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

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KickSat Sprites – Final Preparation

Wednesday 30th April 2014

The British Interplanetary Society (BIS) are holding a meeting to prepare for reception of their fleet of Sprite satellites which will be deployed by the KickSat CubeSat on Monday, May 4 at 2000 UT

Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting which takes place from 10am to 4:30pm on Sunday, May 3 at 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ.

The BIS events page says:

Dragon X has successfully deployed the KickSat CubeSat carrying 104 Sprites, a fleet of which were funded by the BIS and BIS members!

In preparation for the timed deployment of the Sprites from the CubeSat, the BIS KickSat team will meet at the BIS HQ with two goals:
• Ensure everyone with a ground station has a working installation of GNURadio
• Have some practice tracking other satellites

Present on the day will be radio experts, software experts, and a range of software defined radios and antenna. Everyone is welcome to attend. Bring a laptop if you want help installing GNURadio.

Source http://www.bis-space.com/2014/04/20/12638/kicksat-final-preparation

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, 2013. You can watch the video of his presentation at http://www.batc.tv/streams/amsat1310
or download it direct to your PC at
http://www.batc.tv/vod/kicksat.flv

British Interplanetary Society: Sprite Technical Summary
http://www.bis-space.com/2013/03/09/9301/kicksat-technical-summary

KickSat Sprite Ground Station by Andy Thomas G0SFJ
http://kicksat.wordpress.com/support/kicksat-ground-station/

Kicksat Wiki
https://github.com/zacinaction/kicksat/wiki

KickSat mailing list
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/kicksat-gs

Kicksat Updates
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/
kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts


KickSat Sprites – Radio Competition
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/04/10/kicksat-sprites-radio-competition/

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Extended solar ebb may lie ahead

Wednesday 30th April 2014

The ARRL report that Amateur Radio propagation guru Carl Luetzelschwab K9LA says we may be seeing an extended solar ebb

Amateur Radio propagation and solar phenomena authority Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, said in an April 27 webinar, “Are We Headed into Another Maunder Minimum? What Does That Mean for Propagation?” that most solar scientists believe several low solar cycles lie ahead, ushering in periods of diminished HF propagation, especially on the higher bands.

Luetzelschwab, who maintains K9LA’s Amateur Radio Propagation Web Site and pens a regular “Propagation” column for NCJ, stopped short of concluding that we’ll experience a Maunder minimum — an extended period of very few or no sunspots. As the Marshall Space Flight Center’s “Solar Physics” web page explains, early sunspot records indicate that the Sun went through an inactive period from about 1645 to 1715 — called the Maunder minimum after the scientist who discovered it — when very few sunspots were observed.

“Right now there’s nothing bullet proof to say we’re heading into a Maunder minimum, so we’re just going to have to wait and see,” Luetzelschwab told the webinar, sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF). “It sure looks like something inside the sun changed around the peak of Cycle 23. There’s lots of evidence that we’re entering a grand solar minimum. But I don’t think any of the solar scientists are 100 percent sure that we’re going to see a Maunder-type minimum.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-propagation-guru-says-extended-solar-ebb-may-lie-ahead

K9LA’s Amateur Radio Propagation Web Site
http://k9la.us/

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DJ Chris Evans says Hi to BYLARA

Wednesday 30th April 2014

During his Breakfast Show on Tuesday, April 29, DJ Chris Evans said Hi to those celebrating the 35th anniversary of the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association (BYLARA)

The British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association (BYLARA) was founded on April 29, 1979 to further YL operating in the UK. To celebrate the anniversary the association have been using the special event callsign GB35BYL.

BYLARA activities include:

Get-togethers at various Rallies throughout the country.
A quarterly newsletter
The BYLARA Award and the Scottish BYLARA Award are available for working BYLARA Members and other YLs.
Activity days 6th of every month. Call CQ YL on the hour on frequencies ending in 88
On Wednesdays nets on 40m on 7.175 +/- QRM from 07.00 – 0900, 11.00 – 13.00 and 20.00 – 2200

Listen to DJ Chris Evans saying Hi to BYLARA at 36:04 into this recording of his Breakfast show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041xzsh

British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association (BYLARA)
http://bylara.org.uk/

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Scottish Islands tour

Wednesday 30th April 2014

Alex, G0DHZ, will fly to Glasgow on May 3rd, and team up with Andre, GM3VLB, to spend 3 weeks activating Scottish Islands (their list consists of approx. 27 seperate islands).

Alex states that there is so much to arrange, he feels they will not be able to access all of the 27.

Operations will be on SSB and CW -- 14257 kHz is a regular spot for SSB, but band condx rules, and CW will be around the + 20 kHz on a frequency where allowed.

Islands mentioned are:
Bass Rock, Incholm, Davaar, Pladda, Holy Is., Arran, Horse, Burnt, Gigalum, Gigha, Texa, Orsay, Danna, Iona, Kerrera, Lismore, Calve, Carna, Oronsay, Lady Isle, Staffa, and Little Colonsay.

QSLs for GM3VLB is direct.
GM0DHZ will be via eQSL, to GM0DHZ or direct to G0DHZ or by the Bureau.

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Ham Radio Earth-Moon-Earth Art Event on Google+ Hangout

Tuesday 29th April 2014

OPTICKS is a live radio transmission performance between the Earth and the Moon during which images are sent to the Moon and back as radio signals using the MMSSTV Slow San TV software developed by Makoto Mori JE3HHT

A live Google+ hangout is taking place on May 1 at 2000 UT. A Reddit AMA will precede the Hangout at 1500 UT.

The project has been realized by visual artist Daniela de Paulis (IT/NL) in collaboration with Jan van Muijlwijk PA3FXB and the CAMRAS radio amateurs association based at Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL).
Each live performance is made possible thanks to the collaboration of radio amateurs Howard Ling G4CCH (UK), Bruce Halász PY2BS (Brazil) and Daniel Gautschi HB9CRQ (CH).

The live hangout will feature a “touch” and bounce of Humans in Space Youth Art Competition artwork off the Moon using OPTICKS radio wave technology. Guests and remote participants will discuss the significance of the artwork and the performance and explore the impact of past, present, and future human presence on the Moon.

Guests
- Andrew Chaikin is the author of Man on the Moon and From Earth to the Moon.
- Wendell Mendell is a retired NASA lunar and planetary exploration scientist.
- Sarah Nobel is a current NASA lunar scientist and artist.
- Frank Shiner is a winner of both the 2010 and 2012 Humans in Space Youth Art Competitions.
- Jan van Muijlwijk PA3FXB, OPTICKS collaborator, radio operator, CAMRAS/Dwingeloo radio telescope.
- Daniela De Paulis is the visual artist and researcher who developed the OPTICKS live performance technology in collaboration with the Dwingeloo radio telescope.
- Jancy McPhee is the director of the Humans in Space Art Program, which includes the Youth Art Competition Project in its portfolio.

Learn more at http://www.Opticks.info/ and http://www.HumansInSpaceArt.org/

OPTICKS employes a technology used by radio amateurs called Earth-Moon-Earth or Moonbounce in which the Moon is used as a natural reflector for radio signals.

In October 2009 Daniela de Paulis and Jan van Muijlwijk PA3FXB started pioneering a new application of Moonbounce technology, called Visual Moonbounce, which allows sending images to the Moon and back, combining Radio Astronomy with amateur radio technologies.

The title OPTICKS is inspired by Newton’s discoveries of the light spectrum, reflection and refraction. Similarly, the colours composing an image – converted into radio signals – are bounced off the Moon (reflected and refracted) by its surface during each live performance.

The performance is introduced by live sounds of amateurs radio signals captured by the Dwingeloo antenna tracking the moon.

Watch a recording of the performance for the radio programme RaiTunes

You can support the project by purchasing a limited edition t-shirt from this link
https://fabrily.com/EarthAndMoon2

Google+ Hangout GAM AstroArt: Touching the Moon with Art & Footsteps
https://plus.google.com/events/ckm4364t5f7fcg0m42rgb7br2lc

Daniela de Paulis http://www.danieladepaulis.com/

Story source http://www.opticks.info/

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German radio hams to launch school balloon

Tuesday 29th April 2014

The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) reports there have now been ten years of successful cooperation with amateur radio and electronics at the Eichenlaub school in Weiskirchen. Two projects are planned; a stratospheric balloon launch, and a drifting buoys experiment

Google English translation of DARC post:

The balloon should start at about 11:00 CEST from the school yard on Tuesday, May 6. The payload is in addition to sensors for temperature, relative humidity and pressure is also a Geiger-Müller counter, cameras and a GPS module on board. The telemetry data and voice messages are sent out on 145.200 MHz and the position of the balloon to 144.800 MHz in APRS.

In addition, the balloon will carry a radio frequency 433.025 MHz parrot on with it. The wireless operation via the radio parrot will be hosted by the school radio station DL0ERW/DN1ERW. For the remaining home students from the partner schools and all interested parties, the action of the AG in a public live-stream is provided on
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mission2sky

The local chapter of Black Forest high forest and the AG of Eichenlaub school would be delighted if as many radio amateurs and, because of the start on a Tuesday, and numerous school stations the project with observation on the amateur radio frequencies, participation in the live-stream, as well as a lively radio operation via the Radio Parrot support.

The projects will be implemented with the assistance of the projects funds of the DARC and the Saar district. The amateur radio and electronics AG at the Eichenlaub School will present the Comenius project to host students from several European partner schools with a stratospheric balloon experiment amateur radio as a unifying and technical-experimental pastime. Details for drifting buoys experiment in Lake Constance during the Friedrichshafen Ham Radio event can be found in the next edition of CQ DL.

ARPS Tracking http://aprs.fi/

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

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New DMR radios coming very soon

Tuesday 29th April 2014

The first of a new breed of DMR radio is on its way.

The Connect Systems CS700 will be available from Taylor Made RF Ltd

Full details here

http://www.tmrf.co.uk/?s=cs700

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Ofcom: Interference to 2400 MHz from LTE

Tuesday 29th April 2014

Ofcom has published additional information on co-existence studies between 2.3 GHz Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and 2400 MHz Wi-Fi

In the consultation published on February 19, 2014, Ofcom presented technical analysis of the potential for interference from LTE base stations to Wi-Fi equipment operating in the licence exempt 2.4 GHz band.

Following a request from stakeholders, Ofcom has now published a measurement annex, from the research consultancy MASS.
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
pssr-2014/annexes/Annex_Study.pdf


Additional Test Results for Wi-Fi DUT 4
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
pssr-2014/annexes/Test_results.pdf


Ofcom’s public consultation is on-going and closes May 5, 2014, responses can be made online via
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/pssr-2014/

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April RSGB Board Meeting

Tuesday 29th April 2014

Funding for insurance and postal costs involved in loaning Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) equipment was discussed at the April board meeting

The proceedings of the Board meeting also note that Steve Hartley G0FUW reported on the progress with the two promotional videos and there was a discussion on the future of the GB4FUN Callsign.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held April 11, 2014
https://thersgb.org/membersonly/board/proceedings-and-reports/
04-11-2014-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

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Super Simple FM Transmitter

Monday 28th April 2014

Make: Magazine has published online a DIY project to build a FM transmitter

The YouTube description reads:

FM transmitters can be complicated to build, but not this one - it's about the easiest you can possibly make. And though the science of radio is well understood, there's a magical, emotional quality about it that we don't often stop to appreciate.

Building your own radio receiver - or better yet, transmitter - makes it real again. You will not forget the first time you pick up a transmission broadcast from a device you soldered together yourself, from a few bits of copper, carbon, plastic, and wire.

Complete instructions for this episode of Weekend Projects can be found at http://makezine.com/projects/super-simple-fm-transmitter/

Watch Weekend Projects - Super Simple FM Transmitter

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Danbury Direction Finding Event

Monday 28th April 2014

A group of keen radio orienteers set off to Lingwood Common in Danbury, near Chelmsford, for a multi-TX direction-finding competition on Sunday the 28 th of April 2014.

The three-hour event saw contestants searching through woodland for ten concealed HF transmitters using directional radio receivers.
The experienced DF contesters were joined for the day by Essex Ham’s Pete M0PSX, daughter Kathryn, and local amateur James 2E1GUA, keen to try their hand at the sport.

 

A report which explains more about Radio Direction Finding and the event itself can be found on the Essex Ham website, alongside some photos.

The event was organised by Roy G4JAC, who attended the April CARS Skills Night to explain what the hobby is all about – you can find details of Roy’s recent Multi-TX activity here: http://www.forjac.co.uk/df/multitx/multiexp.html

Congratulations to Steve S, Philip C and Colin M for the top rankings for this event.

For Essex Ham’s report on the event, go to http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/danbury-df-27-april-2014.html

For the full results, go to http://www.forjac.co.uk/df/14/270414/270414.html

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Last Wednesday's Quiz for the G3PYU Trophy

Sunday 27th April 2014

The quiz last Wednesday with Chester & District Radio Society was a very close shave in more ways than one !

Daniel (M6CUL) asked the General Knowledge questions and Keith (G4OKT) did the Radio questions.

