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


Radio hams mark flood anniversary

Saturday 30th November 2013

The Yorkshire Post reports that the Radio Amateurs’ Emergency Network (RAYNET) celebrated its 60th anniversary

The newspaper says the organisation was formed in the aftermath of one of the UK’s worse peacetime disasters when on November 25, 1953, the East Coast Flood saw the loss of 307 lives.

An earlier attempt to establish a volunteer emergency communications service had been rejected by the Government in 1950.

Ever since, RAYNET volunteers have been active or on standby countless times, including during the 1988 Lockerbie air disaster, the 2009 Cumbria floods and more recently the storms of October barely a month ago.

Read the Yorkshire Post story which includes an interview with RAYNET Chair Cathy Clark G1GQJ at


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FUNcube-1 command success

Friday 29th November 2013

GB2RS have released a video of the moment the first command to FUNcube-1 was sent by Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Watch AMSAT FUNcube-1 command success at RSGB National Radio Centre

BBC TV visit FUNcube station at RSGB National Radio Centre

FUNcube-1 Deployed !!!

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Comet ISON disintegrates ? 

Friday 29th November 2013

RIP, Comet ISON ?  ... Not Likely !

Evidence is mounting that Comet ISON DID not survive its brush with the sun on November 28th.

SOHO coronagraph images show the comet apparently disintegrating, while first-look images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory did not detect the comet moving along its expected path through the sun's atmosphere but now it does.

Check for movies and updates.

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Commands for WREN SSTV released

Friday 29th November 2013

The WREN satellite team have made available the command information to activate the SSTV payload

It is believed that the SSTV PocketQube WREN is currently in a mode where it beacons on 437.405 MHz for 1.6 seconds then listens for
6 minutes on that frequency for any commands. If none are received it goes to sleep for 2 minutes before transmitting the beacon again.

The WREN team have released the following information on their Facebook page to enable radio amateurs to activate the WREN SSTV transmitter.


Commands to WREN are sent by toggling the carrier [of a FM transmitter]:
Carrier on/off: 1=long, 0=short, leave a noticeable silence between the bits.

• Activate/HK: 110011
• wait until answer [should be within 2 seconds]
• Camera ON: 11111
• wait until answer
• Snapshot & Thumbnail receive: 110
• decoder should display thumbnail picture 12*14 pixel can repeat this command until something useable appears
• SSTV send: 110100
• martin-1 SSTV picture comes… in 320×240 pixels color

Wren should answer to the commands within two seconds.
Wait always at least two seconds after having received data before sending to WREN

Send the Activate/HK command first, else WREN won't react to other commands.
When camera is OFF, a snapshot or SSTV command will send WREN into sleep mode. ALWAYS SWITCH CAMERA ON FIRST BEFORE SENDING CAMERA COMMANDS.
WREN's housekeeping data will show the status of camera power (ON or OFF).

PS: A preliminary commanding software will come soon.
Special wishes for PTT control? VOX, RS232-RTS Pin etc ?

The Telemetry Decoder and an Audio File of the beacon are available at

Hope you can catch WREN and have fun commanding it.

Cheers, Paul

WREN on Facebook

WREN a Ham Radio Slow Scan TV PocketQube Satellite

Dnepr Yasny launch

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Latvian Special Prefix

Thursday 28th November 2013

In honor of the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Latvia in November and December 2013, members of the Latvian Contest Club will use the special prefix YL95.

Expect YL95AIW, YL95AJA, YL95CI, YL95CW, YL95DQ, YL95DW, YL95GQT, YL95GY, YL95KF, YL95KL and YL95UI to be on the bands.

For QSL info, follow the operators' instructions, but in most of cases use LoTW, eQSL, by the Bureau or direct to their home callsign is OK.

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Thursday 28th November 2013

ZT1T will be operating from 08 December 2013 to the Twelfth Night of Christmas.

Celebrating the rescue of ZS1AFS and ZS1AFR from mid-South Atlantic, they will be using this unique prefix ZT1. This is the third Xmas that the ZT1T callsign is being aired.

Also, one of the permanent licence conditions is that visitors to the ZS1AFS/ZS1AFR station can operate the ZT call after presenting a current amateur radio licence for verification.


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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 28th November 2013

Island activities:

AF-049; 3B8, Mauritius Island:
Johnny/SM6JBC and Jan/SM6GOR are QRV from Mauritius since November 11 and plan to be QRV on 20m - 10m in all modes as 3B8JB and 3B8/SM6GOR respectively. If possible, Jan also plans to work on 30m. QSL via homecalls.

AN-016; various; Antarctica:
Alex/RD1AV is the operator of the Vostok base (AA U-10, WAP RUS-13, WWFF RFF-168) for the 2014 season and plans to be active from December 1st to February 1st 2015 as RI1ANC. He hopes to put a good signal on the air on all bands and in all modes. QSL via RN1ON (d/B), Onlinelog at

AN-016; various; Antarctica:
From Mirny station (WAP RUS-07, WWFF RFF-160), Mike/RW1AI will be QRV from December 2013 to February 2015 as RI1ANT. QSL via RW1AI (d/B).

NA-016; ZF; Cayman Islands:
Curt/N0OK will be on vacation on Grand Cayman Island (WLOTA 1042) from December 1 to 8 and work as ZF2OK mostly in RTTY on 20/17/15/10m. QSL via LoTW and homecall.

NA-023; VP2V; British Virgin Islands:
Ted/SP3IPB will be on the island till the end of November and operate as VP2V/SP3IPB. QSL via SP3IPB (d/B).

NA-097; 6Y5; Jamaica:
After the CQWW CW, Valery/UN7LZ will stay for a few more days on Jamaica and operate as 6Y5/UN7LZ on the HF bands in CW.
QSL via UN7LZ (d/B).

NA-213; W4; Alabama State group:
Mike/N1OKL will sign /4 from November 24 - 29 from Dauphin Island (USi AL-002S). It's a holiday style operation mostly in SSB and RTTY.
QSL via N1OKL (d/B).

OC-008; P2; Bismarck Archipelago:
P29VNX will be the callsign of Aki/JA1NLX from Lissenung Island from December 1 to 6. He'll operate mostly in CW from 30m to 10m. QSL via JA1NLX (d) Bureau QSLs via OQRS.

OC-017; T30; Gilbert Islands:
Kazuo/JA1FUF and Ted/JF1CCH plan to get on the air from Tarawa Atoll from November 28 to December 4 using the callsigns T30NK and T30TS. Activities will take place from 40m - 10m and if conditions permit 6m. T30NK's focus will be on digital modes, T30TS will work CW and a little SSB. QSL via eQSL and homecalls (d/B).

OC-024; T32; Kirimati Island:
Tim/NL8F will be T32TM from Kirimati Island from November 27 to December 4. He'll work from 160m - 10m in SSB and RTTY. After this low-key activity, he will take part in the T32RC DXpedition, which will be described in the next DXNL. QSL via K8NA (d/B).

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Indian special event station AU2JCB

Thursday 28th November 2013

Look for the Indian special event station AU2JCB, which will be active until December 10th.

Activity will be on 80-6 meters SSB, SSTV, PSK and FM.
Suggested frequencies are (depending on the propagation):
3710, 7040, 7150, 14220, 14250, 14310, 21280, 21310, 28490, 28510 and 28545 kHz. FM mode: 50800, 51500 and 29700 kHz. If higher bands
are open, operations will be on those bands.

The operator will be Surabhi, VU2DSI.

QSL direct (with 2 IRCs) to VU2DSI.

Operations are to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the birth (November 30th) of Sir Jagadeesh Chandra Bose, India's great scientist and inventor who they consider the "Father of Wireless Communication".

For more details, see the following Web page at:

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International Emergency Communications Today

Tuesday 26th November 2013

A video of the presentation given by Greg Mossop G0DUB to the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL) has been released on YouTube

The presentation, which was recorded in Tampere, Finland on November 16, 2013, starts at 5:40 into the video.

Watch International Emergency Communications today

Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL) in Google English

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The end of Freeview in 2030 ?

Tuesday 26th November 2013

Ofcom has published a consultation on its Mobile Data Strategy

The objective of the consultation is to identify and prioritise actions which Ofcom could undertake to facilitate the continued long term growth in consumer and citizen benefits from increasing use of mobile data services.

This document considers the challenges that rapidly growing demand for these services could raise and what this may imply for Ofcom’s work over the coming years. In particular, we identify a number of spectrum bands where we think further work should be carried out to consider their potential future availability for mobile data use, whilst recognising the many other competing demands for spectrum.

The public consultation closes on 30 January 2014, see

A report on A516Digital points out the consultation raises the prospects that digital terrestrial television (Freeview) could be axed altogether after 2030, with the frequencies in the UHF TV frequency band reused entirely for mobile broadband services.

Ofcom: The end of Freeview?

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Lakshadweep Islands update

Sunday 24th November 2013

A team of amateur radio operators are now active as VU7AG from Agatti Island (AS-011) until December 10th.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY.

The updated suggested frequencies are:
CW - 1812, 3512, 7012, 10112, 14012, 18082, 21012, 24902 and 28012 kHz
SSB - 3680, 7095, 14180, 18155, 21280, 24955 and 28480 kHz
RTTY - 3584, 7032, 10142, 14082, 18092, 21092, 24922 and 28092 kHz

They will always be operating split. Please listen to operator instructions carefully.CW: 2-10 KHz up SSB: 5-15 KHz up RTTY: 2-10 KHz up

The pilot stations have been announced: Stan/KH6CG (Chief Pilot + Asia/OC), Gary/DF2RG (EU), Luc/LU1FAM (Central & South America), Mark/N1UK (NA East Coast) and Rich/KY6R (NA West Coast). They also have an ePilot on their Web site through which DXers can get in touch with them.

