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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Live webcast of Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event

Saturday 30th August 2014

The Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event is taking place this weekend at Bletchley near Milton Keynes and the presentations will be streamed live to a global audience. GB2EMF will be on-the-air

EMF 2014 is a festival for anyone interested in radio, electronics, space, homebrewing, robots, UAVs, 3D printing, DIYBio, Internet culture or pretty much anything else you can think of. It is a volunteer effort by a non-profit group, inspired by European and US hacker camps like Chaos Communication Camp, HAR, and toorcamp. There is an amateur radio village and special event station GB2EMF.

Imagine a camping festival with a power grid and high-speed internet access; a temporary village of geeks, crafters, and technology enthusiasts that’s lit up by night, and buzzing with activity during the day. Over a thousand curious people have descended on the friendly open space to learn, share, and talk about what they love.

Over a long weekend, you can expect to see a huge variety of talks across three stages, a slew of workshops, as well as music, games, and installations dotted around the site.

EMF 2014 takes place August 29-31 near Newton Longville, just South of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK17 0BU. Talks include:

• High Altitude Ballooning by Adam Greig M0RND
• Amateur Radio – Practical Sign offs by Paul
• Amateur Radio: The Original Nerd Hobby! by Ryan Sayre 2E0RYS
• An Operator’s Guide to the Enigma Cipher Machine by Simon Singh
• Back to Basics Radio – build a self-powered solderless receiver by Iain Sharp
• InfraRed Communications by Michael Turner
• Surface Mount Soldering – SMD by hand isn’t hard, build your own Persistence of Vision kit to prove it! by Edinburgh Hacklab


Watch the live streaming at

EMF 2014
Twitter @emfcamp

Announcing TiLDA MKe, the incredible EMF 2014 camp badge

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FT4TA, Tromelin 2014 DXpedition

Saturday 30th August 2014

We have just passed the 100 days mark before the beginning of our FT4TA operation to the island of Tromelin.

Since the last official press release many things have evolved well; we are extremely fortunate. Thanks to the strong mobilization around our project, we are relatively trustful in the fact of being able to gather the necessary budget. If we do not meet last minute problems, and if individual donations continue to flow at the current rate, we should balance our budget (after the expedition). Some partners have not yet validated their assistance, and we definitively count on them!

In addition, several people in Japan have mentioned to us they encountered problems with the Paypal button on our website. In order to circumvent this problem, we invite people who would be in this instance to use our address ( directly from their Paypal account.

Almost all of the equipment was gathered by the team. This equipment was lent, purchased or taken from our personal stations. We want to express our thanks to Spiderbeam (masts), Elecraft (radios), OM Power (amplifiers), Microham (interfaces), Messi and Paolini (coaxial cables), DX Engineering (phasing 80m) and DX, which sponsors us the Internet access by satellite to let you use our on-line logbook and read daily news from the team during the operation.

At the end of June, three pallets of equipment had been shipped to Reunion island. They have been transported last Sunday to Tromelin (by helicopter) by the logistics service of TAAF. This possibility was offered to us suddenly and was not in our initial plan. Although it induces very important expenditure, we could not let pass this opportunity because it will deeply modify the physiology of our operation. It would not have been possible for us to carry all this equipment on a small aircraft.

This freighting marks the true point of no return!

Our preliminary works with TAAF continue. Michel FM5CD and Seb F5UFX went at the end of May to Reunion to meet our interlocutors (TAAF, civil aviation, airline company). We want to highlight again the trusted relationship and the incommensurable assistance brought by TAAF.

2014 marks the 60th birthday of the first amateur radio activity from Tromelin. Prepared in collaboration with the philatelic service of TAAF, and drawn by an artist, a special stamp will be put on sale at the time of the Autumn Philatelic Exhibition in Paris (November 6th to 9th). During this event, an amateur radio station will be set-up on the TAAF booth by the radio-club of Provins, F6KOP. They will proceed to demonstrate and make contacts with FT4TA team twice a day. It's very important to promote our activity in such an exhibition.

Our website evolves constantly. The pages known as "classical" are available since the beginning (operators, pilots, QSL manager, sponsors) and news articles appeared lately (historical, bandplan..). Others are in preparation and should be published soon (interview of FR5ZU and F6JJX, two ex-"Tromelin" operators, PowerPoint presentation..).

It is the ideal time to prepare your station to be ready. On October 30th point your antennas towards the Indian Ocean! In the meantime join us on Facebook & Twitter to follow our news and keep an eye on the Tromelin2014 website ( A surprise will be announced soon!


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CQ-DATV 15 magazine now available

Friday 29th August 2014

Issue 15 (September) of the free Amateur TV magazine CQ-DATV is now available for download

In this month's issue:

- DATV News
- Editorial
- Calling all BATC members
- MAX7456 OSD Computer USB Controlled
- Two Geostationary Amateur Radio Transponders on Es'hail 2
- Digital Repeater TV DVBS1200 MHz 10 GHz
- MAX7456 OSD PC RS232 Serial Programming Interface
- DATV Express Project July update report
- Information
- Coming up in CQDATV

Download the free magazine in PDF, ePub, MOBI and azw3 formats from

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IARU contest and satellite operations planned

Friday 29th August 2014

Boris, T7/9A2GA and Neven, T7/9A5YY are pleased to announce activity from T7 (San Marino) during IARU I Region VHF Contest 2014 and on the amateur radio satellites.

Boris and Neven plan to operate the amateur radio satellites from the Republic of San Marino (grid JN63FW) from Friday 5th September until Sunday 7th September 2014 and will be active during the day on the majority of satellite passes.

They plan to be on air via AO-7, FO-29 and SO-50 satellites (CW, SSB, FM)

Please, be short giving reports and give others chance to do satellite QSO with them.

During the IARU I Region VHF contest 2014 from Saturday 6th September, 2014 14:00 UTC till Sunday 7th September, 2014 14:00 UTC they will participate from the same location (grid JN63FW) using portable Yagi antennas and TX power 10W input.

Visit IARU Contest Calender 2014:

It will be our pleasure, if you answer on our IARU I Region VHF contest and satellite CQs from T7 (San Marino)!

QSL via home calls 9A2GA and 9A5YY, for details see:

73 de
Neven, 9A5YY

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WW1: Industrial innovation and suspicion

Friday 29th August 2014

The BBC interview Leeds University science historian Dr Elizabeth Bruton about how Marconi and other companies innovated and profited from World War 1

The front line developments - tanks and aeroplanes - often overshadowed some of the progress we make most use of today. That includes the growth in communications technology, says Dr Elizabeth Bruton.

Leading the way was the Marconi Company, "Marconi wireless stations were the first to announce the outbreak of war," she says. "They also developed voice over wireless, the most important technological achievement in the First World War."

The company was savvy enough to offer to supply wireless operators to the UK government to assist them in using Marconi radio equipment, she says. "They wanted contracts but they also wanted to be seen well by the government."

Read the BBC story at

Dr Elizabeth Bruton will be giving a presentation about World War 1 Communications to the RSGB Convention which takes place at Milton Keynes on October 10-12, see

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White Space Wireless for rural communities ?

Friday 29th August 2014

BBC News report that TV white space wireless technology could provide an answer to getting broadband to remote rural communities

Access to super-fast broadband is something many people in the UK take for granted.

However, for people living in some of the country's more remote areas, it can be difficult to even get a connection.

Developers claim TV white space technology may be the answer to this problem.

David Grossman reports from the Isle of Wight, home to the first-ever wireless telegraph station.

Watch the BBC TV report at

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Friday 29th August 2014

Island activities:

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

EU-016; 9A; Dalmatia South group: Daniel/OK2PVX activates Brac Island (IOCA CI-010, WW Loc. JN83gg) until the 2nd of September as 9A/OK2PVX. QRV with a solar-powered QRP rig on 40-12m. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-030; OZ; Bornholm Island: Zdeno/OK1OM and Renata/OK1FYL will pay a visit to Bornholm from the 31st of AUgust to the 12th of September. QRV as OZ/homecalls, possibly also from the local lighthouse (WLOTA 2203). QSL via h/c.

EU-038; PA; Noord Holland/ Friesland/ Groningen Province group: Marcel/PD5MVH is going to work from Ameland (ARLHS NET-001) as PD5MVH/p between August 30 and September 13. QRV on 40, 20, and 10m in SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-080; EA1; Pontevedra Province group: Nardo/EC1DD, Alberto/EA1IQM, and Miguel/ EA1BP announce the first-time activation of the island Estela de Fora (DIE O-229, ARLHS SPA-069) for August 29 to 31. QRV as EG1EI, mainly in SSB. QSL via EC1DD (d/B).

