The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Club Members' News Page

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

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

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

 

WADARC Christmas Night Out !

Full details of the WADARC "Christmas Night Out" can be read by clicking on our guitar plucking Santa on the right. 

The final date for payment for the evening is now passed, but if at this late stage you would like to come along, please contact Gordon G8MMM a.s.a.p.

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WADARC & YOTA 2014

Here is some advanced notice from our Secretary Simon G6XHF

As a club, we have secured 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.

WADARC have been given the weekend before Christmas - Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st December 2014 and we plan to run the event from Leasowe Lighthouse, Leasowe Common, Moreton, Wirral.  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.

Below is the RSGB poster and we will be announcing more details as we approach nearer our time slot.

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HamRadioNow: High Speed digital networks

Saturday 22nd November 2014

David Bern W2LNX is on a mission: High Speed digital networks on the Ham Radio UHF and Microwave bands, covering the country.

Not kilobits... Megabits

Watch Episode 176: High Speed Networks on UHF and Microwaves

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

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BOXA-SWR

Saturday 22nd November 2014

SOTABEAMS has introduced the first of a range of products inspired by a small aluminium box!

The BOXA-SWR is a high quality 100 Watt HF/50 MHz SWR bridge.

It has been designed to be used as the analogue element of an embedded controller SWR/power meter project.

Of course ordinary moving-coil meters could equally be used to display forward and reverse power. By having the SWR sensing element remote from the display, RF cabling in the shack is simplified.

The BOXA range will be supplied in three forms:

- as a board kit
- a board kit plus a custom enclosure
- fully built and tested.

The next product in the BOXA-LINE will be a 10 Watt HF dummy load with built-in RF indicator.

Two more BOXA-LINE products are planned for launch early in 2015.

BOXA-SWR
http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/boxa-swr-high-performance-vswr-bridge/

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The 5 MHz Newsletter Autumn 2014

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Hi All,

The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter is now available for free download from
http://tinyurl.com/jvjrtn6

The Autumn 2014 edition (No 12), features a number of stories, including Dominica on 5 MHz, several items on WRC15, South African beacon changes and NVIS observations, Ofcom's UK Amateur Licence Consultation, is it getting noisier on 5 MHz?, new webSDRs covering the band and GB2RS on 5 MHz.

The Newsletter Archive is also available at
http://tinyurl.com/p22gybh

Cheers

Paul Gaskell G4MWO

Editor
The 5 MHz Newsletter

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YOTA Month approaching

Saturday 22nd November 2014

The Chair of the IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group, Lisa Leenders PA2LS, has been updating the Yongsters On The Air Month page

During December several countries will become active with YOTA as the suffix for the call sign. The idea for this is to break the ice for some youngsters and take the microphone in the hand. As seen over the years the YOTA-group is growing fast and every week more youngsters are asking to participate.

Let us all make YOTA popular in our hobby and let us all help to put youngsters on the HAM radio train!…

Details of YOTA Month are at
http://ham-yota.eu/december-yota-month/

Twitter @hamyota #hamyota

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VDSL Emission Investigation

Saturday 22nd November 2014

A post on the RSGB Forum announces the EMC Committee is carrying out an investigation of the significance of interference to amateur radio from leakage from VDSL systems (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Lines)

In the Investigations New Technology section of the EMC Matters forum Robin G3JWI says the emissions from VDSL are continuous and indistinguishable from white noise and may go unnoticed.

VDSL2 covers frequencies up 17.66 MHz. The downstream and upstream bands alternate and the easiest way to detect VDSL is to look for the change in noise level at the band transitions. These are nominally 0.138 MHz, 3.75 MHz, 5.2 MHz, 8.5 MHz, 12 MHz, and 17.66 MHz. The band that predominates depends on distance of the house from the street cabinet. Most problems are seen when the connection to houses in the area is by overhead cables.

For the full post see
http://www.thersgb.org/forums/index.php?forums/investigations-new-technology/

RSGB Forums
http://www.thersgb.org/forums/

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TX Factor Episode 6 (TXF006)

Friday 21st November 2014

TX Factor Episode 6 is now available and features the best from the UK's biggest rally, National Hamfest 2014.

The team meets the exhibitors and visitors and brings a flavour of this amazing annual ham event to those who couldn't make it this time.

There's also a chance to win the compact, yet function-packed dual band VX-3 transceiver in our next free-to-enter competition.

http://www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/txf006.shtml

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My DX Summit launches today

Friday 21st November 2014

The new-fangled My DX Summit (MDXS) is scheduled to open to the public today at 1000 UTC.

MDXS introduces a fresh lineup of features with a handy propagation tool as a real eye-opener. Predicted propagation is based on your personal location, and by clicking a DX spot you will see the current conditions and a 24-hour window covering all bands from your station, short and long path, to a distant DX location.

This recent face-lift makes several new functions readily available, assuring a pleasant user experience. Mobile users are also extensively supported which makes MDXS the first-ever mobile-ready DX Cluster.

MY DX SUMMIT will automatically replace the current DX Summit at this URL address: http://www.dxsummit.fi/

Originally switched on in 1998, DX Summit introduced something that had not been seen before. To quote Yasme President Ward Silver, N0AX who presented the Yasme Foundation (www.yasme.org) Excellence Award to the Finns: They basically created a tool that fundamentally changed the nature of HF operating.

Now the upgraded version introduces an easy-to-use propagation forecast tool that enhances knowledge of the behavior of radio waves in a manner that many other spectrum users just watch speechless.
"Plans are developing to integrate MY DX SUMMIT into the Navassa Island, K1N, DXpedition. A true trial by fire...", said Ralph Fedor, K0IR, one of the Navassa team.

Radio Arcala transferred MY DX SUMMIT to Kyynel Ltd of Oulu, Finland who in turn employed full-time software specialists to finish this phase and to look into the endless application opportunities that this new software platform can facilitate. We at Radio Arcala wish to thank the more than 500 individuals who were our test partners and provided exciting ideas for our future endeavors to make MDXS a DX knowledge center of the future. Currently some 135.000 unique users visit DX Summit monthly for an average of 55 minutes during each session but the number is expected to rise sharply, following the launch.

Ken Claerbout, K4ZW will host a Webinar in early December in honor of this newly born portal with Radio Arcala specialists ready to explain the essence of MY DX SUMMIT and its propagation prediction tools and their use in Amateur Radio. Additionally, Santa Claus will appear on the MDXS portal in December before embarking on his world tour from the frozen landscape of the North.

Join the launch festivities by sending a maximum number of spots during the first 14 days; three (3) winners will be visited by Santa Claus bringing his certificate from the OHo-Ho-Ho land of Radio Arcala, OH8X.

ICPO

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2015 Exploration Rover Challenge

Friday 21st November 2014

NASA has opened team registration for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

Organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event will be held April 16-18, 2015, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, also in Huntsville.

The challenge engages high school, college and university students in hands-on, experiential learning activities, while also testing potential technologies needed for future deep space exploration. Both U.S. and international teams may register to participate. For U.S. teams, registration closes Feb. 6, 2015. Registration for international teams closes Jan. 9, 2015.

Student teams participating in the Rover Challenge must design, engineer and test a human-powered rover on a mock course designed to simulate the harsh and demanding terrains future NASA explorers may find on distant planets, moons and asteroids.

Pedaling across a simulated alien landscape of rock, craters and shifting sand is one of the nearly 90 teams of high school, college and university students from across the United States and around the world who competed in the first NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge April 11-12 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

"Throughout the months-long process, students gain meaningful experience and valuable feedback, while receiving encouragement to pursue technical careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Diedra Williams, an education specialist in Marshall’s Academic Affairs Office. "Students must use their educational background to apply practical designs and solve engineering problems similar to those encountered by NASA mission teams."

Registration questions may be directed to Diedra Williams at 256-544-5721 or diedra.a.williams@nasa.gov (U.S. teams) and Amy McDowell at 256-544-8411 or amy.mcdowell@nasa.gov (international teams).

The Human Exploration Rover Challenge encourages research and development in new technologies and engages students in real-world engineering and problem-solving concepts that may be needed on future exploration missions. Through innovative challenges such as this, NASA continues to demonstrate its commitment to inspiring new generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts.

For more information on the 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge and registration, visit: http://go.nasa.gov/14dikMF

Follow the Rover Challenge on social media for the latest news and updates:
https://www.facebook.com/roverchallenge?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/RoverChallenge
http://instagram.com/nasa_marshall

View images from the 2014 Rover Challenge at:
http://go.nasa.gov/1iEjGRp

For more information about NASA education, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/education

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Radio Australia - A history of the Darwin transmitter

Friday 21st November 2014

Veteran Melbourne DXer and historian, Bob Padula, has compiled a history of Radio Australia's former Darwin transmitting and receiving sites in a new electronic (PDF) publication.

In it, he timelines the developments of the station, highlighting the relationship between the site and the city of Darwin’s own recent history. Some very interesting photographs have been sourced as well.

Read a review of this excellent document at the Mount Evelyn DX Report:
http://medxr.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/radio-australia-darwin-transmitter-many.html

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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 21st November 2014

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by AJ9C, VU3DSI, 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.

VIET NAM, 3W. Tony, KM0O will be QRV as 3W3O from Da Nang from November 25 to December 24. Activity is on all bands. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

MALDIVES, 8Q. Operators Vadim, R9DX, Serge, UA8DX and Igor, UA9CDC will be QRV as 8Q7DV from Sun Island, IOTA AS-013, from November 24 to December 4. Activity is on the HF bands with a main focus on the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL via R9DX.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, A6. Dave, N4QS is QRV as A6/N4QS from Dubai until November 26. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL to home call.

EASTER ISLAND, CE0. Gerben, PG5M will be QRV as CE0/PG5M from November 23 to 28. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW. QSL via operator's instructions.

JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLAND, CE0. Felipe, CE5WQO is QRV as CE0Z/CE5WQO until November 27. QSL direct via KA3LKM.

NEW CALEDONIA, FK. Nobuaki, JA0JHQ is QRV as FK/JA0JHQ from Noumea, IOTA OC-032, until November 23. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters depending on conditions. QSL to home call.

GRENADA, J3. Rob, DL7VOA is QRV as J34O until December 6. Activity is holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using mainly CW. This includes an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

ANTARCTICA. Ron, K6REF is currently QRV as K6REF/KC4 from the US Yesterday Camp on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica for about two weeks. QSL via operator's instructions.

AMERICAN SAMOA, KH8. Masa, JH3PRR will be QRV as KH8B from Tutuila Island, IOTA OC-045, from November 24 to December 1. Activity will be mainly on 160 meters but on all bands during the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

ANTIGUA, VP2E. Rich, KE1B and Anna, W6NN will be QRV as VP2EAQ and VP2EAR, respectively, from November 23 to December 1. Activity will be holiday style on 40 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to home calls.

INDIA, VU. Datta, VU3DSI is QRV as special event station AU2JCB until December 9 to commemorate the birthday of Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters using SSB and FM. QSL to home call.

INDONESIA, YB. Juergen, DL7UVO and Burkhard, DL3KZA are QRV as YB9/home calls from Komodo Island, IOTA OC-151m, until November 27.
Activity is on the HF bands using CW and SSB. The islands are part of the Komodo National Park, WWFF YBFF-027. QSL to home call.

NICARAGUA, YN. Mike, AJ9C will be QRV as YN2CC from November 25 to December 3. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes being a Single Op/All Band/Low Power entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX CW contest. QSL via operator's instructions.

SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. Massimo, IZ0EGB is currently QRV as Z81B from Juba. He is active on 40 to 6 meters using SSB. His length of stay is unknown. QSL to home call.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS
W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/4 in Florida and W1AW/5 in Arkansas are QRV until 2359z on November 25. In addition, W1AW/3 in Delaware, W1AW/5 in Louisiana and W1AW/KP4 in Puerto Rico will be QRV starting at 0000z on November 26. They will be active until 2359z on December 2

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP CW Fox Hunt, NCCC Sprint, YO International 80-Meter PSK31 Contest and the LZ DX Contest are all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The SKCC CW Sprint and CWops Mini-CWT CW Test are scheduled for November 26.

