A new easy-to-use amateur radio satellite was launched last weekend and was switched on for general use on Thursday. AO-91, also known as RadFxSat and Fox-1B is a Cubesat that carries an FM transponder. The uplink is on 435.250MHz FM, plus or minus Doppler, with a mandatory 67Hz CTCSS tone for access. The downlink is on 145.960MHz FM. The present position of the satellite can be seen www.n2yo.com and all amateurs are invited to listen out for the bird. The northernmost point of its orbit periodically passes roughly over Bedford, meaning that it will give good service over the whole of the British Isles, Europe, and beyond. Full details about the satellite are on the AMSAT-UK website at tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611A. By coincidence, another AMSAT mission, FUNcube-1, also known as AO-73, celebrated its fourth birthday in space this week. It has travelled well over 500 million miles in orbit since launch and been received tens of thousands of times.
[Note for Newsreaders: the full URL is https://amsat-uk.org/2017/11/18/radfxsat-fox-1b-ao-91/]
On the subject of birthdays, the International Telecommunications Union celebrated 90 years of ITU-Radiocommunications Study Groups on the 21st of November. A 90th anniversary celebration issue of the ITUNews magazine can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/GB2RS-2611B Also, ITU HQ station 4U1ITU will be active in the CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL via operators’ instructions.
[Note for Newsreaders: the full URL is http://www.itu.int/en/itunews/Documents/2017/2017-04/2017_ITUNews04-en.pdf]
Sad news now. One of the pioneers of software defined radio, Dr Vanu Bose, died suddenly at the age of just 52 on the 11th of November. He gained his PhD at MIT, founded, and was CEO of Vanu, Inc. His company made much early progress in SDR, including developing the first SDR GSM mobile phone base station. Later developments included solar-powered mobile phone base stations. Dr Bose donated many of these to Puerto Rico this year to replace infrastructure destroyed by the hurricanes.
The recent RSGB VDSL Survey highlighted the growing problem with RF noise radiated from phone lines carrying VDSL2 broadband services. Backed by the RSGB Legacy Fund, members of the RSGB EMC Committee are researching and developing RF digital signal processing techniques to identify and, hopefully, help mitigate VDSL RFI. The first stage, which is currently underway, is analysing files recorded by amateurs around the country and submitted via the VDSL Survey. The team will report progress as it happens.
The RSGB Emerging Technology Coordination Committee, or ETCC, develops and enhances the UK amateur radio repeater and data communications systems, and promotes the introduction and rollout of appropriate new technologies. The Chair of the ETCC, John McCullagh, GI4BWM, has decided to retire from his role, after many years of invaluable service. RSGB is therefore seeking a volunteer, who must be an RSGB Member, to take over the position. The position of Chair of the ETCC Committee is offered for an initial period of up to three years. Anyone interested in this important role should, in the first instance, write to Steve Thomas, M1ACB, RSGB General Manager, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing details of their amateur radio and other relevant experience.
The RSGB telephone system suffered some problems this week. Some calls went unanswered and we may have lost some messages that were left. The RSGB apologises for anyone inconvenienced by these issues.
This weekend sandwiches between so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These relatively new traditions see discounts from all kinds of sellers, including the RSGB Bookshop. If you are an RSGB Member and have kept the RSGB up to date with your email address, you will also have received an extra discount voucher. All RSGB Members are encouraged to visit http://thersgb.org/members from time to time to make sure all their details are up to date.
And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week
Today, the 26th, the Bishop Auckland Radio Amateurs Club rally takes place at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, 32 High Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL16 6DB. The venue has good parking and access to a large ground floor hall. There will be the usual radio, computer, electronics stands and a Bring & Buy. Catering facilities and a bar are on site. Doors open at 10.30am, fifteen minutes earlier for disabled visitors. Admission is £2, under 14 free of charge with adult. More details from John, G4LRG on 01388 606 396.
Next Saturday the Souths Lancs ARC Winter Rally takes place at Bickershaw Village Community Club, Bickershaw Lane, Bickershaw, Wigan WN2 5TE. There are a limited number of pitches available. Doors open to the public at 9am, and admission is £2.50. There will be a Bring & Buy, special interest groups and trade stands. Catering is available on site. Details from Jason, G0IZR, on 01942 735 828.
If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email full details to email@example.com. Our list of rallies for 2018 is looking very empty so please, if you are a rally organiser, let us know the details as soon as possible.
