The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Club Members' News Page

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

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

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

WADARC & YOTA 2014  -  This Coming Weekend !       

WADARC has secured part of the N.O.V. for G 14 YOTA which will be used around the UK at different times throughout December by selected amateur radio clubs in the same way as the G 100 RSGB station was done.

The WADARC slot is this coming weekend - Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st December 2014 and we plan to run the event from Leasowe Lighthouse, Leasowe Common, Moreton, Wirral. (photo lower right) 

Times:- Saturday 10am - 7pm and Sunday 10am - 2pm

We have a BIG station planned for the weekend at Leasowe Lighthouse using the callsign G14YOTA, so it will be interesting for everyone to see.

We understand that the weekend before Christmas is a busy time but would appreciate you putting the date in your diary and if time allows popping in to the station for a short time in support of the event.

The whole purpose of YOTA is to focus attention to attract as many youngsters as possible to take part across the country, whether already licenced or not.

Everyone is welcome to attend and if possible to encourage youngsters to come along as well.

If you or your friends and colleagues have children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, neighbours, etc., please bring them along to try out 'The original social networking system' and to have a go.

Full details are here on the website so please take a look and spread the word far and wide.

Below is the RSGB poster supporting the Youngsters On The Air month which is running for the whole of December, dedicated to attracting as many youngsters as possible to have a look at what Amateur Radio is about and where possible, to get them on air.

     

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Ofcom Board appoints Sharon White as Chief Executive

Tuesday 17th December 2014

The Ofcom Board has announced the appointment of Sharon White as Chief Executive.

Sharon will join Ofcom in late March 2015 from HM Treasury, where she is Second Permanent Secretary.

In this role Sharon is the lead official responsible for managing the UK's public finances, a position she has held since November 2013. Before that she served as Director General, Public Spending at HM Treasury.

An economics graduate, Sharon has 25 years' experience in the public sector and Government, starting with spells in Washington, the No 10 Policy Unit, and the World Bank. Sharon later worked in the Department for International Development, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury.

Ofcom Chairman, Dame Patricia Hodgson, said: "Sharon brings with her an outstanding combination of intellect, political acumen and experience leading complex public organisations.

"The Ofcom Board is confident that Sharon will provide the leadership and vision to ensure Ofcom continues to promote a thriving communications sector in the UK that operates in the public interest."

Sharon White said: "The communications sector is vital to the economy and delivers essential services to everyone in the UK. I look forward to starting in this fascinating job and building on Ofcom's considerable track record."

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The Icom IC-2730, a practical dual bander with optional Bluetooth headset!

Tuesday 17th December 2014

Icom are pleased to announce details of the new IC-2730E dual band mobile transceiver which will be available in early 2015.

This stunning new VHF/UHF dual band mobile transceiver provides VHF/VHF, UHF/UHF simultaneous receive capability as well as VHF/UHF receive.
An independent tuning knob, separate controller and large display makes it ideal for easy, intuitive mobile operation.

The IC-2730E is the latest Amateur radio product from Icom to provide optional Bluetooth capability allowing you to control the IC-2730E with the optional VS-3 Bluetooth headset (optional UT-133 Bluetooth unit must be installed in the IC-2730E).

Planned Features

Optional VS-3 Bluetooth Headset. Large Easy-to-See, Backlit Display
Easy Vehicle Mounting with Optional MBF-1
HM-207, Remote Control Microphone
VHF/VHF, UHF/UHF Simultaneous Receive Capability
Controller Attachment to the Main Unit with Optional MBA-4
Independent controls for each band

Other Features

Wide frequency coverage, 118–136.975MHz (AM/AM-N), 137–174MHz & 375–550MHz (FM/FM-N)
50W output power on both VHF and UHF bands
104 DTCS and 50 CTCSS tone codes
Split tone function allows you to encode and decode different CTCSS/DTCS tones
1000 memory channels, 2 call channels and 50 scan edges with 8-character channel name
Cross band repeater capability
Free download PC programming software, CS-2730
Versatile scanning capability
Squelch delay and squelch attenuator
Sub band auto mute function
Sub band busy beep function
Auto power off
Time-out-timer
16 DTMF auto dial memories

The IC-2730E will be available in January from all authorised Icom Amateur radio dealers with a suggested selling price of £299.95 (inc.VAT).

www.icomuk.co.uk

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G3XFD's 7MHz band interference - update

Monday15th December 2014

Official sources have confirmed that the problem here at G3XFD is associated with the use of the h.f. spectrum (using overhead subscriber telephone lines) of the broadband service downlink and uplink to and from the nearest fibre optic street cabinet.

Here in Bournemouth the nearest BT street cabinet (plastered with a poster proclaiming ‘Fibre Optic is here!) is approximately 100 yards from my home. There are many overhead lines going to each subscriber (from Distribution Poles - DPs), including the building where I live (I am not a BT broadband customer). At least six overhead lines pass over a small park next to my driveway….within 50ft or so of one leg of my dipole antenna and almost parallel with it.

Ofcom are now handling the problem and I will offer up-dates to the Amateur Radio friends when I can because this is an interference source that’s likely to occur anywhere the fibre optic broadband service is provided by sending data using the h.f. spectrum via overhead subscriber lines.

I have up-dated my YouTube video text and the subject is also featured in my latest article in the January 2015 issue of Practical Wireless.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bgcuTzfKL0&list=UU-S7yrucn2UltoDr9St9LAQ

Best wishes Richard

Rob Mannion G3XFD

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Ofcom FoI requests

Monday15th December 2014

Details of Freedom of Information requests to the UK communications regulator Ofcom can be seen on the web

Among the requests is one from a Peter Eckersley who asked about the reasons for the issue of what he called "out of sequence callsigns", understood to be callsigns from the old G series, originally issued in the last century, which have again been issued to amateurs in the past 10 years.

He also asked a supplementary question - please list all callsigns issued or re-issued in the last 10 years from any series first allocated before the Second World War (with the addition of the international indicator "G" (e.g. "G3BA").

Ofcom have recently responded to say they are not been able to reply to his question in the required time-frame
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/
out_of_sequence_amateur_radio_ca#incoming-593954


When it finally arrives the reply should be interesting. It is thought there are the following instances of issuing of old G calls but Ofcom may well know of others:
- No-Morse G3xxx callsigns issued in the 1950's for ATV operation which were later replaced by G6xxx/T and subsequently G8 calls have been re-issued to the original holders
- Old Reciprocal G5xxx callsigns have been issued again to their original holders
- Pre WWII Gnxx and G2xxx callsigns have been issued to people who had a family relationship to the original holder
- Former Club callsigns Gnxx and Gnxxx have been issued to someone who was once a member of a now defunct club
- Gnxxx callsigns issued inadvertently to people by the online licensing system. Calls from the G6 block are known to have been issued in recent years

Keep a track on the Ofcom FoI's at
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/ofcom

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The first female Ham Radio operators, and their awesome legacy

Monday15th December 2014

Ashley Hennefer writes about some of the early female radio amateurs

Many hams consider amateur radio to be the original maker skill, requiring knowledge of electricity, geography and communication. And it’s one of many mediums that gave women the chance to have a global voice — and they took it.

