The RSGB is hosting the Transatlantic Centenary Tests 2022 on the HF bands for the month of December. Unlike those of the 1920s, which consisted of one-way communication, this event will encourage worldwide two-way communication with UK and Crown Dependency stations. There will be a series of awards available for making QSOs with those who are activating historic RSGB call signs. The Club Log team has kindly agreed to provide the supporting infrastructure for this. The Society is looking for RSGB members to take part and make this historic event a success. You can read more on page 54 of the December RadCom and be inspired by the RSGB Convention Transatlantic Test presentation on the RSGB YouTube channel. To find out how to take part, go to rsgb.org/transatlantic-tests
The Wales Millennium Centre is hosting a 360-degree virtual reality experience inspired by the wireless signals Marconi and Kemp exchanged between Flat Holm Island and Lavernock Point in 1897. Called ‘A Signal Across Space’, the experience takes the audience on a multi-layered journey that includes the history, mythology, language and nature of the area surrounding Lavernock. RSGB Regional Representative Glyn Jones, GW0ANA recorded a talk about Marconi which appears in snippets throughout the piece. In Welsh and English, it runs until the 20th of November and is free but you need to book tickets in advance. Go to www.wmc.org.uk and search for ‘A Signal Across Space’.
The RSGB has just released two videos that feature a wide range of interesting interviews that took place at its recent convention. In the first, you can hear from three amateur radio Presidents, RSGB Board members and other volunteers, as well as representatives of the European Space Agency and AMSAT-UK. The RadCom team introduce themselves, Convention attendees explain what they were looking forward to, and the RSGB General Manager and Convention Chair, Steve Thomas M1ACB, talks about the importance of the event. The second video focuses on the RSGB-affiliated special interest groups and introduces RSGB SIG Manager Philip Hosey, MI0MSO. It was great to talk to them all and find out what they do and how you can get involved. You can find both videos in the RSGB 2022 Convention playlist on the Society’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/theRSGB
The Bath Based Distance Learning team has helped over a thousand students to pass UK amateur radio exams with pass rates consistently above the national average. Their next course will be for the Intermediate level and it will run from January to May 2023. The deadline for applications is the 7th of December 2022. There will be no charge for the training but students will need to provide their own textbook, scientific calculator, electronic parts and tool kit. As well as weekly work packages via a virtual classroom, there will be weekly online tutorials, revision quizzes and lots of practical exercises to bring the theory to life. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required. As part of the application process, there will be some pre-course work to ensure students are able to use the online learning systems and ensure they are ready to study in January. To find out more and receive course application details, email Team Leader Steve, G0FUW via email@example.com The team will also run a Full Licence course, which will start in August 2023, but a further announcement will be made when that course is ready for enrolment.
The RSGB’s National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed from Tuesday the 22nd of November until Friday the 25th of November for the upgrading of essential equipment and the installation of a new fire alarm system. The Society apologises for any inconvenience this causes.
Earlier in the year, the RSGB was approached by the BBC to find experts to contribute to two episodes of its planned series, ‘The Secret Genius of Modern Life’. In this week’s episode, Neil Smith, G4DBN re-created the Great Seal Bug. The RFID technology developed for the bug is what allows contactless card payments to work. You can catch up with the programme on BBC iPlayer.
And now for details of rallies and events
The Rochdale and District Amateur Radio Winter Rally will take place on Saturday the 19th of November. The venue will be Saint Vincent De Paul’s Hall, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10 am with entry for £3. The usual traders and caterers will be there and plenty of free parking is available. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The 43rd Coulsdon Amateur Transmitting Society Radio and Electronics Bazaar will be held on Sunday the 20th of November. The venue will be Oasis Academy, Homefield Road, Coulsdon, Surrey CR5 1ES. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Now the Special Event News
Leyland and District Amateur Radio Club will be active as GB9LD for Lancashire Day on Sunday the 27th of November 2022. Activity will take place on the 40m to 70cm bands. At 1500UTC the club will read the Lancashire Day Proclamation on HF and toast His Majesty King Charles III, Duke of Lancaster. All are welcome to join in. Enquiries to email@example.com
On Thursday the 1st of December, GB1WH will begin operating. The Special Event Station has been established to promote the work done by Wakefield Hospice. For more information, visit the GB1WH QRZ.com page.
