Sunday the 28th of November 2021
The news headlines:
- Centenary of transatlantic amateur signals
- RSGB features in ICQ Podcast
- National Radio Centre holiday season openings
December 2021 marks the Centenary of the first amateur radio signals crossing the Atlantic. Signals from the USA were received by Paul Godley, 2ZE, at a specially prepared receiving setup at Ardrossan in Scotland. From the 1st to the 26th of December, all UK and Crown Dependency licensees may add the suffix /2ZE to their amateur callsign to mark the centenary. A programme of celebratory events will take place throughout December on both sides of the Atlantic; more details will be included in next week’s GB2RS News. Meanwhile, you can learn more about the story at www.transatlantic.org.uk
The team at ICQ Podcast invited the RSGB to have a chat with them in their latest episode. RSGB President Stewart Bryant, G3YSX talks about the IARU Region 1 workshop; ESC Chair Tony Kent, G8PBH gives an update on training and exams; whilst General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB and Comms Manager Heather Parsons discuss the recent online Convention and the way forward for the event. Go to icqpodcast.com and find episode 364. The RSGB section starts just after one hour and 29 minutes into the podcast.
The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has announced its opening times for the Christmas and New Year periods. The NRC will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, the Centre will close at 2 pm. See www.nationalradiocentre.com for useful info to help you plan your visit.
It's not too late to support December YOTA Month 2021. We need your help to get youngsters on the air and interested in radio communications. We have been granted the callsign GB21YOTA, for allocation to youngsters to operate throughout December. To see what operating slots are still available please look up GB21YOTA on QRZ.com. You can register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You must be a Full licence holder or have a Full licence holder willing to supervise the activity.
Recently in the media spotlight was Dave Rowntree, M0IEG. Apart from being a radio amateur and a county councillor in Norfolk, Dave is the drummer for the rock band Blur and has recently signed a solo contract with record company Cooking Vinyl. The story in Music Week quotes Dave describing how he enjoyed tuning around the spectrum in his youth. You can read the report at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2811A
The German national amateur radio society DARC has studied the recent flooding disasters in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate and will use the information to help develop future plans. The DARC department for emergency and disaster radio aims to be able to support the population and independent helpers on-site in times of a prolonged communications failure. The aim is to build up a pool of material and helpers who can then set up and operate a temporary network with access to the internet, for example. The full report, in German, is on the DARC website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2811B
The RSGB understands that its sister society in Norway, the NRRL, is working to establish a beginners’ licence in that country, which presently has only one licence class. Hoping to target those as young as 12 or 13, the licence is proposed to permit 10 watts and to encourage newcomers to build their own equipment.
And now for details of rallies and events
As previously announced, the Bishop Auckland RAC rally, which was planned for today, has been cancelled.
Now is the perfect time to let us know your group’s rally or event plans for 2022. Email email@example.com with details and we’ll publicise your event for free.
Now the DX news
Take, JI3DST is operating from Shodo Island, IOTA reference AS-200, as JI3DST/5, JR8YLY/5, and JR8YLY/p until the 2nd of December. QSL via ClubLog OQRS and LoTW.
Lester, W8YCM is in Jamaica, NA-097 until January next year and will be on the air as 6Y6Y. QSL via W8YCM.
Peter, HB9DVG is on the air as A52CC from Phodrang in Bhutan until the 21st of December. Activity is in his spare time on the HF bands using SSB and FT8. QSL via N4GNR.
Brian, ND3F is active as C6AQQ on the HF bands until the 7th of December from New Providence Island, NA-001. QSL via EA5GL.
Elvira, IV3FSG is on the air as C92R from Mozambique until the 30th of November. Activity is in her spare time on the HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL direct to IK2DUW.
Bob, WX4G is active as V4/WX4G from Calypso Bay on St Kitts, IOTA NA-104, until the 2nd of December. Find him anywhere from 160 to 6 metres, including 60 metres, using CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4. QSL via LoTW.
Tom, DL7BO and Tom, DJ6TF will be on the air as Z22O and Z21A, respectively, from Harare in Zimbabwe, from the 2nd to the 15th of December. CW, SSB, FT8 and FT4 will be used from 160 to 10m. QSL both via DJ6TF.
Now the Special Event news
Throughout December, Crocodile Rock Amateur Group will operate “Special Special” Event Station GB1002ZE and Special Event Station GB2ZE. Activities will be from near Ardrossan, Scotland, marking the first amateur transatlantic communication a century ago.