EU-127; DL; Schleswig-Holstein State South West group: Christoph (DH0GAK) will be active from Helgoland on AUgust 30 and 31 on all HF bands, with a focus on 20m. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-171; OZ; Jylland North group: Heinz/ DC5WW, Max/DF2MX, Robert/DK2RO, Anton/ DL8AW, and Thilo/DL9NBJ and team up to work as 5Q7Y from Jegind? Island (DIA NJ-006). QRV from August 30 to Sept. 6 on 160-6m. QSL via DL8AW (d/B).

OC-009; T8; Palau Islands: Taka/JH1UVV and Hara/JH1MLO will get on the air as T88UN and T88HR from the West Plaza by the Sea Rental Shack on Koror Island. QRV between the 28st and 31st on HF. QSL via homecalls (d/B).

OC-009; T8; Palau Islands: Tony/KQ2I returns to the Palau Pacific Resort Hotel on Arakabesan Island (WW Loc. PJ77fi) and works as T88AT until Sept. 3 on 40 and 30m in CW. QSL via h/c (d), LoTW.

OC-009; T8; Palau Islands: Further expected on the air from the same QTH is OZ0J/5Q2T as T88VW from Sept. 2 to 9. QRV on 80-10m in CW, SSB, and digital modes. Logs will be uploaded to ClubLog on a daily basis. QSL via OZ0J (d/B), OQRS via ClubLog.

OC-218; FK; Matthew and Hunter Islands: Cezar/VE3LYC and Bob/KD1CT will get Matthew Island on the air from Sept. 1 to 3 as TX4A. QRV on 40-10m in CW and SSB. This is only the second-ever activation of the island after an initial operation in 1996. QSL via VE3LYC (d/B), OQRS preferred.

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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UKube-1 communications in the news

Thursday 28th August 2014

Satellite Today reports on the primary communications link anomaly in the UK Space Agency's first CubeSat UKube-1

They say, however, that the FUNcube-2 Educational subsystem, which was developed by AMSAT-UK, is operational, providing telemetry information and running at high power (300 mW).

Read the article at



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1930's Radio Pioneer Leonard Plugge

Thursday 28th August 2014

On Saturday, August 30 at 8pm, BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a documentary on 1930's commercial radio pioneer Leonard Plugge

BBC description:

"Radio Normandy Calling!" The Belles of Normandy sing the station ident; Roy Plomley (of Desert Island Discs fame) introduces the artistes from the Bradford Alhambra, and another melody-packed hour - sponsored by a patent medicine - begins on the commercial radio station that, back in the 1930s, was often more popular than the majestic BBC.

The man behind it all was called, improbably, Captain Leonard Plugge. And in this programme, Dominic Sandbrook tells the story of this clever, enterprising and subversive man. Tory MP, passionate European and backroom boffin, Plugge created a string of brilliantly successful commercial stations in France and beyond that challenged Sir John Reith's radio monopoly with popular music and variety shows, sponsored by Bile Beans, Persil and Diploma cheddar cheese. So wealthy did his radio network make him that he owned two yachts, six cars (including two Rolls Royces), a Mayfair mansion, employed twelve staff, and lived a life that lay somewhere between The Great Gatsby and Citizen Kane.

With Plugge's son Frank, Dominic leafs through his father's mountain of diaries and scrapbooks - news cuttings, photographs... memorabilia of a life that brought him the Legion d'Honneur, a medal from US broadcaster NBC and made him a worldwide celebrity. With a rich archive of contributions from Roy Plomley, Bob Danvers-Walker and many others who first made their names on Plugge's stations, plus recordings from the shows they broadcast, Dominic Sandbrook brings a forgotten mogul of a bygone era to life.

And next time you approach a road junction with an elongated 'SLOW' painted on the tarmac, you can thank Captain Plugge for it, because that was his idea too...

You will be able to listen to Archive on 4: The Eccentric Entrepreneur at

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Interesting Field Day recap

Thursday 28th August 2014

The Surrey Amateur Radio Club (Surrey BC Canada) publishes an excellent newsletter.

Here is their Field Day wrap-up

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Icom preview 50th anniversary Limited Edition
IC-7850 at Tokyo Hamfair 2014

Wednesday 27th August 2014

Icom have displayed a pre-release version of a very special HF Base Station at the Tokyo Hamfest, the IC-7850 HF/50MHz transceiver.

The IC-7850 'collectors piece' will be produced early in 2015 in very limited numbers to celebrate Icom’s 50th Anniversary.

Based on the benchmark IC-7800 the IC-7850 will share many similarities with Icom’s current top of the range IC-7800.

Although using a similar layout, interface and platform, RF circuitry, parts of the logic sections and I/O interfaces have been improved. The receive circuit is also redesigned to have the best industry class 1st LO phase noise performance and the RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) performance now has a 20dB improvement over the IC-7800.

Cosmetically, the radio boasts gold colour dials, buttons and side strips, the front panel is finished in a stunning deep clear piano black and a special machined anodised aluminium black / gold tuning dial , to finish off each model carries a special 50th Anniversary serial number plaque on top with Mr Inoue’s signature.

Planned Features:

• Best in industry class 1st LO Phase noise figure (approximately 20dB improvement for 1 kHz offset)
• RMDR performance at 14.2MHz with 1kHz offset, CW Mode: 101dB (roofing filter: 3kHz, IF BW: 500Hz)
• Added USB ports/500kHz band compatibility

Further improvements over current IC-7800 functions and features are under consideration and will be confirmed later.

Download the IC-7850 pre-release leaflet
IC-7850 Pre-release leaflet (PDF) (800Kb)

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AmateurLogic.TV Huntsville Bonus Episode

Wednesday 27th August 2014

George and Wayne make their yearly pilgrimage to the Huntsville Hamfest. We visited with some old friends to find out what they’ve been up to and got some great stories you’ll enjoy.

1:11:47 Southern Amateur Fun

AmateurLogic.TV Huntsville Bonus Episode is now available for download.

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Watch San Bernardino Microwave Society meetings

Wednesday 27th August 2014

The September 2014 San Bernardino Microwave Society newsletter is available for free download and you can watch their meetings via the web

The SBMS stream the presentations at their meetings live via the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) site at

The next meeting is on Thursday, September 4 at 7pm PST and is a talk on the Arduino by Dennis Kidder W6DQ.

Download the newsletter from

San Bernardino Microwave Society

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Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island

Tuesday 26th August 2014

Paul, ZS1S (ZD9ZS), and possibly another operator will be visiting Tristan da Cunha in September/October (the ZD9 callsigns will be announced in due course).

Operators will be traveling to and from Cape Town on the South African Antarctic supply ship, the "SA Agulhas II".

The ship is scheduled to depart on September 4th, arrive at Tristan da Cunha four to five days later depending on the weather and sea conditions. It will depart for Gough Island after a few days and return to Tristan da Cunha ready for the scheduled departure on October 4th. The duration of the return trip to Cape Town will again be four or five days.

There may be an opportunity to operate as /MM.

A six meter propagation beacon, ZD9SIX, will be installed during the time on the island.

The complete details will be made known in the next two weeks.


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Rolls-Royce Special Event

Tuesday 26th August 2014

On the 11th and 12th of October for forty eight hours, the Hucknall Rolls-Royce Amateur Radio Club are running a special event station GB1RR, celebrating the centenary of the Eagle aero engine. Rolls-Royce was asked by the UK Government to develop an aero engine of which entered service in the Great War 1914-1918.

HRRARC will put on up to four stations simultaneously, these will comprise of two HF stations, one HF data station and a VHF station.

Our intentions are to run on SSB/PSK31 on HF from 160 metres to 10 metres (band conditions allowing) and SSB/FM on two metres.

Further details will be displayed on our website

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Pirate Radio in China

Tuesday 26th August 2014

The South China Morning Post reports on the growing number of pirate radio stations in the country

The Hong Kong newspaper quoted the authorities as saying they had found high-powered radio transmitters in private hands in Beijing and Tianjin and in Hainan, Yunnan and Guangdong provinces. Among them was a 2,000-watt transmitter which provided coverage of most of the capital.

Pirate radio equipment can apparently be bought easily on online shopping sites for less than 50,000 yuan (£5,000).