The WADARC team was Phil (G6IIM), Tony (M0DWU) and Neil (M0WBG)

The C & DRS team was Dave (G4JMF), Bruce (M0CVP) and Les (G0NMD)

It was the closest quiz ever... a draw at 29 points each after the 60 question on Radio and General Knowledge.  It then went to 3 more General Knowledge and 3 more Radio questions.  At this point it was still a draw !! and so with general agreement it was decided to hold a 'Sudden Death' question.

The final 'tie-breaker' question was .. "On which frequency has Radio Caroline been transmitting" ?

Phil G6IIM was the quickest to shout out the correct answer of 87.7 MHz .. and so Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club won the evening by a whisker.

Our thanks go to Chester & District Radio Society for joining us for an excellent social evening .. we look forward to a return match later in the year.  Also our thanks to all those who helped provide the questions and organise the buffet, and to Tom G4BKF for taking the photo below.

L-R Daniel M6CUL presenting the G3PYU Trophy to the winning WADARC team members
 Phil G6IIM, Tony M0DWU and Neil M0WBG

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Ofcom consultation paves way for DAB+

Sunday 27th April 2014

Ofcom is finally preparing for a digital radio switchover which could see DAB replaced by the DAB+ standard

There have been calls for the past 7 years for the UK's obsolete DAB digital radio network to be replaced by DAB+. The modern DAB+ standard enables a multiplex to provide up to double the number of radio stations, or an improvement in audio quality, as well as making the signal more robust.

Old DAB only radios would not be able to receive DAB+ transmissions.
It is regrettable that Ofcom didn't commit to a move to DAB+ in 2007 but instead allowed the general public to go on buying obsolete DAB only radios.

Ofcom intend inviting applications for the second national radio multiplex licence in the second quarter of 2014. They propose that that this multiplex be given flexibility to carry DAB or DAB+ services, or a mixture of both.

Ofcom say they would consider requests for services to switch to DAB+ from operators of existing multiplexes.

The consultation closes on May 23, 2014.

Broadcast Digital Radio Technical Codes and Guidance Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/digital-radio-tech-codes/

Consultation document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/digital-radio-tech-codes/summary/Digital_Radio_Tech_Codes.pdf

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Balloon repeater to launch from Suffolk on Sunday

Sunday 27th April 2014

On Sunday, April 27, at around 11am (1000 GMT) radio amateur James Coxon M6JCX will launch the first UKHASnet balloon repeater from Suffolk.

He writes:

Just a heads up that I’m going to try and launch tomorrow the first UKHASnet balloon repeater. The aim of the flight is to test both the concept of UKHASnet and if it works the range of the current setup. UKHASnet (http://www.ukhas.net/) is a simple wireless network that uses licence exempt radio modules.

There are a number of nodes around the UK and also in the Netherlands which normally just communicate on a local scale, the balloon payload will act as a airborne node which will hopefully connect these networks together temporarily.

The payload is based on a ATmega328 (arduino bootloader) with a Ublox 6 GPS and a RFM69HW Radio module. It’ll be tx and rx on 869.500 MHz using FSK, 2000 bps and using the UKHASnet protocol. Balloon will be a 100g latex filled for a very slow ascent to maximise flight time, launched from Suffolk. Launch will be around 11:00, however, there are forecasts of showers so this may change.

There is NO onboard 434 MHz module and no RTTY or other traditional format, we’ll be aiming to pipe the location data onto spacenear.us to allow easy following. That said it’ll be possible to hear the payload with good radios and SDRs that can tune to 869.500 MHz and we would be grateful if recordings of signal can be made as this could then be played back and decoded via the hardware (there is no software decoder – yet).

More information can be found on the website http://www.ukhas.net/ and there is a IRC channel on freenode #ukhasnet where you can follow the progress. A web client is available at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=ukhasnet

As with many of my flights this is highly experimental so probably won’t work so don’t get disappointed if it gets delayed, postponed or fails!


UKHASnet http://www.ukhas.net/

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

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Marathon walk to Friedrichshafen

Sunday 27th April 2014

As reported in the current issue of the German magazine 'FUNK Amateur', as he now has time, having just retired, Volker DK2MT will start a 800Km walk from Haltern am See (JO31NR) to the HAM RADIO hamfest in Friedrichshafen this year. It is expected to take 47 days.

Quite a challenge you say ... but wait, Volker is not planning to walk on flat ground, no, he's a SOTA (Summits on the Air) activator and his route will take him up and down 40 mountains en-route.

Volker plans to cover 20Kms per day and of course will have his radio equipment with him. This consists of a KX3 and VHF HT.
The 40m antenna is an Inverted-V that will be supported by a telescopic pole from the company DX-Wire. Operation will most be on CW. The new technology "LifePO" batteries will at least reduce somewhat the weight of the equipment being carried.

Volker is expected to receive a very warm welcome by the SOTA aficionados at their noon meeting at the QSL wall in Friedrichshafen.

Ed Durrant DD5LP / VK2JI

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Anonymous AirChat uses Ham Radio Fldigi

Sunday 27th April 2014

The International Business Times reports that the online hacktivist collective Anonymous has announced that it is working on a new tool called Airchat which could allow people to communicate without the need for a phone or an internet connection - it uses radio waves instead

Initially the data mode software AirChat used code from 'minimodem' and then from 'soundmodem' sources but they say after suggestions from radio amateurs involved in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), they decided to make it modular to use the Fldigi software, a broadly deployed solution for use with ham radios.

They say "So far we have played interactive chess games with people at 180 miles away. we have shared pictures and established encrypted low bandwidth digital voice chats. We have 3D printed over distances of 80 miles and transmitted medical orders at distances of over 100 miles."

So far Yaesu FT-897D's amateur transceivers have been used and the developers are also looking at using low-cost ($40) VHF/UHF handheld transceivers.

Read the International Business Times story
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/anonymous-airchat-aims-allow-
communication-without-needing-phone-internet-access-1445888


LulzLabs AirChat
https://github.com/lulzlabs/AirChat/

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New RSGB Training Resources Page

Sunday 27th April 2014

A new RSGB web page provides amateur radio training resources for both trainers and students

Links to many resources for the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exam are provided at
http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/training-resources/

The RSGB Training & Education Chair manages a Yahoo Group to allow for regular updates, news and sharing of ideas between trainers, see
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RSGBtutors/

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TX Factor to produce GB2RS News Podcast

Saturday 26th April 2014

TX News is a new service from the folks at TX Factor and you can listen to the GB2RS amateur radio news as a streamable audio file or a subscribed podcast delivered direct to your PC, or mobile device

TX News is available from midday each Saturday right on the TX Factor web site. If you would rather subscribe to TX News and have it delivered along with our other popular audio podcasts, then you can subscribe either via iTunes or via the Feedburner service.

The first Podcast is now available at
http://www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/txnews.shtml

TX Factor http://txfactor.co.uk/

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TX Factor world exclusive review of new Icom ID-5100 Dual bander

Saturday 26th April 2014

TX Factor has been given an exclusive look at a pre-production model of the exciting new Icom ID 5100 VHF/UHF Dual Bander.

Icom's Chris Ridley G8GKC gives TX Factor's Bob McCreadie G0FGX a thorough run through of the capabilities of this amazingly versatile rig.

It is not due in the shops until the summer but you can see it now at www.txfactor.co.uk

The TX Factor team have completely re-designed their website to make it easier to find the various episodes of the TV show, special features and audio podcasts that you are looking for. These now include a weekly audio podcast of the GB2RS RSGB News.

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Results of the Shortwave Portable weak signal shoot-out

Saturday 26th April 2014

By voting for sample audio clips made of the best shortwave portables on the market, SWLing Post readers have voted for the best receivers to handle weak signal DX in this blind test:

http://wp.me/pn3uc-2qH

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X-Flare, Radio Blackout

Saturday 26th April 2014

Space Weather reports departing sunspot complex AR2035-AR2046 erupted on April 25 at 0032 UT, producing a strong X1.3-class solar flare and an HF communications blackout on the dayside of Earth

The explosion also produced a CME, but because the blast site was so close to the sun's western limb, the cloud is not heading toward our planet.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation from the explosion, see
http://spaceweather.com/

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GS3PYE/P Isle of Lewis from April 26

Friday 25th April 2014

Camb-Hams will be operating on the amateur radio satellites, EME and HF using the call sign GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Lewis (IO68UL, EU-010) on April 26 to May 3, 2014

The Camb-Hams have been activating the Scottish Isles each year since 2008 and will be travelling to the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides in 2014. Thirteen operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m, 2m & 70cm for Satellites and 2m & 23cm for EME from 26 April to 3 May 2014.

The HF bands will be covered by five simultaneous stations, while the 6m & 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe from the island’s northern tip in IO68 square. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit.

EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m. Primarily on JT65 but also available for CW skeds - if your station is big enough.

Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use X-Quad antennas and a fully automatic Az/El tracking system. Activity is planned on AO-7 (mode B), VO-52, FO-29, SO-50 & AO-73.

Contest operations will take place in the RSGB 70MHz UKAC on 29 April.

A number of the group are planning to make an extra trip to operate as GS6PYE/P from the Shiant Isles (EU-112). They are aiming for afternoon/early evening operations on 28 April, but may switch to 30 April if the weather is bad.

The group will be active on HF mobile and APRS as they travel, starting on 25 April. All the up-to-date plans and progress will be on the camb-hams site.

Most importantly, this is a group of good friends doing what they enjoy, so please give them a call and enjoy the trip with them. Active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip, you can check on progress and interact with the operators via their blog at
http://dx.camb-hams.com/
or through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube [links below].

Please email skeds-2014@camb-hams.com to arrange skeds on the more challenging bands and modes. VHF and EME skeds will also be made via ON4KST, HB9Q (1296) and N0UK’s EME Chat (144). All links are available via the camb-hams site.

QSL via OQRS (info on QRZ.com) or M0VFC direct or via bureau.
Web http://dx.camb-hams.com/
Twitter http://twitter.com/g3pye
Facebook http://facebook.com/CambHams
YouTube http://youtube.com/CambHams

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Arctic tour for Radio Ham's party balloon

Friday 25th April 2014

A long duration foil party balloon transmitting Contestia 8/250 telemetry data on 434.500 MHz USB was launched on Friday, April 18 from Silverstone by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER.

Its seven day journey has taken it to Iceland, Greenland across the Norwegian Sea and down into Finland.

According to the current projected course it may continue south into Russia and travel close to the Ukrainian border.

Depending on the altitude, the balloon could have a radio range of 300-500 km.

See the current track of the balloon at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46

Balloon: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon Payload: 12 grams solar powered tracker

Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/250
Transmission contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes and lasts about 1 minute
Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.
Enable RxID (RSID) to automatically track the signal drift.

Tracking link: http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46
APRS backup: http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FM0XER-6

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons
http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Download the dl-fldigi software from
http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB)
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi
http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for chat about launches. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

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144 and 432 MHz mixed mode helix antennas

Thursday 24th April 2014

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ has developed omni-direction helix antennas for 144 and 432 Mhz which have proved effective for high altitude balloon and satellite reception at the SUWS WebSDR

Martin says
"I had been experimenting with single turn 'twisted halo' design, and decided to try stacking them to see if I could achieve more gain.

Modelling suggested that a stretched 3 turn helix with a helix circumference of approx 1/2 wave length and an overall length of
1/2 wave at 70cm, and fed with a gamma match at the centre would offer reasonable gain, an omni-directional pattern and mixed polarisation."


Full details on the antennas are available at
http://g8jnj.webs.com/currentprojects.htm

Listen to the SUWS WebSDR at
http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

WebSDR for 144, 432, 1290 and 10368 MHz
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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World War 1 Hunstanton Intercept Station

Thursday 24th April 2014

A 1979 BBC documentary highlights the role of amateur radio enthusiasts in establishing a radio intercept station at Hunstanton in World War 1

It was the tireless work of amateur radio enthusiasts during World War I, that initially convinced the Admiralty to establish a radio intercept station at Hunstanton. Playing an integral role during the war, technological advances meant that radio operators could pinpoint signals, thus uncovering the movement of German boats, leading to the decisive Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Wireless espionage was to play an even more important role during World War II, with the Secret Intelligence Service setting up the Radio Security Service, which was staffed by Voluntary Interceptors, a band of amateur radio enthusiasts scattered across Britain. The information they collected was interpreted by some of the brightest minds in the country, who also had a large hand in deceiving German forces by feeding false intelligence.

This 1979 BBC TV documentary, illustrated with archival film and interviews with those involved, traces the evolution of civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during both world wars and highlights the key role played by Radio Amateurs.