The Propagation page now includes custom propagation charts thanks to Stu, K6TU, and his wonderful propagation service.

Another callsign has been issued for demonstration purposes on Kavaratti Island ­ VU7KA. This would be used only briefly when team members make presentations to the local administration in Kavaratti and educate them on amateur radio.

QSL Manager is Krish, W4VKU, direct or by the Bureau (see details on the Web page). An Online QSL Request System (OQRS) will be available for all your QSL requests. OQRS will be enabled soon after the expedition. For Logbook of The World (LoTW): QSOs would be uploaded to LoTW in approximately 6 months time.

The following Web page has been set up and contains bios of operators, QSL details, frequencies and a survey. Visit the VU7AG page at:


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BBC TV visit FUNcube station at RSGB National Radio Centre

Saturday 23rd November 2013

On Friday, November 22 a film crew from the BBC Breakfast show visited the RSGB National Radio Centre (NRC) at Bletchley Park to interview the FUNcube Project team about the new educational amateur radio satellite FUNcube-1 (AO-73)

BBC presenter John Maguire interviewed Graham Shirville G3VZV at the GB3RS station in the NRC. Other members of the FUNcube team were filmed making a SSB contact from the Bletchley Park car park using the linear transponder on FUNcube-1.

The interview should be broadcast on the BBC One TV Breakfast show on Monday, November 25, between 6 and 9 AM. Shortly after a recording of the show should be made available for 7 days to view on the web at

The FUNcube segment will be short, only 2 or 3 minutes, but should be shown several times during the 3 hour show possibly at 10 minutes before each hour.

BBC One TV live on the web

BBC Breakfast show

FUNcube-1 Deployed !!!


See also:
First FUNcube-1 Educational Outreach

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First FUNcube-1 Educational Outreach

Saturday 23rd November 2013

The FUNcube team gave a presentation on the FUNcube-1 satellite to pupils at Abbeys Primary School

On Friday, November 22, a BBC film crew visited the FUNcube station at the RSGB National Radio Centre at Bletchley Park. During their visit the BBC presenter John Maguire asked the FUNcube Team to support a visit to a local school, Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley, to meet up with some 10-11 year old pupils and talk to them about the FUNcube project.

Ciaran Morgan M0XTD and a BBC crew at Abbeys Primary School in Bletchley

The visit was a huge success, with the school children asking lots of questions. As this was the first educational outreach opportunity after launch, the school children were asked to compose a Fitter message which the FUNcube Team will upload to FUNcube-1 (AO-73) when they have decided what it should be! (teacher’s comment “Might be their home work!”).

Abbeys Primary School


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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Saturday 23rd November 2013

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Saturday, 16th-November, through Friday, 22nd-November there were
229 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE0Z, 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, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T33, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, VU7, XE, XT, XU, XX9, XZ, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS, ZS8

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).


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FUNcube-1 now on high power

Friday 22nd November 2013

When the FUNcube-1 satellite was first launched it was in 'Safe Mode' with the beacon transmitting just 30 mW,  it has since been commanded to 'Educational Mode' and is now running 300 mW

The Dnepr carrying FUNcube-1 and 18 other satellites carrying amateur radio payloads successfully launched at 07:10:11 UT on Thursday, November 21. Approximately 8 minutes later, FUNcube-1 was deployed from the upper stage of the Dnepr rocket.

About 10 minutes after separation, telemetry was successfully received and decoded using the Dashboard App, and uploaded to the data warehouse by ZS1LS (at 07:37) and ZS6BMN in South Africa.  There was a huge cheer at Bletchley Park and the FUNcube-1 Project team toasted the successful launch .

All main parameters on FUNcube look nominal; temp, battery voltage, solar panel charging rate, etc and the data received so far is available in the Data Warehouse.  The team are already seeing some superb examples of the data that will be fundamental to the educational aspect of FUNcube – thank you to all stations around the world for your efforts so far.

The first signals from FUNcube-1 were heard in the UK on the first visible pass at 3 degrees above the horizon and Mike Willis, G0MJW, became the first UK station to receive and decode the telemetry from FUNcube-1 – congratulations Mike.

For the first two orbits FUNcube-1 was in Safe Mode with the beacon transmitting low power just 30 mW. FUNcube-1 was then commanded into Educational Mode which increased the power to 300 mW. This enabled it to be copied on a SSB handheld with whip antenna.

The FUNcube team are delighted to be able to release the formal email received at the Bletchley Park NRC monitoring station on the afternoon of Thursday, November 21, informing us that the FUNcube-1 spacecraft can now be referred to as AMSAT-OSCAR-73 (AO-73).

Congratulations on the successful launch of the FUNcube-1 CubeSat, launched this morning from Yasny in Russia at 07:10:10.47 UTC November 21st 2013. 

Since FUNcube-1 meets all of the requirements for being issued an OSCAR number, including coordination through IARU and requesting such a number; I, under authority vested in me by the President of AMSAT-NA, do hereby name FUNcube-1, ”AMSAT- OSCAR-73″ or “AO-73.”

I, and all at AMSAT-NA wish AMSAT- OSCAR-73 great success in fulfilling all of its mission objectives and we welcome it to the long list of Amateur Radio satellites.


William (Bill) Tynan, W3XO
OSCAR Number Administrator

The FUNcube team encourage all stations to continue to receive the telemetry and upload it to the Data Warehouse as we monitor the spacecraft and continue with the early operations tasks.

Download the FUNcube-1 Dashboard App

FUNcube-1 Data Warehouse

Mass Amateur Radio Satellite Launch November 21

Read the BBC story Rocket deploys spacecraft armada at

Story on NASA Space Flight

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Essex Hams get free data viewer

Friday 22nd November 2013

One of the great things about the amateur radio hobby, is being able to explore different operating modes - that’s just got a lot easier, thanks to the help of Chelmsford-based amateur Charlie Davy M0PZT.

After hearing discussion on the Essex Ham weekly 2 metre net, Charlie turned his programming skills to creating a small application to help newbies to give PSK31 and RTTY a try.

The EssexPSK application is a simple receive-only data decoder that can display conversations in the common PSK and RTTY modes. 
The application runs on the Windows platform, is less than 1.5MB and has just two controls. Once the operator’s rig is connected to the PC’s soundcard, the EssexPSK waterfall starts showing activity to give users a taste of what PSK31 and RTTY have to offer.

Charlie M0PZT is the creator of the free contest-friendly logging application PZTLog, and has released EssexPSK as a free application to help to encourage easier access to the world of data:

“Often, digimode applications can be a bit daunting to a new user, so this program aims to make it very straightforward.  All you need to do is set the incoming soundcard  and then just select from the various PSK/RTTY modes”

Pete M0PSX from the Essex Ham website sees this simple tool as a great way for amateurs new to the world of data to dip a toe in:

“Data modes are a fascinating and absorbing part of the hobby.
Packages such as Ham Radio Deluxe are great, but they can be expensive, resource-hungry, and expensive, not to mention, tricky to set up. The EssexPSK app offers a quick and easy way to get started in the world of data, and is a great asset to the collection of material we’re offering to help new entrants to the hobby. Charlie’s done a great job in making this available as a free tool to allow PSK and RTTY to be demonstrated without fuss ”

The EssexPSK application is available free from


Related links:

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Amazing photos of Comet ISON at dawn

Friday 22nd November 2013

Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous close encounter on November 28th. Even experts aren't sure if the furiously vaporizing comet can survive its passage through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day.

Some of the final pictures from Earth may be coming in now - and they are amazing.

The comet, sporting a green head and streaming tail, is entering the rosy glow of dawn not far from the planet Mercury.

Visit to see the latest images from around the world

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Minotaur-1 deploys Ham Radio cubesats

Wednesday 20th November 2013

A large number of CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads were launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., on Nov. 19, 2013 at 0115 UT 

In total 29 satellites were on the rocket of which 12 operate in Amateur Satellite Service frequencies.

Radio amateurs from around the world have reported receiving signals from the satellites.

For the latest news check the DK3WN satellite blog

Also see the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)

Follow the launch day chat on the #cubesat IRC channel see

Minotaur-1 Launch: Keplerian Two-Line Elements (TLEs)

Doppler.sqf data at

Satellite tracking

Frequency list for amateur radio satellite deployments in November

Live TV coverage of launches

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Help track ISS ham radio CubeSats

Wednesday 20th November 2013

ArduSat-1 and ArduSat-X along with Pico Dragon from Việt Nam were deployed from the International Space Station at 1218 UT on Tuesday, November 19

Pico Dragon was developed by the Việt Nam National Satellite Center (VNSC), University of Tokyo and IHI aerospace. It has a 437.250 MHz CW beacon and 437.365 MHz 1200 bps AFSK AX.25 telemetry.

Mineo Wakita JE9PEL has received the CW signal from Việt Nam’s Pico Dragon CubeSat but nothing was heard from ArduSat-1 or ArduSat-X.

Listen to the recording of the PicoDragon CW beacon made at 16:08-16:17 UTC, 19 Nov 2013, Ele 28 S-E-EN, 437.250MHz CW

The Pico Dragon beacon has been reported as appearing about 3 kHz high of the expected frequency.