And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources
This is another very good week for DX, with teams around the world activating unusual places for the CQ WW contest this weekend. Many are operating for several days before and after the contest, giving the opportunity for lots of interesting contacts. Keep an ear on the bands and your eye on the propagation tools – you might be surprised what you bag. There are far too many DXpeditions to list them all, but here is a small sample.
John, W2GD is on the air as P40W from Aruba, SA-036 until the 28th of November. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL direct to N2MM.
A group of operators will be on the air from Ghana as 9G5W until the 29th of November. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via S59ZZ.
Oliver, F6ARC is active holiday-style as FG/F6ARC until the 29th of November from Guadeloupe, NA-201. He is on various HF bands, CW only. QSL via FE11DX.
UA4CC is on the air until the 30th of November from Montenegro as 4O7CC. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes, including FT8. QSL to home call.
LU3YK, LU7VB, LU8YD and LU9VEA will be active as HC8LUT from San Cristobal Island, SA-004 from the 29th of November to the 8th of December. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using mainly SSB, but also PSK31, JT65, WSPR and FT8, plus satellite activity on FM and other modes. QSL via IK2DUW and LoTW, logsearch on Club Log.
Now the special event news
The main Special Event Station news is the start of the very special special event station GB17YOTA. This callsign will be aired by clubs up and down the country during the month of December. Sandringham School radio club starts the ball rolling on Friday the 1st of December, handing over to RSGB Region 7 Youth Committee representative Will Davies, 2W0WOD, on Saturday. Next Sunday sees the Wessex Contest Group taking up the call. A list of activations can be found on page 8 of the December RadCom.
Very few special event stations seem to be on the air this week. Ofcom reported that no UK special event stations gave their consent to be publicised in the month of November. When an application is made for a Special Event callsign the applicant signs a confirmation that the Special Event Station is in support of an event which is of special significance, and will be open to viewing by members of the public. So there is logic in ticking the box to permit Ofcom to tell RSGB about your event, so that we can publicise it in GB2RS, in RadCom, and on the RSGB website.
Now the contest news
This weekend sees the CQ Worldwide DX CW contest, which started at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning and runs to 2359UTC on Sunday night. This CW-only event uses all the contest bands from 1.8 to 28MHz. The exchange is RST plus CQ Zone, which for the UK is 14.
Tuesday sees the SHF UKAC from 2200 to 2230UTC. Using all modes on the 2.3GHz to 10GHz bands, signal report, serial number and locator forms the exchange.
On Wednesday it’s the UKEICC 80m contest from 2000 to 2100UTC. Using CW only on the 3.5MHz band, the exchange is your 4-character locator square.
On Thursday the Autumn Series continues from 1900 to 2030UTC on the 80m band, CW. The exchange is signal report plus serial number.
The UK Six Metre Group’s Winter Marathon kicks off on Friday, running until the end of December. Using all modes on the 50MHz band, the exchange is signal report plus locator.
Next weekend sees the ARRL 160m contest running from 2200UTC on Friday until 1600UTC on Sunday. Using CW only, the exchange is the usual signal report. US and Canadian stations also send their ARRL or RAC section number.
Finally for this week, the RSGB 144MHz AFS contest takes place next Sunday. Running from 1000 to 1600UTC on the 2m band and using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 24th of November.
The Solar Flux Index remained in the 70s last week, reflecting the continued absence of sunspots. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled at the beginning of the week, but improved as the effects of a coronal hole passed. We were left with a mixed bag of HF propagation, with fair conditions at times and poorer ones at others.
Highlights were the J5T DXpedition to Guinea-Bissau, and the Polish TO2SP DXpedition to St Barthelemy, with many radio amateurs filling much-wanted band slots. Other DX stations were on the air from around the world as they prepared for this weekend’s CQ Worldwide CW contest. Speaking of which, conditions seem likely to be fairly settled on Saturday 25th, but another earth-facing coronal hole looks as though it could threaten the ionosphere on Sunday 26th.
Saturday might be the best day for working DX in CQ Worldwide, whereas Sunday may be a little more unpredictable. If our prediction is correct, and solar matter impacts the Earth, there is the possibility of an initial HF enhancement, but then declining maximum useable frequencies as the K index rises. Otherwise, expect 20 and 15 metres to be the main HF bands for DX, with good 10m openings being very thin on the ground.
