The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Club Members' News Page

With the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
from Wirral, UK and around the World !

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

Looking for an archived News Item to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

 

WADARC Christmas Night Out !

This is to announce that details of the WADARC Christmas Night Out have just been released.

As usual, it is important you read all the details so if you click on our guitar plucking Santa on the right, you can note down the date in your diary, browse the menu, print a copy so you can clearly tick your party's requirements and pass it on to Gordon G8MMM with your money.

On the latter point, we are delighted to report that Gordon has negotiated a cracking deal for the club with a price reduction for 2014, for which we offer him our grateful thanks.

Gordon is taking orders (with money please) at most of the Club Nights and D&W's when he is present.  On the rare occasion he cannot make it .. please see any committee member

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CQ reconsiders policy on Crimea in CQ Contests

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

In response to requests from a large number of contesters around the world, CQ has reconsidered its decision regarding the acceptance of logs from stations in Crimea in CQ-sponsored contests.

As CQ Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, explained, "a large portion of the contesting community felt that we were unfairly denying our fellow amateurs in Crimea of the opportunity to fully participate in our contests. Since the country list for CQ contests is based on a combination of the Worked All Europe (WAE) and ARRL DXCC lists, and the ARRL has already adopted a policy regarding Crimean stations in its award and contest programs, we will amend our policy to be consistent with the ARRL's DXCC policy."

"Therefore, the listings of Crimean stations submitting logs for CQ contests will be based on the call sign under which they have operated. If they used Russian-issued calls in the contest, they will be listed under Russia; if they used Ukrainian-issued calls in the contest, they will be listed under Ukraine. This change reflects not only the desire of many contesters around the world, but also of a large majority of members of the CQ World Wide DX Contest Committee."

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MacLoggerDX Version 5.55 Yosemite release

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.55 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

After months of field testing with Apple's public beta, MacLoggerDX is ready for Yosemite.

What's New in this version:

Optimized for Yosemite.
Added ADIF import option to reject dupes.
Added QRZCQ Call Book.
Added Awards Table color coding.
Added Specific Call cluster filter.
Added Log Panel Selected button.
Added Cluster PrefsPanel.
Added QRZ XML bio to URL field.
Icom IC-7410 Split fixed.

MacLoggerDX is the Total Mac Ham Radio Assistant and premier Mac logger:

Organizing and filtering the spots from your favourite DX Cluster for DXing, Contesting or casual rag-chewing.

It supports close to a hundred radios, automatically tuning to the spots you are interested in and optionally swinging your beam around.

Alerting you to rare contacts or Band Openings and looking up, displaying on 2D, 3D and Satellite Maps and logging your contacts to a super fast sql database.

MacLoggerDX can also email you when the Bands are open or that rare DX is spotted.

Awards Tracking, Band Activity, Schedules, Memories, QSL Generation, ADIF import, export, eQSL, LoTW Confirmations and much more.

This is a free update for all Version 5 customers and can be downloaded from:

http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

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CARS Skills Night takes off

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Over 50 amateurs gathered in Danbury on Monday, for the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society Skills Night.

A wide range of demonstrations was on offer for the tenth informal get-together, which had a record turnout.

Those interested in D-Star were able to see a demonstration of D-Star, courtesy of Joel G0URK.

Chris M6EDF, fresh from a two-day stint at a JOTA event in Basildon (photo right)where two high altitude balloons were launched, brought along some HAB payloads, as well as his 3D printer, allowing attendees to see how items are designed on a laptop and printed in 3D.

Those looking for HF advice were able to get some fresh ideas from CARS President Carl G3PEM, and a demonstration of weather satellites was given by Steve M0SHQ. Steve G4ZUL, Rob M0KCP and other members of the Essex CW club set up a 40m CW station and despite the QRM, made contact with Romania, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Russia, Italy… and Chelmsford.

The regular quiz, hosted as ever by Clive G1EUC, featured questions by John Macrae 9H5G from Malta, and those coming along were once again able to get a callsign badge printed for a small fee courtesy of Jim 2E0JTW. Refreshments were served by David G3SVI and Myra M0MYR, winners of the CARS Amateur of the Year 2014 award.

The final treat of the night came from Aydin M6WYZ, (photo right) who obtained his callsign earlier this month on the CARS training course organised by Clive G1EUC.  Aydin brought along a Phantom Vision 2+ flying drone, which is an impressive piece of hardware. Everyone in the hall followed Aydin out into the street and watched in amazement as the drone shot off to the South. Within minutes, it was 1.2km away, sending video images over the 2.4GHz link back to the controller. After a short flight, the drone was summoned to return, and using GPS, was able to make a precise fix and safe landing.

For a short video of the flight, go to www.essexham.co.uk/skills-oct14

The next CARS Skills Night is set for Monday the 17th of November 2014.

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BVWS Swapmeet

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

The British Vintage Wireless Society is a society of approximately 1300 World-wide members sharing a common interest in the preservation and communication of technical and historical data, and the preservation and restoration of Vintage radio and related equipment.

We publish a quarterly Bulletin containing a wide range of restoration and historical articles, photographs of events, Society news etc. This is a high quality publication. A sample bulletin is available on this website.

We hold regular meetings around the UK. Our main event takes place at Harpenden twice a year, with smaller meetings held in Wiltshire, Cheshire and East Sussex

Next event:
2nd November BVWS Swapmeet Golborne, Warrington
BVWS members only

www.bvws.org.uk

Golborne Parkside Sports & Community Club, Rivington Avenue, Golborne, Warrington, Cheshire WA3 3HG

This is only about a 1.5 miles away from the old Lowton hall (which has now been demolished).

From the M6:
Leave at J23 and head towards Manchester.
Second left, onto B5207.
Right onto Thirlmere Road.
Left at T junction onto Ulswater Road.
Right onto Rivington Avenue.

From the other way:
A58 to Platt Bridge.
A573 Through Abram, becomes Wigan Road.
At the Junction with B5207 turn left onto B5207 Lowton Road.
Left onto Thirlmere Road.
Left at T junction onto Ulswater Road.
Right onto Rivington Avenue.

http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile%28golborne-parkside-sports-community-club%29_280297.htm

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IARU seeks to rein in electromagnetic interference

Tuesday 21st October 2014

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) has called upon ITU signatory nations to take steps to ensure that the operation of 'electrical apparatus or installations of any kind, including power and telecommunication distribution networks,' does not cause harmful interference to Amateur Radio operations

The ARRL report:

The Council adopted a resolution expressing concern with the “rapid and largely uncontrolled growth” in devices that generate RF energy “as an unnecessary and undesirable consequence of their operation.” It cited such devices as switching power supplies, power inverters, plasma video displays, and wireline telecommunication systems that employ such technologies as Broadband over Power Lines (BPL).

The AC said new technologies such as wireless power transfer are likely to be deployed widely in the near future, and it expressed “deep concern” that present standards, regulations, and enforcement resources are inadequate to protect radio services, including Amateur Radio, from harmful interference.

The Council’s action, which came during its annual meeting (see "Summary Record") on September 27 and 28 in Albena, Bulgaria, followed the recommendation of IARU EMC Coordinator Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE. The resolution encourages IARU member-societies and regional organizations “to pursue implementation of the resolution as a matter of the highest priority,” requests standards-setting bodies and regulators to fully support the resolution’s objectives, and implores designers and manufacturers to “minimize radio spectrum pollution emanating from their products.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/iaru-administrative-council-resolution-seeks-to-rein-in-electromagnetic-interference

IARU Administrative Council 2014 Summary Record
http://www.arrl.org/attachments/view/News/76835

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Nosy Be Island DXpedition

Tuesday 21st October 2014

In less than few days, 5R8M, Nosy Be Island (AF-057) the DXpedition organized by the Mediterraneo DX Club, in Madagascar from October 21st to November 4th, will be on air.

Recently we have had new great arrivals and now our complete team, with so many well know and experienced guys, is the following:
Antonio/IZ8CCW (Team Leader) Jean-Jacques/F5NKX, Gabriele/I2VGW (Team Co-Leader), Marco/IZ2GNQ, Francois/ON4LO, Michele/IK5ZUI
Eric/ON7RN, Mario/IK4MTK, Alain/F6ENO, Fabio/IK4QJF, Patrick/F2DX, Karl/OE3JAG, Michel/F5EOT, Ovidio/YO9XC, Henri/F1HRE and Feri/YO5OED

The whole team is very motivated and so ready to work hard 24/24 hours each day to give the greatest number possible of DXers from all over the world the greatest number of possible new ones, bands/modes, with four stations (2 CW-1 SSB and 1 RTTY) plus maybe a mixed station more and really daily time monitoring the Six Meters Propagation.

If, as all of us wish, the internet connection will allow it on our official Web-site www.mdxc.org/5r8m/, we'll keep in touch every day with the DX community and we'll update our log in real time.

During our permanence on Nosy Be, we kindly ask you to send any question only to our pilots IK7JTF (for Europa), N1DG (for USA) and IK0FTA for Six Meters.

We'd like just to remind you that any help and donations will be very very appreciated because all the planned costs are already increased at the check-in for the luggage weight and the severe rules of the airline.

We suggest that you spend a minute time to time visiting our Web site www.mdxc.org/5r8m/ to stay tuned and to insert your comments, suggestions, etc. We are waiting for you on air....

73's de
5R8M team

OPDX

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NASA TV coverage of U.S. cargo ship’s departure from the ISS

Tuesday 21st October 2014

After delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station during a month-long stay, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the orbital laboratory on Saturday, Oct. 25.

The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to detach from the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony module and unberth through commands sent by robotic ground controllers in mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston operating the Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Mission control will maneuver Dragon into place then turn it over to Expedition 41 robotic arm operators Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT and Barry Wilmore of NASA for release, which is scheduled for 9:56 a.m. EDT.

NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT, crew members of International Space Station Expedition 41, will operate the robotic arm to release the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the station's Harmony module at 9:56 a.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 25. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Dragon's departure beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Space station and SpaceX officials delayed Dragon’s departure four days from the originally scheduled date of Oct. 21 because of high sea states in the splashdown and recovery zone west of Baja California.

Dragon is the only space station resupply spacecraft able to return to Earth intact. It will return about 3,276 pounds of cargo, including science samples from human research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities sponsored by NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the nonprofit organization responsible for managing research aboard the U.S. national laboratory portion of the space station.

Dragon will execute three thruster firings to move away from the station to a safe distance for its deorbit burn at 2:43 p.m. The capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean around 3:39 p.m. Neither the deorbit burn nor the splashdown will broadcast on NASA TV.

Dragon launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Sept. 21 on the company’s fourth commercial resupply mission to the station. It arrived at the station Sept. 23.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For more information about the International Space Station, and its research and crews, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/station

For more information about the mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/spacex

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New HF network planned

Tuesday 21st October 2014

NextGov.com highlights a plan by the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish an HF radio network to link up medical facilities in case of an emergency that knocks out other communications

The Department of Veterans Affairs Strategic Acquisition Center (SAC) intends to award a five year firm fixed price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. This will include equipment, installation, testing, certification, warranty and training to guarantee a fully functional "turnkey" resilient Emergency High Frequency Radio Network.

The HF Network shall be comprised of 400-watt "backbone stations" designed to receive and automatically relay communications among 125-watt stations and 125-watt mobile vehicle based stations located at approximately 200 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. The HF Network shall provide emergency HF two-way radio communication, linkage to the PSTN, data transmission, cellular and IP telephone networks enabling radio-to-telephone communication and automatic link establishment (ALE).

Read the NextGov article at
http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2014/10/va-plans-build-nationwide-high-frequency-radio-network-communicate-during-emergencies/96644/

Veterans Affairs High Frequency (HF) Radio Network
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=
core&id=d4c1b9d5bb16e53d831ac8334387be96

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High altitude balloon keeps going

Monday 20th October 2014

The record breaking 434 MHz balloon B-64 launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER features in Hack-A-Day

Read the story about the balloon which has been flying for over 3 months
http://hackaday.com/2014/10/19/high-altitude-balloon-keeps-going/

Links for tracking and receiving balloons
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 20th October 2014

Island activities:

AF-019. Sam, LY5W, informs OPDX [edited], "I am on Lampedusa Island preparing the IO9Y station for the CQWW DX SSB Contest with friends from Slovenia. I will be on the air when all equipment is finished to be installed. Look for me some evenings trying to make QSOs as IG9/LY5W/P with a wire antenna. Will be on the island until the end of November."

AF-019. Operator Luigi, IK8HCG, will be active as IG9R from Lampedusa Island (with the support from Italian Navy Force), African Italy, during the next CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 25-26th) as a Single-Op/Single-Band (??) entry. QSL via IK8HCG.

AS-166. A multi-national team of operators from Belgium, The Netherlands and Greece will be active as EP6T (pending) from Kish Island, Islamic Republic of Iran, in January 2015. This will be a "Rockall DX Group" DXpedition. Reportedly, it took nearly 3 years of negotiations and a reconnaissance trip by Patrick, ON4HIL, to Tehran which finally resulted in obtaining a legal license to operate with a team of ten people for fourteens days.
The group plans to have 4 (possibly 5) operating stations on the air around the clock for at least 10 days at the end of January 2015. Specific dates will be announced at a later date.
Activity will be on all HF bands, 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. Some stations during the night time hours will be focusing on the low bands using separate receive antennas and quarter wave verticals near the beach. More information will be forthcoming as well as a Web page for this DXpedition.

EU-047. Volker, DL1WH, is now active as DL1WH/p from Pellworm Island (DID/GIA N-23, WLOTA 1188) until October 28th. Activity will be holiday style and mainly CW. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-146. Operators Marc/PD7YY, Jan/PE1GNP and Marcel/PG8M are now active as PH146EU from Schouwen Duiveland (WLOTA 3089) until October
25th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters (possibly 80m as well) using mainly SSB with some CW. QSL via PD7YY, direct and by the Bureau.

OC-157. Budi, YF1AR, will be active as YF1AR/8 from two islands in the Banda Island IOTA Group during the following dates:
October 23-24th - Banda Naira Island (ARLHS IDO-380 Banda Naira Light House).
October 25-27th - Banda Besar Island (including the CQWW DX SSB Contest as a Single-Op/All-Band/Low-Power entry).
Activity will be on 40-10 meters, mainly on SSB but some CW and Digital,using a Yaesu FT450D with 100w into a 43 ft. vertical for 40m and HB9CV (20/15/10m) antenna. QSL via N2OO or use ClubLog's OQRS.
For more details and updates, see:
http://www.yf1ar.com/2014/10/
yf1ar8-oc-157-ido-380-banda-islands.html

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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JOTA - GB2JAM Saturday 18th October

Sunday 19th October 2014

This year we ran our JOTA station again at the 20th BIRKENHEAD SCOUT GROUP H.Q. at the L. C. MCALLESTER PLAYING FIELD, Bidston Road, OXTON with plenty of space to erect antennas.  The forecast this year was pretty dire and for a number of reasons we decided to run it as a one day event .. setting up at 8am on Saturday morning and operating through until around 5pm.

Vic UDR, Neil WBG, Neil OAR with Simon XHF and Daniel CUL all arrived first thing and were greeted with mugs of tea and bacon butties and after just over an hour and a half the two HF stations were operational, which was something of a record !  The club's 3 element beam was on top of Simon's pump up mast with a dipole for 40/80 metres. 

See below Daniel preparing the mast with Vic and Neil preparing the beam antenna and Simon working on the  dipoles.

Below .. the finished mast, beam and dipoles

The following photo is of Simon XHF concentrating on chatting with GX4CRC on 7MHz in Cornwall, working some 29 Cubs, Scouts and Girl Guides etc who were enjoying their first play with Amateur Radio.

Our thanks for their total support to Simon, Daniel, Vic, the two Neil's and our only visitor to operate Gordon MMM.

GB2JAM is one of the best UK callsigns to have during Jota weekend and provides hours of enjoyment operating with it .. another opportunity missed by so many club members !!

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146 MHz NoV's now available

Sunday 19th October 2014

UK Full licence holders can now apply for their NoV to use 146 MHz

You just need to fill in your details on the RSGB NoV page and you will be instantly emailed a link to the PDF of your NoV certificate. The NoV's currently being issued have an expiry date off October 31, 2015.

Apply now for your NoV at
http://rsgb.org/main/operating/licensing-novs-visitors/
online-nov-application/146mhz-147mhz-nov/


The application asks you for your Licence Number which appears on page 1 of your licence. If you don't have it login to the Ofcom licencing page and download a new licence PDF at
https://services.ofcom.org.uk/

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Ham Radio on BBC Radio 4

Sunday 19th October 2014

October 18 the BBC Radio 4 show Today featured the 90th anniversary of the first radio contact between radio amateurs in the UK and New Zealand

The special event station 2SZ has been on the air this week from Mill Hill School, North London to celebrate the first two-way radio communication between the UK and New Zealand.

On October 18, 1924, the first radio communication contact between the two countries took place between (G)2SZ at Mill Hill School, the station operated by 18 year-old former pupil Cecil Goyder, and (Z)4AA in Shag Valley, South Island, New Zealand, operated by Frank Bell.

The initial brief mention occurs at 00:00:28 into the show with the main 3 minute feature at 00:23:10. Listen to the broadcast at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b04lp3x3

2SZ and GB2NZ http://gb2nz.com/

ZM90DX http://www.zm90dx.com/

The Ultimate DX
http://gb2nz.com/?page_id=106

RSGB helps pupils celebrate the birth of global radio communications
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/all-regions/region-9/2014/10/16/
rsgb-helps-pupils-celebrate-birth-global-radio-communications/

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Ham Radio Promotional Material

Sunday 19th October 2014

Amateur radio posters, booklets and other handouts have been made available on the RSGB Inspire forum

The RSGB Inspire Forum is open to all and aims to share and discuss ideas and experience running Special Events and Demonstrations to members of the public to identify successful approaches to promoting Amateur Radio in the UK.

The promotional material can be downloaded from the files section of the RSGB Inspire Yahoo Group at
https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/rsgb_inspire/

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Big sunspot produces X-flare

Sunday 19th October 2014

Solar activity increased sharply on Oct. 19th when huge sunspot AR2192 unleashed an X1-class solar flare.

The blast produced an HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth and it likely hurled a CME into space.

Check http://spaceweather.com for pictures of the flare and more information about possible Earth-effects.

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K for Kernow

Saturday 18th October 2014

Thursday's edition of the Cornishman newspaper reported Ofcom had agreed to the K Regional Secondary Locator (RSL) proposal for Cornwall (Kernow)

The article says:


John Farrar G3UCQ, along with fellow amateurs Chris Lewis G3NHL and Keith Matthew G0WYS, campaigned for the letter K to be added to the traditional radio call sign – distinctly identifying those in the duchy from their counterparts across England.

Following the announcement earlier this year that Cornwall was to be granted minority status, the Poldhu Amateur Radio Club members decided Cornish radio amateurs should be put on the map.

"We put a dossier together and enlisted the support of all the MPs in Cornwall. Most of the radio amateurs in Cornwall supported it." Cornwall Council unanimously supported the plans at a meeting in September.

Communications regulator Ofcom has now approved the proposal meaning Cornwall is set to become the first county in the UK with a unique sign.

