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

How to know when a good Aurora is coming to your garden !

Friday 28th February 2014

After last nights amazing Aurora displays up and down the UK (as well as in the Polar Regions), many of you may be wondering how to find out if an Aurora is likely to be seen down in these parts.

Start by checking if there is a Geomagnetic RED STORM warning on the opening page of the Website .. as there was this week.

Then go to Lancaster University website who have a continuous watch for Aurora activity from both poles.  They also have a chart which displays the propensity for an Aurora coming down as far as the UK.  I missed it last night, even though I checked the chart during yesterday afternoon .. so after seeing a Red STORM warning on our website it is always worth checking from 8pm onwards .. particularly when we also have clear skies.

I have added below today's chart showing what you should expect to see.  It shows last nights event starting at 20.00 hours and getting stronger until around 11pm.  I walked the dog at midnight and missed everything !!

To see the latest chart from Lancaster University .. go to
http://aurorawatch.lancs.ac.uk/

There is also the European Aurora chart from http://www.spaceweather.com which shows the current "Auroral Oval" so you can again see whether it is likely to come down far enough to be seen in the UK.  They also have a Realtime Aurora Photo Gallery of pictures from around the world which is updated daily and well worth a browse.  Some photos are absolutely stunning.

Credit: NOAA/POES (Space Weather Prediction Centre)

A lot is down to luck .. you need a raging CME coming towards earth to create a good magnetic storm, plus clear skies BUT as last night proved .. it does all come together .. occasionally !

73, Neil G4OAR

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Maritime Radio Day 2014

Friday 28th February 2014

Welcome to the Maritime Radio Day 2014 from April 14th 12.00 GMT to April 15th 22.00 GMT

The Maritime Radio Day is held annually to remember the nearly 90 years of wireless service for seafarers. Since its beginning in 1900, Maritime Radio was in use mainly until the end of 1998.

The MRD is open to all Amateur Radio Stations. Special stations (like Coastal radios and ship callsigns) can participate to the MRD only if operated by former Commercial or Navy operators, or by radio technicians who worked in the installation and/or maintenance of naval equipment.

If you are a former merchant marine Wireless Operator (or former technician) please register to this event by communicating your certificate type/year and the details about your MRD activation to R/O Rolf Marschner at: dl9cm@t-online.de

Rules:

1 Bands: 160m, 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m & 10m & WARC
2 Mode: CW only
3 Power: not limited
4 QSO – Exchange: QSA, QRK, name, callsign of last or favorite ship / aircraft / maintance company (DEBEG, SAIT, SIRM)
5 Silence periods do not have to be observed
6 Deadline of MRD-NC is 1st of May.
7 Certificate of participation (CoP) is available via e-mail only (see notes)
8 Results of MRD-NC will be published on MRD homepage
9 QSL cards: Each participant manages their own QSL card. There is no qsl manager.

Notes:

- QSA (1 to 5) is the strength of the received signal
- QRK (1 to 5) is the readability and additional a : tr, msg and/or a qtc if you like
- Certificate of Participation (CoP):

SWL’s have to send a complete log entry.
Licensed operators can send their contact list with naval, coastal, special stations to dl9cm@t-online.de

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

MacLoggerDX Version 5.52 released

Thursday 27th February 2014

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.52 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What's New in this version:

* Better skimmer spot processing.
* Added QSX spot tuning.
* Added Follow radio spot check box.
* Added Ten-Tec Orion power reading.
* Added M2 RC2800 rotor driver with read-back.
* Added Green Heron rotor driver with read-back.
* Added MDS RC1 rotor driver with read-back.
* Added Idiom Press Rotor-EZ rotor driver with read-back.
* Added Adaptive Polling check box.
* Added QSL Image EXIF rotation.
* Debug Logs moved to MLDX_Logs folder.
* FT-8x7 bug fixed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

This is a free update for all Version 5 customers and can be downloaded from: http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Most intense flare of 2014

Wednesday 26th February 2014

Space Weather report the returning sunspot AR1967 unleashed a powerful X4.9-class solar flare on Feb. 25 at 00:49 UT

They say: This is the most intense flare of 2014 so far, and one of the most intense of the current solar cycle. Although this flare is impressive, its effects are mitigated by the location of the blast site--near the sun's southeastern limb, and not facing Earth. Indeed, a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) which raced away from the sun shortly after the flare appears set to miss our planet.

Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME suggest an expansion velocity near 2000 km/s or 4.4 million mph. If such a fast-moving cloud did strike Earth, the resulting geomagnetic storms could be severe. However, because its trajectory is so far off the sun-Earth line, the CME will deliver a glancing blow, at best, and probably no blow at all.


NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash, the picture can be seen on the Space Weather site at
http://spaceweather.com/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication

Wednesday 26th February 2014

World Amateur Radio Day is celebrated each year on April 18 in recognition of the anniversary of the founding of the IARU in Paris in 1925

At the IARU Administrative Council meeting in September 2013, the theme 'Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication' was adopted by the Council for World Amateur Radio Day, Friday, April 18, 2014.

Amateur radio has truly entered the 21st Century. In less than 100 years amateur radio communications has evolved from crude spark-gap technology to digital signal processing and software-defined radios.
The amateur's HF choice between voice and CW has been expanded to a broad range of communication choices from television to spread spectrum.

Amateur digital communications has evolved. At the end of World War II until the early 1980's, radioteletype, also known as RTTY, was the only HF digital mode available to amateurs. In the 1980's, AMTOR made its debut along with the increased popularity and availability of personal computers. AMTOR was the first amateur digital communication mode to offer error-free text transmission.

From the early 1980's, the rate of change increased dramatically. Packet Radio emerged and for a period of time was the most popular form of amateur digital communication. As microprocessor technology became more sophisticated, there was a rise in modes such as Clover, PACTOR, and G-TOR that were capable of error-free exchanges under marginal band conditions. In the late 1990's, there was an invention that harnessed personal computer technology to create PSK31.

In the VHF-UHF frequency ranges, Packet Radio had less activity at the close of the century than it did in the 1980's and 1990's. However, Packet Radio was reborn as the popular Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) and traditional packet systems still exist to support public service activities with greatly enhanced functionality.

Thanks to individual amateurs, hams now enjoy digital meteor scatter contacts and even moonbounce on VHF and UHF frequencies with modest stations. An ordinary computer sound device and software that can be downloaded free from the internet is all that is needed.

The Japan Amateur Radio League developed the D-STAR digital voice and data standard and there has been significant amateur growth as amateurs establish D-STAR repeater networks on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands.

All of these development have inspired amateurs around the world to experiment in their own HF, VHF, UHF and microwave band digital communication.

Activities on the occasion of World Amateur Radio Day can be a great opportunity to spread the word about what the "hams" are doing in the 21st Century.

This year, April 18 is a weekday. However, that doesn't prevent the public activity from taking place on the weekend after April 18. The idea is to gain as much exposure and publicity for amateur radio as possible.

WARD 2014 is an opportunity for amateurs to give presentations about ham radio to such groups as civic organizations, charitable groups, etc. For example, Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs are only two of many worldwide organizations who have weekly meetings and these organizations are always looking for interesting and informative programs to present to their membership. There are very few experienced hams who can't talk for 15 or 20 minutes about ham radio in a positive fashion. Don't make the talk too technical. Stress the fun aspects of ham radio and the opportunity to assist in times of disaster. Keep the presentation to about 20 minutes to allow time for questions.

Amateurs can also show their expertise in digital and wireless communications, to those in the community who have “wireless communication” interests, but haven’t considered the association with Amateur Radio.

Source: IARU

X-class Solar Flare

Tuesday 25th February 2014

Long-lived sunspot AR1967 returned to the Earthside of the sun on Feb. 25th and promptly erupted, producing an X4.9-class solar flare.

This is the strongest flare of the year so far and one of the strongest of the current solar cycle.

Check http://spaceweather.com for updates about this eruption and the possibility of more to come

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

February 432 and Above EME Newsletter

Tuesday 25th February 2014

The free amateur radio 432 MHz and Above EME Newsletter describes the first wedding by EME at PI9CAM. The couple Marit and André exchanged their 'I do's' via SSB EME on 23 cm!

Also in the newsletter RW3BP describes how he uses Jupiter as a 77 GHz noise source to check his receiver system quality.

The Word and PDF formats the newsletter can be downloaded from
http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/em70cm.html

Previous newsletters are at
http://www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/em70cm_arc.html

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DARC queries PLT measurements

Monday 24th February 2014

The German national amateur radio society the DARC are questioning the measurement protocol used by the Federal Network Agency for PLT testing

It appears measurements on PLT deveices are carried out partly in stand-by mode, with no data being exchanged. This may give the misleading impression the equipment meets the emission standards.

Thilo Kootz DL9KCE says "A disabled mower also does not violate the Noise Ordinance. Such a measurement method would be a carte blanche for thousands of other devices that are not allowed to come to our market."

Read the DARC PLT story in Google English
http://tinyurl.com/q5ozmdx

DARC in Google English
http://tinyurl.com/GermanyDARC

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

A new approach to multi-user wireless

Monday 24th February 2014

Radio amateur Dr. Antonio Forenza AG6NA has published a paper on Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output (DIDO) Wireless Technology which can be used for HF Near-Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS)

The paper, which was co-authored with Rearden Companies CEO Steve Perlman, says:

Distributed-Input-Distributed-Output (DIDO) wireless technology is a breakthrough approach that allows each wireless user to use the full data rate of shared spectrum simultaneously with all other users, by eliminating interference between users sharing the same spectrum. With conventional wireless technologies the data rate available per user drops as more users share the same spectrum to avoid interference, but with DIDO, the data rate per user remains steady at the full data rate of the spectrum as more users are added.

