The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Club Members' News Page

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

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

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

 

WADARC Christmas Night Out !

This is to announce that details of the WADARC Christmas Night Out are now available.

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

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

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

Tickets are selling well so don't leave it too long as you may miss out !

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YOTA 2014

Friday 31st October 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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Bandplan released for 146 MHz

Friday 31st October 2014

Friday, October 31 is the formal start of the 146-147 MHz 'experiment' for Full licence holders with NoV's, the RSGB has released a bandplan

The bandplan has an allocation for digital modes with up to 500 kHz bandwidth and 12.5 kHz channels for narrowband digital modes including digital voice.

Users of wideband modes may need to use bandwidth tailoring to ensure no RF extends into the weak signal satellite segment at 145.8-146.0 MHz (the Lunar 4M JT65B beacon uses 145.980 MHz) or goes above 147.0 (or 146.93750 where applicable).

Download the bandplan from
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2014/10/146-147-Initial-Bandplan.pdf

Some amateurs will be active in the early hours of Friday with the digital voice mode FreeDV which uses Codec2, download FreeDV from
http://freedv.org/tiki-index.php

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


146-147 MHz Usage and Band Planning FAQ
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/28/146-147-mhz-usage-and-band-planning-faqs/

RSGB 146 MHz Information
http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/vhf-uhf/
vhf-spectrum-release/

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The November issue of CQ-DATV magazine is now available for free download

Friday 31st October 2014

The November issue of CQ-DATV magazine is now available for free download from http://www.cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php, no charge, no registration, no junk mail, no strings, just choose your format and download the best ATV magazine on the internet.

In this Issue

All the DATV News from around the world
Editorial, Ian Abel G3ZHI asks why ATV repeaters do not have internet inputs
New, CQ-DATV Award for the best contribution to CQ-DATV
DATV talk 11 Overview of ITUT_J.83B Protocol
The Summer of 1990, Trevor remembers the golden days of Harlaxton
Simple Microwave Detector for 10GHz from John Hudson G3RFL's workshop
DATV Express Project update report, by Ken W6HHC
The Construction of 10 GHz Evanescent Filters by Alberto IW5ECU and Fabrizio IW5BDJ
Now For Something Just Slightly Different remember ITV's Westcountry Studios by Mike G7GTN
Coming up in CQ-DATV's Christmas edition

Download it now from http://www.cq-datv.mobi/ebooks.php

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RSGB Online Survey

Friday 31st October 2014

The RSGB are holding an online survey which is open to non-members as well as members

The survey covers amateur radio news, social media and terminology. They want people to fill out the survey to help structure policy.

Try the RSGB Survey at
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G2BZFK7

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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 31st October 2014

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

SENEGAL, 6W. Sigi, DL7DF will be QRV as DL7DF/6W from Somone from November 1 to 13 while on vacation. Activity is holiday style on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, SSTV and PSK31. QSL to home call.

ALGERIA, 7X. Garti, 7X2RD, Noury, 7X2JV, and Abder, 7X4RJ will be QRV with special call 7U60AR during all of November. Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters using all modes. QSL via 7X2RD.

NEPAL, 9N. Toshi, JA8BMK is QRV as 9N7BM until November 20. Activity is holiday style on the HF bands, with a focus on 160 and 80 meters. QSL to home call.

NIUE, E6. Alan, VK4WR and Graeme, VK4FI will be QRV as E6RQ and E6SG, respectively, from Alofi, IOTA OC-040, from November 2 to 9.
Activity will be on 40 to 10 meters. QSL both calls direct via VK4FI.

BELARUS, EW. Eugene, EW3LK will be QRV from Prostyr from November 1 to 4 for the World Wide Flora and Fauna Award. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

GUADELOUPE, FG. Special event station TO10RR will be QRV from November 2 to 16 during the 10th Route du Rhum, a 3000-mile regatta for single-handed sailors between St. Malo France and Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe. QSL direct via FG8NY.

TROMELIN ISLAND, FT/T. Seb, F5UFX, Michel, FM5CD, Flo, F5CWU, Franck, F4AJQ, Fred, F5ROP and Vincent, F4BKV are QRV as FT4TA until November 10. Activity is on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY with five stations active. QSL direct via F1NGP.

ITALY, I. Special event station IY1EY will be QRV from November 1 to December 31 to commemorate Marconi's experiments from his Elettra yacht between 1919 and 1936. Activity will be on all HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via IK1QBT.

SVALBARD, JW. Alexander, UA3IPL is QRV as JW/UA3IPL from Spitsbergen Island, IOTA EU-026, for four months. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65. QSL direct via RW6HS.

BELGIUM, ON. Members of club station ON4HRT are QRV as ON1418HRT during the month of November to honor the memory of World War I victims. QSL via bureau.

BRAZIL, PY. Special event station PS43GPB will be QRV from November 1 to 10 during the Grand Prix Brasil F1 Race, Interlagos Circuit from Sao Paulo. Activity will be on 20, 17, 15 and 10 meters using SSB. QSL via PS7AB.

ANTARCTICA. Oleg, ZS1ANF, Slava, RD3MX and Alex, UA1PAW are QRV as RI1ANR from Novolazarevskaya Base, IOTA AN-016, until March 2015. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via RK1PWA.

SEYCHELLES, S7. Bigi, DE3BWR and Heli, DD0VR will be QRV as S79VR from Mahe, Praslin, and La Dique Islands, IOTA AF-024, from November 3 to 30. Activity will be on 20 to 10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via DD0VR.

NAMIBIA, V5. Sebastian, OE3SZA is QRV as V5/OE3SZA until November 11. Activity is on the HF bands using SSB and QRP power. QSL to home call.

MICRONESIA, V6. Naoki, JS3LSQ is QRV as V63WJ from Pohnpei, IOTA OC-010, until November 4. Activity is on 20 to 10 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

ANDAMAN AND NICOBAR ISLANDS, VU4. Krish, W4VKU, Chetz, VU3DMP and Pai, VU2PAI will be QRV as VU4KV from Campbell Bay, IOTA AS-033, from November 3 to 13. Activity will be on the HF bands with two stations. QSL via W4KVU.