Read the article at
http://www.themarysue.com/female-ham-radio-operators/

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday15th December 2014

Island activities:

EU-009. Col, MM0NDX, will be active as MM0NDX/P from the Orkney Islands between January 16-18th (2015). Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via IW7EGQ.

OC-157. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/8 from Bandaneira Island between December 22-25th. Online log and OQRS will be available on ClubLog. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or OQRS.

OC-224. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/8 from Yamdena Island between December 27-31st. Online log and OQRS will be available on ClubLog. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or OQRS.

SA-026. João, PU2KKE, will be active with the special callsign ZV5WSC from Matadeiro Beach, Santa Catarina Island, between December 27-31st. Santa Catarina is the largest and most populated island in Brazil. The purpose of this DXpedition is to spend most of his time on the isolated and deserted beaches, combining hiking, camping and ham radio. He will be hiking approximately 70 km. QSL via the address on QRZ.com.

IOTA NEWS (de G3KMA)....

* November 11th - IOTA Management has received a number of complaints that QSL card requests sent to Kadek, YB9BU, in accordance with his QSLing instructions on QRZ.com have not received a reply and similarly that email inquiries are not being answered. Emails from the IOTA Manager and mutual friends have also gone unanswered.

In the circumstances it can only be assumed that there is an interruption in the QSL manager service for all the many operations for which YB9BU acts as QSL manager and people would be well advised not to send further cards. We would also advise YB island operators for whom YB9BU acts or normally acts as manager to make other arrangements to ensure satisfactory QSLing.
Acceptance by IOTA Management of further IOTA operations by YB9BU must be regarded as on hold until and unless the matter is resolved.

* November 30th - The IOTA Committee has been made aware that Dino Island no longer meets the requirements laid down for qualification for IOTA and has decided that it should be withdrawn from EU-144 with effect from 1 January 2015. The distance separating the island from the mainland has reduced as the beach area gradually encroached into the channel and is now significantly less than the required 200 meters. Credit will continue to be given for contacts with Dino made before 1 January 2015.

The Committee has agreed to regard the following additional islets as counting for EU-144: Isca Maggiore, Isca Minore, Furmiculi Rocks, Godano and Mantineo - see the Italian Islands Award (IIA) list at
http://www.ari.it for the exact locations.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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AmateurLogic 73: A Hamtastic Christmas

Sunday 14th December 2014

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 73 is now available for download.

Peter talks about Propagation, Tommy shows us Arne’s IC-7100 with Remote Rig, George presents the CheapoDuino Finale. Plus our exciting holiday present to you, The AmateurLogic Christmas Album Collection with Mike Morneau, VE3MIC.

This is an excellent way to end the year. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.

1:17:26

Download at www.amateurlogic.tv

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Aeronautical mobile qso

Sunday 14th December 2014

M0WTX Live on UK HUB from 40,000Ft ASL on a Emirates Airbus A380-500 about 300 nm from Dubai!

Listen to the exclusive transmission of Stuart M0WTX as he checks into the uk hub on echolink whilst in the air!!
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68150908/
Allstar%20at%2040000ft.mp3

For more info on the uk hub check mb7iuk on qrz

Free wifi now on the Emirates A380 aircraft
http://www.emirates.com/ae/english/flying/staying_connected/
staying_connected.aspx

Anyone can now operate air mobile using echolink and a smart phone or netbook laptop

Now it’s free to blog, post or tweet from your seat on most of our A380 aircraft. Enjoy 10MB of data for free, or buy 500MB for just USD 1. Six of our A380s don’t have free Wi-Fi yet. But you can buy 500MB for USD 1, and also on select Boeing 777s.

73
Ian g3zhi

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First digital hospital

Saturday 13th December 2014

Australia's first fully integrated digital hospital officially opened Monday at Hervey Bay and is the first local hospital to computerise everything from diet to dialysis and integrate its operations, equipment and services.

It includes more than 300km of fibre-optic cable.

Machines fed data into patients’ records directly when they underwent a test. Food was ordered and managed electronically, and medication dispensed in a paperless environment.

Patients were electronically logged when they changed areas and no longer do the Doctors need chase the (patient) chart any more.

The hospital had Wi-Fi throughout, with patient access and free internet.  Patients could bring their own 'tablet' device to hospital.

theaustralian.com.au/technology/unitingcare-opens-australias-first-digital-hospital-in-queensland/story-e6frgakx-1227148964484

Source: Wireless Institute of Australia

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Weekend meteor shower

Saturday 13th December 2014

The best meteor shower of the year, the Geminids, peaks this weekend when Earth passes through a stream of debris from 'rock comet' 3200 Phaethon.

Forecasters expect to see as many as 120 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Dec. 13th and 14th.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos and observing tips

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Ham radio led to electrical engineering career

Friday 12th December 2014

The ARRL report that antenna designer Jim Breakall WA3FET says amateur radio led to his Electrical Engineering career

In an online “Spotlight” interview published recently in EEWeb, antenna designer Jim Breakall, WA3FET, explains that he got interested in ham radio and electronics as a youngster, and that led to his becoming an electrical engineer.

“I knew at that time that I was going to be an electrical engineer and specialize in antenna and radio engineering,” Breakall said in the wide-ranging interview.

His most recent big project was the HF Cassegrain feed for an ionospheric modification at Arecibo that’s similar to the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska, but on a smaller scale.

Read the EEWeb article at
http://www.eeweb.com/spotlight/interview-with-dr.-jim-breakall

Read the ARRL article at
http://www.arrl.org/news/antenna-designer-wa3fet-says-ham-radio-led-to-his-electrical-engineering-career

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Win a Free SDR Receiver Package

Friday 12th December 2014

NooElec and AmateurRadio.com have teamed up to give away SDR (Software Defined Radio) receiver packages to TWENTY hams!

Over $1,200 in free prizes and NooElec will pay the shipping worldwide!

The deadline to enter is 18 December 2014 20:00 UTC.

Check out the prize packages and enter here:
http://www.amateurradio.com/2014-sdr-giveaway/

We’re giving away TWENTY prizes including:

Three (3)
Complete NESDR XTR HF SDR packages including:
NESDR XTR SDR Set (E4000 chip)
Ham It Up upconverter
Upconverter Enclosure (silver)
Male MCX to male SMA pigtail (SDR cable)
Male SMA to female BNC adapter (antenna adapter)
Estimated $129.95 value

Five (5)
Complete NESDR Mini 2 HF packages including:
NESDR Mini 2 SDR set
Ham It Up upconverter
NESDR Mini 2 enclosure (silver)
Upconverter enclosure (silver)
Male MCX to male SMA pigtail (SDR cable)
Male SMA to female BNC adapter (antenna adapter)
$111.95 value

Twelve (12)
NESDR Mini 2 SDR sets
$25.95 value





Check out the prize packages and enter here:
http://www.amateurradio.com/2014-sdr-giveaway/

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Improved Radio Spectrum Management website launched

Friday 12th December 2014

New Zealand's regulator, Radio Spectrum Management (RSM), launched its refreshed website today at www.rsm.govt.nz.