DIDO works indoor/outdoor for urban/suburban applications at distances of several miles, and for rural applications, DIDO works at distances up to 250 miles [400 km - NVIS].

A key limitation for data communications using the HF bands that work with NVIS is that they are very narrow and a large percentage of the HF band would have to be used to provide sufficient data rate for broadband applications to even one user in the entire 500-mile area. Of course, DIDO would be an ideal technology to overcome this limitation because a large number of users can simultaneously use all of the available spectrum, each receiving the full data rate available in the HF channel.


Download the paper at
http://www.rearden.com/DIDO/DIDO_White_Paper_110727.pdf

Read the IEE article at
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/wireless/
5g-service-on-your-4g-phone


A 2011 Bloomberg article says tests to date have been conducted on the amateur radio spectrum with a maximum of 10 people communicating simultaneously, see
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-edison-of-silicon-valley-07272011.html#p5

Rearden Companies [named after character in Ayn Rand book Atlas Shrugged]
http://www.rearden.com/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 24th February 2014

Island activities:

AF-032. (Wrap-up) Alfredo, IK7JWX, Team leader of the 5I0DX DXpedition to Zanzibar Island, reports [edited],
"AF-032 is over. Don't think we were there for holiday. The two humanitarian events held at one local School as well at the Italia Day Hospital were a success! You can find some pictures here:
http://www.hb9dhg.ch/events.cfm?RequestTimeout=500
&Action=1&Year=2014&EventID=52&Sort=1

Also, have a look at Elvira's blog (IV3FSG):
http://volontariafrica.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/hakuna-matata/
5I0DX QRT

The 5I0DX DXpedition to Zanzibar Island went QRT the 12th February by logging the last QSOs on 30m CW! We will now check the log and correct some wrong callsigns as well update them to ClubLog. BE PATIENT, your QSO will appear soon. Logs will be uploaded soon on Clublog. Any communication with the Team can be via our friend Fulvio, HB9DHG, (look at QRZ.com). Italia Day Hospital, Zanzibar - Not only a DXpedition, but this will also a humanitarian trip to help the 'Italia Day Hospital' in Mweraponcwe. Have a look at this Youtube Video!
Thank you Pablo and Domenico Palumbo for your efforts.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClQj9R3SYzk
https://www.facebook.com/groups/256737857822173/
permalink/256740014488624/

The Team European DXpedition Zanzibar 2014 wants to thank the
Sponsors, Individual contributors, Clubs and Associations.
Special thanks to TCRA Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority and TARC Tanzania Amateur Radio Club and their secretary Hidan, 5H3HO, for the collaboration and help.
ITALY's QSL Manager: IK7JWX; WORLD QSL Manager: IS0AGY - QSL via the Bureau or direct (3 USDs or IRC). Despite some interruptions of electricity, a half-day break and propagation not very good, all the 5I0DX team is very satisfied and happy for 14,068 QSOs." LoTW confirmations will be available soon! The QSLs will be printed by Emil, LZ3HI.

EU-047. Robert, DK2RO, will once again be active as DK2RO/p from
Spiekeroog Island between March 2-7th. Activity will be holiday style on all HF bands, propagation permitting, main mode CW. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau. He as uploaded his logs of past operations to LoTW.

OC-076. (Update/Dates/Changes) It seems that Joppy, YB8XM, will now be active by himself as YB8XM/p from Sanana Islands, North Maluku
Province, Indonesia, between February 24-26th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters. Modes were not mentioned. QSL via YB8XM, direct with SAE + 2 IRCs (No Green Stamps and No via Bureau). PayPal is available (see Web page, designed by Andy, YC0MVP). For more details and updates, see:
http://oc076.blogspot.co.uk

OC-164. John, VK6HZ, will once again be active as VK6ARI from Rottnest Island between March 23-30th. Activity will be holiday style on 40-10 meters using SSB, PSK and RTTY, possibly CW. Antenna will be a Buddipole. Activity will be around the usual IOTA frequencies. QSL via VK6HZ, direct or by the Bureau. Log will be uploaded to Clublog and LoTW.

SA-016. By the time you read this, the ZZ8S operation from Santana
Island during the S. American Lighthouse Weekend should be almost QRT (February 24th). Activity will be 40-10 meters SSB only. QSL via PT2OP.

SA-029. By the time you read this, the ZV1M operation from Jurubaiba
Island during the S. American Lighthouse Weekend should be almost QRT (February 23rd). Activity will be 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and PSK31. QSL via PY1MT.

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 24th February 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 16th-February, through Sunday, 23rd-February there were 227 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3C, 3C0, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7P, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 8R, 9A, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, 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, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PZ, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T2, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TU, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, 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).

OPDX

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DoD release Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy

Sunday23rd February 2014

On Thursday, February 20, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced the release of its Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy (EMS) to increase available spectrum in order to meet growing demand from the commercial wireless industry

The strategy follows the release of a memorandum issued in 2010 by President Obama titled “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,” which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020.

“The Department’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy addresses the ever increasing need for spectrum to achieve national security goals,” said Teri Takai, DoD chief information officer. “This strategy also addresses short and long-term spectrum challenges as it relates to the growing US demand for wireless broadband services. To achieve the balance required between national security and economic growth, DoD will continue to work in close collaboration with federal regulatory agencies and policymakers, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Federal Communications Commission, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as well as with commercial industry.

DoD Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy document
http://www.defense.gov/news/dodspectrumstrategy.pdf

DoD Announcement
http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=16547

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

'Berlin Wall' erected at Bletchley Park as charities fall out

Saturday22nd February 2014

The Telegraph reports tensions have flared between the two charities which share Bletchley Park after one of them erected a 'Berlin Wall' dividing the site

Read the Telegraph story at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/museums/10651340/
Berlin-Wall-erected-at-Bletchley-Park-as-charities-fall-out.html

BBC TV news report January 24 - Bletchley Park's bitter dispute over its future http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoDWrPB85qM

National Radio Centre Bletchley Park
http://www.nationalradiocentre.com/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

GAREC 2014 heads for Alabama USA

Friday 21st February 2014

The Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference (GAREC) in August is hosted by the ARRL South-eastern Division and the Alabama Huntsville Hamfest - a Regional ARRL Centennial Event.

All Emergency Communication minded radio amateurs and professionals are invited to attend - and it's expected to attract participants from around the world.

GAREC-14 will he held on 14-15 August, and be followed the annual Huntsville Hamfest on Saturday August 16th and Sunday 17th at the Von Braun Convention Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Embassy Suites Hotel which will hold GAREC-14 is connected to the Hamfest by a sky bridge. The Space and Rocket Centre and home to the famed Space Camp, are just a short drive away.

The first GAREC was in Tampere, Finland in 2005. It has been held each year through an organising committee working on an interesting agenda with the local host, and the participation International Amateur Radio Union representatives.

The conference agenda, full information and a website are being developed.

Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman
IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom: Co-existance issues for 2300 and 3400 MHz bands

Thursday 20th February 2014

The proposal to sell-off spectrum at 2.3 and 3.4 GHz will impact both the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services.

The UK communications regulator Ofcom has published a consultation setting out proposals for addressing technical issues related to the forthcoming award of 190 MHz of spectrum at 2350-2390 MHz, 3410-3480 MHz and 3500-3580 MHz. It is expected that these frequencies will be used for 4G mobile services using Long-Term Evolution (LTE). Ofcom say In certain circumstances, LTE has the potential to cause interference to applications/devices using spectrum in adjacent frequency bands.

Ofcom has assessed the impact for both licensed and licence-exempt uses of the release and adjacent spectrum.

The Amateur Service is covered in section 9 page 73 and the Amateur-Satellite Service in section 12 page 87 (12.25-12.30) of the consultation document.

With regard to the Amateur-Satellite Service Ofcom refer to the ITU-R frequency filing database as a source of information. National administrations rather than individuals are responsible for submitting this information and it is suspected that not all administrations have been doing so which may lead to usage being understated.

Regarding the impact on 2400 MHz Ofcom say:

12.29 In our consultation on amateur usage we acknowledged that the 2400-2450 MHz band could experience an increase in background noise as a result of the release and set out advice for amateurs planning continued use of these bands.

12.30 We consider that there is no need for further detailed analysis of the impact of the release on the amateur satellite service as there is a 10 MHz separation between this use and release band and there should be no issue greater than the in-band ISM interference.

It is presumed that in 12.30 Ofcom are saying they expect the interference to 2400 MHz from the LTE release band will not exceed that of a WiFi Router operating on the desired frequency. The weak signal segment 2400-2402 MHz is not used by WiFi but will clearly suffer interference from the new LTE band.

Consultation document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
pssr-2014/summary/pssr.pdf


The consultation closes on May 15 2014, you can respond online via the consultation page at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/pssr-2014/

Read the joint response to the Aug 9, 2013 Ofcom Spectrum Sharing Consultation
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/01/12/ofcom-spectrum-sharing-consultation/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

TX Factor airs on Friday

Thursday 20th February 2014

The UK's first TV show dedicated entirely to Amateur Radio launches just after midnight on Friday.

Petrol heads have their Top Gear, fans of antiques and cookery shows are spoilt for choice, but for far too long there has been nothing on TV for radio enthusiasts.

That all changes on Friday, February 21, 2014 with the launch of TX Factor - a half-hour show produced by broadcast professionals who are themselves radio amateurs.

Hosted by Bob McCreadie G0FGX, Mike Marsh G1IAR and Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ, the show will explore all aspects of the diverse and fascinating hobby which is amateur radio.

Nick Bennett has been employed in broadcast media all his working life and now brings that wealth of professional experience to the TX Factor: "I'm passionate about amateur radio and have always wished there was a high-quality TV show about my favourite subject, and as the main broadcasters haven't yet produced one we decided to make our own!"