ZIMBABWE, Z2. Chris, PA2CHR, Lins, PA3CMC, John, ZS6JON, and Paul, ZS6NK will be QRV as Z21CHR, Z21CMC, Z21EME and Z21NK, respectively, from November 1 to 8. This is an EME DXpedition and will be QRV on 6 and 2 meters, and 70 and 23 cm. QSL via PA3CMC.

SPECIAL EVENT STATIONS. W1AW Centennial Stations W1AW/1 in Massachusetts, W1AW/7 in Wyoming and W1AW/KP2 in the US Virgin Islands are QRV until 2359z on November 4. In addition, W1AW/7 in Washington, W1AW/0 in Kansas and W1AW/KH8 in American Samoa will be QRV starting at 0000z on November 5. W1AW/7 and W1AW/0 will be active until 2359z on November 11. W1AW/KH8 will be active until 2359z on November 18.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The ARRL November CW Sweepstakes, NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC Sprint, IPARC CW Contest, Himalayan Contest, Ukrainian DX Contest, North American Collegiate ARC CW Championship, IPARC SSB Contest, High Speed Club CW Contest and the DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The ARS Spartan CW Sprint is scheduled for November 4.
The CWops Mini-CWT Test is scheduled for November 5.

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

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Friday 31st October 2014

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

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (31 October-07 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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Small scale DAB trial consultation

Thursday 30th October 2014

Ofcom has today published a public consultation seeking views on the approach to issuing new short-term licences to support small-scale digital radio trials being run by Ofcom next year

This consultation focuses on the conditions and award processes for trial Wireless Telegraphy Act licences needed to test small-scale DAB multiplexes in three locations. If successful, this new technology could allow smaller radio stations to go digital at a lower cost.

This technology was first trialled in the UK by an Ofcom engineer in Brighton between September 2012 and January 2013. This experimental DAB multiplex showed it could be feasible to deliver infrastructure capable of supporting digital radio transmission at a lower cost than the current systems used.

These trials will help inform a wider programme of work Ofcom is undertaking on the possibilities for enabling smaller radio services to broadcast on digital radio.

During the consultation period, Ofcom will be holding a small number of events based around their consultation proposals. The first of these will be a technical demonstration event held at our facility at Baldock, Hertfordshire, on November 13. 2014. For more information, or to register interest in attending, please email smallscaleDAB@ofcom.org.uk by Wednesday, November 5.

We intend to hold another event during the consultation period at our London office, which will address our work on small scale DAB more widely. Details will be announced soon.

The consultation is at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/small-scale-dab/

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IY, Italian special prefix

Thursday 30th October 2014

Look for special event station IY1EY to be active between November 1st and December 31st, from Loano to commemorate the experiments conducted by Gugliemo Marconi from his yacht 'Elettra' in the Ligurian Sea between 1919 and 1936.

Expect activity on CW and SSB, and on all bands including 30/17/12m.

Receive a special QSL card via IK1QBT direct.

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Switching landline and broadband providers on the KCOM copper network

Thursday 30th October 2014

Ofcom is today consulting on its proposal to introduce a single switching process led by the gaining provider to improve the experience for consumers switching landline and broadband services on the copper network provided by KCOM (formally Kingston Communications).

KCOM provides voice and broadband services in the Kingston upon Hull area, where the Openreach copper network is not available.

This follows its decision, in December 2013, to introduce a harmonised gaining provider-led process for consumers switching landline and broadband providers on Openreach’s network.

Ofcom also proposes to implement on the KCOM network the same additional measures to help prevent consumers losing service when changing provider, or being switched without their consent, as those in force on the Openreach network.

Ofcom is seeking views from stakeholders on its proposals which must be submitted by 10 December. Ofcom will aim to publish a statement by early 2015.

The document, ‘A consultation on processes for switching fixed voice and broadband providers on the KCOM copper network’, can be found here.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 30th October 2014

Island activities:

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

AF-016; FR, Reunion Island: Stephane/ F5UOW and Alain/F8FUA are due to appear from Reunion (DIFO FR-001, WLOTA 1812, FFF-011) between Oct. 29 and Nov. 20 signing FR/homecalls. QRV on HF in CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL via LotW, homecalls (d/B).

AF-024; S7, Inner Islands: Bigi/DE3BWR and Heli/DD0VR get on the air as S79VR from Mahe (WLOTA 3286), Praslin (WLOTA 2862), and La Dique (WLOTA 3066) between Nov. 3 and 30 running 500W in SSB and QRP in CW on 20-10m. QSL via DD0VR (d/B).

AF-090; 5R, Madagascar's Coastal Islands East: Eric/F6ICX will be active once more holiday-style as 5R8IC from Saint-Marie Island between Nov. 3 and December 12 on HF. QSL via F6ICX (d/B), LoTW.

AS-013; 8Q, Maldive Islands: George/KQ8Z/GM0IIO will be active as 8Q7OO from Kuredu Island between the 29th of October and 11th of November on HF. QSL only direct via GM0IIO.

AS-200; JA5, Shikoku's Coastal Islands: Taka/JS6ROO and Take/JI3DST (JS6RRR) plan to get on the air as JS6ROO/5 (CW/SSB/FM/AM/Digi), JS6RRR/5 (SSB/CW), and JI3DST/5 (RTTY/FM) between Nov. and 3 on 40-6m. Their exact schedule depends on wx conditions. QSLs via bureau, OQRS.

EU-013; GJ/MJ, Jersey: Rich/M5RIC and Jack/G8DX will be active as GJ8DX from Jersey (WLOTA 0818) between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4. QRV on all HF bands in CW, SSB, and RTTY with a focus on WARC. Bureau QSLs only via OQRS, direct via G8DX, LoTW.

EU-023; F, Malta group: Klaus/DD1AY will be holidaying on Malta (WLOTA 1113) between Oct. 31 and Nov. 16. QRV as 9H3GK on HF. QSL via h/c (d/B), eQSL, LoTW.

NA-005; VP9, Bermuda Islands: Bill/K2HVN goes on his first DXpedition from Nov. 3 to 10 to Bermuda. QRV as VP9/K2HVN on 30, 20, and 17m in CW and SSB. QSL via K2HVN (d/B).

NA-135; XE3, Campeche State group: Bernardo/XE3AGM activates Isla del Carmen (WLOTA 2191) during November. QRV on 40 and 15m, mainly in SSB. QSL only via direct.

