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G4TNU  > NEWS     12.04.20 02:47l 232 Lines 11305 Bytes #999 (0) @ EU
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Subj: RSGB Main News - 12 Apr 2020
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GB2RS Main News for Sunday the 12th of April 2020

The news headlines:

* IARU turns 95 
* EMC help is on hand
* Commonwealth War Graves Commission at NRC 

Saturday the 18th of April is World Amateur Radio Day, this year 
marking the 95th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio 
Union. Around the world, amateur radio special event stations will 
mark the event on the air, starting on the 18th at 0000UTC and 
continuing until the 19th at 2359. The theme this year is Celebrating 
Amateur Radio's Contribution to Society and the Covid-19 pandemic 
casts the event in a different light than in years past. IARU 
President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, says "A few short weeks ago, many 
of us could not imagine the levels of isolation that we are now 
dealing with and the sacrifices of many on the front lines of the 
pandemic. As we have done in past challenges to our society, amateur 
radio will play a key part in keeping people connected and assisting 
those who need support." 

Looking for help with an EMC problem? The RSGB's EMC web page has a 
range of resources that will help including guidance on several EMC 
issues and helpful leaflets to download from The 
RSGB's YouTube channel also has the RFI Clinic 2019 Convention 
lecture by the EMC Committee's John Rogers, M0JAV and David Lauder, 
G0SNO. Take a look at the 2019 Convention playlist on

A few weeks ago, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission visited the 
RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park to make a film about the 
B2 Mk III Spy set on display in the foyer. The video features RSGB 
member John Ellerton, G3NCN and can viewed on YouTube. Go to

From the 13th of April, Matt, M0PTO will be uploading videos to 
YouTube for a new course called Lockdown Morse. The YouTube channel 
is at He has also created a Facebook 
page for the course at

The RSGB has released onto its YouTube Channel a video by the 
Society's Propagation Studies Committee entitled Understanding HF 
Propagation. It looks at sunspots, ionospheric layers, critical 
frequencies, solar flares and much more. You can see it at

Nordics on the Air was scheduled to be held this weekend. It has 
postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the youth NOTA camp, 
there would have been two HF stations with the callsign LA1YOTA 
spreading the voice of youth all around the world. Even though the 
camp is not going to happen there will be NOTA activation skeds from 
the 10th onwards. Look out for SK8YOTA on the 12th and TF3YOTA on the 

The RSGB HF Contest Committee has just completed a survey, which was 
open to all, to help determine its strategy during the Covid-19 
pandemic. Questions focused on two issues. Firstly, how best to 
proceed with its flagship IOTA Contest in 2020. Secondly, whether or 
not there was a mandate for introducing a temporary HF contest series 
to provide some entertainment and support to RSGB Members and others 
who are currently staying at home. The committee had 656 survey 
respondents, of whom just less than half are regular RSGB HF contest 
participants. You can read the results at

The RSGB has decided to postpone all Train the Trainers courses for 
this year. They had been planned to run up until July, so the team 
will start rescheduling them when the pandemic situation improves and 
full travel is restored.

Icom has announced that delivery of the new IC-705 HF to 430MHz 
all-mode 10W transceiver, which was scheduled to be released in 
March, has been pushed back to later this year because the 
coronavirus pandemic has delayed the delivery of some components. 
More information will be posted on their website and via social media 
in due course.

A long-silent repeater in Birmingham has successfully reactivated. 
GB3BM is on 145.7125MHz with 67Hz CTCSS tone. In the current 
situation of everyone being at home a great deal more than usual, 
this will no doubt be welcome news to amateurs in the area.

Don't forget that voting for the RSGB elections is still open. If 
you've struggled to find your Membership number, the Society has made 
it easier for you by adding it to the righthand sidebar of your 
Members' page when you log into the website. This is your opportunity 
to choose who you want to be part of the RSGB Board and help lead the 
Society over the next few years. The special web pages at have details of the Calling Notice, Resolutions, 
candidate statements and information about how to vote. Internet 
voting closes at 9am on Thursday the 23rd of April.

The RSGB has a Coronavirus Updates page that brings together some 
great ideas as well as its important announcements. Take a look at

Now the contest news

Due to social distancing and movement precautions around the world, 
most contest organisers are not accepting entries from multi-operator 
groups or from portable stations. Check the rules before taking part.

Today, the 12th, the First 50MHz contest takes place from 0900 to 
1200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial 
number, locator and postcode.