The programme is free to view via http://www.txfactor.co.uk/ and will stream to a smart TV, PC, tablet or phone, adapting the quality to the speed of the connection. If the broadband is fast enough viewers can watch in full HD, but it also looks great on portable devices via 3G.

The show is sponsored by ML&S Martin Lynch and Sons Ltd, and Yaesu Musen Co, Japan. Martin G4HKS says: "When I saw the pilot version of TX Factor I was delighted to see our wonderful hobby at last given its own quality TV show and I knew I wanted to support this exciting new development. I think all hams will really enjoy the show and the opportunities it offers to promote the wide variety of interests within amateur radio."

Bob McCreadie G0FGX agrees it's great to have such well-respected sponsors associated with the TX Factor: "Just as with normal commercial TV our programmes are supported by advertising, but are completely editorially independent. TX Factor will aim to entertain and inform the amateur radio community with features on every kind of ham activity, new equipment reviews and developments from around the world."

The first episode includes a feature on Marconi's Atlantic leap, some hilltop SOTA activity and a report by Mike Marsh G1IAR from The Norman Lockyer Observatory Radio Group in Sidmouth, east Devon.

Mike is very keen on getting viewers involved with the show: "Clubs are a very important part of the radio scene in the UK and we hope to receive lots of news from clubs and individuals around the country on their exciting radio activities which will inspire features for future shows. This is very much a show for hams, by hams!"

Episode 1 of TX Factor will be available to view from Friday, February 21, 2014 at http://www.txfactor.co.uk/

The show is totally free and doesn't require any kind of login or registration.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Listening to D-STAR with DSD 1.7

Thursday 20th February 2014

The RTL-SDR.com site has posted that D-STAR digital voice can now be decoded using DSD 1.7 software

The post says: Up until recently it was possible to decode D-STAR headers using either DSD 1.6 or dstar.exe and an RTL-SDR, but it was not possible to decode voice. Now amateur radio hobbyist PU2VLW has brought to our attention that the latest DSD development version 1.7 is capable of decoding D-STAR audio.

Read the RTL-SDR post at
http://www.rtl-sdr.com/listening-d-star-digital-voice-dsd-1-7/

Read the PU2VLW webpage in Google English at
http://tinyurl.com/DecodingDSTAR

The original Spanish is at

http://pu2vlw.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/decodificando-audio-e-frames-da-tecnologia-d-star-com-dsd-1-7-linux/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

FCC proposes to fine Radio Ham for malicious interference

Thursday 20th February 2014

The ARRL report the FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to James R. Winstead, KD5OZY, of Coleman, Texas

They say the Commission proposed a $7000 fine. The action was in response to complaints from other radio amateurs of intentional interference on 7.195 MHz.

Read the ARRL report at

http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-proposes-to-fine-texas-radio-amateur-7000-for-malicious-interference

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

BBC World Service to cut back Shortwave

Thursday 20th February 2014

The Guardian newspaper report the BBC will reduce its shortwave transmissions next year

They say the the money saved will be spent on TV and digital services.

From April 1, 2014 the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring will be funded directly from the TV licence fee instead of receiving funding from the Foreign Office.

Read the Guardian story at
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/feb/19/
bbc-world-service-reduce-shortwave-peter-horrocks

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 20th February 2014

Island activities:

AS-093; HL4; Cholla-Namdo Province (Huksan Islands) group:
Kang/DS4DRE announces a long term activation of Taehuksan Island as
DS4DRE/4. QRV until the year's end on 80-10m in SSB and CW. QSL via
DS4DRE (d/B).

NA-005; VP9; Bermuda Islands:
Michael/G7VJR (ClubLog inventor) plans to get on the air as VP9/G7VJR from Hamilton Parish from the 19th till the 27th. QSL via M0OXO (OQRS).
http://www.m0oxo.com/oqrs/

NA-066; W6; California State South (Orange/ San Diego Caunty) group: Eleven members of the Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club (K6PV)
announce a mini-IOTA-expedition to Santa Catalina Island (USi
CA-016S, WLOTA 2912, Grid. DM03) for February 19 to 23.
QRV as K6PV/6 on 160-70cm in CW, SSB, PSK31 and RTTY. Their prefered
frequencies: SSB: 28.560, 28.460, 24.950, 21.260, 18.128, 14.260
and 3.755 MHz. CW: 28.040, 24.920, 21.040, 18.098, 14.040, 10.115
and 3.530 MHz. They will also take part in the CQWW 160m SSB Contest. QSL via K6PV (d/B), LotW.
http://www.palosverdes.com/PVARC/

NA-102; FG; Guadeloupe:
Gildas/F6HMQ will be operating as TO22C from Guadeloupe (DIFO FG-001, WLOTA 0644) from February 20 to March 6 (including the ARRL contest). QSL via h/c (d/B).
http://dx-world.net/2013/to22c-guadeloupe/

NA-105; FS/PJ7; St. Martin:
Thomas/AA9A stays on Sint Maarten (WLOTA 0711) from the 22nd until the 16th of March and operates as PJ7AA (also in the ARRL contest). QRV on 40-10m in CW and SSB. QSL via LoTW, AA9A (d/B; requests via ClubLog).

NA-113; C6; South Bahama group:
John/9H5G has been active since February 15 from Stocking Island. He is QRV on 10m and 17m. QSL via LoTW and NI5DX.
http://kk4oyj.wordpress.com/

NA-143; W5; Texas State East (Matagorda to Fefferson County) group:
Joe's/K5KUA first trip to Galveston Island in 2014 is due for February 21 to 23. QRV, time permitting, as K5KUA/5 on 40-10m in CW.
QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-032; FK; New Caledonia Island:
Kazu/JA1IST will be paying a visit to Noumea from the 25th on until March 1. QRV on HF holiday-style as FK/JA1IST. QSL via h/c (d/B).

OC-076; YB8; Sula Islands:
Joppy/YB8XM plans to activate Sanana Island sometime during the end of February / beginning of April. QSL via YB8XM (d).
http://oc076.blogspot.com/

SA-016; PR8; Maranhao State Centre group:
Orlando/PT2OP plans his participation in the South America LH-Weekend with the call ZZ8S. QTH is the lighthouse (ARLHS BRA-050, WLOTA 0348, DFB MA-04) on Santana Island (DIB MA-06). QSL via PT2OP (d/B).

SA-018; CE7; Los Lagos Region South group:
Members of the Radio Club Provincial Llanquihue (CE7LL) activate the Isla Guafo (Grid FE26) and the lighthouse located there (ARLHS CHI-021, TWLHD WLH CE-020, WLOTA 1522). QRV as 3G7PM from February 23 to 28. QSL via CE7LL.
http://www.ce7ll.cl

SA-052; OA4; Lima Department group:
Members of the Radio Club Peruano and the Radio Club Grupo DX Bahia Blanca of Argentina plan a joint effort as OC0I from the LH San Lorenzo (WLOTA 0131) from the 20th to the 24th. During the sixth South America LH-Weekend they will also get on the air from the LH Gran Almirante Grau (ARLHS PER-006).
Operators are Pablo/OA4AI (team leader), Cesar/OA4CLU, Tony/OA4DX, David/OA4YX, Carlos/LU7DSY, Carlos/LU4ETN, Daniel/LU1HLH, Gustavo/LU7HW, and Eduardo/ LU7HEO.
The group is supported by the Peruvian navy. QRV with two stations
on 80-10m in CW, SSB, and PSK31. QSL direct via LU7DSY, bureau via
LU3DXG.

SA-055; LU; Buenos Aires (Delta del Parania) Province group:
Carlos/LU8DCH joins the LH weekend from island and lighthouse
Martin Garcia (ARLHS ARG-045). QSL only via direct.

SA-057; CX; Colonia Department group:
Operators Jorge/CX1SI, Gustavo/CX2AM, Oscar/CX2FR, Wilson/CX2RU, Beto/CX3AN, Julio/CX4AAE, Luis/CX4AAJ, Mario/CX4CR, Rainer/CX8FB, and Ghis/CX5DNT (ON5NT), all members of either the Radio Club Uruguayo or the Uruguay DX Group get on the air as CW5F from Timeteo Dominguez Island from the 21st to the 26th. QSL via ON5NT (d/B).

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New Venue and date for the Halton & District Amateur Radio Rally

Wednesday 19th February 2014

The 2014 Halton & District Amateur Radio Rally will have a brand new exciting venue and a new date this year.

The event will take place on Sunday 14th September at Manley Mere.

Manley Mere is set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside and is a great place to visit if you are looking for a fun filled day out. It boasts an adventure trail for kids and adults of all ages as well as a whole host of water sports. There are also great bar and Restaurant facilities. All in all a great day out for all the family while dad, (or Mum), visit the rally.

Facilities for the rally include: Trade Stands, Special interest Groups, Bring & Buy, Secure Car Park, Licensed Bar, Catering, Family Attractions and Camp Site.

Opening Time is 10am, Admission to rally is £1.50. Parking, £2 all day.

Trade pitches are available at £10 per pitch, (maximum 6 tables). Private sales and Special interest groups £5 per pitch, (maximum 3 tables).

Trade and other stalls may be booked via the Rally Website www.haltonradiorally.webs.com or by calling or emailing George Low G0RLF on 07919935725 (daytime only please). g0rlf@talktalk.net .

The proceeds after costs from this year’s Rally will as always be donated to charity.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

BIS prepares for KickSat Sprite launch

Tuesday 18th February 2014

British Interplanetary Society (BIS) members Laurence de Bruxelle and Andy Thomas G0SFJ have been working on three of the low cost ground stations for the eagerly-awaited KickSat CubeSat which will deploy 200 Sprite satellites operating on 437 MHz

The launch of KickSat on the SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS 3 mission is expected to take place from the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, March 16 at 0841 UT.