Please see November QST, page 86 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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Friday 21st November 2014

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

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (21-28 November 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 November 2014 by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH

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Ham radio launches to deep space

Thursday 20th November 2014

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH is going to launch on a mission into deep space on November 30, 2014 carrying a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz

It will fly with the asteroid mission Hayabusa 2 and another amateur radio satellite Shin'en 2.

The satellite will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. Its inclination will be almost zero, which means Shin’en 2 will stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.

The team have released the following information:

1. Despatch CW Format is now available!
Yesterday, we opened a wiki which explains how to join the "Cooperative data reconstruction," the main mission of Despatch. In this wiki, you can find the CW format as well as how to report the data you received.
http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Cooperative_Data_Reconstruction

2. Despatch Tracking page is opened!
Since Despatch is injected into an Earth escape trajectory, TLE is unavailable. Instead, we opened a web-page for the spacecraft tracking (both antenna-pointing and receiver-tuning).
http://api.artsat.jp/pass/

Please go to the page and enter your geographic location, and you will get nearby passes and a table with 1 minute steps that gives you AZ, EL, Freaquency, and so on. As the apparent movement and the change of the Doppler shift are slow, manual pointing of the antenna and tuning of the receiver every 10 minutes or so will do.

3. Reception Report page is opened!
We opened a web page in which you can report the data you received.
http://api.artsat.jp/report/

Thanks in advance and all the best,

Akihiro Kubota
ARTSAT project

ARTSAT2:DESPATCH
Web http://despatch.artsat.jp/en/Main_Page
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/artsat
Twitter https://twitter.com/DESPATCH_ARTSAT

Shin'en 2 and Japanese Asteroid Mission
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/01/japanese-asteroid-mission-to-carry-amateur-radio/

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Broadband-Hamnet expands to include yet another ham band

Thursday 20th November 2014

Broadband-Hamnet is proud to announce a new firmware release, the most recent in a series of advancements that build on the Ubiquiti firmware released for the 2.4GHz and 5.8 GHz Ham bands earlier this year.

With this BBHN 3.0.0 release, Broadband-Hamnet now includes the Ubiquiti M9-series airMAX devices, giving Hams use of the 900 MHz band for mesh networking.

Among the release’s new features is the ability to easily control the spectrum utilization of the RF links.

Please visit http://www.Broadband-Hamnet.org for more information.

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Advanced distance learning course

Thursday 20th November 2014

The Bath-based distance learning team have opened enrolment for their January to June Advanced amateur radio course

For most people, distance learning is not as good as face-to-face training but these courses are ideal for anyone who cannot make it to traditional classroom events.

Weekly work packages are sent out to students who complete the studying at home and submit answers to revision questions and exercises via the internet.

Some video tutorials and demonstrations are included in the course material and links to other useful resources are also provided.

The courses have been running for four years now with a pass rate for those that finish the course of 90 percent. Revision support is provided for those that don’t make it through first time.

Enrolment for the next course closes mid-January, ready for a start on January 25.

Contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW, via e-mail g0fuw[at]tiscali.co.uk

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Ofcom decision to make airwaves available for mobile broadband services

Thursday 20th November 2014

Ofcom has today published a decision to make valuable airwaves available for mobile broadband services, while securing the future of digital terrestrial TV.

The decision allows mobile network operators to deliver mobile broadband using some of the frequencies currently used for digital terrestrial TV services, such as Freeview, and wireless microphones. These frequencies make up the 700 MHz frequency band.

As a result, consumers and businesses should get faster and cheaper mobile data services, while viewers can continue to enjoy the free-to-view TV services they value without another ‘switchover’. Ofcom’s objective is to make this happen by the beginning of 2022, and possibly up to two years earlier.

Ofcom will also ensure that users of wireless microphones in the programme making and special events sector, such as theatres, sports venues and music events, continue to have access to the airwaves they need to deliver their important cultural benefits.

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The end of an era - BBC Relay Station site handed back to Seychelles

Thursday 20th November 2014

Tuesday November 18 marked the closure of an iconic chapter of Seychelles’ history, signalling the end of an era when information was much more difficult to come by.

With much of Africa joining the internet and mobile phone revolution, the times of trying to glean information about happenings in the rest of the world on a crackly AM radio station have now passed by.

Over 25 years after its establishment, the site of the BBC’s former Indian Ocean Relay Station (IORS), located at Grand Anse, on the western side of the largest inhabited island in the archipelago, was handed back to the government of Seychelles by the country’s British High Commissioner, Lindsay Skoll.

The station transmitted BBC World Service programmes since 1988 via shortwave to listeners across East Africa in a range of languages, including the BBC's English-language output for Africa as well as programmes in Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Somali and French.

In November 2013, the BBC announced its intention to cease all its shortwave transmission services from Seychelles due to a gradual and irreversible fall in demand for shortwave radio services, and on March 29 this year, the BBCIORS retransmission services from Seychelles were officially switched off. BBC World Service broadcasts in East Africa are still available via the internet and also via various other localised frequencies.

The handing over of the site to the Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) also included the station’s buildings and equipment, all of which are still in working order. The site is spread over a 32,000 square metre property, occupied under a lease dating back to March 27, 1985...

Detailed article with photos here:
http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/1792/
The+end+of+an+era+-+BBC+Relay+Station+site+
handed+back+to+Seychelles

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Ten-Ten activity weekend

Thursday 20th November 2014

Ten-Ten organises an activity weekend on Nov. 22/23 to liven up 10m.

Among their special event stations to take part are W6OI/p (via N9AC), VE9TEN (via VE9KM), and DL0X (via DL8YBM, d/B) from Germany.

http://www.ten-ten.org/

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Steve Unger named acting Ofcom Chief Executive

Thursday 20th November 2014

The Board of Ofcom today announced that Steve Unger will step up as acting Chief Executive at the end of the year.

Steve is currently Director of the Strategy, International, Technology and Economist Group at Ofcom. He will step up as interim Chief Executive when Ed Richards stands down at the end of December.

The process to appoint a permanent Chief Executive is under way and the Board of Ofcom will announce an appointment in the New Year.

Steve will take on the full responsibilities of Chief Executive and become Ofcom’s Accountable Officer while the process for appointing a permanent successor to Ed Richards is under way.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 20th November 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

AS-013; 8Q, Maldive Islands: Vadim/R9DX, Serge/UA8DX, and Igor/UA9CDC will be active again as 8Q7DV from Sun Island (WLOTA 0317, WW Loc. KM39at) between Nov. 24 and Dec. 4. Their main focus will be the CQWW contest. QSL via R9DX (d/B), ClubLog, LoTW.

AS-099; TA, Canakkale / Balikesir / Izmir Province group:  The annual expedition of the Bulgarian Elecraft team takes operators Nick/LZ1NK, Christo/LZ3FN, Plamen/ LZ1DCW, Illian/LZ1CNN, Nick/LZ3ND, Nasko/LZ3YY, Yasar/TA3D, Mustafa/TA2TX, Mirislav/LZ1MBU, and Krasi/LZ2UW to Bozcaada Island (WLOTA 0085).
QRV Nov. 19 to 25 with their homecalls/TA0, during the contest as TC0A. QSL for TC0A via LoTW (preferred) or LZ1NK.
http://tc0a.lz5x.com/

AS-200; JA5, Shikoku's Coastal Islands: Tosy/JA3FGJ, Ross/JA3HBF, and Hid/JA3KGF will be active with their homecalls/5 from Shodo Island between Nov. 20 and 23. QRV on 40-10m in CW, SSB, and RTTY.
QSL via h/c, bureau preferred.

AS-200; JA5, Shikoku's Coastal Islands: Also active from Shodo will be Take/JI3DST as JI3DST/5 (CW and SSB) and JS6RRR/5 (RTTY and FM).
QRV from Nov. 22 to 25, QSL via homecalls (d/B).
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ji3dst

NA-024; J3, Grenada: Rob/DL7VOA will be active holiday-style as J34O from Grenada (WLOTA 0718) between Nov. 22 and Dec. 6. QRV on 40-10m, mainly in CW. He will also participate in the CQWW contest.
QSL via DL7VOA (d/B).

NA-105; FS/PJ7, St Martin: John/K9EL will be active again as FS/K9EL from St. Martin (WLOTA 0383, DIFO FS-001). between Nov. 19 and Dec. 2. QRV on 160-10m, including the contest. QSL via K9EL (d/B), ClubLog, LoTW, eQSL.

NA-107; FM, Martinique: Dimitry/UT5UGR is going to work as FM/KL7WA between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 from Martinique. QRV on HF in CW and SSB, during the contest as TO7A.
QSL for both calls only direct via UT5UGR, OQRS.

NA-122; HI, Dominican Republic's Coastal Islands: A team of 20 mostly very experienced CW operators is going to activate Saona Island (WLOTA 2304, HIFF-003) as HI2DX from the 19th to the 23rd.
QRV on 160-6m in CW, SSB, and digital modes, running 7 stations for a goal of 100000 QSOs. QSL via M0URX (d/B), OQRS.
http://saonadxpedition2014.com/?lang=en

OC-019; KH6/KH7, Hawaiian Islands: Kevin/W4KLS will be active from Oahu Island (WW Loc. BG11bg) as W4KLS/KH6 from the 15th to the 22nd. QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-151; YB9, Tenggara Timur Islands: Juergen/DL7UVO and Burkhard/DL3KZA plan to put Komodo Island (WW Loc OI91rk) and Flores (WLOTA 0089 & 0026) on the air from the 17th to the 27th signing YB9/homecalls. QRV on HF in CW and SSB. The islands are part of the Komodo National Park (WWFF YBFF-027). QSL via DL7UVO (d/B), OQRS; DL3KZA (B).

OC-172; VK4, Queensland State (North Coast) Centre group und OC-187; VK4, Queensland State (North Coast) North group: Lyn/VK4EI informs the ham community that she won't be on OC-227 during November and parts of December. She travels on a boat during that time and hopes to activate OC-172 and OC-187, depending on wx conditions. QSL via NR6M (d/B).

OC-210; YB8, Sangihe Islands: Ronald/ YC8ROP, Richard/YC8RBI, Donny/YB8SX, Arnol/YC8TDK, and Denny/YC8UVH will activate Siau Island from the 19th to the 23rd on all bands using their homecalls/p. QSL via h/c, YC8ROP via W2FB.

SA-001; CE0/XR0, Easter Island: Look for Gerben/PG5M to work holiday-style from Easter Island (WLOTA 0319, DICE ICE-001, CEFF-027) between the 23rd and 28th as CE0/PG5M. QRV on HF in CW.
QSL via OQRS.
http://www.dx.to/

SA-005; CE0/XR0, Juan Fernandez Archipelago: Felipe/CE5WQO is going to get on the air as CE0Z/CE5WQO from Juan Fernandez (WLOTA 0153, DICE ICE 004) between the 19th and 27th as CE0Z/homecall. QSL via KA3LKM (d).

SA-024; PY2, Sao Paulo State West group: Operators Pera/PY2AE, Murilo/PY2DS, Joao Carlos/ PU2KKE, Willian/PU2XIZ, and Flavio/PU2KFL activate Bom Abrigo Island (WLOTA 1244, DIB SP-013, ARLHS BRA-013) as PW2BA from the 20th to the 23rd. They plan to also activate Cardoso Island (DIB SP-07) as ZX2CA. QRV on 80, 40, 20, 10, and 6m.
QSL PW2BA via PY2AE (d/B), ZX2CA via PY2DS (d).

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao Island: Joeke/PA0VDV operates as PJ2/PA0VDV from Curacao (WLOTA 0942) from Nov. 20 until Dec. 26. QRV solely in CW, also taking part in the contest. QSL via PA0VDV (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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Catch up with TX Factor and win!

