The RSGB is holding two special Tonight@8 events focused on the Ofcom amateur radio consultation. On Monday the 31st of July it will look at contests, operating and callsign policy, in an event that might be of particular interest to Full licensees. On Monday the 7th of August the focus will be on Foundation and Intermediate topics including callsign and exam changes, as well as the Consultation clauses that might lead to new opportunities for outreach activities for everyone. Instead of the usual webinar style, these events will be forums where, after a short introduction, a panel of RSGB experts will answer your questions. We encourage radio amateurs to be part of these events. Questions can be submitted on the night via the live chat, or you can send in a question in advance. Advance questions can be by email or a short, clear video of you asking your question. In either case, please include your name and callsign as well as your question. Send questions to email@example.com or for further information about the Consultation, the events and the panellists go to the RSGB website at rsgb.org/licencereview
The RSGB’s 2023 Convention will be held from the 13th to the 15th of October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The Convention packs in a full weekend of the very best amateur radio lectures from around the world. With lecture streams, forums, special interest groups, presentations and all the usual activities, there is something for everyone. Join hundreds of others for what is also one of the best social events in amateur radio. Bookings are open now and you can take advantage of early bird pricing until the end of August. You’ll find the booking link and more information on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/convention
The RSGB is looking for members in Region 3, the North-West of England, to step forward as volunteer District Representatives. If you’d like to make a difference to other radio amateurs in this area, provide advice and support, represent the RSGB and its Members, and also attend local rallies, please email Region 3 Regional Representative, Martyn Bell, M0TEB at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The RSGB’s Examinations and Syllabus Review Group, or ESRG, has provided an additional set of four mock exam papers. These cover Foundation, Intermediate, Full and Direct to Full exams. You can find the papers on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/mock-exams
A reminder now that the popular British Inland Waterways on the Air event will take place between the 26th and 28th of August. The event is open to amateurs who use canals, towpaths, rivers, lakes or reservoirs for work or recreation. Registration for the event is now open. To sign up, visit Nunsfield House Amateur Radio Group’s website nharg.org.uk and follow the ‘BIWOTA 2023’ link.
Please send details of all your news and events to email@example.com The deadline for submissions is 10 am on Thursdays before the Sunday broadcast each week.
And now for details of rallies and events
The Finningley Amateur Radio Society Rally is taking place today, the 23rd, at the Society’s HQ at Belton Road, Sandtoft, Doncaster, DN8 5SX. The doors are open from 10 am and a food bar is available. For more information and directions visit g0ghk.com
Wiltshire Radio and Car Boot Sale will take place on Sunday the 30th of July at Kington Langley Village Hall and Playing Field, Kington Langley, Wiltshire SN15 5NJ. The event will start at 9 am and finish at 1 pm. There is a £3 entry fee. Indoor tables are sold out, but there is plenty of Car Boot space available. Admittance for car booters is £10, and for vans, it is £15. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 1 of the British Amateur Television Club’s Convention for Amateur TV 2023, or CAT 23, will take place on Sunday the 6th of August at Midland Air Museum, Coventry. It is a meet-up, show and tell, test and fix-it, and bring-and-buy event from 10.30 am to 4 pm. There will be full ATV and Microwave test facilities available for QO-100, 5.6GHz FM, Portsdown, MiniTiouner, Ryde, and power amplifiers and preamps.
King’s Lynn Amateur Radio Club’s 33rd Great Eastern Radio Rally will take place on Sunday the 6th of August. The venue will be Gaywood Community Centre, Gayton Road, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 4EL. The doors open to visitors at 9 am and admission is £2.50. The doors open to traders from 7 am. An outdoor pitch costs £8 and an indoor table costs £10. Car parking is free. There will be trade stands and a bring-and-buy area. On-site catering will be available. For more information email email@example.com or visit klarc.org.uk
Now the Special Event News
Special callsign DL0SOP is active until the 31st of July for the 65th edition of the Sea of Peace Award. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of the World, eQSL or direct to DL4SVA. For more information about the award visit dl0sop.darc.de
VX7NA is the special callsign in use by the Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association, until tomorrow the 24th of July, to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The Association is based on Vancouver Island, NA-036. QSL via VE7NA.
Now the DX news
The IP1X team will be active from Gallinara Island, EU-083, on the 29th and 30th of July. They will operate CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands and will be active for 24 hours during the IOTA Contest. QSL via IU1JCZ, direct or via the bureau. For more details and updates check QRZ.com
MD1U will be active during the IOTA Contest on the 29th and 30th of July during a Dxpedition to Scarlett Point Tower on the Isle of Man. QSL via M0OXO’s OQRS page and Logbook of the World. For more information see QRZ.com
Roland, F8EN is again active as TR8CR from Gabon until the 12th of August. He operates CW only. QSL via F6AJA, direct or via the bureau.
