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RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 28th. May 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 28th May 2017

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom licensing portal weekend outage

  • New vlog features YOTA Super Supporter

  • TX Factor 16 released

Ofcom has advised the RSGB that its online licensing portal will be unavailable from 6pm on Friday the 26th of May until 8am on Tuesday the 30th of May because of related systems work.

On Thursday the 11th of May, the Polish Government published a Gazette notice amending regulations in the National Frequency Allocation Table. Polish amateurs are now permitted access to the WRC-15 60m amateur secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz under ITU Footnote 5.133B – ie with 15W EIRP. They also now have access from 70.0 to 7.30MHz on a Secondary basis with 20W EIRP. According to the Gazette notice, these regulations come into force 14 days following its publication, so we should expect to be hearing Polish stations on the band soon.

The RSGB is delighted to have seven Super Supporters for Youngsters on the Air, YOTA 2017 and the latest vlog features one of them – Martin, G4HKS – from Martin Lynch & Sons. In the vlog he chats about being a radio amateur for most of his life and explains why ML&S chose to support YOTA 2017. You can hear this and all the other vlogs and read latest YOTA 2017 news on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/yota

TX Factor Episode 16 is now available. In episode 16, new team member, Pete Sipple, M0PSX, looks forward to Youngsters on the Air 2017 and chats to some key players at this summer’s YOTA UK event. Pete also finds time to take an eager look at the new Kenwood TH-D74E dual-band handheld that includes D-Star. Bob chats to Bob Inderbitzen, N1QR from the ARRL about the Leagues’ worldwide presence, and Mike investigates two clever devices from SOTABeams that will help to improve the filtering of your FT-817 and check the efficiency of your HF antenna respectively, as detailed in this month’s RadCom. Go to www.txfactor.co.uk to view the video TX Factor is sponsored by the RSGB and Martin Lynch & Sons.

Following the co-option of the current Chair, Philip Willis, M0PHI to the RSGB Board, applications are invited for the role of Chair of TEC, the RSGB Training and Education Committee. The Committee covers most aspects of radio-related training, other than those within the remit of the Examinations Standard Committee. Its interests range from encouraging new entrants into the amateur service, training trainers, syllabus review and roll-out, helping disabled amateurs and working with schools. Full details of the Committee, current projects and members may be found at http://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0528 Applications by CV should be sent by email to RSGB General Manager, Steve Thomas, M1ACB, via email to gm.dept@rsgb.org.uk to arrive by the 1st of July.

The RSGB Regional Council has elected Ian Douglas, G7MFN as Chairman and Mick Senior, G4EFO as Secretary for the coming year. The Regional Council comprises the elected Regional Managers and the President, and is responsible for the representation of Members’ interests, promotion and co-ordination of the Society’s activities in the Regions.

From next Sunday, 4th of June, there will be a news reading of GB2RS on 144.250MHz SSB at 8.30pm by G8VHI. Reg will be transmitting northwest and east from his location in Nuneaton using separate antennas.

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

Today, the 28th, the Durham & District ARS Radio Rally takes place at Bowburn Community Centre, County Durham, DH6 5AT. The venture has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors are open from 10.30am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy, talk in and catering on site, plus an RSGB bookstall. More details from Michael, G7TWX on 0782 692 4192 or by email to dadars@gmx.com.

Today, the 28th, the Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim BT57 8QG. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and catering on site. Contact Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK on 07544 923 956 or email stephen769@talktalk.net.

Next Sunday, the 4th, the Spalding and District ARS Rally takes place at The Sir John Gleed Technology School, Halmer Gardens, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2EF. There is free car parking on site. Doors open at 10am. There will be trade stands, an outside car boot area and there is catering on site. Details from John, G4NBR, on 0794 630 2815.

Also on the 4th, the 21st Red Rose QRP Festival will be held at The Rose Centre, also known as Lowton Civic Hall, Hesketh Meadow Lane, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AH There is easy access from all directions including the M6, M61, M60 and A580. The venue has a large, spacious halls at ground level and free car parking. There are disabled facilities. Doors open from 11am to 3pm and admission is £2, with children under 14 free. There will be trade and individual stalls as well as club stands, including the RSGB and G QRP. There will be a Bring & Buy. Catering is available on site. Contact Les Jackson, G4HZJ on 01942 870 634 for details.

If you have any rally or event information for future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. The GB2RS deadline is 10am on Thursday.

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

Thomas, OZ1AA is active as 5Z4/OZ1AA from Kenya until the 15th of June. He plans to visit Lamu Island, IOTA reference AF-040 until the 29th. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World, or via OZ1ACB.

Jean-Pierre, F6CTF will be active as TX5X from the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands in French Polynesia between late May and early August. He will be using the 10 to 80m bands SSB, CW and JT65. Look out for him operating /MM too.

Max, ON5UR will be active holiday style as HB0/ON5UR from Liechtenstein from the 27th of May to the 3rd of June. QSL via his home callsign.

Kevin, K6TOP will be active again VP2V/K6TOP from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, NA-023 from 28 May to 5 June. He operates almost exclusively using CW on 40, 30, 20, 17, 15 and 10 metres. QSL via Logbook of The World or direct to NR6M.

Bruce, K5TEN will be active as K4D from Dog Island, NA-085, from the 3rd to the 11th of June. He will operate SSB and CW on the 6 to 40m bands. QSL via his home callsign, see QRZ.com for instructions.

Now the special event news

GB1SCW will be on the air from Shoreham National Coastwatch Institute Lookout on the 3rd and 4th of June. The location is near Shoreham Beach car park, postcode BN43 5HY. Operation will be between 11am and 4pm in the Lookout compound. Try your hand at Morse and explore amateur radio. Due to its beach location access for the disabled is restricted. Shoreham Fort will also be open for visitors.

The Yorkshire Dales Contest Group will be active from Friday the 26th to Monday the 29th of May from the Yorkshire Dales. The activity is for World Flora & Fauna, WAB Squares, World Castles and the North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark. Activity will be on HF, VHF and UHF, and they will be at high locations in the evenings and night-time. The Itinerary can be found on the MX0YCG page on QRZ.com.

GB6GEO will be on the air from the English Riviera Global Geopark during the 2nd and 3rd of June, transmitting from Kent's Cavern, Torquay. See QRZ.com for the latest updates.

Mid Ulster ARC will be at the Lurgan Agricultural Show with a demonstration station on the 3rd of June from 9am to 5pm. Visitors are welcome to Lurgan Park, Windsor Avenue, Lurgan BT67 9BG.

On the 4th of June, Coventry ARS will be supporting Youth Aviation Day by putting GB4YAD on the air from The Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire.

The resting place of the keel from Marconi’s floating lab, the yacht Elettra, will be the site of a special event in conjunction with the annual Museum Ships Weekend event on the 3rd and 4th of June. The Elettra station, sponsored by the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation, will use the call sign IQ4FE. A special QSL card will be sent.

Now the contest news

The CQWW WPX CW contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 28th. CW is the only mode to use, with activity on all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. RST and serial number forms the exchange.

Today, the 28th, sees two contests on higher bands. From 0600UTC to 1800UTC the UKuG contest is open on all modes on all bands from 5.7 to 10GHz. The 70MHz Cumulative #3 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC using all modes on the 70MHz band. The report for both contests is RST, serial number and locator.

The CW National Field Day takes place next weekend from 1500UTC on the 3rd to 1500UTC on the 4th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Also next weekend is the SEANET, or South East Asia NETwork, contest running from 1200TTC on the 3rd for 24 hours. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

The UK Six Metre Group’s Summer Es contest runs from 1300UTC on the 3rd to 1300UTC on the 4th. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and UKSMG membership number if you have one.

Finally for next weekend, the UK Microwave Group’s Low Band Contest is on 1000UTC to 1600UTC on the 4th. Using all modes on the 1.3, 2.3 and 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 26th of May.

Last week’s forecast of unsettled geomagnetic conditions at the beginning of the week and more settled conditions later was fairly accurate. The K index at high latitudes rose to five on Monday, but settled down to two and three by Thursday. At middle latitudes it was very settled after Wednesday. The solar flux index was in the range 74 to 78, with just one single sunspot group visible on the solar surface.

As a result, HF conditions were not outstanding, although there were F2-layer openings up to 17 metres and even occasionally 15 metres at times. As we move towards having summer HF conditions, the maximum usable frequency over a 3,000km path is often staying above 7MHz through the night, with occasional night-time F-layer openings up to 14MHz.

Sporadic-E is also proving worthwhile, with good short skip openings on HF, predominantly around late morning and late afternoon, although these can also occur at other times.

Next week we may see similar conditions, with the solar flux index in the low to mid seventies. Uncharacteristically, we expect to see more settled geomagnetic conditions next week, which should bode well for HF. As a result there may be some good daytime F2-layer DX to be had, and don’t ignore the daytime Sporadic-E openings, plus the possibility of late evening and night-time DX on 20 to 40 metres.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There is some uncertainty in the weather models for the week ahead and no real agreement between them. They predict alternating periods of high and low pressure. The high pressure period predicted for the beginning of the week has some agreement, so should provide some Tropo opportunities.

In the summer these favourable conditions are quite often to be found throughout the day and night across the seas around Britain, but only briefly around dawn over the land. Mist and fog are good indicators that there may be some lift conditions.

There have been some very good Sporadic-E openings recently, including some transatlantic JT65A QSOs. These openings are associated with activity produced near jet streams in the upper atmosphere at 10km, which can couple with the E region 100km higher to produce the right conditions for Sporadic-E. Check the RSGB Forum, Propagation Q&A, for a daily blog on the prospects for these favoured conditions. The low-pressure periods may produce some heavy showers, and associated rain scatter on the GHz bands.

The Omicron – Cetids daytime meteor shower continues until the 2nd of June, but is past its peak so stick to early mornings for random meteor scatter QSOs.

The Moon reached perigee last Friday and is at maximum declination today, so the early part of the week is best for EME. Losses will increase and windows shorten as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 21st. May 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 21st May 2017

The news headlines:

  • Brits join CQ Hall of Fame

  • Philip Willis joins RSGB Board

  • Licencing portal suffers glitch

Two Britons have been inducted into the prestigious CQ Magazine Hall of Fame this weekend. David Honess, M6DNT and Tim Peake, KG5BVI join 16 others entering the Hall, bringing the total to 310. David, M6DNT developed the AstroPi project, which sent two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station as platforms for students on Earth to write and run their own computer code in space. British astronaut Tim, KG5BVI was very active in the ARISS programme whilst aboard the International Space Station, contacting numerous schools via amateur radio and operating the ISS end of the AstroPi project.

To bring the Board to full strength, the meeting on 13 May unanimously endorsed the co-option of Philip Willis, M0PHI as a Board Director. Philip has a wide range of experience, including chairing the Training and Education Committee.

The RSGB understands that there has been an issue with Ofcom’s online licencing system this week. At the time this bulletin was written the details and extent are unclear, but the problem appears to affect a number of new licensees, and those upgrading following a recent exam pass. Ofcom engineers are working to fix the system, and it is hoped that the online licensing portal will soon be fully operational again. An ongoing programme of upgrade and maintenance work is likely to lead to further, planned outages, which will be publicised as the details become available.

In the Europe to North America Summit-to-Summit event last Saturday, the 13th of May, a total of 36 European summits and 18 North American summits were activated. Despite abysmal radio conditions with deep fading and high band noise levels, several trans-Atlantic QSOs were made, including some summit to summit contacts. Overall everyone enjoyed the event and many are already looking forward to the next event on the 18th of November, when it is hoped that conditions will be significantly improved.

Mexican telecoms regulator IFT, the Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones, has approved amateur operation on the new WRC-15 60m amateur Secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. Maximum power permitted is 20W EIRP. Separately, the Icelandic authorities have decided to extend the experimental license privileges for radio amateurs in the 5MHz band until the 31st of December. The privileges are for 5260 to 5410kHz, with 100W EIRP. Mode of emission: CW, USB, PSK-31 and other digital modes. Currently 25 TF licensees have permits for 60 metres.

Several papers for the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 2017 general conference are now online. These include C3, General Matters; C4, HF; C5, VHF and microwave; and C7, EMC. They can be downloaded under the heading ‘conference papers’ at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2105A. There is also an RSGB Forum on these and other papers at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2105B.

Bletchley Park opened a new exhibition this week, celebrating the centenary of Bill Tutte’s birth. In World War Two he was an elite codebreaker and renowned mathematician. Due to the secrecy surrounding his work, his contribution is sometimes overlooked, but his successes were on a par with those of Alan Turing. After the War, Tutte worked on many civilian projects including graph theory, which laid foundations on which today’s internet search engines are built. Full details of the exhibition, which is free with admission to the Park, can be found at www.bletchleypark.org.uk. RSGB Members can download a free admission pass to Bletchley Park from the RSGB website.

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

The 34th Dunstable Downs RC Annual National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place today at Stockwood Park, London Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 4LX. Entry is £3, including car park fee. All the usual facilities will be there. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for details.

Next Sunday the Durham & District ARS Radio Rally takes place at Bowburn Community Centre, County Durham, DH6 5AT. The venture has disabled facilities and car parking on site. Doors are open from 10.30am to 2.30pm, with disabled visitors gaining access from 10.15am. Admission is £2. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy, talk in and catering on site, plus an RSGB bookstall. More details from Michael, G7TWX on 0782 692 4192 or by email to dadars@gmx.com.

Also next Sunday the Causeway Coast Glens ARC Radio Rally takes place at Bushmills Community Centre, 14 Dunluce Road, Bushmills, Co Antrim BT57 8QG. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open at 11am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, an RSGB bookstall and catering on site. Contact Stevie Morrow, MI0ULK on 07544 923 956 or email stephen769@talktalk.net.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

HC2AO, R4WAA and RZ3FW will be active from Salango Island, IOTA reference SA-033 and Puna Island, IOTA SA-034, from the 21st to the 30th of May. They will be active as HD2RRC/4 and HD2RRC/P, operating mostly on 20, 30 and 40m. QSL via RZ3FW, ClubLog OQRS or direct.

Members of the Bavarian Contest Club will be active from Aruba Island, IOTA SA-036 as P44X for the CQ WW WPX CW Contest. They will be in the MO category. QSL via DO4MX.

Pekka, OH2TA and Matti, OH2BH will be active again from Albania from the 23rd to the 30th of May as ZA/OG1N. Operation will be on HF bands including activity in CQ WW WPX CW Contest. QSL via home calls or per operator’s instructions.

Also active from Albania from the 25th to the 29th will be Henning, OZ1BII, as ZA/OU2I. He too will operate on the HF bands and take part in CQ WW WPX CW contest next weekend, in the SOAB LP Category. QSL via home call, ClubLog OQRS, or LOTW.

Tom, KC0W will be active from Zimbabwe from the 23rd of May to the 18th of June as Z25DX. He will operate on 80 to 6m, CW only. QSL via KC0W direct.

Thomas, OZ1AA will be active from Kenya on the HF bands, as 5Z4/OZ1AA, until the 15th of June 2017. QSL via OZ1ACB, ClubLog OQRS, or LOTW.

DF3MC and DL8JJ will be active from Faroe Islands, IOTA EU-018, from the 20th to 25th of May as OY/DF3MC, OY/DL8JJ, OY/DF3MC/P, OY/DL8JJ/P. They will operate on the HF bands.

JH1AJT, DJ9ZB, E21EIC and RA9USU will be active from Eritrea until the 29th of May as E31A, not as E31AA as announced earlier. They will operate on 160 to 10m CW, SSB and RTTY. Zorro, JH1AJT will be on Dahlak Island, AF-038, Dahlak Archipelago for a few days as E39DI, mainly on 160 to 40m. QSL via JH1AJT.

Now the special event news

Telford & District Amateur Radio Society is running its special event station GB1EMC from Eaton Manor today.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Le Havre, the city’s amateur radio club, F6KOH, will be putting TM500LH on the air from the 25th to the 31st of May. Operation will be using SSB, CW, SSTV and digital modes. A special diploma is available to all stations making 3 contacts. See QRZ.com for details.

Indianapolis 500 Special Event station W9IMS will be on the air from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Amateur Radio Club from the 22nd to the 29th of May. Details are on QRZ.com and a special QSL card is available.

Now the contest news

Today, the 21st, the 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 1000 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 144MHz May Contest concludes at 1400UTC today, the 21st. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 1900 to 2230 using all modes on the 2.3-10GHz bands. The report is RST, serial number and locator.

The big event next weekend is the CQWW WPX CW contest, which runs from 0000UTC on Saturday morning to 2359UTC on Sunday evening. CW is the only mode to use, with activity on all contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. RST and serial number forms the exchange.

Next Sunday sees two contests on higher bands. From 0600UTC to 1800UTC the UKuG contest is open on all modes on all bands from 5.7 to 10GHz. The 70MHz Cumulative #3 runs from 1400UTC to 1600UTC using all modes on the 70MHz band. The report for both contests is RST, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday 19th May.

NOAA’s prediction that the solar flux index would tend towards 80 last week turned out be wrong, as it stayed steadfastly in the low 70s. However, the prediction of poor geomagnetic conditions turned out to be right, with the K index hitting four on Wednesday, with worse to come. Nevertheless, there was DX to be had and evenings on 20 and 30 metres are proving to be useful as the bands remain open later.

Daytime maximum useable frequencies tend to be lower during the summer than they are in winter, but higher at night. This is because there is more molecular nitrogen due to heating effects in summer, and as this is harder to ionise than monatomic oxygen the Total Electron Content, or TEC, is lower. However, the TEC of the night-time F layer in summer tends to be greater than in winter, which is why night-time maximum usable frequencies can be higher.

Next week the solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s, but we are in for a turbulent time thanks to another coronal hole. A high-speed solar wind stream could push the K index up to five or six at the beginning of the week, with depressed maximum usable frequencies and noisy bands. However, the latter half of the week should be more settled and the bands could recover.

Meanwhile, we are into the Sporadic E season, which is providing good short-skip openings from 7MHz upwards at times. The strongest signals may be found on 28 and 50MHz, where noise levels are lower.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This coming week we have an emphasis on low pressure, which means tropospheric openings may be hard to find, although there could be some end of night surface-based inversions with misty dawns. These could give short-lived lifts until the day’s heating breaks down any inversion.

Low pressure in the summer often produces some large showers or thunderstorms and these are often useful for rain scatter on the GHz bands. There are plenty of weather radars online that will show where these are.

Last week brought reports of rain scatter reception of the Bell Hill Microwave Beacon cluster across Southern UK and the GB3FNY and GB3CAM 10GHz beacons further north, but no reports of UK QSOs. By contrast, a large number of QSOs were reported from stations on the continent.

Sporadic-E has been putting in an appearance recently, so check for openings from 10m up to 2m. Check clusters and beacons and set aside a few minutes late morning and late afternoon to check the VHF bands.

Random meteor scatter continues on the low VHF bands, with the Cetids shower increasing the sporadic meteor background. Monitor and call on 50.280MHz and 70.280MHz with MSK144 mode to check activity.

Moon declination goes positive overnight so moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses. Losses fall to a minimum at perigee on Thursday, when the moon is at its closest point to Earth, but note that the Sun is close to the Moon that evening so the noise levels will be high for a while.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 14th. May 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 14th May 2017

The news headlines:

  • RSGB Strategy now online

  • KH4 and KH7K back on DXCC list

  • Latest 5MHz Newsletter available

The RSGB’s new strategy for the next five years was launched at the 2017 AGM, following a detailed consultation with the Board, Regional Council, Committee Chairs, Honorary Officers and HQ staff, as well as the wider RSGB Membership and amateur radio community. You can read the synopsis and the strategy narrative on the RSGB website via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0514A Each committee will be working to set goals for 2018 based on this new strategy and the Board will report back to Members over the next few months.

On 31 March this year, the DXCC desk announced the deletion of Midway Island and Kure Island from the DXCC entities list. After further review, the two entities, KH4 and KH7K, will return to the DXCC list as separate entities. See www.arrl.org/news for full details

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page, accessible via tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0514B This bumper edition includes 14 new allocations, European 60m availability, 5MHz from a ‘postage-stamp’ garden, a report on the Blue Ham 2 exercise and beacon news.

The International Amateur Radio Union has approved a proposal to admit a new representative of the radio amateurs of Belize to IARU membership. As of the 9th of May, the deadline for voting, 77 member-societies had voted in favour of admitting the Belize Amateur Radio Club, with none opposed. There were no abstentions. An affirmative votes of 55 member-societies were required for approval.

Beacon EI0SIX is now on the air from Enniskerry in County Wicklow. Its operating frequency is 50.005MHz. You should set your dial on USB to 50.004.2MHz and listen for tones using PI4 software, available free from the OZ2M website. The beacon transmit period is the first 60 seconds of every 5 minute time slot. CW is towards the end of the period.

On the evening of the 19th and 20th of May, Bletchley Park is joining Museums at Night, a UK-wide festival of late night openings in museums and galleries. Running from 5 to 9pm you can explore the grounds, codebreaking huts and Mansion house as the daylight fades, just as workers would have done during World War Two. There will be the option to join one of the special guided tours that will give you a deeper insight into the history of the Park and add to the atmosphere of the evening. See the website at www.bletchleypark.org.uk for more information.