Remember to re-bookmark or re-save your favourite pages on the RSM website as previous links will no longer work.

We will continue to roll out refinements to the RSM website. This will enable us to incorporate client feedback wherever possible. We will let you know about any major changes or improvements.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our refreshed website.

Read more about the changes to the RSM website.

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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 12th December 2014

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

FIJI, 3D2. Udo, DL9HCU is QRV as 3D2HC from Nadi for the next few weeks. Activity is on 30, 20 and 15 meters. QSL to home call.

TUNISIA, 3V. Ash, KF5EYY will be QRV as a Single Op/Mixed Mode/Low Power entry in the ARRL 10 Meter contest. QSL via LX1NO.

LESOTHO, 7P. Nick, G3RWF is QRV as 7P8NH until December 14. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands using CW. QSL to home call.

ANTARCTICA. Felix, DL5XL is QRV as DP1POL on Neumayer III, IOTA AN-016, until the end of February 2015. Activity is on the HF bands using mainly CW, but also some SSB and RTTY. QSL via DL1ZBO.

CAPE VERDE, D4. Harald, DF2WO is QRV as D44TWO from Praia, Santiago Island, IOTA AF-005, until January 8, 2015. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via M0OXO.

FRANCE, F. Look for a group of operators to be QRV as TM1A in the ARRL 10 Meter contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS, FW. Jean-Jacques, FW5JJ is QRV from Wallis Island, IOTA OC-054, and expects to be here for the next two years. Activity is on the HF bands and 6 meters. He is also active using 2 meter EME. QSL direct via F5RXL.

BELGIUM, ON. Members of the Radioclub of G.T.M. in Kruibeke will be QRV using special event call sign ON70BUTS until January 14, 2015 to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge. QSL via ON4CFB.

ARUBA, P4. Thomas, K8CX is QRV as P40CX until December 16. This includes being an entry in the ARRL 10 Meter contest. QSL to home call.

PALAU, T8. Akira, AF1Y is QRV as T88MZ until December 12. Activity is on the HF bands. QSL via DU1CKF.

BENIN, TY. Wynand, ZS6ARF is QRV as TY2CD until 2018. He plans to soon set up on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL direct to home call.

EUROPEAN RUSSIA, UA. Special event station R100DA is QRV until the end of December to commemorate the long-distance flights by the Russian Air force that began 100 years ago. Russian stations QSL via RV3YR and all others via GM0WRR.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, VP2V. Bill, W5SJ and Jim, K5KQI are QRV as home calls/VP2V until December 19. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home calls.

INDIA, VU. Special event stations AU1SV and AU5SV are QRV until January 12, 2015 to celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu monk to speak at the Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois. Activity is on 40 to 10 meters using SSB and PSK31. QSL via operators' instructions.

LAOS, XW. Bruce, 3W3B will be QRV as XW4XR from Vientiane from December 15 to January 2, 2015. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via E21EIC. In addition, look for Karl, K4YT to be QRV as XW4YT from Vientiane in the ARRL 10 Meter contest. QSL via operator's instructions.

CAYMAN ISLANDS, ZF. Carl, K9LA and Charlie, KC9LA will be QRV as ZF1A as a Multi/Single entry in the ARRL 10 Meter contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS
W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/9 in Indiana and W1AW/7 in Montana are QRV until 2359z on December 16. In addition, W1AW/3 in Maryland, W1AW/KH6 in Hawaii and W1AW/4 in Georgia will be QRV starting at 0000z on December 17. They will be active until 2359z on December 23.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The ARRL 10-Meter Contest, AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 CW QSO Party, NCCC RTTY Sprint, 80-Meter QRP CW Fox Hunt, SKCC Weekend CW Sprintathon, International Naval Contest and the QRP ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew CW Sprint are all on tap for this weekend.

The NAQCC CW Sprint, CWops Mini-CWT CW Test and 40-Meter QRP CW Fox Hunt are scheduled for December 17.

Please see December QST, page 68 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Friday 12th December 2014

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

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (12-19 December 2014)
"Islands, Castles & Portable Operations"
Listing is by calendar date (day/month/year)

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

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

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

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Apache Labs ANAN-10B transceiver

Thursday 11th December 2014

Waters & Stanton, European distributors of Apache Labs products have announced the release of the new Anan 10B (European version) which will be available in January 2015.

As well as the initial price tag of less than £900.00, the major differences between the original (and still current) Anan 10E is the smaller ADC (Analogue to Digital Converter).

This has reduced the receive capabilities of the Anan 10B down to 2 slice receivers from the original 7 slice receivers.

The EP3C25 FPGA is also a 14bit device whereas the original EP3C40 is a 16 bit device.

The original case and layouts are still employed on the new transceiver and most all features and functionality (including the 384KHz bandwidth receive) are retained for both slice receivers.

For more information contact W&S PLC at +44 (0)1702 204 965, Email sales@wsplc.com or visit the product link page: http://wsplc.com/apache-labs-anan-10e.html

European Trade enquiries – sales@wsplc.com

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MacLoggerDX HD Version 1.18 for iPad released

Thursday 11th December 2014

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 1.18 of MacLoggerDX HD for iPad has been released and can be purchased from the iTunes Store.

http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX_HD.html
http://appstore.com/dogparksoftwareltd/macloggerdxhd

What's new in this version ?

- iOS 8 Core Location and Mail sharing.
- Log updated to v6 db - SKCC added.

Take MacLoggerDX Mobile!

MacLoggerDX HD is an Amateur Radio application that monitors the spots from your favourite DX Cluster for DXing, Contesting or casual rag-chewing. It Alerts you to rare contacts or band openings by looking up and displaying real time propagation paths on a zoomable map. MacLoggerDX HD can log your contacts to a super fast sql database. MacLoggerDX HD includes ADIF import, export and Log syncing with MacLoggerDX desktop!

Features:

- SQLite data base.
- Internal databases updated over the Internet.
- Syncs MacLoggerDX logs through iTunes Sync.
- 2D Map.
- QRZ XML, HamCall, HamQTH and WM7D Call Books supported
(subscription required for QRZ and HamCall)
- DX Cluster Propagation displayed by band.

This is a free update for existing customers.

MacLoggerDX Desktop: http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

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SSTV transmissions from the International Space Station

Thursday 11th December 2014

The Russian ARISS team members plan to activate SSTV from the ISS on Thursday December 18 and Saturday December 20, 2014.

