The RSGB’s first hybrid Convention is this weekend. A selection of presentations is being live-streamed as well as interviews, videos and live operations by the special event station GB3HQ. You can watch some of the live stream if you want to join this event from where you live. Head over to the RSGB YouTube channel or follow the link from the live stream web page at rsgb.org/livestream.
The RSGB Board is pleased to announce that John McCullagh, GI4BWM has been co-opted as a Board Director until the 2023 AGM. Many members will know John as he was ETCC Chairman from 2005 until 2017 and he is still the Northern Ireland ETCC representative. John worked for almost 40 years as a communications professional in the emergency services in Northern Ireland, retiring in 2005 and being awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to policing. Since then, he has worked as a communications consultant in Eastern Europe and in the past few years has, with his wife, volunteered with a children's charity in Tanzania. John was licensed in 1973 and has been active ever since, mainly on UHF and VHF. He has been involved with the repeater scene since the late 1970s when he installed the first repeater in Northern Ireland. He is also the Controller of a RAYNET Group in County Antrim and has been in that position since 1976.
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.
The Caledonian Rally is an annual event that brings together 13- to 17-year-old Scouts and Guides from all over Scotland. This year the event takes place between the 14th and 16th of October. Inverness Amateur Radio Society will be running GB2CWR for the event as part of Jamboree on the Air. Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society members are helping with the station, but more experienced operators are sought, especially for set up and break down. Email InvernessRadioSociety@gmail.com.
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 callsigns will be available. Details are on the alphacharlie.org.uk portal.
Member States of the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations' specialised agency for information and communication technologies, have elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX as the organisation's next Secretary-General. She will assume office on the 1st of January 2023. She will be the first woman to lead the ITU in its 157-year history and only the third Secretary-General to hold an amateur radio licence.
And now for details of rallies and events
The National Hamfest will take place on Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of October at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire. Gates open at 9.30 am and the main hall opens at 10 am. For more information visit nationalhamfest.org.uk.
Next Sunday, the 16th of October, the Hornsea Amateur Radio Club Rally will take place at the Driffield Showground YO25 9DW. More information at hornseaarc.co.uk.
Now the Special Event News
Hartlepool Amateur Radio Club will be running GB0TVS on behalf of Tees Valley North Scouts between the 14th and 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 between the 10th and 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
A team will be active as TO2DL from Guadeloupe, NA-102, between the 10th and the 23rd of October. They will operate CW, SSB and digital modes on the 10 to 160m bands with three stations. QSL via DL7DF, either direct or via the bureau.
Garry, ZC4GR/2M1DHG has been active as VP8DLB from Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, SA-002, since the 23rd of September. He will remain there until December. QSL via EB7DX.
A team of 15 plan to set up four HF stations for CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8, FT4, and a QO-100 satellite station until the 17th of October on the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean. They will be operating as D60AE. For more information just search for the callsign.
Now the contest news
On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.
On Wednesday the Autumn Series Data Contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using RTTY and PSK 63, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
The 432MHz FT8 Activity Contest also takes place on Wednesday. Running between 1900 and 2100UTC, the exchange is a report and your 4-character locator.
On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity contest runs between 1900 and 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Next weekend the Worked All Germany Contest runs for 24 hours from 1500UTC on the 15th. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and serial number. German stations also send DOK.
Next Sunday, the 16th, the 50MHz AFS Contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
The RoLo CW Contest takes place between 1900 and 2030UTC next Sunday, the 16th. Using the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the locator received.
Also next Sunday, 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.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Friday the 7th of October 2022
Yet another good week for HF propagation has passed, although it has been borderline in terms of geomagnetic disturbances.
The Kp index hovered around the four mark all week, mainly due to high-speed streams from the solar wind, possibly from slight glancing blows from incoming CME material. There have been a few M-class solar flares, but nothing too violent. The risk of X-class flares though remains relatively high.
The solar flux continued to climb despite pessimistic predictions, ending up at 161 and a sunspot number of 151 on Thursday.
Daytime critical frequencies have been in the range of 7.5 - 8MHz, meaning 40m has been an excellent inter-G band during the day. MUFs over a 3,000km path have been exceeding 24.9MHz, and occasionally 28MHz, especially in the early afternoon.
This has meant that HF propagation has been good with excellent openings on all the upper HF bands. Paul, GM4ULS has even reported hearing what we believe to be round-the-world echoes while listening to high-power European stations on 20m calling for long-path Asia, VK and ZL contacts in the morning.
This is a sure sign that the ionosphere is playing ball!
Next week the US Air Force predicts that the solar flux will remain in the 150s to start with, but may then decline into the 130s as the week progresses. The Kp index is predicted to be no more than three all week, although an incoming CME could soon spoil that.
Coronal hole activity appears to be minimal, once we get past the effects of a small hole on the equator, which became Earth-facing on Wednesday. This could result in the Kp index rising on Friday, although the hole’s size means the effects may be short-lived and perhaps minimal.
So in conclusion, it is Autumn with an SFI in the 150s and an active, but not unsettled, geomagnetic field. In other words, it should be good for HF DX unless a solar flare or CME comes along and spoils things.
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
The typical Autumn weather will continue over the next week, meaning alternating ridges of high pressure between active weather fronts with rain and strong winds.
There have been some reasonably uplifted Tropo conditions during recent spells of high pressure and no reason to think this won’t be the case over the next week. The two most likely high-pressure transitions across the country are this weekend and again in the first half of next week. Paths to the south into the continent should do well.
In between these events, we find active weather fronts crossing the country with a large low taking up residence by the end of the week. This could lead to a few rain scatter options for GHz bands, but Autumn storms can be fast-moving and hard to track.
The Sun continues to offer support with a high Kp index on occasion so always a chance of aurora.
The Draconids and the Orionids are the major meteor showers this month. The former, peaking today, Sunday, with a typical ZHR of 10, has been known to reach storm level. The Orionids are active from the 2nd of October to the 7th of November peaking on the 21st with a medium ZHR of 20.
Random meteor scatter propagation is always available and rates are high in October, so it’s always a banker if you have a decent system for the low VHF bands.
With all these more exotic modes the best course of action is to monitor the clusters for signs of activity.
Moon declination goes positive today (Sunday), so Moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses. We are past perigee so path losses will increase throughout the week. 144MHz sky noise is low all week.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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