GB2RS
RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 7th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 7th 2021.

July 9, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 11th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Convention goes online for 2021

  • YOTA contest second leg

  • National Radio Centre reopens

Despite hoping to meet face-to-face again this year, the RSGB Convention in October will again be online. This major indoor event takes many months to plan and, due to continuing Covid-19 uncertainty, the Society has to make the safety of attendees, volunteers and staff a priority. We are putting together another programme of excellent presentations across two streams that will provide information and inspiration no matter how long you’ve been a radio amateur. Look out for more details in RadCom, GB2RS and online in the coming weeks.

The Youngsters On The Air Contest is open to all radio amateurs and comprises three 12-hour sessions with the aim to boost on-the-air activity by younger radio amateurs and to support Youngsters On The Air. The second leg is on the 18th of July from 1000 to 2159UTC. In the first leg more than 100 entries were from contesters between 7 and 25 years old. Full details can be found at ham-yota.com.

The tree felling adjacent to the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park was completed successfully and the NRC re-opened last Thursday as planned. It is open every day except Wednesday to pre-booked Bletchley Park visitors.

In April the G-QRP Club ran a survey to gauge support for a in-person Convention in 2021. The results showed that the vast majority are not yet willing to meet in person and would prefer another virtual Convention. The G-QRP Club Convention 2021 will be a virtual event over the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September. The Committee are now working on matching up the wish lists of topics and suggested speakers.

If you are having problems with interference, the EMC help desk is there to help, and can be contacted by e-mail on helpdesk.emc@rsgb.org.uk. The helpdesk, coordinated by Ken, G3SDW, operates via e-mail, calling on many years of experience of dealing with interference problems. They do not carry out home visits except in very exceptional circumstances. This service is operated by volunteers in their own time and will be provided via e-mail. Requests to correspond via the telephone, especially to mobile numbers are to be avoided. Don’t forget, the RSGB do not have any powers of enforcement. If this is required you should contact the regulatory body, Ofcom. Locating the source of interference, particularly if it is outside your own premises, will require a certain amount of leg work. If you are unable to do this, you may be able to enlist the help of another amateur or local club.

The Summer 2021 AM QSO Party runs from 1800UTC on the 16th of July until 1800UTC on the 18th. This is an opportunity to make some QSOs using the AM mode on all the available HF bands from 160m to 10m. Dragon Amateur Radio Club will be operating portable from the island of Anglesey for this event using GB0AMC. The operators would welcome QSOs with people far and wide, so please do listen out for them. Details of the event can be found by searching for Summer 2021 AM QSO Party online.

And now for details of rallies and events

Before travelling to any rally or event, please check the event’s website as there may be alterations or cancellations due to the current restrictions.

The East Suffolk Wireless Revival and McMichael rally & boot sale, both originally planned for today, the 11th, are not taking place this year, as previously publicised. Other rallies that have been cancelled due to the pandemic are the Rugby Rally originally planned for August, The National Hamfest planned for September and the Welsh Radio Rally planned for October.

Finningley ARS Car Boot will be outdoor only with doors opening at 10am on the 25th of July. It is located near junction 2, M18 Doncaster, admission is £3. The Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned for Sunday the 1st of August at Kington Langley Village Hall & fields, SNl5 5NJ. Doors are open from 9am to 3pm with free admission. Details at chippenhamradio.club. Dartmoor Radio Rally has moved to the 15th of August at Yelverton War Memorial Hall, PL20 6AL.

Now the DX news

C6AHA will be active from the Bimini Islands, NA-048, in the Bahamas between the 14th and 21st of July. A large team will operate SSB, CW and FT8 with up to five stations. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via K4KSW.

A team of six operators will be active as RI0FM from Moneron Island (AS-149) on 15-31 July, IOTA Contest included. Plans are to operate CW, SSB and FT8 on various bands with two stations. QSL via UA3A.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

This weekend the IARU HF Championship ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 11th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone. For the UK that is 27.

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

Wednesday sees the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championship from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC on Thursday. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday, the 70MHz Trophy takes place from 1400 to 2000UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Next Sunday, the International Low Power contest runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report, serial number and power.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 9th of July.

As predicted, the solar flux index declined this week, ending at 76 on Thursday. This was due to the large sunspot regions 2835 and 2836 having rotated off the Earth-facing portion of the solar surface. But make a note to check the SFI around July 21 onwards when, hopefully, they will make a return.

The sunspots’ departure has left us back in the solar doldrums again with only a minute spot, region 2839, being visible. Luckily, geomagnetic conditions have been quite settled with a maximum planetary Kp index of three last week. This meant that the ionosphere could settle, and we could make the most of the lower levels of solar radiation.

Night owls scored this week with 20m openings to the western states reported around 0500-0600UTC. Laurie, G3UML also reports working central North America on 20m from about 4 to 6.30am. Note that these were CW and SSB contacts.

This year’s Sporadic E season also continues to delight UK amateurs. While the best DX has been on 6m, and not part of this report, 10m is still providing a lot of activity. Make the most of it - if you don’t, you’ll likely regret it!

Next week, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Centre says the SFI will be around 80. Geomagnetic conditions will be mainly quiet, although a large coronal hole reaching up to the solar equator is rotating into an Earth-facing position. This will be facing us around Saturday the 10th so look for possible unsettled geomagnetic conditions, with the possibility of depressed MUFs early next week.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The current weather pattern places the British Isles in an unsettled region with heavy showers, longer periods of rain and occasional frontal rain bands crossing the country. This is clearly useful for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

There are weak suggestions that there may be a return of high pressure close to southern areas in the second half of the coming week, but other models continue the unsettled theme, and it's certainly not a given at the moment. Overall, it looks like Tropo is a possibility, but mainly in the south and perhaps only briefly.

That leaves Sporadic-E and, for this mode, there are some good pointers in that the main jet stream across the Atlantic is pointing right at northern Europe and this should be a reasonable orientation for Es from the UK into Europe at times. Of course, we ideally need many other elements to be right too, so as usual, the message is to check the bands, clusters and call CQ now and again.

Moon declination is positive and falling, going negative again on Friday, so Moon visibility windows will shorten. Path losses will continue to fall throughout the week.

There are no significant meteor showers until the end of the month, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter opportunities.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 4th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for July 4th 2021.

July 2, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 4th July 2021

The news headlines:

  • Join Monday’s Tonight @ 8

  • NRC closure for tree felling

  • GM0GMN to lead IPA Amateur Radio Section

Don’t forget to join the RSGB’s Tonight @ 8 webinar on Monday evening. RSGB EMC Chair John Rogers, M0JAV will explain how to assess your station against ICNIRP EMF levels. The EMC Committee has been working hard to help all radio amateurs understand more about how to comply with the new Ofcom licence conditions. So take this chance to hear from an expert and ask questions. Tonight @ 8 will take a break in August and then will be back with another great programme for the autumn. To find out more about this and previous webinars, go to rsgb.org/webinars.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on the 5th and 6th of July. This is due to the large tree in the immediate vicinity of the NRC being felled. It is planned to re-open on Thursday the 8th as usual. Note that the NRC is not open on Wednesdays.

Following the very sad passing of Regional Representative Tom Reilly, G0NSY, the International Police Association has appointed James, GM0GMN to lead their UK Amateur Radio Section. James is keen to make contact with current and former members of the group and to encourage new members. To contact James, see QRZ.com.

Following the update from Ofcom to their guidance What you need to know as an Amateur Radio user, the RSGB has updated its calculator to version rsgb10a. This can be found on the EMF pages of the website at rsgb.org/emf. Please treat this as a beta release and report any problems to m0jav@rsgb.org.uk. The main changes are to implement band dependent antenna gain and the low power compliance condition in line with Ofcom’s change to guidance. The other changes made by Ofcom to their calculator were already in the RSGB version.

Have you ever thought about taking up an awards challenge as part of your amateur radio activities? Whether you enjoy HF or VHF/UHF, the RSGB awards are open to everyone, whatever your age, licence level and personal interests. Along the way, you will learn more about propagation, experiment with equipment and make tweaks to your station to maximise performance. Awards encourage you to push yourself further. The RSGB has launched a new web page that highlights the stories of radio amateurs who enjoy chasing awards. Take a look and be inspired by them at rsgb.org/award-stories.

The GB2RS service is seeking a newsreader to cover the Western Isles of Scotland. You would be joining an existing team as a reserve reader and there are opportunities for more than one applicant to broadcast the News on Sunday using HF, VHF or UHF. You should be an RSGB Member and have good coverage of the region. If you want to find out more without obligation, please contact the GB2RS Manager at gb2rs.manager@rsgb.org.uk.

A date for your diary now. The popular Churches and Chapels on the Air event will take place on the 11th of September. Most activity takes place on the 80 and 40m bands. Please register your station with organiser John, G3XYF, see QRZ.com.

And now for details of rallies and events

We heard from several rally organisers that their events will not be taking place this year. Rugby ATS regrets that it is not able to run its rally this year, but they look forward to seeing everyone next year on Sunday the 21st of August 2022. The organisers of the Welsh Radio Rally, which was due to take place in October, have said that it will return in 2022. They would like to thank the traders and visitors that have supported them over the years and look forward to seeing everyone again in 2022. Also cancelled are the East Sussex Wireless Revival and McMichael rally & boot sale, both originally planned for next Sunday, the 11th.

On a much brighter note for later this month, the Finningley ARS Car Boot bring & buy is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday the 25th of July. You can check for updates at g0ghk.com/cbr21 Finally, the Wiltshire Radio Rally, Electronics Fair & Car Boot Sale is planned to go ahead on Sunday the 1st of August. Details of this one are at chippenhamradio.club.

Now the DX news

Ed, ES2TT will be active as ES2TT/0 from Saaremaa Island [sar-eh-mah], IOTA reference EU-034, on the 10th and 11th of July. He will operate CW and SSB on the 30 to 20m bands. QSL via his home call, direct or via the bureau.

Frank, K3TRM will be active as VP2V/K3TRM from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NA-023, between the 4th and the 17th of July. He will operate on the 40 to 6m bands using SSB, RTTY, FT8 and satellite. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS, or via home call.