Read the article BIS KickSat personal ground stations
http://www.bis-space.com/2014/02/16/12429/
bis-kicksat-personal-ground-stations


Andrew Vaudin of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) gave a presentation on the BIS Kicksat Sprite satellite to the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Sunday, July 21. You can watch the video of his presentation at http://www.batc.tv/streams/amsat1310

Download it direct to your PC at
http://www.batc.tv/vod/kicksat.flv

Information about KickSat can be found at:
http://www.bis-space.com/category/bis-projects
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/
kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space


KickSat – Zac Manchester KD2BHC Interview
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/01/13/kicksat-zac-manchester-interview/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

RSGB: IARU 2014 Consultation

Monday 17th February 2014

A reminder that the RSGB has established three discussion forums for the IARU Region-1 General Conference that will be held in Varna, Bulgaria in September 2014

There are separate boards covering General Matters (C3), HF (C4) and VHF/UHF/Microwaves (C5).

When signing up to the discussion forum, the answer to the verification question "Who issues amateur radio licences in the UK?" is Ofcom.

IARU 2014 consultation
http://rsgb.org/main/rsgb-consultations/active-consultations/iaru-2014-consultation/

The RSGB IARU discussion forums can be found at
http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?categories/iaru-matters.17/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

GB3VHF off the air

Saturday 15th February 2014

The 144.430 MHz beacon GB3VHF, located at BT Fairseat on the North Downs in Kent, is currently off the air following suspected storm damage.

Further information will be available on the GB3VHF Service News page at http://www.gb3vhf.co.uk/GB3VHFservicenewsannouncements.html

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Incoming CME's

Saturday 15th February 2014

Space Weather reports three CMEs are heading for Earth. Individually they are minor clouds. However, by striking Earths magnetic field in quick succession on Feb 14-15, they could cause significant geomagnetic activity around the poles 

Growing sunspot AR1974 is crackling with M-class solar flares and poses a threat for even stronger X-class eruptions. The sunspot has a 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field that seems to be teetering on the edge of a significant flare. NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of M-flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on Feb. 14th

High latitude skywatchers should be alert for auroras on Valentines Day when NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of geomagnetic storms.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Jupiter's Radio Emissions

Saturday 15th February 2014

The sixth National Astronomy Week (NAW) runs between March 01–08 and this year is focused on Jupiter, which is a source of strong radio emissions as well as being a very prominent optical target  

These emissions can be received on any good quality short wave receiver with an appropriate antenna - have a search on the Web to learn more.  Jupiter's emissions are broadband in nature but the traditional observing range is between 20 and 22 MHz, and in particular 20.1 MHz. 
The important thing is to find a frequency that is free of terrestrial interference.

The FUNcube Dongle Pro Plus covers this range, but not the original 'Pro' devices and it would be interesting  to see what Spectrum Lab or other SDR application would reveal, rather than the traditional approach of feeding a receiver output to something like Radio SkyPipe.

Although Jupiter is prominent for optical astronomers, the first week of March is lacking in good radio opportunities, assuming that I'm using the Radio Jupiter Pro software correctly. 

By my reckoning the best chances for radio bursts are from 2300 UTC on the 2nd to 0030 on the 3rd (30 - 40% probability of receiving bursts), 1830 - 1930 on the 5th (40 - 50%), and 1600 - 1700 on the 6th (40 - 50%).  By contrast, 26th Feb shows a 60 - 90% probability between 1730 and 1830, and 50 - 80% between 2130 and 2300 on the 16th.

Paul Hyde G4CSD
BAA RAG Coordinator
http://www.britastro.org/radio/

BAA RAG Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/baa-rag/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ML&S Ltd launch new one-click shop mobile site

Saturday 15th February 2014

Martin Lynch and Sons Ltd are proud to announce the launch of the Hamradio.co.uk Mobile website.

Always the first to embrace new technology within the amateur radio retail market, customers can now access the full ML&S website through our new mobile/tablet optimised URL.

When used in conjunction with our ‘one click’ shopping cart, (just like Amazon and another first for the UK amateur retail market), you can now order on the move and still gain access to the Worlds’ Favourite Hamstore.

See: www.hamradio.co.uk/mobile

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Vintage Movie: Electronics At Work

Saturday 15th February 2014

This 1945 Westinghouse movie covers the operation of a electron tube and explains the basic principles of radar

Reel 1 describes, by animation, the operation of an electron tube, battery, and motor. Shows an electric trolley and an electric motor. Describes the use of electronics in the manufacture of aluminium, in producing magnesium from sea water, in amplifying sound, and in cleaning dust from a room.

Reel 2, an electron tube is bad as a generator. An animated diagram outlines the feedback principle. Plywood and plastic are cut with an electric cutter. Animation shows the transformation of current into light by photo-electric cells. Describes the use of electronics in welding, X-ray, and television. Ultra-violet rays kill bacteria.

Reel 3 explains basic principles of radar. Anti-aircraft guns fire; a plane falls.

U.S Army Education Film #191
National Archives Identifier: 24387
This movie is part of the collection: WWII Archive

Watch Electronics At Work 1945

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

Saturday 15th February 2014

Island activities:

AS-067. Taka, JA8COE, will be active as JA8COE/6 from Uji Island between April 11-15th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. QSL via his home callsign direct only. For updates, see: http://takaja8coe.de-blog.jp/blog

AS-093. Kang, DS4DRE, is now active (as of February 12th) as DS4DRE/4
from Taehuksan Island until December 31st. Activity will be 80-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-099. Nobby, G0VJG, is planning to activate Les Minquiers Island
for the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th).

EU-123. Members of the Tynemouth Amateur Radio Club's will be active
as GS0NWM from Isle of Arran between March 26th and April 2nd.
The group will be an entering in the CQ WPX SSB Contest (March 29-30th) as Multi-Op entry and sign GM5N.
Operators mentioned are Glenn/G0SBN, Tony/G8YFA and Bob/M0KLO. Activity outside of the contest will be on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via M0URX, OQRS is preferred. No incoming cards required
through the Bureau. Please use the OQRS.

OC-204. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/P from Enggano Island
between March 23-30th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via LoTW or ClubLog's OQRS.

 

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC Country/Entity Report

Saturday 15th February 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Saturday, 8th-February, through Friday, 14th-February there were 226 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Z, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, CY0, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FT5Z, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, 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, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S2, S5, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TN, TR, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, 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).

OPDX

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

UK Radio Ham receives lunar rover

Friday 14th February 2014

Beijing’s Jade Rabbit (Yutu) lunar rover had been thought to be dead but its radio signal on 8462.078 MHz was received by radio amateur Paul Marsh G7EYT / M0EYT on February 12, 2014

CNN mentions that the amateur @UHF_Satcom Twitter feed reported reception of the rover’s signal in their story about Jade Rabbit’s return.

They say: “An amateur website dedicated to monitoring radio signals from space also reported on its Twitter account that it had detected “pretty good signals” from the device.”


 

Jade Rabbit (Yutu) 8462.078 MHz signal received by Paul Marsh M0EYT February 12, 2014

Read the CNN story at
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/12/world/asia/
jade-rabbit-resurrection/index.html

UHF-Satcom
Twitter https://twitter.com/uhf_satcom
Web http://www.uhf-satcom.com/
Yahoo
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/amateur-DSN

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New medium wave beacon

Friday 14th February 2014

A radio propagation beacon on the new 630 Metre band has begun in Australia and it encourages reports of its reception.

The band 472 to 479 kHz was granted to VK radio amateurs on January 1 2013 after the World Radiocommunication Conference approved the 7 kHz wide secondary allocation.

It sits just below the AM broadcast band and is now available to radio amateurs in a number of countries.

The 473 kHz beacon is at Mildura in northwest VK3 on the cross-roads of Australian capital cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Strategically located it also aims to further stimulate activity on the band.

The project is the work of Noel Ferguson VK3FI who built it based on a circuit designed by fellow homebrewer Drew Diamond VK3XU, with changes made mainly for available components.

It identifies as VK3FI Mildura followed by 20 seconds of carrier, radiating from an L-antenna against a mast, plus seven radials and some 27 earth stakes.

The beacon is currently turned on at 1100 UTC part-time when VK3FI is present.

Reception reports are most welcome to vk3fi@wia.org.au

Jim Linton VK3PC

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Building a Successful Remotely Operated Station

Friday 14th February 2014

The Radio Society of Harrow welcomes John Regnault G4SWX

Technology is always moving forwards and remote operation of an amateur station can now be within the reach of most people.
However things are not always as easy as they might first appear and remote operation can introduce many new issues and problems.

In the talk, John G4SWX will review both the regulatory and technical issues highlighting some of the pitfalls.

On the technical side John will highlight the importance of maintaining full control of the station with the possibility, wired communications permitting, of a live demonstration.

Date: - Thursday, 20th of Feb 2014 at 20:00
Location: - RAFA Windsock Club,
28-30 Eastcote Avenue,
S Harrow HA2 8AL

www.g3efx.org.uk

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New Amateur Radio bands in Bulgaria

Thursday 13th February 2014

The latest from IARU R1 Bulgarian Rep Panayot Danev, LZ1US:

New amateur radio bands have been allowed in Bulgaria.
In the future LZ hams will be able to use bands 472-479 kHz, 5250-5 450 kHz, 70.0-70.5 MHz and in addition 1.8 MHz band has been extended up to 2 MHz.

All those bands have to be used on secondary basis.