OC-040; E6, Niue Island: Alan/VK4WR and Graeme/VK4FI get on the air as E6RQ and E6SG from Alofi/Niue Islands. QRV from Nov. 2 to 9 on 40-10m. QSLs only direct via VK4FI.

SA-061; CE6, La Araucania Region / Los Lagos Region North group: Mark/LU7CAW and Martin/LU9EFO are going to activate Mocha Island (WLOTA 0684, DICE ICE-601, CEFF-067) from the 4th to the 10th of November as CE5/homecalls (dates depending on wx conditions). QRV on all HF bands, mainly in SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

IOTA:
The following activities have been approved for award credit: AS-200 (several JA5 stations), AS-201 (TA0/ DF8DX), EU-191 (YP0F), NA-247 (PJ7PK), and OC-294 (VK6ISL).

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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146-147 MHz Usage and Band Planning FAQ

Wednesday 29th October 2014

The new 146-147 MHz allocation is available to UK Full licence holders from October 31, 2014. The RSGB have issued a FAQ document which answers some of the common questions about the new allocation

They say in terms of enabling innovation and experimentation it might have been preferable if Ofcom was prepared to grant 146 MHz NoVs to holders of all classes of UK amateur licence. However, the Ofcom view was that because Full licensees have demonstrated a greater comprehension of the interference aspects, NoVs will only be available for holders of full amateur licences.

It is expected the allocation will be used for wideband digital transmissions. Bandwidth tailoring will be imperative to ensure no RF extends into the weak signal satellite segment at 145.8-146.0 MHz (the Lunar 4M JT65B beacon uses 145.980 MHz). Narrow band users in 147 MHz must also be protected from any increase in the noise floor.

The FAQ says:

The 146-147 MHz band is ideal for testing new forms of medium bandwidth data transmission that can surpass traditional methods such as amateur AX25 packet data. Some higher speed data modes used by amateurs on microwave frequencies produce a very wide transmitted spectrum and are clearly not suitable for the 146-147 MHz band. Even the 128kbps medium data rate D-Star ‘DD Mode’ used on the 1296 MHz band fills up over 500 kHz of bandwidth at 60dB down on the peak transmitted power. However we do expect that amateurs will be able to develop solutions compatible with the spectral constraints of the 146-147 MHz band.

In the initial 146-147 MHz band plan there is a recommendation that wider bandwidth data modes should be centred at 146.500 MHz to make sure that all of the sidebands are contained within the 146-147 MHz band. For initial experiments the recommendation is to use data rates of no more than 350 kbps and measure the total bandwidth at the transmitter output in order to ensure maximum protection of other users at the 147 MHz band edges and amateur satellite users below 146 MHz. As amateur radio access to the 146-147 MHz band has been granted on a non-interference basis, it is important that all amateurs adhere to these guidelines in order to ensure that there is no interference with users of adjacent bands. In the longer term it might be possible with bandwidth tailoring and pre-distortion techniques to produce cleaner transmitters to permit greater data rates with sharper spectral slopes.

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


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

FAQ PDF
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2014/03/146-147MHz_FAQ.pdf

RSGB 146 MHz
http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/vhf-uhf/
vhf-spectrum-release/


New UK Amateur Radio 146 MHz allocation
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/13/
new-uk-amateur-radio-146-mhz-allocation/

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Ofcom confirms plans to ensure continued access to spectrum for video PMSE users

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Ofcom has just published its strategy to ensure users of wireless cameras and video links in the programme making and special events (PMSE) sector continue to have access to sufficient spectrum to support their activities.

The statement sets out long term access to video PMSE users in the 2 GHz to 2.3 GHz band, as well as greater use of spectrum in the 7 GHz band. This follows a likely reduction in spectrum available to these users after the proposed award of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands in late 2015 or early 2016.

There will be continued access to the award bands where possible through coordination with new licensees in order to support major events.

As well as showing how these plans meet current demand, Ofcom has also published an independent study into technology developments in the PMSE sector and potential future demand. The conclusions of this study provide evidence that the long term needs of the sector can be met.

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QRP by the Bay

Wednesday 29th October 2014

If you’re into QRP, homebrewing and HF antennas don’t miss Melbourne’s QRP by the Bay.

Enthusiastic amateurs will gather on Chelsea beach and work the world with simple antennas.

If you’ve just got your ham ticket and haven’t done much HF, it’s a great opportunity to see how it’s done with 5 or 10 watts. It’s easier than you think.

VK3YE Peter Parker told WIA National News that the venue will be Chelsea Beach, near Victory Park and the Chelsea Longbeach Surf Lifesaving Club.

The date: Saturday November 8 from 3pm. That’s Saturday November 8, any time from 3pm.

QRP by the Bay is an informal gathering. Bring any radio related projects, equipment, antenna or accessories. Stay as short or long as you like. The venue is family friendly with numerous parks and food outlets nearby.

This will be the third Melbourne QRP by the Bay. It was previously held last November, then February this year. A suggested theme is portable DX antennas. Spread out along the beach, put up an antenna and work DX.

A great write-up by Andrew VK3BQ on last year’s event is at:
http://www.vk3bq.com/2013/11/10/qrp-by-the-bay-day/

If you’re on Facebook updates and antenna ideas are on the event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/287817648076248/

Or go to Google and search ‘QRP by the Bay 2014’ for more details.

Peter Parker VK3YE
vk3ye[at]qsl.net

Source: Wireless Institute of Australia

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The Shadow Mask Tube

Wednesday 29th October 2014

The British Vintage Wireless Society have released the first of five lectures prepared by Rank Bush Murphy Limited for training television service engineers in the 1960's for then new colour television receivers

This first lecture gives a basic introduction to colour theory and the basics of the shadow mask display tube.

Additional audio effect courtesy of Mike Koenig (http://soundbible.com/)

Watch The Shadow Mask Tube

British Vintage Wireless Society
http://www.bvws.org.uk/

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Ofcom: Packet radio systems and beacons

Tuesday 28th October 2014

The Ofcom website carries a statement regarding the replacement of RSGB 'Letters of Authority' for packet radio systems and beacons

Ofcom say:

In past years, a number of variations were issued to individual Amateur Radio licensees via the Radio Society of Great Britain (“RSGB”).
The letters that the RSGB sent suggested that it was the RSGB who was authorising the use of radio apparatus.

