This is the weekly RSGB GB2RS broadcast.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 11th 2019.

Posted on May 10th, 2019


Sunday 12th May 2019


The news headlines:

  • Midland series ARDF event in Leicestershire

  • Monk Apollo, SV2ASP, Silent Key

  • BBC explains amateur radio emergency comms


The first of the Midland series ARDF events takes place on Saturday the 18th of May at Burbage Common, between Hinckley and Earl Shilton in Leicestershire, map reference SP446953. Anyone interested should meet at the visitor centre off the B4668, that’s the old A47, at 10am. Suitable radio receivers will be available on loan. There will be tuition if you would like this and also mentors to help you get started. The 80m band is being used and there will be five transmitters to be located. You will find it helpful to bring a compass with a rectangular base plate, a fine tipped spirit pen and a lightweight A4 board to which you can tape the map that will be provided. Dress appropriately for a walk in the woods. There is a fee of £2 to cover the costs of the maps and incidentals.

Sad news now. Mount Athos’ best-known radio amateur, Monk Apollo, SV2ASP, became Silent Key on the 5th of May after complications resulting from cancer. He was 64. Monk Apollo was essentially the lone DX voice from Mount Athos, the 20th most-wanted DXCC entity, where he operated from his Orthodox Monastery.

An interesting item about amateur radio was broadcast on the BBC World Service this week. It dealt with the importance of amateur radio emergency communications during the recent cyclone in India. You can listen to the broadcast, Digital Planet – Ham Radio Aids Cyclone Relief Effort, at

New videos have been added to the RSGB YouTube channel for anyone to view. Dan McGraw, M0WUT presents ‘Designing an HR WSPR Transceiver’ and Noel Matthews, G8GTZ talks about ‘The Farnham WebSDR – DC to microwaves on your smartphone’. Go to for these and many more interesting talks.

A BBC Earth PodCast featuring Eleanor Griffin, M6NWZ talking about her experience with an ISS link from Kings High School, Warwick was broadcast this week. Go to, scroll to the bottom and listen to the one called ‘Looking Up’.

There are several interesting publications available on the IARU Region 1 website at You can read the latest edition of the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter that contains detailed reports from the various national coordinators showing the various stations that have been monitored on the amateur bands and any action that has been taken. The IARU Region 1 VHF newsletter contains reports on the recent IARU meetings in Vienna preparing for the next ITU conference and has details of a 50MHz test that will take place on the 13th of June.

Recently added to the Syllabus 2019 updates on the RSGB website is a presentation on Digital Signal Processing Without The Maths. This is aimed at tutors preparing training material. On the page you will also find the Exam Specifications, details of the Tutors’ meeting in March, and model tutorial slides on SDR and Digital elements.

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 11th and 12th of May.

Dayton Hamvention® takes place on the 17th to the 19th of May at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center, Dayton, Ohio, USA. The RSGB will be represented with a Book Stall and Membership stand.

On Sunday the 19th of May, the Dunstable Downs National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale will be held at Stockwood Park, Luton LU1 4BQ. More details can be found on the website

To get your event into RadCom, onto GB2RS and on the RSGB website, please send details as early as possible to

And now the DX news from 425 DX News and other sources

To celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on 17th May a special station, 8J1ITU, will be on the air throughout May from the Japanese island of Honshu. QSL via the Bureau.

Tom, DL7BO will be active again as XV9BO from Mui Ne, Vietnam on 13-19 May. He will operate sporadically on the HF bands SSB, CW, RTTY and FT8. QSL via LoTW or DL7BO.

Lance, W7GJ will be active as CP1GJ from Copacabana, WWL FH53kt, Bolivia on 7-16 May. This will be a 6m EME DXpedition. Lance urges people to gain experience with JT65A and especially review the QSO procedure. When not aimed up at the moon he may be on SSB, or FT8 on 50.313MHz. QSL direct only to home call. See for planned operating schedules and other information.

Members of Tynemouth ARC, G0NWM, are travelling to the Isle of Mull, IOTA reference EU-008, from Friday the 17th of May until Friday the 24th, where they will be operating using the callsign GS0NWM. Subject to conditions the group will be operating up to four stations across the HF bands on SSB, CW, RTTY, FT8 using Fox and Hound mode and they hope to have a go at VHF/UHF satellite operation. QSL is via

Thomas, F4HPX will be active again as FR/F4HPX from Reunion Island, AF-016, between mid-May and early June. He will operate SSB, FT8 and maybe some CW on 40 to 15 metres from different locations around the island. QSL via LoTW, Club Log’s OQRS, or via home call, direct or bureau.