ZD7GB is the callsign issued to Gerry, G3WIP for use during his stay on St Helena Island, AF-022, until the 6th of September. In his spare time he will operate SSB, FT8 and FT4 on the 40 to 10m bands and via the QO-100 satellite.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

This weekend is the RSGB VHF National Field Day. It runs for 24 hours until 1400UTC today, the 4th. Using all modes on the 50MHz to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Please note that with the current Covid-19 restrictions, teams with multiple operators should ensure they are following the regulations in their area.

Today, the 4th of July, is the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest. It runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday, the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your report and 4-character locator.

On Thursday it is the turn of the 50MHz UK Activity Contest, running from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the IARU HF Championship runs for 24 hours from 1200UTC on the 10th to 1200UTC on the 11th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and ITU Zone. For the UK that is 27.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 2nd of July.

Well, NOAA certainly got the sunspot predictions wrong last week. It said that the solar flux index would be in the range 76 to 78 with a maximum Kp index of two. As it turned out, the SFI ended up way higher than this, peaking at 94 on Thursday. Active sunspot regions 2835 and 2836 ended up being bigger and more vigorous than predicted, pushing the sunspot number to a high of 53. This bodes well for the future and could mean that Solar Cycle 25 is now truly under way.

The CDXC group has reported 10m FT8 openings to China, Japan and South Korea, plus 10m and 12m openings to the Caribbean and South America.

Sporadic-E has started to tail off a little as we enter July and this is probably not helped by an increase in the Kp index to four on Wednesday night.

The major IT outage at the University of Massachusetts Lowell continues. This means there is still no ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website for foF2 graphs at the moment. Luckily, you can still access the live Chilton ionosonde data directly at ukssdc.ac.uk/ionosondes, although you may need to register. A check on Thursday showed that the critical frequency mid-morning over the UK was around 4 to 4.5MHz, meaning a maximum useable frequency over a 3,000km path of about 16.5MHz. Other than Sporadic-E openings, we can’t expect the MUF to rise much further until the Autumn.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will decline from around 92 to perhaps 85 next week, as regions 2835 and 2836 rotate off the visible face of the Sun. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain relatively calm with the Kp index at two to three.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Tropo opportunities have gradually diminished over the tail end of the week just gone. We had a super North-South duct up the East Coast on Wednesday evening allowing a close-to 700km 10GHz Tropo QSO between Keith, GM4ODA/P at IO99IV in Shetland and Neil, G4DBN in IO93NR, who’s almost at sea level on the Humber estuary.

We are now left with what is essentially a low pressure-driven weather pattern, with a small low crossing southern England early in the week. This will mean that periods of rain or heavy and possibly thundery showers are likely, so good for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The main development will see low pressure over the British Isles or just to the west. The accompanying upper air pattern suggests a jet stream becoming established just to the south, over the near continent. This is a perfect location for supporting Sporadic-E paths into much of Europe, should other factors be in favour.

The jet stream strength also looks to be a bit stronger again, which is another good sign. Just keep in mind that the band will seem dead if you don’t call CQ! Mid-morning and late afternoon to early evening are going to be the most profitable times to do that.

Moon declination is positive and rising again so Moon visibility windows will lengthen. With apogee on Monday, path losses will be high.

There are no significant meteor showers until the end of the month, so continue to look around dawn for the best random meteor scatter opportunities.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 27th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 27th 2021.

June 26, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 27th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Covid-19 affects VHF NFD
  • Tree-felling to interrupt National Radio Centre
  • Durham is 13 Colonies bonus station

 

Covid restrictions are extending into July and this means that VHF NFD is taking place with more controls in place than the organisers were hoping for. It is still viable to run the contest on the 3rd and 4th of July, but it will require some additional precautions and control to be exercised by entrants. All entrants, group organisers and individuals involved must fully comply with all local Covid-19 restrictions and advice that apply at the time of the event. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing, meeting people outside of their household/bubble and travel restrictions. Any enclosed operating space such as a car, caravan or a tent without two open sides is treated as an indoor location and will be subject to the tighter limits on the number of people visiting that space for the duration of the contest. The rules are different in each of the devolved nations and are regularly changing. So please satisfy yourself that you are compliant with your local rules at the time of the contest.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed on the 5th and 6th of July whilst a large tree is felled in the immediate vicinity. Booked entries to Bletchley Park itself are unaffected.

Durham & District ARS is participating as one of the bonus stations in the 13 Colonies Special Event. The event began in 2009 as a way of celebrating American Independence with the original 13 colony States of 1776. Since the UK was a major historical player in the Revolutionary War, GB13COL from England will present an added challenge. The event will run from 1300UTC on the 1st of July to 0400UTC on the 8th. The primary focus of the event will be the HF bands, including VHF & UHF for QSOs using SSB, CW, FM and various digital modes. There is also an opportunity to exchange QSL cards with all 13 Colony State stations, plus the bonus stations. For further information go to 13colonies.us.

A polite reminder now concerning the frequencies used each Sunday by the RSGB’s GB2RS News service. The News is intended for all radio amateurs and listeners, and a clear frequency ensures that it may be heard as widely as possible. The national frequencies on HF are 1990, 3643, 3650, 5398.5 and 7127kHz. Some of these frequencies carry a succession of broadcasts from more than one location. On VHF and up, the principal frequencies for more localised broadcasts throughout the day are 70.425, 145.525 and 433.525MHz. Most amateurs appreciate that no individual or organisation has ownership of any frequency on the amateur bands, it has always been ‘first come first served’. But, in the case of GB2RS, there is a restriction on how far the broadcast is allowed to move to avoid interference. So, whether you’re a club planning to set up a regular net, a contest station rapidly jumping frequencies, or someone just looking for a spot to call CQ, if it’s a Sunday please spare a thought for the RSGB’s volunteers who are trying to deliver the news. The full GB2RS frequency list and transmission times can be viewed at rsgb.org/gb2rsschedule and many webSDRs label the News spots on their waterfall displays. The RSGB would like to thank amateurs for respecting these frequencies.

The Youngsters On The Air Contest’s first round is complete and the claimed results have been posted on the YOTA website at contest.ham-yota.com. Worldwide participation was very good. In the YOTA-class categories, more than 100 entries were from contesters between 7 and 25 years old, and three entered as short wave listeners. There were more than 600 entries of participants above the age of 25, with the oldest participant at age 87. The next round will be on the 8th of July.

Today, the 27th is the final day of the three-day Ham Radio World event. Instead of physically meeting in Friedrichshafen participants are able to listen to lectures, look at exhibiting companies and view the virtual exhibition site. Go to www.darc.de and click on the Ham Radio World advert at the top of the page, then chose the English language option for more information.

The vintage Alexanderson alternator transmitter in Grimeton, Sweden, will conduct its annual Alexanderson Day transmission on the 4th of July using its usual callsign, SAQ. The CW transmission will be on 17.2kHz, CW. Startup and tuning for the first SAQ transmission will take place at 0830UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 0900UTC. Startup and tuning for the second SAQ transmission will take place at 1130UTC, with a message transmission to follow at 1200UTC.

Now the DX news

Loick, HB9HBY will be active again as HB0/HB9HBY from Liechtenstein from the 30th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate CW, SSB and FT8/FT4. QSL via EB7DX.

Jerome, F8FKJ is active as J20EE from Djibouti until mid-July. He operates CW. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Alex, AK4AM will be active as AK4AM/P from Atlantic Beach, Bogue Banks, IOTA reference NA-112, until the 3rd of July. He will operate SSB only with a focus on the 80, 40 and 20m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Gerard, G3WIP will be working as a doctor on St Helena until the 30th of September. He plans to be on the air in his spare time.

Now the Special Event news

Coventry ARS is running two special event stations until May 2022 to celebrate Coventry being the City of Culture. GB1COC & GB8CCC will be running most days, with GB8CCC passing between members of the club. Dates and times will vary.

The Boy Scouts of America Radio callsign K2BSA/8 will be on the air from the Trail To Eagle event. This takes place between the 29th of June and the 2nd of July. A QSL card is available when requested.

Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.

Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.

GB0UTA and GB5UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. See the QRZ.com entries for more information.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe.

Today, the 27th, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest also takes place today, the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 27th, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the 5th FT4 Series contest runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using the 80m band only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is the RSGB VHF National Field Day. It runs from 1400UTC on the 3rd to 1400UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on the 50MHz to 1.3GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Please note that with the current Covid-19 restrictions, teams with multiple operators should ensure they are following the regulations in their area.

Next Sunday, the 4th of July, is the 3rd 2m Backpackers contest. It runs from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 25th of June.

We had another week that was largely dominated by Sporadic-E openings. It is worth pointing out that Sporadic-E can and does have a blanketing effect on HF signals, which can prevent them from reaching the F2 layer of the ionosphere. This means that predictions created by a program like VOACAP or ITURHFPROP can often be over-optimistic. VOACAP and ITURHFPROP do not take into account seasonal Sporadic-E and, in any event, the localised and changing nature of Sporadic-E clouds means it would be very hard to make monthly median predictions.

During the summer months, take computerised propagation predictions with a pinch of salt. While short-skip propagation may be better at times, longer distance signals may in fact be worse than the predictions.

Sunspot region 2833 has now rotated out of view off the Sun’s edge and we can expect the solar flux index to decline from the 80 reached on Thursday. The good news is that at least two returning regions, 2830 and 2831, will be turning back into view over the weekend. A lack of coronal holes means geomagnetic conditions should remain quiet over the next week. NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 76-78 with a maximum Kp index of two.

Lastly, due to a major outage at the server in the States at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, there is no ionosonde data on the Propquest.co.uk website foF2 graphs at the moment. The server has been subjected to a cyber attack and restoration of the academic services rightly takes priority; the graphs will be there as soon as the server is back online.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It’s another week of mixed fortunes for VHF/UHF users, with a tendency for high pressure over northern areas after the unsettled weather moves through during the tail end of this week. It eventually leaves an area of low pressure close to, or over, southern areas and this remains in place for much of the next week. Towards the end of the week, another low will drift south across eastern areas.

