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G4TNU  > NEWS     26.04.20 02:07l 266 Lines 12995 Bytes #999 (0) @ EU
BID : 884G4TNU
Subj: RSGB Main News - 26 Apr 2020
Sent: 200425/2326Z @:GB7CIP.#32.GBR.EURO $:884G4TNU

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GB2RS Main News for Sunday the 26th of April 2020

The news headlines:

* First remotely-invigilated exam callsigns issued
* Download latest 5MHz Newsletter
* Japanese amateurs get new privileges

The RSGB is pleased to announce that the first successful candidates 
in the online, remotely invigilated amateur radio exams have now 
received their callsigns. At the close of play on the 24th of April, 
29 remotely invigilated exams had taken place. Around 10 candidates 
per day are scheduled, with the aim to increase this number as more 
invigilators join the team. Dave Wilson, M0OBW, the RSGB President 
and Exam Quality Manager, has expressed his thanks to the 
invigilators that are making this work and the HQ exams staff who are 
doing an outstanding job under very difficult circumstances. We look 
forward to hearing the new amateurs on the bands. 

The latest edition of The 5MHz Newsletter is now available for free 
pdf download from the RSGB 5MHz page at This edition 
includes 5MHz news from seven countries, the GB3WES beacon closedown, 
a 5MHz controlled feeder radiation dipole, plus features the latest 
World of 5MHz map and an article on two Blue Ham Exercises.

Japanese radio amateurs now have new privileges on the 160 and 80m 
bands. The new allocations are 1800-1810, 1825-1875, 3575-3580 
and 3662-3680kHz. The new regime allows Japanese radio 
amateurs to operate FT8 on the 160m and 80m bands, as well as WSPR on 
1836.6kHz. Additional details are on the Japan Amateur Radio League 

Tim Duffy, K3LR has announced that Contest University USA 2020, 
usually held at the Dayton Hamvention, will be held online via Zoom 
on Thursday the 14th of May, starting at 1245UTC. CTU 2020 is free. 
The CTU course outline has been posted online. Connection details to 
the CTU Zoom bridge will be posted on the Contest University site one 
week prior to the event. Sessions will be recorded for viewing any 
time after the 14th of May. Slides will be posted on the CTU website 
as well. At the end of CTU 2020, Dave Siddall, K3ZJ, will present the 
2020 CQ Contest Hall of Fame awards.

RSGB President Dave Wilson, M0OBW, was interviewed recently on NARC 
Live! where he talked about the Society's introduction of remote 
invigilation for Foundation exams. This new initiative is enabling 
people to join amateur radio during these times of social isolation. 
Dave's piece starts at 27:50 and you see it on the Norfolk Amateur 
Radio Club Facebook page, which can be accessed via 

The November and December 2019 RSGB Board Proceedings have been 
published on the RSGB website today and can be found at

The RSGB's campaign in partnership with the NHS "Get on the air to 
care" has been publicised across the world over the last week, 
both on the airwaves and through the UK media. The Society even 
received a video message of support from Tony Hadley, lead singer of 
1980s group Spandau Ballet! To see this coverage, head over to and click on the media coverage link at the 
bottom of the page. The RSGB is grateful to all radio amateurs who 
are taking to the airwaves to support other radio amateurs during 
these times of social isolation. If you use social media, add the 
hashtag #GOTA2C and send any photos or video clips of you on the air 
to comms<at> 

Peter Valentine, a 96-year-old radio amateur from Eastbourne, is 
celebrating his birthday by aiming to contact 96 amateurs over the 
airwaves and walk 96 miles over the coming weeks. As a thanks to the 
NHS which has given him good care recently, he is using the special 
call sign GB0EDH to represent Eastbourne District General Hospital. 
He is active on D-Star, 2m, 4m and 80m, so listen out for him on the 
air and help him to achieve his target! 

The RSGB has been adding updates to the 'Sharing ideas' section of 
its Coronavirus updates page, which you can find at There are reports from Colchester 
Radio Amateurs amongst other clubs and Lockdown Morse to learn 
something new during this lockdown. Find out what others are doing, 
be inspired and then email comms<at> to share how your 
club is adapting to the current challenges.

Now the special event news

Peter, G4XEX will be active as GB4SAH for Stay At Home until the 30th 
of April to help amateurs pass the time during the lockdown. 
Euan, MM0VIK is active as GB1COR from his home QTH in the Shetland 
Islands, EU-012, until the end of April in recognition and support 
for the health professionals and essential key workers during the 
coronavirus emergency. QSL cards will not be available for this 
special callsign. 

The RAF Amateur Radio Society will be activating the special event 
GB75VED from the 1st to the 28th May from members' homes. On the 2nd 
of May, Reg, G8VHI will operate mostly on 6 and 2m as well as 70cm 
from Nuneaton using FM, SSB and maybe digital modes. Details are at and

SOS Radio Week will go ahead from 0000UTC on the 1st of May and 
concludes at 2359UTC on the 31st May. During that period participants 
should make as many contacts as possible with stations at home and 
around the world. For further details, and to register, please visit

The Hungarian amateur radio society, MRASZ, will hold a special radio 
activity for the period during the Covid-19 virus threat. Their aim 
is to raise awareness of the threat of the epidemic and to promote 
the importance of staying at home. Look for the following 5 stations, 
of which the last two letters add up the words STAY AT HOME: HG20ST, 
HG20AY, HG20AT, HG20HO and HG20ME. Each station must be contacted in 
two different modes on any band to qualify for a downloadable 
commemorative award. The activity ends on the 15th of May at 2359UTC. 
Details are at

Several Brazilian amateurs are using the special event callsign 
ZW8THANKS as a tribute to health care professionals fighting 
Covid-19. Activity will be on all bands and modes including the 
satellites. QSL direct, eQSL or Logbook of The World.