Watch the ISS CubeSat launch

The ArduSat team have released the following information:

If you’re a radio amateur and would like to help out the ArduSat team, you can listen for our Morse beacons and send them to us! This beacon gives us important information – like battery voltage and lets us know that the satellites are still alive!

The initial TLE for AS-1 and AS-X will be the same as the ISS until they put some distance between each other and are assigned their own Noad IDs.
TLE for ISS:  (What is a TLE?)

Both satellites will have a Morse beacon (FM-modulated 800Hz tones) that is transmitted at 20 WPM every two or three minutes on 437.000 MHz. The beacon will be structured in the following format:

ArduSat-1 beacon: Battery voltage (uint16_t), RX_counter (number of received valid data packets, uint32_t), TX_counter (number of sent valid data packets, uint32_t), “WG9XFC-1″

ArduSat-X beacon: Battery voltage (uint16_t), RX_counter (number of received valid data packets, uint32_t), TX_counter (number of sent valid data packets, uint32_t), “WG9XFC-X”
Submitting a beacon packet:

You can submit a beacon as plain text to – be sure to put the word “packet” in the subject line so that we can parse it quickly.

Submitting audio:
You can submit audio as an email attachment. Send an email to – with the audio file as an attachment.



ISS CubeSats Deploy Tuesday and Wednesday

Frequencies of amateur radio satellites launching in November

Live TV coverage of satellite launches

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Radio enthusiast records Gibraltar incursion

Wednesday 20th November 2013

A radio enthusiast has released a recording of the incursion by the vessel Ramon Margalef into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters

The video was posted by Tom Finlayson and shows the frequency as 156.800 MHz, the YouTube description reads:

Footage recorded Between 5 and 6,30pm, in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. The Spanish Research and Survey vessel Ramon Margalef proceeded to carry out a survey of the sea bottom.

The Royal Navy (Ops) challenged them and warned them repeatedly to leave Gibraltar Waters. The skipper of the Ramon Margalef responded stating that they had permission from Spain to be there. The audio accompanying this video is the actual recording of the conversation that took place over the course of 1 hour.

The Spanish vessel continued its survey until the early hours of the following morning. At all times Gibraltar's Royal Navy Patrol boat HMS Sabre followed her from a short distance. Meanwhile, minesweeper HMS Penzance remained berthed at the Naval Base a few meters away.

Watch Incursion by Spanish survey vessel Ramon Margalef into Gibraltar Waters.

Telegraph story

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2014 Bath Buildathon

Tuesday 19th November 2013

The next Bath Buildathon is to be held on Saturday, January 4, 2014

The aim of the event is to encourage newcomers to have a go at homebrewing radio equipment under the watchful eye of some experienced radio constructors.  Previous events have all been very successful and the team are expecting a repeat performance this year.

The kit chosen for the 2014 Bath Buildathon is the 20m PSK Centenary Receiver that was developed for the RSGB Centenary Day and featured in the September edition of RadCom. The receiver was specifically designed for the newcomer so you can be confident that you will go home with a working 20m PSK receiver.

The Buildathon is planned to run from 09.00 to 17.00. All soldering and test equipment will be made available on the day. The cost of the day will be £25 to include the cost of the kit, room hire, use of tools, tea, coffee, biscuits, etc. You just need to bring yourself and a packed lunch.

Places will be limited to ensure that everyone gets good mentoring from one of the local tutors so interested parties are advised to book early.

There will be two free places available for young amateurs who are still in full-time education. Nominations for those places need to be made by a parent or other responsible adult by Friday, December 13.

The nominations need to include some detail of why the young person would like to attend. If there are more than two nominations the Bath Buildathon Crew will make the selection based on the nominations. The free place does not include cost of transport to/from Bath.

Intermediate Practical Assessments will also be available on the day.

For further details, please contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by e-mail at G0FUW<at>

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FUNcube-1 - Welcome to launch week!

Monday 18th November 2013

Well it has finally arrived. Little did we think, back in 2009 that we would not be launching FUNcube-1 until late 2013 but, at last, we are almost there

The past four years have been spent trying to find a suitable launch opportunity, dealing with many legal and administrative issues, in addition to finalising the technical requirements for the spacecraft. We also then had to convert those requirements and ideas into reality.

The core FUNcube team comprises of just about a dozen of us – radio amateurs from the UK and the Netherlands together with software specialists from both countries. A few of us even have skills in both the analogue and digital domains!

We have met on numerous occasions for “face to face” meetings over weekends and held weekly Skype chats almost every Sunday evening. We have had highs and lows along the way but the end result – FUNcube-1 our tiny spacecraft is now sitting in an ISIPOD on the launch vehicle ready to take its chances in space on Thursday.

ZACUBE-1, FUNcube-1 and HiNCube in the deployment pod – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Many hours of evaluation and verification testing of both the Flight Model and also the earlier Engineering Model have been undertaken, so we are as confident as we can be that we have done the best job possible.

This mission could not have been carried forward without the efforts of the team members but neither could it have been completed without the tremendous support that it has received from individual radio amateurs and others and other AMSAT groups around the world.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 is our launch day and most of the team will be assembled at the National Radio Centre (NRC) at Bletchley Park to staff a monitoring station for at least the first two days following the launch. The launch from Yasny takes place at 07:10:11 UT with live TV coverage available here. The first signals from FUNcube-1 should be heard in Southern Africa and then in Hawaii and then Alaska. After that, we hope to hear signals in the UK on a very low pass to the east around 08:50 UT.

We are very grateful to the RSGB for their support in allowing the use the NRC facilities which should be perfect for this operation.  Although it is not large enough to be able issue an open invitation to everyone to join us on the day, we will be trying to do our best to keep everyone in touch with what is happening.

We will be setting up a webstream from the NRC using the services of the server  This should be available from around 07:00 UT on Thursday and will keep running for as long as we have something to show. As well as shackcam views it will also have a breaking news “tickertape” and some videos created during the development of the spacecraft.

Additionally we will maintain a presence on the #cubesat IRC channel which can be easily accessed by a web client from here:

Of course this website will also be kept up to date as possible and updates will be provided on AMSAT-BB.

So all we ask everyone to do now is to, download the FUNcube Dashboard, read the guidance notes, register with the Data Warehouse and hang on for an interesting Thursday. Oh and keep your fingers crossed.

Very many thanks for your support!

Team FUNcube

Live TV coverage of launch

Join the FUNcube Yahoo Group

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TV coverage of two ham radio satellite launches

Monday 18th November 2013

An estimated 37 satellites carrying amateur radio payloads are expected to be deployed this week

Four will deploy from the International Space Station on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 19/20, the rest in two separate launches.

The first launch, a  Minotaur-1 rocket from Wallops Island Virginia, will be sometime after 00:30 UT, Wednesday, November 20, the other will be a Dnepr from Dombarovsky near Yasny at 07:10:11 UT on Thursday, November 21. (Photo right a Dnepr launch).

Live TV coverage of the Minotaur-1 launch

Live TV coverage of the Dnepr launch

ISS CubeSats Deploy Tuesday and Wednesday

November Amateur Satellite Deployments with frequency list

Minotaur-1 CubeSats

FUNcube-1 Welcome to launch week!

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 18th November 2013

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 10th-November, through Sunday, 17th-November there were 236 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE0Y, CE0Z, 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, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KH9, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T33, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XZ, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS, ZS8

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).


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 18th November 2013

Island activities:

AF-019. (Early Announcement)
An international team of operators will be active as IG9Y from Lampedusa Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th) as a Multi-Op entry. Look for more details to be forthcoming. QSL via ON4LG. An OQRS will be available for direct and Bureau cards. Visit their Web page at:

EU-012. Stewart, GM4AFF, will be active as GZ3F from the Shetland
Islands during the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 23-24th) as Single-Op/All-Band entry. QSL via GM4FDM.

OC-108. (Reminder) By the time you read this, 9 operators will be active as YE5R from Anambas Island until November 20th. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via YB4IR.

SA-027. Jose, PU5IKE, will be active as ZW5AAA from Remedios Island
(ARLHS BRA-137) between December 7-8th. Activity will be on 10 meters SSB. QSL via PU5IKE, via LoTW, direct (sase), eQSL or Bureau (QSLs from SWLs are welcome).

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Comet ISON update

Sunday 17th November 2013

Comet ISON is now ten times brighter than it was on November 13-14 when an unexpected outburst propelled the sundiver into the realm of naked-eye visibility.

Observers around the world confirm seeing the comet as a faint smudge low in the eastern sky before sunrise. Backyard telescopes reveal a riot of gaseous streamers trailing behind the comet's brightening (and possibly fragmenting) core.

With almost two weeks to go before ISON plunges into the sun's atmosphere, it is already one of the most beautiful and active comets in years.

Current images and observing tips may be found at

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ISS catches a virus

Saturday 16th November 2013

Computer malware has reached the final frontier, according to security expert Eugene Kapersky

Kaspersky revealed that, prior to the decision earlier this year to migrate ISS systems to Linux, many of the station's laptops and mainframes were powered by Windows XP and were prone to regular virus attacks, the most recent being when an unnamed Russian ambassador brought aboard an infected USB stick.

It is not known how badly the ISS was affected by the virus but it is understood to have affected "dozens" of machines. This might have led in part to the decision by the United Space Alliance to move wholly to Linux, though even now a number of different flavours of the open source OS are being run across different systems.

