IARU President Keynote Speech at the 2022 RSGB Convention
Celebrating 100 Years of the BBC
New Transponder Bandplan for QO-100
Last weekend the RSGB held its first hybrid Convention which had speakers, attendees and live stream watchers from across the world. The keynote presentation by IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, who also holds the callsign G4HUA, was very thought-provoking. In it, he highlighted the threats to amateur radio as well as the importance of embracing modern techniques, whilst also being willing to adapt and change. The Society has released a standalone recording of Tim’s presentation on its YouTube channel, combined with his interesting Convention Chat with the RSGB and IRTS Presidents. The RSGB would like to thank everyone who gave a presentation, as well as those who attended the Convention, whether in person or online. It is also grateful to the RSGB General Manager and Convention Chair Steve Thomas, M1ACB and his hard-working Convention team who made this such a fantastic event. Individual presentations will be released over the coming months, first on the RSGB website for its members and then on YouTube for everyone to see. The two live streams have already had thousands of views – to see either of those or to watch Tim’s keynote speech, go to youtube.com/theRSGB
On the 18th of October 1922, the Marconi Company and other equipment manufacturers formed the British Broadcasting Company, which became the British Broadcasting Corporation six years later. To mark this momentous date exactly 100 years on, members of the BBC Amateur Radio Group have been invited by Arqiva to operate for the day at the Daventry transmitting station that was home to so much of BBC short-wave broadcasting over the years. Members of the BBC and Arqiva clubs will be operating HF on Tuesday the 18th of October from the Empire Service Building at the Daventry site. As well as GB100BBC, the callsign G2LO will be on air. 2LO was the callsign allocated to the very first BBC transmitter, built by Marconi and located at Savoy Hill in London. Keep an eye on the GB100BBC QRZ page for more information.
At the 2022 AMSAT-UK Colloquium on Saturday 8th October, a new narrowband transponder bandplan for the QO-100 geostationary amateur satellite was announced. Among other changes, AMSAT has allocated a new ‘broadcast’ spot frequency which is intended for the news services of amateur radio organisations. The RSGB’s news service GB2RS has been transmitted via QO-100 for some time and has already clocked up 70 broadcasts. It is very popular, with an audience within the footprint of the satellite which covers almost half of the world’s surface. Following this announcement, GB2RS will be moving to the new broadcast frequency of 10489.855MHz with immediate effect. The transmission is at 0800UTC every Sunday. Perhaps in the future, the news services of other amateur radio organisations will follow the RSGB’s lead and make use of this special allocation to reach a diverse international audience.
Jamboree On The Air is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world communicate with each other via amateur radio. JOTA 2022 ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 16th. You can find out more at jotajoti.info
The Royal Air Force Air Cadets will be running the popular Blue Ham Exercise on the 22nd and 23rd of October from 0800 to 1800UTC each day. If you are a UK Full licence holder the hope is that you can set some time aside to take part with the Cadets and Staff Volunteers who will be ready to take your QSOs over the operating period. A Blue Ham participation certificate for amateur operators who contact 20 or more special MRE call signs will be available. Details are on the alphacharlie.org.uk portal.
And now for details of rallies and events
Today, the 16th, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Club Rally will take place at the Driffield Showground YO25 9DW. More information at hornseaarc.co.uk
Next Saturday, the 22nd of October, the Essex CW Boot Camp and CW Convention take place. The venue will be the 3rd Witham Scout and Guide Headquarters, Powers Hall End, Witham, Essex. Doors open at 8.30 am for registration and the event will run until 4.30 pm. Entry is £10 and parking is free. Free drinks and cakes will be available. If you would like to register, please email G0IBN@yahoo.com
The British Amateur Television Club Convention 2022 takes place next Saturday, the 22nd, from 10 am to 3 pm. The event features online talks about ATV-related topics. More at batc.org.uk/live
Now the Special Event News
Hartlepool Amateur Radio Club will be running GB0TVS on behalf of Tees Valley North Scouts today, the 16th of October, for Jamboree On The Air. They will be based at Hartlepool Scout Centre. The station will be active on HF, VHF and UHF and will welcome any contacts. Visitors are welcome on Saturday and Sunday.