Expected SSTV mode will be PD180 on 145.800 MHz with 3 minute off periods between transmissions. A total of 12 different photos will be sent during the operational period.

Start time would be around 14:20 UTC on December 18 and 12:40 UTC on December 20. The transmissions should terminate around 21:30 UTC each day.

Space X 5 will be launching this week and delays in the launch could adjust SSTV operational times.

Gaston Bertels – ON4WF
ARISS-Europe chairman
 


Additional information
Per wIKI:

Slow-scan television (SSTV) is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.

A technical term for SSTV is narrowband television. Broadcast television requires 6 MHz wide channels, because it transmits 25 or 30 picture frames per second (in the NTSC, PAL or SECAM color systems), but SSTV usually only takes up to a maximum of 3 kHz of bandwidth. It is a much slower method of still picture transmission, usually taking from about eight seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the mode used, to transmit one image frame.

Since SSTV systems operate on voice frequencies, amateurs use it on shortwave (also known as HF by amateur radio operators), VHF and UHF radio.

ore at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow-scan_television

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Rare Satellite Grid Square

Thursday 11th December 2014

Paulo PV8DX has produced a video about his amateur radio satellite activation of Grid GJ03CI on the Brazil/Guyana border on December 6-7

Watch Ativação do GRID GJ03ci - By PV8DX

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

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New product from SOTABEAMS

Thursday 11th December 2014

SOTABEAMS has added a new item to their product portfolio.

The BOXA-TEST is a set of four different RF loads that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Four loads are contained in one small box.  The loads can be used to calibrate VSWR meters and antenna analysers.

They are handy for providing a confidence check for network analysers. They can be used to compare antenna tuners too and to check baluns too. The 250 Ohm load can also be used to measure the loss of coax cables.

The following loads are included:

50 Ohms, 100 Ohms, 250 Ohms and 5000 Ohms.

The BOXA-TEST is available as a kit or fully built in a smart aluminium enclosure.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/boxa-test-known-rf-loads/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 11th December 2014

Island activities:

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

AF-004; EA8, Canary Islands: Juha, OH1LEG, is currently active holiday-style as EA8/OH1LEG until December 22. QRV on 160-6m.
QSL via OH1LEG.

AF-005; D4, Cape Verde - Leeward Islands: Harald/DF2WO will be active on HF on CW and SSB as D44TWO holiday-style from Praia, Santiago Island between Dec. 12 and Jan. 8. QSL via M0OXO.

EU-042; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State North West group: Christoph, DH0GAK, pays Amrum a visit between the 14th and 19th and plans to get on the air with his QRP rig as DH0GAK/p on 20 and 40m. QSL via DH0GAK (d/B).

NA-062; W4, Florida State (Florida Keys) group: Sean, KX9X, activates Cudjoe Key (WW Loc. EL94) and maybe other small islands between the 13th and 18th as KX9X/4. QSL via h/c (d/B), LoTW.

NA-143; W5, Texas State East (Matagorda to Jefferson County) group: Joe/K5KUA returns to Galveston Island between the 12th and 14th as K5KUA/5. QRV on HF on CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-009; T8, Palau Islands: Akira/AF1Y will be active as T88MZ from Palau between the 9th and 12th on HF. QSL via DU1CKF (d/B), LoTW, eQSL.

SA-036; P4, Aruba: Thomas/K8CX gets on the air as P40CX between the 9th and 16th, including the ARRL 10m Contest. QSL via h/c (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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Behind the scenes at 2SZ October 2014

Wednesday 10th December 2014

A look at the operation of 2SZ, a special event amateur radio station established at Mill Hill School, London to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first radio contact between Great Britain and New Zealand

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

Watch Behind the Scenes at 2SZ October 2014

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

ZM90DX http://www.zm90dx.com/

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

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African tours

Wednesday 10th December 2014

Just a reminder that Nick, G3RWF, will start his Southern Africa Tour for a 5 week holiday starting in Lesotho and being active as 7P8NH between December 11-14th.

Nick informs OPDX that this is "real holiday" with the entire family coming to Southern Africa between Christmas and the New Year. However, he will be there longer with his wife, Liz.

Nick states [edited], "I shall be on the air from South Africa from about December 18th to January 5th as ZS1/G3RWF, and then from Namibia from about January 6-13th as V5/G3RWF. All CW only (taking my K2)."

Listen for him on the higher bands on CW (no SSB).

He "doesn't anticipate any 80m or 160m (and not 6m for those who always ask)."

Nick also mentioned one other thing to OPDX that his 7P8 license is good for a year, and he may well return there sometime not too far off.

QSL via G3RWF.

OPDX

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RSGB licence review forum

Tuesday 9th December 2014

The RSGB says it will open a discussion forum on the RSGB website today about the new draft licence

Among the changes proposed by Ofcom are:

- Abolition of requirement to ID every 15 minutes
- Addition of a clause which says "The Station must not cause interference to ... electronic equipment"
- Cluttering the licence with many other restrictions cut-and-pasted from the 472 kHz and 5 MHz NoV's

Anyone, RSGB member or not, can contribute to the discussion on the forum which is at
http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?forums/ofcom-licence-review/

When you register on the site there is a question at the bottom which says:
Verification: Who issues amateur radio licences in the UK?
The answer is Ofcom

PDF which includes the proposed licence
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement/Updating_the_Amateur_Radio_Licence.pdf

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WIA submits comments on the Government’s Potential Reform Directions paper

Tuesday 9th December 2014

On 11 November last, the Minister for Communications, the Honorable Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the release of the Spectrum Review – Potential Reform Directions paper for public comment. The deadline for submissions was 2 December.

Despite the short timeframe, the WIA compiled a submission of more than 3000 words, addressing seven of the 11 proposals put forward in the Directions paper. These proposals were judged to be of most interest to, and likely to have particular impact on, the Australian radio amateur community.

Of particular interest was the proposal to establish a single licensing framework – known around the industry as “parameter-based” licensing.  Naturally, the WIA welcomes this proposal having first advocated it 20 years ago.

The WIA’s submission advocates that “Having all the conditions, or parameters, pertaining to an Amateur licence in one document would greatly improve transparency, certainty and simplicity in licensing matters for the radio amateur community”.

The Directions paper highlighted the issue of reviewing licence tenure and renewal. The WIA argued for security of tenure for amateur licenses, highlighting that many amateurs hold a licence for considerable periods and the Institute would be concerned if this custom were at all affected.

In addition, the submission said that a significant administrative efficiency could be achieved – and a lowering of costs – through a minimum 5-year licence term for radio amateurs, compared with retaining the 1-year minimum term now prevailing, requiring annual renewal.

That said, the WIA put it that there’s also a role for short-term – less than 12 months – amateur licensing to meet a variety of possible needs, ranging from special events, to emergency incidents, or for educational or particular experimental purposes.

Amateurs visiting from overseas, and having appropriate reciprocal or equivalent qualifications, can operate for short periods in Australia, but this is through a Class licence, which would not carry over under the proposed single licensing framework.