Read the full article at
http://www.cornishman.co.uk/Hayle-local-radio-amateur-leads-way-Cornwall/story-23182956-detail/story.html

Graham Murchie G4FSG has posted the following on behalf of the RSGB:

Earlier in the year the RSGB was asked by Poldhu ARC, one of its affiliated clubs, to submit to Ofcom their request for the secondary locator “K” to be allocated to Cornwall on an optional permanent basis.

The Board passed on the request but decided not to support permanent use of “K”.

It came as a surprise when Ofcom advised us that they have agreed in principle to the use of the secondary locator “K” prefix for Cornwall and we await details of how their decision will be implemented. We expect further information after Ofcom have considered the responses to the current licence review consultation.

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FUNcube Whole Orbit Data available

Saturday 18th October 2014

From the early planning stage of the project AMSAT-UK decided to make telemetry information from the AO-73 (FUNcube-1) CubeSat available to end users

Since deployment the FUNcube Data Warehouse has displayed the latest data:
• Reatime
• Whole Orbit
• High Precision
• Fitter Messages
and of course the upload rankings. Additionally we have made available small csv files for WOD and HiRes.

Starting October 14, all captured WOD will be available as weekly csv files.

Please see: http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html?satelliteId=2 for the link to the downloads page. It is currently up to 26/6/2014 (32 files)

The files are on average:
• 9706 lines (expected 10080) ~ 96.3% capture
• 905 KB

We will play catch up over the next few days and then automate the process.

It it really intended for consumption by an analytical suite such as MatLab, or a DIY one, in a language of your choosing. However, it can be simply graphed in Excel or Open Office Calc.

Feedback would be appreciated.

Enjoy!

73 Dave, G4DPZ

Data Warehouse – Telemetry Archive
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/

Dashboard App – Telemetry Decoder
http://funcube.org.uk/working-documents/funcube-telemetry-dashboard/

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amsatuk
Twitter
https://twitter.com/AMSAT_UK

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CQ policy on stations in Crimea using Russian-issued call signs in CQ contests

Saturday 18th October 2014

After considerable deliberation, CQ has determined that the best course of action regarding Crimea and CQ contests is to follow the lead of the United Nations and the United States government, both of which continue to consider Crimea to be part of Ukraine, until such time as the political situation there is resolved. Therefore,

Logs will not be accepted for any CQ Contest from stations in Crimea operating with Russian-issued call signs. Contacts made by others with those stations will be removed from contestants' logs without penalty. No contact or multiplier credits will be given.

We fully realize that our action may very well disenfranchise several Crimean contesters who use Russian prefixes instead of Ukrainian prefixes. As regrettable as that may be, our action is consistent with international law, as well as with our own Rules.

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Two new RCE appointments

Saturday 18th October 2014

The Radio Communications Foundation (RCF) site announces two new Radio Communications Examination (RCE) appointments

Dave Wilson, M0OBW, is appointed RCE Quality Assurance Manager and Ian Shepherd, G4EVK, is appointed RCE Standards Manager.

The full terms of reference of these new posts, which replace the former Quality Manager role, can be found at http://www.commsfoundation.org/rce/committees/

The RCF would like to congratulate Dave Wilson and Ian Shepherd on their appointments to these important roles. The development and assurance of robust and clear procedures are critical for the harmonious running and probity of the RCE.

Announcement
http://www.commsfoundation.org/news/two-new-rce-appointments.html

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Comet Siding Spring is about to buzz Mars

Saturday 18th October 2014

This weekend, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will make a historically close approach to Mars.

Satellites and rovers will get an eye-full as the green comet passes less than 140,000 km above the Red Planet's surface. No one knows what will happen. Possible side-effects of the flyby include a Martian meteor shower and auroras.

More information and amateur images of the comet approaching Mars may be found on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

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A big sunspot emerges

Saturday 18th October 2014

A large and active sunspot is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb.

Only two to three days ago, this active region unleashed multiple flares and hurled a massive CME over the edge of the sun.

If these eruptions continue apace, solar activity could sharply increase in the days ahead as the sunspot turns to face Earth.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos and updates.

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434 MHz balloons to launch for JOTA

Friday 17th October 2014

Radio amateurs Chris M6EDF and Steve G0TDJ will each be launching 434 MHz balloons from Essex for Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) this weekend

The balloons should be launched from Kingston Ridge Campsite in Essex on the Saturday and Sunday, Lat/Lon: 51.559144, 0.435010
http://www.kingstonridgecampsite.co.uk/index2.html

Chris Stubbs M6EDF posted on the UKHAS Google Group:
I will be launching JOTA1 at about 12:30 on Saturday 18/10/2014.
Using either a foil or 100g pawan depending on the conditions.
434.300 MHz SSB,RTTY, 50 baud, 7n2, 450Hz shift.

Steve G0TDJ posted:
Callsign: JOTA2
Date-Time: 19/10/2014 - 12:30pm
Frequency: 434.450 MHz SSB
Mode: RTTY 50n7 with 450Hz shift.
My launch will be at around 12:30pm (+/- ish) Tracking stations will be appreciated. This time, I'm going to try for a float since I will hopefully have plenty of time to prepare. The payload will be running on a Maplin AAA Lithium so expected Tx time will be >24hrs.

The balloons FSK (SSB) 434 MHz signals should be receiveable across much of the UK but for those out of range or who lack 70cm SSB the online SUWS WebSDR can be used instead, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Useful links for tracking and receiving 434 MHz balloons
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

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BBC unveils 'BBC Genome'

Friday 17th October 2014

The BBC today launched 'BBC Genome', its project to publish a comprehensive history of every radio and TV programme ever broadcast by the Corporation.

It has been created by using the BBC programme schedule from digitised copies of editions of Radio Times magazine between 1923 – 2009.
The next phase of the project will look at capturing regional and national variations and changes to the planned broadcast schedules.

Launched as a beta, BBC Genome lets viewers and listeners search millions of programmes, cast details, writers and transmission dates of past BBC shows as listed in 4469 editions of Radio Times, helping fans find details about that long-forgotten loved BBC programme, research a particular person or find their very own appearance on the BBC.

Audiences will also be able to take part in the project, by making edits and corrections to the programme listings, via a simple edit button - with edits sent directly to the BBC to verify. Accepted edits will then be published. This is the first time the BBC is inviting the public to get involved with its data on such a scale. People can also contribute their memories and experiences of the programmes, to be stored by the BBC for future inclusion.

The project scanned 350,622 pages and 4,423,653 programme records from Radio Times between 1923 and 2009.

Full details here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2014/
bbc-unveils-digital-schedules-radio-times

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DX News from the ARRL

The American Radio Relay League's round-up of the forthcoming week's DX activity
on the amateur radio bands

Friday 17th October 2014

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

TIMOR-LESTE, 4W. Jon, K7CO and a group of operators will be QRV as 4W/K7CO from October 19 to 31. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB DX contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

MADAGASCAR, 5R. Antonio, IZ8CCW, Gabriele, I2VGW and other Mediterraneo DX-CLUB team members will be QRV as 5R8M from Nosy Be Island, IOTA AF-057, from October 20 to November 4. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will also be active as 5R8C in the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB DX contest. QSL via IK2VUC.

WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2. Look for 9M4SJF to be QRV from Muar during the Jamboree On The Air event. QSL via 9M2DA. In addition, look for 9M4SJW to be QRV from Taman Setiawangsa. QSL via 9W2FOR.

OMAN, A4. Jamboree On The Air station A43JOTA will be QRV on October 17, 18 and 19. QSL via A47OS.

PORTUGAL, CT. Jamboree On The Air station CR5MEA will be QRV on October 18 and 19. QSL via bureau.

TAJIKISTAN, EY. Nodir, EY8MM has been active on 30 meters using CW around 0030z. QSL via K1BV.

MARQUESAS ISLANDS, FO. Operators Jared, N7SMI, Grant, KZ1W, Keith, VE7KW and Don, VE7DS will be QRV as TX7G from Nuku Hiva Island, IOTA OC-027, from October 18 to 26. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB DX contest. QSL via N7SMI.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA, HL. Special event station DT17AGI is active until October 20 to mark the 17th Asian Games of Incheon. QSL direct via HL1IWD.

JAPAN, JA. Members of the Ome Amateur Radio Club are QRV as 8J150ZYG until December 31 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the town Ome. QSL via bureau.

MINAMI TORISHIMA, JD1. Take, JG8NQJ is QRV as JG8NQJ/JD1 until mid December in his spare time while working at the weather station here. Activity is on the HF bands using CW. QSL direct via JA8CJY.

AMERICAN SAMOA, KH8. Masa, JH3PRR will be QRV as KH8B from Tutuila Island, IOTA OC-045, from October 21 to 27. Activity will be on the HF bands. This includes being active in the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB DX contest. QSL direct to home call.

AUSTRIA, OE. Ingo, OE2IKN will be QRV as OE2XWL/2 in the Jamboree On The Air from a school in St. Gilgen. QSL via bureau.

BRAZIL, PY. Special event station ZV14LABRE is QRV until October 31 during the first national amateur radio conference in Guararema.
QSL via PY2AA.

CHRISTMAS ISLAND, VK9X. A group of operators will be QRV as VK9XSP from October 18 to 31. Activity will be with two or three stations active simultaneously on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY.
This may include being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB DX contest. QSL via SP6EQZ.

INDIA, VU. Sarath, VU3RSB is QRV with special event call sign AT2HFI until November 10 during the Hamfest India. Activity is mainly on 40 and 20 meters. QSL direct via VU3RSB. In addition, look for AU2NSL to be QRV from Kochi during the Jamboree On The Air event. QSL via VU2NSL.