If you are lucky enough to be going to the Dayton Hamvention next weekend, take a QSL card with you. The Hamvention is borrowing a tradition from Friedrichshafen, Germany’s Ham Radio event, and there will be a QSL wall in Building 1 where visitors can tack up their QSL cards for all to see.

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

The 36th Lough Erne ARC rally takes place today, the 14th of May, at the Share Centre, Smiths Strand, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0JZ. Doors open at 11.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. Details from Mark Mullaney, EI4HDB, by email to ei4hdb@gmail.com.

Next weekend the Dayton Hamvention takes place on the 19th to 21st at a new venue, the Greene County Fair & Exposition Center, Xenia, Dayton, USA. Doors open at 8am. There will be trade stands and a huge flea market as well as special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. See www.hamvention.org for information.

On Saturday the 20th the Rochdale & District ARS Flea Market and Indoor Sale takes place at St Vincent de Paul's, Caldershaw Road, Norden, Rochdale OL12 7QR. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2.50, with those under 12 years free. There will be a Bring & Buy as well as commercial traders, a junk stall and amateur radio sellers. Traders can set up from 8am. There will be refreshments available including bacon and sausage butties. Details from Dave, G3RIK by email to rally@radars.me.uk

The Moray Firth ARS Surplus Equipment Sale takes place on Saturday the 20th at the Forces Reserve Centre, Edgar Road, Elgin IV30 6YQ. Doors open 12 noon and entry is £2 for buyers. Tables cost £3 and access is available at 10am for set up. Refreshments are available on site. A raffle will be held. Details from Victor, 2M0JVR on 01343 820 489.

The 34th Dunstable Downs RC Annual National Amateur Radio Car Boot Sale takes place at Stockwood Park, London Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 4LX in Luton on Sunday the 21st of May. Entry is £3, including car park fee. All the usual facilities will be there. See www.ddrcbootsale.org for details.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Krish, W4VKU and Pai are planning another VU7 activity holiday style from the 15th to the 19th of May. Operating as VU2VKU and VU2PAI respectively, they will have two complete stations with KPA500 amplifiers and verticals by the beach.

Tom, KC0W will be active as 8R1/KC0W from Guyana until the 8th of June. He will operate CW only on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via KC0W direct only and logsearch on Club Log. He does not use Logbook of The World.

Walter, DL3LBP will be on the air as DL3LBP/p from Helgoland Island, IOTA reference EU-127, until the 21st of May. QSL via DL3LBP either direct or via the bureau, Logbook of The World and eQSL.

Three operators will be active as HD2RRC/4 from Salango Island, SA-033, and as HD2RRC/p from Puna Island, SA-034 between the 21st and the 30th of May. They will mainly be on 40, 30 and 20 metres. QSL via Club Log OQRS, or via RZ3FW.

JI5RPT/1 and JI5USJ/1 will be on the air from Shikine Island, AS-008, on the 20th and 21st of May. They will operate CW, RTTY and PSK31 on the HF bands and 6 metres. QSL via their home callsigns.

Now the special event news

Burton Amateur Radio Club will be taking part in Mills on the Air today, the 14th, from Claymills Pumping Station, operating as GB3NFC on 40m, 20m and 2m FM and SSB.

South Essex Amateur Radio Society will operate from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED today, the 14th, from 10am to 4pm.

GB2SMP will be on the air today from Solihull Mill Pool, Solihull, for Mills on the Air.

Worthing and District Amateur Radio Club and High Salvington Mill Trust will be activating High Salvington Windmill for Mills on the Air 2017 under the callsign GB0HSM. The station will be operating today, when the Mill and grounds will also be opening to the visiting public.

GB5RAF will be active on Saturday the 20th of May at the Carew Cheriton Control Tower, on the site of a former RAF airfield. Members of the Pembrokeshire Radio Society will be operating HF and VHF at the Carew Cheriton Mil-Fest a festival of ex-military equipment and nostalgia, open to the public from 10.30am.

Now the contest news

Today, the 14th 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 contest takes place today, the 14th of May, from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 4th of June. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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 Thursday there are three contests. The 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. This is followed by the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Again the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also starting at 1900 but only running to 2030UTC is the 80m Club Championships. This leg is CW only and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend the 144MHz May Contest runs from 1400 on the 20th to 1400UTC on the 21st. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and postcode.

On Sunday the 21st, the 144MHz Backpackers contest runs from 100 to 1500UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 12th of May

Last week the solar surface was pretty much bare, other than a tiny speck of a sunspot at mid latitude. This sent the solar flux index down below 70 – the first time it has been there for some time. Given that it never drops much below about 66, even at sunspot minimum, this gives you an idea of how little sunspot activity there is. Luckily, the low solar flux index was coupled with better geomagnetic conditions, with the K index never worse than three and often zero.

The more settled conditions meant the ionosphere had time to recover and there was DX to be had. Dick, GU4CHY reported he worked all continents, including many strong Japanese stations, on 20m around 2030UTC on the 10th. Don’t forget that 20 metres will be staying open longer as we head into summer, and the band may even remain open late into the night by June and July.

Next week NOAA predicts the solar flux index will increase, perhaps up 80. Unfortunately, this will be accompanied by poor geomagnetic conditions at times due to the return of a recurrent coronal hole. The K index could rise to four or five midweek.

Sporadic-E may offer some respite. Don’t forget that it can affect all HF bands, not just 28MHz. Martin, MW0CND in Swansea was very loud in East Anglia last week on 40m CW during daytime on an otherwise flat band as a Sporadic-E cloud formed over the UK.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It looks like a week of unsettled weather is coming up as we had some locally heavy rainfall at the end of last week, extending into this weekend. But as we progress through the week high pressure begins to appear, initially in the south of Britain.

As next week draws to a close, the trend in several models is for a larger high to develop west of Ireland and slowly move east to be over the country by the weekend. Therefore, there is an increasing chance of Tropo developing later in the week.

Sporadic-E deserves a mention too, since there have been some openings already and now through to August represents good hunting for those elusive QSOs on 10m, 6m, 4m and 2m. Check the beacons and clusters as usual, with late morning and late afternoon being the best times.

This is a good VHF/UHF set of options for most regions this next week, although typically the far north of Scotland does seem to be on the northern fringe of any Tropo.

Moon declination is negative all this week, so there are short moon windows for EME. Last Friday the moon was at apogee – its furthest point away from Earth – so losses are still high, but falling as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 7th. May 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 7th May 2017

The news headlines:

  • New D-Star software released

  • More countries get 60m

  • Ofcom website maintenance

The RS-RP3C gateway software or D-Star repeaters that is being rolled out across the globe is now available from Icom UK. The new software has significant improvements over its previous version. The software will be provided free of charge on CD to Repeater Keepers with Icom repeater hardware. For more information about D-Star, visit www.d-staruk.co.uk or for information on the software email info@icomuk.co.uk

More countries are permitting access to the 60m band. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba has allocated 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with secondary status to Full licensees. The band has footnote 5.133B that limits the power in the Caribbean region of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to 25 watts EIRP. Amateurs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have access to a secondary allocation of 5.3515 to 5.3665MHz with a footnote that says the maximum power permitted is 15W EIRP.

We have been informed that the Ofcom amateur radio licencing portal is down for maintenance from 6pm on Thursday the 5th until 9pm on Sunday the 7th.

SOTA operators have planned their next Europe to North America – Summit to Summit activity for Saturday the 13th of May between 1200 and 1800UTC. Likely bands are 20m and 17m CW and SSB. Alerts of which summits are expected to be activated, plus real time spotting, will be available at sotawatch.org nearer to the date.

Bookings for the RSGB Convention are now open online at www.rsgb.org/convention Whether you want to book a single day ticket or a weekend package, all options are available. Details on lectures will be available soon with a variety of subject matter from DXpeditions to the latest technology and space matters to contesting.

Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD has confirmed that the plans are in place for an ARISS contact during YOTA 2017 week in August. He will be visiting Gilwell Park soon as part of the preparations and the ARISS team from the Principia mission will be available to run the contact in August.

Bletchley Park is to celebrate the centenary of Bill Tutte's birth. There will be a series of lectures exploring the life and works of the renowned mathematician and codebreaker on the 14th of May from 10am to 3.30pm. Guest speakers include: Bletchley Park Research Historian Dr David Kenyon, BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera, Claire Butterfield from the Bill Tutte Memorial Fund, GCHQ Historian Tony Comer and Dr David Bedford, School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University. See the Bletchley Park website at www.bletchleypark.org.uk for booking details.

The Camb-Hams will be active as GS3PYE/P from Islay Island between the 6th and 12th of May. Ten or more operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 80m to 4m as well as 2m and 70cm for satellites and 2m and 23cm for moonbounce. The HF bands will be covered by four simultaneous stations while the 6m and 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit. EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m, primarily on JT65. All the up-to-date plans, progress and sked info will be online at http://dx.camb-hams.com/

According to an article in Taipei Times, the National Communications Commission in Taiwan has proposed to abolish the amateur radio Morse code requirement and to permit operation on 432-440MHz on a secondary basis, among other changes to the amateur radio rules there. Although the NCC has approved the amendments, it must put them on public notice for two months and then make any changes it considers necessary, before they take effect.

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

Today, the 7th of May, the Dambusters Hamfest will be held at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall, Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PL. This is an outside event with limited room inside. Entry is £3 per person and accompanied under 12s are free. The admission charge also allows visitors to enter the museum. The venue is all on one level, with access to all buildings for wheel chairs etc. There is full catering on site, with a hot food van and the NAFFI. There will be an RSGB bookstall. For details please contact Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

The Scottish Amateur Radio and Electronics Convention takes place today, the 7th of May, at Braehead Arena, Kings Inch Road, Glasgow G51 4BN. Talk-in will be available on S22. The venue has disabled access and free car parking, including access to the Braehead Shopping Centre. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm. Entry is £4. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall and the GMDX group. There will be talks during the day. Club tables are £10, pre-booked only. For more information phone 0759 344 1518.

The 36th Lough Erne ARC rally will take place on the 14th of May at the Share Centre, Smiths Strand, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh BT92 0JZ. Doors open at 11.30am. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy and an RSGB bookstand. Catering is available on site. Details from Mark Mullaney, EI4HDB, by email to ei4hdb@gmail.com.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Ivan, LZ1PJ will be on the air as S79J from Mahe Island in the Seychelles, IOTA reference AF-024, until the 10th of May. Activity will be on CW on the HF bands and 6m. QSL to his home callsign.

Martin, MW0BRO will operate as A7/MW0BRO in Qatar. He will be there until the 18th of May and will be transmitting from the Qatar Amateur Radio Society club station in Doha. He plans to be mainly on CW on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Gab, HB9TSW will operate from Slatina Air Base in Pristina, Kosovo until the 23rd of May. He will use CW on 40m to 10m and the callsign Z68BG. QSOs with Kosovo do not count for the DXCC Award at the present time.

Harald, DF2WO is on the air until June 8 as D44TWO from the Cape Verde islands, AF-005. He is operating on the 80m to 6m bands with a hex beam and vertical antennas. QSL via M0OXO.

Doug, W6HB and Bruce, AD7MM will be operating as E51DLD and E51BAS respectively from Rarotonga Island, OC-013, until the 12th of May. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using SSB. QSL direct to their home callsigns.

Now the special event news

Burton Amateur Radio Club will be taking part in Mills on the Air on the 13th and 14th from Claymills Pumping Station, operating as GB3NFC on 40m, 20m and 2m FM and SSB.

Bangor District ARS will take part in Mills on the Air from Ballycopland Windmill, Millisle BT22 2DS on the 13th from 9am to 6pm.

South Essex Amateur Radio Society will operate from Rayleigh Windmill, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7ED on the 14th from 10am to 4pm.

CS2POPE will be on the air from the 8th to the 14th of May to commemorate the visit of Pope Francis to Portugal.

GB2SMP will be on the air on the 14th of May from Solihull Mill Pool, Solihull as part of Mills on the Air.

Worthing and District Amateur Radio Club and High Salvington Mill Trust will be activating High Salvington Windmill for Mills on the Air 2017 under the callsign GB0HSM. The station will be operating on both Saturday the 13th of May and Sunday the 14th, when the Mill and grounds will also be opening to the visiting public.

Now the contest news

Ending its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 6th, the ARI International DX contest uses phone and RTTY on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Italian stations also giving their Province code.

The UK Microwave Group low band contests runs from 0800 to 1400UTC today, the 7th of May. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for this weekend, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC today, the 7th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also send their County.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the 43MHz UK Activity Contest, which runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. It’s FM only for the first contest and all modes for the second. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Championships Data leg from 1900 to 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

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

On Sunday the 14th 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 contest takes place next Sunday, the 14th of May from 1000 to 1400UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 4th of June. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 5th of May.

Last week saw the solar flux index in the mid-70s with only one sunspot group visible, slap bang in the middle of the disk. Conditions were more settled geomagnetically with the K index actually resting at zero at times on Wednesday and Thursday. This was due to a lack of coronal hole activity, although one did become almost Earth-facing on Wednesday, which meant there was a chance that a high speed solar wind stream could possibly hit the Earth around Friday 5th May.

The settled conditions helped the bands a lot with reports of Pacific and Alaskan openings from the UK on 20m in the mornings. However, maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path generally stayed around 14MHz, although there were occasional openings on the higher bands.

Sporadic-E openings should soon start to make an appearance, which will add some interest to otherwise flat bands. The C30P 10 metre beacon in Andorra has already been heard on 28.256MHz. A link to a full beacon list can be found on the RSGB website by searching for “HF Beacons”

Although normally associated with six and 10 metres, the effects of a Sporadic-E event can often be seen from 7MHz upwards.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the mid-70s and geomagnetic conditions will be mainly settled.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

As we said earlier, it’s May, and at last the Sporadic-E season is under way! There have been several openings across Europe and some paths hooking into parts of the UK, especially on 10m and 6m. The general rule for operating this mode is to start checking the beacons and clusters for signs of activity. As well as 10 metres, a six metre beacon list can also be found on the RSGB website.

It is often the case that the longest DX paths are when the band first opens, since the Sporadic-E layers gradually descend with time. The peak times are late morning and late afternoon/early evening.

We also have the chance of some Tropo next week with a ridge of high pressure over the country. The best paths appear to be oriented down the length of the country, and beyond over Biscay to Western France and northern Spain.

Most models suggest the high declining to leave space for low pressure to develop towards the end of the week and perhaps some rain scatter on the GHz bands.

Moon declination goes negative today and losses are high as we approach apogee on Friday, so it is a week to concentrate on Sporadic E for DX opportunities.

The Eta Aquarids meteor shower is under way and should have peaked early Sunday morning, but continues through to the 20th of May. But remember that for the Northern hemisphere, the radiant is low in the sky.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 30th. April 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 30th April 2017

The news headlines:

  • AGM changes in RSGB Board

  • G3LTF appointed Honorary Vice President

  • RSGB representation at Lord Rix funeral

At the RSGB AGM held last Saturday, the 22nd, in Cardiff, Sara McGarvey, 2i0SSW, was elected to the RSGB Board of Directors. Steve Hartley, G0FUW, stood down as Chairman but has been co-opted by the Board to oversee YOTA 2017 and the introduction of the RSGB’s new Strategy, which was launched at the AGM. Graham Murchie, G4FSG, was elected by the Board as their Chairman. Also at the AGM, Mick Senior, G4EFO was re-elected as Region 10 Manager.

We’re delighted to announce that Peter Blair OBE, G3LTF has been elected by the RSGB Board as Honorary Vice-President. Peter has been an inspiration to over three generations of radio amateurs, not only by his own achievements but also by communicating his enthusiasm and technical expertise to thousands of others around the world. In his lifetime no-one has better demonstrated how amateur radio and professional engineering can be combined to reach the highest levels in both fields together. You can read more about his professional and amateur radio careers on the RSGB website.

RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF will represent the RSGB at the memorial service for Brian Rix, G2DQU at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden on the 3rd of May at 3pm. Known formally as The Lord Rix, Brian Rix, Baron Rix, Kt, CBE, DL, G2DQU, he passed away on 20 August 2016 and you can find an obituary on the RSGB website.

We have been informed that the Ofcom amateur radio licencing portal is down for maintenance from 6pm on Thursday 27th April until 8.30am on Tuesday the 2nd of May.

The US Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard will sponsor the traditional military/amateur radio communication tests on the 13th of May to mark the 66th annual Armed Forces Day, which takes place on the 20th. The Armed Forces Day message will be transmitted via Military Standard radioteletype modes. Software is available to demodulate the military serial PSK waveform, and detailed instructions can be downloaded. A short practice transmission will be sent at 1930 and 2330UTC on the 6th, 7th, 10th and 12th of May on 13.506.5MHz USB and 17.443MHz USB. Military FSK is Baudot at 850Hz, 75 baud, low mark, and 2000Hz centre. Most RTTY programs can be set to decode this mode. To achieve low mark while receiving in USB, select reverse shift. Full details, including the necessary downloads are at https://tinyurl.com/lh74wew

Starting next Saturday, the 6th of May and running for three months, the UK Six Metre Group Summer Marathon is taking place. Using all modes on the 50MHz band he exchange is your 4-character locator. For full details of this event, go to www.uksmg.org and use the 6m operating tab to click on 6m contests.

The RSGB Board Proceedings for the 17th of March have been released. RSGB Members can read the RSGB Board proceedings on the RSGB website.

RSGB Club insurance and Beacon and Repeater insurance has now been renewed for the year to April 2018. Club insurance certificates can be downloaded from the RSGB website, where your Membership Services login will be required. Beacon and repeater insurance costs £10 and you may renew on the RSGB shop. Please allow a couple of days after renewal for your certificate to be dispatched. In both bases the RSGB has changed the brokers to CaSE Insurance. Cover remains the same as in previous years but the insurer is now Aviva.

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

Today, Sunday the 30th, the Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at the Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge, CB22 6RN. Doors open at 9.30am and entry is £2. There will be a talk in station and car parking is free on site. Attractions include trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area and RSGB bookstall. The usual burger van will be in attendance. Contact Lawrence, M0LCM, on 0794 197 2724.

Also today, the 30th, the West London Radio and Electronics Show takes place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access ten minutes earlier. There will be trade stations, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and on-site catering. Details from Paul, M0CJX, on 0845 165 0351.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the 1st of May, the 33rd Dartmoor Radio Rally will take place at Tavistock College, Crowndale Road, Tavistock, PL19 8DD. Doors open at 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Admission is £2, with under 14s free when accompanied by an adult. There is ample free car parking on site, with catering available too. There will be trade & club stands and the usual Bring & Buy. Details from: Viv Watson, G7AWG, on 01752 823 427.

The Southern Electronics & Radio Fair, planned to take place on Saturday the 6th of May, has been cancelled.

On Sunday the 7th of May the Dambusters Hamfest will be held at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, Tattershall, Thorpe, near Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4PL. This is an outside event with limited room inside. Entry is £3 per person and accompanied under 12s are free. The admission charge also allows visitors to enter the museum. The venue is all on one level with access to all buildings for wheel chairs etc. There is full catering on site, with hot food van and the NAFFI. There will be an RSGB bookstall. For details please contact Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

The Scottish Amateur Radio and Electronics Convention will be held on Sunday the 7th of May at Braehead Arena, Kings Inch Road, Glasgow, G51 4BN. Talk-in will be available on S22. The venue has disabled access and free car parking, including access to the Braehead Shopping Centre. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm. Entry is £4. There will be trade stands, an RSGB bookstall and the GMDX group. There will be talks during the day. Club tables are £10, pre-booked only. For more information contact 0759 344 1518.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A team of UK operators will operate as A25UK from Botswana until the 6th of May. Activity will be on all bands 160m to 10m SSB, CW and RTTY. QSLs go via M0OXO.

Peter, DF7DQ will be in Vietnam from the 1st to the 10th of May. While there he will operate holiday style as 3W9DQ on 15 to 40m CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to his home call.

Ivan, LZ1PJ will be operating from Mahe, IOTA reference AF-024, on HF and 6m using CW only between the 2nd and the 10th of May. QSL via LZ1PJ either direct of via the Bureau or Logbook of the World.

Pasi, OH3WS, will be active as OJ0W from Market Reef, EU-053, on the 6th and 7th of May. Activity will be on the 20 to 6m bands using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Now the special event news

A special event station GB0GLS has been licensed for operation from the 5th to the 11th of May 2017. Antrim and District ARC are collaborating with Mid Ulster ARC to hold a main activation day on Saturday the 6th of May from the site of the original ‘Y’ station at Gilnahirk Listening Station. Following publication of George Busby's book, Spies at Gilnahirk, there could be considerable interest for this special event, which marks the significance of Gilnahirk during the Second World War and, later, into the Cold War period. QSL cards will be issued upon request and details about the station are available on QRZ.com.

HB600NVF is on the air until the end of this year to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the patron saint of Switzerland. QSLs can be obtained from HB9JOE.

Now the contest news

On Monday the 80m Club Championship contest, SSB leg, takes place between 1900 and 2030UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC and it is followed by the 144MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC, this time using all modes. The exchange is the same for both: signal report, serial number and locator.

