The RSGB President spoke about the new Customer Relationship Management system at the AGM last Saturday. The Society would like to pre-warn Members that they will not be able to update their membership details from Thursday the 5th of May to Tuesday the 10th of May. This applies both to the online membership portal and to any telephone or email requests made to the Membership Team at HQ. This time will be a transition period as the new system is brought online. Once it is active, RSGB members will be asked to create a new password to enable them to access the membership portal and further details about this will be shared next week. This is the first part of a series of upgrades being planned for Membership Services.
On Thursday evening, the 5th of May, Wigtownshire Amateur Radio Club is hosting an open Zoom meeting. It will be a talk by Mark Wickens, M0NOM on The ADIF Processor. This is an online tool, developed by Mark, for enriching your log files and visualising contacts on Google Earth. Originally developed to help him record additional, useful information in his log files, it became a way of viewing QSOs and propagation paths on Google Earth. You can read more and see some of the graphics of propagation paths on the club’s website at gm4riv.org. To receive the Zoom link, please email in advance to email@example.com. The link will be emailed to you on Thursday the 5th, shortly before the 'virtual doors' open at 7:40 pm.
The 2022 Youngsters on the Air, or YOTA, IOTA region 1 summer camp will be held in Croatia not far from the capital city of Zagreb. The Croatian Amateur Radio Association will be hosting the event, which will take place from the 6th to the 13th of August. This is a chance in a lifetime for young RSGB members to represent their country and national society. Participants will join workshops where they will gain the skills to start similar amateur radio youth events when they return home. There will also be time to enjoy operating the latest amateur radio equipment, both locally and remotely, kit-building and visiting the seaside and the capital city. To apply, you need to be a Member of the RSGB, aged between 15 and 25. The deadline for applications is Sunday the 8th of May. For further information see the RSGB website at rsgb.org/yota or for an application form please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The results of the RSGB election, annual trophies and the 2022 Construction Competition were announced at the Society’s AGM on the 23rd of April. You can read the results on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/agm under the AGM 2022 proceedings tab.
The summer programme for Tonight@8 begins on Monday the 9th of May. It will be a presentation by Mark Haynes, M0DXR on contesting, which is also sometimes known as radiosport.He will explain how this aspect of amateur radio can not only be a good test for your station but also a great way to make lots of QSOs with many countries in a short period of time. The presentation will cover the basics of contesting but will also give a flavour of the more advanced techniques adopted by experienced and extreme contesters. It will also include an explanation of what it takes to achieve a world win in the largest events of the year.
The RSGB is looking to recruit a Technical Editor for RadCom. Reporting to the Managing Editor, the successful candidate will need a wide range of radio and electronic knowledge, including amateur radio. The RSGB is looking for someone who is positive, enthusiastic about technology, has an excellent command of English and has a good eye for detail. For more detailed information about the role and how to apply, see the Careers page on the RSGB website rsgb.org/careers.
And now for details of rallies and events
Please send your rally and event news as soon as possible to email@example.com. We’ll publicise your event in RadCom, on GB2RS, and online.
Today, the 1st of May, Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre Radio Amateur Rally will be at Thorpe Camp, Tattershall, Thorpe, Lincolnshire. It is open to the public from 9 am till 1 pm and entry is £4 with under 12s free. There will be hot and cold food on-site and car parking inside the grounds. Contact Anthony on 07956 654481.
On bank holiday Monday, the 2nd of May, the Dartmoor Radio Rallywill take place in the Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton PL20 6AL. There is free parking and the doors open at 10 am, with admission being £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as trader stands. Refreshments will also be available. Contact Roger on 0785 408 8882.
Next Sunday, the 8th, the Lough Erne ARC Annual Rally will be held at the Arena @ Share Discovery Village, 221 Lisnaskea Road, Lisnaskea BT92 0JZ. Doors open at 11.30 am for the public. Facilities are available on-site for breakfast, lunches and tea & coffee.
Now the DX news
Renato, PY8WW will be active as HK0/PY8WW from San Andres Island, NA-033, between the 7th and 12th of May. He plans to operate on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via his home call.
Hitoshi, JR0UIU will be active as JR0UIU/0 from Awashima Island, AS-206, until the 3rd of May. He plans to operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on various bands and also via satellite. QSL via his home call, direct or via the bureau.
Janusz, SP9FIH and Leszek, SP6CIK are operating from Nepal as 9N7WE and 9N7CI, respectively, until the 19th of May. Activity is on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL to their home calls.