The best chance of Tropo is over Scotland and Ireland, while unsettled and potentially thundery weather will be a good source for some rain scatter activity in southern areas.

The Sporadic-E prospects are looking a bit quiet at first, but as a new upper-low moves into the southern UK and France, we should see prospects improve again into next week, particularly for paths to Iberia and the eastern Mediterranean.

Moon declination goes positive again on Friday, so peak Moon visibility windows and peak elevations will increase. Path losses will rise throughout the week.

The June Bootids meteor shower peaks today.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 20th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 20th 2021.

June 18, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 20th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Latest rally news
  • Ofcom updates guidance
  • ARISS SSTV from ISS

 

The organisers of the Dartmoor Radio Rally have revised the date to the 15th of August. It will be held at the new venue of The Yelverton War Memorial Hall, Meavy Lane, Yelverton PL20 6AL. Doors open at 10 am. Details can be found at dartmoorradioclub.uk. The McMichael Rally Committee has announced that this year’s rally is, sadly, cancelled. It was due to take place on the 11th of July. They expect to be back in 2022. Keep checking the website for the latest information. With the recent change to the Covid restrictions, the organisers of the East Suffolk Wireless Revival have decided to cancel the event for 2021. This event is popularly known as the Ipswich Rally and was due to take place on the 11th of July.

Ofcom has updated the guidance document What you need to know as an amateur radio user and the Ofcom EMF calculator. The guide provides an overview of what you need to do to comply with Ofcom’s EMF licence condition and is much simplified from the earlier version. Links to all of the documents and calculators can be found at rsgb.org/emf.

A slow-scan television ARISS event is scheduled between the 21st and 26th of June. Transmissions from the ISS will be on 145.800MHz FM using PD120 SSTV mode. The SSTV images will be transmitted continuously. Transmissions will start at or about 0940UTC on the 21st and will end by 1830UTC on the 26th. Signals should be receivable on a handheld with a quarter-wave whip antenna. Use 25kHz channel spacing if available.

Since reopening just over two weeks ago, the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park has welcomed more than 3,800 visitors. With the improved signage and Bletchley Park interactive map, the NRC is typically seeing close to 50% of the Park’s footfall. The RSGB would like to thank Martyn, G0GMB and the NRC volunteers for making this possible. The NRC is open every day, except Wednesdays, to pre-booked visitors to Bletchley Park.

Sad news next, particularly for those in Region 9, as Tom O’Reilly, G0NSY became Silent Key last week. Tom volunteered for the RSGB as Regional Representative 9, covering London and Thames Valley from 2016 and as a District Representative before that. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

The lecture programme for the weekend of the virtual Ham Radio World Weekend has been announced for the 25th to the 27th of June. Go to www.darc.de and click on the advert for the event at the top of the page. There are lectures in English and these can be seen by their English titles.

The Summer Sale in the RSGB Shop has started and will run until the 18th of July. Go to rsgbshop.org to find out more.

To increase participation in the FMH Portable Operations Challenge in September, parallel regional or local group competitions are being encouraged by Ed, DD5LP. Those who would like to do this for their group or region should send an email to regionalcontestlist@gmail.com. The regional organiser’s callsign and the geographic area or group of people to be covered should be in the email. Full details of the Portable Operations Challenge can be found at foxmikehotel.com.

Slovenian Amateur Radio Union will celebrate the country’s 30 years of independence by issuing a special award. Between the 26th of June and the 31st of December, Slovenian amateur radio stations can add the number 30 into the suffix. For example, S50ZZ would become S5030ZZ. Search for Slovenia Contest Club using your favourite search engine and click on the Union Jack flag to read all the qualifying details in English.

Now the DX news

Michel, F6GWV and Gildas, F6HMQ will be active as TO11A from Guadeloupe, IOTA reference NA-102, until the 5th of July. QSL via F6HMQ.

Paul, G4PVM will be active as GM4PVM from the Isle of Lismore, EU-008, from the 29th of June to the 4th of July. He will operate holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via Logbook of The World and eQSL.

A team will be active as 7D9BA from Lembongan Island, OC-022, between the 25th and 28th of June. They will operate CW, SSB, FT8/FT4 and some RTTY on the 80, 20, 17, 15 and 10m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to EA7FTR.

Now the Special Event news

Kent Weald Radio Club will be at the Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent today, the 20th, and next weekend, the 26th & 27th, for Museums on the Air. They will operate as GB1HA.

Harlow and District ARS will be operating today, the 20th and on the 26th of 27th from their clubhouse for Museums on the Air. The museum is Harlow Museum and Gardens and is next door to the clubhouse. Using GB0HMG on HF and 2m, operations are expected from 9.30 am to 4 pm each day. QSL cards will only be sent out on receipt of a card.

GB0UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch. GB5UTA will be on the air during the same period on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. See the QRZ.com entries for more information.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

The 50MHz Trophy contest ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 20th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also this weekend, the All Asian DX contest ends its 48-hour run at 2359UTC today, the 20th. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and age.

The Worked-All-Britain 50MHz phone contest will take place today, Sunday the 20th of June, from 0800 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries to be with the WAB Contest Manager by 30th of June. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but please act sensibly.

Today, the 20th, the UK Microwave Group 122 to 248GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it is the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 27th, the 50MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 4th 70MHz Cumulative contest also takes place on the 27th, from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Sunday the 27th, the UK Microwave Group 5.7 and 10GHz contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 18th of June.

A large coronal hole returned last week and started to become Earth-facing on Monday the 14th. The high-speed solar wind stream from the hole impacted the Earth on Tuesday evening, pushing the Kp index to five. Luckily, conditions returned to normal by late Wednesday and the Kp index was down to two or three thereafter. It now looks like we are free of coronal hole effects for the time being.

Sunspot-wise, region 2833 put in an appearance. Its effects on the ionosphere have been minimal with the solar flux index stuck at 76 on Thursday the 27th and the sunspot number at 11, representing one spot in one group.

HF propagation has been adequate rather than outstanding, with the real talking point remaining Sporadic-E. Conditions on 10 metres have been good with long, solid openings to Europe popping up each day. Do make the most of these, as F2-layer openings on 10m may be harder to find once the Sporadic-E season ends.

Next week NOAA has the SFI at around 80 and quiet geomagnetic conditions with a Kp index of two. We are still not seeing the ramp-up in sunspot activity that we would like, although fingers are crossed that this Autumn might be more positive.

In the meantime, make the most of the Sporadic-E openings, particularly on the higher bands such as 12 and 10 metres. These openings can affect lower HF bands too, although it is sometimes hard to distinguish them from F2-layer openings.

So please don’t ignore 15 metres and lower at this time and look for short-skip contacts on these bands as well.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It looks like the majority of next week will see low pressure predominating with further periods of unsettled and potentially thundery weather. The pattern places the main area of low pressure over or just west of the UK, forcing a thundery showery southerly flow across the country. There will be some interludes when brief ridges of high pressure show up, especially in southeastern areas, but overall Tropo will not be high on the list. So, apart from some rain scatter prospects and the occasional extended sea path Tropo across the North Sea or English Channel, it will mostly be a week for chasing Sporadic-E.

The northern part of Europe and Scandinavia have a good jet stream flow and this extends into northern Russia, making it worth checking those DX paths into the Far East and Japan. The other region looking well favoured with jet stream patterns is to the south into Spain and Portugal.

We are in peak season for Sporadic-E, so keeping a regular routine of checking the bands mid-morning and early evening is the best procedure to follow.

The Moon is at perigee on Wednesday so path losses will be at their lowest. Sadly, with minimum Moon declination on Friday, visibility windows and peak Moon elevations will also be at their shortest and lowest of the month.

The June Bootids meteor shower peaks on Sunday 27th. This shower, although normally small, has a reputation for outbursts of activity. Until then, continue to look for the best random meteor scatter propagation around dawn.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 13th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 13th 2021.

June 11, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 13th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • National Hamfest postponed to 2022
  • Kyrgyzstan amateurs get 5MHz band allocation
  • Volunteers sought for 100th-anniversary station

 

It is with much regret that the organisers of the National Hamfest have decided to postpone the event planned for the 24th and 25th of September 2021 until September 2022. A number of factors have made the organisation of the event impossible to predict this year. At this point, the organisers cannot reliably commit to successfully and safely holding an event that takes upwards of three months of continuous effort to organise. The organisers not only wish to act in a responsible way towards the large team of volunteers who staff the event and make it possible every year, but also the visitors and the partner organisations, all of whom make the event such a success each year. The organisers are looking forward to more certainty in 2022 and welcoming you to the event in September next year.

The national amateur radio society for Kyrgyzstan has announced that on the 4th of June, the national regulator made a 5MHz allocation available to amateurs. The WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz is available at a maximum power of 100W. Other secondary allocations made available at the same time were 472 – 479kHz at 1W, 122.25 – 12 GHz and 134 – 141GHz both at 100W.

To celebrate the first one-way amateur radio QSO across the Atlantic that took place on the 12th December 1921, the ARRL has joined with a group of UK operators who plan to re-create the event in December this year. To celebrate the centenary of Paul Godley, 2ZE’s success, in collaboration with North Ayrshire Council, special event stations GB2ZE and GB1002ZE respectively will be operating from the 1st to the 28th of December. Volunteers are sought to help. See GM0DEQ on qrz.com for email details.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will be closed to all visitors between the 14th and 17th of June. This is because groundworks are taking place around the building blocking the fire escape. Normal opening hours will be resumed after the work is finished.

The RSGB’s Friendship on the Air Award is a new way of getting on the air, representing your club and having a proper chat with radio amateurs on the airwaves. It is a great way to start chatting to other radio amateurs if you are a new licensee. There are monthly and annual awards for individuals, clubs and the highest-scoring club in each region. If you have taken part already don’t forget to upload your logs. If you would like to get involved for the first time this month, you will find all the details at rsgb.org/friendship-award.