ALBANIA, ZA. Franck, F4DTO and Patrick, F4GFE plan to be QRV as ZA/home calls from Elbasan from October 18 to 27. Activity will be holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using SSB. They also plan to activate Elbasan Fortress. QSL to home calls.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS
W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/4 in Alabama, W1AW/8 in Michigan and W1AW/KH0 in the Mariana Islands are QRV until 2359z on October 21. In addition, W1AW/7 in Nevada and W1AW/8 in West Virginia will be QRV starting at 0000z on October 22. They will be active until 2359z on October 28.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
Scouts Jamboree On The Air, Stew Perry Topband CW Challenge, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC Sprint, MCG Autumn Sprint, JARTS World Wide RTTY Contest, 10-10 International Fall CW Contest, Microwave Fall Sprint, Iowa QSO Party, New York QSO Party, Worked All Germany Contest, W/VE Islands QSO Party, South Dakota QSO Party, Feld Hell Sprint, Asia-Pacific Fall CW Sprint, UBA ON 2-Meter Contest, and the Illinois QSO Party will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The ARRL School Club Roundup runs from October 20 to 24. The Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest is scheduled for October 20. The SKCC CW Sprint and CWops Mini-CWT CW Test are scheduled for October 22.

Please see October QST, page 87 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Friday 17th October 2014

Dave Raycroft's  ICPO
(Islands, Castles & Portable Operations)

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (17-24 October 2014)
"Islands, Castles & Portable Operations"
Listing is by calendar date (day/month/year)

If you like chasing the DX to some of the remotest areas of the world, or love a rag-chew with a portable station in a rare square or working Islands, Castles or Lighthouses on the Air, then you need the right information. 

Dave Raycroft VA3RJ produces an excellent bulletin, and you can read the latest by clicking on the following link, and see what is coming up in the next few days/weeks.  Dave Raycroft Bulletin

Also check the excellent HF Propagation predictions from the United Kingdom for October 2014 by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH

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RTÉ postpones closure of long wave radio service to 19 January

Thursday 16th October 2014

RTÉ is postponing the closure of its long wave radio transmitter, the Managing Director of RTÉ Radio has told the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.

Jim Jennings said what was evident was that more time was needed to engage with groups affected.

The closure has been postponed to 19 January 2015.

RTÉ had previously announced that it would be ceasing its service from the Clarkstown long wave transmitter on 27 October and migrating its Radio One service to digital platforms.

Mr Jennings said the decision to cease any RTÉ public service is not something that RTÉ takes lightly or without serious consideration.

He said: "We know that such decisions affect audiences who enjoy and rely on RTÉ's services.

"However, we also know that the public expect us to manage our operations and services efficiently and evolve our services as technology changes and audiences adapt.

"In balancing these broad considerations we have come to the decision that now is the right time to cease our long wave Radio One service after ten years on air."

Mr Jennings said an RTÉ delegation will travel to the UK next week to meet organisations and see if there is a better solution to the long wave issue. He said RTÉ is doing all it can to engage with community groups.

RTÉ accepts that the window given for closure was too short and a longer window was needed, he added.

Separately, RTÉ News has announced that it is to appoint a new London Correspondent.

RTÉ News and Current Affairs Managing Director Kevin Bakhurst said it would be a smaller operation than before, but "would continue to provide the same high quality of coverage expected by the public of RTÉ News".

Mr Bakhurst said the appointment "has been in our plans for some time, but has been curtailed by the ongoing financial restraints facing RTÉ".

"Thanks to significant savings in closing our old office over the last two years as well as redeploying the staffing costs of the Europe Correspondent post we are now in a position to make an appointment." The post will be advertised internally in the coming weeks.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2014/1015/652492-rte-longwave/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 16th October 2014

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-057; 5R, Madagascar's Coastal Islands West: Antonio/IZ8CCW, Gabriele/I2VGW, and a multi-national team of the Mediterraneo DX-CLUB activate Nosy Be Island (WLOTA 3042) between Oct. 20 and Nov. 4 as 5R8M. QRV on HF in CW, SSB, and RTTY, during the CQ WW contest as 5R8C. QSL via IK2VUC (d/B), LoTW. http://www.mdxc.org/5r8m/

AS-200; JA5, Shikoku's Coastal Islands: Taka/JA8COE plans to get on the air from Shodo Island between the 16th and 19th as JA8COE/5. QRV on 80-10m in CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via h/c (d/B), OQRS.

EU-011; G/M, Isles of Scilly: John/M5JON, Pete/M0ILT, Ant/MW0JZE, Charles/M0OXO, and Rob MW0RLJ operate with the call MX0LDG from St. Mary's Island between the 15th and 22nd. QRV on HF in CW, SSB, and digital modes. Logs will be uploaded to ClubLog and LoTW, QSL via M0URX, bureau QSLs via OQRS.

EU-031; I*8, Campania Region group: Michele/IZ8XLP operates from Ischia Island (IIA C-001) as IC8/IZ8XLP from the 18th to 24th. QRV solely in SSB on 40-10m. QSL via h/c (d/B), OQRS. http://www.bitebyte.biz/ic8iz8xlp

EU-042; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State North West group: Volker/DL1WH plans to get on the air from Pellworm (GIA N-23) as DL1WH/p between the 18th and 28th. QRV on HF, mainly in CW. QSL via DL1WH (d/B).

EU-115, EI, Ireland (Ireland/Northern Ireland): Oliver/ON4EI gets on the air from Ireland as EU8GQB for the 20th time. QRV between the 18th and 30th of October on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10m in SSB, during the CQ WW contest as EI1A. QSL via PA3249, LoTW.

EU-146; PA, Zuid Holland / Zeeland Province group: Marc/PD7YY, Jan/PE1GNP und Marcel/PG8M activate Schouwen Duiveland (WLOTA 3089) from the 18th to the 25th as PH146EU. QRV on 40-10m, maybe also on 80m, in CW and mainly in SSB. QSL via PD7YY (d/B).

SA-036; P4, Aruba: John/W2GD gets on the air once more as P40W from Aruba (WLOTA 0033). QRV between the 20th and 28th, including the contest, on HF in CW and SSB. QSL via N2MM (d), LoTW.

SA-055; LU, Buenos Aires (Delta Del Parana) Prov group:  Operators Juan/LU1EK, Walter/LU1XP, Eduardo/LU2HOD, Hector/LU3CM, Sergio/LU4CBC, Roberto/LU4QQ, Julio/LU5MT and Walter/ LU8QBF activate Martin Garcia Island (ARLHS ARG-045, WW Loc. GF05vt) as AY4E. QRV from Oct. 16 to 19 on 160m-70cm in CW, SSB, RTTY, and digital modes. QSL via LU4QQ (d/B).
 

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Amateur Radio Licence Review - URGENT !

Tuesday 14th October 2014

We held our regular meeting with Ofcom last Thursday and, as you will know, Ofcom attended the Convention at the weekend.

Feedback from those events is that :-

• Only 300 or so people have responded to the consultation document so far.

• Ofcom will be relying heavily on the volume and content of the responses as evidence of what the amateur radio community feels about the proposals.

Whilst we published some explanatory notes on the website soon after the document was released, it is apparent that many amateurs have not yet read the document which is far from straightforward in several places.

We are thus today publishing further guidance together with suggested responses to the key questions www.rsgb.org/ocguidance

Ofcom's original consultation proposals  http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/summary/condoc.pdf

There is now just one week before Ofcom’s consultation period ends (20th October) and thus time is of the essence. This note is to ask for your personal support as follows.

Please make sure that you respond to Ofcom.

Please make contact with your club chairman (if you belong to a club) or any other amateurs that you are in contact with and urge them to do the same.

Many thanks,

Graham Coomber, G0NBI
General Manager
Radio Society of Great Britain

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EMF 2014 videos released

Tuesday 14th October 2014

Videos of the dozens of presentations given at the Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event near Bletchley Park are now online

Among the videos are:

• High Altitude Ballooning by Adam Greig M0RND

• Amateur Radio: The Original Nerd Hobby! by Ryan Sayre 2E0RYS

See https://www.youtube.com/user/emfcamp1/videos

BBC reports EMF 2014 about “Getting kids involved”
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/02/bbc-reports-emf-2014/

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When will Ofcom revoke Ham Radio licences ?

Tuesday 14th October 2014

The wording on an Ofcom slide raises the question - When will Ofcom revoke amateur radio licences that have not been revalidated ?

Ofcom gave their presentation at the RSGB Convention on October 12. Regarding licences that have not been revalidated their slide said:

"This still leaves 19,000 licences technically open to revocation"

Ofcom's use of the words "technically open to revocation" rather than "will be revoked" gives the impression that revocation of licences may not occur in the immediate future.

The licence statistics include people who have been dead for over 7 years, it is hoped that Ofcom do not take too many months before they start the revocation process.

The slide also showed that radio amateurs appear to change email address as frequently as they move house with Ofcom reporting that 20% of both the email and written postal communications sent out "failed delivery".

Ofcom UK Amateur Radio Licence Statistics
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/
amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees/monthly-stats/


How to validate your licence
http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/
remember-to-validate-your-licence.html

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RTÉ’s decision to cut long-wave radio service will sever a vital link with Irish abroad

Tuesday 14th October 2014

The Irish Times report that RTÉ has announced the imminent closure of its longwave service, which was the last remaining broadcast radio service still available to the Irish in the UK.

The move comes six years after the shutdown of its medium-wave service. At that time, RTÉ officials assured the Irish abroad of its commitment to them, and that the longwave service would continue.

The shutdown, announced with only one month’s notice, is scheduled to take place on October 27th. The news is unlikely to cause a stir in Ireland. RTÉ says 98 per cent of its listeners have other options. Most of us used to spending our days online could be forgiven for wondering why on earth this technology wasn’t mothballed years ago.