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10 GHz under threat from broadband links

Monday 25th August 2014

The OK2KKW contest club report on interference to the amateur radio 10 GHz band from commercial internet links in Prague, Czech Republic

The YouTube description reads:

Example of strong noise and interference from commercial point to point (free to charge) internet links on 10GHz in Prague. As you can see, any weaker amateur radio sigs are almost not receivable now.

Czech republic radiocommunication authority CTU allocated significant part of 10 GHz band (across our 10368MHz DX band) for free use of WiFi internet providers. However it breaches CEPT recommendation REC1205e
and The European table of frequency allocations ERC rep.025, particularly Note EU17.

If you can, please ask your local amateur radio VHF / Microwave Manager for support of your National amateur radio society in the issue to support (by IARU representative) our 3cm amateur radio interests in CEPT organization (Working group for frequency management). They would push a bit our Czech radiocomm. authority to fulfill the above CEPT frequency recommendations for EU member countries as they promised earlier. Thank you!

73 de
OK2A / OK2KKW Contest team

Watch P8133163

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 25th August 2014

Island activities:

EU-080. A Spanish team will be active as EG1EI (confirmation pending) for the first time on Estela de Fora Island (DIE O-229, ARLHS SPA-069) between August 29-31st. Operators mentioned are Nardo/EC1DD, Alberto/EA1IQM and Miguel/EA1BP. Activity will be mainly SSB on the HF bands (two stations). QSL via EC1DD, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-174. Laci, HA0HW, will once again be active from Thassos Island (GIOTA NAS-037, MIA MG-124, WLOTA LH-4186, QRA KN20HS), as SW8WW (ex-J48HW) between September 12-22nd. He will operate mainly CW, with some SSB and RTTY, on the HF bands (usually on 80/40/30/20/17/12/10 meters) and on 6 meters. His rigs are usually a FT-840 with a MOS-FET amplifier (300-400 watts) and an IC-706 (for 6m only). Antennas are a monoband Gps and dipoles on fishing poles. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the HA Bureau, or by the OQRS via ClubLog is 'OK' as well.

NA-046. Bill, K2HVN, will be on Martha's Vineyard on September 20th, for one day. He will also be on Nantucket Island September 21st for one day. He states, "I will have 20m CW/SSB, 30m, 40m CW/SSB, and 17m ONLY SSB. I will try to be on 14040, 10115 and 7035 kHz CW and 14260, 7055, and 18128 kHz SSB." QSL via his home callsign.

NA-067. John, N4DSP, will be active from Ocracoke Island between August 25-29th. Activity will be on 40, 20, and 10 meters if open. Operations will be mostly CW, but he will do some SSB on the traditional IOTA frequencies for those bands. John will be using a KX3 running 5 watts and an LNR End Fed antenna. QSL via his home callsign direct only (see; NO Bureau).

OC-218. (Update/Dates) Operators Cezar/VE3LYC and Bob/KD1CT will attempt to operate from Matthew Island for 4 days between September 4-7th. They will maintain one station on the air around the clock, operating on all bands from 40-10 meters using CW and SSB. The team will not use an amplifier. QSL via VE3LYC, direct or by the Bureau. A OQRS will be available from ClubLog. For more details and updates, see:

OC-294. (Update/Dates) Operators Cezar/VE3LYC, Craig/VK5CE, Johan/PA3EXX and Bob/KD1CT will attempt to operate from Sandy Islet between September 15-19th as VK6ISL. They plan to have two stations on around-the-clock, using CW and SSB, on 40-10 meters. For one of the two stations, the Team will employ a solid state 400 watts amp, whereas the second station will use 100 watts. They will bring vertical antennas for 15m, 20m, and a multi-band antenna.
The Pilot Station will be Bob, WB2YQH. Their Web page states, "Sandy Islet represents the last IOTA group of Australia still waiting to be brought on the air for the first time! After multiple rounds of communication during the last almost three years, we are extremely pleased to report that the Department of Parks and Wildlife of Western Australia have agreed to approve a landing and operating permit for the Team. This permit is valid until September 30th, before the start of the Giant Green Turtles hatching season." QSL via VE3LYC (see Web page), direct or by the Bureau. An OQRS will be available at ClubLog. For more details and updates, watch:

SA-044. Members from Grupo DX Caracas will be active as YW5D from Isla la Tortuga (WLOTA 3027, ARLHS VEN-047) between August 26-31st.
Activity will be on 160-2 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. For suggested frequencies, see QSL via DM4TI.

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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Magnificent M-class Eruption on Aug. 24th

Monday 25th August 2014

A visually beautiful solar flare erupted from the east limb of the sun today.

Extreme UV radiation briefly ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere; otherwise, our planet was not in the line of fire.

The responsible sunspot will turn toward Earth in the days ahead, boosting chances for geoeffective solar activity as the week unfolds.

Visit for photos and more information.

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HamRadioNow: Yaesu's System (Con)Fusion

Sunday 24th August 2014

In this episode of HamRadioNow Gary Pearce KN4AQ compares digital voice HT's running C4FM, D-STAR, P-25 and DMR

Gary's QST review of the Yaesu FTM-400 and FT1DR digital mobile and HT was long. This "addendum" video is even longer. You get your money's worth. We play with the radios thru a DR-1 repeater, and then compare HT's running Yaesu's C4FM, D-STAR, P-25 and DMR (MotoTRBO).

(Con)Fusion? Well, that's more on our part during the HT demo, but there are still some open questions about how this is all going to work. And maybe we're thinking about the 4 incompatible digital voice modes now populating VHF-UHF.

Watch Episode 161: Yaesu's System (Con)Fusion

Previous editions

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FCC proposes $14,000 fine for not permitting station inspection

Sunday 24th August 2014

The US communications regulator, the FCC, continued this month to demonstrate that it’s serious about enforcing its rules and regulations

The ARRL report the FCC is proposing to fine a Florida Citizens Band operator $14,000 for failing to allow FCC agents inspect his station. The Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Tommie Salter of Jacksonville on August 22.

The Commission alleged that Salter earlier this year denied permission for agents from the FCC’s Tampa Office to check out his station in the wake of renewed complaints of interference to a neighbor’s “home electronic equipment.” On March 21, the agents monitored radio transmissions on 27.245 MHz and used radio direction-finding techniques to track the signal’s source to Salter’s residence.

“The agents told Mr Salter about the radio interference complaint from a neighbor and asked if they could inspect his CB radio station,” the FCC NAL recounted. “Mr Salter denied the agents’ request. The agents verbally warned Mr Salter that refusing to allow an inspection of his CB radio station violated the [Communications] Act and the [FCC] rules and could result in a forfeiture action, but he again denied the request.”

The FCC’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and its rules set a base forfeiture amount of $7000 for failure to permit inspection. Salter had previously received a Notice of Violation for refusing an inspection request in 2004, the NAL noted, and he also had been fined for operating with a non-certificated transmitter during restricted hours the Commission had imposed following similar interference complaints.

“Misconduct of this type is serious, exhibits contempt for the Commission’s authority, and threatens to compromise the Commission’s ability to fully investigate violations of its rules,” the FCC said in making an “upward adjustment” of $7000 in the proposed forfeiture. In a footnote, the FCC pointed out that its agents do not have to obtain a search warrant prior to requesting a station inspection.

Salter has 30 days to pay the fine or to seek reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

In July the FCC proposed substantial fines for two radio amateurs, alleging deliberate interference with other Amateur Radio communications and failure to properly identify.

Source ARRL

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Telford Hamfest next Sunday

Sunday 24th August 2014

Telford Radio Society (TDARS) organises the Telford Hamfest, a radio and electronics event at Enginuity, Coalbrookdale on Sunday August 31st

The event has indoor and outdoor tables with radio and electronic components for sale, including a 'Bring and Buy' stand.
See demonstrations of radio communication, military equipment, mini-computers, 3D printing and digital data decoding.

This year’s guest speakers are Tom and Jimmy Read (M1EYP/M0HGY) who actively promote fitness and amateur radio by taking it to the mountain peaks throughout the UK. They will be talking about their experiences and the Summits on the Air (SOTA) group.

Event information

Entrance £3.00 from 10:30am onwards (free entry for school-age children accompanied by an adult)

Discounted entry to Enginuity for all Hamfest visitors

Contact: Martyn 01952 255416 / Jim 01952 684173 (contact Jim 18-25 Aug)

Venue: Enginuity, Coalbrookdale Telford TF8 7DQ (postcode is for car park) Do use Hamfest car park intead of museum parking.

The event will be signposted from around Telford.