Next Saturday, the 6th, the 432MHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes on the band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 6th, the 10GHz Trophy runs from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz to 248GHz Trophy runs for 24 hours starting at 1400UTC on the 6th. Using all modes on these bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Starting its 24 hour run at 1200UTC on the 6th, the ARI International DX contest uses phone and RTTY on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and serial number, with Italian stations also giving their Province code.

The UK Microwave Group low band contests runs from 0800 to 1400UTC on the 7th of May. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next weekend, the IRTS 40m Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1500UTC on the 7th. Using SSB and CW, the exchange is signal report and serial number. EI and GI stations also send their County.

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

Last week saw some unsettled conditions due to the effects of a coronal hole. Its associated high-speed solar wind stream actually hit the Earth a day earlier than predicted, resulting in poor HF conditions during the International Marconi Day event on Saturday the 21st of April.

The planetary K index hit 6 the night before and we were left with noisy bands and poor propagation. HF openings were predominantly to Europe, although Australia and the US were worked by GB0CMS from Caister in Norfolk. While conditions improved slightly through the week the K index remained steadfastly high.

There were highlights though. The A25UK Expedition to Botswana was worked from the UK on bands as high as 10 metres. As this is a North-South path, signals didn’t have to go through the unsettled auroral oval.

There were a couple of sunspots that helped push the solar flux index to more than 80, but next week NOAA predicts the SFI will be around the mid to high 70s, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. The K index could hit five on Bank Holiday Monday, but then decline to three or four for the rest of the week.

We should soon start to see the start of the Sporadic-E season, which may bring good short-skip opportunities on the upper HF bands. Keep an eye on the 10 metre beacons from around 28.150 to 28.330MHz for openings.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Low pressure will bring showery rain into western Britain later in the weekend, with prospects for GHz bands rain scatter. This will soon be replaced by a ridge of high pressure extending south from a large high over Scandinavia. The ridge may bring the possibility of some Tropo conditions towards the east across the North Sea.

That said, the quite strong easterly wind over southern areas may not be the best for good Tropo, since it is likely to be a dry flow and thus there may not be a good moisture contrast between the surface and the dry air above any temperature inversion. If Tropo turns out to be not such a strong player, there are good reasons to hope for some Sporadic-E as we move into the first week of May. This is usually regarded as the start of the main Sporadic-E season, so the main periods to check are late morning and late afternoon.

As we said earlier, start with 10m and then move higher in frequency as any opening develops. The openings can eventually reach 2m.

Moon declination is high and losses still low this weekend but declination falls and losses increase as the week progresses.

A week today, before dawn, the Eta Aquarids meteor shower peaks, but the shower's radiant never gets very high above the horizon for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 23rd. April 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 23rd April 2017

The news headlines:

  • International Girls in ICT Day

  • Volunteers sought for Scottish event

  • G4DDK to speak at the Dayton Hamvention

International Girls in ICT Day takes place on the 27th of April. It is an opportunity for girls and young women to see and experience technology in a whole new light. The initiative, backed by all ITU Member States, aims to create a global environment that encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies. Check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ITUGirlsInICT to see if any events are taking place near you.

CQScotland.com will be coordinating a group kit building event and Micro:Bit showcase for young persons at Braehead Arena, Glasgow G51 4BN on the 7th of May. A group of volunteers will guide the building of a simple electronic project or BBC Micro:Bit Morse code transceiver. Parents or guardians with young persons wanting to join in the fun, should register their initial interest at the CQScotland.com website. Radio amateurs, electronics enthusiasts or fans of the BBC Micro:Bit are invited to join the Volunteer Team. You will help guide a young person to successfully complete their electronic project in about an hour. Please register your initial interest at CQScotland.com This initiative is supported by the Radio Society of Great Britain and the Micro:Bit Educational Foundation.

Sam Jewell, G4DDK, winner of the 2016 RSGB Construction Competition, has been invited to speak at the Dayton Hamvention in May, He will be talking about transverters at the VHF Forum.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact is planned for a school in France on the 27th at approximately 0852UTC. The radio contact will be operated by F8KGY. Downlink signals will be audible in parts of Europe on 145.800MHz narrowband FM. HamTV will be activated and video will be visible at www.batc.tv/iss/

York Radio Club has taken over management of the GB3HG Repeater. Output is 145.625MHz with the input at -600kHz and a CTCSS of 88.5Hz. The new repeater keeper is Arthur, G8IMZ who can be contacted via the York Radio Club website at www.yorkradioclub.uk The group would like to thank Harrogate Repeater Group for all their hard work with this repeater in the past.

In 2017, the Youth Contesting Program of IARU Region 1 will continue. Youth members from IARU Region 1 member societies are invited to take part in a contest from so called ‘Top-Gun’ stations. These young amateurs will learn how to operate the contest station, improve their contest skills and will aim for the best results together as a team. A youngster will probably be coming for the first time to the host country and will get the chance to experience this country and share amateur radio knowledge with local youngsters. See the IARU Region 1 YOTA website at www.ham-yota.com

SOTA operators have planned their next Europe to North America Summit to Summit, activity for Saturday 13th of May between 1200 and 1800UTC. Likely bands are 20m and 17m CW and SSB. Alerts of which summits are expected to be activated and real time spotting will be available at sotawatch.org nearer to the date.

ANZAC Day takes place on the 25th of April. Amongst events taking place that day an AM and CW event organised by VK4MIK and the Tablelands Radio Group of Far North Queensland will be on the air to honour service personnel from Australia and New Zealand in earlier wars and those serving today. It will include the Gnarly Net on 3600kHz with CW from 1930UTC and AM from 2030UTC and the Friendly Afternoon Net on 7120kHz from 0600UTC in Northern Queensland.

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

Today, the 23rd, the Ripon Radio Rally takes place at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 2PT. Doors open to stallholders at 7.30am and to the general public at 10am. Entry is £2 on the door, under 16s are free. Enquiries can be made via email to rally@ripon.org.uk

Also today, the 23rd, the Yeovil QRP Convention will be held in Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There are disabled facilities at this venue. The doors will be open between 9.30am and 3pm. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, RSGB bookstall and stands for RSARS and RAFARS. A programme of talks will take place on the day. Refreshments are available on site. Details from Bob Harris by email to wjh069@gmail.com

The Andover Radio Amateur Club Spring Boot Sale takes place today, the 23rd of April, at Wildhern Village Hall, Tangley, Andover SP11 0JE. Doors open from 10am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access earlier. Admittance is £2. There are tables in the hall and outside pitches. Hot food and drinks will be available. Contact Paul, G4KZY on 07775 738 200.

Next Sunday, the 30th, The Cambridge Repeater Group Rally will be held at the Foxton Village Hall, Hardman Road, Foxton, Cambridge, Cambs CB22 6RN. Doors open at 9.30am with traders gaining access from 7.30am. Entry is £2. There will be a talk in station and car parking is free on site. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, car boot area and RSGB bookstall. The usual burger van will be in attendance. Contact Lawrence M0LCM on 0794 197 2724.

Also on the 30th, the West London Radio and Electronics Show will take place at Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury on Thames, TW16 5AQ. There will be a talk in station and on site car parking is free. Doors open at 10am with disabled visitors gaining access 10 minutes earlier. There will be trade stations, a Bring & Buy and special interest groups. Other attractions are lectures, a raffle and catering on site. Details from Paul, M0CJX on 0845 165 0351.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Tynemouth Amateur Radio Club is away on another IOTA trip, this time to the Isle Of Mull, EU-008, until the 28th of April. They will be operating as GS0NWM on the 10 to 80m bands using most modes with four HF stations. In addition they will have a VHF/UHF station. Full details of the trip are already on QRZ.COM

Following a successful trip to Lundy last year, three members of the Virtual Amateur Radio club of North Kent are off again on another IOTA DX trip, this time to Holy Island, EU-124. They will operate as MC0VRC from the 30th of April to the 6th of May. They will be running on all open bands with SSB, Data and CW. Details are on QRZ.com.

JP7MBO will activate XV9G from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam until the 9th of May. Operation will be mainly 40 and 20m with a possibility of 15m.

A group of operators will be on the air as A25UK from the 25th of April to the 5th of May. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via M0OXO.

Ari, OH3KAV will be operating as OF0KA from the 22nd to the 27th of April. Activity will be holiday style on the 10 to 80m bands using CW, JT9 and JT65. He may also try to be active on 60m. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

GB0STG and GB4STG will be on air today, the 23rd, for St George's Day. See www.PhoenixARC.org.uk for more details

A group of Essex Hams will once again be operating a special-event station for St. George's Day today, the 23rd of April. Operations will be from Galleywood Common near Chelmsford using the callsign GB1STG.

Now the contest news

The 23rd SP DX RTTY contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code too.

The UK/EI DX CW contest also ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using all HF contest bands except 160m, there are 24 hour and 12 hour sections. UK and Irish stations send a 2 letter district code as part of their exchange. These are multipliers for the rest of the world. Full details at www.ukeicc.com

The UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC today, the 23rd, on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 23rd, the BARTG Sprint 75 will take place from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just your serial number.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz and up bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC on the 80m band. Using CW only the exchange is your 4 character locator.

On Thursday, the 80m Club Championships RTTY leg takes place from 1900 to 2030UTC. Using PSK only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st April.

HF propagation last week was good in parts. There were days when even 20 metres seemed almost devoid of signals. But others when the band really shone. For example, for well-equipped stations 3D2AG on Rotuma Island near Fiji was workable on both CW and RTTY at times on twenty metres. This was remarkable considering the signals go right over the North Pole and geomagnetic conditions were often unsettled.

Solar matter from a coronal hole pushed the K index up to 5 on Wednesday, and again up to six on Thursday. This did impact HF and conditions were lacklustre on Thursday morning with all the bands being poor.

Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid eighties, thanks mainly to returning sunspot number 2651. This has already been responsible for solar flares and coronal mass ejections and we have no reason to believe this won’t continue. This, coupled with recurring coronal holes, means NOAA predicts very unsettled geomagnetic conditions through to the end of next week, with only next weekend showing some signs of a reprieve.

We don’t really expect maximum usable frequencies to rise much above 14MHz, and even that might be a struggle at times. There is always the chance of pre-auroral enhancements in amongst the mayhem, so keep an eye on HF.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We had a prolonged spell of high pressure over the last week, although not necessarily a major Tropo event. There were some modest enhancements at times, so it is worth checking the VHF and UHF bands nonetheless.

This coming week is looking broadly similar on the charts, but there are signs that with the main high being displaced to the west of the UK for much of the time, many parts will be under the influence of a cool northerly flow from around Tuesday on. This could mean that the bulk of the week is more notable for some April shower activity, wintry in the north, but with a risk of some hail or thunder in eastern areas.

So, it feels like there will be the opportunity for rain scatter on the Gigahertz bands rather than a week of tropo openings.

But wait, there is more!

We are getting very close to the start of the Sporadic-E season, and a check of the beacon bands on 10m and 6m could pay dividends, especially in the late morning and late afternoon/early evening.

This week sees the new moon on the 26th and moon perigee, or closest approach, on the 27th. Path degradation will be low and the moon will be relatively high in the sky from the UK. This may be a good opportunity to give EME a try even with a relatively small system. However, it is a mainly daytime pass so many people will be at work.

The Lyrids meteor shower activity should have peaked on the night of the 22nd, so we will now see a gradual reduction in rates through the 25th.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 16th. April 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 16th April 2017

The news headlines:

  • Two new GB2RS readings

  • International Marconi Day stations

  • Voting for the RSGB AGM

Two new GB2RS services start later today. At 6.30pm, Mike, GD6ICR will lead with a news reading via GB3IM on the Isle of Man. In Northern Ireland at 7.30pm, the news will be read on DMR via GB3OM, GB7LY, GB7UL and GB7HB. To be able to receive the news on DMR via these repeaters, users will have to programme a new Talk Group into their radios. This new service, the first of its kind in the UK, will be receivable via these repeaters on Slot2 TG8. We are grateful to Paul, MI1AIB for agreeing to begin this service and if anyone can assist Paul, please contact Philip Hosey, the Region 8 RSGB Manager, at rm8@rsgb.org.uk for further information.

Dozens of official award stations have registered to take part in the 2017 International Marconi Day event, this year being held on the 22nd of April. The event is not a contest, but an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites. Go to www.QRZ.com/db/GB4IMD for details of the event.

The RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF would like to remind RSGB Members that if you are not planning to come to the RSGB AGM in Cardiff on the 22nd of April and have not already voted, please do so now. Online is easiest, just click the red box at http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/agm-2017. Postal votes are also available, ask for one by calling HQ on 01234 832 702. The elections are independently managed by the Electoral Reform Society and the deadline for vote receipt by the ERS is noon on the 20th of April. Don’t delay, vote today! If you are attending the AGM, the opportunity to pre-register on the RSGB website has now passed but we still look forward to seeing you on the day.

Every year on the 18th of April, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with over three million amateurs worldwide.

Following a resolution that appeared in the Panama Official Gazette of the 27th of December 2016, the National Authority for Public Services of the Republic of Panama published their 2016 National Frequency Plan that contained the WRC-15 amateur secondary allocation of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz.

The RSGB’s third YOTA 2017 vlog has been released, featuring John Gascoigne, 2E0XLX. He is part of the Radio Scouting team at Gilwell Park, where the RSGB will be hosting the IARU YOTA 2017 event in August. Watch it via the RSGB website www.rsgb.org/yota and, while you’re there, why not take a look at all the other YOTA 2017 information and updates you’ll find in those web pages.

A new Fusion mode Node MB6IOX, number 31368, Room 4136 has been made operational by David, G0TKV near Reading. The Node is attended and not on 24/7, but will be on most evenings and weekends. The locator is IO91LM at 600ft ASL. The system has superior audio quality. It has a good bandwidth capable of carrying Text and Images.

Chertsey Radio club will be running its second virtual buildathon at the end of May or the beginning of June. They will be building a home-brew dual band Yagi antenna and diplexer to use on satellites. For full details see the club blog post at https://tinyurl.com/ms3mtv8

The RSGB response to the Ofcom consultation on regulations and proposed technical parameters in the 5 GHz band can be found on the RSGB website at https://tinyurl.com/mongfhq

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

There are no rallies in the diary for the Easter weekend, the 14th to the 17th of April.

On the 23rd, the Ripon Radio Rally takes place at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 2PT. Doors open to stallholders at 7.30am and to the general public at 10am. Entry is £2 on the door, under 16s are free. Enquiries can be made via email to rally@ripon.org.uk

Also on the 23rd, the 33rd Yeovil QRP Convention will be held in Digby Hall, Hound Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA. There are disabled facilities at this venue. The doors will be open between 9.30am and 3pm. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, RSGB bookstall and stands for RSARS and RAFARS. A programme of talks will take place on the day. Refreshments are available on site. Details from Bob Harris by email to wjh069@gmail.com

The Andover Radio Amateur Club Spring Boot Sale takes place on the 23rd of April at Wildhern Village Hall, Tangley, Andover SP11 0JE. Doors open from 10am to 4pm, with disabled visitors gaining access earlier. Admittance is £2. There are tables in the hall and outside pitches. Hot food and drinks will be available. Contact Paul, G4KZY on 07775 738 200.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Tynemouth Amateur Radio Club is away on another IOTA trip, this time to the Isle Of Mull, EU-008, between the 21st and the 28th of April. They will be operating as GS0NWM on the 10 to 80m bands using most modes with four HF stations. In addition they will have a VHF/UHF station. Full details of the trip are already on QRZ.COM

Alexander, RX0QM is now stationed at the Russian Base on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. He is using the callsign RI1ANB and will be on the air when time permits. The South Shetlands count as AN-010 for the Islands on the Air Award. QSLs go via EW4DX.

Helmut DJ7CF is on the air as 6Y5/DJ7CF from Greenwood, Jamaica until the 28th of April. Look for him on SSB, CW and PSK31. QSLs go via his home call.

Tony, CT1FFU will be active from Sal Island, part of the Windward Islands group, between the 18th and 25th of April with the call D4T on HF using CW, SSB and digital modes. This is IOTA reference AF-086. QSL via CT1FFU and Logbook of The World.

Dave, GM0LVI plans to operate holiday-style from Barra Island, EU-010, between the 16th and 22nd of April. QSL via his home callsign either direct or via the Bureau.

Now the special event news

Mid Ulster ARC is taking part in International Marconi Day on the 22nd from Navan Fort, 81 Kilrea Road, Armagh BT60 4LD between 8am and 5pm.

The Kerry Amateur Radio Group will participate as an Award Station in International Marconi Day on the 22nd from the site of the former Marconi Station at Ballybunnion, Co. Kerry. Operation from 0000UTC to 2359UTC is planned. Two HF SSB stations are planned for this year on the site as well as a HF data station using the callsign EI6YXQ, see qrz.com for more information.

OE17ATOM will be on the air for International Marconi Day on the 22nd from a nuclear power plant in Austria that was never put in operation. See qrz.com for full details.

The Amateur Radio Section of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation and the Documentary Archives Radio Communication QSL Collection will operate O17M for 72 hours only, starting at 0000UTC on the 21st. This is an official International Marconi Day station and contacts on the 22nd only are valid for the IMD award. See qrz.com

GB2RAF, the permanent special event station at RAF Neatishead Air Defence Radar Museum in Norfolk will be on the air every second Saturday of the month and some Tuesdays and Thursdays until November. This station is affiliated to the Royal Air Force Amateur Radio Society and can also give out contact points for Airfields on the Air. QSL cards are available via the RSGB Bureau, RAFARS Bureau, eQSL, or SAE to Terry, G4PSH QTHR.

Now the contest news

The Worked All Britain Data Contests takes place today, the 16th of April, on the 3.5, 7.0 and 14MHz bands. There are two separate contests one for RTTY and one for PSK. Each contest is split into two parts to get optimum conditions on all three bands. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400 and 1800 to 2000UTC. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600 and 2000 to 2200UTC. Note that club and multi-operator stations can only score points in the first of the two sessions. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

On Monday the IRTS 70cm Counties contest runs from 1200 to 1300UTC. Using FM and SSB, the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations also giving their county. Immediately following, the IRTS 2m Counties contest runs from 1300 to 1500UTC. Using FM and SSB the exchange is signal report and serial number with EI and GI stations also giving their county

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

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. Using FM only the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Immediately following, from 1900 to 2130UTC is the 70MHz UK Activity Contest. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend from 1200UTC on the 22nd to 1200UTC on the 23rd SP DX RTTY contest takes place. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number with SP stations sending their Province code too.

The UK/EI DX CW contest takes place next weekend from 1200UTC on the 22nd to 1200UTC on the 23rd. Using all HF contest bands except 160m, there are 24 hour and 12 hour sections. UK and Irish stations send a 2 letter district code as part of their exchange. These are multipliers for the rest of the world so all UK and EI contesters, including those with modest stations and antennas, will experience the fun of being a 'multiplier' for the DX in a worldwide contest. Full details at www.ukeicc.com

On Sunday the 23rd the UK Microwave Group 2nd Low Band contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Sunday the BARTG Sprint 75 will take place from 1700 to 2100UTC. Using RTTY on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is just your serial number.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Thursday the 13th of April.

Last week was a mixed bag again in terms of HF propagation. While the solar flux index was stuck in the mid 70s, geomagnetic disturbances due to coronal hole effects made their mark. The K index hit four on Tuesday and brought a pre-auroral enhancement. With the critical frequency over the UK almost reaching 7MHz, this meant the maximum useable frequency over 3,000km just exceeded 21MHz for a brief spell. But by Wednesday conditions were much worse and even 14MHz was struggling to open.

Due to the Easter holiday, this report is being prepared a day early, but we'll try to give you a feel for how propagation may pan out next week.

Firstly, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will rise over the next week into the 80s and even low 90s. But as usual HF conditions will be mainly governed by geomagnetic effects.

The first half of the week may be unsettled due to a high speed solar wind stream. This may see the K index rise to five with associated auroral conditions. We may then have a little respite for the rest of the week.

Looking forward to International Marconi Day on Saturday the 22nd of April, HF conditions may be settled. But they then get much worse with NOAA predicting a K index of up to six from Sunday the 23rd onwards due to another recurrent coronal hole.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

On the face of it, the next week looks very promising with high pressure dominating the charts in several models for the next week or so. This is quite a common feature at this time of the year and the only problem, so far as Tropo goes, is that these Spring highs can often have cold dry air near the surface under the inversions, which is generally seen as a poor contributor to an ideal Tropo event.

Mid April is when we can often expect super refraction propagation across the North Sea to start making itself felt by an increasing number of continental beacons becoming audible on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands. Warmer air blowing out across the cold sea can lead to the formation of some very strong ducts.

With EME, the early part of the week sees an early morning, waning, moon with high moon-path degradation. As the week progresses the moon will also climb higher in the sky to be visible until around lunchtime. As the moon declination improves (in the northern hemisphere) the degradation will also reduce.

