Sunday 17th of October 2021
The news headlines:
- RSGB online Convention available to re-watch
- AMSAT Colloquium
- Exercise Blue Ham underway
The RSGB is delighted that its 2021 Online Convention was watched by people across the world, many of whom have since thanked the Society for the excellent content and professional production. The streams have received hundreds more views since Saturday and people are enjoying the 15 presentations. If you weren’t able to watch the event live, the two streams are available on the Society’s YouTube channel. You can also see the extra content and interviews that were broadcast from the RSGB National Radio Centre between presentations at youtube.com/theRSGB. The individual presentations will be released in due course so look out for announcements shortly.
AMSAT-UK will be holding their annual International Space Colloquium on Sunday the 24th of October. The online Zoom webinar will run from 10.45 am to approximately 4 pm. With speakers from the UK, Europe and North America, each 30-minute presentation will include a 5 minute Q and A session. A full programme and registration details are available at amsat-uk.org under the Colloquium tab. You don’t have to be a member of AMSAT-UK to attend, and the event is free of charge.
The second day of the RAF Air Cadets Blue Ham Radio Communications Exercise is today, the 17th of October. They are contacting radio amateurs on the shared section of the 5MHz bands. A Blue Ham participation certificate is available to those who contact 15 or more special Cadet callsigns during the exercise. Just search for exercise blue ham to find out more information.
The next Amplitude Modulation Amateur Radio Society club net will be held today, the 17th, at the new time of 1700UTC on 3.625MHz. The control station will be Robert, GW6GBY using the club callsign GC5AMS and Andy, G4FCI will also be assisting by listening for any weaker stations depending on conditions. If you are interested in joining the group, look at the qrz.com page for G5AMS.
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 2021 ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 17th. You can find out more at jotajoti.info.
On United Nations Day, the 24th of October, the historic Alexanderson alternator in Grimeton, Sweden, with callsign SAQ, is scheduled to send out a message on 17.2kHz using CW. The live stream on YouTube starts at 1425UTC, with tuning at 1430. The transmission begins at 1500UTC. They are planning to carry out some test transmissions on the 22nd of October between 1100UTC and 1400UTC. Just search for SAQ Grimeton to find out more.
And now for details of rallies and events
Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may still be alterations or cancellations due to the pandemic.
Today, the 17th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Rally is at the Driffield Show Ground, YO25 3AE. Doors open at 10 am and parking is free. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and a car boot area. Catering will be available on site.
Also today, the 17th, the Hack Green Radio Surplus Hangar Sale is at the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Nantwich. Doors open at 10 am and there will be equipment, components and amateur radio gear on sale.
On the 20th of October, the Lothians Radio Society Surplus Sale will take place at St. Fillans Church, 8 Buckstone Dr, Edinburgh EH10 6PD. Everyone attending should be double vaccinated unless medically exempt. Doors open from 7.15 pm and the sale will begin at 8 pm sharp. Details from the club’s website.
Looking ahead, the Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 7th of November at Holsworthy Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10 am.
Several rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised. The Galashiels Rally, scheduled to take place on the 24th of October is cancelled. The Bushvalley ARC rally due for the 7th of November has had to be cancelled. Finally, the Bishop Auckland RAC rally due to be held on the 28th of November is now planned for 2022.
Now the DX news
John, W2GD will be active as P40W from Aruba, SA-036, between the 18th and 25th of October. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct only to N2MM.
A team will be active as 3DA0WW from Eswatini, or Swaziland, until the 26th of October. They will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8 using Fox & Hound mode on the 10 to 160m bands. QSL via Club Log's OQRS or direct to YL2GN.
Now the Special Event news
From the 25th of October, British Railways ARS members Mark, G1PIE and Pam, 2E1HQY will be operating GB0LMR as part of the 55th anniversary year. Operations will be from Preston in Lancashire and 40m will be the main band. More at brars.info.
From the 6th of October through to the 2nd of November, West of Scotland ARS will be running a special event station GB4GDS, celebrating 90 years of the Guide Dog Association. More information about the station can be found at www.wosars.club.
Dundee ARC will be active as part of the Jamboree On The Air weekend. They will be using HF and VHF, so if you hear them please give them a call.
Cray Valley Radio Society will be active as GB75CV until the 29th of October to celebrate its 75th anniversary. QSL via Club Log's OQRS and Logbook of The World only.
Now the contest news
When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.
This weekend, the Worked All Germany contest ends its 24-hour run at 1500UTC today, the 17th. Using SSB and CW on the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations will also send DOK.
Today, the 17th, there are four contests taking place. The first is the 50MHz AFS contest, between 0900 and 1300UTC, using all modes and the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Stations in the UK and Commonwealth Dependencies also exchange the first two letters of their postcode.
The second contest is The UK Microwave Group 24 to 76GHz Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The IRTS 40m Daytime Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC and is the third contest on the 17th. It uses CW and SSB and the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations will also send their County code.
Finally, for today, the second Rolling Locator, or RoLo, contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. It is CW-only on the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is the signal report and the rolling locator.
On Monday, the eighth FT4 Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 80m band. The exchange is a report and a 4-character locator.
The 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 1900 and 2130UTC on Tuesday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
On Thursday, the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend, the UK EI Contest Club DX SSB contest runs between 1200UTC on Saturday to 1200UTC on Sunday. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report, which is optional, serial number and your district code.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 15th of October.
Last week saw a mixed bag in terms of HF propagation with good conditions at times, but horrendous conditions mid-week after a coronal mass ejection saw the Kp index shoot up to six. Matter from the CME, which was accompanied by an M1.6 solar flare on the 9th of October, hit the Earth in the early hours of the 12th. A geomagnetic storm then ensued and the widespread visible aurora was reported at high latitudes.
On Tuesday MUFs were affected adversely with maxima over a 3,000km path down from 28MHz to less than 14MHz at times during the day.
By Thursday, and with the Kp index back down to between zero and two, signals had recovered to near-normal levels, with a maximum daytime critical frequency of 7.125MHz being recorded on the Chilton Digisonde, which equates to more than 27MHz over a 3,000km path.
This does go to show that we can expect more CMEs, and poorer conditions at times, as we head towards the solar maximum in a few years’ time.
Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 85-90 with a maximum Kp index of four on the 19th.
So make the most of the Autumnal HF conditions and work as high in frequency as you can to minimise D-layer absorption.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
The coming week’s weather will change to mixed and unsettled, with little chance of Tropo propagation, caused by periods of rain, showers and strong winds. At best we can hope for some rain scatter activity.
The exact time when these changes of type occur in our weather patterns is one of the hardest for the models to get right, but at the moment most suggest Sunday night into Monday.
Since the autumn is typically a good season for auroras, perhaps some warbling auroral notes will return again after last week when plenty of auroral QSOs were reported on 144MHz. Sadly for the UK, they were almost exclusively for the more northerly Nordic countries. A few northern UK stations, namely G4KUX, MI0XXZ and GM4VVX reported a few auroral CW QSOs on the 12th.
The 21st sees the peak of the Orionids meteor shower with a ZHR of 15. Orionids are pieces of Comet 1P/Halley, famously known as Halley's comet. Add this to two small meteor showers, the Epsilon Geminids with a ZHR of three peaking on the 18th, and the Leonis Minoris with a ZHR of two peaking on the 24th, next week should be good for meteor scatter enthusiasts.
Moon declination goes positive again on Monday so we’ll see the Moon reaching higher elevations at its zenith. Path losses are still increasing as we are past perigee.
A seasonal reminder from the team to do your end of summer check on those antenna ropes and fixings before we see too many windy days.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.