Website for the event:

Talk-in station GB4THF on S21 and GB3TF repeater.

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Using skill and technology to navigate the airwaves

Sunday 24th August 2014

BBC Monitoring specialises in media analysis - open source media to be precise. But what exactly is open source media?

BBC Monitoring's Al Bolton explains the different stages of finding sources, and the impact technology has had and continues to have.

See the BBC story at

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ARRL Centennial: W1AW and Headquarters

Sunday 24th August 2014

Randy Hall K7AGE has released a HD video of his visit to ARRL headquarters and W1AW

ARRL celebrated their centennial of the ARRL. The ham radio convention was held in Hartford CT July 17-20.

This is a video of the highlights of many of the activities at W1AW and Headquarters.

Watch ARRL Centennial: W1AW and Headquarters

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UK Amateur Radio Exam Statistics

Saturday 23rd August 2014

David Pratt G4DMP has made available the Radio Amateur Exam (RAE) statistics from 1946 until 2003

A pass in the City and Guilds RAE enabled you to apply for what is now a Full licence.

The figures show that the peak year for the City and Guilds RAE was 1982. In that year 12,995 people sat the exams held in May and December and 8,476 passed. In subsequent years numbers steadily declined.

RAE statistics

Past RAE papers

Multiple-choice RAE and Novice RAE Chief Examiner’s Reports

Exam statistics for 2006-2013 are available at

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The first Greek microsatellite is a fact!

Saturday 23rd August 2014

Recognizing the significance and importance of the whole endeavor, the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society invites it’s members and all amateurs of Cyprus to support the work of the group through the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for reception and relaying of the microsatellite signals back to the team for scientific analysis through the group website More details about the project are on the website.

Technical details about how to listen to Λ-sat will be made available soon

Read more at the Cyprus Amateur Radio Society website

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Solar activity picks up

Saturday 23rd August 2014

Solar activity has been low for weeks. A new sunspot turning toward Earth could change that.

AR2149 announced itself on August 21st with a M3-class solar flare that sent waves of ionization coursing through Earth's upper atmosphere.
The active region appears capable of more eruptions in the days ahead.

Visit for updates.

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434 MHz balloon B-64 returning to UK again

Friday 22nd August 2014

Radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his solar powered balloon B-64, carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload, from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 UT on July 12, 2014 and it's still flying.

It completed its first circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere at 16:30 UT on Friday, July 31 and is expected to complete the second circumnavigation in the next couple of days.

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 21 the balloon was just west of Reykjavik in Iceland heading south at an altitude of 12,500 metres. Radio amateurs in the British Isles are invited to listen out for the balloon which may come in range late Friday or on Saturday.

B-64 transmits 10 mW on 434.500 MHz using the amateur radio data modes Contestia 64/1000 and APRS (M0XER-4).

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

The path of the balloon over the past 6 weeks can be seen on the UKHAS tracker at

An APRS map showing the past 24 hours is at!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FM0XER-4&timerange=86400&tail=86400

Listen for B-64 online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at

Additional high altitude balloon links at

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Schedule for RSGB Convention released

Friday 22nd August 2014

Ofcom staff will be among those giving presentations at the RSGB Convention which takes place October 10-12

The Ofcom public consultation on Amateur Radio has been eagerly awaited for many months now and will hopefully have been released before the Convention.

The Society say there will be lots of space and a five lecture stream programme in the new Convention venue at the Kents Hill Conference Centre, Milton Keynes, MK7 6BZ.

Among the presentations are

     - UKHASNET, technology and methodology by James Coxon M6JCX
     - SDR Techniques by Simon Brown G4ELI
     - Digital modes start up by Mike Richards G4WNC
     - FUNcube by AMSAT-UK
     - Amateur radio software developers forum by G7VJR
     - 146-147MHz: A New Frontier of Amateur Innovation? by John Regnault G4SWX
     - World War 1 Communications by Dr Elizabeth Bruton

RSGB Convention

Convention Schedule

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December is YOTA month!

Friday 22nd August 2014

IARU Region 1 Youth Coordinator Lisa Leenders PA2LS reports that December is Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) month

After having last year the first edition of December YOTA month! it’s time for a new one. During the whole month of December several countries will become active with YOTA as suffix in the call sign.

The idea for this is to break the ice for some youngsters and take the microphone in the hand. As seen over the years the YOTA-group is growing fast and every week more youngsters are asking to participate. Let us all make Youngsters On The Air popular in HAM radio and let us all help to put youngsters on the HAM radio train!

Would you like to participate? Have a look at this document and do not forget to register before November 24
& Itemid=173&func=startdown&id=538

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HK QSL Bureau re-established

Friday 22nd August 2014

Rob, HK3CW, LCRA President, reports:
After a few months of interrupted service, the LCRA incoming QSL Bureau has been re-established.

A few months ago incoming mail to HK PO Boxes was interrupted due to a change in Colombian post services management and the LCRA mail was
returned to its senders during this time.

Fortunately, the LCRA has again managed to reopen its P.O Box with the same number as always.

So keep sending your QSLs to:
Liga Colombiana de Radioaficionados (LCRA)
P.O. Box 584


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New Product - End Fed Tuner Kit

Thursday 21st August 2014

Portable radio specialists SOTABEAMS has introduced a kit version of their popular QRP Mountain Tuner.

The Mountain Tuner is designed for use with end-fed half-wave antennas from 40 through to 17 metres.

The unique design allows the Mountain Tuner to be pegged down along with the end of the antenna making it easier to use. It also provides a mounting option to use the tuner with an elevated feed system. This reduces losses by keeping the end of the antenna clear of the ground.

The Mountain Tuner is now available ready-built or as a kit.

The Mountain Tuner is rated at 6 Watts.

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Radio Seagull

Thursday 21st August 2014

Andy Sennitt writes on Facebook:

For those of you who liked listening to offshore radio in the 60s, 70s, and 80s a reminder that Radio Seagull has begun its live broadcasts from its radio ship, the LV Jenni Baynton, daily at 1700-0500 UTC on 1602 kHz and online worldwide at and iTunes. These will continue through 31st August.

For the live broadcasts, the web feed is using the mediumwave signal, thus giving you the feel of listening on mediumwave wherever you are.

Coming up tonight at 2300 UTC is Bob Noakes, formerly of RNI and Radio Caroline. The schedule changes each day, so everyone is on the air but at different times. I'll be on board for the whole of next week, and really looking forward to it. Joining us next week is Carl Kingston, who some of you will remember from the Voice of Peace. For updated schedules and photos visit our special Facebook page - Radio Seagull Offshore 2014.

Andy adds in a footnote:

Normally our radio ship is anchored in the harbour at Harlingen, in Friesland. But every so often, we go out to sea to promote the station and make a small amount of money by offering visitors the chance to come and visit the ship.

August 31st 2014 is the 40th anniversary of the closure of RNI and Radio Veronica when the Dutch passed their own Marine Offences Act. The British equivalent had already been in force since 14 August 1967.
But Radio Veronica was soon back on the air, landbased and licensed.
On board the Jenni Baynton are several mediumwave transmitters, but we are only licensed to broadcast on 1602 kHz. The whole station is run by people who love radio and rock music

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Shortwave broadcasting 'of marginal and continuously declining impact'

Thursday 21st August 2014

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting foresees a dim outlook for the medium. The Committee this month released its assessment of the current and projected use of shortwave radio as a platform for programming by US international media.

"United States international media must optimize delivery by audience/market," one main finding concluded. "While there is still a critical need for shortwave in key countries, it is a medium of marginal and continuously declining impact in most markets." The report said that even in countries where shortwave radio will enjoys significant usage levels, "audiences will migrate to other platforms as they become more accessible."

Among other things, the Committee reviewed audience-based research, including analysis of user experiences and user choices, as well as opportunities and limits of the medium. It also examined "the characteristics and listening experience of shortwave users in the BBG's target markets, the use of shortwave radio by the BBG's networks, the networks' relative success in reaching their target audiences through shortwave, and the costs of operating the BBG's shortwave transmitting facilities."

The panel recommended that the Broadcasting Board of Governors take "an aggressive approach to reduce or eliminate shortwave broadcasts where there is either minimal audience reach or the audience is not a target audience based on the BBG's support of US foreign policy."

The report said that its evidence suggested that declining use of shortwave radio is primarily due to the availability of high-quality content on "preferred platforms" such as AM and FM radio, podcasts, and mobile streaming, which are more widely used for audio consumption.