Who will be affected? The Irish in the UK, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, will have a vital link with home permanently severed. This is a group that is unlikely to protest. Many won’t even know they’re about to lose their radio service until the day they go to turn it on and it’s not there.

RTÉ has been broadcasting Radio 1 to Britain since 1932. Older people rely on it as a valuable link with a country they left years ago; for many, it is their last link with Ireland.

RTÉ says listeners in the UK can tune into the station on the internet or satellite, but these solutions, which require cost and know-how, will be inaccessible for many. RTÉ’s digital radio alternative, DAB, has no reach in either Britain or the North. Longwave is not perfect: it’s unusable at night, when its signal is overpowered by an Algerian station sharing the same channel. But it keeps people connected during the day, and many people use it to listen to GAA matches from home.

Last week Brendie O’Brien, chairman of the GAA in Britain, described the impending shutdown as “a massive setback to the whole of the Irish community”.

“We have a lot of old people who won’t have any access to Ireland whatsoever once that [the longwave service] goes.” O’Brien described Radio 1’s role in the lives of many emigrants as that of providing “a home from home, and the shutdown would be depriving them of that.”

Read the full Irish Times article at
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/rt%C3%A9-s-decision-to-cut-long-wave-radio-service-will-sever-a-vital-link-with-irish-abroad-1.1961164

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RSGB Convention - Software Developers' Forum

Monday 13th October 2014

On Saturday, October 11 an amateur radio software developers forum was held at the RSGB Convention, a video is now available on the web

Watch Software Developers' Forum

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Dominica on 5 MHz

Monday 13th October 2014

Hi All,

The Dominica National Telecommunications Regulator has permitted Amateur operation on five 3 kHz-wide channels on 5 Mhz. These are - 5330.5, 5346.5, 5355.5, 5371.5 and 5403.5 kHz at 50W pep SSB

This allocation is applicable to General and Advanced licensees only

http://www.ectel.int/images/Amateur-Radio-39-2012.pdf

Please note that the Dominica (J7) 5 MHz allocation should not be confused with the Dominican Republic (HI), which also has a 5 MHz allocation.

(Tnx: ECTEL, Dominica NTRC)

Cheers, 73,

Paul Gaskell, G4MWO
Editor
The 5 MHz Newsletter

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CEPT WGFM discuss 69.9-70.5 MHz ham radio band

Sunday 12th October 2014

During the last meeting of the CEPT European Communications Committee’s (ECC) Frequency Management Working Group (WGFM) held in France, 5-10 October 2014, IARU presented a multi country contribution (document FM(14)127-R1) on behalf of five countries and IARU Region 1

The document proposed a modification of the European Common frequency Allocation table (ECA) by allocating the band 69.9 - 70.5 MHz, on a secondary basis to the amateur service.

The document explained that around thirty CEPT administrations had already allowed national amateur use of the band but some remaining CEPT countries required a clear regulatory decision before they were able to open all, or parts of this band to secondary two-way amateur usage. The proposal was therefore to amend the ECA Table to include a secondary allocation to the amateur service for the band 69.9 – 70.5 MHz and additionally update existing footnote EU9 to state that CEPT administrations may allocate all or parts of the band to the amateur service.

Whilst three countries opposed this proposal it was supported by more than ten administrations. In addition since fourteen CEPT administrations had already notified such a usage in the European Communications Office’s Frequency Information System (EFIS), the WGFM therefore agreed to include this allocation change in the next revision of the ECA Table.

It should be noted that this excellent outcome does not necessarily mean that frequencies between 69.9 and 70.5 MHz will be immediately available in all CEPT countries as the ECA is not binding on CEPT national regulatory authorities. However it does provide a clear basis for IARU member societies to seek a 4 metre allocation from their national licensing authority.

The ECA is formally approved, revised and published by the ECC once per year. It is expected that the revision incorporating the change described in this notice will occur in summer 2015.

Source: IARU Region 1, David Court EI3IO
http://iaru-r1.org/

The meeting also discussed the closing down of an Amateur TV repeater to protect a 1260-1300 MHz Galileo GNSS receiver.

To download the WGFM meeting documents follow these steps:

1. Go to http://www.cept.org/meeting-documents
2. Click on 'Filter and search'
3. In 'Group' select 'WG FM'
4. Click on '2014'
5. Click on '81st WG FM - October 06 - 10, Sophia-Antipolis, France'
6. Click on 'Input'
7. Tick all the documents you wish to download e.g.
'GNSS+Amateur Info' and 'Possible Modification to ECA band 69.9 to 70.5 MHz'
8. Click on the 'download Selected' button (top right)

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Russian radar and Voice of Iran on 21 MHz

Sunday 12th October 2014

The IARU Monitoring System newsletter reports a Russian radar covered the entire 21 MHz amateur radio band and a spurious emission from Voice of Iran is also causing interference

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 September 2014 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2014/news1409.pdf

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at
http://www.websdr.org/

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php?option=com_content&view
=category&layout=blog&id=39&Itemid=87

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146 MHz allocation for UK Full licence holders

Saturday 11th October 2014

Ofcom has published a statement setting out plans for the release and allocation of spectrum returned to civil use by the Emergency Services

The statement sets out Ofcom's decision for portions of the 5.875 MHz of Very High Frequency (VHF) spectrum in the 143 - 169 MHz band. They believe this spectrum will be of most interest to business radio users, such as utility and construction companies.

The spectrum will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis. However, it will also be released through a managed and gradual approach in order to maintain maximum flexibility for the band in the future, should new types of demand emerge.

As part of this process, Ofcom will also allocate and licence spectrum to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to replace channels no longer available due to changes in international frequency arrangements.

This approach will not require the use of all available spectrum immediately, therefore some of this spectrum will be made available, on a temporary basis, for amateur radio at 146.0 – 147.0 MHz and Ofcom will continue to provide short term access to Programme Making and Special Events users.

Subject to some geographical restrictions Full licence holders will gain access to the new allocation via a Notice of Variation (NoV) which should be available via the RSGB website from the end of October.

Read the Ofcom statement at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
vhf-143-169mhz/statement/VHF_Release_statement.pdf

There were more responses to the consultation from CB enthusiasts wanting a VHF allocation than responses from radio amateurs.

Read the responses at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
vhf-143-169mhz/?showResponses=true

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ESTEC open day last Sunday

Saturday 11th October 2014

ESA opened their ESTEC complex at Noordwijk, Netherlands, last Sunday and I attended for what was now my third time.

Amongst the impressive robotic arms and other launcher and lander equipment, it was very pleasant to see "ISS HAM RADIO" at the top of the "Education & earth observation" section of Paulo Nespoli's preentation to the public, and he spoke to me very briefly to congratulate the Ham-TV team for their equipment now installed.

All three astronauts present, Paulo Nespoli, Andre Kuipers and Franco Malerba kindly autographed to my callsign in a frantic scrum of autograph-hunters.

The Dutch company ISIS, a Funcube partner, were present to tell the story and to seek new customers for cubesat launches and I saw that TU Delft was also in the Netherlands- Space tent, amongst others.

Perhaps the best free gift from esa was a 10cm * 10cm * 10cm paper cube (for telephone notes) wrapped in plastic film - it weighs 720 grammes BTW - and I suspect it's going to get covered in a representation of Funcube 1 soon!

G0SFJ would like to thank ESA for their hospitality, and would recommend the Open Day.

Leiden - a pleasant city in itself - is a short (6 Euro) train ride from Schipol airport and it's just a 4 euro bus ride from Leiden to ESTEC.

73 de andy g0sfj

You can now see a video, released today, at: ESA-ESTEC Open Day 2014

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Ofcom trials innovative new wireless technology across the UK

Saturday 11th October 2014

Ofcom is progressing plans for the introduction of new wireless technology in the UK – the first country in Europe likely to do so.

Both public and private organisations are taking part in trials, testing a variety of innovative applications, using spectrum temporarily licensed by Ofcom.

With trials already taking place across the country, Ofcom is working with Google and ZSL London Zoo – the latest organisations to launch TV a ‘white space’ trial, using the technology to stream live footage of animals to YouTube.

There are seven trials currently running across the UK, testing a variety of applications, including: live wireless video streaming, next generation Wi-Fi, sensor networks for flood defence, and broadband in remote locations.

This technology uses gaps in radio spectrum that exist in between frequency bands, called white space, to offer new wireless applications that will benefit consumers and businesses.

More trials are expected to start over the coming months. Following completion of the trials, testing and policy development, Ofcom expects the technology could be rolled out during 2015; enabling the use of new wireless applications to benefit consumers and businesses across the country.

A news release detailing the trials is available here.
A map of the on-going trials can be viewed here.
A video explaining Ofcom’s work with Google and ZSL London Zoo is available here.
Click here for a stream live video of the London Zoo’s meerkats, Asian otters and giant Galapagos tortoises.

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HamRadioNow: AMBE Digital Vocoder Exposed

Friday 10th October 2014

In this presentation given to the TAPR digital Communications Conference Bruce Perens K6BP discusses the AMBE vocoder

Bruce Perens K6BP admits he was wrong about the AMBE vocoder used in D-STAR and most other VHF/UHF digital voice equipment. It isn't a black box. The specs are public! But they're so encumbered by patents that you can't use them... unless...except.... And, what else can you do?

Watch Episode 167 - K6BP 'AMBE Exposed' from the 2014 DCC - HamRadioNow

Other Ham Radio Now videos are at
https://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

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Need for British longwave radio service underestimated by RTÉ

Friday 10th October 2014

With fewer than three weeks to go until RTÉ Radio 1 brings its historic longwave service on 252 to an end, the Irish community in Britain has responded with fury and dismay.

The move, which was announced with just over a month’s notice, is part of the Irish broadcaster’s new focus on digital platforms.