Meteor shower activity will start to build towards the end of April and the Lyrid meteor shower will peak on the morning of the 22nd of April. This coincides with a weak crescent moon so it may also result in a good visual display. The Lyrids can sometimes show in higher than normal reflections, so it may be worth trying for that elusive locator.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 9th. April 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 9th April 2017

The news headlines:

  • April 22nd is Marconi Day

  • New PSK31 software for blind amateurs

  • Club Log gets Trusted Partner status

Dozens of official award stations have registered to take part in the 2017 International Marconi Day event, this year being held on the 22nd of April. All contacts counting toward the Marconi Award must be made on HF with registered stations, but other participating stations do not need to be registered to claim awards. The event is not a contest, but an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites, using HF communication techniques descended from those used by Marconi, and to earn an attractive award certificate for working or hearing a number of Marconi stations. All you need is a log extract – you don’t need QSL cards. International Marconi Day special event station GB4IMD will be on the air from Cornwall. Go to www.QRZ.com/db/GB4IMD for details. To help you work the requisite number, Steve, G0KYA has prepared some propagation predictions for IMD operators in the UK. You can find these at g0kya.blogspot.co.uk

A free, new Windows program called Accessible Digipan has been released. It allows blind hams to operate PSK31. The download includes the application, audio tutorials, detailed written guides, and additional helpful resources, plus DigiPan PSK31 and PSK63 software. ARRL member Richard, KK6MRH, and Jim, WA0PSS, both blind, developed the program. The app will work with many different kinds of rigs, interfaces, and Windows versions. Full details are at http://accessibledigipan.org/ which is especially designed to be kind to electronic screen readers.

Club Log, run by G7VJR, has become the first logging service to achieve Trusted Partner™ status for Logbook of the World. Radio amateurs holding Logbook of the World callsign certificates who have uploaded logs to Club Log now can readily cross-post them to Logbook of the World. More information on technical specifications and on current Trusted Partner program members is available on the ARRL website.

At the QSL Bureau, the G4 callsign series is in process of being consolidated. There are now just four G4 sub groups for the distribution of QSL cards to members. G4 call holders are advised to check the sub managers list on the RSGB website before sending more collection envelopes, as their volunteers details may have changed. Due to retirements and other commitments, we now have a vacancy for a new volunteer sub-manager to handle the G4T-Z sub group. The group receives around ten to fifteen thousand cards, spread across the year. If you are interested, please email the RSGB QSL bureau via qsl@rsgb.org.uk

The second YOTA 2017 vlog, or video blog, features RSGB Youth Committee member Rebecca Hughes, M6BUB. She introduces one of the activities she’s looking forward to helping with at the international YOTA 2017 week that the RSGB is hosting in August. You can watch this, and other vlogs, on our dedicated YOTA 2017 web pages www.rsgb.org/yota

The video of the 2016 RSGB Convention talk by John Rogers entitled Diagnosing and Reporting RFI has been added to the videos available to RSGB Members on the RSGB website video page. Non members can view the 2015 lectures on the RSGB’s YouTube channel.

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details appear in the April RadCom. Members attending the AGM will be able to try out the RSGB’s pilot project for the online Advanced exam and test their knowledge on a specially shortened 13-question mini Advanced exam. The first session will run for an hour before the formal AGM, which commences at 12 o’clock, with another session run during the lunch break.

The RSGB has made available drafts of papers which will be submitted to the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Germany in September. The Society welcomes feedback on the draft papers. They can be seen in the IARU Matters 2017 Forum at http://tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0904

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

The Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition, otherwise known as the Blackpool Rally, takes place today, the 9th of April, in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. There is car parking at the venue and a talk in station will be in operation. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Doors open 10.30am, with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

There are no rallies in the diary for the Easter weekend, the 14th to the 17th of April. The next rallies are on the 23rd. These will be the Yeovil QRP Convention, the Ripon Radio Rally, and the Andover RAC Spring Car Boot Sale. We will give full details of these next week. Meanwhile you can find details of all known forthcoming rallies in RadCom, which should arrive with RSGB Members from Wednesday this week.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

GW4DVB will be operating as J88PI on a holiday-style DXpedition on Palm Island, IOTA reference NA-025, in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Operation will take place between the 14th and the 23rd of April using a Yaesu FT-991A with 100 watts into a 10m vertical. Operation will be on the 40 to 10m bands using SSB. QSL direct only, see www.g4dvb.co.uk/ for details.

Chung, VA7YM is on holiday in Vanuatu, OC-035, until the 17th of April. Using callsign YJ0YM, his QSL Manager is EA5GL.

Jan, PA4JJ will be active holiday style as 9A/PA4JJ from Croatia until the 30th of May. Operation will be mainly on digital modes. QSL via his home call either direct or bureau and Logbook of The World.

Paul, W7NZJ will be active as FS/W7NZJ from St Martin, NA-105, until the 16th of April. He will operate digital modes and CW on the 40 to 10m bands. QSL via eQSL.

Ken, KH6QJ will be active as T32AZ from Kiritimati or Christmas Island, OC-024, in East Kiribati on until the 18th of April. He will be using the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via KH6QJ.

Now the special event news

A Canadian-led DXpedition-style event will activate the 100 hectare WWI battle site, Vimy Ridge, marking the centenary of the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. A commemorative amateur radio station will continue until dusk today, the 9th. More information is at www.v100vimy.ca

R25SRR will be in use throughout April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Russia's IARU society. Several RO25xx callsigns will join the celebrations, where xx is the 2-letter abbreviation for the various regions. See http://srr25.hamlog.ru for the award programme.

Now the contest news

Today, the 9th, it’s the First 50MHz contest, running from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and post code.

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity Contest will take place from 1800 to 1900UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following on is the 432MHZ UK Activity Contest, from 1900 to 2130UTC. This time it’s using all modes. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

Thursday sees the 50MHz UK Activity Contest. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain Data Contests takes place next Sunday, the 16th of April, on the 3.5, 7.0 and 14MHz bands. There are two separate contests one for RTTY and one for PSK. Each contest is split into two parts to get optimum conditions on all three bands. The RTTY contest is from 1200 to 1400 and 1800 to 2000UTC. The PSK contest is from 1400 to 1600 and 2000 to 2200UTC. Note that club and multi-operator stations can only score points in the first of the two sessions. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Full details are at www.worked-all-britain.org.uk

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

A large sunspot group pushed the solar flux index to 112 this week, which was largely unpredicted. However, unsettled geomagnetic conditions reigned again with the K index hitting five on the fourth. The activity from sunspot region 2644 also brought a number of solar flares, and it will be interesting to see if they reoccur when the spot rotates back into view in around nine days or so. These flares did bring widespread radio blackouts on the solar-facing side of the Earth.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted be in the mid to high 70s. Geomagnetically, we may have a respite from the recent coronal activity, the more settled conditions hopefully giving us some good HF DX at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The promised high pressure duly arrived and brought some good Tropo at times last week. The good news is that it should hang around for most of next week, although a few Atlantic lows will bring less favourable conditions to Scotland and north-east England now and again.

So, moments of Tropo are likely to make the VHF, UHF and gigahertz bands worth a visit for a second week, with paths to the south across Biscay being the more profitable direction.

We are close to the start of the 2017 Sporadic-E season, and it can’t be long now. So, in preparation, keep a watch on 10 metres for signs of short skip during late morning and late afternoon, and check the six metre beacons if you experience it.

After last weekend, when 1296MHz was crackling with CW contest activity, Moon declination goes negative tomorrow, so windows of Moon visibility will shorten. The Moon reaches apogee this coming Saturday, so losses will be high and increasing over the week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 2nd. April 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 2nd April 2017

The news headlines:

  • New North Uist repeater with internet link

  • Mixed blessings for Dutch amateurs

  • Second YOTA vlog released

New repeater GB3EI is located on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides and it went on air last Thursday. It operates on 145.6125MHz with a 600kHz shift and 88.5Hz CTCSS. Details are on its website, www.gb3ei.co.uk

Telecommunication regulators in The Netherlands have scaled back considerably the country’s formerly liberal 60m privileges. Since December 2015, amateurs in The Netherlands have had access to a 100kHz wide band at 5MHz, with a maximum power of 100W. Starting on the 1st of April 2017, the allocation has been changed to the global secondary 15kHz-wide allocation, 5351.5kHz to 5366.5kHz, with a maximum of 15W EIRP. On a positive note, the same Gazette notice also removed the cross-band and duplex restrictions on 50.45 to 52.0MHz and 70.0 to 70.5MHz.

The RSGB’s second YOTA 2017 video blog, or vlog, features RSGB Youth Committee member Rebecca Hughes, M6BUB. She introduces one of the activities she’s looking forward to helping with at the international YOTA 2017 week the RSGB is hosting in August. You can watch this and other vlogs on our dedicated YOTA 2017 web pages, www.rsgb.org/yota You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter

US amateurs will get two new bands in the near future. On the 28th of March, the FCC adopted rules that will allow secondary amateur radio access to 472 to 479kHz and to 135.7 to 137.8kHz. The new rules become effective 30 days after publication in The Federal Register. More information is on the ARRL website www.arrl.org

The RSGB Board recently received a number of reports that postings to the Have Your Say web page were not being answered and tasked the Board Chair with investigating the position. A technical problem was identified that may mean a number of HYS messages weren’t received and, therefore, weren’t answered. However, we are only aware of one message specifically that didn’t get a response. The technical problem has now been fixed. The Board would like to thank those who drew attention to this issue and trust that the actions taken will show that they listen and act when matters are made known.

In order to try to meet the 2015 Presidential Review aim of reducing geographical and other disadvantages, the B2 contest scoring method was introduced on a trial basis for RSGB VHF contests throughout 2017. Arrangements are now being made to start to review B2 use, based on scores during the first four months of the year. For details of how this will happen and the proposed wider consultation see http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2017/03/30/vhf-contest-scoring/

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017, as described in RadCom. AGM registrations are going well; lunch will be provided free of charge for Members who notify their attendance in advance using the form at www.rsgb.org/attendagm

The www.CQScotland.com Group will be will be coordinating a kit building and Micro:Bit computing showcase at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow G51 4BN on Sunday the 7th of May. The Group is being supported by the Radio Society of Great Britain and the Micro:Bit Educational Foundation. Radio amateurs, electronics enthusiasts or fans of the BBC Micro:Bit are invited to join the Volunteer Team. You will help guide a young person to successfully complete their electronic project in about an hour. Please register your initial interest at www.CQScotland.com

This year’s Mills on the Air event takes place on the 13th and 14th of May. There is an award available for working the various special event stations. Please do remember to register at www.g4cdd.net or www.mills-on-the-air.net

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

We start with the unfortunate news that the Southern Electronics & Radio Fair, planned for the 6th of May, has had to be cancelled. Details can be found at www.serf.org.uk

Today, the 2nd of April, the Hack Green Hangar Sale takes place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open 10am. It is a sale of amateur gear, electronic equipment, computers, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Refreshments are available on site. More details from Lucy Siebert on 01270 623 353 or by email to lucy@hackgreen.co.uk

The Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association Exhibition, otherwise known as the Blackpool Rally, will take place on the 9th of April in the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool FY2 9AA. There is car parking at the venue and a talk in station will be in operation. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Doors open 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. More information from Dave, M0OBW on 01270 761 608.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

IOTA enthusiasts and prefix collectors should look out for PF38T on Texel Island, IOTA reference EU-038, operated by Hans, PA7HPH until the 9th of April. A special QSL card will be issued via PA7HPH.

Tim, NL8F will reactivate his T2TT callsign from Tuvalu in the Pacific, OC-015, until the 13th of April. He will be on SSB and JT65 on 80m to 10m. His QSL Manager is N7RO.

Tony, 3D2AG is on the air as 3D2AG/p until the 28th of April from Rotuma, OC-060, a Fijian dependency. Activity is on 160 to 6 metres using CW, SSB, RTTY, JT65 and FSK441. QSL via the operator's instructions.

Eliot, W1MJ will be on the air as CE0Y/W1MJ from Easter Island, SA-001 until the 4th of April. Activity will be holiday style on 40, 30, 20 and 15 metres using QRP CW and possibly PSK31 as well. QSL to home call.

YB3MM and YB3LZ will be transmitting as 4W/YB3MM and 4W/YB3LZ, respectively, from Dili in Timor-Leste, OC-148 between the 3rd and 5th of April. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands, using mostly JT65 and possibly other modes as well. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Marc, ON5SM will be transmitting as DU9/ON5SM from Mindanao in the Philippines, OC-130, from the 4th of April to the 24th of May. Activity will be on 80 to 6 metres using SSB, SSTV and various digital modes. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry and GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady, both until the 9th of April, operating holiday-style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

A Canadian-led DXpedition-style event will activate the 100 hectare WWI battle site, Vimy Ridge, as it is the centenary of the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. A commemorative amateur radio station will go on the air from the summit of Vimy Ridge on the 1st of April and continue until dusk on the 9th. Seventeen operators, drawn from the ranks of Canadian and French contesters and DXpedtioners, will run two stations 24 hours per day, using SSB, CW and digital modes on 160 through 10 metres. The radios will be Elecraft K3s and KPA 500s with Spiderbeams, verticals and dipoles for antennas. More information is at www.v100vimy.ca

South Kesteven ARS will put GB5ROC on the air today, the 2nd of April, from Post 62, Buckminster, the Royal Observer Corps Cold War Nuclear Bunker, operating as a part of Britain on the Brink.

French radio club F8KHW will be running a portable station from Wailly Les Arras on the 8th of April for the centenary of the battle of Arras city that began on the 9th of April 1917. They will be operating, on 2m FM and SSB, 40m and 20m SSB, CW and PSK.

Now the contest news

This weekend is a busy one. The SP DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1500UTC today, the 2nd. Using 160 to 10m, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SP stations send their Province code too.

Today, the 2nd, running from 0900 to 1200UTC, the First 70MHz contest takes place. Using all modes on the 4m band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also today, the 2nd, but from 1900 to 2030UTC, the RoLo 1, or Rolling Locators, contest takes place. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the locator you received.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships will take place from 1900 to 2030UTX. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday there are two 2m contests. The FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC, then the all mode UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. Both have the same exchange: signal report, serial number & locator.

On Wednesday it’s the UK EI CC on 80m from 2000 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next Sunday, the 9th, it’s the Frist 50MHz contest running from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number, locator and post code.

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

Last week was a mixed bag. As predicted we had geomagnetic storming, thanks to the effects of a large coronal hole and its associated high speed solar wind stream, but we also had some good HF conditions at times. With the solar flux in the low 80s, propagation was dominated by the impact of solar material on Tuesday, with the subsequent rise in the K index to five and even six. The initial onset brought a pre-auroral enhancement, with many stations reporting good HF conditions. But this was soon tempered by poorer conditions later in the week.

Visible auroras were reported at higher latitudes and a UK-wide red aurora alert was issued by Lancaster University on the 27th. Next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will decline into the mid 70s.

Geomagnetic conditions will remain unsettled until later in the week, with the K index likely to hit four at times. We may then get a bit of a respite, with more settled conditions on Friday and across the weekend of the 8th and 9th. You can then expect maximum useable frequencies over a 3,000km path to hit 18 or perhaps even 21MHz at times. We won't see any significant activity on 10 metres until the Sporadic-E short-skip season starts in a few weeks.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Two widely-used weather models are predicting a developing high just after the weekend. One has it starting today. For the VHF, UHF and SHF bands, this means a good week with the prospect of some useful Tropo once the unsettled weather at the start of this weekend has moved away. Most areas are likely to benefit from Tropo paths within the UK, across the North Sea and down to the south across Biscay.

There are often two temperature inversions in this type of pattern, one due to the high itself, producing an elevated duct somewhere between 1km and 2km in height. The second type is often found near the surface at the end of a night time of cooling. This one is less reliable, since it will often disperse after the sun begins to lift the daytime temperature. This tropo should make the 144MHz UKAC and FMAC contests very interesting on Tuesday evening.

Isolated heavy showers this weekend might have brought rain scatter, but they’ll be gone by the start of next week.

The Sporadic-E season has not quite started yet, but it can’t be far away.

The Moon is at high declination early this week, so long windows of moon visibility. We are past perigee, so losses will increase as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • Examinations Standards Committee chair wanted

  • UK YOTA 2017 team announced

  • ISS contact deadline approaches

Following the sudden and unexpected sad loss of the recently-appointed Examinations Standards Committee Chair Dave Powis, G4HUP, the RSGB Board is again seeking to appoint a suitably qualified replacement. The Committee oversees all aspects of the examinations. More details are on the RSGB website, but if you require further information or an informal chat about the role you can contact the responsible RSGB Director Ian Shepherd, g4evk, via email to g4evk@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is delighted to announce that the members of the UK YOTA 2017 team are Peter Barnes, 2E0UAR and Jonathan Sawyer, M0JSX. Peter is 19 and a member of Thornbury and South Gloucestershire ARC. Jonathan is 23 and belongs to the Reading and District ARC. You will be able to read more about them in the May issue of RadCom, which should arrive around Easter. Congratulations to them both.

The deadline for schools or informal educational institutions and organisations to submit proposals to host amateur radio contacts next year with International Space Station crew members is fast approaching. All applications must be in by the 5th of April. Organiser ARISS anticipates that contacts will take place between the 1st of January and the 30th of June next year. Anyone interested should contact the RSGB liaison Ciaran Morgan via email to ciaran.morgan@rsgb.org.uk for assistance with the application process.

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017, as described in RadCom. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form at www.rsgb.org/attendagm

The new Bletchley Park website has officially launched. It includes details of a booked event happening on the 2nd of April between 2 and 4pm. Visitors can experience an intimate Q&A session with Bletchley Park Veterans in celebration of the Off Duty exhibition that gives a look into the recreational activities the Codebreakers and their colleagues enjoyed outside of work. Go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ and click on the What’s On tab. RSGB Members can gain free admittance to Bletchley Park using an individualised voucher that you download from the www.rsgb.org home page.

The 2016 RSGB Convention lecture The rise & rise of 5.7GHz EME by Peter Blair, G3LTF has been released for RSGB Members to view. Just log in and then go to the online video portal www.rsgb.org/video

Amateurs in the UK have been very fortunate in having early access to 5MHz, with 5 spot frequencies 15 years ago and more than 70kHz of spectrum made available in 2013. This was a result of close cooperation with Ofcom and the MoD, who is primary user on the band. The UK currently has an arrangement that gives us more spectrum and a higher power allowance of 100W at 5MHz, however it does not cover all of the WRC-15 band of 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. The Society played a very active role in the WRC-15 process and continues to work with Ofcom to gain access to all of the WRC-15 band, however this is not expected to change in the foreseeable future as there are on-going assignments within the band. The RSGB will implement the IARU Region 1 band plan for 5MHz within the segments allocated to us. In common with other Region 1 societies with allocations greater than 15kHz, we will recommend that frequencies within the WRC-15 band that are allowed under the UK Amateur Radio Licence only be used for international contacts, or for stations with no other option.

All radio amateurs are invited to participate in Portugal's National SOTA Day on the 1st of April. This is not a contest. Diplomas, sent electronically, will be available to activators, chasers and SWL registered on the SOTA database and after the upload of their logs. More information from Pedro, CT1DBS/CU3HF by email to diasotaCT@gmail.com.

The Palestine, E44CM DXpedition that took place in November 2016 has now been approved for DXCC credit. Follow the usual procedures or, for new participants, go to www.arrl.org/dxcc

At 1am today, the 26th of March, the clocks were turned forward one hour, signalling the start of British Summer Time. It means that there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings. Most radio amateurs leave their shack clocks to GMT or UTC but some programs may need the time changed.

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

Today, the 26th of March, the Callington Radio Rally will take place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands. Catering is available on site and there is ample free parking in the adjacent car park. The rally is organised by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information, including booking details, from Roger on 07854 088 882.

Next weekend, on the 2nd of April, The Hack Green Hangar Sale will take place at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, French Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8AL. Doors open 10am. It is a sale of amateur gear, electronic equipment, computers, military radio sets and vehicle spares. Refreshments are available on site. More details from Lucy Siebert on 01270 623 353 or by email to lucy@hackgreen.co.uk

An advance notice and an apology now. The Ripon Rally on the 23rd of April didn’t appear in last month’s RadCom, for which the editorial team apologises. The rally does appear correctly on the RSGB website. It will be held at Hugh Ripley Hall, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 2PT on Sunday 23 April. Doors open at 10am and entry is £2 on the door, with under 16s free. Enquiries can be made via email to rally@ripon.org.uk

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.


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

A group of radio amateurs from Sweet Lake City in the Netherlands will be in Liechtenstein from the 1st to the 8th of April. Using the HB0 suffix to their callsigns they will be on all HF bands using CW, SSB and digital modes. All QSLs are via PE1FLO.

W2APF will be on Nevis Island in the Caribbean, IOTA reference NA-104, until the 1st of April. He will be using the callsign V47JR and will be active on the 6 to 80m bands using CW and SSB. This is a holiday style operation and QSLs go via the home callsign.

Richard, G3RWL will be reactivating his 8P6DR callsign from Barbados, NA-021, until the 20th of April. He will be on CW and RTTY on the 80 to 10m bands. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Tim, NL8F is on the air as T2TT on Tuvalu, OC-015, until the 13th of April. Activity is on the various HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7RO.