The committee found that shortwave use does not increase during times of crisis. "Audiences continue to use their existing platforms (TV, FM, and the Internet) or seek out anti-censorship tools, including online firewall circumvention, private chat software, flash drives, and DVDs to access content," the report said.

The report also said that shortwave radio was "a relatively expensive platform to operate and maintain" and that digital shortwave radio (ie, Digital Radio Mondiale or DRM) "is unlikely to become an established mass media distribution methodology in enough of the BBG's current or future markets to justify the costs."

The committee said it largely supports the reductions in shortwave radio broadcasts previously approved by the Board. Those include recent cutbacks in a number of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia broadcasts. But, the committee added that given the current situation in Ukraine and nearby states with significant Russian-speaking populations, it recommended that the BBG revise its fiscal year 2014 operating plan to ensure that "shortwave broadcasts in Russian to Russia and the Caucasus be continued at current levels, subject to re-evaluation during FY16 budget formulation processes."

A fact sheet also is available via G0SFJ

The ARRL Letter

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Dutch amateurs mark closure of Radio Veronica

Thursday 21st August 2014

Chris G4KDX informs that, in addition to the PD538RNI amateur radio station, Dutch amateurs will also operate PA40VRON at the end of this month to mark the closedown of the Dutch offshore radio station Radio Veronica 40 years ago in 1974.

Thanks Chris

Please also see:
PD538RNI - Special Event

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GB50LM Leighton Moss 50th Anniversary

Wednesday 20th August 2014

On August 23rd, 24th and 25th, members of the Sands Contest Group from Morecambe, will be holding a special event station at Leighton Moss Nature Reserve at Silverdale, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Leighton Moss.

Leighton Moss is the largest reed bed in north-west England, and home to some really special birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. You might see deer and otters too, not to mention butterflies aplenty

Leighton Moss has not been activated as a nature reserve for World Flora Fauna before, so this will be a great opportunity for collectors of WFF, a lovely card has been produced from photograph’s taken on site, please see for details

We will be operating from 09.00- 17.00 each day on 20 and 40 mts

WFF G/FF-143 Leighton Moss. WAB - SD 47

Looking forward to hearing from you all 73

Sands Contest Group

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China Special Event

Wednesday 20th August 2014

Look for special event station B4YOG to be active until August 28th.

Activity is to celebrate the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (August 16-28th).

Operations have been on 40/30/20/15/10 meters using CW, SSB and PSK.

QSL via BD4WO, direct or by the Bureau.

For more details, see:


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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 20th August 2014

Island activities:

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

AF-003; ZD8; Ascension Island: Steve/G3ZVW will be active as ZD8N from Ascension Island (WLOTA 1491) between the 21st and 29th. QRV during the morning and evening hours and during the weekends. QSL via h/c.

AS-046; 9M2; Pahang / Johor State East group: Mirek/VK6DXI stays on Tioman Island (WLOTA 3536, 9MFF-009) from the 22nd to the 24th and operates as 9M8DX/2. QSL via SP5UAF (d/B), eQSL, LoTW.

AS-064; R0X; Bering Sea Coast group: A Russian team consisting of Adrey/R9XC, Vasily/RA1ZZ, Aleksandr/RA3AV, Valery/ UA0ZC, Avinir/UA1ZZ, and Viktor/UA3AKO gets on the air from Karaginsky Island (RRA RR-12-03, RDA KT-11, WW Loc. RO18sm) between the 21st and 28th, signing RI0X. QRV on 80-10m in CW, SSB, and possibly also digital modes. This will be the first activity from there since at least 15 years. QSL via UA3AKO (d/B).

AS-117; JA1; Honshu's Coastal Islands: Kenji/JA4GXS will be active from Kadao Island as JA4GXS/4 on the 23rd and 24th on 40-15m in CW and SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-015; SV9; Crete Island: Christo/LZ3FN stays on the island (GIOTA KRS-005, MIA MGC-005, WLOTA 1400) between August 24 and September 7 and operates as SV9/LZ3FN on HF, mainly in CW. QSL via LZ1PM (d/B).

EU-026; JW; Spitsbergen Island: Pete/SQ9DIE stays on Spitsbergen (WLOTA 0125, WW Loc. JQ78tf) from the 22nd to the 25th and operates as JW/SQ9DIE on 40-6m in SSB and RTTY. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-045; I0; Lazio Region group: Alessio/IZ0CKJ activates Palmarola Island (IIA R008, MIA MI-068, IFF-010) until the end of August as IB0/IZ0CKJ. He also wants to visit smaller islands  in the vicinity.QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-082; R1Z; Barents Sea Coast West group: Pavel/R2DX, Eugen/RW3FB, Misha/RW3FS, Dmitry/RZ3DJ, and Yan/RZ3FW join forces to put Kildin Island (RRA RR-03-03) on the air as RK3DZj/1 from the 21st to the 27th. QRV on 40-10m in CW, SSB, and digital modes, running 3
setups. QSL via bureau or direct via RW3FS.

EU-091; I7; Puglia (Lecce / Brindisi / Bari) Region group: IQ7AF/p, run by a team, will operate on the 24th from Capezzone Island (IIA LE-004). QSL via IQ7AF (B).

EU-120; G/M; English Coastal Islands: David/ M0OSA will be active /m from Holy Island during the evening hours (18z - 21z) between the 26th and 29th. QSL via h/c (B), eQSL.

EU-136; 9A; Kvaner group: Marco, 9A/IZ3GNG and Joris, 9A/IZ3QHA, are going to operate from Krk (IOCA CI-046, MIA MC-185, WLOTA 1342) until the 25th in SSB and digital modes. QSLs automatically via bureau.

EU-191; YO/UR; Fericirii Island: The Romanian Radio Club Association (A.R.R) has organised a number of expeditions to Fericirii, one of the new IOTA references, for the time between
August 22 and September 30. Operators Dan/YO9FNR, Daniel/YO3GA, and Petrica/YO9RIJ will operate with the call YP0F. QSL via YO9FNP (d).

NA-029; VY2; Prince Edward Island: Robert, VY2XDX, operateas as XO2C until September 2 from Prince Edward Island (CIsA PE-001, WLOTA 0523) to commemorate the Charlottetown Conference (see above). QSL via VE3RHE (d/B/L).

OC-086; KH0; Northern Mariana Islands: Joe, OZ0J/5Q2T, is going to operate as KH0/OZ0J from Saipan between August 26 and September 2. QRV on 80-6m in CW, SSB, and digital modes (RTTY, PSK). QSL via OZ0J (d/B) OQRS preferred.

OC-173; VK8; Northern Territory (Arafura Sea Coast) West group: Craig/VK5CE plans to get on the air from Bathurst Island (WLOTA 2929) between the 26th and 29th as VK5CE/8. QRV in SSB, and maybe in PSK and RTTY. There is no internet connection on the island, for his operating schedule see: QSL via h/c /d/B).

SA-009; 9Y, 9Z; Tobago: Rick, AI5P, is active as 9Y4/AI5P from the 23rd until September 1 from Tobago Island (WLOTA 0412). QRV on 40-10m, mainly in CW. QSL via h/c (d).

SA-044; YV5; La Tortuga: The Grupo DX Caracas announces an activation of Tortuga Island (WLOTA 3027, ARLHS VEN-047) for August 26 to 31. QRV as YW5D on 160-2m in CW, FM, SSB, and digital modes. The last activity from there was in 1999. QSL via DM4TI (d/B), OQRS.

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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VK6RIO chirp beacon project

Tuesday 19th August 2014

The recent Canadian Transatlantic VHF DXpedition, V1CT, has once again focused the attention on the proposed VK6RIO chirp beacon project, currently being planned across the Indian Ocean between Perth and Port Elizabeth.

The purpose of this beacon in Perth is to detect possible openings on 144 MHz via Tropo Ducting across the Indian Ocean, which has never been accomplished before. It is currently the greatest terrestrial challenge for VHF radio amateurs, and is even more difficult than EME.

The beacon will be chirp modulated, and its signal can be detected at - 50 dB below the noise floor with suitable chirp receiving equipment and a high gain Yagi array. The receiver will be linked to a computer network that can be accessed by subscribers in Australia and South Africa who would like to monitor results. The receiving station will be located in Port Elizabeth and co-ordinated by Mike Bosch ZS2FM.

The cost of the chirp equipment entails AU$1000 (R10 000) plus shipment to South Africa. On our side we have to provide the antenna Yagi array and the PC with server connection. Fortunately the antenna mast, with stainless steel guy cables, is already available.