Watch Wartime Radio: The Secret Listeners
http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5108

The "Secret Listeners"
http://www.secretlisteners.org/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 24th April 2014

Island activities:

AF-004; EA8; Canary Islands: Kim/ON4BCV pays a visit to the Canary Islands from the 19th to the 26th and hopes to get on the air with his QRP station as EA8/ON4BCV/p. QSL via h/c (see qrz.com).
https://www.facebook.com/kim.verboven1?fref=ts

AS-031; JD; Chichijima/ Mukojima/ Hahajima Islands: Makoto/JI5PRT will get on the air from Chichijima Island (JIA 10-110, WLOTA 2269, JCG 10007, JAFF-018) from April 27 to May 5. QRV as JD1BLY on 40-6m in CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL via JI5PRT (d/B), and OQRS via ClubLog.
http://www.ji5rpt.com/jd1/ https://twitter.com/JD1BLY/

AS-031; JD; Chichijima/ Mukojima/ Hahajima Islands: Likewise from Chichijima Island Harry/JG7PSJ will be active as JD1BMH from April 27 to May 11.
QRV on 40-10m in CW, SSB, and RTTY. QSL via bureau or direct via JG7PSJ.
http://sapphire.es.tohoku.ac.jp/jd1bmh/

AS-049; JA6; Tokara Islands: Take/JI3DST announces an activation of Kuchina Island as JI3DST/6. QRV from April 29 to May 5 (depending on wx conditions) on 40-2m in CW and SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

AS-143; BY7; Hainan Province (Xisha Islands) group: A group of Chinese hams (Terry/BA7NQ, Chen/BA7CK, De/BA7JA, Dick/BD7YC, Lin/BI7IOB, and Yang/BA7IO) plans to activate  Yongxing Island for one week as B7CRA. Their exact itinerary (up to May 15) depends on the transport schedule of the transport vessel. Local authorities have limited the group to one station on the air. QSL via BA4EG (d/B, see also qrz.com).EU-004; EA6, Balearic Islands: Francois/ON4LO continues his activity from Mallorca until May 15 and activates a number of lighthouses. QRV as EA6/ON4LO/p on 40-10m, mostly in SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-010; GM/MM; Outer Bebrides: Camb-Hams, a group of hams from Cambridge, return once more to Scotland and will get on the air from the Isle of Lewis (IOSA OH01, SCOTIA HI21, WLOTA 1477, WW Loc. IO68ul) from April 26 to May 3. QRV as GS3PYE/p on 80-10m, possibly also on 6m and 4m, EME, and 2m and 70cm via satellite. QSL via
M1ACB (d/B).
http://dx.camb-hams.com/

EU-010; GM/MM; Outer Bebrides: GB2SOH will be on the air from the Isle of Scalpay (WAB NG29, WW Loc. IO67pu) between April 27 and May 5. Operators are Elaine/2E1BVS, Val/G6MML, John/G3WFK, and Glenn/G6HFF, who also plan SOTA and WAB activities with a portable setup. QSL via bureau or G6MML (d).

EU-014; TK; Corsica Island: Alex/IW5ELA wants to get on the air holiday-style from Corsica (DIFM TK-001, MIA MCO-001, WLOTA LH-1390, WW Loc. JN42jn) between April 25 and May 1. QRV as TK/IW5ELA on 40-10m (maybe also on 6m), mainly in CW. QSL via IW5ELA (d/B).

EU-015; SV9; Crete Island: Seppo/OH1VR returns to Crete as SV9/OH1VR from April 24 to 30. QRV mostly in CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-138; SM7; Blekinge County group: Fred/SM7DAY again visits Senoren Island. QRV as SM7DAY/p from the 21st to the 28th on HF in CW, SSB, and PSK. QSL via SM7DAY (d/B).

OC-171; VK4; Queensland State (North Coast) South group: Members of the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA) will activate Bare Island for the first time on April 25/26. QRV on the 25th (ANZAC-Day) as AX2CL, on the 26th as VK2CL. Plans are to run 3 to 4 stations at the same time. QSL direct via HARAOA (see AX2CL on
qrz.com). http://www.ax2cl.blogspot.com.au/
http://www.haraoa.com/

OC-210; YB8; Sangihe Islands: Din, YB8RW, accompanied by YB8RXA, YB8SFE, YB8UMX, YD8SVX, YD8TWV, and YD8UFD, get on the air as YB8RW/p from Pulau Tahulandang from the 23rd to the 28th. QSL via YB9BU.

SA-086; CE2; Coquimbo/ Valparaiso Region group: The operation of XR2T (see DXNL 1879/1880) has been postponed until October.
 

IOTA-QRGs
CW : 28040, 24920, 21040, 18098, 14040, 10114, 7030, and 3530 kHz;
SSB: 28560, 28460, 24950, 21260, 18128, 14260, 7055, and 3765 kHz.

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

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GB1STG St George's Day

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Just a reminder that Wednesday 23rd April is St George's Day and some Essex Hams will be on the bands with the callsign GB1STG operating from Chelmsford in Essex.

Event organiser, Charlie M0PZT says: "We'll take any excuse to play radio and what better reason than the Patron Saint of England?.

We'll have a 40m station running for much of the day plus some CW/SSB and Digimode activity on the higher bands subject to conditions. We'll also have 2m FM."

Operating from Galleywood Common, 2km south of Chelmsford, the team are braving not only the outdoors but their supply of batteries.

"Most of us use 7Ah batteries for our solo portable efforts so we'll be dragging an 86Ah one to the site! Around 16 degrees is forecast with a little cloud, so we're hoping for a rain-free day." says Charlie.

There'll be updates on Twitter via Charlie's feed: http://twitter.com/M0PZT and Pete M0PSX from Essex Ham will be operating and covering the event via http://www.essexham.co.uk

More details via Charlie M0PZT : http://www.m0pzt.com?gb1stg

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Coalhouse Fort Easter Activation

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

The Coalhouse Fort Radio Society was active over the Easter weekend from the historic Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury, Essex. (Photo right)

The fort, which dates back to 1861, was a key defensive stronghold protecting London, and is now a military museum. When the museum is opened to the public, local amateurs activate the station under the callsign GB1CHF.

John M1DUC in the shack

Essex Ham visited the GB1CHF shack on Monday the 21st of April 2014 to check out the team’s set-up, which at the time of the visit was showing visitors to the fort the joys of SSTV on 20m, and having a crystal-clear chat with ex-pat operators in the Algarve, whilst explaining what the hobby is all about.

For those able to get to East Tilbury, there is another chance to see the fort, and GB1CHF, next weekend (26 and 27 April) at the fort’s Military History Weekend.

For more details on the activation, go to http://www.essexham.co.uk/news/coalhouse-fort-gb1chf-april-2014.html

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Four metre addition to Mt. Leinster repeater

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

A four metre port has been added to the 70 centimeter repeater EI7MLR.

The repeater which is on RU76 (430.950MHz +7.6MHz) is licensed to the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and located at Mt. Leinster, Co. Carlow.

This port allows access to the repeater from the four metre band.

The frequency is 70.400 MHz and a tone of 67Hz is required to access it. The output power is 10 watts into a folded dipole antenna.

Reports to sirnrepeaters/at/gmail/ dot/com.

IRTS

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Urgent - SHF Contest changes

Sunday 20th April 2014

As a result of the Ofcom review of amateur access to the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands the RSGB Contest committee has issued a rule change for the SHF UKAC on April 22 (Next Tuesday).

For details see http://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/newsletter/newscurrent.shtml#article1

 

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630m DX down under

Sunday 20th April 2014

It seems perseverance has paid off for long-time 630m operator Murray ZL1BPU, who uses the special-purpose call sign ZL1EE.

Over the last week, he has had numerous reception reports from VK6DZ (5047km) and many more from VK5ABN/8 (4155km).

Using WSPR2, Murray has operated overnight at 200W, using a small 7m high Marconi antenna (squeezed into a 1/5 acre urban lot), and after a week of trying, finally broke the 5000km barrier.

What undoubtedly helped achieve this remarkable DX is that the ZL1EE QTH is only about 9km from the west coast, and most of the path to Derek VK6DZ is over water. The window appears to be about two hours wide from local midnight.

VK/ZL 630m activity is quite strong, especially over the winter.

There is a ZL 630m net every Thursday night. They are keen to find stations in other South Pacific locations, prepared to listen and report signals.

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Guglielmo Marconi was a hacker victim

Sunday 20th April 2014

As we mark the birth of an Italian inventor on International Marconi Day, April the 26th, comes the story that one of his early exploits was hacked and caused him much embarrassment.

A new book, Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, by Kembrew McLeod published by New York University Press, reminds us of that occasion involving Guglielmo Marconi.

The book reports that in 1903 a troublemaker took over a demonstration of wireless telegraphy. Marconi was trying to sell his patented radio system to send secure and private messages. All were ready for the display in London.

Then just before a device received a demonstration transmission, the wireless telegraph came alive announcing the words "Rats Rats Rats". Then followed a few rhymes, making the whole thing a disaster.

Later, a noted magician Nevil Maskelyne, who was also involved in wireless telegraphy and a public detractor of Marconi, explained to reporters that he wanted to show that the device had a fatal security flaw, and won the day.

International Marconi Day stations include Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

The only station in Oceania is by the Hornsby and Districts Amateur Radio Club VK2IMD. The link to Marconi is that he sent the first messages from Britain to Australia, which were received in Wahroonga, near Hornsby in Australia.

These were sent from near Caernarfon in North West Wales, on behalf of Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes and his Minister for the Navy, Sir Joseph Cook, who had just visited the troops in France.

For details of registered stations: http://g4usb.net/IMD/award-stations/

Jim Linton VK3PC

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Radio ham's PongSat fund raiser

Sunday 20th April 2014

Radio amateur John Powell W6JPA is trying to raise $11,000 on Kickstarter to send 2000 student projects to the edge of space

On September 27, 2014 he aims to launch 2000 student projects.
All the projects fit inside ping pong balls called PongSats.

Students from all over the world send their PongSats and they are flown to an altitude of 30 km on weather balloons.

After the landing the PongSats are returned to their creators along with data from the flight, a DVD with video of the launch and on board scenes and a certificate showing they flew.

Read all about PongSat 2 on Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1569698176/
2000-student-projects-to-the-edge-of-space

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Incoming storm clouds

Sunday 20th April 2014

Three or four CMEs that left the sun earlier this week will arrive in quick succession this weekend.

Mostly, the blows they deliver to Earth's magnetic field are expected to be weak, but the combined impacts could stir up significant geomagnetic activity.

NOAA forecasters put the odds of a high-latitude geomagnetic storm at 55% on Saturday, increasing to 75% on Sunday.

Check http://spaceweather.com for updates.

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Ham Radio in British Pathé video release

Sunday 20th April 2014

Among the 81,651 historic newsreels released on YouTube by British Pathé there are a number featuring amateur radio.

Watch these four.

Watch Caravan Man (1959) - G3BM


Watch Accra - Surgeons Dash To Save Boy (1959)


Watch Hundreds Die In Hurricane Audrey (1957) (Ham radio segment at 1:55)

Watch Radio Signals Trailer (1949)

British Pathé YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe/videos

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GB0CMS in Caister, Norfolk to take part in IMD again

Saturday 19th April 2014

Norfolk's radio hams will once again be trying to contact other amateurs around the world from Caister on Saturday 26 April 2014 as part of the International Marconi Day celebrations.

Right > The Main Street and Wireless Telegraph Station in Caister-on-Sea in the early 1900s

The Norfolk Amateur Radio Club (NARC) will be running an all-day special event station with the callsign GB0CMS at Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre to commemorate the village's original Marconi Wireless Station, which was established at Caister in 1900. The station was in a house in the High Street known as Pretoria Villa and its original purpose was to communicate with ships in the North Sea and the Cross Sand lightship.

Last year the radio amateurs managed to contact more than 480 other radio amateurs in 40 different countries.

Using a mixture of Morse code and speech, notable contacts included hams in Australia, Barbados, Newfoundland, Canada and the USA. Other contacts included special Marconi stations in the UK, Italy, Austria and Iceland.

Contacts closer to home included many other radio amateurs around the UK, including some of the other Marconi stations in Holyhead, Daventry and The Lizard in Cornwall – home to some of the inventor's early work.

On this day, the closest Saturday to Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, stations around the world are set up at sites with historical links to the inventor's work. These include Poldhu in England; Cape Cod Massachusetts; Glace Bay, Nova Scotia; Villa Griffone, Bologna, Italy and many others.

Once again, radio amateurs around the world will try to contact as many of these stations as possible to win an award, in this the 27 th year that International Marconi Day has been run.

NARC member and local TV weatherman Jim Bacon, G3YLA, operating the Caister station

NARC aim to run two stations at the Caister Lifeboat Visitor Centre – one using speech (telephony) and the other Morse code (telegraphy).

Any radio amateur making contact with either station can request a special “QSL” card with a photograph of the original Caister Marconi Wireless Station on the front.
They also aim to try PSK63 on 20m between noon and 1pm (BST).

NARC public relation officer Steve Nichols, who is organising the event, said: “Any visitors will be made more than welcome. In addition to the radio stations the Visitor Centre will also be open, which offers a fascinating insight into the remarkable history of Caister Lifeboat.”

Further history of the original Marconi Wireless Station:

The Caister station was connected by land line to Gt Yarmouth Post Office and the Caister Coast Guard Station. The main aerial mast behind the house was 150 feet high, the aerial wire being suspended between this and a slightly shorter mast situated on land where Lacon Road was later built.