Cheers

Paul G4MWO

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

CubeSats deployed from International Space Station

Wednesday 12th February 2014

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014 astronaut Koichi Wakata KC5ZTA successfully deployed the first of the 33 CubeSats that were launched from the Wallops Flight Facility, VA to the InThursday 13th February 2014ternational Space Station (ISS) in the Cygnus freighter on January 9

He deployed the first two of the Flock-1 constellation of 28 Dove CubeSats made by Planet Labs at about 0831 UT.

CubeSat Deployment from ISS

In addition to the 28 Planet Labs CubeSats there are four amateur radio CubeSats – LituanicaSat-1, LitSat-1, ArduSat-2 and UAPSat-1 as well as a 915 MHz CubeSat SkyCube planned to be deployed in the coming weeks.

LituanicaSat-1 carries a 145/435 MHz FM transponder while LitSat-1 is thought to carry a 435/145  MHz linear transponder for SSB/CW communications.

The IARU coordinated frequencies are listed as:

LituanicaSAT-1
• FM Transponder Uplink 145.950 MHz Downlink 435.180 MHz
• AX25 Uplink 145.850 MHz AX25 Downlink 437.550 MHz
• CW Beacon 437.275 MHz
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lituanicasat1

LitSat-1
• SSB Transponder Uplink 435.180 MHz Downlink 145.950 MHz
• AX25 Uplink 437.550 MHz Downlink 145.850 MHz
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/palydovas

ArduSat
•  9k6 MSK CCSDS data format downlink 437.? MHz
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/575960623/
ardusat-your-arduino-experiment-in-space


UAPSAT
• AX.25 Packet Radio uplink 145.980 MHz downlink 437.385 MHz

Koichi Wakata KC5ZTA
https://twitter.com/Astro_Wakata

NanoRacks https://twitter.com/nanoracks/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nanoracks

Planet Labs
https://twitter.com/planetlabs

A Dove in Space
https://twitter.com/adoveinspace

Video of NanoRacks interview: Deploying CubeSats from the Space Station
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/01/31/
video-deploying-cubesats-from-the-space-station/


CubeSats deployments are streamed live at
http://m.ustream.tv/channel/live-iss-stream

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Boffin dreams up smart battery gizmo for Raspberry Pi fiddlers

Monday 10th February 2014

Raspberry Pi-packing makers who are devising mobile projects or seeking to set up stationary Pi-based devices that operate beyond the reach of the mains will get a big jolt of help next May if a new doohickey wins sufficient backing on crowd-funding site Kickstarter.

MoPi is a T-shaped board that drops onto the tiny computer’s GPIO pins to provide smart input from DC power sources.

Driving a Pi on battery power is nothing new, of course, but the MoPi, designed by Sheffield University computer science boffin Hamish Cunningham, provides solutions to the most common problems encountered when constructors run Pis away from the mains.

Read the full story:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hamishcunningham/
mopi-mobile-and-24-7-power-for-the-raspberry-pi

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New Worcester UHF repeater goes on-air

Monday 10th February 2014

The Worcester UHF (70cms) repeater, GB3WU, has finally received its NoV for operation from the Worcester Radio Amateur's Association (WRAA) club shack in Worcester after waiting for 22 months!

GB3WU was installed by Mike G8TIC and Peter G0WXJ at midday on Sunday, 9th February and test transmissions were made between 12.06 and 12.20 UTC. The repeater became operational at 12.25 after installation was completed.

About the repeater:

GB3WU is a "wide split" (7.6MHz) repeater that operates on channel RU66 (430.8250MHz output; 438.4250MHz input) and is accessed by CTCSS sub-tone freuqency 118.8Hz (tone code "J").

The repeater comprises a Tait TB7100 base-station with an NHRC-4 controller at this time. The controller may be upgraded at a later date to link it to the Allstar network in the Midlands and South West...

In order to access the repeater you must radiate the 118.8Hz subtone on your transmission on the input frequency. The repeater will return its callsign in Morse code on first access after being idle for an extended period and will return a 3-tone rising beep as the courtesy tone and drop carrier after approx 2 seconds.

The repeater runs approx 15W RF in to the combiner, splitter and coax to achieve 10W at the antenna which is a 4dBd gain WX1 VHF/UHF colinear and achieves the 25W ERP (14dBW) licensed power. The antenna is at approximately 8m AGL and the site is approximately 80m AGL.

Summary:

Callsign: GB3WU
Location: 1Km NE Worcester City Centre, IO82VE
Channel: RU66
Output frequency: 430.8250MHz
Input frequency: 438.4250MHz
CTCSS tone: 118.8Hz
Toneburst access: No

Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Mike G8TIC

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom Baldock gets fix on French station

Sunday 9th February 2014

The Baldock monitoring station has got a fix on a possible French military station that has been causing interference on 7166 kHz

The IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports a French station has been making long CW transmissions of 5 letter groups on 7166 kHz. The Direction Finding (DF) facility at Ofcom's Baldock monitoring station has been used to get a fix on the station, believed to be located in the Loire valley.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 January 2014 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2014/news1401.pdf

Please log your reports of Amateur Band intruders online at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

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

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham radio Apps for smartphones

Sunday 9th February 2014

The SWLing Post provides a run down of some of the amateur radio and SWL Apps available for your smartphone

Read the SWLing Post story at
http://swling.com/blog/2014/01/the-best-amateur-radio-and-shortwave-apps-for-ios-and-android-smart-phones/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Outernet - Shortwave radio from space

Friday 7th February 2014

Outernet is described as the modern version of shortwave radio broadcast from space

It is planned that the Outernet will consist of a constellation of hundreds of low-cost, CubeSats in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Each satellite receives data streams from a network of ground stations and transmits that data in a continuous loop until new content is received.

In order to serve the widest possible global audience, the entire constellation utilizes UDP-based multicasting over WiFi. Although still not common, WiFi multicasting is a proven technology, especially when the data requires only one hop to reach the recipient.

Outernet claims to be able to bypass censorship, ensure privacy, and offer a universally-accessible information service at no cost to global citizens. They say lack of an Internet connection should not prevent anyone from learning about current events, trending topics, and innovative ideas.

Although Outernet's near-term goal is to provide the entire world with broadcast data, the long-term vision includes the addition of two-way Internet access for everyone - for free.

The team hope to have the first test CubeSats launched in 2015.

Outernet
https://www.outernet.is/

Reddit
http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1wqgmh/
outernet_wifi_for_the_world_from_outer_space/


Daily Mail
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2552177/
Forget-Internet-soon-OUTERNET-Company-plans-beam-free-wi-fi
-person-Earth-space.html

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham radio CubeSat deployment postponed

Friday 7th February 2014

The deployment of amateur radio CubeSats from the International Space Station planned for February 6 has been postponed until next week

NASA say:

Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata KC5ZTA spent his morning working in the Japanese Kibo module to install a deployer mechanism that will be used in concert with the Kibo robotic arm to “launch” the first set of NanoRacks CubeSats.

Wakata, who ran into some difficulty last week installing an electronics box that would help control the deployment of the mini-satellites, successfully installed that box after troubleshooting an alignment issue.

The deployment of the first batch of CubeSats, which had originally been scheduled for this week before being postponed following last week’s installation issue, has been postponed further to make sure that the CubeSats do not fall into the intended orbit of the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite launching later this month. The exact date of the CubeSat deployment is still being evaluated.

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Stop polio now - Rotarians on air

Friday 7th February 2014

To celebrate the birthday of Rotary International, and highlight its involvement in eradicating the disease polio, it will hold a special event on February the 22th and 23rd.

All participating Rotarians on Amateur Radio throughout the world will call 'CQ Polio' to mark the founding of Rotary International in 1905, and educate the public about Rotary's End Polio Now campaign.

In Australia listen for special event callsigns VI2POLIO, VI3POLIO, VI6POLIO and VI7POLIO. Activity is also due to take place elsewhere in the world on that weekend.

The polio eradication program is a joint effort between Rotary, the World Health Organisation, and the Bill Gates Foundation.

Jim Linton VK3PC

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

472 kHz and 122.25 GHz available in Poland

Friday 7th February 2014

Polish radio hams have access to two new amateur radio bands

As the National Table of Frequency Allocations has been amended, there are two new bands available to the Polish radio amateurs: the 472-479 kHz band (up to 1W e.i.r.p.), and the 122.250-123.000 GHz band - both allocated to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis.

According to the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 27th December 2013 (Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland of 3rd February 2014, item 161), the relevant amendments will enter into force on 18th February 2014.

Paweł Zakrzewski SP7TEV
PZK IARU Liaison Office

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Buddies in the Caribbean on Bequia

Friday 7th February 2014

The 'Buddies in the Caribbean' crew will be active as J8/homecall from Bequia (pronounced Beck-wee) Island (NA-025 - in the Grenadines IOTA Group) between February 10-18th.

Operators mentioned are Daniel/WZ1P, Budd/W3FF, Mike/KC4VG, Chris/W6HFP, Bill/W7ZT, Wey/K8EAB, Paul/KB9AVO and Steve/WG0AT.

Look for all eight operators to be active on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes, from mountain tops, beaches and the Isis Villa http://www.isisbequia.com/gallery.html

As always, the team will be using Buddipole antennas and low power. They will have a fixed station at the Villa.

QSL via the operator's instructions.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Post Office archives

Friday 7th February 2014

An eagle-eyed readers has found this BT website, which contains a release of Post Office archives going back to 1900.

He says: I haven't seen anything specifically amateur, but there is a lot of history back to 1900 or so.

Click here to take a look

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Swedish VHF/UHF/uW ham radio bands

Thursday 6th February 2014

The Swedish National Society the SSA has released a working document for the amateur radio bands above 30MHz

The document was produced by Mats SM6EAN and Jens SM6AFV with the intention of providing a snapshot of the current status of the VHF, UHF and Microwave bands in Sweden.