Another issue of importance raised in the Directions paper is greater user involvement in spectrum management, whereby the ACMA could delegate functions to third parties. The WIA amateur examination service is a prime example of such user involvement, and we’ve been doing it for 10 years.

The WIA submission promotes the implementation of an online register of licences, one that is much more extensive and sophisticated than that which the ACMA has maintained for some 20 years. Such a system would be essential to achieve what the Government proposes regarding greater user involvement in spectrum management.

The Directions paper raised the spectre of licence fees and payment schedules. The WIA submitted that it is “. . . hoped that introducing administrative efficiencies in relation to licensing, particularly in relation to tenure, would lead to a reduction in fees and taxes attached to amateur licences from what now prevails. Don’t hold your breath.

The WIA submission also spends some time supporting extended enforcement measures for the ACMA and developing better regulation of the supply of electrical, electronic and radiocommunications devices.

The relentless raising of the radio noise floor is an issue that needs to be tackled. The noise floor affects all spectrum users to one extent or another. Implementing effective, enforceable regulation, coupled with improved equipment standards, will go a long way towards mitigating or reversing this trend.

The foregoing covered just a few highlights from the WIA’s submission to the latest stage of the Government Spectrum Review. .

You can download the submission by following the links on the WIA website home page under “Latest News From the WIA”, or under Hot Issues.

The responses to the latest consultation paper are being reviewed by the Department of Communications and the ACMA. They will report to the Minister early next year

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
WIA Director

Wireless Institute of Australia

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Boy Scouts of America National JOTA report and video

Tuesday 9th December 2014

The Boy Scouts of America have released their 2014 report for the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) held in October.

The report shows an across the board decline in participation by Boy Scout Councils, individual Scouts, and by stations.

Attendance at JOTA took a big jump in 2012 with 18,566 Scouts and visitors. This was a huge leap from just two years earlier when only 454 people were a part of the JOTA event. Since then the number has fallen by more than 5,000 to this years total of 13,326 reported Scouts and visitors. Likewise only 148 Boy Scout Councils were active this year, down from 173 last year.

National JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson K5ND states that 354 stations had registered this year, but only 205 submitted operating reports. This makes it difficult for organizers to have an accurate picture of exactly how many stations and scouts were really involved.

Despite this decline across the nation, Jamboree operations in Nevada seem to have hit their stride. Locations in Elko, Reno, Las Vegas, and elsewhere in the state saw an overflow of Scouts, parents, and hams enjoying this years JOTA experience.

John - N7UR

Original story at: THE NEVADA AMATEUR RADIO NEWSWIRE

Boy Scouts of America 2014 National JOTA Video

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EURAO Newsletter December 2014

Tuesday 9th December 2014

In this issue you will find:

  • 10th anniversary of EURAO (2005-2015): from idea to practice

  • X Colloquium of Radio Amateurs in Portugal

  • CQ EECE 2014 : success, feedback and failures

  • YEM 2015 : Young European Radio Amateurs Meeting in France

  • EURAO Party - Autumn 2014 : be digital, explore 30m

  • EANET Sprint Contest 2014 : final results

  • New members: ARR

  • News in brief

  • ...

EURAO Newsletter comes out quarterly, either in pdf format and as a website. Spread the word!

http://eurobureauqsl.org/newsletter/

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 8th December 2014

Island activities:

AS-021. Members of the Emirates Amateur Radio Society (EARS) are now active as A63DI from Dalma Island until December 10th. Activity is on all HF bands using CW, SSB and RTTY. Check the suggested IOTA frequencies. They have three stations on the air (one for "outside Europe only"). QSL via IZ8CLM. An OQRS is available on their Web page at: http://www.mdxc.org/a63di

AS-153. Members of the West Bengal Radio Club (VU2MQT) will be active as 8T5MQT from Sagar Island between January 9-16th (2015).
Activity will be mainly on 14260 kHz. QSL via VU2NRO. For more details and updates, visit QRZ.com or
http://wbradioclub.in

EU-122. Operators Bernard/G3SHF, Carsten/G0SYP, Tom/M0DCG, Evan/M0TJU, Dave/G0LZL, Pete/M1PTR and Kieron/M5KJM will be active as GI5O from Rathlin Island (WLOTA 0039) between July 24-26th (2015).
Activity will be on all HF bands, and include an entry in the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). The team will be operating from the Rathlin East (Altacarry Head) High Lighthouse (ARLHS NTI-011, Admiralty A6062). QSL via the Bureau or M5KJM.

NA-043. Joe, K5KUA, will once again be active as K5KUA/5 from Galveston Island (USI TX-001S, Galveston County, TX) between December 12-14th. Activity will be on CW only, as time permits. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. An online log search will be available on ClubLog.

OC-157. Din, YB8RW, will be active as YB8RW/8 from Banda Neira Island in the Maluku Province, Indonesia, between December 22-27th.
Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via YB8RW, direct or by the OQRS on ClubLog.

SA-030. Members of the Radiogrupo Sur will once again be active as CV5A from Flores Island (ARLHS URU-001) between February 21-23rd (2015). Activity will be on all bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Mount Vinson, Antarctica

Monday 8th December 2014

Alexei, RV3ARY is planning an attempt to operate from Mount Vinson (WAP MNB-01), Antarctica (grid square EB62), between 24th December 2014 and 03rd January 2015.

Battery power with a Windom and Yagi antenna for 20m.

Planned frequencies are 7.045, 21.260 and 14.260 MHz.

More details to be released closer to the date.

ICPO

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 8th December 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 30th November, through Sunday, 7th December there were 236 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Z, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E3, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, 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, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S2, S5, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T2, T30, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/g, VP9, VQ9, VR, VU, VU4, XE, XT, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, 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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Ofcom Amateur Radio Licence Statement

Saturday 6th December 2014

Ofcom has published a decision to update the terms and conditions of the amateur radio licence. This follows a consultation published in September

These include changes which would provide amateurs with access to some frequency bands previously available only through the variation of individual licences.

The decision is further to changes announced in our April statement on Public Sector Spectrum Release. In that statement, we set out a decision to remove access for amateur radio operators to certain frequencies in the 2300 MHz and 3400 MHz ranges in order to support the release of these bands by the Ministry of Defence.

This document is likely to be of interest to individuals authorised to use the radio spectrum in the UK for the purposes of amateur radio activities.

Ofcom Statement
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement

PDF which includes new sample licence
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/amateur-radio-licence/statement/Updating_the_Amateur_Radio_Licence.pdf

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HamRadioNow: A Christmas Truce

Saturday 6th December 2014

World War 1 started in 1914, 100 years ago, and continued for the next five years. Radio amateurs in the Kansas City area are remembering with Special Event station WW1USA from the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

The hams have chosen several specific events to honor each year by setting up a Field Day style station and operating for the weekend around each event from the Museum grounds.

