Wirral & District

Amateur Radio Club

winner of

RSGB Region 3 Trophy

'Club of the Year' 2013

 


Interested in Radio & Electronics ? then you need a Licence to get started in Amateur Radio

WADARC has a team able to provide Foundation and Intermediate Licence Tuition

Contact our Chairman & Chief Exam Trainer - Geoff G4WUA at chairman@wadarc.com
 

 

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

 

K1N Navassa Island DXpedition

Sunday 1st February 2015

Navassa: We're on the way!

As you know, our plan was to begin helicopter trips this morning as soon as USFWS gave us the go-ahead. We hoped to get in as many as three trips in today.

Because of the presence of a congressional delegation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, air services prevented the first of the two Navassa-bound USFWS helicopter flights to take off until 1830z. The first flight carried three of the six USFWS personnel, so the helicopter had to return to Guantanamo Bay and return with the remaining three USFWS people. It's about an hour each way so all of the above equals delay.

We received the call at 1830z with the OK to start our trips. Our first flight left a few minutes later at 1900z and should land about 2030z. It's a two-hour round trip between Jamaica and Navassa so we won't get but one flight completed today.

The first flight contained infrastructure materials and three K1N operators: George N4GRN, Glenn WØGJ and Jerry WB9Z.

Flights will resume at first light tomorrow and we should get most of the material and men ashore tomorrow (Feb 1st). Building the camp will be time-consuming and labor-intensive but we hope be able to get one or two stations on the air tomorrow evening. It will be another day or so before we're fully operational on all bands.

Because of the weather issues encountered this week by our supply vessel "Electra", we decided offload all the MREs, gasoline and water in Jamaica and transport it all via helicopter. More trips, more $$ but in the interest of safety.

Bernie McClenny, W3UR
Editor of: The Daily DX
The Weekly DX
How's DX?

Two week trial - http://www.dailydx.com/trial.html

https://twitter.com/dailydx

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Gulyas BNC-to-SMA Adapters - updated

Sunday 1st February 2015

Stephen Gulyas has been fabricating the absolute best BNC-to-SMA antenna adapters for several years. These are not 'one size fits all' adapters: Stephen realizes that to protect your handheld radio's delicate SMA connector the adapter must 'mate' solidly to the case of the radio..

He has just updated his offerings - now covering more than 50 HT models.

And the reasonable price has remained the same for as long as I can remember.

If you swap antennas a lot.. or otherwise connect/disconnect antenna/ cables a lot, then you need one of these adapters. Otherwise, budget for a $45-75 antenna jack replacement repair job down the line.. (grin)

The three-page .pdf document is posted on the ANTENNAS page at
http://www.work-sat.com

Clint K6LCS

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Getting data from New Horizons

Sunday 1st February 2015

Emily Lakdawalla explains why radio signals from the Pluto probe New Horizons take so long to get to Earth and why it uses both left and right circular polarization

Read her article at
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/01300800-talking-to-pluto-is-hard.html

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Radio Sweden's SW and MW transmitters

Sunday 1st February 2015

A few days ago, I discovered a very interesting documentary video that gives a look at the Radio Sweden shortwave transmitters at Hörby, and the Sölvesborg AM transmitter. Håkan Widenstedt, was the Chief Engineer for Radio Sweden when this film was shot in 2006.

What is interesting about this video is the detailed view of the inside of the shortwave and mediumwave transmitters, and it offers some insight into the day-to-day work of an engineer for a large international broadcaster. In it's day, Radio Sweden was a much loved and popular station, and even today is sadly missed.

The film is in memory of Håkan, who passed away in 2011.
It is 30 minutes long and was filmed and produced by Kelly Lindman. The conversation is in Swedish with English subtitles. Special thanks to Jan Oosterveen for making this available for all of us to enjoy.

The link is at:
http://medxr.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/radio-swedens-transmitters-and-log-book.html

73 de
Rob VK3BVW

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New Scientist: Race to put internet into orbit

Saturday 31st January 2015

New Scientist magazine interviews radio amateur James Cutler KF6RFX as part of their story on plans to launch hundreds of Internet satellites into a 1200 km orbit

This month, Virgin Galactic and chip-maker Qualcomm announced their backing of a venture called OneWeb. This plans to put 648 satellites in orbit about 1200 kilometres above Earth's surface, where the round trip time for radio waves is just a few thousands of a second, fine for any online application. SpaceX immediately announced its own plan to do the same, building and launching 4000 satellites to a similar altitude.

Read the story at
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530062.200-multibilliondollar-race-to-put-internet-into-orbit.html?full=true

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CQ-DATV 20 Magazine out now

Saturday 31st January 2015

CQ-DATV 20 the free ATV magazine is available for download from http://cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php

In this issue is :-

DATV News
DATV on 2m
Known DATV DX Records - 2015
Editorial
Manufacturing a Tri¬Band Dish Feed
SSB with 10 GHz PLL LNB
Golden Oldie
Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity
The WiFi to Service of 'Digital ATV
UGLYDATV 0.1
DATV-Express Project – December update report
Moving on with film making part 2

Coming up

http://cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php

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Ofcom and RSGB Meeting

Friday 30th January 2015

The RSGB met with Ofcom on January 13, 2015 and raised a number of concerns with the communications regulator

Concern was raised over the 472 kHz band clause concerning protection to electrical equipment and the wording of the clause referring to maritime mobile operation.

Regarding the 22% of amateur licences which are unvalidated the RSGB report says:

"It was noted that Ofcom had yet to agree a process for dealing with those licences that remain unvalidated."

Until Ofcom actually revoke unvalidated licences they remain valid and stay in the licence statistics. It seems it could be sometime before Ofcom does anything on this front.

Read the RSGB report on the meeting at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2015/01/29/ofcom-rsgb-forum-13-january-2015/

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

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End fed half wave antenna matching units from Cross Country Wireless

Friday 30th January 2015

Cross Country Wireless have just released a new range of antenna matching units and baluns for end fed half wave (EFHW) antennas.

Development work on our earlier units has resulted in a new design of bandpass antenna matching unit.

This is ideal for use on multi-transmitter sites and has excellent medium wave rejection (typically 70 dB) for operating close to broadcast stations.

The are also two wideband units for end fed half wave (EFHW) antennas matching half wave wire antenna for 160 to 30m or 80m to 10m.

We also make a 9:1 balun for general HF work, a off centre fed dipole transformer and balun and a 1:1 current balun inline isolator.

The units are rated and tested at 150W and are built in a polycarbonate box measuring 65 x 60 x 40mm. Amphenol BNC connectors are used. The box is rated to IP65 but it is also potted in epoxy resin for additional weather sealing and mechanical protection.

The web page for the new antenna matching units is:
http://www.crosscountrywireless.net/end_fed_antenna.htm

Julian, OH8GEJ has made a YouTube video of a prototype 30m bandpass EFHW antenna matching unit in use north of the Arctic Circle:

Regards,

Chris Moulding, G4HYG

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VK pico balloon in range of South America

Friday 30th January 2015

The small solar-powered balloon launched on Australia Day January 26, is now over the Pacific Ocean and still heading easterly toward South America.

While it had been heard by New Zealand until yesterday, a new report on its location comes from Javi Pons Estel LU5FF in Santa Fe, Argentina.

He tells how PS-32 is travelling well and at the high attitude of 8,700 metres.

If all goes well, the balloon may be heard by others as it crosses South America and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Meantime a sister balloon, PS-31 lasted four days before losing altitude and speed due possibly to rain and ice. It was lost north-east of New Zealand.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT says PS-31 gave its final JT9 mode packet message to VK and ZL on Tuesday. Both balloons had been afloat simultaneously to test their tracking.

In what has been the longest distance travelled in the Southern Hemisphere series so far, PS-30 lifted off from Melbourne on December 27. It lasted 20 days before falling from the sky during poor weather at Madagascar.

Hopefully the latest PS-32 will continue to Africa and beyond, but let it get over traversing South America first, and anxious trackers file their reports.

Like all recent Southern Hemisphere balloons put up by Andy VK3YT, it has a 25mW HF payload of both WSPR and JT9 to send telemetry of the location, speed and altitude along with other data.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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SSTV transmissions from the International Space Station

Friday 30th January 2015

This weekend, Jan 31/Feb 1, the Russian ARISS team members plan to activate the amateur radio Slow Scan TV (SSTV) experiment from the International Space Station (ISS) on 145.800 MHz FM

Transmissions should start around 1000 UT on Saturday and 0900 UT on Sunday ending around 2130 UT each day. It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent using the SSTV mode PD180 with 3 minute off periods between transmissions.

The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module.

All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.

The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.

Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app for compatible modes.

The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range http://www.issfanclub.com/

Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software
http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php

Further information and software links at
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/29/iss-sstv-this-weekend/

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Inside the National Radio Quiet Zone

Friday 30th January 2015

This National Geographic video reports on the U.S. town with no cell phones or Wi-Fi and no amateur radio

Pocahontas County in West Virginia falls within the National Radio Quiet Zone. It’s home to quiet country living, friendly people, and one of the most impressive engineering marvels in the world - the Green Bank Telescope.

The GBT measures radio waves from throughout the universe, but due to the telescope's extreme sensitivity, any operating wireless device can have a negative effect on its observations. But to the people who live in the NRQZ, the restrictions and the quiet, peaceful life that comes with them are welcome.

PRODUCER & VIDEOGRAPHER: Jason Kurtis
FIELD PRODUCER: Sasha Ingber
EDITOR: Nick Lunn

Watch The U.S. Town With No Cell Phones or Wi-Fi

You can see a video about the GBT, the largest fully steerable telescope in the world at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGGVy_M0zBY

Read more about the Green Bank Telescope and National Radio Quiet Zone
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141010-radio-telescope-green-bank-west-virginia-astronomy/

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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 30th January 2015

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.

CYPRUS, 5B. Leif, LA9BM is QRV as 5B/LA9BM until February 6. He is active mainly on 20 and 17 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK63.
QSL via operator's instructions.

SINGAPORE, 9V. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Singapore stations can use the special prefix S61 through December 31, 2015.

AZORES, CU. Karel, OK2ZI will be QRV as CT8/OK2ZI from Sao Miguel Island, IOTA EU-003, from February 1 to 6. Activity will be holiday style on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes.
QSL via operator's instructions.

CANARY ISLANDS, EA8. Rolf, DL6RO is QRV as EA8/DL6RO from Costan Teguise, Lanzarote Island, IOTA AF-004, until February 20. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands. QSL to home call.

SOLOMON ISLAND, H4. Bernhard, DL2GAC will be QRV as H44MS from Honiara Island, IOTA OC-047, from February 1 to April 30. Activity will be holiday style on 80 to 6 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

HUNGARY, HA. Special event station HG90IARU is QRV during 2015 to commemorate the IARU jubilee celebrations. QSL via HA5MA.

GRENADA, J3. Gregory, W2BEE will be QRV as J38GA from January 31 to February 28. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and various digital modes. QSL direct to home call.

ST. LUCIA, J6. Operators SP7VC, SP3IPB, SQ7OYL, K2RPF, SP3CFM and SP7TF are QRV as J6/home calls until February 3. Activity is holiday style on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes.
QSL to home calls.

MARIANA ISLANDS, KH0. Sean, EI2CR will be QRV as KH0/EI2CR from Saipan, IOTA OC-086, from February 4 to 7. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL to home call.

NAVASSA ISLAND, KP1. A large group of operators will be QRV as K1N beginning around February 2 to 16. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters with up to eight stations active using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via N2OO.

ANTARCTICA. Station OP0LE is QRV from the Princess Elisabeth Station and has been active on 40 and 30 meters using CW between 2045 to 2245z. QSL via ON7TK.

DENMARK, OZ. Special event station OZ90IARU is QRV during 2015 to commemorate the IARU jubilee celebrations. QSL via operators' instructions. In addition, special event station OU0POLIO is QRV until December 31 to mark the 110 years of the Rotary International and its global project to eradicate polio worldwide. QSL via OZ1ACB.

CURACAO, PJ2. Sascha, DH6TJ will be QRV as PJ2/DH6TJ from February 2 to March 31. Activity will be on 20, 15 and 10 meters using SSB.
QSL via operator's instructions.

BRAZIL, PY. Ronaldo, PS7AB will be QRV with special event call PQ70FEB from February 1 to 28 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of World War II and to remember the importance of PEACE. Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

NAMIBIA, V5. Mario, DL4MFM will be QRV as V5/DL4MFM from January 30 to February 4 from several WWFF, WCA, and GMA references.
QSL to home call.

ROMANIA, YO. Special event stations YO90IARU, YP90IARU, YQ90IARU, and YR90IARU are QRV during 2015 to commemorate the IARU jubilee
celebrations. QSL via operators' instructions.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The North American SSB Sprint Contest, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP CW Fox Hunt, NCCC Sprint CW Ladder, Feld Hell Sprint, F9AA CW Cup and the UBA SSB DX Contest are scheduled for this weekend.

The RSGB 80-Meter Club SSB Championship is scheduled for February 2. The ARS Spartan CW Sprint is scheduled for February 3.
The QRP CW Fox Hunt and CWops Mini-CWT Test are scheduled for February 4.

Please see January 2015 QST, page 88, February QST, page 91 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Friday 30th January 2015

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

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (30 January-06 February 2015)
"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 February 2015 by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Friday 30th January 2015

Island activities:

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

NA-024; J3, Grenada: Gregory/W2BEE is going to operate as J38GA from Grenada (WLOTA 0718) between Jan. 31 and Feb. 28. QRV on HF on CW and digital modes. QSL via homecall (d), LoTW, ClubLog.

NA-062; W4, Florida State (Florida Keys) group: Howie, K1VSJ, plans a holiday-style activity as K1VSJ/4 between the 29th and Feb. 9 from Key Colony Beach. QSL via h/c.

NA-143; W5, Texas State East (Matagorda to Jefferson County) group: Joe/K5KUA will get on the air again as K5KUA/5 from Galveston Island (USi TX001s) between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1. QRV pn 40-10m solely on CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao Island: Sascha/DH6TJ will be active as PJ2/DH6TJ from Curacao (WLOTA 0942) between Feb. 2 and March 31. QRV on 20, 15, and 10m on SSB, QSL route tba.

Caribbean Cruise by W7AUM:
Chuck/W7AUM tours the Caribbean with the cruise ship Ryndam and plans to get on the air as PA/W7AUM/mm while on board. He also plans QRP activities during shore excursions according to the following schedule:

* Jan. 30: NA-106; KP2, Virgin Islands: St. Thomas Island as KP2/W7AUM
* Jan. 31: NA-100; V2, Antigua and Barbuda: St. Johna Antiqua as V25RC
* Feb. 02: SA-099; PJ2, Curacao Island: Curacao (WLOTA 0942) as PJ2/W7AUM
* Feb. 06: NA-016; ZF, Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman (WLOTA 1042) as ZF2UM.