The large front room of the house contained the main apparatus and was also used as the operating room. The engine for charging the accumulators was situated in a shed adjoining the house and the accumulators themselves were housed in a specially-constructed annex.

The remainder of the premises were used as a dwelling house for the officer-in-charge.

The range of communication was 150 to 200 miles on the long wave (600m) and 100 miles on the short wave (300m).

In 1909 all the Marconi coastal stations were taken over by the Post Office. In 1911 the Caister station was used to train lightship men in the use of telegraphy equipment.

In January 1915 the telegraph equipment on the Cross Sand lightship was transferred to the Parlour lightship and the Caister station was changed to ‘general working’ and not used for ship-to-shore work. Public use of the telegram facility provided at Caister was suspended for the duration of the WW1.

In 1921 plans were made for the reinstallation of wireless on Trinity House lightships, but this time the new wireless telephony was to replace telegraphy (Morse). New technology made the Caister station out of date and it finally closed in 1929. The masts were taken down and a few years later the house became the village Police Station.

(Historical details with thanks to local historian Colin Tooke.)

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Long duration balloon launched from Silverstone

Saturday 19th April 2014

A long duration foil balloon transmitting on 434.500 MHz USB was launched on Friday, April 18 from Silverstone by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER

Depending on the altitude, the balloon could have a radio range of 300-500 km. See the current track of the balloon at http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46 (zoom in on UK).

Balloon: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon
Payload: 12 grams solar powered tracker

Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/250
Transmission contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes and lasts about 1 minute
Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.
Enable RxID (RSID) to automatically track the signal drift

Tracking link: http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46
APRS backup: http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FM0XER-6

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons
http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Download the dl-fldigi software from
http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Check the #highaltitude IRC channel for chat about launches. A web client is available at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

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Successful launch of KickSat carrying 104 Sprite satellites

Saturday 19th April 2014

Five CubeSats including KicksSat which carries 104 Sprite satellites on 437 MHz, were successfully launched on the SpaceX CRS-3 mission on Friday, April 18 at 19:25:22 UT

The CubeSats KickSat, SporeSat, TSAT, PhoneSat-v2.5 and ALL-STAR/ THEIA were deployed into a 325×315 km 51.5 degree inclination orbit.

On the KickSat updates page Zac Manchester KD2BHC has announced a competition to receive the first amateur radio signals from the KickSat CubeSat and the tiny Sprites satellites.

Zac writes:

I’ll be offering prizes to the first several people who receive telemetry packets from KickSat as well as the first few who receive signals from the Sprites. The prizes will include souvenir Sprites and CRS-3 and ELaNa-V mission patches.

Now for the rules:
• In the case of KickSat telemetry, you have to send me the raw hex or ASCII packet data and I have to be able to successfully decode it.
• In the case of the Sprite signals, you have to send me a raw baseband recording and I have to be able to decode at least one Sprite signal from it.
• I’ll continue offering prizes until I run out of cool swag.
• I have the ultimate say on whether or not you win.

To get in on the fun, check out our wiki and join the KickSat mailing list. Let the games begin!


All the Sprites operate on a single frequency of 437.240 MHz and use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). The transmitter runs 10 mW output of Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) modulated binary data with each data bit modulated as a 511 bit Pseudo-Random Number (PRN) sequence. The ITU emission designator is 50K0G1D.

The KickSat CubeSat has downlinks on 437.505 MHz and 2401-2436.2 MHz.

Wiki https://github.com/zacinaction/kicksat/wiki

KickSat mailing list
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/kicksat-gs

Kicksat Updates
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zacinaction/kicksat-your-personal-spacecraft-in-space/posts

PRN codes for KickSat Sprites released
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/03/23/prn-codes-for-kicksat-sprites-released/

Frequencies of the other CubeSats can be found at
http://www.cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/139-crs3-launch-alert

CRS-3 Payloads
http://www.spaceflight101.com/dragon-spx-3-cargo-overview.html

Zarya
http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/Launches.php?year=2014#022

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

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Ofcom 27 MHz CB and 915 MHz Consultations

Friday 18th April 2014

Ofcom has published a public consultation on draft regulations, the Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption and Amendment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and a Decision to make the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Communications Services on Aircraft) (Exemption) Regulations 2014

The proposed Wireless Telegraphy Exemption regulations would implement the following previous decisions by Ofcom:

authorise the use of 870 to 876 MHz and 915 to 921 MHz for a number of short range devices on a licence-exempt basis (following a statement in April 2014);
enable the land-based use of Earth Stations on Moving Platforms on a licence-exempt basis (following a statement in January 2014); and
allow two different Amplitude Modulation (AM) modes of operation to be used for Citizens’ Band radio on a licence-exempt basis (following a statement in December 2013).

The consultation closes on May 19, 2014.

In addition Ofcom has published a statement on its decision to make the Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Communication Services on Aircraft) (Exemption) Regulations 2014.

The regulations implement a European Commission Decision by extending the current licence exemption arrangements for the use of mobile terminals when connecting to mobile communication services on aircraft to include 3G and 4G technologies.

Consultation
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
proposal-wireless-telegraphy-exemption-2014/

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New Special Interest Groups page

Friday 18th April 2014

The RSGB have introduced a page on their website for Special Interest Groups

Among the first groups to take advantage of this are

- GQRP Club
- British Inland Waterways on the Air (BiWota)
- The Radio Officers’ Association (ROA)
- The Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society

Special Interest Groups
http://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/special-interest-groups/

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Special prefix for ANZAC Day

Friday 18th April 2014

All Australian radio amateurs may substitute their VK prefix with AX on ANZAC Day, April the 25th.

The WIA recommends that those who choose the alternative also confirm QSOs using a QSL card with the AX callsign. This also satisfies both prefix and card hunters.

For example, the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia will have a special event station AX2CL at Bare Island in New South Wales.

Bare Island is in Sydney's south, near La Perouse, and accessible by a footbridge. An historic military fort and tunnels there can be visited only by a guided tour.

Under a permanent agreement the Australian Communications and Media Authority allows the alternative AX callsign prefix to be available on ANZAC Day, Australia Day January 26, and ITU International Telecommunications Day, May 17.

Jim VK3PC

Source: Wireless Institute of Australia

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TX Factor: Youngsters On The Air 2014

Thursday 17th April 2014

Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ talks with RSGB Board member and Chair of the RSGB Training and Education Committee Steve Hartley G0FUW about the RSGB's involvement with Youngsters On The Air 2014

Listen to the interview at
http://www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/yota2014.mp3

TX Factor Talk
http://www.txfilms.co.uk/txfactor/txtalk.shtml

Youngsters On The Air (YOTA)
Web http://www.ham-yota.eu/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/youngstersontheair/

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AmateurLogic.TV 65: True Grits!

Thursday 17th April 2014

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 65 is now available for download.

Special guest Randy Hall, K7AGE joins us for a chat and good times. Tommy sets up his solar powered portable rig, George talks about DX Clusters, and Peter builds a metal detector.
Plus the boys from Mississippi exact some revenge for the Vegemite incident with Grits. Did it work?

1:26:54 Ham Radio fun and a little nonsense.

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

Great fun as always!

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RAGazine now available for download

Thursday 17th April 2014

The latest issue of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine is now available for download

The British Astronomical Association Radio Astronomy Group (BAA-RAG) Coordinator Paul Hyde G4CSD writes:

1. RAG 2014
A reminder that BAA RAG is holding this year’s General Meeting at the National Space Centre, Leicester on Saturday, May 17, starting at 10:30. We have two keynote speakers in Prof Paul Cannon (on solar superstorms) and Dr Klaas Wiersema (on Gamma ray Bursts) plus seven supporting talks to create a packed day on radio astronomy and geophysics.
Tickets are still available at £15 (£12 for BAA members) which includes free admission to the NSC and free parking.
Further information on the event, including details of the presentations, can be found on the BAA RAG website at http://www.britastro.org/radio/ Bookings can be made by post, phone, fax or email using the Booking Form downloadable from the same website.

2. RAGazine
The 3rd edition of the RAG quarterly newsletter is now available for download from the BAA RAG website (see above). This edition contains Karl Jansky’s 1932 paper identifying additional radio noise to that originating from thunderstorms, a review of the recent book on the life and times of Sir Bernard Lovell, and a description of the Siberian Solar Radio Telescope, along with articles on meteor scatter, magnetometry and VLF activity, plus Tony Abbey’s Technology Watch column.

We are always on the look-out for material for RAGazine.
The publication is an informal newsletter for sharing information and experiences in amateur radio astronomy and geophysics and we do depend upon input from those reading it. We would like to move to publishing every other month, rather than quarterly, provided we can get a steady supply of material. The Editor (Dave James) is keen to feature members’ home observatories, outreach activities, co-operative ventures and the like. We would also like to find one or two more contributing editors or correspondents for specific areas who can provide regular material on particular areas they feel would be of interest to readers.

If you can offer anything here please contact the Editor – dave<at>greenover.net.

3. HLOG project
The Hydrogen Line Observing Group was set up by Gordon Dennis and Brain Coleman to make use of Brian’s 3.7m diameter dish at Redenham Observatory for measuring Hydrogen Line emissions from the Galactic Plane. Despite the high winds earlier in the year which twice damaged the azimuth gear box, observations have been largely completed from Galactic Longitude 20 to 94 degrees with some observations at 108, 110 and 180 degrees. The team is now looking for additional volunteers to extend the survey to at least 120 degrees longitude and maybe to 180 and beyond, plus an increased range of latitudes, in some cases as far as ± 14 degrees to capture all the “structure” detectable with the instrument. Help is also needed to process the resultant data and re-check observations.

The project provides you with an opportunity to do some serious observing with a decent size dish. All you need to participate is internet access and the time to set up and monitor individual scans. As an observer you have access to the data collected by the whole Group for your own analysis work.

Those wishing to join the team should contact Gordon Dennis at gordon.dennis<at>koalapub.co.uk

Best wishes

Paul Hyde G4CSD
BAA RAG Coordinator

Download the March 2014 RAGazine from
http://www.britastro.org/radio/ragazine/RAGazine_March_2014_rD.pdf

Back editions of RAGazine are available at
http://www.britastro.org/radio/downloads.html

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

 

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International Marconi Day down-under

Thursday 17th April 2014

NZART report on amateur radio IMD activities taking place in Oceania on Saturday April 26

IMD is an international event, timed to celebrate Guglielmo Marconi's birthday, and is on the Saturday nearest April 25. This year it is the 26th. Around the world there are more that 60 stations in locations with some link to Marconi. These are called "Award Stations".

The only example in Oceania is VK2IMD, located at Hornsby on the Upper North Shore of Sydney. This is close to Wahroonga, where Ernest Fisk received the first official direct radio message from Britain.

This message was sent by Marconi from near Caernarfon (then called Carnarvon) in NW Wales, on behalf of Australian PM Billy Hughes on September 22, 1918.

IMD runs from 0000 to 2359 UTC on the Saturday, meaning midday on the 26th to midday on the 27th, New Zealand time. The event is restricted to MF and HF bands.

VK2IMD is operated by HADARC, the Hornsby and Districts Amateur Radio Club, Inc. Visitors are most welcome at HADARC meetings, and on the Club's VHF and HF nets.

Julian Sortland VK2YJS / AG6LE
Publicity Officer, HADARC
http://www.hadarc.org.au/

IMD http://g4usb.net/IMD/award-stations/

NZART http://www.nzart.org.nz/

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Ofcom updates on VHF spectrum release

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Land Mobile Magazine report that the UK telecom regulator Ofcom has issued a summary of responses to an earlier Call for Input (CFI) regarding the release of VHF spectrum.

Taking these responses into account, it has set out proposals on how it would plan and release around 6 MHz of spectrum in the 143 to 169 MHz band, returned to civil use by the Emergency Services.

This consultation follows on from the CFI published in July 2012 regarding potential uses of spectrum in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between 143 and 156 MHz. Given that it is highly unusual for VHF spectrum to become available in such large amounts, especially in significant blocks of contiguous bandwidth of up to 1 MHz, Ofcom decided to publish a CFI to seek stakeholder views on potential uses for this spectrum. The responses to the CFI identified a number of potential uses that the spectrum could be put to and these included:

Existing Business Radio products on a licensed basis to allow industry sectors such as transport and utilities to maintain and improve their communications systems, for example to deploy wide area trunked networks; a requirement to facilitate Amateur Radio development applications such as digital Amateur TV and satellite; spectrum for maritime and safety of life applications; spectrum for a ‘LTE’ type application/service; an allocation for Citizens’ Band Radio; and higher power licence exempt use.
 

Read the full Land Mobile Magazine article at:
http://www.landmobile.co.uk/news/ofcom-updates-on-vhf-spectrum-release

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Media hits attributed to VK CQ Expo

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Some of the aims of last weekend's PR4Amateur Radio Expo held throughout Australia, were community interaction and media coverage for Amateur Radio, with many successful examples occurring.

