RSGB GB2RS News Bulletin for October 24th 2021.

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GB2RS News

Sunday 24th of October 2021

The news headlines:

  • Get on the microwave bands
  • Become an RSGB Director
  • SAQ Grimeton transmits today

Are you looking for a new challenge? The RSGB has just released an updated video that gives a short introduction to amateur radio on the microwave bands. It explains how microwave technology is involved in everyday life and highlights the opportunities as well as the challenges of this aspect of amateur radio. You can watch the video on the RSGB YouTube channel or on the RSGB’s microwave web page at rsgb.org/microwaves

The RSGB Nominations Committee includes representatives of the Board, Regional Team and the Committees who work together to select Nominated Directors to serve on the RSGB Board. The Nominations Committee is seeking a wide range of new candidates with skills that will complement the existing skills and knowledge on the Board. If you are an RSGB Member with the skills, time and energy to help lead the Society as a Board Director, please contact the Chair of the Committee via email to nominations.chair@rsgb.org.uk.

Today, the 24th of October is United Nations Day and the historic Alexanderson alternator in Grimeton, Sweden, with callsign SAQ, is scheduled to send out a message on 17.2kHz using CW. The live stream on YouTube starts at 1425UTC, with tuning at 1430UTC. The transmission begins at 1500UTC. Just search for SAQ Grimeton to find out more.

The RSGB QSL bureau is continuing to search for a new sub-manager for the G4T to G4Z group. Members in this call group are encouraged to check the RSGB website for the latest information and not to send further collection envelopes until a new appointment is made. If you enjoy QSL cards, have space and time, plus some basic spreadsheet skills to record and distribute around 20,000 cards a year, plus a desire to support your fellow amateurs, email your interest to qsl@rsgb.org.uk.

Don’t forget that in the UK the clocks change to UTC or GMT next weekend. Clocks go back 1 hour at 2am on Sunday the 31st of October.

The WSJT development team has announced the General Availability release of WSJT-X version 2.5.1. This release mainly contains improvements and defect repairs related to Q65 and JT65 modes when used with non-standard and compound calls. Also included is a new feature for microwave aircraft scatter, and repairs for defects detected since the 2.5.0 release. Just type WSJT-X into your favourite search engine.

Eclipse and Frequency Measurement Festivals are worldwide citizen science campaigns in which amateurs and short wave listeners measure Doppler shift from their home stations, using their regular HF receivers. As the shadow of the moon passes across Antarctica on the 4th of December, it will generate travelling ionospheric disturbances that will, in turn, affect radio propagation. Data collection will run from the 1st to the 10th of December and the results will be made available for scientific analysis. All radio amateurs and short wave listeners are invited to join in, even those located far from the path of totality. In 2020, more than 100 individuals from 45 countries took part in eclipse festivals. For more information, go to hamsci.org.

The Yasme Foundation Board of Directors has announced that it will be giving a grant to the Seychelles Amateur Radio Association to establish a facility for its amateur radio club.

And now for details of rallies and events

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

The Holsworthy Radio Rally will take place on the 7th of November at Holsworthy Leisure Centre. Doors open at 10 am.

Several rallies have been cancelled, as previously publicised. The Galashiels Rally, scheduled to take place today, the 24th of October is cancelled. The Bush valley ARC rally due for the 7th of November has also had to be cancelled. Finally, the Bishop Auckland RAC rally due to be held on the 28th of November is now planned for 2022.

Now the DX news

A team of four operators will be active as C5C from Kololi, in The Gambia between the 24th of October and the 19th of November. Expect activity on all bands using SSB, CW and FT8 in Fox & Hound mode, plus the QO-100 satellite. See QRZ.com for their planned operating frequencies. QSL direct to F5RAV.

Bart, PD1BAT will be working on Saba, NA-145, from the 30th of October to the 5th of November. In his spare time, he will operate as PJ6/PD1BAT on the 40 and 20m bands using FT8 and some SSB. QSL via his home call.

Miguel, EA1BP will be active as FM/EA1BP from Martinique, IOTA reference NA-107, from the 27th of October to the 5th of November, including an entry in the CQ WW DX SSB Contest as TO7O. QSL via his home call; the logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World and Club Log.

Toni, EA5RM and a large multi-national team will be active as HD8R from San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, SA-004, from the 26th of October to the 7th of November. They will operate CW, SSB and FT8 on the 6 to 160m bands, plus RTTY on 20 metres, with at least four stations on the air simultaneously. QSL via EA5RM.

Now the Special Event news

From the 25th of October, British Railways ARS members Mark, G1PIE and Pam, 2E1HQY will be operating GB0LMR as part of the society’s 55th anniversary year. Operations will be from Preston in Lancashire and 40m will be the main band. More at brars.info.

Until the 2nd of November, West of Scotland ARS will be running a special event station GB4GDS, celebrating 90 years of the Guide Dog Association. More information about the station can be found at www.wosars.club.

Cray Valley Radio Society will be active as GB75CV until the 29th of October to celebrate its 75th anniversary. QSL via Club Log’s OQRS and Logbook of The World only.

Now the contest news

When operating in contests, please keep yourself and fellow amateurs safe by following relevant pandemic-related government recommendations.

This weekend, the UK EI Contest Club DX SSB contest ends its 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 24th. Using the contest bands between 3.5 and 28MHz, the exchange is signal report, which is optional, serial number and your district code.

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

On Wednesday the UK EI Contest Club 80m contest runs from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only, the exchange is your 6-character locator.

The 80m Autumn Series runs from 1900 to 2030UTC on Thursday. Using SSB only the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend is the 48-hour CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. Ending at 2359UTC on the 31st, it uses the 1.8 to 28MHz contest bands. The exchange is signal report and your Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA & G4BAO on Friday the 22nd of October.

After a week of sunspots and DX fun it looks like we are back in the doldrums again. The Sun currently has just one sunspot visible, meaning the sunspot number is 11. This represents one sunspot in one group.

There has been DX to be had, mostly thanks to DXpeditions, including Guinea Bissau, J5T, The Kingdom of Eswatini, 3DA0WW, and Sao Tome and Principe, S90K. These have been relatively easy to work and brought much-needed excitement to the HF bands.

Geomagnetic conditions have been mixed, with the Kp index hitting four on Tuesday. This was the result of a large coronal hole that was Earth-facing earlier in the week. Next week, NOAA predicts the solar flux index will climb again to the high 80s, ending the week in the low to mid-90s. This is likely due to a large active region that is visible on the STEREO Ahead spacecraft’s imager and which should rotate into view over the next few days. This may bring a surge in activity again, which should be welcomed by HF operators.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

After a reminder of how unsettled Autumn can be, this weekend will see a weak and transient ridge crossing the country, and a possible brief Tropo window, especially to the east across the North Sea. Apart from that, the unsettled autumn flavour continues through the whole of next week and, as we have seen recently, that can mean some pretty wet and windy weather. Rain scatter on the GHz bands is, of course, an option in these conditions, but there is little else to bring cheer unless meteor scatter and aurora come into play.

Today the Moon is at apogee, so EME path losses are at their maximum. Moon declination reaches maximum positive declination again on Tuesday so we’ll see the Moon reaching its highest elevations at its zenith.

The Orionids shower is still active and the Leonis Minorids peaks today, so there’s still some interest for meteor scatter enthusiasts. The best time for reflections is, as always, around dawn.

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

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