IARU Region 1 wants your bright ideas for the hobby
RSGB Convention bookings open
If you are interested in becoming part of the RSGB RadCom Editorial team, the Society is recruiting for a Managing Editor and a Technical Editor. There is further information about both roles on the Society's website at www.rsgb.org/careers.
The IARU Region 1 is looking for ideas that could lead to more licensed radio amateurs. Draft proposals are welcome by the 31st of May. The best ideas will be shared with the proposing teams so they can work on a more detailed project on 10th June. Details are at iaru-r1.org.
The RSGB is holding an in-person Convention again between the 7th and 9th of October at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. Booking is now open and, if you book by the 31st of August, you can take advantage of the early-bird discounts. For further information see rsgb.org/convention.
Canada's amateur radio regulator has granted amateurs in Canada the right to use special callsigns in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the period of the 14th of May to the 14th of July. For example, VE3 calls become VX3, VA7 becomes VG7 and so on. The special callsigns may also be used during the IARU World HF Championship Contest.
Today, Sunday the 8th of May is the deadline for young radio amateurs to apply to represent their country and national society at this year’s Youngsters on the Air, or YOTA, summer camp. The camp will be held in Croatia from the 6th to the 13th of August. To apply, you need to be a Member of the RSGB, aged between 15 and 25. For further information see rsgb.org/yota.
The digital TV repeater, GB3JV, has undergone some major upgrades. A new 70cm reduced bandwidth TV input and a new repeater controller have been added. Justin, G8YTZ, the repeater keeper, hopes the upgrades will encourage more users. Listeners may be interested to know there is an article in the CQ-TV magazine, number 275, about the repeater controller. More at gb3jv.co.uk.
A reminder that the RSGB’s summer programme for Tonight@8 begins tomorrow, Monday the 9th of May. Mark Haynes, M0DXR will talk about contesting. 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. You can watch and ask questions live on the RSGB YouTube channel or find out more on the Society’s website at rsgb.org/webinars.
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 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.
Next Saturday, the 14th, the Barry ARS Rally will take place at Sully Sports & Social Club, South Road, Sully near Barry CF64 5SP. Open to the traders from 7.30 am and to the public from 9.30 am, admission is £2.50. There is free parking on site.
Now the DX news
Mike, W6QT plans to be active as DU3/W6QT from Subic Bay in the Philippines until the 15th of September. He will operate SSB and FT8 on the 6 to 80m bands. QSL via W6QT. The log will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and Club Log.
Ilya, R5AF and Igor, R4FCN will be active as EX/R5AF and EX/R4FCN from Kyrgyzstan until the 14th of May. They will operate CW, FT8 and some SSB on the 10 to 40m bands. QSL cards will be sent to everyone via the bureau. They also plan to upload to Logbook of The World, eQSL, HamLog and Club Log.
Three operators will be active as 5P1EG from Romo Island, EU-125, until the 14th of May. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on various bands. QSL via SP1EG.
Yuris, YL2GM will be active as VU4W from the Andaman Islands, AS- 001, until the 16th of May. Look for activity on the 10 to 160m bands CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 Fox and Hounds mode. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or direct to YL2GN.
Now the Special Event news
Northwest Group Amateur Radio Club in Londonderry are activating GB0AEL as part of the 90th Anniversary of Amelia Earhart's landing in Londonderry. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. They will activate GB0AEL from the 13th to the 30th of May. More information on qrz.com under the callsign GB0AEL.
GB0SCW will be on the air from Stone Cross Windmill, East Sussex between 10 am and 5 pm on the 7th and 8th of May. They plan to use SSB on the 3.5, 7 and 14MHz bands, as well as 2m and 70cm FM. There may also be HF operations from a car parked on the windmill grounds during the evenings. See qrz.com for more details.
Other special event stations to look for during the next week are GB2WTM from Woodbridge Tide Mill and GB1TLB from Torbay. GB2PHC will be operating from Macclesfield and GB5CBH from Broad Hinton. Finally, from the Ofcom data, GB2IPA will be on the air from Southwold.
Now the contest news
Running for 24 hours next weekend, the 432MHz to 245GHz contest ends at 1400UTC today, 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 today, 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 today, 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 today, the 8th, the Worked All Britain 7MHz Phone Contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Phone modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your Worked All Britain location.
On Monday the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is a signal report and serial number.
The 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC on Tuesday. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both, the signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday it is the 432MHz FT8 Activity Contest running from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your report and 4-character locator.
Thursday sees the 50MHz UK Activity Contest taking place between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next Sunday, the 15th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The UK Microwave Groups millimetre-wave contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC next Sunday, the 15th. Using all modes on the 24, 47 and 76GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 6th of May 2022.
Last week was characterised by solar flares. At the time of writing, we have seen more than 50 since the 1st of May, including one high-energy X-class flare. This occurred on the 3rd of May at 1325 hours and caused a radio blackout over much of the Atlantic. Luckily, the Kp index has remained low, which has enabled the ionosphere to develop. And solar flux indices have been steadily climbing and reached 130 by Thursday.
There have been many reports of good propagation. It has been a simple case of being in the right place at the right time. Ten metres has been open well into the evening at times, as well as providing paths to Australasia in the morning. At other times people have reported the band as being dead.
We have also seen the beginnings of the Sporadic-E season with reports that 10 metres has been wide open to Europe at times. Hopefully, this will develop as the month goes on.
Next week, NOAA predicts that the SFI may dip before climbing back into the 120s. However, the US Air Force says that it will just continue to rise, perhaps hitting 140. This seems more plausible going on past performance.
Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet with a Kp index of two. However, it would only take one Earth-facing coronal mass ejection to spoil this entirely.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
Starting with Tropo news, this weekend sees the new week starting with high pressure right over the British Isles. This high will drift slowly southeast into the continent by midweek, centred over the Balkans. There should be some reasonable Tropo paths, especially to the south into France and northern Spain. This will be fairly short-lived because, starting midweek, a weakening cold front brings rain to northwest Britain and breaks up into showers as it moves south.
This brings the prospect of some rain scatter for a while and as per last week, this is likely to peak in the afternoon. After these showery days, another high appears by Friday to end the week, gradually transferring to the North Sea with a further chance of Tropo. Bear in mind that these weather forecasts are 10 days out so there are bound to be differences in the models. From midweek, some models retain the showery risk for longer.
Summer Sporadic-E, or Es, propagation is well underway with some early reports up to 2m by Chris, G0DWV who heard an IV3 briefly on 2m before dropping back into the noise. We have had many hints of the new season, mostly on 10m and 6m.
Just to remind you that Es activity tends to come in two periods, mid-morning and again late afternoon/early evening. Remember the daily blog onPropquest.co.uk, which gives the current day’s prospects as well as an EPI (Es Probability Index) map to allow you to plan your shack activity.
The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is tailing off now but the Make More Miles on the VHF website suggests that meteoroids released from the minor planet 2006GY2 may cause activity on the 15th of May around 1020UTC. Apparently, the stream should be dense, so worth a look.
The Moon has passed peak declination and we are a week away from next Sunday’s perigee. The week’s trend will therefore be for shorter Moon windows and peak elevation and falling path losses. 144MHz sky noise is low this week, slowly rising and reaching 400K next Sunday.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.