Wednesday 19th November 2014

Now the darker evenings are upon us there's an opportunity to spend more time in the shack, and, if the bands are quiet, why not catch up with TX Factor - the only UK based TV Show dedicated to Amateur Radio.

There are now five feature-packed episodes available to view on line, on our website at www.txfactor.co.uk

Episode 6 launches on Thursday 20th November and brings you the best of the UK's biggest rally, National Hamfest. The team meets the exhibitors and visitors and brings a flavour of this amazing annual ham event to those who couldn't make it this year.

Win a Yaesu VX-3 dual-band handie!!

In our latest episode there's a free-to-enter competition to win the compact, yet function packed dual band VX-3 transceiver -courtesy of Martin Lynch and Sons and Yaesu.

Why not show TX Factor at your club nights?
TX Factor's fast-paced, stimulating shows are full of items that your club members will enjoy. Our episodes make a great filler for those nights when you don't have a speaker or activity planned. If unreliable Internet is an issue at your club venue contact us for a free link to the episodes you want to show so you can download in advance.

Keep an eye on the web site!
Between episodes we regularly post special mini editions featuring rig reviews and other breaking amateur radio news in TXtra.

There's TXtalk too!
Hear the weekly GB2RS News from the RSGB in broadcast quality along with a host of other regular, topical ham radio audio features. Subscribe to TXtalk as a podcast and you'll always have the latest episodes sent direct to your devices.

You'll find all this and more waiting for you at www.txfactor.co.uk

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RSGB Youth Committee Chair announced

Tuesday 18th November 2014

The Radio Society of Great Britain has appointed 17-year-old Mike Jones, 2E0MLJ, as Chair of the RSGB Youth Committee (Photo right)

Mike was originally licenced as M6TMJ and is currently studying Forensic Science and Criminal Psychology at City College Plymouth.

He is a member of the QRZ.com Staff helping on the database forum and is also Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) Month Co-Ordinator for the UK.

At the RSGB Convention in October Mike gave an excellent presentation on July’s successful YOTA-UK event held in Wolverhampton which was organised by young people, for young people. As well as Mike 2E0MLJ the YOTA-UK organising committee included Marie-Ann M6UWS, Dax M6DAX, Jenny M6HFA and Rachel M6SOO.

Read the RadCom article on IARU Region 1 YOTA and YOTA-UK at
http://www.ham-yota.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/
UK%20YOTA%20Report%20from%20RadCom.pdf


Follow YOTA-UK on Twitter @YOTA_UK

2E0MLJ on Twitter @MikeJ1997

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GlobalSET tests our emergency communications

Tuesday 18th November 2014

On Sunday November the 23rd, those trained and prepared for disaster when it strikes will be on air for a special training exercise.

IARU Region 1 invites all IARU member societies and Emergency Communications Groups, to participate in its latest Global Simulated Emergency Test.

Emergency Centre-of-Activity frequencies on 80, 40, 20, 17 and 15 metres plus or minus QRM, will have registered stations calling CQ GlobalSET.

The event is to increase common interest in emergency communications, test how usable the frequencies are across ITU regions, prepare for international emergencies and the relaying of messages.

GlobalSET 2014 which runs from 11am to 3pm local time on November the 23rd, has its rules on the IARU Region 1 website, and includes registration with the relevant IARU regional coordinator.

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

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Tuesday 18th November 2014

By the time you read this, operators Krish/W4VKU (VU2VKU) and Pai/ VU2PAI who were active as VU4CB from Campbell Bay (AS-033), will be joined by a larger team of operators to activate Neil Island (AS-001) as VU4KV between now and November 30th.

Operators mentioned are Prasad/VU2PTT, Nandu/VU2NKS, Kumar/
VU2BGS, Chetan/VU3DMP, Deepak/VU2CDP, Sangeeth/VU2WH/A45WH, Kiran/VU3KPL, and Aravind/VU2ABS.

Activity will be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY, and having 5 stations on the air. QSL via W4VKU.

Look for an OQRS to be available around December 5th.
For more details and updates, watch:
http://www.vu4kv.info

OPDX

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Allocate portion of your eBay sales as a donation to AMSAT

Tuesday 18th November 2014

If you are selling items via eBay consider making a donation to AMSAT by allocating a portion of your sale.

eBay describes their program as, "Integrated into eBay's regular buying and selling platform, eBay Giving Works makes it easy for people to support important causes, both in the U.S. and abroad. It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities - all the while giving nonprofits an opportunity to engage new supporters."

Here is a link to AMSAT on the eBay Giving Works program. It includes information on how to sell via the Giving Works program:
http://tinyurl.com/amsat-ebay

eBay users can also make direct contributions to any eBay Giving Works-listed nonprofit using their PayPal account.

ANS

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30 years of weather balloon launches at Rothera

Monday 17th November 2014

Cathy Colless M0RTW recently took up the role of Radio Communications Officer at Rothera in Antarctica

In her blog she describes the metorological measurements that are carried out four days each week using Radiosondes attached to high altitude balloons, see
http://passyourmessage.com/2014/11/16/30-years-of-weather-balloon-launches-at-rothera/

September - Radio ham to head to Antarctica
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/september/
radio_ham_to_head_to_antarctica.htm

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Resurgent old sunspot crackles with flares

Monday 17th November 2014

Back for a second trip across the face of the Sun, old sunspot AR2192 is growing again and crackling with M-class solar flares.

The active region has an unstable magnetic field that harbors energy for even stronger X-flares. Future eruptions could affect Earth as the sunspot turns toward our planet in the days ahead.

Check http://spaceweather.com for updates

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OSCAR Locator App

Monday 17th November 2014

Tom Doyle W9KE has developed a Windows satellite tracking App that reproduces the graphical display of the original cardboard OSCARLOCATOR

Most tracking programs use an equirectangular projection which is by far the easiest to program and shows the entire Earth at once. A 3D model is often used which helps visualize orbits but does not show the entire Earth at the same time.

Tom remembers having an easier time visualizing the orbits back in the day (1970's) when amateurs used cardboard Oscar Locators with overlays. This Windows program lets you visualize orbits Oscar Locator style.

You can download the OSCAR Locator from
http://www.tomdoyle.org/OscarLocator

Other Apps by Tom can be downloaded via
http://www.tomdoyle.org/

40 Years of Tracking OSCAR-7
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/09/40-years-tracking-oscar-7/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 17th November 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 9th-November, through Sunday, 16th-November there were 231 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, D6, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FT/t, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J8, 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, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TU, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VP2E, VP2V, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, VU4, XE, XT, XU, 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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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 17th November 2014

Island activities:

AS-049. Takeshi "TAKE"/JI3DST(JS6RRR) will be active as JI3DST/6 from Kuchino-Island (Tokara Island) between 0600z, December 27th and 0000z, January 4th (2015). Activity will be on 160/80/75/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters using CW, SSB, FM and the Digital modes (RTTY/PSK31/JT65A). This operation is subject to change because of bad WX or other conditions. QSL JI3DST/6 via the Bureau or by ClubLog's OQRS. Please check QRZ.com for more details.
For more details and updates, see:
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ji3dst

AS-200. Takeshi "TAKE"/JI3DST(JS6RRR) will once again be active as JI3DST/5 (CW/SSB) and JS6RRR/5 (RTTY/FM) from Shodo Island (in the Shikoku's Coastal Islands) between November 22-25th. Activity will be on 40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters. This operation is subject to change because of bad WX or other conditions. QSL JS6RRR/5 and JI3DST/5 via the Bureau or by ClubLog's OQRS. Please check QRZ.com for more details. For more details and updates, see: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ji3dst

EU-067. Theodoros, SV1EJD, will be active as SV8/SV1EJD from Syros Island between November 17-20th. Activity will be on the HF bands SSB only, hosted by Cyclades DX Club (SZ8ERS). QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-125. Volker, DJ8VW, will be active as 5P8VW from Romo Island between December 6-21st. Activity will be on 160-6 meters, including the 30/17/12m bands, using CW and SSB. QSL via DJ8VW ONLY DIRECT, LoTW or eQSL.

OC-151. Operators Jürgen/DL7UVO and Burkhard/DL3KZA, along with some Indonesian friends, will be active as YB9/homecall from Komodo Island [Nov. 17-20th] and Flores Island [Nov. 21-28th] (Reference number: IOTA 151, WLOTA 0089, WLOTA 0026, YBFF-027). Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via their home-calls, by the Bureau, direct or ClubLog's OQRS.

OC-210. Operators Ronald/YC8ROP, Richard/YC8RBI, Donny/YB8SX, Arnol/YC8TDK and Denny/YC8UVH will be active as homecall/p from Siau Island between November 19-23rd. This operation is a new one for the Nusantara Award. QSL YC8ROP/p via W2FB and all others via their home callsigns.

SA-024. Operators Marcelo Pera/PY2AE, Murilo/PY2DS, João Carlos/PU2KKE (Leader), Willian/PU2XIZ and Flávio/PU2KFL will be active as PW2BA from Bom Abrigo Island (ARLHS BRA-013, WLOTA 1244, DIB SP-05) between November 20-23rd. Activity will be on 80-2 meters (and 70cm) using CW, SSB and FM. QSL via PY2AE, direct or by the Bureau. ADDED NOTE: They will also activate Cardoso Island (not IOTA) as ZX2CA for the Brazilian Islands Award (DIB SP-07). QSL ZX2CA via PY2DS only direct.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Upheaval foreshadowed for spectrum management in Australia

Sunday 16th November 2014

The Australian Government's spectrum review program, which began in May 2014, has reached another milestone, says the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA).

The Government published an "issues paper" last May, which set out the terms of reference of the spectrum review and sought public comment. The WIA made a submission, as did more than 30 other organisations and individuals.

On 11 November 2014, Australia's Minister for Communications announced the release of a consultation paper seeking public comment.

The consultation paper is called "Spectrum Review - Potential Reform Directions". It sets out 11 potential reform proposals and asks stakeholders to address four questions in relation to the proposed reforms.

Of those potential reform proposals, four are of chief interest to the amateur radio community in Australia, notes the WIA.

First - One licence for all - apparatus, class & spectrum licensing are proposed to go!

There would be a single licensing framework, with licences being issued based on a set of parameters that cover frequency bands, power limits, licence terms and other useful specifications. This is otherwise known as "parameter-based licensing".

Second - Outsourcing. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) would have the ability to delegate spectrum management functions to other entities. Functions to be devolved could include licensing, fee collection, interference management and dispute resolution, among other things.

Third - Developing more principles-based regulation of the supply of electronic and radiocommunications devices. The idea here being to increase incentives for device suppliers and users to manage risk and resolve interference, as well as disputes, in the device supply market.

The fourth proposal of interest to amateurs - Extending enforcement measures available to the ACMA, enabling it to impose civil penalties, issue remedial directions and formal warnings to manage and control interference, along with related powers.

These were key topics covered in the WIA's submission to the review, the Institute noted.

The deadline for submissions to the consultation paper is 2 December.

In the meantime, the WIA Board will be considering the Directions paper in depth and inviting member input.

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

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH
WIA News

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Get ready for 'Frequency' - the series

Sunday 16th November 2014

Get ready to share the airwaves Tim Allen. The neighbours are buying a ham radio!

Tim Allen plays Mike Baxter, the lead character on the ABC sitcom "Last Man Standing". In the series Baxter is portrayed as having amateur radio as his hobby.

Although ham radio has only been briefly interjected into a few episodes it has been enough to endear the show to amateur operators everywhere. The ARRL supplied amateur radio certificates and other assistance in dressing the set. Tim Allen recently earned a Technician class license in real life.

Now it appears that ABC might be sharing the admiration of the amateur radio community with a neighbouring network.

A just published article in The Hollywood Reporter has stated that NBC is looking to create a television series based on the 2000 New Line Cinema action - thriller movie "Frequency" .