The PDF is at
http://www.ssa.se/dev/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/
VUSHF-frequencies-in-Sweden-V1.0-2.pdf


SSA in Google English
http://tinyurl.com/SwedenSSA

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 6th February 2014

Island activities:

AF-016; FR; Reunion Island:
F6KOP and team consisting of Norbert/DJ7JC, Heye/DJ9RR, Franz/DK1II, Martin/9V1RM, Karl/ OE3JAG, Kenneth/OZ1IKY, Francois/ON4LO, Jeremy/EI5GM, Dave/EI9FBB, Jimmy/F4DLM, Maurice/F5NQL, Michel/F5EOT, Stefane/F5UOW, Alain/F5JTV, Gilles/F6IRA, Jean-Luc/F1ULQ, and Frank/F4AJQ plan to activate Reunion (DIFO FR-001, WLOTA 1812, WWFF FFF-011) as TO7CC from the 5th to the 17th. Particular attention will be given to the low bands and digital modes. QSL via OQRS, LotW and via F1NGP (d/B).
http://www.to7cc.com
https://www.facebook.com/TO7CC
https://twitter.com/@to7cc

AF-017; 3B9; Rodrigues Island:
Eric/OE4AAC will be visiting Rodrigues Island (WLOTA 4265, WWFF 3BFF-004) from the 10th to the 18th and operate holiday-style as 3B9/OE4AAC on 40-10m in CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

AF-019; IG9; Pelagie Islands:
Gerhard/OE3GEA puts Lampedusa on the air as IG9/OE3GEA from the 8th to the 13th. QRV only in CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

NA-025; J8; The Grenadines:
Several members of The Buddies in the Caribbean DX-Pedition Group will get on the air from Bequida from the 10th to the 18th. Operators are Wey, J8/K8EAB, Paul, J8/KB9AVO, Mike, J8/KC4VG, Budd, J8/W3FF, Chris, J8/W6HFP, William, J8/W7ZT, Steve, J8/WG0AT, and Daniel J8/WZ1P. QRV in CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via homecalls.

NA-145; PJ5,6; Saba and Sint Eustatius:
Jeff/K5WE and his son Erik/N5WR plan a joint ARRL contest effort as PJ5W. QRV from February 4th on as PJ5/homecalls. QSL PJ5W via K5WE, LotW; other calls via homecall.

OC-145; YB8; Halmahera group:
Imam/YB4IR announces an activation of OF-145. QRV as YB4IR/8 from the 5th to the 7th from Ternate Island, and from the 8th to the 11th from Tidore Island. QRV on 40-10m in SSB and CW. QSL via YB4IR (d/B), LoTW, OQRS available.

SA-006; PJ1,2,4; Bonaire and Curacao: Stan/WS5K is going to appear
on the bands as PJ4F from February 7 till March 9. QRV on all HF
bands. QSL direct via WS5K, LoTW.
 

IOTA-Tour:
Yuki, JH1NBN, is going to travel across Micronesia on a work
assignment and hopes to get on the air according to the following
tentative schedule:
Date Call IOTA Island
Jan 29 - Feb 04 V6P OC010 Pohnpei
Feb 04 - Feb 07 V63AQ/mm
Feb 07 - Feb 15 V6T OC132 Woleai Atoll
Feb 15 - Feb 21 V63AQ/mm
Feb 21 - Feb 25 V6P OC010 Pohnpei
QSLs via Homecall
http://www.1nbn.net

IOTA MARATHON DX-PEDITION OF THE YEAR POLL
Hundreds of IOTA expeditioners activated islands during last year's
IOTA Marathon. Take your pick to nominate the top expedition of
2013:
http://dx-world.net/iota-marathon-dxpedition-of-the-year/

Erratum:
Regarding the activation of Gorong Island (YF1AR/8 and YB0AI/8), the correct name of OC-273 is Gorong und Watubela Islands.
Tnx Larry, K5MK.

Compiled by Klaus, DL7UXG
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Solar Storms - The Threat to Planet Earth

Wednesday 5th February 2014

This week's Horizon programme on BBC2 has a very interesting piece on the effects of solar storms.

The programme's description reads:

There is a new kind of weather to worry about, and it comes from our nearest star.

Scientists are expecting a fit of violent activity on the sun which will propel billions of tonnes of superheated gas and pulses of energy towards our planet. They have the power to close down our modern technological civilisation - e.g. in 1989, a solar storm cut off the power to the Canadian city of Quebec.

Horizon meets the space weathermen who are trying to predict what is coming our way, and organistions like the National Grid, who are preparing for the impending solar storms

Watch - Solar Storms - The Threat to Planet Earth
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01d99vb

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham radio CubeSats to deploy Thursday

Wednesday 5th February 2014

Several amateur radio CubeSats will be deployed from the International Space Station on Thursday, February 6

On Thursday, January 9 at 1807 UT an Antares rocket launched the Cygnus freighter carrying a cargo of CubeSats to the International Space Station. Since then the CubeSats have been stored on the ISS awaiting deployment by the Japanese Kibo Robot Arm.

LY2013SAT QSL card received by Andy Thomas G0SFJ
(Click on image for more information)

The first of these CubeSats LituanicaSat-1, LitSat-1, ArduSat-2, UAPSat-1 and the 915 MHz SkyCube should be deployed on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

They will be followed later in the month by twenty eight commercial 3U CubeSats from Planet Labs.

LituanicaSat-1 carries a 145/435 MHz FM transponder while LitSat-1 is thought to carry a 435/145 MHz linear transponder for SSB/CW communications.

The IARU coordinated frequencies are listed as:

LituanicaSAT-1
• FM Transponder Uplink 145.950 MHz Downlink 435.180 MHz
• AX25 Uplink 145.850 MHz AX25 Downlink 437.550 MHz
• CW Beacon 437.275 MHz
https://www.facebook.com/Lituanicasat1

LitSat-1
• SSB Transponder Uplink 435.180 MHz Downlink 145.950 MHz
• AX25 Uplink 437.550 MHz Downlink 145.850 MHz
https://www.facebook.com/palydovas

ArduSat
• 9k6 MSK CCSDS data format downlink 437.? MHz
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/575960623/
ardusat-your-arduino-experiment-in-space


UAPSAT
• AX.25 Packet Radio uplink 145.980 MHz downlink 437.385 MHz
http://www.uap.edu.pe/

Details of other amateur radio satellites due to launch this month are at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/02/01/
japanese-amateur-radio-satellite-depoyments/


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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio Hams responding to Slovenia electricity disruption

Wednesday 5th February 2014

The cold weather in Slovenia has disrupted the electricity supply and radio amateurs have been assisting with operations on a local community level

Since 31st January Slovenia has been affected by extreme cold weather such as blizzards, heavy snow and sleet. This has caused the collapse of power lines under the weight of ice, snow and falling trees with electricity disruptions now affecting 250,000 people (25% of households). The restoration of electricity supply is being made difficult by the continuing bad weather. This has prompted Slovenia to request assistance from the European Union for mobile electric power generators with a capacity of 100-300+ kVA.

Within Slovenia, some radio amateurs are assisting with operations on a local community level due to problems with the mobile phone and professional radio networks. At the time of writing, no national request for assistance has been received but Slovenian Radio Amateurs are preparing to respond if required.

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism has asked for assistance from nearby European states with Germany, the Czech republic and Austria providing generators and assistance. Because of uncertainty whether the Austrian teams responding to Slovenia will be able to communicate back to their home bases, the Austrian Fire Departments have asked Austrian Emergency Communicators to provide a link between Austria and Slovenia using Pactor/Winlink.

Gregor, OE1VGC the Emergency Communications Co-Ordinator for Austria asks all European Radio amateurs to keep clear of the following frequencies and services which are being used to support these links.

S51SLO 3.644MHz
OE3XEC 3.608 and 3.617MHz
OE6XPD 3.601MHz

Information on the European Union response can be found at :
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-102_en.htm

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Cuba 5 MHz - important further information

Wednesday 5th February 2014

Today the Regulatory Agency (ACS) made a clarification on the law, as a Q&A session to a bunch of questions that the National Ham Association (FRC) has gathered...

Among them, two of mine, one related to split operations to make QSO with other countries...

The ACS make it clear, the band is for emergencies and experimentation on the national territory, and only with Cubans hams, no contact is allowed with other countries "until further notice"...

The other question is about the process of licence update to operate on the new band...

They have to create the procedures to licence upgrade and "it will take a while..." so we keep waiting...

73

Pavel Milanes Costa, CO7WT

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC News

Wednesday 5th February 2014

Bill Moore, NC1L, ARRL Awards Branch Manager, reports that the following operations are approved for DXCC credit:

7Z1ES – Saudi Arabia
CY0P – Sable Island; 2013 Operation
T6ZG - Afghanistan; Current Operation

If you had these rejected in a recent application send a note to bmoore<at>arrl.org to be placed on the list for an update to your account.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

YAESU donates rig to radio telescope

Tuesday 4th February 2014

Yaesu and the Caribbean Amateur Radio Group have joined together in supporting the Arecibo Observatory Amateur Radio Club (KP4AO) located at the world's largest radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, USA (photo left).

During a behind the scenes tour of the facility given to ARRL Officials and guests, KP4AO's President Angel Vazquez-WP3R announced that they were establishing a new amateur radio station in the exhibition hall of the Angel Ramos Visitor Center located at the observatory. Vazquez said that their group was thrilled to be able to showcase amateur radio activities to the thousands of visitors and scientist who pass thru the visitors center each year.