QSL via W7AUM (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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New Events Planner on RSGB site

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Affiliated clubs can now enter details of upcoming radio events into the RSGB's new UK Events Planner

The Events Planner also sends details of your event to the RadCom editorial desk for inclusion in the next available edition.

See the RSGB announcement at
http://rsgb.org/…/rsgb-notices/2015/01/27/uk-events-planner/

UK Events Planner
http://www.rsgb.org/eventsplanner

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Scout Communicator Activity Badge

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Passing the Amateur Radio Foundation exam is one of the ways scouts can gain their Communicator activity badge

Details about how to gain this award can be found at ...
https://members.scouts.org.uk/…/communicator-activity-badge/

Radio Scouting Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radio-Scouting-UK

Radio Scouting
http://www.radio-scouting.org.uk/

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Aussie pico balloon downed

Wednesday 28th January 2015

After a period of silence, it's believed the small solar-powered pico balloon from Australia went down north-east of New Zealand, probably due to rain and ice in the area.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT reports that PS-31 gave out its final JT9 packet message and was lost.

The balloon, launched from Melbourne Australia on Saturday January 24, manoeuvred forming an s-shape but was lost after as dark fell and it was across the International Dateline in the South Pacific.

Andy VK3YT who launched both the PS-31 and PS-32 balloons says "Thanks everyone for tracking, and hope PS-32 (the other balloon) will keep going for much longer."

PS-32 with the VK3ANH callsign continues to be tracked and is over the Southern Ocean. It was put up from Woori Yallock 56kms east of Melbourne on January 26, and is taking a solar route before hopefully travelling around Cape Horn in South America.

Like all recent balloons in the series launched by Andy VK3YT for the Southern Hemisphere, it is fitted with QRP transmission of both WSPR and JT9 giving trackers the location, speed and altitude along with other data.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Use of Digital Modes in UKAC

Tuesday 27th January 2015

The RSGB Contest Committee has issued a statement concerning the use of digital modes (MGM) in the UK Activity Contest (UKAC)

Following an exceptional request for a change to UK Activity Contest (UKAC) by the RSGB Board, made in order to enable increased participation by remotely located stations, and after consultation between the RSGB Board and the RSGB Contest Committee (RSGBCC), the RSGBCC has agreed to the following amendment to the rules of the UKACs effective from the 1st February 2015:

"The use of machine generated transmission modes (MGM) are permitted in the AX section of all UKACs and in all sections of the 23cm UKAC and the SHF UKAC."


The latest edition of the RSGB Contest Committee Newsletter is available from
http://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/newsletter/newscurrent.shtml

HF Contesting Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UK-HF-Contesting

VHF Contesting Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UK-VHF-Contesting

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LightSail-1 launch announced

Tuesday 27th January 2015

The first of The Planetary Society's two LightSail spacecraft will ride to space aboard an Atlas V rocket in May 2015

The mission is a shakedown cruise designed to test out the CubeSat's critical systems. The LightSail-1 entry on the IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel status page lists a 9k6 GMSK AX25 amateur radio payload on 437.325 MHz.

In 2016, the second LightSail spacecraft will piggyback into orbit aboard the first operational flight of SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy rocket for a full-fledged solar sailing demonstration.

This video about the project features Bill Nye as well as Justin Foley KI6EPH and Alex Diaz KJ6KSF.

Watch LightSail – Flight by Light (full version)

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel Status Pages
http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

LightSail - Flight by Light

http://sail.planetary.org/

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Aurora surprise prompts rocket launch

Tuesday 27th January 2015

A geomagnetic storm erupted during the early hours of January 26th, sparking a surprise display of bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.

Scientists took the opportunity to launch four sounding rockets from Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range to study the effect of solar storms on the upper atmosphere.

Pictures of the colorful launch are available on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com.

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Aussie pico balloons keep flying

Tuesday 27th January 2015

Different paths are being taken by the two solar-powered Australian pico balloons carrying Amateur Radio payloads, each sending 25mW WSPR and JT9 transmissions.

Launched from Melbourne on Saturday January 24, the balloon PS-31 has now crossed the International Dateline for a second time, at the 23rd parallel in the South Pacific.

It formed the letter 'S' on its journey that took it to the sub-antarctic in the south, then turned back reaching the north-east coast of New Zealand, and turning again on a more easterly track. It is a third of the way between Australia and South America.

Meantime PS-32, launched from Woori Yallock 56kms east of Melbourne three days later, continues to track south-east to by-pass New Zealand on a polar route across the dateline in the Southern Ocean, before travelling around Cape Horn in South America.

They are fitted with QRP transmissions give their location, altitude, speed and other data, with PS-31 using the callsign VK3YT while PS-32 is signing VK3ANH.

Both are following their predicted trajectory paths in a Jetstream forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Andy Nguyen VK3YT who launched them, and an international tracking effort, have their fingers crossed that both will at least reach South America.

Waiting and listening are radio amateurs using open-source software tools eager to report progress of the southern hemisphere flights.

Earlier, PS-30 was launched from Melbourne on December 27. It crossed the African continent entering through Namibia. There it was tracked to near Madagascar before poor weather and lost after 20 days.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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MacLoggerDX Version 5.58 released

Tuesday 27th January 2015

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.58 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What's New in this version:

* Added State and DXCC# Log search options.
* Added Send Spot to Shortcuts menu.
* Added SOTA dxcluster parsing.
* Added Worked DXCC column to Spots Panel.
* Added Call and DXCC History to Spots Contextual Menu.
* Added UDP broadcast interface.
* Added FlexRadio SmartSDR Version 1.4 support.
* Added Sunrise/Sunset UTC Light/Dark to Local Time Lookup.
* Added * wildcard to Specific Call Alarm.
* Schedules bug fixed.
* Memories Tune bug fixed.
* Log display after search and delete bug fixed.
* 6M FlexRadio SmartSDR tuning bug fixed.
* HB9BZA LoTW list bug 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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Now two Aussie balloons afloat

Monday 26th January 2015

Just when trackers are watching Australia's solar-powered pico balloon PS-31 enter day three afloat, it has been joined in the stratosphere by its sister PS-32.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT who launched the second balloon on Australia Day, January 26, says PS-32 is to test multiple balloon tracking.

Both flights are using both WSPR and JT9. PS-32 has dial frequencies of 10.138700 MHz and 14.095600 MHz and signs VK3ANH.

The aim by Andy VK3YT is to allow different off-sets for PS-31 and PS-32, so they can be tracked at the same time.

The newest launching of PS-32 from Woori Yallock, about an hour or 56km east of Melbourne, has attracted many reports as it leaves Victoria at the Gippsland Coastal Park. If all goes well it will follow a similar route to South America.

Meantime PS-31 launched from Melbourne on Saturday January 24, is now north of New Zealand and south of Fiji.

PS-31 travelled south-easterly to the sub-antarctic, crossed for the first time the International Dateline and did a loop back to New Zealand.

There it flew slowly in darkness along the north-east coast of New Zealand's north island, and then into the Pacific where it is due to move more easterly, to cross the dateline again.

Both floating pico balloons carrying Amateur Radio payloads have created a lot of interest.

Earlier their predecessor PS-30 spent 20 days afloat. The longest flight in the series so far it went cross the Pacific Ocean to South America, and then to South Africa. It only came down in poor weather near Madagascar.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Jan 26 2015 BBHN 5-year anniversary

Monday 26th January 2015

On January 26 2010, Jim Kinter K5KTF, who had been collaborating with Glenn Currie KD5MFW, Rick Kirchhof NG5V, David Rivenburg AD5OO and Bob Morgan WB5AOH, 'turned on' this very website !

The 4 original founders of the (then-named) HSMM-MeshTM (High Speed Multimedia-Mesh) project had been working on developing a high speed solution for all of Amateur Radio.

Jim had met Glenn the month before and initially found out about the project. Doing websites and having his own servers, Jim built a Joomla-based site underneath one of his other sites, and collected all the correct information he could gather regarding the project for the new site.
After a few weeks of going over the site for content and formatting, on this date in 2010, the site went live under its own domain name, www.HSMM-Mesh.org.

Since then, the project has gained popularity, with Hams all around the world learning about "mesh" and what can be done when you have a broadband (>1Mb/s) RF network. With the help of Conrad Lara, KG6JEI and Andre Hansen, K6AH, we have added support for several Ubiquiti models in multiple bands, so that hams can have choices to fit their needs.

Over time, because of confusion between technologies, people having a hard time getting the acronym right, and to better reflect the project scope, the founders agreed to change the name to Broadband-HamnetTM. www.Broadband-Hamnet.org was created and everything redirected to the new domain name.

The site now serves up thousands of individual web pages per day, has almost 5,000 registered users, almost 1,000 nodes on the Googlemap, and has become the source for Hams wanting to learn how to use today's technology for Ham radio. The term "Mesh" has become synonymous with microwave broadband TCP/IP communications in the Amateur Radio community.

The amazing part of the project's success is YOU, the Ham radio operator. All of this success has been due to word-of-mouth, as the project never bought million-dollar advertising campaigns, or sponsored events at hamfests. It is operators finding out about it, playing with it, and telling their friends. Many Hams help spread the word by giving presentations to their local clubs and groups.

The enormous growth over the past 5 years is attributed to the need for a broadband-based system in Amateur Radio. We are proud to have been at the forefront of this technology, and to be able to bring it to the masses, helping Hams all over the world design and build their own BBHN networks. Numerous people from around the world have contributed to the project, and we expect it will keep on growing.

The BBHN project has won awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers, the Emergency Management Association of Texas, and made the front cover of the ARRL's July 2013 QST (and the monthly Cover Award).

Hams all over the world are now investigating, designing, testing, installing, and using the BBHN firmware, technologies, and ideologies brought to them through this very website.

We hope to always be able to continue to bring the Amateur Radio community fresh ideas and software to help with Emergency Communications and help Ham radio move forward in the 21st Century.

http://www.broadband-hamnet.org

HAPPY 5TH ANNIVERSARY HSMM-Mesh/Broadband-Hamnet!

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Tour de France ham radio volunteers rewarded

Monday 26th January 2015

The BBC say a voluntary RAYNET team that helped the 2014 Tour de France race through the Yorkshire Dales has received radio equipment worth about £5,500

The Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network (RAYNET) provided communications over 2,000 square miles in North Yorkshire.

Radios were operated by 42 volunteers. The money has been donated by North Yorkshire County Council.

Brian Dooks G0RHI was interviewed for the story.

Read the full BBC News report at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-30967391

RAYNET in Yorkshire
http://www.yorkshireraynet.org/

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Radio ham in Maker article

Monday 26th January 2015

An article about radio amateur Phil Crump M0DNY describes how he used 3D printing to build an alternative power supply solution for his camera for operation at high-altitudes

Phil is a Volunteer RF Engineering Consultant for Southampton University’s UOS3 Cubesat Project. He wanted to use his Canon SD1000 camera for high-altitude balloon flights but found the low temperatures reduced the lifetime of the camera battery to just 34 minutes.

With the help of So Make It, a Maker and Hackerspace in Southampton he was able to develop a solution.

Read the 3D Print article at
http://3dprint.com/38917/3dp-camera-battery-emulator/

So Make It
http://www.somakeit.org.uk/

University of Southampton Small Satellite
https://blog.soton.ac.uk/uos3/about/

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

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 26th January 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Monday, 19th January, through Monday, 26th January there were 216 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T32, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TR, TT, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2V, VP6, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, YA, YB, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, 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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Digital Radio DAB and DAB+

Monday 26th January 2015

On the Radio Today show, BBC Radio's Head of Technology, Rupert Brun discusses the sound quality of DAB, DAB+ and internet streams and whether and when DAB+ should be introduced in the UK

Listen to the show at
http://audioboom.com/boos/2779986-the-radio-today-programme-january-7th-2015

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 26th January 2015

Island activities:

AS-117. Jan, ON7JA, will be active as JA4/ON7JA from Fune Island (JA4 Hiroshima Prefecture) between July 24-28th. Activity will include the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). QSL via ON7JA by the Bureau. NO eQSL.

AS-203. (Update) Operators Vladimir/RA0ZJ, Vladimir/RA9LR, Victor/RW0BG, Andy/UA0BA, Valery/UA0ZC, Sergey/UA0ZFW, Artemiy/UA9KAM and Igor/UA9KDF will be active as RT9K/0 from Dobrzhanskogo Island (RR-13-18, RDA KT-13). Team has booked the tickets to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (UA0Z) on the August 19th, but the real operation on the air will begin much later. After arriving at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the team will have to wait for a ship (0-7 days) and then leave for AS-203. This 1500 km trip could take 1-2 weeks, so expect their arrival sometime in the beginning of September. They plan to be active from three different sites. Operations will be on 40-10 meters using all modes (CW, SSB and the Digital modes). IOTA AS-203 (Shelikhova Bay Group) has never been activated. QSL Manager/Pilot is Alexander/RX9KM. Pilots are Anatoliy/DL8RCB and Igor/RA3CQ.
For updates, watch QRZ.com or Twitter at:
https://twitter.com/ua9kdf

EU-009. Col, MM0NDX, will once again be active as MM0NDX/p from Orkney Island (IOSA OR01, SCOTIA OI14, WLOTA 1652) between July 3-5th. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands. QSL via IW7EGQ.

NA-034. Members of the Mid-Florida DX Association will be active as homecall/p from Honeymoon Island (USI FL-017S) on February 28th. Operators mentioned are Jim/KG4JSZ, Tim/KI4GMR, Tony/N2MFT and Steve/KS4WA. Activity will be on the HF bands, on or near the usual IOTA frequencies. QSL via the operator's home callsign.

NA-066. Members of the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club will once again be active as K6PV/6 from Santa Catalina Island (USI CA-016S, WLOTA 2912) between February 25th and March 1st.
Operators mentioned are Clay/AB9A, Mike/AF6VT, Diana/AI6DF, Jeff/K6JW, Norm/K6UU, Chris/KA6WNK, Don/KE6PMN, Ray/N6HE, Joe/NZ6L, Bob/W6HIP and Bill/WA6ESC.  Activity will be on, or near, the usual IOTA frequencies between 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and possibly PSK-31. Their operations will include the CQWW 160M SSB and NAQP RTTY Contests. QSL via K6PV direct (see address and details on QRZ.com).

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Cruise ship IRLP expedition

Sunday 25th January 2015

A group from the Australian Ladies Amateur Radio Association (ALARA) and friends will operate 'marine mobile' from the MS Celebrity Solstice, relying on lower power and the Internet Repeater Linking Project (IRLP) for communication.

A number of well-known radio amateurs, led by ALARA National President Jean Fisher VK3VIP, will be active from January 27 through to 11 February.