But the decision to cease transmission, from October 27, was described as a “bitter blow” to Irish people in Britain as well as parts of the North of Ireland.

Eddie Walsh, who is PRO of The Workers’ Party (Britain) in Nottingham, said: “Other options are not open to all of us. I cannot get RTÉ on my car radio except on longwave and I certainly do not want to listen to it on my computer. The current radio ads only refer to the island of Ireland, thus not even mentioning those of us on this side of the Irish Sea.”

He added: “I would suggest that the station has underestimated the number of listeners.”

Meanwhile Irish Post reader Sean O’Rinn said: “I have a small radio beside my bed and listen to RTE on 252 every night. There is no way that I can use any digital apparatus in its place. There must be thousands of Irish people here in England who are in a similar position — we will become completely isolated from our native home.”

The loss of the longwave service comes after the broadcaster closed its London offices in 2012. Tom McGuire, Head of RTÉ Radio 1, estimates that no more than 2,000 people use its service.

RTÉ said that 98 per cent of its Radio 1 listeners would be unaffected by the move. It added that to measure longwave listening numbers in Britain would prove “a prohibitive service cost”.

When contacted by The Irish Post, an RTÉ spokesperson said: “We will be running an extensive on-air campaign to inform people of the alternatives to longwave. The campaign will become more and more detailed in terms of where RTÉ Radio 1 is available as we near closure.”

RTÉ confirmed that it would work with agencies in Britain to let Irish people, groups and societies know what is happening and how they can keep listening.

When asked for a response to its loyal listeners in Britain — many of whom do not use the internet, RTÉ acknowledged that not all its listeners have access to broadband and other data services.

But they added: “We like to think that, as older people adopt such technologies as smartphones, the radio will be a helpful starting point. Radio apps are simple to use and immediate in access. We do understand that this is a source of inconvenience to some listeners and we do regret it.”

In Ireland, the move was also met with criticism in some quarters. Writing in a national newspaper last week, columnist John Waters said the broadcaster had essentially told the Diaspora to modernise or “take a running jump”. And last week, Ireland’s Catholic bishops urged RTÉ to reconsider its decision to stop the service.

Bishops’ Conference spokesperson Martin Long said: “The bishops’ real concern is that people on the margins, who should be the concern of the national broadcaster, are going to be the worst affected. Whether it’s the elderly in Northern Ireland or in Britain, who have always relied on RTÉ for its Sunday worship programmes, these are the people that the bishops are now very concerned about.”

The bishops said that serving a marginal audience should be a priority, while calling on RTÉ to carry out a survey to determine the actual number of listeners to longwave broadcasts of religious programmes and how prepared those listeners are for a digital switchover.

Read the full Irish Post story at
http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/
rte-underestimates-need-longwave-british-radio-service

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Ofcom grants extension to UK Broadband Ltd’s spectrum licence within the 3.4 GHz band

Friday 10th October 2014

Ofcom has today granted an indefinite extension to the spectrum licence held by UK Broadband Ltd within the 3.4 GHz band.

The decision follows a consultation, which considered the benefits to consumers that are likely to arise if the licence is extended and UK Broadband goes ahead with investment in a new broadband network.

Ofcom believes that extending the licence will promote competition and encourage investment and innovation. Among the potential benefits, we expect UK Broadband’s investment to deliver faster broadband speeds to customers and at lower prices, in under-served urban areas.

UK Broadband’s licence includes 40 MHz of spectrum within a total of 190 MHz of spectrum suitable for broadband use in the 3.4 GHz band.
The future auction of the other 150 MHz of spectrum at 3.4 GHz means that alternative operators will still have an opportunity to obtain spectrum in this band.

The full statement outlining Ofcom’s decision can be viewed here.

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Space Weather Forecasting Centre officially opened

Thursday 9th October 2014

On October 8, 2014 Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, opened the UK's only dedicated space weather forecast centre

The Met Office Space Weather Centre, based at the Met Office's headquarters in Exeter, is the culmination of more than three years work to combine the space weather resources and scientific expertise of the UK and USA and was made possible by £4.6 million funding from Government.

It is operational 24/7 providing space weather forecasts and developing an early warning system aimed at protecting critical infrastructure from the impacts of space weather.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said:"The Met Office Space Weather Centre is a clear demonstration of how the UK is a world leader in space weather. Not only will it help us to guard against the impact of space weather, but its capabilities will mean benefits for British businesses like those in the space industry and the wider economy."

Met Office Space Weather Business Manager Mark Gibbs said: "The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre is the culmination of more than three years' work drawing on the collective resources and expertise of the UK and USA. It's a new, emerging and exciting area of science where understanding is growing rapidly.

"Space weather is an all encompassing term covering the near-Earth impact of solar flares, geomagnetic storms and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun. The impact these have on Earth is becoming ever more important as we become more reliant on technology."

Press release
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2014/space-weather

Met Office Space Weather
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/publicsector/emergencies/space-weather

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Founder of JOTA is SK

Thursday 9th October 2014

Les Mitchell G3BHK, known as the 'father of JOTA', passed away on Monday, October 6

He was one of the Radio Scouters at the Jamboree in 1957 that gave birth to the idea of a Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). The first event was held in 1958. To many he was known as the father of JOTA.

In 2000, recalling the first event, Les wrote "Little did I think when I drew up the plans and rules for the first event in 1958 that it's popularity would increase and spread around the world. Even more astonishing is the fact that after all this time it still holds it's popularity and now has a participation of some half a million Scouts and Guides in over one hundred countries involving some ten thousand amateur radio stations. In fact it has become the largest international Scout event ever."

Radio Scouting - Les Mitchell G3BHK
http://www.radio-scouting.org.uk/index.php?page=the-founder-of-jota

The 57th JOTA will take place October 18-19
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/october/
uk_jota_station_list.htm

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IOTA News from the
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 9th October 2014

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-016; FR, Reunion Island: Diego, F4HAU, is going to activate Reunion Island (DIFO FR-001, WLOTA 1812, FFF-011) from the 9th to the 12th and the 18th to 24th as FR/F4HAU. QTB holiday-style on 40-10m in SSB. QSL via F4HAU (d/B).

AF-017; 3B9, Rodrigues Island: From the 13th to 17th Diego operates from Rodrigues Island (WLOTA 4265, 3BFF-004) as 3B9/F4HAU. QSL via F4HAU (d/B).

EU-049; SV, North Aegean Islands: Barrie/G1JYB, Stephany/G1LAT, and Frank/G8BME are currently on the air (HF) from Samos Island (GIOTA SAS06, WW Loc. KM37jk) with the call SZ8S. QSL via G1LAT (d), M0SCG (B).

NA-052; W4, Florida State South West (Collier/ Monroe County) group: Jacek, SP5APW, announces a mini-IOTA-expedition to Marco Island (USi FL025S) for Oct. 12 to 15. QRV as W4/SP5APW in SSB. On October 10 he will be active for 1 day from Dry Tortugas (NA-079, USi FL013S) as W4/SP5APW/p. QSL via SP5APW (d/B).

NA-168; W5, Louisiana State South East (Lafourche to Plaquemines Parish) group: Members of the Red Stick DX Association operate from Grand Isle (USi LA-003S) between Oct 10 and 12 as W5GIX. QRV in CW and SSB. QSL via W5GIX (d).

NA-174; VY0, Nunavut group: David, VE3VID, recently returned to Igloolik Island and will operate as VY0/VE3VID during his spare time. QRV only on 20m in RTTY, Hell, and SSB. QSL via VE3VID (d/B).
http://ve3vid.webs.com/

NA-247; PJ7, Guana Key of Pelikan: Dom/ 3Z9DX, Jeremy/EI5GM, Dave/EI9FBB, Frans/J69DS, and Col/MM0NDX will activate the new IOTA group NA-247 for the first time as PJ7KP. QRV Oct 6 to 10 (depending on wx and sea conditions). QRV on 40-10m in CW and SSB. The team asks everyone to be content with one QSO to give all interested amateurs the chance to work the new group. QSL via 3Z9DX (d/B). http://pj7pk.net/

OC-076; YB8, Sula Islands: Imam/YB4IR and Din/YB8RW operate as YB4IR/8 and YB8RW/p from Sula Island between the 5th and the 9th. QRV on 40-10m in CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL YB4IR/8 via YB4IR (d/B), YB8RW/p via YB9RU (d).

OC-086; KH0, Northern Mariana Islands: W1AW/KH0 participates in the ARRL Centennial celebrations between Oct. 8 and 21 on HF and 6m from Tinian Island (WLOTA 3108, USI NI-003S). QSL via W1AW (d/B), LoTW.

SA-086; CE2, Coquimbo / Valparaiso Region group: A large team will activate Damas Island (WLOTA 0029) between Oct. 8 to 12 with the call XR2T. Operators are Nicolas/XQ1KZ, Dercel/CE3KHZ, and Danilo/XQ4CW for CW, Domingo/ CE1DY, Julio/CE3OP, Chris/ CE3TAM, Pablo/CE1UMY, Juan/CE3RBJ, and Marco/CE1TBN for SSB & RTTY. They promise to pay particular attention to weak and QRP stations. QSL via CE3OP (d/B), LoTW after about 1 year. http://www.xr2t.cl/

IOTA Progress:
RSGB plans to delegate the further development of the IOTA programme to an interational team. Its main task is to lead IOTA into the future, for example through developing a system of managing electronic confirmations. Interested amateurs are asked to contact Roger, G3KMA.
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/uncategorized/2014/09/24/rsgb-iota-programme/
 

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Price of 70cm handhelds falls

Tuesday 7th October 2014

The cost of 430 MHz FM handhelds seems to be falling, with one 5 watt transceiver available for under £8

The Baofeng/Pofung BF-888S 400-470 MHz handheld is being sold on ebay by one retailer for just £7:99.