The Worked All Britain Data contest takes place from 1000 to 1400 and 
1700 to 2100UTC today, the 12th of April. All data modes except 
machine generated CW may be used, but it is expected that most 
contacts will be by RTTY, PSK or FT8. The exchange is signal report, 
serial number and WAB square. Entries need to be with the contest 
manager by the 22nd of April. See 

On Monday the Irish 70cm Counties Contest will run from 1300 to 
1330UTC using FM and SSB. It is immediately followed by the 2m 
Counties Contest from 1330 to 1500UTC. This is SSB only. The exchange 
for both contests is signal report and serial number with EI and GI 
stations also exchanging their county. 

On Tuesday the 432MHz FM Activity contest runs from 1800 to 1855UTC. 
It is followed by the all mode 432MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 
to 2130UTC. The exchange for both is signal report, serial number and 

On Wednesday, the 80m Club Championships runs from 1900 to 2030UTC 
using SSB only. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

On Thursday it is the 70MHz UK Activity Contest from 1900 to 2130UTC, 
using SSB only. The exchange is signal report and serial number.

Next weekend, the First Machine Generated Modes contest runs from 
1400UTC on the 18th to 1400UTC on the 19th using the 50 and 144MHz 
bands. The exchange is signal report and your four-character locator.

The YU DX contest runs from 0700UTC on the 18th to 0659UTC on the 
19th. More information can be found at

And finally, don't forget the RSGB Hope QSO Party on weekdays, see for further details.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO 
on Thursday the 9th of April.

Sunspot group 2759, as reported last week, never really amounted to 
much and vanished before it got to the solar disk's edge. The matter 
from a solar coronal hole did hit the Earth last weekend as we 
predicted, sending the Kp index to four in the early hours of 
Saturday morning. Even though we don't have any sunspots, we are now 
benefiting from seasonal changes in the ionosphere and longer days.

Monday's 80m CW Club Championship contest saw the critical frequency 
stay comfortably above 4MHz, which guaranteed a lively event with 
high scores all round. Stations in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, 
Sweden and France joined in, which made for some head scratching for 
amateurs expecting to hear mostly UK-based callsigns.

But daytime on HF is still a little lacklustre as we continue towards 
sunspot minimum. Next week, NOAA predicts more of the same with the 
solar flux index pegged at 68 and zero sunspots. The Solar Dynamics 
Observatory spacecraft showed a large coronal hole was Earth facing 
on Thursday, which suggests we might get disrupted conditions over 
the weekend.

Although we don't know the solar matter's expected Bz signature, if 
its locked-in magnetic field shows a strong south-facing Bz component 
we can expect it to couple strongly to the Earth's magnetic field, 
resulting in a raised Kp index. So look out for the possibility of a 
pre-auroral enhancement at first and then auroral conditions on 10m 
as it progresses.

Meanwhile, there are signs that this year's Sporadic-E season could 
soon warm up. Some Spanish low-power beacons have been spotted on 10 
metres, but they are currently quite weak. We expect Es conditions to 
improve towards the end of April/early May with daily short-skip 
openings out to around 1,500 miles. So it is a good time to make sure 
your 10m antennas are working properly before the Es season starts.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

In a general sense, this period of weather is essentially 
high-pressure driven except for a couple of brief incursions from 
low-pressure systems. Easter weekend sees the first visit by a low 
drifting from the north with April showers and some rain scatter 
potential. This is followed by a high moving from northwest Scotland 
southeast into Germany and again producing some good Tropo potential, 
which may well coincide with the 70cm UKAC on Tuesday evening, so a 
good result.

The second half of the week models show a low moving from the south 
and affecting the southern half of the UK bringing some showery rain, 
perhaps thundery, so again some more rain scatter on the microwave 

Lastly, the following weekend sees high pressure returning to 
Scotland and later the North Sea with further Tropo options.

As we are pushing well into April we can expect to see the new 
Sporadic-E season developing in the next couple of weeks and the 
Easter Sunday 50MHz contest could well flush out any early stirrings!
While we are still close to Lunar perigee, losses are low, but Moon 
declination is minimum on Tuesday. Moon visibility windows are just a 
few hours at low elevation, making EME difficult due to ground noise. 
Added to this is high 144MHz sky noise in the first part of the week, 
making it a poor week for EME.

This Thursday sees the start of the Lyrids meteor shower, so we are 
coming out of the period of low meteor activity. Keep checking around 
dawn for the best random meteor contacts.

Overall it's a good week for activity on the VHF/UHF bands.

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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