The Tokyo-based 7-CALL Amateur Radio Club will operate 8J17CALL for a 
year to celebrate the club's 30th anniversary. 

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.

The SP DX RTTY contest ends it 24-hour run at 1200UTC today, the 
26th. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands the exchange is signal 
report and serial number, with SP stations also sending their 
Province code.

Today, the 26th, the BARTG Sprint 75 contest runs form 1700 to 
2100UTC. Using the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is your 
serial number only.

On Monday the third FT4 series contest will run from 1900 to 2030UTC 
using the 3.5MHz band. The exchange is your 4-character locator.

Tuesday sees the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1830 to 2130UTC 
using all modes on the 2.3GHz and up bands. The exchange is signal 
report, serial number and locator.

The UK and Ireland Contest Club 80m CW contest runs for an hour on 
Wednesday between 1900 and 2000UTC. The exchange is your 4-character 

Next weekend is busy for contests, but please remember to check 
before the events for new rules due to lockdown and social 
distancing, which may differ around the world. RSGB strongly advises 
obeying your own government's advice first and foremost.

The 432MHz Trophy contest and the 10GHz Trophy contest are both on 
Saturday between 1400 and 2200UTC. Using all modes in the respective 
bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The 432MHz to 248MHz Trophy contest runs for 24 hours over next 
weekend from 1400 on the 2nd to 1400UTC on the 3rd. Using all modes 
the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Another 24 hour contest is the ARL International DX event from 
1200UTC on the 2nd to 1200UTC on the 3rd. Using phone and RTTY on the 
3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, the exchange is signal report and serial 
number, with Italian stations also giving their Province code.

Next Sunday, the 3rd of May, the UK Microwave Group Low Band Contest 
runs from 0800 to 1400UTC. Using all modes on the 1.3 to 3.4GHz 
bands, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

The UK Six Metre Group's Summer Marathon runs from the 2nd of May to 
the 2nd of August. Using all modes in the 50MHz band, the exchange is 
you 4-character locator.

A one-off independent 2m contest is being held on Bank holiday 
Monday, the 4th of May, to promote 2m usage during the COVID-19 
lockdown. From 2pm to 3pm there will be an FM contest, where 
operators should exchange signal reports, serial number and 4 
character Grid Squares. From 3pm to 4pm there will be an FT8 contest 
using the standard FT8 messages to exchange signal reports and grid 
squares. The contests are open to all licensed amateur radio 
operators and short wave listeners but due to the Covid-19 lockdown 
restrictions no portable or mobile operation is permitted. Further 
details can be found at

And finally, don't forget the RSGB Hope QSO Party on weekdays, see for further details. So far around 300 UK and 
non-UK participants have taken part, and for some it has been their 
first attempt at an HF contest. One participant told us that it was 
their first ever attempt at CW in 36 years. Come and join in the fun.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO 
on Friday the 24th of April.

Last week showed how difficult it can be to prepare HF propagation 
predictions. We said that we expected the Sun to remain settled 
throughout the week. But on Wednesday the 15th there was a stealthy 
slow-moving coronal mass ejection off the Sun that barely appeared in 
the SOHO spacecraft imagery. However, this CME was Earth-directed and 
around midday on Monday the 20th it hit. The net result was the Kp 
index rose to five and MUFs were adversely affected, after an initial 
positive phase that saw MUFs over a 3,000km path rise above 18MHz. HF 
conditions were still down on Tuesday, with bands above 20 metres 
pretty much closed. But luckily, by Wednesday things were pretty much 
back to normal.

The highlight of the week has been a gradual increase in Sporadic-E 
on 10 metres. There have been numerous openings, mainly into Spain 
and the Canary Islands, with other fleeting openings into Sweden and 
Germany. While signal strengths haven't been too strong so far, it 
bodes well for the Sporadic-E season, which is likely to ramp up over 
the next week or so. The message is keep an eye on 10 metres.

Next week NOAA predicts a continued quiet Sun with a solar flux index 
around 69. With zero sunspots predicted again it does begin to look 
like we are close to sunspot minimum.

Geomagnetic conditions are predicted to be settled, with a Kp index 
of around two to three, other than on Monday the 27th when it could 
rise to four.

And now the VHF and up propagation news.

We have a hybrid of weather types during the coming week, with the 
last of any Tropo fading as this bulletin goes out. Thereafter, it 
looks more unsettled with a chance of showery rain, initially in the 
southwest, but more generally as we run into next week. This is 
because an Atlantic low should develop south of Iceland and a cold 
front become slow-moving over western Britain at the end of next 
week. In this latter part of the week, high pressure builds from 
Biscay across northern France.

So, expect some Tropo at first, but ending this weekend and perhaps 
in south-eastern areas late next week. Rain scatter looks more 
favourable again with several areas of showery rain or fronts 
involved from this weekend onwards.

In view of the approaching start of the Sporadic-E season we would 
expect to find some openings, but as we said earlier any have been 
brief so far. It would seem that nobody has told the jet streams to 
get into line! I cannot say that this looks like a strong lead this 

The peak of the ongoing Lyrids meteor shower is over, so expect 
declining meteor scatter activity this week.

Moon declination is positive all week and reaches its maximum on 
Tuesday. We are past apogee, so EME path losses will continue to 
fall. 144MHz sky noise is low all week.

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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