While amateur radio has only briefly been presented on "Last Man Standing" , it would almost certainly figure prominently into all of the scripts of "Frequency".

The original movie featured Jim Caviezel stumbling onto his late father's (Dennis Quaid) 60's era Heathkit transceiver and thru a quirk of nature associated with the aurora borealis is able to communicate 30 years back in time to his dead father.

It is reported that NBC has already issued a 'script plus penalty' commitment for the series. Jeremy Carver is writing the script for Warner Brothers Television and will also be the Executive Producer of the series. Toby Emmerich who wrote the movie will be a co-producer.

John N7UR

original story at www.nevadahamradio.com

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December is YOTA month!

Sunday 16th November 2014

During the month of December many countries will be on the air with the YOTA (Youngsters On The Air) suffix. It is being used to encourage young people to get on the air with the help of licensed operators or indeed to use their own callsign to gain experience.

Mentor operators from EI are encouraged to use the EI0YOTA callsign, with a young person to operate. All modes & bands will be used with lots of awards available to stations working the YOTA stations. QSL manager for the event is Brani OM2FY.

If you would like to book a slot to operate EI0YOTA, or need more details, please contact Ger McNamara EI4GXB via email on ei4gxb@gmail.com or 087 2532512.

More details soon on WADARC participation sharing the RSGB callsign G14 YOTA activation in December

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SatNOGs wins Hackaday Prize

Saturday 15th November 2014

The open-source amateur satellite tracking project SatNOGS has won the Hackaday 1st prize and an amateur radio SDR won 3rd prize

Six months ago Hackaday challenged their readers to realize the future of open, connected devices, The prize was a ticket to travel into space.
The winners were announced at the Electronica trade show in Munich on November 13.

The SatNOGs project is a thrilling example of the benefits of a connected world. It opens up the use of satellite data to a much wider range of humanity by providing plans to build satellite tracking stations, and a protocol and framework to share the satellite data with those that cannot afford, or lack the skills to build their own tracking station.
The hardware itself is based on readily available materials, commodity electronics, and just a bit of 3D printing.

SatNOGS ground station

Read the Hackaday article at
http://hackaday.com/2014/11/13/satnogs-wins-the-2014-hackaday-prize/

Ham Radio in Hackaday Prize Finals
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/11/08/ham-radio-in-hackaday-prize-finals/

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Chelmsford's involvement in Rosetta

Saturday 15th November 2014

The UK Deputy Prime Minister congratulated one of the Chelmsford companies involved in developing key equipment for the successful Rosetta mission

On Thursday, November 13 the Deputy PM @DPMoffice tweeted
Huge congratulations to @e2v in Chelmsford, who've been part of history on #Rosetta mission #spacehistory #RGF @spacegovuk

e2v developed the the specialized sensors on which both Rosetta and Philae depend.

On Rosetta:

OSIRIS – the high resolution imaging camera. It has a narrow field and wide field camera.
NAVCAM – the navigation camera.
VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) – which maps and studies the nature of the solids and the temperature on the surface of the comet. It also identifies gases, characterises the physical conditions of the comet and has helped to identify the best landing site (e2v’s devices are in the visible element of this instrument).

On Philae:

ÇIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer) – six identical micro-cameras take panoramic pictures of the surface of the comet. A spectrometer studies the composition, texture and albedo (reflectivity) of samples collected from the surface.
ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System) – a CCD camera used to obtain high-resolution images during the descent of the lander and take stereo panoramic images of areas sampled by other instruments.

Read the e2v announcement at
http://www.e2v.com/news/scientists-ready-to-discover-the-origins-of-earth-with-help-from-high-performance-technology-company-e2v/

e2v was not the only Chelmsford company involved in Rosetta, the Intermediate Frequency Modem System (IFMS) was developed by BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre in Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_175611/supporting-the-rosetta-mission

Watch IFMS: The Interplanetary Smartphone Supporting the Rosetta Mission

A number of radio amateurs work at both companies.

Radio amateurs have been listening to Rosetta's signal on 8421.7869 MHz since January 2014 when it was 805 million km away from Earth, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/01/23/radio-amateurs-receive-rosetta-signals/

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ACMA ready for interference complaints

Saturday 15th November 2014

The Australian communications regulator is prepared for an expected upsurge in interference complaints during the holiday season

The WIA reports: With less than six weeks to go to Christmas, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is expecting an upsurge in interference.

Now on sale at retailers are new Christmas lights, and also those being dusted off having been stored away in homes. Based on the ACMA experience, some poorly designed and often cheap LED lights will cause interference to radio and TV reception.

During the Christmas season that runs well into January, trees and other displays using certain LED lighting may cause interference.
However the problem is not just lights. The ACMA has found culprits among thermostatic controlled devices and pumps such as those used in swimming pools.

The ACMA has also found that poor reception can be due to old or damaged TV antennas. It helps consumers through self-help brochures that include what to look for and how to eliminate interference.

Failing that, the ACMA itself will make other investigations. It also works with importers, distributors and sellers on their responsibilities.

Jim Linton VK3PC
WIA News

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Old Sunspot Returns

Friday 14th November 2014

Space Weather reports late last month, the biggest sunspot in nearly 25 years crossed the face of the sun, blasting Earth's upper atmosphere with dozens of solar flares. Its name was AR2192, and now it's back

The old sunspot is emerging over the sun's southeastern limb following two weeks on the farside of the sun. See the website for a movie from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

In late October, AR2192 unleashed 6 X-class solar flares and many more M-class flares. Strong HF radio blackouts were a daily occurance, and millions of people glimpsed the sunspot during a partial solar eclipse.

For the past two weeks, the behemoth sunspot has been transiting the farside of the sun. During that time it probably decayed. Even if it retains only a fraction of its former vigor, however, it could still bring a significant uptick in solar activity when it fully emerges in the days ahead.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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RTÉ face questions over longwave closure

Friday 14th November 2014

The newly-appointed Chair of RTÉ is set to appear in front of the Irish Government to explain her position on the impending closure of its longwave 252 service.

Moya Doherty, the co-creator of Riverdance, was last week announced as chairperson of the RTÉ Board in a move which saw seven new members appointed to the broadcaster’s authority.

The Board was nominated by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, of whom Senator Paschal Mooney is a member.

Mr Mooney told The Irish Post that he hoped to “maintain the pressure” against the closure of the radio station.

“We will have Moya Doherty before our committee over the next couple of weeks,” he said. “One of the things we will be asking her is her position in relation to longwave 252 and what she intends to do about it.”

Last month amid a backlash and Government representation in Ireland and Britain, RTÉ postponed the closure of its longwave radio transmission until January 19.

Previously, the service was due to shut on October 27 as the organisation migrated its Radio 1 service over to digital platforms.

“I’m now formally calling on the newly-appointed RTÉ authority to reverse the decision,” added Mr Mooney.

http://www.irishpost.co.uk/news/rte-face-longwave-questions

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49.9 MHz Radar 16 kW with 64 antennas

Thursday 13th November 2014

An impressive back-scatter radar on 49.9 MHz is currently being constructed in Ethiopia.

The Bahir Dar coherent backscatter radar is being assembled by researchers from the University of Oulu, Finland and Boston College, USA.

The radar will operate at 49.9 MHz with a 16 kW solid-state transmitter and 64 antennas. The sampling is based on a number of USRP X300-series boxes (the USRP was developed by Matt Ettus N2MJI).

Backscatter radar
http://blog.sgo.fi/2014/11/bahir-dar-coherent-backscatter-radar.html

Lassi Roininen on Twitter
https://twitter.com/LassiRoininen

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2nd Ofcom small scale DAB event

Thursday 13th November 2014

The Ofcom local DAB event held at the Baldock Monitoring Centre Nov 13 was heavily over subscribed so Ofcom have announced a 2nd event

Given the high demand for spaces at our demonstration events at Baldock, we will be holding another, more limited, event at our London office on the afternoon of Monday 1 December.

This is aimed particularly at anyone who has missed out on the technical events at Baldock, although it will be a less complete demonstration due to the limitations of using the test kit in our offices. There will be a brief introduction, a demonstration of some of the equipment we have been working on, and a Q&A.

The event will run from 2-4pm, at our Riverside House offices, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. If you would like to attend, please let us know via email to smallscaleDAB@ofcom.org.uk no later than Wednesday 26 November.

Kind regards,

Caroline

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AmateurLogic 72: TNC Pi, Wattmeters & Python

Thursday 13th November 2014

Tommy makes a TNC Pi APRS Igate. George talks about RF Wattmeters. Peter’s introduction to Python programming.

1:17:26

Download

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NASA statement on successful Rosetta comet landing

Thursday 13th November 2014

The following statement is from John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, about the successful comet landing by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft:

“We congratulate ESA on their successful landing on a comet today. This achievement represents a breakthrough moment in the exploration of our solar system and a milestone for international cooperation. We are proud to be a part of this historic day and look forward to receiving valuable data from the three NASA instruments on board Rosetta that will map the comet’s nucleus and examine it for signs of water.

“The data collected by Rosetta will provide the scientific community, and the world, with a treasure-trove of data. Small bodies in our solar system like comets and asteroids help us understand how the solar system formed and provide opportunities to advance exploration. We look forward to building on Rosetta's success exploring our solar system through our studies of near earth asteroids and NASA's upcoming asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx. It’s a great day for space exploration."

For information about NASA's role in the Rosetta mission, visit:
http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/

To learn more about NASA’s asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-Rex, visit:
http://science.nasa.gov/missions/osiris-rex/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 13th November 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-017; 3B9, Rodrigues Island: Olov/G0CKV will be active from the 16th to the 22nd as 3B9HA from Rodrigues Island (WLOTA 4265, 3BFF-004). QRV holiday-style in HF on CW, low band activity depending on condx. QSL via G0CKV, LoTW.

EU-029; OZ, Sjaelland Archipelago: Andy/DL5AND, Ben/DO1BEN, Georg/DL3YAT, and Vinny/DL6II pay Lolland (DIA SJ015, WLOTA 2773, WW Loc. JQ54qv) a visit from the 6th to the 14th of November, operating as OZ0IL. QRV on 80-10m in CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via DO1BEN, bureau prefered, but direct also ok.

NA-143; W5, Texas State East (Matagorda to Jefferson County) group: Joe/K5KUA operates again as K5KUA/5 from Galveston Island between the 12th and 16th on HF. QSL via h/c (d/B), ClubLog, LoTW.

OC-208; YB8, Banggai Islands: Din/YB8RW and Syafyuddin/YB8OUN will put the Banggai Islands on the air from the 18th until the 22nd signing their homecalls/p. QRV on HF in CW and SSB. QSL via YB8RW (d), OQRS.

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao Island: Geoff/W0CG, Gene/KB7Q (PJ2/KB7Q), and Joerg/DF9LJ (PJ2/DF9LJ) operate from the Signal Point Contest Station between Nov. 18 and Dec. 2, either as PJ2T or with their own PJ2-calls. Of course they are going to participate in the CQ WW DX CW Contest. QSL PJ2T via W3HNK, PJ2DX via W0CG, others via homecalls.

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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Notice of Interruption - MSF 60 kHz Time and Frequency Signal

Wednesday 12th November 2014

Please note that the MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off during the day for maintenance work on:

Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 November between 09:00 UTC to 16:00 UTC.

The interruption to the transmission is required to allow maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

If you require any additional information, please contact us at:
www.npl.co.uk/contact-us

Or alternatively please see our website:
www.npl.co.uk/time

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3.4 GHz in Australia

Wednesday 12th November 2014

The WIA reports use of the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band, including Amateur access, will remain 'business as usual' for the time being

WIA Director Roger Harrison VK2ZRH says:

This has been the fortuitous outcome following the recent consultation on future arrangements in the band, conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority over June to September this year.

The consultation process began when the ACMA released a discussion paper - Transitioning the 3.5 GHz band for future opportunities on June 18 this year.