You can read the full item at:

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Chelmsford 434.300 MHz balloon launch

Saturday 16th November 2013

On Sunday Chris Stubbs M6EDF plans to launch a balloon from Chelmsford in Essex carrying a tracking payload on 434.300 MHz

Launch should be Sunday, November 17 around 12:00 subject to predictions etc. It will carry M6EDF's Cheapo R4 board and will be a "normal" up/down flight not a floater.

Ascent rate should be about 4.5 m/s, his modified burst calculations say to about 14,500 metres altitude but he expects more around the 20-25 km mark.

50 baud RTTY 7n2 on 434.300 MHz (+/-drift) USB with 425 Hz shift.

At maximum altitude the signal should have a range of over 500 km and be receivable in most of the UK.

Online Real-Time Balloon tracking, look for Cheapo-9

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi

M6EDF website

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AmateurLogic.TV 60: FreeDV, JT65 & Pi

Saturday 16th November 2013

George looks at FreeDV, Digital Voice for HF. Peter operates JT65 for weak-signal communications. Tommy builds a Raspberry Pi file server.

And a Major Award, the ALTV 8th Anniversary Giveaway... We give away the ultimate mobile setup from Icom, GigaParts, Diamond and MFJ to one very lucky viewer.

1:13 of AmateurLogic Goodness


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Major award for RSGB President

Friday 15th November 2013

FOC, the First Class CW Operators Club, is delighted to announce that it has awarded its prestigious Al Slater, G3FXB, Memorial Award to Bob Whelan, G3PJT, the President of the RSGB.

The award is presented annually to an individual, group or society that has made an outstanding contribution to amateur radio.

In particular the recipient will have shown exemplary and considerate operating standards together with a high level of encouragement, friendship and support to other radio amateurs

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Comet ISON outburst

Friday 15th November 2013

Observers around the world are reporting a sharp increase in the brightness of sundiving Comet ISON. Formerly dim, it is now on the threshold of naked-eye visibility.

Comet ISON is plunging toward the sun for a perilous pass through the solar atmosphere on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th). This could be the first of many brightening events as intensifying solar heat erodes material away from the comet's nucleus.

For more information and updates, visit

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Owners of 80 stations want DAB switch halt

Wednesday 13th November 2013

Radio Today reports that the owners of 80 commercial radio stations in the UK have released a joint statement calling for the digital radio switchover timetable to be set by consumers, not by the government

The group includes UTV Media, UKRD, Celador, Quidem, Media Sound Holdings, Q Radio Network, CN Radio and Anglian Radio as well as a number of independent stations. The stations they represent cover an area from Shetland to Brighton and Norwich to Plymouth.

The statement from 13 local radio operators highlights that only 23% of radio listening is via DAB and says that local commercial stations are ‘severely disadvantaged’ by the switchover plans, as only 15% of local radio listening is on DAB, according to data in the latest RAJAR release (Q3 2013).

The group says ‘as many as 100 important local commercial radio stations’ would either be ‘left stranded on FM’ at switchover or would have to cut local programming to be able to afford DAB transmission costs.

Read the story at

Radio Today

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Microwave signals turned into electrical power

Wednesday 13th November 2013

The BBC report that an electrical current capable of charging a mobile phone has been created from microwave signals

They say a team from Duke University said the technology they had used had been as efficient as using solar panels. The device they created used metamaterials, which capture various forms of wave energy and convert them for other applications.

Read the BBC story at

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November 432 and Above EME Newsletter

Wednesday 13th November 2013

The November issue of the free amateur radio 432 MHz and Above EME Newsletter is now available

The Word and PDF formats of the newsletter can be downloaded from

Previous newsletters are at

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The very particular world of amateur radio

Wednesday 13th November 2013

"In the face of the internet, mobile phones and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio - or ham radio as it's also known - to be on the decline .. but in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 - with 80,000 currently issued in the UK".

BBC News joined the Chorley and District Amateur Radio Society as they put on a special event station and you can't help admiring the confidence and enjoyment of their young operators.

Watch the short video on the BBC website at

Thanks to Simon G6XHF for spotting the item

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Typhoon kills many thousands as disaster unfolds

Tuesday 12th November 2013

Estimates of those people who died when monster Typhoon Haiyan (also called Yolanda) hit the central Philippines on Friday ranges up to 10,000, with many injured and nine million people affected.

The full damage and death toll of the fiercest typhoon ever recorded on land has overwhelmed emergency services, supported by the military and at least five major Ham Radio Emergency Operator network stations.

Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA), reports that among the chaos HERO stations are helping authorities and residents.

In Tacloban the capital of Leyte which was smashed by winds, its streets filled by ocean surges and is now a swamp-like smelling mess.

Ramon DU1UGZ said that RADNET with Nathan Eamiguel DU5AOK, Vilma Eamiguel DU5VIE, and the members of their local club are working hard.

"Their HF station is located on the second floor of the Tacloban City Hall, powered by a generator maintained by the local government unit. Two metre band communications is simplex because there is no electricity to power their repeater.

"The VHF members serve as field personnel who go on various errands - verification of requested information, liaison work, and bits and ends.

"The officers led by Nathan DU5AOK dispatch their members based on the priority traffic handled by the HF station."

He said the Tacloban HERO station has been used by the Red Cross to track a relief vehicle verifying the welfare of its volunteers who were stopped and ransacked by those impatient for aid to arrive.

Other requests for help came from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) regional office in Tacloban that needed hand-held radio contacts.

In his report he talks of another local club ACCESS 5 attached to responding government agencies and relief organisations. A military HF station is linked with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council (NDRRMC) which is located inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

"However ACCESS 5 is using VHF very effectively acting as guides for rescue and retrieval teams in the field, just like some RADNET volunteers," said Ramon DU1UGZ.

In Eastern Samar, Lester Price DV5PO (also ZL5PO) based in Borongan is providing valuable situation reports. Lester and his wife had a very lucky escape - they held on to the doors of their house for four hours until the surge waters receded, that claimed around 500 lives in the coastal barangay or village alone.

Another third HF station activated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is using equipment from Nathan DU5AOK and his friend Dominique walked half a day to the government centre in Palo and the DOST Regional Office. Dominique, who is actually the office driver, and the Regional Director, Dr Eduardo Esparancilla alternate as operators.

In DU7 (Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental islands including the island province of Siquijor), the Cebu Amateur Radio League (CARL) has dispatched a team to the Municipality of Bantayan - located in the northern tip of Cebu.

This municipality is the hardest hit in Cebu with an estimated 90 per cent of structures levelled. The CARL team (previously reported on) is handling HF traffic. Another component is the Chocolate Hills Amateur Radio League (CHARL) based in Tagbilaran City in Bohol - an area struck by an intensity 7.2 earthquake recently.

The club station DU7BC along with its members Gerry Marmito DU7AU, Ador Lamoste DU7AL are ready to monitor and relay messages between Tacloban and the principal receiving stations.

The third DU7 component is from Dumaguete City. Roy Alcantara DU7DDJ together with James DU7JGU (Island Province of Siquijor) are leading NORAD-7 with long range communications to the Dumaguete local government unit passing traffic from Tacloban to their area in Negros island. NORAD-7 members also act as field operators and runners.

In DU6 (Panay, Negros Occidental and neighbouring islands) heard are Bobby Garcia DU6BG in Iloilo, Iver Astronomo DV6ILA and Arnel DV6WAV in the Roxas Provincial Capitol as they are embedded with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council (PDRRMC).

Scattered all over the archipelago of the Philippines are stations receiving outgoing traffic from Tacloban and the other affected areas.

Among them are Jojo DU1VHY, Thelma DU1IVT, Romy Isidro DV1SMQ and Max 4F1BYN - acting as the main receiving stations on a rotational basis since HERO activation began.

Other stations are also active in receiving outbound welfare traffic, mainly to inform family members and relatives of their conditions - Totie DV1TEE, Lito DU4DF, Atty. Albert DU4ABA, Bobby DU6BG, and Ramon DU1UGZ.

On standby as relays are Doc Piciong DV9DOC, Marlu DU8WX, Butch DU1RP (PARA SecGen on his mobile station in Davao City), and others.  Another facet of the operations is the use of Echolink by CARE-4 in Naga City (DU4) and COMPASS in Tondo, Manila (DU1).

Ramon DU1UGZ said, "Basically, the Tacloban and other stations in the disaster areas permit only outbound traffic as priority messages.

"This is a policy decision by NTS Co-Chair Jojo DU1VHY and as requested by RADNET. We can classify the messages as follows: We Survived Messages, institutions/government agencies to their central or partner offices in Manila, and urgent requests for specific form of assistance or relief items.?

The relief and retrieval operations are moving slowly and the HERO operations are probably going to last a week or more from today.

He said that Telecoms companies are steadily restoring cellular mobile services and today there was intermittent limited coverage in Tacloban.

"As the primary telecoms services are restored, there will be less reliance on the amateur radio service in Tacloban.

"This will mean a more difficult period because the remote areas not reached yet by government and other agencies will now demand communication links.

"Our assets will be thinly spread resulting in gaps which only a robust service such those found in first world countries," said Ramon DU1UGZ.

Currently an average of one to two minutes is spent per message, and depending on band conditions, the rate of traffic per hour would be 40 to 60 messages.

A more in-depth analysis is not possible until all HERO stations are closed and submit their log details.

Ramon DU1UGZ notes that news media has started to notice ham radio, but don't understand that the HERO network is playing an important role in the disaster.