The inaugural Gateways On The Air Event takes place between the 12th and the 20th of June. The main aim is to increase communications through linked analogue and digital simplex gateways that are accessible to all licensed amateurs. More details can be found at gota.org.uk.

Murray Niman, G6JYB, the RSGB Spectrum Forum Chairman, gave a spectrum presentation and Q+A session via Zoom to Mid Ulster ARC. The presentation covered an overview of the functions of the RSGB Spectrum Forum, where do your frequencies come from and what they do for UK radio amateurs. The talk, and others, is now available on YouTube with the suffix /muarcmedia.

 

Now the DX news

Jun is active as XV9RH from Hanoi and will remain in Vietnam until the 26th of June. In his spare time, he operates CW and FT8 on the 20 to 10m bands. QSL via OE1JUN.

Harald, DF2WO will be active as XT2AW from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso starting on the 13th of June for three weeks. He will operate CW, FT8 and SAT modes; SSB will be used but only when conditions allow. QSL via M0OXO.

 

Now the Special Event news

GB0UTA will be on the air until the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch. GB5UTA will be on the air during the same period on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. See the QRZ.com entry for more information.

 

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

This weekend is the Argentinian CW Group’s contest, running for 24-hours until 1500UTC today, the 13th. It uses the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands and entrants should observe the CW segments according to their national band plan. The exchange is signal report and CQ Zone. Full rules at contest.com.ar.

The IARU ATV contest ends its 30 hour-run at 1800UTC today, the 13th. Using the 432MHz and up bands, the exchange is picture quality, serial number, four-digit code and locator.

Today, the 13th is the Practical Wireless 2m QRP contest, which runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using phone only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also, today is the second 144MHz Backpackers contest that runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it is the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships. Running from 1900 to 2030UTC, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the 50MHz Trophy contest runs from 1400UTC on the 19th to 1400UTC on the 20th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also next weekend, but running for 48 hours is the All Asian DX contest. Using CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands where contests are permitted, the exchange is signal report and age.

The Worked-All-Britain 50MHz phone contest will take place on Sunday the 20th of June from 0800 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries to be with the WAB Contest Manager by 30th of June. Due to the easing of restrictions, the mobile and portable categories will be resumed; but please act sensibly.

Next Sunday, the 20th, the UK Microwave Group 122 to 248GHz contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

 

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 11th of June.

The predicted geomagnetic disturbance we spoke about last week didn’t amount to much. The Kp index rose to four on Monday evening, but the disturbance was short-lived and it was back to one later on Tuesday. Region 2829 was the only sunspot group visible on the Sun later in the week. This pushed the solar flux index to 80, but we are still a long way away from the kind of activity needed for real F2-layer DX.

The good news was a lack of coronal hole activity, which allowed the ionosphere to settle. This means that daytime maximum useable frequencies were often above 14MHz, but below 18MHz at times. Nightime critical frequencies are around 3.75-4MHz, which translates to a maximum usable frequency of around 10-13MHz over a 3,000km path.

The better news was that Sporadic-E continued to provide excitement on the upper HF band with many reports of single and double-hop openings.

The 10m UK Net group on Facebook reports that 7X2VFK in Algeria was workable on SSB, plus there were 28MHz openings to the US, Canada and the Caribbean.

Next week NOAA predicts more of the same with the SFI in the mid-70s, although regions 2824 and 2826 will rotate into view next week.

Geomagnetic activity should generally be settled, although we may expect a Kp index of four on or around the 16th due to a high-speed stream from a returning coronal hole.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It is going to be another summer mix for the coming week. Some periods of high pressure with summertime Tropo overnight and throughout the 24 hours across adjacent seas. There will also be some frontal activity with weather systems affecting northwestern areas and decaying into isolated showers as they move southeast into the high pressure. 

This could mean that there are likely to be a few rain scatter opportunities again for the GHz bands. At present, the second half of next week looks a bit more unsettled with the possibility of thundery weather, especially in the south.

Sporadic-E has taken a bit of a pause lately or, at best, been rather ‘sporadic’ and the indications of jet stream patterns for next week suggests that favoured directions for openings will probably involve the UK across northern Europe and Scandinavia. 

This northern positioning of the jet stream pattern may be what is needed for the more exotic paths across to the Far East via northern Russia. There may also be some valuable second hop possibilities across the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean.

The basic rules are to check mid-morning and late afternoon and expect it to reach up to 144MHz if the conditions are favourable. The longest distances are often recorded at the start of a band opening so if you are working Es, remember to try the next higher frequency band.

With peak Moon declination passed, the week will feature shortening Moon visibility windows, lower peak elevation and falling losses as we approach perigee a week on Monday.

The Arietids meteor shower is declining now and the next one is the June Bootids peaking in a fortnight. This shower normally has a low ZHR of one or two but has a reputation for outbursts of activity. The last being in 1998 when the ZHR hit 100. Until then, continue to look for the best random meteor scatter propagation around dawn.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 6th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for June 6th 2021.

June 4, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 6th June 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • National Radio Centre re-opens
  • Dartmoor Rally should run in July
  • HF radio performance on Tonight@8

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park reopened last week in line with current Covid restrictions. The volunteers welcomed a fantastic 1,226 visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend and that number has continued to rise during the week. One young lad came with his father and they were both inspired to start studying for their Foundation licence. The RSGB would like to thank all the NRC volunteers who are making this experience possible for so many Bletchley Park visitors. The NRC is open daily, except Wednesdays, until further notice. Visitors to Bletchley Park need to pre-book and pay via their website so at present the Society is unable to offer its free entry voucher to RSGB Members whilst that system is in place.

The Dartmoor Radio Rally is due to take place on the 4th of July. In view of the uncertainties of Covid-19 restrictions that may be introduced at short notice, the organisers ask that visitors please check the website at dartmoorradioclub.uk before travelling.

The next Tonight @ 8 live webinar is on Monday the 7th of June. In a change to the advertised programme, Rob Sherwood, NC0B will talk about Transceiver Performance for the HF DX & Contest Operator. His presentation will explain the process that Sherwood Engineering go through to produce detailed performance figures for a wide range of transceivers, including details on the long-awaited new Elecraft K4D. You will be able to watch and ask questions live on the RSGB’s YouTube channel. For more information about this and other webinars in the series, go to rsgb.org/webinars.

IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs Chair, Barry Lewis, G4SJH, reports that efforts continue in defending the interests of amateur radio during preparations by CEPT for the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2023. Meeting on the 21st of May, the IARU worked with CEPT regional telecommunications organisations. The IARU put forward the agreed preliminary IARU positions for agenda items that could affect amateur radio. The IARU’s overall objective is to safeguard the allocations to the amateur and amateur satellite services in the co- and adjacent-frequency bands within the scope of each agenda item. 

HamSCI is looking for amateurs to make recordings of time-standard stations during the June 2021 solar eclipse across the Arctic Circle as part of a citizen science experiment. Researchers will use the crowd-sourced data to investigate the superimposed effects of auroral particle precipitation and the eclipse on HF Doppler shift. The experiment will run between the 7th and 12th of June. All participants will receive QSL certificates and updates as the data is processed. For more information and setup instructions, visit the June 2021 Arctic Eclipse Festival page at hamsci.org.

A date for the diary next. Electromagnetic Field will return to Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire from the 2nd to the 5th of June next year, 2022. Tickets will go on sale later this year. Electromagnetic Field is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things, including hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists and engineers.

The GB3CM repeater was fitted with a new antenna on the 24th of May. The first indications are quite promising with regards to coverage. The repeater is in IO71VW near Carmarthen. Signal reports will be very gratefully received, especially from those who used the repeater before the antenna change. You can send your report to Mark, GW8KCY via email to keeper@gb3cm.info.

Now the DX news

Bo, OZ1DJJ will be active as OX3LX from Greenland between the 8th of June and the 10th of July. He plans to operate mainly on the 6 and 4m bands from several locations along the southwest coast of Greenland. Operations will be in his spare time, which is typically around lunchtime, after dinner as well as early and late sessions at weekends. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club Log’s OQRS or direct to OZ0J.

Lars, SM6CUK will be active holiday style as SA6G/7 from Ven Island, EU-137, between the 7th and 12th of June. He will operate CW on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via SM6CUK and Logbook of The World; logsearch on Club Log.

Gary, NC3Z will be active as VP2V/NC3Z from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, NA-023, until the 14th of June. He will operate SSB and the FT modes. QSL via Logbook of The World.

Now the Special Event news

Dragon ARC is running a VHF Day on Saturday the 12th of June from 10 am until 5 pm. They will operate on the 6, 4 and 2m bands using FM, SSB or AM. Club members will be using the callsign GB0VHF from Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey, locator IO73TI.

GB0UTA will be on the air between the 6th and the 28th of June promoting the University of the Third Age. The u3a is an organisation that aims to help people learn, stay active and have fun in later life. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Honiton, Devon branch of the u3a. See the QRZ.com entry for more information. 

The Queen’s official birthday is being celebrated with the callsign GB95QB from the 6th to the 13th of June. The operation will be on all available bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. The station will be run from the home of Nigel, G0GDA with assistance from members of Medway ARTS.

Denmark is taking part in the European Football Championship and a special event station will be on the air between the 11th of June and the 11th of July. 5P2UEFA/xx will be active on all HF bands with CW, SSB and digimodes. The extended suffix /xx will consist of a double-digit number and will be used in connection with the application for a diploma. You can find out about QSL cards and the diploma on QRZ.com under the callsign 5P2UEFA.

From 1600UTC on the 11th of June to 0800UTC on the 12th, Hawaiian amateurs will be taking part in the King Kamehameha Celebration. Using the callsign K6K, the main modes will be SSB, FM, FT-8 and Winlink. eQSLs will be available via Logbook of The World, please note no paper QSLs, please.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

Ending its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 6th is the SEANET contest. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The CW National Field Day also ends its 24-hour run today, the 6th, at 1500UTC. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Contest ends its 24-hour run at 1300UTC today, the 6th. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 6th, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday, the data leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place between 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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 for both is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend the IARU ATV contest runs from 1200UTC on the 12th to 1800UTC on the 13th. Using the 432MHz and up bands, the exchange is picture quality, serial number, four-digit code and locator.