The ACMA sought to identify licensing arrangements in the band that might “...maximise regulatory flexibility for both licensees and the ACMA”. The 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band had a mix of Apparatus and Spectrum licensees at the time, and the ACMA proposed extending Apparatus licensing across the band for the future.

Responses to the discussion paper closed on July 30, the ACMA receiving 24 submissions. As you may be aware, the WIA put in a strong submission.

Eight were from individual amateurs along with one from the WIA. The ACMA notes that there was lack of consensus on the best way forward for the 3.5 GHz band among the 24 submissions received.

On October 30, the ACMA wrote to all those who made submissions, explaining its decision: “... to retain the existing mix of apparatus and spectrum licensing arrangements in the 3.5 GHz band”, the ACMA said, adding that: “The current embargoes will also remain in place, at least in the short term, although we intend to review those arrangements as use of the band develops.”

Apply a little soothing balm, the ACMA’s letter added that it “no longer considers that increasing the extent of apparatus licensing is appropriate.”

But the 9 cm band landscape took a dramatic turn on August 22 this year when the Minister for Communications, the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP, issued a Draft Direction to use 3.5 GHz band spectrum for the NBN spectrum gap, with submissions in response to be received by the Department of Communications no later than September 22.

The Direction called for the ACMA to complete arrangements by April 30, 2015 to licence two spectrum blocks – 50 MHz at 3400 to 3425 MHz, and 25 MHz at 3492.5 to 3542.5 MHz – for NBN purposes under Apparatus licensing.

Both blocks cover actively-used portions of the 9 cm amateur band. The WIA objected to the proposal in our submission to the Department of Communications in September.

The Direction was registered on October 24, 2014 and expires on October 24, 2015. The two spectrum blocks are currently embargoed to the issue of new licences.

The Department of Communications received ten submissions. Three were from individual amateurs along with that from the WIA. The ACMA’s letter of October 30 advises that: “In line with the ACMA's decision to maintain existing licensing arrangements in the band, the ACMA will soon commence reissue considerations for the 3.4 GHz spectrum licences, which expire on December 13, 2015.”

Further, the letter advises that some sections of the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band that remained unsold in a spectrum licensing round previously, have “lapsed” and become available for reallocation.

The ACMA advises that it expects to commence consultation shortly on a proposal to the Minister that this unallocated spectrum be designated for spectrum licensing. How long that will take, we don’t know.

Rest assured that the WIA will be in there fighting for continued amateur access across the 3.4 to 3.6 GHz band.

So, amateur access to the 9 cm band remains “as is” for the time being, but we’re not out of the woods. Keep a watch on the Hot Issues page of the WIA website, which is linked from the home page,
http://wia.org.au/

Source WIA News

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Real-time band conditions website

Wednesday 12th November 2014

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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New Radio Propagation Questions Forum

Wednesday 12th November 2014

Steve Nichols G0KYA has started a question forum to help people better understand radio propagation

If you want to know why you were able to hear the Pacific on 40m, or why distant 2m repeaters suddenly appeared one morning, post your questions on the forum and members of the Propagation Studies Committee will try to answer them.

As a starter there is a link to download a free e-book titled "Understanding LF and HF Propagation".

Anyone can sign-up to post on the forum which is at
http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?forums/
radio-propagation-questions/

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IARUMS reports Russian taxis on 10m

Tuesday 11th November 2014

The IARU Monitoring System reports on the interference caused by radars and Russian taxis operating in the amateur radio 28 MHz band

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 August 2014 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2014/news1410.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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Argentina latest to get 5 MHz band

Tuesday 11th November 2014

The IARU member society the Radio Club Argentino (RCA) is the latest to get access to the 60m band for its radio amateurs, ahead of the issue being decided next November by the World Radio Conference.

The RCA in its newsletter on November 10, said that the release of the band in Argentina followed it raising the issue to authorities.

Earlier the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL) held in Merida, Mexico last month, and it included discussion on the matter.

At that meeting, the Ministry of Communications delegation from Argentina supported the allocation on a secondary basis, in continuous segment of 5275-5450 kHz.

The RCA says the initiative won sufficient support from CITEL delegates to be adopted as the regional position.

The band was first introduced in 2002, and ever since many countries have released it temporarily to their radio amateurs with various 'spot' frequencies or a wider multi-channelled allocation.

Some countries are mindful of other occupiers of the spectrum, either resulting in their guarded responses or trialling a sharing arrangement on that band.

The IARU supports such an allocation because it sits between the 80m and 40m bands, to provide useful propagation for local to medium distances, often needed for emergency communication training and events.

The IARU has encouraged member societies to test out those propagation benefits and further show that a secondary allocation sharing basis is viable.

The band is agenda item 1.4 proposed by Cuba at the World Conference Radio Geneva, Switzerland next year.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Russian Federation launches Radio Sputnik

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Russia says it has launched a media brand, Sputnik, with modern multimedia centres in dozens of countries

It appears the radio station, website and mobile phone apps aim to counter the news outlets of English speaking nations such as VOA and BBC. In an interview in 2013 with RT News Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his wish to "break the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the global information streams".

Sputnik aims to broadcast in 30 languages, with over 800 hours of radio programming a day, covering over 130 cities and 34 countries by the end of next year.

Sputnik's radio broadcasting will use modern formats, such as digital DAB/DAB+ (Digital Radio Broadcasting), HD-Radio, as well as FM radio, mobile phones and the Internet. In the medium term, the goal is to broadcast around the clock.

The goal is to update Sputnik-run websites around the clock and deliver the most important information to target audiences using social media.

There is an existing Radio Sputnik, a Finnish station that for years has broadcasts in the Russian language, see
http://www.radiosputnik.fi/

Sputnik News
http://sputniknews.com/russia/20141110/1014569630.html

Daily Telegraph report
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/
11221511/Russia-launches-Sputnik-media-offensive-to-counter-US-propaganda.html

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Raspberry Pi HDTV transmitter

Tuesday 11th November 2014

Alexandru Csete OZ9AEC has written an article about turning your Raspberry Pi into a live HDTV transmitter

He notes that the setup can be made small enough to be carried by a medium size drone and the range can be increased using power amplifiers.

Read the article at
http://www.oz9aec.net/index.php/dvb/490-turn-your-raspberry-pi-into-a-live-hdtv-transmitter

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New Raspberry Pi A+ just $20

Tuesday 11th November 2014

The I Programmer website reports:

As we predicted over the weekend, when we noticed a web ad for it that had been shown prematurely, the Raspberry Pi Model A+ (photo right) has been launched today. The additional news is that it will sell for just $20.

After the Raspberry Pi B was upgraded to the B+ it was inevitable that the model A would follow. We were even promised something "special" in a recent interview.

Despite trying to keep it secret until today's official announcement by Eben Upton, Element 14, a major Raspberry Pi retailer, briefly published some details on Sunday by way of a web page getting ready to sell you a new model A+ and on the basis of this leaked info we were able to deduce that the A+ has acquired the same set of improvements that were introduced with the B+.

Read the full article with pictures at:
http://www.i-programmer.info/news/91-hardware/7956-new-raspberry-pi-a.html

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Rosetta comet landing coverage

Monday 10th November 2014

Artist's concept of the Rosetta mission's Philae lander on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage from 9-11:30 a.m. EST (6-8:30 a.m. PST) of the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission’s scheduled landing of a probe on a comet on Wednesday, Nov. 12.

NASA's live commentary will include excerpts of the ESA coverage and air from 9-10 a.m. NASA will continue carrying ESA's commentary from 10-11:30 a.m. ESA’s Philae (fee-LAY) lander is scheduled to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 10:35 a.m. A signal confirming landing is expected at approximately 11:02 a.m.

After landing, Philae will obtain the first images ever taken from a comet's surface. It also will drill into the surface to study the composition and witness close up how a comet changes as its exposure to the sun varies. Philae can remain active on the surface for approximately two-and-a-half days. Its “mothership” is the Rosetta spacecraft that will remain in orbit around the comet through 2015. The orbiter will continue detailed studies of the comet as it approaches the sun and then moves away. NASA has three of the 16 instruments aboard the orbiter.

Comets are considered primitive building blocks of the solar system that are literally frozen in time. They may have played a part in "seeding" Earth with water and, possibly, the basic ingredients for life.

NASA TV streaming video, downlink and updated scheduling information is at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For more information on the U.S. instruments aboard Rosetta, visit:
http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov

ESA's live coverage of landing events will be streamed at:
http://www.esa.int/rosetta

More information about Rosetta is available at:
http://www.esa.int/rosetta

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Shortwave masts demolished

Monday 10th November 2014

The DARC report a piece of radio history came to an end on November 4 with the demolition of the Wertachtal shortwave transmitter masts

The shortwave station came into operation for the Munich Olympics in 1972. At the time it was the largest shortwave transmitter in Europe with 29 masts up to 125m high. The first test transmissions began on April 10, 1972, using the 500 kW transmitters.

The demolition of the facilities started in May and the plant will be completely demolished by the end of the year.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC)
http://tinyurl.com/GermanyDARC

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Scouts use radio to communicate across the world

Monday 10th November 2014

The Gloucestershire Gazette newspaper reports on the recent Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) event

They say: This year JOTA was held over the weekend of October 18/19 – its aim is to teach children the skills of wireless radio techniques and electronics.

Members of the Scouting organisation from around Wotton-under-Edge were lent a hand by members of the Thornbury and South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club (TSGARC) as they communicated with people from across the globe.

A temporary radio station was set up at Conygres Wood Scout camp in Wotton-under-Edge.


Read the full story at
http://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/news/11578675.
Scouts_use_radio_to_communicate_with_groups_across_the_world/


Thornbury and South Gloucestershire Amateur Radio Club (TSGARC)
http://tsgarc.uk/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 10th November 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 2nd November, through Sunday, 9th November there were 225 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FO/m, FR, FT/t, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, 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, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VP2E, VP2V, VP8, VP8/h, VP9,
VQ9, VR, VU, VU4, XE, XU, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, 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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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 10th November 2014

Island activities:

AF-019. (Correction/Update) Sam, IT9/LY5W (at II9P), who has been active on topband this past week, reports that they are looking for skillful operators for the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 29-30th) from Sicily (not Lampedusa Island) as possibly a Multi-2 or Multi/Multi entry. Contact Sam/LY5W or Carmelo/IT9AUG, Antonello/IT9EQO and Marcelo/IT9CJC directly. Sam states, "I can say, here is one of the best Contest QTH in South Europe." Sam will be heading back home to Lithuania in December. 
Visit their Web page at:
http://ig9.ii9p.com

EU-125. Volker, DJ8VW, will be active as 5P8VW from Romo Island between December 6-20th. Activity will be on 160-6 meters. QSL to his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or eQSL.

OC-049. Hans, DF2UU, is now active as A35DX from Atata Island until November 14th. Activity is on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB.
QSL via his home callsign.

OC-208. Operators Din/YB8RW and Syafyuddin/YB8OUN will be active homecall/p from Banggai Island between November 18-22nd.
Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via YB8RW direct or OQRS.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Ham Radio in Hackaday prize finals

Sunday 9th November 2014

Two of the five finalists for the Hackaday Prize involve amateur radio, the prize is a ticket to travel into space

Six months ago Hackaday challenged their readers to realize the future of open, connected devices. They have now announced the five finalists vying for The Hackaday Prize.

PortableSDR is a completely stand-alone (no computer needed), compact, Portable Software Defined Transceiver. Originally designed for backpacking use by Ham Radio operators. It includes complete coverage up to about 30 MHz.
http://hackaday.com/2014/11/05/hackaday-prize-finalist-a-portablesdr/

The SatNOGS project involves a network of satellite ground stations, they are using crowdsourced data collection for something that is literally out of this world: listening to the ever-increasing number of amateur satellites orbiting the planet.
http://hackaday.com/2014/11/07/hackaday-prize-finalist-a-network-of-satellite-ground-stations/

The contest was open to entries from around the world with the exception of residents of Quebec, Italy, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, or any jurisdiction where the Contest would be restricted or prohibited by law.