The principal legislation under which we regulate the use of radio is the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. This says that only Ofcom may grant or vary Amateur Radio licences. The 2006 Act replaced the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, which said that only the Secretary of State (including the RA) could grant or vary Amateur Radio licences. To place it beyond question, therefore, any authorisation not clearly issued by the spectrum regulator (for example letters of authority issued by the RSGB) must now be replaced with a formal variation, issued by Ofcom.

When we authorise a packet system it is published on http://www.ukrepeater.net/packetlist.php and when we authorise a beacon, it is published on http://www.ukrepeater.net/beaconlist.htm.
If you cannot find your system amongst those listed on these websites, then you should assume that your letter or clearance is not valid.

If you are listed and received a variation from Ofcom that was simply processed by the RSGB, you do not need to do anything, as it is clear that those variations were granted by the spectrum regulator.

However, if you have an older variation that was contained in a letter from the RSGB, you should apply to us via the renewals gateway service on http://www.ukrepeater.net to exchange it for a formal variation issued by Ofcom. This even includes RSGB letters that include text such as

“On behalf of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry”

To obtain your replacement Ofcom variation, the process will require you to confirm:

that you wish us to vary your licence for this purpose
your name
your personal amateur radio call sign and licence number
that your personal amateur radio licence remains valid
the type of facility that was authorised by the RSGB letter (eg packet radio system or beacon)
the call sign and frequency of the facility authorised by the RSGB letter
that the facility authorised by the RSGB letter remains active
that the authorisation contained in the RSGB letter has not been withdrawn, eg by its expiry or by subsequent variation of the licence
current contact details for persons who can switch off the beacon or packet radio system.

If you still have scans of old authorisation letters these would also be helpful.

We shall then assess your request. We shall not replace any RSGB letter that has expired or been cancelled or that varied a licence that has subsequently been surrendered or revoked.

If you believe that you were authorised under a letter from the RSGB but cannot now find it (but you continue to use the facility that it authorised), you should reapply for a variation as if doing so from scratch.

If you had a letter of authority but you no longer use the facility that it authorised, please also notify us via the http://www.ukrepeater.net/ service, with your name, licence number and personal call sign, together with the call sign of the facility that was authorised by the letter of authority. This will make the assigned frequency available for reassignment.

Ofcom statement at
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/
amateur-radio/licensing-updates/rsgb-letters

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Radio ham helps Science Museum

Tuesday 28th October 2014

RSGB RadCom Editor Elaine Richards G4LFM has helped produce a video for the Science Museum which tells the story of how the British Broadcasting Company began, powered by the UK’s biggest radio transmitter 2LO

On a foggy November night in 1922, the words ‘This is 2LO calling’ announced the arrival of the BBC. 2LO transmitted the BBC’s first radio programme, marking the beginnings of official, state broadcasting, and a new era for listeners at home.

See the 2LO radio transmitter on display in the Science Museums' new Information Age gallery, which tells the story of how our lives have been transformed by information and communication technologies over the last 200 years.

Watch Information Age: The radio transmitter that changed our world

 

Read the Guardian article at
http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/oct/21/
information-age-radio-transmitter-science-museum


Science Museum
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/
exhibitions/information_age.aspx


RSGB post
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/front-page-news/2014/10/27/
radcom-editor-helps-produce-science-video/

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Off the shelf SDR

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Scotty Cowling WA2DFI defies nature and installs a trio of SDR radios on a Windows computer 'live' in one 45-minute presentation

He does everything from scratch except downloading the software (you don't want to rely on hotel Wi-Fi). And it almost all works! It's from the 2014 ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference in Austin TX.

Watch Episode 170: Off the Shelf SDR, from the 2014 DCC on HamRadioNow

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

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Tromelin Island DXpedition

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Just a reminder that members of the F6KOP Team and Lyon DX Gang will be activating FT4TA from Tromelin Island between October 30th and November 10th.

They plan to have 4 stations on the air for 10 days, on 160-10 meters using SSB, CW and RTTY.

Suggested frequencies are http://www.tromelin2014.com/plan-de-bande/:

CW - 1826.5, 3523, 7023, 10115, 14023, 18079, 21023, 24894 and 28023 kHz
SSB - 3790, 7082, 14185, 18130, 21285, 24955 and 28485 kHz
RTTY - 10142, 18099, 21080, 24912 and 28080 kHz
6m - 50105/CW and 50105/SSB

An online log will be available during the DXpedition.
An OQRS will be available by ClubLog. QSL via F1NGP.
QSLing details can be seen at:
http://www.tromelin2014.com/cartes-qsl

For more details, visit: http://www.tromelin2014.com

OPDX

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Good news on 70 MHz

Monday 27th October 2014

Some time back Dave EI3IO launched an initiative to try to secure a line in the European Common frequency Allocation table (ECA) that would provide for the granting of spectrum in the segment 69.9 to 70.5 MHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis and to amend Footnote EU9 to the table to state that CEPT administrations may allocate all or parts of that band to the Amateur service .

The documentation which Dave drafted, which included briefing for National Societies, was adopted by IARU Region 1 and support was obtained from Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Ireland.

The documentation explained that about thirty CEPT administrations had already allowed national amateur use of the band but that some remaining CEPT countries required a clear regulatory decision before they were able to open all, or parts of this band to secondary two-way amateur usage.

Dave EI3IO, representing IARU Region 1, presented the proposal at the recent meeting in France of CEPT's European Communications Committee Frequency Management Working Group. The proposal received the support of more than ten CEPT administrations and was adopted.

This excellent outcome does not necessarily mean that frequencies between 69.9 and 70.5 MHz will be immediately available in all CEPT countries but it does, however, provide a clear basis for IARU member societies to seek a 4 metre allocation from their national licensing authority.

The ECA is approved, revised and published by the ECC once per year. It is expected that the revision incorporating the changes regarding 70 MHz will be published in the summer of 2015.

This is another excellent example of what can be achieved by amateurs working together within the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

IRTS

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Towards a new RAYNET

Monday 27th October 2014

The RSGB website carries a statement regarding the structure of amateur radio emergency communications in the UK

The Board of the RSGB and the Committee of Management of RAEN have agreed to the formation of a Joint Working Group to facilitate a closer working relationship between the two organisations.

It will also explore ways in which RAYNET could become a single, unified body that would support and co-ordinate the work of all groups and members.