Ipswich and District Radio Club President, Glen Woodrow VK4FARR, in the Ipswich Advertiser, reports social media has not damped the enthusiasm of those engaged in Amateur Radio.

The club marked World Amateur Radio Day with an Expo, calling on residents to get involved in the fun.

Glenn VK4FARR said, "It has never been easier to enter the hobby through the basic Foundation Licence, and the club can show you how to join in the fun."

He was speaking as modern Amateur Radio was showcased by Wireless Institute of Australia affiliates across the nation to the public at demonstration stations.

A few visitors to the Expo had seen an antenna in their neighbourhood and wondered what it meant. Some thought we'd gone out of existence, had a former relative involved, or held an old fashioned view of it. Others have not even heard of us.

The public relations event also scored an interview by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio of a Bundaberg radio amateur that included references to his do-it-yourself techniques and operating to chat with friends near and far.

A member of the Bundaberg Amateur Radio Club, Dave Nebe VK4HAX prefers using Amateur Radio while others may choose the Internet means or other ways to stay in touch.

He told the ABC that Amateur Radio is different things to different people.

Some like working on antennas, so they like to put an antenna to communicate with someone far afield.

Dave VK4HAX enjoys building things, trying out a project, and sharing the results with others.

The WIA CQ Expo stations have generated interest and stimulated much discussion on public relations among existing radio amateurs.

PR4Amateur Radio Expo reports are still coming in, but initially include indications of some potential recruitment, and that a greater understanding now existed among the public who visited.

(PR4AmateurRadio)

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The STELAR Project 2014

Wednesday 16th April 2014

The education and science charity STELAR has been active in promoting radiocommunications in schools and colleges for over 20 years, as part of curriculum enrichment and personal and professional development for teachers

Through its specialist courses, it has achieved much notable success in establishing radio clubs in schools and inspiring young people to seek careers in science, electronics and industry. It has played a major role in space and satellite communications in schools.

In 2013 it provided opportunities for satellite experiment by offering SDR receivers to schools allowing them to participate in the current series of FUNCUBE satellite experiments.

Now in 2014 STELAR is offering a new challenge to educators both professional and Amateur. The phenomenal success of the Raspberry Pi computer has opened up new opportunities and stimulated demand for educational projects linking communications systems, via computers.

This year STELAR is seeking to support the very best of those ideas by making available grants to educational groups, with projects designed to stimulate experiments with radio linked computing.

Typically these might take the form of:

Radio systems linked to but not exclusively, a Raspberry Pi, computer.
A detailed Teachers guide to the use and benefits of FUNCUBE or similar satellite systems in schools,
The creation of radio-science projects to aid teachers personal and professional development.

Educational groups can apply for funding to develop a project of their choice, by submitting ideas for consideration by June 30, 2014. Groups should set out their aims and giving as much detail as possible. Successful entries will be notified during the Autumn term.

Interested ? then make contact by visiting the STELAR website
http://www.stelar.info/contact

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The ILLW reaches a milestone

Wednesday 16th April 2014

The 200th registration for the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend, held on the third weekend of August, is the 152-year old Cabo Silleiro light station in Spain.

The Spanish registration comes from Hans Muenzenhofer DK6EA and Heike Beiderwieden DC2CT who will activate the lighthouse, for its first time in the annual fun-event.

This is the 5th lighthouse since 2010 for the pair who will use an Icom IC7000 transceiver and 10m, 20m and 40m dipoles based on a fishing rod.

On the Atlantic coast near to northwestern City of Vigo in the region Galicia, the octagonal stone tower painted with red and white horizontal bands, was an entry point to the Ria de Vigo in the south.

The old lighthouse with a large two-story keeper's complex is on an important headland and also once had a fog signal.

So far there are 205 registrations from 30 countries in this year's International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend.

For past or current activations, the guidelines and to make an online registration for August the 16th and 17th, visit the website www.illw.net

Jim Linton VK3PC

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International Marconi Day at Sandford Mill

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Sandford Mill, Chelmsford's former waterworks, is primarily a museum collections store and science education resource, however it is open to the public for special events during the year

The Ships Radio Room at Sandford Mill

Sandford Mill has featured in TV programmes such Great British Railway Journeys and The Wave Messengers. The building houses an extensive radio collection, with some equipment dating back to the 1890’s.

There is a series of five ship’s radio room displays representing different decades including some very rare Marconi equipment from ships contemporary with the Titanic.

The first public open day of 2014 will be held on Saturday, 26 April from 10am to 5pm to celebrate the birthday of Guglielmo Marconi who was born 25 April, 1874.

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) will be operating demonstration stations using the call sign GX0MWT. The HF SSB demonstration station will be located in the historic Marconi 2MT Writtle hut which is now housed inside the museum while the CW team will operate another station from the first floor office.

Colin Page, G0TRM and his team will be demonstrating the impressive Mechanical Morse and Morse Key display with the opportunity for the youngsters to try their hand at sending Morse. The Morse punched paper tape sending and decoding process always proves to be a big hit with potential junior CW operators.

Sandford Mill is run with the help of the Friends of Chelmsford Museums and other ex-industry volunteers. It relies on the support of several voluntary bodies including Chelmsford amateur radio society, the Radio officers association, the Marconi veterans association and the Susan trust. Susan is the last wooden Chelmer Barge and is undergoing restoration (financed by funds devotedly raised by the Susan trust), before returning to her moorings at Sandford Mill.

The Museum is located in Sandford Mill Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6NY, admittance and parking are free, reports of previous events are at
http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/sandfordmill/

International Marconi Day is not a contest; it is an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites using HF communications techniques similar to those used by Marconi, and to earn an award certificate for working or hearing a requisite number of Marconi stations.

Further information at http://www.gb4imd.com/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Island activities:

AS-145; HS; Malay Peninsula South East group: Choon/E20HHK, Teerawat/HS3NBR, Prayong/ HS4BPQ, Nuk/HS7BHK, Toshio/JA1WTI and Boy/ HS8GLR, plan an activity as E20HHK/p from April 18 to 20 on Nu Island. QRV on HF in all modes. QSL via E21EIC.

EU-008; GM/MM; Inner Hebrides: Members of the "Kilmarnock & Loudoun Amateur Radio Club", Graham/MM0GHM, Allan/2M0VNW, Arthur/ MM0DHQ, Jason/GM7VSB, Paul/GM0PJD, Allan/GM3OZB and Gordon/MM0BIM will activate Canna (IOSA NH01, SCOTIA DI21, WAB NG20) as MM0KLR from April 21 to 25. Activities will cover all bands including 60m, 6m and 2m. QSL via bureau or MM0GHM (d).
https://sites.google.com/site/kilmarnockandloudounarc/Home
http://www.klarc.org/

EU-032; F; Poitou-Charentes Region group: Fred/F4EIH will stay on Oleron Island until April 20th and operate as F4EIH/p on 40/20/10m in SSB. QSL via F4EIH (d/B).

NA-143; W5; Texas State East (Matagorda to Jefferson County) group:
Joe/K5KUA once again visits Galveston Island (USi TX-001S) from April 17 to 20, and will mostly operate CW on the HF bands as K5KUA/5. QSL via K5KUA (d/B).

OC-177; YB0; Seribu Islands: Budi/YF1AR already planned his next IOTA activity: From April 18 to 20 he will activate Payung Besar Island including the lighthouse ARLHS IDO-236, WLOTA 2776, Admiralty K1058, WW Loc. OI34ge as YF1AR/0. QSL via N2OO (d/B).
http://www.yf1ar.com/2014/04/oc-177-payung-besar-island-seribu.html

SA-086; CE2; Coquimbo/ Valparaiso Region group: The DXpedition announced earlier in DXNL will take place from April 16 to 20.


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

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The spooky world of the 'numbers stations'

Wednesday 16th April 2014

This is the era of hyper-tech espionage, encrypted emails and mind-boggling cryptography. But you can hear a very old-fashioned form of espionage on shortwave radio.

It is 13:03 on a Tuesday in a little crammed room of the BBC Monitoring building in Caversham and what is suddenly heard on a shortwave receiving station is a 10-minute message in Morse code.

There is a small community of aficionados who believe messages like this are a throwback to the era of Cold War espionage. They are the mysterious "numbers stations".

At the apex of the Cold War, radio lovers across the globe started to notice bizarre broadcasts on the airwaves. Starting with a weird melody or the sound of several beeps, these transmissions might be followed by the unnerving sound of a strange woman's voice counting in German or the creepy voice of a child reciting letters in English.

Encountering these shortwave radio messages, many radio hams concluded that they were being used to send coded messages across extremely long distances. Coming across one of them was a curious experience. Radio enthusiasts gave them colourful names like the "Nancy Adam Susan", "The Lincolnshire Poacher," "The Swedish Rhapsody" or "The Gong Station."

The Lincolnshire Poacher was so named because of two bars from an English folk song of that name being used as an "interval signal".

Times have changed and technology has evolved, but there's evidence that this old-fashioned seeming method of communication might still be used. Shortwave numbers stations might seem low-tech but they probably remain the best option for transmitting information to agents in the field, some espionage experts suggest.

"Nobody has found a more convenient and expedient way of communicating with an agent," says Rupert Allason, an author specialising in espionage issues and writing under the pen name Nigel West.

"Their sole purpose is for intelligence agencies to communicate with their agents in denied areas - a territory where it is difficult to use a consensual form of communications," Allason says.

Thanks to Simon G6XHF for the link

Read the full BBC News article at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24910397

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UK school pupils to use ham radio to track balloon

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Students at Bolton School will track the flight of their high altitude balloon with amateur radio equipment

The Bolton News reports that the pupils have designed equipment and programmed technology to capture the curvature of the Earth through photographs and video footage using a helium balloon.

The team, under the guidance of staff members Alec Jones and Chris Walker G0VUX, head of the technology department, has designed and built the project. They have custom-built most of the hardware and electronics and have written most of the software for the onboard computer.

Read the story at
http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/11143161.Video__Bolton_School
_s_test_launch_as_pupils_prepare_to_send_balloon_into_space/


Bolton School
http://www.boltonschool.org/

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

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KickSat launch postponed until Friday

KickSat deploying the 200 Sprite satellites

Tuesday 15th April 2014

The SpaceX CRS-3 Dragon launch of five CubeSats and 104 Sprite satellites has been postponed until Friday

SpaceX were finally set to launch their Dragon spacecraft on its third Commercial Resupply Services mission to the ISS Monday, prior to a scrub being called over an hour ahead of lift-off. The next opportunity is Friday.

The launch had been planned for December 2013 but has suffered a number of delays.

Read the full story at
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/spacex-crs-3-dragon-new-milestones/

KickSat information
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/04/10/kicksat-sprites-radio-competition/

Frequencies of the other CubeSats can be found at
http://www.cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/
139-crs3-launch-alert

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Video of ISS HamTV

Tuesday 15th April 2014

The final configuration of the International Space Station HamVideo Digital TV system took place on Sunday, April 13. ISS commander Koichi Wakata KC5ZTA operated using the call sign OR4ISS.

Configuration 4 was used:

* ARISS antenna 43
* Frequency 2395 MHz
* Symbol rate 2.0 MS/s

Watch the 2395 MHz ISS Digital TV transmission received by F6DZP in Poitiers, France

Read the HamTV overview by Gaston Bertels ON4WF
http://tinyurl.com/HamTVoverview

Join the ISS HamTV Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HamTV

Webstream of the TV transmissions
http://batc.tv/ch_live.php?ch=4

ARISS-EU HamTV Bulletins
http://www.ariss-eu.org/

HamTV on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Hamtvproject

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Tony Hancock 90th birthday GB9TH

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Like him or loath him for 'sending up' amateur radio, he was a comic genius.

Born in on the 12th May 1924, not 1936 as in his script, he would have been 90.

To celebrate, the Coventry Amateur Radio Society are operating GB4TH from the Birmingham birthplace of the lad himself.

Mainly on 40 Mtrs. SSB we will not be using a 19DS/87B in the final, but we are likely to have Alan G7CDK as a guest operator who was the recording engineer for The Blood Donor & Radio Ham records.

For further information contact G8GMU brean@freenetname.co.uk


For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the name Tony Hancock, or have never seen 'The Radio Ham', here it is. Sit back and enjoy it! Ed.

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Telford Radio Society operating GB8MD for Marconi Day

Tuesday 15th April 2014

On Saturday April 26th, Telford and District Radio Society will be running a memorial radio station on the Welsh coast at Tywyn, Gwynedd, for International Marconi Day event.

The club will use GB8MD ('Marconi Day') callsign for the day.

The site being used was part of Marconi's receive site for spark transmissions from across the Atlantic. Many buildings remain but are privately owned and there is no public access to them. The field in front of them is where the club will be operating from.

Visitors are welcome on-site during the day, but please take instructions on parking and access. Licenced visitors will be able to operate the station - please bring along your licence and some ID.

Contact the event organiser Simon Taylor 2E0CHV for more information on 07851 340162 or m3set@yahoo.co.uk

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DXpedition to Isle of Canna

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Kilmarnock and Loudoun Amateur Radio Club members will again be operating from the Isle of Canna EU008.