The winner of the Hackaday Prize for the best example of an open, connected device should be announced at the Electronica trade show in Munich on November 13.
http://hackaday.io/prize

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Eight days of solar flares on NASA video

Sunday 9th November 2014

NASA has released a video showing eight days of solar flares produced by the largest sunspot in the past two dozen years.

The YouTube description reads:

The surface of the sun from October 14th to 30th, 2014, showing sunspot AR 2192, the largest sunspot of the last two solar cycles (22 years).

During this time sunspot AR 2191 produced six X-class and four M-class solar flares. The animation shows the sun in the ultraviolet 304 ångström wavelength, and plays at a rate of 52.5 minutes per second.
It is composed of more than 17,000 images, 72 GB of data produced by the solar dynamics observatory (http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/).
The animation has been rotated 180 degrees so that south is 'up'.

The audio is the "heartbeat" of the sun, processed from SOHO HMI data by Alexander G. Kosovichev. Image processing and animation by James Tyrwhitt-Drake.

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ISS flight rules

Sunday 9th November 2014

Did You Know...

Current International Space Station flight rules require all the ham radios to be off during an EVA.

Technically, the VHF radios needs to be off for Russian EVAs and the UHF radio needs to be off for US EVAs.

For dockings and undockings, again the ISS operates under a flight rule that has the VHF/UHF radios off for Progress, Soyuz and ATV vehicle activity. Note that Cygnus, Dragon, HTV and formerly the Shuttle did not require the radios to be off.

For Ham TV, already mentioned is that it will be off for any EVA.

It needs to be off for ATV (the last one planned is there now) docking and undocking.

It also has to be off when the Robotics arm is in close proximity.

ANS

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Christmas Island is ham radio heaven

Sunday 9th November 2014

ABC reports the isolated Christmas Island attracts amateur radio enthusiasts from across the globe

Radio amateurs from Poland visited recently with unusually heavy baggage, loaded with receivers, transmitters, and antennas tens of metres long.

The VK9XSP DXpedition team had an arduous journey from Prague to Dubai, then to Jakarta, before the final leg to the dot in the North West Indian Ocean that is Christmas Island; over 40 hours in transit.

Read the ABC story at
http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/11/07/4124079.htm

VK9XSP DXpedition
http://www.vk9xsp.dxing.pl/

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UK NoV for 2300 MHz now available

Saturday 8th November 2014

Holders of the Full licence can now apply for a Notice of Variation (NoV) to operate fixed station in 2300-2302 MHz

The NoV is applicable to the United Kingdom only, it does not apply to the Crown Dependencies.

Apply for your NoV online at
http://www.rsgb.org/2300nov

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MacLoggerDX Version 5.56 released

Saturday 8th November 2014

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.56 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What's New in this version:

Optimized for Yosemite.
Icom IC-9100 Split.
Update Selected fix for HamQTH.
Clusters Prefs added.
Skip redundant ADIF Confirmations.
ADIF Import/confirm 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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South Australian takes leave from top ARISS job

Saturday 8th November 2014

After a long time Tony Hutchison VK5ZAI, the mainstay of Amateur Radio on the Space Station or the ARISS program, is taking a well-earned break from the daily grind to enjoy spending more time with his family and some travel.

His involvement so far spans 21 years and includes being the ARISS Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Region.

After 46 years farming Tony and his wife Jill moved to Kingston to retire. While taking a break in arranging school contacts with International Space Station astronauts, he doesn't intend to leave the job completely, and will continue as a well-equipped telebridge station, when at home.

Tony VK5ZAI completed four terms on the Kingston District Council which serves the Limestone Coast of South Australia's south-east.

This has included committee membership on helping assess building applications among other things, the Town Improvement Committee and the Kingston Tourism Committee.

He has some 12 years on the coastal base station of the Volunteer Coast Guard, and with his wife Jill carried out other worthy community work.

His efforts have been acknowledged by NASA, AMSAT and the WIA. Tony has featured in newspaper articles, in Amateur Radio magazine and on television.

The ARISS program will continue in 2015 with Shane Lynd VK4KHZ, who has already done a fantastic job as a telebridge station.

Tony VK5ZAI and Jill will now take a break of 12 months to enjoy his family and travel by road to many conservation parks in South Australia. You may hear him portable on the 40-metre band.

Jim Linton VK3PC

WIA

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Potent X-flare!

Saturday 8th November 2014

Active sunspot AR2205 produced a potent X1-class solar flare on Nov. 7th, causing a strong HF radio blackout on the dayside of our planet.

More X-flares are in the offing as the sunspot turns toward Earth this weekend.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates.

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Ofcom consults on auction of 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands

Saturday 8th November 2014

Ofcom is consulting on plans for the future release of new spectrum that could be used to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband services

Potential bidders are being invited to comment on proposals for Ofcom’s auction of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, which is expected to take place in late 2015 or early 2016.

While no specific uses for this spectrum have been prescribed, it is likely to interest the mobile industry, which relies on spectrum to offer internet services to consumers’ smartphones and tablets. The 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands are frequencies which could be suitable for providing very high data capacity.

Many existing mobile handsets from major manufacturers including the Apple iPhone 5 and 6, HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy are already compatible with the 2.3 GHz spectrum in other markets.

The 3.4 GHz band is currently being used for 4G wireless broadband in six countries including the UK, Canada and Spain.

The consultation closes on January 23, 2015.
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/2.3-3.4-ghz-auction-design/

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Does Shortwave Radio Have a Future?

Saturday 8th November 2014

This article regarding the future and relevancy of shortwave radio broadcasting originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of The Spectrum Monitor Magazine.

It is now available online to read:
http://swling.com/blog/2014/11/does-shortwave-radio-have-a-future/

Thomas K4SWL

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October RSGB Board Proceedings

Saturday 8th November 2014

The RSGB Board proceedings for October are now available on the RSGB website

It was proposed that the RSGB should write to Buckingham Palace to request the Society's Patron HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT to send a congratulatory message to all Members who celebrate their 100th birthday.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held October 10, 2014
https://thersgb.org/members/resources/?id=5524

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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Ex-Ofcom employee now ITU Deputy Secretary-General

Friday 7th November 2014

Malcolm Johnson (photo right) of the United Kingdom has been elected as the ITU’s new Deputy Secretary-General

Wiki records that he has represented UK in several international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Inmarsat, and the European Space Agency (ESA). He was employed at the Telecommunication Regulations Division of the European Commission between 1987 and 1992.

Later on, from 1992 to 2003, he was Director of the UK’s Radiocommunications Agency. In 2003, Johnson joined the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) at its inception, he was International Coordinator with lead responsibility for UK in ITU and European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). He remained in this position until 2006.

Malcolm Johnson was elected Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) of the ITU Standardization Sector (ITU-T) by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2006. He took office on January 1, 2007 and was re-elected at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2010.

Beijing's Houlin Zhao was elected Secretary-General of the ITU replacing radio amateur Dr. Hamadoun Touré HB9EHT. Houlin Zhao had served 8 years as Deputy Secretary-General.

Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/the-itu-elects-a-new-secretary-general

Wiki - Malcolm Johnson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Johnson_%28administrator%29

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Islamic Republic of Iran IOTA DXpedition

Friday 7th November 2014

A multi-national team of amateur radio operators from Belgium, The Netherlands and Greece will be active as EP6T from Kish Island (AS-166), Islamic Republic of Iran, during the last 2 weeks of January 2015.

This will be a 'Rockall DX Group' DXpedition. Reportedly, it took nearly 3 years of negotiations and a reconnaissance trip by Patrick, ON4HIL, to Tehran which finally resulted in obtaining a legal license to operate with a team of ten people for fourteens days.

The 10 operators mentioned are Marc/ON4AMX (Finance), Henk/ON4AFH (Travel and Logistics, Carlo/ON4BR (Logistics), Patrick/ON4HIL (Team Leader), Luc/ON4IA (Low Band Specialist), Marc/ON6CC (Webmaster), Wim/ON6DX (Propagation), Frank/ON7RU (Multi-Media), Ronald/PA3EWP (Sponsors/PR) and Kostas/SV1DPI (Shack Manager).  Pilot stations are Theo/ON4ATW (E-mail: ep6t@rockall.be) and Bjorn/ON9CFG.

The group plans to have 4 (possibly 5) operating stations on the air around the clock for at least 10 days. Specific dates will be announced at a later date. Activity will be on all HF bands, 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. Some stations during the night time hours will be focusing on the low bands using separate receive antennas and quarter wave verticals near the beach. They expect to make around 85,000 QSOs.

They will use ClubLog for online logging (if Internet is available) and OQRS (QSL requests). A few days after the DXpedition the logs will be uploaded by their QSL Manager to LOTW. QSL Manager is Tim Beaumont, M0URX: P.O. Box 17, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1SF, ENGLAND. All QSLs via the OQRS, by the Bureau and direct, will be answered as usual.

The EP6T Website is now available with more information, as well as a EP"need" survey at: http://www.rockall.be They have also have a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/@RockallDX

From now on they will update their Web site and Twitter pages on a daily basis if there is some information to share.

OPDX

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Japanese Microsats launched

Friday 7th November 2014

On Thursday, November 6 at 07:35:49 UT a Dnepr rocket carrying the primary payload Asnaro-1 and four microsatellites was launched from Dombarovsky near Yasny

Kosmotras reported all spacecraft were inserted into their target orbits.

The four Japanese microsatellites are:

ChubuSat-1 (Kinshachi-1) 437.485 MHz CW/AX.25 (Digipeater uplink 145.980 MHz)
TSUBAME 437.250 MHz CW and 437.505 AX.25
Hodoyoshi-1 467.674 MHz
QSAT-EOS (Tsukushi) an AX.25 GMSK payload has been reported but the frequency is unknown.

Signals have been received from both ChubuSat-1 and TSUBAME.

The 50kg class ChubuSat-1 aims to

Relay messages in amateur service (AX.25 packet radio Digipeater)
Take pictures of particular site on Earth commanded from the Earth station with an optical camera and an Infra-red camera
Try to take pictures of space debris commanded from the Earth station with above two cameras

It will have 3 axis stabilisation

The 30kg class TSUBAME aims to

Demonstrate satellite bus technology for 30kg-class microsatellite and verification of COTS components such as micro-processors, memory and Li-ion batteries in the space environment
Verify of Control Moment Gyros developed by the Laboratory for Space Systems
Demonstrate of high-speed attitude manoeuvres technology using Control Moment Gyros. Some sensor data acquisition experiments will be conducted at the same time in order to demonstrate applications of CMGs
Demonstrate of SRLL communication protocol developed by Tokyo Institute of Technology and high-speed GMSK data downlink
Collect data through internet with the aid of radio amateurs all over the world

Satellite info and launch video
http://russianspaceweb.com/dnepr_asnaro.html

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

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C5, The Gambia - update

Friday 7th November 2014

A group of UK DXers will operate as C5X from Ocean Villa Heights Lodge, on the coast at Brufut, southwest of Banjul, The Gambia, (not the old 'MW Radio Syd' site as first announced) between January 15-26th (2015).

Mark, M0DXR, had to drop out of the C5X team, but the group has added Don, G3XTT. Operators now are Steve/G3VMW, Alan/G3XAQ, Don/G3XTT and Iain/M0PCB.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and some PSK. The group also plans to do some activity in the CQWW 160m Contest.

They will have two stations with Elecraft K3 radios with KPA-500 amplifiers using two Spiderbeams for HF, 160/80m verticals on an 18m Spiderpole and dipoles/verticals for 40/30m.

QSL Manager is Charles, M0OXO. QSL via his OQRS http://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs, direct or by the Bureau. Logs will be uploaded daily to ClubLog and LoTW.

OPDX

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All Change at ITU !