Read the statement at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/2014/10/25/towards-new-raynet/

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There could be trouble ahead !

Monday 27th October 2014

Potential problems for users of FTDI serial port chips.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/23/
ftdi_turning_counterfeit_chips_into_bricks/

Simon, G4ELI

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Rapid-fire X-flares from giant sunspot 2192

Monday 27th October 2014

Solar activity continues to be at high levels this weekend as giant sunspot AR2192 crackles with strong flares, including two X-class explosions in less than 24 hours.

The flares are causing intermittent HF radio blackouts around the dayside of Earth. However, no major CMEs are yet heading in our direction.

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

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Keyless Cars 'Increasingly target by thieves using computers'

Monday 27th October 2014

Organised criminal gangs are increasingly targeting high-end cars with keyless security systems, a UK motoring industry group has warned.

"The thieves are able to bypass security using equipment intended only for mechanics", said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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UK radio ham arrives in Antarctica

Sunday 26th October 2014

Radio amateur Cathy Colless M0RTW has arrived at the Rothera Research Station where she will be the Radio Communications Officer for the next six months

She writes: Flying into Rothera I was invited to take the jump-seat in the cockpit. This allowed me to listen into all the radio communications for the landing procedure. As you might expect meteorology is the major topic of the aviation communication messages.

Earlier this month she wrote about the HF radios she'll be using in Antarctica, see
http://passyourmessage.com/2014/10/04/hf-radios/

Read her other blog posts at
http://passyourmessage.com/

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CW operating

Sunday 26th October 2014

The South African Radio League say a detailed report-back document from the IARU Region 1 conference is in the final stages of preparation and will soon be available for download from a link on the SARL web.

During the conference many aspects of day to day amateur radio operations were discussed and decisions agreed on. Over the next two months SARL news will highlight some of these discussions.

One of the discussions concerned CW operating.
An established CW operation practice is included in the publication "Ethics and Procedure for Radio Amateurs" written by ON4UN and ON4WW.

The use of K, and AR at the end of a transmission is often used incorrectly. The correct procedure is as follows:

"K" is an invitation to transmit at the end of transmission

A station ending a transmission with "AR" is not inviting callers.
It signifies the end of a transmission.

"K" is also the most common used ending of a general CQ call.

"KN" is used when sending it over to the station you are in QSO with and you do not want another station to join the QSO

"SK" is used to end a contact or QSO, when one or both stations will remain on the frequency for any other calls.

What is your experience when operating CW. Share your views with us by email to artoday[at]sarl.org.za

The South African Radio League

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Another X-flare

Sunday 26th October 2014

Space Weather reports a giant sunspot AR2192 erupted again on Oct. 24 at 21:40 UT, producing a powerful X3-class solar flare

Using a backyard solar telescope, Sergio Castillo of Corona, California, was monitoring the sunspot when it exploded, his picture can be seen on the Space Weather page.

"This flare was so intense that it almost shorted out my computer!Well ... not really," says Castillo, "but I knew right away that it was an X-class eruption."

A pulse of extreme UV radiation from the flare ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, causing a brief but strong blackout of HF radio communications over the dayside of Earth. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Coronagraph data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) suggest that the explosion did not hurl a significant CME toward our planet. (Interestinngly, none of the X-flares from this active region has so far produced a major CME.) As a result, Earth-effects may be limited to the radio blackout.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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NoV suggestion for Airborne Ham Radio

Saturday 25th October 2014

The RSGB response to the Ofcom licence consultation raises the suggestion of the use of NoV’s for aeronautical amateur radio operation

The UK amateur radio licence currently prohibits airborne operation and amateurs have had to transmit using licence exempt spectrum instead.

The Society is critical of Ofcom's proposals regarding 470 kHz pointing out they do not align with the Wireless Telegraphy Act, nor are they the minimum necessary under the ITU Radio Regulations. The RSGB also say the 470 kHz proposals set a dangerous precedent in relation to interference.

Regarding the proposal to remove the 15 minute ID requirement and replace it with ‘as frequently as practicable’ the Society say it is open to too great a range of interpretation (and in some cases might be more burdensome than the well known 15-minute rule). The RSGB also suggests there is currently an ambiguity regarding embedding callsign data in modes such as Digital Voice.

In total over 2,000 people responded which is believed to be a record for an Ofcom consultation. It is thought Ofcom may take some time to publish all the responses but when they do they should be at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
amateur-radio-licence/?showResponses=true


Read the full RSGB response, airborne is referenced in Question 9
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2014/09/
141020_RSGB_LicenceReview-Response.pdf


RSGB – UK Amateur Licence Review
http://rsgb.org/licencereview

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December YOTA month! Bulletin 1

Saturday 25th October 2014

December is coming closer, this means it is almost time for the next Youngsters On The Air activity

Download the new bulletin for the latest info.
Feel free to participate.

http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php?option=com_remository&
Itemid=173&func=startdown&id=546


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

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Shortwave's Newest Broadcaster: Global 24 Radio

Saturday 25th October 2014

There is a new shortwave radio broadcaster on the block - Global 24 Radio - an around-the-clock, fixed-frequency, commercial shortwave radio broadcaster, transmitting via WRMI.

The new Global24 will begin broadcasting on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 19:00 EDT (0000 UTC November 1st) on 9395 kHz.

Details and updates here: http://wp.me/pn3uc-2TN

Thomas K4SWL

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Cross Country Wireless drops Sentry project

Saturday 25th October 2014

Cross Country Wireless (Chris Moulding) of Bolton, makers of various radio items, have been working for three years on a new Sentry SDR-based transceivers and receivers.

They have now announced, reluctantly, that they have decided not to go into production.

This will obviously be a great disappointment to those following progress in this project. They cite a need for a major expansion of the company to meet expected demand and to provide adequate customer support.

http://www.crosscountrywireless.net/sentry.html

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Saturday 25th October 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Friday, 17th-October, through Friday, 24th-October there were 225 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FO/m, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, 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, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TR, TT, TU, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VK9N, VK9X, VP2E, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XT, XU, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZK3, ZL, ZP, ZS

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

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Saturday 25th October 2014

Island activities:

AF-019. (Update) Dan, S50U, reports,
"On Thursday night strong winds caused by Gonzalo hurricane destroyed almost all antennas at IO9Y M/M Lampedusa Contest Team station. There will be only sporadic operation from IG9/CALL stations in low-power category during CQWW SSB contest. All transportations from the Island are cancelled because of bad weather and team will return home when ferries start to run."