Jacques, F6HMJ will be active as SV8/F6HMJ from Ios Island, EU-067, on 14-28 May. He will operate SSB and CW on 80 to 10 metres.

Now the special event news

This weekend you can expect to hear special event stations taking part in SOS Radio Week, Pubs and Clubs on the Air and Mills on the Air. Several of these stations are mentioned in local news this week.

Cwmbran ARC will be operating from Llanyravon Mill, Llanyravon Way, Cwmbran over the weekend for Mills on the Air. Visitors are welcome.

Windmill Amateur Radio DX Group will be operating GB1WW from Wilton Windmill, Wilton, near Marlborough.

Members of West Kent ARS are operating from the Nutley Windmill on Ashdown Forest today, the 12th, using GB2NW. Operation will be on HF and 144MHz SSB and FM.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel and to mark the occasion five special event callsigns will be on the air until the 18th of May. Look for 4Z64EURO, 4X64S, 4X64O, 4X64N and 4X64G.

Please send special event details to, as early as possible, for free publicity on GB2RS, in RadCom and online. UK special event stations must be open to the public, and our free publicity can help.

Now the contest news

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 4th of August. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is just your four-character locator.

Today, the 12th of May, the 70MHz CW Contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today, the 12th, the Worked All Britain 40m phone contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB area.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest, from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 144MHz May Contest runs from 1400UTC on the 18th to 1400UTC on the 19th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday the 19th, the 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next Sunday, the 19th, the UK Microwave Group High Band contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4DDK on Friday the 10th of May.

Sunspot group 2740 has now returned and is emitting a lot of radio noise. reports large bursts have been recorded on 20 and 25MHz. The bursts sound like waves breaking on the shore and are caused by beams of electrons accelerated by explosions in the sunspot’s magnetic canopy. As the electrons slice through the Sun’s atmosphere, they generate a ripple of plasma waves and radio emissions detectable on Earth.

The last week saw slightly better HF conditions. Andy, M0NKR reports working Nobby, FW5JG on 20 metres on Wallis and Futuna Islands. Jim, G3YLA also reported working James, K6AR just north of San Diego in California at 1400Z, also on 20 metres.

Sporadic-E has also been growing this week. Beacon signals were logged on 10 metres from Poland on Wednesday, and Spain and Italy on Thursday. The 10m beacons, from 28.160 to 28.325MHz are a good guide to propagation, especially as many of them run less than five watts.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be 76, thanks to the two sunspots groups now visible on the solar disk. A weak, slow-moving coronal mass ejection observed on Tuesday the 7th of May is predicted to deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field this weekend. Otherwise, geomagnetic conditions will be settled with a maximum K index of two next week, although more coronal mass ejections from sunspot groups 2740 and 2741 are a strong possibility. This could lead to an elevated K index and poorer HF conditions in the short term.

Daytime critical frequencies remain in the 4-5MHz range, with the maximum usable frequency over 3,000km occasionally exceeding 18MHz. The night-time critical frequency is mostly now staying above 3.5MHz, which means 80m should remain open to NVIS signals around the UK throughout the night.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s an unsettled end to the week with further showers for many areas, so there is still some scope for rain scatter on the microwave bands. Some of the showers could be heavy with a chance of hail and thunder, so watch out for rain static.

The big change will come after the weekend when the pressure builds quickly to produce a large area of high pressure over the country and improved weather all round. It also means a good chance of Tropo and maybe checking out those solar panels for your off-the-grid portable set up.

Sporadic-E has been showing its hand during the last week and there should a reasonable chance of jet streams in good locations for further Sporadic-E in the coming week.

Use the website to see the daily updates. Starting this weekend, there will be a jet stream over the Pyrenees that translates east to the Alps. This means we could start off with paths to EA/CT and gradually move to Italy and IS0 in the central Mediterranean.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower has now peaked, although there are still meteors associated with this shower up to about the 24th of May, so expect to hear some pings throughout this week. We now enter a bit of a lull in shower activity until the July Delta Aquariids.

Full Moon occurs next Sunday, the 19th of May. This is a low declination full Moon, meaning that the moon reaches full illumination at its lowest point in the sky of this lunar cycle. This period should be more favourable for stations without antenna elevation, although the low declination often means more terrestrial obstructions for the antenna view of the Moon. Path loss will increase through the week, as will libration – the Moon’s apparent “wobble” that lets us see up to 59% of its surface.

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