The first was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which led to the start of the war. The 100th anniversary of that event coincided with Field Day 2014, and became the ham's inaugural event of the operation. The next is coming December 27-28, remembering The Christmas Truce, an unusual and spontaneous joint celebration of the holiday by erstwhile enemies on the front lines on the first Christmas of the war.

In this episode, two of the hams who have helped organize the Special Event, Randy Schulze KD0HKD and Herb Fiddick NZ0F, tell Gary how it got started and how it's going.

Watch Episode 179: A Christmas Truce, from HamRadioNow

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

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Ofcom: 420-470 MHz Consultation

Friday 5th December 2014

Ofcom has published a call for inputs as part of its strategic review of the 420-470 MHz spectrum band (UHF bands 1 and 2).

This will help Ofcom to understand whether its current approach to managing the band is able to meet the needs of current and future users.

Uses for the band are diverse and complex and its configuration is not fully aligned with the European configuration plan.

Users include business radio, the emergency services and utilities, among others. With potential new users also wanting to make use of these frequencies, demand is increasing.

This document invites comments from stakeholders on Aegis’s findings, as well as other input which stakeholders consider relevant to our analysis of the 420 - 470 MHz band, including our proposed work programme for the next phase of our strategic review.

This call for inputs closes on 19 February 2015. You can respond at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/420-470-mhz/

Strategic Review of UHF Spectrum at 420-470 MHz
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/420-470-mhz/summary/420-470-mhz.pdf

A separate report from Aegis, examining future demand scenarios for this band over the next ten years, is at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/420-470-mhz/annexes/aegis-report.pdf

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Galileo satellite recovered and transmitting navigation signals

Thursday 4th December 2014

Europe’s fifth Galileo satellite, one of two delivered into a wrong orbit by VS09 Soyuz-Fregat launcher in August, has transmitted its first navigation signal in space on Saturday 29 November 2014. It has reached its new target orbit and its navigation payload has been successfully switched on.

A detailed test campaign is under way now the satellite has reached a more suitable orbit for navigation purposes.

Recovery

The fifth and sixth Galileo satellites, launched together on 22 August, ended up in an elongated orbit travelling up to 25 900 km above Earth and back down to 13 713 km.

A total of 11 manoeuvres were performed across 17 days, gradually nudging the fifth satellite upwards at the lowest point of its orbit.

As a result, it has risen more than 3500 km and its elliptical orbit has become more circular.

“The manoeuvres were all normal, with excellent performance both in terms of thrust and direction,” explained Daniel Navarro-Reyes, ESA Galileo mission analyst.

“The final orbit is as we targeted and is a tribute to the great professionalism of all the teams involved.”

The commands were issued from the Galileo Control Centre by Space Opal, the Galileo operator, at Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany, guided by calculations from a combined flight dynamics team of ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany and France’s CNES space agency.

The commands were uploaded to the satellite via an extended network of ground stations, made up of Galileo stations and additional sites coordinated by France’s CNES space agency.

Satellite manufacturer OHB also provided expertise throughout the recovery, helping to adapt the flight procedures.

Until the manoeuvres started, the combined ESA–CNES team maintained the satellites pointing at the Sun using their gyroscopes and solar sensors. This kept the satellites steady in space but their navigation payloads could not be used reliably.

In the new orbit, the satellite’s radiation exposure has also been greatly reduced, ensuring reliable performance for the long term.

A suitable orbit

The revised, more circular orbit means the fifth satellite’s Earth sensor can be used continuously, keeping its main antenna oriented towards Earth and allowing its navigation payload to be switched on.

Significantly, the orbit means that it will now overfly the same location on the ground every 20 days. This compares to a normal Galileo repeat pattern of every 10 days, effectively synchronising its ground track with the rest of the Galileo constellation.

The navigation test campaign

The satellite’s navigation payload was activated on 29 November, to begin the full ‘In-Orbit Test’ campaign. This is being performed from ESA’s Redu centre in Belgium, where a 20 m-diameter antenna can study the strength and shape of the navigation signals at high resolution.

“First, the various payload elements, especially the Passive Hydrogen Maser atomic clock, were warmed up, then the payload’s first ‘signal in space’ was transmitted,” said David Sanchez-Cabezudo, managing the test campaign.

“The satellite-broadcast L-band navigation signal is monitored using the large antenna at Redu, with experts from OHB and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd – the payload manufacturer, based in Guildford, UK – also on hand to analyse how it performs over time.”

The first Galileo FOC navigation signal-in-space transmitting in the three Galileo frequency bands (E5/E6/L1) was tracked by Galileo Test User Receivers deployed at various locations in Europe, namely at Redu (B), ESTEC (NL), Weilheim (D) and Rome (I). The quality of the signal is good and in line with expectations.

The Search And Rescue (SAR) payload will be switched on in few days in order to complement the in-orbit test campaign.

The way forward

The same recovery manoeuvres are planned for the sixth satellite, taking it into the same orbital plane but on the opposite side of Earth.

The decision whether to use the two satellites for Navigation and SAR purposes as part of the Galileo constellation will be taken by the European Commission based on the test results.

About Galileo

Galileo is Europe’s own global satellite navigation system. It will consist of 30 satellites and their ground infrastructure.

The definition phase and the development and In-Orbit Validation phase of the Galileo programme were carried out by the European Space Agency (ESA) and co-funded by ESA and the European Union. This phase has created a mini-constellation of four satellites and a reduced ground segment dedicated to validating the overall concept.

The four satellites launched during the IOV phase form the core of the constellation that is being extended to reach Full Operational Capability (FOC).

The FOC phase is fully funded by the European Commission. The Commission and ESA have signed a delegation agreement by which ESA acts as design and procurement agent on behalf of the Commission.

Learn more about Galileo at: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Navigation

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New CEPT exam recommendation for persons with disabilities

Thursday 4th December 2014

A new recommendation adopted by the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommuncations Administrations (CEPT) seeks to ease the access of persons with disabilities to licence examinations for the Amateur Radio Service

ECC Recommendation (14)05 was drafted by the IARU Region 1 Regulatory Affairs Coordinator and was adopted by ECC on 10 October 2014 after a consultation process with several administrations providing comments.

The recommendation observes that «for persons with disabilities, participating in the amateur service […] is not only an important means of technical self-qualification by setting and achieving goals, but also a way of integration into society by communicating with other persons of like interests». However, licence examinations designed for non-disabled candidates «can prove to be a significant impediment in obtaining the necessary qualifications to operate a station».

Several administrations of CEPT member countries have already adopted practices to adapt amateur radio licence examinations to the specific needs of candidates with disabilities. For other administrations ECC Recommendation (14)05 provides a framework for action.

The document states that the examination syllabus should be identical for all candidates but that testing procedures take into account the individual disability of candidates as confirmed by an official document. Such procedures can include

Individual testing where appropriate and/or providing reasonable additional examination time.

