Sunday the 8th of November 2020
The news headlines:
RSGB preps reply to 2nd EMF consultation
Convention: Learn More About… stream on YouTube
ARRL opposes new $50 licence fee
The RSGB is currently working on detailed comments and suggested amendments to the second Ofcom EMF consultation. The Society is also preparing guidance to help all UK radio amateurs to assess compliance and keep the necessary records. Go to https://rsgb.org/emf and click on the link for the latest update.
The keynote lecture and the presentations from the ‘Learn more about’ stream at the RSGB’s 2020 Convention Online are now on the Society’s YouTube channel. Catch up on what you missed or watch again. You can find them on www.youtube.com/theRSGB.
US amateurs have been exempt from application fees for several years. The ARRL will file comments in firm opposition to an FCC proposal to impose a $50 fee on amateur radio licence and application fees. Under the proposal, amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio application. This would apply for new licenses, licence renewals, upgrades to existing licences, and to vanity callsign requests. The ARRL is encouraging members to file comments that stress amateur radio’s contributions to the country and communities. For more information, go to http://www.arrl.org/news.
The RSGB is taking part in December YOTA Month but the Covid-19 restrictions will make the event very different this year. If you are a parent with a newly-licensed youngster in your family, you can apply to host the callsign GB20YOTA safely from your own home. You must be a Full Licence holder to apply for the callsign. You can book an appointment slot within a set calendar shown on the GB20YOTA QRZ.com page. To register your interest, or to reserve an operating slot, contact RSGB YOTA Month Coordinator Jamie, M0SDV via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are on the lookout for interesting lectures, then a talk given to South Dublin Radio Club could be for you. Joe Ryan, EI7GY gave a presentation on the radio experiments by Colonel Dennis, EI2B, from 1898 to the late 1930s. Find out more at https://southdublinradioclub.weebly.com.
The RSGB has made available the video of the Introduction to GNU Radio talk by Heather Lomond, M0HMO, which is one of Society's Tonight @ 8 Webinars. It joins all the previous Tonight@8 talks and the RSGB Convention Online talks, so there are many hours of interest for all radio amateurs. Go to www.youtube.com/theRSGB for all the videos.
The RSGB National Radio Centre 80m net continues to run Monday to Friday at 10.30 am around 3.727MHz. All NRC volunteers are welcome to join the net and they actively encourage other amateurs to call in as part of the RSGB’s Get on the air to care campaign. If you haven’t got an 80m station, why not listen in using one of the many webSDR sites?
Now the special event news
Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club will be running GB2REM on Sunday the 8th and Wednesday the 11th of November for Remembrance Day. The club will be focusing on keeping the station active on these two days but may be heard from Saturday the 7th until Thursday the 12th. More details at https://taarc.co.uk.
Larry, G4HLN will be active as GB4CKS until the 14th of November. The station marks the 85th anniversary of the death of Australian record-setting aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. He disappeared on the 8th of November 1935 off the coast of Myanmar, then known as Burma, whilst trying to break the England-Australia speed record. Larry will operate CW and some SSB on 40 to 10m. QSL via G4HLN, direct or via the bureau.
Special event station 4X0RMN will be active on the 13th and 14th of November from Ramon Crater, Israel's largest national park. QSL via 4X6ZM, Logbook of The World and eQSL.
Now the DX news
Remo, HB9SHD plans to be active as 8Q7RM from Kandolhu Island, IOTA reference AS-013, until the 29th of November. Activity will be holiday style on various HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via HB9SHD.
Robert, S53R plans to continue working in his spare time as T6AA in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, until mid-December.
Giorgio, IU5HWS has been stationed in Iraq with the Italian Army since September and expects to remain there until around the 20th of January. The Iraqi Amateur Radio Society has authorised him to operate as YI9/IU5HWS until his requested callsign of YI9WS is granted by the National Communications and Media Commission.
Now the contest news
Please remember to check before the contest for new rules due to lockdown and social distancing, which may differ around the world. The RSGB strongly advises obeying your own national and local government’s advice first and foremost.
This weekend, the Marconi CW contest ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 8th. Using the 144MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 1955UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the Autumn Series runs from 2000 to 2130UTC using SSB on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is signal report and serial number.
Thursday sees the 50MHz UK Activity Contest taking place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Saturday the 14th, the Club Calls contest runs from 2000 to 2300UTC. Using SSB and CW on the 1.8MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and your club information.
Next weekend, the WAE DX RTTY contest runs from 0000UTC on the 14th to 2359UTC on the 15th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
On Sunday the 15th, the UK Microwave group’s Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1400UTC. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz 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 November.
Sunspots are a bit like buses. You wait forever and three come along at once! Last week we had active regions 2778 and 2779, which pushed the solar flux index up to 88. This week we have sunspot region 2781, which is a monster. At the time of writing, this region had pushed the SFI to 88 again, but it has been active in terms of solar flares. These have been minor C-class events, so not too much to worry about. The good news is that geomagnetic conditions have been very settled over the past week, with the Kp index running between zero and two. This no doubt helped ionospheric propagation.
There was some good DX reported over the past seven days. TX0T, the DXpedition to Tatakoto Atoll, OC-298, in French Polynesia, has been worked by several stations in the UK. The Far East has also been workable, especially on FT8, where Indonesia, China and Japan have all been spotted.
Next week, NOAA predicts the SFI will be in the range 72-76. The good news is that geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be quiet with a maximum Kp index of two.
We may get some radio blackouts or sudden ionospheric disturbances as a result of M- or C-class solar flares from active region 2781, but these are difficult to predict. Radio blackouts occur when the strong, sudden burst of X-rays from a solar flare hits the Earth's atmosphere, blocking high-frequency radio signals in the D-region of the ionosphere. NOAA puts the probability of an R1/R2 radio blackout at 15%, and an R3 radio blackout at just 5%. Overall then, it looks like a good week for HF propagation.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
There was a brief return of Tropo at the end of the last week. The first of this autumn’s opportunities was complete with fog below the inversion layer. Unfortunately, the related high and its Tropo is not due to last and indeed will have probably moved away during the weekend. It does, though, show the capability of a good temperature inversion with foggy air trapped below it to produce good Tropo.
The last vestiges of it are now clearing away across the northern North Sea, but may still be just worth exploring for the 48th Marconi Memorial VHF CW Contest on Sunday. During the weekend, the weather pattern changes to a more unsettled type, which remains dominant through the coming week. This will bring GHz band rain scatter, but also some strong winds at times.
As we approach the Leonids meteor shower on the 17th we also have a smaller shower, the Northern Taurids, peaking this Thursday, so meteor scatter conditions should be above average. It is also worth the occasional check for Sporadic-E on FT8 on 10m and 6m.
The Moon’s declination is high but starting to fall, going negative on Thursday, so Moon visibility windows will shorten. The Moon is at perigee next Saturday so path losses are low. 144MHz sky noise is low for most of the week.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.