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G4TNU  > NEWS     15.03.20 11:01l 260 Lines 11916 Bytes #999 (0) @ EU
BID : 23194G4TNU
Subj: RSGB Main News - 15 Mar 2020
Sent: 200315/0026Z @:GB7CIP.#32.GBR.EURO $:23194G4TNU

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GB2RS Main News for Sunday the 15th of March 2020

The news headlines:

* Voting for the RSGB elections is now open
* NASA Mars rover has a name
* Coronavirus affects amateur radio events around the world

Voting for the RSGB elections is now open. The special web pages at have details of the Calling Notice, Resolutions, 
candidate statements and information about how to vote. Internet 
voting ends at 9am on Thursday the 23rd of April. RSGB Members can 
find their Membership number on the wrapper of the latest RadCom so 
use it to vote before you compost the wrapper.

The NASA Mars 2020 rover has a new name that captures the spirit of 
exploration, Perseverance submitted by a 13-year-old student from 
Virginia. Targeted for launch this July, this rover will search for 
signs of past microbial life on Mars. After landing in February 2021, 
it also will collect samples of Martian rocks and dust for a future 
Mars Sample Return mission to Earth.

The RSGB is, like all responsible organisations, following government 
advice about the Covid-19 virus. The Society is still planning to 
hold its AGM in Birmingham but is ready to change these plans as 
necessary if advice about public meetings is upgraded. We will, of 
course, keep Members informed so please do check our website and 
social media channels for updates.

The RSGB's National Radio Centre welcomes individuals and large 
groups of people from across the world every week. With the increase 
in cases of coronavirus in the UK and other countries, the RSGB has 
taken the difficult decision to close the NRC temporarily from 
Wednesday 18 March. It will open as normal this weekend to run the 
‘Build a radio' events which are sold out, and the NRC will be open 
but without public access to the Radio Room on Monday and Tuesday. 
Whilst there aren't any known cases of the virus at Bletchley Park or 
amongst the NRC staff and volunteers at this time, even with extra 
precautions it is no longer possible to guarantee the safety of NRC 
volunteers and visitors. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this 
may cause those who have planned visits but we hope people will 
understand the decision in the current fast-moving situation.

Concerns over coronavirus and various advisories regarding travel and 
large group gatherings has prompted the cancellation of a popular 
international amateur meeting. The Visalia International DX 
Convention in California due to take place over the 12th to the 14th 
of April will no longer take place, see 
for the latest news.

Planning is underway for this year's RSGB Convention that will take 
place from Friday the 9th to Sunday the 11th of October at Kents Hill 
Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. The organising 
committee would like to receive your suggestions for this year's 
lectures and workshops. Please feel free to email 
conference<at> with your thoughts and ideas. If you are 
able to suggest a presenter, or a subject, for a lecture or workshop 
then so much the better. The RSGB Convention is generously sponsored 
by Martin Lynch & Sons.

Dayton Hamvention has named the recipients of its 2020 awards. Steve 
Franke, K9AN, Bill Somerville, G4WJS and Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, 
K1JT have been awarded the Technical Achievement Award.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station is celebrating the 
successful launch and docking of the SpaceX-20 commercial resupply 
mission to the International Space Station. One payload on the flight 
is the ARISS Interoperable Radio System, which ARISS calls "the 
foundational element of the ARISS next-generation radio system" on 
the space station.

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

Due to concerns raised over the Covoid-19 virus, many events in the 
forthcoming weeks are being cancelled or postponed. Please check 
before travelling to any event. We will keep you up to date with news 
on events as and when we receive details.

The committee of Wythall Radio Club have decided to cancel this 
year's Wythall Hamfest, originally planned for today, the 15th of 

The Dover ARC Hamzilla Radio Fest and Electronics Fair due to take 
place on the 29th of March has been postponed.

The CW Boot Camp at GM6NX Stirling due to take place on the 22nd of 
March and the 23rd annual GMDX Convention due to take place on the 
4th of April have been postponed. New dates later in 2020 will be 
announced as the situation becomes clearer.

The Kempton Rally due to take place on the 19th of April is postponed 
until the 15th of November.

Please send details of your rally and event plans as soon as possible 
to radcom<at> – we give you valuable publicity online, 
in RadCom and on GB2RS, all for free.

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

Nigel, G3TXF will be in Mauritius until the 27th of March using the 
callsign 3B8XF. He will take part in the Commonwealth Contest this 
weekend and will concentrate on 80 and 160m during the remainder of 
his visit. QSLs go via Club Log OQRS and logs will be uploaded to 
Logbook of The World.

Mike, VE7ACN will be active as CE0Y/VE7ACN from Easter Island, 
SA-001) between the 19th and the 30th of March. He will operate 
mainly CW on the 80 to 10m bands, plus 160 metres if local conditions 
allow. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, Logbook of The World or via VE7ACN. 

A large team will be active on all bands and modes as DA0HEL from 
Helgoland Island, EU-127 between the 19th and 29th of March. In 
addition, they will also operate as DL0IH from nearby Helgoland 
Duene, where access is possible only between 0800 and 1500UTC. QSLs 
via DF6QC, direct or bureau.