Diagram-free questions for visually impaired persons which are read out for them and their answers noted by an examiner or an assistant. A possible alternative would be questions provided in Braille.

Examinations conducted in the home of candidates with severely limited mobility.

Link to recommendation in the CEPT database:
http://www.erodocdb.dk/Docs/doc98/official/pdf/REC1405.PDF

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

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Ofcom: 2350 MHz LTE and 2400 MHz

Thursday 4th December 2014

The UK regulator Ofcom has published a further analysis of potential coexistence issues between new mobile broadband services in the 2.3 GHz band and Wi-Fi and other services in the neighbouring 2.4 GHz band

This follows a consultation published in February 2014.

The Ministry of Defence is releasing the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands to Ofcom for award in late 2015 or early 2016, through an auction, as part of the Public Sector Spectrum Release programme. We expect both award bands to be of interest to mobile network operators wanting to provide extra capacity for mobile broadband.

The 2.4 GHz band is accessed by various services on a licence exempt basis, including Wi-Fi. Our assessment is that there will be very little impact from mobile services in the 2.3 GHz band. If interference does occur, there are some mitigations available, the most effective being the use of 5 GHz Wi-Fi.

The document also assesses coexistence issues for radar and satellite operating close to the 3.4 GHz band. We set out how interference will be avoided.

Our final decisions on technical coexistence issues will be published alongside our decisions on auction design in 2015.

Download the document and reports from
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/pssr-2014/
updated-analysis


2400-2450 MHz is assigned to both the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services.

April 2014 Ofcom: Interference to 2400 MHz from LTE
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/april/
interference_to_2400mhz_from_lte.htm

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Polish Radio longwave transmissions to end

Thursday 4th December 2014

The Bulgarian DX Blog reports that the 225 kHz transmitter of the Polish Radio domestic service is to close by March 1, 2015

The report originates from the open_dx Yahoo Group at
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/open_dx

Longwave closures
http://swldxbulgaria.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/longwave-closures.html

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Swedish govt plans 2022 AM/FM radio switch-off

Thursday 4th December 2014

Telecompaper reports on the proposed ending of AM and FM broadcasts in 2022

They say:

State-owned Swedish broadcasting services provider Teracom said it welcomes the government's report about migration to digital radio. Digital radio coordinator Nina Wormbs presented her report into terrestrial digital broadcasting on 01 December and suggested switching off FM broadcasts in 2022 and expanding digital radio nationwide.

Teracom CEO Stephan Guiance said consideration must be given to the manner of migration, to ensure quality, and to avoid a scrapheap of obsolete radio receivers. He said DAB+ radio provides a greater choice of services, lower energy use and lower transmission costs. The money freed up can then be spent on programme production.

Guiance said Sweden lags behind other countries such as the UK, Germany, Denmark and Norway, where digital radio has been established for many years. In Norway, analogue radio broadcasts will probably cease in 2017. He said Sweden needs to set a date for the FM switch-off.

Read the full article at
http://www.telecompaper.com/news/swedish-govt-plans-to-switch-off-analogue-radio-in-2022--1052711

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 4th December 2014

Island activities:

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

IOTA News:
IOTA manager G3KMA reports that contrary to previous announcements, Bjoern/OX5T and Mia/OX5M are *not* operating from NA-220. Due to its proximity to the main island, Qarqortoq counts as NA-018 (Greenland).

AF-004; EA8, Canary Islands: Andrea/IK1PMR and Claudia/PA3LEO are once again QRV signing EA8/homecall from December 9 to January 8, on all HF bands (CW/SSB/RTTY). Direct QSL via HB9FKK, bureau QSL also via homecall. http://www.ik1pmr.com/

AS-013; 8Q, Maldive Islands: Francesco/IK0FUX is spending his vacation on Maayafushi Island from December 1 to 10 and plans to operate on the HF bands in holiday style as 8Q7UX. QSL via homecall (d/B), LoTW.

AF-045; 6W, Senegal North group: Members of the der "Association des Radioamateurs du Senegal" (ARAS) will sign 6V1A from Goree Island from December 5 to 7. QSL via QRZ.COM.

AS-064; R0X, Bering Sea Coast group: QSL manager Victor, UA3AKO reports that QSLs for the IOTA expedition RI0X have arrived from the printer and answering QSLs has now started.

EU-027; JW, Bear Island: Svein/LA9JKA will be on Bear Island for a work assignment until May 2015, starting December 6. In his free time he plans to operate on all HF bands and 6m. In the winter season his focus will be on 160m, in the spring on 6m. QSL via LA9JKA only direkt.

EU-125; OZ, Jylland West group: Volker/DJ8VW will operate as 5P8VW from Romo (OZFF-004) on 160m-6m (CW/SSB/JT65) from December 6 - 20. QSL via DJ8VW (d/B) LoTW, eQSL, OQRS.

OC-151; YB9, Tenggara Timur Islands:  We announced the activity of DL7UVO and DL3KZA as YB9/homecall with a wrong QSL information. QSL for YB9/DL3KZA via homecall DL3KZA (B), not via DL5KZA.

SA-070; CE5, Bio-Bio Region group: Members of the "Radio Club of Concepcion" plan to get on the air as XR5JA on December 6/7 from Quiriquina Island (WLOTA 0445, DICE ICE-501) on HF. QSL via CE5JA (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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GB7MA North Manchester D-STAR Repeater

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Last weekend GB7MA was taken from the test site up to the repeater site at 750 feet ASL. Coverage across Manchester, Cheshire and as far south as Stoke has been confirmed by users across the North West

Once an Internet connection can be established, GB7MA will join the global D-STAR network with a gateway service.

Predicted coverage map (courtesy of the RSGB/ETCC) can be found here:
http://www.ukrepeater.net/repeaters/maps/gb7ma.jpg

TX: 145.600 MHz -0.6 MHz duplex
RPT1: GB7MA^^C
RPT2: GB7MA^^G

NB. ^^ = 2 x spaces. RPT2 only required once the gateway service goes live.

Reports are most welcome, especially over the next couple of weeks, whilst final adjustments are made to the duplexer and filters.

Many thanks to G4MDC and M3AWY for their assistance with the GB7MA project.

73 de Darren G7LWT

UK D-STAR
News Updates http://twitter.com/DStarUK
Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dstar-uk
Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ukdstar

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Ofcom release propagation and frequency reports

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Ofcom has released two reports, they cover propagation of radio signals in buildings and frequency band support for future mobile handsets

While building entry loss is an increasingly important parameter in link planning, it is poorly-characterised, partly due to the wide variability within and between buildings. Data relating to domestic buildings is particularly poorly represented.

Ofcom have expressed concern that the increased use of energy-efficient construction practices may be causing building entry loss to increase, and this study was commissioned to address this question.