Next Sunday, the 13th, is the Practical Wireless 2m QRP contest, which runs from 0900 to 1600UTC. Using phone only, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also, next Sunday is the second 144MHz Backpackers contest, which runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 4th of June.

The Sun was pretty quiet over the last week, with few sunspots and a solar flux index in the mid-70s. From a peak of 82 on Sunday, the SFI declined to 75 on Thursday when there were just two small sunspot groups visible, regions 2827 and 2929.

As predicted, geomagnetic conditions have been mostly settled, with a maximum Kp index of three. The solar wind has buffeted Earth at times thanks to a string of small coronal holes on the solar surface. 

As we head towards the summer solstice we are seeing the HF bands remain open later in the evening. This is due to changes in the chemical make-up of the ionosphere. The 20m band currently remains open to DX over a 3,000km path until nearly midnight. In fact, if we had a few more sunspots we could even see 14MHz open 24 hours a day at times.

The main mode of interest remains Sporadic-E, with daily inter-Europe openings and occasional multi-hop openings to further afield. Make the most of these in June as conditions can decline as the season progresses.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid to high 70s again. It says that the Kp index should remain around two. We may expect disturbed geomagnetic conditions on Sunday and early next week due to a large coronal hole on the Sun’s equator that became Earth-facing on Friday.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It feels like a classic ‘summer combo’ this coming week, with periods where Tropo is the dominant mode as weak ridges of high pressure remain close by over the UK. Remember that the best conditions are often overnight and early morning since during the day the solar heating of the ground destroys any surface temperature inversion. In addition, you will also find that Tropo paths exist across the surrounding seas throughout the 24 hours, so /P from the clifftop or beach sounds ideal.

Mixed in with this hesitant high-pressure theme are occasional periods of instability releasing heavy showers, possibly with thunder and lightning. This is good for some because summer thunderclouds produce excellent prospects for GHz bands rain scatter.

Early June is prime time for Sporadic-E, and it’s been simmering nicely for a while now, so perhaps more of the same. In theory, all bands up to 144MHz come into play.

A point of observation regarding the jet stream patterns is that, perversely, they are not looking so favourable this coming week, which makes predicting paths very unwise. Check the daily blogs at Propquest.co.uk to see how things are developing.

We start another lunar month with positive and increasing declination giving lengthening daytime visibility windows, but with apogee on Tuesday, EME path losses are at their highest.

June the 7th sees the peak of the Arietids meteor shower. It actually lasts from May 22 to July 2, and with a ZHR of 30 it is one of the two most intense daylight meteor showers of the year.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 30th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 30th 2021.

May 28, 2021

GB2RS News

Sunday 30th May 2021

 

The news headlines:

  • Phillip Brooks, G4NZQ, SK
  • RSGB to report survey results
  • Listen for ISS on Monday

 

We start with the sad news that following a recent illness, Phillip Brooks, G4NZQ became a Silent Key last week. For many years, Phillip worked tirelessly for the RSGB in a variety of roles, including reading the GB2RS news script every Sunday morning for almost 23 years, only retiring in 2017. He was also the RSGB Regional Manager for Region 12 for several years as well as a member of the RSGB Board and several RSGB Committees. Described as “always a gentleman, in all senses of the word”, he really will be sadly missed by many, both on the airwaves and within the RSGB.

The RSGB’s amateur radio survey has now closed. Over 1,000 people took the time to reply and the Society is very grateful for their responses. Once the data has been reviewed, it will initially be used for the IARU workshop alongside that from other countries in the IARU region. However, the RSGB will also publish a summary of the responses in RadCom and on the website in due course. If you’d like to listen to a wider discussion about the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats to amateur radio in the UK, the RSGB President Stewart Bryant, G3YSX was interviewed on ICQ Podcast. You can find the interview on Episode 351 and it begins at 51 minutes and 43 seconds. Go to icqpodcast.com to listen.

An ARISS educational school contact is planned for Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG with students in France. The contact is scheduled for the 31st of May at approximately 1349UTC. The link to the ISS will be operated by the amateur radio telebridge station IK1SLD, located in northern Italy. Downlink signals will be audible in Europe on 145.800MHz, narrow FM.

Some of the RSGB’s GB2RS web pages have been updated recently and the Society has launched a video to explain more about the news service. The RSGB is always keen to find additional newsreaders so do get in touch if you’d like to join the team. To see the video, find out more about GB2RS or apply to be a newsreader, go to rsgb.org/gb2rs-manager.

Dragon ARC is running a VHF Day on Saturday the 12th of June from 10 am until 5 pm. They are encouraging all amateurs to get active on the 6, 4 and 2m bands using FM, SSB or AM. Club members will be using the callsign GB0VHF from Parys Mountain on the island of Anglesey, locator IO73TI. The aim of the day is to create activity on the VHF bands, so please do join in! If you email a copy of your log to Simon, MW0NWM at darc.secretary@gmx.co.uk you will be sent a pdf participation certificate via email.

Vinny, M0TAV, the Region Representative for Region 5, which is the West Midlands, is looking for a District Representative for area 51, Staffordshire & Warwickshire. If you are an RSGB Member living in the area and are interested in representing the RSGB and supporting local amateurs, you can find out more from Vinny via email to  rr5@rsgb.org.uk.

The inaugural Gateways On The Air Event takes place between the 12th and 20th of June. The main aim is to increase RF communications and portable or mobile activity over an eight-day period through linked analogue & digital simplex gateways. More details can be found at www.gota.org.uk.

 

Now the DX news

Jean-Louis, 5N7MSF is active from Nigeria until the 15th of September. He works for Doctors Without Borders and will be operating during his spare time and the weekends. QSL via eQSL.

Steve, VK6SJ now plans to be active as VK9XX from Christmas Island, IOTA OC-002, until the 11th of June. Expected hours of operation are 1100 to 1500UTC and 2200 to 2359UTC on a daily basis. All FT8 operation will be Fox & Hound mode. SSB operation will be split frequency, listening 5kHz up and ±QRM. See VK6SJ on QRZ.com for updates. QSL via EB7DX.

 

Now the Special Event news

Hull & District ARS continues its GB1OOH centenary celebrations, now with over 1,500 QSOs logged from around the world.

GB5UTA will be on the air between the 1st and the 28th of June promoting amateur radio among the 450,000 strong University of the Third Age members. U3A is an organisation that aims to help people learn, stay active and have fun in later life. This special event station will be operating on behalf of the Cirencester and Tetbury branches of the U3A. Look up GB5UTA on QRZ.com. On the 2nd of June, the branches will be celebrating U3A Day alongside other UK branches. More information about 2 June at u3a.org.uk.

The former minesweeper HNLMS Hoogeveen will be taking part in the Museum Ship Weekend. Between 0000UTC on the 5th of June and 2359UTC on the 6th of June, PA827HGV will be on the air. They plan to use all HF bands using both CW and SSB. HNLMS Hoogeveen is moored in Den Helder, Netherlands. For more about the weekend go to nj2bb.org/museum.

 

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

The CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 30th of May. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 30th, The UK Microwave Group High Band Contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday, the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same, signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

Next weekend, the CW National Field Day runs for 24 hours from 1500UTC on the 5th to 1500UTC on the 6th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also next weekend is the 24-hour SEANET contest. This runs from 1200UTC on the 5th using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Contest runs from 1300UTC on the 5th to 1300UTC on the 6th. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 6th, the UK Microwave Group Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Just exchange your 4-character locator.

 

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 28th of May.

“May you live in interesting times.” So says the ancient Chinese curse, and last week was interesting, to say the least. Sunspot region 2824 was joined by region 2826, pushing the solar flux index to 88. At the same time, a coronal mass ejection from region 2824 threatened to push the Kp index high on the 25th. The reality was that the solar matter actually struck the Earth late on the 26th, elevating the Kp index to five.

The after-effects of the enhanced solar wind were still being felt on Thursday the 27th with the Kp index still fluctuating between three and four. The solar wind speed stayed above 400km per second affecting MUFs over a 3,000km path. On Thursday they were distinctly below 18MHz after an enhancement the evening before had pushed them to nearly 24MHz.

The good news is that Sporadic-E was much in evidence last week with numerous multi- and single-hop openings reported. VU2XO in India was worked from the UK on 10 metre SSB, as was YI1SAL in Iraq. An unusual copy was the German icebreaker Polarstern signing as DP0POL/MM on 28MHz WSPR.

The solar flux looks like it will diminish next week, according to NOAA, with the SFI in the mid-70s again. But at the time of writing, there were few signs of major coronal hole activity next week and NOAA predicts that the Kp index will hover around two.

So it looks like it could be another week where Sporadic-E propagation dominates HF activity with perhaps reduced F2-layer activity, but with more settled geomagnetic conditions.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

At long last, there are signs of some proper summer weather as high-pressure returns. This will mean that Tropo should appear as a good VHF/UHF mode for much of the next week. Worth noting that paths can be limited during the daytime as heating breaks down any surface night-time inversion, so the operating rule is to concentrate on evenings and overnight for Tropo paths.

The Sporadic-E season is well underway but due to its sporadic nature, it was no surprise that we failed to predict the short opening on 144MHz from the UK to Italy and the Balkans last Tuesday.

Late May and especially the first weeks of June usually produce something spectacular, but the jet stream positions look slightly less favourable in the coming week. Remember that optimum times for Sporadic-E are the mid-morning period and again late afternoon and early evening.

Toward the end of next week, the models suggest that we may see a showery breakdown with a possibility of thunderstorms. These are ideal sources of GHz band rain scatter from the large cumulonimbus clouds.

The Moon passed minimum declination yesterday, so visibility windows and peak Moon elevations will increase throughout the week. We also passed perigee last Wednesday so path losses will also increase.

No significant meteor showers this week so continue to be active around dawn for the best random meteors.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 23rd 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 23rd 2021.