AS-072. Members of the 9M2SE Malaysian Special Expedition Team will be active from Pangkor Island between 0800z, November 7th and 0100z, November 9th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using SSB and CW. Operators mentioned are 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.
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."

EU-025. The II9K Contest Team will once again be active as II9K from Sicily Island during the CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 25-26th) as a Multi-2 entry. Operators mentioned are Giuseppe/IT9HBT, Girolamo/IT9GNG, Rino/IT9FXY, Vincenzo/IT9ECQ, Sal/IW9FRA, Mike/IF9ZWA, Domenico/IW9GTD, Salvatore/DH7SA and Josep/EA3KS. The II9K ContestTeam will be active with an improved setup and new Momobeam stacked Yagis. QSL via IT9HBT.

EU-174. Operators Peter/HA5OV, Kéki/YT7DQ, Barichek/YU7CM and YZ7ZZ are now active as SV8/HA5OV from Thassos Island (GIOTA NAS-037, MIA MG-124, WLOTA LH-4186, QRA KN20HS) until October 29th. Look for operators to use their own callsigns outside of the contest as SV8/homecall. QSL via their home callsigns.

IOTA and Crimea - "IOTA Management has decided that, given the unresolved political situation in Crimea, it has no course open to it except, for a period initially of one year, to freeze certain actions connected with Crimea that it would normally take in the routine management of the IOTA programme. This means that it will not accept or issue credit for EU-180 operations taking place after 17 March 2014 that use a non-Ukrainian callsign, or accede to any requests from programme participants for update of their records or changes of callsign and/or checkpoint that involve a change of DXCC entity. The Committee will review the situation after one year in the light of developments. IOTA Management regrets taking this action but it accords with practice adopted elsewhere..... G3KMA, 21 Oct 2014"

SA-024. Operators Marcelo/PY2AE, Murilo/PY2DS, João/PU2KKE, Willian/ PU2XIZ and Fábio/PU2KFL will be active as ZX2CA from Cardoso Island (DIB SP-07), and as PW2BA from Bom Abrigo Island and Lighthouse (ARLHS-BRA-013, DIB-SP-05, DFB-SP-03) between November 21-24th. Operators will spend two days on each island (Cardoso Island should be first depending on the sea conditions).
Activity will be on 80/40/20/15/10/6/2 meters using CW and SSB. QSL ZX2CA via PY2DS direct. QSL PW2BA via PY2AE direct.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Lunar Ham Radio payload launched

Friday 24th October 2014

The 4M amateur radio payload with a WSJT JT65B 145.980 MHz beacon was launched on Thursday October 23 at 1759 UT

The Chang’e-5-T1 mission 4M payload launched on the Chang Zheng CZ-3C/G2 rocket from the LC2 launch complex at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan.
The first telemetry from the JT65B beacon was received at 1918 UT.

The spacecraft will head into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO), before performing a flyby around the Moon. Radio amateurs are encouraged to receive and report the signals.
http://moon.luxspace.lu/receiving-4m/

See the 4M payload Blog at
http://moon.luxspace.lu/blog/

4M Lunar Payload
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/15/4m-lunar-payload-integrated-keps-released/

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

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UK students' CubeSat project

Friday 24th October 2014

The Coventry Telegraph newspaper reports on students at Warwick University who are building their own satellite

Lucy Lynch writes that eight engineering students are designing their own satellite WUSAT-2 which will be sent into space. In February or March next year they and the project director Dr Bill Crofts will don winter woollies and take their creation to a launch site in northern Sweden, near the town of Kiruna.

It is the second student satellite designed at the university. The first one, last year, was sent up from mid Wales in a high altitude weather balloon.

Once the current satellite has been launched the next step is to create a satellite capable of orbiting the Earth.

Dr Crofts said: “This is a stepping stone to a full orbital launch.”

Read the full article at
http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/
meet-warwick-uni-students-who-7971498


Twitter @WUSAT_Team
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WarwickUniversitySatellite

UK Students Fly CubeSat to 30km
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/04/10/uk-students-fly-cubesat-to-30km/

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

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Exam Checklists

Friday 24th October 2014

The RSGB report checklists to help ensure consistency of exam provision between Exam Centres, and that essential requirements don’t get forgotten or overlooked, are now available for download

They all print on a single side of A4 paper. They are particularly relevant for Examination Secretaries and First Named Invigilators.

The Training and Education Committee welcomes feedback on the checklists and/or suggestions for similar aids for any other aspects of the training and examination system via tec.chair<at>rsgb.org.uk

Exam Forms and Checklists
http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/tutor-resources-2/
training-guide/training-assessment-guide/examination-checklists/


The RSGB Tutors Yahoo Group is at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RSGBTutors/

To subscribe email
RSGBtutors-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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UK ham radio tutors' newsletter

Friday 24th October 2014

The October edition of the free RCF amateur radio training instructors' newsletter reports a worrying trend

It says the latest statistics on exam candidates shows that the numbers of Foundation candidates continues to reduce each year - the entry level seems to be slowing down.

Clubs and Independent Trainers are asked to redouble their efforts to seek out newcomers. The RSGB will be producing guidance on communications and marketing very soon but it does need local groups to be proactive in spreading the word.

In this edition:

- 2014-16 Advanced Exam Schedule
- Distributing examination papers and OM sheets
- Mobile, portable and suffixes
- Trust and responsibility
- Requests for readers
- Train the Trainers
- Morse Competency Certificate
- A worrying trend
- Syllabus review
- New Quality Assurance Manager and Standards Manager
- Training and Education Committee Chair
- Syllabus areas needing examination items

Download the latest and previous editions of the newsletter from
http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/tutor-resources-2/newsletters/

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GB1SS for Space Station

Thursday 23rd October 2014

The RSGB report that on October 9 Ofcom confirmed that the callsign GB1SS will be made available for issue to UK astronauts who wish to operate from the ISS

In May 1991 the first UK astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR talked to radio amateurs around the world from the Mir space station. After a gap of 24 years it looks as though two more UK astronauts may be flying to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015.

