit a volunteer for the post of District Representative for the East Sussex area. The prime duties in this annual and renewable post will be to liaise with the clubs and individuals in that area. There are opportunities to assist others and develop your own ideas to promote interest in amateur radio with the help of a team within Region 10. Anyone wishing to step into these roles should contact Keith, G4JED, via email to email@example.com
Greece is the latest newcomer to the 60m band. A ministerial decision dated the 26th of February published in the Greek government gazette of the 5th of March. This introduced a new Frequency Allocation Table, which authorises Greek radio amateurs to use the WRC-15 band on a secondary basis at 15W EIRP.
The Dayton Hamvention committee has announced their awards for 2019. Of particular interest is Pietro Begali, I2RTF, the 2019 recipient of Hamvention’s Technical Achievement Award. He is best known for designing and producing high-quality Morse keys and paddles. Chris Janssen, DL1MGB/KO2WW, is the winner of Hamvention’s 2019 Special Achievement Award. He served as president of World Radiosport Team Championship 2018, guiding more than 300 volunteers who put on the successful competition in Germany.
From the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter come reports that Russian over-the-horizon radar has caused severe problems on 14MHz. Sometimes three signals were active at the same time, each system with 14kHz bandwidth and many splatters. The transmitter is located north of Penza in Western Russia. The German PTT filed an official complaint and the Dutch PTT has been informed.
JVC Kenwood UK has appointed Martin Lynch & Sons as the sole UK distributor for Kenwood amateur radio products. ML&S has earned more Kenwood Amateur Radio Dealer of the Year awards than any other dealer. The sole distributorship for the UK reflects the continued support and commitment, says Kenwood UK. JVC Kenwood is committed to the amateur radio market and will continue to design and manufacture amateur radio equipment.
The RSGB has now released a new Intermediate training book to support the new amateur radio exam syllabus that starts on the 1st of September. The Intermediate Licence Manual For Radio Amateurs has been fully revised, reordered and contains all of the information required for those seeking to upgrade from their Foundation callsign. Go to www.rsgbshop.org for full details.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, the 17th, the 34th Wythall Radio Club Hamfest takes place at the Club HQ, Wythall House, Silver Street, Wythall B47 6LZ. Doors open at 9.45am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30. There is free on-site parking and admission is £4. There are four halls of traders including a Bring & Buy and a club stand. A selection of refreshments will be available all day and bar facilities within Wythall House open from midday. Contact Ian Reeve, M0IDR on 01386 839 655.
The Hamzilla Radio Fest and Electronics Fair, hosted by Dover Amateur Radio Club, takes place on the 24th of March. Located at the Discovery Science Park, Gateway House, Ramsgate Road, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9FF, doors are open from 10am to 4pm. There will be a bring & buy, lectures, an RSGB Bookstall, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Contact Aaron, M0IER on 0771 465 4267.
The Callington Radio Rally takes place on the 24th at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open 10am to 1pm and admittance is £2. There will be a bring & buy and trade stands. Catering is available on site. There is ample free parking in the adjacent car park. The rally is organised jointly by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater Group and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information and bookings from Roger, 2E0RPH on 0785 408 8882.
Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co. Antrim BT57 8QG on the 24th of March. Doors open from 11am and admittance is £3. More details from firstname.lastname@example.org
To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to email@example.com – we need to know about four months in advance for RadCom.
And now the DX news from 425 DX News and other sources
Cezar, VE3LYC will be active as VE3LYC/KL7 from Little Diomede Island, IOTA reference NA-150, between the 18th and 26th of March. Plans are to operate CW and SSB on the 40 to 17m bands QSL via Club Log’’s OQRS, or via his home callsign either direct or via the bureau.
Alex, 5B4ALX will be active as E6ET from Niue, OC-040, from the 18th of March to the 2nd of April. He will operate SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8 on 160, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 10 and 6 metres. He will operate FT8 using a multi answer protocol with a focus on 20m during his day and 40/60m during his night, 0700 to 1700UTC. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS, Logbook of The World, or via IZ4AMS, either direct or via the bureau.