May 21, 2021

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 23rd of May 2021

The news headlines:

  • Final details on EMF from Ofcom
  • Cathryn, M0IBG inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame
  • RSGB National Radio Centre re-opens

 

Ofcom has updated its web page at ofcom.org.uk/emf stating its final decision on EMF. The RSGB is updating its advice so check rsgb.org/emf. You will find revised guidance and the RSGB calculator has been updated in line with the Ofcom calculator changes.

The 2021 Inductees to the CQ Amateur Radio, Contesting and DX Halls of Fame have been announced. Of particular interest to UK radio amateurs is the inclusion of Cathryn Mitchell, M0IBG into the Hall of Fame. Catheryn is the Academic Director of the University of Bath Doctoral College and recipient of the 2019 Edward Appleton Medal. She is also one of the trustees of the RCF amateur radio charity and a corresponding member of the RSGB’s propagation committee. Congratulations.

The RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park will re-open on Friday the 28th of May. It will be open each day, other than Wednesdays, until further notice. The RSGB is delighted to support Bletchley Park as it welcomes visitors again. Visitors to Bletchley Park need to pre-book and pay via their website so the Society is unable to offer its free entry voucher to RSGB Members whilst that system is in place. Visitor and volunteer safety is the priority so whilst the radio room will be open for the demonstration of amateur radio, visitors won’t be allowed inside the radio room. Only NRC volunteers will be permitted to operate the GB3RS station. The RSGB looks forward to welcoming visitors to the National Radio Centre again.

The RSGB Awards Manager has reviewed the current 50MHz awards offered by the Society. It was decided that the existing 50MHz Two-Way Countries and 50MHz DX Countries awards are significantly duplicating each other. The plan is to amalgamate these two awards into one single 50MHz Countries award, whilst keeping all the incremental levels of award. If you’ve been working towards either of the current 50MHz awards you will have until the end of the year to complete them. A new award for 50MHz operating will be launching soon.

GB7LA has moved to a new location new the centre of Lancaster. It is now operational on 439.3625MHz output and 430.3625MHz input. The CTCSS tone is 82.5Hz. The repeater is analogue FM only at present and is connected to the North West Allstar Group. Reports are welcome.

In 2020, thousands of new people gained their Foundation licence and many progressed through the licence levels. RSGB Membership is at its highest for ten years. How do you think we should support new licensees at every level and retain this momentum of people enjoying amateur radio? The RSGB’s survey ends at midnight today, Sunday the 23rd of May. Please take a few minutes to add your voice to the 900 people who have already given their views at rsgb.org/survey.

 

Now the DX news

Ennio, IW1RBI and his team will be active as 3A/IW1RBI from Monaco between the 27th and 30th of May. They plan to operate on the 30 to 6m bands using FT8 in Fox and Hound mode. SSB and CW will also be used. QSL via Logbook of The World, direct to IW1RBI or via logsearch on Club Log.

Daniel, 5R8RP has moved to Nosy Be, AF-057, an island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. His current setup includes a vertical multiband antenna for 40-6 metres.

Phil, F5TRO and his wife Ann, F5BSB are relocating permanently to Reunion Island, AF-016. Their new callsigns are FR8UA and FR8TZ respectively. They will operate mainly SSB and CW, with plans to be equipped for 80m to 23cm. QSLs via Logbook of The World or direct.

Anders, OZ3ACB will be operating as SM7/OZ3ACB from Ven Island, EU-137, at various times during the summer, especially during the weekends. QSL via Logbook of The World, logsearch on Club Log, eQSL or direct to his home call.

 

Now the Special Event news

Today, the 23rd of May, Worthing & District ARC will operate GB1SCW as part of SOS radio week. The station will be on HF, VHF and UHF bands using various modes. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

Today, the 23rd, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday it’s the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships. Running from 1900 to 2030UTC, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend it’s the CQ World Wide WPX CW Contest. It runs for 48 hours ending at 2359UTC on the 30th of May. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next Sunday, the 30th, The UK Microwave Group High Band Contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Exchange your 4-character locator.

 

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 21st of May.

We had another wild week with Sporadic-E bringing most of the excitement on the upper HF bands. Transatlantic multi-hop Es brought USA contacts to many UK stations, mainly on CW and FT8, although there were some SSB ones too. The Sporadic-E action is always welcome on the HF bands during this time of year as activity can be otherwise low. So, make the most of the Es this month as it can tail off as the season goes on.

The Sun refused to play ball last week with the solar flux index firmly in the mid-70s with few sunspots. Region 2824 is now on the Sun's visible disk. However, it is not too complex and should only be a threat for an isolated C-Flare in the short term.

Geomagnetic conditions have been generally relatively settled with a maximum Kp index of three. On Thursday it rose to five due to the solar wind from a coronal hole. The solar wind speed increased to 400km/s and the Bz went sharply south.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the mid-70s. Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to remain quiet with a maximum Kp index of two. This could all change though if we have any solar flare activity with associated CMEs.

Daytime F2-layer maximum usable frequencies are struggling to get above 18MHz, although this is compensated by the extensive Sporadic-E openings. Hopefully, these will continue to bring inter-G action, and short-skip from Europe and even further afield.

 

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Struggling temperatures and deep lows crossing the country means that the next week is likely to see a continuation of the unsettled conditions with showers or spells of rain, together with quite windy conditions at times. It also points to the mode of choice moving towards rain scatter again.

However, there are hints of a change coming after midweek with high pressure moving into the western side of Britain, but leaving a chilly northerly over much of the country, perhaps a few showers. The high does not look particularly strong for Tropo since it forms in cold air, to begin with anyway.

That leaves the Sporadic-E prospects to discuss and with the jet stream picture remaining favourable, there should be opportunities, but it's probably optimistic to expect it to be as good as the week just past, where the US was workable on CW with a modest antenna at times.

The Moon declination is negative again, so shorter visibility windows and lower peak Moon elevations are the order of the day. This is compensated by path losses falling to a minimum as we reach perigee on Wednesday.

No significant meteor showers this week so continue to be active around dawn for the best random meteors.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 16th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 16th 2021.

May 14, 2021

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 16th of May 2021

The news headlines:

  • Add your voice to the amateur radio survey

  • The new YOTA contest begins next weekend

  • RadCom news

As part of a wider IARU workshop, the RSGB is running a short survey about amateur radio in the UK. Nearly 550 people have responded so far and given their views. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete. We’d love to have good representation from across the whole of the UK so make sure you take part and represent your area. Whether you’re licensed or just interested in amateur radio we’d welcome your views. You can find more information and the survey link on the RSGB website at rsgb.org/survey.

The Youngsters On The Air team has been working on a new YOTA Contest. The first of three sessions will be on the 22nd of May from 0800 to 1959UTC. There are eight different categories which also include special ones for youngsters under 25 years old. Covering the 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m bands, the competition will take place in CW and SSB modes. See ham-yota.com/contest for the full rules.

The latest issue of RadCom Plus will be available to RSGB Members on Wednesday. It will be followed later in the week by the newest RadCom Basics. RadCom Plus is the RSGB’s digital technical supplement and is edited by Peter, G3XJE. This issue includes driving relays over a network, an automation system for the WSPRLite, an article on Sporadic-E, a transceiver control system and a Wireless Temperature Sensor. You can subscribe to receive email alerts for future issues of RadCom Plus at rsgb.org/radcom-plus. RSGB Members can read previous editions of RadCom Basics by going to rsgb.org/radcom-basics. You can register to receive notification of subsequent issues as they become available at the same address.

The RSGB launched the Friendship on the Air Award last month as a new way of getting on the air, representing your club and having a proper chat with radio amateurs on the airwaves. There are monthly and annual awards for individuals, clubs and the highest-scoring club in each region. If you’ve taken part already, don’t forget to upload your logs. If you’d like to get involved for the first time this month, then visit rsgb.org/friendship-award.

Although the face-to-face Dayton Hamvention has been cancelled, online events will be taking place. There are virtual forums on Friday the 21st of May, and a QSO Party on Saturday the 22nd of May. The details are at hamvention.org.

Bletchley Park plans to re-open on Monday the 17th of May. Entry is only by pre-booked ticket, available via their website. The RSGB National Radio Centre remains closed for the time being. Please monitor the RSGB news feed and social media for any announcements regarding reopening.

The 50MHz beacon operated by VE2TKH in locator square FO60 has changed callsign to VE2CSI/B. It operates on 50.077MHz CW.

Don’t forget the next Tonight @ 8 live webinar this Monday, the 17th of May. Bob, G3ORY will help you to Discover more about Amateur Radio Direction Finding. This webinar will include contributions from Kim Taylor, who gives the perspective of a regular Club member being talked into trying ARDF. You will also hear from 14-year-old Flora Jolly who was persuaded to go out and try ARDF with her Dad, David. With Covid restrictions lifting this is a great time to get out and enjoy ARDF. For more information about this and other webinars, see rsgb.org/webinars.

The national society in New Zealand has announced that negotiations with the regulator have been successful in allowing all New Zealand amateurs to use the 5MHz band using the WRC-15 allocation. The maximum allowable power is 15W EIRP. Thanks are due to Bob, ZL2CA who was heavily involved in the negotiations. New Zealand amateurs are secondary users in this band.

Now the DX news

DD1GG will be operating as SV9/DD1GG from the island of Crete until the 24th of May. Activity will be holiday style on the 40 to 10m bands using SSB and FT8. QSL to his home call.

Ian, ZS6JSI is operating as TY5AB from Benin. Activity has been on the 20m band using FT8. QSL to his home call.

Now the Special Event news

North West Group ARC is commemorating the 89th anniversary of the first woman flying solo across the Atlantic on Friday the 21st of May. Using GB0AEL, they will be active on the 80m to 10m bands using CW, SSB, data modes and DMR. GB0AEL will be active from the 15th of May. See QRZ.com.

On the 22nd and 23rd of May, Worthing & District ARC will operate GB1SCW as part of SOS radio week. The station will be on HF, VHF and UHF bands using various modes. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

This weekend, the 144MHz May Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1400UTC today, the 16th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Today, the 16th sees the First 144MHz Backpackers contest from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also today, the 16th, the UK Microwave Group Millimetre Wave Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The data leg of the 80m Club Championships is on Wednesday from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Sunday, the 23rd, the third 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1400 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 14th of May.