In September 2015 Sarah Brightman hopes to become the second UK astronaut, flying to the ISS on a 10 day mission. She is committed to encouraging young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In 2012 in conjunction with Virgin Galactic, she launched The Brightman STEM Scholarship program. It is not yet clear if she will operate the ISS amateur radio station during her mission.

Tim Peake KG5BVI learning controls of ISS amateur radio equipment

Tim Peake was selected to train as an astronaut in 2009 and hopes to go to the ISS in November 2015.

He holds the USA callsign KG5BVI and has recently been learning to use the Ericsson 144 MHz handheld radio which is installed in the Columbus module of the ISS.

On September 18 Tim said "Will be great to chat with schools next year from space using this ham radio on board the ISS."

There are two amateur radio stations on the ISS, one in the Russian Service Module, the other in the ESA Columbus Module.

Almost any 144 MHz FM rig will receive signals from the ISS, you can even use a general coverage VHF scanner with an external antenna. As far as the antenna is concerned the simpler the better. A ¼ wave ground plane is a good antenna for the ISS as it has a high angle of radiation. Large 2m colinears may not work quite as well since the radiation pattern is concentrated at the horizon.

You can receive the ISS outdoors using a 2 metre hand-held with its helical antenna but a 1/4 wave whip will give far better results.

In the UK we use narrow 2.5 kHz deviation FM but the ISS transmits using the wider 5 kHz deviation used in much of the world. Most rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation filters so select the wider deviation. Hand-held rigs all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

Voice contacts with astronauts usually take place using "split" frequencies. The astronauts transmit on 145.800 MHz and listen for replies on 145.200 MHz, you just need to activate your rig's repeater shift. Recently, however, they have also been operating simplex listening on 145.800 MHz.

When astronauts are not on the air they usually leave the packet digi-peater running on 145.825 MHz so why not listen out for it.

ISS status and tracking information
http://issfanclub.com/

The First UK Astronaut Helen Sharman GB1MIR
http://amsat-uk.org/about/history/first-uk-astronaut-helen-sharman-gb1mir/

Sarah Brightman to fly to ISS
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/09/04/sarah-brightman-to-start-space-flight-training-in-january/

Read the report of the Ofcom-RSGB meeting on October 9
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/
ofcom-rsgb-forum/2014/10/22/ofcom-rsgb-forum-9-october-2014/

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Amateur Radio Moon Mission

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Air & Space magazine reports a Luxembourg company sends a payload where no amateur radio satellite has ever gone

A Long March rocket scheduled to launch on Thursday to test technology for a future Chinese lunar mission will also carry a historic 'hitchhiker': the first privately funded payload to be sent around the moon.

The Luxembourg-based company LuxSpace is attaching its “4M” payload to the upper stage of a Long March 3C rocket, whose main job is to launch a capsule that will round the moon and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at high speed to test the spacecraft’s protective heat shield. China plans to use such a capsule in 2017 for the Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission.

Ghislain Ruy LX2RG, the 4M project manager at LuxSpace, had previous experience piggybacking small payloads on the Long March and other rockets, and jumped at this chance to include a low-cost amateur radio payload on the Chinese lunar test mission. The 30-pound instrument package is about the size of a flat-screen computer monitor, and is entirely self-contained, requiring almost no interaction with the launcher. The name stands for “Manfred Memorial Moon Mission,” in honor of Manfred Fuchs, the founder of LuxSpace’s parent company OHB, who died last April. Fuchs had long dreamed of sending a spacecraft to the moon.

Read the full story at
http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/first-privately-funded-moon-mission-ride-chinese-rocket-180953094/?no-ist

4M Lunar Amateur Radio Payload
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/15/4m-lunar-payload-integrated-keps-released/

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

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Lots of solar flares

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Space Weather report solar activity is high. In just 48 hours, monster sunspot AR2192 has produced a series of seven M-class solar flares of increasing intensity

The eruptions crossed the threshold into X-territory with an X1-class flare on Oct. 22nd. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a powerful flash of extreme UV radiation in the sunspot's magnetic canopy at 14:30 UT.

Remarkably, not one of the explosions so far has hurled a significant CME toward Earth. The primary effect of the flares has been to ionize Earth's upper atmosphere, causing a series of short-lived HF radio communications blackouts. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Earth-effects could increase in the days ahead. AR2192 has an unstable 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful explosions, and the active region is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate at 65% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Island activities:

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

AF-027; FH, Mayotte Island: Vincent/F4BKV will be active as FH/F4BKV on HF from Oct. 27 to 29 (prior to departing to Tromelin).
QSL via OQRS (direct and bureau), LoTW.

AS-013; 8Q, Maldive Islands: George, GM0IIO, pays the Maldives a visit from Oct. 29 to November 11. QRV as 8Q7OO on 80-10m in SSB and CW. QSL via GM0IIO (d).

AS-075; XX, Macau group: Operators Eugene/EA5HPX, Fran/EA7FTR, Oleg/US7UX, David/EB7DX, Jose/EB5BBM, and Veronica/EA7JBS plan to operate holiday-style as XX9R between Oct. 22 and Nov. 1 from Coloane. QRV on HF in CW, SSB, and RTTY. They will set up 2 or 3 stations and also participate in the SSB contest.
QSL direct via EB7DX, OQRS via bureau.
http://www.macao2014.com/

NA-002; VP5, Caicos Islands: Frank/WA2VYA, Tony/K4QE, and Bruce/WA3RHW will activate Providenciales Island (WW Loc. FL31vs) between Oct. 21 and 28 signing VP5/homecalls. Frank focuses on CW on the low bands, WARC, 10m and 6m, Tony and Bruce get on the air mainly in SSB on the WARC bands. Their call for the CQWW contest will be VP5T. QSL VP5/WA2VYA via WA2VYA (d/B), VP5/K4QE via LoTW, VP5/WA3RHW via WA3RHW (d/B), VP5T via WA3RHW (d/B).

NA-005; VP9, Bermuda Islands: Les/N1SV operates as VP9/N1SV between the 22nd and 27th on HF. QRV during the contest as VP9I. QSL VP9/N1SV via h/c (d/B), OQRS; VP9I via WW3S (d/B), LoTW.

NA-105; FS, PJ7, St Martin: Jeff/K5WE will put St Martin on the air as PJ7/K5WE from Oct. 25 until November 2. QRV on 80-6m in CW, SSB, and some RTTY. QSL direct via homecall, OQRS, LoTW.