Recently, some days have also seen some Sporadic-E responses on the ionosonde data, which can make a difference for local near vertical incidence skywave activity on 80m in the evening, when the foF2 ionisation is usually insufficient for inter-G nets. Since this may be related to jet stream activity, and there will be plenty of that this week, it’s certainly worth a check. You can monitor the ionosphere using the daily graphs available on www.propquest.co.uk
And now the VHF and up propagation news.
The charts in both the primary longer-range models seem to be locked into a low-pressure story for next week, which can mean quite windy and often colder weather too. There is little of cheer for the VHF/UHF bands in this pattern, except perhaps the odd bit of rain scatter as showers run down the coasts on northerly winds. Both models do suggest a build-up of higher pressure to the west of Ireland later next week and this may give some prospects for Tropo as we move into the following week. But otherwise it is looking like thin pickings for weather-related propagation this time.
However, we are now into the build-up to what is often one of the better meteor showers of the year. The Geminids has a broad peak, culminating on the 13th and 14th of December, but there are normally many meteors throughout the shower period giving useful reflections. Unlike many meteor showers the Geminids is associated with the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, rather than a comet.
Minor shower Puppid Velids also starts around the end of this weekly report, with a peak around the 9th of December. Moonlight may affect shower visual sightings, but will not affect radio reflections. Talking of moonlight, the moon is waxing gibbous this week with the half moon this evening, Sunday, and the full moon is next Sunday.
As we move into the latter half of the week the moon-path degradation is very low and better suited to smaller EME station operations. For those early birds, the morning moon will favour paths to the west, whilst the early and later evening moon will be better for paths to the east of the UK.
And that’s all from the propagation team this week.
Next, the Local News:
Please note that details of all RSGB-affiliated clubs and societies can be found on the RSGB website, including email addresses and website links where known.
[Note to Newsreaders: Please read the local news items appropriate to the service area of your transmission.]
NEWS FOR THE MIDLANDS
We start with clubs that have several events this week. Worksop Amateur Radio Society has a Foundation exam today, alongside a Raspberry Pi workshop and the Advanced course. Tuesday sees a club night and on Thursday there’s a talk on SOTA. Details on 0789 062 6684.
Wythall Radio Club has its regular net at 8pm today and next Sunday on 145.225MHz or GB3WL. Monday sees a curry night and on Tuesday there’s a talk by Steve, G3ZVW on his desert island challenge. On Saturday there’s a club trip to ML&S. Details from Chris, G0EYO, on 07710 412 819.
Coventry Amateur Radio Society has an open net on Monday from 8pm on 145.375MHz FM and / or 7.16MHz SSB ± QRM. Thursday sees an open net from 8pm on 50.175MHz SSB. On Friday there’s a talk by Bob, G4GEE on the changes in amateur radio over the last 40 years. Contact John, G8SEQ, on 07958 777 363.
Gloucester Amateur Radio & Electronics Society is holding an EGM on Monday. The main club net is on Wednesday from 7.30pm on 145.475MHz FM. On Thursday there’s a net on 145.475MHz from 7.30pm, often moving to 80m SSB. Contact Anne, 2E1GKY, on 01242 699 595, daytime.
Nunsfield House Amateur Radio Group is having a shack night on Monday. Thursday sees the club net from 8pm on 145.325MHz from 8pm. Friday and Saturday see parts 1 and 2 of the talk on shack equipment. For details contact Paul Gamble, G1SGZ, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RAF Waddington Amateur Radio Club has its net on Monday from 8pm on 145.325MHz. On Friday there’s a club night. Contact Bob, G3VCA, on 07971 166 250.
South Birmingham Radio Society is holding a discussion on the Christmas party on Monday and has its regular coffee morning from 11am on Tuesday. Thursday sees training classes with Dave Murphy, G8OWL and on Friday there’s work in the shack. Contact Gemma, M6GKG, by email to email@example.com.
Sutton Coldfield Amateur Radio Society is holding its AGM and a club meeting on Monday. Tuesday sees a DMR open net on GB7FW slot/local2 from 7.30pm Details from Robert, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salop Amateur Radio Society has its club CW net on Tuesday from 4.30pm on 144.070MHz. Wednesday sees the club net on GB3LH from 8.30pm and on Thursday there’s a discussion on NFD. For details, email email@example.com.
Malvern Hills RAC is having an informal evening on Tuesday. Wednesday sees the club net on 145.350MHz FM from 8pm. Contact Dave, G4IDF, on 01905 351 568.