From the 21st till 25th April, we will be active from 2m to 160m SSB,CW and Data modes.

QSL info QRZ.com

Team: MM0GHM Graham, GM3OZB Allan, MM0BIM Gordon and guest Op GM0PJD Paul.

73
Graham MM0GHM

Secretary KLARC

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Panama Canal Special Event

Monday 14th April 2014

This year, Panama is celebrating its 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal.

A special event station will be operating as HO100CANAL between April 19th and August 15th. Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, PSK and RTTY.

On August 15th, the Panamanians will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the inaugural transit through the Panama Canal. This activity is organized by amateurs of the Republic of Panama.

The QSL Manager for the operation is HP1AVS, some of the operators are HP1AVS, HP1COO, HP1CPE, HP1DBK and possibly more stations from Radio Club de Panama.

For more information, see: http://www.qrz.com/db/HO100CANAL

For more information on the 100th anniversary of Panama Canal, see:
http://micanaldepanama.com/centennial

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J43VHF callign for Greek balloon

Monday 14th April 2014

The special callsign J43VHF will be used by the Greek balloon AEOLOS on May 11, 2014, carrying to the stratosphere a payload of APRS, 2m CW QRP and 10m CW QRP transmitters

A post by Panagiotis Perreas M0LPT on the GQRP Yahoo group says:

On May 11, 2014 at 0800 UT our team will launch a High Altitude Balloon (HAB) from the area of Megalopolis - KM17BJ (Arkadia – Pelloponisos, Greece – SV3 area).

Our primary goal is the HAB to reach the stratosphere at an altitude over 30 km. Our secondary goal is to gather propagation data via any station being able to copy and QSL our beacons.

The HAB will provide telemetry data via APRS on 144.800 MHz under the callsign J43VHF-11. You can monitor our flight on http://aprs.fi/

Two CW beacons will also be active during the flight, one on 2m and one on 10M.

During the event, an on-spot HF base station will be QRV under the callsign J43VHF, providing live info on all preparations and flight data.

The team members are:
SV1BJY – Yannis (Team Leader)
SV1QT – Sotiris
SV1GZT – Vangelis
SV3IEG – Dinos
SV1NJX – Chris
SV1OAA – Costas
SV4PBH – Manos

All HAM and SWL that will provide feedback via our online QSL report, will receive our special QSL card for free.

More info available at http://j43vhf.wordpress.com/ or via email at j43vhf@gmail.com

73 de J43VHF team

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 14th April 2014

Island activities:

AS-049. Takeshi "TAKE", JI3DST, will once again be active as JI3DST/6 from Kuchino Island (Tokara Island) between 0600z, April 29th and 0000z, May 5th. Activity will be on 40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters (possibly 160/80/75m) using CW, SSB, FM, RTTY, PSK31 and JT65A. QSL via JI3DST (see QRZ.com for details).
ADDED NOTE: In case of heavy rain or other conditions, the operation condition may vary.

AS-145. (Update) Choon/E20HHK will lead a group of operators which include Teerawat/HS3NBR, Prayong/HS4BPQ, Nuk/HS7BHK, Damrongsak/HS8GLR and Toshio/JA1WTI to activate Nu Island in the Southern part of Thailand as E20HHK/P between April 18-20th. AS-145 is a rare IOTA in Thailand and was last activated in 2000 (as E29DX). They will go QRT on April 20th in the morning. QSL via E21EIC.

EU-032. Fred, F4EIH, will be active as F4EIH/P from Oleron Island between April 12-20th. He will use 100 watts and a dipole on 40/20/10m SSB.

EU-070. Operators Fred/F5OZK, Paul/F4DVT and Christian/F8HJV (who is a resident) will be active as F5KKD/P from Ile du Levant (DIFM ME012) between May 1-4th. QSL via F5KKD.

SA-028. Operators Leo/PU2LGU, Paulo/PU2WZR and Agostinho/PY2DMC will activate Vitoria Island between April 13-14th. Callsign was not announced before going to print. QSL via PU2WZR only direct.

SA-086. The Chilean team, who were expected to be active as XR2T from Damas Island between April 16-20th, have postponed their operation until October.

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 14th April 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 6th-April, through Sunday, 13th-April there were 230 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PZ, S2, S5, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV/a, SV5, SV9, T32, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2V, VP5, VP6, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS
 

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

OPDX

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HAARP facility in danger of being dismantled

Saturday 12th April 2014

ARRL report the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility near Gakona, Alaska, could be decommissioned and dismantled altogether unless the US Air Force can find a new prime contractor to take over the 35-acre facility

They cite a story in the Alaska Depatch which says the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks is hoping to pull together a plan to run the facility, which long has been a subject of fascination for hams and the target of conspiracy theorists. The facility shut down last year and, with the exception of some contract-funded research, it has essentially remained in standby.

The HAARP antenna array

Money is one major issue. The US Air Force Research Laboratory wants to see HAARP survive, “but only if someone else pays the bills, estimated at about $5 million a year,” the article said.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/haarp-facility-in-danger-of-being-dismantled

Alaska Depatch
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140409/air-force-predicts-summer-shutdown-powerful-haarp-transmitter-alaska

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CQ ENCE 2014: Ham Radio Emergency Communications Exercise

Saturday 12th April 2014

The 5th Emergency Communications National Exercise (ECNE or ENCE) takes place Saturday, April 26 and this year will also use the 5 MHz (60m) band

Despite the name, Emergency Communications National Exercise, the event attracts interest from the ham community outside Spain and a version of the message template translated into English is provided.

The exercise will be held on Saturday April 26, 18:30-19:30 UT and is open to international participation.

The frequency chosen for the 60m band is: 5.311,5 kHz USB. Also some activity is expected in other HF ham bands, such as 3.760 kHz (80m), 7.110 kHz (40m) and 14.300 kHz (20m), as well as in VHF, CB and PMR frequencies.

The purpose of the exercise is to provide an opportunity for those radio amateurs interested in practicing operating skills.

An English guide on how to participate is available at
http://www.fediea.org/news/?news=20140405

Anyone can participate, even as a listener, sending reports to: ence@fediea.org.

CQ ENCE is organized by Federación Digital EA and Liga Española de Asociaciones CB y Radioaficionados.

More information in Google English at
http://tinyurl.com/EADF-Emergency-Comms

Spanish http://www.fediea.org/emergencias/

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RSGB EMC Matters Forum

Friday 11th April 2014

The EMC Matters Forum is for those seeking advice on interference problems

The RSGB say the EMC Committee’s local volunteer advisers can access the forum and help solve interference cases. In addition the forum will also provide a means for the EMC Committee to gauge the main interference problems affecting amateurs, from which policy can be formulated to address them with the appropriate regulatory or standards bodies.

When registering on the forum you will be asked a verification question "Who issues amateur radio licences in the UK?", the answer is Ofcom.

Direct link to the forum
http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?forums/emcmatters

Read the RSGB announcement at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2014/04/10/
emc-matters-forum/

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Boosting Car Key Fob Range

Friday 11th April 2014

A Nottingham University video shows how you can extend the range of your 434 or 315 MHz wireless vehicle key fob

Professor Roger Bowley unlocks his car from various distances, using waves from his key, brain and a big bottle of water.

Watch Unlocking a car with your Brain

Sixty Symbols - Videos about the symbols of physics and astronomy
http://www.sixtysymbols.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sixtysymbols
https://twitter.com/sixtysymbols

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Shukhov Tower: The Eiffel of the East

Thursday 10th April 2014

The proposed demolition of a rusting Soviet radio tower in Moscow has ignited a passionate, international conservation campaign. Why?

The slender, steel frame of the Shabolovka Tower (photo right) rises above the rooftops of Moscow. At 160m (525ft) high, it is a single exclamation mark in an otherwise dense urban landscape. Its filigree design gives it a delicate and ephemeral quality, but the radio tower has been a fixture of the skyline since 1922.

Commissioned by Lenin in 1919, the tower is commonly referred to as the Shukhov Tower after its designer - leading engineer Vladimir Shukhov, whose pioneering architectural vision first brought news of the modern world to the Soviet people.

"Communication and radio was the new thing, the latest technology at the time. Shukhov's tower was spreading the word of the new age," says Richard Pare, who first photographed the tower in 1993.

"It is a transcendent structure. The sensation of standing underneath it is so uplifting, it makes you feel weightless. It soars upwards."

Pare is the co-author of an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, signed by a number of renowned architects, urging that the tower be preserved. But in February, Russia's State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting declared the structure unsound and proposed to dismantle it. Campaigners now await an official decision.

"In terms of its engineering, its symbolic significance, the urban landscape - it would be such a catastrophic loss," Pare says.
 

Read the full BBC News story, with pictures, at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26876243

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WWV now conducting experimental broadcasts on 25 MHz

Thursday 10th April 2014

Want to catch WWV - the Fort Collins-based time station on a frequency they haven't used since 1977?

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that, as of April 4, 2014, WWV will resume broadcasting on 25 Mhz for a limited time.

Details here: http://wp.me/pn3uc-2oM

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Extended 40m band for Vietnamese hams

Thursday 10th April 2014

Radio Hams in Vietnam can now enjoy the extended 40m band up to 7200 kHz, the 30m band and new frequencies on 80m up to 3900 kHz, as well as the new 600m band (472 kHz - 479 kHz) and 160m (1800 kHz to 2000 kHz).

The new band plan can be retrieved in this document on p. 27:
http://www.rfd.gov.vn/imgs/2b8c93be29ab3da8227ae163fc7525f3-71pdf.pdf

http://varc.radioclub.asia/

DXNL

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Intrepid Spirit Award

Thursday 10th April 2014

The Intrepid-DX Group is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2nd annual 'Intrepid Spirit Award'.

We are pleased to have received so many worthy nominations to consider. This year's award goes to a notable Dxer and DXpeditioner that we have come to respect and admire greatly, Mr. Eric Hall-K9GY/T6MO.

This award is to recognize Eric's outstanding efforts to activate Afghanistan during his tour of duty as a U.S. Army reservist, making over 41,000 contacts.

We acknowledge Eric's pursuit of operating excellence and his quest to activate the rare and often dangerous entities. It is for these reasons that we honour him with our Intrepid Spirit Award, to be presented by David Collingham-K3LP at the Dayton Hamvention DX Dinner on May 16th, 2014. A picture of Eric-T6MO operating from Kandahar, Afghanistan:

https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/
t1.0-9/1981896_421556467989278_1919337531_n.jpg


This "Intrepid-Spirit Award" is made in memory of our fallen friend and member, James McLaughlin, T6AF, who was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, just three years ago this month.

Paul, N6PSE
President of the Intrepid-DX Group

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 10th April 2014

Island activities:

AF-024; S7; Inner Islands: Wolfgang/OE1MWW will be on vacation on S7 from April 6 to 25 and operate in holiday style as S79WK, with a KX3 and simple antennas. After his stay on Praslin Island (April 6-11), he will try to be QRV as S79WK/mm aboard the MS Pegasus, followed by an operation from Mahe Island (April 19-25). QSL via OE1MWW (d/B), LoTW and eQSL.

AS-031; JD; Chichijima/ Mukojima/ Hahajima Islands: Minekazu/JA2NQG will operate as JD1AAI from Chichijima Island from April 9 to 17. A participation in the JI DX Contest is planned (prefecture 48).
QSLvia JA2NQG (d) or JD1AAI (B).

AS-067; JA6; Uji and Kusagaki Islands: Taka/JA8COE will sign JA8COE/6 from Uji Island (WLOTA 2857, WW Loc. PM41re) from April 8 to 15 on 40m - 10m in CW, SSB and digital modes. QSL via JA8COE (d/B) or ClubLog (OQRS). http://takaja8coe.de-blog.jp/blog

EU-038; PA; Noord Holland/ Friesland/ Groningen Province group: Jan/PE1GNP and Marc/PD7YY will bring the special callsign PH38EU on the air from Terschelling Island (WLOTA 0943) from April 11 to 14. They will operate on 40m - 10m and 2m in SSB. QSL via bureau or direct to PE1GNP or PD7YY.

EU-136; 9A; Kvarner group: Pista/HA5AUC and Ed/HA5BWW are currently on Rab island (IOCA CI-096) and operate CW on the HF bands as 9A/HA5AUC and 9A/HA5BWW respectively, until April 14. QSL via bureau to the homecalls.

EU-184; OH8; Oulu Province group: Jukka/OH3OJ plans to show up around the IOTA frequencies as OH3OJ/8 from Hailuoto Island (WLOTA 0580) from April 11 to 15, mostly in SSB. QSL via OH3OJ (d/B).

NA-085; W4; Florida State North West (Bay to Wakulla County) group: Bruce/K5TEN plant vom 13. - 19. April Dog Island (USi FL-005S) im Franklin County als K5TEN/4 zu aktivieren. Er will von 40 - 10 Meter in SSB , CW und falls moeglich auch Digi-Mode Punkte fuer das IOTA- und US-Island-Diplom verteilen. Wenn es die Transport-bedingungen zulassen will er ebenfalls versuchen auf 6 Meter QRV zu werden. QSL via K5TEN (d/B).