"Although there's some very brief TV exposure they are yet to adequately report on the voluntary service it provides, and the emergency communications to the agencies and community in times of disaster," he said.

The typhoon cut a path of destruction in central Philippines on Friday, but the fast-moving Category 5 weather system missed the densely populated capital of Manila.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino inspected Tacloban City where almost all buildings were lost as huge surge waves came through its streets. He pledged that local authorities are to house about 45,000 families and give them food.

The President said he was lost for words to adequately describe the enormity of disaster affecting 36 provinces. He has declared a national calamity.

A large international relief effort is under way although it remains mostly chaotic with rescue workers struggling to reach some remote areas. Some 22 countries and the European Union have pledged help.

Also the losses include 71,000 hectares of agricultural land with crops of rice and corn hardest hit.

Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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Monday 11th November 2013

Following a review of recent stories involving the 'Standard', has been shown documents from the ITU-TIES system which, they say, indicate that the proposed sample frequency for will exceed 420 MHz.

Much more importantly than this the documents clearly show that there will be no notching of the amateur radio bands at all.
Indeed, at this point, only the FM broadcast band is cited for notching with some further discussion on DAB.

With xDSL interference complaints at an all time high from amateurs, the prospect of a new 'improved' broadband service using the same copper distribution system and which fails to acknowledge the rights of amateurs under law is far from good news.

It is strongly recommended that anyone connected with Standards development look hard at the latest proposals and consider the EMC implications therein - especially those with a soft spot for radio.

Discussion on this matter is encouraged at:


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Signals heard from ham radio satellite AO-27

Monday 11th November 2013

Attempts to recover the 20 year-old amateur radio satellite AO-27 are continuing and signals have been received on 436.795 MHz 

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Reid W4UPD reports:

"Heard AO27 a couple of times. Both yesterday and today [Nov. 10]. Today I heard it around 18:10 UTC. The telemetry was good and strong. Hopefully they can get this old girl working again as well."

AO-27 information

Online real-time tracking of AO-27

See the latest status updates on AO-27 at

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Radio Amateurs Q&A

Monday 11th November 2013

Amateur Radio Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for amateur radio enthusiasts. It's currently in public beta, and a lot of good questions already have great answers.

The Stack Exchange Q&A site format is very popular in programmer circles - take a look at Stack Overflow for example - good questions and answers get voted up, and the best answers are prominently displayed, unlike in traditional discussion groups and mailing list archives where the good bits are often buried in the middle of a lot of uninformed answers and chatter that is only slightly related to the original question.

If you've got an amateur radio related question, please post it there.

If not, try answering one of the unanswered questions. It's actually a lot of fun!

The site is currently in a beta, and needs a little push (questions, answers, votes) to keep going.

Start with the instructions on the About page.

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Guidance for Amateur Radio Trainers

Monday 11th November 2013

A set of guides are now available to help new, and not so new, amateur radio training providers, assessors and exam secretaries

The guides can be downloaded from

The RSGB Training & Education Chair manages a Yahoo Group to allow for regular updates, news and sharing of ideas between trainers, see

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 11th November 2013

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 CW Contest (November 23-24th) as a Single-Op/Single-Band (??) entry. QSL via eQSL.

AS-008. Takeshi "TAKE", JI3DST, will be active as JI3DST/1 from Shikine Island (North Izu Island) between 0600z, November 21st and 0000z, November 25th. Activity will be on 40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters using CW, SSB, FM, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65A. He will also be an entry in the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 23-24th). QSL via JI3DST (see for details).
ADDED NOTE: In case of heavy rain or other conditions, the operation condition may vary.

AS-049. Takeshi "TAKE", JI3DST, will be active as JI3DST/6 from Kuchino Island (Tokara Island) between 0600z, December 28th and 0000z, January 5th (2014). Activity will be on 160/80/(75)/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters using CW, SSB, FM, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65A.
QSL via JI3DST (see for details).
ADDED NOTE: In case of heavy rain or other conditions, the operation condition may vary.

EU-129. Operators Matthias/DK7LV, Ric/DL2VFR, Klaus/DL2YBG, Friedrich/DL4BBH and Klaus/DL7UXG will be active using the special call-sign DM50IOTA from Usedom Island between November 15-18th.
QSL via DL2VFR, by the Bureau or direct.

OC-098. Andy, AB7FS/E51AND, and his XYL Kathy, who moved to Rarotonga Island (OC-013) this year, are planning an operation to Pukapuka Island (OC-098) sometime in August of 2014.
Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OC-133. Saty, JE1JKL, will be active as 9M6NA from Labuan Island, East Malaysia, during the CQWW DX CW Contest (November 23-24th) as a Single-Op/All-Band/High-Power entry. QSL via LoTW, or to JE1JKL, by the Bureao or direct.
To see his station, visit:

OC-157. Just a reminder that a team of 8 operators will be active as YB8V from the rare Banda Besar Island between November 10-15th.
Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW and SSB. The operators mentioned are Joppy/YB8XM (Team Leader), Marthin/YB8VM, Danny/YC8VDT, Richard/YD8VSR, Agustinus/YD8VRA, G. Saiya/YD8VRS, Fransicus/YC8VFB and Robert/YC0MVP.
Watch the following Blog page for updates at:

SA-035. (Postponed) A group of YL operators that were expected to beactive as YW5RYL from Los Roques between November 7-10th, had to postpone their DXpedition until further notice.
For complete details, visit:

SA-018. Members of the "Radio Club Provincial Llanquihue" (CE7LL) will be active as 3G7PM from Guafo Island between February 23-28th (2014). Operation is valid for Antarctic Challenge and must be counted as Chiloe Province. More details are forthcoming.
For updates, see:

SA-088. Fabio, PP5BZ, will be active as ZW5W from Fora Island (DIB SC-10) between December 6-9th. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign.

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Sri Lanka airs special callsign

Monday 11th November 2013

Members of Radio Society of Sri Lanka will be active using the special callsign 4S0CGM between now and November 30th.

Activity is commemorating the "23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting" (CHOGM 2013) in Colombo.

Activity will be on the HF bands.

QSL via Bureau or direct to: RSSL, P.O. Box 907, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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SHARP 3.1 (Shaftsbury High Altitude Robotics Project) successful mission

Monday 11th November 2013

The Radio Amateurs of Canada would like to congratulate the students,  volounteers and teacher Robert Streimer VE4SHS at Shaftsbury High  School in Winnipeg Manitoba for a successful launch of SHARP 3.1 yesterday.

The SHARP 3.1 helium filled balloon reached an impressive maximum  altitude of 35,727 meters (117,214 feet)! This HAB had a payload consisting of four cameras, electronic sensors, Geiger counter, 3 axis  accelerometer/magnetometer, 1 internal and 3 external temperature  sensors, a luminosity and barometric pressure sensor. Now begins the  analyzing of the various data that was collected during the flight.

RAC would like to recognize Bill Unger VE3XT for being instrumental in assisting the success of this event through a community grant from  RAC in the amount of $500.

Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH
Director of Communications and Fundraising
Radio Amateurs of/du Canada

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 11th November 2013

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 3rd-November, through Sunday, 10th-November there were 237 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE0Z, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FO/a, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH9, 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, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T33, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XT, XU, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS, ZS8

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).


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Typhoon toll rises as rescuers reach affected areas

Sunday 10th November 2013

The number killed by Typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) has dramatically increased with the Red Cross now unofficially estimating 1,000 dead.

The full damage of the monster typhoon, which hit the central Philippines on Friday, is not known as authorities are finding it hard to reach or report some places. Many houses and buildings have been destroyed, with four million people affected.

Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA), reports that the Ham Emergency Radio Operator (HERO) continues to help authorities and residents by handling relief messages.

PARA had activated the HERO operators in advance of the typhoon hitting land and have been used throughout the country. The National Telecommunications Commission continues to monitor it.

Ramon DU1UGZ said in one of the worst affected areas of Tacloban is Nathan Eamiguel DU5AOK with other RADNET members.

He said, "They are acting as field liaisons to validate and secure requested information on the whereabouts and situation of Tacloban residents from relatives from all over the country.

"Our National Traffic System (NTS) Co-Chairman Jojo Vicencio DU1VHY, together with Max Santos 4F1BYN relocated to La Montana Estates in Antipolo - the QTH of Peter Schuemann DU1DL, to better copy transmissions from Tacloban City."

The Tacloban station is now transmitting barefoot at 100 watts, passing health and welfare traffic.

"The farthest that RADNET members have penetrated is Palo which is the nearest municipality to Tacloban City. There are still no cellular phone services or electricity in the area," Ramon DU1UGZ said.

Among the other Ham Emergency Radio Operator activity is the Cebu Amateur Radio League (CARL) DX7CA which has been deployed to Bantayan Islands.

He said, "Bantayan Islands is one of the hardest hit islands east of Cebu Province. The DX7CA team is composed of Sidney Tan DW7EEE, Dondon Medina 4F7FDM along with his wife Mylene DW7MYL and their son Miko DV7MYC, and DW7MMM.

"Another DX7CA team is stationed at the Cebu Capitol Building composed of Steve Tan DW7MCC, Randy Benbaye DV7NGG, DW7EUR and Abel DU1CLZ," said Ramon DU1UGZ.

"There has been no news emerging from the islands as the initial national government focus has been on Tacloban City and its neighbouring municipalities.

"However the Governor Davide has already gone to the islands and convened a needs-assessment meeting with local officials," he said.