The rig is limited to just 16 channels within that frequency range but at that price it would seem to offer great scope for experimentation on 430 MHz.

BF-888S for £7:99
http://t.co/9rORAaghQP

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Numbers taking Amateur Radio Foundation falling

Monday 6th October 2014

The RSGB have released the Board proceedings for September 12, they show a decline in Society membership and falling numbers taking the Amateur Radio Foundation exam

However, the proceedings note the success of the one pound Centenary membership offer made in June/July 2013. A third of those who took up the offer renewed their membership. The Society used personal telephone calls to push the renewal rate up to 41%.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held September 12, 2014
https://thersgb.org/members/resources/?id=5440

Previous RSGB Board proceedings
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/
board-of-directors/board-proceedings-and-reports/


You can join the RSGB online at
http://www.rsgbshop.org/acatalog/
Online_Catalogue_Join_the_RSGB_22.html


RSGB membership is free to licensed UK amateurs under the age of 21 or aged 21-25 and in full time education
http://www.rsgbshop.org/acatalog/PDF/join_us_form_junior.pdf

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 6th October 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 28th-September, through Sunday, 5th-October there were 229 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5N, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 8R, 9A, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9U, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, CY0, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T32, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9X, VP2E, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XT, XU, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9, ZF, ZK3, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 6th October 2014

Island activities:

AF-018. Operator Raffaele, IH9YMC, will be active from Pantelleria Island (IIA TP-001, MIA MI-124, WW Loc. JM56XT), African Italy, during the CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 25-26th) as a Single-Op/Single-Band (??) entry. QSL via eQSL.

AF-040. (Reminder) By the time you read this, Markus, DJ4EL, will be active as 5Z4/DJ4EL from Lamu Island, Kenya, until October 19th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. QSL also via the LoTW.

AF-109. Miran, S50O, will operate as IG9/S50O from Lampedusa Island, QTH Punto Alaimo (WW LOC JM65HM) until end of November. Miran will participate in both SSB and CW CQWW Contests as IO9Y team member in Multi/Multi entry from ZONE 33. All QSLs for IG9/S50O via his home callsign by the Bureau, direct with SASE + 2 USDs or Clublog's OQRS. Cards will be ready to print soon into 2015, LoTW later.

AS-200. Taka, JA8COE, will be active as JA8COE/5 from Shodo Island between October 16-19th. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. QSL via JA8COE, direct, by the Bureau or the OQRS on ClubLog. He has a Blog page at: http://takaja8coe.de-blog.jp

AS-201. Metin, TA1ED, will be active as TC0MI from Marmara Island between October 5-8th. Activity will be on 80-10 meters. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-031. Michele "Mike", IZ8XLP, will be active as IC8/IZ8XLP from Ischia Island (IIA C001) between October 18-24th. Activity will be holiday style on 40/20/17/15/12/10 meters using SSB only. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau or the OQRS on ClubLog. For more information, see his Web page at: http://www.bitebyte.biz/ic8iz8xlp

NA-247. (NEW) By the time you read this, operators Dom/3Z9DX, Jeremy/EI5GM, Dave/EI9FBB, Frans/J69DS and Col/MM0NDX should be in
St. Maarten with the primary aim to activate the NEW IOTA -- Pelikan Key, St. Maarten's Coastal Island. Their approximate dates of activity are scheduled between October 6-10th, but as with most island activations everything is dependent on calm seas and good WX. They will be using the callsign PJ7PK. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via 3Z9DX, direct, by the Bureau or to paypal request (please, no need to send a paper card). For more details and updates, see:
http://pj7pk.net
https://twitter.com/@pj7pk

SA-086. Just a reminder that the Chilean DXpedition Team will be active as XR2T from Damas Island (WLOTA-0029, FG40fs) between October 8-12th (likely dates -- See OPDX.1181). QSL via their manager CE3OP, direct or by the Bureau. For more details and updates, see the following at:
http://www.qrz.com/db/XR2T
http://www.xr2t.cl/index.php

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Radio Exterior de España to end shortwave broadcasts on October 15

Monday 6th October 2014

REE will end all shortwave broadcasts as of October 15, 2014.

David writes with details from Spain:
http://wp.me/pn3uc-2R8

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Silverstone B-64 balloon still flying

Sunday 5th October 2014

The B-64 balloon launched at 06:51 GMT on July 12, 2014 from Silverstone (in the UK) is still in the air transmitting on 434.500 MHz using Contestia 64/1000 and APRS

On Saturday, October 3 Phil Heron MI0VIM reported decoding data while it was over the North Atlantic ocean, coming up to 6th time it would pass the United Kingdom on it's continuing journeys around the world.

B-64 was built by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER, he made both the plastic foil envelope and the solar powered transmitter payload which weighs just 11 grams.

See the B-64 track at
http://habhub.org/mt/?focus=B-64

July 31 B-64 completes first journey around the world
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/31/
434-mhz-balloon-b-64-completes-epic-journey/


Useful balloon links
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/

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Introduction to ham radio datamodes

Sunday 5th October 2014

A video by Michael Sansom G0POT provides an introduction to amateur radio datamodes

Watch Introduction to Datamodes.mov

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UK JOTA Station List

Sunday 5th October 2014

The 57th Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and the 18th Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) takes place over the weekend of October 18-19

It is the largest Scouting event in the world, with close to a million Scouts participating across 160+ countries. JOTA-JOTI is the only event offering each individual Scout the experience that he or she really belongs to a worldwide Movement.

JOTA is the annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world make contacts with each other by means of amateur radio. Short-wave radio signals carry their voices to nearly every corner of the world. They then engage in live conversations with fellow Scouts or Guides across their country and around the world. JOTA is truly a Jamboree during which Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared.

The use of amateur-radio techniques offers an extra educational dimension for Scouts. Many grasp the opportunity to discover the world of wireless radio technology and electronics. Tens of thousands of volunteer amateur radio operators assist the Scouts over the JOTA weekend with their expertise, equipment and enthusiasm.

Similar to JOTA, JOTI connects Scouts using computers over the Internet. Using proven techniques like text chat or even more sophisticated ones with live video connections. Units can choose to take part by radio, via internet or both, whichever they prefer.

JOTA-JOTI
http://www.radio-scouting.org.uk/index.php?page=jota-joti

List of UK JOTA Stations
http://www.radio-scouting.org.uk/jotadb/exports/

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Women's skillshare - How to Make a Radio

Sunday 5th October 2014

This free workshop is going to be facilitated by paper electronics designer Coralie Gourguechon and will review the basics of circuitry, continuity and radios

The workshop is on Thursday, October 23, 2014 Somerset House, Victoria Embankment, West Goods Entrance, WC2R 1LA. All skill levels are welcome. Places are limited.

Please bring your sad, broken old radios for learning and bodging!

Further information at
http://www.meetup.com/Restarters-London/events/203202812/

Coralie Gourguechon - Paper Radio
http://www.coraliegourguechon.fr/Paper-radio

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UK schools contact with International Space Station

Saturday 4th October 2014

On Wednesday, October 8 at 10:08:49 UT there will be an ARISS contact between astronaut Alexander Gerst KF5ONO on the International Space Station (ISS) and students at the Winter Gardens Primary School, Canvey, Essex and Pilton Bluecoat School, Barnstaple, Devon

The ISS will be over the USA at the time and they will be making use of an amateur radio Telebridge Ground Station in California, W6SRJ, to actually make the link to the Space Station.

The schools had originally hoped the contact would take place on September 23 but due to a delay in the launch of a SpaceX Dragon supply ship the contact was postponed.

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/

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Yagi Antenna Designer

Saturday 4th October 2014

Derek Hilleard G4CQM launches a new website which details only his very best VHF/UHF AOWA & FLOWA yagi designs produced in the last two years.

The difference is a full and forensic analysis of each design including Q-factor which has been ignored for too many years!

Myths surrounding reflectorless yagis have also been explored, see...
http://www.antennadesigner.co.uk/

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VHF operation in Antarctica

Saturday 4th October 2014

Radio amateur Cathy Collness M0RTW is taking up the post of Radio Communications Officer at the Rothera Research Station. In her blog she describes the VHF communications system at the base

Read Cathy's post at
http://passyourmessage.com/2014/09/11/
vhf-repeaters-and-frequencies/


In 2013 Cathy took the Foundation and Advanced amateur radio training courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS).

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Stratospheric radiation rebounds following CME strike

Saturday 4th October 2014

Stratospheric radiation levels are returning to normal, according to a Space Weather Buoy launched on Sept. 28th by students in California.

This follows a mid-September drop in ionizing radiation caused, ironically, by a strong solar storm and CME strike.

Data and a discussion of the phenomenon may be found on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

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RSGB Inspire Forum

Friday 3rd October 2014

There have been a number of thoughtful contributions to the forum on the subject of promoting amateur radio at special events

The RSGB Inspire Forum is open to all and aims to share and discuss ideas and experience running Special Events and Demonstrations to members of the public to identify successful approaches to promoting Amateur Radio in the UK.

The contributions on Promotion at Special Events are well worth reading.

You can join RSGB Inspire at
https://groups.yahoo.com/groups/rsgb_inspire/

If you are uncertain about using Yahoo User ID's then you can also join the RSGB_Inspire Yahoo Group by following these steps:

• Send a blank email to RSGB_Inspire-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
• Yahoo will send you an email in response, you may need to check your SPAM folder
• Click on the link in the email, this will bring up a Yahoo page in your browser
• On the Yahoo page ignore the big Join link in the middle and click on the link at the bottom of the page instead, it says: “As an alternate option, you may join the mailing list instead.”
• You should then be a member of the group.