OC-106; YB5; Natuna Besar Islands: Imam/YB4IR plant seine naechste IOTA-Expedition. Vom 10. - 14. April ist als YB4IR/5 von Natuna Island QRV. IOTA-Punkte will er in CW, SSB und RTTY von 40 - 10 Meter verteilen. QSL via ClubLog (OQRS).

SA-086; CE2; Coquimbo/ Valparaiso Region group: A big team, consisting of Nick/XQ1KZ, Carlos/XQ1CR, Dercel/CE3KHZ, Alfredo/XQ3WD, Danilo/XQ4CW, Marco/CE1TBN, Jose Luis/CE1KR, Pablo/CE1UMY, Domingo/ CE1DY, Claudio/XQ1FM, Julio/CE3OP, Sergio/CE3WDH, Chris/CE3TAM, Rodrigo/CE4KCA, Juan/CE3RBJ and Juan/CE5PHI will sign XR2T from April 13 - 21 from Damas Island (DICE ICE-201, WLOTA 0029, WW Loc. FG40fs). They try to give as many stations as possible a chance to get into the log, including small pistols and QRP stations. QRV on all bands in all modes. QSL via XQ4CW (d/B), LoTW, eQSL.

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

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Amateur Radio-developed software assisting in search for missing airliner

Wednesday 9th April 2014

ARRL report that US Navy personnel helping to look for missing Malaysia Air Flight MH370 are using the signal-processing and analysis package Spectrum Laboratory by Wolf Buescher, DL4YHF, to analyze recently detected 37.5 kHz 'pings' that may be from the missing plane's 'black box'

Some Spectrum Laboratory screen shots as seen aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield were shown on TV. The US Navy personnel are guests aboard the Australian ship. VLF experimenter Warren Ziegler, K2ORS, said the software is the same package Amateur Radio experimenters used recently to detect transatlantic signals on 29 kHz.

“Wolf’s package is very first-rate software, and I know that there have been other professional uses, but this was quite an interesting one!” Ziegler said.

The software began as a simple DOS-based FFT program, but it is now a specialized audio analyzer, filter, frequency converter, hum filter, data logger and more, and it is available for download from DL4YHF’s Amateur Radio Software site.
http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/spectra1.html#download

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-developed-software
-assisting-in-search-for-missing-airliner

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Solar powered 434 MHz balloons launched

Wednesday 9th April 2014

On Tuesday, April 8, Leo Bodnar M0XER launched two foil balloons from Silverstone with solar powered 434.500 MHz USB Contestia 8/1000 payloads

Depending on altitude the balloons could have a range of 300-500 km and remain aloft for several days.

Balloons: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon
Payloads: 12 grams solar powered tracker

Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/1000
B-44 is 1500Hz higher than B-43 so it should be possible to see both in the same audio bandwidth.

B-43/44 Tracking link (zoom in on UK)
http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-43;B-44

APRS backup
http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FM0XER-3
%2Ca%2FM0XER-4


Downlink data contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes.Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.

Leo says "I appreciate help of everybody who joins in for tracking!"

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Listen to the balloons online from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB)
http://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi
http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

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IARUMS Newsletter released

Wednesday 9th April 2014

The IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS) newsletter reports there has been interference from broadcast stations in the amateur radio 40m band

Interference has been caused by Radio Hargeisha in Somaliland on 7120 kHz and Khartoum in Sudan on 7200 kHz.

The newsletter notes the IARU Monitoring System Region 1 has now 27 members. Francis Boulot F5MIU is the new REF Monitoring System Coordinator.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 March 2014 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2014/news1403.pdf

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged 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

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Amateur Radio Great Circle Maps in full colour

Wednesday 9th April 2014

Hello

We have produced an 'Amateur Radio Great Circle Map' which is centred on the UK

The map has excellent detail and are the best quality available

Our finished maps measure approximately 24" x 24" and are printed on photo quality paper.

See below, a sample area of our map..

Our maps are printed to the highest standard, they are the best quality available, they are NEW and unused.....
All Maps will arrive rolled up in a poster tube.

The cost is given below....

UK - £10.25 Including insured postage .

All Payments should be made in GBP via Paypal to
maps@hamcall.co.uk

I can also be contacted on the following email address... maps@hamcall.co.uk

I'm Ok in any call book and QRZ.com
I look forward to hearing from you.

73's,

Mike GM0PHW

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International Air-ambulance Weekend

Wednesday 9th April 2014

The new Amateur Radio Events Organisation wish to advise everyone of a new 9-day special event taking place, commencing on 27 September 2014.

The event will be known as the IAW (International Air-ambulance Weekend) and is in support of the many Air Ambulance services around the world and particularly those in the UK, which are donation funded.

More details on the event, it aims and a registration form to take part can be found at http://www.radio-amateur-events.org - Registration is entirely free of cost.

73 Jon M0HEM

http://www.qrz.com/db/m0hem

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Important update: 5 MHz Band

Tuesday 8th April 2014

The RSGB have posted an update on 5 MHz regarding an exercise by the primary user

Users of the 5 MHz frequencies will know that this portion of spectrum is allocated (by NoV only) for amateur use on a secondary basis, available on the basis of non-interference to other services inside the UK.

Ofcom have indicated that, during the coming days, there may be temporary increased usage of the band by the primary user and thus particular care should be exercised to ensure that frequencies are not in use before calling CQ.

Source RSGB
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/uncategorized/2014/04/08/
important-update-5-mhz-band/

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Ofcom 2300 and 3400 MHz ham radio bands statement

Tuesday 8th April 2014

Ofcom has published a statement on the amateur radio use of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands

Following a consultation last year, Ofcom has decided to remove from the Amateur Radio Licence all frequencies in these bands which overlap with those planned for award (2350 to 2390 and 3410 to 3475 MHz) , giving amateurs at least twelve months’ notice of this intention.

Ofcom has also decided to retain amateur access to the adjacent bands, and put in place a procedure to enable these frequencies to be removed from the Amateur Radio Licence if necessary in future.

Ofcom has been required by the Ministry of Defence to implement measures to ensure the MoD’s systems are adequately protected from interference from amateur uses in both the release and adjacent bands. Today’s statement therefore contains guidance from Ofcom with which amateur users must comply, with immediate effect, when using these frequencies.

Amateur users of the 2310 to 2350 MHz band are requested to register their use and provide contact details to Ofcom. Details are provided in today’s statement.

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
public-sector-spectrum-release/statement

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FUNcube-1 ham radio transponder to be active weekends

Tuesday 8th April 2014

Following the 48 hour test on April 5-6, the FUNcube-1 (AO-73) CubeSat team have concluded that the battery temperature does reduce slightly during full time transponder mode, but only by a degree C or so; it remains within specification

Hence it has been decided in future to switch the satellite into ‘forced eclipse mode’, i.e. full time transponder and low power beacon at weekends. The aim is to significantly increase the availability of the transponder to radio amateurs. This will continue until further notice.

The team plan to switch to full time transponder mode during the first suitable pass over the UK on Friday evenings, normally between 1930 and 2230 UT. If for some reason this is not possible, then the switch will be done on the first suitable pass on Saturday, normally between 0930 and 1200 UT. It is planned to switch the full time transponder mode off during a suitable pass on Sunday evenings, which normally occur between 1930 and 2230 UT. Again, if this is not possible the switch off will be made on Monday mornings, approx. 0930 to 1200 UT.

Do please note that this schedule is totally reliant on the availability of command stations, who will do their very best to ensure it is maintained. We will not normally announce successful full time transponder mode on/off commands, but if it proves not possible to make one of them, then we will make a note here and on the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB).

So please do enjoy the transponder, and use it any time you hear it on. We are always pleased to hear of your activity, so either leave a comment below, or email g3wgm -at- amsat.org

Watch a recent FUNcube-1 contact made by Paulo PV8DX

Thanks for the report, Paulo!

There has been a small change to the data that’s presented on the FUNcube-1 Telemetry Upload Ranking page:
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/ranking.html?satelliteId=2

The count column is now coloured to show the period in which the last data was received from the user:
Green – within the past 7 days
Yellow – within the past 14 days
Light-grey – longer than 14 days

If you would like it more granular, please start a discussion on the ‘forum’ at
http://forum.funcube.org.uk/

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

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GB3PZ ham radio repeater petition

Tuesday 8th April 2014

A petition has been started to try to get Ofcom to take some action against what is believed to be a breach of the 2006 Wireless Telegraphy Act

The petition reads:

As you are aware, the GB3PZ amateur radio repeater has been plagued by, amongst others, a particular unlicensed individual for many Months.

Through lack of action by yourselves, you are effectively allowing him / them to continue to prevent licensed operators using it.

Most licensed users of GB3PZ are now very frustrated by the lack of any help from Ofcom in this matter. Action is long overdue, and an example needs to be made, to prevent copycat abusers.

The repeater keeper has invested a considerable sum in the development of what was once a very popular repeater, which is now in danger of becoming a white-elephant.

The address of the most prolific abuser has been located, and provided to yourselves some months ago.
I / We ask you to take action now! G0KLD


You can sign the petition at
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pz-pirates/

GB3PZ http://www.gb3pz.com/

Watch GB3PZ Dukinfield

After the 2008/9 financial year, Ofcom stopped publishing their Prosecution/Formal Warning Statistics and subsequently removed all prosecution statistics from their website, perhaps to hide the fact that they no longer published them. It may be speculated the reason the statistics no longer appeared was because Ofcom had stopped undertaking enforcement action.

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ISS HamTV moves to 2369 MHz

Tuesday 8th April 2014

The Digital Amateur TV (DATV) station in the Columbus module of the International Space Station has changed frequency to 2369 MHz

Presently, Ham Video is transmitting permanently a “blank” image and no audio in configuration 5:
* ARISS antenna 43
* Frequency 2369 MHz
* Symbol rate 1.3 Ms/s

Reports on reception of blank transmissions are very welcome. Reports can be filed via this webpage:
http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_FSTV/submit.php

Participants using the Tutioune receiving software can record as well as stream detailed parameters of the received signal. Please see:
http://www.vivadatv.org/

Reports are available at
http://www.vivadatv.org/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=294&p=785#p785

Thank you for your participation to the Ham Video testing campaign.

73,
Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
ARISS Europe chair

Read the HamTV overview by Gaston Bertels ON4WF
http://tinyurl.com/HamTVoverview

Join the ISS HamTV Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HamTV

Webstream of the TV transmissions
http://batc.tv/ch_live.php?ch=4

ARISS-EU HamTV Bulletins
http://www.ariss-eu.org/

HamTV on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Hamtvproject

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FCC proposes more 5 GHz spectrum for unlicensed devices

Monday 7th April 2014

In Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ET Docket 13-49 the FCC proposes making 195 MHz of spectrum at 5 GHz available for Part 15 unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices

The aim is to provide high data rate mobile and fixed communications for individuals, businesses, and institutions.

The Amateur Satellite Service has an uplink allocation at 5650-5670 MHz and a downlink allocation at 5830-5850 MHz.

FCC 5 GHz Proposal ET Docket No. 13-49

Read the FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ET Docket No. 13-49
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022123531

Read the ARRL story
http://www.arrl.org/news/more-peanut-butter-and-jelly-fcc-drops-the-first-shoe-in-5-ghz-u-nii-devices-proceeding

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New EMC Directive published

Monday 7th April 2014

Stewart Baker G3RXQ reports the new EMC Directive 2014/30/EU has been published in the official journal of the European Union

On the UKQRM Yahoo Group he writes:

New EMC Directive is Published: 2014/30/EU Replaces 2004/108/EC The new electromagnetic Compatibility Directive has now been published in the OJ (Official Journal of the European Union, 29/3/2014). This replaces the previous Directive 2004/108/EC which repealed 89/336/EEC.

The new Directive addresses some of its predecessor's ambiguities and makes clear that its jurisdiction relates to products when they are first placed on the market or put into service, this includes second-hand equipment if it has not previously been placed on the market in the EU.

The new Directive can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/Pq76gk


EUR-Lex
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/
?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2014.096.01.0079.01.ENG


UKQRM Yahoo Group
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/UKQRM/

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How to build your own personal satellite

Monday 7th April 2014

Have you ever wanted to build your own personal satellite but your last name doesn’t start with Gates or Branson? Well, now there’s good news. For the price of a car you can now build, test and launch your own personal satellite at home.

Dr. Sandy Antunes, author of DIY Satellite Platform, talks about building his own personal spacecraft Project Calliope. The best part (besides having your own satellite) is that you can now do some serious science.

Find out what kind of satellite Dr. Antunes is building and how he’s running the same kinds of tests the large Aerospace companies do, but for a fraction of the cost.

http://www.diyspaceexploration.com/
how-to-build-your-own-personal-satellite/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 7th April 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 30th-March, through Sunday, 6th-April there were 238 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, D6, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FH, FK, FM, FO, FO/a, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PZ, S2, S5, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T32, T5, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TL, TR, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9M, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP6, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, VU7, XE, XT, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 7th April 2014

Island activities:

IOTA CONVENTION NEWS
RSGBIOTA.org reports [edited]: The key event at IOTA's 50th anniversary Convention, to be held between July 4-6th, will be the announcement of 10 new IOTA groups, the first new tranche to be added since year 2000.