Taka, JA8COE will be active as JA8COE/0 from Sado Island, AS-206 
between the 19th and 23rd of March. He will operate mainly FT8 and 
CW. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, or via JA8COE either direct or bureau.

Andy, DK5ON will be active again as PJ2/DK5ON from Curacao, SA-099, 
from the 15th to the 31st of March. He will operate CW, SSB, RTTY and 
FT8/FT4 on the 80 to 6m bands. QSL via Logbook of The World, Club 
Log's OQRS, or via home call either direct or bureau.

Now the special event news 

GB0SPD, GB2SPD and GB4SPD are three special callsigns that will 
celebrate St Patrick's Day. The St Patrick's Day On The Air event 
will run from 1200UTC on the 16th of March until 1200UTC on the 18th 
of March. See for details. 

It is 700 years since the first written mention of Dobruška, so the 
radio club in Dobruska plans to activate three occasional callsigns 
OL700DKA, OL700CO and OL700LTV to celebrate this event from March to 
December. There will be an award scheme in association with this 
event. More information at Please use ClubLog OQRS to 
get QSL for connection with OL700xxx stations.

The Maine Bicentennial Special Event celebrates the 200th anniversary 
of Maine statehood between the 16th and the 22nd of March. Twelve 
special event callsigns will be active, plus three special locations 
that have historical significance. There will be an award scheme in 
association with this event see for 
more information. 

Please send special event details to radcom<at> as early 
as possible to get your event publicised here on GB2RS, in RadCom, 
and online. 

Now the contest news

The longest running RSGB contest of them all is the Commonwealth 
Contest, formerly known as BERU. It ends its 24 hours run at 1000UTC 
today, the 15th. It's CW only on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands and 
the exchange is signal report and serial number.

Today, the 15th, the 2nd 70MHz Cumulative contest runs from 1000 to 
1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial 
number and locator.

On Monday the second FT4 series contest will run from 2000 to 
2130UTC. Using just the 3.5MHz band the exchange is your 4-character 

On Tuesday the 1.3GHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. 
Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial 
number and locator.

On Thursday the 70MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 2000 to 2230UTC. 
Using all modes on the band the exchange is signal report, serial 
number and locator.

Next weekend from 0200UTC on the 21st to 0200UTC on the 23rd, the 
BARTG HF RTTY contest takes place using the 3.5 to 28MHz bands. The 
exchange is signal report, serial number and time.

From 1200UTC on the 21st to 1200UTC on the 22nd, the Russian DX 
contest uses CW and SSB on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is 
signal report and serial number with Russian stations sending their 
Oblast code too.

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

A new sunspot group, numbered AR 2758 and from upcoming Solar Cycle 
25, appeared this week. The region was located in the Sun's southeast 
quadrant, but had faded away by Thursday the 12th. This was the first 
numbered sunspot region to appear in over a month as solar activity 
continues on at very low levels.

Overall, the solar flux index remained at 70-71 with the geomagnetic 
Kp index being in the range zero to two, reflecting calm conditions.

Wednesday's RSGB 80m CW Club Championship contest proved just how 
inactive the Sun is at the moment. The contest started quite well, 
but soon everyone was struggling to make contacts as the critical 
frequency dropped below 3MHz as measured by the Chilton ionosonde.

As a result, many contesters had to make do with QSOs with the 
Netherlands, Sweden and Germany as their higher-angle skip for local 
contacts failed to return to Earth.

Daytime critical frequencies have often struggled to exceed 5MHz in 
the morning and 5.5MHz in the afternoon, meaning 40m remains 
unsuitable for NVIS-type communications.

On DX, maximum usable frequencies over a 3,000km path have 
occasionally exceeded 21MHz in the daytime, but 18MHz has been more 

Next week, NOAA has the solar flux index pegged at 70-72 with quiet 
geomagnetic conditions, apart from March 19 when the Kp index is 
forecast to rise to four, possibly due to a high-speed solar wind 
stream from a returning coronal hole.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

At last there is a signal in the forecast models for the return of 
some high pressure weather. After a prolonged period of windy and 
unsettled conditions, the first signs of a building high will come 
after this weekend as a ridge builds towards the southern UK from the 
Azores region.

Eventually a new high, building in colder air over northern Britain, 
will probably take over in the second half of the week. Either way, 
it's time to consider the chance of some Tropo conditions later in 
the week, which will make a welcome change.

It's worth noting that the spring equinox is prime time for the 
possibility of aurora, so keep an eye out for high K indices as a 
‘heads up' for possible DX on the VHF bands.

The Moon's declination is at its most negative on Tuesday, so the 
Moon only reaches 13 degrees above the horizon. This means that 
ground noise is in the antenna lobes for much of the Moon window.

Path losses are increasing throughout the week and 144MHz sky noise 
is very high for the next few days, so a poor week for EME.

With no major meteor showers due until the Lyrids at the end of April 
now, just keep looking for random meteor scatter QSOs around dawn.

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

And that's the end of the main news for this week prepared by the
Radio Society of Great Britain.  Items for inclusion in subsequent
bulletins can be emailed to  radcom<at> to arrive by
10:00 on the Thursday before transmission.

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