Special event stations 8H13H, 8H13U, 8H13T, 8G13T, 8G13A, 8G13N, 8G13G, 8G13S, 8G13E, and 8G13L will be on the air until the 12th of December to commemorate the 13th anniversary of South Tangerang City, Indonesia. Activity will be on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metres using SSB and FT8. QSL via operators’ instructions.
Friday the third of December is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, or IDPD. GB1NHS will be on the air in the UK and many other countries will see special event stations to mark the day. Members of Tanzania Amateur Radio Club will be active on the 3rd from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as 5H3ARC. They will operate on 20, 15, 10m and possibly other bands. QSL via 5H3ARC. In Bosnia & Herzegovina, radio club Tuzla will be active as E71AVW on 14MHz SSB from 10 am to 6 pm on the 3rd. Those on the air will include a group of blind and otherwise disabled amateurs. In Switzerland, HB9IPHA will be on the air from 0900 to 1600 UTC on the 3rd from Restaurant Pfaffenboden, Walchwil, locator JN47GC. Their activities will be on 40 to 10m.
Now the contest news
When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.
The CQWW DX CW contest concludes its 48-hour run at 2359UTC tonight, Sunday. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is a serial number, signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.
On Monday the FT4 Series #9 takes place on the 80m band from 2000 to 2130 UTC. The exchange is signal report plus Locator.
The 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest takes place on Wednesday from 1900 to 2100 UTC. Using FT8 only on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report and locator.
Wednesday sees the start of the UK Six Metre Group Winter Marathon. It’s not a contest, just an invitation to work as many people as possible on the 50MHz band using any mode. The exchange is signal report plus locator. The event ends on the 31st of January next year.
The ARRL 160m CW contest begins at 2200 UTC on Friday the 3rd and continues until Sunday at 1600UTC. Using CW only on the 160m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. W and VE stations also send their ARRL or RAC section info. During the contest, the RSGB will activate special event 1920s vintage callsigns to commemorate the transatlantic tests.
Sunday the 5th sees the 144MHz AFS contest, running from 1000 to 1600 UTC. Using all modes on the 2m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday 26th November 2021.
We had yet another week with low solar activity. The solar flux index started the week at 79 and by Thursday had only climbed to 83. Ideally, we want the SFI to be above 100 to guarantee good 10m openings. Geomagnetically, the Sun has been quiet with a maximum Kp index of three. On Thursday it was at one for most of the day. Propquest says that the MUF over a 3,000km path has exceeded 28MHz at times, but was stuck below 24.9MHz on Thursday. As a result, 10m sounded very quiet indeed.
This weekend is the CQWW CW contest, which is bound to generate some interest across the bands. Do take a look, especially on 21 and 28MHz, where we can expect some good DX at times, albeit somewhat fleetingly.
NOAA has the SFI pegged between 82 and 85 next week as well. There are signs of a possible new sunspot building on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft imagery, but we will have to wait and see.
The Kp index may rise to three this weekend, but next week looks quite settled with a Kp index of two forecast. There are coronal holes on the solar surface, but these are relatively small at the time of writing and look non-threatening. As always, things can change quite quickly so don’t take out word for it. Keep an eye on solarham.com for updates and Propquest.co.uk for near real-time critical frequency figures.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
The current unsettled spell of weather has curtailed any thoughts of Tropo for the period, which includes all of the coming week. This leaves rain scatter to discuss and these heavy showers, some wintry with hail or even thunder, may prove useful for the GHz bands. It is usually the case that showers can be quite vigorous early in the winter season, gaining their energy from the still relatively warm seas. This means that rain scatter paths will often involve showers running south or southeast over the North Sea or the Irish Sea, which online weather radars or lightning displays can locate easily.
Other modes are available, such as meteor scatter or aurora and it's well worth finding a good activity-logging website that displays these exotic paths to be there when the propagation is present. Most of the November meteor showers are past their peak, with the exception of the small November Orionids, active from the 13th of November to the 6th of December, peaking on the 28th of November.
The big Geminids meteor shower with a ZHR of 120+ is getting closer. It usually starts to build up from the beginning of December so watch out for improving meteor scatter conditions. Remember that the period around dawn is the best for random, ie non-shower, meteor scatter conditions.
For EME enthusiasts, Moon declination is still positive until Tuesday and reaches perigee on Saturday. Expect shortening Moon windows and lower peak elevations, but decreasing path losses as the week progresses. Next Saturday morning the Moon and Sun are close in the sky so expect high sky temperatures due to Sun noise, with levels reaching over 3,000 Kelvin at 144MHz on Sunday.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week