Lincoln Short-Wave Club is having a debrief from Hamfest on Wednesday. Thursday sees the club net from 8pm on 145.375MHz. On Saturday the shack is open from 9.30am with G5FZ on the air. For more information contact Pam Rose, G4STO, on 01427 788 356.
Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Sunday Burton Amateur Radio Club has its net from 10am on 145.575MHz. Contact Mike Lewis, 2E0EZG, via email to info@Burton-ARC.co.uk.
On Monday Leicester Radio Society is having a Morse night followed by a Clean Up Your Shack video. Contact Sandra Morley, G0MCV, on 0793 027 4044 .
On Monday South Normanton Alfreton & District Amateur Radio Club is having a natter night. Details from A Lawrence, 2E0BQS, on 01246 456 625.
On Monday Stratford upon Avon & District Radio Society is having a talk by John, G8RIM on heat treatment metallurgy. Contact Clive, G0CHO, on 01608 664 488.
On Tuesday Loughborough & District Amateur Radio Club is holding a practical evening. More information from Chris, G1ETZ, on 01509 504 319.
On Tuesday Mid-Warwickshire Amateur Radio Society is having a video afternoon. Contact Don, G4CYG, on 01926 424 465.
On Tuesday Rugby ATS has radio operation and projects. Contact Steve, G8LYB, on 01788 578 940.
On Wednesday Midland Amateur Radio Society has training classes and will be planning its Christmas party. Details from Norman, G8BHE, on 0780 807 8003.
On Wednesday Telford & District Amateur Radio Society is having a talk on recharging and caring for batteries by G6UDX. Details from John Humphreys, M0JZH, on 07824 737 716.
On Thursday Solihull Amateur Radio Society has its net on or around 145.450MHz from 8pm For details, email SolihullRadioClub@gmail.com.
On Saturday Melton Mowbray Amateur Radio Society is having its Christmas dinner. Contact Phil, G4LWB, on 01664 567 972.
NEWS FOR THE NORTH OF ENGLAND
We start with clubs that have several events this week. Denby Dale Radio Club has its net via GB3HD from 10.30am today and next Sunday. On Wednesday there’s a Real Ale night. Details from Darran, G0BWB, on 0797 442 3227.
On Tuesday Halifax & District Amateur Radio Society has its usual meeting from 7pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, with training classes and a session operating digimodes. On Wednesday there’s an open net on GB3HD from 7.30pm. On Thursday there’s a joint net with RAFARS on 145.350MHz from 7pm. Details from Martin, M0GQB, on 01422 341 317.
Stockport Radio Society has a radio night on Tuesday. Wednesday sees a net from 2pm on 3.675MHz and on Friday there’s a net from 2pm on 433.525MHz. Details from Heather Stanley, M6HNS, on 07506 904 422.
Wirral Amateur Radio Society is open from 7pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Details from William Davies, G4YWD, on 0780 488 4245.
Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Monday Bolton Wireless Club is looking at a 3-band Moxon with Mick, M0ICK. For details, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday Macclesfield & District Radio Society is holding a fox hunt with Greg, M0TXX. For details, email email@example.com.
On Monday Sheffield Amateur Radio Club is having a club night. Contact David, G6DCT, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday Thornton Cleveleys Amateur Radio Society is watching a video on Bletchley Park. Details from John E Rodway, G4FRK, on 01253 862 810.
On Tuesday Hull & District Amateur Radio Society is having a club night. Contact Tony, G0WJK, on 01430 423 837.
On Wednesday Blyth Radio Club is having a club night and Morse training. Details from John, 2E0DCV, on 0191 237 1729.
On Wednesday Mid-Cheshire Amateur Radio Society is having a film night. Contact Peter Paul Fox, G8HAV, on 0791 931 5547.
On Wednesday Rochdale & District Amateur Radio Society is having a club night. More information from Robert, M0NVQ, via email to email@example.com.
On Thursday Bishop Auckland Radio Amateur Club is holding training classes and a normal club night. Contact Gail, M3GBB on 0191 372 0473.
On Thursday Keighley Amateur Radio Society meets in The Old Sun Inn Haworth at 8pm. Contact Geoff Priestley, G7JZM, on 0777 489 1641.
On Thursday Ripon & District Amateur Radio Society is having a club night. More information from David Cutter, G3UNA, on 01423 860 778.
On Thursday South Manchester Radio and Computer Club is having a talk on amateur radio for the disabled by Dave, G0BJK. Details from Ron, G3SVW, on 01619 693 999.
On Friday East Cleveland Amateur Radio Club is discussing purchases made at the Spennymoor rally. For more information contact Alistair, G4OLK, on 01642 475 671.