The MS Celebrity Solstice is one of the largest cruise liners to operate in Australian waters. The voyage begins at Sydney Circular Quay, down to Hobart for two days, then across to New Zealand using IRLP enabled repeaters along the way.

The ALARA group will leave the ship in Auckland, to be heard on the ZL1BQ device primarily (Node 6950) and various nodes in the 'Waikato Network'.

VK Foundation Licence holders have always been allowed to operate as visitors in New Zealand.

After visiting friends, the group heads back to Melbourne by aircraft on February 11. A reverse direction trip by sea (Hobart - Sydney) last year showed how IRLP can be a fantastic and reliable communication method.

The ALARA group that at least includes Jean VK3VIP, Donna VK3FRET, Pat VK3OZ and Margaret VK3FMAB, may pop-up on some IRLP enabled repeaters in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

ALARA is unashamedly trying to promote IRLP to all who have modern analogue frequency modulated 2m and 70cm transceivers.

Your nearest IRLP enabled device is on a list at:
http://www.irlp.net/statuspdf.html

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VK pico balloon floating in jet-stream

Sunday 25th January 2015

The solar-powered pico balloon flight PS-31 launched from Melbourne Australia on Saturday January 24, is on its predicted track and now near New Zealand.

The party-type balloon and an Amateur Radio payload floated in a virtual straight line over Wilsons Promontory the southern-most part of mainland Australia, and the northern-east of Tasmania.

Then trackers saw it begin its turn when well south in the sub-antarctic as it crossed for the first time the International Dateline in the Pacific, to head back toward New Zealand.

The latest report had PS-31 travelling at an altitude of near 9,000 metres, and doing well.

The flight has attracted numerous reports as it neared the north island of New Zealand, to fly in as loop before regaining an easterly direction in the Pacific again set to cross the dateline.

The helium-filled balloon launched by Andy Nguyen VK3YT is fitted with a 20mW transmitter on WSPR and JT9 using 30m and 20m.

It if keeps floating, PS-31 will spend Australia Day, January 26, over the Pacific Ocean and is forecast to reach South America.

Earlier its predecessor in the series, PS-30, was launched on December 27 to float for 20 days before coming down in poor weather near Madagascar just east of Africa.

More details can be read with 'New PS-31 pico balloon from VK' which is at: https://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/new-ps-31-pico-balloon-vk

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OZ7IGY - 9 cm and 13 cm beacons now on Next Generation Beacons platform

Sunday 25th January 2015

Today both the 9 cm and the 13 cm OZ7IGY beacons have been migrated to the Next Generation Beacons platform http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb

The 9 cm and 13 cm beacon are now frequency and time locked to GPS. The sequence is timed to start at 00 second sending PI4 followed by a short pause then CW ID sending callsign and locator, then pause and carrier until next cycle.

The nominal frequency remains the same, i.e. 2320,930 MHz and 3400,930 MHz respectively. To decode PI4 tune your receiver to 800 Hz below the nominal frequency, just like you do when you want to decode a normal CW signal at 800 Hz. On most radios this is a USB dial of 2.320.929.200 for the 13 cm beacon and 3.400.929.200 for the 9 cm beacon

The 13 cm beacon uses a combination of the Super Nyquist principle per Analog Devices AN-939 paper and a frequency doubler of the signal from the AD9912 DDS. The 9 cm beacon signal comes from a x9 frequency multiplication of the AS9912 DDS output.

PI4 is a digital modulation (MGM) specifically designed with beacons and propagation studies in mind.

PI4 decoder download: http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/software/pi-rx

PI4 encoding examples in Arduino C, Atmel C, Delphi Pascal, Microsoft Visual Basic and Microsoft C++: http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/software.htm

PI4 online encoding and frequency calculation: http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/pi4encoding.php

PI4 specification: http://www.rudius.net/oz2m/ngnb/pi4.htm PI4 is a cousin of JT4, JT9 and WSPR.

OZ7IGY homepage: http://www.oz7igy.dk

73

Bo, OZ2M

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1,000 likes for RSGB on Facebook

Sunday 25th January 2015

The new RSGB Facebook page has managed to get over a thousand likes in the first few days after launch

The Society say they know many people have been looking forward to this page, which will provide an additional way to communicate with the Society.

They’ll be starting the weekend, every week, with Photo Friday where they'll take a look at two old photos and ask if you know who, what, when, where and why!

See if you can help with the details and share some memories with others.

See the new page at
https://www.facebook.com/theRSGB

Twitter https://twitter.com/RSGB_UK

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Marijuana grow-lights cause problems for ham-radio operators

Saturday 24th January 2015

The marijuana industry and Uncle Sam haven't been on the same page for 80 years, but these days, in a unique bit of weirdness, it's not the U.S. Department of Justice that could create a problem for pot growers: It's the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC regulates the country's electronic communications, which is relevant because it turns out that, bizarrely, light ballasts used in the growing of cannabis emit radio-frequency interference that screws up amateur-radio transmissions being sent by local ham operators, a licensed, legally protected practice.

In a March 12 letter to the commission, the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio, complained that interference from grow lights was greatest in the medium- and high-frequency bands between 1.8 and 30 megahertz, and that it comes in no small amount.

"The level of conducted emissions from this [Lumatek LK1000 grow light] is so high that, as a practical matter, one RF ballast operated in a residential environment would create preclusive interference to Amateur radio HF communications throughout entire neighborhoods," wrote general counsel Christopher Imlay to acting chief of the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division John Poutasse in the hopes the agency would halt sales.

Read the full Colorado Springs Independent article
http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/marijuana-grow-lights-cause-problems-for-ham-radio-operators/Content?oid=2893921

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New PS-31 pico balloon from VK

Saturday 24th January 2015

Another small solar-powered balloon was launched from Melbourne Australia early on Saturday January 24, carrying an Amateur Radio payload, and is flying as predicted.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT launched the balloon that is fitted with a 20mW transmitter on WSPR and JT9 using 30m and 20m, for location, altitude, speed and other data.

He explained that with dial frequency 10.138700 MHz and 14.095600 MHz (standard WSPR dial frequencies), these will put WSPR at 1400 Hz-1600 Hz, and JT9 at 1000 Hz, allowing decoding of both WSPR and JT9 without changing frequency on each band.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT had launched the PS-30 balloon on December 27, travelling eastward via New Zealand, South America, on January 16, it went down after 20 days during a storm at Madagascar just east of Africa.

The new balloon PS-31 has so far followed the predicted path over the east coast of Tasmania and reported by New Zealand, where it is to loop back over, before resuming an easterly flight toward the International Dateline in the Pacific Ocean.

In future, if all goes well, it could head for South America like its predecessor.

The world is listening and more trackers are invited. How far it will go is a mystery.

See the decoding information at http://picospace.net/?cat=34

Tracking as PS-31 on SNUS http://picospace.net/tracker/new

WSPR call sign is VK3YT http://wsprnet.org/olddb?findcall=vk3yt

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Brazilian Special Event Station PQ70FEB

Saturday 24th January 2015

PQ70FEB is the second Special Event Station to celebrate 70 years end of World War II in 2015.

01 to 28 Feb, 2015

SSB
10, 15, 17, 20 and 40m

QSL via PS7AB

I will answer QSL via Direct (U$1,00), Bureau, EQsl or LOTW.

Each month in 2015 I will activate a different callsign and also send 12 different QSLs.

The Special Event Stations are to remember the importance of PEACE .

The special callsign is in honour to all who participated in the war, especially the Brazilian Expeditionary Force - FEB, on the battlefields in Italy.

More information:
Brazilian Expeditionary Force - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rony PS7AB

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ARRL comments to FCC on WRC-15 draft recommendations

Friday 23rd January 2015

The ARRL has commented on two draft recommendations of the FCC’s 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) Advisory Committee (WAC) as well as on a draft proposal provided to the FCC by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

Regarding 3400 MHz they say:

“[The] failure to even superficially address the protection of all existing services — including the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services — is glaring,” the ARRL said. The WAC’s so-called “View A” — to make no change in the allocation — in part said, “The secondary nature of the Amateur Service allocation requires flexibility in frequency selection to permit an Amateur Service licensee to use the allocation and fulfill his or her obligation not to cause harmful interference to the numerous primary services, including the FSS [Fixed-Satellite Service].”

On 10 GHz the ARRL supported the FCC WAC view on Agenda Item 1.12 that the US not be added to international footnote 5.480 — basically an exception — to the Table of Allocations that could make part of the 10.0-10.5 GHz segment vulnerable to additional allocation for Fixed Service applications. The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have a secondary allocation in the band, and the Federal Radiolocation Service is primary. The proposed “footnote amendment,” the League argued, “plainly, clearly, and indisputably contradicts existing United States regulations.” The League’s comments accused Mimosa Networks, which has argued in favour of having the US sign on to the international footnote, of advancing an “illogical construction to obtain the result it desires.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-comments-to-fcc-on-wrc-15-draft-recommendations

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ED-SAT CubeSat training kit

Friday 23rd January 2015

Nader Omer ST2NH brings news of the ED-SAT training kit, a Cube Satellite simulator.

It has been developed for inspiring young people at variety of educational levels provide opportunities to discover and apply learning to real-world scenarios.

It aims to provide a unique environment for students at any fields to explore, just to name a few. Science, Electronics, Communication, Programming, Mechanic and Physics.

Watch ED-SAT training kit

Educational Satellite Co Ltd
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Educational-Satellite-co-ltd/233280410183741

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Radio hams plan spaceplane

Friday 23rd January 2015

Radio amateurs Robert Brand VK2URB and his 12-year-old son Jason VK2FJAB feature in an article about their spaceplane in The Register

Read the article at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/22/thunderstruck_spaceplane/

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Ofcom letters use Q RSL for Club Calls

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Ofcom are sending notification of proposed licence changes to all licensees. Holders of some English club calls have been surprised to see a Regional Secondary Locator (RSL) of 'Q' being used instead of 'X'

George Smart M1GEO was sent a notification letter dated January 19, 2015 for the University College London radio club call sign. It said GQ3UCL instead of the expected GX3UCL or G3UCL. It has been reported that other clubs have also received call signs with a 'Q' RSL.

Nearly 2 weeks ago on January 9 Ofcom admitted to one error saying that, in a number of cases, the call sign printed on the letter has the Regional Secondary Locator of the main station address embedded in it.

Interestingly Ofcom didn't say that only English call signs were wrong, the inference from their statement might be that no call sign in any part of the UK or Crown Dependencies should have had an RSL printed.

It appears that a new error in the licensing database has come to light since Q isn't currently even used as an RSL. The last use was in 2012 as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

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Bright Asteroid Flyby

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Early next week, a large asteroid named 2004 BL86 will fly past the Earth-Moon system.

There's no danger of a collision, but NASA radars will be monitoring the mountain-sized space rock as it passes by only 745,000 miles away.

Amateur astronomers can watch the flyby, too. Glowing like a 9th magnitude star, 2004 BL86 will be an easy target for backyard telescopes on the night of closest approach, Jan. 26-27.

Check http://spaceweather.com for observing tips and more information1

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Island activities:

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

AS-200; JA5; Shikoku's Coastal Islands: Kenji/JA4GXS gets on the air as JA4GXS/5 between the 23rd and 25th from Shodo Island. QRV on 40-10m on CW and SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

NA-062; W4; Florida State (Florida Keys) group: Richard/K2ZR is active at the moment until 1st of May from Key West as K2ZR/4. QSL via h/c (d/B).

NA-102; FG; Guadeloupe: Jean-Pierre/F6ITD activates Guadeloupe (DIFO FG-019, WLOTA 0644, WW Loc. FK96ch, FFF-155) between the 28th and Feb. 1 as FG/F6ITD on HF and 6m on SSB and digital modes. He then moves on to Desirade Island (DIFO FG-004, ARLHS GUA-005, WLOTA 1121, FFF-004, WW Loc. FK96lg), where he puts the same call and also TO6D (during weekends and contests) on the air until March 28.
QSL preferred via LoTW, ClubLog.

NA-110; W4; South Carolina State group: Keith/KB1SF will be on the air holiday-style from Fripp Island during January and February.
QSL via KB1SF (d/B), eQSL, LoTW, or via VA3KSF.
http://kbakers.com/hamradio/

NA-213; W4; Alabama State group: Gene/WI7N is going to activate Dauphin Island from the 26th to the 28th as WI7N/4.
QSL direct via h/c, LoTW.

OC-210; YB8; Sangihe Islands: Ronald/YC8ROP operates from Bukide Island between the 22nd and 24th as YC8ROP/p. QSL direct via homecall, LoTW, or via W2FB.

OC-236; YB8; Celebes's Coastal Islands: Din, YB8RW, and Sisca, YB8RXA, will be active from Monthehage Island between the 20th and 24th, signing their homecalls/p. QRV on 40-10m on SSB, CW, and RTTY. QSL YB8RW/p via YB8RW (d), YB8RXA/p via W2FB (d).

IOTA Caribbean Tour:
Operators Mek/SP7VC, Ted/SP3IPB, Kate/SQ7OYL, Zbyszek/SP3CFM, Jerzy/SP7TF, and Bogdan/K2RPF announce holiday-style activations in the Caribbean according to the following schedule (QRV on 160-10m on CW, SSB, and digital modes):
* Jan. 24 - 26: NA-107; FM; Martinique (DIFO FM-001, WLOTA 1041).
Only FM/SP7VC and FM/SP7TF.
* Jan. 27 - Feb. 03: NA-108; J6; St. Lucia (WLOTA 1336) as J6/Homecall.
* Feb. 04 - 05: NA-109; J8; St. Vincent (WLOTA 0718) as J8/Homecall.
* Feb. 06 - 07: NA-024; J3; Grenada: (WLOTA 0718) as J3/Homecall.
* Feb. 07 - 08: NA-147; J3; Carriccou Island as J3/Homecall.
* Feb. 08 - 09: NA-025; J8; Union Island as J8/Homecall.
* Feb. 13 - 14: NA-107; FM; Martinique (DIFO FM-001, WLOTA 1041)
as FM/Homecall.

QSLs via homecalls. http://www.sp7vc.dxing.pl/

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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RSGB launch Facebook page

Thursday 22nd January 2015

The Radio Society of Great Britain has launched a new Facebook page

You can now get up-to-date news and information about events simply by clicking the Like button.

See the new page at
https://www.facebook.com/theRSGB

Twitter https://twitter.com/RSGB_UK

Announcement
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2015/01/21/new-rsgb-facebook-page/

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G3PYU Revenge Quiz WIN at Chester & District Radio Society

Wednesday 21st January 2015

Despite a light dusting of snow this evening, our team of three, Neil (M0WBG) Tony (M0DWU) and Paul (G0JZP) along with Simon (G6XHF) who was equipped with the questions, ventured to Chester and District Radio Society in Waverton for the G3PYU memorial revenge quiz.