Thursday 6th November 2014

Member States of the International Telecommunication Union have completed the election process that confirms candidates in the organization’s five elected posts, as well as the 12 members of the Radio Regulations Board and the 48 Members of ITU Council, the administrative body that governs ITU in between quadrennial Plenipotentiary Conferences.

Houlin Zhao of China was successful in his bid to become the next Secretary-General of the Union, after eight years as Deputy-Secretary General and a further eight years in the elected post of Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. He won with 152 votes, with 152 countries present and voting.

Malcolm Johnson of the United Kingdom was announced as ITU’s new Deputy Secretary-General in the fourth round of voting, with 104 votes and 168 countries present and voting. In his address to assembled delegates in the Plenary session on Friday afternoon, Mr Johnson paid tribute to the quality of candidates for what proved this conference’s most fiercely-contested post: “Having such a qualified and diverse field of candidates is testament to our commitment to the Union and bodes well for its future. I hope we can rely upon their continuing participation in ITU and I look forward to working with them over the next four years.”

The elections for the posts of Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau and Telecommunication Development Bureau began late in the working day on the afternoon of 24 October. The three elections were run concurrently.

Current incumbent François Rancy was confirmed in a second term as the Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. He contested the position unopposed, and received 166 votes with 166 countries present and voting. In his post-election address to delegates, Rancy stressed ITU’s central role in coordinating the equitable global use of spectrum resources.

“During these four years, remarkable results have been achieved by the ITU radiocommunication sector in delivering and managing the frequency spectrum worldwide, in adopting standards and best practices and in disseminating information and know-how to the entire ITU membership. Much remains to be done however to ensure that the management of spectrum and orbit resources by the ITU continues to feed the development of radiocommunications, and connectivity to all citizens of the world,” he said.

Brahima Sanou, the incumbent Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, also contested his bid for a second term unopposed, and was re-elected with 166 votes, with 166 countries present and voting. On announcement of the election results, Sanou told the conference: “The Member States have decided for continuity and as the acknowledgment of the work of the BDT staff that I have had the honour of directing for the past four years. My re-election is a renewal of a commitment to deliver to members and with members, and I am committing to this because I know that I can count on the very dynamic team in the BDT.”

For the local Korean media, the biggest news of the conference was the successful candidature of Korea’s Chaesub Lee for the post of Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). Lee obtained the necessary overall majority in the first round, with 87 votes and 169 countries present and voting. Mr Lee told the conference “As the newly elected Director, I will enhance the values of ITU-T activities and products, as well as efficiency and effectiveness in collaborating within and outside ITU-T. ITU-T is at one of its most important moments for the continuous development of future ICT and telecommunications.”

Read the full ITU press release at:
http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2014/
55.aspx#.VFo9TFfeiTC

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 6th November 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

AS-072; 9M2, Perak State group: Operators Piju/ 9M2PJU, Rizal/9M2RDX, Khairul/ 9M2KRZ, Wak Mit/9M2TPT, Rosli/9M2RHQ, Zamri/ 9W2NMX, Ikmal/9W2EDU, Mat Meran/ 9W2VVN, Weerut/9W2RUT, Kopok /9W2JDY, and Izat/9W2RI get on the air from Pangkor Island (WLOTA 2532) on Nov. 8 and 9 as 9M2SE. QRV in CW and SSB on 40-10m. QSL
only direct via 9M2RDX.

EU-001; SV5, Dodecanese: Rene/DL2JRM plans to operate holiday-style on HF as SV5/DL2JRM between Nov. 7 and 11 from Rhodos (GIOTA DKS-006, MIA MGD-028, WLOTA 0045). QSL via h/c (B).

NA-001; C6, Great Bahama Bank group: Steve/KG4LJB will be active as C6AJB from the 8th to the 15th from Eleuthera Island (WW Loc. FL15ve). QRV on HF mainly during the morning and evening hours. QSL via KG4LJB.

NA-101; J7, Dominica: Seth/SM0XBI returns to Dominica until 5 March 2015 and operates as J79XBI on all HF bands. QSL via SM5DJZ (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog.

NA-108; J6, St Lucia: Watch out for Gerd/DL7VOG operating as J6/DL7VOG from St. Lucia (WLOTA 1336) between Nov. 7 and Dec. 4. QRV on 80-6m in CW and RTTY. He is also  going to participate in the WAE RTTY contest and the CQ WW CW Contest. QSL via DL7VOG (d/B).http://www.dl7vog.de

SA-090; YV5/YV6/YV7, Anzoategui State / Sucre State west group: Members of the Grupo DX Caracas activate the Islas Pirutu (WLOTA 3032, ARLHS VEN-046, WW Loc. FK70md) from the 7th to the 9th on HF. QSL via W4SO (d).

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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Russian air tankers use Morse code

Thursday 6th November 2014

The Aviationist reports on Morse code transmissions when two Russian air tankers were deployed to Egypt Oct 30-31, possibly in support of strategic bombers

The Russians still use quite a lot of Morse and especially for these extended out of area missions. They send the same short 3 figure tactical messages back to their control in Russia using Morse and Voice. Radio enthusiasts were busy logging the activity last week.

The article quotes radio enthusiast Tom Hill “I just copied the Morse. You can’t really get any info from the Morse as it is short encoded three figure groups. They send the same in Voice. The only thing different here was the IL-78s using the Bort number in voice for the air route over the Mediterranean. Morse Key fit on Tu-95MS radio operators station. On the HF radios you can see 8909 KHz USB set up for the voice transmissions. This is the frequency they use during the Summer.”

Read the full story at
http://theaviationist.com/2014/11/03/il-78-midas-egypt/

Russian Navy Blog
https://twitter.com/russiannavyblog

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VP8RAF/100 Falkland Islands

Wednesday 5th November 2014

The RAF Amateur Radio Society, G8FC, is sending an expedition to the Falkland Islands and will be operating from the Joint Services Welfare Facility Amateur Radio Station using the callsigns VP8RAF/100 and VP8FIR/100

The callsigns commemorate the Battle of Coronel on November 1, 1914 and the 1st Battle of the Falklands on December 8, 1914.
All VP8 stations are able to use the suffix /100 between 1 November and 15 December 2014.

The Battle of Coronel off the West coast of Chile saw a number of Royal Navy ships sunk, both the HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth which were lost with all crew.

What became known as the 1st Battle of the Falklands took place to the South East of East Falkland and saw the Royal Navy sink eight ships of the German Imperial Navy including the flag ship of Admiral Graf Von Spee.

The RAFARS station will be using the following frequencies: CW 3.505, 7015, 10.112, 14.055, 18.070, 21.055, 24.892, 28.055. SSB 3.790, 7.155, 14.270, 18.123, 21.290, 24.945, 28.250.

Some maintenance work may have to be carried out on arrival, however, the station should be active from December 5-9. The expedition will always be looking for the best band to work the UK.

Battle of Coronel
http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/
slaughter-at-sea-but-we-never-lost-hope-1-6396443


RAFARS Expedition to the Falkland Islands
http://www.rafars.org/content/News_Flash_files/
39e20a80ec58b86021efc22cf011d89f-30.html

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Active sunspot AR2205

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Crackling with M-class solar flares, an active sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb.

The new region, numbered AR2205, has produced multiple CMEs in the past 48 hours. So far Earth is outside the line of fire, and the solar storm clouds are sailing wide of our planet.

This could change, however, as the sunspot turns toward Earth in the days ahead.

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

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New affiliated clubs Membership Services portal

Tuesday 4th November 2014

The RSGB has announced a new Membership Services portal for affiliated clubs

The new service offers affiliated clubs a page where all RSGB online membership services can be easily accessed from one point.
See http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2014/11/03/
new-affiliated-clubs-membership-services-portal/


The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) in Essex was one of a number of clubs that disappeared from the Clubs & Training page, apparently clubs need to quote a postcode.

Check if your club appears at
https://thersgb.org/services/clubfinder/

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GPS back-up: World War Two technology employed

Tuesday 4th November 2014

Technology developed during World War Two is to be used as a back-up for GPS.

The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) have announced that they have installed a system called eLoran in seven ports across Britain.

The GLA say many critical instruments on ships use Global Navigation Satellite Systems, and if they fail the consequences could be disastrous.

The new system, which is ground rather than satellite-based, is designed to be used in the event of a GPS failure.

"All vessels that sail today are massively dependent on GPS, " Martin Bransby, research and radio navigation manager for the General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland, told the BBC's technology programme Click.

"It is their primary means of navigation - and a massive number of instruments rely on it too.

"If you don't have it, you are dead in the water."

Testing for eLoran has taken place in Felixstowe, the busiest container port in the UK.

Each year, three million containers are brought in on some of the biggest ships in the world.

Safely manoeuvring these vessels in this packed waterway is vital, and currently the only way to do this is with the help of GPS.

Onboard the Galatea, a ship that is 80m (260ft) long, the GLA have been finding out what happens if the satellite system goes wrong.

Martin Bransby demonstrates a GPS failure by pulling the plug on the ship's receiver.

Within a few seconds, alarms start to sound on the bridge as one by one the instruments stop working.

"This is the gyrocompass - it steers the ship - you can see it starting to fail," says Mr Bransby.

"If we walk over here, this is the radar, and that's not working either. This is the dynamic positioning: it holds the ship's position, that's not working.

"The electronic chart display becomes unusable. Even the ship's clock stops working."

In a series of tests, the GLA have found that almost every bit of kit on the boat uses GPS - even the onboard satellite entertainment system.

Mr Bransby says: "You can imagine standing watch on this ship, it's the middle of the night, it's dark, it's foggy, you are in the English Channel, and then this happens.

"What do you do? You're in a right mess, basically."

Read the full BBC News story at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29758872

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Grey Point Fort Remembrance Weekend

Monday 3rd November 2014

Grey Point Fort Amateur Radio Society will be hosting commemorations at the fort as part of Remembrance Weekend on Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th November 2014, between 10am and 5pm. Concluding on Tuesday 11th November 2014.

There will be 20+ Military Vehicles on display at the fort, as well as other planned activities. And of course the Radio station will be on air throughout, on all bands, conditions depending.

To conclude the weekend, on Tuesday 11th November 2014, there will be a short remembrance service, attended by local dignitaries before firing the Vickers 6 inch gun, provisionally between 11am and 12pm.

For more details go to http://www.greypointfort.magix.net/public/index.htm

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Loggers suffer LED lighting interference

Monday 3rd November 2014

New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) has identified serious cases of interference to radio communications at log hauler sites in Marlborough from the operation of vehicle mounted LED lighting

The interference is so severe that in darkness hours radio systems have become inoperable. Site management called RSM to look at the issue due to serious safety concerns.

A common solution was to separate the lights from the radio antennas as much as physically possible.

A recent audit of emergency lighting suppliers was undertaken by RSM and it was generally found that suppliers were not aware of the need to ensure their equipment met the necessary EMC specification AS/NZS CISPR15.

A further finding was that various other electronics fitted to the diggers and haulers caused radio interference. In this case most instances of interference can be minimised by placing the radio antenna centrally on the cabin roof.

RSM urges users to ensure they pay attention to the separation of antennas from other electronics and only fit approved AS/NZS CISPR15 LED lights.

Radio Spectrum Management
http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms

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Shortage of radio hams in Andhra Pradesh

Monday 3rd November 2014

The Times of India reports the lack of encouragement from the government, restrictive rules and regulations have hampered the growth of amateur radio

In the article Dr Fazel Ur Rehman VU3GEH, chairman of the Hyderabad-based National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR), pointed out that there are hardly 1,000 licenced ham operators in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, including around 300 in Hyderabad and about 100 in Visakhapatnam. However, only 155 of them have ham radios, including 10 in Vizag and 40 in Hyderabad.

Read the full story at
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Shortage-of-Ham-radio-operators-in-Andhra-Pradesh-Telangana/articleshow/45008509.cms

National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR)
http://www.niar.org/
https://www.facebook.com/NIAR.org

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AmateurLogic.TV Bonus Episode: Pacificon 2014

Monday 3rd November 2014

George visits with friends at Pacificon 2014. You’ll enjoy these interesting topics and interviews.