Michael, W6QT is operating as DU3/W6QT from Subic Bay in the Philippines during the month of May. Activity is on the 6 to 80m bands using SSB and FT8. QSL to his home call.
Now the Special Event news
GB0SCW will be on the air from Stone Cross Windmill, East Sussex from 10 am to 5 pm next Saturday and Sunday. Using SSB on the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, they also plan activities on 2m and 70cm. There may also be some HF operations in the evenings from a car parked on the windmill grounds. See qrz.com for more details.
Dom, F5SJB will operate CW only as TM5RDL between the 1st and 15th of May. The special callsign commemorates the composer, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, who wrote the song that eventually became the French national anthem. QSL via F5SJB.
Now the contest news
The UK EI Contest Club DX contest runs for 24 hours until 1200UTC today, the 1st of May. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that EI and GI stations also send their District code.
Today, the 1st of May, the UK Six Metre Group Summer marathon starts. It runs until the 2nd of August. Using all modes on the 50MHz bands, the exchange is your 4-character locator.
On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.
The 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest takes place on Wednesday from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your report and 4-character locator.
On Saturday, the 432MHz trophy takes place between 1400 and 2200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Running for 24 hours next weekend, the 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC on Sunday the 8th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also running for 24 hours is the ARI International DX contest. This finishes at 1200UTC on the 8th. Using CW, RTTY and SSB on the 3.5MHz to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Note that Italian stations will also give their Province code.
Three contests are due to take place next Sunday, the 8th of May. The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 0800 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Also running between 0800 and 1400UTC is the 10GHz Trophy contest. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Finally for the 8th, the Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using AM, FM and SSB, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your Worked All Britain locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 29th of April 2022.
A week of high solar flux indices brought good openings on the higher bands. With the SFI consistently above 140 all week (at the time of writing) there have been reports of 10-metre openings well into the evening.
As Ian Goodier on the 10m UK Net Facebook group reported: “Tonight on 10m you could mistake the band for 20m - East Malaysia in one direction, Mexico in the other.”
There were also reports of Australian and New Zealand stations being worked on 10 metres, making this possibly one of the best weeks for 28MHz so far this solar cycle.
But there were some spanners in the works too. There were a lot of C-class solar flares and two M-class events this week. Geomagnetic conditions have also been disturbed at times with Wednesday being the worst day with the Kp index hitting five twice on one day. Solarham.net said this was an unexpected geomagnetic storm as the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped south. Another solar storm is forecast for the 29th of April, thanks to a large coronal hole on the Sun’s equator.
NOAA predicts more of the same next week with the SFI probably above 130.
Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet next week, with an average Kp index of two. That is, at least until the 7th of May when it could rise to four. However, this presupposes that we don’t have any coronal mass ejections to contend with. At this point in the solar cycle, solar flares and associated CMEs are commonplace and could push the Kp index higher roughly 48 hours after any Earth-directed CME. As always, keep an eye on Solarham.net for daily updates.
And finally, we can now expect a big upturn in Sporadic-E openings on the higher HF bands. Keep an eye on the European 10m beacons for openings and find out more in our VHF news.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
As we move into May, the chances of Sporadic-E begin to increase and it's worth keeping a close eye on the usual bands from 10m up to 6m, later in the month, the 2m band might surprise us. The Propquest.co.uk website contains a useful EPI map plot of regions where Sporadic-E may be more likely based upon weather triggers of atmospheric gravity waves that are part of the formation process. It also contains a daily blog with commentary to highlight significant jet streams and other regions of interest.
The main focus on the weather charts starts with high pressure bringing fairly good Tropo conditions at the end of last week. Over this weekend a small low will drift into western areas and generally disrupt the Tropo propagation, producing a weaker pattern for next week with a hint of isolated showers. Later in the week, some models bring another low southeast from Iceland to Denmark introducing a cooler north-westerly flow with a few showers until a new high builds next weekend. The result of this will be possible Tropo windows later towards next weekend. There is a possibility of a little rain scatter in between, but generally limited.
The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will peak between midnight and dawn on Friday the 6th of May 2022. Its ZHR is a very respectable 50. The shower favours the Southern Hemisphere and the radiant is low in the sky for the UK in the early pre-dawn hours.
The predictable cycle of Moon-bounce propagation continues this week with positive Moon declination peaking on Thursday, now almost coinciding with apogee and therefore highest path losses. After mid-July, the trend of rising declination and rising path loss reverses, until, in mid-2026 maximum declination coincides with perigee and minimum path loss again. 144MHz sky noise is generally low this week, reaching 500K on Wednesday.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.