The government has set up command centres in both the Eastern and Western Visayas, and may use the HERO network, to better coordinate the recovery effort.

It the path of the typhoon was the island of Bohol, the epicentre of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in October that killed 222 people and left 5,000 survivors in tents.

Rescuers and relief supplies are reaching remote places for the first time, painting a gloomy picture indeed.

The Philippines had Typhoon Bopha in December 2012 that left about 2000 people dead or missing on the southern island of Mindanao.

Typhoon Haiyan was a fast-moving Category 5 typhoon with winds gusting up to 379km/h affecting 36 provinces in the Philippines and is now headed for Vietnam where 300,000 people are in storm shelters.

Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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The 5 MHz Newsletter - now available

Sunday 10th November 2013

The latest edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter - No 8 Autumn 2013 - is now available.

As well as the latest 5 MHz news, there are also features on emcom messaging with an international dimension, RSGB 5 MHz consultation, new URL for Hack Green SDR, more 5 MHz Analysis, South African 60m Activity Weekend with temporary Beacon and 5 MHz crystals.

Wrapping it up is news of a TV interview with IARU's Larry Price, W4RA, explaining the workings of WRCs and the ITU.

It's downloadable free from


Paul Gaskell, G4MWO
Editor, The 5 MHz Newsletter

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Ofcom spend 1.8 million on Ham Radio

Sunday 10th November 2013

Ofcom claim to have spent £1.872 million on amateur radio in 2011/12

On Wednesday, following a stakeholder request, they released an addendum to the consultation on setting cost based fees for spectrum licences. It provides a breakdown of Ofcom’s spectrum management costs and invoiced fees by Wireless Telegraphy Act licence class.

Read the addendum at

Spectrum Pricing: A framework for setting cost based fees consultation

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SOTA Mighty Mite Weekend

Saturday 9th November 2013

The first SOTA Mighty Mite Weekend will be held on the 7-8th December 2013.

The aim is simply to get on the air and make SOTA contacts using Rock Mites or Rock Mite clones. Chasers and activators are equally welcome.

SOTAbeams will provide a little trophy for the person who publishes the most interesting account of their activities over the weekend on SOTAwatch.

73 Richard G3CWI

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Intruder alert system growing

 Saturday 9th November 2013

The IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports the Intruder Alert System is growing and now has over 147 members worldwide

Radio Amateurs or SWLs who want to be a member of the Intruder Alert System, should send an email to DK2OM:

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 October 2013 newsletter can be read at

Please log your reports of Amateur Band intruders online at

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)

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1st edition of FUNcube Handbook now available

Friday 8th November 2013

Thanks to the very good work of Richard Limebear G3RWL the first edition of the 'FUNcube Handbook' is now available

The handbook provides an initial introduction to the project overall and the FUNcube-1 spacecraft in particular. An updated edition may be available sometime after the launch which is currently planned for November 21, 2013.

The primary mission of the FUNcube-1 CubeSat is to provide a telemetry beacon that can be easily received by schools and colleges for educational outreach purposes. When not in educational mode the spacecraft switches on a communications transponder for use by radio amateurs.

It is presently being translated into French and AMSAT-UK would be delighted to receive offers of translation into other languages.
Contact AMSAT-UK here

The handbook and other FUNcube documents can be downloaded from

Direct link to the FUNcube Handbook v1 PDF

FUNcube Yahoo Group

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New AOWA Yagis

Friday 8th November 2013

Derek G4CQM continues with his AOWA yagi development project releasing new designs that raise the bar even higher.

Derek says that he is more than ever convinced that the perfect 50-Ohm yagi does exist and these new designs are getting really close to that goal!

If you are a keen 2M DXer you can see the new designs here...

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Standard for an SDR to External Programs Interface

Friday 8th November 2013

Recently I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX on adding functionality for the CCW SDR-4+ receiver and the Sentry SDR transceiver to his SDR program, UWSDR.

During the email discussions and software testing I raised the possibility of using a TCP/IP connection to transfer the PTT information between a datamode program and a SDR program.

Jonathan then suggested the use of UDP/IP and also suggested that the audio connection between the two programs could also go over UDP/IP.

After a lot of thought he has come up with a proposed standard that would allow authors of SDR and datamode programs to add a simple to use audio and PTT interface.

I've posted his document "A Standard for an SDR to External Programs Interface" on the CCW website:

We want to contact as many software authors as we can to give them information on the standard so that it can be implemented on as many ham radio programs as possible.

I've also suggested the CCW forum as a possible area for authors to discuss the standard:


Chris, G4HYG

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UK Licence Changes - Have Your Say

Thursday 7th November 2013

2014 will see 'once in a decade' changes to the UK amateur radio licence. The RSGB are providing an online discussion forum to enable people to express their views

Anyone, RSGB member or not, can contribute to the discussion on next year's licence changes.

You can register on the forum at

Among the more popular topics are:

Embedding the Progressive Licence concept

Frequency or Band restrictions

When you register on the site there is a question at the bottom which says:
Who issues licences in the UK?:
This question is a means of preventing automated form submissions by spambots.

The answer to the question is - Ofcom

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SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat

Thursday 7th November 2013

Hans van de Groenendaal ZS6AKV gave this presentation 'SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat' at the 2013 AMSAT Space Symposium in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, November 2, 2013

The mission aim of the KLETSkous Cubesat is to give Radio Amateurs in Southern Africa easy access to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite on as many of the available passes as possible. KLETSkous will carry a 435 to 145 MHz linear transponder and will carry a scientific experiment for school projects.

Hans also described another transponder opportunity with the Africa Resource Management Constellation of Satellites.

It is hoped that DynaCube, constructed by Interns at the Denel Dynamics Engineering Academy, will launch in 2014. The CubeSat will have downlinks on 145.980 MHz and 145.840 MHz and aims to explore the South Atlantic Anomaly during orbits over the area.

ZACube-1 is due to launch on November 21, 2013 with FUNcube-1 (they share the same launch pod). This CubeSat will carry beacons on 14.999 MHz and 437.345 MHz.

Watch ZS6AKV: SA AMSAT Turns to Innovation for its Cubesat (presentation at 2013 AMSAT Symposium)




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November deployment for ISS CubeSats

Thursday 7th November 2013

Four CubeSats carrying amateur radio payloads are expected to be deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) by the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) on November 25, 2013.

The CubeSats are:

Pico Dragon developed by the Viet Nam National Satellite Center (VNSC), University of Tokyo and IHI aerospace.
437.250 MHz CW beacon and 437.365 MHz
1200 bps AFSK AX.25 telemetry.

ArduSat-1 developed by NanoSatisfi.
437.325 MHz 9k6 MSK CCSDS downlink.

ArduSat-X developed by NanoSatisfi.
437.345 MHz 9k6 MSK CCSDS downlink .

TechEdSat-3 developed by interns at the NASA Ames Research Center.
437.465 MHz 1200 bps packet radio beacon transmitting 1 watt to 1/4 wave monopole. It plans to test an Iridium Satphone modem and has a deployment mechanism to de-orbit in 10 days.

They are 1U in size (10x10x10 cm) except for TechEdSat-3 which is 3U (30x10x10 cm).

IEEE – DIY Space Programs

Thanks to AMSAT-UK for the above information

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Canadian special prefixes

Thursday 7th November 2013

Canadian radio amateurs will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued by George III, restricting westward expansion of British North America and stabilizing relations with indigenous peoples of the Americas, from November 5th to December 5th by using the following special prefixes:

VG instead of VA,
VX instead of VE,
XJ instead of VO and

XK instead of VY.


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New computer targets the do-it-yourself crowd

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Intel's Galileo open-source computer for the hacker and do-it-yourself crowd can now be ordered for $US69.90, and is scheduled to ship at the end of November.

The Galileo computer is an unenclosed circuit board that's a little larger than a credit card, and uses Intel's extremely low-power Quark processor.

The board is a competitor to the popular $US25 Raspberry Pi open-source PC, and is targeted at the community of makers and enthusiasts who make computing devices ranging from robots and health monitors to home media centers and PCs.

Intel had earlier said the computer would be available for under $US60 by the end of November. Online retailer Mouser Electronics is the first to take orders for the board, and the price falls to $68.25 per unit for a bulk purchase of 100 boards.

Galileo is based on the new line of Quark processors announced by Intel in September. The Quark chips draw less power than the company's Atom chips, and are targeted at wearable devices and small electronics, which today typically use either microcontrollers or ARM CPUs.

Some projects using Galileo are already underway. The board is used in an experiment called YesYesBot, in which a foam-filled robot dishes out candy. A project called Lyt employs the board in a lighted panel that can be controlled from smartphones or tablets. Intel has assisted in both of the projects.

Read the full Computerworld article at:

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 6th November 2013

Island activities:

AF-004; EA8; Canary Islands:
Al/DJ5AA and Bernd/DL2DXA will visit Gran Canaria for two weeks starting November 3rd and sign EA8/homecalls. They also plan to activate some lighthouses and SOTA summits. QSL via homecalls.

AF-024; S7; Inner Islands:
Cesare/I0WDX will show up from La Digue Island (WLOTA 3066, WW Loc. LI75) from November 12 to 23 and operate on all HF bands and 6m. QSL via LoTW and I0WDX (d).