Michel, F8GGZ and other operators will be active as TM100BBC until the 24th of October to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the BBC. Activity will be on all modes, including EME, DMR and C4FM. QSL via F8GGZ, direct or bureau.
Now the DX news
Today, the 16th, JE1HXZ/6 will be active from the Amami Islands, AS-023. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8 and FT4 on the 160 to 6m bands. QSL via the bureau and Logbook of the World.
A team of 15 plan to set up four HF stations for CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8, FT4, and a QO-100 satellite station until Monday the 17th of October on the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. They will be operating as D60AE. For more information just search online for the callsign.
Gianpi, IK1TTD will be active as 8Q7TD from the Maldives, AS-013, until Monday the 17th of October. Most of his operating will be done on 20m using FT8. QSL direct or via the bureau.
Now the contest news
Today, the 16th, the 50MHz AFS Contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Today, the Worked All Germany Contest finishes its two-day run at 1500UTC. Using CW and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations also send their DOK.
Also today, the UK Microwave Group 24-76GHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Tuesday, the 1.3GHz UKAC runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday, the 70MHz UKAC contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend the UKEICC DX Contest runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 22nd. Using SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number. UK and Irish stations also send their District Code.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 14th of October 2022
We had yet another week of good HF propagation, helped by reasonably settled geomagnetic conditions.
Although the week started relatively poorly with a Kp index of four all day on Sunday, that soon improved slightly and the rest of the week saw the Kp index hit only ones or twos.
The solar flux index declined from 161 on Sunday to 141 on Thursday, which is still more than enough for 10m openings at this time of year.
Solar activity was low. Active region 3112 underwent decay but managed several C-class flares. Region 3119 was stable and also produced a few C-class solar flares. The other regions were unremarkable. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in coronagraph imagery.
Low solar activity is expected to continue, with a chance for M-class flares on 13-15 October.
At the RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes, the special event station just outside the conference centre was able to work a string of US stations on 10m just to prove that this really is the month for Autumn DX.
The KQ2H repeater in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York on 29.620MHz has also given many people their first taste of FM on 10m, along with characteristic phase distortion.
Other DX worked this week by well-equipped stations on 10m include FK4QX in New Caledonia and TX7G on the Marquesas Islands. Hopefully, if conditions remain like this, it will make the CQ Worldwide SSB contest on the 29th and 30th of October very interesting.
Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index may remain in the high 130s. After predicting slightly unsettled geomagnetic conditions on Saturday, NOAA says the Kp index should then fall from four to two until Wednesday the 19th. The latter half of the week may become reasonably unsettled again with a Kp index of four. The US Air Force, however, predicts that this weekend should remain settled geomagnetically – we shall have to wait and see.
And now the VHF and up propagation news
The current spell of unsettled weather will continue through much of the coming week. There may be a hint of a temporary high over the north and east of Britain around midweek, but this is unlikely to benefit western areas.
Any Tropo wins will probably be across the North Sea to Scandinavia and the Baltic region, but only from the easternmost counties of England and Scotland. The low-pressure systems which will dominate are likely to bring spells of heavy rain and passing showers at times. There may be some rain scatter possibilities from this unsettled weather, especially from heavy coastal showers.
The aurora propagation mode is always worth considering around the autumn months, so monitor the Kp index, and meteor scatter, particularly in the hours before dawn. The Orionids meteor shower peaks on Friday the 21st with a medium ZHR of 20 so look out for improved conditions around that date.
The Moon is at maximum declination today, Sunday, so Moon windows are at their longest, shortening as the week progresses. With apogee this coming Monday, path losses are at their highest. 144MHz sky noise is low all week.
Finally, a word about Sporadic-E, of which you may still hear examples on the HF bands as extra-loud short-skip from Europe.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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