Laurent, F5IXR is on the air as TZ5XR in Mali until 2019. Activity is on 40, 20, 17, 12 and 10 metres using mostly CW. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

A Canadian-led DXpedition-style event will activate the 100 hectare WWI battle site, Vimy Ridge as it is the centenary of the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge. A commemorative amateur radio station will go on the air from the summit of Vimy Ridge on the 1st of April and continue until dusk on the 9th. Seventeen operators, drawn from the ranks of Canadian and French contesters and DXpedtioners, will run two stations 24 hours per day, using SSB, CW and digital modes on 160 through 10 metres. The radios will be Elecraft K3s and KPA 500s with Spiderbeams, verticals and dipoles for antennas. www.v100vimy.ca

South Kesteven ARS will put GB5ROC on the air on the 2nd of April from Post 62, Buckminster, the Royal Observer Corps Cold War Nuclear Bunker, operating as a part of Britain on the Brink.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359 today, the 26th. Using all contest bands from 160 to 10m, the exchange is signal report and serial number. In this contest everyone can work everyone.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3 to 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday, the UK EI Counties Contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using the 80m band only, the exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend is a busy one. The SP DX contest runs from 1500UTC on the 1st to 1500UTC on the 2nd. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. SP stations send their Province code too.

On the 2nd, running from 0900 to 1200UTC, the Frist 70MHz contest takes place. Using all modes on the 70MHz band, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on the 2nd, but from 1900 to 2030UTC, the RoLo 1, or Rolling Locators, contest takes place. Using SSB only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is signal report and the locator you received.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 24th of March.

Last week’s predicted geomagnetic storm materialised on cue, sending the K index up to five on Tuesday. The storming continued right through Wednesday into Thursday. There was an initial ionospheric enhancement late on Tuesday, but it didn't last long. Maximum useable frequencies were then adversely affected on Wednesday with noisy bands and even 20 metres struggling to open at times. The culprit was a high-speed stream from a solar coronal hole, which impacted the Earth at speeds in excess of 650 kilometres per second, triggering an aurora. The time around the equinoxes can often bring more auroral activity.

The sun has been otherwise quiet, with only one tiny sunspot group coming around the limb.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the solar flux index will remain in the low 70s, but geomagnetic disturbances will continue. The K index is predicted to rise sharply on Tuesday due to yet another high speed stream from a coronal hole. This may push the K index up to six, prompting auroral conditions yet again.

Poor conditions may then continue, so look out for an initial positive phase, which could occur early in the week, but then expect disturbed conditions with lower maximum usable frequencies for the remainder. As always, polar HF paths may be the worst hit, while North-South paths could remain less affected.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The high pressure we hinted at last week is now building over northern Britain and should dominate the weather for much of the coming week.

The prospects for tropospheric openings look good, especially across the North Sea into northern Germany and the Low Countries. Weather models seem to follow a theme that the high declines later in the week with low pressure and the potential for gigahertz bands rain scatter for western areas by next weekend.

As we move towards April, there will be a chance of some early season Sporadic-E within southern Europe. This is not ready for us yet, but a sign of good times ahead, given another three weeks or so. Now is the time to be checking those 10m, 6m, 4m and 2m beams and beacon lists.

Moon declination goes positive this week, meaning increasing windows of moon visibility. With perigee on Thursday, losses will become lower as the week progresses, making it a good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • High volume of calls to Ofcom

  • 90th RSGB AGM in Cardiff

  • Yasme Foundation supports YOTA 2017

Ofcom Spectrum Licensing is currently experiencing a high volume of calls about licensing issues. Email enquiries can take up to four weeks and telephone answering can also be delayed at peak times. Please use the online portal for licence activities and consult the Information for Radio Amateurs and Frequently Asked Questions before calling or emailing. See www.ofcom.org.uk for further information

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. Details of this are at www.rsgb.org/AGM2017. Whilst the RSGB encourages Members to vote electronically via the ERS website at www.ersvotes.com/rsgb17, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website at www/rsgb.org/attendagm

The RSGB is delighted to announce that the Yasme Foundation have become a Super Supporter of the YOTA 2017 event at Gilwell Park in August. The Yasme Foundation makes supporting grants to individuals and organisations providing or creating useful services for the amateur radio community. Regardless of originality or novelty, Yasme supports these programs in order to further the development of amateur radio around the world. If you would like find out more about the YOTA 2017 event, go to www.rsgb.org/yota

The DXpedition to Bangladesh will use two different callsigns during its 12-day operation. S21ZED will be used until the 22nd of March, with S21ZEE used for the last 5 days, the 23rd to the 27th. This is to comply with Bangladeshi regulations. The DXpedition team asks that stations not work the second call sign on the same bands/modes, if they already have worked the first.

Results for the 80 Metres Evening Counties Contest held on the 21st of February have now been published, see www.irts.ie/results for the details. Congratulations to the winners. The leading stations outside Ireland were Dave, 2E0KVJ, SSB only, and Mike, G3VYI, mixed mode.

Some countries in the Northern Hemisphere that includes most of North American and some of the Caribbean, who observe Daylight Saving Time changed their clocks on the 12th of March at 2am. The UK will switch to British Summer Time on the 26th of March. Of course, most radio amateurs don’t change their UTC clocks anyway. Although you may have to change the settings on some computer programs.

A Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Research Paper available for download. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area, around 200km radius, without any intermediate human-made infrastructure. It is therefore especially suited for disaster relief communication, communication in developing regions and applications where independence of local infrastructure is desired, such as military applications. It uses frequencies between around 3 and 10MHz. Entitled Radio communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave propagation: an overview, it has been written by Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès and Ben A. Witvliet. Download at https://tinyurl.com/k8e583l

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

Today, the 19th, the 32nd Wythall Radio Club Rally is at Wythall Park, Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Parking is available on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £4. There will be a Bring & Buy, a RSGB bookstall as well as lectures. Catering will be available on site. Contact Mike, on 0797 674 4479.

On the 26th of March, the Callington Radio Rally will take place at Callington Town Hall, Callington, Cornwall PL17 7BD. Doors open at 10am and admittance is £2. There will be a Bring & Buy and trade stands. Catering available on site. Ample free parking in the adjacent car park. Rally organised by the Devon & Cornwall Repeater and Callington Amateur Radio Society. More information and bookings from Roger on 07854 088 882.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

SP5EAQ and SP7DQR are on the air as T2AQ and T2QR in Tuvalu until the 4th of April. Activity is on the 10 to 80m bands using SSB and CW. QSL via SP7DQR. In addition, Tim, NL8F will be active as T2TT from the 23rd of March to the 13th of April. His activity will be on various HF bands using SSB and digital modes. QSL via N7RO.

Kazik, SP6AXW is on the air as 9N7XW until the 31st of March from Nepal. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands. QSL to his home callsign.

Ed, WA1ZAM will be active as PJ7PL until the 3rd of April from Sint Maarten. Activity will be on the 10 to 30m bands using SSB and RTTY. This includes being an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL to home call.

John, W5JON and Cathy, W5HAM are on the air as V47JA and V47HAM, respectively, from Calypso Bay in St Kitts and Nevis until the 5th of April. Activity is on 6 to 150m bands, including 60m, using SSB. This includes an entry in next weekend’s CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

Kaku, JA6REX and Toshiya, JH6HZH will be active as V633KS and V633ZH, respectively, from Chuuk Island in Micronesia, IOTA OC-011, until the 3rd of April. Activity will be on the 10 to 160m bands using CW, SSB and RTTY with a focus on the low bands. QSL to home calls.

Now the special event news

GB0WM will be on the air from Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton for British Science Week today, the 19th of March. Operated by South Kesteven ARS.

GB8EGT will be on the air from RAF Eglington in Londonderry from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

GB8BKY will be on the air from RAF Ballykelly in Limavady from the 25th of March to the 9th of April, 9am-5pm. The station will be on air holiday style. Contact Paul Lewis, MI1AIB by email to paul.m1aib@gmail.com

Look for special event station II0CXX to be active until the 31st of May on Saturdays during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe Net, at 1000UTC on 7165kHz. This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the passing of Arthur A Collins, W0CXX, founder of the Collins Radio Company, who became a Silent Key in 1987. QSL via IK0IXI only direct: no bureau and no eQSL.

Now the contest news

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest ends its run at 0200UTC today, the 19th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

The Russian DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 19th. Using CW and SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code.

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place between 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000to 2130UTCng SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend it’s the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. Running for 48 hours from 0000UTC on the 25th and using all bands from 1.9 to 28MHz, the exchange is signal report and serial number. In this contest everyone can work everyone.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of March.

Despite zero sunspots and a solar flux index of only 70, there was good DX to be had last week. This was helped by more settled geomagnetic conditions over a period of days, thanks to a lack of coronal hole activity. The RSGB Commonwealth Contest saw UK amateurs making contacts into all parts of the world, although these were primarily on 7, 14 and 21MHz. This pattern will no doubt predominate over the next few years until we get past solar minimum.

A group of UK amateurs have been operating from Ghana as 9G5X and have shown how this part of the year can give good north-south propagation. They have been audible on 20 and 15 metres, and there are even reports of very weak openings to the UK on 10m.

A look at the Solar Dynamic Observatory's extreme-ultraviolet image of the sun on Thursday showed a coronal hole on the sun's equator, which is rotating to be geo-effective in a few days.

NOAA predicts solar material from the hole may hit us midweek, so look out for an elevated K index. This can be a double-edged sword, resulting in enhanced conditions during the initial phase, before maximum usable frequencies decline with noisy conditions follow.

The solar flux index is predicted to remain in the low to mid 70s.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

There were some good Tropo openings last week, but this is unlikely to last. By this weekend the high will have declined as lows move in from the Atlantic and they will dominate the weather for much of the coming week. Interestingly, there are signs of high pressure returning at the end of the week, but this is handled very differently in different weather models. One only brings the high as far in as Ireland, while another model develops a fully-fledged high over Scotland by next weekend. This is clearly an uncertain signal, but at the moment the week looks much less productive for Tropo than last week.

As we come very close to April, the seasonal ‘April showers’, this week should offer some good chances for rain scatter on the GigaHertz bands. There is the possibility of VHF auroral activity mid week if the K index rises as predicted.

With negative Moon declination all this week, windows are short and the moon is at low elevation. Today is apogee so losses are at their highest, but decreasing as the week goes on.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • New video blog uploaded

  • Talk to Cadets in Exercise Blue Ham

  • Latest news on RSGB AGM

The RSGB has just launched its first video blog, or vlog, to share what is happening behind the scenes in preparation for YOTA 2017, the amateur radio youth event planned for the summer. It features the Youth Committee Chair, Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ. Look out for more vlogs in the coming weeks, where you will hear from other people involved in making this international event a reality. Go to www.youtube.com/theRSGB

The Cadet signals exercise known as Exercise Blue Ham is due to take place on 5MHz on the 18th and 19th of March, then again on the 25th and 26th. Not only will they be speaking to other Cadet groups, they welcome calls from amateurs too – but only make contact on amateur licensed frequencies. Full details are at http://alphacharlie.org.uk/exercise-blue-ham

The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday the 22nd of April, commencing at 12 noon. Arrangements have been made for Members who are unable to attend the AGM to cast their votes by proxy. Details of this are at www.rsgb.org/AGM2017. Whilst the RSGB encourages Members to vote electronically via the Electoral Reform Society website at www.ersvotes.com/rsgb17, if you require a postal vote please call HQ on 01234 832 702. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday 20 April 2017. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form on the website at www/rsgb.org/attendagm

The next episode of the UK's only TV show dedicated to all things radio, TX Factor, is released on the 17th of March. Go to www.txfactor.co.uk for details. Factor is sponsored by the RSGB and Martin Lynch & Sons. In amongst the item on Episode 15, Bob discovers the fun to be had remotely controlling his Icom IC-7300 over the internet using Icom’s proprietary software interface and shows you how to set it up. The IC-7300 was reviewed in the August 2016 RadCom. Mike and Bob meet two youngsters who are passionate about amateur radio and find out how they are making more people, both young and old, aware of the delights of our hobby. TX Factor is available to stream to your phone, tablet, computer or smart TV.

With the significant increase in numbers of 70cm digital voice repeaters that have inputs at the low end of the band, the ETCC have been reminded to highlight the power restrictions that apply to 430-432MHz. The maximum peak envelope power in this part of the band is 40W effective radiated power for Full and Intermediate Licensees and 10W ERP for Foundation licensees. Given that many modern mobiles can run 50W or more to high gain collinear aerials it is very easy to exceed these levels so please take care to keep your power to the minimum required and certainly never above the limits mandated in your licence.

The talk Being the DX, QRP by Dominic Baines, M1KTA is the latest 2016 RSGB Convention lecture available for members to view via the new video portal at www.rsgb.org/video. It joins Contesting from VY2ZM on Prince Edward Island by Jeff Briggs, VY2ZM; Developments in IOTA, update on electronic QSLing and the future by Roger Ballister, G3KMA and Advances in amateur television by Noel Matthews, G8GTZ.

Following a request from the RSGB, Ofcom has kindly agreed an increased power level of 50 watts ERP for new 146-147MHz Notice of Variation applications. The band is only available to holders of a Full Licence and all other NoV terms remain unchanged, including antenna height and geographical restrictions. New applicants or existing NoV holders can use the online application system at www.rsgb.org/nov to get the new NoV free of charge.

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

The Dover Radio Club Rally takes place today, the 12th of March, at Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield, near Dover CT163LY, Talk in will be on GB3KS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. More details from Aaron, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

Due to a clerical error the Grantham Radio and Electronics Rally is incorrectly listed in RadCom as being in May. We apologise for the confusion and confirm that the Grantham rally is, in fact, today, the 12th of March, at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XQ. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open 9am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 has more information.

On Saturday the 18th of March the Laugharne Radio Rally will be held at the Millennium Memorial Hall, Clifton Street, Laugharne SA33 4QG. Doors open from 10am to 1pm, with disabled admission 15 minutes early. Entry is £3. Details from Matthew, GW6KOA on 0199 4427 581.

On Sunday the 19th, the 32nd Wythall Radio Club Rally is at Wythall Park, Silver Street, B47 6LZ. Parking is available on site. Doors open at 10am, with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Entry is £4. There will be a Bring & Buy, a RSGB bookstall as well as lectures. Catering will be available on site. Contact Mike, on 0797 674 4479.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

S21GM and S21KW will be on the air from Bangladesh between the 15th and the 27th of March. Using the 160 to 10m bands, the team will operate CW, SSB and RTTY.

The F6KOP expedition team will be in the Ivory Coast signing TU7C until the 19th of March. They will be active on all HF bands CW, SSB and digital. QSL via F1ULQ or the Web page OQRS.

A multinational team will travel to Niger and activate 5U5R until the 20th of March. They will be on all bands from 160 to 10m on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL to EA5RM.

The EI DX Group will be signing 9N7EI from Nepal until the 20th of March.

Now the special event news

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven will host a variety of special events today, the 12th of March, to support the local charity of Samaritans of West Cumbria. In addition to the scheduled beacon exhibits on display, members of the RSGB will operate GB1SWC. As well as live tracking of the International Space Station and interactive demonstrations such as a Morse code game, there will be sending and receiving of television pictures and digital information over radio waves. More information is on QRZ.com.

Foyle & District ARC will be operating GB5SPD on the 17th of March between 9am and 6pm from 159 Victoria Road, Bready, Strabane, Co Tyrone BT82 0DZ. More details from Philip, MI0MSO on 07849 025 760.

Grey Point Fort ARS will operate a St Patrick’s Day Award station on the 16th to the 18th of March from 10am to 6pm. Check out the website stpatrickaward.webs.com for details.

West Tyrone ARC will operate GB1SPD on the 17th of March between 9am and 5pm from the Ulster American Folk Park, 2 Mellon Road, Omagh BT78 5QU. More from Philip, MI0MSO on 078 4902 5760.

Look for special event station II0CXX to be active until the 31st of May on Saturdays during the Collins Collectors Association of Europe Net, at 1000UTC on 7165kHz. This activity is in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the passing of Arthur A Collins, W0CXX, founder of the Collins Radio Company, who became a Silent Key in 1987. QSL via IK0IXI only direct: no bureau and no eQSL.

Now the contest news

The 80th Commonwealth Contest ends its 24 hour run at 1000UTC today, the 12th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. HQ stations also send HQ.

Today, the 12th, the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone Contest takes place today, the 12th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 2nd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

On Tuesday from 1900 to 2000UTC the 432MHz FM Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Then between 2000 and 2230UTC it’s the 432MHz UK Activity Contest. Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the 80m Club Championships runs from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday from 1900 to 2000UTC the 70MHz FM Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following that, from 2000 to 2230UTC, the 70MHz UK Activity Contest takes place. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The BARTG HF RTTY Contest runs from 0200UTC on the 18th to 0200UTC on the 20th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

From 1200UTC on the 18th to 1200UTC on the 19th the Russian DX contest uses CW and SSB only. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number, with Russian stations sending their Oblast code.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 10th of March

In the last report we said the ongoing disturbed geomagnetic conditions may have settled, with a predicted K index of two. Unfortunately, this didn't happen as early as expected and the beginning of the week saw a K index up as high as five. This had an adverse effect on maximum useable frequencies, with a very unsettled ionosphere. Daytime MUFs seldom allowed the bands much higher than 20 metres to be used. This was also not helped by an absence of sunspots.

The slightly better news is that on Thursday a look at the sun in extreme UV light showed there were no earth-facing coronal holes on the sun's equator, although there are some around its poles. This means that we can hope for a few days of lower K indices this weekend, and hopefully more settled HF conditions for the Commonwealth Contest.

NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 70s next week. To put this in perspective, the solar flux index never gets below 65 at sunspot minimum, so conditions are not good. NOAA also predicts conditions may be geomagnetically unsettled again from mid week, with a potential maximum K index of five either Wednesday or Thursday. So look for better DX conditions at the beginning of the week, and then the potential for a pre-auroral opening on the upper bands just as the K index rises, although this is harder to predict.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It looks like the early part of this week could bring some Tropo over the South and Central part of the UK, extending in to the North Sea up to Norway, so keep an eye on the bands and put out some CQ calls to generate interest. There is the possibility of VHF auroral activity mid week if the K index rises as predicted.

The winter minimum in meteor activity continues until the April Lyrids, so stick to the best time for random meteor scatter contacts, around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon’s declination goes negative on Monday so Moon windows are shortening. The Moon is also heading out to apogee next Sunday so losses will be high and increasing as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. March 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th March 2017

The news headlines:

  • Speak now on RSGB future

  • Repeater NoVs now due

  • 80th Commonwealth Contest next weekend

The consultation on the RSGB's future direction ends today, Sunday the 5th of March, so don't miss out on your chance to give feedback. Go to the consultations page on the RSGB’s website and let your voice be heard. See www.rsgb.org/consultations

The RSGB's ETCC reminds Repeater Keepers that if they are not in possession of a valid Notice of Variation to their amateur licence on the 1st of April 2017, they must close their repeater or gateway down, as they will be operating outside the terms of their licence. If you do allow your NoV to expire, Ofcom have advised that a completely new application will be required. Your NoV can be renewed on the ETCC website at ukrepeater.net where further information is available. Please contact your local repeater manager if you have any difficulties or queries.

The 80th Commonwealth Contest will take place over next weekend, the 11th and 12th of March. A number of special prizes and awards have been organised to celebrate what is now the longest running CW DX contest in amateur radio. See the March RadCom for details. It is expected that there will be a number of Commonwealth DX stations active.

The North American 4m Trans-Atlantic licence for WG2XPN has been renewed for another two years. The trustee of WG2XPN advises that the beacon is still operating 24/7 using its usual operating parameters; 70.005MHz CW, GPS locked, ERP 3kW from a Yagi aimed at 60 degrees true North from grid square FM07fm. The QTH is 1280m ASL. The beacon has been heard via multi-hop E-skip in the UK and other locations in the EU over the past few years. QSL reports are encouraged via the DX cluster or beaconspot.eu

To celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the ARI, the main Italian amateur radio association, many Italian club stations will be on air on all bands and all modes until the end of the year. These stations can be easily detected from the prefix IQ. They will give a letter and number that shows the Region and the club station involved. Each month two Italian Regions will be on air. More information on the event, and the associated award, can be found in English at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-0303.

Quantum Amateur Radio & Technology Society is pleased to announce that their new System Fusion / WiRES-X gateway, 31369, MB6IOK-ND, is now live, as is their associated room of 41369, MB6IOK-Ormskirk, alias Quantum Tech Club. The gateway is free for all to use and is operating on 431.1625MHz with no CTCSS or digital squelch codes required. The gateway is operating under an NoV assigned to Derek Hughes, G7LFC and is, at present, on an attended basis, which means that the gateway will not be switched on 24/7, but should be available most evenings. Further details about the gateway will be posted at www.mb6iok.uk, a website that is currently under construction.

Amateur radio operators in Uruguay now have access to 60m. General and Superior licence holders have Secondary access to 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz. The range 5351.5 to 5354.0 is for CW and Digimodes, 5354.0 to 5366.0 is all modes and 5366.0 to 5366.5 is more CW and digimodes. The maximum power is 15W EIRP for General licensees and 25W EIRP for Superior licensees.

The 60th anniversary of the world's oldest amateur radio beacon is being marked by running the NAC-contests from the OZ7IGY QTH at JO55wm, with the call sign OZ7IGY. Specific frequencies and other details can be found at www.oz7igy.dk/event-log

Stations are being encouraged to prepare for the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations, when many amateurs worldwide will turn the bands green as they celebrate on air as part of the St Patrick Award. With many stations already registered to take part from the 16th to the 18th of March, you can find out more information or register by going to http://stpatrickaward.webs.com/

The UK Six Metre Group will be holding a short formal 2016 AGM via Skype on Sunday the 12th of March at 5pm. Any paid-up UK Six Metre Group member is entitled to join the meeting but please notify the group of your intention to do so by sending an email to chairman@uksmg.org as soon as possible, so that the right online conferencing arrangements can be put in place.

