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RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for September 8th 2019.

September 6th, 2019


Sunday 8th September 2019

The news headlines:

  • British success in FoxO competition

  • New exam sample questions released

  • 5MHz Newsreader needed

Tuesday was the first race in the European Radio O Championships in Slovenia. This race was the FoxO competition, where the hidden transmitters are roughly indicated by a circle on the map. The competitor has to orienteer to the area of the circle and then use radio direction finding to locate the hidden transmitter. There is no flag, just a SportIdent box beside the transmitter. John Marriott, M0OJM was over the line in second place in the M70 category, just 6 seconds ahead of the bronze medallist. Congratulations to John.

As promised last week, the RSGB has just released documents with sample questions for every syllabus item in the Foundation and Intermediate exams. These new resources will provide additional help to tutors and candidates as they prepare for the exams under Syllabus 2019. The Society has also published a sample optical marking sheet to demonstrate to candidates what they will be given if they choose to do the paper format exam. All of these documents can be found on the RSGB website at Further resources are being finalised and will be released over the next few weeks, so look out for new announcements.

Owing to retirements, the GB2RS 5MHz Team has need for readers on the rota of its Sunday afternoon national broadcast at 1500UTC on 5398.5kHz USB. We would welcome applicants, who should contact the RSGB’s GB2RS Manager via email to in the first instance. Note that 5MHz readers need to possess a Full UK amateur radio licence and should be RSGB Members.

Four new videos from the 2018 RSGB Convention have been uploaded to the RSGB YouTube channel. Palle Hansen, OZ1RH speaks about Troposcatter on the VHF bands; Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC shares his thrilling and unforgettable IOTA experiences of H44R & H40D; John Worsnop, G4BAO speaks on the Wednesday Night Digifest, and Steve Nichols, G0KYA looks at the top HF propagation questions and some possible answers. All of these videos, and many more, are at

The annual maintenance shutdown of the MSF service, the dedicated time broadcast, has been announced. The service will be off-air from 1000 to 1400BST on the 12th of September. If the weather is unsuitable for work to be carried out, then the service will not be turned off.

Due to unusual circumstances, there will be no GB2RS news broadcast from Germany on 40m today, Sunday the 8th of September. Normal service should resume next week.

On Saturday the 14th of September there will be many Churches and Chapels on the Air activations. CHOTA activity is usually SSB on the 80, 40 and 20m bands from 10am to 4pm. Groups that have told us they intend to run stations are mentioned later and in this week’s Local News. See under the CHOTA tab for a full list of participating stations.

There’s still time to apply to be part of the Youngsters on the Air Winter Camp in the Netherlands from the 12th to the 15th of December. The closing date for applications is the 30th of September. See

The RSGB Convention takes place in Milton Keynes from the 11th to the 13th of October. The provisional programme of lectures and workshops is now online at John Rogers, M0JAV and David Lauder, G0SNO will be running an RFI Clinic. The session will consist of a short presentation on the tools and techniques used to locate and identify RFI sources. Then a number of test setups will be available using radios, SDRs and spectrum analysers to let you see and hear some of these common RFI sources. If you have an unusual source then bring it along for them to investigate. Full details of tickets, weekend packages and the Buildathon can be found at

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 7th of September, the Caister Lifeboat Rally will be held at Caister Lifeboat station, Tan Lane, Caister on Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ. Access is via the car park in Beach Road. Doors open from 9.30am. There will be a raffle and the onsite café and museum will also be open. A special event station will be on the air. Details from Zane, M1BFI on 0771 121 4790.

Next Saturday, the 14th, the Fog on the Tyne Rally will take place at Whitehall Road Methodist Church Hall, Bensham, Gateshead NE8 4LH. Doors open at 10.30am. Entrance is £1.50 and includes an entry for the raffle. There will be a Bring & Buy, junk stall, RSGB book stand and many traders. Car parking is available. Enrolment for Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exam courses and Morse class will take place at the rally. Details from Nancy, G7UUR on 0799 076 0920.

Next Sunday, the 15th, the West Tyrone ARC Rally will be held at Omagh Rugby Club, 7 Mellon Park Drive, Omagh BT78 5NE. Doors open at 11am and admittance is £3. There will be a talk in station, trade stands, special interest groups, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstall. Catering and a licensed bar are available on site. A prize draw will take place. More information from Philip, MI0MSO on 0784 902 5760.

Please send details of your 2020 rally and event plans as soon as possible to

And now the DX news from 425 DX News and other sources

Chip, KB1QU will be active as 9G5QU from Ghana from the 8th to the 21st of September. In his spare time he will operate CW, FT8, FT4 and some SSB on the 40, 30 and 20m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, or direct to N4GNR.

Francesco, IV3TMM will be active as 9U3TMM from Burundi until the 17th of September. He will operate SSB and digital modes on the 60 to 6m bands. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World.

Fred, DH5FS will be active as E51SFS from Rarotonga, IOTA reference OC-013, between the 8th and the 16th of September, then from Aitutaki, OC-083, between the 20th and the 25th of September. DXCC-wise, both count for the South Cook Islands. QSL via his home call, direct or via the bureau.

Puiu, YO5BIM will be active in is spare time as P29VIM from Papua New Guinea until the 22nd of September. He operates CW, FT8 and JT9 on all bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Randy, K5SL will be active holiday style as PJ4/K5SL from Bonaire, SA-006, until the 14th of September. He will operate mainly CW on the 40, 30, 20 and 17m bands. QSL via his home callsign.