Building Materials and Propagation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/2014/building-materials-propagation/Building_Materials_and_Propagation.pdf

The second report describes the findings of a study carried out for Ofcom by Aegis Systems and RTT Programmes, addressing the key factors affecting multi-band support in future cellular handset devices, in particular the likely relationship between the number of frequency bands supported and the RF cost and performance of a user device over the next ten to fifteen years.

Frequency Band Support for Future Mobile Handsets
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/2013/RF/Future_Mobile_Handset.pdf

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New IARU-R1 HF Handbook

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The latest version of the IARU Region 1 HF Managers handbook is now available for download

Download Version 8.1 of the handbook from
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php/documents/func-startdown/552/

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

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Ham-TV on the ISS

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

The ARRL report the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) organization is continuing to explore the possibility of establishing a network of ground stations to enable the use of the Ham TV video system during ARISS school contacts

Mark Steiner, K3MS, updated the ARISS International team on the topic during its November meeting, conducted by teleconference.
Kerry Banke, N6IZW, who works on ARISS hardware issues, reported that a document under development will describe just what is required to build a ground station. He and ARISS International Project Selection & Use Committee representative Lou McFadin, W5DID, have successfully received Ham TV transmissions.

The officers elected for new 2-year terms starting on January 1, 2015 were ARISS Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO; ARISS Vice-Chair Oliver Amend, DG6BCE, and ARISS Secretary-Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/ariss-discusses-ham-tv-elects-new-international-officers

Read the minutes from the ARISS International November 18 meeting at
http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes/november-2014

Previous ARISS International meeting minutes
http://www.ariss.org/meeting-minutes

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RSGB Youth Committee Minutes

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

The first RSGB Youth Committee meeting was held on November 26, the possibility of a DXpedition was among the topics discussed

Read the minutes at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/youth-committee-meeting-minutes/2014/12/01/yc-meeting-minutes-261114/

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Wireless Telegraphy licence order amendments

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Ofcom is consulting on minor amendments to the existing Wireless Telegraphy licence principal order, which came into force on April 9, 2014

The principal order details the UK’s arrangements for spectrum authorisation, particularly the limitations imposed on the number of licences to be granted. This includes the criteria applied by Ofcom in deciding limits on the number of licences and who they are granted to.

This proposed amendment rectifies minor typographical errors identified in the principal order, on which we are inviting stakeholders to provide feedback. These include amending T-DAB band limits and addition of 5.8 GHz Fixed Wireless Access.

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

PDF Document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wta-limitation/summary/Limitations_Order_Amendment.pdf

Consultations page
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/wta-limitation/

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Geminid meteor shower gets an early start

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Earth is entering a stream of debris from 'rock comet' 3200 Phaethon, source of the annual Geminid meteor shower.

The shower is not expected to peak until Dec. 14th, but NASA meteor cameras are detecting Geminid fireballs over the USA two weeks early.

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

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Licensing of Television White Space Devices - now open

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) has developed rules to allow the use of television white space (TVWS) devices following consultation in 2014. These rules provide an interim licensing regime for the trial of TVWS in New Zealand.

The new rules will be incorporated into the next issue of the Spectrum Licence Certification Rules for Crown Management Rights (PIB 39).

Licensing of TVWS devices is now open. Anyone seeking a licence should contact an Approved Radio Engineer.

View the white space licencing and certification rules

View the list of independent radio engineers and certifiers available for public work

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Teenager wins prize with Morse code

Tuesday 2nd December 2014

The Google Science Fair 2014 Voter's Choice Award has been won by 16-year old Arsh Dilbagi of India

His winning device called 'Talk' converts short and long breaths of air into electrical signals, that enables people to communicate in Morse code.

Arsh, who trialled the cheap device on a hospital patient in New Delhi, now has $10,000 from Google to further develop the product.

VK3PC, WIA

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YOTA month starts today

Monday 1st December 2014

Youngsters On The Air month starts today, 35 Callsigns with a YOTA suffix will become active during the whole month of December.

This year stations widely spread through Region 1 will be taking part, not only Europe, but also from Africa and Middle-East, even two stations outside the Region from Asia and the Caribbean's are part of this event.

Feel free to make a QSO with the youngsters, they are happy to get some attention and exchange information. Licensed and unlicensed youth will be making QSO's, be aware this could be their first radio contact ever and give them a chance to experience a possible new hobby.

There is a special award available for working more YOTA stations.

All information, also about QSLing, is available on the December YOTA month website.
http://www.ham-yota.com/december-yota-month/

See the RSGB schedule for G14YOTA activation at
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/youth-committee/
youngsters-on-the-air/

Twitter @YOTA_UK

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South African Radio League celebrates 90 years

Monday 1st December 2014

From 1 January 2015, the special call sign ZS90SARL will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the South African Radio League.

The South African Radio Relay League was formed in May 1925.

The name was later changed to the South African Radio League.

From January until the culminations of the celebration at the annual Convention in Bloemfontein in April, Amateur Radio Today will transmit a weekly highlighting the amazing events of the past 90 years.

In addition, the South African Radio League has been given a special call sign by ICASA to celebrate the anniversary. The call sign is ZS90SARL.
It is available to all affiliated clubs on a rotation bases for period on one week (Monday to Sunday). Applications for use of the call sign will be open from Monday and should be sent by email to SARL90@sarl.org.za. Rassie Erasmus, ZS1YT, will coordinate the allocation and from time to time, a schedule will be published on the South African Radio League web.

Clubs applying for the use of the call sign must clearly indicate times and frequency of operation. Logs must be kept electronically, preferably in the N1MM format and forwarded at the end of the week to contest[at]sarl.org.za for uploading to Logbook of the World. Special QSL card are being designed and soon be available.

To book a week or more for your club to operate ZS90SARL, send an
e-mail to ZS90[at]sarl.org.za, please give a few alternative weeks.

The South African Radio League

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Irish Amateur Television Club

Monday 1st December 2014

The Irish Amateur Television Club (IATC) welcome visitors to their website, www.iatc.ie

Should any amateur radio operator have an ATV project they would like to be featured on the IATC website, details of how this can be achieved are available by visiting the above site.

The Dublin ATV repeater is running a test card on 2390.00Mhz.
This frequency is just below the 2.4Ghz video senders section.

All reports are welcome and should be sent to Tom, EI7HT at South Dublin Radio Club.

IRTS

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November RSGB Board Proceedings

Monday 1st December 2014

The RSGB Board proceedings for November are now available on the Society's website

Among the items discussed was a proposal for a new Membership Survey. It noted that RSGB membership had declined again.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held November 14, 2014
https://thersgb.org/members/resources/?id=5526

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

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


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

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Cavan Repeaters EI2LLX damaged by storm

Monday 1st December 2014

The Cavan repeater is not operational due to damage during storm conditions Friday 14th November.

As a result VHF, UHF and ATV repeaters are off the air.

This service has been in operation for over 20 years without any financial assistance. Are you in a position to donate something to support these repeaters?

Full details on how you can make a financial donation are available from www.iatc.ie website.

IRTS

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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