AS-031; JD; Chichijima / Mukojima / Hahajima Islands:
Toshi/JP1IOF is once again QRV as JD1BLC from Chichijima (WLOTA 2269, JCG#10007). From November 7 to 17 he will work on HF in all modes. QSL via JP1IOF (d/B) and LoTW. OQRS will be available by ClubLog.

EU-058; F; Provence-Cote D'Azur (Alpes-Maritimes) Region group:
Gil/F4FET will, with a group of a few more OPs, acivate Sainte Marguerite Island (DIFM ME-020, MIA MF-028) on November 9th. With battery power and small antennas they will be QRV from 06Z to 14Z. On November 10th they plan an activation of Saint Honorat Island (DIFM ME-014, MIA MF-027), from about 08Z to 15Z. QSL via homecall, OQRS.

EU-166; I*9; Sicily's Coastal Islands:
Maurizio/IT9BWD, Riccardo/IT9CVO, Giuseppe/ IT9HBS and possibly Alfio/IT9EJW plan an activation of Vendicari Island (IIA S-022) on November 9/10 as homecall/p. QSL via homecalls.

NA-025; J8; The Grenadines:
Gerd/DL7VOG will be on Union Island from November 7 - 27. Using the callsign J87GU he'll work HF/6m mostly in CW and RTTY, including the WAE RTTY and CQWW CW contests. QSL via DL7VOG (d/B). OQRS at ClubLog.

NA-124; XE2; Baja California Sur State South East group:
Manuel/XE2HUQ, Saul/XE2HQI, Craig/ XE2HWJ and Felix/XE2I will sign XF1P from Isla Partida (WW Loc. DL44tm) from November 9 to 16.
They will be QRV on all HF bands in SSB and CW. QSL only direct via XE2HUQ.

OC-108; YB5; Anambas Islands:
Rizal/YE5YE, Agus/YE5TA, Imam/YB4IR, Anton/YB5QZ, Aled/ YB6CA, Yana/YB1AR, Ady/YB6VK, Fir/YB6ODD, Henk/YB1HK, Ronny/YB7GRN, Teuku/YG5TZ, Budi/YF1AR and Sutara/YE6YE are looking forward to big pileups when they activate Anambas Island (WW Loc. OJ33di) between November 10 and 20 as YE5R. QSL via YB4IR (OQRS/d/B).

OC-157; YB8; Banda Islands:
A team of 8 operators led by Joppy/YB8XM will activate the rare island Pulau Banda Besar from November 10 to 15. Look out for Joppy (YB8XM/p), Marthin (YB8VM/p), Danny (YC8VDT/p), Richard (YD8VSR/p), Agustinus (YD8VRA/p), G. Saiya (YD8VRS/p), Fransicus (YC8VFB/p) and Andy (YC0MVP/8) on 40m - 10m. They applied for the callsign YB8V.

OC-186; YB2; Karimunjawa Islands:
Adhi/YB3MM will sign YB3MM/2 from Menjangan Besar Island from November 9/10. QSL via IZ8CCW.

SA-035; YV5; Los Roques Islands:
From November 7 to 10, a YL DXpedition to Los Roques (DIV-037, WLOTA 2910, WW Loc. FK61qs) will take place. Using the call YW5RYL, operators Carolina/YV4AW, Maika/YY5ALO, Geraldine/YY2GAL, Laura/YY5OLA, Naudys/YY5ANG, Maria Celina/YY5MCO and Yumayra/YY5YVR will work on all bands in all modes.  QSL via YV5AJ (OQRS).

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Don't forget the RSGB CC UKAC on Tuesday

(This coming Tuesday is the 1st Tuesday of the month - 144MHz)

Tuesday 5th November 2013

Most club members are now aware that the RSGB are also running weekly RSGB CC UKAC contests as an addition to their comprehensive contest calendar. 

These are held each Tuesday evening from 20:00 until 22:30 with new club members joining in on a regular basis.

The contests are for multi club member operators, combining their results for a Club Entry, as well as their own individual performance.  They cover the following VHF bands 50 MHz, 144 MHz, 432 MHz, 1296 MHz and up to 10GHz and on those months with a 5th Tuesday 70Mhz. 

You don't have to do each band .. you can choose one band only if you like, which would mean one Tuesday evening a month, so it does not have to be a big commitment !!  You can either work from your shack or go out portable .. the choice is yours.

We now have eight club members contributing to the WADARC score - Denis G3UVR, Frank G8REQ, Chris M1EEV, Simon G6XHF, Daniel M6CUL, Tom G4BKF, Andy M6MEQ and David G3UFO and their combined scores have slipped slightly with WADARC down to 11th place out of a total of 103 UK club entries ...... BUT .. we would like to do better !!    Can YOU join in and help ? 

These contests are now almost the sole topic of conversation at our fortnightly D&W's covering the actual previous nights contest through to antennas, the logging programme, what conditions were like etc.

You can always check on a weekly basis to see how WADARC is doing at:-

A closer look at the top five clubs in the above link shows that they have twenty or so operators that can chip in the points so clearly the more members of a club who take part .. the more points the club receives and the higher the club profile. 

If you would like to take part and chip in your points to the WADARC club score or like more details, then please chat with any of those taking part listed above.  They come to most club meetings and are present at many of the D&W's.  In the meantime I have listed below some bullet points which may answer some of your initial questions, but you can find more complete information by browsing the above link and those at the end.

The UK AC contests are run by the RSGB
There is one every Tuesday evening 20:00 - 22:30
A different band every week of the month (except the SHF one)

First     Tuesday every month - 144Mhz
Tuesday every month - 432Mhz

Third   Tuesday every month - 1296Mhz
Forth   Tuesday every month - 50mhz (plus all the SHF bands to 10GHz)
Fifth    Tuesday (when available) - 70MHz

The Rules are on the RSGB CC VHF website (See links below)
The RSGB Adjudicate the results

There are several power sections
     AL  low power up to 10w (not 70MHz)
     AR 10w to 100w (not 70MHz)
     AO 100w to 400w (not 70MHz)
     AX Full licence power, no aerial restrictions, use of chat internet ok (AX not allowed to add score to club)

You DON'T need to be an RSGB member to operate in the contest.

You DO have to be a club member of an RSGB Affiliated Society (AFS) (such as WADARC) to add your score to.

Logs can be done on paper then converted by typing the info in again at the RSGB CC VHF website.

The easiest way (recommended) is to use the free contest logger "Minos" then on completion just upload the log to the RSGB

You have one week after the end of contest to submit logs.

Some more links to relevant pages at RSGB 

In the meantime, our congratulations to Denis, Frank, Chris, Simon, Daniel, Tom, Andy and David for their efforts and lets hope some more members can spare a couple of hours on a Tuesday evening to consolidate the success they have achieved so far.

73, Neil G4OAR

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Arecibo Observatory on-the-air this Sunday November 10th

Tuesday 5th November 2013

As part of the celebration of it's 50th anniversary, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will be On-the-Air with the amateur radio callsign KP4AO as a special event station.

The Arecibo Observatory is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), a national research center operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

They are inviting radio amateurs and their families to come and operate the station that will be inside the Control Room. It will go on the air from 1300 UTC until 2000 UTC.

A Commemorative Certificate will be available for those who make contacts with KP4AO as well for those who operate the station.

The special event is sponsored by the Caribbean Amateur Radio Group and the Arecibo Observatory Radio Club.

For more information please write to

Photo courtesy of the NAIC - Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF

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New transpoder satellites on the horizon within the next 12 months

Tuesday 5th November 2013

Here is the latest list of the transponders scheduled for launch in 2014.

AMSAT-UK and AMSAT-NL collaboration
1U cubesat
Imminent launch on Dnepr booster (21NOV2013)
600-700 km sun-sync orbit
Educational beacon, 1200 baud BPSK (daytime ops)
20 khz U/V transponder, 500 mW (nighttime ops)

ISIS-BV (Innovative Solutions In Space BV)
3U cubesat
Imminent launch on Dnepr booster (21NOV2013)
600-700 km sun-sync orbit
AIS (ship location service) radio science experiment
Two U/V FM to DSB (“AO-16 mode”) repeaters
activated after 3 months (possibly both at once

Technical University of Delft
3U cubesat
Imminent launch on Dnepr booster (21NOV2013)
600-700 km sun-sync orbit
40 khz U/V transponder (after experiments completed)
High speed S-band downlink

Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, INVAP
S.E., Satellogic S.A., and Radio Club Bariloche
2U cubesat
Imminent launch on Dnepr booster (21NOV2013)
600-700 km sun-sync orbit
Technology demonstration mission
Digipeater and data downloads open after initial experiments

Kaunas University of Technology 1U cubesat
Antares 120/Cygnus NET 11DEC2013
400 km ISS orbit
VGA camera, GPS, 9k6 AX25 beacon
V/U FM repeater, 150 mW

UKube-1 w/ FUNCube-2
UK Space Agency (amateur payload: AMSAT-UK)
3U cubesat
10FEB2014 launch on Soyuz-2
~600 km orbit
Educational beacon, 1200 baud BPSK
20 khz U/V transponder, 500 mW

Launch under negotiation (probably Dnepr)
30 khz LU/V transponder, 2W
LU/V FM repeater, 1W
VHF CW/9k6 data, UHF 9k6 data beacons

Launch unclear, maybe PSLV with Astrosat in 2014
(650km, low inclination)
U/V FM repeater 5W
145.825 digipeater

35kg Microsat
Launch late 2014 800km sun-sync
U/V FM repeater 500 mW
VHF AX25 beacon 500 mW

CAMSAT 25kg Microsats with cross-link capability
1000km, 99.5 degree sun-sync
VHF CW, Voice and AX25 beacons
50 kHz U/V transponder, 500mW
200kHz L/S transponder, 320mW
U/V digipeater
UHF CW and AX25 beacons
S CW beacon
10GHz CW beacon
V/U transponder, 500mW

QB50 precursors (not yet named)
SSB/CW, FM Voice
Launch 1st half 2014 (600km orbit)


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Diwali return for APRS balloon payload

Wednesday 4th November 2013

The payload of the Indian amateur radio APRS balloon launched on October 13, 2013 has been successfully retrieved

The balloon payload was returned to Dhruva Space on November 3 during Diwali (Festival of Lights).

