RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 17th. September 2017.

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Sunday the 17th of September 2017

The news headlines:

    Latest RadCom Plus now available

    Please keep clear of hurricane nets

    Tunisia legalises individual amateur licences

The latest issue of RadCom Plus is now available. It contains features on vertical phased arrays, an APRS tracker and looks at how to get a professional finish to your home-made printed circuit boards. A tailored PDF version is available, as a trial for this issue, in addition to the ePUB version. Both of these options enable you to download RadCom Plus to read offline if you wish. For those who prefer to read it online you can still use the Flipbook version that is also available. RadCom Plus is a members’ benefit so just log into the RSGB membership portal and then you can access both versions from the RadCom Plus page of the RSGB website.

In view of the arrival of Hurricane Max on the coast of Guerrero, Mexico, the FMRE National Emergency Net has activated. The net is operating on 7.060 MHz and 14.120MHz so please avoid causing interference on or around those frequencies.

The Ministry of Telecommunications of Tunisia has approved and issued a decree organising amateur radio activity in Tunisia. It is now possible for Tunisian amateurs to apply, pass an exam and get their own amateur radio licences. Those who already have a foreign licence can be granted licences without passing an exam. Resident foreigners can also apply. See for full details.

Today, the 17th of September, sees the start of the IARU Region 1 Conference. Delegates will consider around 140 papers covering many aspects of the future of amateur radio. Amongst the latest inputs are RSGB papers on noise floor measurements and YOTA 2017. Watch out for media updates during the week.

The latest RSGB Convention promotional video is the About the RSGB section of the video portal on the RSGB website. You’ll hear a range of people explaining why they go to the Convention and see highlights of what you can expect during a Convention weekend. Tickets and weekend packages are still available; go to to find out more.

Enigma Reloaded takes place from the 22nd to the 30th of September. The main goal is to promote as much amateur radio activity as possible all over the world, celebrating the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in the outcome of World War II. From the 22th to the 29th, Italians and others registered as Activator Stations will ensure the activation of their radio stations in order to allow to the participants getting their scores for the Enigma Award Contest. Full details are online at

ML&S has launched a video of the new Kenwood TS-590sg 70th anniversary edition. It’s on their YouTube channel at

IARU Region 1, DARC and RSGB volunteers attended the latest CEPT meeting that is preparing for WRC-19. Key items of interest to amateur radio included 50-54MHz, high power wireless charging of electric vehicles and increased use of the 5GHz bands for Wi-Fi and transport.

RADIO DARC is the weekly magazine of the German Amateur Radio Club for radio amateurs and short wave listeners, with three broadcasts on 6070kHz for Europe. DARC will broadcast during the 24th IARU Region 1 Conference being held in Landshut, Germany. Until the 22nd of September 2017, RADIO DARC will report current news on the conference in six daily special short wave transmissions.

Icom Inc will be holding a D-STAR QSO party between 0000UTC on the 22nd and 2359UTC on the 24th of September. For more information visit the D-Star QSO Party website at

SOS Radio Week is moving from January to May so that it, once again, falls in line with the RNLI’s own fund-raising event. Like the RNLI’s event, SOS Radio Week will actually last a month so stations can choose to operate on any of four or five weekends. You can register your station now for SOS Radio Week 2018, via the website

Thames Amateur Radio Group is hosting an RSGB Train the Trainers event on Saturday the 9th of December from 9am to 5pm. Training open to candidates from any club and is delivered free to RSGB Members, but the organisers are requesting a £5 donation per candidate towards hall hire, buffet lunch and other refreshments. To book contact

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

The Weston-Super-Mare Rally takes place today, the 17th of September, at The Campus, Highlands Lane, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 7DX. The venue has a large car park. Doors open from 10am and admission is £3 for adults. There will be trade stands, a Bring & Buy, lectures, and an auction at the end of the day. There will also be amusements and activities for all the family including competitions, fun activities and interactive displays. Catering will be available on site. Enquiries to 01278 786 684.

The WACRAL Conference and Fellowship Weekend takes place from the 22nd to the 24th of September at the Elim International Conference Centre, West Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 4DF. Nick Henwood, G3RWF, the RSGB President, will be speaking on Where is amateur radio going?

The Pencoed ARC Table Top Sale is on Sunday the 24th at Pencoed Rugby Football Club, The Verlands, Felindre Road. Pencoed CF35 5PB. Doors open at 10am for the public and entry is £2. Refreshments including hot food will be available. Details from Madeline Roberts on 01639 767056.

The Belgium Amateur Radio & Computer Rally is on the 24th at Hall Louvexpo, rue Michel Debauque/Arthur Delaby, La Louvière, Belgium. It has direct access from the motorway, just 50km south of Brussels. Open from 9am to 4pm, there will be talk-in on local FM repeaters on 145.600MHz. There will be trade stands from the UK, Holland, Germany, France and a flea market. For details, see

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

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

David, G4NRT will be on the air as Z21NRT in Zimbabwe until the 29th of September. He will be on the 80 to 6m bands using SSB, CW and digital. QSL to his home callsign.