Last week was a real roller coaster ride in terms of HF propagation. While the solar flux index remained in the 70s, we have had C-class solar flares and a coronal mass ejection that hit the Earth on the 12th of May. This ultimately pushed the Kp index to seven. It was largely as a result of the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field going sharply South, meaning the solar matter more easily coupled with the Earth’s magnetic field.

F2-layer maximum useable frequencies were impacted with the MUF over a 3,000km path falling to just over 14MHz for a time and there were widespread reports of visible aurora.

The good news is that Sporadic-E has been this week’s saviour, bringing lots of openings on 10 metres. As well as openings to Scandinavia and Europe, plus short-skip to Scotland, there were reports of openings to the Caribbean as well. It is hard to say whether this was multi-hop Sporadic-E, or an enhancement brought about by the geomagnetic disturbance.

And it wasn’t all FT8 for a change. Gary, G0FWX reported working Puerto Rico, Canada, the USA, Paraguay, Western Sahara, Gibraltar, and Saudi Arabia on 10m SSB. This goes to show how 10 metres may be the band to be on this month.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the range 70-84. Sunspot regions 2818 and 2821 will rotate into view next week, which may give the SFI a helping hand.

Geomagnetic conditions may be unsettled this weekend, with NOAA predicting a Kp index of five on the 16th. We may then have a few quieter days before it goes up again, due to coronal hole activity.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We had some very welcome Sporadic-E last week and, after the high activity closer to the peak of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower and recent lull early this week, Wednesday was boosted by an aurora. Contacts were reported to GM and GD on 6m in the afternoon and widespread Sporadic-E later in the day.

The overall weather contribution seems to suggest a repeat of the showery theme through to the end of next week. So once again good for GHz bands rain scatter. An obvious result of the low pressure and showery weather is a lack of Tropo conditions with no significant areas of high pressure on the current runs of the models.

Sporadic-E becomes more commonplace as we go through May and the usual advice is to check regularly throughout the day, but if time is limited, go for mid-morning and late afternoon/early evening. The stronger events could reach 4m and perhaps even 2m, particularly for FT8, but it is worth checking the other modes from now onwards. Since the position of jet streams in the weather part of the atmosphere can be good indicators of where Sporadic-E might occur, the prospects are looking good with a strong Atlantic jet stream across Spain and southern Europe, which means beaming to the south or southeast for best results. For the bigger stations, it's also worth trying paths to the Caribbean and the north of South America on 6m in the evenings, since later in the summer the jet streams are not so well placed for this path.

With the Moon at peak declination this weekend, we’ll have long visibility windows and high peak Moon elevations. Path losses are falling as we are past apogee for the month.

No significant meteor showers this week so be active around dawn for the best random meteors.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 9th 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 9th 2021.

May 13, 2021

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 9th of May 2021

The news headlines:

  • Amateur radio: what next?

  • Free webinar on RF exposure

  • Updates to Full mock exam papers

Last year, through the RSGB and NHS ‘Get on the air to care’ media campaign, it is likely that over 35 million people heard news and stories about amateur radio. You now have a chance to tell the RSGB what you think should happen next. As part of a wider IARU workshop, the Society is conducting a short survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that apply to amateur radio in the UK. Whether you are a radio amateur or not yet licensed, do take few minutes to fill in the survey and be part of the discussions. You can find it at rsgb.org/survey and the deadline for responses is the 23rd of May.

The ARRL is reporting that the IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation has issued an invitation to its free webinar, RF Exposure in the Time of Conspiracies. The 1-hour event is set to get underway at 1800UTC on Wednesday the 12th of May. The committee is a group of experts on health and safety issues related to electromagnetic fields, from power line through microwave frequency ranges. Its primary focus is on the biological effects of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation. Webex, the platform on which the webinar will be held, imposes a limit of 1,000 simultaneous connections. Those interested may check-in at 1730UTC. Links can be found on the ARRL news pages at arrl.org/news.

The RSGB’s Examinations and Syllabus Review Group has just updated the two Full licence mock exam papers. In addition, there are now worked answer PDFs for these papers so you can see the correct answer for each question and the reasoning behind it. These mock papers are provided as a training aid and aren’t the exact questions included in a Full licence exam. Foundation and Intermediate mock exam papers will have worked answers added in due course. You can find all the mock exam papers at rsgb.org/mock-exams.

SOS Radio Week is an annual event that sees many amateur radio stations get on the air throughout the month of May. The aim is to raise awareness of the voluntary work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and National Coastwatch Institution. For further details of the event, visit sosradioweek.org.uk.

The RSGB’s Tonight @ 8 webinar series continues on Monday the 17th of May. Bob Titterington, G3ORY will help you to Discover more about Amateur Radio Direction Finding. This webinar will include contributions from Kim, who gives the perspective of a regular club member being talked into trying ARDF. You will also hear from Flora, who was persuaded to go out and try ARDF with her dad. For more information about this and other webinars, see rsgb.org/webinars.

The second mission of European Space Agency astronaut Thomas, KG5FYG and FX0ISS on the International Space Station began on the 23rd of April. Members of Radio Club F4KLR will operate special event callsign TM0ISS on all bands and modes. The activity will run at various times until October to match the duration of the mission.

The Society has launched a new video, 2020 – a year like no other, that looks back at the many fantastic activities and resources that helped to support radio amateurs through these difficult times. It also shows how existing radio amateurs ‘got on the air to care’ across the UK and thousands of people of all ages got involved in amateur radio for the first time. Take a look at youtube.com/theRSGB.

The Dayton Hamvention has been cancelled for 2021, but Contest University 2021 will still take place on the 20th of May. It will be held online free of charge via Zoom, starting at 1300UTC. Registration is now open on the CTU website at contestuniversity.com.

Now the DX news

Adrien, F4IHM will be active again as 5UAIHM between the 10th of May and the 15th of June from Niamey, Niger. He will operate CW on the 40 and 20m bands. QSL via F4IHM, direct or bureau.

This year’s International DX Convention will be a virtual two-day meeting to be held on the 15th and 16th of May, with eight DX-related and eight exhibitor Zoom webinars respectively. Free pre-registration is required and is now open. See dxconvention.com for more information, including the programme details.

Now the Special Event news

Special event station GB0ME is still being operated by George, MM0JNL from his home in the Scottish Borders. It aims to increase awareness of the debilitating condition of ME. Depending on propagation, he will be working any HF or VHF band using SSB or FM when practicable. Further details available on QRZ.com.

In 2021, the British Railways ARS will be celebrating its 55th anniversary. GB0LMR will be on the air throughout the year. The station will be operated by Mark, G1PIE from Preston in Lancashire. Bands of operation will be 40 to 10m using SSB, PSK-31 and PSK-63. QSL cards are available via the RSGB bureau or direct with an SAE to Pam, 2E1HQY. More on QRZ.com.

Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be using GB5LIB for the 76th anniversary of the Liberation of the islands. The call will be activated by club members from 0001UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 14th of May. All bands and modes from 160m to 10m will be used and maybe 4 and 6m, if conditions allow. See QRZ.com for details.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

Today, the 9th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 40m Phone and CW contest runs for 1000 to 1400UTC today, the 9th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report, serial number and the WAB area.

Also on today, the 9th is the IRTS 40m Daytime Counties Contest, which runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also exchange their County.

On Monday the SSB leg of the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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 for both contests is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 50MHz UK Activity Contest takes place on Thursday from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, the 144MHz May Contest runs for 24 hours from 1400UTC on the 15th. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Sunday the 16th sees the First 144MHz Backpackers contest from 1100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Also next Sunday, the 16th, the UK Microwave Group Millimetre Wave Contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC. Using all modes on the 24 to 76GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 7th of May.

The Sun was devoid of sunspots last week, which saw the solar flux index plummet to 70 – pretty much what it is around sunspot minimum. The good news is that an active region is rotating into view. Region 2817 is currently just on the Sun’s eastern limb as this report is being prepared and should be visible by the time the weekend is here. On its last rotation, the region was quite active and pushed the SFI up to 86, so the hope is that we get a similar surge when it reappears.

Geomagnetically, the Sun has been quite quiet with the Kp index at either one or zero last week. This has been boosted by a lack of coronal hole activity. HF-wise, it has been fair but not outstanding, which is in line with what you would expect with an SFI of 70.

Most of the chat has been about the beginning of the Sporadic-E season, which has seen a few openings to Spain and Italy. The 10 metre beacons IZ1EPM on 28.173MHz near Turin, Italy and ED4YAK on 28.251MHz in Henares, Spain were heard on Wednesday. For a complete list of low power 10m beacons please see G3USF’s list via the Propagation pages on RSGB.org.

Tony, G4CJC’s 10 metre report says Joe, G3ZDF worked KP4JRS, HC2TIC, CT1BFP and heard PJ2BR, KG4IYS and CO3JR on FT8 after 11pm. This was probably via multi-hop Sporadic-E rather than F-layer propagation. There have also been one or two reports of long-distance FT8 contacts on 10m from the Far East, which may be due to short-path Summer Solstice Propagation.

As the Sporadic-E season progresses we can expect to see a lot more activity on 10 metres.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will climb to the high 70s, no doubt boosted by region 2817. Geomagnetic activity is predicted to be quiet for the first half of the week, but could turn unsettled on the 11th with the potential for the Kp index to reach five or six by the 14th with the return of a large solar coronal hole. Expect subdued MUFs until the Kp index recovers.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is a predominance of low pressure on the charts for much of the next week and more active systems will mean some heavy rain and strong winds for some areas. The models diverge towards the end of next week, with one version showing high pressure over northern areas by the end of the week, while the other option shows a continuation of low pressure.

The outcome of this is a mainly rain-scatter week for the GHz bands and at this time of year showers are often heavy and thunderous, which can be very good scatter sources. The option of high pressure at the end of next week may herald some Tropo in the north.