C&DRS Chairman Paul Holland G3TZO presenting the G3PYU Revenge Trophy to Neil M0BWG with Paul G0JZP and Tony M0DWU

And even though there was the light dusting of snow, we were very well supported with Gordon (G8MMM) Peter (2E0PSO) Pauline (2E0PYR) and Robert (G8TSE) also making the trip.

The Quiz took the usual format of 30 Radio Questions set by the visitors followed by 30 General Knowledge questions set by the home team. (in this case, by Les (G0NMD).

Both teams scored 13 points on the Radio round and in the General Knowledge Chester scored 12½ points but Wirral managed 18½ to secure a victory

Big thanks go to C&DRS for their hospitality and a very enjoyable evening but also to those club members who remained in their shacks to keep WADARC’s score up on the 23 Cms U.K.A.C.

Thanks to Simon G6XHF for the report and Peter M6PES for the photo.

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Listen-in to 2380 MHz radar observations of asteroid

Wednesday 21st January 2015

On January 26, 2015 the near-Earth asteroid 2004 BL86 will pass within 0.008 AU of Earth (3.1 times as far away as the Moon). This will be the closest approach to Earth by this asteroid for at least the next 240 years

As part of an extensive campaign of radar observations to learn about BL86's shape, spin state, and surface; and to refine knowledge of its trajectory; the Arecibo Observatory's S-band planetary radar plans to illuminate the asteroid with a continuous-wave signal over January 27, 2015 03:45 - 04:00 UTC. Over that time, BL86's radar echo will be received by elements of the Very Long Baseline Array and the Very Large Array in New Mexico. Anyone with an antenna and receiver capable of detecting the echo is welcome to listen in.

BL86 will be above the horizon for most observers in North and South America, and for some parts of western Europe and western Africa. To readily detect its radar echo, observers should have an antenna with an effective collecting area of at least 10 square meters. BL86 will be moving rapidly across the sky. Over Jan 27 03:45 - 04:00, it will move by ~0.5º. The asteroid's exact position on the sky will depend on where it is observed from as well as the time, but will be near (RA,Dec) = (130º,+17º). A current ephemeris can be obtained from JPL's Horizons system: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons

The Arecibo transmission will be tuned to give a nominal echo center frequency of exactly 2380 MHz at geocenter. Without correction for Earth's rotation, BL86's radar echo will appear as slowly-drifting and within 15 kHz of 2380 MHz. Predicted echo frequency as a function of time for a given location can be obtained on-request by emailing Michael Busch (mbusch@seti.org). We expect an echo bandwidth of 6 Hz or less.

Details of the BL86 radar observing campaign at the Arecibo Observatory, NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar facility, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory are available at
http://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2004BL86/2004BL86_planning.html

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Extra second to be added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

Wednesday 21st January 2015

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced at the Paris Observatory, in a bulletin addressed to the 'authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time' that it will be giving us 'more time.'

The bulletin advises authorities an extra second will be introduced to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during the final minute, of the final day of June.

That means that right after the clock hits "23h 59m 59s," it will strike "23h 59m 60s" UTC.

Another way to think about it:  Instead of the about 86,400 seconds we normally experience in a day, we're getting 86,401.

This "leap second" system started in 1972, so our clocks stay in sync with how long it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis. "Leap seconds ensure that, on average, the Sun continues to be overhead on the Greenwich meridian at noon to within about one [second]."

IERS already has added 25 leap seconds to Coordinated Universal Time -- most recently in June 2012.

Leap seconds can only be added in June and December.

International Business Times
http://www.ibtimes.com/extra-leap-second-will-be-added-clocks-june-30-1774068

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RSGB response to Ofcom Interference Consultation

Tuesday 20th January 2015

On its website the RSGB says it welcomes the recent Ofcom consultation document on control of interference which invites responses by February 16

The RSGB EMC committee has been lobbying for Ofcom to have a wider remit in enforcement of breaches of EMC regulations.

Read the RSGB response at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2015/01/19/rsgb-response-interference-consultation/

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GB1BST - British Summer Time 2015

Tuesday 20th January 2015

Woody's Top Youth Hostel in Lincolnshire will be the venue for the 2015 GB1BST Special Event Station, celebrating the start of British Summer Time, on March 27-29

Situated on the Greenwich Meridian between Louth and Horncastle (WAB TF37), Woody's Top is a rather remote and quiet location in the southern part of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Radio operations are scheduled to start late on 27th March with test transmissions on the 40m, 20m, 17m and 2m bands which will be used during the weekend event.

GB1BST has been organised by the Youth Hostels Amateur Radio Group (YHARG) and the Phoenix Radio Group with help from several clubs in the region. Local radio hams are invited to visit the station, and to help run it over the weekend. Overnight accommodation may be available to bona fide volunteers, courtesy of the YHA (England & Wales).

Supporting the GB1BST event, the YHARG club callsign MX0YHA will be used by Kevin M0XLT between 15th and 30th March at Gargrave near Skipton, which is approximately 6 miles from the YHA youth hostels at Malham and Linton in the Yorkshire Dales.

Further information about GB1BST and the YHARG is available at on the website, or from the YHAG Secretary Alan, G7HZZ.

Website: http://www.YHARG.org.uk/
Email: M0YHA@Outlook.com
Twitter:
@M0YHA

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Free Android SSTV Encoder/Decoder Software

Tuesday 20th January 2015

Ahmet Inan and his wife, Olga Miller, have teamed up to develop some very nice open source SSTV software for Android devices.

Olga has written the "SSTV Encoder" while Ahmet wrote the SSTV Decoder named, "Robot36 - SSTV Image Decoder".

Ahmet says he would like to keep the name Robot36 even though the app is able to decode more than just the Robot36 as a great respect for the Robot engineers who developed the awesome Robot36 mode.

It currently supports the following modes:
Robot Modes: 36 & 72
Martin Modes: 1 & 2
Scottie Modes: 1, 2 & DX
Wrasse Modes: SC2 180

"Robot36 - SSTV Image Decoder" is available for free on Google Play and also via GitHub.

GooglePlay:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xdsopl.robot36&hl=en

GitHub: https://github.com/xdsopl/robot36/tree/android

Ahmet created the "Robot36 SSTV Alpha Testers" Community, which you can join and help test prebuilt apk's from the Google Play Store for free:
https://plus.google.com/communities/106204623850343150882

Olga's free open source SSTV Encoder:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=om.sstvencoder

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Celebrating 90 years of the IARU

Tuesday 20th January 2015

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of IARU Danish radio amateurs will be active with a special event call, OZ9ØIARU, in the period from January 1 until December 31, 2015

All bands inclusive WARC-bands and all modes may be used.
Exceptions are cross-mode, cross-band contacts and contacts via repeater and echo-link.

We have created an award for this special event. The rules to get our award are:

DX-stations:
Gold award: QSO on 4 different bands regardless the mode
Silver award: QSO on 3 different bands regardless the mode
Bronze award: QSO on 2 different bands regardless the mode

European stations:
Gold award: QSO on 7 different bands regardless the mode
Silver award: QSO on 5 different bands regardless the mode
Bronze award: QSO on 3 different bands regardless the mode
All QSOs must be with the same call sign to get the award.

Further details at
http://www.oz90iaru.dk/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at webmaster@oz90iaru.dk

73
Joergen OZ0J
Chairman of the OZ9ØIARU event

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DXpedition to Robinson Crusoë Island

Tuesday 20th January 2015

Members of the Provins ARC (F6KOP), who were recently active from Tromelin, will activate Robinson Crusoë Island (SA-005, aka Juan Fernandez Archipelago) between February 20th and March 8th. Callsign is pending.

The DXCC entity is rated #60 on Clublog, #45 for DX Magazine and #32 at DARC. The last DXpedition on this IOTA (SA-005) was in 2013.

The team composed of 20 operators plans to be active with 8 stations on the air at the same time from 160-6 meters, using SSB, CW and the Digimodes. A special effort will be made on low bands. Some WSPR activity is also planned. They target 100k QSOs.

Their stations will have about 700W into Spiderbeams on the higher bands and verticals on the lower bands. The team plans radio contacts with schools to show their passion and promote the hamradio activity.

Logs will be uploaded on a daily basis on Clublog and LoTW depending on the local internet access. QSL policy is to answer every request, direct or by the Bureau.

The operators are well-known as participating in DXpeditions like Réunion, Mellish Reef, Bangladesh, Clipperton, San Andres, Bonaire, Cameroon, Uganda...

Operators mentioned are Alain, F5JTV (Leader), Tony/F8ATS (Co-leader), Jean-Luc/F1ULQ (Co-leader), Norbert/DJ7JC, Heye/DJ9RR, Jeremy/EI5GM, Dave/EI9FBB, Patrick/F2DX, Jimi/F4DLM, Michel/F5EOT, Antoine/F5RAB, Stéphane/F5UOW, John/F5VHQ, Gilles/F6IRA, Günther/OE3GCU, Karl/OE3JAJ, François/ON4LO, Eric/ON7RN and Kenneth/OZ1IKY.

Pilot stations are Col/MM0NDX, John/K6MM and Andre/V51B.

Look for a Web site to be online soon.

A FaceBook page is now available at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/JuanFernandez2015/747628888649765

More details will be forthcoming.

OPDX

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BBC employee wins TX Factor competition

Monday 19th January 2015

Jon Kempster M5AEO, a studio manager working for the BBC in London, decided to enter the latest TX Factor competition to win a Yaesu VX-3E Dual-band FM transceiver

Despite putting in a very late entry, Jon's was pulled from the hat and he's now the proud owner of a very handy handie! Jon tells TX Factor's Bob McCreadie the story.

To listen click here:
http://www.txfactor.co.uk/txtalk.shtml

TX Factor videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/txfactorshows/videos

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UK Activity Contest Results for 2014

Sunday 18th January 2015

Last night the final results for 2014 were announced for the UK Activity Contests which are held every Tuesday evening from 8pm until 10.30 .. (just 2½ hours per week).

The UKAC is a Club contest where members join in the contest under the umbrella of an affiliated RSGB Amateur Radio Club/Society with all points generated for each contest going towards the total club score.

Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club raised their game in December and managed to move up a place to end 2014 10th out of 115 UK Clubs taking part, which is quite an amazing situation considering we are not particularly a contest orientated Radio Club.

You can read all the details by clicking on 'UKAC Contests' on the left hand menu which provides a dedicated page including lots of information on the contests including the contest calendar, links and general advice and perhaps if you don't already take part .. you might, (after reading just how easy it is), like to consider joining in.

Without doubt the biggest benefit is to have as many Club Members as possible operating on as many Tuesdays as possible but having said that .. few of us have transceivers or antennas for all the different bands.  So if you only have 2m SSB then working as many first Tuesdays in the month (which is 2m night) will be a welcome contribution !  Many of us taking part only use nominal power into dipoles .. and many of those dipoles are home made !

While the UKAC contests have been going for over 10 years, Denis G3UVR and Frank G8REQ first began joining in about 2½ years ago.  They have entered some excellent scores .. and widened their activities to many of the bands.  As their enthusiasm grows .. so the number of club members involved has increased and there are now around 18 people who operated during 2014 contributing to our score.

So, a big "Well Done" goes to both Denis & Frank for leading the way .. but equally to the following (in no particular order) for their efforts in 2014 .. many of whom are now 'Tuesday night regulars'  :-

G3UVR, G8REQ, G3UFO, G6XHF, G4WUA, M0WBG, G4BKF, GW4OKT, 2E0WBL, M6CUL, M6MEQ, M0WMD, G7BBF, G8MMM, 2E0ILO, 2E0PSO, 2E0SQK and G4OAR

Anyone wanting more information or any questions .. please ask any of the above at either a Club Meeting or D&W.

Neil : G4OAR

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Sadly PS-30 pico flight ends

Sunday 18th January 2015

The small pico party-type balloon from Australia has not made it home and crashed near Madagascar just east of Africa.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT who put the balloon up in Melbourne on December 27, reports it went down early on January 16, just 25 hours short of three weeks in the air.

Andy VK3YT says: "There was some bad weather in the region, but speculations also include the possibility it was brought down (attacked) by the naughty Penguins on the Island."

A number of radio amateurs from South Africa reported that PS-30 had stopped flying and was down. It had travelled easterly across to the southern tip of New Zealand, the Pacific Ocean to South America, then to Southern Africa, and had a forecast path to Australia.

Andy VK3YT says: "A big thank you to everyone that have assisted with the trip in many ways, from tracking, to sending feedback, words of encouragement, and getting help when needed.

"The level of interest from all around the world has been amazing. The trip would not have been so successful without the collective effort of the like-minded community built-up along the way."

It was latest pico balloon he had launched with it having a 13 grams payload including a 25Mw transmitter on WSPR and JT9, to send tracking and flight data.

Already PS-31 is being planned, with Andy VK3YT saying: "See you at the next trip".

Jim Linton VK3PC

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FCC licenses wideband HF data comm experiments

Sunday 18th January 2015

The FCC recently granted two companies experimental licenses to use HF bands for data communications at far greater bandwidths and data rates than have been used by amateur radio operators in the USA

Writing in TV Technology Doug Lung says the license application by MITRE is to use HF modes with emission designators of 5K00Q3N, 500KD7D, 500Q3N, 500W7D, 1M00D7D, 1M00Q3N and 1M00D7W (1M00 is a necessary bandwidth of 1 MHz).

The company aims to achieve reliable HF communications at a data rate between 1 and 4 bits/Hz/s. MITRE said it will develop a 100 kHz bandwidth waveform that can achieve approximately 256 kbps with forward error correction (FEC) coding.

Read the article at
http://www.tvtechnology.com/distribution/0099/list-of-experimental-licenses-reveals-interesting-hf-data-comm-experiments/274152

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Ofcom consultation on spectrum above 6 GHz

Saturday 17th January 2015

Ofcom has announced a consultation on bands above 6 GHz for the UK’s next generation of wireless communications

Ofcom is seeking views on spectrum bands above 6 GHz that might be suitable for future mobile communication services, often referred to as ‘5G’ – the 5th generation of mobile services. The exact nature of 5G is not yet defined, but to lay the foundations for its future introduction Ofcom needs to understand how it might use spectrum.

5G is likely to provide much faster mobile broadband speeds than the current generation of mobile technology and the use of large blocks of spectrum is likely to be important to achieve the fastest speeds. Large blocks of spectrum are difficult to find at lower frequencies therefore higher frequency bands, above 6 GHz for example, are likely to be important.

The closing date for responses is February 27, 2015.

In the document Ofcom list METIS candidate bands for 5G services above 6 GHz some of which encompass Amateur and Amateur Satellite allocations e.g. 9.9-10.6 GHz and 71-76 GHz.