Two of these 10 will be left for final decision at the Convention on the basis of evidence-supported representations made in person by delegates. All additions to the list will conform with IOTA rules amended in a minor way in the new IOTA Directory to be published in early May.

It is envisaged that much of the discussion between DXpeditioners attending the Convention will be on their plans to activate these new groups and achieve that NEW ONE badge.

Join this exciting occasion by enrolling for the Convention on www.rsgbevents.org where the special discount price for attendance has been extended to April 30th. Decisions taken will be notified on the RSGB IOTA website after the Convention.

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AS-046. Victor, R6AF, is now active as 9M2/R6AF/P from Tioman Island until April 10th. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW.
QSL via his home callsign. An OQRS is available, see QRZ.com.

AS-145. Operators Kriangkrai/E20HHK, Teerawat/HS3NBR and Damrongsak/HS8GLR will be active as E20HHK/p from Nu Island (Koh Nu) between April 18-20th. QSL route TBD.

EU-047. Fred, ON6QR, and possibly others will be active as DL/ON6QR from Langeoog Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 26-27th).
QSL via ON6QR. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

EU-136. Operators Pista/HA5AUC and Ed/HA5BWW will be active 9A/HA5AUC and 9A/HA5BWW from Rab Island (CI-096), Croatia, between April 8-14th. Activity will be on the CW mode. QSL via the Bureau (preferred).

NA-029. Robert, VY2XDX, will be active as XO2C from Prince Edward Island (Gris FN76) between August 20-25th. Activity will be holiday style between 1900-0300z. This is a special station celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. For more details, see http://www.canada-150th.ca.
QSL via the Bureau or direct to his QSL Manager VE3RHE.
ADDED NOTE: Also, look for Robert to be active as XO2C/3 from Ontario (near Toronto) (grid FN03) between August 15-19th.

NA-079. Dan, AK4PX, will active from the Dry Tortuga Islands (WW Loc.
EL-84) between June 14-16th. He uses an Icom IC-703 into an EARCH end fed antenna and Buddistick antenna. QSL via LoTW or direct (see QRZ.com).

OC-177. Budi, YF1AR, will be active as YF1AR/0 from Payung Besar Island and lighthouse (ARLHS IDO-236) between April 18-20th.
Activity will be mainly 40m (night time) and 20m (daytime).
He plans to operate with a 43 ft. vertical antenna on top of the lighthouse (40m ASL). QSL via N2OO. For more details and updates, see:
http://www.yf1ar.com/2014/04/oc-177-payung-besar-island-seribu.html

Compiled by Tedd Mirgliotta, KB8NW OPDX

RSGB IOTA website

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

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GLONASS gone... then back

Sunday 6th April 2014

In an unprecedented total disruption of a fully operational GNSS constellation, all satellites in the Russian GLONASS broadcast corrupt information for 11 hours, from just past midnight until noon Russian time (UTC+4), on April 2 (or 5 p.m. on April 1 to 4 a.m. April 2, U.S. Eastern time).

This rendered the system completely unusable to all worldwide GLONASS receivers. Full and correct service has now been restored.

“Bad ephemerides were uploaded to satellites. Those bad ephemerides became active at 1:00 am Moscow time,” reported one knowledgeable source. For every GNSS in orbit, the navigation messages include ephemeris data, used to calculate the position of each satellite in orbit, and information about the time and status of the entire satellite constellation (almanac); this data is processed by user receivers on the ground to compute their precise position.

According to another source, a GLONASS fix could not take effect until each satellite in turn passed back over control stations in the Northern Hemisphere to be reset, thus taking nearly 12 hours.

During the outage, one U.S.-based GNSS high-precision manufacturer reported “We are currently experiencing calls from customers all over the world who are experiencing GLONASS “outages” and we have advised customers to switch GLONASS tracking off on our receivers. We don’t have any better information on when normal service is likely to resume from GLONASS satellites. If you do, let me know!”

Such a — possibly human, possibly computer-generated — error could conceivably occur with GPS, Galileo, or BeiDou. “Another reason to have backups,” mused Richard Langley of the University of New Brunswick. “And not just other GNSS.”

Full story at:
http://gpsworld.com/glonass-gone-then-back/

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Channel spacing for Yaesu C4FM Digital Voice

Sunday 6th April 2014

The Utah VHF Society suggests appropriate channel spacing for Yaesu C4FM amateur radio transmissions

They note that the bandwidth of the 9600 bps C4FM signal is approximately 12.5 kHz at the -26 dB points compared to a bandwidth of 10 kHz at -26 dB for the 4800 bps D-STAR.

Read the C4FM article at
http://utahvhfs.org/c4fm_channel_spacing.html

Channel spacing for D-Star
http://utahvhfs.org/dstar_channel_spacing.html

Yaesu C4FM Specification
http://tinyurl.com/Yaesu-C4FM-Spec

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Region 3 Winner of RSGB Club of the Year Competition

Sunday 6th April 2014

"One of the Best Radio Rallies for many years" with considerably increased numbers attending, is how today's NARSA Rally was described by many of those leaving for home after spending their day at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool.

In the photo below we see one of our most successful young members Daniel M6CUL receiving, on behalf of the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club, the shield and certificate for the 2013 Region 3 Winner of the RSGB (Centenary Year) Club of the Year Competition from John Gould G3WKL representing the RSGB as Chairman of RSGB Spectrum Forum.

Click on the following link to watch a video of the awards
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6D7qU74aOqOQTFlN0pTTDZCd2s/edit?usp=sharing   thanks to Phil G6IIM for the clip.

This is the first time our Club has received such recognition and follows a very successful year of hard work by many Club members across the various disciplines of Amateur Radio ..  coming 10th overall in the UKAC Contests, our many Special Event stations and our successes in the amateur examinations .. to name just three.

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FUNcube-1 / AO-73 Transponder April 5-6

Thursday 3rd April 2014

This weekend the FUNcube team are planning to command FUNcube-1 into full time transponder mode

It will be commanded into transponder mode on a suitable pass over the UK on the evening of Friday, April 4 (likely 21:30 UT).

If all goes well, it will be left in transponder mode until the evening of Sunday, April 6 (likely 20:50 UT).

If you hear the transponder on, please feel free to use it! Enjoy!

73s Jim G3WGM

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ARRL calls for timely, visible FCC Amateur Radio enforcement

Thursday 3rd April 2014

In comments filed in response to the FCC’s February 14 Report on Process Reform (GN Docket 14-25), the ARRL has called for a more visible, responsive Amateur Radio enforcement program

The League also said it was concerned that FCC policies for adjudicating certain complaints of interference to radio amateurs, especially those involving electric utilities, provide no incentive for the utilities to resolve them. The ARRL was further critical of the fact that FCC petitions for rule making and spectrum allocation proceedings often take years to resolve. But the League confined the bulk of its comments to perceived shortcomings in the Amateur Radio enforcement program.

“The visibility of the Commission’s enforcement program for the Amateur Service is wholly inadequate, resulting in a widespread, albeit inaccurate, public perception that there is no active enforcement in our service,” the League’s comments said. The ARRL said “deterrence based on visibility is a critical component of a successful compliance campaign.”

The most successful — and visible — period of Amateur Radio enforcement in recent years was between 1997 and 2008, the ARRL asserted. Compliance during that period, the League said, was a result of “the visibility in the Amateur Radio community of a single member of the Commission’s Enforcement Bureau staff at Amateur Radio events” and of keeping the Amateur Radio media fully informed on what was being done to resolve a particular enforcement issue.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-calls-for-timely-visible-fcc-amateur
-radio-enforcement

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Ofcom: 915-921 MHz Licence Exempt allocation

Thursday 3rd April 2014

Ofcom has published a statement on the release of spectrum in the 870 to 876 MHz and 915 to 921 MHz bands for Short Range Devices, which can be used for machine to machine (M2M) communications

Machine to machine communications can be used to link devices together wirelessly, and will form part of what is becoming known as the Internet of Things.

The release of these frequencies means that the UK will be among the first countries in Europe to make this spectrum available for machine to machine communications.

As these devices increasingly connect to each other, they could lead to significant innovation, efficiencies and consumer benefit.

Examples include better management of city infrastructures, greater building security, more regular flows of transport traffic, improving energy efficiency, and health monitoring.

Research commissioned by Ofcom estimates that there could be over 300 million M2M devices in the UK by 2020.

Responses to our December 2013 consultation gave broad support to Ofcom’s key proposals and highlighted their value for M2M uses and the Internet of Things.

Having considered the responses, Ofcom will authorise the use of Short Range Devices by licence exemption in line with the technical conditions specified in the consultation.

Ofcom will be publishing a regulatory notice containing the draft licence exemption regulations later this month.

We expect that the frequencies will be available for use by M2M devices from the second half of the year.

Read the statement at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/
short-range-devices/statement/


Full PDF document
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/
short-range-devices/statement/statement.pdf

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 3rd April 2014

Island activities:

AF-014; CT3; Madeira Archipelago: Jean-Marc/F5SGI plans to get on the air as CT9/F5SGI from the 5th to the 12th. QRV on HF, mainly in CW. QSL via h/c (d/B).

AF-017; 3B9; Rodrigues Island: Robert/3B9FR is currently very active on the bands. From now on he has a new manager, M0OXO, who offers an online request service.

EU-038; PA; Nord Holland/ Friesland/ Groningen Province group: Marcel/PD5MVH returns to Ameland Island (ARLHS NET-001) from the 5th to the 19th. QRV as PD5MVH/p. QSL via PD5MVH (d/B).

EU-127; DL; Schleswig-Holstein State South West group: A large group (around 20 operators) intends to activate Helgoland (GIA N-14, WLOTA 0518, WW Loc. JO34we) from the 3rd to the 12th. It is planned to set up 3 or 4 stations for operations in SSB, CW, and digital modes. The group also wants to run DL0IH from the island's dune. QSLs via DF6QC (d/B). http://www.df6qc.eu/
http://dl5mv.darc.de/
http://www.darc.de/distrikte/E/20

NA-092; W5; Texas State West (Cameron to Calhoun County) group: Members of the Project X Contest Team want to activate Mustang Island State Park (USi TX-011S) as N5T on April 5 & 6. QSL via direct. http://www.mustangislandontheair.com
htpp://twitter.com/@mustangisland1

OC-009; T8; Palau Islands: Bodo/DF8DX is going to pay Palau a visit from April 8 to 15. QRV as T88QX on 40-10m, mainly in CW with some SSB. QSL via LoTW and DF8DX (d/B).

SA-006; PJ1,2,4; Bonaire and Curacao: Juergen/DJ2VO, Martin/DL3KMS, and Ernst/DK7AN plan a holiday-style activity from Bonaire (WLOTA 1279). QRV from April 5 to 18 as PJ4H on 160-10m in CW, SSB, and RTTY. They plan daily uploads to ClubLog. QSL via ClubLog (OQRS), LoTW.

Italian Island Award - IIA
See the ARI website for an up-to-date list of all IIA islands and the award rules: http://ari.it/iia_max/getfile.php?name=IIA_Directory_2014


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

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March RSGB Board Meeting

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

The proceedings of the March RSGB Board meeting have been released

The proceedings record that membership at March 1, 2014 stood at 21,422 – unchanged from the previous month. It is thought this figure may include about 700 free memberships (under 21's and others) and 1,400 overseas memberships although no breakdown is given in the proceedings. In June 2013 the Society offered memberships for just £1 to commemorate the centenary of the Society.

Any changes to the licence terms and conditions following Ofcom's Licence Review consultation (end of April?) are expected to be introduced in the autumn of 2015.

Dan Trudgian M0TGN joined the board meeting using Skype. Dan gave an overview of the Social Media Strategy that had been previously circulated.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held March 14-15, 2014
https://thersgb.org/membersonly/board/proceedings-and-reports/
03-14-2014-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

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Ofcom Annual Plan

Tuesday 1st April 2014

Ofcom has published its Annual Plan for 2014/15, setting out its priorities in the year to March 31, 2015

In addition Ofcom has published details of its budget and funding for 2014/15.

Amateur radio is mentioned in the plan:

3.43 On 19 February 2014 we issued a consultation, Public Sector Spectrum Release (PSSR) - Technical coexistence issues for the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz award9. The consultation focuses in particular on future coexistence between potential new users of the spectrum and existing users of adjacent frequencies. In June 2013 we consulted specifically on the impact of the release on amateur radio, and we expect to make a statement on future amateur radio use of the bands in spring 2014.

With brief mentions at 4.97 and 5.19

Interference (a growing problem with the proliferation of polluting PLT devices and Plasma TV's) is mentioned in 5.17 and 5.18

Download the annual plan from
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/about/annual-reports-and-plans/
annual-plans/annual-plan-201415/

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

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DX Cluster .. Service for Club Members

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

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

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

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

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

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