Several years ago a Port Elizabeth team, comprising Andre Botes ZS2ACP, Jim Francis ZS2JF and Mike Bosch ZS2FM ran a series of CW tests on 144 MHz with Bill Hosie VK6ACY, now ZS6CCY, at Perth but unfortunately not even a trace of a CW signal was received over this 8000 km sea path.

Source: The South African Radio League

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LUSAT-1 alive at night!

Tuesday 19th August 2014

Pedro, LU7ABF, reported to the AMSAT-BB: We knew that our LUSAT start transmitting again a couple of years ago, but only when illuminated by sun, and was not heard during the night.

On the occasion of testing the application saw there was a nightly pass, which was tried to listen.

Without much hope tuned 437.125 MHz, surprised to hear the usual strong 900mW continuous carrier +/- Doppler, but this time after 22 minutes of LUSAT being in the dark.

Commenting locally, several other hams also tried and received LUSAT.

It's almost a miracle that after almost 25 years, LUSAT vintage Ni-Cd batteries can receive and hold charge.

It seems LUSAT is willing to greet hams on his 'Silver Jubilee' due next Jan-22 thru continuing talking with us from space after its more than 128,000 orbits.

The LO-19, next to Oscar-7 and UO-11 is one of the most long-lived active amateur satellites.

We have included short report and audio on , Amsat-LU logs.

More information on LUSAT (although in Spanish) on

Reports welcomed at info at

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 18th August 2014

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 10th-August, through Sunday, 17th-August there were 205 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, 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, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, 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, PY, PZ, S0, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T32, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TL, TT, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V3, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VP2E, VP2M, VP5, VP8, VP9, VQ9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, 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).


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High noise level on 1296 MHz

Sunday 17th August 2014

Essex radio amateur John Lemay G4ZTR experienced high noise levels on 1296 MHz during VHF National Field Day in July so he decided to investigate

He discovered the cause was intermodulation products from the nearby Sudbury TV transmitter site and was able to resolve it by using an interdigital filter.

Read his article at

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UK Islands Group active from the Farne Islands

Sunday 17th August 2014

UK Islands Group (M0UKI) members Nobby G0VJG, Dave EI9FBB, Richard G7GLW and Charles M0OXO will be active from the Farne Islands (EU-109) on the 6th and 7th September 2014 as M0UKI/p.

This short operation may also include participation in the SSB Field Day contest.

The team are aiming for Longstone Island and lighthouse (Admiralty A2814, ARLHS ENG-070, WLOTA 0234, WAB NU23, WW Loc. IO95EP), dependant on weather.

They will be using multi-band dipoles and vertical antennas and hope to give this IOTA to as many chasers as possible in the short time frame.

QSL via M0OXO OQRS ( direct or Bureau.
Bureau cards MUST be requested via OQRS only. Do not send via the RSGB Bureau, they may not receive them

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SUWS VHF/UHF/Microwave WebSDR moves to new site

Saturday 16th August 2014

The Southampton University Wireless Society SUWS VHF/UHF/ Microwave WebSDR has now moved to its new site in Farnham

You can use the free online SUWS Web Software Defined Radio (WebSDR) from your PC or Laptop to receive the International Space Station (ISS) and the many amateur radio satellites transmitting in the 144-146 MHz or 435-438 MHz bands.

The WebSDR also provides reception of High Altitude Balloons in the 434 MHz band and coverage of the microwave 10368-10370 MHz band.

Martin Ehrenfried G8JNJ has equipped the SUWS WebSDR with omni-direction helix antennas for both 144-146 MHz and 432-438 MHz which have proved effective for both high altitude balloon and satellite reception.

The SUWS WebSDR is located at Farnham not far from London, 51.3 N 1.15 W, listen to it at

Martin says this about the special satellite antennas “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 of the antennas are available at

A presentation by Phil Crump M0DNY on the SUWS WebSDR will be streamed live to the web from the UKHAS Conference on Saturday, August 16, see

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Ofcom scupper Essex pensioner's pirate station

Saturday 16th August 2014

The Echo reports pensioner Brian Barfoot started running the pirate radio station Monster FM 88.3 from Wickford in Essex in 2010

After over 3 years of operation, Ofcom eventually raided the station in 2014.

Monster House Radio, MHR 88.3, had been operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Read the Echo story at

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RFinder now finds repeaters over routes world wide!

Friday 15th August 2014

In the next step of pushing the limits of The World Wide Repeater Directory, the RFinder team has released Repeater Routes!

Already released on the web at, we have created an API that we expect to be incorporated into RT Systems software very soon.

As always we encourage new users to obtain access to RFinder via purchasing the app in Google Play on Android and The Apple App Store on iPhone/iPad/iPod. Once you register your email and password in the app, use that on or, RT Systems, CHIRP, etc.

The web version allows downloads in a variety of formats including csv, tpe and several GPS POI formats including the AVMAP Amateur Radio GPS.

The annual subscription for the World Wide Repeater Directory is only $9.99 and for that one price, includes access from any platform RFinder is available on: Android, iPhone, web, RT Systems, RadioBuddy (iPhone), and two new third party applications coming soon for Windows (by KB2SCS) and Macintosh (by KD2DMH).

More information:

Information for our open-source realtime radio programmer, RFinderPi:

Contact:, +1.631.610.5120, skype: bobofthedeep

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UKHAS 2014 Conference Live Video Stream

Friday 15th August 2014

The UKHAS Conference this Saturday, Aug 16, will be streamed live and the radio amateurs giving the presentations will, if time permits, take questions via the web

The annual UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference at the University of Greenwich in London attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals.

There is an impressive line-up of speakers in addition to which there will be workshops, demonstrations along with amateur radio exams.

Morning Sessions

09:30 Assembly – Coffee / Tea + Biscuits
10.10 Introduction – James Coxon M6JCX and Anthony Stirk M0UPU
10.20 Predictor – Daniel Richman M0ZDR and Adam Greig M0RND
10.50 Advanced superpressure balloon technology – Dan Bowen K2VOL Balloon Scientist Google Loon Project
11.30 WebSDR – Philip Crump M0DNY
11.40 UK Ham Radio Airborne Operation Update - Steve Randall G8KHW
11.45 Break
12.00 $50SAT Low cost satellite- Stuart Robinson GW7HPW
12.45 Introduction – Noel Matthews G8GTZ
13.00 Lunch / Show and Tell

Afternoon Sessions

Combination of workshop/lectures.

Main Lecture
14.30 STM32+DSP – Adam Greig M0RND, Jon Sowman M0JSN, Matt Brezja M6VXO
15.30 UKHASNET – James Coxon M6JCX

Side Room
14:30 Pi In The Sky – Anthony Stirk M0UPU and Dave Akerman M0RPI
15.30 Amateur Radio Exams

The video streaming will be available on Saturday, August 16 at

UKHAS Conference

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AmateurLogic 69: DV Mega Load

Thursday 14th August 2014

In this episode Peter demonstrates a new microcontrolled component test. George talks all about Dummy Loads. Tommy shows us the new DV Mega Raspberry Pi D-Star Hotspot. And a visit to the K7LWH D-Star Repeater site in Bellevue Washington.

We also announce our 9th Anniversary Sweepstakes where some ham is going to win the Ultimate Mobile Station.

1:20:46 of premium Ham Radio content.


AmateurLogic.TV Episode 69 is now available for download.

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IARU R1 to discuss possible loss of 23 cm

Thursday 14th August 2014

A paper to be discussed at the IARU Region 1 Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria, September 21-27, 2014 highlights the threat to continued amateur radio usage of our 23 cm allocation which is now being used by the Galileo GPS system 

The amateur 23 cm allocation includes a key Amateur Satellite Service uplink band at 1260-1270 MHz.

Michael Kastelic OE1MCU, Chair of the IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwave Committee has written the paper VA14_C5_36 which says:

After the last reports and slides received by the author, it seems that radio amateurs will lose the 23 cm band in the near future. That is the reason for this late proposal.

We can be optimistic, but more than a small piece of spectrum for near band communication will not survive. Also the enthusiastic testing with ATV on 70 cm is not a replacement for 23 cm, because this will cause disturbance to our amateur satellites and all cars will stay locked if the ISM band is used.

Radio amateurs need a new allocation (like 1300 -1310 MHz) for the agenda of the World Radio Conference 2018 (WRC2018) so that amateurs get back spectrum near the existing 23 cm band.