Consultation page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/above-6ghz/

Link to PDF document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/above-6ghz/summary/spectrum_above_6_GHz_CFI.pdf

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FCC cracks down on Marriott International

Friday 16th January 2015

The BBC reports the hotel group Marriott International is to stop jamming WiFi units

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched an investigation into the hotel's practices in March 2013 after being contacted by a hotel guest who said they had been unable to connect to the net via a mi-fi device at Marriott's Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

“Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network.

Read the BBC story at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30827706

Marriot pay $600,000 to resolve WiFi-blocking investigation
http://www.fcc.gov/document/marriott-pay-600k-resolve-wifi-blocking-investigation

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High altitude balloon in jet-stream

Thursday 15th January 2015

The small Australian balloon circling the southern hemisphere in an easterly direction that left Melbourne, Australia in late December, has now been tracked over the Indian Ocean.

Andre Pretorius V51B in Namibia, and Joe Geldenhuys ZS2JO in South Africa, both heard the balloon near Madagascar, at an altitude of 9500 metres and travelling at 43 km/h.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT, who launched the small solar-powered helium filled strong foil party-type balloon on December 27, has reported its movements since then.

After leaving Melbourne it reached the southern tip of New Zealand, travelled across the Pacific and South America, over the Southern Atlantic Ocean, exiting the coast of Southern Africa and heading toward Australia.

PS-30 is the latest pico balloon launched by Andy VK3YT who has been described as the 'master of miniaturisation' and developed a skill in the technology.

It includes a 13 grams payload with a 25Mw transmitter on WSPR and JT9, able of send locational and other data.

Andy VK3YT has thanked the new tracking stations involved. At several stages the flight went into circles, seemed to stall, and at one time was thought to be lost, until found by eager radio amateurs in South Africa.

A joyous Andy reports: "Looks like it is straight to Australia from here."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forward trajectory jet-stream forecast is across the Indian Ocean to Western Australia.

The Amateur Radio community in many countries are trying to track the balloon.

How much longer can it stay afloat? Will it circumnavigate the earth?

Jim Linton VK3PC

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FCC fines Radio Ham $11,500 for causing intentional interference

Thursday 15th January 2015

The US communications regulator, the FCC, has taken firm action in a case of deliberate interference to amateur radio communications

The ARRL report the FCC Enforcement Bureau has affirmed an $11,500 fine against Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, for deliberately interfering with other Amateur Radio communications. The FCC had first proposed the fine last July in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), and it released a Forfeiture Order on January 13.

The FCC said it imposed the financial penalty because of Crow’s “willful and repeated violation” of Section 333 of the Communications Act and of Sections 97.101(d) and 97.119(a) of the Amateur Service rules “by causing intentional interference to licensed radio operations and failing to transmit his assigned call sign.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/fcc-fines-pennsylvania-ham-11-500-for-causing-intentional-interference

In the USA the amateur license mandates that the call sign is given at least every 10 minutes. In the UK the current licence requires a call sign every 15 minutes and when changing frequency but the UK communications regulator Ofcom is proposing to abolish both the 15 minute ID rule and the requirement to give a call sign when changing frequency.

UK licence 2007, Identification page 10
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/spectrum/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees/samplelicence07.pdf

Proposed UK licence 2015, see page 43
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement/Updating_the_Amateur_Radio_Licence.pdf

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More 5 MHz channels for Czech amateurs

Thursday 15th January 2015

Petr, OK1RP, reports that, following a comprehensive document on last year’s 5 MHz amateur operation in the Czech Republic and evidence of 5 MHz amateur operating frequencies elsewhere in Europe, the Czech telecommunications regulator CTU, together with the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD), have agreed to changes in 5 MHz permits for Czech (OK) radio amateurs following the conclusion of the present permit in Autumn 2014.

The number of 5 MHz channels available under the new 2015 permit, has been increased from 6 to 12 and a substantial number of these have been aligned primarily with the UK and also the US allocations.

USB Dial (kHz)

CW Dial (kHz)

Notes

 

 

 

5276.0

5277.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5288.5

5290.0

 

5298.0

5299.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5313.0

5314.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5330.5

5332.0

US

5333.0

5334.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5362.0

5363.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5366.5

5368.0

(A Former US Frequency) - remains

5371.5

5373.0

US

5395.0

5396.5

Added to harmonize with UK bandplan

5398.5

5400.0

 

5403.5

5405.0

 

All other Czech 5 MHz permit criteria remain as before (Max. Power 100W e.r.p., 3 kHz Max. Bandwidth) except that there is now no limit to the number of permits available.

Paul Gaskell G4MWO
Editor
The 5 MHz Newsletter

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Video of FUNcube-1 IARU demonstration

Thursday 15th January 2015

Riaan Greeff ZS4PR has released a video of the demonstration of the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) CubeSat by Graham Shirville G3VZV to delegates at the IARU Region 1 Conference in September 2014

Mats SM6EAN who was also present says Graham did a poolside demonstration using a computer, FUNcube SDR dongle and a turnstile antenna, held by Kjetil Toresen LA8KV. He received the satellite’s telemetry beacon on 145.935 MHz and the data was displayed on the laptop screen.

Watch the video Graham G3VZV demonstrates FUNcube satellite

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

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

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

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New product - PowerPole 4-Way

Thursday 15th January 2015

Portable specialists SOTABEAMS have introduced a useful DC distribution system based on the popular PowerPole range of connectors.

The PP 4-WAY had been designed as a lightweight and rugged way to connect several items to
a DC power source.

Typically a transceiver, amplifier and auto-ATU might be connected to a battery or other DC power source.

The PP 4-WAY will be useful at home and in the field.

Unusually for PowerPole products, the PP 4-WAY is available in kit form or ready-built. The PP 4-WAY is rated at 25 Amps.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/powerpole-pp-4-way/

SOTABEAMS also manufactures a 3-way version, the PP 3-WAY.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 15th January 2015

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:
Eric/OE4AAC gets on the air holiday-style as S79AC from Mahe (WLOTA 3286) between Jan. 17 and 30, and from Praslin Island (WLOTA 2862) between Feb. 1 and 10. QRV on 40-10m on CW. QSL via OE4AAC (d/B), OQRS.

AS-166; EP; Hormozgan Province group:
The Rockall DX Group announces an operation from Kish Island as EP6T between January 16 and 31. QRV on HF on all modes, with a focus on 160, 80, and 40m. QSL via M0URX (d/B), LoTW upload right after the expedition. http://www.rockall.be http://www.qrz.com/db/ep6t

EU-009; GM/MM; Orkney:
Col/MM0NDX will be active /p from Orkney Island (IOSA OR01, SCOTIA OI14, WLOTA 1652) on Jan. 16 & 17. QSL via IW7EGQ.

NA-104; V4; St Kitts and Nevis:
John/W5JON will operate as V47JA between Jan. 20 and March 1. QRV on 160-6m together with his wife Cathy (V47HAM). QSLs via W5JON (d), LoTW.

NA-146; FJ; St. Barthelemy Island:
Gene/N9SW returns to Saint Barthelemy Island (WLOTA 0377, DIFO FJ-001) and operates as FJ/N9SW between February 17 and 25. QRV on 40-6m, maybe also on 80m, mainly on CW. QSL via h/c (d), LoTW.

SA-006; PJ4; Bonaire Island:
Peter/PA8A will be active holiday-style as PJ4B from Bonaire (WLOTA 1279, PAFF-024) between the 14th and 29th. QSL only direct via homecall.

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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UK space industry in Guardian newspaper

Thursday 15th January 2015

The Guardian interviewed radio amateur Dr. Chris Bridges 2E0OBC for their story on the growing UK space industry

Chris 2E0OBC worked on the Surrey Space Centre's STRaND-1 spacecraft which carries an amateur radio payload. The newspaper also interviewed Steve Greenland, Senior Systems Engineer at Clyde Space, who worked on the UKube-1 spacecraft which carries the FUNcube-2 amateur radio transponder.

Read the Guardian article at
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jan/14/the-space-industry-is-growing-and-looking-for-talented-postgrads

Both Steve and Chris have given presentations to the annual AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium, see the videos at
http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/presentation-videos/

STRaND-1
http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/digital-satellites/strand-1/

UKube-1 transponder test
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/05/funcube-2-ukube-1-update/

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UK astronaut Sarah Brightman starts training

Wednesday 14th January 2015

The TASS news agency reports that the UK's Sarah Brightman will start training for her International Space Station mission on Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sarah Brightman will train in Russia's Star City. "She will arrive here on Wednesday, January 14, and will start her training the following day," the press service of the space training facility told TASS.

Her flight is scheduled for September 1-11, 2015. She is expected to spend 10 days at the International Space Station (ISS).

Read the TASS story at
http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/770688

More on Sarah Brightman's ISS mission at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/04/sarah-brightman-to-start-space-flight-training-in-january/

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System on a chip - HT of the future

Wednesday 14th January 2015

HamRadioNow have released a four part presentation from the 2014 Digital Communications Conference (DCC) that describes the amateur radio handheld transceiver of the future

Chris Testa KD2BMH is designing the Whitebox, the "HT of the Future." It will be a multi-mode, multi-band ham radio that will look and work more like a smartphone: touchscreen display, apps, and all the analog and digital modes he can stuff in (and license). Chris is working with Bruce Perens K6BP on the Whitebox project.

This four-part series is the DCC Sunday Seminar, a four-hour "deep dive" into a single subject. Most of the DCC talks run about 45 minutes, so the Sunday Seminar gives the presenter time to be a lot more detailed (about 4 times more detailed, if you do the math).

The full title explains the subject: System on a Chip - Programming FPGAs for Mixed Signal Systems. An FPGA will be the heart of the Whitebox radio, and its programming will be the brain. Chris explains in as much detail as a four-hour talk allows just what it takes to do that programming.

The videos can be seen at:

Part-1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyCWJuBhADo
Part-2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Si2DVK2-c
Part-3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVH-7bHA0SE
Part-4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFa28oKLF88

Previous editions of HamRadioNow
http://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

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Antarctic Activity Week

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Look for the 12th Antarctic Activity Week (AAW) to take place between February 16-22th.

This event is promoted by Worldwide Antarctic Program (WAP) each year to improve the world-wide attention about the Antarctic Continent and its related matters, with the aim of staying close to the researchers and personnel who are spending their time away from home and families studying the Antarctic life and its secrets in the so many remote scientific stations in this icy continent.

The WAP is also thankful for what the Nations and Research Foundations are doing to protect this still uncontaminated corner of the planet and to
share a message of peace among the world. The AAW is a unique event world-wide where Hams (in any corner of the world) sign up and help promote the special attention given to the Antarctica.

This worldwide event is open to all radio amateurs wishing to join them using a special callsign which help promote the Antarctica.

All SES with a WAP reference number will qualify for WAP ASEA (Antarctic Special events Award). The WAP Ref. number for any special callsign requested/issued for this occurrence can be provided upon request by sending an E-mail to I1HYW (QRZ.com).

The list of participants is still open and is available at:
http://www.waponline.it/AntarcticActivityWeek/tabid/113/Default.aspx

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The ARRL Library goes live!

Wednesday 14th January 2015

The ARRL have announced a free repository of educational presentations and oral histories. It is aimed at helping to preserve Amateur Radio’s history and to educate clubs and individuals

“This long-term project will be home to what I hope will eventually become one of the largest repositories of Amateur Radio-related papers and presentations, created by and for the Amateur Radio community,” said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “This is your opportunity to submit material for the betterment and education of all radio amateurs.”

Kutzko said the Library will initially consist of three major areas. These will include PowerPoint presentations that may be used at club meetings, outreach efforts to the general public or other public presentations; PDFs of general educational material about Amateur Radio, and oral histories of radio amateurs describing their personal experiences with Amateur Radio.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/the-arrl-library-goes-live

Visit the free ARRL Online Library
http://www.arrl.org/library

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DXpedition to the Gambia

Wednesday 14th January 2015

Everything is on schedule for the C5X DXpedition to the Gambia starting on the 15th January through to the 26th January 2015.

The team of four English operators: Steve G3VMW, Alan G3XAQ, Don G3XTT and Iain M0PCB fly to Banjul on the morning of the 15th January from Gatwick after meeting up there the evening before.

They will be operating from the Bungalow Beach Hotel at Kotu, in the Serrakunda district of Gambia on a North-West facing site, close to the Atlantic Ocean.

With two high-power stations, equipped with Elecraft K3 transceivers and
KPA-500 amplifiers, the team will be QRV on all bands 160m to 10m on CW, SSB, RTTY and a little PSK31/63.

Antennas include two Spiderbeams on the five HF bands and dipoles at good height for the lower bands. Sadly, the public beach area is not suitable for VDAs.

The Clublog Leaderboard will be enabled for this operation and we are
more than happy to work everyone on multiple bandslots, but please avoid duplicate QSOs on the same band/mode.

Our QSL Manager, Charles Wilmott, M0OXO, will update Clublog and LoTW daily with our logs. An OQRS system for C5X paper QSLs will also be available via M0OXO's web site at http://www.m0oxo.com and also from Clublog.

We are not seeking donations, this is a holiday style fly-in, fly-out
operation with the emphasis on fun.

We have not specified any TX frequencies by band, and will always try
to avoid other DXpeditions that may be active. However, we will ALWAYS
work split frequency, listening UP, normally between 1 to 5 kHz. Please
do not call on our TX frequency.

We are aware of the real possibility these days of DQRM and will make
frequent checks on our TX frequency, and if necessary, move a few kHz
lower or higher to clear the QRM.

We look forward to many enjoyable QSOs.

Steve Wilson, G3VMW

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Si5351A Breakout Board Crowdfunding campaign

Monday 12th January 2015

Open source amateur radio company Etherkit has just announced its crowdfunding campaign for a new Si5351A Breakout Board kit.

The Si5351A is a small and affordable clock generator IC with three independent, programmable outputs from 8 kHz to 160 MHz which can be used in amateur radio applications as a VFO or signal generator.

The Etherkit Si5351A Breakout Board makes it extremely easy to get a Si5351A IC working with an Arduino or other microcontroller/ development board with I2C capability.

The three outputs are provided by 0.1 inch headers and optional SMA female end launch connectors. A 3.3 VDC low-dropout voltage regulator and I2C level conversion circuitry allow you to use the Breakout Board with either 3.3 V or 5 V microcontrollers.

With the Si5351A Breakout Board, an Arduino device, and the provided Arduino library, you can be generating RF from LF to VHF in a few minutes. Multiple outputs make it easy to provide both a VFO and BFO to your superhet transceiver project. The wide frequency range allows it to be used in general coverage receivers or antenna analzyers. Precision tuning and high temperature stability (with optional TCXO reference oscillator) provide an excellent base for very narrow band modes such as WSPR or QRSS.