The local telecommunication authority in Hong Kong, OFCA, has now allocated 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis. The maximum power permitted is 15 watts EIRP.

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

Today, the 5th of March, the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will take place in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Bring & Buy book-in starts at 10.15am. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

Due to a clerical error the Grantham Radio and Electronics Rally is incorrectly listed in RadCom as being in May. We apologise for the confusion and confirm that the Grantham rally is, in fact, next Sunday, the 12th of March, at the Grantham West Community Centre, Trent Road, Grantham, Lincs NG31 7XQ. There is car parking and disabled facilities at the venue. Doors open 9am and entry is £3. There will be trade stands, special interest groups, and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Kevin, G6SSN on 07793 142 483 has more information.

The Dover Radio Club Rally takes place on the 12th of March at Whitfield Village Hall, Sandwich Road, Manley Close, Whitfield, near Dover CT163LY. Talk in will be on GB3KS. Doors open from 10am to 2pm and entry is £2. The auction starts at 12.30pm. More details from Aaron, 2E0FQR on 0771 465 4267.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Members of the Tifariti Gang and DX Friends will be active in the Republic of Niger as 5U5R in a multi-national DXpedition between the 9th and 21st of March. Activity will be on the 160 to 10m bands including 30, 17 and 12m using CW, SSB and RTTY, with at least four stations on the air at the same time. Note that no amateur operation on 6m is permitted in Niger. QSL via EA5RM or the OQRS on their web page after the DXpedition goes QRT. Details are at www.dxfriends.com/5u5r/index.php

Members of the EI DX Group will be in Nepal from the 8th to the 20th of March. The 11-man team will run up to five stations from 80 to 10m on CW, SSB and digital. Nepal is currently number 91 Most Wanted DXCC in the world. Operating from a QTH at 5,600 feet above sea level, the team are looking forward to intense pile-ups. For full information, please visit their website, https://9n7ei.com

Members of the Six Gs Team will be on the air as 9G5X from the 7th to the 21st of March. Activity will be on 160 to 10m using CW, SSB and RTTY, with three stations active. QSL via M0OXO.

A group of operators will be operating as C6APY from Little Harbour Cay in the Bahamas, IOTA reference NA-054, until the 11th of March. Activity will be on 40 to 15m using CW and SSB, with up to three stations active simultaneously. QSL via M0OXO.

Frank, DJ5NQ is on the air as E51ANQ from Rarotonga, IOTA OC-013, until the 24th of March. Activity is on 20m using mostly CW. QSL to home call.

Francois, F4HLT is operating as FT3YL from the Dumont d'Urville Station, Terre Adelie on Petrels Island in Antarctica, IOTA AN-017, until the 1st of February 2018. Activity is on 20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB and various digital modes in his spare time from 0900 to 1100UTC and after his work duties. QSL via F6KPQ.

Now the special event news

The Beacon Museum, Whitehaven will host a variety of special events throughout the weekend of the 11th and 12th of March to support the local charity, Samaritans of West Cumbria. In addition to the scheduled beacon exhibits on display, members of the RSGB will operate GB1SWC. As well as live tracking of the International Space Station and other interactive demonstrations such as a Morse code game, there will be sending and receiving of television pictures and digital information over radio waves. More on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 5th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

The 144/432MHz contest ends its 24 hours of operation at 1400UTC today, the 5th. Using all modes on the 144 and 432MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC today, the 5th. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, in any mode, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Monday the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. Using data only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Tuesday the 144MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday the 144MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 80th Commonwealth Contest runs from 1000UTC on the 11th to 1000UTC on the 12th. Using CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. Headquarters stations also send HQ.

On Sunday the 12th the second 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Worked All Britain 3.5MHz Phone Contest takes place next Sunday, the 12th of March, from 1800 to 2200UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest manager by the 2nd of April. Full details of the rules and log sheets may be obtained from the WAB website, www.worked-all-britain.org.uk or from the contest manager Tony Beardsley, G3XKT, by email to aebbooks@ntlworld.com.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 3rd of March

We were pleased to get the HF propagation prediction pretty much spot on last week. While Monday and Tuesday were reasonably settled, Wednesday saw the effects of solar material from a large coronal hole as it hit the Earth. The K index leapt to five around lunchtime and there were reports of HF openings up to 10 metres. This was probably a pre-auroral enhancement, but it didn't last too long.

By late Wednesday the K index had continued to climb to six. And on Thursday morning this had taken its toll on the ionosphere; the maximum usable frequency was down to less than 14MHz, with unsettled conditions all day. Next week, NOAA predicts a solar flux index in the low 70s and a K index of two, thanks to a respite from coronal hole activity.

Interpreting this, we can say that HF conditions should be better than they were in the latter half of last week. Expect maximum usable frequencies to reach perhaps 21MHz at times. After a few days with a low K index we may even see some better DX. This time of year favours North-South paths, such as the UK to South Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Paths to Cape Town may even reach 28MHz around 1400UTC for well-equipped stations if geomagnetic conditions are quiet. That is, with a low K index. In contrast, paths to the Caribbean may struggle to reach 21MHz.

As we are now into March, users of propagation prediction software like VOACAP and VOAProp should be using the new smoothed sunspot number, 28.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

This week starts as unsettled as the last, but without the extremes of Storm Doris! We had some rain scatter last Tuesday but, true to form, it was just about gone by the start of the SHF UKAC contest. This just highlights the need to operate on the GHz bands more than one day a month, unless you just want to work the same people and no DX.

This week we have regular small lows drifting across the country and producing more areas of rain or heavy showers. In fact, as we move towards the equinox, the chances of heavier showers developing increases and, although this may mean potential thunder and lightning, it does improve the prospects for rain scatter on the GHz bands.

This takes us up to midweek, after which there is a hint of higher pressure over Biscay and France, possibly bringing slightly better Tropo prospects to southern areas. But some longer-range models bring a return of unsettled weather after a day or so.

We are still in the period until April with no meteor showers, so stick to the best time for random meteor scatter contacts, which is around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon reaches its highest declination on Tuesday and losses are still low in the early part of the week, so it’s another good week for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 26th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 26th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • YOTA 2017 – find out more

  • Long path propagation SOTA event

  • Review of Contesting seeks your thoughts

There is now a dedicated section on the RSGB website that contains everything you need to know about YOTA 2017, www.rsgb.org/yota You can discover more about the history of the event and who will be taking part this year; read the latest news and announcements; meet the team involved in making YOTA 2017 a reality; and learn how you could become one of our ‘Super supporters’. The section has just been redesigned to make the information easier to find, so take a look and find out more! Plans for YOTA 2017 are progressing and you can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

Mike, 2E0YYY, Andrew, VK1AD and Ed, DD5LP are planning another long path propagation SOTA Summit to Summit event for 11 March starting at 0630 UTC. Activity will be SSB or CW on 20 metres and going by the last action in October 2016, over 30 summits are expected to be active concurrently over Europe, Australia, New Zealand and possibly Japan. Check reflector.sota.org.uk for details.

RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is writing a report on the implementation of the 2015 Review of Contesting. A questionnaire forms an important part of the input to this report, but there will also be feedback from clubs, groups and individuals as well as factual analysis of performance where possible. The questionnaire is now available on the RSGB website on the ‘Consultations’ page. It will be live until the 19th of March. All those interested in the future of contesting are urged to complete it. Whether or not you are a Member of the RSGB, the Society is asking for your help and input.

The CRS-10 mission carrying vital amateur radio equipment to the International Space Station launched at 1439UTC on the 19th of February. Included was an ARISS Ericsson 2 meter VHF radio. This radio will replace the Ericsson radio that failed a few months ago. The VHF radio is used for school group contacts and amateur packet radio in the Columbus module. Once the Dragon vehicle is berthed to ISS, the Ericsson will be unstowed and, at some point, installed in Columbus, replacing the UHF radio that is now supporting APRS packet and some school contacts.

The RSGB Board Proceedings for the December 17 meeting have been released. Members can read the RSGB Board proceedings on the RSGB website www.rsgb.org.uk

The GM DX Convention 2017 will be held at the King Robert Hotel, Whins of Milton, Stirling, on the 1st of April. Lectures include Chris, G3SVL speaking about the ZL7G Chatham Island DXpedition and SDR “with knobs on” by John, G3WGV.

The RSGB has added more to the new video page for Members. Go to www.rsgb.org/video to see more from the 2016 RSGB Convention. They are freely available for you to download but please read the RSGB’s conditions of use first.

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

The Rainham Rally takes place today, the 26th of February, at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. The new venue is larger with on site parking for 250 cars and is located a couple of miles from the M2, Junction 3. A talk in station, GB4RRR, will operate on 145.550MHz. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. Details from Trevor Cannon, on 0771 767 8795.

Also on the 26th is the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables will be £10 each (first come first served) Doors open at 8am for sellers and the setting up of tables. Buyers will be allowed in when the doors open at 9.30am. Entry fee £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time. Hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar (non alcoholic drinks till lunch time). Table bookings are through Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

The Lagen Valley ARS Rally and Hamfest takes place on the 4th of March in the Hillsborough Village Centre, 7 Ballynahinch Road, Hillsborough, County Down BT26 6AR. Doors open at 11am. All the usual traders are expected to attend.

On the 5th of March the Exeter Radio and Electronics Rally will take place in America Hall, De La Rue Way, Pinhoe, Exeter EX4 8PW. Doors open at 10.30am with disabled visitors gaining access 15 minutes earlier. Bring & Buy book-in starts at 10.15am. Admission is £2 and there will be trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Pete, G3ZVI on 0771 419 8374.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Elvira, IV3FSG will be in Burkina Faso until the 13th of March. She will sign XT2SE on CW, SSB and Digital. QSL Manager is IK3GES.

Steve, M1ACB, Rob, M0VFC and John, M0IDA will be active on the FM and SSB amateur radio satellites from Berry Islands in the Bahamas from the 4th to the 10th of March and will be using hand-held antennas. Since the FM satellites will only cover part of the USA they’ll also be using SSB on FO-29 to reach the British Isles and Europe. They will be operating from Little Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands, IOTA NA-054, Grid Square FL15do.

Lot, DJ7ZG and Babs, DL7AFS are operating from Antigua as V21ZG until the 26th of March. They will be on SSB on all bands 80m to 6m including 60m. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World and QSLs can be obtained through Club Log OQRS.

Mike, W0MU and Jonathan, G0DVJ will be on the air from Belize until the 28th of February. They are using the callsigns V31MU and V31DV and can be found on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to the home calls.

A group of operators are operating as VP6EU from Pitcairn Island until the 5th of March. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via DK2AMM.

Jonathan, KK7PW will be in Uganda until the 7th of March. He has been issued with the callsign 5X1O and will be on the air early mornings/ late evenings on 40, 20, 15 and 10m on CW, SSB and Digital. His QSL Manager is EA5GL.

Now the special event news

GB0SMD will be operating from the historic church of St Margaret of Antioch on Saturday the 4th of March from 10am-4pm. Operation will be on HF using the 10 to 80m bands and a special QSL card will be produced.

PA2017BP is on the air until the 20th of March to commemorate Lord Baden-Powell who founded the Scout Movement, also known as the Boy Scouts. QSL to PA3EFR.

Throughout 2017, Canadian Radio Amateurs may use special callsign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. Those whose regular callsigns start with VA will be able to use the CF prefix, VE will be able to use the CG prefix, VO will be able to use the CH prefix and VY will be able to use the CI prefix.

Now the contest news

With HF conditions now so poor, the CQWW 160m DX CW Contest that ends its 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 26th, might be even livelier than usual. Using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with V stations sending State and VE stations sending their Province.

The REF (French) Contest runs for 36 hours ending at 1800UTC today, the 26th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department or overseas prefix.

Also today, the 26th, the first 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes within the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the UK EI CC on 80m from 2000 to 2100UTC. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL International DX contest from 0000UTC on the 4th to 2359UTC on the 5th. Using the 1.8 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and transmit power. American stations will also send their State and Canadians their Province.

Also next weekend it’s the 144/432MHz contest from 1400UTC on the 4th to 1400UTC on the 5th. Using all modes on the 144 and 432MHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally for next week, the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest runs from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 5th. Using the 1.3 to 3.4GHz bands, any mode, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 24th of February.

Last week was a mixed bag as far as HF propagation is concerned. We had a solar flux index that got as high as 83, but this was tempered by unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. The planetary K index hit four on Wednesday due to incoming plasma from a large solar coronal hole. And it varied from between zero and three for a lot of the week.

The good news is that there is quite a large sunspot group in the north-west quadrant of the Sun that should be pretty much earth-facing by the time you read or hear this report. The bad news is that there is another coronal hole rotating into position. While Sunday the 26th and Monday the 27th will merely be unsettled with a predicted K index of three, Tuesday the 28th and the rest of the week are predicted to be very unsettled with a possible K index of six. These unsettled conditions could continue through to the end of the week.

At the moment we are seeing maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of about 6.6MHz. This means 40m is largely useable for contacts beyond 100 kilometres and we have daytime maximum useable frequencies exceeding 21MHz.

Looking on the bright side, next week we enter into March and head towards the spring Equinox. This can be a good time for the higher HF bands, with better conditions on North-South paths.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

I hope you managed to keep all the antennas intact and storm Doris passed uneventfully. The unsettled weather will continue through much of the coming week with no signs of any significant Tropo to look forward to.

There is one brief period on Sunday when mild, windy and cloudy weather may give suitable conditions for a slight lift, in the region between a warm front and cold front. Given the speed that the weather systems are moving, it will be a short visit and soon gone. That leaves us with slow-moving low pressure nearby, but without large shower clouds at this time of year, GHz bands rain scatter will be limited.

There are no major meteor showers this week, but remember that the best time for random meteor scatter contacts is around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon reaches perigee on Friday, and its declination goes positive on Tuesday, so EME path losses are low and Moon windows will lengthen as the week progresses.

It’s a good week for EME, apart from today and Monday when the sun and moon are within a few degrees of each other giving high solar noise, especially at VHF where antenna beam widths are wide.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 19th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

 

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 19th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • RSGB publishes band plan

  • Plan your Museums on the Air station

  • RSGB new video page

The RSGB has published the 2017 Band Plans in RadCom and online. These consolidate earlier changes made in June 2016 and just add one important change with respect to UK usage of 5MHz. For the 60m band a new footnote has been added that states that internal UK-only contacts should now be conducted outside of the new WRC-15 range in line with the IARU Region 1 band plan for that narrow segment. Full details can be found on the On The Air/Operating section of the RSGB website.

It’s not too soon to start planning your International Museums Weekends scheduled for later this year. The dates for your diary are the 17th and 18th then the 24th and 25th of June. More details about the event can be found at www.radio-amateur-events.org/ Also at this address are details of the International Air Ambulance Week in September. Registration, for both events, is now open.

The RSGB has launched a new video page that brings its full range of videos together in one place. Go to www.rsgb.org/video to see promotional films about amateur radio, RSGB convention lectures and videos commemorating special events. They are freely available for you to download but please read the RSGB’s conditions of use first.

Sad news that Dave Powis, G4HUP became a silent key on the 9th of February. Dave was a well-respected tutor and mentor and a very active member of several radio clubs, mentoring many candidates to gaining their amateur radio licences. He joined the Examinations Standards Committee in 2007 and spent much of 2016 working with the Exam Group on revising the licence syllabuses. Late in 2016 he became RSGB Exam Standards Committee Chairman and was just beginning to bring his newest ideas to bear. He also was well-known for the excellent surface mount soldering classes at the RSGB Convention in recent years. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this difficult time.

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, in Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute 18 months ago. Among the investigators is UAF Researcher Chris Fallen, KL3WX who will be working under a National Science Foundation grant. The HAARP transmissions will take place within the facility’s transmitter tuning range of 2.7 to 10MHz and should be audible outside of Alaska and may even produce visible effects within the state. Fallen's experiments will be carried out between the 19th and 22nd of February.

The RSGB has appointed Youth Committee Deputy Chair, Milo Noblet, 2E0ILO as the UK team leader for YOTA 2017. He will lead the UK young amateurs during the IARU Youngsters on the Air 2017 summer camp that the RSGB is hosting at Gilwell Park in August. Plans for YOTA 2017 are progressing and you can help the RSGB to make the YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System newsletter reports a mysterious ‘foghorn’ that is a Chinese over-the-horizon burst radar is operating in the amateur radio bands. The mysterious foghorn on 7, 10, and 14MHz is often jumping with the signal frequency modulated on pulse with 66.66 sweeps-per-second bursts. The latest IARUMS newsletter also reports strong splatter from Radio France International on 7,205kHz down to 7,186kHz. The French REF has informed RFI and French telecommunications authorities. Full details on these and other interference matters can be found at www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2017/news1701.pdf

The Indian Space Agency has successfully launched the amateur radio satellite Nayif-1 along with 103 other satellites, a record for a single launch. The PSLV-C37 lifted off at 0358UTC on the 15th of February. Nayif-1 started transmitting about an hour after launch and radio amateurs in the west of the USA reported the first signals. Ken, GW1FKY reports he received his first frames of data when the satellite came in range of the UK at 1007UTC.

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

The Radioactive Fair at Nantwich takes place today, the 19th of February at the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details by email from stuart@multimediacontrols.com.

There has been an unavoidable change to the venue for the Rainham Rally on the 26th of February. It will now be held at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. The new venue is larger with on site parking for 250 cars and is located a couple of miles from the M2, Junction 3. A talk in station, GB4RRR, will operate on 145.550MHz. Doors open from 10am to 2pm with disabled visitors gaining access at 9.30am. Admission is £2.50. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and catering on site. Details from Trevor Cannon, on 0771 767 8795.

Next weekend on the 26th of February the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club Rally takes place at Wyong Racecourse, Howarth St, Wyong NSW 2259, Australia. Billed as the largest event in Australia. More information at www.ccarc.org.au

Also on the 26th but much closer to home is the Pencoed Amateur Radio Club Table Top Sale at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road, Pencoed CF35 5PB. Tables will be £10 each (first come first served) Doors open at 8am for sellers and the setting up of tables. Buyers will be allowed in when the doors open at 9.30am. Entry fee £2. Hot food will be available in the morning and at lunch time. Hot and cold drinks will be available from the bar (non alcoholic drinks till lunch time). Table bookings are through Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ will be in the Los Islands, IOTA AF-051, until the 26th of February. The Los Islands are off the coast of Guinea in West Africa and the callsign being used is 3XY3D.

A European team will sign VP6EU from Pitcairn Island in the Pacific until the 5th of March. More information can be found on www.pitcairn2017.de

A team of German operators will be active as XX9D from Macao until the 26th of February. They will be on CW, SSB and RTTY with 3 stations active 24/7. QSL via Club Log OQRS.

Alain, F5OZC and Sebastien, F8DQZ are on the air as 3XY3D from Kassa Island, IOTA AF-051, until the 26th of February. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using mainly CW with some SSB. QSL via F5OZC.

Eric, SM1TDE will be transmitting as 5X8EW from Entebbe from the 23rd to 26th February. Activity will be on 40 to 10 metres using CW. QSL to home call.

Michael, DF8AN will be on the air as CE0Z/DF8AN from Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA SA-005, from the 21st to the 24th of February. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Operators from the Darwin Amateur Radio Club will on air using the callsign VI8BOD from the 18th of February to the 28th of March to remember the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia in 1942. QSL Manager is M0URX and QSL cards can be requested on the M0URX OQRS. More information can be found by searching VI8BOD on QRZ.com

Now the contest news

The ARRL International DX contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 19th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and transmitted power level. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

On Tuesday the 21st, the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest takes place from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Irish Radio Transmitter Society 80m Counties Contest takes place on the evening of 22nd. Work EI and GI stations only between 2000 and 2100UTC. There are SSB-only and CW/SSB sections, with CW QSOs attracting twice as many points as SSB QSOs.

On the 23rd of February the CW leg of the 80m Club Championships takes place from 2000 to 2130UTC. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

With HF conditions now so poor, the CQWW 160m DX CW Contest that commences at 2200UTC on Friday the 24th might be even livelier than usual. Running for 48 hours and using SSB only, the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, with V stations sending State and VE stations sending their Province.

The REF (French) Contest runs for 36 hours over the same weekend on SSB from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands the exchange is signal report and serial number, with French stations sending their Department or overseas prefix.

Next Sunday, the 26th, the first 70MHz Cumulative contest takes place from 1000 to 1200UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 17th of February.

Last week brought mostly settled conditions and the HF bands benefitted as a result. With a solar flux index in the mid 70s, and a K index never higher than two before Thursday, it was an opportunity for the ionosphere to shine.

The maximum useable frequency was often just above 21 Megahertz at times, bringing DX in from many parts of the world, including TL8TT in the Central African Republic. Other highlights included RI1ANR in Antarctica, 4JT4K Azerbaijan, and CE2AWW in Chile, all on 17 metres.