Sporadic-E is building nicely and most days will offer the prospects of some Sporadic-E, especially on the digital modes or 10m. There will be some well-placed jet streams in attendance next week, so keep an ear on the bands and beacons.

With positive Moon declination, we’ll see lengthening Moon visibility windows and peak Moon elevations as the week goes on. The Sun and the Moon will be at apogee and close to eclipse on Tuesday, meaning highest path losses and very high noise levels after lunchtime.

There are no significant meteor showers this week but we will still be in the tail end of last week’s Eta-Aquarids so look out for continuing random activity.

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

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 2nd 2021.

RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for May 2nd 2021.

April 30, 2021

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday the 2nd of May 2021

The news headlines:

  • RSGB AGM appointments

  • Club, Beacon and Repeater insurance renewed

  • Help survey amateur radio

At the RSGB AGM on the 24th of April, it was announced that Stewart Bryant, G3YSX has been elected as President of the Society and will serve until the 2023 AGM. We congratulate him and welcome him as RSGB President. Dave Wilson, M0OBW was elected as a Director of the Society and will serve until the 2024 AGM. Congratulations to him and many thanks to those Directors who have served during the year. Paul Devlin, G1SMP and David Hills, G6PYF were endorsed as nominated Directors of the Society and will serve until the 2024 AGM. Congratulations to them both.

RSGB Club Insurance and Beacon and Repeater Insurance has now been renewed for the year to April 2022. Club Insurance Certificates can be downloaded from the RSGB website; please use your Membership Services login to obtain a copy of your Certificate. To ensure that your beacon or repeater is covered under the insurance, a £10 admin fee is required and you may renew this online at the RSGB shop. Please allow a couple of days after renewal for your certificate to be dispatched.

The IARU Region 1 is running a strategic workshop on the future of amateur radio. Each of the national societies in the region has been asked to contribute information about amateur radio in their country. In preparation, the RSGB is conducting a short survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that apply to amateur radio in the UK. The Society would like to hear the views of all UK radio amateurs so please take a few minutes to fill in the survey at www.rsgb.org/survey. The deadline for responses is the 23rd of May.

There are three new ways to listen to GB2RS news. John, G4TRN and Sean, G7NJX have been providing a regular UHF service via GB3ZB in Bristol for some time. Now, this repeater is interlinked to GB3FI in Cheddar to give extended coverage on both sides of the Mendips. The broadcast is at 9.30 am. Another new transmission comes from Richard, G0NAD near Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, serving the Tendring area on 433.525MHz FM at 11 am. GB2RS can now also be heard via the QO-100 amateur radio satellite. The transmission is provided by Keith, GU6EFB at 0800UTC, using upper sideband on 10489.900MHz, which is in the mixed-mode section of the narrowband transponder. QO-100 is a geostationary satellite with a footprint that covers Europe, Africa and India, so this news bulletin is a specially adapted international version. The RSGB would like to thank AMSAT-DL for their kind cooperation in making this broadcast possible. If you don’t have any 10GHz equipment but would still like to monitor the broadcast, there is a dedicated webSDR at batc.org.uk that requires no radio equipment. Just click on the ‘online’ tab.

SOS Radio Week is an annual event that sees many amateur radio stations get on the air throughout the month of May. The aim is to raise awareness of the voluntary work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and National Coastwatch Institution. The event coincides with the RNLI’s own Mayday fundraising month. For further details of the event, visit sosradioweek.org.uk.

Earlier this month Mike, G4GUG was interviewed on the University of the Third Age, or U3A, podcast. Mike is the amateur radio subject adviser at U3A. He shared his personal experience of enjoying amateur radio throughout his life and also highlighted the influx of new licensees over the last year. You can hear the podcast on the U3A YouTube channel; search for Episode 7. Mike’s interview starts about nine-and-a-half minutes into the podcast.

Sixteen awards were given at this year’s AGM. This included the prestigious RSGB award of Life Vice President, which was bestowed on Dave Wilson, M0OBW. This rarely-given award was for his tireless devotion over many years to all aspects of amateur radio and the Society. Congratulations to everyone who received an award. You can see the trophies, the winners and read the full citations at rsgb.services/gb2rs/010.

Now the DX news

This year’s International DX Convention will be a virtual two-day meeting to be held on the 15th and 16th of May, with eight DX-related and eight exhibitor Zoom webinars respectively. Free pre-registration is required and is now open. See dxconvention.com for more information, including the programme details.

Matthew, M0ZMS will be seconded to the RAF station at Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands, IOTA reference SA-002, from late April to late August. He will be active as VP8ZMS, hopefully using the Royal Air Force ARS club station shack. He operates digital modes, CW and some SSB. QSL via home call and Logbook of The World; logsearch on Club Log.

Lee, HL1IWD will be active holiday style as HL1IWD/4 from the Kogunsan Islands, AS-148, until the 3rd of May. He will operate CW and some FT8 on 40-20 metres. On his way back he will make a short stopover on Anmyon Island, AS-080, and will try to operate as HL1IWD/3. QSLs via EA5GL.

Now the Special Event news

GB0ME will be on the air until the 16th of May to highlight awareness of the medical condition ME. The official awareness day is the 12th of May. The schedule of calling is to be confirmed but, until the 16th, George, MM0JNL will be operating as GB0ME when working from home to get the callsign out there.

On the 8th and 9th of May, GB2SXC and GB0SCW will be on air for the Stone Cross Windmill near Eastbourne. The stations are part of the Mills on the Air event. For further details email canavp@gmail.com.

Guernsey Amateur Radio Society will be using GB5LIB for the 76th anniversary of the Liberation of the islands. The call will be activated by club members from 0001UTC on the 8th to 2359UTC on the 14th of May. All bands and modes from 160m to 10m will be used and maybe 4 and 6m, if conditions allow. See QRZ.com for details.

Paul, G1OVK will be operating GB0SOS throughout May for SOS Radio week. Using HF, 2m and 70cm, he will operate SSB and digital. QSL via the bureau.

GB2HLS will be operated by Wirral ARS from Hoylake Lifeboat station throughout May. This is part of the SOS Radio Week activities.

On the 8th and 9th of May, Chesham & District ARS will operate GB0BWN at Brill Windmill as part of the Mills on the Air weekend. They will be using the 80m, 40m and 2m bands.

Now the contest news

With different parts of the UK having different lockdown restrictions, please make sure you follow the appropriate regulations. Several contests now accept portable entries, so please check the contest rules. Above all, please follow relevant national and local restrictions.

This weekend, the 432MHz to 245GHz Trophy ends its 24-hour run at 1400UTC today, the 2nd of May. Using all modes on those bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Today, the 2nd, the 10GHz Trophy runs from 0800 to 1400UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The ARI International DX contest ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 2nd. Using CW, Phone and RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Italian stations also give their Province code.

Today, the 2nd, the UK Microwave group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. It is followed by the all-mode UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both, signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 144MHz FT8 Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your signal report and 4-character locator.

The fourth FT4 Series contest also takes place on Wednesday from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using the 3.5 to 14MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 9th, the 70MHz CW contest runs from 0900 to 1200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain 40m Phone and CW contest runs for 1000 to 1400UTC next Sunday, the 9th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report, serial number and the WAB area.

Also on the 9th, the IRTS 40m Daytime Counties Contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also exchange their County.

The UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon runs until the 1st of August. Exchange your 4-character locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 30th of April.

Last week was characterised by relatively low sunspot numbers but reasonably settled geomagnetic conditions. The solar flux index never rose above 80 all week, despite a large cluster of sunspots. This cluster, composed of regions 2818, 2820 and 2821, were responsible for some C-class solar flare activity, but never really grew into anything. By the time you read or hear this, they will have rotated out of view.

The Kp index started the week at five, thanks to the effects of a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal mass ejection. This was relatively short-lived and the rest of the week saw more settled conditions with a maximum Kp index of three and often zero.

HF conditions have been variable. There has been DX workable, as Norfolk ARC showed during last Saturday’s International Marconi Day. GB0CMS made more than 900 contacts on HF, including contacting the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Ecuador, Panama, the Falkland Islands, Australia and Indonesia. SSB activity on 10 metres has been reported as being relatively quiet, with the odd Sporadic-E contact into Europe. FT8 has thrown up a few contacts into South America during the late afternoon and early evening.

Next week, NOAA predicts the SFI may dip again, perhaps down to 72-73. This weekend may see unsettled geomagnetic conditions with the potential for the Kp index to rise to four or five due to coronal hole activity. However, once this clears we may expect a more settled Kp of two as the week progresses. Propquest shows that, according to the Chilton digisonde data, daytime MUFs over a 3,000km path are generally reaching the 18MHz band and occasionally 21MHz.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Next week it will probably be very difficult to time the weather changes correctly. It will be a mix of classic April showers – in May! – and some longer periods of rain, but also weak ridges of high pressure or, more accurately, ‘cols’, between highs and lows. These are very rarely useful for Tropo but may facilitate temporary lifts in the early mornings. The trend towards a showery weather pattern is likely to be good news for the rain scatter operators on the GHz bands.

With the arrival of May, expectations for Sporadic-E grow stronger. The daily blogs will begin this month on the Propquest.co.uk website where a commentary about the location of jet streams and potential for Sporadic-E will be discussed along with a chance to evaluate the new Sporadic-E Probability Index, or EPI, shown on the same website. Beams certainly help with weak Sporadic-E or multi-hop paths, but a strong opening will be found with even a colinear, so it’s not just for super-stations. If you’ve never worked Sporadic-E before, doing just one thing, checking 10m and 6m at teatime, will guarantee you the best chance of breaking your duck.

Last week we had a Supermoon. No reason to get excited, this is simply a full Moon occurring within 10% of perigee. Perigee was last Tuesday so EME path losses will slowly rise all week. Moon declination is negative until Saturday so we’ll see lengthening Moon visibility windows and peak Moon elevations as the week goes on.

Two meteor showers to look out for this week. The Eta-Aquarids has a broad peak around the 6th of May with a good Zenithal Hourly Rate or ZHR of 50, then the much smaller Eta Lyrids on the 8th.

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

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