Support our campaign and order your own affordable kit by visiting:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/si5351a-breakout-board/x/9434328

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Iranian OTH radar on 7 MHz

Monday 12th January 2015

The IARU Monitoring System report a 50 kHz wide radar signal from Iran in the 40m band

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 December 2014 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2014/news1412.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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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 12th January 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 4th January, through Sunday, 11th January there were 218 countries active.

Countries available:

1A, 3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3C, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5B, 5R, 5U, 5W, 6Y, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, 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, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FO/a, FR, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KH9, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, T8, TA,
TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V3, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, 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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Ofcom Callsign RSL update

Sunday 11th January 2015

Ofcom have announced on their website that there is no policy change on Regional Secondary Locators

From http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/licensing-updates/update090115/

Following the Statement, which we published on 5th December, we are now in the process of writing to licensed Radio Amateurs, to notify them of our proposal to vary their licences. Our letters include a reference to the licence number and station call sign.

We are aware that, in a number of cases, the call sign printed on the letter has the Regional Secondary Locator of the main station address embedded in it.

This is wrong and is due to a system error, which we are investigating.

However, and most important, it does not represent a change in policy on the use of RSLs. We set out our policy approach to RSLs in the Statement. This policy remains unchanged.


Ofcom say they set out their RSL policy approach is this document:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement/Updating_the_Amateur_Radio_Licence.pdf

In 3.77 of the statement Ofcom said they would "Retain the existing wording of Clauses 2(2) and 2(3) of the Licence for the time being", but what do Ofcom interpret the existing words as meaning ? In 2013 Ofcom made it clear the existing words did not mean what most amateurs had until then believed.

Regarding the case where a G4*** operates as a portable station from Wales they said: "Ofcom consider that its intent in the wording of the current licence is that the call sign in these circumstances should be G4***/P , 2E0***/P, etc, as the fixed or home station address is unchanged."

See the Ofcom RSL clarification at
http://rsgb.org/main/archive/consultation-archive/ofcom-consultations/licence-review-preparation/regional-secondary-locator/

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New world record claimed on 10 GHz

Sunday 11th January 2015

The ARRL report on a 10 GHz contact by Rex Moncur VK7MO and Derek Zeck VK6DZ over an astounding distance of 2,732 km

The contact took place on January 5, 2015 during a tropo opening across the Great Australian Bight using the JT4f data mode as well as SSB.

VK6DZ was portable at Torbay Hill, 24 km west of Albany, Western Australia. He was running 10 W to a 60 cm dish. VK7MO was portable Cape Portland in northeastern Tasmania, running 50 W to a 77 cm dish.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/new-world-record-claimed-on-10-ghz

In the UK, the Scatterpoint newsletter published by the UK Microwave Group is a good source of information on Microwave operation, see the UKUG website at
http://www.microwavers.org/

Scatterpoint newsletter archive
http://www.scatterpoint.org/

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UTV Media may sell some or all of its UK radio stations

Sunday 11th January 2015

Northern Irish radio and TV broadcaster UTV Media said this evening it may sell some or all of its UK independent local radio stations, RTÉ News reports.

Any sale would not include talkSPORT, Sport Magazine, talkSPORT International or UTV's Irish radio stations, the company said in a statement released just before the market closed today.

The company, which has 13 radio stations in England and Wales, said the statement was in response to UK media speculation.

Read the full RTÉ News report
http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/0109/671555-utv-media/

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Local DAB transmitter network to double

Saturday 10th January 2015

Radio Today reports on the planned expansion of the local DAB transmitter network

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has committed to providing funding to Multiplex Operators up to a maximum total of £7.75 million for the plan. The sites getting new or improved transmitters include 12 in Cornwall, 12 in South East Wales, 11 in Tyne & Wear and 7 in Glasgow.

The story indicates that the Government’s coverage criteria for the switch off of AM/FM will have been met by the end of 2016.

Read the Radio Today story at
http://radiotoday.co.uk/2015/01/local-dab-transmitter-network-to-double/

Government expansion plans
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-dab-network-expansion-2015-16

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Magnetic storm on Comet Lovejoy?

Saturday 10th January 2015

Everyone knows about geomagnetic storms on Earth. But did you know that comets can have them, too?

Right now, a type of magnetic storm may be in progress in the tail of bright Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2), causing "plasma blobs" and "disconnection events" visible in amateur telescopes.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for images and more information.

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LoRa – low cost long distance telemetry

Saturday 10th January 2015

Following the success of $50SAT, which is still operating over a year after it was launched, one of its co-designers, Stuart Robinson, GW7HPW, has turned his attention towards Pico High Altitude balloon trackers.

Theses are trackers normally weighing less than 20g and launched using 36” foil party balloons filled with Helium.

In order to test the long distance telemetry capability of the new ISM band radio modules using Semtechs SX1278 transceiver, the HABAXE2 Pico tracker was designed using a PICAXE 28X2, Hope RFM98 transceiver and Ublox MAX8 GPS. The entire payload and a 10g battery for around 24 hours operation weighed 16g.

HABAXE2 was launched around 09:30 on the 4th January 2015, from Caerphilly Common, 51.5621N 3.2228W. It was last heard of at Latitude 44.1618N, Longitude 4.3205E, just short of the Mediterranean coast at an altitude of 8032M having travelled just over 1000km.

UK amateur licensing conditions do not permit the use of transmitters in 'airborne' devices so licence exempt transmitters operating in the 434Mhz ISM band are used with the power limited to 10mW only. In the UK the balloon tracker payload is normally sent as FSK RTTY as this can be picked up at hundreds of kilometres range even at 10mW. The objective of HABAXE2 was to see if the LoRa data telemetry was viable as an alternative and if it could be used at long distances for remote control of the tracker.

Tests had shown that at 1042bps the LoRa devices needed only 2mW to cover 40km line of sight, so it did look feasible to use the LoRa for long distance tracking. The telemetry from the RFM22B used for $50SAT had needed 100mW to cover the same distance.

This is an example of the main tracker payload that was being sent out as LoRa at the 1042bps rate;

$$HABAXE2,479,23:04:10,44.1618,4.3205,8026,61,169,223,42,42,6,3080,-164,Y,0*EC36

Using only a vertical omni antenna at the base station (Diamond X50N) and 10mW output with a ¼ wave wire and radials on the balloon tracker the following results were obtained;

The last time the main tracker payload was received error free was at a distance of 269km, no base station LNA was used or needed.

At 242km an a command was sent to HABAXE2 for it to send a series of 98bps packets at varying powers which were received error free down to 2dBm\3mW. Extrapolating the 2dBm upwards to 10mw (UK limit) would represent a UK legal range @ 10mW of 611km LOS, which is the radio horizon at an altitude of circa 22km.

For another test, I used a higher data rate of 13.7kbits, this high rate was received at down to 7dBm at 105km.

Clearly the LoRa devices are a very significant improvement over the RFM22B telemetry that $50SAT and T-Logoqube satellites relied on and offers the possibility of a cheap to build hand held device that could receive telemetry direct from a low Earth orbiting satellite. A portable LoRa receiver can be built for around £20.

Stuart Robinson GW7HPW

January 2015

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CQ combining January/February issues, closing CQ Plus Digital supplement

Saturday 10th January 2015

CQ magazine today announced that it will be publishing a combined January/February 2015 issue and will be ceasing publication of its 'CQ Plus' digital edition supplement as of the March 2015 issue.

Both moves are intended to help restore the magazine's normal schedule for its print edition and to strengthen its foundations moving forward as it enters its eighth decade of publication, said Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA.

"These decisions were not made lightly," he added, "but in recognition of the realities of the publishing industry. It's a tough time to be in the magazine business, and we appreciate the patience and loyalty of both our readers and our advertisers."

CQ will continue to publish both print and digital editions, but the digital edition will no longer contain the 50-60 additional pages each month that constituted " CQ Plus." Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU, noted that he hopes to include some former CQ Plus content within the pages of CQ, but says ham radio will remain the magazine's primary focus, as it has been for the past seven decades. CQ is marking its 70th anniversary of publication as of its January/February issue.

As a consequence of the changes, CQ Plus Editor Richard Fisher, KI6SN, will be leaving the CQ staff after serving for many years as a columnist for, and then as editor of, Popular Communications, WorldRadio Online and CQ Plus. He was also CQ magazine's Emergency Communications Editor. "We will miss Richard's many contributions to CQ's products," noted Moseson, "and thank him for his many years of service to our readers."

Subscribers to both the print and digital editions of CQ will have their subscriptions extended by one month due to the combined January/February issue.

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Youngsters On The Air - Event 20/21st Dec 14

Friday 9th January 2015

The RSGB Y O T A event took place throughout December and as a club we were granted the Notice of Variation to use G 14 YOTA over the weekend of 20th and 21st December.

The rationale for selecting this weekend was that I was the holder of the NOV and was working all throughout the other weekends. With hindsight, however, this was not a good weekend to run the event as you will read below.

We had use of the excellent facilities at LEASOWE LIGHTHOUSE (photo right) where the club already has full V.H.F. and H.F. stations ready to use although we decided to set up an additional antenna for use on a data station. So on Friday 19th Geoff (G4WUA) and I ascended the 100 feet to the balcony and set about installing the additional ‘Flat Top’ antenna. At this point we remembered that conditions at 100ft A.S.L. 50 Metres from the tide line on the Irish Sea coast in December are not necessarily the same as they are at ground level.

I would describe conditions on the balcony that morning as ‘marginal’ However…. No-one actually died and eventually everything was up and running

Saturday saw us start with the actual G 14 YOTA callsign going on air. Only the one ‘youngster’ (Daniel M6CUL) there initially but with a little encouragement he was coaxed out of his 2 Metre comfort zone and onto H.F., eventually operating for most of the day.

There were a few technical problems with the antennas, mainly because of the strong winds throughout the weekend. This initially forced us into scaling down operations for a few hours and sacrificing the data station in order to keep the SSB. up and running. Ultimately, on Sunday morning, the Carolina Windom antenna was dropped to the ground (despite the weather) and the co-ax replaced.

One success of the weekend has to be having one of our younger members, Daniel M6CUL (15years) demonstrating the H F station to Lennon, G8MMM’s 7 year old Grandson.  (See photo below) He spoke to two stations, one in Spain and one in Norway. It is even rumoured that his interest may even encourage Granddad to clear enough space on his bench for a new SWL to be tuning through the bands soon !

In summary, the response we had from club members (Young and Old) was somewhat disappointing, as was the poor response from the local schools and youth organisations However, I believe that this was at least in part down to the proximity of Christmas, and the poor weather conditions.

Another disappointment for the event was the fact that most of the stations operating YOTA callsigns across Europe seemed intent on contest style operating rather than more of a friendly and longer chat with other youngsters. This seemed somewhat contrary to the spirit of the event, and indeed the guidelines issued to stations. However there were enough other friendly voices on air to encourage unlicensed youngsters to give it a go, and to encourage the licenced younger club members to venture onto unfamiliar bands.

We have certainly learned some lessons for next time to make YOTA 2015 a bigger and better event.

The apparently clear sky hides the bitterly cold temperature and howling winds

(M6CUL is just visible on the balcony)

WADARC would like to thank the Friends Of Leasowe Lighthouse (Especially Geoff and Jim) for their hospitality and assistance with YOTA 2014 

Report compiled by Simon (G6XHF)

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Australian balloon reaches South America

Friday 9th January 2015

The small party-type balloon and payload that left Melbourne Australia on December 27 has been tracked during its flight, with Javier Pons Estel LU5FF of Argentina among those reporting it has reached South America.

Andy Nguyen VK3YT who launched the latest balloon said it was tracked firstly to New Zealand, then did a few loops in the South Pacific but travelled east with dozens of reports being received.

He said the solar-powered balloon went silent at night, but its JT9 signal was heard when the radiation from the sun powered up the transmitter.

"It has been quite challenging for the tracking stations, as the sunset time has been getting earlier, and start overlapping with propagation time when the signal could be heard in ZL and VK, just as when the balloon went to sleep.

"A big thank you to the new stations joining the tracking in the last few days, making this a true international exercise," said Andy VK3YT.

The balloon over Chile and may exit that country travelling further needing more tracking, he said.

"We are in Argentina," said a very elated Andy VK3YT in his latest message.

Further details of the flight and tracking links are at:
https://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/new-vk-pico-balloon-be-launched

Jim Linton VK3PC

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New D-STAR Support Section

Friday 9th January 2015

Icom UK has recently re-developed its D-STAR dedicated microsite. Among the recent changes is a new support section which includes links to data files of UK D-STAR repeaters and reflectors for Icom models.

The page also features a link to its D-STAR YouTube Channel where you will find tips and tricks for some of Icom’s latest D-STAR radios.

The support section also features a link to three forums set up for registered users to participate in. The three current forums are D-STAR (GB7IC), D-STAR (General) and D-STAR (Technical). There is also a link to other international forums as well as a link to a list of useful international D-STAR websites.

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd said, ‘We have been very busy preparing repeater lists for various Icom D-STAR radios so that our customers can come to the site to download appropriate information for their radios. Customers should also find the videos that we have added to our YouTube channel very useful.’

Icom’s D-STAR support section can be found by accessing the site at: http://www.d-staruk.co.uk/support

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Ofcom error on English callsigns

Friday 9th January 2015

The regulator Ofcom has been sending written details of the proposed amateur radio licence but recipients in England have been surprised to see their callsign started with GE or ME

One amateur who rang Ofcom was informed that the staff had been told to treat all English licences as having a Regional Secondary Locator (RSL) of "E".

The RSGB has issued a statement which says:

As you will be aware, Ofcom is required to give all licensed radio amateurs notice that it intends to vary licences in line with its decisions following last year’s consultation. That process has now begun and letters are being sent out.

It has been brought to the RSGB’s attention that some amateurs have received a letter suggesting that their callsign now includes the RSL “E”. Ofcom have confirmed that this is an error and not a change in policy. Further details will be published on the Ofcom website.


RSGB Source
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2015/01/08/ofcom-licence-variation-proposals/

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Yasme honours IARU Region 1 Youth Programme

Thursday 8th January 2015

Lisa Leenders, PA2LS

The Board of Directors of the Yasme Foundation has announced the recipients of the Yasme Excellence Awards for 2014, and other actions

IARU Region 1 is delighted to learn that Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, the Chair of the Region 1 Youth Working Group and Florin-Cristian Predescu, YO9CNU have been awarded
a Yasme Excellence award for their work in organizing and promoting Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) and amateur radio youth activities.

The Yasme Excellence Award is presented to individuals who, through their own service, creativity, effort and dedication, have made a significant contribution to amateur radio. The contribution may be in recognition of technical, operating or organizational achievement, as all three are necessary for amateur radio to grow and prosper.

Furthermore, the Yasme Foundation has awarded IARU Region 1 a grant of $5,000 in support of youth activities in amateur radio.