E6AG will be operating until the 25th of September on the island of Niue, IOTA reference OC-040. It will be holiday-style and QSLs go via Club Log OQRS to M0OXO.

JW/OM6TC will be on from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, EU-026, until the 20th of September. QSL to his home callsign.

A group of Russian amateurs will operate as A25BI, A25SP and A25BE from Kasane in north-eastern Botswana until the 25th of September and they hope to be on all bands from 160 to 6m using CW and SSB.

A number of Czech operators will operate at 5T5OK in Mauritania until the 29th of September. They will run 100W on SSB, CW and RTTY. QSL manager is OK6DJ and logs will be uploaded to Logbook of The World.

Al, K7AR will be operating as 5W0RA from Apia, Samoa, IOTA OC-097, from the 19th to the 29th of September. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY and possibly FT8. QSL to his home callsign.

Now the special event news

Rugby ARTS will operate GB0RRS until the 22nd of September to celebrate the historic Rugby Radio Station, which operated from 1926 to 2007 at a site near Hillmorton, Rugby.

Today, the 17th of September Chatham Historic Dockyard will again be hosting their 1940s weekend. During the event Brian, G0TAR and some Medway ARTS members will be operating GB2CAV from the ship’s radio room.

Coventry Amateur Radio Society will be active from the Coventry Model railway club for railways on the air at Unit 3, Coventry Canal Basin Warehouse, Leicester Row, Coventry, CV1 4LH on the 23rd and 24th of September. The callsign likely to be GB6CMR but they are awaiting the NOV.

On the 23rd and the 24th of September, Loughton and Epping Forest ARS will be activating GB2RGM at the Royal Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey for Railways on the Air. It has a narrow gauge railway that was used to transport explosives around the site. There is no public access during the activation.

Riviera ARC will operate GB4BCR as part of Railways on the Air on the 23rd of September. Babbacombe Cliff Railway is a funicular railway that takes people up and down the cliffs to Oddicombe at the bottom of the Babbacome Downs. e-QSLs will be available for this event.

Now the contest news

The 2nd 70MHz contest takes place today, the 17th, from 0900 to 1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0900 to 1700UTC today. Using the 24 to 26GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

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

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

On Wednesday the 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday the 70MHz FM Activity Contest runs from 1800 to 1900UTC. It is immediately followed by the UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC. The exchange is the same for both events, signal report, serial number and locator.

Next weekend is the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest. It runs for 48 hours over the 23rd and 24th on the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

On Sunday the 24th the UK Microwave Group contest runs from 0600 to 1800UTC. Using all modes on the 5.7 and 10GHz bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The Practical Wireless 70MHz Contest runs from 1200 to 1600UTC on the 24th. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 15th of September.

After the solar chaos of last weekend, things looked a little more settled at first. However, following last Sunday’s X8.2 solar flare, material from a coronal mass ejection impacted the Earth on Wednesday. The Solar Flux Index declined to 75 by Thursday, but we were seeing the geomagnetic effects of yet another coronal hole as this report was being written.

All this activity makes it hard to be precise about conditions next week, but NOAA predicts the solar flux index will be in the mid 80s, with unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times. Look for a low K index over a couple of days for the best results on HF.

It is worth pointing out that a better indicator of real-time HF conditions can be the smoothed or averaged smoothed sunspot number, which is currently 17 or 22 according to which method is used. Smoothed numbers are used by VOACAP and G4FKH’s own prediction tool.

Propagation Studies Committee member Marcus, G0IJZ reminds us that sunspot numbers and solar flux levels can be chaotic in the short term, but over the long term (that is, months), there is good correlation between the smoothed indices and ionospheric characteristics.

As we move into autumn, this can also be a good time to look for openings on the lower bands. Quite a lot of DX has been reported on 40m, especially around greyline times. The band is definitely worth checking.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

Early last week we saw more of the predicted auroral propagation in the UK, so keep a check on the lower VHF bands in case the sun flares up again.

After a windswept and showery last week, there are signs that we start this weekend with the legacy of a cool northwesterly winds and scattered showers, possibly thundery. This means continuing good rain scatter on the GHz bands from any of the heavier showers.

Last week, the weather models were hinting at high pressure building by this weekend, but it has been knocked back to early in the coming week. It’s still on the agenda for the southern half of the country and possibly the north at times.

By the end of the week, there should be a large high near south-west Britain. This could bring Tropo into play for many areas by the time we get past mid-week and it looks good into the following weekend.

There are no meteor showers this week, so continue to look before dawn for the best random meteor scatter contacts.

Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are climbing as the Moon moves away from us, so get your EME contacts in early this week for the best results.

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

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