OC-009; T8, Palau Islands: Naoki/JS3LSQ operates as T88WJ between the 24th and 28th (including the contest). QRV on 20-10m in SSB. QSL via JS3LSQ (d/B).

OC-009; T8, Palau Islands: Tefik/TA1HZ activates Koror Island as T88HZ from the 24th to the 30th, also including the contest. QSL via homecall (direct), LotW.

OC-097; 5W, Samoa Islands: John/N7CQQ, Cliff/KD6XH, and Paul/W8AEF will be active as 5W0QQ, 5W0XH, and 5W0EF from Apia, Upolu Island (OC-097, WLOTA 1944) between the 23rd and 28th, including the contest. QSL via homecalls (d), LoTW.

OC-157; YB8, Banda Islands: Budi/YF1AR is going to activate this rare reference between the 23rd and 27th as YF1AR/8. He will be active from Banda Naira Island (Banda Naira Lighthouse, ARLHS IDO-380) on the 23rd and 24th, and from Banda Besar Island on Oct. 25-27 (including the contest). QRV on 40-10m, mainly in SSB, but also CW and digital modes. QSL direct via N2OO and via OQRS.
http://www.yf1ar.com/2014/10/
yf1ar8-oc-157-ido-380-banda-islands.html
 

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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CQ reconsiders policy on Crimea in CQ Contests

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

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

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

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

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MacLoggerDX Version 5.55 Yosemite release

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

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

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

What's New in this version:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

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CARS Skills Night takes off

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BVWS Swapmeet

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

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

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

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

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

www.bvws.org.uk

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

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

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

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

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

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IARU seeks to rein in electromagnetic interference

Tuesday 21st October 2014

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

The ARRL report:

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

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

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

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

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

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Nosy Be Island DXpedition

Tuesday 21st October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73's de
5R8M team

OPDX

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

Tuesday 21st October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New HF network planned

Tuesday 21st October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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High altitude balloon keeps going

Monday 20th October 2014

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

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

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

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 20th October 2014

Island activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB IOTA website

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

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JOTA - GB2JAM Saturday 18th October

Sunday 19th October 2014

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

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

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

Below .. the finished mast, beam and dipoles

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

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

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

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146 MHz NoV's now available

Sunday 19th October 2014

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

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

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


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

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Ham Radio on BBC Radio 4

Sunday 19th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

ZM90DX http://www.zm90dx.com/

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

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

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Ham Radio Promotional Material

Sunday 19th October 2014

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

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

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

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Big sunspot produces X-flare

Sunday 19th October 2014

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

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

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

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K for Kernow

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

The article says:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FUNcube Whole Orbit Data available

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feedback would be appreciated.

Enjoy!

73 Dave, G4DPZ

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

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

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

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

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

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

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

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Two new RCE appointments

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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Comet Siding Spring is about to buzz Mars

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

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

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

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A big sunspot emerges

Saturday 18th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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434 MHz balloons to launch for JOTA

Friday 17th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BBC unveils 'BBC Genome'

Friday 17th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RTÉ postpones closure of long wave radio service to 19 January

Thursday 16th October 2014

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

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

The closure has been postponed to 19 January 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 16th October 2014

Island activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Amateur Radio Licence Review - URGENT !

Tuesday 14th October 2014

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

Feedback from those events is that :-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please make sure that you respond to Ofcom.

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

Many thanks,

Graham Coomber, G0NBI
General Manager
Radio Society of Great Britain

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EMF 2014 videos released

Tuesday 14th October 2014

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

Among the videos are:

• High Altitude Ballooning by Adam Greig M0RND

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

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

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

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When will Ofcom revoke Ham Radio licences ?

Tuesday 14th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tuesday 14th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RSGB Convention - Software Developers' Forum

Monday 13th October 2014

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

Watch Software Developers' Forum

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Dominica on 5 MHz

Monday 13th October 2014

Hi All,

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

This allocation is applicable to General and Advanced licensees only

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

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

(Tnx: ECTEL, Dominica NTRC)

Cheers, 73,

Paul Gaskell, G4MWO
Editor
The 5 MHz Newsletter

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CEPT WGFM discuss 69.9-70.5 MHz ham radio band

Sunday 12th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To download the WGFM meeting documents follow these steps:

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

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Russian radar and Voice of Iran on 21 MHz

Sunday 12th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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146 MHz allocation for UK Full licence holders

Saturday 11th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ESTEC open day last Sunday

Saturday 11th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73 de andy g0sfj

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

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Ofcom trials innovative new wireless technology across the UK

Saturday 11th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HamRadioNow: AMBE Digital Vocoder Exposed

Friday 10th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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Need for British longwave radio service underestimated by RTÉ

Friday 10th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 10th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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Space Weather Forecasting Centre officially opened

Thursday 9th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Founder of JOTA is SK

Thursday 9th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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IOTA News from the
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 9th October 2014

Island activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Price of 70cm handhelds falls

Tuesday 7th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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Numbers taking Amateur Radio Foundation falling

Monday 6th October 2014

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

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

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

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


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


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

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 6th October 2014

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

Countries available:

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

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

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

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

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

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 6th October 2014

Island activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Radio Exterior de España to end shortwave broadcasts on October 15

Monday 6th October 2014

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

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

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Silverstone B-64 balloon still flying

Sunday 5th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Introduction to ham radio datamodes

Sunday 5th October 2014

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

Watch Introduction to Datamodes.mov

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UK JOTA Station List

Sunday 5th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Women's skillshare - How to Make a Radio

Sunday 5th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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UK schools contact with International Space Station

Saturday 4th October 2014

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

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

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

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

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Yagi Antenna Designer

Saturday 4th October 2014

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

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

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

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VHF operation in Antarctica

Saturday 4th October 2014

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

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


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

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Stratospheric radiation rebounds following CME strike

Saturday 4th October 2014

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

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

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

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RSGB Inspire Forum

Friday 3rd October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 2nd October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The American Radio Relay League

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EMC issues in cockpit screens

Thursday 2nd October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 2nd October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 2nd October 2014

Island activities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Jamboree On The Air

Wednesday 1st October 2014

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

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

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

In the area and interested in helping?

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

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

email jota[at]sgars.org

or go to www.sgars.org

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

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DX Cluster .. Service for Club Members

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

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

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

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

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

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