In a separate action, the Yasme Foundation has awarded IARU Region 1 Member Society, the Egyptian Radio Amateurs Society for Development (ERASD) a grant of $2,000 in support of its activities.

In acknowledging the award to IARU Region 1 for its youth programme, the President of IARU Region 1, Don Beattie, G3BJ, said “We are delighted that Yasme has chosen to recognise and support the work we are doing here in IARU Region 1. The future of amateur radio lies in our ability to attract and retain high calibre entrants to our ranks. Whilst the march of communications technology might, to some, seem to cast a question-mark over “traditional” amateur radio, our view is that there is much to attract today’s youth into our ranks. With Yasme’s financial support, we will be able to work even more energetically to help our Member Societies bring focus to attracting the new blood which amateur radio needs so much”

Yasme Foundation http://www.yasme.org/

IARU Region 1
http://iaru-r1.org/

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WICEN helps in South Australia fires

Thursday 8th January 2015

After days of high temperatures, low humidity and wind that fanned a large bushfire in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, comes rain with cooler weather giving some relief to the area.

The fire that began nearly a week ago covered more than 12,500 hectares with a 240-kilometre perimeter resulted in houses and sheds being destroyed and wide areas of sheep and cattle farmland burnt. About 130 people including firefighters needed medical treatment.

WICEN President Nic McLean VK5ZAT said UHF commercial handheld radios, which WICEN owns, were given to SAVEM (SA Veterinary Emergency Management), and a radio mast to extend the range was installed.

SAVEM with veterinary surgeons and nurses is recognised for its response and recovery of companion animals, wildlife and livestock. WICEN has an agreement with it to provide communications help.

SAVEM liaises with fire responders, emergency management and Biosecurity South Australia. It uses radio communications and training, both in-vehicle and with central control, through temporary masts, equipment and personnel from WICEN.

SAVEM Nurse Coordinator, Carol Haley in a report said: "Radios supplied by WICEN enabled efficient communication between each vehicle.

"Throughout the day the team attended koalas, kangaroos, possums, joeys, cats and sheep, and spoke to many members of the public and animal owners."

She said the handhelds enabled effective communications in the Adelaide Hills fireground area, while longer distance communication was through the South Australian Government Network equipped fire vehicles.

Carol said: "A Sleepy Lizard was euthanased at Kersbrook oval, brought in by a Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources fire crew - the lizard's feet had been burnt off.

"Several animals (koala, kangaroo) with limb fractures... were euthanased by the team's RSPCA officer. Two koalas and one grey kangaroo joey were triaged and not treated locally, but taken back to Adelaide. Being treated for burns were three kangaroo joeys (young ones)."

Channel 9 television did a live interview with Carol from SAVEM talking about the work. SAVEM has been very busy, giving both animal rescue and WICEN some good publicity.

Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

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The MilliWatter Extreme

Thursday 8th January 2015

SOTABEAMS has announced an unusual new product.

The MilliWatter Extreme is an RF-switched power attenuator that is designed to allow the user to explore the communication possibilities of extreme low power - power levels lower than most transceivers can achieve. It will work with any transceiver with an output of 10 watts or less.

The MilliWatter Extreme gives two different levels of attenuation, 1/10th and 1/50th of the input power (10dB and 17dB).

Because it is RF-switched, it is ideal for use on the higher HF bands where the additional attenuation given by standard fixed attenuators would severely reduce the receiver sensitivity. The attenuators in the MilliWatter Extreme have been designed to be very accurate so that the output power is precise; this is a great help in experimenting.

The MilliWatter Extreme will work on any mode including data modes.

The MilliWatter Extreme is available fully-built or in kit form.

It is powered by a standard USB socket.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/boxa-mwextreme/

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New Wireless Charging Organisation

Thursday 8th January 2015

The BBC report on a new industry group which aims to push the concept of charging of devices by using the radio spectrum

The Alliance for Wireless Power and the Power Matters Alliance have signed an agreement to form a single organisation to represent all the members of the two groups. The name of the new organisation has not yet been chosen.

Read the story at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30690638

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Surprise geomagnetic storm

Thursday 8th January 2015

A surprise geomagnetic storm erupted during the early hours of January 7th, sparking bright auroras around both of Earth's poles.

The storm may have been sparked by the arrival of a CME originally expected to miss our planet.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for images and more information.

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What are Number Stations ?

Thursday 8th January 2015

Mark Newton writes about the bizarre number stations which appear from time-to-time on shortwave radio frequencies

Read the article at
http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/01/07/number-stations-the-creepiest-unexplained-things-on-the-airwaves-2565389

Enigma 2000
http://enigma2000.org.uk/

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Ofcom crackdown on polluting power line devices ?

Wednesday 7th January 2015

The Telegraph reports Ofcom proposes that people with 'power line' networking [PLT] equipment could face prosecution if it interferes with radio signals

The newspaper says GCHQ has become increasingly concerned in recent years about "power line" networking equipment. This allows people to use the mains wiring in their homes to transmit data, as an alternative to a Wi-Fi network, and has been distributed to BT and TalkTalk customers to connect their television set-top boxes to broadband.

Ofcom, the communications watchdog, published a consultation on Monday on new regulations that would allow its officials to issue enforcement notices to shut down such networks when the electromagnetic radiation they can emit interferes with radio signals. Those who fail to comply will face criminal prosecution.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom’s proposals are designed to update existing regulations to take account of developments in technology. They are not in response to requests from any organisation.”

Read the full article at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/
mediatechnologyandtelecoms/telecoms/11325914/
You-could-be-prosecuted-over-your-broadband-thanks-to-GCHQ.html


Ofcom say "The Proposed Regulations will regulate the intensity of the electromagnetic energy at which electrical and electronic apparatus operates such that it does not cause undue interference to wireless telegraphy apparatus."

"Undue Interference" is referenced on page 68 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 PDF at
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/36/pdfs/
ukpga_20060036_en.pdf


(4) Interference with any wireless telegraphy is not to be regarded as undue for the purposes of this Act unless it is also harmful.
(5) For the purposes of this Act interference is harmful if
(a) it creates dangers, or risks of danger, in relation to the functioning of
any service provided by means of wireless telegraphy for the purposes
of navigation or otherwise for safety purposes; or
(b) it degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts anything which is being broadcast or otherwise transmitted
(i) by means of wireless telegraphy; and
(ii) in accordance with a wireless telegraphy licence, regulations under section 8(3) or a grant of recognised spectrum access or otherwise lawfully.

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Ofcom WRC-15 update

Wednesday 7th January 2015

Ofcom has published an update on the key issues to be considered at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC)

WRCs are held approximately every four years and take key decisions concerning the identification and international harmonisation of spectrum bands.

Under a Government direction, Ofcom represents the UK at WRCs.
The next conference takes place in Geneva from November 2-27, 2015.
It will consider a wide range of issues across a number of sector interests, including mobile broadband, maritime, aeronautical, satellite and science use of spectrum.

Today’s update follows a consultation in June 2014 and is intended to inform the on-going preparation process and stakeholder engagement programme. We provide updated UK positions, taking into account the responses from the consultation.

In a number of cases, however, further work will be required to develop the UK position and we may publish another WRC update closer to the start of the conference.

The key Agenda Items are:
1.1 - which overlaps amateur 3.4 and 5 GHz allocations
1.4 – Amateur radio 5 MHz allocation
1.18 – Automotive radar in the amateur 77 GHz allocation

Also covered is Global Harmonisation and a Power Increase for licence exempt PMR446 equipment. 446 MHz is an amateur radio allocation in some parts of the world.

Read the update at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wrc15/update-jan-15

Link to PDF document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wrc15/
Update_on_WRC-15.pdf

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YOTA-UK Minutes released

Wednesday 7th January 2015

The Youngsters On The Air UK sub-committee have released the minutes of their meeting held on Monday, January 5

The meeting was chaired by Rachel Landragin M6SOO and agreed that the YOTA-UK 2015 event should be held on April 11-12 at Silcoates School. Among the potential activities discussed were Amateur Satellite working and Moonbounce.

Read the minutes at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/youth-committee-meeting-minutes/2015/01/06/yota-uk-sub-committee-050115/

RSGB Youth Committee
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/17/rsgb-youth-committee-chair-announced/

Follow YOTA-UK on Twitter @YOTA_UK

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Real-time band conditions website

Wednesday 7th January 2015

The purpose of this experimental Web site is to provide 24-7-365 actual (real-time) band condition information to CW QRPp, QRPe and CW/SSB for Contesters interested in increasing their scores.

It can also be of benefit to other Radio Amateurs to determine band conditions for Nets and casual QSO's.

This information is not based on any software predictions or any kind of satellite based readings. It is based on a new Ionospheric sounding method called "HF Ionospheric Interferometry" which operates very similarly to the PolSAR system used by NASA.

http://www.bandconditions.com

OPDX

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Consultation on controlling interference from apparatus

Tuesday 6th January 2015

Ofcom has launched a consultation on draft regulations for new wireless telegraphy legislation, intended to keep pace with technological advances to control interference

Electrical and electronic apparatus are capable of emitting electromagnetic energy. In most cases, this is minimal and has no noticeable negative effects. However, in some cases the level of energy emitted from apparatus can cause interference to wireless communications.

Ofcom has powers to take enforcement action in instances where some types of electrical or electronic apparatus causes undue interference to wireless communications.

The proposed regulations are intended to be more resilient to technical developments.

The deadline for responses to this consultation is February 16, 2015.

Consultation page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/undueinterference/

Direct link to PDF
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wta-notice-propossals/summary/WTA_SI_2015_Consultation_Document.pdf

Direct link to online response form
https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/undueinterference/
howtorespond/form

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FUNcube-2 on UKube-1 – Jan 2015 update

Tuesday 6th January 2015

Limited testing of the FUNcube-2 435/145 MHz linear transponder on the UKube-1 spacecraft has been undertaken during the recent holiday period

This testing has shown that the transponder is able to work effectively and that it is capable of a similar performance to the transponder already operating on FUNcube-1.

AMSAT-UK and the FUNcube team have now submitted a detailed report on the testing to the UK Space Agency, who are the owners and prime operators of the UKube-1 spacecraft. It is expected that a meeting will be held with them late January / early February to plan possible future testing and operations.

Reception of UKube-1 FUNcube-2 Beacon
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/06/reception-of-ukube-1-funcube-2-beacon-on-funcube-dongle-sdr/

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

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EP6T Iran DXpedition (Kish Island - AS-166)

Tuesday 6th January 2015

With less than a week to go before the EP6T DXpedition will take place in the I.R of Iran, the Rockall DX Group is in the final process of finalizing their newest set-up:

5 High power stations, more than 6km of radials, new RX systems, filters, combiners, verticals, phased arrays, a 4 SQ and 5 beams should make it possible to get YOU in our log!

Out of almost 4,800 voters who filled out our poll, it's obvious that “the Low bands” will become the challenge of this expedition. Our Low band (160/80/40) operators will be QRV from local sunset (1345Z) up until our sunrise (0300Z) and will hopefully be able to pull out the weaker W6/W7
signals that will reach us on 160 meters via the long path.(27.000KM!)

During the first two days of the expedition, we encourage DX stations from all corners of the world to listen to us on the Low bands and to keep our pilots informed of your best times so we can focus based on the data we receive. During these days we will also be doing our utmost to thin out the EU pile.

Propagation predictions show that almost all continents are within decent signal range, with North America the only exception. The EP to NA path is extremely difficult and of short duration. To give everyone a fair chance and to obtain a leveled continental balance, we will have to use all openings to NA to the fullest! The 10 meter antenna has been replaced by a 5 element OWA Yagi. By doing so, our signal will be significantly stronger, but we also hope to be able to log West Coast stations via LP.

You will be able to find us on the frequencies listed on our website
at: http://www.rockall.be/index.php/frequency-list
The website also provides a link to Stu, K6TU, that guarantees your
personal propagation prediction towards Kish Island at:
https://k6tu.net/?q=node/add/dx-prediction-ep6t

We have put countless hours and tremendous efforts in trying to meet
everyone’s needs and hopes for your cooperation; because besides predictions, the most important message “is the operators instructions”.

During our stay it is likely that next to the experts from the C.R.A, some local radio amateurs will come and visit us. Together, we will share all our experiences and help them discover the fun of pile-ups. Please be patient and help them to discover this wonderful hobby.

Your QSL card is guaranteed, all information can be found on our
website and note that each individual sponsor in our log receives a
QSL card completely free of charge!

The Rockall DX Group wishes you a good EP6T hunt!

*For your convenience we have listed useful information below for you
to work us: Lowbands
-----------------------------------------------------------------
North America - West coast -- 1345-1630z (LP)
North America - East coast -- 2200-0300z
Australia -- 1900-2140z
Pacific - New Zealand -- 1700-1730z (SR - ZL)
Japan -- 2030-220z (SR)
Europe -- PSE avoid calling us on peak moments for other continents!!!

For North America
------------------------------------------------------------------
28 MHz West coast -- 1500-1800z (LP) * 0400-0600z (LP)
24 MHz -- 1300z - until band closing * 1500-1800z (LP)
21 MHz -- 1300z - until band closing * 0215-0500z (LP)
18 MHz -- 1200-1600z * 1500-1700z (LP)
14 MHz -- 1200-1700z

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Tuesday 6th January 2015

Island activities:

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

AS-015; 9M2; Pinang State group:
Rich, PA0RRS, is currently active as 9M2MRS from Penang until Feb. 4. QRV on 30-10m on CW, RTTY, and PSK. QSL via PA0RRS, OQRS, LoTW, eQSL.AS-153; VU; West Bengal State group: Members of the West Bengal Radio Club are going to activate Sagar Island (WLOTA 2262) as 8T5MQT between the 9th and the 16th. QRV mainly on 20m (14260) on SSB. QSL via VU2NRO.
http://wbradioclub.in/home.php

NA-016; ZF; Cayman Islands:
Pete/K8PGJ plans a holiday-style operation from Grand Cayman Islands (WLOTA 1042, WW Loc.: EK99hh) between the 10th and the 18th. QRV as ZF2PG, during day-time hours on 10-20m and during the night on 40-160m on SSB. QSL via K8PGJ (d), LoTW.

NA-105; FS; PJ7; St Martin:
Jeff/VA3QSL is expected on the air holiday-style as PJ7/VA3QSL between the 9th and the 13th. QRV on 40-6m on CW and SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B), LoTW.

OC-236; YB8; Celebes's Coastal Islands:
A team consisting of YB8IBD, YB8IAN, YB8KM, YC8KNW, YC8KLA, YC8IAI, YC8KBY, and YB8KGR puts Wowoni Island on the air on January 10 & 11 on HF on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via YB8IBD (d), ClubLog.