ARRL President Dr. Kay Cragie-N3NK, Southeast Division Assistant Director Dr. Jose Vicens-NP4G, CARG Officer Juan Montijo-WP4OV, Director of Telescope Operations Angel Vazques-WP3R, and Yaesu Executive Vice-President Dennis Motschenbacher-K7BV (Assistant Puerto Rico Section Manager Abimael Padro-KP4RY is shown in the background)

Following the announcement of the new station, CARG officials presented a new banner to the KP4AO group for use in their new station. Newly appointed Southeast Division Assistant Director Dr. Jose Vicens-  NP4G called on Dennis Motschenbacher-K7BV, Executive Vice-President of Yaesu.

On behalf of Yaesu, Motschenbacher donated a new FT-DX1200 transceiver for the KP4AO club to use  in their new Visitor Center station. Construction of the station is expected to be finished in about 3 months.

ARRL representatives, including President Kay Craigie-N3NK, CEO Dave Sumner-K1ZZ, Southeast  Division Director Doug Rehman-K4AC, Southeast Division Assistant Director Jose Vicens-NP4G, Pacific  Division Assistant Director John Bigley-N7UR, Puerto Rico Section Manager Rene Fonseca-NP3O, and  guests were touring behind the scenes at the telescope as part of the ARRL Puerto Rico Section  Convention. The ARRL visitors presented the observatory station with a Centennial Edition of the ARRL  Handbook.

The Arecibo Observatory which was completed in 1963 recently celebrated it's 50th Anniversary. KP4AO hosted a Special Event Station as a part of that celebration.

The massive radio telescope explores the deepest corners of space. It also feeds data to SETI an organization searching for life in outer space.

Original story here:
http://www.nevadahamradio.com/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Fatal West Virginia tower collapse

Tuesday 4th February 2014

The ARRL report the collapse of two radio towers in North-Central West Virginia on February 1 resulted in three deaths and injuries to two individuals and the loss of three Amateur Radio repeaters

The repeaters belonged to the Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association ( SJARA) and forming part of the HamTalk linked repeater system, available to assist with emergency and disaster communication.

Richard Wilt, K8TPH, reported that one tower went down, killing two workers on the 300 foot structure and taking down a second, shorter tower. An emergency responder died after being struck by falling debris. Two other tower workers suffered minor injuries.

Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/
fatal-west-virginia-tower-collapse-takes-out-ham-radio-repeaters

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Graphene circuit's wireless promise

Tuesday 4th February 2014

The BBC report the promise of faster, cheaper and more efficient wireless devices has moved a step closer

Researchers at IBM have demonstrated the most advanced integrated circuit made of wafer-scale graphene - often touted as a "wonder material" that could revolutionise electronics.

Graphene circuits could allow mobile devices to transmit data loads in a much speedier manner.

Read the BBC News story at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25944824

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio ham detects GPS in YouTube video

Monday 3rd February 2014

Finnish radio amateur and electronics hacker Oona Räisänen OH2EIQ, heard a mysterious digital signal when she listened to the audio on a YouTube video of a police chase being filmed by a helicopter

She writes:

"The signal sits alone on the left audio channel, so I can completely isolate it. Judging from the spectrogram, the modulation scheme seems to be BFSK, switching the carrier between 1200 and 2200 Hz. I demodulated it by filtering it with a lowpass and highpass sinc in SoX and comparing outputs. Now I had a bitstream at 1200 bps."

"The bitstream consisted of packets of 47 bytes each, synchronized by start and stop bits and separated by repetitions of the byte 0x80. Most bits stay constant during the video, but three distinct groups of bytes contain varying data."


She guessed that the data was location telemetry from the helicopter, so she analyzed it to extract coordinates. When she plotted them and compared the resulting curve to the route taken by the fleeing car in the video, it was a match.

See the full story on her blog at
http://www.windytan.com/2014/02/mystery-signal-from-helicopter.html

Watch the video Police Chase Ends In Front Of KC Police HQ

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

The Winter 2013-14 edition of The 5 MHz Newsletter is now available

Monday 3rd February 2014

It's a new year with new allocations and a bumper 5-page issue !

As well as latest news, there's also an article on the Supremacy of 5 MHz as a Communication Bridge, Beacon Spot features the new South African ZS6KTS Beacon plus items on Digital Voice and another new webSDR on 60m, together with the latest update of the Worldwide 5 MHz Amateur Allocations Chart - now with a total of 31 countries .

Hot off the press is information from UK regulator Ofcom that there are now over four thousand UK 5 MHz Amateur NoVs.

You can find The 5 MHz Newsletter at
http://tinyurl.com/o26huzb

or in the 'External Links' section of the Wikipedia 60m Band page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60-meter_band

or in the 5 MHz section of The Southgate Ham Forum

Cheers

Paul Gaskell G4MWO
Editor
The 5 MHz Newsletter

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Warwick CubeSat on the BBC

Monday 3rd February 2014

Bill Crofts was interviewed on the BBC about the WUSAT2 CubeSat being built by engineering students at University of Warwick

The CubeSat is planned to launch on a sub-orbital rocket from Norway in March/April 2015. The interview was broadcast on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire in the Vic Minett show on Thursday, January 30 and can now be heard on the web at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ph63w
Fast forward to 11:15 into the show.

Further information on WUSAT2 is at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/01/31/uk-wusat2-cubesat-to-launch-2015/

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

WUSAT on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/WarwickUniversitySatellite

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radiocommunications over internet compromises safety

Monday 3rd February 2014

New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management team report streaming air traffic radiocommunications over the internet may compromise safety

A commercial pilot recently reproduced local air traffic radiocommunications over the internet, without the consent of the parties concerned or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) received a complaint from the airport, concerned of a likely compromise to the safety and integrity of airport operations resulting from unwanted publication of the communications.

Articles 17 and 18 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations apply to secrecy of radiocommunications, by both licensees and the general public. New Zealand gives effect to those requirements in the Radiocommunications Act 1989. It is an offence for anyone to disclose the contents, or to reproduce, or to make use of radiocommunications not intended for that person. The Radiocommunications Act 1989 provides for a penalty of up to $30,000.

In consultation with the CAA, who were concerned that the internet streaming breached International Civil Aviation Organization principles, and with assistance of airport staff, RSM was able to quickly locate the offender and visited the property. The pilot, who co-operated with an inspection, was formally warned.

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 3rd February 2014

Island activities:

AF-032. (Update/Reminder) By the time you read this, a group of an Italian operators should be active as 5I0DX from an Italian village at the Kiwengwa Beach Resort on Zanzibar Island (WWF
5HFF-003) until February 13th. The European DXpedition Zanzibar 2014 Team wants to thank the sponsors, individual contributors, clubs and associations. Special thanks to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the Tanzania Amateur Radio Club (TARC) and their secretary Hidan, 5H3HO, for the collaboration and help.

Activity will be on all HF bands 160-10 meters, including the 30/17/12 meter bands, using CW, SSB, PSK (31/63/ 125) and RTTY. Also, look for special SSB and Digital activity using the callsigns during this operation: 5I0AM (op. IS0AGY), 5I0WL (op. I8LWL) and 5H3AN (ops IK7JWX and IV3FSG).
Current operators mentioned are Fred/IK7JWX, Leo/I8LWL, Ampelio/ IS0AGY, Stenfano/IK6JRI, Elvira/IV3FSG (YL), Lana/IZ6JOD (YL), Simon/
IZ7ATN and Fulvio/HB9DHG (CW op).
Look for 5I0DX to participate in the CQ WPX RTTY Contest (February 8-9th). It was announced earlier that this DXpedition will also be a humanitarian operation with donations of medicines to the "Italy Day Hospital".
Italy QSL Manager is via IK7JWX. World QSL Manager is via IS0AGY,
direct (3 USD or 3 IRCs) or by the Bureau. All logs will be uploaded to LoTW and NetLog.
They are looking for sponsors for donations to Radio Club of Dar Es Salaam and Italy Day Hospital of Zanzibar (See QRZ.com for details.). Currently, updates are available on QRZ.com
Also, check-out the following FaceBook page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/256737857822173/
permalink/256740014488624

AS-080. Members of the Korea Contest Club (KCC) will be active as D70LW from Anmyon Island during the CQWW WPX RTTY Contest (February 8-9th) as a Multi-Single entry. QSL via DS4NYE.
Operators mentioned are Han/DS2GOO, YeonSun/DS4DBF, SeungMin/DS4NYE, Kim/HL1OYF and Rocky/HL1VAU.

AS-134. Operators Zhang/BA3AX and Lu/BD3AEO will be active as BA3AX/3 and BD3AEO/3 from Yuetuo Island between March 21-24th. Planned activity will be on 20/17/15 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and PSK31. QSL via BA3AX, by the Bureau, direct or LoTW. QSL information can be found on QRZ.com.

EU-051. Members of the Calabria DX Team will be active as IE9Y from Ustica Island between October 2-5th. Operators and other details will be forthcoming. QSL via LoTW, eQSL, direct to IK8YFU or the OQRS.

