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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 www.rsgb.org/emc. 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 https://youtu.be/RWDqg8bCSqM. He has also created a Facebook
page for the course at www.facebook.com/lockdownmorse.
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
www.rsgb.org/agm 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 www.worked-all-britain.org.uk.
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 http://yudx.yu1srs.org.rs/2020.
And finally, don't forget the RSGB Hope QSO Party on weekdays, see
www.rsgbcc.org/hf 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
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
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>rsgb.org.uk to arrive by
10:00 on the Thursday before transmission.
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