SA-001; CE0, XR0; Easter Island:
Tasuo/ JA3ARJ, Jusei/JA3IVU, Kunio/JH3LSS, Munakazu/JI3DNN, Masumi/JA3AVO, and Hiroko/JH3PBL, all members of the JA3 DX Vacation Group are going to operate as XR0YJ from Hangaroa, Easter Island (DICE ICE-001, WLOTA 0319, CEFF-027, WW Loc.: DG52) between the 10th and 16th. QRV on 80-6m on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL preferred via ClubLog-OQRS, LoTW, direct via JA3AVO.
http://www.nakade.jp/ce0y.htm

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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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 5th January 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 28th December, through Sunday, 4th January there were 227 countries active.

Countries available:

1A, 3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 3X, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5B, 5R, 5U, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, CY0, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FR, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T2, T30, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2V, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9, ZF, 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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GB3HS upgrades

Monday 5th January 2015

The East Yorkshire Repeater Group is pleased to announce two major developments for GB3HS.

Both will significantly enhance the 2m repeater covering the East Riding of Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire.

Please see http://www.eyrg.net/ for further details.
Comments and reports can be left on that forum.

Please remember that subscriptions for 2015 are now due; £10 or including ATV £15.

73 for the New Year from the EYRG Committee

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 5th January 2015

Island activities:

AS-130. Jacek, SP5APW, will be active as 3W2JK from Con Son Island between March 11-17th. He states on his Blog page [edited]:
"I am going to operate from Con Son Island during my next spring vacations. The island is not very remote and inaccessible.
However, AS-130 group has been claimed by 17.1% IOTA chasers only... So, I expect to experience nice pile-up. My QTH will be on southeastern coast what causes that short path to NA and EU will not work well. Unfortunately all resorts are located in this part of the island. See you on air!"

For updates, watch:
http://as-130.blogspot.it

AS-200. Kenji, JA4GXS, will once again be active as JA4GXS/5 from Shodo Island (Kagawa Prefecture) between January 23-25th.
Activity will be on 40-15 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via JA4GXS, direct or by the Bureau.

NA-178. (Update) According to a post on their FaceBook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/K6Fislands
"Hi All - so far, we are ON for 1/5 & 1/6 on the island. Some of you have heard, and I'll make it clear here now, that this trip to the island will likely not 'count' for IOTA credit. Paperwork and politics being what they are, we will likely not have certification from IOTA for these QSO'S next week. Please consider this a dry - run for a future trip. See you on the band's Monday evening 73"

OC-236. Operators Agus/YB8IAN, Salmin/YB8IBD, Asrat/YB8KGR, YB8KM, YC8IAI, Syahruddin/YC8KBY, YC8KLA and YC8KNW will be active
as YB8K from Wowoni Island between January 10-11th. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and Digital modes. QSL via YB8IBD direct only. An online log search will be available on ClubLog. More details and updates at:
http://www.qrz.com/db/YB8K

RSGB IOTA website

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

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A hole has appeared in the Sun's Atmosphere !

Sunday 4th January 2015

A vast hole has opened in the atmosphere over the sun's south pole, and it is spewing solar wind into space.

The gaseous gap, a.k.a. a 'coronal hole,' is colored dark-purple in the extreme ultraviolet image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=04&month=01&year=2015
where you can read more about it. 

Coronal holes are places where the sun's magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. A stream of solar wind flowing from this particular hole is expected to reach Earth's orbit on Jan. 4-5

You can check out the possibility of an aurora being seen this far down in the UK by checking the 'Aurora Watch' button at the bottom of the menu on the left.  Currently it is predicting  5.67kp which brings the propensity for a UK Aurora almost to Northern Scotland. 

As you will see from the map lower down the page it needs to be around 6.5kp to reach the North West of England.

See the spectacular aurora photo by Graeme Whipps taken yesterday from Aberdeen, Scotland on the spaceweather Realtime Aurora Gallery.

http://tinyurl.com/m55hboz

Keep watching and checking here .. it may just happen !!  (G4OAR 18.00pm Sunday 4th January 2015)

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ANZAC 100 will be everywhere in 2015

Sunday 4th January 2015

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has joined the community commemoration of the ANZAC 100 milestone with its own ANZAC Centenary Award, special callsigns and other activities.

Also involved are the NZART New Zealand and the TRAC Turkey, with some other IARU member societies showing interest.

The Australian Department of Veteran Affairs has approved the WIA's use of the word 'ANZAC' in its rostered special callsigns. These will be popular with on-air contacts made during the year.

Earlier, the start of World War 1, and the First Shot Fired by Australia movement invited participation on August 5 last year from the Geelong Amateur Radio Club at Fort Queenscliff on Port Phillip Bay, who used VI3ANZAC.

Another event was the first ANZAC troop ships in November and Albany's role in Australia's ANZAC history, that had the Southern Electronics Group use VI6ANZAC.

However, the ANZAC 100 event officially opens on April 25 this year with a special WIA broadcast from Canberra. Clubs and groups can register on a roster basis for the WIA assigned ANZAC callsigns.

Already registered are the RAAF Secret Mission, The Somme, Kokoda Track and the Evacuation of Gallipoli - among others.

The ANZAC 100 event in Australia runs until December 20, 2015 the day when ANZAC troops left the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Suggested calling frequencies are made for Digital Modes, CW and SSB. An online log is provided to locate ANZAC stations, gauge propagation paths and enable eQSLing.

We remember the sacrifices made by our service personnel over the last 100 years. More information will be on later VK1WIA broadcasts.

For details and to register, please check out the WIA website www.wia.org.au

Jim Linton VK3PC

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DESPATCH Ground Station operations end

Sunday 4th January 2015

Tama Art University Ground Station has decided to conclude attempts to receive the ARTSAT2:DESPATCH spacecraft, amateur radio callsign JQ1ZNN

On December 3, 2014 the Deep Space Sculpture spacecraft ARTSAT2:DESPATCH (FO-81) was put into an Earth escape orbit as a piggyback payload on the H-IIA F26 launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

The DESPATCH CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz was powered by batteries which had an estimated lifetime of 27 days.

Radio amateurs around the world tracked the signal from the spacecraft as it headed out into deep space. The furthest two reports of reception occurred when the spacecraft was 4.7 million km from Earth, far beyond what the team expected and a record communication distance between two amateur radio stations.

Read more at
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/03/despatch-operations-end/

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Radio hams plan winged spacecraft

Saturday 3rd January 2015

The WIA highlights an ABC news story about the spacecraft being developed by radio amateurs Robert Brand VK2URB and his 12-year-old son Jason VK2FJAB

The WIA say:

An Australian man and his 12-year-old son are hoping to make history with the development of the smallest spacecraft able to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and land safely.

Robert Brand VK2URB is the developer of the craft, named ThunderStruck, a small winged re-entry vehicle capable of leaving Earth's orbit and flying around the solar system, at least as far as Mars or the near-Earth asteroids.

What makes ThunderStruck unique was that it could fly up and back for basic experiments without going into orbit or it could fly into orbit on board a rocket then re-enter, something that was not being done anywhere else.

Project ThunderStruck has the backing of Australian government bodies and universities and is on the cards to be a fully working spaceship in about five years.

Another unique aspect of Project ThunderStruck would be the involvement of Mr Brand's 12-year-old son Jason VK2FJAB in the first phase of testing, scheduled for April, the transonic testing phase would attempt to test the 2.5-metre craft at speeds close to Mach 2, faster than the speed of sound.

Mr Brand said his son worked with him releasing and bringing back high-altitude balloons from the stratosphere and had considerable expertise in space technology, in spite of his young age.

Mr Brand said if the project came together it would be unique and give Australia a much-needed boost in space development

Read the full ABC story at
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-29/father-son-team-hope-to-make-australian-space-history/5990388

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Balloon and payload heads for South America

Saturday 3rd January 2015

After its 7th day afloat a small balloon carrying a HF Amateur Radio payload is still travelling east, but at the mercy to the prevailing wind current.

Andy VK3YT launched the small solar-powered balloon on December 27, with it reaching more than half way between Australia and South America, near the International Dateline.

He says trackers are doing a good job, but it would be great if stations along the Pacific and South America listened for the telemetry at the scheduled time.

Andy VK3YT says "The balloon did a loop for the whole day and didn't cover much ground distance. The prediction shows a more directly path towards the east from now.

"HF propagation has been different from previous flights. We haven't had any long range WSPR spots so far. Reception of JT9 packets so far generally require some type of directional antenna with some gain."

For more information including links please read https://www.amateurradio.com.au/news/new-vk-pico-balloon-be-launched

Jim Linton VK3PC

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More strange shortwave noises..

Saturday 3rd January 2015

Tune around 28.6 MHz most mornings and you will hear a train of two tones, one low and the other high audio (600Hz, 1500 Hz ?) lasting a few seconds each and with a pause of about two seconds between them.

They sound like square wave modulation but there's no carrier. Last for hours at any time. Also hear at times a MHz or two lower.

Just what are they and from where ?
Get the beams on them !!

Des Walsh, EI5CD

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Longwave closures on 31 December

Saturday 3rd January 2015

As well as 3 German transmitters, Bulgaria ended its transmissions on 261 kHz on December 31st.

Mike Terry

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Can YOU solve the mystery of UVB-76?

Friday 2nd January 2015

The Daily Mail newspaper asks its readers if they can explain the mysterious radio signal on 4625 kHz known as the Buzzer

The mysterious transmissions from Russia are thought to have started in 1982 and have continued ever since. Up until September 2010, the station identified itself as UVB-76 (Cyrillic: УВБ-76), and it is still often referred to by that name.

The station transmits using AM with a suppressed lower sideband (R3E), but it has also used full double-sideband AM (A3E). The signal consists of a buzzing sound that lasts 1.2 seconds, pausing for 1–1.3 seconds, and repeating 21–34 times per minute. Until November 2010, the buzz tones lasted approximately 0.8 seconds each.One minute before the hour, the repeating tone was previously replaced by a continuous, uninterrupted alternating tone, which continued for one minute until the short repeating buzz resumed, although this no longer occurs since June 2010.

Read the Daily Mail story at
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877988/Can-solve-mystery-UVB-76-Radio-station-buzzed-second-1970s-no-one-knows-why.html

Wiki - UVB-76
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UVB-76

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Wind-up radio inventor gets New Year Honour

Trevor Baylis with Chelmsford tutors Clive G1EUC
 and Anthony M1FDE in 2007

Thursday 1st January 2015

The BBC report that inventor Trevor Baylis has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours list for services to intellectual property

Trevor Bayliss is an Honorary member of the RSGB and his wind-up radio made communications available to people across Africa without access to electricity.

Read the BBC story at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30634138

Tomorrows World video from 1994
http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/tomorrowsworld/8026.shtml

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Latest VK pico balloon travels east

Thursday 1st January 2015

The solar power HF pico balloon set off from Melbourne at 7am on December the 27th and has been tracked to New Zealand and beyond.

The helium filled party-type balloon was launched in Melbourne by Andy VK3YT carrying a QRP transmitter on WSPR, JT9, with telemetry and tracking.

Recent reports had it travelling east for several days, and arriving and leaving the southern end of New Zealand on New Year's Eve, and into the Pacific.

It was last tracked by Bob Sutton ZL1RS at the international dateline, an altitude of 10,255 metres and travelling 50 kilometres per hour.

Andy VK3YT says that due to propagation conditions, JT9 and WSPR reception from the balloon has been very localised to ZL and VK stations.

If the balloon follows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast it could travel further, reaching South America and beyond.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Happy New Year and happy birthday EURAO

Thursday 1st January 2015

A long path has been travelled and an intense experience lived since F5RCS proposed in mid 2005 the creation of an European association of radio amateurs.

In just ten years, EURAO has achieved: real members in more than 50 countries, in and outside Europe; setting up a global QSL service; recognition by: EU, UN, CEPT and ITU; economic stability; attendance to HAM RADIO exhibitions; performing projects and activities, such as awards, parties, emergency communications exercises or youth meetings; etc.

With your support, all of you, from readers to members, have contributed to an Amateur Radio more plural and diverse than ever, more free and with more options to choose, but not necessarily more divided in front of real problems and threats of our hobby.

A common front is possible for these issues and EURAO is open to collaborate with anyone, individual or organization, who shares the same aim. We will go ahead!

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DATV on 2m

Thursday 1st January 2015

What is thought to be the first Digital ATV transmission in the 146 MHz band took place on Dec. 30, 2014 between Arthur Turner G4CPE and Don Saunders G0WFT

Arthur transmitted a 4 watt MPEG-2 signal on 146.500 MHz using a symbol rate of 543 KS/sec to Don over a 3.7 km path.

BATC Forum http://www.batc.org.uk/forum/

The British Amateur Television Club (BATC) produce the magazine CQ-TV, you can join at
https://www.batc.org.uk/shop/cyber-subs

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D-STAR Ham Radio Tutorials

Thursday 1st January 2015

Don G4TKR has recorded a number of easy to follow tutorials based around the ID-5100E to guide you in using D-STAR

Watch ID-5100E Tutorial 1 - Accessing D-STAR repeaters and reflectors

The other tutorials can be seen at
https://www.youtube.com/user/IcomUK/videos

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PZK and IARU Anniversaries

Thursday 1st January 2015

2015 sees the 85th anniversary of establishment of the Polish Amateur Radio Union (PZK) and the 90th anniversary of the IARU

This is to publicise the jubilees mentioned in the title. The selection of the special event stations was based on the capability of intensive operation under an assigned call sign, and on assuming activation of club stations which train future radio amateurs, as well as of such stations already activated by young fully licensed radio amateurs.

This action is based on the assumption of operation on the air during the following period: 01.01.2015 - 30.04.2015, encompassing two dates referring to both jubilees, namely - the 24th February 2015 - the 85th anniversary of establishment of the PZK and the 18th April 2015 - the 90th anniversary of establishment of the IARU.

For more information, please visit the following website:
http://85.pzk.org.pl/

Have a lot of fun, see you!

Paweł Zakrzewski, SP7TEV
IARU Liaison Officer of the Polish Amateur Radio Union (PZK)

IARU Region 1
http://iaru-r1.org/

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Free ATV Magazine CQ-DATV 19 now available

Thursday 1st January 2015

CQ-DATV 19 our free ATV magazine and is now available for download from http://www.cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php.

You can download either a PDF file or one of several eBook formats

In CQ-DATV 19 January 2015 is :-

Contents:

DATV News
Editorial
Reader review comments on DATVtalk11
Local Oscillator PLL for Digilite project
DATV-Express Project – November update report
Using Raspberry PI to feed a DATV
modulator – no PC required
Moving on with film making - part 1
10 GHz SSB with a PLL LNB
Has USA selected a DATV Protocol yet?
To PC or not to PC, that is the question

http://www.cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php

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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