On Friday Tynemouth Amateur Radio Club is discussing common mode baluns and chokes. For details, see www.G0NWM.com.
On Friday Wakefield & District Radio Society has a social and natter night. Contact Charles, on 0790 050 0775.
NEWS FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
No news items have been received for Northern Ireland this week.
NEWS FOR SCOTLAND
On Tuesday Dundee Amateur Radio Club is having a talk on the new FT8 mode by Garry, MM6KYW. Contact Martin, 2M0KAU, on 0776 370 8933.
On Tuesday Livingston and District Amateur Radio Society is having an operating and training evening. Details from Cathie, 2M0DIB, on 01506 433 846.
On Wednesday Glenrothes & DRC is having a discussion evening. More details from Dougie, MM6KNR, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday Aberdeen Amateur Radio Society is having a construction and on the air evening. Contact Fred Gordon, GM3ALZ, on 01975 651 365.
On Thursday Stirling & District Amateur Radio Society is getting up to general amateur radio shenanigans Contact Lyndsay Keogh, MM6KEO, on 07786 885 566.
On Friday Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club is having a normal club night. More information from Bob, GM4UYZ, on 01875 811 723.
On Friday Mid Lanarkshire Amateur Radio Society is having a club night. Contact Kevin, 2M0KVM, on 0772 509 6279.
On Friday West of Scotland Amateur Radio Society is holding its construction competition, hosted by John, GM0KTO. For details, see www.wosars.org.uk.
We start with clubs that have several events this week. Horsham Amateur Radio Club has a fox hunt this morning. Next Saturday sees the club Christmas event at The Chequers, Rowhook. Details from Alistair, G3ZBU, on 07855 268 666.
Radio Society of Harrow has its club net on 1938kHz LSB from 12 noon today. Monday sees a net on 145.500MHz or 145.350MHz FM from 8.15pm. Details from Linda, G7RJL, via email to email@example.com.
Surrey Radio Contact Club has its net on 1905kHz from 9.30am today and next Sunday. Thursday sees a club net on 70.300MHz from 8pm and on Friday there’s a club net on 145.350MHz from 8pm. Contact John, G3MCX, on 020 8688 3322.
Peterborough & District Amateur Radio Club has its net on 1.980MHz on Monday. On Wednesday there’s a talk on Worked All Britain by Dave, G3SQA. Details from Alan Ralph, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Essex Ham has its net on GB3DA from 8pm on Monday, with chatroom and audio feed at www.essexham.net. Next Saturday sees the Essex YL Net on GB3DA from 8pm. Contact Pete, M0PSX, via email to email@example.com.
Bromley & District Amateur Radio Society is having a steak night in Petts Wood on Tuesday. Wednesday sees the regular net from 9pm, starting on 145.500MHz. Contact Andy, G4WGZ, on 01689 878 089.
Worthing & District Amateur Radio Club is having a quiz evening on Wednesday. Next Sunday sees a breakfast meeting. Contact Al, M0OAL, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now we return to the traditional listing in date order. On Sunday Thurrock Acorns Amateur Radio Club has an open net on 2m FM from 7.30pm. More information from Gordon, M0WJL, via email to email@example.com.
On Tuesday Braintree & District Amateur Radio Society is having a surplus equipment sale. Details from Edwin, G0LPO, on 01376 324 031.
On Tuesday Dorking & District Radio Society is holding its AGM and watching an RSGB film. Contact David Browning, M6DJB, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday Bracknell Amateur Radio Club has an open net from 8pm on 145.375MHz. Contact David, M0XDF, via email to M0XDF@alphadene.co.uk.
On Wednesday Norfolk Amateur Radio Club is having an informal evening plus Bright Sparks. Contact Chris Danby, G0DWV, on 01603 898 308.
On Thursday Bredhurst Receiving & Transmitting Society is having a club night. Details from Nicky, via email to email@example.com.
On Thursday Norfolk Coast Amateur Radio Society is discussing SDR. For details email Steve, G3PND, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday Crystal Palace Radio and Electronics Club is holding its Christmas social event. Contact Bob, G3OOU, on 01737 552 170.
On Friday Horndean & District Amateur Radio Club is having a natter night and social evening. Contact Stuart, G0FYX, on 02392 472 846.
On Friday Itchen Valley Amateur Radio Club has it net on 145.525MHz. Details from Paul, G6MCX, on 01725 578 004.