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ARRL again asks FCC to elevate Amateur Service 2300-2305 MHz allocation to primary

Thursday 2nd October 2014

In comments filed in response to an AT&T Mobility Petition for Rule Making seeking a new air-to-ground communications system on 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) spectrum, the ARRL has once again asked the FCC to elevate the Amateur Service allocation at 2300 to 2305 MHz from secondary to primary.

The Petition (RM-11731) asked the Commission to authorize an LTE-based in-flight connectivity service in the WCS "C" and "D" blocks (2305-2315 MHz and 2350-2360 MHz, respectively) for airlines and airline passengers. AT&T has asserted that restrictions on out-of-band emission and power limits to protect adjacent-band users make the use of the C and D blocks problematic. The wireless provider asked the FCC for rule changes to permit deployment of its service "using currently fallow spectrum" while also "preserving adequate interference protection to users of adjacent bands."

"Notwithstanding this broad and nebulous claim, there is no showing anywhere in the four corners of the Petition that the proposed rule changes would permit any continued Amateur Radio operations on a secondary basis in the shared A block (2305-2310 MHz)," the ARRL commented on September 22. More to the point, the League said, there is no showing in the Petition that Amateur Radio operations in the adjacent 2300-2350 MHz band would be protected from increased out-of-band emissions, if the FCC were to implement the changes requested.

The League asserted in its comments that the FCC has, to date, "failed to protect Amateur Radio operations at 2300-2305 MHz from WCS out-of-band emissions." The ARRL said the band is "regularly and substantially utilized by radio amateurs" for weak-signal, long-distance communication and, only by circumstances - a lack of a primary occupant - has it been able to enjoy that segment as a de facto primary user.

"The Commission's rules are quite clear that WCS licensees enjoy no entitlement to disrupt adjacent-band radio service operations," the ARRL commented. But, the League pointed out, previous FCC actions to expand mobile broadband devices left 2300-2305 MHz vulnerable to increased out-of-band interference that would be difficult or impossible to mitigate. The ARRL said amateur stations operating in the 2300-2305 MHz band would be unable to avoid interference from AT and T Mobility's proposed system, and that the FCC has refused to clarify the obligation of WCS mobile providers to avoid interference to Amateur Radio operations there.

The ARRL objected to what it called the FCC's "practice of making allocation decisions which place incompatible uses in close proximity to amateur stations and then place on the amateur licensees the burden of avoiding the interference."

"It is obvious that the result of the AT&T Petition will be a virtual preclusion of amateur access to the 2305-2310 MHz segment," the ARRL's comments continued. "A ubiquitous air-to-ground system which operates at and above 2305 MHz will clearly render the secondary allocation status of that segment a virtual nullity."

The ARRL asked the FCC to recognize Amateur Radio's "de facto primary status" at 2300-2305 MHz and to elevate that segment from secondary to primary for amateurs. It further called on the Commission to "clarify the obligation of WCS licensees in all contexts to protect the adjacent-band Amateur Service operations at 2300-2305 MHz from harmful interference." Finally, the League requested that AT&T provide "a complete technical compatibility showing and interference analysis" that would demonstrate compatibility between its proposed service and amateur operations at 2300-2305 MHz.

Source: The American Radio Relay League

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EMC issues in cockpit screens

Thursday 2nd October 2014

The Federal Aviation Authority FAA has told airlines to replace or modify the cockpit display units. These were apparently designed without consideration for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)

BBC News reports the US air safety regulator said that tests had indicated that mobile phone and computer signals could cause the screens to go blank. The affected planes are typically fitted with several screens, each of which costs thousands of pounds.
Honeywell - the displays' manufacturer - has stressed that the problem has not been experienced in-flight.

Read the BBC story at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29445385

March 2011 - Wi-Fi interference with Honeywell avionics prompts Boeing action
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/
wi-fi-interference-with-honeywell-avionics-prompts-boeing-354179/

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'Space bubbles' may have helped Taliban down 'copter in bloody Afghanistan battle

Thursday 2nd October 2014

The world has been treated to all sorts of excuses about why the United States and its allies from the UK and elsewhere failed to win the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Now boffins have put forward the bizarre suggestion that one of the Yanks' most infamous defeats was actually caused by a phenomenon called space bubbles.

Lead researcher Michael Kelly, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, was reading about Operation Anaconda, when the Taliban downed an American Chinook as it attempted to rescue a team of Navy SEALS.

The helicopter did not receive a message from back at the base telling them not to attempt a landing on the peak of Takur Ghar, a snowcapped mountain overrun with jihadi forces. Having failed to hear this warning, the Chinook crash-landed and three Navy SEALS were killed in a firefight.

Kelly and his team of researchers have claimed that "space bubbles" might have caused communications to fail. These giant plasma bubbles generally form in the upper atmosphere after nightfall. Stretching up 62 miles (100km) wide, they are thin clouds of electrically charged gas particles which can disperse, bend or redirect radio waves.

Read the full article in The Register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/24/
space_bubbles_hobbled_america_during_the_afghanistan_war/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 2nd October 2014

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-024; S7, Inner Islands: Kasimir/DL2SBY gets on the air as S79KB, first between Oct. 4 and 9 from Mahe (WLOTA 3286), then from Oct. 9 to 18 from Praslin (WLOTA 2862). QSL via homecall (d/B).

AF-040; 5Z, Coast Province North Group: Markus/DJ4EL activates Lamu Island as 5Z4/DJ4EL from the 4th to the 19th in SSB. QSL via DJ4EL (d/B), LoTW.

AS-151; BY2, Liaoning Province West group: Zhang/BA3AX, Wang/BA3CE, and Lu/BD3AEO will be active from Juhua Island between the 2nd and 5th of October as BA3AX/2. QRV on 20-10m. QSL via BA3AX (d/B).

EU-001; SV5, Dodecanese: Wolf, DL3DRN, is currently active holiday-style from Rhodos (WLOTA 0045) until October 9. QRV as SV5/DL3DRN on HF in CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-014; TK, Corsica Island: Paul/G4BKI (VP9KF) operates as TK/G4BKI from October until 17 March 2015. QRV on HF in CW. Paul hopes to receive a TK4 call eventually. QSL only direct to his USA address.
http://tk.g4bki.com/  http://vp9kf.com/

EU-015; SV9, Crete Island: Andreas/DL9USA gets on the air holiday-style as SW9AG between Oct. 1 and 10 on HF. QSL via homecall (d/B). http://www.qrz.com/db/sw9ag

EU-029; OZ, Sjaelland Archipelago: Uwe/DH3UN activates Falster from the 4th to 17th of Oct. in SSB and PSK signing OZ/DH3UN. QSL via h/c (d/B), LoTW.

EU-038; PA, Texel Island: Ben/DO1BEN and Barbara/DO1IQ operate from Texel (WLOTA 0043) between the 3rd and 12th of Oct. with their calls PD/homecalls. QRV on 40, 20, and 10m in SSB, RTTY, and PSK. QSL via h/c (d/B).
http://www.do1ben.de/index.php?page=texel-island-eu-038

EU-051; I*9, Ustica Island: Alex/IK8YFU, Domenico/IW8RAO, Maurizio/IZ8SJA, Salvo/ IZ8CZR, and Nicola/IZ8SKO, all members of the Calabria DX Club, will put Ustica Island (ARLHS ITA-136 und ITA-125, WAIL SI-027 und WAIL SI-028, IIA U-001, IFF-485) with the call IE9/IQ8QX between the 2nd and 5th. QSL via IK8YFU (d/B), eQSL,
LoTW.
http://www.calabriadxteam.it/

NA-001; C6, Great Bahama Bank group: Alex/PY2WAS is expected on the air holiday-style from New Providence Island (WLOTA 1115) as C6AAS. QRV on 30, 20, 17, 15, and 10m in CW and SSB, mainly during the night hours. QSL via PY2WAS (d/B).

NA-003; VP5, Turks Islands: Phil/G3SWH and Georg/DK7LX join forces to operate from Grand Turk Island (WLOTA 0289) as VP5/G3SWH between Oct. 1 and 9. QRV on 80-10m solely in CW, running two stations. QSL via G3SWH (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog.
http://www.g3swh.org.uk/vp5-g3swh.html

NA-058; W4, Georgia State group: Lawrence/K4KGG gets on the air as K4KGG/p from Jekyll Island (USi GA006S) between the 3rd and 6th.
QRV on HF, QSL via K4KGG (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog.

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Jamboree On The Air

Wednesday 1st October 2014

Once again this year the St George Amateur Radio Society will be operating an amateur radio station VK2LE at the largest Jamboree On The Air event in Australia, over 1000 guides and scouts!

JOTA station VK2LE will be located in Bonna Point Reserve at picturesque Kurnell, in southern Sydney.

Station setup will start at midday Friday the 17th, and operate under canvas over Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th of October, with pack up on Sunday afternoon.

In the area and interested in helping?

All equipment is provided as well as most meals and refreshments. Just bring your skill as an amateur radio operator.

Previous experience at JOTA is not essential as seasoned JOTA operators will be on hand to give you support.

email jota[at]sgars.org

or go to www.sgars.org

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

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DX Cluster .. Service for Club Members

Our local packet DX-Cluster GB7MDX (run by Bob G4UJS) is located near Whixall
in Shropshire.  It is hard-wired to GB7MDX is GB7UJS, a Linux Server running DXspider
by G1TLH permanently connected to the internet and the worldwide packet cluster network.

This is an experimental Telnet link to our local DX-Cluster from this page.  If you
are a licensed radio amateur, click on GB7UJS and enter your callsign to log-in.

If you experience any problems in making the connection, please read the HELP file.

All connections are recorded, so please do not abuse
this facility otherwise it will be withdrawn.

Click here for the full on-line manual for DXspider on GB7UJS.

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This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-  webmaster@wadarc.com