Ersoy, TA2OM has been active as 3C3CA from Bioko Island, AF-010, in Equatorial Guinea since October 2022. His current plans are to stay there until sometime in August. He uploads his log to Club Log and Logbook of the World on a regular basis.
Didier, F6BCW is active as FO/F6BCW from Huahine Island, OC-067, in French Polynesia until the 25th of October. He operates CW and SSB on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via F6EXV, Club Log and Logbook of the World.
Now the contest news
On Tuesday the 25th of July, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on 2.3 to 10GHz frequencies, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Thursday the 27th of July sees the data leg of the 80m Club Championships run from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using RTTY and PSK63, the exchange is signal report and serial number.
Next weekend is the RSGB IOTA, or Islands On The Air, Contest. It runs from 1200UTC on the 29th to 1200UTC on the 30th of July. Using CW and SSB on the 80 to 10m bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and IOTA reference.
Please note that the Worked All Britain 144MHz Low Power Contest which was due to be held on Saturday the 29th of July has been moved to Saturday the 5th of August. A further announcement is expected next week.
Next Sunday, the 30th of July, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz Contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on 5.7 and 10GHz frequencies, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA, and G4BAO on Thursday the 20th of July 2023
The Sun continues to be peppered with spots with a solar flux index of 189 on Thursday the 20th. However, sunspots can bring solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections, or CMEs, which can be detrimental to good HF conditions.
We have been relatively lucky over the last week as the flares have mostly been minor C-class and a few M-class events. There have been no X-class flares, so ionospheric disturbances have been minor.
A large CME observed from active region 3363 is expected to mostly miss our planet. But the edge of the plasma cloud was still forecast to deliver a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field on Thursday the 20th of July.
A Polar Cap Absorption, or PCA, event was also in progress from the morning of Monday the 17th of July. This was caused by the proton flux rapidly increasing and affecting HF paths over the poles. The proton flux is gradually decreasing but may still have a detrimental effect for a while yet.
Region 3363, which was massive, has now disappeared behind the southwest limb and will no longer be a threat. That is, at least until its return in about two weeks’ time. It will be interesting to see how big it is on its return.
Other than the Kp index hitting 4.67 on the 16th and 17th, geomagnetic conditions have been quiet with the Kp index at one or two over the past few days, which means HF conditions have been quite good.
Daytime MUFs over a 3,000km path have been consistently above 18MHz and often above 21MHz at times. Nighttime MUFs over the same path have been higher than 14MHz, and often 18MHz, at least during the first part of the night.
This means that if you hear signals on 24 or 28MHz the likelihood is that they are due to Sporadic-E propagation.
Next week NOAA predicts that the Solar Flux Index will remain at about 160 to 170. It is also predicting a Kp index of two all week. If that happens, we can probably expect good HF conditions for this time of year. However, with this many sunspots, there is always the strong risk of solar flares and CMEs. So, keep an eye on solarham.net for real-time conditions.
And now the VHF and up propagation news
The continuing spell of unsettled weather will stay with us for the coming week, so any signs of Tropo will be very limited indeed. This means that rain scatter will once again be a predominant propagation mode for those equipped on the GHz bands to use it.
Higher temperatures in summer mean strong convective cells, like thunderstorms, and better reflectivity from the larger raindrops, which can be held aloft by the stronger updrafts in the storm clouds. The reflectivity depends upon the 6th power of the diameter of the raindrop and the number of drops in the beam, so even a small increase in drop size gives a big increase in reflectivity.
Sporadic-E remains in play for a good while yet, so stay alert to cluster reports and, in particular, 10m and 6m beacons. If time is limited, check 1600 to 1700UTC to gain maximum benefit.
The usual other modes are still possibilities, of course. Starting with Aurora, in view of the recently disturbed solar conditions, you should monitor the Kp index for large values above say Kp=5.
Secondly, the Perseids meteor shower will peak between the 12th and 13th of August, but evidence of meteor material from the Perseids is already appearing.
Officially, the shower starts to appear from around the 17th of July. The 50MHz and 144MHz bands have already produced some very short-lived bursts of FT8 signals that may be due to meteors.
The Delta Aquariids may also be responsible for these very sporadic bursts. As we move towards the Perseids peak you should expect an increasing number of bursts.
As the Moon begins its monthly descent towards minimum declination on the 29th, path loss will decrease. However, the Moon will be close to Sagittarius A on the 28th, leading to very high noise. This will be prevalent on the lower VHF bands.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
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