Dagmar, DM7PQ and Rainer, DL1AUZ will be active as E51NPQ and E51AUZ respectively holiday style from Manihiki, OC-014, North Cooks until the 25th of March, and from Aitutaki, OC-083, South Cooks between the 27th and 31st of March. They will operate CW only.
The EI DX Group DXpedition to Togo is on the air until the 26th of March. The plan is to operate as 5V7EI on all bands from 160 to 10m on CW, SSB and digital. QSL manager is M0OXO OQRS.
The Italian DXpedition team will be in Uganda until the 25th of March. They will operate as 5X3C on CW, SSB and RTTY. For QSOs on FT8 they will use the callsign 5X3E. QSL manager is I2YSB.
Now the special event news
Today, the 17th, Army, Sea and Air Cadet Units in the UK will be carrying out Exercise Blue Ham 19 as part of a weekend of activity. Operating on the 5MHz shared band, operation is expected from 8am to 5pm. QSO exchange details can be found at https://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham and amateurs may claim a certificate by contacting 10 or more stations over the weekend and submitting a copy of their log sheet.
Please send special event details to firstname.lastname@example.org, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. Remember that UK stations with special event callsigns must be open to the public, so our free publicity can help make your efforts more widely known.
Now the contest news
The Russian DX Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 17th. It uses CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations also sending their Oblast code.
The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its 48 hour run at 0200UTC on Monday the 18th of March. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.
IRTS News reports that there is an evening IRTS Counties Contest on Tuesday 19th March from 2000 UTC. It is a one-hour contest, on 80 metres, for SSB and CW. See www.irts.ie/contests for details and the full rules.
On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend the UK EI Contest Club DX CW contest runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 23rd. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District code.
Now the propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 15th of March
There is life in the old dog yet! The lone spotted region on the visible disk of the Sun managed to produce a minor C1.3 flare on the 8th of March. Although not a noteworthy event as far as peak X-Ray strength, the flare was associated with an eruption and what appears to be a faint coronal mass ejection. Much of the plasma was likely reabsorbed, but some did manage to escape the Sun when viewing coronagraph imagery, courtesy of the STEREO Ahead spacecraft. This wasn’t directed at Earth and we seem to have missed it.
This week has been characterised as relatively settled with the Kp index mainly in the zero to two range. There have been no sunspots since the disappearance of the sunspot we mentioned last week. So overall, not good conditions for radio, as was witnessed by last week’s Commonwealth Contest. The consensus was that it was one of the worst yet. Nevertheless, some high scores were presented. Stars like 3B8XF, ZF2CA and 9J2BO, plus many VK and ZL stations were worked from the UK.
Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux will remain at about 79. The Kp index will also remain relatively settled at two to three. The next big unsettled session is due on March 26, thanks to a coronal hole, with the Kp index predicted to hit five. So look out for aurora and make the most of the settled conditions this week.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
After a week or more of very unsettled weather with strong winds testing your antennas, its shaping up to be much quieter in the coming week as high pressure returns.
After this weekend, the pressure will start to build over the south of the country and develop a strong ridge. High pressure will drift northeast from the Azores and across the southern Britain, to finish over Germany by the end of the week. The effect of this will be a welcome return of Tropo lift conditions, although not especially strong all the time. A good visual indicator may be a layer of stratocumulus cloud at 1 to 2km above the ground, which will be at the height of the temperature inversion formed by sinking air within the high. These can extend over hundreds of kilometres to give paths well into northern Europe.
It could be a good week to test the other modes on VHF and UHF. Try a CW or SSB QSO for a change and, if calling CQ, remember to say what square you are in.
The Moon reached peak declination last week and is at perigee on Tuesday, so it’s a good week for EME with low path losses and high elevations.
There are no meteor showers this week, so again we’ll have to rely on random meteors around dawn for the best chance of meteor scatter DX.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.