More settled conditions also brought better conditions at the bottom end of the spectrum with some very strong openings to the United States on 80m at dawn.

Next week NOAA predicts that the solar flux index should be around the 80 mark. Geomagnetic conditions are expected to be settled at first, perhaps declining from around Wednesday the 22nd to give a K index of around four at times. Once again this is due to ongoing solar coronal hole activity.

We recommend getting your DXing in over the weekend and in the first half of the week, as conditions may be more unsettled as the enhanced solar wind impacts the Earth. At this time of year, HF favours diagonal paths across the equator, such as the UK to South America. This will start to shift towards more north-south paths, such as the UK to South Africa, as we head towards the spring equinox next month.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The predicted high pressure has become dominant over the south of Britain, and may help us with some limited Tropo in the first half of this week before declining after midweek. The reason for the decline is that a large low will become resident to the north-east of Britain and bring some rain and windier weather as the high gets nudged away to the south. So, this is not the best week for Tropo, although there are limited prospects in the first half of the week.

You could monitor the various rain radar websites to help predict short rain scatter openings on the Gigahertz bands. Look at beacon signals on an SDR waterfall display for their characteristic broader signals, offset in frequency from the main carrier. Don't expect too much from this rain as winter does not produce the sort of DX that we see in summer thunderstorms.

There are no major meteor showers this week, so keep looking for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

The Moon apogee on Sunday means peak path losses. Combined with low declination, reaching a minimum on Wednesday, it’s a week of short daytime windows at low elevation for EME.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 12th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 12th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • RSGB responds to Ofcom consultation

  • Convention lectures on YouTube

  • Slow Scan TV from ISS

The RSGB has responded to the Ofcom Proposed Annual Plan 2017/18 consultation. The response highlights areas of the plan, including EMC and Spectrum, where the RSGB believes that Ofcom should improve its focus and resources. A copy of the response can be seen on the RSGB website.

We’re delighted that a number of lectures from the RSGB Convention 2015 are now on the RSGB’s YouTube channel, by kind permission of the presenters. You can see Clean Up Your Shack by Ian White, GM3SEK; Navassa Island K1N by Glenn Johnson, W0GJ; What Makes The Pings Go Ping by John Worsnop, G4BAO and Engineering The Gemini Range of LDMOS VHF Power Amplifiers by Chris Bartram, GW4DGU. Please note that the presenters retain the copyright of their content and their slides. Do join the hundreds of people who have already subscribed to the RSGB channel so you're the first to see videos as they're added. You can find the videos at www.youtube.com/theRSGB

Slow-scan television transmissions are planned from the International Space Station on Monday and Tuesday. The SSTV images will be transmitted as part of the MAI-75 Experiment on 145.800MHz FM. They will be made using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver, located in the Russian ISS Service module. It is thought they may use the PD-180 SSTV format. The MAI-75 activities have been scheduled for the Russian crew on the 13th from 0925 to 1800UTC and the 14th from 1125 to 1630UTC.

RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF is writing a report on the implementation of the 2015 Review of Contesting. A questionnaire forms an important part of the input to this report, but there will also be feedback from clubs, groups and individuals as well as factual analysis of performance where possible. The questionnaire is now available on the RSGB website on the ‘Consultations’ page. It will be live until the 19th of March. All those interested in the future of contesting are urged to complete it. Whether or not you are a Member of the RSGB, the Society is asking for your help and input. The President also welcomes offers of assistance, or requests to talk or meet. Contact him via president@rsgb.org.uk The report will be completed by early April.

ClubLog has updated their latest 'DXCC Most Wanted List' as of the 31st of January. The information is derived from QSOs uploaded to ClubLog. Currently there are 339 entities listed, see https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

A new PDF of Examination Announcements has been published. Its contents include Challenges and Appeals, Practical Assessments and feedback on Advanced exams in 2016. The document can be downloaded from the Clubs and Training section of the RSGB website.

As part of the Society’s drive to improve communications across the organisation, the Chairman of the Board is going to investigate suggestions that the RSGB is not responding in a timely manner to comments received via Have Your Say. He will report his findings to the Board by the 17th of March.

On the 13th of February, ITU will join the global celebrations for World Radio Day, the day set aside to celebrate the unique power of broadcast radio. The ITU continues working to enable innovation in radio communications as well as ensuring that transmission standards and spectrum are available for digital radio in MF, HF and VHF broadcasting bands, and that there are approved international regulatory frameworks in place to allow for a smooth migration from analogue to digital radio. For full details of activity put World Radio Day into your favourite search engine and click on the many results you will find.

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL have confirmed that the Nayif-1 CubeSat, which has a full FUNcube payload, is now scheduled for launch at 0358UTC on the 15th. The flight, C-37, will carry a total of 104 satellites into orbit. As with previous missions carrying FUNcube payloads, AMSAT-UK would very much like to receive as many reports as possible from stations around the world, especially shortly after launch. Telemetry, using 1k2 BPSK to the FUNcube standard, will be on 145.940MHz. The linear transponder uplink will be on 435.045 to 435.015MHz and the downlink on 145.960 to 145.990MHz. Full details are at http://amsat-uk.org/

Thinking Day on the Air will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February. This is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen at www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk/ For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to liz@guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Lots of people have views on what the RSGB should or should not do. Here is your chance to have your say. The RSGB Board has been working with strategy expert Chris Deacon, G4IFX, the Leadership Team and Headquarters Staff to develop a strategy for the next 5 years. That work has been boiled down into a one-page document with a narrative to explain the context and background. We would now like your views. The draft strategy and narrative are online at www.rsgb.org/strategyreview and you will also find a link to an online survey where you can express your views. If you need a paper version of the questionnaire, please call the RSGB General Manager’s office on 01234 832 700.

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

The Harwell ARS Radio and Electronics Rally takes place today, the 12th of February, at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. Talk-in will be available using G3PIA on 145.550MHz. There is free parking nearby, with disabled parking next to the Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10am. Admission is £3, with children under 12 free. There will be radio and electronics stalls, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Book Stall. Refreshments will be available all day. Details for both traders and visitors from Ann, G8NVI, by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com.

The Radioactive Fair at Nantwich takes place on the 19th of February at the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich CW5 5DG. The venue has free car parking. Doors open at 10am and admission is £4. There will be trade stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering will be available on site. Details by email from stuart@multimediacontrols.com.

There has been an unavoidable change to the venue for the Rainham Rally on the 26th of February. It will now be held at The Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5JB. This new venue will host the usual traders and exhibitors, with light refreshments available during the event. It is easy to find, just a couple of miles from the M2, and also larger, with on site parking for 250 cars. The date and time of the rally remain unchanged at 10am on Sunday the 26th of February. Talk-in will be available on 145.550MHz using the callsign GB4RRR.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Pista, HA5AO returns to Lesotho until the 26th of February. He will reactivate his 7P8EUDXF callsign that he aired last October. This is a spare time operation and QSLs should go via OQRS to HA5AO.

Michael, DF8AN will operate as CE0Y/DF8AN from Easter Island, IOTA reference SA-001, until the 17th of February. He will be on CW and digital modes. He then goes to Juan Fernandez Island, SA-005, from the 21st to the 24th where his callsign will be CE0Z/DF8AN. QSLs go via his home call.

Tim, LW9EOC will operate from San Andres, NA-033, between the 13th and 27th on the low bands and WARC bands using CW, SSB, RTTY as 5J0NA. He will also participate in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via LW9EOC and via the Bureau.

A DXpedition to the Arctic is due to set off on the 14th of February. RT9K/9 plans to operate from IOTA groups AS-121, AS-104, AS-068 and AS-054. Each activation is supposed to run for 4 to 5 days. Using the 40 to 10m bands, operation will be on CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via RX9KM, ClubLog OQRS.

Yuri, VE3DZ will be active as 6Y2T from Jamaica, NA-097, from 14 to 21 February, including an entry in the ARRL DX CW Contest. QSL via his home call.

Now the special event news

The 14th of February marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the UK's first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex. A team from Chelmsford ARS will be making operating GB952MT from the 12th to the 14th to mark this occasion. Details are on QRZ.com.

Until the 19th of February, Chertsey Radio Club is running special event callsign, GB5QE, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 65 Jubilee.

Operators from the Darwin Amateur Radio Club will on air using the callsign VI8BOD from the 18th of February to the 28th of March to remember the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia in 1942. QSL Manager is M0URX & QSL cards can be requested on the M0URX OQRS. More information can be found by searching VI8BOD on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

The CQ WW WPX RTTY contest ends its 48 hour run at 2359UTC today, the 12th. It takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is just the serial number.

The PACC contest ends its 24 hour runs at 1200UTC today, the 12th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. PA stations also send their Province.

On Tuesday the 14th the Low Power 432MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following that, the 432MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday it’s the 80m Club Championship from 2000 to 2130UTC. This time it’s the data leg, and the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Following on is the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend it’s the ARRL International DX contest, from 0000UTC on the 18th to 2359UTC on the 19th. It’s CW only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands and the exchange is signal report and transmitted power level. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 10th of February.

Last week, the hoped-for settled geomagnetic conditions materialised, but could have been better. After Monday, the K index settled down to one or two for the rest of the week.

HF conditions have been variable, rather than outstanding. There have been some 15 metre openings at times, but 20 and 17 metres have been more consistent. The lower bands, such as 80 and 40 metres, have also been proving how good they can be in the winter, offering DX at times.

The daytime critical frequency has been reaching around 6MHz, meaning 40m is open to slightly longer skip of 500 to 1,000 kilometres. Sixty metres has been better for day-time inter-G contacts. The estimated night-time MUF over a 3,000km path has been staying above 7MHz through the night.

Next week, the solar flux index is predicted to remain in the 70s, moving higher towards 80 around the eighteenth.

Geomagnetically-settled conditions should continue until around the fourteenth, when the K index is predicted to rise to four, due to recurrent coronal hole activity. But this should be relatively short lived.

We will be moving towards spring-time HF conditions in a few weeks, so make the most of the better low-band conditions while you can.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

With high pressure over the North Sea and the nearby continent, we might expect some enhanced Tropo conditions on paths across to Denmark and northern Germany later this weekend, but nothing major.

Some weather models bring the high a bit closer at the end of next week. This may limit the Tropo by lowering the temperature inversion and bringing very dry air from the continent, degrading the inversions’ ability to generate Tropo. So, a slightly better week than last, but much of the time there will be no major Tropo event.

Even with poor Tropo conditions, it’s worth investigating the VHF, UHF and GHz bands. There are always DX opportunities at VHF and above using aircraft scatter – up to 800km if you have the right equipment to take advantage of short duration paths. Digimodes or fast CW are required.

We are in the winter minimum of meteor activity, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn, when the earth is rotating into the flux of meteoric particles.

Moon declination is falling, going negative on Tuesday, and losses are increasing. With apogee only a week away, the best conditions for EME contacts will be early this week.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 5th. February 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 5th February 2017

The news headlines:

  • Ofcom Licensing System update

  • Consultation on RSGB future

  • Online exams FAQ launched

Ofcom updated its Licensing System for radio amateurs on 30 January. Changes include the ability to request a Notice of Variation for standard Special Event Stations; a Verify My Details button, which prompts users to confirm or update their personal details annually after login; a display showing the date your personal details were last verified; and some accessibility improvements with larger system icons. It remains a licensing requirement to validate your details at least every five years.

Lots of people have views on what the RSGB should or should not do. Here is your chance to have your say. The RSGB Board has been working with strategy expert Chris Deacon, G4IFX, the Leadership Team and Headquarters Staff to develop a strategy for the next 5 years. That work has been boiled down into a one-page document with a narrative to explain the context and background. We would now like your views. The draft strategy and narrative are online at www.rsgb.org/strategyreview. There is also a link to an online survey where you can express your views. If you need a paper version of the questionnaire, please call the RSGB General Manager’s office on 01234 832 700.

Further to December's announcement regarding online Advanced exams, a new document, entitled Online Advanced Exams, has just been placed on the RSGB website. You will find it under the Examination Announcement tab, which is in the Training part of the website. The document includes more detail regarding timing of the pilot phase of the project and also includes an FAQ section that hopefully answers most of the questions that Exam Secretaries and Candidates are likely to raise. For more details contact the RSGB Examination Quality Assurance Manager Dave Wilson, M0OBW, via email to eqam@rsgb.org.uk

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first France-to-US moonbounce contact, special callsigns TM8DO and TM1BF will be on the air until the 11th of February on 2m and 70cm EME using JT65. The original contact was between F8DO in France and W6DNG in California on the 27th of January 1967. TM8DO will be on 144.21MHz and 432.060MHz, and TM1BF will operate on 144.128 MHz. Stations will transmit in sequence. Real-time information and skeds may be arranged via the N0UK (A) and (B) or HB9Q chatrooms.

The RSGB Convention this year will be held on 13-15 October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. We are starting to identify speakers for the Convention and would particularly like to develop the HF and DXpedition content further. If you have suggestions for any topics or speakers you would like to hear, please email an outline suggestion to convention@rsgb.org.uk

Plans for YOTA 2017 at Gilwell Park are progressing. The IARU YOTA team had a very difficult job in selecting the countries to be represented; they had more applications than can fit into the venue. To allow as many as possible to take part they decided to reduce the size of each Team to three, including a young Team Leader. This resulted in twenty seven Region 1 countries and Japan being offered places. It seems the Japanese team will be looking at how the YOTA camp works to see if the idea can be exported to Region 3. The IARU team also raised the minimum age for attendance at YOTA camps to fifteen and asked that all Team Leaders be under thirty years of age.

Paulo, PV8DX has released a video describing the new TubeSat Tancredo-1 and shows reception of the 437.200MHz downlink by Drew, KO4MA. Tancredo-1, mounted in a TuPOD Deployer, was ejected from the International Space Station on the 16th of January. The satellite is a STEM project built by middle school students in Brazil. The video is in Portuguese but try enabling the YouTube Closed Caption subtitles and use the Auto-translator to get English. See https://youtu.be/8tvSp0eNPww

On the 2nd of February, RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF was interviewed about amateur radio on BBC Radio Northampton. Nick explained that amateur radio is not only alive and well, but flourishing among people of all ages. It was a prelude to the documentary on Frank Wright, a schoolmaster at Bugbrooke school, who more than 100 years ago taught boys and girls to send and receive Morse messages. This was at a time when rural children were expected to leave school barely literate. Business houses, shipping companies and the military were seeking out young people from Bugbrooke to staff their wireless cabins and run their communications. The documentary will be available on iPlayer after broadcasts on the 5th and 6th. Listen to Nick, G3RWF at about 44 minutes into the recording. See www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04p017c#play

QSL bureau sub manager for the G7 group, Chris Flanagan, G7NRO, changed his address some time ago. The Post Office divert on his mail has now expired. Some Members are still using his old address to send collection envelopes. The Post Office divert on his old address has expired, so unless you use the correct address he will not receive your mail. Whatever your callsign series, this is perhaps a timely reminder to check the details of your QSL sub manager. Details can be found under the ‘Operating’ drop down on the main RSGB website.

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

Today, the 5th of February, the 32nd Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island SS8 0JA. Public access is at 10.30am. There is free parking and the venue has disabled facilities including space outside the main doors for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes, will be available on site. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

The Ballymena Amateur Radio Club Rally takes place on Saturday the 11th of February at Ahoghill Community Centre, 80 Cullybackey Road, Ahoghill BT42 1LA. There is free parking on site. Doors open at 10.30am and admission is £3. There will be trade stands, Bring & Buy and a prize draw. Light refreshments will be available. Details from Hugh, GI0JEV on 0282 5871 481.

The Harwell ARS Radio and Electronics Rally takes place on the 12th of February at Didcot Leisure Centre, Mereland Road, Didcot, OX11 8AY. Talk-in will be available using G3PIA on 145.550MHz. There is free parking nearby, with disabled parking next to the Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10am. Admission is £3, with children under 12 free. There will be radio and electronics stalls, Special Interest Groups and an RSGB Bookstall. Refreshments will be available all day. Details for both traders and visitors from Ann, G8NVI by email to ann.stevens@btinternet.com.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

A team of US operators will be meeting at Guantanamo Bay, IOTA reference NA-015, at various times between the 10th and 24th of February. Bill, KG4WV, Jim, KG4AW and Keith, KG4DY will start on the 10th. Keith will stay until the 17th. Don, KG4ZK will join the team on the 17th and will leave on the 24th with Bill and Jim. The team is there to do some antenna repairs as well as give exams for new hams and upgrades. When not working, activity will be on the 160 to 6m bands using CW, SSB, PSK and RTTY. QSL via the operator's home callsign, Logbook of the World or Club Log.

Harald, DF2WO will be in Kigali, Rwanda until the 11th of March. He will use the callsign 9X2AW. QSLs go via M0OXO.

A group of Italian operators will activate TL8TT from the Central African Republic until the 14th of February. Activity will be on all bands from 160 to 10m. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Paul, HB9ARY is operating as 3B8HC from Pointe aux Sables in Mauritius, AF-049, until the 15th of February 15. Activity is holiday style on 80 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via NI5DX.

Tim, N4UM, Mike, K4RUM and Bob, N4BP will be on the air as C6ARU, C6AUM and C6AKQ, respectively, from Abaco Island, NA-080, from the 7th to the 21st of February. Activity will be on 160 to 6 metres using CW and some RTTY. QSL via operators’ instructions.

Now the special event news

Members of the Paphos Radio Club are operating a special event station H2017PFO throughout 2017 for Europe's Capital of Culture in 2017. Activity is on the HF bands using all modes. QSL direct to 5B4AIE.

Members of the Bulgarian Radio Club Blagovestnik are operating as LZ235SIR during February for All Saints 2017. QSL via the bureau.

The 14th of February marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the UK's first ever regular, advertised broadcast radio station, 2MT, which came live from Writtle in Essex. A team from Chelmsford ARS will be making operating GB952MT from the 12th to the 14th to mark this occasion. Details are on QRZ.com.

Now the contest news

Today, the 5th of February, the 432MHz AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Tuesday the Low Power 144MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Following that at 2000 to 2230UTC the 144MHz UK Activity Contest takes place. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend, from 0000UTC on the 11th to 2350UTC on the 12th, the CQ WW WPX RTTY contest takes place on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is just the serial number.

The PACC contest takes place from 1200UTC on the 11th to 1200UTC on the 12th. Using CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is signal report and serial number. PA stations also send their Province.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 3rd of February 2017.

Last week’s prediction about geomagnetically-disturbed conditions turned out to be correct, with the K index soaring to five during the week. This resulted in visible aurora at high latitudes, as local midnight is often the time when aurorae and disturbed conditions hit their peak. There were three small sunspot groups visible on the solar surface on Thursday, but these only pushed the solar flux index to 76.

Next week, NOAA predicts similar solar parameters, with the solar flux index in the seventies. Sunday the fifth may be geomagnetically unsettled, but we should then get a better period of quiet conditions. This may allow the ionosphere to recover, with the possibility of better DX openings from the 6th. Expect daytime maximum usable frequencies over 3,000 kilometres to peak at around 15 metres at times, with 17 and 20 being more reliable.

Daytime critical frequencies may peak around 7MHz, although the 5MHz band will be more reliable for intra-UK contacts. Night-time critical frequencies may exceed 3.5MHz at times, offering the potential for DX on 80 and even 40 metres. A settled polar ionosphere can sometimes be a good indicator for the lower bands.

Bob, MD0CCE reported good Top Band openings to the USA on many occasions last month. The evening of the 24th of January also provided one of the best 160m openings to JA he had heard in two years. The high-latitude K index had been zero or one for each of that day’s three-hourly periods, which suggested a settled ionosphere for polar paths.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

It is looking like another week of unsettled weather with low pressure systems dominating the charts, bringing some wet and windy weather at times. There is unlikely to be much enhanced Tropo on offer, but there could be rain scatter opportunities on the GHz bands. Last week saw rain scatter on 3.4 and 10GHz with signals from beacons, but sadly no UK activity to go with it.

Even light rain can provide enhancement if you look carefully for it, so make a noise on the GHz bands.

On the positive side, there is a hint of a weak ridge of high pressure over south-eastern parts of Britain later in the week, but it is too far ahead to get excited about just yet. It does seems that the 2m UK activity contest on Tuesday evening is more likely to occur under a trough of low pressure.

With just a few very minor meteor showers this week, activity continues to be low but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn.

With perigee, or closest approach of the moon on Monday and maximum declination on Wednesday, it’s a good week for EME with low losses and long moon windows.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 29th. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 29th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Prepare for Thinking Day on the Air

  • What makes a club great?