1:14:06

http://www.amateurlogic.com/downloads.htm

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Mysterious piece of Russian space junk does maneuvers !

Monday 3rd November 2014

What was first thought to be a piece of debris left over from the launch of three Russian military communication satellites has turned out to be a fourth satellite capable of maneuvers: "The three satellites were designated Kosmos-2496, -2497, -2498.

"However, as in the previous launch on December 25, 2013, the fourth unidentified object was detected orbiting the Earth a few kilometers away from 'routine' Rodnik satellites. Moreover, an analysis of orbital elements from a US radar by observers showed that the 'ghost' spacecraft had made a maneuver between May 29 and May 31, 2014, despite being identified as 'debris' (or Object 2014-028E) in the official U.S. catalog at the time.

"On June 24, the mysterious spacecraft started maneuvering again, lowering its perigee (lowest point) by four kilometers and lifting its apogee by 3.5 kilometers. Object E then continued its relentless maneuvers in July and its perigee was lowered sharply, bringing it suspiciously close to the Briz upper stage, which had originally delivered all four payloads into orbit in May."

This is the second time a Russian piece of orbital junk has suddenly started to do maneuvers. The first time, in early 2014, the Russians finally admitted five months after launch that the "junk" was actually a satellite.

In both cases, the Russians have not told anyone what these satellites are designed to do, though based on the second satellite's maneuvers as well as its small size (about a foot in diameter) it is likely they are testing new cubesat capabilities, as most cubesats do not have the ability to do these kinds of orbital maneuvers. Once you have that capability, you can then apply it to cubesats with any kind of purpose, from military anti-satellite technology to commercial applications

Read more at slashdot:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/11/01/1454232/a-mysterious-piece-of-russian-space-junk-does-maneuvers

http://russianspaceweb.com/Cosmos-2499.html

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Bouvet Island

Monday 3rd November 2014

Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW, has been granted permission by the Norwegian Polar Institute to land and reside on Bouvet Island during the mid-January until mid-April 2016 time frame.

This will be a ham radio DXpedition with the sole purpose of providing worldwide contacts with Bouvet Island, currently ranked #3 on the different DXCC Most Wanted Lists.

This will be a 3 month DXpedition carried out by one person with a target to make 100,000 QSOs on CW, SSB and RTTY on all HF bands. (Note: Bouvet will move up to #2 after Navassa has been activated in 2015).

Whether or not this DXpedition will take place depends on the next big hurdle, funding. An interesting Web page has been designed which provides more background information and full details with some great pictures, as well as details on his funding approach at:
http://www.on4ww.be/bouvet2016.html

In regard to Bouvet, contact ON4WW via the following E-mail address:
bouvet2016[at]telenet.be

OPDX

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 3rd November 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 26th October, through Sunday, 2nd November there were 239 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4W, 4X, 5B, 5H, 5N, 5R, 5T, 5V, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 8R, 9A, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9Y, A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9,

AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FO/m, FR, FS, FT/t, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, 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, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T32, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VK9N, VK9X, VP2V, VP5, VP6, VP8, VP8/o, VP9, VQ9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9, ZF, ZK3, ZL, ZP, ZS

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

OPDX

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IRTS Submissions

Monday 3rd November 2014

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society has recently made two substantial submissions to Consultation documents published by the Department of
Communications Energy and Natural Resources and ComReg.

The Department's consultation paper was on Spectrum Policy Priorities and the Society's submission was wide ranging but raised the important issue of finding a mechanism under which all stakeholders should be enabled to take part in the preparation of the Irish national position for important international spectrum events whether at the level of the ITU or at a regional level through CEPT.

The submission also set out amateur spectrum priorities for the next three to five years over the bands 1.8 to 3,400 MHz. Although the ComReg publication dealt primarily with the award of spectrum in the 2.6 GHz band it also dealt with the possible release of spectrum in the 700 MHz 1.2, 2.3 and 3.6 GHz bands. The IRTS submission dealt comprehensively with the amateur position regarding the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz bands

IRTS

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VHF Band I: short range devices at 49 MHz

Monday 3rd November 2014

In April 2014, New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) consulted on a proposal to create a new General User Spectrum Licence (GUSL) for short range devices (SRDs) in VHF Band I, formerly used for television broadcasting

A key issue in the consultation was whether the proposed GUSL should be limited to a specific use (such as toy grade remote-controlled devices) or non-specific uses i.e. allowing other SRDs.

There were only two responses to the consultation one of which was from the New Zealand amateur radio society NZART. Both responses can be seen on the RSM site.

In order to permit a range of SRDs manufactured to both American and European standards, RSM has decided to create a new GUSL in the frequency range 49.82-49.98 MHz to allow two types of use:

1. Higher power transmissions (-10 dBW e.i.r.p.) within a narrower bandwidth at the bottom of the band (49.82-49.90 MHz), to accommodate American-standard devices such as remote controlled toys and models. Devices must conform to the US standard: CFR Title 47 Part 15 – Radio Frequency Devices: Subpart C 15.235.

2. Lower power transmissions (-20 dBW e.i.r.p.) within a wider bandwidth across the whole band (49.82-49.98 MHz), to accommodate wider range of European-standard devices such as baby monitors. Devices must conform to the European standard: ETSI EN 300 220-1 (latest v2.4.1).

RSM 49 MHz Consultation
http://www.rsm.govt.nz/cms/policy-and-planning/consultation/vhf-band-i

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News from OPDX

Monday 3rd November 2014

Island activities:

AF-019. (Ops Needed!) Sam, IT9/LY5W (at II9P), reports that they are looking for skillful operators for the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 29-30th) from Lampedusa Island as possibly a Multi-2 or Multi/Multi entry. Contact Sam/LY5W or Carmelo/IT9AUG, Antonello/IT9EQO and Marcelo/IT9CJC directly. Sam states,"I can say, here is one of the best Contest QTH in South Europe." Visit their Web page at: http://ig9.ii9p.com

AS-072. (Update/Change) Members of the 9M2SE Malaysian Special Expedition Team will be active from Bayview Beach Resort on Pangkor Island between 0000z, November 8th and 0000z, November 9th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using SSB and CW. Current operators mentioned are Piju/9M2PJU, Rosli/9M2RHQ, Mat Meran/9W2VVN, Ikmal/9W2EDU, Kopok/9W2JDY, Zamri/9W2NMX and Prof Noh/9W2MNW. They will have 2 transceivers with 100 watts on the air using 2 element 3 bands yagi (20/15/10m), EFHW vertical (40-10m) and G5RV junior (40-10m).  Piju informs OPDX, "Please support our activity. We are promoting our country, heritage, culture, beautiful islands and beaches to the world. Malaysia has many beautiful beaches and islands, lots of city excitement, nature and adventure, also cultural attractions. It is time to explore Malaysia. Spread the words.......  This will be 9M2SE last DXpedition and IOTA activation. After this activity, 9M2SE will be dissolved. Thanks to all supporters and contributors around the world."

NA-135. Bernardo, XE3AGM, will be active from Carmen Island (WLOTA 2191) between November 1-30th. Activity will be on 40 meters and 15 meters, mainly on SSB. QSL direct.

SA-090. (Reminder) Members of the "Grupo DX Caracas" radio club will be active as YW6X from Islas Piritu (ARLHS VEN-046, WLOTA LH3032) between November 7-9th. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via DM4TI.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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ACMA decides 3.5 GHz band status quo

Saturday 1st November 2014

VK radio amateurs engaged in microwave work can breathe a sigh of relief as the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has decided to retain the existing mix of apparatus and spectrum licensing arrangements in the 3.5 GHz band.

Earlier this year the Australian Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull issued a draft direction to the ACMA to enable licensing of 3.5 GHz to the National Broadband Network (NBN) in major mainland cities.

The NBN is rolling out mainly terrestrial cabling so the nation can progressively gain access to broadband technology including Internet services. Part of its work does include the use of wireless technology in some areas.

The draft direction document did specify that the ACMA look at a 25 MHz block at 3400-3425 MHz and a 50 MHz block at 3492.5-3542.5 MHz.

The 3.5 GHz spectrum band was identified so the NBN had a 'spectrum gap' filled in the outskirts of metropolitan areas affecting 80,000 homes and businesses.

The proposed directive would require ACMA to take "all steps necessary" by April 30 next year, to issue the NBN the allocation, after paying a "market rate" for the spectrum.

However the ACMA said: "After taking into account the submissions received to the paper, and developments that have occurred since then, the ACMA has decided to maintain existing licensing arrangements in the band."

That means the retention of Amateur Radio as a secondary user of the band, which is good news for everyone. The issue attracted 24 submissions.

Some submissions came from incumbents on the band referring to international harmonisation and the essential need to protect existing and future satellite services.

The Wireless Institute of Australia submitted that the loss of the band would severely hamper weak signal working, the exploration of modes, moon bounce and the future use by satellites.

A number of countries also have given secondary status to Amateur Radio on that band.

Further details on the decision are on the ACMA's website.
http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/making-the-most-of-the-3dot5-ghz-band-in-future

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Breaking news from the far north - My DX Summit goes live

Saturday 1st November 2014

DX Summit once changed the DX hunt. Today hardly anyone is using the traditional Search and Pounch approach. Everyone is connected to a DX cluster locally or over the Internet.

Easy to use and operated by Radio Arcala (OH8X), DX Summit maintains its position as one of Amateur Radio's largest web portals, but it will now be refreshed - big time!

DX Summit is modernized for a second time around, and MY DX SUMMIT will now go online today for limited dedicated pre-user testing. We will welcome some 200 pre-users who are prepared to try it out and provide immediate feedback to the development team. The aim of this exercise is to serve as the final debug phase and to enhance user experience to maximum satisfaction before tens of thousands suddenly fire their browsers to help them in their future DX hunt.

We ask you if would you like to be one of the few to have this experience today? If you say “yes”, please kindly be prepared not only to test but to provide a timely response.
Send a note to radioarcala@gmail.com and we will give you guidance to get started.

What to expect? Adding to the traditional spot functions you can create own cluster view to monitor a selected callsign or multiple callsigns real-time for band and mode specific spots. Or you can exclude everything from your DX Summit view you're not interested in. Also you can open several of those windows and you can have past and current spots showing together. Basically you have full flexibility to customize your DX Summit easily to show exactly what you're interested in.

Additionally, an advanced propagation tool powered by VOACAP is laid out in such a way that it tracks your location as a starting point, and when clicking a spot it shows your propagation to that location as of that moment but also for an entire period of 24 hours on all bands. You can instantly understand whether your best chances for a QSO are gone or just coming up. This will also be a great educational tool for those wishing to gain insight into the total propagation picture, including the existing radio propagation.

Additionally, a DX News section is integrated for your viewing pleasure while spending your time at MY DX SUMMIT.

Just send us a note and you will be part of a new phase in the DX Hunt!

MY DX SUMMIT DEVELOPMENT TEAM

MY DX SUMMIT can be found on: http://new.dxsummit.fi/

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Brazil to extend FM broadcast band

Saturday 1st November 2014

The FM Radio Data System (RDS) site reports that some countries are planning to extend the FM broadcast band

It appears that Brazil intends to extend it down to 76 MHz while Beijing is considering a lower limit of 64 MHz.

The RDS post says:
Question about FM Band extension in Brazil and elsewhere: On a question raised by one of the Forum members, the Brazilian regulator ANATEL was contacted, who confirmed the planned extension of the FM band down to 76 MHz. This was in fact agreed already. It was remarked that there will be a problem with RDS then in the range 76-87.5 MHz, with no AF codes being defined for that range. With RDS 2.0 this problem could be solved however. It was also remarked that China plans to use FM radio down to 64 MHz, a matter also to be followed up for RDS 2.0.

Read the RDS post at
http://www.rds.org.uk/2010/2014-Forum-Meeting.htm

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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