GB1LJF begins its on-air activities on Thursday the 1st of December. The Special Event Station is operating to celebrate the manufacturing of the English Electric Lightning aircraft in Lancashire. More information is available via the GB1LJF QRZ.com page.
Now the DX news
Stan, LZ1GC and Ivan, LZ1PM will be active as A35GC from Tongatapu,OC-049, Tonga until the 20th of November. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log, Logbook of the World or via the Bureau.
Janusz, SP9FIH and Lech, SP9FUY will be active as FJ/SP9FIH and FJ/SP9FUY, respectively from Saint Barthelemy, NA-146, until tomorrow, Monday the 14th. They will be active on the 30, 20, 15 and 12m bands using SSB. QSL via Club Log.
Now the contest news
The Worked All Europe DX RTTY Contest ends its 24-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 13th. Using the 80 to 10m bands, where contesting is permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Today, the 13th, the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Tuesday the 15th of November, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the 16th of November, the Autumn Series SSB Contest runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using the 80m band, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Thursday the 17th of November, the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Saturday the 19th of November, the 1.8MHz Contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and District Code.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 11th of November 2022
Last week was a mixed bag in terms of space weather. Yes, the solar flux index increased to 138 by Thursday the 10th, but at the same time, we had a fast solar wind and a solar flare from active region AR 3141 to contend with.
The Kp index hit five on Monday the 7th after a prolonged period with the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field pointing south. When the Bz points south it more easily couples with the Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar plasma to flood in.
The Bz component of the IMF then shifted north, which helped conditions improve over the week. In fact, the Kp index was down to zero for the latter half of Wednesday and Thursday.
With no coronal holes, this was about as good as it could get for HF and the bands didn’t disappoint. The MUF over a 3,000km path reached 38MHz around lunchtime on Thursday. DX worked from the UK including A35GC in Tonga, 7X3WPL in Algeria and P29RO in Papua New Guinea.
The KQ2H 10m FM repeater on 29.620MHz is acting like a beacon this Autumn, often hitting S9 plus in the early afternoon. Running 1.5kW from the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, it is a good indicator of trans-Atlantic conditions.
Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will decline a little, placing it in the region of 120. Geomagnetic conditions may remain settled, at least until the 18th when NOAA predicts the Kp index could rise to five.
That said, it would only take a solar flare, and associated coronal mass ejection, from one of the large sunspots visible at the moment to spoil things.
And now the VHF and up propagation news
The main weather theme for this weekend is the very long moist airflow from the Azores to the UK and onwards to western Scandinavia.
Because high pressure will be just to the east of the UK at first this will probably lead to some potentially long-range Tropo conditions from western Europe down to the Canaries and Spain/Portugal.
A cold front will probably cut the Azores out of the best conditions. However, we should also be able to make use of good conditions into Europe and particularly across the North Sea to southern Scandinavia and perhaps parts of the Baltic.
All this is fine until the next change-over to unsettled weather rolls in from the Atlantic on Monday night and during Tuesday. After then, it will be windy with rain or showers and a small chance of some fast-moving rain-scatter from heavy showers.
The Leonids meteor shower peaks on Thursday the 17th, plus expect an encounter with a dust trail on November the 19th. It’s predicted to occur at around 0600UTC with a short-lived high ZHR between 50 and 200, but activity level is uncertain.
This is a good week to check out meteor scatter options and there have continued to be some occasional reminders that the solar conditions are capable of sending some higher Kp indices our way with an attendant chance of auroral conditions, so stay alert to the Kp index values.
The Moon is at maximum declination so we have long Moon windows and zenith angles up to 65 degrees in the UK. Path losses are still low but with apogee today, path losses are at their highest. 144MHz sky noise is low all week.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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