The balloon had been launched from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and drifted into the Arabian sea, off the coast of Udupi.
Ham radio operators in Karnataka and Goa in India, and the Middle East and Africa were able to track the APRS signal, containing real time location, altitude and other operating conditions of the flight, for over 600 km into the Arabian sea.

The payload was found about 42.6 km off the coast of Gangoli, Karnataka on October 15 at 11 AM by the sailors of the fishing boat “Suvarna Lakshmi”.

It was only possible to trace the payload because one of the sailors used the sim card that was in one of the pieces of equipment in the payload.

Indian Record for Tracking Ham Radio Balloon

High Altitude Balloon to Study Comet ISON

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Ofcom Online Licensing Service User Guide

Wednesday 4th November 2013

To help people use the Online Licensing Service, Ofcom have produced a handy leaflet

It is thought only a fraction of licensees validated their licence when most fell due last December. Ofcom have not revoked any licences that were not validated and have indicated that they still consider them to be valid licences appearing in the totals for the Ofcom licence statistics issued each month.

The reason for so few validating their licence could be because people have difficulty using the online system or because they have left the hobby. To address the former Ofcom have released a leaflet that describes how to use the online licensing system.

Read the User Guide at

Remember to validate your licence

Ofcom UK Amateur Radio Licence Statistics

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Wednesday 4th November 2013

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 27th-October, through Sunday, 3rd-November there were 256 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FO/a, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA,
HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2,
J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/m, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KH9, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S2, S5, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TN, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XT, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS, ZS8

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).


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Ex-commercial Marconi and naval radio equipment

Wednesday 4th November 2013

Anyone interested in acquiring ex-commercial Marconi and Naval radio equipment can do so by making a suitable donation to a merchant navy charity, RNLI, or Radio Officers Association.

The equipment is stored in southern England.

September 1st 2014 is the final day for storage.

Further details and information is available from George Clive Evans on email, georgecliveevans /at/


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IOTA News from OPDX

Wednesday 4th November 2013

Island activities:

NA-189. Operators Benjamín/XE2AU,
Juán Manue/XE2AI, Ismael/XE1AY, Jorge/XE2AMS, Juán/XE2AY, David/XE1REW, Gustavo/XE1KKK and Enrique/XE2AA will be active as XF1T from Cocinas Island between March 14-17th, 2014. QSL via IT9EJW. An OQRS and log search will be available on ClubLog after the DXpedition

OC-109/OC-122/OC-209/OC-210. (Postponed/Update) John, YB5NOF, informs OPDX that the reason for the postponement of OC-109 and OC-122, is the bad weather conditions until January 2014 and no transportation to go there.  He did mention that before OC-109 and OC-122, he will try to activate Talaud Island (OC-209) and Sangihe Island (OC-210), especially to Miangas on the borders of North Celebes, with Ronny/YC8TXW and Jusuf/YC8TZR in May of 2014. Stay tuned for updates! These operations will count towards the Nusantara Indonesian Island Award:

OC-157. (Update/Callsign) A team of 8 operators will be active as YB8V from the rare Banda Besar Island between November 10-15th.
Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB.
The operators mentioned are Joppy/YB8XM (Team Leader), Marthin/YB8VM, Danny/YC8VDT, Richard/YD8VSR, Agustinus/YD8VRA, G. Saiya/YD8VRS, Fransicus/YC8VFB and Robert/YC0MVP.
Look for more details to be forthcoming. Watch the following Blog page for updates at:

OC-262. As this is being typed, Budi, YF1AR, is expected to be active as YF1AR/4 from Sebesi Island between November 1-5th.
Activity will be on 40-10 meters using mainly SSB, but some CW and
Digital modes. QSL via N2OO (see
For more details and updates, see:

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

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Close down of channel 1 and Amateur use of 50 to 51 MHz

Sunday 3rd November 2013

New Zealand's last Channel 1 Television transmitter is due to close down at the end of November and RSM has advised that from 6th December 2013 onwards (just in time for the annual VHF/UHF/SHF Field Day Contest) Amateurs throughout New Zealand will have access to the bottom end of the 6 metre band (50 to 51 MHz) without needing to apply for a permit.

Note that the management right under which the channel 1 television transmitters operated does not expire until August 2015 so 50 - 51 MHz can not appear on the  Amateur General User Radio Licence until after this date. 

Instead RSM are putting in place licence No 4122 which will say that “Persons who hold a New Zealand General Amateur Operator’s Certificate of Competency and a callsign issued pursuant to the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001 may operate an amateur radio station under this licence”. The power on the licence will be 30 dBW
(1 kW) to bring it into line with the power on the General User Radio Licence for Amateur Operators.

When Management Right 47 expires on the 30 August 2015, 50/51 MHz will be added to the General User Radio Licence for Amateur Operators.

NZART Website

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RSGB Progressive Licence Discussion Forum

Sunday 3rd November 2013

The RSGB is holding an open online discussion forum about amateur radio licence progression

The forum 'Welcome' post says: "The RSGB recognises the case for progression through the licencing structure, and shares Ofcom’s concern that too many amateurs are not progressing from Foundation level and dropping out of the hobby."

You can register and join in the discussion at

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Optical marking for ham radio exams

Sunday 3rd November 2013

UK amateur radio exams have now moved over to optical marking, this video describes the new system

Paul Whatton G4DCV has re-edited an earlier video to produce this presentation about the Optical Marking System by Alan Betts G0HIQ Chief Examiner for the Radio Communications Foundation (RCF).

View or download the video at

The July and October issues of the free RCF Instructors' Newsletter have articles on Optical Marking, see

The RSGB Training & Education Chair manages a Yahoo Group to allow for regular updates, news and sharing of ideas between trainers, see

G4DCV Vimeo page

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FUNcube-1 presentation PowerPoint slides released

Saturday 2nd November 2013

The PowerPoint slides used in the FUNcube-1 presentation given by Dave Johnson G4DPZ at the RSGB Convention in October 2013 have now been made available

It is hoped they will be used by others to support presentations they may give on FUNcube-1 to local clubs.

Download the PowerPoint slides from

Dave G4DPZ recently announced he was willing to give talks to clubs in his area and a number of clubs immediately took him up on the offer.
It is believed there are many other clubs across the country that would welcome a talk on the new FUNcube-1 satellite and AMSAT-UK would like to hear from anyone willing to give such talks.

FUNcube-1 Talk for Local Clubs

FUNcube Yahoo Group

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Freedom of Information requests to Ofcom

Saturday 2nd November 2013

A number of hams are making Freedom of Information requests to Ofcom

To follow the questions and the ofcom replies visit

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Ofcom RSGB Convention slides

Friday 1st November 2013

Ofcom has released the slides from the presentation given by Paul Jarvis G8RMM and Ash Gohil at the recent RSGB Convention

See the PDF at

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'Hexacopter' changes the way TV reporters work

Friday 1st November 2013

We first watched the new generation of model helicopters live at a WADARC club evening with a great talk and demonstration by Richard Whelan back in April of this year.

They are referred to as small scale Quad and Hexacopters and are definitely not toys unless you are over 21 !!

Well .. now the BBC have bought them and you can read an interesting article from the BBC website about their use to enhance news gathering :-

Thanks to Phil G6IIM for spotting the article.

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RSGB Training Forum videos

Friday 1st November 2013

Paul Whatton G4DCV has released videos of the Training Forum held at the recent RSGB Convention

Part 1 is introduced by Steve Hartley G0FUW, Chair of the RSGB Education and Training Committee, and features a presentation on the Edmodo Virtual Learning Environment given by Derek Hughes G7LFC, see

In Part 2 Alan Betts G0HIQ, RCF Chief Examiner and Chair of the RCF Exam Committee, gives a presentation on Optical Marking, see

The videos can either be viewed online or downloaded to your PC.

Paul Whatton G4DCV has also made available a video of the Meteor Scatter for Beginners presentation given by Lyndon Leach GW8JLY, see

G4DCV Vimeo page

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Salon lights jam 4G cell site

Friday 1st November 2013

The US communications regulator the FCC believes in taking action against incidental radiators such as lights that cause harmful radio interference

Comm Law Blog reports that lights in the Perfect Cuts Salon in San Antonio, Texas run by Ronald Bethany have been emitting a radio signal on 705 MHz used by AT&T for 4G services.

AT&T contacted the FCC about the interference and the FCC have now issued a Citation and Order - Incidental Radiator Causing Harmful Interference - which says:

If, after receipt of this Citation Mr. Bethany again violates Section 15.5(b) of the Rules by engaging in conduct of the type described herein, the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation, and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.

For instance, the Commission could impose separate forfeitures for each day on which his incidental radiators cause harmful interference.

Read the CommLawBlog article

Read the FCC Citation and Order

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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:-