Now the special event news

During the month of September, Dutch special event stations PA75PARA, PA75BTF and PA75OMG will be on the air to commemorate the 75 years since British, American and Polish airborne forces tried to capture the river bridges at Arnhem and Nijmegen. PA75OMG will be active from 12 to 22 September.

Thames Amateur Radio Club will operate GB2MFM on the 14th and 15th of September to raise awareness of existing military sites, particularly in Essex and Kent. GB2MFM will be at a WW2 Pill Box at Wat Tyler Country Park, near Basildon.

GB2SCC will be activated at St Cynllo Church in the village of Coed Y Bryn, Ceredigion, Wales, between 10am and 4pm on the 14th of September. They expect to be active on 80m and 40m SSB from IO72TB. QSL via the bureau.

Bush Valley ARC will operate a CHOTA station on the 14th from Dungiven Parish Church BT47 4LG.

Marsham ARS will operate their CHOTA station from St Andrew’s Church using GB1SAC. All visitors are welcome and the tower will be open as usual.

September 2019 marks the centenary of radio in the Cambridge area. As well as a celebration day to be held on the 29th of September at Foxton, to which all local amateurs are invited, local clubs have activated the callsign GB1CAM and will be operating it throughout September. Further details are at

Please send special event details to as early as possible so we can give you free publicity. It is a licensing condition that stations using a UK special event callsign must be open to the public.

Now the contest news

It’s a very busy time for contests.

The RSGB SSB Field Day and the IARU Region 1 Field Day end their 24 hour run at 1300UTC today, the 8th. Both use the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 144MHz Trophy contest ends its 24 hour run an hour later at 1400UTC today, the 8th. So does the IARU 144MHz contest. Using all modes, the exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

The All Asian DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 8th. Using SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and your age. YL operators may send 00.

There are two contests that start and finish today, the 8th. The 5th 144MHz Backpacker contest runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Running from 1000UTC to 1400UTC next Sunday is the Worked All Britain 2m QRO Phone Contest. Using SSB and FM, the exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square.

On Monday the 80m Autumn series runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC, using FM only. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz Machine Generated Mode Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator. It is immediately followed by the all-mode 50MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. This time the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Friday the 13th is the Straight Key Contest organised by the Regional Department of the Polish Amateur Radio Union in Lodz. It takes place between 1700 and 1900UTC on the 80m band. Rules, in English, can be read at

The WAE DX SSB contest runs for 48 hours next weekend 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. Note the EU stations only work non EU stations.

Next Sunday, the 15th, is another very busy day for contests.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC on the 24 to 76GHz bands. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The IRTS 70cm Counties Contest runs from 1300 to 1330UTC on the 15th. It is immediately followed by the IRTS 2m Counties Contest from 1330UTC to 1500UTC. Both contests use SSB and FM and the exchange is signal report and serial number, with EI and GI stations also giving their county.

The BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs from 1700 to 2100UTC on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands. Using RTTY only, the exchange is just your serial number.

The 70MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC next Sunday, the 15th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 6th of September.

Our prediction last week that there would be a major geomagnetic storm turned out to be correct, although we got the timing a little wrong. The solar material from a coronal hole actually hit the Earth in the early hours of Saturday morning, rather than later that day, sending the three-hourly Kp index up to five. Such was its intensity that eventually the Kp index hit six. The solar wind speed exceeded 600 kilometres per second during the main event and auroras were reported around high northern and southern latitudes.

Some listeners reported a pre-auroral enhancement. Phil, GU0SUP found that 15m was alive late on Friday evening with South American stations on FT8. He also worked HK3GSO, ZS1DX and a few JAs on 30m. But by Saturday morning the HF bands were impacted and DX was a little harder to find. Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain around 67 or 68 as we continue into solar minimum.

After the potential for unsettled geomagnetic conditions at the beginning of the weekend, due to yet another coronal hole, things should then remain settled for the rest of the week. It seems that coronal hole activity will once again dominate forecasts for the time being.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The pattern for the coming week offers high pressure as the predominant feature in the south of the UK, with a continuing chance of Tropo to the south into France and Spain. The northern half of Britain will see areas of low pressure passing by the far north of Scotland, which will possibly bring some rain scatter at times and preclude any widespread prolonged Tropo.

It’s probably the final curtain for Sporadic-E as we head into mid-September. There have been some very isolated openings on 10m, but 6m is getting very sparse now. Just remember that the data shows that it’s not a zero for Sporadic-E outside the main summer months, but it’s quite hard to predict. Best to use the many clusters available to make sure you don’t miss anything.

The end of this week sees the full Moon, known as the Harvest Moon, falling within 14 days of the autumn equinox. However, the week starts with relatively high sky noise on 144MHz of more than 1,000 kelvin. Path loss increases throughout the week as the Moon moves towards apogee. This would not be an ideal week for small station EME. On a brighter note, the full Moon next weekend occurs at low declination, which will favour those stations without elevation. The full Moon may, clouds permitting, allow a good visual sighting for beam alignment. For those lucky enough to run reasonable size antennas on the bands above 1GHz, there will be scope to work EME throughout the week.

There are no major meteor showers this week. The September Epsilon-Perseids minor shower is active from around the 5th to the 21st of September, with a peak on the 10th. This shower is not expected to produce a large return, however. But it should be worth monitoring the usual meteor scatter frequencies on 6m and 2m as the unexpected might happen!

And that’s all from the propagation team this week.