Further it is proposed to engage the EC after WRC-2015 to bring this theme to the agenda for WRC-2018 with high priority

Read the paper at

Potential Interference To Galileo From 23 cm Band Operations

IARU R1 VHF/UHF/Microwaves discussion forum

Other VHF/UHF/Microwave papers for the Conference can be downloaded from

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Our Microwave Bands

Thursday 14th August 2014

On 30th July, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) lodged a submission with the Australian Communications and Media Authority - the ACMA - putting a case to preserve a future for our nine centimeter amateur band, which spans from 3300 MHz to 3600 MHz, where the Amateur Service is secondary.

The submission was our response to the ACMA’s current inquiry into future licensing arrangements in the "3.5 GHz band", which extends from 3400 MHz to 3600 MHz.

To many amateurs, this sort of effort probably seems like the championing of lost causes – defeated before we even get to storm the ramparts of the enemy’s castle. After all, cashed-up telcos are willing to hand out big bucks for licences from which they can generate considerable cashflows.

I have learned from long experience that it pays to put aside such self-defeating thoughts and think creatively about the issues at hand.

The famous Spanish musician, Pablo Casals, summed up what to do when faced with seemingly daunting situations – he said: The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step.

Defending our spectrum allocations and operating conditions is one of the Institute’s primary roles. Success, however small, benefits all amateurs.

So, when any of our amateur bands faces a threat – the Institute must take the next step.

You may recall that, last year, we faced loss of access to the bottom end of the 13 centimetre band – 2300-2302 MHz is to be re-allocated to spectrum licensing so that the ACMA can bundle up a tidy 100 MHz to auction off, from 2300 to 2400 MHz.

A seemingly hopeless situation.

The WIA took the next step and produced a submission proposing retention of amateur access to 150 kHz of the band, from 2300 to 2300.15 MHz, following up with a campaign encouraging amateurs to submit their own objections to the ACMA proposal.

The outcome, you might remember, was that the ACMA said that it would work with the WIA to test whether a coexistence licensing arrangement might be developed under the Radiocommunications Act. We’re hopeful that that will proceed in the fullness of time.

Getting back to the current ACMA inquiry into the 3.5 GHz band, The Institute’s submission details the impact of loss of Amateur access to 3400-3600 MHz and puts forward a strong case to preserve future access to this section of our 9 cm band.

It’s a curious thing that amateurs seek to explore and experiment with new technologies, yet retain an interest in, and continued use of, technologies of the past, albeit in a modern context. The WIA submission points this out, adding that innovation in the use of wireless technologies in increasingly diverse applications continues relentlessly, both within and beyond the sphere of amateur radio, the WIA sees that it is important to facilitate radio amateurs’ ability to adopt or adapt innovations without unnecessary impediments.

The Institute submission also made the point that, while commercial and defence operations focus on reliable, high signal-to-noise ratio communications, radio amateurs deliberately seek to explore testing and establishing communications under difficult circumstances where weak-signal reception is the norm, rather than the exception.

As a result, the amateur radio community, globally and in Australia, has built up a commendable record of investigation and achievement in advancing the state of the art with weak-signal communications technologies and techniques.

No better example of that is the recently-reported contact on 10 GHz over more than 900 kilometres using aircraft reflection between David VK3HZ portable in country Victoria and Rex VK7MO portable in southern Queensland.

Making a contact like that was not so long ago – for example, last year – considered to be a hopeless endeavor. But there you go – VK3HZ and VK7MO took the next step!

The WIA is committed to maintaining Amateur service allocations across the radiofrequency spectrum – both primary and secondary. Over decades, the Institute has defended assiduously the retention of Amateur access to frequency bands throughout the spectrum.

And that’s quite apart from pursuing new allocations!

Pablo Casals made a profound statement: The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step.

When it comes to defending our spectrum allocations and operating conditions, our policy is to always take that next step.

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH

Wireless Institute of Australia

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RAGazine now available for download

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Volume 2 issue 1 of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine is now available for download

In this edition:
- VLF quarterly observing report
- Simple equipment for SID observations
- Intro. to radio objects that can be detected by the amateur radio astronomer
- The man who made maps of the moon (poetry)
- UKRAA update
- Long baseline interferometry with unmatched SDRs
- Diurnal variation of VLF signals
- Hydrogen Line Obs. Group (HLOG)
- SIDI, the Simple Digital Interferometer
- Receiving moon-bounce signals from the GRAVES radar

Download this and previous issues of RAGazine from

Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at

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Ham radio goes around the Moon

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Towards the end of the year, radio amateurs will have the opportunity to receive what must be the ultimate DX from a ham radio payload transmitting the data mode JT65B as it flies around the Moon

Beijing plans to send a lunar orbiter around the Moon carrying a 14 kg battery powered payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The amateur radio payload will transmit a JT65B signal on 145.990 MHz which can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software.

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing's new lunar probe Chang'e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth. The launch, planned for 4th qtr 2014, is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang'e-5. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) then will perform a flyby around the Moon and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere after 9 days.

The orbiter arrived in Xichang, Sichuan on Sunday, August 10 and was then transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages

Free WSJT Software

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D-STAR Ham Radio Satellite Repeater Test

Monday 11th August 2014

A test of the D-STAR Parrot Repeater on the TabletSat-Aurora satellite is expected to take place during Monday, August 11 on 437.050 MHz (+/- 10 kHz Doppler shift)

TabletSat-Aurora launched with 11 other satellites carrying amateur radio payloads from Dombarovsky near Yasny on Thursday, June 19, 2014.

The D-STAR GMSK Parrot (Store and Forward) Repeater can store up to 8 seconds of voice message and runs 0.8 watts to a whip antenna.

There are two other transceivers on the satellite, they transmit GMSK telemetry data on 435.550 MHz and 436.100 MHz. Their power can be varied by command from the ground station between 0.8 and 2.0 watts. TabletSat-Aurora is also a downlink on 8192 MHz.

Dmitry Pashkov R4UAB reports the test on his website at

Description of TabletSat-Aurora in Google English


Dnepr Launch for D-STAR Satellite

Satellite Tracking

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Russian HF radar in ham radio 20m band

Monday 11th August 2014

The IARU Monitoring System reports on interference to the amateur radio 14 MHz band from the new Russian HF Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) Container network

The Russian Forces website reports the Air and Space Defense Forces are deploying a network of over-the-horizon (OTH) radars, code-named "Kontainer". They say the first one began "experimental-combat" operations in Kovylkino, Mordovia on December 2, 2013. The radar is reported to have a range of about 3000 km, which allows it to detect aircraft over large part of Europe.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 July 2014 newsletter says the radar site at Nizhny Novgorod has been very active in the Primary 14 MHz amateur radio allocation, e.g. 14.128 MHz, and the 35 kHz wide signal has caused considerable interference.

Read the IARUMS newsletter at

Watch Russia Activates Aerospace Defense Radar Aimed at Europe

Russia begins deployment of over-the-horizon radars

Russia Activates New Long Range Radar

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EMF 2014 Badge announced

Sunday 10th August 2014

An impressive badge incorporating a radio transceiver has been announced for the Electromagnetic Field EMF 2014 event taking place August 29-31 at Bletchley near Milton Keynes

EMF 2014 will have a dedicated amateur radio village and special event station GB2EMF. It is a festival for anyone interested in radio, electronics, space, homebrewing, robots, UAVs, 3D printing, DIYBio, Internet culture or pretty much anything else you can think of.

The recently announced event badge features an Arduino Due compatible 32bit ARM Cortex M3. A rechargeable battery will keep it running for days, and you can charge it over USB when the juice runs out. It has a 128x64 pixel LCD screen, two RGB LEDs, a radio transceiver, joystick, accelerometer, gyroscope, speaker, infrared, and all sorts of other fun parts.

More information at:
Announcing TiLDA MKe, the incredible EMF 2014 camp badge

EMF 2014 takes place August 29-31 near Newton Longville, just South of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK17 0BU.

EMF Amateur Radio Village

EMF 2014
Twitter @emfcamp

Report on the EMF 2012 event

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July RSGB Board Meeting

Saturday 9th August 2014

The RSGB Board proceedings for July mention the flood damage at the National Radio Centre (NRC)

The proceedings note the NRC was closed temporarily during July and say the full impact of last years RSGB Centenary £1 Membership offer would not be apparent until the autumn.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held July 26, 2014

Previous RSGB Board proceedings

You can join the RSGB online at

RSGB membership is free to licensed UK amateurs under the age of 21 or aged 21-25 and in full time education

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Disappearing medium wave

Saturday 9th August 2014

MW DX enthusiast, Bruce Conti, maintains a list of countries that are no longer operating on the medium wave band.