  • AMSAT-UK Colloquium talks online

Thinking Day on the Air 2017 will take place over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of February. This is an opportunity for the members of Girlguiding, from the youngest Rainbow to the oldest Trefoil Guild member, to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world via amateur radio. A list of known stations due to be on the air can be seen at www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk/station-list.html and stations who are not on the list can submit their details via the form at the bottom of that page. It’s not too late to organise a Thinking Day station between your radio club and local guides. For further information contact Liz Jones, M0ACL by email to liz@guides-on-the-air.co.uk

Recently, amateurs have found many new ways of getting together to share their hobby – and ways of spicing up very traditional clubs with innovative ways of doing things. RSGB President Nick Henwood, G3RWF, has got Board support to highlight some of the best things which are going on. Whether you are a long established club, a group meeting in a pub, a special interest group or even a virtual club, he would like to know what is special about your way of linking amateurs with a shared enthusiasm. The RSGB Board would then like to share those ideas more widely. If you have a major success, something special to mention or would like to help with this project, please contact Nick Henwood via email to president@rsgb.org.uk

PA3WEG has made the talks given at AMSAT-UK Colloquium between 2008 and 2012 available on YouTube. The videos were made by members of the British Amateur Television Club. Watch the videos at www.youtube.com/user/AMSATUK/playlists

On Sunday the 5th of February, the Vintage and Military ARS will be displaying equipment of interest to the vintage enthusiast at the Canvey Island rally. This will be VMARS’ tenth year of attendance. Stuart, G0TBI and Peter, G7DXV will be manning the stand and look forward to seeing members and non members alike.

The RSGB Board has asked the current RSGB President, Nick Henwood, G3RWF, to conduct a short consultation leading to a report on progress made since the Presidential Contest Review of 2015. He will look at its original aims, the progress that has been achieved so far and suggestions for future priorities and action. There will be an online member questionnaire in addition to discussion with the Contest Committees and other groups wishing to make an input. Further details will be published on the RSGB website and the intention is to report by early April. The Board wishes to thank the volunteers of the Contest Committees for their continuing hard work and commitment on behalf of members to make contesting both enjoyable and challenging.

Special event station VE100VIMY/VE5 will be on the air from the 29th of January to the 4th of February, commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought in France in April 1917. QSL via N7RO. You can find out more about the callsign and the commemorations that will take place in France in April at http://ve100vimy.ca/

Looking ahead now to the summer and the YOTA youth camp to be hosted by the RSGB at Gilwell Park. Young people from all around IARU Region 1 will meet to enjoy radio and exchange ideas with like-minded youngsters. You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter

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

The Horncastle Winter Rally takes place today, the 29th, at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking. Entry is £2. The venue is all on one level and so is suitable for less able visitors. There will be hot drinks and snacks available including bacon butties. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

On the 5th of February, the 32nd Canvey Radio and Electronics Rally will take place at The Paddocks Community Centre, Long Road, Canvey Island SS8 0JA. Public access is at 10.30am. There is free parking and the venue has disabled facilities including space outside main doors for disabled visitors. There will be trade stands, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Refreshments, including Mark’s famous bacon baguettes, will be available on site. Details from Vic Rogers, G6BHE, on 0795 746 1694.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Peter, HA3AUI will be visiting Guinea-Bissau and Senegal between now and early March. Callsigns to look for are J5UAP and 6W2SC. Operation will be on CW and QSLs are requested directly to his home call.

A group of German operators will activate TU5MH from the Ivory Coast until the 2nd of February. They will have three stations and will be on 80m to 10m on CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via Club Log OQRS and logs will also be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

A group of operators will be on the air as 9M4LI from Lalang-Lalang Island, IOTA AS-072, from the 3rd to the 5th of February. Activity will be on various HF bands and modes. QSL direct to 9W2NDQ.

An expedition by members of a Dominican Republic club will put Beata Island on the air until the 1st of February. The callsign will be HI1UD and the IOTA reference is NA-122. The QSL Manager is W2CCW.

A group of operators will be operating as TL8TT from Central Africa from the 1st to the 14th of February. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. RTTY will be restricted to 20 metres. QSL via operators' instructions.

Manu, F5LIT is on the air as YB9/F5LIT from Bali, IOTA OC-022, until the 7th of February. Activity is on 20, 17 and 15 metres using SSB. QSL direct to home call.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air today, the 29th, for SOS Weekend. Operation will be on all bands from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard.

H2017PFO is a special call issued to the Paphos Radio Club to celebrate Paphos sharing the honour of being European Capital of Culture for 2017 with Aarhus in Denmark. QSL via 5B4AIE

Special event station DB20ENERGY is on the air until the end of 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the German company DB Energie. QSL via the bureau.

Now the contest news

The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest ends it 48 hour run at 2200UTC today, the 29th. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests for 2017.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using SSB only the exchange is your 4-character locator.

On Sunday the 5th of February, the 432MHZ AFS contest runs from 0900 to 1300UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 27th of January.

Last week saw a flurry of sunspots appear that pushed the solar flux index to 87 on the 22nd. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled last weekend, but this week has largely seen a respite, with the K index often being one or even zero. This resulted in good conditions with the maximum useable frequency hitting at least 21MHz over 3,000km at times. There were reports of good openings on many bands, and a higher daytime critical frequency meant that 40 metres often opened up for contacts within the UK around the lunchtime period.

At the time of writing, sunspot group 2629 continues to develop, but according to NOAA the solar flux index will decline to the high 70s.

Unfortunately, next week will be largely unsettled with the K index predicted to hit four or five from Tuesday the 31st of January to Sunday the 5th of February. Not surprisingly, this is due to another coronal hole on the sun’s surface.

On the bright side, 80 metres has been showing some good intra-UK openings outside of the mid-day absorption periods. It has also provided some good DX during the night and around the dawn greyline time, when it can open up to North America. These won’t last forever so make the most of them.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

The middle of last week saw the beginning of the end of the high, which gave some modest lift conditions for some. All is changing now that the Atlantic fronts are beginning to move in and it looks like there will be a sequence of fronts and low pressure systems throughout the coming week. This will put paid to any extension of the lift conditions and much of the new week will be uneventful from a Tropo perspective.

Look out for rain scatter on the GHz bands though if the weather brings any heavy showers.

Don’t complain that you never get good VHF conditions on a Tuesday evening during the activity contests. You severely reduce your chances of DX if you limit yourself to the same day every week or month. Remember that there are six other days and nights and there are always aircraft scatter contacts to try on 432MHz and upwards to 10GHz.

The winter meteor activity minimum continues, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn. Moon declination goes positive on Wednesday and it’s coming in towards perigee, so moon windows will get longer and losses will fall as the week progresses.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 22nd. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 22nd January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Apply now for YOTA Camp

  • Call for RSGB election candidates

  • New Cubesats in orbit

The RSGB’s Youth Committee have already received some great applications from young members to be part of the UK team at this year's YOTA summer camp, which will be held at Gilwell Park. Around 100 young radio amateurs will be attending representing over twenty countries, including the UK. If you are between 14 and 25 you can apply to attend but you need to hurry as the deadline for applications is the 31st of January. The attendance fee is £50 but all transport, food and accommodation is included. The RSGB YOTA 2017 web page www.rsgb.org/yota contains more details of the event and information on how to apply. There is also a vacancy for the UK Team Leader, who needs to be over 18 and have good experience of leading teams of young people. Any RSGB Member interested in that role should send details of their knowledge, skills and experience to yota@rsgb.org.uk

The RSGB is calling for volunteers to step forward for election at the RSGB AGM. In 2017 the RSGB will be looking to appoint one elected Board Director, one nominated Board Director and five Regional Managers. Regions 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 are open for volunteers, whether the current Regional Manager is seeking re-election or not. Nominations for elected Board Directors and Regional Managers require the supporting signatures of 10 RSGB Corporate Members. Nominations for the Regional Manager vacancies must come from Members who reside in the relevant region. Further information about the election vacancies, together with nomination forms, are available on the RSGB website at www.rsgb.org/elections2017 or paperwork can be obtained by post from the General Manager at RSGB HQ. Completed papers, with their supporting signatures, must be received by noon on the 1st of February 2017. The AGM takes place at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff on the 22nd of April 2017.

Several CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were placed into orbit on the 16th of January from the International Space Station. Satellites carrying amateur radio payloads included ITF-2, with a downlink of 437.525MHz, Waseda-Sat-3, with downlinks of CW and FM telemetry on 437.29MHz, AOBA-Velox-3, with downlinks of GMSK telemetry on 437.225MHz and TuPOD that will transmit AFSK on 437.200MHz.

You can help the RSGB to make YOTA 2017 event a great success by becoming a financial supporter – anyone who donates more than £15 receives a supporters’ pin. Find out more from the YOTA 2017 web page, www.rsgb.org/yotasupporter

A meeting has taken place in the past week in CEPT, which included agenda items considering matters of interest to amateur radio at WRC19. The discussions made progress on matters concerning sharing between the amateur service and other services in the 50-54MHz band, broadcasting, wind-profilers and mobile users, but there remains much still to do and IARU will continue to work on these studies with administrations and others to establish the optimum future sharing scenarios. See www.iaru-r1.org/ for more information

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

There are no rallies in the diary for this weekend, the 21st and 22nd. The next rally is the Horncastle Winter Rally on the 29th at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ. Doors open at 10am and there is free car parking on site. Entry is £2. The venue is all on one level and so is suitable for less able visitors. There will be hot drinks and snacks available, including bacon butties. The RSGB bookstall will be in attendance. Details from Tony, G3ZPU on 01507 527 835.

On Friday the 27th of January there is a free-to-attend, invitation-only, event at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS entitled The Evolution Of Television From Baird To The Digital Age. Registration, with coffee, will be from 10.30am. To request an invitation ticket, go to www.ieee-ukandireland.org/baird

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Jean-Pierre, F6ITD is on the air as TO7D and FG/F6ITD from La Desirade Island, IOTA NA-102, until the 9th of March. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL to his home callsign.

DF3FS, DJ7JC, DL8JJ and DJ9RR will be operating as TU5MH from the Ivory Coast from the 22nd of January to the 2nd of February. Activity will be on 80 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DJ5BWD.

Rich, PA0RRS is on the air as 9M2MRS from Penang Island, IOTA AS-015, until the end of January 2018. Activity is on 40 to 10 metres using CW, RTTY, JT65, JT9 and some SSB. QSL to his home callsign.

Dave, G1OCN and Carol, 2E1DQZ will be using the callsigns VP8CLE and VP8DKW from the Falkland Islands during the second half of January. QSL directly to G1OCN.

The callsign OA0MP has been issued by the Peruvian authorities for use from the ‘Machu Picchu’ Antarctic Base on King George Island in the South Shetlands until the 31st of March. Two members of the scientific team will operate during their spare time on 20m and 40m SSB. QSL via OA4O.

Now the special event news

Wearside Electronics Amateur Radio Society is on the air on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th for SOS Weekend from 10am at the Lifeguard station Marine Way, in the block yard, using all bands.

Special event station 9H2017EU is on the air until June 2017 to mark the 2017 Maltese European Union Presidency. QSL direct to 9H1SP.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the SHF Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 4 character locator.

The CQ World Wide 160m DX contest runs for 48 hours from 2200UTC on Friday to 2200UTC on Sunday. It’s CW only and the exchange is signal report and CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14. W stations also send their State and VE stations their Province.

The BARTG RTTY Sprint runs from 1200UTC on the 28th to 1200UTC on the 29th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands, the exchange is your serial number. Please note that for 2017 there are changes to the rules of all BARTG contests.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 20th of January.

We saw a couple of sunspots last week, but they weren’t enough to make a major difference to HF propagation. This was due in part to a raised K index, thanks to solar material from a recurrent coronal hole. NOAA released a geomagnetic storm warning for the 18th and 19th. The solar index remained in the high 70s, while the K index hit four around mid week.

While many people are bemoaning the poor conditions, there are highlights. Seventeen metres is opening reliably to DX on many days with strong signals to the East during late morning and weak openings to the west in the afternoon. Andy, M0NKR also reports there have been some good 80m openings to the US and Canada in the early hours. Eighty metres was also good for inter-G work late afternoon on Thursday the 19th.

Next week, NOAA predicts that the poor geomagnetic conditions are likely to continue, with the K index hitting four at times, although the 25th and 26th should be slightly more settled. The solar flux index will be in the range 77 to 80, so propagation is likely to be more of the same. We recommend concentrating on the lower bands, but don’t give up on HF as we may get occasional HF openings up to, perhaps, 18 or 21MHz at times – please don’t miss them!

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have just finished another week with high pressure on the chart, and it has produced some enhanced tropo conditions at times. But this has been less than might be the case if there were some moisture in the lower layers of the atmosphere. The better areas have been the north-west where moisture from the Atlantic and Biscay has improved the contrast across the inversion and given better tropo.

So what of next week? The high is going to last for just a few more days, until midweek, when the next sequence of Atlantic lows and fronts will cross the country. This will bring windier weather and some rain and destroy any tropo-producing inversions from our resident high, which will collapse quickly. In summary, a good start to the week, but poor for VHF/UHF tropo later.

We are now in the winter meteor activity minimum, where zenithal hourly rates are low and there are no major showers, but there are still opportunities for random meteor scatter contacts around dawn.

The Moon is at apogee today and reaches minimum declination on Thursday, so we have maximum losses and short, low-elevation moon windows all week. This week would be a good one to look to the artificial satellites for your VHF DX contacts.

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

 

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 15th. January 2017.

Posted by gb2rs in Ham Radio, RSGB, GB2RS
00:0000:00

GB2RS NEWS

Sunday 15th January 2017

The news headlines:

  • Enter now for Club of the Year

  • RSGB Convention 2017

  • SOS Radio Week imminent

There’s still time to enter the RSGB’s Club of the Year 2016 competition. As last year, the RSGB will be judging entries for National Club of the Year in two categories. First is clubs with fewer than 25 members and, second, clubs with 25 or more members during 2016. There will be separate prizes for each category. The theme of the competition is Promoting Amateur Radio. Please use the entry form at http://rsgb.org/main/clubs/national-club-of-the-year/ which must be sent to your Regional Manager by 28 February 2017. Once again, we are indebted to Waters and Stanton for their generous sponsorship of this competition.

The RSGB Convention this year will be held on the 13th to 15th of October at Kents Hill Park Conference Centre, Milton Keynes. We are starting to identify speakers for the Convention and would particularly like to develop the HF and DXpedition content further. If you have suggestions for any topics or speakers you would like to hear, please send an outline to convention@rsgb.org.uk In addition, AMSAT will be organising some of the lectures as the AMSAT Colloquium will be incorporated into the RSGB Convention this year.

SOS Radio Week starts at 0000UTC on the 21st of January and concludes at 2359UTC on the 29th. The event is open to everyone to take part in and you can still enrol as a registered station and get on the air to raise awareness of the work of Royal National Lifeboat Institution. If you work any of the registered SOS Radio Week stations then you can apply for the Worked SOS Radio Week award. Various levels of award are available. Further details are available at www.sosradioweek.org.uk.

The RSGB’s Commonwealth Contest is one of the longest-running contests in the HF contesting world, having started as the BERU contest in the 1920s. It promotes contacts between stations in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies, Commonwealth and Mandated Territories. The 80th Commonwealth Contest will take place on the 11th and 12th of March, for the 24 hours starting at 1000UTC. The RSGB is delighted to have received a letter from our Patron, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT congratulating us on this special contest anniversary and wishing everyone well who takes part. Further information about the contest rules are on the contest website www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2017/beru2017.shtml

S50A reports that the Slovenian telecoms regulator has given permission for use of the 60m band in Slovenia. First of all a temporary three-month licence is being issued to all Slovenian amateurs who apply for it. The allocation is 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz with 15W EIRP.

The Bristol 6m Repeater Net has been established to encourage 6m activity within the coverage area of the GB3ZY repeater, which extends into neighbouring counties and south Wales. It takes place at 9pm each Thursday and has successfully increased 6m activity both on the repeater and simplex. Everyone is welcome to join in. See www.radisol.com/bristol-repeater-net-GB3ZY/ for more information.

Whilst in a meeting with officials of the Niger telecoms regulator to discuss his 5U5R DXpedition, EA5RM was informed that 60m access in the country to all Niger amateurs was now possible under the WRC-15 allocation of 5351.5 – 5366.5kHz and its subsequent footnote. Activity is expected to be around 5360kHz using CW and SSB. Unfortunately access to 6m is not possible for the 5U5R DXpedition that takes place from the 8th to the 21st of March using all other bands and modes.

Due to ongoing propagation changes, the team of 5MHz GB2RS Newsreaders have decided to revise the time of the Sunday afternoon GB2RS News bulletin in order to try and optimize reception conditions. The new transmission time will be 1500UTC. The transmission frequency remains unchanged at 5398.5kHz USB. It is hoped to commence the change from the 22nd January transmission.

Norway is the first country in the world to start digital switchover from FM to DAB+. National FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland and progressing across the whole country throughout 2017. The final regions, Troms and Finnmark, will complete the process in December. Switzerland is planning for switch-over to begin in 2020 and a major promotional campaign to raise awareness starts this year. The North-Italian region of South Tyrol will start its FM switch-off in 2017.

To avoid the conflict of event’s dates with the General Conference of IARU Region 1, the dates of the next IARU High Speed Telegraphy world championship has been changed. The new dates are the 8th to 12th September. The venue remains unchanged. Detailed information can be found on the web page of the championship www.hst2017.org

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

The Red Rose Winter Rally, organised by West Manchester Radio Club, takes place today, the 15th, at Lowton Civic Centre, Hesketh Meadow Lane, WA3 2AH, just off the A580 East Lancs Road. Doors open at 11am and car parking is free. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and an RSGB bookstall. Catering is available on site. Further details from John, on 07870 161953.

There are no rallies in the diary for next weekend, the 21st and 22nd. The next rally is the Horncastle Winter Rally on the 29th at Horncastle Youth Centre, Willow Close, Cagthorpe, Horncastle LN9 6BZ.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk.

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

Between the 20th and 23rd January, JA2NQG, JH2BNL, JI2UAY will operate from Benjor Resort, Port Vila, on Efate Island, OC-035, as YJ0WW, YJ0AA and YJ0FM respectively. Activity will be on 160-10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will have two 500 watt stations and one 200 watt station into an Inverted L, dipoles, CrankIR and HB9CV. QSL go via Logbook of the World for YJ0AA, and all others via their home callsigns.

Peter, DC0KK is on the air as 4S7KKG from Moragalla, in Sri Lanka, IOTA AS-003, until the 1st of April. Activity is on 20 to 10 metres using mainly CW with some digital modes. QSL to his home call.

Darren, VK4FEDX is operating as H40DA from Nendo Island, IOTA OC-100, until the 17th of January. Activity is on 80, 40, 15 and 10 metres. QSL to his home call.

Operators Dale, N3BNA and Harry, N3FMO are on the air as HH8/N3BNA and HH8/N3FMO, respectively, until the 25th of January while in Naiti performing some humanitarian and radio work. Activity is in their spare time. QSL to home calls.

Members of the Peruano Radio Club of Peru are operating as OA0MP from the Machu Picchu Antarctic Base on King George Island, IOTA AN-010, until the 31st of March. Activity is mainly on 40 and 20 metres using SSB. QSL via OA4O.

Now the special event news

GB2SLS will be on the air from Sheringham Lifeboat Station on the 21st of January. Part of the SOS Radio Week activities.

Now the contest news

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Thursday, the 19th, the Low Power 70MHz FM contest runs from 1900 to 2000. Using FM only the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator. Also on Thursday it’s the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 2000 to 2230UTC. Again the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Saturday the Worked All Britain 1.8MHz phone contest runs from 1900 to 2300UTC. Using SSB only on the 1.8MHz band the exchange is signal report, serial number and your WAB square.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 13th of January 2017

The predicted poor geomagnetic conditions last week were not quite so bad, due to the incoming high speed stream from a coronal hole having a mostly north-facing Bz field. This was less likely to couple with the earth’s magnetic field and we didn't see the very high K indices and poor auroral conditions we expected. Nevertheless, HF conditions remained largely poor, not helped by a total lack of sunspots.

The good news is that a sunspot is now rotating into view on the edge of the sun’s limb, but it is too early to say what effect this may have on HF propagation.

Looking ahead, conditions on the 15th and 16th should be reasonably settled, but the effects of another coronal hole may be felt again between the 16th and the 23rd. NOAA predicts the K index could rise again to five after the weekend.

The solar flux index should remain in the mid 70s giving maximum daytime critical frequencies over the UK of 5 to 5.8MHz. This means 60m is best for daytime inter-G contacts, with 40m reserved for longer skip and contacts into Europe. For DX, don't expect to hear much above 20m, with occasional openings on 17m. There is still a slight chance of winter Sporadic-E, which could light up the higher bands.

The good news is that reports suggest 80m and 40m have both been open to DX at times.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

This week promises much on the pressure charts, but unfortunately may not live up to expectations. If you can keep the snow off the antennas, there may be some Tropo around, but it's not guaranteed despite high pressure being predicted. Heavy snow does produce good scatter propagation on the gigahertz bands though!

The growth of a large area of high pressure next week will see the right sort of weather features for Tropo on the VHF/UHF bands. As this high is growing in cold, dry air though, it may not be as good as you might expect.

Fairly shallow surface temperature inversions may give some limited enhancements, especially after overnight fog has formed. For a better chance of DX, we would need some moist Atlantic air to arrive under the main high pressure subsidence inversion at around 1,000 to 1,800 metres. This seems more likely over the north-western half of Britain towards the end of the week and will be evidenced by a sheet of stratocumulus cloud.

As we continue heading into the winter meteor activity minimum, continue to use the dawn peak in random activity for the best chance of meteor scatter QSOs.

Moon declination goes negative on Wednesday and losses are climbing with apogee just a week away, so get your EME contacts in early this week.

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

 

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