EU-094. Operators Francis/ON8AZ, Geert/ON7USB, Pat/ON7PQ, Luc/ON7KZ and Tim/ON5HC will be active as TM4U from Île Saint Nicolas, Glenan Islands, between May 25-30th. Activity will be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. QSL via ON8AZ. For more details and updates, visit: http://www.eu094.be

OC-076. Operators Joppy/YB8XM (Team Leader), Marthin/YB8VM, Danny/YC8VDT, Richard/YD8VSR, Agustinus/YD8VRA, Richard/YD8VRS, Fransicus/YC8VFB and Andy/YC0MVP are planning to be active from Sula Islands, North Maluku Province, Indonesia, as home-call/p (except YC0MVP, homecall/8). Specific days have not yet been announced. Looks like activity will be on 80-10 meters with three stations. Modes were not mentioned. All QSL cards will be handled by QSL Manager YB8XM. QSL direct with SAE + 2 IRCs (No Green Stamps and No via Bureau). PayPal available (see Web page). For more details and updates, see:
http://oc076.blogspot.co.uk

OC-173/OC-228
Craig, VK5CE, is planning to be active from Bathurst Island (OC-173) and Granite Island (OC-228) as VK5CE/8 later in the year. His activity will be mainly focused on Bathurst because it is the rarest and has not been activated since 1999. He plans to be there 4 days between August 26-29th. Activity will be on the HF bands, but with a focus on 20m and 15m with 400 watts.
Craig adds, "I'll also spend a little time on 12m SSB/digital and 30m digital." He is looking for funds to help off-set the cost. QSL via his home callsign. He does use ClubLog. For more details and updates, visit his Blog page at:
http://oc173.blogspot.com.au

OC-273. (QSL Correction) QSL YB0AI/8 via YB0AI (see QRZ.com), not YB0IA as mentioned last week.

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IC-7700 HF/50MHz Base Station firmware upgrade…coming soon!

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Icom Inc has announced a firmware upgrade for the IC-7700 HF/50MHz Base Station Transceiver. The upgrade will provide the same additional features as made available to its big brother transceiver, the IC-7800. The new firmware will be available for download from the Icom Inc. Website from March 2014.

Icom will be holding a one day “Icom Amateur Radio Festival” at its Tokyo branch office on February 2nd 2014 to showcase this new upgrade. Working samples of the upgraded IC-7700 with new firmware together with the forthcoming ID-5100 Dual Band D-STAR Mobile Radio (+ Bluetooth accessories and Android control app) will be on show to the general public for the very first time.

For continued news about this upgrade, please visit http://www.icomuk.co.uk/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Cross Country Wireless HF Upconverter released

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Cross Country Wireless have just released a HF Upconverter. This will allow HF or VHF SDR receivers such as the RTLSDR dongles, Funcube or our own SDR-4+ receiver to work on HF, LF and VLF.

Unlike other upconverters currently available we have added the RF protection features from our SDR-4+ receiver including an antenna isolation transformer and RF over-power protection. This protects the SDR receiver or dongle and the attached PC from damage caused by static electricity charges on the antenna or nearby high power transmitters.

There are two versions of the Upconverter. One has a 125 MHz local oscillator and the frequency range is 12 kHz to 45 MHz. This is intended for use with the RTLSDR and Funcube dongles.

The other version has a 10 MHz local oscillator and is designed for use with the SDR-4+. This has a frequency range of 12 kHz to 1.6 MHz.

More details of the Upconverter here:
http://www.crosscountrywireless.net/upconverter.html

There is a YouTube video of the Upconverter working with a SDR-4+ receiver listening to LF and VLF signals on an 80m dipole.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio ham becomes XFM DJ

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Essex-born Dave Rowntree, former drummer with the rock band Blur, got his amateur radio Foundation licence in March 2012 (Photo right Rome 29th July 2013 credit Wiki)

The Independent newspaper reports that Dave recently become a DJ on London radio station XFM 104.9 MHz.

As well as amateur radio and amateur satellites, Dave, M6DRQ, is also interested in flying, getting his pilots licence in 1995, he is a practising criminal lawyer and runs his own computer animation company Nanomation.

In 2003, he handled the PR for Professor Colin Pillinger, who led the Beagle 2 mission to the red planet. Additionally, Dave has an interest in politics and since 2007 has made several attempts to get elected to Westminster.

Read the Independent story at
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/dave-rowntree-blurs-polymath-drums-up-another-new-career-as-xfm-radio-dj-9096831.html

Amateur radio Foundation courses are held all over the country, find a course near you at http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/

In Essex one of the clubs running courses is the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS). Further details and links to other Essex courses can be found at http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New TX-Factor online TV show announced

Sunday 2nd February 2014

Bob McCreadie, G0FGX, Mike Marsh, G1IAR and Nick Bennett, 2E0FGQ will be hosting a new, streamed TV show, TX Factor, which goes live on Friday 21 February.

The show aims to explore all aspects of our diverse and fascinating hobby.

The free-to-view programme can be seen via www.txfactor.co.uk and should be compatible with phones, tablets and smart TVs.

Regards,

Mike G1IAR

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

WSJT-X update

Sunday 2nd February 2014

The WSJT Development Group has announced the availability of a new release of the weak signals software WSJT-X

A link to the windows installation package can be found at
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wsjtx.html

WSJT Yahoo Group
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/wsjtgroup/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

GB2CW raised at RSGB Board Meeting

Sunday 2nd February 2014

The proceedings cover the RSGB age profile, the Advanced RadCom Supplement, the GB2CW Morse service and VDSL2 interference

The meeting agreed the need to critically review the GB2CW Morse programme and the RSGB Morse certification scheme and discussed the project to produce an Advanced RadCom Supplement.

It is hoped to hold an IET lecture in the Midlands with the subject of ‘Radio Communications and Space’.


Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held January 18, 2014
https://thersgb.org/membersonly/board/proceedings-
and-reports/01-18-2014-board-proceedings.pdf


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


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


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

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio moves online

Sunday 2nd February 2014

The BBC report 'anyone with a smartphone can tune in to 100,000 radio stations from all over the world'

"It's the last mass market medium moving online," says Tune In's CEO John Donham. "Now a single radio station can reach everyone digitally, rather than just through the terrestrial analogue signal."

Read the story and watch the BBC Newsnight video at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25982521

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

First details of Icom’s new touch screen ID-5100 Dual Band D-STAR Mobile Radio

Saturday 1st February 2014

Icom are pleased to announce details of the new ID-5100 dual band D-STAR mobile. As with Icom’s latest range of products, this new model has a new generation design and range of features including large, responsive touch screen LCD, Bluetooth connectivity and second station control through an Android device*.

* Optional Bluetooth unit UT-133 is required. Android software is available free.

Planned Features

• Large, responsive touch screen LCD
• Optional UT-133 Bluetooth unit enables audio accessory connection and Android terminal connection (CI-V via Bluetooth SPP profile).
• Optional VS-3 Bluetooth pendant earpiece microphone has volume adjust buttons, PTT and three programmable buttons. Third party Bluetooth audio accessories may also be compatible (not guaranteed).
• RS-MS1A Android application will be a free to use download. It controls the radio for DR mode operation, exchanging text messages/pictures and showing GPS location over Google Maps.
• Independent VHF and UHF band units (VV/UU capable) for 50W output
• Enhanced DR mode (also include analogue repeaters)
• Added “Nearby Repeater Scan” in DR scan function
• D-Plus reflector usability (can select “reflector” in TO field)
• DV Dual Watch for simultaneously waiting in two DV voice streams (decodes one only)
• Home button (same as ID-51 feature)
• D-PRS enhancements (details to be announced)
• 1,000 memory channels
• Built-in GPS engine (inside the controller, no EXT antenna possible)
• ESN (Electronic Serial Number) / SD Card slot (in the black box main unit).
• New HM-207 control microphone is supplied as standard.

• Other Features
o Wideband receiving (receives 118-137MHz(AM), 137-174/375-550MHz only)
o Antenna RX diversity (second antenna connector)
o TNC/9600bps modem connectivity
o DTMF decode (and mini-repeater control)

These are still preliminary details of the new radio series and specifications may change. Please stay tuned to our website for further details, pricing and availability.

http://www.icomuk.co.uk/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham Radio Foundation invites applications

Saturday 1st February 2014

The non-profit Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR) is inviting applications for the Amateur Radio-related scholarships it administers

These academic awards are sponsored by both individuals and by Amateur Radio clubs from across the US. The FAR scholarship application process is open to Amateur Radio licensees worldwide. Awards range from $500 to $5000.

Applications are due by April 30, 2014. Submissions sent by mail must be postmarked by April 30. Late applications will not be considered. Recommendations for the Chichester and QCWA scholarships must be received or postmarked no later than May 15, 2014.

Applicants may type their information into the electronic form on the FAR website. This is the preferred method of submission, although handwritten forms also are acceptable. Applicants may add pages as necessary to complete any answers. Electronic submissions, such as MS-Word or PDF files, are preferable. If possible, scan any additional letters of recommendation or endorsements into PDF files. Include the number of the question to which they apply. Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted but are not required; it is preferred that these documents be scanned into PDF files as well.

Applications may be submitted via e-mail dave.prestel@gmail.com.
This is the preferred method. Applicants must check the block above the signature line; doing so takes the place of a physical signature for electronic submissions. E-mail submissions in which this box is not checked will not be considered.

Applications also are accepted via fax to (877) 691-2725, or via USPS mail to FAR Scholarship Committee, PO Box 911, Columbia, MD 21044.

FAR's scholarship program is one of the largest for Amateur Radio licensees in the US. The organization's purpose is to further Amateur Radio in all of its various facets. FAR sponsors training, seminars, and other events in support of Amateur Radio.

Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR)
http://www.farweb.org/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

End-fed antenna tuner for 20-10m

Saturday 1st February 2014

SOTAbeams has added another QRP antenna tuner to their range.

The Peak Tuner has been designed to match end fed halfwave antennas in the range 20-10m.

The tuner is easily adjusted with a single tuning knob and while the tuner does not include an SWR bridge, in most cases it is easily adjusted "by ear" or using the SWR indicator included in many QRP radios.

To compliment their endfed tuners, SOTAbeams has also introduced a range of inexpensive halfwave end fed antennas.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/peak-tuner/

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/half-wave-end-fed-antennas/

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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