Entitled Silent MW Radio Countries, the document was updated just yesterday (Aug 8) and contains a surprising list of countries no longer on the AM broadcast band.

I was stunned! Not being a MW Dxer for many years, I had no idea just how much the MW band had changed over the years! Particularly interesting was the absence of African nations that have moved away from MW and onto the FM band. It makes fascinating reading.

Check out the list at
And if you are interested in mediumwave reception, have a look at the rest of Bruce's excellent website at

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Pirate station Radio Caroline drops anchor at the River Blackwater

Friday 8th August 2014

An iconic pirate pop radio ship has dropped anchor in the River Blackwater for the first time since the mid-1990s, with plans to take over the airwaves.

Radio Caroline, the world's most famous pirate radio station, which is housed on the ship MV  Ross Revenge, has docked just off the shore of Bradwell after leaving its home of 10 years in Tilbury docks last Thursday (July 31).

The station altered the face of pop music by challenging the established radio format in the 1960s, 70s and 80s by playing 24 hours of pop music a day, and tracks  that other radio stations wouldn't.

Now the team is back on the Blackwater for the first time since 1993, and plan to use a temporary 28-day radio licence to give Maldon and the Dengie a taste of the famous station whilst they apply for an AM licence to operate permanently.

Manager of the Ross Revenge Peter Moore, 67, who lives in Maldon and who has been involved with  Radio Caroline since 1976, said: "It's nice to be back at Bradwell on the Essex coast again.

"We've had a lot of support from the local community and we hope to get more involved.

"It was a hard old slog to get the boat here and we're glad to be back – we've had a great reaction so far from the local community."

The radio station, currently based on its third ship, has a cult following throughout Europe, after a turbulent history of international police raids, fires, shipwrecks and financial ruin, all of which inspired the movie "The Boat That Rocked" starring Bill Nighy and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

At the height of its power the station had up to 20 million listeners from the UK and Europe and changed the face of radio as we know it by challenging the BBC's monopoly over the airwaves.

Peter told the Chronicle: "It's a totally different time now to when Radio Caroline was over the airwaves and to think of the risks that you took even getting on the ship and playing music is hard to believe.

"Legally you could find yourself in prison for two years for just playing music and the boat was hardly sea worthy.

"But it was a fantastic time to be involved with music. Radio Caroline is like an addiction now we all work here as volunteers and love it."

Read the full Essex Chronicle story at

To tune into  Radio Caroline go to

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Listen to Perseid radio pings on the Internet

Thursday 7th August 2014

JoAnne K9JKM reminds us that radio pings from meteors can be heard via the internet

The Perseid meteor shower peak is predicted to occur between August 11 to 13, 2014. There are a few pre-peak pings already audible. The activity should increase over the next several days.

Quoting from their web page here is how they do it:

The US Air Force Space Surveillance Radar has been shut down, but we're still recording meteor echoes. How do we do it? Radio engineer Stan Nelson uses a Yagi antenna in New Mexico to detect 54 MHz TV signals reflected from meteor trails. When a meteor passes over his observatory--ping!--there is an echo.

Web streaming of the Perseid is on-line at:

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Wideband SDR Transceiver covers LF to UHF

Thursday 7th August 2014

Cross Country Wireless have announced the Sentry 10 a SDR transceiver that covers 12 kHz to 1400 MHz

Their website says the product is expected to be available in September.

Further information and a video is at

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Amateur Radio Satellite Ground Station in Ghana

Monday 4th August 2014

The Chronicle reports the much-awaited Satellite Ground Station at the All Nations University College (ANU) in Ghana is about to be implemented

It follows the resolve of the All Nations University College to design and build an Amateur Satellite Ground Station this year. The planned Miniature Satellite Ground Station is to be used in tracking Amateur Satellites in orbit, train engineers in Space and Satellite Engineering, and for research purposes that will enhance both institutional and industrial activities in the sub-region.

The successful implementation of the project would, not only earn ANU the credit of being the first university to have successfully designed and built a miniature satellite called CanSat in the sub-region, but also the first University to build a Satellite Ground Station.

Read the full story at

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Sunday 3rd August 2014

Check out the latest addition to TXtra as we get the chance to review the FlexRadio Systems FLEX-6300.

Bob McCreadie G0FGX and Sanderly Jeronimo M6SEJ demonstrate the new entry-level SDR from FlexRadio Systems.

Interested in SDR? Confused by SDR? This review should erase any question marks!

Take a look at and navigate to the TXtra pages.

Enjoy the ride.......

Mike G1IAR
Nick 2E0FGQ

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434 MHz party balloon B-64 completes epic journey

Friday 1st August 2014

At about 16:30 GMT on Friday, July 31, the solar powered B-64 party balloon launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER crossed the 1 degree West longitude line completing its circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere in just over 19 days

The balloon completed its transatlantic crossing and came within range of Cornwall in the morning. Oliver De Peyer M6ODP (photo right) happened to be visiting St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall at the time. He used his Kenwood TH-F7E handheld to receive an APRS packet from the balloon.

As the day progressed B-64 moved from just south of Cornwall up the English Channel and radio amateurs and listeners from Manchester to Nantes in France were able to receive the 10 mW Contestia 64/1000 and APRS signal on 434.500 MHz.

B-64 passed over the Isle of Wight and floated over Bognor Regis and across Kent heading out into the North Sea near Herne Bay. As of Friday night it was still flying and transmitting.

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his balloon from Silverstone in the UK at 07:00 GMT on July 12, 2014. Using the amateur radio APRS network and the UKHAS network its location was tracked over Europe, Siberia, a brief sojourn across North Korea before heading out over Japan and across the Pacific Ocean. It then briefly entered the United States before swinging north into Canada.

It was heard in Greenland by Peter Thulesen OX3XR and on Friday morning finally came within range of the British Isles.

See the track of B-64 at

or at

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society received the signal from B-64. Just 4 weeks earlier, thanks to Chris Stubbs M6EDF, the Society had launched a balloon CARS-1 from their meeting venue. That balloon didn’t have solar power so the signal only lasted for about 10 hours. CARS training organiser Clive G1EUC reported receiving a strong signal from B-64.

Clive is currently taking names for the next amateur radio Foundation course which starts on Thursday, September 4. If you’d like to join the course or wish to find out more about the hobby give him a ring on:
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at

What is Amateur Radio ?

Further 434 MHz balloon links at

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Panama Canal Special Event

Friday 1st August 2014

This month, Panama celebrates its 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal.

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.

A special event station is operating as HO 100 CANAL until August 15.

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

The QSL Manager for the operation is HP 1 AVS.

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Family goes Radio Ga Ga

Friday 1st August 2014

A family from Rayleigh in Essex are launching a brand new radio station. Rayleigh Community Radio will be serving Rayleigh and the surrounding areas, and commences operation today, Friday 1st August.

The station is managed by Tony Holland-Martin, with regular presenters, Alex Holland-Martin (21) and Oliver Holland-Martin (7). Both Tony and Alex have radio experience from hospital radio and now together community radio.

Alex Holland-Martin who has just finished his studies at the South Essex College in Southend. This is where Alex was bitten by the radio bug when studying Creative Media Production (Television & Film) Diploma and having a tour of the media department and hosting a show on the college’s Infuse Radio. It was at Infuse Radio that Alex involved in the world record attempt for the longest radio marathon as a team – 88 hours.

Alex said: “At first it will be a relatively small project, but one I am hoping will grow.”

“We have a PRS licence to broadcast on the internet for 58 hours per week, so the station will initially be on air 9 hours a day roughly. It won’t be long before we can expand the station and have guests for interviews, along with additional presenters.”

“Rayleigh is a great community, so I wanted to give people a service they could really get involved with and get something from the station. We are particularly interested in local issues and events. Part of the concept of the station is also to capture local oral history of our area”
Alex says college was a great way to get into local radio.
He said: “The radio station at South Essex College was a great way for me to get involved and find out what it was all about.”

“The facilities are brilliant there and it really helped me discover this is what I want to do. The College is fantastic, I couldn’t have done it without the support from everyone there.”

Alex also add “I really enjoyed my time on the college radio I was so gutted when it ended but we all have to move on.”

Rayleigh Community Radio is currently only available online at:

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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:-